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Tuesday, May 15

May 15, 2012

On Mother's Day, my husband and 3 sons went with me to a local park, "Chestnut Ridge." The place holds many memories for me. As a kid, my parents would take us there in the winter for sledding, and winter church picnics (with hot chocolate and hot dogs).  My husband and I even went cross country skiing there, early on in our marriage.

Funny, I have lived in this area my whole life (except the 3 years in Virginia Beach) and I never heard of the "Eternal Flame" which is in the same park.

My middle son was telling us about it on Sunday and so we decided to take a drive. It was about a mile hike into see the flame behind a waterfall (it is actually a place where methane gas is released into the air - but because where the place it breaks thru the surface at - is in a cave behind a water fall, it is protected from the wind and can be lit with a match.

Well  - I didn't make it to the flame, the trail got pretty steep, and if you know me - I am a klutz. I was afraid of falling. So I handed my camera to Zach and asked him to get some photos of the flame - and Justin and I headed back to the car.

All around us were beautiful trees! The greens and the browns were so refreshing (I love spring and new growth).  But the roots were amazing too. I have to wonder if it is because of so many people walking the trail - that the roots are above the surface of the ground  - but it makes for a wonderful photo - and some contemplation.

When I was growing up - we sang a song at church called "I Shall Not Be Moved"
The lyrics as I remember them are:

I shall not be, I shall not be moved
I shall not be, I shall not be moved
Just like a tree that's planted by the water
I shall not be moved.

There are several verses - but that one is often at the forefront of my mind.
 I remember it specifically as I think on the verse from Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it."

Planting the seed of faith in our children, and nurturing it as they grow - helps to develop those deep roots.  When the storms come and troubles are on the horizon - those roots pull them back to their faith to help them stand firm and hold on.

My roots are deep. My parents nurtured them, and they matured as I grew. There were tough times when I remember being able to stand strong in my faith - because my roots were deep. I had weathered many a storm before and seen how God had brought me through.

It's never too late to work on developing  a deep root system.
I don't want to be blown over in the next storm. I want to stand firm and strong in the strength of my faith. It is my roots that help me to do that.

Friday, May 11

May 11, 2012

I love these quotes.

So many times we find ourselves searching for happiness.

"If only I had this ... If only I could.... I would finally be happy if....."  you fill in the blanks.

Then, when get what we thought we needed so desperately, we find that it isn't the answer either. And so we move on to the next desire.

When will we learn - that happiness is not found in things - but that 'joy in life' is found in the journey? (and by the way - I think there is a big difference between JOY and HAPPINESS - but I don't have time to go there this morning).

Perhaps the word we need to look for is SATISFIED. It seems humans are never satisfied. We always have to look for the next great thing.

For me ... I look to God. I find my deep joy in Him, and in His promises. There is nothing in this life that will satisfy me as His Word, His Works, and His Love does.
All things will pass away ... but His Word is FOREVER!

Tuesday, May 1

May 1, 2012

I love the bleeding heart plant. Whether in beautiful pink and green - or the delicate white. It reminds me of my mom first - as we had a nice pink plant in our yard growing up. The white one though, reminds me of the condition of our hearts and souls.

We don't come to Christ clean and innocent. We come covered in filth and sin . . . and yet He loves us . . .  and makes us clean so we can enter His presence and communicate with Him.

When I think about that kind of love, I am often speechless and just don't know what to say. It reminds me of the scripture in Romans that says, "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."  (Romans 8:26)

When we come to Him - longing to communicate - sometimes we just don't know what to say. But thankfully, He knows our hearts.  Gandhi's words ring true in this circumstance - It is better to come to God with a sincere heart and no words - than to come to Him with all kinds of explanations and excuses - and no sincerity.

It makes me  want to sing: (Link to the music) (if you leave this window open - you need to turn the music player off on the bottom left of this page)

"Create in me a clean heart, oh God
And renew a right spirit within me.

Create in me a clean heart, oh God 
And renew a right spirit within me. 

Cast me not away from Your presence oh God
And take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of my salvation
And renew a right spirit within me."