Archive | December 2017

Hawaii or Bust

A few years ago I sat on a plane waiting to taxi out from the gate.   My youngest daughter and I were to fly to Hawaii and meet my husband and our other daughter for a long awaited vacation.  We had some free plane tickets and had to fly on separate airlines to get the free flights.

We had been waiting a longer time than usual and finally the attendant told us they were having some computer problems with the plane.  They were in the process of getting the parts replaced.  My seatmate started talking at this point about how he had been at the airport on September 11, 2001 and had a “feeling” that something was going to happen.  He claimed he had also been at another place before a tidal wave and yet another time before an earthquake, and had a “feeling” that something would happen.  He proceeded to tell me that he had that same “feeling” now.

I was not at all interested in hearing any more.  I was already feeling anxious and trying to keep my 5 year old daughter occupied while calculating how much time this would add to our already long flight.  Would we miss our connection?  Would my husband know we had been delayed?  All these thoughts swirled through my head as my seatmate kept up his monologue.

By now, my daughter was becoming concerned because this man beside us kept up his worrisome conversation and talked about all the things that were probably wrong with the plane and our probable demise.

Finally, I had heard enough.  I looked at my seatmate and said. “You know, I prayed this morning that God would take care of us and I believe He has this situation in His hands.  I’m not worried!”

The man quickly looked out the window and kept quiet.  I thought about what I had just said.  Yes, I did believe God would take care of me no matter what!  And yes, I really was worried, but the more I thought about it, the more I trusted God!

Shortly after that, the attendant came back out and told us that we were to be changing planes.  My flight was now a direct flight and we would arrive before my husband.  And the gentleman beside me would be on another flight!

As adults, wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters, we have so many things that happen in our lives that could take up our time and energy worrying about.  Things that we need to do, or that we need others to do.  Things that others think we need to do.  The list goes on.  Things we can and can’t change.

But then if we will become as a child and remember that our Daddy is bigger than _______ (fill in the blank), it puts all of this into a different perspective.

God is bigger than a small electrical computer part on an airplane, He’s bigger than our jobs, homes, where we live, and who our friends are.  He’s always there for us if we will just trust Him and learn to depend completely on Him.

“Then I thought, ‘To this I will appeal:  the years of the right hand of the Most High.’  I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.  I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.”  Ps.  77:10-12 NIV

“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”  Phil. 4:19 NIV

This entry was posted on December 12, 2017, in Inspiration.

My Daddy’s Bigger

We were sitting at the kitchen table quietly eating our lunch.  My husband, our 6 year old daughter, and 3 year old Tiegan, whom we baby sat.  We had cared for her several days a week for a year and a half after her mom died of leukemia.

As we ate our spaghetti, Tiegan piped up.  “My Daddy’s bigger than your Daddy.”  She wasn’t speaking to anyone directly, just stating a fact.

My husband and I exchanged amused looks.   The two dads in question are quite comparable in size.

I wondered where this concept had come from since Tiegan spent her time at her Grandma’s house and mine.  She didn’t hang out at the ball field or go to pre-school where she heard others bragging or boasting about their dads or brothers.

As I thought more about this, I realized that in her little life, her Daddy was the whole world.  She was living with her grandparents until her dad finished remodeling a new house.  But her daddy was the brightest thing in her life.

A three year old doesn’t comprehend size or strength from an adult standpoint and just because he is Daddy, he is strong and big and safe.  He could be the shortest man in the crowd, but he’s Daddy!  That one difference makes all the difference in the world to a little child.

The more I pondered this I came to the realization that God is our Big Daddy!  If we had the faith of a small child we would trust that God will always be stronger and bigger than any adversity.

When it comes time to accept changes in our lives, we often feel anxious and worried that things won’t work out just right or work out the way we think is right.  We try to make sure things go as planned (our plan) and stay on track (our track).  Sometimes we have to take detours and roadblocks and washed out times because that is where God is leading us.  But do we remember that God is our Big Daddy and He’s bigger than all of these things?

Just as Tiegan trusted that her daddy would come home every night and take care of her and love her, we need to constantly think about the ultimate care and love God has for us.  He has never ever let us down – if we are completely honest with ourselves.

Yes, there are times when it seems like He’s forgotten us or let us down, but when we look back at those times, we can see His hand leading us in those times as well.  We serve a very big God and He’s anxious for us to know that all the time.  He wants us to remember and then be able to share that with those we come into contact with.

This entry was posted on December 12, 2017, in Inspiration.

My Journey in Bible Journaling

Last year, I received a beautiful journaling Bible for Christmas from my mom.  I have done many different things over the years, to add to or mix up my devotional time in the morning.  This year, I really wanted to try my hand at journaling in my Bible.  My mom picked out a lovely Bible with very wide margins on the sides of each page and I got some colorful pens that were specifically designed for Bible marking.  The pens don’t bleed through the pages and have fine tips for easy underlining and writing as well as coloring.

I LOVE new school supplies and to me, this new package of colorful pens held unlimited possibilities along with my new Bible.

I decided to begin in Psalms.  With 8 colored pens, it was so much fun to underline in multiple colors and I found that the more I used the pens to highlight and annotate the passages I read, the more I remembered what I had read.

 

My artistic ability is very large in my head, but on paper it isn’t anything special, but as I started re-writing the special promises and adding some vines or flowers or hearts to them in the margins of my Bible, I started to realize that the more I interacted with different passages, the more they stayed with me all day long.

Along the way, I have started to realize that it’s more important for me to personalize my Bible and use it as a way to record when God speaks to me through different verses than to be afraid of drawing something because I’m not an artist.

I often choose to underline a specific passage and then re-write it on the side and illustrate it because I want it to stand out in my Bible and in my memory.  I want to daily hide God’s word in my heart!

“Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I may not sin against you.”  Ps. 119:11

How do you personalize your Bible study to make it meaningful to your daily life?

Acres of Diamonds

I glanced out my window to see acres of diamonds gleaming in the sunlight.  I grabbed my coat and my camera and ran out into the frigid air.

Two days previous, we had had a terrible ice storm.  We had been without power and electricity for 8 hours.  I had a Strep infection and had been in bed sick for four days.  My kids had the day off school and my husband was out of town on a business trip.  As we hunkered down and put on our extra socks, sweatshirts and long underwear, I planned ahead to what we would do if the power didn’t come back on soon.  I knew it was likely the power would be off for quite a few hours since everything was coated with 1 inch of ice.  Power lines, tree branches, the roads, everything!

As the day progressed, we ate our lunch.  Fortunately we have a gas stove so I was able to cook some warm food.  Our water wasn’t affected so we had plenty of water too.  After lunch, we wrapped up in blankets and studied for my daughters Science test.  “What is the nervous system?”  I asked.

“I can’t remember!”  Oh my!  Good thing we had all day to work on this!

I had called my husband on my cell phone in the morning to let him know that our power was out.  My cell phone battery was nearly dead and I thought I should conserve what little bit was left, so I turned it off.  Our house phone was out so all was quiet.

Every so often I glanced at the thermostat to see how cold it was getting.  We closed all the curtains and drapes and cooked some beans (for a long time) to add a little heat.  We love to camp and we’ve been camping when it was pretty cold.  We had piles of blankets so I knew we’d be okay for the night but I wasn’t sure what would happen the next morning if the lights and heat didn’t come back on.  Besides, I was still very sick!

Late afternoon, I heard a car drive in and was so relieved to see my husband home early.  He was supposed to be home the next day, but he had been very worried about us since my phones were all off, I was sick and the roads were coated with ice!

Needless to say, we all slept better knowing that he was there with us.  We piled so many blankets on the beds that we could hardly roll over under the weight of them.  But we slept warm and cozy.

The next morning I went to the doctor and got some antibiotics, the electricity turned on before lunch and we came back home to a warm house.

But, back to the acres of diamonds.  With my camera in hand, I trudged through the snow in our backyard amazed at the beauty of ice.  The field is full of tiny weeds and grasses sticking up through the snow that have all been finely coated with ice.  So when the sun hit the snow, it was like a million diamonds across the field.

                          

I tramped to my garden which still has a good share of leftover, overgrown weeds.  The ice sculptures on these tiny little seed heads was absolutely breathtaking.  Weeds that were ugly, dry, brown stalks had now become works of delicate artistry.  Tiny little seeded flower stalks had become perfect round pearls of ice.

As I walked from one end of my garden to the flower bed and all around the yard, I thought of how God takes difficult situations and painful trials and brings good and beautiful things out of them.  Yesterday the ice storm had been our enemy – the one that had destroyed our power and heat.  Today, it was God’s magic fairyland.

I know that we’re not guaranteed that our heat will stay on since everything still has a coating of ice and today the wind is starting to blow, but through it all, we can still see God’s handiwork.  Even the weeds in my garden proclaimed God’s handiwork today.  Who else could make an ice sculpture out of my entire yard in a matter of seconds when the sun came out?

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  So why do you worry about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”  Matthew 6:25-29 NKJV