Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Sweet Friend

Our blog for this week is Write a letter of encouragement to another dreamer in your life.

My dearest friend Anita,
I can't tell you how much I miss you and how your life speaks to me. I can still remember the first time we met, I was not sure we were in the right place but God sent you straight to us and you sat down and welcomed us and then proceeded to want to know, really know about us. I will always remember your sweet and kind ways. You didn't stop there you became my dearest friend.

I had so many walls of protection built around me that it was a fortress. You very gently and persistently helped me remove the walls ,brick by brick, so that I was allowed to be the real me with you. I didn't have to worry about what I said, or go home a fret about our conversation, did I say too much, did I reveal too much, how will she take the words I said. Nope, you gave me the freedom to be the real me! What a new and refreshing experience for me. A bit scary but wonderful. Now I don't think there is anything I can't tell you or share my deepest fears, hurts, or dreams.

You are such a Barnabus! {His name even means encourager.} You are a God-sized dreamer yourself. Your desire to reach out to other women that are hurting or alone is just awesome. I know that the women in your group are blessed just as I was. You make it so easy to talk to you. You are not judging them but hearing their hearts. You understand the hurts and the loneliness they are going through and you aren't afraid to share your heart with them. I know you couldn't do the things you do alone, but you see, God shines through you so brightly that we can't miss it.

You are the skin that shows us what our Father is like. You are the arms that surround us when we hurt or the listening ear that is so needed to tell all our woes to. God has used you so greatly in my life. You have given me verses from the Bible so often that are just perfect to my longing heart. You continually make me want to give to others what you have given to me, that longing to fall in love with my Savior and share Him with all I meet and sharing those special verses that seem to be perfect in times of pain and fear.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and praise to God for placing you in my life. I will meet you at our "table".

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New Concept . . . FUN

Take some time to play

These words take on a whole new meaning when you get a little older. What I wouldn't give to be able to run and twirl like a little girl. To take absolute joy in running as fast as I can! However that is not play now. I looked at the list of things Holley mentioned to get an idea of what I might do to "play".

Pintrest, hmmm perhaps that would be fun. So I set up an account. Not fun like I remember more stress than fun as I am not sure what the directions are telling me and why this is to be fun. Let's move on to something else.

Read a book. Now that is an easy one. I have a Kindle and read all the time. Not different enough to be called fun.

Make a craft. I love to do that. So that is the idea that energizes me. Have you seen those "bouquets" in the grocery stores that are made of candy instead of flowers? Well, I decided to give a try for one of those. I go to a gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to keep what mobility I have. I don't do the treadmill or the weights but I do aerobics in the pool. It is just me and the lifeguards most days. They are college students for the most part. They are very faithful sitting in the chair with their life float at hand. They will be the object of my craft attempt! How fun.

So I set out to plan this gift. If I put it in a vase the glass is not good for pool area so I get a child's sand bucket. I need something to attach the candy to so get some skewers. Hmm how to make it so they stand up in the bottom of the bucket? I go to the floral section and get a half circle Styrofoam. Now for the candy. Awesome! Hershey bars are on sale and to cover the half circle a bag of Starburst. I have counted the pictures of the lifeguards and have enough candy bars for each one and one extra just in case. I write a thank you on the shovel. Pretty cool! I take it and it is received with great joy. Now that was great fun and I think it qualifies as "Play".

It did just what Holley suggested, it was better than twirling until I fell down giggling. It has left a smile on my face for days. Thanks Holley for reminding us life is not just working away but having fun!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Be Still and KNOW. . .

 Set aside a particular time this week to be with Him–to pray, journal, take a walk or simply sit quietly and listen. Write a post sharing what your heart hears or receives .

Being still is not something I do well, at least my mind finds it hard to be still. I have all the best intentions but no cooperation. As I thought about this post I decided to give it my very best effort. Little did I know this would turn out to be the biggest challenge I have had in a long while.

This has been a very difficult week with the people I love, my family. Many times I found myself in tears not knowing what to do to do right. My stillness was no where to be found. I was in the "fix it" mode but there was no fixing these problems.

As I sat  in my quiet time with God, {not so quiet as I was fretting over my family situation}I finally became very still. My mind traveled to when the angels broke into song at the birth of the King of kings. I wondered what that must have sounded like. Then I started to think about what it would be like to join that "choir" of awesome praise. I know that we are made to praise God. I just didn't feel too much like breaking into singing right then. But the more I sat there in quiet contemplation I realized that I can choose to wallow in something I have absolutely no control over or praise God for what he is going to do. So with tears streaming down my face I, timidly at first, praised God for him being right there with me. Hmm, that wasn't so hard! Then I thought of my favorite songs and picked out lines that were so uplifting and said them to my companion and He in turn started to fill my heart with a sweet peace. As I continued to think of things to thank Him for He continued to lift up my entire spirit until I was at such peace it was amazing. My tears were gone replaced by a calmness and peace that He was in control and He would bring us all through this.

I have since let go of trying to be in control {at least for this situation}and figure out the outcome on my own.{Not happening anyway} The peace continues, He has moved us through this and the outcome looks so much brighter. Perhaps I can sing with that heavenly host and blend my thanksgivings with theirs after all.

We all have a choice, wallowing in "what ifs" or praise God for His hand on our shoulder leading the way through to victory. Why do I always choose the wrong one first? Lord help me to remember this quiet time with you so the next time I choose to praise you first!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Take That!

 Dear Chihuahua of Fear, I have some things I’d like to say to you…”,
Remember how you battered me after 4 long hard years of college telling me I could never be a teacher I just didn't measure up , so I sold jewelry? Remember how you tormented me after I was married that my husband could never forgive my past? Remember how you had me huddle in the corner when there was a large crowd around because you made me sure I didn't have a thing to offer others? Remember telling me that at my age God just didn't have a dream that would include me?

Well, I just want to remind you that I did go on to teach for 27  years and got a few awards to prove it! My husband has moved on and we both have left my past were it belongs, in the past! I am able to walk up to a complete stranger and introduce myself and carry on a conversation.{hat one still surprises me!}

About that God-sized dream, well God has been waiting for me to come to him and really KNOW Him, not about Him but to know the Great I Am!

I have lived with fear most of my life. Fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, fear of not being accepted, fear of being a terrible mother. You name it I was afraid I would flub it up. But as I look back on my life God has met me where I am. He has taken each fear,{all my Dobermans}and turned them into wimps.{Chihuahuas}  He had given me the ability to become a teacher. I absolutely loved every minute of sharing my knowledge with all those very small people. Watching the light bulb come on and have their little faces show that they understood was such great fun. { sure beats selling jewelry.}

As I see all the things that I feared that looked like Mt Everest to me at the time, God has turned into small speed bumps in my life. It still amazes me that God coordinates things so beautifully, on Sunday the lesson was about Fear. Hmm. I guess there is a lesson here somewhere.

As I look back I realize that I have never been alone, God was right there holding my hand and walking me through each terrifying moment and it really was a Chihuahua after all. There are so many places in the Bible that God reassures us. John 10:29 "I will keep you safe because no one can snatch you out of My hand". "My plan for your future is filled with hope."  Jeremiah 29:11 "I will never abandon you." Hebrews 13:5

 Well, Chihuahua of Fear I think you get the picture, my God is so much bigger than you,  I think you need to just leave.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Best Dream

Why is your dream worth pursuing, fighting for and seeing through no matter what happens? What a great question to get you to really evaluate the next step. It is funny that I was ready to just give up and let this blog “go away” and let the younger sister dreamers carry on. What could possibly be a God-sized dream for me? Two comments were given at just the right moment and just the perfect words that I needed to hear. I seem to be someone that needs a cheering section to tell me that I can do this and that God is not finished with me yet! So once I got my head on straight and started to think of this Dream thing in a new way not the finished goal {way to overwhelming} but the way that God leads me to the goal. {I know you are saying is she going to answer the question or just ramble?}

First I needed to see the dream, a dream, something that I wanted more than anything and then a dreamer sent a comment that said think of one word that would be my goal. Hmmm that seemed easy and the word was KNOW. More than anything on the planet I want to KNOW God. I want to know what He is like when I am joyful, know what he is like when I am frightened, know what he is like when I mess up, in all the situations of my life. To know what he means when he says I am His Beloved.

OK, now to start down that road of Knowing, This is so worth pursuing, it excites me to think of God so close I can hear Him whisper he loves me, always has since the beginning of time. How I want to know Him so much better! I want to read His love letters to me about what He and His Father have been doing. I want to know what he would do in this situation or how he would deal with that problem. I want to know how to please him with every breath I take.

How could you not want to fight to know the love of your life no matter what? I am going through a very difficult time right now and I am striving to see just how this KNOWing will lead me through. It has given me a whole new way to look at how He would deal with this, no watching how He IS dealing with this and how He still has His arms wrapped around me keeping me safe through it all. Oh yes, this is so worth fighting for, to Know!