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!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Where Would YOU Go Back to- if you could...?

"Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."
Psalm 103:1-5

Since we moved to our new "camp in the woods" house, my husband and I have made it our practice each evening to take a walk down the road in front of our house.  It is a dirt road, surrounded by forest on either side, and no other houses on the stretch of road we have chosen to walk. So it is a quiet, peaceful time, just the two of us, walking side by side, (or in a single file if one of us decides to lag behind to look at something in the road like deer tracks, or bear poop, or tonight a garter snake crossing the road).  (I tend to be the lagger). 

Our son Scott (the "Whittler") has supplied us with some very lovely walking sticks.  He has actually enjoyed this new hobby, and the sticks are becoming more and more interesting as he whittles away.

Personalized walking sticks with our
names engraved in them.

These are pretty interesting...one even has
 "eyes"on it.  I call it my "Seeing Eye Stick",
instead of a
"Seeing Eye Dog"!
  He even whittled mine with my name so no one else could claim it...or could it be in case I get run over by a herd of deer or a speeding 4 wheeler they could identify me by my walking stick?

So anyway, back to the walk...a couple of nights ago as we walked and talked, my husband asked me if there was a time in the past I could go back to (during my lifetime), when would it be?  I had to really think hard about that...I mean, I would certainly love to be young and strong and full of energy again...and to have the initiative and drive to be creative and make a difference in my life...but I truly cannot think of a particular time or age that I would want to live over again, even if I could do things differently.

As I read this Psalm above I am reminded to "forget not all of His (God's) benefits", which are many. I wonder if I would fully comprehend all of God's benefits if I had not lived through the many trials and tribulations (and joys and triumphs) through which I have already come.  And would I honestly appreciate the fact that He has forgiven all of my iniquities (sins) if I could go back to a time before I recognized what sin was in my life...I mean, do you think I would have not sinned at all if I could live life over again?  Probably not...sin kind of comes with the territory of being human...we were all born in it, and we are all prone to it...were it not for Jesus' saving grace, we'd all still be lost in it...

And then the part about Him healing all our diseases...yes, if I could, I would love to go back and take my children back with me to a time in life where we were not afflicted by diseases, heartaches, and sorrows.  If I could turn back time, I would want to protect my children more from the bad choices, difficult trials, and harmful attacks of this world...but then, would they (or we) be the people we are today? Would we have the strength of character and maturity (sometimes!) that only life's refining fires can produce?

No, I really don't know of a time that I can honestly say I would prefer to go back to...because no matter what stage of life we are in, there will always be new temptations, choices and obstacles through which we will have to persevere. But I can look forward to a wonderful future, because God has promised to "redeem (my) life from destruction, crown me with lovingkindness and tender mercies, and satisfy my mouth with good things...so that (my) youth is renewed like the eagle's" (my paraphrase).  I will continue to "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!"

So, where would YOU go back to in time, if you could?  Would you do things differently?  Yeah, maybe we all have those places in time that we wish we could have changed, but again...we are where we are today because of where we were before, and one thing is certain, God has been with us all the way...and He will continue to go with us as we continue along on this journey of life...so just take time to thank Him, and Bless His Holy Name...for He has done and will continue to do great things in our lives. We just need to take a walk and think about that!!!

This little bear says you are "Welcome" to my camp in the
woods house...come take a walk with me! We have plenty of
nice new walking sticks to help you find your way!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fly, Be Free, Butterfly!!

As I was standing at my open kitchen window washing the dishes, I noticed two butterflies doing the butterfly dance outside.  Then I saw three or four of them...all doing this dance, flying around each other and obviously enjoying their Sunday afternoon.  I was able to capture a few videos of these beautiful creatures as I followed them around the yard...they were probably not all the same ones as there were butterflies in every direction I looked.  I loved watching their carefree flight...probably not carefree to them...they were either in the process of mating or searching for nectar...but to me it was a beautiful flight of joyous freedom...I hope you will be able to see it here.

After spending their infancy ensconsed in a tight cocoon, this freedom flight is a burst of frenzied flurry...as they flit from one blossom unto another, filling up with the sweet, fragrant nectar of spring.  I haven't done the research on the life of a butterfly to make this a scientific study, but I know enough about them to realize that their lifespan is probably not very long...and they must drink in all the nourishment and pleasure of life while they can.  They are constantly on the move, in search of their next flower...and yet they appear to enjoy the task they've been given. They are not burdened down with the weight of this old world...they just live their lives doing exactly what they've been created to do.

I want to be like the butterfly...I don't want to be weighed down with the cares of this old world...I want to do exactly what I've been created to do. Like the butterfly, my purpose is to give glory to my Creator, God. 
"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."                       I Corinthians 6:19-20
My freedom comes when I recognize that I am God's prized possession...beautiful in His sight like these butterflies...only much more valuable to Him.  When I give glory to God for Who He is and what He has done for me...there is great joy and freedom to be "me". 

So, "Fly, Be Free!"  Free in Christ Jesus...Free to be all He designed you to be!  Give God the glory...Great things He has done!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I'm not sure what to write...

This has happened a few times before...I get writer's cramp in my brain...can't think of anything worth saying.  I figure when that happens it is God's way of telling me to:
 "Be still and know that I am God..." (Psalm 46:10)

It is time to listen instead of doing all the talking.  So I've been listening, and waiting, and thinking, and wondering when the words will start to flow again.  Apparently I haven't been doing enough listening.

Of course, it's not like I haven't been busy or anything...in the past two months we totally packed up our whole house and moved to a new house and unpacked and settled in.  We pretty much were unpacked (except for the "storage room" that will remain a storage room for who knows how long while I decide what and where and why I even have those things in storage...) within two weeks, and even had a party with friends and family for my husband's birthday and to dedicate the new house to the Lord.
We even received wonderful (!) housewarming gifts from dear friends....(ahem...is that a pink flamingo cookie jar? How wonderful!  Especially because it is full of homemade cookies!!!)

We did all this while I continued to work at my full time job and commuted 33 miles one way.  I continue to do that 5 days a week, and now have even added dropping off my son at his job another eight miles beyond (one way, of course)...and wouldn't you know that as soon as we made this move farther away from work, the gas prices jumped about 40 cents a gallon? Murphy's Law says that when you make a decision to make a move to a home that should save you lots of money, the gas prices will go up and you will lose what you thought you would save...

But I am not complaining. I am trying to "Be Still and Know that GOD is God" and that HE is in control in ALL things.  I find myself wondering, "Ok, Lord, what's next?"  Here we are...we moved here to this new community expecting great and wonderful things to happen. And yes, some wonderful things have happened already...I need to stop and take a breath and pay attention to how the Lord has already answered so many prayers on our behalf.  But I tend to be impatient.  I want things to happen NOW!  I want answers to more questions...I am anxious to make new friends and find the "life" that He promised here.

Again, I must take time to wait on the Lord.  His time schedule is not the same as my time schedule.  If I were to have things my way, I might miss out on the blessing that God had prepared for me if I had waited on Him.   I need to learn with the Psalmist,
"But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God,' My times are in Your hand." Psalm 31:14-15

So, here I am, waiting for the next adventure to begin...(we've already had bears raiding our bird feeders, mama bear with her 3 cubs have chosen our woods as their crossing zone...I still haven't seen them myself, except for their footprints, but my son has witnessed their crossing in the night)...we have deer prints in the road in front of the house, and lots of beautiful birds all around.  The forest is teeming with wildlife...so I expect there will be adventures yet to come.  The people are cordial and welcoming...we just need the time to get better acquainted. We've visited a couple of churches and are beginning to zero in on the place we believe God wants us to make our church home.  So I just need to be patient and wait...
"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!"  Psalm 27:13-14

Ok, Lord, I get the message... I will wait for You.  I will listen to You.  I will trust in You.

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart."  Psalm 37:3-4

Am I the only person who has a problem with waiting on God?  Just wondering...