Thanks for giving …

There are so many reasons to give thanks. As I scrolled through Facebook this morning, I saw my own generic “Happy Thanksgiving ” along with so many others similar greetings. I’m sure all were as heartfelt as mine was.

Then I looked at the word Thanksgiving.

Thanks

Giving

Thanks for giving….

Then I began to ponder….

Am I really thankful, or do I complain about what I don’t have?

Am I really thankful, or do I look at others lives with envy?

Am I really thankful, or am I more focused on my shortcomings than on the gifts God gave me?

Do I assume that I’ll have tomorrow and forget to be thankful for today?

Even after the loss of my mom, do I still live like I’ll have my family and friends tomorrow to tell them how thankful I am for them?

Do I take my salvation for granted and forget the price that was paid for me?

Dear Precious Father, help me to be truly thankful today for every one and every thing you have blessed me with in my life.

Getting Older

selective focus photography of left hand on top of right hand on white pants

As I continue to lose loved ones and friends from my parents’ generation, I slowly realize that I am getting close to being the older generation, and in some instances, I’m already there.

 

Getting older is not for the faint of heart.  There are things that you lose and things that you gain physically that make it hard to recognize the person in the mirror every morning.

Wrinkles, dry skin where it used to be oily, love handles and sometimes really big love handles on parts of your body that really shouldn’t have handles.

animal eye

Getting old is hard on your body… and mind.

Things get forgotten that you once remembered without trying.

Names get lost in what is left of your mind.

It gets harder to remember lists or why you walked into a room, or where you left your keys or phone, or glasses, or what you needed from the store that you didn’t write  down because you would remember. (This list gets longer as I remember things….get it?….as I remember…..)

 

People also expect you to know and have experienced everything in history.  Kids will ask you, “Were there dinosaurs around when you were born?”  Some young people will come to you for wisdom just because of your age.  Age does tend to make us wiser, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we have wisdom.

dinosaur evergreen figure garden

 

Getting old is also hard on your heart.  Yes, your physical heart, but also your emotional heart.  Seeing loved ones go through hard times.  Death taking grandparents, parents, friends, and something even children.  The pain that one endures takes a toll on your heart.

 

I could go on about the downfalls of ageing.

But there are some advantages to getting older.

 

When you body physically can’t do what it used to do, you can get away with asking people for help and actually getting it. Some people will allow you to go first or give you their seat if you are older.  At least that’s how I was raised.  And there are a few young people still out there like that.  You will never have to carry a heavy box or package again, as long as there is someone younger around.   Young people will believe  you when you say, ”I’m just too tired to do that right now.”

 

Another benefit is the experience you gain and the lessons you learned.  As a Christian, the lessons the Lord has taught me through my 52+ years are invaluable and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

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God has taught me patience when waiting for an answer from Him.  (Something I learned a long time ago not to ask for – patience. God tends to help you learn it by having you endure something that requires it.  So- yeah- not asking for that again).

God has taught me compassion.  Helping a friend in need or being in need myself and being helped by someone has taught me to have compassion.  I grew up going to funerals of every distant relative who died.  So I was used to them when I started losing my grandparents.  My husband first attending a funeral with me when my grandmother passed away.  He had not been to many since then and never really understood the importance of attending the visitation before the funeral.  When my mom died, the number of people and friends who came to visitation and the funeral really surprised him and meant so much more to him than he ever would have imagined.  Since then, he has really learned the value of those brief moments spent with someone at a funeral home as they lay their love ones to rest.    My husband has always been compassionate, but God used this to take his compassion to a whole new level, and He has reminded me to show compassion to those who are in need.

american back view burial cemetery

 

God has taught me to love. His love for me is the greatest example of how to love- especially someone who is hard to love.  I recall a conversation I shared just a few days ago with a former student as we ooed and awed ov

sunset person love people

er her newborn.  I told her when I was expecting my first child, I wondered about the love of a mother.  When would I get it?  Is it something I have to learn and practice?  But the minute I heard the cries of my baby girl, a love washed over me that no one can explain.  Then , having experienced that love and the magnitude of it, I was concerned about having another child.  How could I possibly have this much love for another child?  Where would I take it from?  But God, (I love that phrase) in His infinite wisdom and grace, showed me.  The minute I found out I was expecting again, that wave of love was there for that little child growing inside me.   My love instantly multiplied; it multiplied enough for both of my children.

 

I could go on about everything that God has taught me, but then this would be really long and you would have stopped reading by now. 🙂

 

It’s Been Awhile…..

I set out on this journey with the mindset that I would not let this become a diary of sorts.  I wanted this to be a place where I shared what God was doing or speaking into my life that I felt would benefit those who read it.  (Trying to stick to Ephesians 4:29 here…)

The reason that I have not posted in a while is not that God has not been working in my life.  The honest truth is that it is one of those times where He is working, but I don’t like it.

pout

It’s not fun.

There are no warm fuzzies to share and make you feel all good inside.

Life has been good, but not easy.

I know by this point some are thinking, or maybe even saying out loud, “So what’s been happening?”

Well, honestly, that is between me and God.  My bet is that someone just thought to themselves, so why are you writing this?

My firm belief is that God can teach us just as much and probably more during the hard times of our lives.  Not the kind of hard times that end up like the end of a Hallmark movie.

But the hard times that when you are going through them they are just kind of messy.

muddy kid

A yucky, not good feeling that leaves me asking God, “Ok when are we going to get through this?”

I hope one day, the other side of Heaven, to better understand God’s timing.

There has been more than one occasion lately that I felt I had moved out of the “yucky” time.  Finally, I would think, the weight is lifted. I am able to move past this and move on.  Until I was thrust back under another wave of heaviness.

The song with the line, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” just popped into my head.

Wonder who did that?(insert smirk on face here)

God is so good.  He loves me despite myself.  He loves me enough to have me go through the yuck to come out the other side, hopefully, a little closer to what He wants me to become.

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If you are going through a yucky time in your life, hang in there my friend.

God has a plan.  Even for a time such as this.

So cling to Him and He will see you through.

He promises.

heb13 5

Moving Mountains or Climbing Them?

I have a new favorite song.  My favorite song changes depending on the season of life I am in at the moment.  God usually gives me a song to help me along the way.  This time it is an older song that I am just now discovering.  I’m sure many have recorded it, but this version is by the Collingsworth Family and is on their new album that just released today.

Here is the link from YouTube:

 

The one line that sticks out to me is “I want mountains to move. You want me to climb.”

I have been so guilty of this time and time again. Asking God to remove something from my life that He has a plan to use.

I tell Him, “Ok God, I know You can do anything. I need You to move this mountain in my way right now cause its too hard and I know You wouldn’t want me to struggle, so You can just go ahead and move it whenever You are ready.”

woman walking in front of mountain peak

I’m sure He is taking a deep breath and waiting for me to realize that the mountain is not going anywhere.  He has a plan for it.  He wants me to climb the mountain in my way. He wants me to build my faith by letting me work through some things instead of going around them or having them removed from my life.

There are many times I can look back at mountains I’ve climbed (spiritually speaking- I get out of breath climbing an anthill) and sometimes God allows me to see the reason behind the time of struggle and mountain climbing.

But some times He doesn’t.  Sometimes I get to the top of the mountain and say, “Ok, God, I made it to the top. Now You can tell my why I’m here.”  And He is silent.

photography of person on green mountain
Photo by mirsad mujanovic on Pexels.com

Sometimes God speaks loudest in the silence.

I have had to learn that I may not always know the why, but God does.

That’s enough for me.

 

 

 

God’s Grand Design

Would’t it be beneficial if God could show us a blue print for our lives?  I almost said- wouldn’t it be nice, but I don’t think seeing everything laid out ahead of you, the good and the bad, would be a good thing.

I’m just talking about maybe His (ok, excuse the teacher reference here) lesson plans for our lives for the week.

What would that look like?

flat lay photography of calendar
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Sunday- Kim goes to church, but is late because of a stiff back and trying to fix lunch before she leaves. She hears a good message, but is distracted by some things going on and doesn’t hear all I had to say.

Monday- car will not start, but she will run into a dear friend and will be blessed by what she has to say.

There is a side of me that thinks it would be nice to have a heads up-to know what’s coming- to know what decisions need to be made and how to make them in a way that is pleasing to Him.

But as a self-proclaimed “fixer”, if I was aware of problems that were coming I would spend all of my time trying to fix them before they ever existed.

Notice in that last sentence I used “I” or “my” 3 times?  That tells me something.  I would be focused on me and how I could handle things and not on letting God handle them and direct my path as I go.

This week I face some decisions. Good ones, but decisions nonetheless. I need to keep my eyes up and on Him and not down  on my decisions. That means not worrying about them, but spending time in prayer over them.  If my eyes are focused on me and my circumstances, there’s a good chance I might miss what God is trying to tell me.

white and blue long sleeves striped shirt
Photo by Sidharth Sircar on Pexels.com

What a comfort to know that God has already written my lesson plans for this week and has prepared for every possible situation.  I don’t have to try and figure it out.

He knows what’s coming.

He has gone before me to prepare me for whatever lies ahead. What a joy to let Him lead me and to be able to see Him work.

If I had been trying to fix things, I might have missed it.

 

 

Now what…

One would think that at age !?#@*, God would have let me in on what He’s got planned for my life. I would be there and be settled comfortably.

God gave me a gift for teaching and a desire to be nothing else when I was young, so I was a teacher for 20+ years.

Then He said, “O.k., now I have something else for you.”

I honestly went kicking and screaming out of my classroom.  It took Him 3 years to get me to listen. But I did.  I walked out of my classroom almost 17 months ago, not knowing what I was going to do.

God and my husband led me to a place where I still work with students, only now they are college level and have some form of a disability.  After 12 months in this position, I finally feel like I have a handle on things in my new place.

So God decides it time to shake things up a bit.

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard

He has placed an opportunity before me that I’m not sure I’m meant to follow.  This opportunity was dropped in my lap and would clearly be a step of faith.

I still don’t know if this is what God has for me or if this is an “are you willing” test from God.  I am willing to do what ever He leads me to do.  It can just be scary.

Did I mention I do not like change?

What a blessing to know that God already knows how this is going to turn out.  Being able to rest in Him and wait (the hard part) for Him to lead me in the right direction is what keeps me sane.

Well, mostly……

We will get through this week and see what happens.

 

Image result for for i know the plans i have for you images

Moving forward

As I started this blog yesterday, I was tempted to post all of the things I have put on Facebook over the years I called Musings for Today.

I thought, “I’ve written some pretty profound things.  I should share them.”

God nudged me and spoke to my heart.  He said, “Do you think that is all I am ever going to lead you to write and post?  Those things were good and were from your heart. You DID share them, and while they were good and touched some people’s hearts, don’t live on your past accomplishments. Move forward and see what else I have to say to you.”

I sighed a deep sigh and said, “This is going to be hard, isn’t it?”

God replied, “With My help and prompting, you will continue to learn from Me, share what you learn and touch lives. If it wasn’t hard, you could do this on your own.  You wouldn’t need Me.”

So, here I am. anxiously (in a good way) waiting on God to show me what He wants to teach me so that I can share it with you.

photo of child reading holy bible
Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

This should be fun. 🙂