Friday, May 27, 2016

Resting!



Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Genesis 2:1-3

Being brought up in Andalucia, a nap or siesta was part of our culture. When we moved back to the United States, my parents just changed our nap time but it was still a routine for our family. My parents were very active at home, work, ministry, education, athletics, music, etc. so they understood the importance of taking time to rest. 

As an adult I cannot tell you how many times I have heard someone guilt another person by saying things like "Oh must be nice to be able to nap." As if naps or quiet times are not available to everyone. I really never understood that mentality but it seemed to me that they were securing meaning and worth by all their pursuits and not having to have any rest.

Resting (a nap or quiet time) is good and necessary not only for our spiritual welfare but also for our physical and mental. God gave us an example in these verses to go by and we need to listen in order to receive the blessings of a good rest!

 My son's daughter Isabella posing on a statue at the zoo on our visit in 2009.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Taking Pictures Of Life!

There is nothing in this world that I enjoy more than taking a picture of something or someone. The pictures that I take now or have taken many years ago encourage me in my daily life. They were all taken at different phases of my life that I am so thankful for and all good memories. I love looking back at the good times and I look forward to the good times ahead. No matter what time in my life that I look back on my pictures I remember more the joy of that time than the difficult circumstances because of those pictures.

We don't take pictures of the ugly or the mess of life but instead of the moments we want to cherish forever. The pictures we take are wonderful reminders of the joyful times. When I look at pictures of my kids when I was a single parent and all their smiles and our celebrations together, it makes my heart smile. We struggled then financially and emotionally but we still had fun too! The things we did together then are priceless memories that I love to reflect on again and again.

My pictures are a constant reminder of the joy then and the joy now! I thank God for my dad who recorded my entire childhood to remind me of the good family times we all had together. I am also thankful to be able to take pictures of my own kids and grandkids to cherish all our memories together. Most of all I am thankful to God that as I grow older I have become more forgetful of the less than joyful moments of life!

Psalm 30:5b Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.
 This is one of my grand~girls popping bubbles on Easter 2014.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

When The Emotion Gauge Is On E!

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart... Psalm 34:18a
 
My nephew Dennis had just spent time at a Cancer Treatment Hospital with his family and planned to go home and rest. He and his wife received a call that their aunt (my sister n law) was in ICU so they flew immediately down to Florida. After going in to see my sister n law on life support, Dennis wept because he had experienced so much pain around him at the Cancer Treatment Hospital and now this. He is such a joy to be around and has such a fun personality but at that moment his emotional gauge was on E. He and his wife spent time with their aunt and time with the rest of the family. Together we all were able to process our grief and bear our burdens together. Even though Dennis was empty emotionally his presence was enough to encourage us during this difficult time. I will always cherish the love these two have given to our family and grateful for their love and loyalty to each of us. We all needed to lean on each other emotionally because it was more than we could really bear alone.

Our entire family had a broken heart during this time when my sister n law was in ICU and struggling for her life. None of us were ready to let her go. I am grateful to Dennis and his wife Theresa for their love and support to my sister n law and to our entire family! 

God sends people in our life during our most difficult moments to be the hands and feet of Jesus...

This is a drawing that my sister n law's grandchild Mackenzie made to put on top of her Mimi 
when she was on life support April 2014.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

We Need Others!

And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; Genesis 2:18a

In life, I believe we all need each other. God created all of us to dwell with him and with each other. We think sometimes that we can do it on our own but I can tell you at my age I have learned that is impossible. I need the people in my life such as my husband, my kids, my grand~kids, my brothers and sisters, my nieces and nephews, my aunt & uncle, my cousins and that is just the family side of things. I also need my friends, my church family, my neighbors, my co-workers and that list is endless too.

Thank you Lord for bringing people into my life that I need and also need me. It makes life sweeter as we go hand in hand with one another through the good and the difficult of our journeys together!



This picture was taken after climbing Sleepy Bear Dunes while camping in Michigan around 1998  with my mom and my family from Spain.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Handling Fear!

I Kings 19:2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.”

Jezebel was letting Elijah know she was going to kill him.She was furious that he had conquered her pagan prophets and wanted revenge. Elijah had just won a great victory and was on the mountain top of life until he heard this threat. He ran for his life and found himself in the midst of despair going from faith to fear. 

Elijah was a great and righteous prophet of God who ended up deep in despair and depression because of fear. He was so overwhelmed with fear that he asked God to kill him. His emotions were more focused on his fears than on the victories God had given him just days before. Fear came while he was on the mountain top of life and immediately he was in the valley of despair.


Fear is a struggle that we all face in life and we need to encourage each other as God did Elijah.

My prayer: Dear Lord, please send me in my times of fear those who will help me more in my faith and not those who will only crush me in my weakness. Let me know how to encourage those in my life who may be struggling with their own fear.

This picture was taken as I was traveling through Arkansas with my mom in January 2010.