Sheep are Valuable

Round #3 … the Resume of a Sheep taken from Psalm 23. First, we talked about sheep being vulnerable. Our second session: sheep go astray.

This time let’s move to Sheep are Valuable!        

Being a curious person, I looked up the definition for the word valuable: having considerable worth, bringing a high price, having qualities worthy of respect, admiration or esteem.

Wow! Our Heavenly Father is speaking about me and about you! You are precious, treasured, cherished and appreciated, my dear sheep-friend.

The next time someone flings you a sarcastic remark or circumstances throw you for a loop—remember that He deems you dear. He respects you beyond all measure.

When you have a few minutes, ponder Psalm 139.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful

*****

 

Posted in Faith, Gardening, God, Life is fragile (body), Praise | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Thinking about my Good Shepherd part 2

Hi folks!

Looking into the Resume of a Sheep taken from Psalm 23.The first attribute of a sheep we covered last time: Sheep are Vulnerable. I’m back again for round #2.     

  • Sheep go Astray. How often have I gone astray? Too many times to count. How about you? I can honestly say that my Shepherd’s always steered me back on course again. Sad to admit this, but sometimes I took the long way around to come back into the shepherd fold.

Read Deuteronomy 30:3-10. The verse speaks of restoration and our Shepherd having compassion on me/you. His desire is to gather you up and bring you home. His arms are open wide. Will you go to Him?

 

*****

Posted in God, Grace, Life is Good (mind), Wisdom | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Thinking about sheep and my Good Shepherd

Ottumwa Iowa field

I just joined a small group from our church. We’re studying Psalm 23. I’ve recited those words to Psalm 23 on numerous occasions. Most of you have probably heard it spoken at funerals, memorial services, or Sunday sermons.

Just when you think you know it all, heard it all—BAM! Something significant slaps you between the eyeballs. That’s what happened to me this week.

We’re studying the Resume of a Sheep. Strange title for our work assignment page, but bears spending time on. There are four attributes of a sheep listed. I’ll cover the first one today and more the next time we meet.

  • Sheep are Vulnerable. I had to look that word up to be sure I understood the meaning of vulnerable. Here’s what my dictionary said: accessible, defenseless, exposed, unsafe, weak, sitting duck. Capable/susceptible to being wounded or hurt. Open to assault. Boy, is that true. Right now, I feel like a sitting duck and unsafe in a certain relationship. I don’t like this feeling. I want to get beyond it. I’m just not sure which path to take at this moment in time.

Ever feel this way? Like you are stuck, exposed and not able to wriggle your way past a certain situation? You are not alone!

Here’s a verse I’d like you to consider. Maybe even post it where you can ponder, recite, and believe the Truth. Consider reaching out to a trusted friend to help you through. There is Hope—never forget this no matter how deep or dark your journey.

But as for me, I will always have hope, I will praise you more and more.” (Psalm 71:14)

*****

Posted in Faith, God, Life is Good (mind), Life is Precious (soul), Peace, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Touch

 

Touch of a baby’s skin                                                  
Touch and pet a cuddly puppy
Flower’s soft petals
Spring tree buds

Heartfelt, warm hugs
Wet grandchild kisses
Connected – Respected – Loved
Desiring human touch
Natural; longed for
Affirmation of love, desire, and presence

Do you love me?
Do you care?
Do you notice?

One whom I know always loves, always cares. He proclaims, “do not fear, for I am with you. Do  not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand,” Isaiah 41:10.

His touch is sufficient.

*****

Each week, I join Kate’s Five Minute Friday link – [P.S. I’m #42; page 2].  The rules remain the same, each week write for five minutes, using the prompt  Kate provides, no editing, no overthinking it, just write raw then link up to her blog.

 

Posted in Family, God, Joy, Life is Precious (soul), Love | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Next

I’m remembering a quote from a book suggesting that when you’re stumped and don’t know which way to turn or what to do next: The next right thing by Emily D. Freeman. No need to have a large scale 5-year plan; just do the next right thing.

Mallard Duck – Riverside Park, Michigan

This comes as a huge relief (and surprise) to someone like me who prefers “all her ducks in a row.” Appointments scheduled, tasks on the calendar in advance are paramount to me. Surprises/last minute plans don’t work well for me! But maybe this offer presents a good theory. Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: Let Go & Let God.

Just maybe by pausing, listening to the silence, turning off electronic devices including music, removing myself from all distractions, I can hear from the Holy Spirit and be at peace. I can then learn what the next right thing for me might be. It’s certainly worth an honest try! Don’t look for me—I plan to be in a closed conference for a while.

Let me know if you try this and how it works. I’m eager to hear back from you.

“Speak, for your servant is listening,” 1 Samuel 3:10.

*****

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up.  Join me and others as we reflect on, and write about one word each week for only 5 minutes.

Posted in Faith, God, Life is fragile (body), Life is Good (mind), Peace, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Place

Trying to find my place in this whole big world. I feel I’ve been trying to do this my entire life. Where is my rightful place? From the beginning, I was the oldest of three siblings. My younger sister came two and a half months later; then my brother years later. I don’t remember a time when it was just me. Then I married young, as a teenager, not long after graduating from high school. I went from under my dad’s wing to under my husband’s wing.

Children came quickly. I learned I was again pregnant when our first delightful baby boy was only 3 months old. Shocker of shockers! But then our smiley, lovable daughter came to us 9 months later.

Caring for two little ones took up the majority of my time. When they became school age, I researched for a long time trying to discern God’s will. We chose a combination of parochial and public schooling. When homeschooling began to become more well known, I chose to be a home school teacher to first our ADHD child, and then later to our daughter.

Now both children are out of the house—empty nesters. At first, I was thrilled to think of no more chauffeuring back and forth, fees for various events, and out of my hands now. But that’s not true. Once a mother; always a mother! Then came precious grandchildren. So now, I add long-distance Nana under my titles. Which I love being a Nana, but hate the long-distance part of the equation. I like the saying: Grandparenting is a chance to make right the mistakes you made with your own kids.

Daughter, sister, wife, mom, homeschool teacher, coach, referee, driver, mother of the groom, writer, Nana. Now back to just wife, writer. Where is my place now? I feel displaced and exhausted. With all the roles, I’ve been handed in the past, where do I fit in now? My energy level and zeal has waned.

Life seems to happen to me and there’s precious little time for doing what I’d like to do—what I feel I was called to do years ago. To write another book sounds like a monumental task. Yet, I feel the story is in me. The story needs to be told for further generations, don’t you think?

God planted the story within me along this journey called life. To not tell the story would be wrong. Tell my children and grandchildren what God has been teaching me along the way. Hoping they will excel and not make the same mistakes I did growing up. Maybe this is my place now.

As I think of other family relations, Timothy was a much better person and follower of the Lord because of his grandmother and mother. Paul (an apostle in the Bible) tells us in the first chapter of 2nd Timothy:

“I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”

*****

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up.  Join me and others as we reflect on, and write about one word each week for only 5 minutes.

 

Posted in Family, God, Life is Precious (soul), Love, marriage, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Potential

Five-Minute Friday – POTENTIAL         apples

“You have such great Potential!” Reminds me of a classic response from a teacher. You don’t have to say the student is good at any one particular subject matter, but that she has potential to be good at such & such. Maybe it’s a way of sugar-coating the fact that the student is either lazy, unmotivated, almost there, but not quite.

God tells us in His word over and over that we have great potential. Only he sincerely means what He says! We have such great potential because you and I are created in His image. And how can He be wrong, misguided, or tell a lie. None of those attributes can be connected with a loving heavenly Father.

He tells me he loves me, cares for, and wants only the best for me and my life. How can I not love and trust someone who only has my best interests in mind? A daughter of the Most High King. What more potential could one ask for? I know of no higher compliment than this. Lord. I don’t want you to be ashamed of me. Help me to strive to know you more and serve you better in this upcoming new month and season.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.

*****

This post is part of the weekly Five-Minute Friday link-up!

The prompt this week is: Potential

The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

Posted in Faith, God, Life is fragile (body), Wisdom | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Complete

Five-Minute Friday – COMPLETE                 

You need a man to complete you
After all, without a man—you’re only 1
Now that you have a man,
You need a child or 2.
After 2 children—
Well, now you’re complete.

I’m tired, busy, broke,
But do I feel complete?
Content, yet weary, most days
When day is done—I ask myself,
There must be more, isn’t there?
Family, work, church, friends—
What more could I desire?

That God-shaped hole in all of us appeared.
Something felt backwards.
As dearly as I love my children, grandchildren, family, friends, home …
My priorities were messed up.
Circumstances showed me the proper order:
God, spouse, family and friends, then work and so on.
A man, child, home or pet does not make me complete.
Only God can fill my every longing deep within my soul.
I stand complete in Him!!!

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you

*****

This post is part of the weekly Five-Minute Friday link-up!
The prompt this week is: Complete
The assignment: Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write.

Posted in Faith, Family, friends, God, Grandchildren, Life is Good (mind), Love, Peace, Wisdom | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Crowd

It’s that time again!

Time for Five Minute Friday! Five Minute Friday is where you free write for five minutes on the selected prompt! This week’s prompt is Crowd! Ready. Go!

Five-Minute Friday – CROWD                                       

I don’t much like a crowd. Even if the crowd is composed of people I know. But especially I don’t care for large crowds of people I know very few of them. Claustrophobia sets in uninvited. The walls shrink. I begin to perspire and become thirsty. Then there’s always diseases to think about. Right now, cold and flu season is upon us which is early this year. It’s only September; what’s up with that? Nothing worse than being miserably cooped up in a room with a drippy nose or needing to stay close to the throne for fear of an accident.

Maybe this goes hand in hand with not appreciating a crowd, but I don’t go for small talk either. I much prefer sitting down and chatting one on one with someone. This makes me feel special and them too. There’s only so many minutes in a day, week, month, my life that I feel I’m wasting those minutes by small talking in a crowded room. Often, I cannot even catch every word they say due to the noise.

Jesus had to endure the crowds. Throngs of people invaded His space continually. I do remember that on several occasions, He stepped away. Sometimes hid away to spend precious one on one time with His Heavenly Father. If He needed this alone time; how much more do I need time away from crowds and constant contact with others? Lord, give me the courage and wisdom to pull away on occasion before I unravel. Thank you.

*****

Posted in Family, friends, God, Life is fragile (body), Peace, Wisdom | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Loyal

This week’s Five Minute Friday writing prompt is: LOYAL            

Loyal. When I think of the word loyal, I hope that other people think of me as loyal. I consider loyal to be a person who sticks to their word; doesn’t hedge or change their mind mid-stream. This person can be counted on when the chips are down, and you need a helping hand. Maybe they would help physically or emotionally. Sometimes it means praying for that person or their circumstance. Being present physically when they need you most.

I have a few loyal friends and family members. Those whom I can count on with words of encouragement, someone who “has my back.” When I need to cry, explode, or just plain vent, these gals will listen. Even if they’re in the middle of something else, they are there for me. If not in person, then on the phone talking or e-mail or text message. They aren’t too busy for me or ask me to call back another time. Available. Honest. Sincere. Accountability. And Wisdom. These are special quality traits I find in my loyal friends and family members. What separates these individuals from the rest of my world. My go-to buddies. Sure wouldn’t want to go through life without them! Thanking God that they are here for me.

*****

Posted in Family, friends, God, Life is fragile (body), Love, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment