Clouds in the Sky

On work days, I strive to eat in a half hour and walk for another 30 minutes. It gives me the best kind of lunch break, for me, a gal that loves nature and experiencing all of her senses. I love the feel of the sun and the breeze, the songs of birds, the scent of flowers (and even weeds), the buzz of bee’s, and the sight of the clouds fluffy, yet huge in the sky.

Today, I was half way down our lane when I realized that I was hearing a bit of thunder. My walking pace slowed as I pondered the possibility of rain. Decided that I didn’t mind getting a bit wet, then considered that the sound of thunder meant lighting in these parts. Yet, I saw no streaks of lighting in the sky, so I continued. I prayed to God up in the heaven’s. I said, “Lord, you know I need this walk, if you could keep me safe from lighting I would sure appreciate it….I need to live at least another 10 years if you don’t mind! Then I proceeded to be grateful for the beauty of the day, admiring clouds as I walked.

When I started out, there was a mixture of stormy looking skies and bright blue and fluffy white cloud looking skies. On my way back I noticed that above me, in a path before me was pure blue and fluffy white cloud skies and I could tell the sun was trying to peek out. On each side of me were dark skies and no sight of pure blue beyond in either direction. It was like God had given me a path back home of pure blue, fluffy cloud skies. “Amazing!” I said to the Lord, right out loud. “Bless you and thank you Lord!” I continued thanking the Lord for anything in sight and as I approached home, the sun came out from behind one of those fluffy clouds and shone its light down upon me and everything around me. Now, THAT was cool!

Lesson? Talk to the Lord when you have the chance, you’d be surprised what that can do for you!

PS: For any who may be concerned about my work ethic, and the time it took me to write this, I have some COMP time coming and I planned to use some of it today anyway. Don’t worry, I will keep track of my time! This story just had to be told.

Help Me Rest

I think most of you know that I read – a lot. I enjoy reading fiction where the characters are fascinating, and I enjoy reading self help, and lately a lot of spiritual themed works.

I have read half of the Sensible Shoes series (4 books in all), by Sharon Garlough Brown. The story is about 4 women and their spiritual journey’s. I enjoy the characters and two of the characters have hang ups similar to mine. These books have discussion guides at the end if you are interested in using them for a book club.

So far I have discovered a few things about myself (and God), thanks to the first 2 books that I have read. I have been trying to discern a purpose or a passion for my life from this day forward. I have time to do more good in the world, but struggle with what exactly that is supposed to be. Hannah, one of the characters in the book, learned that this burden can be lifted off of ourselves if we simply realize that God knows us well enough to know what will catch our attention. If he wants us to follow a certain path, He will make that known to us. She states that when we put confidence in our ability to hear God, it places all the burden of responsibility on us. I was constantly trying to discern a message from God. How much better to put our confidence in His ability and desire to speak to us – which allows us to put the burden on Him!

So help me rest in you, Lord. And give me patience to wait and the wisdom to see and hear what you lay before me.

Source: Two Steps Forward: A Story of Persevering in Hope, by Sharon Garlough Brown

Journaling

How many of you journal out there? I will admit, since my sister passed away in February, I have had difficulty doing what I MUST do, much less take the time to journal. But what I am thinking?!? Keeping a journal is the best way to deal with feelings, with grief, with my thoughts. Knowledgeable counselors tell us that putting our worries and concerns on paper helps us to get them out of our brain, so we are not worrying or ruminating excessively.

I have been keeping what I call a “prayer journal” for several years. I write in this journal when I feel that God has spoken to me in some way. When things happen that really can’t be explained by anything other than the knowledge that God had his hand in this occurrence.

I will share one of the stories in that prayer journal.

“Yesterday when I arrived at my son and daughter in laws house, my son sensed how down I was – he said he could feel the “negative vibes.” He was worried but said nothing. My daughter in law and I went to the IF women’s conference. I couldn’t get into the music as I had last year when I attended, and I took very few notes which is unusual for me. I had considered backing out of my registration for this conference, my sister had passed away in February, my house was ripped apart (planned before my sister passed), and I was genuinely tired of life. I slept poorly that evening and when we rose to go to the second day of the conference, I felt no better. Still dragging, but with a feeling of hope since talking to my son that morning and hugging my grandsons, I went to the conference. During the opening praise music, I again felt nothing which is odd for me. Music tends to be uplifting to me. During the last song, I asked God to please come into my heart and heal my sad soul. Two or three times I prayed for this. As the morning continued two or three of the speakers “spoke” to my heart and soul and I found myself writing notes frantically, looking things up in the bible that my daughter in law had given me, and feeling uplifted in an awesome way. I had another great conversation with my daughter in law and my son. We did a prayer circle together thanking God for healing me and asking him to help my son with whether he could make a career change, and help my husband as he continues to support me in my loss.”

I really did feel blessed that day and recording it in my prayer journal helped it all feel more powerful than if I had not. Also, if I would not have recorded it, I would have forgotten all about a day when I felt blessed. Now I can go back and remember.

Thank God that there is a God, for what would we do without Him!

Living life on this earth isn’t easy.  I think we can all agree to that.  So having someone to turn to when things get tough is huge for me.  Yes, we can rely on friends and family to help, but human beings have only so much to give before they have to pull back and take care of themselves in order to continue to give.

So, who can we turn to when things get really tough?  Who do you give your pain too?  Who listens and never gets tired of listening?  When our burdens get more than we can carry, who do we turn them over to?  Jesus, that’s who.  And having a relationship with Him sure helps you to turn to Him faster when things get tough.

I used to think, “Have a relationship with Jesus?  What do you mean by that?  I have always believed, is that what you mean?”

To find out the answers to those questions, I did a LOT of Christian reading.

Not every book or video touches your soul.  You need to find the right speaker/author.  So, I encourage everyone out there to do a bit of research.  Give a few authors/speakers a try.  Here are a few to check out:

  • Jan Karon
  • Sarah Young
  • Stormie Omartian
  • Karen Kingsbury
  • Richard Paul Evans
  • Joseph Girzone
  • Rick Warren
  • Matthew Kelly
  • Joyce Meyers
  • Norman Vincent Peale
  • Max Lucado
  • And The Bible of course

Thank you God, thank you Jesus, thank you Holy Spirit.  I thank you, I praise you.  I am grateful for your time and attention.  I couldn’t have continued without your love and support.

Just two examples of life’s struggles:

Spring, 2015 my dad became ill and ended up in assisted living.  If you have ever had a parent who has had to go through this, you know how painful it is for the family, how time consuming it can be.

Fall of 2016, that last back injury was almost more than I could handle.  Thanks Lord for your healing power.  It has taken over a year to heal and in many ways I am still healing….but am now physically healthier than I have been in a long time.

Then on top of all that, I have had friends and family members struggling with cancer.

Can you get through life’s struggles without Him?  I can’t.