Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Train of Life

I came across this today - and being my birthday, thought it seemed apropos. Though I take it with a grain of salt - for while I do want to look forward with hope and anticipation and not dwell on past regrets, I am also trying to enjoy the ride and take in the view of the present - our greatest gift!  ; )

The Train of Life

Some folks ride the train of life

Looking out the rear,
Watching miles of life roll by
And marking every year.

They sit in sad remembrance
Of wasted days gone by,
And curse their life for what it was,
And hang their head and cry.

But I don't concern myself with that,
I took a different vent. 
I look forward to what life holds,
And not what has been spent.

So strap me to the engine
As securely as I can be,
I want to be out on the front,
To see what I can see.

I want to feel the winds of change
Blowing in my face,
I want to see what life unfolds
As I move from place to place.
I want to see what's coming up,

Not looking at the past. 
Life's too short for yesterdays,
It moves along too fast.

So if the ride gets bumpy 
While you are looking back,
Go up front, and you may find,
Your life has jumped the track.

It's alright to remember - 
That's part of our history. 
But up front's where it's happening,
There's so much mystery.

The enjoyment of living -
Is not where we have been. 
It's looking ever forward,
To another year and ten.

It's searching all the byways,
Never should you refrain,
For if you want to live your life,
You gotta drive the train.

~ Author Unknown

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Be Still & Give Thanks to our Big God

I've noticed that I get more fearful and worrisome, less hopeful and optimistic when I don't have my mind focused on Higher things. When I'm not in the Word, when I get busy and distracted, and wander from quiet time with Him, being still before Him. This week, and namely this morning I've been confronted with several words/messages pointing me back to communion with Him. When I'm not in that communion, I'm less faith-filled. And likely therefore less faithFUL. Less hopeful. I get caught up in 'what ifs' and the 'whys'. Why can't we get ahead? You get a step ahead only to get knocked back again. Why this...why that...  I get too caught up in me. When the reality's all about Him! So easily forgotten when I get my eyes off of God and turned on myself! Plus...ya know what? That 'stuff''s just life. 'Stuff' happens. Always will. But God is bigger! Bigger than all of it! Can't let it get me down. God is meeting our immediate needs. As my husband said this morning, for example. Instead of complaining about rising cost of living expenses cancelling out the pay raise, think in a different way: God was thinking ahead, providing for our needs that we didn't even know about yet. He was preparing us. If He hadn't provided the raise, we wouldn't have money to cover the rising expense(s)! There may or may not be much leftover (for now), but He's providing for our basic needs, and that is BLESSING! I just have to keep myself hidden in Him, arm & guard my heart with His word, and always - always - return thanks and praise to Him!

Just a few link-ups to some of the words around me this morning:

Be Still/The Restless Heart ( Craig Groeschel, Soul Detox, Message 1)
"Be still, and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10

"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning..." Psalm 130: 5-6

Our Great Big Ole' Sky by Cindy BeallHave you forgotten how big our God is?

Day 2 Soul Detox Reading Plan/Devo by YouVersion:  To battle against your toxic thoughts, you must identify and reject them. As 2 Corinthians 10 tells us, the battle against our toxic thoughts is like none other. It is not a physical battle, but rather it is a spiritual battle that requires God's help in fighting.
"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." v. 5

"We'd worry less if we gave thanks more." Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts/A Holy Experience

I played this over and over again this morning. AWESOME song to get ya going:

Good Morning by Mandisa
"Good morning, You give me strength, You give me just what I need, and I can feel the hope that's rising up in's a good morning!"

And another favorite of Mandisa's that lifted me this morning, Stronger:

"Cause if He started this work in your life, He will be faithful to complete it, if only you believe it...Believe me, it'll make you stronger, stronger, stronger..."

Be blessed and encouraged today!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Practice of Rest

(If you haven't noticed, I find a lot of inspiration from Ann Voskamp over at A Holy Experience, and author of One Thousand Gifts . I often borrow pieces of her gifting and scatter them across my blog as offerings of encouragement & inspiration to others, since they're such good words! This entry is an excerpt from one of her archived posts here.)

Three Ways to Rest Today:  

1. Look Up
Step outside for a moment. (And really, it’s wonderfully true: you do have a moment.) Just look up at the sky. Stare at the blue. Breathe deep. Breathe deep again. Think about heaven. Watch the clouds. Gaze for a long, wondrous moment at the sky and think about all that is eternal and step outside of time and remember how He’s made you for eternity. Exhale.

2.  Look in
Look in. See the hurry and the angst and the worry and the tired bones. Look in — and let go. Just let go. Because do you hear Him whispering to you today: “Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” (Mark 6:31).

Look in and see inside His will for you: “Now the Lord my God hath given me rest on every side.” (1Kings 5:4)

3. Look Down
Bow your head in prayer for a moment. A long moment. Whisper thanks to Jesus for His abiding presence. Feel Him take the burden off your shoulders. Feel His arms underneath carrying you. Feel Him.

Rest in Him.

 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Be blessed! ;-D

Monday, January 30, 2012


This is a piece of a post from Ann Voskamp over at A Holy Experience from just after the New Year. I'm taking this Joy Dare, to capture one thousand gifts in gratitude this year. I had started it once before about a year or so ago, but got rather lapse with it. So, I'm starting fresh, a new commitment! I'm a little behind in getting started, but starting nonetheless!

"...the dare to slow down and wake up and receive all God gives for what it is — a gift. Take the the Joy Dare. Isn’t that what Aristotle said– “We are what we repeatedly do.”

Then Christianity isn’t an act — but our faith is expressed only in our habits.

A habit of not complaining, but the habit of giving thanks; the habit of not worrying, but a habit worshipping. The habit of repeatedly giving God praise that our lives might become a prayer. Small is always the leverage of large. It’s one moment after the other, the small moments that turn a life. It’s the small actions that can change a life.

It’s habits that can imprison you and it’s habits that can free you and when thanks to God becomes a habit, so joy in God becomes your life.

Maybe a life needs change over and over again — that constant turning to God? Not so much resolutions but revolutions."
"Small is always the leverage of the large."  I love that. I need some new habits. Freeing habits! Won't you join me? Take a peek over here for the details. You'll be just in time to join in for February!

I dare you! {wink, wink}

My gifts today:
1. Pieces of God's Word made new
2. Wayne Watson's "For Such a Time as This" recently rediscovered
3. An old photo of myself w/Heath when he was little...the true joy expressed in my face
4. A few quiet, peaceful moments to myself
5. Cramps...yes...reminding me I'm a woman by God's design
6. God's *timely* financial provision!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Tired, Hard Thanks

Feeling *very* exhausted, but surprisingly fulfilled tonight. After a day that started out and continued to feel out-of-whack, off-track at the end of it, through my worn nerves, tight, achey back and shoulders, I still find myself grateful.

Grateful for a hubby who comes to my 'rescue' in the middle of his own 'day' to resuscitate a dead car battery...that God is teaching me to be flexible and not be so dependent on my time table with constant 'plan changes'...Grateful that I'm fortunate enough to be able to buy groceries at 3 different choices of places...that I can spend quality time with my Grandmother even when she's challenging (while also helping out my parents)...that I have an awesome LifeGroup that loves me (us) in our lateness, because I wanted to bless them w/some yummy homemade snacks...that our kids love us so much they don't want to go to bed and be without us.  Etcetera.

I'm reminded of a passage I've recently read from the book, Creative Counterpart by Linda Dillow, speaking of how we should respond to our circumstances:

There are difficult circumstances in the life of every person...We each have a choice. When the hard times come, we can put up our fists and fight with anger and resentment, or we can give the situation to God and trust He will cause good to come out of even a bad situation. 

...By thanking God for the unreliable and difficult circumstances, we are saying, "God, You are the blessed controller of all things.  You are sovereign and in control. I don't understand all that is happening, but I thank You and trust You to teach me what You want me to learn, and to work it all together for good."  God commands us to thank Him and is pleased when we do.  "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  1 Thess. 5:18

...Giving thanks is different from being thankful...When I give thanks to God for a trial or difficult circumstance, it is not a feeling of thankfulness but a decision of my will to choose to trust God and thank him in spite of my feelings.

...When Paul wrote the book of Philippians, he was in jail...He had been terribly beaten, was in jail for an undetermined amount of time, and yet as he wrote to the Philippians, the theme of joy was evident. Paul lived not in his circumstances or under his circumstances, but above them!

"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation...I can do everything through him who gives me strength."  Phil. 4: 11-13 (NIV)
Just a few thoughts from a tired sojourner in a land I don't belong. But I'm sure glad He put me here...'cause I sure wouldn't wanna miss it. Worn nerves and all. ;-)