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Look for the Daffodils

Life goes on.

I think that’s really what bothers me the most when I think of dying. That while you’re stilled and waiting for the resurrection, the party keeps right on going on. The sun rises and the seasons change and the birds keep making their nests and all the people you knew get up the next morning and carry on. Without you.

Yet, the  fact that life goes on, is a gift. No matter what the loss, life does go on. There’s so much hope in that. Come February, when you see daffodils popping up out of the ground, and when the blossoms appear on the almond trees, you see that there is hope of renewal; of rebirth. Of fresh starts and second chances. That yes, even though some things may be hard to deal with – the winter wind a severely cold blast, you can know that spring time is coming, and that warmth is on the way.

So in those dark times, those lonely times, remember it’s only for a ‘time’ – and that time has a way of bringing with it something beautiful and new – change. So if you’re in that place right now – look for the daffodils. Wait for the sunshine.

Rest in your Savior. He surely cares.

 

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faith · moments

Just What I Needed

I’ve been down lately.

I got my old cds back from Texas and decided I’d take a few along with me on my drive to work.

As soon as I put one in, my mood was lifted. Joy flooded my soul. So many memories with God in the music. I just thanked God and said this is just what I needed today. The music and the blue sky gave me such a feeling of hope and of being loved by Him.

We sang and laughed and cried just a little. We shared this special time together. Warm and complete.

This Bible verse came to mind:

Zephaniah 3:17 

The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”

I decided to share this verse on Facebook and it must have been at the same time that one of my Facebook friends said she was praying Psalm 37:4 for me. I looked it up…here is what it said:

Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

And this is the indescribable love of God. The God that sees and the God that shows up and pulls out all the stops. The God that thinks I’m worthy of love.

 

 

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Love Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

Ephesians 5:25: “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.”

Ephesians 4:2-3: “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I just want to share a couple scriptures and some thoughts on love. It seems lots of us are having a hard time keeping the love alive. But it doesn’t need to be that way.

Loving your spouse doesn’t have to be hard. Loving your spouse can be as simple as just deciding to do it.

Love is more than a box of chocolate and a few sweet words written on a card once or twice a year. Though those things are wonderful, love is something we should do everyday.

Little things make a huge difference in the lives of those we love. A simple hug can say “you matter to me” or “I care about you.” A kiss can say, “I still find you attractive.” A touch on the shoulder says “I love you.” Sweet words can light up someone’s day. The lack of physical affection and the absence of kind and loving words gives the opposite message.

In this world, a little love goes a long way.

Here are some quotes I like from a book called, “Adventist Home.”

Though difficulties, perplexities, and discouragements may arise, let neither husband nor wife harbor the thought that their union is a mistake or a disappointment. Determine to be all that it is possible to be to each other. Continue the early attentions. In every way encourage each other in fighting the battles of life. Study to advance the happiness of each other. Let there be mutual love, mutual forbearance. Then marriage, instead of being the end of love, will be as it were the very beginning of love. The warmth of true friendship, the love that binds heart to heart, is a foretaste of the joys of heaven. Adventist Home, p. 106

The Little Attentions Count—God tests and proves us by the common occurrences of life. It is the little things which reveal the chapters of the heart. It is the little attentions, the numerous small incidents and simple courtesies of life, that make up the sum of life’s happiness; and it is the neglect of kindly, encouraging, affectionate words, and the little courtesies of life, which helps compose the sum of life’s wretchedness. It will be found at last that the denial of self for the good and happiness of those around us constitutes a large share of the life record in heaven. And the fact will also be revealed that the care of self, irrespective of the good and happiness of others, is not beneath the notice of our heavenly Father. – Adventist Home, p. 108

 

 

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Defending Clutter

There’s a good article I read this morning called – In Defence of Clutter that I really agree with.

You all know I love the feeling of getting rid of stuff. But that doesn’t mean I go hog wild and throw all my visible or invisible clutter away. I’m not into the whole sparking joy thing because I realize that if I were, I’d be throwing out most of the dishes, and other practical things. Plus, I do need to keep things that I only use occasionally or might need someday.

I’m not rich enough to just run out and buy something I need to use that I threw out. So I knew I could never be a minimalist. Which is attractive because of the ease of keeping the house clean.

I also have a sentimental attachment to a few impractical things. Like for instance, the other day I found old video tapes of my kids’ favorite movies from when they were little. I couldn’t bring myself to part with them. There’s about 10. I said I’d let go of them when we own dvds of the movies.

So I agree with the article and can totally relate to it.

Oh and I feel much better about my clutter!!

home · home organization

My Fun New Year’s Resolution

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One of my New Year’s resolutions this year, is to have an organized home. How many years have I had this same resolution? At least a few. But that doesn’t mean I’ve  failed…it means my house is a work in progress. I haven’t gotten to where I would like to be, but I’m always getting closer.

The funny thing about this resolution is that it’s extremely fun for me. I mean like it’s in the top things I enjoy doing. That seems weird. But it’s true. It’s not at all like my health resolutions which are slow to start and hard to accomplish.

I’m blessed to have the time, energy and desire to work on this goal.

Right now I’m sorting through things and finding homes for them.

And there are a few boxes that need more time dedicated so I just put those aside to do when the rest is finished.

And then once I get things put away and settled, I’ve decided to go through and declutter again!

I’d like to accomplish this resolution because I’d like my house to be easy to keep up.

One area of growth I’ve noticed is not caring about a couple of collections I have.

Do you have a fun resolution? If you don’t, you should!

homemaking

Housework: Built-in Reward

As some of you may know, I’ve been working really hard in my home lately. Having had our stuff come from Texas almost a couple weeks ago, trying to sort through it all, and either tossing it out, donating it or finding a home for it – it’s been a ton of work. Hours and hours worth. But my goal is to get some order back into my space.

Has anyone really commented on all this hard work? No. And that’s ok. For me, there’s a joy and a feeling of accomplishment that comes with knowing what I’ve done and seeing the results. My kids do help with the house – but there has been alot of extra work that I’ve been doing lately.

So when was the last time someone thanked you for cleaning your sink? or doing the laundry? Or commented on how nice the house looks?

Maybe you have an expressive family. I’m guessing a lot of us don’t.

Housework seems to be a pretty thankless job.

Just because no one’s saying anything about the freshly vacuumed rugs or the newly scrubbed tub, doesn’t make it any less important.

We all know what happens when we get behind or for some reason the work doesn’t get done.

I thought I’d encourage you with these words from the Bible to help you not to get too caught up in who’s noticing and who’s not.

Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people. Colossians 3:23

Although you may not receive an award for the best scrubbed toilet – there is a built-in reward of knowing you have done your best to provide a clean and comfortable home for your family and yourself.

 

 

faith

Spiritual Gear-Up for the New Year

A real struggle of mine and a New Year’s resolution I have (again) is to have family worship every day.

I gave it some thought and decided to focus it on my little 4-year-old because I knew she’d be interested and here everyday.

A couple days later a lady from our church gave my little daughter a preschool devotional book. I took that as confirmation that we were on the right track.

And so we began reading and have kept up with it. My little girl loves it and totally reminds me to read it everyday. A little child shall lead them. My hope is to establish it as a routine and then add another book in for the older ones.

An exciting thing happened yesterday – the same lady that gave my daughter the preschool devotional gave me the new women’s devotional our church puts out. I had an old one I was beginning to read but now I’m super happy to have this year’s book. Along with the devotional, I have also been reading through the New Testament.

At church yesterday, our pastor challenged us to “each one reach one”. He said to pick 5-10 names to focus on for the year – praying and reaching out to them. He also set out cards with members that no longer attend and encouraged us to pray for and reach out to them in order to build friendships and help them want to come back to church. I took a couple names. One is homebound and could use the prayers and encouragement and one’s an old friend.

These are simple things. For me, they have to be.

What are your plans to help you stay spiritually connected to God this new year?