I’m always amazed by how much light one candle or one nightlight produces. When I go into a dark room and turn on a little four- or-seven-watt lightbulb, the difference is stunning. Even that tiny bit of light pierces the darkness and makes it easier to see.
I don’t feel as though I have a lot of light, but I need to shine the light I have. That little bit of light from a nightlight can keep me from stumbling in the dark. The little bit of light I shine may be what helps someone to gather the courage to keep going, to not give up, not give in, at least for one more hour or one more day.
“No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:15 (NLT)
I just returned from a “time-out”, a mini-vacation.
I didn’t go far, only upstairs to the porch. I took my ice tea, a pen and a book of word search/sudoku puzzles. I did word searches, listened to the birds, admired the trees with their green leaves-turning-to- gold, and enjoyed being able to “get away from it all”. Later I took a short walk towards the woods. After that it was time to close the car windows and while I did that, watch the stars and planets come out as the afternoon slowly turned to evening.
I came back from my mini-vacation feeling refreshed and relaxed—the way my body feels after a massage—only this time, it was my spirit.
I’ve come to realize I need to be outside for at least 20—30 minutes a day, every day. It doesn’t matter whether I do anything or not. Driving somewhere in the car doesn’t cut it; no, I have to be in nature: walking, mowing grass, sitting in a chair reading or doing puzzles, or simply appreciating God’s creation. It gives me perspective and calms my nerves.
Some other things I discovered I need to do every day:
something creative—write, take pictures, color, bake, or rearrange decorations
something for someone else
take time to think of God—His greatness, His kindness, His caring. I call this “dwelling on the Lord”. This may also take the form of reading devotionals.
OK, so I’m curious: Is there anything you’ve found you must do every day for your well-being, a non-negotiable for your life?
Today I asked the Lord to let me see “gems” of blessings sprinkled among the hours and tasks of my day. He did.
First, I prayed something unusual for me: since I planned to wash clothes, I asked that the washer and dryer would work. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed for that before. Just as the washer finished the second load of clothes, I noticed a narrow trickle of water coming from underneath the washer and heading for the kitchen. Then I saw the floor under the laundry tub was wet. At first, I thought, Wait aminute, I prayed that the washer would work, and it’s leaking! Then the “gem” of a blessing came to me: at least the water didn’t gush out; it was trickling out; it wasn’t a major disaster. Also: I had only one more load to do. Obviously, I wouldn’t be doing it today, but most of the clothes were done.
Secondly, we have a neighbor who has a trucking business. His tractor-trailer truck is LOUD. He lives a little farther up the road, probably about a quarter-of-a-mile away, and when he starts his diesel up, particularly at 3:30 am, I can hear the vibrations from the engine through our floor. I don’t sleep well anyway, and his truck doesn’t help matters. I admit to having not-nice thoughts about our neighbor. Today, while I was outside, my neighbor drove up the hill in his truck. I said, “Oh, that truck is SO loud! SO loud!” Then the thought (and the second gem) occurred to me: pray that God blesses him with a new truck that’s not so noisy!! Of course, that’s what I can do!
The third gem is good news from my mother’s doctor regarding the echocardiogram she had last week: her heart is working normally for her age. After the health issues she’s had in the past few months, and the anxiety I felt concerning the way she acted, this is very good news. It’s certainly in the blessing category.
I expect to be asking God more often to show me “gems” of blessing amidst my tasks and responsibilities for my days.
“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” Who remembers or has heard that song by Marvin Gaye “Ain’t no mountain high enough (to keep me from getting to you)”?
The singer declares his utter devotion, making a vow that nothing; no mountain, valley, river or storm will stop him from getting to the one he loves in her hour of need, he sings the heartfelt words “remember the day I set you free? -I told you, you could always count on me” and also “if you’re ever in trouble I’ll be there.” And all the one he loves has to do is ….call him.
A Constant Friend Isn’t that lovely? Doesn’t it make you go all warm and mushy inside? Honestly, did that song cause you to think, even for a moment, that you wished you had a friend who would, and could literally move…
On this Lord’s Day I am happy to present the second submission from our sister Beth Alisan; another beautiful and very effective doggy devotional, which I am sure will be a blessing to you today. I would highly recommend subscribing to Beth’s devotional blog Lessons From A Lab , which has been a huge blessing in my own spiritual walk.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you have a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
One of my memories of our Brittany Spaniel is of the burrs that would entangle themselves in her coat after a hunt with my father and brothers. Eventually, one of us would need to sit down and painstakingly work these burrs out of her long red and white fur.
The first time Adi emerged from a patch of tall grass with burrs adorning her coat I…
For the past four years, Adi and I maintained a certain morning routine. We got up, ate, then settled on the chair near the front window. While Adi enjoyed a post breakfast snooze, I enjoyed an hour of quiet time with the Lord. That time was a balance of devotional reading, Bible reading, and journaling. By the time I had finished my cup of coffee, I could hear my husband getting up and ready for work, which meant it was soon time to wake the kids before clipping a leash on Adi’s collar and heading out for our morning walk.
This morning routine was interrupted when our puppy Summer arrived. She had no interest in settling down after breakfast. Who could blame her? With a good night’s sleep and a belly full of food, she was ready for a round of puppy play. So, Adi and I obliged.
With this news, strengthen those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, Be strong & do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” Isaiah 35:3-4