He Still Speaks

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Last week on the way home, this scripture came to mind ‘never the less, at thy word’. By the time I got home, that verse was just ringing in my heart. I walked in the house, spoke to my husband and grabbed my Bible. Found the scripture and proceed to read the entire chapter 5 of Luke. It was literally like quenching a thirst. If you have been a growing believer for as long as I have, you know the Spirit doesn’t just nudge you to read for fun or entertainment . I prayed and waited, prayed and waited but … nothing. Silence. Saturday came and went and still nothing on the verse. So I decided to let it go. If God wants me to see, hear, find, or help, he will let me know. All I have to do is meditate on Him and take him at His word.
Then came glorious Sunday. I teach Sunday school to wonderful 5th graders. In the past weeks, we have been learning about David. When Uzzah reach out his hand to steady the ark of the covenant, he died immediately because God’s plan and instructions were not followed. A few had difficulty understanding why God was so particular. And once again, nevertheless at thy word, came to heart. Although Simon did not fully understand, he chose to be obedient. After relaying Luke 5, I had them to think of times when a person of authority/ grown up asked you to do something they thought was unfair or that they did not agree with or understand? Oh yes! They all had stories to share on that one. But, the bottom line was obedience. Finally exhausting each scenario with obedience, one student proclaimed, ‘well I suppose God has it all covered! I thought, hmmm yes He really does. So this week I am waiting and praying for my need to be obedient as well as my growing students need to learn to be obedient. 

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Thankful Thursdays #20

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It’s actually Wednesday night. The day is well over and weary of a day of living as we lie down to rest our tired bodies and minds. He falls into an easy quiet slumber right away. I lay and try to make my way to the quiet space that will lull me into unawareness and slumber. There. I think I hear a different sound. Intrigued, I push past the sounds of the ceiling fan whirring lazily overhead. Even further past the cloths dryer and traffic a mile away. Oh. There it goes again. Half excited because I am almost positive of the double call. The sounds the symphony the insects are playing is the perfect accompaniment to this soloist! Sweetheart, listen! Do you hear that? Opening his eyes and tuning his ear to the unknown. He assures me that all is well because it just an owl 🦉 and I could go back to sleep now because owls sleep outside!😳

But dare I be deterred? Of course not! The hoot of the owl keeps beckoning me. The owl doesn’t screech or growl but simply hoots as only the Great-Horned Owl could! For just over half an hour I listen to the bird hoot into the night and then the hunter is silent or flew away. 

I am thankful for hoot of the owl (20)

The ears to hear the owl (21) &

The brain the recognize the hoot (22). 

He is beautiful !!!!!!!!

Thankful Thursday

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I am filled with a precious memory or memories should I say; of a dear friend and I sharing mornings on her porch. I would drive over to her house still in my jammies and we would sit and watch and listen and write and laugh. I am fond of the mornings and blessed to share them with a friend. We loved to watch the morning dew as the sun would rise over her home. The sun on the dew appeared somehow to makes things look new. Giving a reminder of a fresh new start to a new day. God makes all things new. 

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I lam making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Rev. 21:5

We journaled our prayers while sitting on her porch and drank a pot of coffee. If her hubby was home, he would ensure that our cups stayed hot and filled. And we would sit there and write and talk and laugh and even shed tears sometimes but the laughter would always take over. 

I am thankful for …

Mornings on the porch with a dear friend

Memories

Morning Dew

And ladybugs (because they were her favorite). 

Yes, I am that customer 

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In an effort to reorganize my sewing studio/room, at the last minute I decided to go with a bookcase instead of wall mounted shelves. Per my google search, I found the perfect piece at the local big box store. So just shy of 9pm I head off to the store with my young strapping 22 year old son in tow. And behold! The perfect unit is here. 

Now, all we needed to do was grab it and get to checkout because the store is close to closing. Then, … we could not find my perfect piece on the shelf below the display. My son and I both have retail backgrounds and we knew it was not there. So we were off to find one of those store associates who avert eye contact because they want to avoid that one customer who will ask the darned near impossible. So here is the conversation with the luckiest store associate in the company

My son: excuse me ma’am but can we get some help locating an item if you have it?

Associate: sure, I can help you. 

(She shots the item tag with her gun)

Associate: it appears we have one but that is tricky with us because the one could be the display item. Would you like for me to call another store for?

Me: before you do that, is there any way to find out if ‘the one’ is a display or one somewhere in the store or backroom? You will be closing in a few minutes and I won’t have time to jet to another store. 

Associate: oh. Uhm. Ok. Let me see if I can get a manager to help. (Yep she is ticked). 

Manager: no no. This one is in the store and this tells the location. Oh. There it is up there. Ma’am, is that the item up there or were you looking for another item. 

Me: no that’s it! I want that one. (White box on the bottom)

Manager: sure, let me find a team and we will get it for you (they walk away). 

My son: you know they are mad right? You wait until 1 minute to closing And want to purchase the impossible to locate and retrieve item. 

They were gracious but tight. And yes it was a lot of effort. And the poor cashier who had to wait was all smiles as she thought this whole scenario was hilarious! Once I get it all organized the perfect piece will look great in there!

Character -a dying concept?

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While chatting up a storm with a few girlfriends of mine, the topic of television came up. None of us really watch tv mostly because it is time consuming and nothing really life changing that we must see at the moment. One thing in particular that makes me want to drop my tv from a 50-story building is the onslaught of politicians and leaders who are behaving badly. This bad behavior has been going on for centuries; but because of the various forms of media, we have access to the lives of these leaders almost instantaneously. What I realized is that I ‘expect’ more from a leader of a formidable country (we will talk about expectations in another post). I expect that -that leader would treasure and protect his character at any cost. But this is sadly not the case. This question was later posed to me -“why do we try to be so good when everyone else is doing stuff wrong, taking advantage of people, cutting corners and getting ahead”? This is one of those questions when asked you breathe deeply and exhale slowly while muttering a prayer and scripture before trying to answer. 

As I began to formulate my response I thought it best served with sweet potatoe pie. This way I can get a full point across while she savored a slice of pie. Life is full of choices and sometimes there are hefty prices to pay for them because consequences always follows. A person (leader) can make poor choices and get ahead in life by cheating, lying, stepping on his fellow brother. As matter of fact, they may seem to have it all. But have you noticed a few things about these types of people (leaders)? 1. They are rarely happy and joy often escapes them. 2. They have no idea how to be content and 3. They are bad at relationships. 4. They can be downright embarrassing. Notice their demeanor when they feel threatened of losing what they have connived to gain. But let’s face it …bad guys win sometimes. Let me suggest an easier life. If you protect your image, name and reputation you will sleep better at night without worrying about all the bad things you have done. You will experience relationships that are healthy and whole. We were created as relational beings and even the most introverted pluviophile needs community sometimes. 

The funny thing about character is that it affects your entire life. It’s not just that thing you do but it is who you are. Whenever I am training a new employee, I can assess their skills and knowledge base. If they are teachable I can help them get to the next step/level. But an unwholesome character speaks volumes about you. So, those bad guys really don’t win. At least they don’t win what really matters. Faith. Family. Friends 

Thankful Thursdays

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On a recent vacation/celebration, I began to feel overwhelmed. There were people all about, noise, humidity, chaos, dishes, family, friends, food, teenagers….you know, normal stuff. Yet that is the very stuff that presses in on me and sets me like a pressure cooker. I kept trying to calm myself with positive affirmations with such as: it’s really ok, He gives perfect rest, it’s not about you, which escalated to Lord HHEELLLP!!!! And shortly after the 15th call for help I get a break to sit still for a few minutes outside. After a few short breaths I heard a bird singing. Unfamiliar with his song, I looked for him.  Spying the tiny creature in a tree in the front yard I watched and listened and smiled and calmness began to set deep within. Could it be? … nah. 

After a few minutes, I went back inside to hit the second wave of dishes and lovely family chaos. But throughout the day, when I would go outside, I would here the song of my new friend. He was not always in the same tree. As a matter of fact I only saw him that once but heard him consistently. The following days I would purposefully seek the songbird and think of him often. That birds song was like a lullaby to me and a reminder to ‘look to the hills from whence cometh my help’. Yes I can get sensory overloaded but I also know who created me and I know who is my ever present help in a time of trouble. 

This little bird sang about four different short songs in a row (mocking other calls, suppose that’s why the little creature is called a mockingbird!)I could tell his call/song easily as I have familiarized myself with the birds in my back yard -chickadees, wrens, woodpeckers, blue jays, hummingbirds, cardinals, owls, hawks and doves. But, no mockingbirds. Birdwatching is a fairly new sport for me and it appears to be one of the many ways God chose to calm my soul. Albeit this little bird mimicks the calls of others, if you sit still and listen, you will hear the difference.

 I am thankful for the mockingbird 🐦

High flying Condo Assoc.

Bird Haven Resort

Thankful Thursdays

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It is Monday night. I missed getting my Thursday post done. Why? Life happened and time ran out … or did it? I can spend a lot of time chasing time. Trying to maximize time. Always running to keep things moving and accomplished in time. But, I always run out of time. When I am sewing, I have plenty of time to think. Over the past few sewing days I have been thinking about time management. Something I think I am pretty good at but want sharpen. This time instead of thinking of all things I wanted to get done and setting a time management frame for those things, I decided I would think about time itself. Where does it originate and who dictates my time? I initially thought only of my job because well, we are there basically from sunrise to sunset (that’s a thought for another post). Then something popped in my head, “he called the light day and the darkness night and the evening and the morning were the first day” Genesis 1:5. My fifth grade Sunday School class is studying the book of Genesis. As I totally sew this row on backwards, I realize just how far I have let my idea of time and time management go astray. If God is the creator or time and life shouldn’t he have a primary role in my thoughts and action regarding my time? 

Moving outside to do some yard work, it is hot and humid. Too sticky to work. I move inside to the screen porch with a glass of iced tea and my book. Moving into chapter four, it is entitled ‘a sanctuary of time’. How befitting. All is going well until I read this … Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts 🎁 

How long have I neglected to think deeply of my time. In God there is no end, time has no end but time moves and is not choosy about the lives it affects. God’s grace is sufficient and his time is perfect. My time is just enough. The way to maximizing time is to live fully in the moment and to give thanks for what that moment gives

11. Humid, hot days because they remind me to take it slow and enjoy some down time with him. Is that a small respite I detect? How about spending a little with Him and let him how grateful you are for your moment in time?

12. Birds at the feeder, because even they know not to stress the heat of the day, or where the next meal will come from. They sing anyhow, inspite of the circumstances. Inspite of it all, I am grateful. 

The transforming journey continues. But I will leave you with one more quote from Voskamp herself, “It is not the gifts that fulfill but the holiness of the space. The God in it”. 

Psalm 39:6 Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches, And does not know who will gather them.

In time, peace & love, ❤️Gwendolyn 🌹