Stop to Smell the Roses … and Count Them, Too.

I love roses. Really, I love flowers of almost any kind, but I’ve always been partial to roses, poppies and Gerber daisies.

Particularly, in red and hot pink… but these orange roses above are absolutely beautiful as well!!

And lately, I’ve been drawn to them more and more while being reminded of the phrase, “Stop to smell the roses.”

See, life has just been crazy busy lately. Busy in good ways, I suppose, but busy nonetheless. And I find my heart longing for a pause…

A pause for refreshment. A pause for reflection. A pause for renewal.

In everyday life, and especially, in the busy days of life, if you don’t have those pauses that bring refreshment, reflection and renewal, you might very well die. If you don’t die, you might drown in the heaviness around you. If you don’t don’t drown, you might just grow resentful or depressed or burnt out.

You’ve got to pause. And you can’t pause with chaos in your head. You’ve got to pause away from the frantic. You’ve got to pause out of the panic. You’ve got to pause beyond the emotion and turmoil.

Get alone till you’re not alone anymore.

Sit still until you are still.

Breathe until you do breathe.

And then, inhale even deeper and smell those roses.

And then, take another minute to count them.

I promise you. If you’ll do this often, you’ll find you can face tomorrow a whole lot easier. … doesn’t mean tomorrow will be easier. It just means you’ll be a little stronger to face it.

I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness.

Psalm 145:5-7

Monday Musing on Tuesday

[*I do not own nor possess this pic.
Simple google search.]

Sometimes, you’re going to appear insane simply because you disagree… or at least, those in the River of conformity will say.

Sometimes, you’re going to sound crazy simply because you won’t comply… or at least, those in the push for an agenda will claim.

Sometimes, you’re going to wonder if you might be going nuts simply because you won’t say yes… or at least, those in the camp of trend, popularity and fame will declare.

Never allow those around you, and especially those against you, to convince you to jump off the cliff simply because every sheep on the planet has.

Make up your own mind.

Choose one Sovereign authority and follow Him.

His Truth is Absolute, and absolute Truth is, itself, exclusive.

Don’t lose it.

Don’t give it away.

And certainly, NEVER sell it to the highest bidder!

Truth is a precious gift. A precious commodity.

Hold on to it.

No matter the cost.

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

John 8:31-32

What Do We See and Who Do We Seek?

Today’s been one of my reading days…

I’ve been catching up on articles that have surprised, challenged or even overwhelmed my thoughts on normality and what “being good” is all about… no, I don’t look at life through sheltered eyes, and sin really doesn’t “surprise” me.

Yet, what overwhelms my heart is the truth of Scripture that tells us (paraphrased), “The fields are white with harvest, but the laborers are few.” …and they are SO few. We are so burdened with the cares of this world, I’m not sure how many lost we actually see in our day-to-day, and if we do see them, do we just keep on walking by trying not to offend?

What boggles my mind is the rampant demand in our culture to call good evil and evil good. There is a new “common norm” that is flowing like a rushing River. All those opposed to it are hailed as evil, trying to build a dam to stop the flow, and some in that parade even give the confusing claims to Christ while shouting everything He hates is good and everything He loves must be from hell itself. Others stand on the wall of the dam screaming at the water, describing all the nastiness in the liquid but never giving it hope to see that the dam isn’t there for its detriment but rather for it’s transformation to something better.

What challenges my soul is how I can reach out in love AND truth to share His story, even if it might be just one life at a time. How can we create a culture that loves God, hates sin, seeks His perfection while compassionately love the imperfect-ed around us?

Can’t it start with just one? Doesn’t it start with me and you turning our accusing fingers back at our own hearts and kneeling at the foot of a bloody cross and repenting?

Oh God, help us to have eyes that SEE the lost. Help us to have a heart to CARE that they’re lost, and help us to have the courage to SPEAK Your Truth! Your children have been silent for far too long…

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven , and I will forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

Monday Musings: Lessons Learned from 2020 and COVID-19

This has been quite a year for so many, and some would say this has been the absolute worse year ever, others would just say it stinks. I’m not sure there’s many at all who would say it’s been the best year; yet, maybe a three year old could have this perspective.

I will say it’s not been an amazingly wonderful year; it’s certainly had it’s challenges. However, I’d have to admit, it’s not been the worst year I’ve ever experienced.

Some of the worst years of my life were the year after my grandfather passed away, or the year we lost our first child after trying to conceive for 13 months, or the year I battled depression for a good half of the year… yeah, perspective always brings sunlight into the day.

Yet, there are some things this year of 2020 has taught me, and I thought I’d add it to my previous lists written near the beginning of all this

1. No matter what comes into my life, with God, I can walk through fire and I can stand in the rain…even if I have to grab the fire extinguisher and maybe a boat paddle!

2. Regardless what the days bring, you still have a choice to take another breath and move forward or clamp down on oxygen and lie down to die…I choose to breathe.

3. Despite the ugly, the tornadic, the chaos or the devastation, there is always hope, you just have to search for it…often times, it will be buried deep within.

4. Although, there may be confusion and uncertainty, if you know the right source from which to draw strength, you will have an endless supply…the Source is your key.

5. Life brings with it all kinds of ups and downs, doubts and fears, turmoil and challenges, questions and very few answers; yet, when you have a firm foundation, those specific answers may not always become easier to find, but the principles to these will be as sure anchor doe your soul.

6. Everyone needs a friend. Choosing to live out your life in isolation and avoidance is just a waste of life! … choose friends carefully, but choose them.

7. Having the courage to call out when you’re in trouble can be scary, and it definitely will make you more vulnerable than many of us like to be, but honestly, having moments of vulnerability brings humility back into our prideful flesh…and the courage it takes to ask makes us all that stronger.

8. Life has been known to bring us lemons, and sometimes, they can be the sourest ever grown, but if you’ll add a little sugar, you’ll find that lemonade to be quite refreshing… mind you, sometimes, you better add a lot!

9. No matter the clouds that brew overhead, always remember, there is a sun still shining. You may not see it today or tomorrow, but keep looking up, and it’s bound to eventually burst forth and warm up your skin.

10. If you believe there is no hope to ever be found, just stop in your tracks, take a deep breath, and place your hand to your heart to feel that beat…if there is still a rhythm, then there is always a glimmer of hope.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.

1 Peter 1:13

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people…

Ephesians 1:18

Saturday’s Musings of Whimsical Fun Days

It’s been a bit since I sat down to write, and my fingers have aches for the pen and paper (or in this case, the keys of the keyboard). It seems life has become a bit of a whirlwind, and other things take priority over the enjoyment of my blogging right now. It kind of makes me sad, but more, I’d have to admit it makes me frustrated.

Writing is when my mind relaxes and my soul pours out to become a settled peace. Taking pen to paper, or even my fingertips to the keys, has a stabilizing, relaxing effect to my mind.

My thoughts can be swirling, tossing and turning, and I will pick up my pen and journal and begin writing until my heart is content. Sometimes, that only needs to be a half hour, yet, at other times, I might linger for hours, but when it has all been spent, my head is clear, and my breathing steady.

I do believer I may have to write for my own sanity, at least, for my own tranquility. Yet, these writings have to mean something as well.

They cannot be frivolous words written in a frantic that have no meaning, no strength. They have to come from deep in the soul, and first and foremost, they must be a nod to my Creator.

For after all, He placed the desire in my heart. He buried the longing deep within the recesses of my mind, and when I start penning, He is always there, as if my writing becomes a one-on-one conversation to His heart.

So today, I say, “Thank You.” Thank you to my Creator for breath, and life and grace. Thank you for joy, and peace and hope. All the things with which You overwhelm my life.

And thank You for this longing, this unquenchable desire to send You a love letter from the depths of my being. For without You, I am nothing.

But with You, I can conquer any fear, I can scale any mountain, I can slay any giant. For You within me are a mighty force with which to be reckoned. Thank You! ❤️

I will cry to God Most High, Who accomplishes all things on my behalf [for He completes my purpose in His plan].

Psalm 47:2 (AMP)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

Friday Fun Day

Sometimes, in order to have a Friday Fun Day, you have to remember where you’ve been rather than where you find yourself today…

And you have to find the joys in the truths that exist…

Like having your son return from college to bring his piles of laundry home for you to wash…

Like having a husband who’s worked hard outside, clearing brush and a fallen tree and brought his clothes in for you to wash…

Like having your son love the outdoors so much that he gets out there as much as possible and brings his dirty, smelly clothes in for you to wash…

Laundry might not seem like a joyous celebration, and I’d much rather be on top of that majestic mountain on a beautiful day like today…

But I will make it a moment of joy as I remember this delightful date day with my man and hold the sweet love of my sons in my heart as I know they’re all safe and secure under one roof today.

Gratefulness is an attitude.

Thanksgiving is a lifestyle.

Appreciation is a perspective you choose to live out, or you find yourself missing out!

…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Friday Fun Day

Sometimes, you’ve just got to be whisked away by the sun, the waves and the wind.

Even if it is only in your mind’s eye that you sail away…

Happy Friday Fun Day!

Friday Fun Day

Sometimes, to have a Friday Fun Day, you need to just sit by the rushing waters and let all the cares of this world wash away with the falls.

Sometimes, to find your peace, you’ll need to pause the calendar and step away.

Sometimes, to find your laughter again, you’ll need to take notes from the bubbling brooks and rustling trees.

Never get so lost in today’s “to do’s” that you forget about you.

Never get so consumed in the agendas that you forget those you value and love.

Now, go have yourself a Friday Fun Day! 💗

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul.”

Psalm 23:2-3a

Whimsical Wednesdays in my Musings

Since I missed Monday Musings today, I thought I’d add it today’s whimsical thoughts, as I feel a bit melancholy today…

I don’t feel bad, and I’m not necessarily sad. I just feel a bit more somber than most days.

I suppose, it’s mostly because today is my grandfather’s 94th birthday. But he’s not here to celebrate. He’s in heaven.

We said goodbye to him 18 years ago (on Oct. 6); so, today is not a new day or even a surprise from what it has been for many years now.

Yet, I always miss him on these days. My life was changed that day, and as much as I’m so thankful I’ll see him again one day on the other side, it doesn’t change the fact.

I miss him deeply. And today, I’ve had a thought time shaking the invading blues.

The sun is shining brightly, the breeze is blowing slightly, and it’s a warm 79 degrees here in Georgia. My life is blessed, and I really cannot complain.

In fact, I am overly blessed, and he’d never want me to be sad, even in his absence. So, I’ll put a smile on my face until I feel it down deep in my soul.

For he is no longer in pain. He is no longer suffering. He is rejoicing in our eternal home, and I will see him again.

So, as my heart continues to heal, as it does with time, memories and purpose, I will lift my hands today and worship my King.

For He is worthy of that worship, and it changes me in the midst of my obedience.

…And it makes that smile sink a little deeper to the depths of my being to bring sunlight through the rain.

“Why, my soul, are you downcast?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

for I will yet praise him,

my Savior and my God.”

Psalm 42:11

“The Lord is my strength and my shield;

my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.

My heart leaps for joy,

and with my song I praise him.”

Psalm 28:7

Whimsical Wednesday

Sail on, son. Sail on.

Sail past those trials.

Sail past those pains.

Sail past those failures.

Sail past that shame and regret.

Embrace the sun and soak it in.

Soak it in deep, cuz you’re gonna need it to survive.

Not just to survive but to thrive.

Let the moon of His shadow light the way through the dark.

No matter the abyss of the unknown, the rays of His promise will chase away the haze.

The winds of this world blow hard, always wanting to knock you off course.

The waves of this culture devour fast, always seeking to destroy peace, joy, and clarity of mind.

Stay the course, son.

Never become distracted by what was, what is or what one day might be.

Keep Him at the helm, and you will find a steadier voyage.

Keep Him at the forefront of navigation, and you will find your destination not far ahead.

I may not always be present in form, but you can rest assured, I am always near your heart.

And you will always be held tenderly within mine.

“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

2 Corinthians 4:3-6