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Thursday, March 29

March 29, 2012

One thing I have never been described as . . .  gentle . . .

I need to work on that.

Wednesday, March 28

Tuesday, March 27

March 27, 2012

Even in nature we see tears.

When I was out last week, taking photos of the spring color bursting out all over town - I stopped by the town hall arboretum and captured the weeping willows around the little ponds. It was for the most part a grey morning, and the new yellow/green leaves were ever so gently blowing in the light breeze.

As I searched for a quote for this photo - I looked first at 'weeping willow.'  Many that I found referred to the sadness the tree feels - as it continues to stand the test of time - when those who have played beneath it, perhaps even tied a rope or swing to it's branches and shared life with it for a moment, shared it's shade on a hot summer day and maybe even spread a blanket, had a picnic, or took a nap  - have grown and moved away.

In my workplace two coworkers, my same age, suddenly lost their husbands, one this past weekend, and another about a month and a half ago. As I gaze on the weeping willow this morning, my heart is heavy like it's branches, weighed down with grief and sadness for my coworkers and their children and families. There is such an ache and sadness for their pain, for their sorrow. Although I have not lost a spouse to death, I have lost both parents, both in-laws, cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents and very dear and close friends.

It is good to cry. Important to weep and grieve. Vital to mourn the loss of part of your life.
But  somewhere down that road of sorrow,  that each one of us will travel at one a time or another, there hopefully will be moments with smiles. As we remember the times of love and laughter, the joy and the life.

I think it too simplistic to read the Dr. Seuss quote above and think we should never cry. We do need to. But we also need to be grateful, and be thankful that we were given the opportunity to share life together.

I love Ecclesiastes Chapter 3.
I need to memorize it.

 There is a time for everything, 
 and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 a time to be born and a time to die,
 a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 a time to kill and a time to heal,
 a time to tear down and a time to build,
 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
 a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
 a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 a time to search and a time to give up,
 a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 a time to tear and a time to mend,
 a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 a time to love and a time to hate,
 a time for war and a time for peace.
 What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 

Praising and Thanking God for the life He has given us. Praising and Thanking Him for the relationships we have worked at. Praising and Thanking God for the good times and celebrations. Praising and Thanking God of the memories that warm our hearts as we remember our loved ones, and I know I am so grateful to have shared life with them. 

Praising and Thanking God for the tears of sorrow that cleanse our hearts and hopefully bring us to the foot of the cross where because of it - we know at some point we will once again share life again with our loved ones . . .

Monday, March 26

March 26, 2012

I love springtime ... for many reasons of course. One of those reasons is the forget-me-not. 

My front flower bed is always over run by them, lots of folks see them as weeds, but I love them. They are so delicate and beautiful - I let them be - and when they finally go to seed - I make sure to shake all the seeds on the bed - as I pull them up - to ensure more for the next year. 

It never fails, whenever I see a forget me not I begin to sing the old hymn "Pass Me Not - O Gentle Savior... Do not pass me by."  It is a beautiful song (I love Fernando Ortega's version). But even as I contemplate the words of that song - I am reminded that God never forgets us. 

We were in the forefront of his mind - even before we were born. 

Perhaps the forget me nots - are not there for us to ask God to Remember us - but are in fact God speaking  to us . . . "I am here . . .  I am waiting . . . whatever you need, I want you to turn to me . . . keep me as part of your moments, your days, your life." 

Forget HIM Not

Saturday, March 24

Friday, March 23

March 23, 2012

Yes sir-ree! This a a daffodil from yesterday. 
The forsythias and magnolia's as well as hyacinths, tulips and daffodils are all blooming here in Buffalo, NY . . .

. . . in March. 

Everyone is a bit nervous. 

Could the snow still come?
If it does will it kill all the blooms?

I can't believe my coneflowers green growth is already breaking thru the ground. That normally doesn't happen until May. 

I have to keep reminding myself . . . one day at a time, take it one day at a time! 
All the worry of today - does nothing but take the joy out of the present. 

So take today . . . and make it meaningful in some way - for you . . .
and for someone else!

Thursday, March 22

March 22, 2012

Boy these words ring true for me. After the last couple of months - it seems that there has been one thing right after another. Larry's surgery, my asthma attack, worry over whether my job will be cut in the next round of layoffs for the school district I work for, Jacob's broken nose and surgery, my oldest son's life and the recent challenges he has had to face, and now my brother hurt on his motorcycle (after having rotator cuff surgery not too long ago).  Thankfully he landed on the other side when he broke 3 ribs.

People always say things come in cycles of 3. I don't believe that any longer.

I am grateful to God that all of the above situations turned out to be NOT life threatening - just stressful. And although I am thankful everyday of our lives for the sun shining (even if it is behind the clouds) my home to be in good repair to keep us out of the elements, money to pay our bills, current jobs to earn that money and friends and family who care for us. There are so many things every day that point us to God - giving us the opportunity to be in a constant state of thanks!

Paul was an interesting guy - don't you think? He even thanked God for the 'thorn' in his life.

The trials and tribulations that have entered our lives recently - have certainly pointed me towards God - as I have asked for His intervention. He is always the first one I turn to. I wish I was to the place that I could say, "Thank you for this thorn" - but I often have found myself on my knees begging for His intervention. Wanting the circumstances to turn out the way I envision the way they are suppose to be. Will I ever get to the point - of being thankful for difficulties, of understanding why things happen as they do.

We see it in the change of seasons, we see it in the rainbow after the storm - often it is thru the hard times - we grow closer to God. I guess it is a plus that I am to the point of understanding that.

Praying I am able to be thankful in all situations - and will always remember Romans 8:28. Whether the race is one long marathon or a bunch of shorter races - we CAN persevere when we remember that: In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 

Wednesday, March 21

Sunday, March 11

March 11, 2012

I've been a little preoccupied this past week - as my youngest son was injured at school baseball tryouts. After a night in the ER, a CT scan and stitches - we know his nose is broken, but we have had to wait for the swelling to go down before we can see a specialist on Monday to determine what can be (or needs to be) done to facilitate the healing process.

While I was home with him on Thursday - we had several deer walk into the yard. It was fun pulling out the camera to see if I could get any clear shots.

Trying to connect a quote with the photo above was a little bit of a challenge. I thought the deer looked as if it was questioning me - but I couldn't find the right words.

Finally I came across the quote above and the words struck a chord with me - in light of our week. No matter what our circumstances, we need to know that the manner in which we respond, is seen by all those around us.

I know that in everything I do, I want to make sure that I am representing Christ in a worthy manner.

I am praying that we can continue to do that.

Wednesday, March 7

March 7, 2012

I can't help it.  I am hoping it is true.

We have been enjoying such a mild winter.

This weekend - our clocks spring forward and boom - spring is almost here.

Have we really gotten thru a winter with having to snow blow and shovel only 3 times?

Is the time of hibernation and staying inside in the dark almost over?

I want to get my hands in the dirt.

I want to see the new life bursting forth from the soil . . . the promise of color and beauty.

Although in the plant world - we must wait thru the long night of cold and darkness to begin again.  We have to wait for the conditions to be right.

How grateful I am that everyday (any moment for that matter) can be a new beginning for our hearts and souls.

The promise of Spring . . .
The promise of Life . . .
The promise of Love . . .

Thursday, March 1

March 1, 2012

It is a battle out there my friends.
A battle for souls.

Please take a moment and pray for the families in your lives.
Pray for the parents of teenagers who are so lost and struggling trying to find their way in this world. Pray for the kids.

Pray for those who have left the path in search of happiness and joy that can never be found outside the Love of God.

Pray for strength and peace in parents hearts - that they will have confidence in the God who created their children, that He loves them even more than they ever could.

Pray for God's people to surround the lost and weary - that they would have their eyes opened to the Love and Peace and Joy they are searching for and that they would find it in healthy and strong relationships with God's people.