Good reason to go shopping

I don’t know about you, but I love when I walk into a store and I hear that perky “Hi! Welcome!” from the employees stationed at the front of the stores.  That friendly smile they share, I happily return. Starts my shopping trip on the right foot.  The spunkiest greeters I think are the ones at my local Chick-fil-a and Hobby Lobby. ( Right now I miss them so much!!)  They make me feel like they are genuinely happy to see me specifically come in again! I know it is their job to be nice to me, but I enjoy the thought that they truly are extra chipper when I come into their workplace.

Now my absolute favorite greater is one who gets looked past often.  There is this sweet older lady at Wal-Mart, stationed in the garden department by their back door.  She is pure sunshine. She welcomes you as you enter and says hello to all the littles that pass by.  She gently waves at you as you leave and thanks you for shopping with them today.  She is unobtrusive, always there ready to help you, and if you take the time to stop and chit chat for a moment, you will find she has such a precious soul. Quiet and restrained, she was an observer of people during her walk of life. She spent her days waiting for her love to come back from serving his country…he never did.  They had no children and she never remarried.  Her heart was always just meant for one man. All the love she had to share she would find little moments to dispense among others who might have seemed down or alone.  She served in her church for years, in the background. For example she weekly would making meals and delivering them to shut ins, giving them the needed moments of personal interaction that let them know that they are important to someone. She wrote letters to lonely soldiers. She would read about Jesus to the tiny church members on Sundays. Is that not precious? Don’t you just want to hug her? You would never know how darling she is unless you stopped and took a moment of your day to really get to know her.  She has changed my shopping experiences for the better! I look forward to going just so I can bump into her and hopefully have a moment to get to know a little bit more about her.

I think this is how Jesus is looked at.  There are some people who just enjoy that weekly nod  at Him as they enter and leave church Sunday morning.  Then there are those who have more cheery Jesus moments because they speak “Christian” and go to church.  They profess but they really don’t come to “shop” with Him.  Then there are those who hear His voice as He welcomes them and are drawn to know more about Him.  It changes them.  They begin to shine. These Christians stop and honestly take the time to get to know the REAL JESUS.  He is more than an icon to them. More than something to throw into conversations to make you look like a good person. Jesus is so precious to them.  He makes them want to come to see Him everyday.

The Lord is greeting us every single day.  “Hello my beloved child!! Welcome!!”

Are we going to just nod and smile at Him and keep on walking? Or are we going to sit down, spend some quality time and really get to know the One who took the nails that were meant for us?

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Morning Friend!!

Oh my goodness!! We have a bit to catch up on!! Hurry and grab your mug while the coffee is still hot in the pot and settle on down here with me so we can have a little fellowship time before my whole house wakes up! You picked a good day to stop by!!

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Today is: Friday April 24, 2020

Outside is: getting stinking hot!! Really this weather is wack. Just 2 days ago we had light rain falling from the sky, the fireplace roaring snuggled up on the couch doing our homeschool lessons with potato cheese soup on the stove. Today its going to be 92 and the thought of hot soup for dinner is just not a good idea. Positive side, my plants are thriving!!

In the oven for dinner: I have leftover chicken from last night. It is a Montreal mango chicken that is going to be really good on a bed of lettuce with bell peppers and avocado. I may even run out and pick up some Hawaiian bread to have with it!! Oh my word, dinner is going to be delicious!!

What I have been thinking about: I am really wanting to get myself back into gardening.  I had to stop for a while when the littles hit high school because we were it seemed like everywhere all the time. Whoever said that homeschoolers are sheltered and had no social lives was INSANELY MISINFORMED!! Sweet corn and carrots are they not!! My kids had events, service projects, dances, classes…we were ALWAYS RUNNING SOMEWHERE!! I just really feel in my heart the want to just slow down a little and get my hands dirty helping things to grow. I want to feel the joy of seeing my little seedlings popping through the earth. I want to drop bits of water over the little plants as they begin to bring forth fruit or veggies knowing how delicious they are going to taste. I have found some videos on Amazon Prime that have reinforced this feeling. Is it just me or have you been feeling a need to get back to maybe things you have done in the past? Honestly. Curious if it is just me or is it going to be something many people are going to embrace.

The project I am working on: I am so excited about the project I am working on!! You know how I said I want to get back into gardening? I don’t have a ton of space anymore in my backyard but I have enough to have a little garden and I am going to use it!! My husband is so sweet he just finished making me a raised bed to start my taco garden in!

Mood today: I am excited! I am really happy to watch all my little seeds grow and hopefully feed my family.  The rest of the world may be in chaos but I am finding structure and joy in the little things that are consistent in my life.

What I am reading: I am actually still reading The Ezekiel Generation by Grant Berry. It is an eye opener. I love how I am now seeing how the Bible has even another layer written into it that I would never have seen. It is from the Jewish perspective and it has opened a part of my heart for them. They are such a special people and God loves them so much. It is an honor to be able to understand how powerful His love is for them and what my role is to bring them Jesus. I have not finished it yet but I already highly recommend it to any Christian who wants to grow their faith.

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School stuff: Oh Mylanta, the end of the year pull to get things finished is hitting. Belle is not happy as to how much stuff I am starting to really expect done well from her.  Her besties are already getting ready for high school work and I am expecting the same level of work from her. We are still having fun because I believe you should have fun learning. So we have had creative time, actually all of us, making chalk paintings, sending letters of hope and joy, baking cookies to share…we may not be able to serve at church in the same manner, but we are the church and we will find new ways to serve. It is encouraging to see how they find ways to help.  We started reading The Diary of Anne Frank this week too. Those Christians found incredible ways to serve, ways that had every possibility of ending their lives if discovered. We finished The Hiding Place earlier so this just amplified her understanding of the danger people sometimes have to put themselves in to do the right thing. It can be scary and God does not call everyone to do the dangerous, but we can all do something.

Picture to share:

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One of my favorite nephews got married this week!! I am so happy for them!! Look at the joy they are just bursting with!! Been sending up tons of prayers of blessings for these to crazy kids!! Love seeing when couples are still getting married during all this insane quarantine business. To me this means that it really is about getting married, not all the hoopla that can go along with it. It really is because they love each other and want to spend forever as a married couple.

Oh golly. We have been chit chatting for longer than I thought!! Wish we had more time.  Praying the Lord will continue to bless you and keep you from harm and illness.  Stay safe and find joy in today my friend. We will talk again soon.

Sharing Thoughts Sent From A Friend

So many interesting things to ponder here…

The official lockdown started March 23 and will likely end May 1st. That is EXACTLY 40 days.

The Latin root of the word “quarantine” is “forty”.

So what does the Bible say about 40?

The flood lasted 40 days.

40 years Moses fled Egypt.

40 days Moses stayed on Mount Sinai to receive the Commandments.

Exodus lasted 40 years.

Jesus fasted for 40 days.

40 days for a woman to rest after giving birth.

Optimum number of weeks for human gestation is 40.

A group of theologians thinks the number 40 represents “change”. It is the time of preparing a person, or people , to make a fundamental change.

Something will happen after these 40 days.  Just believe and pray.  Remember whenever the number 40 appears in the Bible, there is a “change”.

Please know that during this “quarantine” rivers are cleaning up, vegetation is growing , the air is becoming cleaner because of less pollution, there is less theft and murder, healing is happening and most importantly, people are turning to Christ. The earth is at rest for the first time in many years and hearts are truly transforming.

Remember we are in the year 2020, and 20+20=40.

Also, 2020 is the year of the United States Census. Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world was born during a census.

Lastly, 2020 is perfect vision. May our sight focus on the Lord and living according to His perfect vision for us knowing He holds us in the palm of His hand.

Post copied.  Thanks Tonya Garduno and Dedrah Wilson Littleton

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Flashback Friday

I am not quite sure what everyone else has been up to during this quarantine for fun. I have recently been going over old photos and old writings. I had the notion that since some of you I have never met before, these old pictures from when my family was younger might give a peek into our past.

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Oh my word is this picture old. We were just babies. I was in my early twenties not having any clue what direction the Lord had planned for me. I was so slender!!

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My fierce warrior son!!  This is maybe 10 years ago with his friend Austin. Love the crazy armor they created to battle evil together.

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Love this picture!! Here is my  great grandma’s namesake, my oldest daughter just looking cute.  She was maybe 14 and is probably mad as heck at me right now for posting this!! LOL!!

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Here are my two youngest beauties 10 years ago just silly little giggle monsters!! I swear they are still the same!! Always having fun together, these two sisters make me happy to just hear them teasing and bubbling with joy.

Don’t you love going through memories, happy memories with your loved ones? It is one of my favorite things to do with my kiddos.  We grab the old photo albums and cuddle up on the couch, fireplace roaring and cocoa steaming in our mugs. The silly stories start spilling out. Loud belly laughing begins echoing off the living room walls. Before you know it we have snacks out, our sides are sore and mascara is smeared from happy tears of laughter. It is always a good heartwarming adventure.

I know sometimes its fun to see pictures from our past, to see a glimpse of how much we have grown.  I am floored to see how much we all have changed, how the Lord has refined our walk. We have walked through fire, alone and as a family, yet He has been there with us through it all. I know in the next ten years, He is going to shape and mold us even more. I pray we will continue to grow closer to Him as we choose to seek Him in our battles. Our victory is in Him.

 

Musings at Midnight

My house is so quiet and still, which is honestly rare. I have my window cracked above my bed and feel a chilly breeze whispering through my blinds bringing goosebumps to my exposed arms. I  snuggled back down under my covers watching the slight movement of my ceiling fan pull cords dancing in the night with the airflow silently.

I know it is way to late for me to be awake right now.  The vexatious blasts of noise meant to awaken me will be blaring in just a few hours and I truly need to get some sleep. Yet my brain will not calm down!! Thoughts just keep scampering around and around, not in a troublesome way, but truly contemplating a sermon I listened to before falling into my bed.

It was from Matthew 14:25-36, when Jesus calmed the storm. ( Just try and tell me we are not all walking in a serious storm right now!!)

Here is the part that is keeping me up.  Remember how incredible it was that Jesus comes to His friends walking on the water? Remember how Peter sees the Lord and calls out ” command me to come to You.”  So the Lord replied “come.”  Peter threw his legs over the side of the boat, without one small doubt, he began WALKING ON THE WATER to the Lord.

It only lasted for a little bit, but WOW!!! That is how I want to be. Well not the sinking in the sea part, but I want to see Jesus, listen for His call and then jump!! No thoughts of worry or “what if” to fill my mind.  I just want to be so focused on the fact that my Savior is right there in front of me and has a plan for me.  Yes!! That is who I want to be.

I am truly in awe of Peter’s whole thought process that was centered on “You want me? You are going to help me to do what the whole world calls impossible? Right on!! Let’s do this!!”

At that moment, the enemy never even stood a chance.  Peter knew Jesus.  HE knew as crazy as an idea might sound to his simple human hears, God was greater and WITH HIM, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.  Any whispers of negative were shielded by Peter’s intense FAITH AND TRUST in the Almighty.  Is it just me or does that blow your mind too?

Peter, who was kinda a knucklehead, still had tremendous faith!!  Impenetrable focus on The One.  So much so that he DID what we all would consider impossible!! Imagine what we all could do if we really did have that intensity in our faith and focus!! Oh Christian, I pray we find this powerful faith within ourselves today and magnify it immensely all for the glory of God.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Contentment

Friend are you content in Christ?

Being content in Jesus is a learned self sufficiency that brings us peace and confidence.  It is the knowledge that we are adequate, we are enough, because we have Christ within us.

You know that thought just brought a smile to your face! It is a blessing!! We are good because Christ is in us!!  We are good!!  That is a joy that should shine forth from us every single day!! It is proclaiming that Jesus is our everything!! We will not worry because we know that He has got this!!  He has already prepared a way for us to walk through and prosper!!  Through any and every trial, He has been there before us and is there with us at that moment ready to hold our hand.  HE HAS CHOSEN YOU!!

That should  bring our hearts comfort, courage and the contentment that we all seek.

If we can be content in sickness, loss, pain, abandonment, meanness, abuse, infidelity and so many other difficult situations then the people who live without Christ will want to know why and how.  It is an open door to conversations.  Peace of the believers soul shouts volumes to the tortured.

Be blessed today my friend. May peace and His love surround you today and always.

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Morning Friend!

Hello!!

How is your day in quarantine treating you? I have a few moments and thought it has been a while since we sat down and had a chat, got caught up on what is new in our lives, right? So here I sit with coffee in hand ready to chew the fat a little with you this morning!!

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Today is: Thursday April 9, 2020

Outside is: It is brisk and consistently rainy. Oh I love this weather so much!! I sit wrapped up in a cuddly blanket with my coffee or tea and just watch the rain come down. It smells divine. There is something so peaceful about rain.

I can smell: My son bought me a candle for my birthday that is pineapple scented. I would say that it smells great right now but I just let one of my doggies in from outside and I would say the extremely pungent scent of wet dog is overpowering the pineapple  at the moment. Ewh.

In the oven for dinner: I am excited for dinner tonight!! I am making chicken alfredo pizza!! Homemade pizza trumps store bought every time!! I will probably make a basic turkey pepperoni pizza for the boys too. They are traditionalist when it comes to pizza flavors!! Ha Ha!!

What I have been thinking about: Wow. So much has been going on in my brain lately. While Belle and I have been studying the book of James for our Bible lessons, I have also been reminiscing as to how we would share Jesus as a family during this season for years.  Our family favorite is taking surprise Easter egg hunts to unsuspecting families. We would decorate a basket, sometimes with little gifts inside, then hide all over their front yard plastic eggs filled with little candies except for one, because the tomb was empty.  This is the first year, because of the quarantine, we have not been able to do this. This is so sad. Bringing this back around to my thought process, James was talking to the Christians about facing trials in that period. God called the Christians to share their faith.  It was not always safe to share Jesus at that time yet they found a way.  We need to heed this truth even today.  Just because we are stuck inside we can still find ways to share The Good News. We have been talking about how Jesus chose to be stuck on a cross because He knew it was for our good. We are choosing to be stuck indoors because we know it is for the good of the health of our country. There are still ways we have been brainstorming about together as to how we can still share the joy of Jesus.  The girls took chalk out and covered our sidewalk with bible verses. We sent out Easter cards and uplifting texts to family and friends. We decorated our front window with a sign that says “He is risen” We are wearing our Jesus Never Fails sweatshirts when we are out getting essentials. Even though the enemy might be trying to isolate us and make this the first Easter that gets forgotten, no thoughts about Jesus, bringing in depression and sadness in this containment, our family is choosing to fight back and find ways to share the peace that comes with keeping Jesus at the focus of everything.

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The project I am working on: My favorite project right now, I am going to build a place to plant my mini garden!! I was at Aldi the other day and found a mini greenhouse for under $40! I know, I should only have gone in for the essentials, eggs, fruit, bread and such but while I was waiting in line, 6 feet apart from the other shoppers, I looked at the lowers shelf next to me and there were 2 boxes being ignored. GREENHOUSES!! I am so excited!! It is small but perfect to grow one or two tomato plants, some onions and maybe a pepper plant!! I can’t wait to see the difference from container growing to greenhouse!! Fun!!

Mood today: I am content. It has been a while since I could say that. My world has been…well…unexpected trials and challenges that are meant to shake your faith. Would not wish that on anyone, but it has shone me who I really am and content in this moment is a good thing.

What I am reading: Literally just started this book last night, it is The Ezekiel Generation: The Father’s Heart for Israel and The Church in The Last Days  by Grant Berry. The author is a Jewish believer who wants to help The Church reconnect with Israel, leading Gentiles and Jews to Christ before the end of days. So I am only 35 pages in, but so far it is interesting.

School stuff: Well this quarantine has not really changed our learning over here.  We are still doing the english, math, science, history and bible stuff. I am a little sad that our reading of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is over. That has always been one of my favorites. Historical reads that really help you picture the time period and understand what it was like to live in that era give the past life, at least to me. Belle was not impressed. She thankfully has a hard time connecting with the negative thoughts of the people against the blacks. It makes no sense to her to dislike someone based on the color of their skin. To treat someone as being less than someone else just because of the amount of melanin in their bodies just does not compute in her brain.  I am blessed in that aspect, but trying to explain that this was the norm and that there are still people that still believe and live this way was painful to my heart.

Picture to share:

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Belle made herself a cute snack box for doing her homework. She is so stinking creative!!

It was great getting to reconnect with you friend. Praying The Lord will bless you and keep you safe from harm and illness. Stay safe and I look forward to hanging out again soon!!