Welcome To My Green Pasture....

It is a place of quiet rest that I have found when I am writing. I hope that someone will find my musings helpful in some way.
Psalm 23:2 "He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restoreth my soul."


My Green Pasture....

Monday, February 28, 2011

Joy

It is another new day and the sun is shining! It is the start of another day on my journey. I have no idea what lies ahead of me today but as each morning, I try to find something to be thankful for. I sit here and pray for my family and friends who are hustling about trying to get ready for work, and get their kids off to school or to daycare. My life has changed a lot since moving to the Northwoods of Wisconsin. It is almost as if we have stepped back in time and everything has slowed down. I don't always like the circumstances ...I don't always like the journey I am on...I don't always like the path I chose; but I've journeyed too far to turn back. I know that there is a difference between happiness and true joy because I experience it. There are many days when I am not particularly happy but on the inside I have joy. I have found that true joy comes when I take my eyes off of my own circumstances and look beyond myself to see who I can be a blessing to. There is always someone who needs something! Maybe all I can give is an encouraging word but it is something. Maybe all I can give is a smile or a hug. We create our own happiness. We shouldn't expect other people to make us happy! If you have inner joy then it will help you have the happiness as well. A long time ago I learned the acronym for JOY: Jesus, Others, Yourself. Really if you try this and put it into practice you will find that it works! If I first seek His help then I want to care about others and when I care about others I find I am thinking about myself last. "This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap, the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What Are The Odds?



I've pretty much got all of the Dr. Seuss books down by heart! Over the years I've read them all and gotten a laugh out of them. I realize that there are some that don't like his writings but I have to chuckle when I think that Dr. Seuss, whose real name was Theodore Geisel,  was laughed at by his college buddies and told his drawings and writings were worthless! They just couldn't match his style! I am sure there are many other inventors and authors and such, that I could use as an example of someone who succeeded in spite of severe criticism and mocking, but I happen to love the Dr. Seuss books and bought them for my new grandson who is only two months old...really as an excuse so I could pull them out and read them again! Dr. Seuss was 89 yrs. old when he died and had written 48 very famous children's books!  That has really got me to thinking about this today....You may not think that you are any good at what you do, or might be told that your dreams and visions are not as good as the next person's but you may just be that odd ball that is needed! The odds may be stacked against you; or so it seems, but if God is for you then nothing or no one can stand against you.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Peace Like A River




Noise can sap you of rest! A loud car stereo booming with music, noisy neighbors arguing, or just plain chatter whether upsetting or not, can be so annoying when you are seeking quiet. Sometimes it's good to be alone and be quiet just to get renewed and refreshed. I think that is why I love to get outdoors in the summertime. I love to walk through the fields and admire the flowers, listen to the birds and walk down to the creek and listen to the water rippling over the rocks. It is soothing and peaceful. First thing in the morning is peaceful as well, before the rest of the world is moving around and noisy. Even Jesus needed to be alone at times. He was constantly surrounded by crowds of people that were following Him for some kind of sign or wonder. In the morning, before it was day, He went out by Himself, sometimes up to the mountain to pray.
"In the morning I will direct my prayer unto you and will look up" ~ Psalm 5:3
When I look up then I can have the "peace that passes understanding". ~ Philippians 4:7

Friday, February 25, 2011

Just a Little Grain




A lot of times in my life I guess I have mocked at the idea of faith; thinking it was just a made up bunch of hooey, to make people feel better. There were some things happened that caused me to be angry and think that God couldn't possibly be real, or if He was He certainly didn't care about my petty little life! I know where you are at if you are one of those  who laugh at the idea of prayer and think it is just a myth or a psychic bunch of crap. I have always heard stories of "great men of faith" and wondered how they were any different than anyone else. Just a little grain of mustard seed of faith, is all it takes?  That is not much. A grain of mustard seed is very tiny. So, I don't have to have a lot of faith.??......just a little? Well I know that is true! There have been so many times when I have cried out to God about things and just believed in my heart that He was listening. He has proved Himself to me over and over. He has heard me talk to Him about so many things and I have watched Him do some wonderful things! I don't have to wait until I am perfect to come to Him...He lets me talk to Him just the way I am. The main thing is, that I have the faith to believe that He is listening. I have learned to talk to God about everything! I don't pray big lofty prayers and to be honest, I don't like to pray in public, because I like to keep my conversation between me and God. Don't give up on praying. I heard someone say they don't know how to pray....you know how to talk. Just talk. He'll listen. Then, just believe in your heart that he heard you. He is the best one that I have ever in my life, had a conversation with, to be quite honest! I can talk and talk and talk.... He never interrupts and never is distracted; is never rude.  I talk and He listens and then he goes to work on my behalf. I don't have a lot of faith...just a little grain like a mustard seed; but that is enough!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quityerbellyaching!


Maybe if you are a little bit more sophisticated than me, (and that doesn't take much!); you may not know what this "Quityerbellyaching" means. It is the way the country folk tell other country folk to just  knock off all of the complaining and negativity! This sign hangs in my house along with my other country signs that I adore! I think I  bought this one with my hubby in mind, to keep him in check! It serves as a reminder to myself as well, when I find myself getting too negative and grumpy. It is easy to do when you have aches and pains galore, believe me! I have found that the best way to counteract these negative "bellyaching" moods is to start speaking positive words. I admit, especially in the morning before I've had my double dose of coffee and prayer, it just doesn't come very easily! However, as I begin, it starts to flow a bit better, like the maple syrup from the bottle; slow at first and then, boom! It is flowing with a vengeance! I can always find something to be thankful for no matter what is going on. If I just start thanking God for little things then pretty soon I am finding more to be thankful for and less to "bellyache" about! I know that you can still praise Him in the storm and thank Him even when you don't feel like it! Psalm 63:5 "..my mouth shall praise you with joyful lips."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Doctor's Orders!

If you've read my profile or you happen to know me personally, you are aware of the fact that I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, amongst other health issues. I now have a Primary Doc, Neurologist, Gastroenterologist, and Orthopedic Surgeon. So, as you can imagine, there are many appointments and new ideas and new medications to get used to. This horrible ailment is not caused by that terrible thing called "STRESS" that we all have in our everyday life; however, the symptoms get worse and worse whenever  it is present. I do not fully understand  it all myself yet, and am reading all I can, but it has something  to do with the nervous system. Of course you also know by reading my profile, or if you know me, that I am also caregiver for my husband. For all of you who do know me personally, you know it is a challenge both physically and mentally! Maybe someone out there in " blog reading land" knows what taking care of a brain injured spouse entails. Not very many people seem to realize the full impact; not on just me, but on my husband as well. There have been many changes to deal with emotionally and physically. Needless to say the stress level is high! I have had to learn to follow my doctor's orders. I was told I absolutely have to reduce my stress level and try to relax. I have learned something that works better than any drug they can give to me. "PRAY MORE STRESS LESS". I like to paint barn boards and I was going to paint this phrase on one so I could keep reminding myself each morning. I knew I should have done it last summer because now I cannot. I just had carpal tunnel surgery in the left wrist, about a month ago and it isn't healing properly. I think it is on hold for now. I am reminded to carry everything to God in prayer. There is nothing  too small to take to Him. Psalm 116:1-2: "I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live." (NIV)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hope

It's strange how certain things come to mind at the strangest times. I am not sure why I am thinking this morning about this but I will share it with you. I have always seemed to make friends all through school and even to this day with the ones who had no friends; the underdogs, the misfits, so to speak. The ones who no one else wanted to sit down next to at lunch. The ones no one else wanted to pick for kick ball and baseball. Then my mind started thinking of homeless people and wondered....do you suppose that maybe some of them were at one time  one of those kids who nobody wanted to have lunch with? I am sure there are deeper reasons as to why some of them are homeless, don't get me wrong, but I just wonder if maybe some of the rejection they felt all through school didn't maybe carry with them in life somehow? I couldn't help this morning as I was thinking on this, think of the verse that says, "hope deferred makes the heart sick" and realized that some of these people who are homeless must feel so hopeless and in despair. Just given a little spark of hope that they can have a future and get back on their feet can make all the difference. There are many good organizations working to help the homeless,and thinking on this makes me realize, I personally have done nothing! Sometimes we complain about what we don't have. I feel ashamed this morning as I think on this subject and I think of the many people who are at this moment  hovering over a garbage can with a fire in it to stay warm or being turned away at a shelter because there aren't enough beds. We can all do more. Because we have Hope...We are not in despair and destitute. We have so much for which to be thankful!




Monday, February 21, 2011

Take Time

For years my life was very busy; starting usually around five am and not ending until around eleven pm. Busy with kids, teaching duties, school and church activities. I was on the go constantly. My life has taken a few curves and changes over the past few years, and of course the kids are all grown and out of the nest so things are different. I have taken on a very different role as my husband has had a brain injury so I am home full-time. In a way, I have been forced to slow down. It has been a difficult adjustment for me. I prefer to be busy, but with my own health issues, it is probably a good thing; actually I should say it is a good thing. I am finding that I actually am noticing the "Little" things that I never took the time to notice before. I am still up at five am  many mornings drinking my coffee, but I am not in a stressed out hurry and flurry to get out the door. Instead I sit and notice the sun as it starts to rise and notice how beautiful it is first thing in the morning! I noticed this morning how gorgeous the freshly fallen snow looked on the pine trees out front! I noticed that I am beginning to hear a few more birds in the mornings....hopefully that means Spring is around the corner! I noticed there is a small nest in the doorway where I let my dog out each morning and there will soon be baby birds in there just as last year. So many of these little things I used to let go unnoticed because I was in too big of a hurry to live my life in the fast lane! I am thankful that I have had to slow down. I am thankful that I am learning to enjoy the little things.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Jesus Loves The Little Children

                                                      

I was sickened once again while watching a popular news commentator  discussing a case of  another child missing, then hearing of another one in a dumpster, then another beaten ,on and on it goes! Another found living in filth and neglected. I have never understood child abuse. Children are so precious and innocent and a gift from God to be loved and cherished. There are all forms of abuse and though some seem to be worse than others, they all have the same affect;destruction of the child, both emotionally and physically.
Jesus loved little children. He loved to have them around Him. They were not a nuisance to Him, and He didn't shoo them away or act as if they should only be "seen and not heard". In Matthew 18:2, He called them to be near Him and had them sit by His side. I believe there is a pay day coming for all of those who have neglected, mistreated, despised, resented, abused,raped and murdered  children! Matthew 18:6 says, "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea!" "Woe unto the world because of these offences....woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!" "Take heed that ye do not despise these little ones, for I say unto you that their angels in Heaven do always behold the face of my father which is in Heaven." Even a little sparrow does not fall to the ground without Him taking notice. He sees and He cares! He will avenge.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Red Pump

This old house we are living in was built in 1912. There was no plumbing in it even up until 2002, when we moved into it. It belonged to my husband's grandfather. My daughter, was  not thrilled to say the least; to find that she would have to pump water with this pump and then heat it on the stove in a pan in order to wash the dishes! After all, it was 2002, not 1912!! We did get the plumbing in shortly after moving in. Recently I was in the basement and came across the pump that we had laid aside after we put in the new sink. A sudden urge of thankfulness came over me as I remembered the days, though short-lived; of pumping that pump and heating that water! People back in 1912 had no other way. I got that old pump out of the basement, gave it a new coat of paint, and attached it to my counter; as a decoration for one thing, but also to remind me to be thankful for ordinary things like running water, and hot water at that!

God Kissed My "Boo-Boo's"

"Never be ashamed of the scars that life has left you with. A scar means the hurt is over! The wound is closed! You endured the pain and God has healed you!"
I have been left with many scars. I am not ashamed; as they have contributed to who I am today. They are the very reason I have the determination to press on. I have learned some of the most valuable lessons from my deepest wounds. I cannot share those here but I do know that God has been "real" to me and it is only His grace and love that has seen me through. He can bring us through whatever we are experiencing. If  I had never been hurt I would never have known what it feels like for God to kiss my "boo-boo's". When my kids were little, whenever they would get even the slightest scratch they would come to me and ask me to kiss their boo-boo and make it better. I would of course do that and then magically they would put a grin on their face and proclaim, "all better!". God wants to heal our deepest wounds, all we have to do is ask and give them to Him. We can have peace in place of  the hurt. Jeremiah 17:14 "Heal me, O Lord and I shall be healed...."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just a Few Quotes

"Do what you can with what you have where you are."~ Theodore Roosevelt

"The best portion of a good man's life is his little nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love."~William Wordsworth
                                                                                  

"He is the happiest,be he king or peasant, who finds peace at home." ~ John Wolfgang Von Goethe



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Camp Tapawingo



Don't underestimate what a good summer camp can do for  your child! It can be such a great and wonderful experience in their life that they will cherish and remember forever. When it came time for  summer camp each year, my family just didn't have the money to send me.  I always wanted to go so badly along with all of my friends but just couldn't. A very kind hearted man from our church; who I will call Mr. T., decided to begin a contest for our Sunday School. I think I was around ten, so that would have been way back in 1970! The contest was to memorize as many Bible verses as possible. I don't remember how many weeks we had to do this in, but I know it was over a period of time, maybe a month or so. The ultimate prize was a free week of camp at Camp Tapawingo  in New York! I could hardly believe my ears. I always wanted to go to camp and now I had the chance! I began memorizing with a fervor from day one, determined that I was going to be the one to win! I never told anyone this, I just kept on memorizing and hoping that I would out memorize every other kid there!! Not exactly the right motive for memorizing God's Word, as I think back on it now, but those verses have really stuck with me through thick and thin over the years. Needless to say, after much hard work and determination that nobody else was going to win that free week to camp but me!; I won!
I will never forget the feeling on that Sunday when it was announced that Kathy Searles won! I was going to camp like every one else! I had never been away from home, never mind to camp, so I packed up the bug spray, sleeping bag, and all of the things on my list, and headed to camp! This camp was for girls only and the only way to it was by speedboat. So after a car trip from Connecticut to upstate New York, we jumped into a speedboat and took off across the lake. By the way...we really took off across the lake! I also had never been in a speedboat so that was quite a thrill in itself for me, with the water spraying in my face, and just the excitement of the whole adventure! The week flew by almost as fast as that speedboat, for it was so filled with activities like I had never experienced before. There was a craft everyday, devotions, swimming,games,singing, and campfires. I think it is where I ate my first s'more! Sleeping in a bunk in a cabin with a bunch of giggling girls was something totally new to me as well. It was such a great time, I didn't really have time to be homesick. I owe a big thank-you to the man I call Mr. T., for creating the Bible memory contest so long ago, that gave me the opportunity to have this experience at camp that I would not have had otherwise, and for helping me hide God's Word in my heart. Thank You Mr. T. for giving to the Lord!
http://camp-of-the-woods.org/#/tapawingo

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Honey Or Vinegar

We've all heard the saying,"You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."  By nature I am a feisty person who likes to get my own way. I have toned that down a lot from my younger years. I used to get pretty fired up at just about everything and everyone! I was a little spit- fire even as a kid.. It really didn't accomplish one thing other than to give me a headache! As we grow up and mature into adults, hopefully along that journey, we learn to bite our tongue and refrain from saying everything that pops into our mind! Spiteful, hateful, and demeaning words don't really help any situation; rather they fuel the flames of an argument. It is difficult to be around someone who is continuously snappy and angry without getting angry and lashing back in our own defense or justification. Proverbs 15:1 says, "A soft answer turneth away wrath but grievous words stirreth up anger." I have tried this, and know that it works; although I have to admit I have not mastered it! I have to keep reminding myself to do it. Words have more power than we sometimes give them credit for. They can either pierce someone through like a sword and destroy their spirit or they can be refreshing as a cold drink on a summer day! The thing about words is once they are out of our mouth, they can't be recalled! They have a way of  staying  with us and haunting our sleep and festering until they become a resentment and a bigger problem. May my words be more honey and less vinegar.
Psalm 19:14 "Let the words of my mouth be acceptable in Thy sight O Lord......."

Just Dominoes!

I never really learned how to play the game of Dominoes or never really cared to learn, I guess. My interest was just in finding interesting ways of lining them up in cool patterns and then knocking them down. So interesting to watch them topple over one by one; each affecting the other. Life is really like a bunch of dominoes...one choice after another; each affecting another.
 It is mind boggling sometimes when we stop and see how one choice has affected each day after it; and not only that,but perhaps the choice has also involved other people and affected them, and caused other choices. Once those dominoes start falling you cannot stop them. All of the work of lining them up in a special pattern is over. It is such a good reminder that each new day we have a chance to start all over! Maybe you messed up yesterday and made some poor choices but you have today...a new day to line up those choices and remind yourself each one affects the other.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Indomitable Spirit!

Indomitable spirit! It is the determination and stamina to persevere when all odds are against you. It is a spirit that cannot be subdued or conquered. It is not for weaklings, obviously, or for those who give up at the first sign of trouble. Indomitable spirit is what makes the difference between a leader and a follower. You will never find a follower with such qualities. It is the spunk and "true grit" to keep going in spite of circumstances or negative people. Many inventors had it. Many pioneers and great leaders of our country and military had and have it! Aside from determination, stamina, and perseverance, it  is an abundance of courage to press on in spite of the obstacles ahead! So...BRING IT ON...one more day! May I have the "grit" necessary! Joshua 1:9 " Be Strong, and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.".

Sunday, February 13, 2011

You Look Fine to Me....

These are the five words I have come to hate! I know I am not alone, for there are numerous others who silently suffer from this terrible disease of Fibromyalgia all over the world. They all have varying degrees of symptoms. For me, I have had periods of time when I have been almost fine with minimal symptoms but boy when it hits again...it hits with a fury! Researchers haven't completely figured out the whys to it all but most people who have it have had some illness or injuries that precipitated it,or perhaps a traumatic event. Well, I definitely have had all of that...Illness, injuries, and traumatic events in my past. Whatever caused it doesn't matter..what matters is that I have it along with everyone else who does and it makes for a very frustrating life. Friends and family don't get it. They can't understand that yesterday you were out and about feeling and looking fine and now today you are laying on the couch acting like you are in extreme pain! Well that is exactly the way it is! One day you are fine, then the next day you are not! It is unpredictable. The muscle pain can be excruciating and no amount of muscle relaxers are enough! The sensation that you are being poked with pins and needles is not a pleasant thing, along with the extreme fatigue. Oh...I forgot to mention the migraine headaches, irritable bowel, combined with bone and joint problems that can be combined with this. Over the years, I have been in and out of the hospital more times than I can count and have had more doctors and medical tests than most people have in a lifetime. There are many other issues that are involved with Fibromyalgia and I am finding out new ones almost every day lately. Basically it is a very painful condition and it can be very depressing to handle. I try to stay positive and to do that I do a lot of praying and writing, and do my best to surround myself with the most positive people I can... What I don't need in my life is people cutting me down, criticizing, analyzing my every move and adding stress to my life. Stressful situations precipitate the symptoms so of course if I am smart, I am going to stay away from those situations that make me feel tense and uncomfortable. I decided to write this today so that all of my friends and family both far and near would maybe make an effort to understand a bit more clearly why it is I avoid certain situations and why I am the way I am. I do have problems making plans ahead of time even one day ahead of time...I never know how I will feel.  Please be patient with me! If you want to know more about Fibromyalgia please go to their website and please stop saying to me...."You look Fine to me!"

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Animals in Egypt are Victims

www.peoplepets.com/news/pets-in-the-news/animals-in-egypt-are-victims-in-uprising-too/1

Valentines!


Valentine's Day back when I was a kid was way different than it is today. I am sure that each generation has it's own story to tell of how things were different back in their day...and of course the kids roll their eyes as these stories are told...I remember being the one rolling my eyes, now I am telling such stories!! Anyway, back to the Valentines.....When we had a Valentine's Day at school, for me it was not a pleasant day....I would dread it! I always felt a bit insecure and always worried that I was not good enough for anyone to like me. It seems like in every grade in school there was always a bully girl with beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes who had everything that money could buy....these bully girls would tease me because I pretty much wore hand me downs and didn't have the prettiest hair...I was told I had a big nose and big ears and so on and so on and of course I believed all of it! I never thought that I would get any Valentines for this reason. You see, back then...the teachers didn't make every child hand them out to the entire class like they do now...it was a pick and choose type of deal. If you were liked, then you got a Valentine...if not liked, no Valentine! If you were well liked then of course you went home with a whole bag full of Valentines, candy,and  other goodies. If you were a loser and nobody liked you then you would go home virtually empty handed and brokenhearted! Thankfully now days, teachers have a bit more sense about how to handle this and make sure that every kid goes home with the same goods!  One such Valentine's Day that I dreaded, I actually was in for a huge surprise. I actually got more Valentine's than the blonde bully in my class and I remember being so happy and elated. I had someone who liked me! Not just one...but lots! And not just lots but more even than that blonde bully that had been so mean to me! It is strange how some of these stories come back to my mind sometimes but I was thinking on this how sometimes we get to feeling so insecure and unloved because of our "enemies" that we forget that we have a friend that sticks closer than a brother who loves us. God has given me a ton of Valentines to make up for all of those bullies! He does have a way of giving back to us all that the enemy steals away from our lives...I am so thankful for the love that He has for me that He shows me every day:

With Him it's Valentines Day every day!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Grandpa's Love

When I was growing up I always envied my friends who had their grandparents nearby and could see them often and had them around for school plays and concerts and family gatherings and such. My grandparents lived in Maine and we lived in Connecticut so we only got to see them about once a year. My Dad's father sticks out in my memory as the most lovable man I have ever known. I cherished those trips to Maine to visit him. He lived simply. He didn't have indoor plumbing, just an old worn out outhouse, down a very worn out lane; but that didn't matter to me. His house smelled of woodsmoke and pipe tobacco smoke, but that didn't matter to me. He never had a big meal to offer us, or gifts to give us upon our arrival, but that didn't matter to me. It seems to me he always was wearing the same worn out green work pants and shirt; but that didn't matter to me. His house needed a good dusting and cleaning and probably had a good share of mice; but that didn't matter to me. I do remember Grandpa's short little legs because I sat upon his lap every time we visited and it seemed I barely had enough room to sit; but that didn't matter to me. I don't even know if my brother or sister ever sat on his lap because as far as I am concerned, I was the only one that mattered to him; because that is just how he was at making me feel special. All that mattered to me, was that as soon as we arrived for a visit, I knew that my pudgy, potbellied, bald, smiling,Grandpa with the pipe in his mouth, was going to reach out his arms, scoop me up onto his short little lap and say in his Maine accent, " yes ah...now that's my girl!".  And that was worth a whole year, and a 12 hour car trip, of waiting for! I will never forget the love in the heart of my Grandpa! I don't remember fancy gifts from him, because he never had the money to give them. It's not about how much money you have, how nice or clean your house is, how perfect everything is; it is about the love. What my Grandpa gave to me is far more precious than any gift money could buy.  Grandpa wasn't rich in money but he was surely rich in love and that's what matters to me! I Corinthians 13:13 " Now abideth faith, hope, love, these three: but the greatest of these is love."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mommy Can You Fix This?

If you are a mom then you know there have been numerous times when your child has come to you with a toy that is broken. Usually it is pretty dramatic with tears gushing in urgency of needing to be fixed immediately!! It needs your attention right now!;it just won't wait for you to finish the dishes, or the vacuuming, or anything else that you are doing at the moment of emergency! "Mommy, can you fix this?", are words we have heard as moms over and over, whether it is to glue an arm back onto a GI Joe  or to put a head back on a Barbie, or sew an eyeball back onto a teddy bear...we have all been there done that! We love our kids, so out of a heart of compassion, we tell them to go get all of the pieces involved and we proceed to fix whatever needs fixing. Our Heavenly Father does the exact same thing for us....He looks down upon us when we cry to Him that we have a broken heart. We ask if He can fix it? He tells us to give Him all of the pieces . So simple.....God will heal your broken heart if you give Him all the pieces!
Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A New Day....New Hope

It is a new day and the sun is shining! I am still here! That is already something to be thankful for. As I look at the temperature I shudder...it says it is a bone chilling -11 this morning, yikes! The only hope of warm temperatures is that we are one new day closer to Spring! It seems like this has been one of the coldest, longest winters I can remember. At times it seems the same way with some of the many burdens we pray about day after day that seem to never change. Yet every year, Spring eventually does come, and then soon we are mowing the lawn and complaining about the heat of summer! Just as the seasons do eventually change, those prayers we are uttering day after day, are being heard and are going to be answered. That is the hope that we can hold on to in the season that seems so long ; the season when it seems like nothing is happening; nothing is changing;God is working behind the scenes to bring the next season to pass.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Whiter Than Snow


Winter here in the Northwoods is more than plentiful with that white fluffy stuff that so many people like to play in.....SNOW! I have to admit, for me, it is NOT my favorite season, since the sub-zero temperatures that we get up here wreak havoc on my aches and pains! I prefer to stay warm! A nice cozy wood stove burning, a cup of hot chocolate in my hand, feet wrapped up in  a nice warm blanket, along side my doggie on the couch....that is where you will find me on a very cold day! In spite of the fact that I have no tolerance for the cold temperatures, I love the beauty of the snow! It always amazes me at how white it is when it is freshly fallen. There is nothing that is purer or whiter. It is so beautiful to look out upon the pine trees with the snow frosting the branches and the fields with a fresh blanket in the morning! I can't help but be reminded that God has promised me that all of my sins have been forgiven and are in His sight as white as the freshly fallen snow! That is amazing!  Isaiah 1:18 "..though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow."  Psalm 51:7 "..wash me and I shall be whiter than snow." Now that is clean!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Good Listener

I was realizing that one of my strong suits is I have the gift of gab! I love to talk. Most of the time I talk too much and say way more than I should and therefore end up getting my foot in my mouth way too many times! I have been so annoyed so many times at people that just don't take the time to stop and listen to what I have to say! Especially when I barely get through the sentence and they are already distracted with something or someone else as if what I have to say is unimportant. I was thinking about that this morning as I was sitting here on my sofa...up above my living room entryway is a wooden sign that reads,"Let us be silent that we may hear the whisper of God.". He must feel the same way some times...I don't stop and listen to what He is saying to ME! Maybe if we just would be quiet He would get the chance to speak! What He has to say is important. I know He speaks through His word but sometimes when we get alone and just get quiet He speaks as well." Be still and know that I am God." I know I need to be a better listener. The awesome thing about the friendship of God is, He is also an awesome listener. He takes the time to hear everything I have to say and cares! I love Jer. 33:3 " Call unto me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not."

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cast Your Net Of Care

I Peter 5:7 "Casting all your care upon Him for He careth for You."   

Seeing how Peter was a fisherman and around the water so much, I can see why he would use the word  "casting" all your care......
I picture the disciples as a group of ordinary fisherman...rough and rugged.  Just ordinary guys with no extraordinary abilities that set them apart; yet they were chosen. Strange how God ends up using the ones that other people deem unworthy or just  "unqualified". We have all heard the story of the disciples being out in their boat all night long, casting their nets from one side of the boat to the other to no avail. They fished all night long and caught nothing. They were tired, probably discouraged, and ready to go home to sleep. Then Jesus tells them go back out and cast their nets on the other side....They may have thought he was crazy, but they did it and their nets were filled to overflowing!
I think sometimes we "fish" for peace in all of the wrong places. It is easy to do. We cast our care on our family and friends, we carry our anxieties around in our hearts and minds, we try to stifle our cares by loud music, and take our mind off our cares by watching movies. None of these things give us the peace we so desperately long for because it is the wrong side of the boat. Instead we need to cast our cares upon Him  because He cares about us. I am so glad he does.  I've found I have so much more peace than I have ever had since I have learned this important lesson of simply casting my care on Him.




image used fromwww.freefoto.com












Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Favorite Place

West Quoddy Lighthouse holds special memories for me. Every summer we would pack up the car and head to Lubec,Maine. You see, both sets of grandparents called it their home. My Mom and Dad both grew up in this coastal fishing town. They met on the back of a pickup truck, picking cabbage for a local cabbage grower. They fell in love and love became marriage and out came three kids. This lighthouse is at the very end of South Lubec Road which is a very long country road. My Dad's parents had a farmhouse on this very road and that is where we would visit each summer while we were growing up. I can still remember the feeling as we turned onto South Lubec road after a very, very, long road trip from Connecticut with our dog and cat along in the back seat with us three kids. There were some pretty hectic times but as I think back on them, wish I could go back and experience it yet once more! As we drove down old South Lubec Road , we would look to the left for the long worn lane that led to my granpa's old  farmhouse. That lane seemed to me as a kid like it was the longest lane I had ever seen,with the grass growing up in the middle and the fields on both sides higher than the car. As we drove down the lane, I would always look to the right for the landmark apple trees that stood so proudly out in the field; then to the left was the old worn farmhouse that had been full of  life once, and had many stories to tell. Beyond the house, more fields which were filled with raspberry bushes growing wildly; then, the majestic ocean! I can still smell the distinct salty air and hear the squawking seagulls hovering around searching for fish. This scene left a magical impression on me and I fell in love with this place! We would take many drives down to the lighthouse just to walk around and listen to the foghorn. My Mom's parents lived in town which really isn't all that far from South Lubec really, so we would go back and forth between the two, visiting, and of course oodles of cousins were there to play with. One of the favorite things to do was to go down to the beach when the tide was out and dig for clams;. also we looked for sea glass. I still have a collection of sea glass that I cherish. I haven't been back to Lubec in several years, at least not in my body, but I have gone there many times in my mind and it is the most enjoyable place that I have ever been! I was reminded of this once again as I was choosing my status this morning for my facebook page. I often use quotes from Status Shuffle. Today I happened to see this one:"Life is like the ebb and flow of the tides...there are highs and there are lows. What we have to remember is that during the low tide you find the best sea shells."

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Simple Smile

 A simple smile can change somebody's  terrible day into a more tolerable one.
It's easy to hurry past people and never notice them. I was reminded of this one day last week when I was feeling down and was at the post office and a kind older man went out of his way to open the door for me and smiled. It made me feel so much better for that moment. It also made me wonder how many lonely or sad people I have passed by without so much as giving them a smile? Maybe it would have made a difference in their day. It takes less muscles to smile than to frown, yet more people have a scowl on their face than a smile. We used to sing this song at school, ( and really we got sick of singing it!) but I was reminded of it once again when thinking about this.
You can smile, if you can't say a word
You can smile, if you cannot be heard
You can smile, if it's cloudy or fair
You can smile, anytime, anywhere!
It doesn't cost us anything to give away a smile to a stranger and yet the investment may be more far reaching than we may ever know. Even my dog "Honey" can muster up a smile when I ask her to smile! And sometimes she just runs up to me and smiles on her own just because.....

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Treasures of Friendship

Sometimes I guess I have underestimated the value of friends in my life. I am sort of an independent spirit and don't like to rely on anyone for anything...and maybe that is not always so good! This last year has been very interesting....I have made more friends this year than I think in my whole life! I have restored some friendships that I thought were forever lost and maybe the most important valuable lesson I have learned is how to be a better friend!
Throughout this last year, I have made some new friends who already have become special to me. I  love each of them dearly and we have laughed, cried, and prayed together over many things.
I guess somehow I am special to them as well for each of them at some time or other has given me some gift! I have never in my life had so many gifts given to me as this last year!! Someone asked me the other day how I rated and why I should be so favored as to always be getting these gifts? Well, I am not for sure....but I have turned my gifts from these treasured friends into prayer reminders. You see, each of these friends belong to my prayer group I go to each Tuesday. Each one has a special need. These gifts from my friends are scattered throughout my home and as I wander from room to room I am reminded of each friend and I silently utter a prayer.
I look at these ducks and I think of the man who is  in the wheelchair

A lady who is in chronic pain gave me this dish  
I
There's the oil lamp that my dear friend gave me. She is losing her sight.I am reminded to pray for her as I sit on my sofa.   There have been many numerous other gifts throughout the year...I cannot name them all and I did not take pictures of them all; but I have come to treasure the friends God places in my life and have learned that if you pray for people instead of cutting them down ...your friendships blossom into a special treasure!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mommy of Twins Twice!

Jeffrey Daniel Wood/Justin David Wood



Bryan Michael Wood/Bethany Leigh Wood
Yesterday, February 1, was Bryan and Bethany's 25th birthday! I am amazed at how the years have flown by with the wind speed of a tornado! Maybe you will be amazed to know that I had a second set of twins exactly one year and one week after
Bryan and Bethany were born! That's right! Bryan and Bethany were three months old when I found out I was pregnant once again....ugh! My belly was growing too big too soon once again and our suspicions were justified after an ultrasound once again showed a set of twins! I remember driving home from the Dr.'s office thinking to myself that this just couldn't be....why me? I felt so special! I always loved kids....funny that God should allow Me to have two at once but then to have another
two? Wow...what a privilege! So, as overwhelming as it was to think of the fact that I would have a set of newborn twins,one year old twins, and a three year old all at the same time with no family around to help.....I was overjoyed!  The only apprehension I had was I didn't want to go through the same thing with this set of twins with the intensive care unit and all of the many problems at birth. I was determined to carry this set of twins to full term so they would not have the same problems. I was ordered on bed rest for most of the pregnancy which for me was a difficult thing to do seeing I had little ones to care for but we managed and all took naps at the same time! Thankfully I made it through another twin pregnancy and on February 7th, a year after my first set of twins, I was wheeled into that same operating room and had another c-section! This time I was wise and chose to Not watch as my guts were sliced! Of course I was a bit fearful that the same thing was going to happen and a little bit anxious that when I awoke the nurses would tell me my babies had been whisked away to the intensive care unit as the last set of twins. I had to pray and trust and just rest. When I came around from the anesthetics I heard the babies crying from across the room and it was a welcomed sound! The two baby boys were completely healthy and over 6lbs each! In just a few days we were taking these two little boys home to our family! I didn't have much help,but I did have some and somehow we managed! I look back now and am amazed at myself and know that it was the Lord who gave me the strength and the love for children and the endurance that I needed at that particular time in my life! Well, February 7th is coming up..it is a day to celebrate the birth of Justin and Jeffrey. Twins have a special bond...Justin and Jeffrey are identical twins which is special in itself! So on Feb 7th I will be saying...HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUSTIN IN TEXAS  .....AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEFFREY IN HEAVEN.
 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I'm Still Standing

When I  was growing up my dad took us on camping trips every summer. It was something that I always looked forward to. I loved the freedom of being outdoors and I still do. I still enjoy a relaxing afternoon walking through the field or just walking through the woods listening to all of the sounds of nature. I don't think my mom enjoyed these camping trips as much as us kids as they were work for her, but it was an adventure to me. It was exciting to me and my sister to check out each new campground for the outhouse! As soon as we unpacked our gear we would run to find it and inspect it to see if it would make a suitable place for us to set up our "Barbie's house".  This time period of course was back when most campgrounds only had the old stinky outhouses with just a hole and lots of bugs and by no means sanitary by today's standards. 
On one of these camping trips when I was maybe eight years old, I remember getting up on top of a picnic table and I began shaking it and singing at the top of my lungs. We weren't the only ones there by the way, so I am sure I must have been somewhat of an embarrassment  to my mom but I was oblivious!  With every bit of confidence I could muster for an eight year old, I bellowed out...."I'm a WOMAN....W-O-M-A-N!!  Cuz  I'm a WOMAN.....W-O-M-A-N!"(song from Helen Reddy?) I was so confident, so ready to take on the world, so unafraid of anything!!
 I am now fifty and I have been through many hardships. Some have just happened. Everyone has things happen in their lives and we all have to deal with that. Some have more than their share and some people give up at the first sign of trouble! No one knows better than my own family the many things that I have been through. I can't, nor will, list them all , but just to name a few, I've experienced the loss of a child, divorce, disease,rejection,betrayal, cancer of a loved one, caring for a brain injured spouse,and numerous other trials along the way...some which were just natural consequences of my own poor choices. My point is..."I'M STILL STANDING".... not just because I'm a woman, and I am a feisty one indeed...but because ...."I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!"  Phil.4:13

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