Thursday, June 26, 2014

~Life Chapters~

Each time I finish up a book I become a little sad when I know it is the final chapter. The book I am reading becomes like a friend that I enjoy spending time with each day. I always think to myself that I hope I am able to find another one soon that is just as enjoyable. I always tell my family that I feel myself grieve each time I finish up a good book.

Our life has many final chapters in our friendships, marriages, children, grandkids,  jobs, homes, health, finances, etc. Death may bring a final chapter we didn't expect. We feel we may not recover many times from the loss or the ending. The human spirit is stronger than we realize and with God any and all endings can be the beginning for a new chapter that we have not even imagined.

We need to trust God with our future in the midst of all the tragic losses of life. We don't know what God is going to do with our circumstances but in faith we have hope for our future. As we find ourselves at the end of a life chapter don't forget to turn the page to the beginning of something new. 

Psalm 18:28  “You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”

 
 This picture was taken when I visited Sevilla Spain in 2012.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

~It's Okay To Grieve~

Blessed are those who mourn,
    For they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

There are days that the storm is in our own life and other days when the storm is in the lives of those around us. Is it appropriate for us to walk around with a smile on our face in the midst of the storms? Not at all even though there are smiles and blessings even in the midst of the storms when we handle our emotions properly.

These past few years have been my season to grieve. If I walked around acting as if it never happened and as if my heart is not broken then I would be deceiving others and myself. If I didn't admit my heartache then I would act it out in some other way.

Healthy grieving is good for us and will keep us healthy. When we don't grieve properly then we will get stuck emotionally. We need to allow ourselves to feel and grieve the loss. I have learned that the more we love the more we will grieve. 

Taken on my walk on the beach which is one of my favorite places
 to grieve and pray.

Monday, June 16, 2014

~Listening~

A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions. Proverbs 18:2

... a man of understanding holds his tongue. Proverbs 11:12b


So what does this mean? Well for a start, people are more likely to listen to us, if we have first taken the time to listen to them. 


I told my son one day, "you never listen to me!" He replied, "I do mom, it's just you have so much to say!" Lesson learned.... 

 This picture was taken in Charleston, South Carolina when we visited March 21, 2013.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sanballat Syndrome

But it so happened, when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, that he was furious and very indignant, and mocked the Jews.  Nehemiah 4:1


Sanballat set out to discourage and defeat the Jews. He made fun of them, mocked them and then went to battle against them. He even had Jews from within the camp that were helping give him information to help him overcome them. He became obsessed with their defeat because he was filled with so much hatred and despised them.

Does that sound like anyone in our own life? Unfortunately there are people within our families, communities and even churches that suffer from the Sanballat Syndrome. They have made it their quest to set out, mock, destroy and conquer others. They may not have an army with shields and swords but they have many other destructive tools. Gossip, slander and sarcasm are used to destroy one's spirit and reputation. Not acknowledging people or treating them as if they have no value is another method.

God protected the Jewish nation from Sanballat and God will protect us too! Some days it feels as if we are being defeated but no matter how things may seem always TRUST GOD!

 This picture was taken in the Everglades, May 2013.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Do We Care?

“Don’t be interested only in your own life, but be interested in what concerns others too.”  Phil 2:4

As a mother of young children I found it so frustrating and hurtful when my children did not care or appreciate each other. It seemed as if they could only focus on what the other siblings had that they didn't have. We are so much like our children in that we too focus on the blessings of others instead of the blessings God has given to us. 

It's human nature to be blinded by the great gifts we receive each day when we see someone else receiving something more. As parents we try to bless each child but our children only see what they have not received. It's a terrible character flaw within all of us when we think only of ourselves. We need to be thankful for our blessings but also for the blessings of others.


A picture taken on one of my many walks on the beach, March 2013.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Holding On To Hope

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;   Psalm 46:1-2

Hard times come in many different ways for each of us. No matter who we are or what we have, we can expect problems. God is not promising us a life without it but instead letting us know that He will be our refuge and strength in the midst of any and ALL our struggles. 

Our hope is not in other people or even in ourselves but in Him. I find that comforting because I know that I don't always get it right. God has brought me through so many things that were of my own doing. God has also brought me through many more things that were not of my own doing. 

God is our only HOPE in everything!

This picture was taken around the historical area of Fernandina Beach,  January 2013

Monday, June 2, 2014

Poison Folks!

 There are folks I don't want to share my life with.....I call them "Poison Folks"

These folks may try to criticize my children or my grandchildren....
These folks are full of bitterness towards family including their own.....
These folks will gossip about my church or my pastors.

There are folks I don't what to share my life with......I call them "Poison Folks"

I want to get along with all folks but these are non-negotiable.

There are folks I don't want to share my life with......I call them "Poison Folks"

These folks carry the poison of criticism, bitterness and gossip 
who want to harm me and the people I cherish!

There are folks I don't what to share my life with......I call them "Poison Folks"


We need to stay away from the poison of criticism, bitterness and gossip in those around us.  It has the potential to destroy our lives and the lives around us....

A perverse person stirs up conflict; and a gossip separates close friends. Proverbs 16:28

 This picture was taken when we visited Everglades Park 
and watched The Gator Boys handling the alligators May 19, 2013.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

~Opposites Attract~

Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:14
 
My husband and I are extreme opposites in every way. We think completely different in just about every single thing. What he notices, I don't and vice versa. We were brought up differently. We are wired and think differently too.

When we were younger we did not appreciate those differences. Our pride and immaturity caused us to argue over those differences more than appreciating our differences. We have learned over the years to trust and respect each other with our opposite approaches. We have learned each others strengths and to put aside our own pride. To allow each other to make choices and do things that are contrary to our own response. 

 This is a picture of my husband that I took October 14, 2012.