My Gnat Farm


Scripture for the day:  Romans 15:7 “Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.”

I love fresh herbs!  They make food taste amazing, and they are far superior to their dried cousins.  It is winter, however.  All my beautiful herbs are either fast asleep or dead in my garden.  Not to worry!  I bought a basil plant and uprooted a tarragon clump from the garden.  I bought a small bag of Miracle Gro soil, found a couple of pots and behold:  an indoor herb garden, growing happily in a sunny window with fluorescent lights as needed.

Everything about my little windowsill garden seemed perfect until I noticed gnats swarming around my basil.  I decided to check the bag of soil, and sure enough.  Inside the bag gnats were swarming.  Is that the “miracle” inside every bag of Miracle Gro?  Do they secretly tuck a gnat farm in every bag they sell?  Hmmm.  Not to worry.  I can live with a few gnats if necessary in order to enjoy fresh basil and tarragon.

I’m thinking today about all the wonderful people in my life.  Admittedly, some of them came with a few gnats, little quirks that I find annoying.  Some even came with a whole gnat farm just like my windowsill garden.  And then there is me.  Gnats galore!

I am so happy with my basil and tarragon that I don’t mind the gnats.  I even say good morning to them when I turn on the light.  I accept them, embrace them if that is part of the joy of having fresh basil.

Christ died on a cross to save me.  He accepted me into His kingdom and He loves me, gnats and all.  I didn’t have to get rid of the gnats before He accepted me.  Thank goodness.  I can’t figure out how to get rid of gnats.  Period.

So may I accept those God places in my life.  May I love them, encourage them, help them to grow and thrive.  May I ignore the gnats, accept them as being a part of my relationship with that person.  May I always see the good in the person and ignore a few pesky gnats, just as Christ did for me.

Song for the day:  “Your Grace Still Amazes Me” by Phillips, Craig and Dean

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXVUYC_ykwE

His grace amazes me, and He loves me, gnats and all.

Advertisements

Busyness


Scripture for the day:  Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Be still.  I struggle with that command, and I always have.  I am very good at “doing”.  I excel at “overdoing”, but this verse wants me to be still.  Oh, how I struggle with that.  My mother was a doer.  She was always working.  Even if she was sitting, she was crocheting or doing something with her hands.  I don’t know whether I emulated her or whether I was born with her nature.  Either way, I, too, strive on activity.

God has worked on this for years in my life, and I have always resisted.  But age is on His side now, and so that makes His task easier.  He has also placed me in situations where  silence, inactivity were required.  When my mother was in a nursing home, I visited her almost every day.  On my way to her room, I passed a sign that said “Be still, and know that I am God”.  Every day  I read that on my way to sit with her and be still.  I might have been sitting quietly, but inside I was churning.  Nothing quiet going on inside of me!

Then along came cancer.  I was too sick to “do” anything, and so I was in bed.  I didn’t have a chance to recover from surgery before I started chemo.  With that, I experienced the kind of fatigue I had never known before.  I was too tired to fight, and so I gave in to being still.  I faced death, but God chose to save me.  In saving me, He also changed me.  I am no longer the President of Over-doers Anonymous, nor do I want to be.  I am content to let others take charge or let things go undone. Psalm 23:2 says “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.”  Through cancer treatment and recovery He taught me to lie down and be still.  I have no desire to leave His green pastures and get back on the interstate highway.

Psalm 90:12 says “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”  I am selective now in my commitments.  I try to follow His leadership in my life and take on those tasks I feel He wants me to accomplish.

His way is so much better than my way. Philippians 4:6-7 says “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  I claim this scripture today, and I am at peace.

Song for the day:  “Be Still My Soul” by Kari Jobe

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq59iE3MhXM

 

Follow Me!


Scripture for the day:  Matthew 16:24-25 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.  For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.’”

I’m a very ordered, methodical person.  I like structure and planning.  I always take the divided highway, well-lit, smooth, defined.  But I have accepted Christ and want to follow Him.  I want to take up my cross daily and follow Christ.

He rarely uses the divided highway.  He is apt to head straight for the narrow mountain road, and He goes way too fast.  All I can do is hold on.  My eyes are closed part of the time, but then I have to open them because it is all so exciting.  He takes me places I would never go on my own, and I am always a little amazed at how we got there.  After we arrive at our destination, I reflect on the incredible journey.  His vision is far superior to mine.  He sees possibilities that I would never envision, and all I can do is wonder.

I used to think of Jesus as my co-pilot.  I was always glad to have Him onboard, but I seldom let Him drive.  There were times in my life when I left on a journey without Him.  That never turned out well.

Having Him drive is incredible!  Scary at times.  Bewildering.  I honestly thought He would wreck my life at times, but He never has.  He has bestowed marvelous gifts on me through people we’ve met on the journey, and He assures me the best is yet to come.

Do I want to start driving again?  No way!  My way is so boring and ordinary.  I want Him to steer my life along the path He has chosen for me.  No looking back.  Just a smile on my face, a gentle breeze blowing the hair out of my eyes and a feeling of utter joy and peace.

Drive on, Master!  Show me the road we will travel today!

Song for the day:  “Wherever He Leads I’ll Go” by Alan Jackson

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvOm3eEokM8

Beautiful imagery.  Relax, unwind and enjoy.

 

My Rights or His Will


Scripture for the day:  Philippians 2:5-8 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

I read an interesting post today about measuring sticks.  They are most often used as weapons to beat ourselves or someone else.  It is easy to measure ourselves against others, but what is the point?  We will be better in some ways, worse in others, but does it matter?

I’m thinking today about what Jesus was willing to give up for me.  Jesus was and will always be God, but He gave that up willingly for a season to come to save me.  What “rights”, “privileges” am I clinging to today?  What is more important than my relationship to Jesus?

For me, true joy comes from complete surrender.  I must empty myself of “my rights”, “my privileges” and give myself wholly to what Jesus wants from my life.  It is only in surrender that I will find happiness.  But that thinking runs so counter to the world.  From a worldly view, it’s all about me.  What do I want?  What do I need?  I’ve tried finding happiness on my own and failed miserably because I was using the wrong measuring stick.  Someone will always be prettier than I am, smarter, more glib.

So today I want to try to do it God’s way.  I want to be obedient to His call on my life and deny self.  I fall to my knees and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of my life.  No measuring sticks today.  Just the blood of the Lamb that washed me white as snow.

Song for the day:  “Crucified with Christ” by Phillips, Craig & Dean

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0_1jazh454  

Remembering Lorna


Scripture for the day:  Proverbs 31:30 “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”

I was an only child, but I was blessed with many cousins.  They were all a big part of my life, but some were closer than others.  I was very close to two sisters.  They lived in Kansas, so I only saw them on holidays as a rule.  Every summer, however, we met at my grandparents house and spent a week together.  I treasure those memories!  My grandmother cooked for us and played with us.  She always had a smile or a laugh, no matter what shenanigans we were up to!  The one thing that she didn’t tolerate, however, was jumping on the feather bed.  We knew this, but couldn’t resist the forbidden fruit occasionally.  I think we enjoyed getting caught as much or more than the jumping because it reinforced boundaries and her love for us.  My grandfather was a great story-teller, and he knew lots of silly songs.  We delighted in sitting around him listening to him sing and tell stories. We also learned to make a wide path around a one-pound Folger’s coffee can.  He chewed tobacco, and that coffee can was his spittoon!  We considered it gross then, and my opinion hasn’t changed over the years.

We wrote letters to each other in between visits, and we sent cartoons clipped from the paper.  Giggling and laughter were our specialties, and that is what I remember most.  We were one year apart in age, with Lorna being the oldest, me in the middle, and Linda the youngest.  They always wanted me in the middle of everything, and I loved that.  They were the closest thing I had to sisters, and I treasured both of them.

Sadly, Linda died of ovarian cancer in her 20’s.  The cancer was discovered when her son was delivered, and there was nothing doctors could do to save her.  When I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2008, it was a different scenario.  Treatment options had changed tremendously, and I am living proof of that.  Diagnosis was still difficult almost 40 years later, but survival rates had improved.

Lorna’s battle was with breast cancer, and she fought long and hard.  She called a few times when she was having a pity party, but for the most part she was a brave and beautiful warrior.  Lorna was a Proverbs 31 woman.  She loved her family, her friends, but most of all she loved Jesus.  She served Him faithfully until the end, and I know she is with Him today.

I miss Linda and Lorna terribly, but I also know I will see them again some day.  I imagine we will have our own corner in Heaven where we can laugh, giggle and remember.  That comforts me, but Heaven can wait.  I  am still here, and I have a story to tell.  Even though I tested negative for the BRCA mutation, I feel there is a genetic link.

I’m glad I had ovarian cancer!  Now my daughter and my granddaughters are aware of the beast who hides silently in the darkness.  They have partnered with me to raise awareness, but they are also alert to the possibility in their own lives.  My cancer served a purpose.  God had a plan!  My suffering was worthwhile.

I’m celebrating Lorna’s birthday in my heart today.  She would have been 71, and she would have made the day special for all those around her.  I am remembering a beautiful woman who was a part of me for so many years.  She lives on in my heart and in the hearts of her family.

Save me a place in the corner, Lorna!  Give Linda a hug!  I’ll see you again one day!  Happy birthday!

 

My Conductor


Scripture for the day:  2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

I am a new creation in Christ.  I have surrendered my life to Him, and the Holy Spirit resides within me.  My old ways, my old thoughts, my old patterns are no longer relevant because they do not glorify God.

Sometimes, however, I put God on a 3-legged stool in the corner of my life.  I forget that He is sovereign, in control of everything.  He wants to be the conductor of my orchestra!  He wants to cue the strings of my heart when to play.  He wants the percussion section to wait for His nod.  He wants the flutes and trumpets to wait patiently for his lead.  If all the parts of my orchestra wait for Him and follow His lead, my life will be a symphony.  If all the sections play whatever note whenever they please, my life will be a cacophony, a discordant ruckus unpleasant to all.

May I wait patiently on my Conductor today, and may the symphony of my life be pleasing to His ear.

Song for the day:  On My Knees by Nicole C. Mullen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsNQg_BcliE

 

What’s Your Name?


Scripture for the day:  Ephesians 1:4-6 “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”

Wow!  I am chosen, adopted, accepted, not because of anything I did or deserved, but by the grace of God.  I am part of a family.  I have brothers and sisters, and we love and care for one another.  I am never alone.

I am accepted in the Beloved because Jesus died on a cross for my sins.  His substitutionary death made it possible for me to be accepted by the Father.  Not only am I accepted, I am made like Christ.

I have a t-shirt that says “I Am A Princess . . .  My Father is King of Kings”.  The shirt makes me smile even if I’m not wearing it.  I can picture it hanging in my closet, and the image makes me happy.

So today when satan hurls his darts of defeat and despair at me I will think of my name.  I will remember that I am part of a family of believers, and I can call on them when I am weak.  They will lift me up in prayer, and that prayer will make a difference in my life.  When satan calls me “worthless”, “failure”, “unworthy” or any negative name, I will remember this Bible verse.  Satan will have to sell his negativity elsewhere today.  I am a princess!  

 The song for the day sums all this up very well.  My favorite verse is:

“I am no longer defined by the wreckage behind

The One who makes all things new

Has proven it’s true

Just take a look at my life”

 

Song for the day:  “Hello, My Name Is” by Matthew West

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=0F9EB1NU

 

 

Previous Older Entries