Perfect Rest

What causes you to have the best sleep? There is nothing better than having nice, soft, clean sheets to help me sleep. The last time I changed the sheets, I must have pulled out a set of sheets that we had not used for a long time. They were stained and had a few holes in them. They didn’t have that soft, silky feel that I like. My husband commented on the sheets and I told him that I would retire them when I took them off the next time. When I changed the sheets again, I folded the old sheets and sent them on their way to where sheets go when they retire.

I had placed the clean sheets on the bed but had not gotten back to put them on the bed when my husband said he was going to go relax and read. I said I needed to put the sheets on the bed so he helped me. It is always funny for him to help with the sheets. photography-of-bedroom-1034584First of all, this bottom sheet has elastic all the way around so it is hard to tell which way it goes. We got tickled as we readjusted the sheet for the proper fit and finally got it on. Then it was time for the top sheet. We have always placed the sheet on the bed and then said, “I have this much. How much do you have?” Then we will readjust so the top sheet and then the quilt start out even.

It really doesn’t matter how much my husband starts with on his side of the bed because I usually end up with the sheet and the blanket. When you have a husband who travels as much as mine has over the years, you get used to wrapping up in the covers and then having to readjust when he comes home. There was all the difference in the world in the feel of the new set of sheets. Rest came easily that night.

Ah! Peaceful sleep. 

Jesus said, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 NAS

“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.” Psalm 4:8 NIV

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29-30 NIV

What wonderful rest that must be. Jesus’ rest. I have heard of Beauty Rest mattresses and Egyptian cotton sheets, but just imagine Jesus Rest. How amazing is that. 

Th next time you change your sheets, remember to ask Jesus for that Perfect rest that only he can give. 

bed-bedroom-furniture-headboard-279746

I Was a Non-Person

males-1903317_1280

My birthday was in November, but I did not realize until December 2nd that my driver’s license had expired in November. I knew that they give you about 30 days to renew so I didn’t panic, I just went to the courthouse to get a new one.

Everything was going fine until they took my picture. The lady at the desk told me that my eyes didn’t match my previous picture. Really? These are the only eyes I have ever had.  Apparently, the computer software digitally measures your eyes to determine whether the pictures match. They took 4 pictures and still could not determine that I was me. How do I prove that I am me? 

document-id-uk-driving-license-driving-licence-45113I was told that I would have to go to a driver’s testing facility to get my license. I was to take my social security card, birth certificate, passport, and marriage license. I knew that my social security card, birth certificate, and passport were in a secure place but had no idea where my marriage license was. I sure hoped I did not have to prove I was a married person anytime soon. I knew that we had a license, but where it is might have been was a question that did not have an easy answer.

While looking for documents, I realized that my passport had expired in July. That meant that my 2 pieces of identification that had a picture were both expired. I was definitely a nonperson. How was I going to prove that I am me? 

My husband and I went through our bills and found several pieces of mail with my name and address. I then set off to try to prove my existence.

I arrived at the driver’s license facility and took a number. As I sat there patiently, my mind began to wonder what was going to happen if I could not resolve the problem. How would I prove who I am?

I began to think about what I could prove about myself. I could bring in people who could attest to the fact that I am me, but what could I prove about myself. I am 8 years older than that picture on my license since I renewed my license online. My red hair has turned blonde so my hair was not cooperating. The documents that I had were specific to me, but would they believe me?

The scripture that kept coming to mind was 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Well, maybe I just needed to take a look at my driver’s license and make sure that all things are new.

bodyworn-794099_1280When it was my turn and I explained my problem. The state trouper said that they should have never taken my picture with my glasses on 8 years ago. The technology was relatively new then and they have learned a lot. She did change my hair color to blonde but told me that blonds have more fun. I have had a lot of fun as a red head but I guess those days are just memories now. I was happy to be a person again – with identification.

I know that the Lord does not need a license or a passport to know my name. He has known me since before I was created in my mother’s womb. I am thankful that when I get to heaven, He will know who I am and find my name in the Book of Life. I look forward to living in my forever home with my Lord and Savior. Until then, I will make sure my license does not expire again.

 

Dear God, Mommy is Mean!

IMG_0848

 

“Dear God, My Mommy is mean!!!” This was my granddaughter’s prayer on a recent Tuesday night when she did not get her way.

As I looked at the video monitor, I saw my precious little 4-year-old granddaughter on her knees by the side of her bed telling God about how mean her Mommy is. How many times does a Mommy have to say “This is the last time” or “don’t get out of bed again”? The problem was that I was rocking her baby sister and putting her to bed while her Mommy was getting the 4-year-old ready for bed. She wanted to come give me a good night kiss but her mother could see on the video monitor that the baby was asleep. 

Parenting is so hard, but so is grandparenting. Grandmothers want to kiss away all of the boo-boos and make everything right. Her Mommy let me go in to pray with her and tuck her in. She was not interested in praying about what she did wrong, but she wanted to make sure that God and I both knew what her Mommy did.

Then, as I tucked her in, she wanted to sing I’ve got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in my Heart. I thought this was cute and had to hide my smile. The principle is that she knew to take her problems to God. She had already been taught to pray and to talk to God.

This is a lesson that we can all be reminded of at any age. No matter what the problem is, we can take it to the Lord in prayer. He is interested in our life’s problems no matter what they are. The next time you get down in the dumps or life does not treat you right, bend your knees in prayer before the Lord. He is always there and will listen to the hurts of your day.

1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

Jeremiah 29:12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

LET US PRAY!

Ice for Christmas

One of my favorite Christmas memories was really an unusual Christmas.

The year was 1989. My husband and I decided that we would like to have our own Christmas celebration instead of going to either of our parent’s houses on Christmas Day. This was not a popular decision in our family, but we thought the time was right to start our own traditions. Our son was 9 years old and our baby girl was 16 months old.

I had purchased a turkey and the trimmings to make our own small Christmas dinner. I had decorated the table and was ready to cook on Christmas morning. The temperatures for Birmingham, Alabama, were unusually cold that year. It was called the Siberian Express. From December 23rd – December 25th, the temperatures did not get above freezing. The temperatures were between 1 degree to 15 degrees. This is extremely cold for Alabama any time of the winter.

trees-253178_1280As I was about to put the turkey in the oven, my father in law called and said that the pond was frozen. My husband told me to put the turkey back in the refrigerator and we would cook it later. We needed to go see the pond. We bundled everyone up with extra socks and lots of layers and ran across the street to go behind their house, down the hill, and then down the bank to see such an amazing sight. The pond was indeed frozen all the way across and back in the trees further than we could see.

We knew the water was not deep under the ice so if the ice broke, there would not be danger of not being able to get out of the water. My husband went out on the ice first. He would walk a few steps and then slide a few. He was having so much fun. My sister-in-law and her husband went out on the ice. They were having a great time.

We had a sled from years past that was rarely used. We put our two children and our two snow-sky-clouds-winter-70448nieces on the sled and pushed them out just a few feet to get their picture. We figured this would never happen again in their lifetime. The children were 9, 5, 16 months, and 12 months. What a picture and what a memory.

We were concerned about the younger children getting too cold so we took them inside my in-law’s house and started taking off all the layers we had them bundled up in. The fire was so inviting. We started hanging wet socks and gloves up in front of the fire. My mother-in-law made hot chocolate and we all got warm inside. She always made the best hot chocolate.

After I got warm, I went back out to the pond. It was amazing and beautiful at the same time. My sister-in-law and her husband started walking on the ice again and it started cracking. My sister-in-law started going toward her husband and he told her to move away. There was too much weight in that area. We laughed and laughed. It was such a fun morning.

The next thing I knew, it was lunch time. My turkey was still in the refrigerator. My mother-in-law knew everyone would be cold and hungry so she was making chili. Chili for Christmas dinner? Yes!!! It was wonderful. Everyone was tired and cold and wet from playing on the ice. What an amazing day.

Later that afternoon a neighbor came over with his tractor with the wagon hitched up to it. We all piled in and had quilts under us as well as on top of us. He drove us back out into the pasture land behind the pond and then around the surrounding area to see all of the neighbors’ ponds. We sang Christmas carols and had a wonderful time. 

winter-210307_1280

By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast. Job 37:10 ESV

There was a magic about that Christmas Day. Even though we did not have our turkey dinner, it is a day that we will never forget. God’s handiwork was so beautiful   He forms each ice crystal and makes them unique. He protects the fish under the ice. He is such a gracious God. He gave us his one and only son as a gift of salvation so that we would be able to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. I will never forget this day. There was fun. There was family. And there was faith. What more could a person need on Christmas.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 ESV

Fire on the Stove

The smell of Cinnamon is a delicious smell. I can remember those delicious cinnamon toasts that my mother made for breakfast when I was growing up. We would always eat the parts with the extra pats of butter on them first. I can taste them just by thinking about them.

I had not made cinnamon toasts in a long time. I was changing around the spices in my cabinet and had not replaced the container of cinnamon when my husband came into the kitchen. He wanted to know what I was going to cook with cinnamon. I didn’t have french-toast-995532_1280the heart to tell him that I was just cleaning the cabinet so I asked if he wanted cinnamon toasts for breakfast. At our house, we add extra syllables to cinnamon toast. It’s more like “cinnaminny toasties.” I do not remember how that started but it is still what my husband and I call them.

The next morning I was preparing the cinnamon toasts and I looked at my cookie sheet. It really needed a good scrubbing, but that was going to have to wait. I thought I would just put some parchment paper on the cookie sheet and save the scrubbing for later in the day. I should have just used it. It’s not like it was dirty. It just looked dirty.

I usually make cinnamon toast in my toaster oven, but my toaster oven and I had a parting of the way recently so I was using my oven broiler. Never, and let me say it again, Never use parchment paper when using your broiler. It caught fire immediately. I calmly said, “I need some help here.” Eddie turned to see the cookie sheet in flames as I slid it on top of the stove. Let’s just say that I didn’t need a fire extinguisher, but none of my cinnamon toasts survived. We had a good laugh after the excitement was over and then made new cinnamon toasts. I used to have a smoke alarm in my kitchen but it went off every time I cooked so we moved it further away. I had a sign back then that said “Dinner is ready when the smoke alarm goes off.” I really haven’t had a fire in a long time.

I love the smell of fragrant foods cooking. When I think of the smell of cinnamon I think of cinnamon rolls, apple cider, spiced apples, and apple pie. I think it smells like love. The smell permeates the area and fills the room. I think love must be like that. When someone really loves you, it feels like it is all over you. It is hard to find a place that doesn’t feel loved. I think that is what the love of God is like. He loves us from the outside in and from the inside out. Jeremiah 31:3 ESV says “The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have drawn you with loving devotion”. Cinnamon draws you in. It brings you to the kitchen from anywhere in the house. Cinnamon leaves such a wonderful smell all through the house. It seems to linger.

I think if God’s love has a smell, for me it must be cinnamon.

sunset-hands-love-woman

 

 

Princesses, Magic, and Broken Graham Crackers

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Disney World. My little girl grew up and married her handsome prince. What can I say? He takes her now. I was going on this trip, but I was going to babysit in the hotel – until they decided not to take the baby. What can I say, my granddaughter only turns 4 once.

disney-2456306_1280There were quite a few differences in my trip 18 years ago.  The one thing that struck me as so cute was all the little princesses that were visiting the park. There were princesses of all ages, cultures, and languages. I saw Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White, Belle, Mulan, Tiana, Jasmine, Rapunzel, and Aurora. I even saw a few Tinker Bells and a few Simbas. Then there were the Star Wars characters and the Princes. It was precious. The children could be whoever they wanted to be. It’s Disney Magic. We went to the Bibbidy, Bobbidy, Boutique and had a “Fairy God Mother in Training” dress up our little birthday girl. We had a wonderful time watching her as she became the princess on the outside that she is on the inside.

Disney World is definitely a place full of wonder and joy where your handsome prince could be just around the corner. Life is magical there unless you want a snack and your goldfish cheese crackers are actually shaped like goldfish and not Mickey Mouse. Can food-2202364_1280you imagine someone offering you fish-shaped goldfish in Disney World? Is that even allowed? Or what if your graham crackers are not in full crackers but part of them have broken off. How could that possibly happen?

How can anything not be perfect in Disney World?

Imagine reality settling in. Eventually, that is what happens to all of us. What happens when that handsome prince turns out to be the proverbial frog? Or when you lose your glass slipper for good? Or when snacks do not meet your expectations? Or if your job loses its magic? That exciting job has lost its luster. Or the boss says you are no longer needed? What happens when the money runs out? Or maybe sickness has entered the picture. Perhaps infertility.

God tells us in his word to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV.

Philippians 4:6 ESV “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

One of my husband’s favorite verses is Ephesians 3:20 ESV “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” We have found this verse to be true.

Not even Walt Disney, himself, could promise that life would be all Disney Magic. One of his famous quotes is “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” (Goalcast)

Jesus offers us Life Everlasting. In Matthew 11:28 ESV, Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Philippians 4:19 ESV “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

waiting-71011_1280When life is not what you expect it to be or when your dreams are not coming true, give them to Jesus.

Mathew 6:33 ESV “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Philippians 4:13 ESV “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

 

 

Communications

Sometimes I feel like the shopping is never done. No matter how many times I shop during the week, there is always something else we need. I try to make a list of what we need or what I am cooking because making extra trips to the store causes me to spend money on items I had not intended to buy.

My husband was returning home from being out of town for a week. This had been an extremely busy week for me and I had not been to the store. He stopped by Publix to pick grocery-3802358_1280up a few items he needed. He called me from inside the store and asked me what we were having for supper. He was at the deli and was looking at the soup that they had. He decided to get a bowl of soup and a sandwich. I asked him to bring me a chicken breast. He was at the deli, right?

I put together a salad as I was waiting for him to get home. He brought in his suitcase and computer bag and then went back for the bags from Publix. He pulled out his cup of soup and deli sandwich as he prepared to eat. I began to sort through the few things he had purchased looking for the chicken breast I had requested so I could place it on the dinner table with my salad.  Inside of a grocery bag all by itself was a package of raw chicken breasts. Raw Chicken Breasts!!! He was at the deli when I asked for a chicken breast!! Why would I have said a cooked chicken breast from the deli? When I asked him why he brought me raw chicken breasts he said “Oh! You wanted a cooked chicken breast?” I said, “You were at the deli!!!” What can I say, I love him.

Do we always communicate? Obviously not all of the time. Needless to say, I had salad for dinner and cooked the chicken the next day. He told me later that he could not find me a package with just one chicken breast so he brought me the package that had eight chicken breasts – 8 raw chicken breasts! Needless to say, I now specify exactly what I want when he picks up something for me.

On another trip to the store, I asked him to pick up a dozen eggs for me and he called me from the store. He said eggs were too hard to buy. He said there are too many kinds. You have small, medium, large, and extra-large. Then you have the store brand and the name brand. Then there is another division for organic eggs. We find that it is easier to FaceTime when he shops for me or I will google the image for him so he knows exactly what I need. My grocery list for him usually states what aisle the item is on and where on the aisle it is located.

beard-2286440_1280As we have grown older together, we often finish each other’s sentences. Sometimes it takes the two of us to remember who someone is or what movie we are discussing. We laugh and have a good time with it. Sometimes it is the next week and one of us will say the name of the person we were discussing or the movie an actor was in. The other one knows exactly what is being said.

Communication is not always easy. When we speak, the words we say may make perfect sense to us and not be easily understood by others.

God communicates clearly with us. God’s Word to us is written in the Bible. It never changes.

Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”.

Hebrews 4:12 ESV “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart”.

Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

book-2073023_1920

Construction Zone: Electrical Outlets

As long as I can remember I have been told to unplug a plug from an electrical outlet by holding on to the plug and gently pulling the plug from the outlet. That being said, my life doesn’t work that way. The only plugs that are gently unplugged are the ones that are in easy reach.

IMG_7344As I was packing my laptop computer recently, I wondered if I would need an electrical strip to give me extra distance for plugging my computer in. I forgot that we recently purchased a different type of electrical strip that the cord came from the side of the plug in the electrical socket instead of the top of the plug. I say that so that you will understand that when I pulled the electrical strip’s cord, it did not come out easily. I pulled with a little more strength and the plug came free along with the broken plate and broken socket. My husband was out of town, so when I called him early in the morning, his first response was not “Hello” it was “What’s wrong.” I told him what I had done and that I was afraid I was going to burn the house down. He assured me that everything would be ok and he could make repairs when he returned home.

Why is it that we do not heed the warning until it is too late? And then when we see the result of our action, we want someone to fix it so we do not reap the difficulty of our action. As a child I was told to come straight home from school (I lived in walking distance), don’t talk to strangers, and don’t get in a car with anyone I did not know. These warnings were to keep me safe from harm. My Mother wanted to be sure that I would be safe when I was alone or with friends.

sign-304093_1280.pngWhat warnings do we receive today? Don’t text and drive! Drive Safely! Observe Caution lights at railroad crossings. Do unto others….

God gives us warnings too. In James 1:19 He tells us to watch our tongue. “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” In James 4:7 he warns us to “resist the devil” so that he will “flee from you.” We should heed the warning to confess our sins regularly. I John 1:9 ESV tells us that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God also warns us to “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Ephesians 4:31

God gives us a warning to forgive others. “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.” (Colossians 3:13) “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14)

Our God is so good. He will forgive us when we do not heed his warning, but we may still have to suffer the consequence. How much easier life would be if we kept close to his word and did things right the first time.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

 

Leaves

5 Timely Tips for a Successful Time with the Lord

I love the colors of summer. Beautiful green leaves swaying in the breeze high in the trees is such an amazing sight. I love watching the green leaves change from the soft, tiny, yellow-green colors of Spring into the dark green colors of Summer.

Along with the beauty of these wonderful leaves on these tall, stately trees comes my problem. My satellite receiver for my television system is in the only spot it could be placed at my home. Between the satellite that is sending the signal from high above the earth to my personal satellite receiver are these beautiful leaves of summer. My television reception gets bad once the leaves start coming out in spring. Once the leaves satellite-dish-870328_1280are fully formed, my tv reception goes from bad to worse. There are some work arounds but for most television stations, I have very little or no reception. It is not easy to get the tree limbs out of the way. My trees are so tall and stately. There is no easy way to trim back the tops of these trees to get the tv signal through to my home receiver. Oh my! Such a major problem for just a few tv shows. Before you tell me to use cable, I live beyond cable. We are checking into other options but still have satellite tv at this point.

Is there anything that gets in the way of your relationship with the Lord? Just as the leaves get in the way of my satellite system, things can get in the way of our relationship with our Lord. Does your mind ever wander during your quiet time? Do the prayers that you are sending up ever get pixilated like a distorted tv signal?

How can you keep your relationship with the Lord strong like a perfect satellite signal?

1. Get rid of the distractions. Set aside a special time to be alone with the Lord. Protect that time. Make this a part of your daily routine.

2. Set aside a special place to have your quiet time. A special place is important so that    everything you need will be waiting for you.

3. Have a plan for your bible study. Knowing what you are going to study saves time from not having to figure out what you are going to read.

4. Have commentaries or study guides available to help you as you read the scriptures. I find that if I use my phone to do this, I often get distracted and do not make good use of my time. If I need to use my phone for a reference, I try to shut out anything else that is open on my phone.

5. Have a prayer list. When you tell someone you will pray for them, do you really pray? A list keeps these people prominent in your thoughts.

As you spend time with the Lord, remember to keep the signal uninterrupted with nothing in its way. Ask the Lord to help with this so that your time with the Lord is used to its fullest.

Mark 1:35 tells us “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”

Luke 6:12 says “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.”

Luke 5:16 says “But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.”

forest-3409907_1280

Don’t let anything get in the way!

 

Respect is Learned by Example

Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. 1 Peter 2:17

We lost another policeman.

I used to ask where did this one happen but it doesn’t really matter where, although this one was close to home. We are losing too many.

I knew the funeral was planned and that there was to be a processional, but I was going to be out of town. When we were headed back to the airport, my daughter showed me a picture that brought tears to my eyes. The picture was of a female deputy in her uniform, standing at attention in the rain, saluting as the procession of her fallen brother went by. 012419-wabc-umbrellaphoto-imgA gentleman had stepped up to hold an umbrella over her to shield her from the rain. Tears filled my eyes as I looked at this picture. To many she is a face without a name, but we know her name. She is a wife, a mother, a daughter, and a deputy. I have loved her since the day she was born. I realize that I do not understand the depth of her loss but I love her dearly. She was not able to go to the funeral but took her break during the funeral procession. As she saluted the procession in the rain, a gentleman opened his umbrella to protect her from the rain. What respect he showed to her. To the dear sweet face in the picture, my prayer for you is that the Lord will be your rear guard. (Isaiah 58:8).

Greater love has no man than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 ESV

I am so thankful for our men and women in uniform whether it be military, first responder, or police officer. I have honor and respect for each of you and your family. I know there were others standing along the procession route in the rain. I am thankful for the respect the man showed this young lady in uniform to hold an umbrella over her to shelter her from the rain. To this young lady whose name I know, I love you and I pray that The Lord will continue to “bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 ESV

“Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.” Psalm 144:1-2 ESV

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.“ Ephesians 6:10-11 ESV

I Salute You.

adult-2893847__340

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. 1 Peter 3:15