What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Another Faux Pas

This is a repeat from 2010...still following the theme of Hospitality...Go ahead, laugh at me!


Proverbs 31:18 “She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night.”

Don't you just love that apron? It actually is a vintage relic,
made from a flour sack by my husband's grandmother many
years ago! I still have it somewhere-but it is pretty
well worn-out...lots of biscuit flour and grease
stains worked into that antique! (The apron,
not me!)  This picture is circa 1980
Back in the early days of our life in the ministry,  I was contemplating how I could interpret this portion of the above Proverb about the virtuous woman that says, “and her lamp does not go out by night”.  My first thought was that this woman must always pay her electric bill on time so that her “lamp doesn’t go out by night.” However, in the broader sense, I believe it means that she plans ahead and is always prepared for any emergency. She probably keeps a spare canned ham (do they still have those?) in her fridge or other such easy to fix quick meals in case unexpected company arrives. I learned about that the hard way.

There was a very nice young couple that had recently started attending our church. We wanted to have them over to our home for an evening so we could get better acquainted. Because the man’s work kept him at work late, I thought it best not to invite them to supper, but just for dessert, since our family was used to eating much earlier. So I had prepared a lovely apple pie, had fed the family and cleaned up the kitchen, and was ready for a quiet visit with our new friends. When they arrived, the young man said that when he told his boss that his Pastor had invited him and his wife to supper, his boss gladly let him off work on time. My heart flipped and sank to my toes! “Did you say supper?” I timidly questioned.  He embarrassedly asked if he’d made a mistake. I wanted to fall through the floor and die! I explained that I had only prepared dessert and I was so sorry for the miscommunication. We offered to make them a sandwich, but they very politely refused and said the dessert was all they wanted as they had eaten a very late lunch. The delightful quiet evening I had anticipated got off to a rather frightful start. After many apologies we promised to have them over for Christmas dinner, and I emphasized the word “dinner”. They were extremely kind and understanding, and eagerly accepted the invitation to Christmas Dinner, since they too were living far from their families.

After they left that evening I thought of a million other things I should’ve and could’ve done if I’d only kept a cool head and they would’ve been none the wiser. One idea was I could’ve called and ordered a pizza to be delivered, or perhaps sent my husband out to pick up a bucket of chicken, pleading a bad day with sick kids or a headache or something. Or, if I’d made a practice of keeping that canned ham in the fridge and other quick menu ideas handy, I could’ve whipped up a delicious meal in no time flat.

Oh Lord, forgive me when I do the wrong thing when You know I wanted to do the right thing. And help me to always be ready to serve those who You send my way, no matter what time of day or night. Thank You for your patience with me. Amen.

Ok...let's hear it...I know none of you would be guilty of such a terribly embarrassing situation...what would YOU have done?  Or, maybe I should ask...what HAVE you done in similar circumstances?  Share your words of wisdom with us...I know I still have a long way to go in that regard.  Thankfully, God understands and forgives me for my "faux pax"...I hope my fellow man is just as forgiving.

 
 
(yes, these are very old pictures of me. No, I don't still look like that...)

Please, "Be My Guest"

"....Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality..." Romans 12:13

"Let brotherly love continue.  Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels."  Hebrews 13:1-2

Following a short but relaxing "nap" on this warm Sunday afternoon, I sat down to have a cup of tea and eat a blueberry bran muffin left over from breakfast, and selected one of my collection of "tea-room" books from my dining room bookshelf to peruse.  My eyes were drawn to a book that I have had in my little library for over thirty years, entitled Be My Guest, written by Vivian Anderson Hall. 

I found this book back when my husband and I first went into the ministry, and I thoroughly devoured it then and have referred to it many times throughout the years.  I believe I even taught a class to a group of women in our church at one time, hoping to encourage them to participate in a ministry of hospitality.  (It didn't work).   Why didn't it work?  Because like the women Mrs. Hall described in her book, most women thirty years ago...and still today...have the mistaken idea that practicing hospitality is a "gift", and that they don't have that particular "gift". But according to God's Word, hospitality is not listed as a spiritual gift, but as a command. (see Romans 12:9-13) 

We all use similar excuses, and I am guilty of the same:
  • The house is dirty
  • I have to work
  • I'm too tired
  • We are just too busy
  • I can't afford to have company
  • Maybe after I get this done...or fix that, or my house is perfect...
  • No one would want to come all the way out here to my house...
  • I don't have room
  • That's not my gift
So on and so on...and yet I find that when I do give in and go ahead and invite people in for dinner, a cook out, a birthday party, a tea party, or just for dessert, even though I am too tired, too busy, etc., I am always happy that I took the plunge and did it! Afterwards there is a kind of a glow...an "afterglow" if you will, of sweet memories, laughter echoing in my ears, thoughts of how nice it was to visit with our friends/family, and thankfulness that we were able to get together. 

Now that we have moved to a larger house...even though it is way out in the woods, I am looking forward to many such occasions of laughter and joy and true fellowship with loved ones and friends...and maybe a few strangers (angels?) mixed in.  We've already had a few such gatherings, and yes, it was a lot of work...but I love how people always pitch in and help by bringing food, setting the table, washing the dishes, and generally cleaning up.  I also love how they linger a while and visit, and how they love to come in the kitchen with me while I'm getting things ready or putting things away...and how they enjoy walking around and looking at the flora and fauna outdoors, or admiring the little things that make our home special to us. 

Our home is not magnificent or fancy...some may even think it a bit "campy", but it is comfortable and homey...and there is a lot of love and laughter here to pass around.  I hope that someday perhaps you will come, and to quote Vivian Anderson Hall,
"Be My Guest"


Be My Guest, written by Vivian Anderson Hall,
published in 1979 by The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, ILL




Or to say it the way we southerners do,

"Y'all Come!"

Friday, July 27, 2012

"Stevie Was My Friend" ~ Random Journal Day Entry

Today is time again for the Random Journal Day post...where those who wish to open their journals or diaries or early writings and share them with the public do so...sometimes with fear and trepidation...and oftentimes with memories flooding our hearts and minds as we rediscover old dreams, joys, fears, and hopes.  The journal entry that I am going to share with you tonight was actually a poem written out of my anguished heart as I tried to cope with the early death of one of my childhood friends. We had grown up together in school, church, and community, and shared many happy memories as a part of the same class for all twelve years of school. "Stevie" was only thirty years old when he succombed to a disease that had been ravaging his body for at least ten years...and I had deep feelings of regret mixed with anxiety over his possible eternal destination...questions that lingered some eight years after his passing.  I finally tried to put those feelings all down on paper as a way of reconciling my heart to the truth that he was gone much too soon...and I would have to wait until I reached heaven to have some of my questions answered. 

Poetry has never been my strong suit, but it seemed to be the method that helped me put things in perspective.  Here is what I wrote on November 29, 1988:

"Stevie Was My Friend"

Stevie was my friend ~
I knew him way back then ~
We were little kids in school
and we learned the "Golden Rule".

I know when we were seven
We were taught all about heaven ~
"Miss Marion" saw to that
in her little old fashioned hat.

In Sunday School we heard
all about God's Holy Word.
But I wonder how deep it went...
I wonder~did Stevie repent?
We all thought we were just fine~
Surely there would be plenty of time~
We'd worry later about heaven~
After all, we were only seven.

The days flew rapidly by~
Soon we were in Junior High.
We were still the best of friends...
Who cared about our sins?
This was the time to enjoy~
to be happy...
"we're just a girl and a boy"
You see, Stevie was my friend;
We had fun way back then.

All through the years we searched~
We looked for meaning in our church.
Off to youth camp we would go~
Seeking what?  We did not know.
I know our hearts were pricked;
But I wonder, Stevie, did it stick?
What happened to you inside?
Did you in the Lord confide?
But we were just in our youth~
Did we really want the TRUTH?
After all, we had plenty of time~
We thought we were just fine.

Our teen years were full of trials,
and yet we shared many smiles.
We laughed until we cried~
Who thought we'd ever die?
Stevie was a very good friend;
I loved him way back then.

Then came Graduation Day;
And I know I heard you say,
"I wish someone loved me"~
I guess I couldn't see~
You felt so empty then...
But, Stevie, you were my friend!

And soon off to college you went;
The road of our lives was bent.
You went off along your way~
Would I see you again someday?

Alas! My day had come;
I found salvation in God's Only Son.
I finally knew what it meant
to be free of sin and repent.
My husband soon I met,
and we rode off into the sunset.
But, Stevie, you were still my friend~
I thought of you even then.

At college they say your life was changed.
Somehow your goals got re-arranged.
Rumors would drift back home
about the life they said you'd known.
I'd give you the benefit of doubt.
I didn't know what they were talking about.
'Cause, Stevie, you were my friend.
I knew you way back when.

Soon off to New York you traveled.
In several things you dabbled.
I guess I sort of lost track
now that I look back.

My life was rich and full;
No day was ever dull;
With my three sons to keep in line,
I stayed busy all the time.

Oh, how the years did fly!
Ten years just flew right by.
And now the time had come
for our ten-year class reunion.

You were very much on my mind;
So I thought I'd drop you a little line
to tell you I hoped you'd be there~
We had so much to share!

By now my husband was a preacher~
(You thought I'd married a teacher!)
I really just had to know~
Did you ever to church still go?
Did you remember our fun at camp?
Could you spare the price of a stamp
and write me a little letter?
You know it would make me feel much better,
if only I could know
just where your soul would go.
You see, Stevie, You're my friend~
I'll care about you even then.

Yes, you came to our reunion;
We really had such fun.
I tried to share my faith...
but wound up hiding my face
in tears and laughter
'cause my foot
within my mouth I did put!

You were so very kind...
You didn't seem to mind...
Because you were still my friend.
You liked me, even then!

A couple more years were gone,
A battle needed to be won.
Your health was failing fast;
No one knew how long you'd last.

First it was Hepatitis;
Then it was Meningitis;
And finally your day had come;
God came to take you home.

The news really broke my heart.
I felt I'd died in part;
'Cause, Stevie was my friend;
I still loved you even then.

And then the fears and doubt...
Did you know what I was talking about?
Did you ever come face to face
with Christ's unfailing grace?
Where was your soul today?
Did the angels bear you away?
Or did Satan stake his claim
and even erase your name
from the pages of eternal life...
to a place filled with pain and strife?

Oh, how the years have flown;
My kids are almost grown;
But you are still on my mind,
Never mind the passage of time.
I somehow can't forget;
There is hope in my heart even yet;
Someday again in Heaven
(we'll be much older than seven)
Upon your face I'll look,
And see your name written in The Book;
'Cause, Stevie, you're still my friend;
I pray I'll see you then!

Love,
Your Friend,
Pam

In Loving Memory of Stevie, my friend
1950-1980



Sunday, July 22, 2012

Unexpected "Gifts"

One of my new blogging friends made a comment on my last "Random Journal Day" post, "Saved from the Abyss by God's Miraculous Intervention", that the two items mentioned in the story, the song of the Meadowlark, and the "smiling" rose, were gifts.  Until my friend pointed this out, I had not really thought of them as "gifts", but indeed they were.  They were gifts sent from God at precisely the right moment to rescue me back from the edge of an abyss that was tempting me to take a step closer to the brink of my own destruction.  Not that I would have done anything really crazy, at least looking back now I don't think I would have...but then again, perhaps God saw something different and sent His messengers to call me back just in time.

Thinking of these miraculous, spontaneous events as "gifts" got me to thinking about other things that have happened in my life that were gifts from God to encourage me or rescue me, or even just to delight me at a time that I needed it most. Without becoming too specific, I will list a few...
  • A phone call from a dear friend at a time when only God could have told her I needed her to call.
  • A card or note in the mail from someone, with words of hope and love and perhaps a little tea-bag enclosed to give me a refreshing reminder of a precious friend.
  • An unexpected monetary gift from a loved one, at precisely the exact moment we needed it...and the exact amount that was required to be paid...and that individual did not know anything about that particular need.
  • Miraculous intervention from the action of a friend's phone call...who changed the course of the doctor's plans at a most critical time just prior to our son's brain surgery...that very possibly saved our son's life.
  • Someone repaying a debt to us that we never expected to receive in this lifetime...and again, at exactly the moment we needed it most.
  • Meeting a new friend who seemed to be able to look right into my heart and see how badly I needed a friend at that time.
  • A song heard on the radio while driving myself to work, that blessed me so completely that I almost had to pull off the road and take time to worship and praise God right then and there.
  • An owl appearing in front of me at the precise moment I needed a sign from God that my Daddy had reached heaven's gate...that was definitely a "God-gift"  (click on this link for "The Last Farewell"
  • A beautiful and precious gift of a baby doll, sent from a dear friend whom I have never met personally...made especially for me...just because she wanted to show me God's love at a difficult time in my life...(Click on this link for "Baby Elva's Story" 
Well, you get the idea...I have to stop or I will never be able to post this story because the list just goes on and on. 

Of course the Greatest Gift of all is the Gift of Jesus Christ, My Savior and Lord, Who gave HIMSELF for me, when I most definitely did not deserve His mercy and grace and love.  And He stands ready to present Himself to you as well, if you have not yet accepted His free gift of salvation.  (Ephesians 2:8-10)

I hope that this little exercise has caused you to think about the gifts you have received in your life, and perhaps it might be a good idea to begin your own list. It also makes me want to be more sensitive to ways I can bless others with special "God-Gifts". Once we start thinking this way, we will be amazed at all of the things God will bring to our minds...and we will have to break out into spontaneous praise! His love is so amazing...His mercy so unfailing, His grace is so undeserved...What more can I say? 

Thank You, Dear Lord
for Your blessings on me.
And please help me to be a
blessing to others each day.

Amen.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Random Journal Day ~ Saved from the Abyss by God's Miraculous Intervention

"He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge."  Psalm 91:4

Today's Random Journal entry comes from March 18, 2001, and although it was my youngest son's 24th birthday, that is not entirely what I chose to write about on that particular day. I did begin my journal entry writing about the fact that on that day 24 years ago I had given birth to my last child, and I went on to write that as I celebrated his birth, I was also awaiting surgery "that will forevermore assure me that he is the last baby." So perhaps that underlying thought and anxiety of the impending surgery was adding to my general state of melancholy, along with other difficult circumstances that were causing great distress in my heart and soul and general emotional well-being.  I am not a person who is prone to depression, but anyone, given enough negative pressures and a feeling of being "out of control" can easily succomb to those fears and reach a point of despair that becomes a breaking point.

That is where I found myself on the morning previous to this entry...

"I was having a particularly difficult and emotional time, and I found myself lying curled up in a little ball on my cool, hard kitchen floor, staring at the walls and crying my heart out to God.  I had my eyes fixed on a beautiful colored pencil drawing that my older son had drawn for us the previous Christmas..." (during a particularly difficult time in his life).  "In that picture is an old New England farm house, a barn, snow, and mountains, with a beautiful horse-drawn sleigh driven by two happy people riding into the lane of the farm house.  They looked so cheerful and happy.  I wanted to run and catch up with them and ride with them right into that scenic homestead.  My heart was breaking for several reasons..." (which I won't go into at this time).   Suffice it to say, "our home was under a severe attack of the enemy~ Satan~ for  the previous several months." 

Meadowlark Singing (Internet Picture)
I went on to say, "Only God is going to be able to salvage this situation and turn it around for His honor and glory.  I have prayed for Him to bind Satan in the Name of Jesus, but the attacks keep coming.  Yesterday morning I was truly fearing for my own sanity.  I had reached a breaking point, where I was clearly on the edge~ready to drop into the abyss of never returning.  But as I laid there on that cold hard kitchen floor contemplating my future, I heard a sweet melodic voice of a Meadowlark from the field across the street.(song of the meadowlark link) .  It was the first that I had heard since returning here to our home (we had moved away to serve in a church ministry in another county for the previous year, and had only recently returned to the home we had left behind).  I actually had feared that they had all been driven away by the constant drive of new construction in the surrounding meadows.  But that clear melody came across to me in my benumbed state of sorrow~and I sat straight up to look out the window. 

I could not see the Meadowlark who was so sweetly calling to me, but I looked right into the face of a beautiful little old fashioned rose that had just opened its petals and turned its face to me and 'smiled'~

Old - Fashioned Rose (internet picture)
I say it was smiling at me because all the other roses had turned the other way to face the early morning sun, but this one rose looked straight at me~and I can only say that God brought me back from the edge of the cliff in those two loving acts of nature~the call of the Meadowlark, and the smiling rosebud.  I was able to get up from the place where I had lain sobbing for nearly an hour, and go about my daily routine with renewed hope and encouragement.  Even though my circumstances have not changed~my heart has~I am better able to face the enemy and call on God to bind him~and go on about my life.  I am struggling~but learning to 'let go and let God' be in complete control.  I do not have to fear what man can do to me (or to others I care about) because

'God is my refuge and strength...a very present help in trouble...' (Psalm 46:1)  
'For He will give His angels charge over you (me),
to keep you (me) in all your ways...' (Psalm 91:11)...
and they will protect me and carry me 'lest I (you) dash my foot against a stone.' (Psalm 91:12) 
God is my strong tower, my hiding place...
He has 'covered me with His feathers...
and under His wings I shall trust...' (see Psalm 91:4)  
God is with me wherever I go~I will not fear.
Hallelujah! 
Thank you, Jesus.
`Amen."
Old fashioned rose bush-internet picture


I am thankful to say that God did intervene on my behalf during that critical time...I love how He has so often chosen to use things from His own creation to encourage me and even rescue me during times of deep sorrow and anxiety in my life.  He knows exactly what will reach me and how to comfort my heart when nothing else could do...

Dear friend, if you are struggling to keep your head and heart above the abyss of the attacks of this life, tune in to God's calling from the songs of His heart to you...found in His Word, the Psalms, and in the voice of His songbirds.  Look for His face in the beauty of the flowers and faces of His children surrounding you.  He is not far away...He is always reaching out to you, ready to rescue and save.  Don't give up hope...when you think you have reached the end...His "wings" will open up and carry you and hide you safely away from the enemy.  "His truth shall be your shield and buckler..."  (Psalm 91:4) 

God is the truth you can rely upon when all else has failed.

Postscript added 7-21-12:  I just remembered another verse that goes along with this message so well...I quoted it below in one of my comments, but thought I should add it here as well...

"The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."

Zephaniah 3:17
Aah, Lord God...How beautiful is Your Song that You sing.
Thank you.
Amen.

Be sure to skip over to the Link up for Random Journal Day #17 and see what some of my other blogging friends are sharing from their personal journals today!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Life is so much better viewed from a front porch...

Hey! Something new has been added!!


Since moving to the forest we have been enjoying so many new and exciting things.  We've had delightful views from our "open window"....I've shared many with you in past posts...and some you may not have seen yet, like this adorable "teddy bear" that came calling one afternoon recently in search of water and food.   

This hungry little bear cub was contemplating whether
or not he should attempt helping himself to the
birdseed in our feeder...


(Remember you can click on each picture to enlarge for viewing)



He was playing "peek-a-boo" with us as we watched
him from our kitchen window as he helped himself to all of the
remaining birdseed.
But one thing has been lacking that I have been longing for...a front porch.  Granted, we already have a nice front patio, but it sits right in the glaring hot sun on the western front of our home.  The afternoon heat and bright sunlight is almost unbearable some days, and we have to keep our blinds tightly closed in the one room that I want to enjoy the view in the evening from the most...our dining room. 

Ever since we moved to this house we have been discussing the how-to's and why-for's and saving toward adding the new porch.  Finally after suffering through many extremely hot afternoons and feeling the heat coming through the closed blinds causing our thermostat to constantly kick on the air conditioning, we decided enough was enough.  In the name of being energy conscious and saving precious money on our electric bills, we contacted our handy-man builder friend and put him to work building the porch roof.  That is all that it is for now...but we do hope to eventually screen in the porch and make it more "user friendly" during the buggy season here in tropical Florida...which is most of the year.


The addition of this porch has already provided some very interesting new vistas, safe from behind our glass doors:


 The first night after the installation of the porch we were given quite a treat:


I will post a series of pictures here of not one, not two, not three, but a total of five different bears who made their appearance in one evening in our front yard.  Please be assured that all of these pictures were taken from within the safety of our house. We were not out on the open porch, but I first noticed the bears coming into the front yard as I sat inside the dining room behind the glass doors, with the blinds now open instead of closed to keep out the heat and sun...and two nights in a row we were treated to this parade of bears.  The first night we only saw two bears, the large mother and one cub.  But the next night it was one bear right after the other.  They have been apparently using our yard as a crossing zone for many years, according to what I have since learned, but we have never seen them before because they always came after dark...or so we thought.  However, now that we have been able to keep the blinds open in the late afternoon and evening, we are discovering new things that we might have been missing all along!

I hope you will enjoy the new view from my "open window-porch" along with me...

This young bear came alone first, and made his
way from the front yard all the way through to our
back yard and back into the woods.
Next, this HUGE Mother bear and one of her cubs came into view.


They sniffed their way through the yard, no doubt smelling
the first young bear who had passed through not more
than 10 minutes earlier.  They also sauntered through
our yard from front to back, but made a detour mid way and
entered the woods in a different opening than the first bear.

This was the 2nd young bear, with the mother following. Note
the white V on his chest. I will be watching for that again.


This was the mother, following the previous young cub. She
was very large...I am certain she would top 6-7 feet tall and over 300 lbs.
I will definitely stay out of her way!


A few minutes later this other young cub showed up...not sure
if he belongs to the same mother, but he did follow their trail
and took the same detour into the woods.

About 15 minutes later another cub came into the yard,
but this one came from a totally different direction, and he sniffed
around the front yard for a minute or two, and then decided
to head back off in the same direction from whence he had arrived.
There he goes...hot footing it back home! I guess he
doesn't belong with the rest of the clan!


















I feel like our new covered front porch has already more than paid for itself, in that it has provided us with some wonderful new "friends"...not exactly the kind of friends we were anticipating meeting from our front porch, but some of God's wonderful creation, none the less! Yes, we know all the concerns and precautions to take regarding our safety when it comes to living in close proximity to these magnificent creatures.  We no longer leave our bird feeder out where any bear can reach it, cute or not.  Little bears grow up into big bears, and we don't want to encourage them to seek food at our house.  We still feed our birds from our fence-enclosed courtyard in the back yard, and make sure that it is always removed before dark.  The birds were a bit confused at first, but they found it just fine and are enjoying their new feeding location. 

I feel quite privileged and humbled to be a witness to this part of God's creation.  Thank you, Lord, for all Your creatures great and small!

And yes, life is much better viewed from a front porch...wherever your "porch", or "open window" may be, open up the blinds (or perhaps the "blinders"?) and look outside and ask the Lord to bring something (or someone) special into your view.  It may not be a Mama Bear and her cubs...but it may be something (or someone) of even greater lasting value.  Just open your eyes ( and heart and mind?)  and look. You may be surprised what you will discover.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Delighting and Trusting...Reposted from one year ago...

Dear Friends,
This is a repost from about the same time last year...I was waiting on the Lord to lead us and guide us and show us His plan...and I am happy to report that He did in fact guide us to make some huge decisions last winter that have put us in a new place...a new "Open Window" of opportunity and life...we made a major move...not very far away, but in some ways a whole world away.  I thank the Lord for His guidance and for giving us the desires of our hearts in helping us to make this move at this time in our lives.  I can honestly say that God has fulfilled these following verses in our lives in so many ways, just in the past few months since this was originally written.  I pass this on to you again, because the verses speak the truth!  I hope you will find encouragement and hope written between these lines just for you.  
Blessings to you and yours,
Pam

Psalm 37:3-5~(3)"Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 
(4)Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. 
(5)Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass."    

Who among us has not ever read these words of the Psalmist and claimed them as a promise from God to those who will believe and trust in Him?  I know I probably have read and re-read these verses hundreds of times in my lifetime...as a matter of fact, I have the 4th verse written on a little memory verse card sitting on my windowsill today...and it has been there for several years.  It is actually stuck onto a photograph of me with our grandson Noah when he was about three years old, and we are planting a bush of some kind together.  We have since moved away from that house, so I don't know if that particular plant survived or not, but that isn't the point...

The point is this...just as Noah and I were delightfully sharing a bonding time together...planting "seeds" for our future relationship to blossom...so do we bond with our Lord when we delight ourselves in Him...we plant seeds for our future relationship with Christ to blossom...

How do we "delight ourselves in the Lord"? you may ask...  Well...it's all about trusting, committing, dwelling with Him.  We delight ourselves in the Lord when we "Trust in the Lord and do good"...when we "Dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness"...by reading His Word, spending time in prayer and praise and worship, and serving Him with gladness.  We delight ourselves in the Lord when we commit our way to Him, trust in Him, and rest in Him. 

Verse 7 of this Psalm says, "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;" and that is the key to the second part of verse 4..."and He shall give you the desires of your heart."  

I don't know about you, but I sometimes feel like I have been trying to wait patiently for Him for a long time...and I know I have also tried to "delight myself in Him" in every way that I know how...and yet, I still don't feel like I have been given the true desires of my heart. Don't get me wrong, I've had many joys and blessings in my life...way beyond what I deserve.   But I've also had my share of disappointments, heartaches, and failures.  There have been goals that have never been reached and most likely never will be, and I sometimes feel like giving up on "the dream".  But that's when Jesus comes alongside and whispers in my ear (heart), "Rest in the Lord...and wait patiently for Him..."  "Don't give up hope..." "Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way...cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret...it only causes harm..."

Because..."The meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." (Psalm 37:11)  and again..."The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever.  They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied."  (verses 18-19)

Yes, I need to keep delighting myself in the Lord, for I do believe, that in due time...in HIS time, He will give me the desires of my heart...and it will be exactly at the right time and place for my life.  I do not need to fret or worry...God is in control!!!
POST SCRIPT: (7/9/12) This little bear cub came a calling, seeking his
greatest desire...to eat a few seeds from our bird feeder.  As he stood there
contemplating whether or not he could do this, he finally got up his
courage and tried...

And this was his reward...he just stood up and helped himself to all
of the birdseed he could eat...and he played peek-a-boo with us as we
snapped his picture from our kitchen window. 
This is just one of the delightful surprises we have had in the past few months
since taking this big step of faith and moving to the woods!

Yes, God does give us the desires of our heart as we seek Him first, and delight ourselves in Him. This is just a small part of the bigger picture.  Thank you, Lord...for your abundant blessings each day! And for all the fun little surprises that You throw in for our enjoyment as well.  Thank you.
Amen. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

"Diana Is Invited to Tea"

"I can just imagine myself sitting down at the head of the table and pouring out the tea, " said Anne, shutting her eyes ecstatically.  "And asking Diana if she takes sugar! I know she doesn't but of course I'll ask her just as if I didn't know.  And then pressing her to take another piece of fruit-cake and another helping of preserves.  Oh, Marilla, it's a wonderful sensation just to think of it."  
~Anne Shirley, from Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery, copyright 1908.


My good friend Sandy at Rose Chintz Cottage is hosting an "Anne of Green Gables" Tea Party tomorrow! I received her invitation a little over a week ago, but I've been so busy lately that I didn't know if I would be able to make it to the party.  So I decided to have my own little "Anne of Green Gables" tea party right here in my dining room this afternoon, with my lovely "Anne of Green Gables" Madame Alexander doll as the hostess.

"Anne" was one of my mother's collection of Madame Alexander dolls, and the only one that I truly cared about receiving from her estate. Why? Well, because "Anne" and I have a little known shared secret.  When my mother was a young girl she dearly loved reading the "Anne of Green Gables" series of books written by Lucy M. Montgomery. I can recall hearing her talk about these stories many times as I was growing up, particularly because of the very special bond we shared.  You see, when I was born the first thing my mother heard the doctor announcing was, "A little redhead!"  Up to that point in time I don't believe my parents had fully determined what my name would be, although several dubious choices had been considered.  When my mother heard that I was a redhead, she immediately thought of her favorite heroine from her childhood, "Anne, spelled with an e," and my name was finally decided.  I would be named Pamela Anne, and Anne would be spelled with an e, just like "Anne of Green Gables".  I don't know if my mother considered what kind of child Anne Shirley was in those stories and that by naming me after her I might be somewhat like her, but the name took, and I was christened Pamela Anne Mursch shortly thereafter. 

Back to the present...since I couldn't be officially a part of the tea party over at "Rose Chintz Cottage" tomorrow, (although I might pop in and surprise them with this story), I wanted to go ahead and arrange this little tea party today.  Of course, in order for one to host a tea party, and invitation should be sent,
and so the invitation was sent to Anne's "bosom friend" Diana, her true "kindred spirit" to come over to tea one lovely October afternoon.  

For "Diana", I have chosen another of my mother's dolls, this one is actually named "Rebecca", and is one of the Boyd's Collection of "Yesterday's Child" dolls.  I actually had given this particular doll to my mother as a birthday gift for her 85th birthday.  She is a beautiful little girl, looking much like I would expect Diana of this story to appear.  Marilla's description of Diana in "Anne of Green Gables" said that
"Diana is a very pretty little girl.  She has black eyes and hair and rosy cheeks.  And she is good and smart, which is better than being pretty."  (Anne of Green Gables, Chapter VIII, "Anne's Bringing-Up Is Begun". ) 



So now, everything is all set for the party to begin...The tea things are set out on the table, the tea pot and cups, the cake, and then of course, who could forget about the infamous "raspberry cordial"...


Well, unfortunately for Anne, she gave Diana the wrong bottle of "Raspberry Cordial", which ended up being Marilla's "currant wine", which had been made only for medicinal purposes...and poor Diana got awfully dizzy and sick...alas, even somewhat "tipsy"....and poor Anne was really into trouble over that terrible mistake.

My tea party didn't end up quite that way...our young ladies only sipped the tea..and the "raspberry cordial" was actually fruit punch left over from our picnic yesterday...so they were perfectly safe!

 and our young ladies became true "bosom friends" forever!

The End.

I hope you enjoyed my little tea party today. Someday perhaps you can come over and have a real tea party with me!  And we could be "bosom friends forever" too! 

For another story of a previous tea party with "Kindred Spirits", go to the following link entitled,  "A Kindred Spirit" .

Thank you for stopping by and visiting with me today.  Be sure to visit Rose Chintz Cottage tomorrow to participate in the other "Anne of Green Gables" tea parties hosted by our other blogging friends.  Maybe I'll see you there!

Postscript:  I wanted to mention the lovely little placecard holders that are holding the cute hat-name cards for Anne and Diana.  These are "COALPORT" Bone China placecard holders, made in England.  My son actually found these left behind in an old house that was being renovated. The current owner had no interest in them, so he made them a gift to me!  What a sweet little present!  There are five of them in total, and no two are alike! 


 

I apologize that the picture isn't clearer.  I was trying to get another picture when
my memory card in my camera became "full"...and I do not have a
replacement yet! Oh well...you get the idea!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I'm not really lost, just too busy to find myself...

Do you ever feel this way?  I've been wanting to get back to you (my faithful friends in blogland) for several days, and it seems the longer I wait, the more behind I get.  I noticed that all of my favorite bloggers have been writing away, and I've let this week just slip through my fingers.  But it was a good week...just too busy to take time for myself...or my blog.  Now I'm going to miss out on the RJD-Random Journal Day weekly selection from one of my old journals...and I'm also going to miss out on the Anne of Green Gables Tea Party over at Rose Chintz Cottage on July 9th,  and these were two events in which I had really hoped to participate this week. 

I've missed everyone's marvelous 4th of July posts...I am trying to get caught up and read them all...but to be honest with you, I just don't have time right now...and I am tired.  My eyes don't want to stay open by the time I sit down to read...and I find myself falling asleep "on the job".  Not that you are boring...absolutely NOT!  I need to recognize the fact that I can't keep up with everything and everyone like I want to and take care of my home, job, family, and myself. 

Does anyone else ever feel this way?  Do you ever get overwhelmed with all of the blogs, facebook posts, emails and other interesting items that you wish you had time to pursue on the internet...and find yourself getting more and more frustrated because there aren't enough hours in the day to do it all?  (Especially if you work all day outside of the home like I do and don't dare even look at it while on a break at work...or you'll never get back to your real job (that being the one that you get paid to do...but not necessarily the one you want to do). 

To illustrate my point I was just going to post a picture of myself asleep in my recliner with my mouth hanging open and looking absolutely hideous, but then I realized that I am using my husband's laptop, and I don't have any pictures saved in this computer.  What a shame!  That would have been a real hit!  Might have made this story a best seller!  It definitely would've given you a good laugh! Gee, I feel terrible that I can't post that picture...NOT!!  Ha Ha!  ...we needed a little comedic relief in this deep post... 

Well, my dear faithful friends in blogland, I do hope to get back to my normal routine of reading and writing very soon.  In the meantime, try not to write so many wonderful posts so I won't be so far behind in reading them!  I truly do want to read what you are writing...and I hate to miss out on all the fun with the special events previously mentioned...and maybe I'm just a little bit envious that I can't keep up the same pace as the rest of you.  But I will be back as soon as I get my act together again. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post tonight.  I appreciate the fact that it takes much quality and quantity time to keep up with each other this way.  We have a wonderful family of friends here in blogland...and I don't want to lose track of any of you...or you me.  You have brought much joy, laughter, food for thought and words of hope and encouragement to my life through your posts and comments. It is a part of my life that I highly value. 

And now I must get off of this computer and get some much needed rest...Good Night friends. Hope to see you again soon through "My Open Window".