Thursday, January 5, 2012
You might be afraid to set new goals this year, having failed to accomplish them in the past, but don't ever be afraid to begin again. God is all about new beginnings. That's what a new year is for! Put all those old fears aside, decide where you want to be in January 2013, and ask God to help you get there. Here's a great passage that will encourage you: Psalm 34:4-5
New International Version (NIV)
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
Never be ashamed to look at God and smile. He is NEVER EVER ashamed of you when you do! The action of looking toward Him gives you a radiance that will light your way when your path may seem dark.
Have a great day and Happy New Year!
Monday, November 7, 2011
Don't do it! Don't let the marketing geniuses who make the decisions to put spooky ghosts on the same shelf as jolly Santas trick you into thinking you have to rush around to get it all done TODAY!
Relax, you have plenty of time to get presents wrapped and cookies baked. And, here's the good news, if you don't get it all done---SO WHAT?---Thanksgiving and Christmas will still be great.
Here's a recipe I found on Good Housekeeping that I'm definitely trying. It looks SIMPLE and YUMMY and will be great as the cooler days approach. Perfect for that Thanksgiving week when company comes in. It should only take 20 minutes from start to eating. Love it!
Herbed Winter Squash Soup
- 2 package(s) (12 ounces each) frozen pureed butternut or winter squash
2 can(s) 14 1/2 ounces each, 3 1/2 cups, chicken broth
1 jar(s) (16 ounces) unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon(s) fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1/4 teaspoon(s) coarsely ground pepper
Speaking of thanksgiving, here's a great message from our brother Paul, who wrote to the Colossians. It's also a great message for us.
Colossians 2:6 The Message (MSG)
6-7My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you've been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You're deeply rooted in him. You're well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you've been taught. School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.
We do live in trying times, but guess what?----Every generation has its difficult days. We need to take Paul's advice and start living our life with thanksgiving on our hearts. I love how the Message puts it—school's out! In other words, you have already been taught the importance of living this way—so do it! Good point, don't you think.
Have a blessed week.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
We left bright and early last Monday morning from Madison, Alabama where my grandchild, Macy, lives. She attends Madison Academy where she is in the fifth grade. The first day was just traveling, but on the second day we were at Monticello, the beautiful home of Thomas Jefferson. We continued on to Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg, then to Mount Vernon, home to George Washington, and finished up with two days in Washington DC. The DC part included the Capitol, the Supreme Court, the Holocaust museum, the many monuments, the Smithsonian, and the Cheesecake Factory :). I couldn't leave that visit off! It was a fantastic trip, full of the historical happenings of our early formative years as a nation.
What was very clear from every angle is our country was founded on a stong belief in God. From early documents, it's evident that a belief in God and a desire to live according to His principles shaped our foundational laws. It's sad to see how far we have strayed from what was once held in high esteem. I know there are still many of us who hold God's values close to our hearts and are doing all that we can to keep them alive in America. It remains our job to elect men and women to represent us in Washington who also represent God, just as our forefathers did.
On our last night, we learned of the death of one of the most evil men this world has ever known. Since it was late at night, each mom, dad, or grandparent was alone with their own child. How do you rejoice in the death of anyone and explain to a child that it was okay to kill him? As a mom and grandmother, I was concerned that this be handled in the best way possible. First I realized the twin tower incident seemed just as far away to my fifth grader as the Holocaust did. I had to explain to her what happened on a date that for the rest of us only needs to be referred to as 9/11 and the scenes of the incident begin to play in our head as if it were yesterday. We talked briefly about that incident and how evil exists in our world and how people who do evil things have to pay for their crimes. I told her that this man had been hiding from us for nearly ten years. Since that was really all we knew at that point, I left it at that, and we went to sleep.
We went to sleep. How does that happen? The news of Bin Laden's death wasn't the only thing these children had to handle the week we were gone. The second day of our adventure, we learned of the tornado that was tearing through Alabama, their home state and, in fact, it was heading right for their homes. We stopped what we were doing and prayed for God's hand to keep their loved ones out of harm's way, and spent the day with one ear listening to the tour guide and another listening for news from home. That night, we had heard from every family on the trip and there were no deaths or injuries among them. We went to bed thanking God for His protection.
Psalm 4:8 says, "In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety." I have to think that verse was quoted by men, women and children during such trying times as the Revolutionary War and the French and Indian War and the Civil War and the Vietnam War and certainly during the Holocaust---right up to today where we live in such uncertain times: where the price of gas threatened our budgets, where our young men and women are sent to defend other countries where people the freedoms we have, where natural disasters leave loved ones homeless, where politicians want more from themselves than they do for their country, and the list goes on and on.
Thank you, God, that in You and You alone we can find safety and rest. Just as our children will climb in bed with us when a storm is raging outside and quickly fall asleep, all we have to do is climb in bed with the one who loves us the most--our Heavenly father--and we will also find rest.
Have a blessed day.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
After three days of ski school, our youngest skiers "had it down," so to speak, and joined us veteran skiers (not that we're a ton better, just more experienced) on one last run down the mountain. We were so proud of them. Will, who is nine, fearlessly tackled each run like a football player ready for a championship game. Bella, our skinny little eight-year-old, did the same. Her tiny legs dug into the snow like little snow plows as she worked hard to maintain control and keep up with crowd. They were skiing with such confidence that we were happy to let them lead the way to our ski house.
Apparently, we mistook knowing how to ski for knowing how to get back to our house. Clearly, we were also oblivious to another potential problem that comes with skiing—once a turn is missed, there's no easy way to fix it. Still, none of this crossed our minds until Will, who was in the lead, missed a turn. Okay, no problem—maybe. My daughter (Will's mom), Korie, quickly followed him. She's a great skier and I was confident she would get them home. The rest of us were now behind a fast-moving Bella who made a quick right turn when she should have turned left. My last visual of her occurred as she disappeared over a short drop off (about three feet) onto a road--a REAL road where a car COULD have been driving. Like any grandmother worth her salt (whatever that means), I followed her down the hill to that road, instructing everyone else to stay where they were. As I made my way down to Bella, I knew that the only way back to the path would include a WALK up the hill we just came down. In skiing what goes up, must go down, but the opposite is also true—after a wrong turn, that is.
Once I reached Bella and discovered she was okay, I took my skies off and instructed Bella to do the same, then we started the long walk UP the mountain. Can I just say—walking uphill, carrying skies and poles, in a high altitude, after a long day of skiing, wearing heavy ski boots-- is never a good decision, but it was our only way home. The good news, no, the great news, was Bella never complained. She stopped for breaks, but never cried or whined about our situation or asked me to carry her skies. I was very proud of her. Maybe it was my heavy breathing that told her this wasn't the time for favors. In any case, she was a trooper. We eventually reached the ski path, put our skies on and, with me in the lead, made it home. Safely inside, we asked about Korie and Will. They were still not home. After a frantic few minutes, we got a phone call telling us to send a car for them. They came in exhausted from their journey, but were safe. Korie was also proud of Will as she told us he never complained either. I truly believe that in serious situations like this was, children know they have no option. For all of us, when we do not have options in a difficult situation, we don't have the luxury of complaining. In those times, we're happy to do whatever is necessary to get out of the bad situation. The next day, no one argued when someone proposed that only grownups lead the way home.
These kinds of stories make for great dinner conversation, or good blogging material, after all the parties involved are safe and warm inside the house, but while you are "in the moment" they can be extremely challenging and scary. I couldn't help but think of our heavenly Father who so patiently follows us down some very dangerous trails and then gently leads and guides us back to the life-saving path when we're ready to go home. And when we're truly ready to find the right path, there will be no complaining or whining. We'll be so happy that someone loves us with such a mighty power that they would walk up a snow-covered hill with us and lead us home. I love this verse in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8. I especially love the way The Message translates it: "That's why we live with such good cheer. You won't see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don't get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It's what we trust in but don't yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we'll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming."
Have a great week knowing you serve a God who loves you so much He will run after you and guide you home.