A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Jesus’ loyalty lies not with His earthly family – but His Heavenly one.  He makes it clear that He considers Himself related to those who hear the Word of God and obey it.  When he was at the Temple as a kid – only twelve years old – He was fast to ask His earthly family…  did you not know that I’d be about my Father’s business???  That would be His Heavenly Father…  God.

This portion of Scripture is another example of how much more the Heavenly realm meant to Jesus.  He let us know in verse 21 that true family is the family of God – not the people in the unit He was raised with.  Is that to say that the earthly family was not dedicated to God?  No – I’m not implying that at all.  Jesus just wants to be more inclusive in His description of kin…  He loves those who love His Father in Heaven!  He knows that this is the love that will really matter when it’s all said and done.

Jesus knows just how much His Father loves us and wants us to one day be in Heaven with Him.  Lucinda wrote a beautiful poem about the love of God – it made me think…  how many ways do I see God smile every day?  Do I even notice those smiles?  I’ll spend more time looking for them from now on, I can tell you that.

I wondered if there were other ways we could see our Heavenly Father smile, so I posed the question to my group – A SECOND HELPING OF WELLNESS…  WITH A DASH OF HUMOR AND A PINCH OF FAITH.  Here are some of the responses I got:

THE BEAUTY OF A FRIEND – Valerie

THE SOUND OF A FLOWING STREAM – Susan

A CHILD’S LAUGH – Mary

BEING ALIVE – John

I’d add to this list – ANSWERS TO PRAYER.  I not only saw God smile, but felt a hug!  I recently underwent a procedure to lessen my sciatic nerve pain.  As you can imagine, I’ve heard stories from others about it – everything from “It doesn’t work”, to “It’s the most wonderful treatment ever!”  For me, it was a success and I’m enjoying being pain-free so far!  My prayer was answered and I hope I can have quality of life for a long time!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Of all the people in the world, God chose to personally care for Noah and his family.  If that doesn’t warm your heart, the wood in your heart’s stove is wet.

Noah was a good man who placed all his faith and trust in God.  He raised his family to believe in God and His law.  It is worth it to follow the Lord, and the story of Noah supports that truth.  God led Noah and his family and saved them from the flood.  He also got male and female animals on board the ark to save them and see that they reproduced so life would go on after the flood.   I don’t know of a person who would have done things so creatively!  God works out all our problems in similar ways, doesn’t He?  I love my LORD’S CREATIVITY!

Do you suppose some of the animals who boarded the ark at first got bored and said, “God, shut the door!” – ???  How funny!  I have so many questions, like – why did flies and skeeters have to survive?  Why did rats and spiders have to survive?  Sigh…  I don’t think we’ll ever get an answer to those questions.

It’s a lesson about trusting God no matter what.  Every family should build and ark for themselves, secure in God’s Word and His way.

I like to think that God is protecting me and my family just as He protected Noah and His family.  As we follow Him, He blesses us in such marvelous ways!

And finally, here’s something that I’ll bet you never thought about – LOL!

Have a wonderful day!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

O COME, ALL YE FAITHFUL

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And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.  – Luke 2:15

celebration-in-heavenWhen I read this poem by Lucinda Berry Hill, tears come to my eyes.  I can’t help it – so much of my family is in Heaven now, and although I know we will be reunited one day, for the time being, we are not together.  I’m left here to celebrate without them.  We have the same Lord and we celebrate His birthday – and yes, they are saying Happy Birthday while I say Merry Christmas.

I then thought of the old Christmas carol called “O Come, All Ye Faithful”.  ALL ye faithful…  citizens of earth and citizens of Heaven!  God wants everyone to come together to celebrate the birth of Christ!

John Francis Wade wrote the Latin version, called “Adeste Fideles”.  Wade fled England after the 1745 Jacobite rebellion to teach music in the school for British Roman Catholic exiles in Douai in France.  Published in 1760, it’s been suggested that it might have incidentally served as a coded rallying cry for the Stewart cause.

The English translation was written by Frederick Oakley and William Brooke in 1841.  Samuel Webbe is credited with writing the tune, but unfortunately, it reminds many of us of the road rage anthem, “Why are we waiting?”  I don’t know who first sang those annoying words with that beautiful tune, but I’d like to punch them.  It frustrates me for two reasons:

(1) I don’t want to hear the tune to a Christmas carol at some time besides Christmas.

(2) I don’t want to hear the words WHY ARE WE WAITING sung to a tune that clearly deserves lyrics with more depth.  It’s childish.  Stop it.

It does my heart good though, to think about my family – a part of the faithful – celebrating Christ’s birthday along with me.  God knows how to give me glimmers of hope around Christmas, and I’m thankful for that.

O come, let US (y’all in Heaven and us on earth) adore HIM, CHRIST THE LORD!  🙂

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!  Obviously, today I am very thankful for…  FOOD!  Yes, family and friends make it all taste better…  but today is the day that is all about the big meal.  The day I allow myself to eat a hot roll and mashed potatoes.  I will – and I’ll enjoy every bite, thank you very much!

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.   – Meister Eckhart

Let’s say a prayer of thanks for our meal today:a-poem-prayer-for-thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.  – E.P. Powell

Of course I’m thankful for so many things…  so is Lucinda!

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What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?  – Erma Bombeck, “No One Diets on Thanksgiving,” 26 November 1981

I wish for you today fullness in a physical sense, of course, but also a spiritual sense of fullness.  I wish that you will not just see the blessings before you – food, friends, family, furbabies, shelter, warmth, love…  and yes, card tables.  But may you also literally feel a sense of thankfulness to God for all of it!  Have a lovely and blessed Thanksgiving!  🙂

PRAYERS & WISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

tl-thanksgiving-2016-11-12-thru-11-24Hold your family members tight while you have them!  A day can change your life forever, but enjoy the time you have with family now.  There are certainly going to be issues and differences of opinion – there are those things in every family – but remember that they are your family and it matters.

Let’s say a prayer for families sitting around the table this Thanksgiving:prayer-poem-for-thanksgiving

The family is a haven in a heartless world.  – Attributed to Christopher Lasch

mismatched-chairsHow thankful are you for ENOUGH?  There’s room for everyone – and a lot of people, mostly family.  Some people will spend Thanksgiving alone and some don’t even have a place to call home.  If you can think of other places you’d rather be than with your family, while you’re entertaining those thoughts, keep in mind that some people would love to be in your situation.

I wish for you…  you guessed it…  ENOUGH.  Enough room, enough food, enough tolerance for your family members.  I wish for you enough of whatever you need.  God knows what that is – and it’s different for each of us.  Whisper a prayer to Him and He will see to it that you get just enough.  I know He will do that for you because He has done that for me.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Sometimes the choices we make are irreversible.  Once we begin walking forward, we just have to keep going and never turn around.  Those decisions are made slowly and methodically.  Make sure you give it much thought, because you know there’s no going back.  Nothing in your life will ever be the same again.  You have to ask yourself if there may be a time in the future when you’d like for things to be the way they are.  If the answer is no, then there’s no reason to stay where you are.  That’s the only time it’s okay to take action and keep walking forward.

I’ve only done that once.  I don’t care to ever do anything that painful again for the rest of my life.

I’ve learned that there are things that go wrong that don’t always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before. I’ve learned that some broken things stay broken, and I’ve learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you have people who love you.  – Bobby Fulks

Sometimes decisions are made for us.  Things happen in life that are completely out of our control.  Life-altering experiences occur and that’s when we are left with our faith in God.  We hopefully have people in our lives who love us, but we know without a doubt that we have God…  and yes – He loves us.  He cares and He wants to hear what our hearts are feeling.  Even if what has happened leaves us frightened and angry and alone – He still wants to hear from us.

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Life is a little like on the job training.  We are born into this world – expected to perform at a certain level through school and receive a diploma which magically leads us to the pursuit of happiness.  Right?  Hang on, Sloopy…  let’s back this truck up.

Stuff happens in life because not only are we just human, but the people around us are… you guessed it…  human.  We all have dreams and expectations once we graduate.  We’re going to meet the right person to spend a lifetime with – we’re going to have this wonderful family together and we’ll fly off into fluffy white clouds in a classic car – like Danny and Sandy did at the end of the movie GREASE.

Have you ever seen a classic car fly???  I rest my case.  Just as a classic car most definitely will not fly, no woman could possibly fit into that leather outfit that Sandy wears toward the end of the movie.  I’m convinced that’s why most men want to watch that movie so many times.  Sigh.  I dunno – maybe it is to see the classic cars… 

Yes, life is like on the job training; however, most jobs are dull compared to the twists and turns that life takes.  When it seems your life is a rollercoaster ride, just keep in mind that Jesus sits at your side.  He doesn’t need a barf bag…  but there are times when you might need one.  Jus’ sayin’…

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The common thread throughout this topsy turvy ride of life is LOVE.  Find LOVE – a connection that makes it all worthwhile.  Love here on earth, of course…  but know that you are loved completely by your LORD.  He knows you better than anyone, and He loves you more than anyone here ever will.  We need human love to hang in there.  We need God’s love to make us whole and give us purpose.

Finding love on this earth is so difficult.  Finding love from Heaven is so simple.  🙂

 

 

 

 

PREGNANCY & INFANT LOSS AWARENESS MONTH

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After 5 miscarriages in the first 10 years of marriage…  I had some pretty heated conversations with God.  You know what I learned?  I learned that when you are in pain and you’ve suffered loss, God is a very patient companion.  He never judged me for being hurt.  He never judged me for being angry – even at Him.  He just kept loving me.  It was a loooooooooooooong road through the anxiety and depression, but with God’s help – I’m better.images14xaj8uo

Is it easy to see the women my age posting photos of themselves with their grandkids?  Oh no, it sure is not.  Sometimes today I still ask God why I wasn’t “GOOD ENOUGH” to be a mom – and apparently all my friends from school were.  I know that isn’t really how it works, but it sure feels like it is the way it works sometimes.  It feels like a punishment, to be honest.

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The proverbial lightning struck me…  ZAP – you’ll never be a mother, a grandmother, or a great-grandmother…  etc.   BOOM!  I felt done and I isolated myself on purpose from grandparents everywhere.  It was too painful to be around the fortunate ones.  Does anyone understand this?  If it really was a REAP and SOW type of deal, wouldn’t a lot more women be in this situation?  Jus’ sayin’…

imagesl0sp8xt1As awful as it was to experience disappointment x 5, I cannot even imagine the pain of a woman who has given birth and that child is stillborn.  I can’t fathom the pain.  I’m so very sorry to all who have gone through that.imagesy75lazb9

People say loss is loss…  not true.  I never met my children, so I suspect my life got back to “normal” much more quickly.  I know they are in Heaven being spoiled rotten by their grandparents.  I have a lot of hugs and kisses to give when I get there.  I’ll be very busy for a long time.  But I know they’re okay – so I’m going to be okay too.  I will.  God is good all the time.images-41

I’m not mad at God anymore.  That’s a losing battle anyway.  I got tired of feeling angry at my Creator for something I simply don’t understand and never will.  It stings to see all the grandma pictures on facebook – I won’t lie.  But it’s simply not God’s plan for me, I guess.

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1 in 4 women experience the loss of a child.  This month, let a grieving mom know that she’s loved.  Let her know that God’s sent angels to surround and protect her.  Remind her that God still loves her and is not punishing her even though I’ll bet a few still feel as though it is a punishment.  It’s not.  It’s really not.images-43

As strange as it sounds, it makes me feel better to know that my kids are with their grandparents – but especially that they are with Jesus.  We’ve all seen the sweet artist renditions of Jesus with the little children.  He loved them the best because they are the most innocent humans.  He loves them because they have not learned how to lie or steal or do bad things yet.  They speak only truth and although sometimes the truth they speak can be hurtful (I know, I taught Sunday School)…  they mean what they say and they won’t sugar-coat it.  That’s why Jesus loves them, and that’s why I respect them so much.images-44

We’re supposed to be training them up – but I think there’s a great deal we as adults could learn from them, don’t you?  🙂  images-45

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  – 1 Peter 5:7

Be sensitive to other women.  You may not have all the facts about the path they walk.  Don’t be so quick to judge them or dismiss them.  A childless woman has moments of jealousy because she wants what you take for granted.  When that happens, try to overlook it, but the best thing you can do is just pray for her.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (3)UNCONDITIONAL LOVEWe’re mourning a loss in our family.  Our precious fur baby passed away on the 22nd of January and our lives are so different without him.  He had diabetes and cancer that was very aggressive.  He was 91 years old in people years, and had a wonderful long life with us.  The 13 years he was with us were the happiest of our lives – that’s for sure.

I hate disease…  just flat hate it! 

What a beautiful prayer my friend Mark wrote:

Dear Jesus, Divine Physician, Healer of the Sick.
We call upon You and ask Your help for our loved ones
Who are suffering from cancer.
We entrust them to Your loving care.
They are Your children and they are in pain.
Give them the ability to know in their hearts
that You are with them in this difficult time.

Give them strength and healing.
Comfort them in their fears,
soothe their anxiety,
and let them rest securely in Your arms.

Help those who care for them.
Give insight to researchers that they may discover cures.
Give patience and energy to doctors and nurses so that
they will care for them with grace and love.

For us, their families, their friends and their community,
we need Your courage and strength,
to be with them and help them bear their burdens.
Give us joy, peace and confidence in You
so that like Mary, Your mother,
we may stand with them in faith and trust,
witnessing to Your healing love.
For you are blessed, for ever and ever.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen    – Mark Farouk

I received a sweet poem from Lucinda Berry Hill and it brings me comfort – thinking of God’s heaven and eternal life always brings me comfort.  Thank you, my sweet friend!

HEAVEN'S GIFTWe don’t have children, therefore, we don’t have grandchildren.  I like to think that Casey is in heaven playing with all the little children there!  If you’ve read the book, “Heaven is For Real” or seen the movie, you know that little Colton saw his family in heaven – but they were young, not old.  All the residents there are free of pain and the burdens of this world.  It’s selfish to want them back here, isn’t it?

I’ll miss my furbaby – I won’t lie.  He had the sweetest disposition (like his mama – lol).  He loved everyone and never growled at anybody.  When people came to the house, Casey was just sure they were there to see him, not us!  Such a funny little fella…  I’m gonna miss him, but he’s not in pain and is at peace.  God will take care of him… and He will take care of us too.  🙂

 

PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD

TL 12-1 PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORDHow are your preparations going?  We’re not finished yet!  Today, let’s do something to serve the ones in our home.  I hear you saying you do that every day – lol!  You may feel as though you serve those in your own household every day, but I want to invite you to take a look at the chores assigned to each member of your family.

Who usually feeds the pets?  Who usually gathers the garbage to go out to the curb every week?  Who is the one that cleans the toilets?  Ugh…  lovely chore there! 

Today I want you to do a chore that you don’t usually do – just take over and do it – no pomp or circumstance – and no announcement.  Just do it.  When you are asked WHY you did it – then you can let your family member know how much you appreciate them – and their faithfulness in doing that chore on a regular basis.  In my family, that would be followed by “Don’t expect it all the time, but…” 

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Do we tend to take our family members for granted?  Well of course we do!  When the trash gets taken out to the curb – it just magically takes itself out, right?  Stuff just happens – we each have our chores and that’s how life works smoothly.  This is just a little exercise to let your family members know they are appreciated.

As we take in the life and light of our Lord, may it shine forth in our attitudes and actions toward others, but especially in our own homes…  that’s where our mission should always begin – inside the walls of our own residence.

WRAPPED GIFTSGOD WITH US…  EMMANUEL.  He is our gift of hope in these uncertain and divisive days.  He loves every life – every soul is precious to Him – every one of us matter to Him.  We need to show appreciation for one another in our homes to begin with – then others around us – and finally to those who are a little further away – then we need to show the respect and honor to others that we want them to show to us.  Wrap a gift for other people and call it respect.  It sounds so very simple – why is it such a challenge?  :-/

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I believe the trend toward pitching a tent in front of an electronics store on Thanksgiving just to save your place in the ridiculously long line the next morning when the store opens – is finally waning – at least I hope it is.  Let’s just look at this thing logically for a minute.  We just spent a day around a table with loved ones, giving thanks to God for all of our many blessings – OH – but wait – we gotta pitch a tent so we can sleep on the sidewalk because there is a piece of technology I still need to possess.  WHAT???

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It’s insane…  and we all know the definition of insanity…  it’s doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result or outcome.  Look, there are two schools of thought about Black Friday – some people say we need to frequent the stores and the sales because the folks who are working need their job and don’t mind working on Thanksgiving and the day after.  Others, like me, believe that stores have no business being open on Thanksgiving at all – and should be closed the day after as well.  Those employees deserve a 4-day weekend before the Christmas nightmare begins!  I’m just one person with an opinion.  Will anyone listen?  Probably not – but that doesn’t stop me from speaking my mind.

RRiWcz1EgPbn7gcKacIg7nZTqgUYou know, God did not create us to kneel in front of the BEST BUY store.  God created us to praise and worship HIM.  He wants us to take time to sit and reflect on His Word and be quiet before Him so we can hear Him speak to our hearts.  Put your feet up by the fires of God’s Holy Spirit.  When we get so wrapped up in retail therapy that we can’t focus on anything except which stores we want to get to and when, then we are the ones who lose out.  I’m not saying that retail therapy is a bad thing, but I don’t think it’s so important to participate in Black Friday.

I’m not opposed to online shopping, and frankly I think most people would rather stay home and shop in their pajamas.  If consumers would resist the temptation to shop on the Friday after Thanksgiving, eventually the stores would not see the need to be open and employees could have the 4 day weekend they need – and more time with friends and family.  When did we stop thinking of others?  Wouldn’t you rather spend 4 days off than just one – and some don’t even get Thanksgiving off because stores are feeling like they need to be open on Thanksgiving.  It’s sad because everyone should be with family and friends – not co-workers – on Thanksgiving – and the day after and the weekend after that.  🙂