I enjoy taking pictures of my flowers, not just for the beauty but I like to look at the growth that a picture can show that maybe with the naked eye you forget. Its funny how what is right in front of us can be over looked. We might not see the progress but its there.
We all like to notice the growth and changes but are we sometimes so fixated on them we don’t notice what’s in front of us?
I took the above picture to see the progress of my flowers but I was totally missing the best part of the picture until I looked closer. I looked at the picture and noticed the blurry bee so I looked at the flower and there it was happily doing what bees do. I got so excited that I didn’t miss the bee I started taking more pictures but this time of the bee and when I did that the flowers and bee both came into focuses.
How many times are we going through life so fixated on our growth, future, or goals that we forget to see the great things in our life at each moment. Growth and wanting a future are great but if its our only focuses it can lead to worry and missing out on some great things in the present. Looking to far head will do nothing but bring worry causing us to loose focuses and brings blurriness to the precious moments in our lives.
I love what Thich Nhat Hanh said “The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment.”
Maybe if we take care of the present moment especially now, do what we need to do and enjoy the little things that are in each of our moments then we can let the future be left to the one who really has the control, and I’m so glad.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
Worry, just the word can make you think of the things in your life that make you anxious or even stir up the uncertainty of the things going on in life that you have no control over. Maybe its my parents love of language/words in me but I find it amazing that the word worry is a noun and a verb. Now stick with me incase you are like me and forget a lot of what was taught in school.
A noun is a word (other than a pronoun) used to identify any of a class of people, places, or things.
A verb is used to describe an action, state, or occurrence.
Amazing isn’t! Worry is just a word but how many times do we put the action to it? We bring it to life then wonder why our life has so much anxiety. Why we cant sleep at night and find it hard to laugh at things in our life that we usually find amusing. From worrying about what to wear for an interview, the economy, sickness, family…..I could go on and fill up this page and I am sure you can add a lot too. Worry zaps the life out of us but it only can if we give life to the worry, if we give that action to that thought.
I can worry and that is what bought me to writing about this, I have written about it (check out old post) so you would think I might have a handle on it but just like you I give life to worry because lets face it, worry is a control issue. We try to control what we cant and even worry about what we can, just for good measure.
As I was sitting on my back patio watching the first rays of light. I was praying about some of my worries. One of my favorite passages in the Bible on this topic is Matthew 6:25 – 34
Matthew 6:25-3425“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Can I get a Amen? Said so well I could end it here but as I was thinking this and looked it up on my phone I glanced over at my tomato plant getting so tall and doing what it should do. It’s growing, blossoming and getting tomatoes. It doesn’t worry about the pest that I am trying to fight off so it can grow and give me fruit ( yep I said fruit) it just grows. It doesn’t worry if I will water it or what will happen when the weather gets cold. All it does is do what it was meant to do.
When worry starts, how about we don’t give it action, but instead how about letting God be God so we can just be who we were meant to be. We can dream our dreams and live a wonderful life that we have been given to live.
I have found that waiting on somethings is not my strong suit. Sure I have been told that I have the patients of a saint but that is not with everything. It seems that these last few years I have been in the waiting room of life.
I think back to the times when I have waited in the cold uncomfortable hospital waiting room for the news of a loved ones update. Where every move would make me look up in hope that I might get word but as each movement comes and goes nothing. The cleaning crews come by, the staff hurry past with their jobs to do. Others come to sit and wait for news of their loved one and then it seems that they get word. I would see the smile with relief on their faces then they move on and then I am left once again waiting. I would go to get a drink just to change my scenery not for the fact I was thirsty but thinking the change will do me good. I come back to a new group of people ask the nurse if there is any word but get told no with a kind smile and a it should be soon.
I sit back down and wait.
Somehow it should comfort me that the common thread of being human is waiting. We all go through it, we all wait for
Covid-19 to be less of a worry
An answer to a prayer
A loved ones results
A job offer…….Our heart to mend.
What ever the wait I feel you, I have been waiting for way to long and perhaps today I am just a little more worn out and tired of the wait. I do have comfort in knowing I am not alone, yes I know other people are waiting but what helps even on these days that the wait is just so hard. I know I have God, I had my prayer time and devotional this morning and what was in it for me to read but the story of Hannah. Now this lady new something about waiting. She waited to have a child but didn’t have one for years and during the time of waiting she was made fun off. Talk about salt in the wounds. God is so good, he new I woke with a heavy heart and needed comfort and a reminder. He always gives me just what I am in need of. I may be in this uncomfortable waiting room of life but after reading about Hannah I knew that even though this wait is hard I have something to do while I wait, I will praise Him.
1 Samuel 1:10-1110In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. 11And she made a vow, saying, “LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”
God heard Hannah and in time she gave birth to Samuel.
I may sound like a broken record but I really love this time of year. Its not to cold, it has that perfect nip in the air that lets you walk around with a fuzzy sweeter. You can curl up with some hot soup or even a nice cup of cider but what’s even more enjoyable this time of year is that on my daily walks I get to see so much beautiful change.
I have heard and totally agree with Carol Bishop Hipps that said
“Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.”
Yes that is exactly it for me, said so well. I was reflecting on that as I kicked some leaves the other day and looked over and noticed some apples on the ground in the front yard of a house that is well taken care of but you never see the people other than when they are racing out the door and if I take my walk to late then I miss the mad dash and the house looks like the families on vacation. On my previous walks I had noticed the apples getting ripe and wondered if they would pick them but one by one they fall to the ground. I don’t know if they are waiting for all of them to fall or their yard maintenance crew to come take care of them but either way I got to thinking it is such a waste. I did get on my soap box about the waste all the way up the street then as I turned the corner I guess I also turned my way of thinking too.
I got to thinking how many times have I let a talent, gift, kind word or action just drop off and die because I get so busy doing my own thing, just trying to get by or I allow fear to take hold so that it is easier to just let it die. I think of how many times I didn’t offer that kind word or think my talent wasn’t as glamorous as others so why use it? Just like those apples that could have filled a persons belly and gave them much need nutrients I have allowed my “fruit” to go to waste at times.
I took the picture to be my reminder so when I start to not live to my fullest potential I can look at it and it will remind me I was given by God some fruit and it needs to be shared with others.
1 Peter 4:10-11
10) Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11) If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Goodbyes can be painful and some people wont say it. My one Grandmother was that way. I lived close to her for a while and she would never say goodbye, I thought it was because we lived close and I always saw her. Then we moved a little over an hour and a half away and when I cam to visit still no goodbye, she would say to tell her until next time or see you latter. I never really understood why she wouldn’t say it but as I got older and had more goodbyes I came to understand her a little more. They are hard! I don’t care how much of trying to look at every end has a beginning sometimes you just have to be in the moment of the hard goodbye in order to fully morn and move on and that’s how I was a few months ago.
I had been like my Granma and had put off saying goodbye. So I had a goodbye to a dream party. I know it sounds crazy but I needed to do that in order to move forward to this next part of my life. I had been putting off saying goodbye for to long and it was finally time. I had put off saying goodbye to my dream of being a nurse, I know it seems a bit dramatic but to me ever since I was a small girl that’s all I ever wanted to be, a nurse was all I could think of. Sure I had some back up dreams but I’m thinking that the world didn’t need anymore Charlie’s Angels or Nancy Drew. I remember the first time I had to initial in a chart I was excited but it did get old and sometimes I would complain about the day to day duties of a nurse but when it came down to it, I loved it but I knew that the scrubs I was hanging on to ( just in case I got better) needed to go. I gave most away then the last scraggly few I put in a bag with a long goodbye letter then went out and dug a hole, burying them. I’m sure if anyone would have looked over the fence as I had tears running down my face and a shovel in my hand at a hole, they would have thought it was pet. After a time of tears I realized how I must have looked and started to laugh at myself. I was ready to go inside and start my life doing something totally new.
This might sound a lot to do just for a vocation but after I did it I felt better, I felt like I was able to move on with my new normal and all the good stuff that is coming. I still sigh at times when I see scrubs or hear about a health problem but its not as often and it doesn’t come with the sadness it once did or even the longing. I know that I am enough even with out the abbreviations after my name.
Psalm 139:13-16 ESV
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
I think I can count on my one hand the movies I choose to see more than once and “Paul Blart-Mall Cop” is one of them. I know but no judgements here. This movie is directed by Steve Carr and written by Kevin James/Nick Bakay and distributed by Sony Pictures.
In the movie the very likeable Paul Blart is a mall cop with a low blood sugar problem that kept him out of joining the state troopers but because he is a mall cop that takes his job seriously he saves people in a mall that is been taken over by criminals. I am always rooting for the underdog in books or movies so maybe that is why I like this movie, or maybe I like it because I can see so many lessons in it especially for me now with my health and change of vocation, who knows. I was thinking of this movie the other day because my kids will call me Paul Blart when I get hungry, not that I have a blood sugar problem but because I am always snacking. I had mentioned in my eggplant recipe post that I am eating small but often now due to my health problem and how much that has helped me so I guess I don’t mind being called Paul Blart. I have found that eating smart and the right foods but in small quantities I am feeling so much better. My heart doesn’t have to work so hard to send the blood to my stomach to digests my food leaving me feeling less tired. I thought I was health conscious before but now its defiantly life or death for me.
I was thinking that I am not only being carful with my food choices but have started to become so much more conscious of the spiritual choices for me. I am trying to be carful with what I nurture my soul with as well as my body. I now read,pray and meditate small amounts at a time but often just like my food choices and how much more happy and healthy I am with that. Just how I have such a reminder with my body I am needing to remind my soul. When I nurture my soul often I am so much more healthy and can give others a better me.
Just like in Mall Cop Paul Blart couldn’t save any one until he had some sugar I can’t be of use to any one if I don’t take care of me. It has taken my health declining for me to really have that light bulb moment to know that nurturing me is worth it. I may not be what I was but I can be useful in other ways that might be more useful than I every thought of but I have to take care of me so I can give to others. I know when I do this and keep my mind on God instead of my body that at times hurts or gives out I still have peace, contentment, happiness and the ability to engage with others in a more positive attitude.
One verse that helps me is Isaiah 26:3
Isaiah 26:3 ESV
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you
I enjoy being around any kind of water but it is the ocean where I am drawn to the most. It is the smell of the salty air and the sound of the waves crashing against the beach that even on my grumpiest day I suddenly feel calmer and exhale with a smile.
When I lived by the ocean I enjoyed walking around looking at the boat dock. They had some that were lived in while other boats people just kept tied to the dock for when they wanted to go out on the water. I found the sail boats the most interesting. Some of the sail boats seemed to have never moved and I thought that if I had it I would take the time to use it instead of keeping it docked, but maybe that’s just because I have always wanted to learn how to sail. The idea of how to use the force of the wind to propel you forward letting it move you seems a little scary but also invigorating.
I think we all at some point can be like those beautiful sail boats that never seemed to have left the dock. Like those boats that were made to have their sails raised to glide through the water capturing the wind, doing what it was made to do.
We were meant to move to fully enjoy life but for what ever reason seem to stay docked at some place in our life for safety. Some place in our life where maybe pain, anger, fear or resentment has kept us docked. God made us beautiful but if we don’t leave the safety of the harbor we will never experience our true selves. If we stay docked we get rusted from the salt and full of cob webs. Maybe its time to have help getting “our sail boat” sea worthy again so we can be all that we were made for. With prayer and the right people we can get ready to raise our sails and leave the harbor.
Think of it as God is the wind He will be there to be our strength to move us when all we have is just a sail waiting for the power of the wind.
I was thinking that today’s blog would be something different for me. It is short and to the point. I decided to go out on a limb and publish a sketch I did of my hand in God’s with a verse that has helped me so much. I keep this in a frame by my bed to remind me that God’s grace is sufficient for me and it is His power that is seen in my weakness. That it is ok to be weak so that I can lean on God so He can be seen.
It has taken something in my health to realize that God hears me and will be with me no matter what is going on. He might not answerer the way I want but He will answer showing His glory. I find that sometimes the answer God gives is that He will calm me while the storm continues around me and in doing that I lean on Him more finding even more peace.
2 Corinthians 12:9 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Named after the crab from the ocean because it has many stems. It holds up well to foot traffic, can grow in cracks of concrete and is drought tolerant. Just to name a few of the reasons this is such a hardy plant/weed. There are a few different kinds but they all infiltrate and permeate your entire yard.
I remember when I worked in the office for my in-laws lawn business we would have so many customers calling for help to get rid of crabgrass after they had tried everything to get rid of it. Most were willing to pay any price just to get rid of it.
I always wondered what the problem was and when I asked my ex father in-law he would just laugh and act like he couldn’t believe I didn’t see the problem. So I went along and scheduled many jobs for the people who wanted to get rid of it. You can’t just pull on one patch and think you are good, no you have to go through your entire yard and pull all of it but then it just comes back. The jobs were big and even required a backhoe and fresh fill dirt. After they dug up the whole yard going deep to make sure they got all the roots they would put fresh dirt in then would plant the desired grass, plant or sod making a definite transformation for the better but the home owner wasn’t off the hock they had to be on top of it to make sure there yard stayed nice and crabgrass free.
I know I should probably write a book about life lessons from the garden but there are great examples in your yard/garden. I was talking with my mom who had a great thought on how crabgrass is like your pain or problems in life.
Just like the home owner that bought a house with someone else’s crabgrass problem, we can be born into someone else’s hurts and their pain then it becomes ours. We inherit the pain. Just like my children had grown up for most of their life in a violent house with an alcoholic father they now have the hurt given to them because their dad had pain he didn’t know how to deal with. All he felt was pain so what else could he have given?
Or the pain that is given to a child who is molested, a person that is raped or beaten. I could go on with the pain that is given out to innocent people.
They say the people who hurt people hurt the most themselves is so true. It is because of that crabgrass pain that can be the most difficult to deal with. It is someone else’s pain that became yours. I know that without help that pain wont really go away it might look like it but it’s still there just waiting for the new season so it can germinate and grow stronger.
I am thankful for people who are there to help us deal with our pain. I think God works through these wonderful souls. He is there just waiting to help take care of our crabgrass.
He is only a prayer away and will do the heavy backhoe work replacing the old with the new making a transformation for the better a new and wonderful crabgrass free life.
Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
I was scrolling through Facebook, yes I do that a lot but as I was scrolling I stopped and was looking at a post of a very fast and very high roller-coaster that looked so incredibly fun I realized something that brought a tear to my eyes. I thought when was the last time I went on one?
I know it was a while ago, my kids were teens. It was our last real vacation together. I look back now realizing it was our last time together before growing and moving on. I think if I would have know that was our last one I would have relished it more. Maybe less complaining of my feet hurting or the heat and a little more enjoyment of the fact I had my teens happy to just be with me. We did enjoy the roller-coasters until the very end when we had to file out of the park with the last few remaining people as they closed for the day. With laughter filling the air as we walked to the car talking of our favorite things that happened or even at the long lines we waited in. We all had fun but didn’t realize it for what it was. For me it was the last time to ride on a roller-coaster and for my kids it was the last of their carefree childhood.
That’s just it we all have our last times, we all have the last hug or hand holding, the last time to tuck a little one in.The last time we see or kiss a loved one. The last day of work, or favorite pass time or maybe the last time we get to enjoy eating a favorite dish.It is never marked with fireworks or a goodbye party, instead it is always done in such a quiet way you didn’t know it was the last time until looking back.
Maybe because our last times are always in such a quiet way we should make the most of each small little thing every day because you never know if it is your last time.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
12 Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.