Saturday, May 18, 2024

Congratulations, graduates!

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

It seems like yesterday that we held these babies in our arms.

Eighteen years ago, between October and March, four babies were born into our family. My siblings and I each added a new grandbaby to our bundles. It’s been a joy to watch the four of them grow into themselves. Dylan (the only girl) Casey, Cody, and Colton played together at family gatherings and now they all have the honor of being high school graduates.

Cody, Casey, Colton, & Dylan Cousins-photo by Maggie

My heart overflows with joy for them, and I'm curious to see where the future takes them. Their paths will vary, and their vocations differ, but their hearts will all show the kindness and caring they’ve learned from their parents.

When young people graduate, they hear lots of advice. I’ve shared some with my granddaughter, Dylan, and I’m sure the boys have all heard guidance from their people. When it comes to scripture, the words I want them to place in their hearts are to trust in God, seek His wisdom, and listen to His guidance.

I have a t-shirt that says, “God has a plan, so I have a purpose.” God does have a purpose for each person’s life, sometimes it takes a while to figure out where He leads, but we can’t go wrong when we trust Jesus with our life.

I pray over all the graduates as they venture into the world of adulting. It’s not easy, but it can be blessed with joy and hope when you follow God’s word and seek His guidance.

I pray for these four as they step into the next phase of life. 

Invite God to walk beside you.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Sprout!

The seeds in Dilly's Garden have soaked up the rain and sunshine.
The zinnia and cosmo have pushed through the dirt.

I love to see the new growth in the spring, before the flowers bloom.
They remind me of watching a child grow into themselves---
like God watches us grow in Him.

Hold your hands out and take in the sun and rain God offers from His word.


 

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Walking Shoes

1 John 1: 5-7
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

My husband, Tim, said to me, “A good shoe is a shoe you don’t notice.”

I have a hard time buying comfortable shoes. My feet have not aged well, and I can no longer wear heels (not that I wore them much anyway) and I need a wide footbed. My go-to brands have become Topo for tennis shoes and Earth shoes for “dress” shoes. Fortunately, once I figure out what size I need, they usually fit me when I order them online.

One day, Tim, Rosie May, and I walked around the path at the park. I had on my newest pair of Topos and Tim asked me how they felt. I told him I didn’t notice any pain, as a matter of fact, I didn’t notice them at all. That’s when he said they must be a good shoe. Without any tingles, aches, stones poking through, or pain the shoes marched along content to do their job.

As we continued to chat, the conversation turned to life and how if we are on the best path, doing the right things—following God’s lead—it’s kind of like a pair of well-fitting shoes. Guilt isn't poking my conscience because I'm making choices according to God's guidance. I’m not stumbling over something I shouldn’t have said. My soul is not aching from misguided intentions, because I’m following the Master’s guidance and walking with Him.

When I take my eyes off of Jesus, I stumble and feel the pain of my ill-chosen choices, just like I feel the pain from ill-fitted shoes.

Take the time to listen to God’s lead, seek His wisdom, and walk by His side. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Miles to Go

The woods are lovely dark and deep,
but I have promises to keep.
and miles to go before I sleep...
-Robert Frost

One of my favorite poets penned these words many years ago, 
and I took them to heart, to mean I had much to do in this world as I serve God.

One thing I do these days is take a walk with Tim and Rosie
through the wooded area in our park.
That's where much of the inspiration comes from for my blog.

I often think about and pray about what God wants me to do, 
to make, to write, who He wants me to interact with and love on.

God knows my path, and I'm glad my journey often meanders through the woods.



 

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Prime the Pump

1 Peter 3:15-16
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

The grass is growing.

Not mowing the yard is one of the advantages of living in a condo. Of course, we pay a fee for others to rev the engines and ride around our part of the common space, but we don’t miss mowing.

I remember learning from my dad to prime the pump—before I started the mower. If I didn’t prime the pump, mechanical failure caused the mower to stop working.

Over the years, when we owned homes with yards, we took turns mowing, but Tim did most of it. I enjoyed it until my allergies caused me too much discomfort. No matter how many times we mowed, the pump got primed when it needed to.

Now, when I think of priming the pump, my mind goes to spiritual matters. I’ve seen this quote many times: “You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” Some attribute it to CS Lewis, but others say it’s anonymous. Regardless, I find myself understanding I need to prime my spiritual pump to take care of my soul.

Every day, I prime my physical pump with coffee to start the day. Maybe you get your pump going with tea, juice, or a smoothie, but how do I prepare my soul to face the day?

I try to spend a bit of time in the morning reading scripture while I sip my coffee. Some verses I read to prime my pump include: Galatians 5:22-23 (The Fruit of the Spirit) Proverbs 3:5-6 (Trust in the Lord) Romans 15:13 (Hope) and 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 (How to live my life) and so many more.

The Bible primes my pump and so does Sunday morning worship. I love the music we sing at church and what I listen to on the Christian radio channel. It fills my heart with joy. I love learning from the sermons and from sharing with friends and family about scripture throughout the week.

How do you prime your spiritual pump? Music, scripture, community? Whatever it is, keep at it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

I Spy a Jack-In-the-Pulpit

Sometimes the beauty of a plant isn't in it's colorful bloom,
but in the memories I recall.
When I spy a Jack-in-the-pulpit in the woods, 
I'm reminded of growing up in church 
and listening to the preacher behind the pulpit.

My foundation in Jesus was built by the many truths 
I learned on Sunday mornings, 
and the ones I continue to hear at our church today.

Thanks to those who share God's truth.