Smelling The Roses. Literally.
Wonderful Wednesday: Don’t Stop Believing
Don’t stop believing!!
“As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:11 NIV
Running low on strength to persevere?
“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He trains me for battle, my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me.” Psalm 18:32 & 34-35 NIV
To be still and know that He is God requires you to believe Him not just believe in Him.
Do you believe He will do what He says He will do? Do you believe He is a God of His word? Do you believe He is faithful.
If you’re struggling with believing Him, I recommend two things. 1. Worship. Nothing reminds me of who God is and His faithfulness more than worship music. 2. Study the lives of those mentioned in Hebrews 11, their perseverance, their relationship with God, and God’s faithfulness to them.
Something to ponder while you wander…true perseverance means no matter what you see or feel, you don’t stop believing God.
Deep Thought Thursday: Responding to our Enemies
“Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives His best–the sun to warm & the rain to nourish–to everyone.” Matthew 5:44-45 MSG
So many times in my life I’ve let people steal my joy and peace because of the way they’ve treated me. For too long I’ve let my day be darkened by someone else’s attitude. Jesus spoke this for our protection and for our good.
When we respond the way Jesus recommends, we are able to maintain our peace and joy. We grow in maturity. It’s a bad situation turned for our good. And we are helping someine who is struggling, because that other person clearly needs prayer, a love infusion, and more Jesus.
When we allow people (whether we like, love or loathe them) to color or even ruin our day by their behavior it means we have ceded control of our mind, will, and emotions to someone else. And that someone else probably doesn’t like themselves any more than they like us.
Something to ponder while you wander…a person’s treatment of you is a reflection of them, not you. Your reaction reveals your heart condition, not theirs.
Right Next to You
Yesterday God reminded me that while He does have ever a throne room in heaven, He is also right next to me. Even though my brain can’t fully wrap around the idea that He’s everywhere all at the same time, I love that He is right next to me, ready for today’s adventure.
“Listen to Me…I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime-until your hair is white with age. I made you & I will carry you along and save you.” Isaiah 46:3-4 NLT
Elohim created you with purpose, and that purpose is relationship with Him. He created you so He could love you. He hasn’t forgotten you and He refuses to give up on you.
Even in the worst possible situations.
Even when you’ve created your own mess and others have said “You’ve made your own bed.”
Even if you’ve backslidden or fallen AGAIN.
Turn your attention to Him, because He’s always there. When you focus on Him, you’ll see light in the darkness, and hope will begin to rise.
I’m praying for everyone who reads this to have a fresh revelation of the truth of this word. That you clearly see and know that He’s walking right beside you.
30 Years Later
About 30 years ago, on a blustery, snow-filled winter’s night, I crossed the Mighty Mac for the first time. Mom was driving; white-knuckling it actually because of the poor visibility and wind gusts.
My five year old inquisitor brother starts grilling with questions, “Whoa, Mom, how deep is that water down there? How far up are we? Is the water cold? Would we…”
My Mom never answered his questions or found the answers for him, as she usually did…due to her intense fear at that moment.
This past Labor Day, half of our family walked the Mighty Mac during the annual Labor Day bridge walk, including the now 35 year old inquisitor. While we were enjoying Mackinac City, Mom finds a paper with Mackinac Bridge fun facts. She smiled and said, “Jeff, I have the answers to your questions. The water under the bridge is 95 feet deep and the bridge is 199 feet above the water.”
We were all laughed, heartily!
But there’s a lesson here too. Sometimes people cannot answer your personal questions. Usually it’s because they don’t know or don’t want to appear foolish or that the truth might embarrass them.
But sometimes it’s because they are flat out terrified. Fear prevents people from being honest with themselves and with you. Fear is the enemy of intimacy and vulnerability. Fear corners people and causes them to behave oh so squirrelly…or mean…or rude.
My mom always tried to help us get answers to our questions, but her fear caused her to be short with my brother & tell him to just shut up.
I’m not sure what point I’m trying to make…other than I love my family and I loathe fear…but this has just been rolling around in my head and I needed to get it out.
PS Random funny..me, my mom and my niece all prefer walking the Mighty Mac to driving over it. We feel safer. Weird but true.
My Nana says my Mom was a tow-head. My Mom says my sister was a tow-head. And now my sister calls my adorable niece a tow-head.
We all know tow-head means a kiddo with light blonde hair, but have you ever wondered where does that expression come from?
Yeah, me too!
Well I discovered two options.
1. Tow comes from an old German word touw. Touw means flax or hemp fiber. The color of flax is very close to blonde, hence tow-head.
2. Back in the day, families grew their own flax to make their own clothing and ropes. The process of turning flax into thread was a tedious process. But since they were without malls and on-line shopping in Colonial days, what option did they have?
The flax would be harvested, and soaked in water for several days to soften it. Then the inner fibers would need to be removed from the stalk. (Whomever figured out how to make clothes from plants is seriously brilliant.) The flax would be pulled through a bed of nails or combed in a process called towing. The short fibers that were removed were called tow. People who had hair that resembled this tow were called tow-heads.
I think a brother started it, intending to insult his little sister, but eventually it became an endearing way to describe adorable little curly heades, blondies like my niece.
In case you are one of those truly curious people, here’s why most tow-heads end up with dark hair.
Deep Thought Thursday: The Definition of Awesome
“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and assigns each a name. Our Lord is great, with limitless strength; we’ll never comprehend what He knows and does.” Psalm 147:3-5 MSG
Yahweh is gentle, and yet the epitome of strength.
He is fully occupied, and yet so faithful that He never misses a single appointed time.
Yahweh is so deep and complex, yet simple enough to be described as simply as good.
There’s so much about Him we won’t fully understand on this side of eternity, and yet He invites us into a relationship with Him so He may reveal His secrets and mysteries to us.
Something to ponder while you wander…I use awesome and fully awesome all the time, but in truth the only one worthy to be called fully awesome is Yahweh. He is the true definition of awesome!
I was waiting in line the other day, when I noticed the woman being waited on was vintage. Late 1920’s or early 1930’s vintage. After she finished, she gathered her things, and moved to the table directly across from me to reorganize her bag.
When I saw her face I though, “Wow, I bet she was stunning when she was young.”
And I heard the Lord say, “Look again.”
So I did.
I saw that while she was thin, she wasn’t frail. I saw her face, wrinkled and crinkled with smile and laugh lines. I saw her well-loved tan sweater over a lovely, feminine button up shirt. I started to see she was one who lived her life intentionally, she wasn’t just floating through.
I was admiring her wide-brimmed straw gardening hat when she looked up.
I saw light and wisdom radiating from her eyes. I instantly wanted to have tea with her, and listen to her story.
I smiled at her. She smiled back.
I realized in that moment she wasn’t only a beauty then, she IS a stunning beauty now.
This got me thinking….Outside of the true narcissistic few, most of us dismiss our own beauty. We see our flaws, and areas of our body we want to shrink, grow, or change. But we don’t see our own beauty.
I know I don’t. I see the beauty in sunsets and nature but not in myself.
Truth is not all of us will be super models or grace the covers of magazines, but all of us are beautiful. That’s how God made us and how Jesus sees us.
This is from Song of Songs chapter 1 in the Passion Translation:
The Shulamite Woman: “In this twilight darkness, I know I am so unworthy–so in need.”
The Shepherd King: “Yet you are so lovely.”
The Shulamite Woman: “I feel as dark and dry as the desert tents of the wandering nomads.”
The Shepherd King: “Yet you are so lovely–like the fine linen tapestry hanging in the Holy Place.”
Jesus is our Shepherd King and He calls us lovely.
In Genesis 16 Hagar was a runaway maid, pregnant by her boss’s husband. She was in the desert, alone. Desperate.
“She answered God by name, praying to the God who spoke to her, You’re the God who sees me! Yes! He saw me and I saw Him!” Genesis 16:13 MSG
The one who spoke to her was no mere angel, it was Jesus, Himself. And He saw her.
Something to ponder while you wander…Just like He told me to look again at the vintage beauty, take another look at yourself. See you how Jesus sees you. Because Jesus sees you clearly, and He calls you lovely.
PS Give a fellow human a genuine compliment today. They need to be reminded of their beauty too. ❤