Archive | April, 2013

# BLESSED – Week 3

25 Apr

This was  Week 3 of  Stressed-Less Living by Traci Miles on MelissaTaylor.org, and once again I chose the blog topic of blessings. The more blessings I write down, the more they keep flowing into my mind each day.

I am so, so grateful for blessings? Life is packed full of them, and some days I don’t say thank You Lord enough. As I paused these last three weeks and reflected here are five more blessings – things that I am grateful for in no particular order:

RETIREMENT – I retired the last day of 20BlogHopRetirementPoster11.

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Retirement is bliss. What does bliss mean? A google search says “perfect happiness; great joy.” Yes, that’s retirement and quality time to do what you enjoy – time on my knees praying for family and friends, reading, Bible studies, substitute teaching, working in the yard, cleaning and organizing, meeting friends for lunch, blogging and hopefully come August helping take care of a new grandson! Yes, Colt will be here early August.

DOG – Fur and four paws – yes blessings come with fur and paws. The unconditional love of a dog is fun to watch. Our dog watches and greets my husband and son with so much enthusiasm. Their trucks pull in the driveway, the dog starts his happy noises and joyfully runs and grabs the nearest toy.

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A dog is called a man’s best friend for a reason. If you have one you know they are loyal, loving, fun, and always ready to go on a walk or ours he loves to load up to ride down to the horse lot or go to the deer lease.  Here is a picture of Creed waiting on my hubby as he does every night when I start dinner.

Unconditional love – affection without limitation. That’s what our God’s love is like and what our love should be like – we should greet him with that excitement and readiness every morning.   I blogged about Creed waiting at the door for my husband.  You can read that story here.

Tulips and daffodils are blooming with abundance this year. As the sun came splashing through our sun lights this morning, I put down my Stressed Less Living Book, grabbed my gloves and headed out to work in flower beds and there were shasta daisies all in bloom BlogHopShasta1                                                                                                                                                                              I love mowing and that’s a good thing when you are on over an acre with trees to push a mower around and it takes about 3-4 hours to just mow, and I still mow my Mom’s yard.

The herb garden we planted is coming up and so are the weeds thru the mulch.

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Loved doing that. We bought pots and actually buried them in the ground to control weeds and yes I still need to weed the grass and mulch but you get the point. Fruit trees are starting to put on peaches and plums and soon I’ll be making jelly to share with friends and family. New trees were planted this year in memory of Mom, Dad, and my Father-In-Law. (See my blog on 28 Feb – Joyful, Thankful Challenge to see our trees.)

SEASONS – Thank You Lord, for the blessing of beautiful, sunny, spring days that cause us to rejoice and be glad in each day!!!!

wildflowers 054                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you for rich fall colors, and gentle breezes.                                 BlogHopFall

Thank you for hot summers. Days where all we want to do is get in the pool. Last summer and swimming. my great nephews and one of my nieces and daughter-in-law came for a day of fun, lunch and swimming.   Can’t wait to do it again this year!!!!!

bloghopsummer                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Thank you for wet, dreary and cloudy days as well as cold, snowy ones that make us want to be inside for a time to snuggle with loved ones, drink hot chocolate, and enjoy being indoors.

BlogHopSnow                                                                                                                                                                                                                Every day You have made Lord is for a purpose, and every day contains blessings if we pause and look for them. Seasons in Texas change constantly but one thing is certain, God’s love and faithfulness never change! Today it was 78 degrees and tomorrow the high is in the 40s with an expected record-breaking low tomorrow morning.

HEAVEN – Without Heaven there would be no hope. Without hope there is nothing. I am so thankful for Heaven knowing my loved ones are there waiting to greet me and everlasting life. Once there I can not wait to see my Lord and Savior who died for my sins and I will shout Holy when I see Him, clap my hands and say GLORY to the son of God! This song says it all. I want to see Jesus, the one who died for all – “I Bowed on My Knees and Cried Holy!”

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV)

 

So as you pause today, begin to be still and know that He is God. Would you share a blessing or blessings below that come to your mind. What are you grateful for this day???????

# BLESSED – WEEK 2

18 Apr

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This week Melissa Taylor encouraged us in her OBS to continue our list of blessings. As I have gone through the past week, I noticed things I usually am too busy to stop and enjoy – a squirrel running across the flower bed as I drove in, bumble bees swarming around plants, flowers blooming, and even today looking out a school window as one bird flew up and started eating and then two, and three and they continued and as I walked away there were seven.


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As I curled up on the sofa this morning with a cup of coffee flavored with cinnamon vanilla creamer, and began this week’s study of verses, I stopped to look up blessing. In Dictionary.com I found “a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness”. Favors, gifts – yes they are easy to identify when we stop and look, but are we grateful for all of the good as well as the bad. I must admit at times I have not been, but I have found the more I am in God’s Word and church, the more I am grateful for all God has done in my life.

I found this during our study this week and it blessed me, I hope it does you also:

The Spiritual Work of Gratitude by Henri Nouwen
“To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives – the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections – that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.”

My added blessings this week:

FAMILY – Extended families are a blessing. I love reunions and  holidays – There is so much joy when family is together – laughter, playing games.  There are no sweeter times. Thanking God for my loved ones!

CHURCH – Christian fellowship is vital for us to grow spiritually. We need christian friends to cry with, to learn with, and to edify. Hebrews 10:24-25 (KJV) ”

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Sometimes it isn’t easy getting up to go to church, especially those sleepless nights we have as we grow older or if it is a cold, rainy day. Ahhh but how sweet the blessings come if we find ourselves faithful and go. God is moving in mighty ways in our church.  I can not wait to get there every Sunday to worship.

HEALTH – Good health is definitely a gift from God, and we forget what a gift it is until we lose it. It is in those times we are sick or when those aches and pains start popping up that we remember and are reminded what a joy it is to be able to cook, clean, wash, mow, work in our flower beds or even be able to get out of the house and go, etc.. Have you visited people in the nursing home lately? Many of them cannot get out even for a holiday because of their health. One thing in the study this week that really spoke to me after the Boston Marathon explosion was on page 44 of the Stressed-Less Living book where Tracie Miles talks about our bodies and the “emotional shrapnel” that is scattered over our lives. Yes we need that “temple on the brain” that Tracie talked about.

BIBLE – We can not grow if we are not in the Word.   I enjoy my quiet time with a hot cup of coffee, actually several cups of hot coffee and my time in prayer lifting up friends and family and working on my Bible study. Life is so much sweeter when I am in the Word and it comes alive to me and gives me strength, comfort and peace.

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Our reflection verse this week, and God knew before all the events that happened this week would occur ,that we would need this verse in our groups, in our lives, in our country:

 “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he seventh them from their distresess.
He sent  his word and healed them;
and delivered them from their destructions.Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”

Psalm 107:19-21 KJV

FRIENDS – I am so thankful for friends who think of me, who pray for me, who listen, who chatter when I’m quiet, who write me, who private message me, who chasten me when I need it, who meet me for lunch, go shopping with me, who laugh with me and friends who drop a card just to bless you and say they are thinking about you. I received two cards today from OBS sisters thinking of me and it was such a blessing coming home to see them. Last week one sent a beautiful bookmark that she made. With friends our time together is so sweet – we just pick right back up where we left off the last time. God blessed us with friends and we need to appreciate them, love them, and spend time with them.
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No matter how crazy life gets, blessings abound in my life each day and it is not because of me, it is because of Him and all the things He has blessed me with daily. In the weeks and months ahead, I will continue to ponder and list those hundreds and hundreds of blessings.

Thank you Jesus for blessing me in ways I don’t deserve. So see my picture and you’ll note all the blessings I’ve included for future blogs and the list continues.

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# BLESSED – Week 1

11 Apr

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Is it April already? This year has certainly not been boring as I long for just one day of quietness for time to leisure in a fiction-type book, or work in my flower beds, or just go shopping. Why am I rushing all the time? I am retired? REALLY!

God has poured blessings into all our lives.  Stop and think a moment of all you have.  My husband says we are “blessed more than we will ever deserve.”  Why is it we focus on our problems when there are so many little things He pours out on us every single day – even in the hard times?

This week as I started a new Bible Study, Stressed-Less Living by Tracie Miles.  We were challenged by Melissa Ross Taylor to make a list of five things God has blessed us with because you know if we are feeling stressed, if we would just take a moment to count our blessings, our focus will shift from us to Him. As I sat down and started writing, it was amazing to see how I could go on and on with lists of blessings.

This year (2013) has been both joyous and sad, but I am choosing to dwell on the joyous and my Lord! First and foremost we are going to be grandparents for the very first time, expecting a grandson in August. I am so thankful that God sent that news to us a short time before we lost my Mom. On those days when the pain of losing her rush into my mind, I choose to thank Him that she is no longer suffering and thank Him that He has sent me news of that precious bundle of joy and hope of new life.

I am serving as a leader in a Facebook group for this study. Each study grows sweeter and more precious and the ladies God places in my group bless me every day and they become more precious every day. I can’t wait to get on-line and be blessed by what’s happening in their lives and how they are growing. Again God placed me here last year knowing I would need them and all the leaders who have loved on me to ease that pain of sorrow.

So Melissa’s challenge was to list 5 things, and even to list 5 more and to continue to come back here to list more so here goes for right now my first 5:

MY LORD, MY FATHER, MY SAVIOR, MY ALL PS 145:3-4 (KJV) – “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.” I love my Lord so very much.  The more time I spend in the Word, the sweeter He grows.

My Husband Mix – God blessed me with a husband who is a strong man of God. His Godly love for all is amazing, and I have only come to realize that these last few years. He loves people like God loves us and he has taught me that gift. He has been and amazing husband, Father, and son and I am so excited to watch to see what an amazing grandfather he will be. He helped me with my Mom, never complaining as we pulled out of church every Sunday and drove to visit her and take her lunch. He helps around the house encouraging me and giving me time to love on my group and for years he would come home on those nights when I went by to see Mom and he would have a hot dinner waiting on me and usually a load of clothes already in the dryer and another in the wash. I love my man, and I thank God every day for sending him to me. He’s the man I am blessed to spend the rest of my life with. Forever and ever, AMEN!

MY PARENTS – I thank God for my parents because they were the parents He chose for me. They were not rich, but they were full of love and they taught me to be honest, hard-working, respecting, and gave me a love for my country and my Lord. I miss them, but when I do, I choose to remember all those precious memories that they left for me and thank them for giving me life and love. I thank him today for my family legacy and stories to pass down to my grandchildren.

MY CHILDREN – Bearing children was not an easy task for us – many miscarriages and years of trying and a doctor’s prognosis of the chances being zero – God knew different – He sent us first a son, Mix and later a daughter, Amanda who have filled us with joy like we had never experienced. The joy of watching seeing the miracle of them developing and growing, seeing that first smile, that first step, that first word. They have blessed our lives every day and even now as they are grown and married they bring joy watching them love the Lord and watching them enjoy life. Fishing and hunting with my son, shopping with my daughter – yes I am blessed. I am blessed they love God and am blessed they loved him enough that they married spouses who also love the Lord. Thanking God every single day for Stephen and Whitney and the spice they have added to this family.

MY OBS FAMILY – I retired in 2011. Shortly after God led me to MelissaTaylor.Org Online Bible Studies. My life is not the same. I love everything about it – the blog, the leaders, and my Facebook group. God has placed me in this season with so many precious, Godly women and I thank him for that. It is a lot of hard work and sometimes yes it is stress, but the blessings far outweigh the work. Growing daily in Him and with sooo many beautiful sisters in Christ!

And now I am stopping because I think I could keep going all night. I would love for you to share with me five blessings that God has given you! Will you post five here?

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