Thoughts on a summer day

Feet planted in a little green pool painted to resemble a watermelon, I’m thankful for the cool water while sitting on a scorching hot back deck.  I silently wonder how long my feet will be safe from toddler pee or if they have already been contaminated.  Considering I just polished off a blackberry after she licked it and offered it to me, I suppose I will live.IMG-1718

The cardinal showing off his vivid red coat on the fence post looks as if he would love to join Cali in the little pool for a midday bath, but he is staying out of reach.  Smart guy because I am positive he would get more than he bargained for.

Cali, sitting in the shade of her umbrella, is oblivious to the cardinal and seemingly to the heat as well as she munches on blackberries and strawberries and repeatedly dumps water from one bucket to another while singing bits and pieces of “head, shoulders knees and toes”.

I am thankful for my day out shopping, the mani-pedi and a long lunch with two of my favorite people.  I was anxious to get home and babysit this little rascal though tonight after my errands were complete.  With Cali and her mommy living back at home, that means I am the primary baby sitter when Morgan works.  Sometimes, Nana gets a little tired.

We were empty-nesters for a couple of years and I got quite used to my free time.  Time to read or write for hours without interruption.  Time to take a long nap on a Saturday without a little munchkin banging on my door.   Yes, there are times I long for more solitude.

At these times, however, God always reminds me of my prayers to Him when we didn’t know if Cali would make it.  Those long drives to and from Miami filled with fears and tears and prayer.  The months in ICU, the surgery days, the ups and downs.

I’m reminded once again that life is a journey.  We travel through seasons with all kinds of weather.  The seasons will never cease, but we can learn to face them with His strength and grace.  He is our great Help and Comforter.

It is how we handle the journey, it’s our attitude while we walk it out, it’s our abiding in His sweet vine.  Don’t kid yourself into thinking that the next big milestone is the destination, that once that “thing” happens you will forever by happy or you will have finally made it.  There is always something (good and bad) around the corner as long as we walk this earth.  If you acknowledge this, it makes the unknowns a little less intimidating.

Take joy in moments, learn to find the lessons in the trails, look for God’s plan in the middle of your messes, be grateful and find your peace and rest in Him.

Blessings,

Lisa

Warning signs

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As I opened up the mirrored door on my closet, I caught a glimpse of my downcast expression.  As I began to reflect on my mood at such an early morning hour, I stopped what I was doing.  At that moment, I knew one thing.  All cleaning had to cease and desist.  A navy dress in mid-air about to meet its hangar home was tossed into the heap of clothing.

I was compelled by an overwhelming desire for my knees to hit the floor and His ears to hear my heart.  I had to meet with my King and the sooner the better.

The signs are always obvious.  I have been acquainted with them for years.  My thinking turns dark, bleak and negative, or my mood plummets, or my reactions to others become sarcastic or haughty, or I may just feel somewhat hopeless about something.  There are other indicators, but these are some I recognize right away.

At this point, I can choose to obey the signs and heed the direction they are leading me or find myself lost, anxious and floundering until I backtrack to what I knew to be the right course from the outset.  This time, I do the right thing and soon find myself in my office on the floor.

Why do we sometimes ignore the signs and symptoms that our joy is being stolen, our hope is fading and our faith is weak?  I believe the biggest reason is our busyness.  We neglect to pencil in the time on our already too-full, appointment laden calendars for God.  Our most important appointment, the one that should be the springboard for all other appointments, is missing.

As God continues to deal with me about this, I know this…

When He isn’t in first place, nothing falls into place.

As I poured out my heart to Him this morning and the joy, that only He can give, flooded my soul, I was reminded once again why I set my clock early (on most mornings).  The day that is bathed in prayer while the sun still sleeps, is a day that brings with it the peace and courage to face whatever might come my way.  It’s a day faced with renewed faith and strength.  Most importantly, it’s a day where I have once again relinquished control and chose to place it in His all-knowing, ever-loving hands.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

 

SONY DSC

 

The photo challenge this week was to capture “joy”.  There are many photos I could use, but the look in my granddaughter’s eyes said it all.  She loves cake!

Morning dew and joy

rain drops on hisbicus

rain drops on hisbicus

The only light she saw was the blue dot on the DVR player and a soft glow from the computer screen.  At 2:00am, it was dreadfully dark and silent except for the sound of the ceiling fan as it followed its infinite circular route.

It was time; time for prayer and quiet reflection, time to stop suppressing the angst and the pain; time to release the fear and let it all tumble out in salty cleansing tears.

She doesn’t like to cry, especially not this kind of cry; the heart-wrenching sobs that had threatened like a black and dreaded storm cloud for days now.  She likes to show herself strong, capable, and unmoved by life’s jabs and pokes and knockouts.

But deep within, she knows that to give up on self, to let go and let God is the answer.  That is when the healing can begin and joy will return.  Not the “ha-ha” playground laughter kind of joy, but the deep-down to your soul kind.  On her knees, pouring it out in sobs that are interrupted by deep gasping breaths, she lets God right things.

Then, peace ensues and a heart at rest can finally rest.   The mind stops racing, and the once elusive sleep comes quickly.

Morning breaks with a sunrise of hope and goals and motivation afresh!  Yes, joy does come in the morning.

Next season please

Sure sign of Spring - Robin - Bird

To everything there is a season,

A time for every purpose under heaven:

 A time to be born, and a time to die;

A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

A time to break down and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

 A time to gain, and a time to lose;

A time to keep, and a time to throw away;

 A time to tear, and a time to sew;

A time to keep silence and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate;

A time of war, and a time of peace.  Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about seasons this week.  It’s so funny how they do parallel our lives.  The bible even says to everything there is a season.

When I’m asked what my favorite season is, I often say fall and winter.  I think this has always been due to the accompanying holidays and knowing I’ll be spending quality time with family and friends.

However, after contemplating it more carefully, I have realized that my favorite season is the one that’s around the corner.  The one that isn’t quite here yet, the one I’m currently longing for.

Take right now, for instance.  We’ve had our fill of winter (some more than others, depending on our locale); the cold, dreariness, the bare trees and raggedly looking lawns and landscapes.  We are ready for spring.  We desire something new; the flowers, the birdsong, a change in the weather, some refreshing showers.

I remember at the end of last summer, I was dreamily desiring the arrival of fall.  I could almost taste the fall flavors of pumpkin and apple cider and smell the cinnamon and feel the slight dip in temperature.  In my mind were visions of scarecrows and carvings and leaves turning and descending to the earth.  It was something to look forward to and thinking about it filled me with anticipation.

When the temperatures began to drop and I began my Christmas shopping, I was already giddy with excitement for winter and the hopes of seeing snow (if I traveled out of my home state).  Bring on the sweaters and scarves and boots.  The love of Christmas and thoughts of enjoying more time with those I care about made me anxious for this glorious season.

And around it goes, year after year, season after season.  I guess the old saying is true, “we always want what we don’t have”.  We eagerly anticipate the next chapter, the next season.

It’s like our Creator to know this would suit us; the changing.  We change; our lives are lived out in seasons.  Our short lived attention spans and longing for more is somewhat satiated by the change in seasons.

So on this last day of winter, I say,  bring on the spring!  May yours be filled with a spring in your step, March madness and April showers, Easter and excitement over things to come and abundant love, joy and peace!

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