Wednesday’s Ode #34

  
I love my little family…even though, I am totally outnumbered!!

Yes. I am the only girl amongst all the guys: my husband, 2 adventurous boys, and, now, 2 rambunctious cats! Haha! Evenso, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love them all. ❤️

I love that my husband is very much a manly man, totally unpredictable and adventurous; yet, he can be so tender and sweet to me. He seems to be able to read my mind at just the right moments, and sometimes even seems to know how to put my feelings into words better than I do. He can be compassionate and loving with our boys, and he can get them so excited and playful, it’s hard to wind them down! He is a man of deep integrity and strong character, and I never have to wonder if he’s telling me the truth, because he is a complete truth speaker… sometimes, even to the point of almost hurting my feelings (I’m quite a sensitive creature), but it’s always for my good not harm. I am so very proud to be his wife. 

I love that our boys are full of life, love and laughter. They’re always ready to play, and yet they enjoy their quiet, down times, as well. Our oldest is consumed with music. Rhythm and verse being what fuels his soul. He enjoys the social scene, always wanting to get with friends and go to where ever the action will find him. Our youngest finds his creativity in building, reading and searching out what nature has to offer him. He loves to learn new facts, especially those concerning dinosaurs, science or the Bible. He has a very curious and insatiable thirst for knowledge.  

  
The boys are so very different; yet, they find themselves meeting up on the same road when it comes to video games, funny videos and things of the Bible. They love to laugh together, and they love to have intriguing conversations with their daddy about the end of times, creation and so many things concerning God. They are fun-loving and oh, so fun to love! Sometimes, they run circles around me, and I need an extra nap, but I wouldn’t trade either of them for all the riches in the world! I love them so much; my heart just feels it might bust. 

Those two little kittens, who are quickly growing into full grown cats are actually little sweethearts, too. When I go to spend time with them, they are so loving and kind. They sound like little purr boxes, almost immediately, when I walk through the door, and even when they’re in a energetic, playful mood, they want me to pet them and love on them. They’re so sweet! 

I’ve always heard that when you have all boys, the mom gets to be queen of her castle. I’m not sure if I can say that, but I can definitely say, I love my little family, and most days (cuz we all have those days when we don’t feel quite queen-ish! 😜 haha!), I feel loved and cherished by them. I am truly a blessed woman, and my heart stays full to overflowing with my love for them. I am so thankful God saw fit to bless me so abundantly!!

Ps. For those of you reading this, and you know our family, I know these pics are many moons past, but I couldn’t resist sharing them. (Plus, you know, I don’t give out current pics of my not-so-little fellas!)

…Sweet, sweet memories of precious days gone past…way too fast!! ❤️

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People are Just People

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Originally posted January 6, 2015… Hope you enjoy…

Okay, I admit it, I’m a people watcher. I like to find a place to sit, on a busy street, and just watch the people go by. Some hurry, some saunter. Some smile, some frown. Some look you straight in the eye, some look away simply to avoid the encounter. They’re all living their lives in the way they choose, but I wonder what that life is like…

Every time I grow impatient and frustrated, I must remember. When I want to rant and rage, I must recall this simple fact: People are just people. I must work to be more like my Father.

People are just people.

Some are so frantic, it’s hard to know they genuinely see. They are so consumed with the deadline. Some are so depressed, it’s difficult to know they sincerely care. They are so consumed with the foreseen doom. Some are so angry, it’s impossible to know they earnestly love. They are so consumed with their own revenge.

People are just people.

Every time I grow impatient and frustrated, I must remember. When I want to rant and rage, I must recall this simple fact: People are just people. I must work to be more like my Father.

People are just people.

Many are so confused, it’s problematic to engage in conversation. They are so consumed with the implications. Many are so fearful, it is wearisome to strengthen an alliance. They are so consumed with the unspoken and unknown. Many are so grieved, it’s toilsome to deepen a friendship. They are so consumed with the sick and the dead.

People are just people.

Every time I grow impatient and frustrated, I must remember. When I want to rant and rage, I must recall this simple fact: People are just people. I must work to be more like my Father.

I must love Him more; so, I might love them purely. I must seek Him more; so, I might speak to them truthfully. I must know Him more; so, I might see them clearly.

After all, people are just people.

“…We all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6b


“Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us,[a] to the glory of God.” Romans 15:7

Grace For Today

Originally posted January 3, 2015… I do hope this will encourage you today…

God has given us grace for today. His Word says, His “grace is sufficient” for me. (2 Corinthians 12:9). It’s not too much, not too little. It’s just enough. It’s not overflowing; it’s not deficient. It’s not in over-abundance, and it’s not found wanting. It’s just the right amount at the right time.

I have found that, often, we think we don’t need His grace until we’re in the middle of the battlefield, and we find ourselves weary, broken, battered and afraid. At that moment, we cry out for His grace. We know His grace will give us strength to stand. His grace will give us refuge from the storm. His grace will give us faith in that moment of doubt.

However, His grace is there for us, not only in the battle, but it is there to grasp every day we rise. His grace can give us sweeping victory. A victory that comes with a battle that has been fought with a valiant faith rather than doubt. Victory that comes on the other side of a tenacious stand which says, “I’m still standing here!” Victory that comes from knowing our God is on our side and believing, “If God be for us WHO can be against us?”

So often, we tend to only state the first part of that Scripture, “My grace is sufficient for you;” yet, we fail to realize the rest of it: “for My power is made perfect in weakness.” This is the part of the Scripture that we, too many times, don’t understand until we are in that “battered, bruised and ‘about to quit’ stage” of the battle. We find ourselves at this point, because we fail to lean on His grace from the beginning. If we could just realize, from the start, in comparison to Christ, we are so weak, and we so desperately need His grace from the time we awake in the morning till the moment our head hits the pillow at night, we could then rest in this grace. We could, then, be at peace knowing His strength is made perfect through our imperfections and weaknesses rather than the other way around.

If we could remember His grace is sufficient for us, FOR His power is made perfect in (our) weakness, we would be SO much better off! If we could remember that we are just so weak without Him, we would not be weak! If we could remember, we are powerless without Him, we would not be powerless!

Yet, so often, I find myself trying to make it on my own, thinking I can do things in my own strength, in my own power. I get to that place of struggle, that place of faltering, and I wonder why I am there. I wonder why I feel so weak, so powerless, so frail; then, I realize I have been walking and fighting in my own strength rather than His. I realize I have been relying on my own wisdom and understanding to survive the day rather than His infinite wisdom and grace. It is only grace which sustains me. It is only grace that remains when all else is lost. Grace is right there waiting on us. All we must do is receive it. It is a wonderful gift for which we don’t have to strive or toil. All we must do is freely receive.

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16

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Answer to Friday’s Angle #32

Did you guess it yesterday?? 😊

  
It is tree moss! 😊 

 

Friday’s New Angle #32

Another Friday means another New Angle! 😊  

Living and Dying

Originally posted January 31, 2015…

Just came from the hospital… thankfully, not as a patient today, just a simple visitor. Yet, my heart aches deep inside for those I met, those I passed as I walked the halls. A wife praying over her husband, doctors can’t seem to find the source of infection. A mother, elderly, awaiting dialysis and hoping to heal from her fall. Others along the way, broken, battered and bruised. Some dying to live, others living to die.

You never know someone’s journey unless you walk alongside them. Some come in smiling, only to leave weeping. Others come in desperate, scared, only to leave rejoicing for one more chance. We are none guaranteed our tomorrows. We are not promised our next breath.

Are you ready for the end? Are you prepared for that last sigh of life? Some live like there are no goodbyes. Some trade the beauties of today for the sorrows of tomorrow. Some just wander aimlessly, never really living, not immediately dying, just simply existing in the nothingness.

Can I challenge you today? Can I spark a flame within? Live deliberately. Make your choice to breathe. Die with grace. Never give up a moment simply to clutch what might have been. Never let a minute go by that you forget the joy of living for the sake of sorrow, regret or even fear.

Grasp today by the neck and don’t let go until it’s done. Drink in the sun. Soak in the rain. Take it for what it gives, and make the best of it. Don’t shrink away from the pain. Don’t boast in the joy. You may see it change in the next millisecond. Appreciate and love those around. Forgive and forget when you can. Impact your world for good. Love deep. Laugh much. Live full.

This moment is a gift! Open it. Enjoy it. Share it with those around you. It can never be returned. It can never be saved for another time in space. It is this moment. It is this day. Live it to the fullest in every way!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Wednesday’s Ode #33

Originally posted April 22, 2015… Now, with a few more pics. 😉

  Today, I’d like to be headed toward what I am going to give tribute: the mountains! Oh, how I love the mountains! We live near the North Georgia Mountains, and every time I get near, every time I get even a glimpse of them, I have to take a couple of really deep breaths and just close my eyes and let everything else simply slip away. 


 I am, specifically, in love with the N.GA mountains and the Smoky Mountain National Park; however, I have been to the Rockies, as well as, several other parks and mountain ranges along the East coast, and I love them all!! 
There is just something about standing at the base of an ancient hill that has withstood the test of time. Those ranges have stood strong amidst rain, blistering heat, earthquakes, snow and mankind. Their strength precedes them. Their peace hovers around them, and it can be felt with more intensity the closer you get. 

  Some fear the mountains, because they are unpredictable and unwavering in the raw elements; however, I have found my time spent hiking, walking, or simply gazing up at the trees, is always refreshing, revitalizing, and it reequips me for the days I have ahead. Some grow frustrated and restless as they draw near to the sheer size of the mound; yet, I find myself longing for moments of solitude in their midst. They are a fortress, a refuge, a high tower upon which I will lean and find rest. They bring me peace, strength, and even, wisdom, as I gaze at their majesty. They are a constant reminder to me of their Creator and mine. 

 I just love, love, love the mountains!! My heart is longing to escape to that fortress even now. …Hmmm, I wonder if I could possibly squeeze in a trip to them today…or at least, over this coming weekend! 🙂  

Light Peeking Through

Whew, it’s been busy around here, because we are moving (just across town)! So, if you will indulge me this week, I may do a little bit of “resharing” of posts. I hope you don’t mind, and I hope, maybe, I’ll share one you haven’t seen before. Next week, I should be able to get back to writing! 🙂

Originally posted 11/6/14…
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Have you ever felt lonely, wondering if anyone cares? Have you felt as if everyone has left you to wander through this life without direction or love, ever reaching, ever hopeless, ever desperate? Have you felt you were, perhaps, standing in a forest of trees all around, and if you fell, no one would hear your cry or even notice you were no longer standing there?

Sometimes, in life, we can feel as if there is not a soul on earth who feels the way we feel right at that very moment. We feel as if we are isolated, ostracized, and severed from those who love us.

We may be alone, but we’re not truly alone. We may be isolated, but we’re not really isolated.

There is always light peeking through the darkness.

There is always hope in the midst of hopelessness.

We only need to know where the source of Life is. We only need to realize there is an escape from the voices of despair screaming at us in the night. We only need to believe there is something more.

There is always hope for change as long as you have breath in your being.

There is always hope for life when there is a beating in your heart.

Just breathe.

Just believe.

Just be freed.

He is The One…the Light peeking through.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6

Isolated for Purpose

Just thinking about this today, and thought I’d reshare… 

(Originally posted May 7, 2015)

Have you ever been in a crowd and felt so alone? Have you ever been surrounded by family and friends and, yet, still felt as if you’re isolated and no one cares? I have, and it’s not always a fun place to be! 

Sometimes, I’ve done it to myself. I’ve pulled back from relationships, rejected caring hands, or simply stepped away from the fun and festivities, all the while, feeling as if I didn’t  belong. Other times, a certain responsibility has hindered and caused me to feel isolated,  because sometimes, God will ask you to simply obey and follow His directive rather than allow you to “go play.” Then, there have been those times, where like Esther, He allows me to go through a season of isolation to teach me something and to prepare me for what He has planned ahead in my life.  

No matter the reason, no matter the season, I’m not sure I’ve ever found isolation to be an “exciting” or “thrilling” time; however, I’ve always come out on the other side a little wiser and more experienced, having a little more understanding and compassion for the world around me.  As I’ve grown older, I have learn to be patient in these moments and have actually begun to look forward to the end result, knowing that on the other side, I’ll be a better person for it. 

I’ve always emerged from the times of isolation with a deeper awareness of those around me, with a keener sense of confidence that I can make it through the next time and a more intense passion for where I am going. Those times of isolation, especially when they are appointed times to walk closer with God, have always caused me to have a deeper thirst for His presence and a deeper hunger for His grace. These moments have always caused me to realize more fully the Scripture, “He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6,8) For it is in those times of isolation, we all find that He “sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24). 

When I read Scripture, I see the great heroes of the faith went through many times of isolation and loneliness. Abraham left his family to obey God and move to the land of Canaan. Later, he became the father of nations. Joseph spent years in isolation, while in prison, until he became the second in command to Pharoah. Daniel was isolated in his times of prayer and later in the lions’ den before being valued as a friend of the king. David spent years tending sheep in the pasturelands and then spent years running from Saul before he was crowned king. Esther spent 12 months in isolation while being prepared to meet the king. Paul was isolated in prison before preaching to noblemen and rulers. John was isolated on the Isle of Patmos while writing the Book of Revelation. All of these men and women were isolated, and each one of them did great works for God. They made an impact. They left a legacy. 

Loneliness, when given to God, can bring out the best in us. It can make us strong, more aware, more deliberate in our actions. Isolation, when guided by God, develops within a deeper walk with Him. It causes us to focus on Him. It causes us to hear Him, and it will cause us to have a greater impact for Him. 

So, I leave you with this… How deep is your walk? How far are you willing to go? Will you step into a season of isolation if He leads you there? Can you submit to loneliness in order to grow and be more effective? 

Will you go?

“And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14b

Answer to Friday’s Angle #31

How did it go yesterday?   

It’s another jellyfish! (Remember last week’s new angle? 😊)

   
 I think these jellyfish are the coolest looking things!