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!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Okay, Folks! I Did It!

You are probably scratching your head and wondering, "what now?"

"Did she climb a tall mountain?

Run a race?

Win the Lottery?" (no picture to describe how amazing THAT would be!)

Well, no, nothing quite that exciting or exhausting or amazing...but I did something that I've been wanting to do for a LONG time...probably for about 65 years or something like that!  I finally took the plunge and gave my notice that I am actually going to.....drum roll, drum roll...
I expect to be doing a LOT more of THIS in the near future...
Taking lots of pictures...and smiling a lot more!!!

Now, just please say a prayer for me to survive the next few weeks as I train someone to take my place and clean out my five and a half years worth of stuff from my office. (Click HERE for more about these pictures)

 (Actually, I can't wait to bring this tea set home...I just have to find the right spot for it...and have a tea party as soon as I can!)

Another of my office "treasures" that I will have to find a home for here at home.

I'll probably be leaving this lovely picture behind...maybe...unless I see that my successor
doesn't fully appreciate it the way I do...
Psalm 33:1-3
"Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.
Praise the Lord with the harp;
Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy."

 Pray that I will leave on a positive note, and that God will be with me as I embark on this new adventure in my life. I know that the Lord has been with me throughout these past years (and I am most thankful for His Presence in my life both then and now)...and all the years prior...so why should I doubt that He will be with me when I take this big step and leap into the great "unknown" of retirement?

I do have concerns...mostly financial issues...I don't have a big cushy pension to fall back on...I don't even have a small one...so the government better not mess with my Social Security and Medicare...or I'll be in a real pickle.

But my God is bigger than any government or any retirement plan.  He has sustained me thus far in life, and I have no reason to fear that He will ever change His mind about that.

"Even to your old age, I am He, 
and even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you."
Isaiah 46:4

Actually, I am excited about the new adventures that are waiting to be discovered.  I may not have a lot of money or big plans, but God has promised to give me good things...

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord,
Thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope..."
(Jeremiah 29:11)

He also reminds me of this... 
"Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness

and rivers in the desert."

Isaiah 43:18-19

So.....Ready, Set,  Here I Go!

Wanna come along?
Get ready for the great adventure!
I can't wait to see where God will lead me in the very near future!!!
Stay tuned, folks! This is not THE END...This is just the beginning!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

My "Way"...or "His Way"?...Which Will It Be? Repost 10-14-15

This was originally posted back in July of 2010.  As I re-read it yesterday, I realized that it is still a message that I needed to read again...and I thought perhaps you might appreciate it as well.
Sing along with this old familiar hymn "Have Thine Own Way", as sung by Jim Reeves 
I still love the old hymns...there is so much meaning in these words.

Jeremiah 18:6...."Can I not do with you as this potter?" says the Lord, "Look, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand..."

Those of us who are familiar with the old hymns will remember one of my favorites..."Have Thine Own Way, Lord, Have Thine own way! Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.  Mold me and make me after Thy will, while I am waiting yielded and still."  If I could have a nickel for every time I've sung that song over the past __ years, I might be able to retire...  I can remember singing it as a child, and not fully comprehending what I was singing, but I liked to play with clay, so it made me think about shaping things and playing with them.  Then again as a teen-ager we used to sing this in our youth group as a song of commitment...and I began to have an inkling of what it meant to be "yielded and still", waiting for God to show me what I was supposed to do with my life. 

As I became an adult, I found myself still singing this song, as I asked the Master to "search me and try me..and to wash me whiter than snow...as I humbly knelt in His presence...and I kept asking Him to "mold me and make me" after His will. I knew that I was not yet complete...I was still in need of more reshaping...of my mind, my heart, and my spirit.  It's still an ongoing activity...still incomplete...

Now in my later years I sing, "Have Thine own way, Lord, have Thine own way...Wounded and weary, help me I pray! Power - all -power-surely is Thine! Touch me and heal me, Savior Divine!...and as I yield myself to Him and wait on His leading, He heals and restores my weary and wounded mind, heart, and spirit. 

My prayer now as I approach these "golden years" is that God will still have His own way in my life...that He will "hold o'er my being absolute sway!" I pray that He will fill me with His Spirit..."till ALL shall see -- Christ only, always, living in me!"

You know, if we could make this little song our prayer every day...and truly mean what we say... what a difference it could make in how we approach life...and how we respond to the approach of others who may come into our lives... WOW!  "Have Thine Own Way, Lord!"  (Adelaide A. Pollard, 1862-1934)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Some Yearnings of My Soul - Random Journal Day

I know I already published this particular post, but that was over four years ago, and not for Random Journal Day, so I hope this will pass the test for this month's entry.  Yes, it is that time again when we dig into our old (or not so old) journals and randomly (or maybe NOT so randomly) choose something to share with you.  This particular journal entry was written now probably over 25 years ago...and it is still my fondest "dream".  We are closer to it that ever before, but with a few modifications. We don't have a farm per se', but we live in the woods with lots of God's creatures. I don't have to worry about feeding them.  I don't have a garden either, but I can still buy apples at the store and bake apple pies (when I have the time and energy).  We do love to have people in our home...and there is always room "for more laughter, more songs, more tears, more prayers, more stories, more games, more sharing, more caring, and most of all, more love.”  So maybe I am closer to living the dream than I thought.  Thank you, Lord...for hearing the "yearnings of my soul" and acting upon them in YOUR time, in YOUR way. That's always the best way!

(Orginial Post published 2/27/2011):

Romans 12:13  “Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality…”

The following is an excerpt from my personal journal, written over 20 years ago, when we were serving in the ministry in a church in the midwest...
It was during these years that I starting expressing a need to feel a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment in my life.  Maybe it was my own little type of “mid-life crisis”…although I was not quite yet forty.  But I think it was because we had moved so much in our lives and even though we owned our home at that particular church, I still longed for a home where I felt like I truly belonged.  I poured out my thoughts and desires in my journal in this way on my thirty-eighth birthday:

“I believe, for now, I am doing all God wants me to do—of course there is room for improvement, but I know I am in the center of His will as far as His place for me in life.  I wouldn’t want to be any other place.  But I just feel like life is rushing past me so quickly, and I have not even begun to do all that I want to do in this life.  Maybe God doesn’t intend for me to do everything, but I hope I’ll get to do some of it!  I really can’t even put into words just what I think I am supposed to be doing!  I know that spiritually I fall way behind.  The Ladies’ Bible Study is a beginning, but I believe God wants to use me even more in a discipling ministry with women, and perhaps even young people.  But first, I feel a need to be further discipled myself!  I’d also like to do some writing; books that are spiritually meaningful and helpful.”  (Here I am Lord, twenty+ years later…is it time now?)

I went on to describe my favorite dream home, and I think it is something that needs to be shared with anyone who wants to read this.  It may be your dream too!  I can tell you this, that I have not let go of this dream yet, and it continues to haunt my heart…

“My other dream is to have a home that is a haven for people who need to feel ‘at home’.  A cozy, comfortable, secure, interesting, warm and happy place to be; relaxing and homey, with places to just curl up and read a good book by the fire with a cup of tea.  Gardens full of fresh flowers in the spring, summer and fall, and lots of snow in winter!  Woods to walk through, hearing the autumn leaves crunch as the gorgeous colors float past…where one might come across a deer, or rabbit, or even a fox!  A nice dog to be a companion on walks—a collie or a golden retriever is nice—perhaps an old barn with the sweet smell of hay and the earthy aroma of manure; a cow or two, maybe a horse and a buggy, some cats lying around soaking up the sun, ducks on the pond, geese in the fields…maybe a cool, bubbling brook meandering through the woods.

Back inside the house one walks into the welcoming fragrance of coffee brewing, and the sounds of a whistling tea kettle calling us to "tea time". There would be the spicy aroma of an apple pie baking in the oven, a pot of homemade vegetable beef soup bubbling on the top of the stove.  It’s a big country kitchen with old-fashioned warmth. Perhaps there is an old wood cook-stove, freshly baked bread, a big basket of apples just picked from the orchard; and a larder full of vegetables gathered from the garden.

I guess I must really want a farmhouse…a place where people are always about…family, friends, missionaries, neighbors, kids, grandkids, grandmothers and grandfathers, college kids away from home, old friends passing through…an inn of sorts, but we never have a ‘no-vacancy’ sign…there is always room for more laughter, more songs, more tears, more prayers, more stories, more games, more sharing, more caring, and most of all, more love.”

I continued on in my journal to say,

“Maybe my ‘mansion’ in heaven will be like this, but it’s so needed here on earth!  If I need it, then many others must need it even more!  Lord, do You hear my heartbeat?  Do You understand what I’m saying? Is this an impossible dream?  Is it not something You want for me?  If not, then I can live with that, but, please, Lord, help me to make every home in which I live a place where You are welcome first of all…and then all those You bring my way.  Help me to always have an open heart and an open home.  Help others to share in this dream too, if it please Thee, dear Lord.”

I concluded this journal entry by writing, “Well, my boys are baking me a cake for my birthday, the first time ever!  I am trying to stay out of the way so I don’t end up having to do it myself!  Thank you Lord, for understanding.  I love you Lord.”

Twenty + years later I am still waiting for the fulfillment of that dream, and yet, in many ways we have had that dream come true throughout the years…maybe not in the literal sense as described above, but certainly in our open hearts and open homes…we have tried to be available to loved ones and friends, strangers and passers-by alike.  And perhaps even this blog is a way to bring a time of laughter, comfort, inspiration and encouragement to its readers.  If we can’t be somewhere in the true physical literal sense, we can certainly be there in our imaginations and hearts…and that is where it all begins.

Thank you for taking a moment away from your busy day to spend a few minutes with me, sharing the vision, welcoming the flood of thoughts that are working their way through your heart and mind right now as we visit our dreams together.  As our world hurls itself deeper and deeper into the chaos and turbulence of recession, depression and uncertainty...we all need a place of quiet rest and peace.  Spend a little time each day, reading God's Word first of all, and then allowing His Holy Spirit to minister to you, and through you to others in your circle of influence.   Kind of reminds me of John and Yoko Lennon's song, "Imagine"...but in a true spiritual sense, living in God's real place of peace.

Ahhhhh...I needed that. Amen.

Okay, friends, back to the future:  Now take a walk over to http://enthusiasticallydawn.com/2015/10/02/random-journal-day-55-with-patsy-paterno/ and check out what others are writing from their journals!