My Sunshine…

tweetyx     Did your mother ever sing to you ‘You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey…”? Mine did… I miss her…

She also came in some mornings singing ‘Wake up, wake up you sleepy head. The sun is high and you’re still in bed!’ That one usually made me grouchy, now I would love to hear her sweet voice rustling me awake…

I remember being rocked by my grandmother. The rocking chair squeaked something awful, but I became so accustom to it that if the squeaking stopped, I woke up. When my children were little I rocked them to sleep most times. I often hummed or sang while I rocked them. Problem was, I was not gifted with a melodic voice – their eyes usually got wider when I sang instead of sleepier…

rocking chairx

I was a young mom, my oldest son and I grew up together so to speak. When he was little, as I stood swaying and patting him on the back, he patted me on the back at the same time, precious…

mother childx

Moms have a way of looking in your eyes and knowing everything you don’t want them to know. My middle son was absolutely convinced that I must have eyes in the back of my head and spies all across town. Too bad we don’t realize during those trying teen years how deep a mother’s love is – the one person we could confide in, yet we think she wouldn’t understand.

Now my daughter is my sunshine, she makes me happy whether skies are blue or grey…

I think now about all the things my mother would like if she were still here – like how I keep my hair blonde (no gray for this girl), like how I write stories and encourage those who are fearful, like how I hug my daughter and kiss her neck every time I see her, like how I’ve started to notice the birds in the yard and have a love affair with growing flowers. She would smile because she would see that I was watching her all along and chose the best things so she would be proud…

boquetx

Be Choosy…

donutsx     Each morning we wake to…choice…   Be choosy…

Choose to give the best part of your day to God – then do the dishes, take out the trash, make breakfast…

Choose to smile – instead of frown, instead of how you feel, instead of all obstacles…

Choose to give – to a co-worker who needs help, a friend who needs a listening ear, a spouse who needs reassurance…

Choose to love – despite the differences, the defects, the annoyances…

I went out to cut a rose I had been watching. It had the longest stem yet of any of my roses, and the sturdiest. The bud, while still surrounded by the sepals looked huge. When I went out to see if it had bloomed, something had gone wrong… The rose was small, the tips of each petal deformed and brown… I had to choose: cut it and throw it away or slip it into the long green vase and see what it would become…

marred rose 2x

The world is faced with such choices daily: the unexpected pregnancy, choose; the genetic abnormality during pregnancy, choose; the skin color of our neighbor, choose; the angry teenager, choose; the rear ending of your new car, choose; the alcohol or drugs or not, choose; harming another in the name of religion, politics, the climb up the ladder, choose; the lie or the truth, choose…

pregnantx

What makes our hearts sing? The young woman who gives birth, the couple who tenderly holds the Down Syndrome baby, neighbors who don’t see color, parents who love through the teenage hormones, forgiving the smashed in bumper offender, sobriety in the face of all life’s ugliness, putting others ahead of self instead of the other way around – and always the truth… Because the Truth is Christ and He is the Way and He is the Life – and choices made in Him are always the right ones…

Today, Choose Well – tomorrow isn’t here yet, yesterday is on Instagram, but today is your day to Be Choosy!

morningx

Whatever…

Butterfly Pinkx     Over the last several years many things have happened that I’ve had no control over – so when the little annoyances of life would crop up I found myself saying ‘Whatever’ – sometimes with an exclamation point, sometimes this with a sigh…

While it was just my way of getting through the messes, my husband didn’t think my ‘whatevers’ were all that amusing…

Then I ran across the prettiest little card – with pink, flowery background and a dancing pink butterfly and across it was the word ‘Whatever’ with an exclamation point – definitely caught my eye. Picking it up I was able to read the fine print in the little gray box below my word…

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8 NIV italics mine)

That’s my point, I don’t want to think about, dwell on, get wrapped up in the little messes, I want to say ‘Whatever!’ and move on…

sunrise pinkx

Move on to what is true – God is in control. To what is noble – those who selflessly sacrifice time, money, well-being for others. To what is pure – Jesus devotion to me to the point of giving His life. To what is lovely – sunrises, flower faces, squirrels running up the tree, creation. To what is admirable – a man devoted to his wife, a mother to her child, a friend to her best friend…

squirrelx

Today if the skies are clear or cloudy, the air is crisp or wet with humidity, the bank account is full or running on fumes, health of self or others is marathon worthy or in bed bewildered, there’s enough hours in the day or about six more are needed, Whatever!, this day holds…………..I choose the excellent and praiseworthy things and will think about such things…

ladybug pinwheelx

Mailbox…

cute red mail box with flowersx     Who doesn’t like walking down to the mailbox? Maybe yours is by your door and you don’t have to go far – or maybe yours is grouped with others and so sometimes its a meeting place…

I think the postal carrier smiles whenever she/he comes across an out of the ordinary, ‘look at me’, load me up mailbox…there are some creative boxes out there!

The sad thing is the art of letter writing or sending a note is becoming a thing of the past… My mother made me send a thank you note for everything someone did for me or gave to me. I, in turn, made my children do the same…

If someone has a birthday, an anniversary, graduates, buys a home, is sick, there’s a card for every occasion – and I don’t know for sure but I bet not many of those make it in the mail anymore. In some respects at forty-nine cents for postage I can understand. But getting a card in the mail is the b-e-s-t…just a simple ‘thank you’ or ‘I’m praying for you’ – brightens anyone’s day…

hands with Thank you notex

Now I can’t put down email and texts, I do plenty of that myself, but seriously – you can’t hold a text, sit it on your desk or counter, smile over it more than once…

I have a friend I haven’t seen in 20 years and she still writes me about a twice a year…I l-o-v-e getting her letters.

My poor hubby had to learn over many years that though I think flowers are nice and a gift is sweet, what really makes my heart beat is a note or card with words of love written in it from him.

I can tell a friend that I’m thinking of her, praying for her – but I can show her and give her something to look at for a little while if I write some thoughtful words and include a verse.

pretty notecardx

So go to the dollar store, load up on some note cards, some special occasion cards, some pretty paper – and even if its just a couple of lines, tell someone you’re thinking of them…

Oh, and maybe you could jazz-up your mailbox a little and give your neighbors and your postal carrier a smile…

fish box2

Squishing Worms…

flowerpot2x     In the garden department I spotted an ‘all in one’ plant, a combination of several small flowering beauties that grow well together. The dangler on the collection said ‘it’s small now, but put in a large container and watch fill it out and give beauty for months to come’. What a great idea, I only have to make room for this amazing combo and it will do the rest!

Sure enough, it did – spreading out, overflowing, and cascading down the sides of the planter. Wow, container heaven! Then one day I went out to find half eaten flowers, leaves with holes – each passing day it got worse. Time to investigate – slipping on some gloves I began to pull individual stems away from each other – yuck – juicy worms…

flower with wormx

Feasting at the expense of my ‘beauty for months to come’. I reacted the way any loving gardener would: I plucked one off, threw it on the ground – and without the least hesitation, squished it. After doing that another six times, I isolated the plant before the hungry critters got the idea to try the smorgasbord of other containers nearby…

Early mornings and evenings (when I remember, out of sight out of mind you know) will find me plucking worms. I truly don’t understand why God didn’t make worms to only enjoy weeds instead of just the good stuff…

This isn’t my first encounter with worms, I tried zucchini in the garden once. Everybody can grow zucchini I was told. No sooner would mine get about a 1/2 inch around and about 2 inches long when I would discover a worm had eaten right up the middle of the little zucchini! Tomatoes, have you seen the worms that tomatoes get? They are disgusting to squish, but what’s a girl to do?

tomato hornwormx

I guess, in the end, worms are a lot like us. God could have made it so we only liked broccoli and spinach and not the good stuff like ice cream and bread loaded with butter… Hmmm, glad I’m at the top of the food chain, don’t want to get squished over my raid on chocolate chip cookies…

chocolatechipcookiesx

 

 If you stopped by because you read my devotion over at Encouragement Cafe, WELCOME!   So glad you are here!

Resurrection…

cross sunsrisex     Our good friend and pastor in California recalled the following story when his oldest daughter was six… His wife couldn’t pick her up from school and had asked Larry to get her. Realizing he was running late he got over to the school as fast as he could. The younger children wait behind a fenced area by their classrooms and as Larry got out of the car it was easy to tell no one was left. As he walked through the gate he spotted Kelsey sitting crosslegged by her classroom door. He thought to himself ‘She’ll never forgive me, I won’t get to walk her down the aisle, I’m a terrible dad’. As he got closer he could hear Kelsey singing. She jumped up when she saw her daddy, smiling and saying “Hi, daddy!”. Larry said “Oh, Kelsey, honey, I’m so sorry I’m late, please forgive me, were you scared?” Kelsey said “No daddy, I wasn’t scared I KNEW you would come for me.”

As God’s children we can have the same childlike faith, daily saying: “I KNOW He will come back for me’…

Max Lucado said in his book The Final Week of Jesus “The story of the gospel: Jesus piercing His hands in order to prick our hearts.”

crown of thorns heartx

What a great word picture for us to ponder today, Good Friday. Sometimes I wonder how today got the name ‘Good’ when it seems that what happened about 2000 years ago was so horrible. But then I remember: what He did was definitely good for me and for you…and He did promise to come back for us.

When Easter is no longer just eggs and baskets, dresses and dinners – it becomes thankfulness and gratefulness…

These are lovely: grandmas in hats and little boys in bow ties – church and worship songs – jelly beans and chocolate – tables set and savory dishes passed around. But this is a remembrance – not just a ritual celebration. Remember Who it is about and what He did for us.

jellybeans chocolatex

A rugged cross with nails – a crown of thorns – a bloodied man – a final breath… a reminder of a great love and the hope of eternity and all it promises…

Wishing you a thank-full, grace-filled, blessed Easter celebration – may the pierced hands always prick our hearts…

crocusx

  If you stopped by because you read my devotion today over at Encouragement Cafe, WELCOME!   So glad you are here! Please stop by on Fridays as well, Paris Renae is new each Friday!

 

 

Aprons…

old apronxx     Aprons are making a comeback, at least I think they are. I see them in gift stores, home stores, clothing stores, everywhere…

My grandmother, better known as Nanny, always had an apron on – but she always had a dress on too. While there are lots of things about the ‘old days’ worth missing, I for one am glad that we don’t have to wear dresses all the time.

Just a couple of years ago my friend related the story of how she was baking cookies with her granddaughter and she didn’t want her to get stuff all over her cute outfit so she tried to put an apron on her. She wouldn’t have anything to do with it, especially since her grammy wasn’t wearing one. When I asked her why she wasn’t wearing one, she told me she only had one – the one she was trying to put on her granddaughter.

redapronxx     rooster apronxx

I was astounded, who only has one apron? That may be a silly question these days. Maybe most people don’t have any. But between ones that have been passed down, one that my daughter made for me, and one my daughter-in-love gave to me, I have several. You can guess what I’ve been sending as gifts to my best friend since then…

  soup apronxx

I recently read the story of a woman back in the 1800s whose husband was gone a lot looking for work to feed his family. This left her home to mother their 10 (yes ten) children and to take care of their home. It was said of her that when she needed to have quiet time with God, she would sit in a chair and pull her apron up over her head. The vivid picture left me smiling for a long time…

roseapronxx

I’ve noticed if I work in the kitchen without an apron on, I get stuff on me – but if I put an apron on, I usually don’t even get anything on the apron. Got to be a life lesson there right? Something about being prepared…

Be sure to answer the weekly poll question on my site, I’m curious how many people have aprons…

all apronsxx

 

 

Fresh Air…

open window pixa1     Time to throw open the windows and…breathe, don’t you think?

First day of spring, that’s today. Time for fresh air…

Changing seasons, changing us. Fresh air – like a cool, clear morning. A float down a lazy stream. A drive down a back road to…nowhere.

Fresh air – like toes in the sand and fresh ocean sea spray, hiking a mountain with blue skies above, a meadow bursting with wildflowers.

meadow pixa1

Spring with all its hopes and newness, has it become ordinary? But it isn’t – it’s still…miraculous. Baby birds, tiny lizards, new lambs, baby opossums. Green pushing up through warming soil, flowers dressed better than any fashion designer could dream.

How grand are the March winds giving way to April showers – how renewing the grass being mowed, soil being turned, the chatter of birds in migration.

Ordinary is us doing our day to day and missing it – until we don’t. Until we step out with kids in tow and breathe in fun. Barefoot and spinning in circles on the grass isn’t just for 4 year olds.

barefoot grass pixa1

Inhale promise, exhale hope: the 13 year old inventor wowing men and women twice or more his age; the wrinkled face with glint in eyes remembering ‘back when’ but lives ‘here and now’ touching your soul…

Kissing the neck of the one you love, that oh so familiar, yet brand new scent. Walking in the cool of the day, exhaling serenity…

Fresh air – free for the taking, and for the sharing. Inhale His creation, no ordinary here…

baby bird pixa1

Seeds of…

seed packets1     Eighteen years ago I dug up a tiny sapling from beneath the huge tree in our front yard. I went to the back yard and gauged where I thought it should go (seriously I thought it was way far from the deck). Today it has reached that maturity point where it is producing a kajillion seeds. At the time I planted it, it seemed like a good idea. My vision: It will grow as big as it’s parent and provide some shade and separation from the neighbors. Reality: shade, separation, lots of leaves (twice a year) and now these feathery seed things…

Kajillion is a number I’m sure – it’s just not countable. So what does one do when a kajillion seed things are everywhere?  My husband decided a drastic trimming was needed, I’m not so sure – but we shouldn’t have any seeds for a while…

When at Home Depot or the Dollar Store and they have those displays of seeds showcasing all the things you can grow, for eating or looking pretty, I have to stop to look at them. Sometimes I can’t help it – I buy a few. Sometimes I even get around to planting them…

I have had sunflowers grow from seeds, really cool. I have had carrots grow from seeds, strange (see pic to see what I mean). Marigolds are really good to grow from seeds, beware they actually throw their own seeds everywhere and marigolds come up no where near where they started – that’s ok, surprises are fun…

carrot

I’ve noticed that the seed I put in the dirt never looks anything like what grows up reaching for the sky. Like us – we start out in the secret place of our mother’s womb and emerge a little person. As we grow, change, and mature at some point we become what God means us to be. Along the way we shed many leaves (disbelief, unkindness, worry) and produce fruit (faith, love, patience).

Plant some sunflowers – they’re easy. Share them when they grow, spreading sunshine. Has someone caused you to grow in unexpected ways? Do you have a story that will encourage another’s growth? Leave a comment and spread a few Seeds of Wisdom with the rest of us (pictures are welcome too)…

marigold peaking viola          spread sunshine

 If you stopped by because you read my devotion today over at Encouragement Cafe, WELCOME!   So glad you are here!  Click on the Living Braver link at the top, perhaps fear is an issue you would like to chat about…

 

Delight…

cherry blossom1     I love this word – d e l i g h t… How often do we use such a great word? Not often enough for sure…

Did you know its both a verb and a noun? Something you ‘do’ – and something you ‘get’. Sometimes we hold back and don’t describe things with fun words like this…

Homemade apple pie with vanilla ice cream and crunchy crust is delight-full. A blue sky spring day complete with birds chirping, a lawn mower going in the distance, and slight breeze is delight-full! A little toddler looking up from mud pie making with chubby toes and pleased smile is delight-full!

apple pie ice-cream-1

The next time a friend asks me to lunch I think I will say “Yes, that would be delight-full!” At the store when they say “It’s senior discount day, do you qualify for our 15% off?” instead of thinking ‘yuck, yes’ I will say “That would be delight-full!”   

eating out1

Finding a front parking space, getting to your appointment five minutes early, a hairdresser who hides all your gray, a $5 off coupon for eating out, the way a cat sleeps without a care in the world — these are all, you guessed it, DELIGHT-FULL…

Thinking… What about the verb part? How can we delight others? As in our smiles, words, thoughtful notes, phone calls, emails, encouragement, helping hand, teaching how to make something – with these and many more we can be delight-full to someone else…

I want to hear from you… What delights you? How have you been a delight lately? Join in, leave a comment, you never know – what you share just may delight another – for sure it will be a delight to hear from you…

delight

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