Lovely Gardens and Jumpin Monkeys
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
Last week I had one of those “how lucky am I” events. I had the chance to meet a wonderful author. I have read her words and been touched by her gift and when she sent me a message and suggested we meet, I was shocked to discover I only had to drive 25 minutes away. I was surprised to discover this very lovely and talented lady lives in SE Michigan but regularly visits the county I live in. It turns out she is a Master Gardener and coordinates the volunteer crew that tends the glorious gardens at the St. Francis Retreat Center in Dewitt. She makes the drive each week to “tend to the beauty.” Not only did I get the deluxe garden tour, I got deep lessons in faith, trust and prayerfulness.
Margaret Rose (isn’t that just the perfect name for a gardener!) told me the story of the journey that has led her from her family greenhouse to creating magnificent prayer gardens to glorify God to author; spreading beauty
and peace through the written word. Hers is a tale of God standing at each and every corner taking her by the hand leading her in HIS direction. More than once that afternoon I blinked back tears and brushed down a patch of goose bumps as she joyfully talked about her faith, and her journey.
When she finished proudly sharing the gardens we sat a spell to talk some more and that’s when I got a wonderful gift. I went that day hoping to gather information about how to write a book but left instead with information that was so much more important and powerful…something God thought my life needed way more than a “ how to get published lesson.” I think that’s how it happens most of the time…the best stuff comes to us when we least expect
it! Margaret shared that most of her writing is done during Eucharistic Adoration, while immersed in deep and thoughtful prayer. Then it happened…I didn’t really mean to say it…I didn’t really intend to admit it...but I did! I looked right at her and said “I am so impressed that you can enter such a deep state of prayerfulness and stillness! Most of the time I
sit to pray deeply I suffer from a SEVERE case of Monkey Mind! My thoughts just start jumping and climbing around like monkeys swinging
from tree to tree!” Then she said it…something so simple but so profound that it took my breath away for a second. She smiled and said, “Let the monkeys jump around, they will settle down.” Seriously…that’s it…let
them jump? She went on to explain that each of those random thoughts jumping through my mind were prayer worthy and I simply needed to acknowledge them, offer the thoughts as prayers and wait for the “dust to settle” if you will. I can’t tell you how many “deep and meaningful” prayer attempts have ended in frustration because I spent so much time trying to chase those jumpin monkeys away one at a time, which only led to more distraction and self-scolding for not being able to be still and pray. I couldn’t wait to get home and try it again. She was right!
Here is what it looks like now…when I’m trying to still myself and I start thinking about what to fix for supper or which chores need to be done first, I see that jumpin monkey and ask God to organize my to do list and I remind myself that if God feeds the creatures of the earth, surely He will give me a great casserole idea. When the monkeys jump to people and needs and situations I quickly ask God’s blessing on each of them by name. Jumpin
monkeys are like toddlers…they eventually wear out. After a short time it was like those monkeys all settled onto a branch to be still and that’s when my mind became still and prayerful. It’s gonna take more practice for sure, but I’m off to a great start! My new friend Margaret said the perfect thing at the perfect time! I hope her wisdom will bless you too.
A Seed To Plant: Spend some time in silent prayer this week…see if you can settle the jumpin monkeys!
Blessings on your day!
… Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you… Exodus 16:4
I sometimes have this picture in my mind about making it to heaven and having an “orientation seminar” with God and His angels and saints. To amuse myself while driving or doing yucky tasks, I sometimes compose a list of questions I’d like to ask during the Q and A part of that meeting. Some of the questions are biggies and some are completely silly. I was weeding my big flower bed (completely yucky task!) recently and the list of silly questions got pretty long. The list topper that day was, “God, if carrots and cucumbers are supposed to be good for us, why didn’t you make them taste better than things that are bad for us like chips and cheesecake?” I love my fruits and vegetables don’t get me wrong, but seriously, there is a very good reason the summer ice cream shop on the corner doesn’t sell broccoli splits or caramel cabbage sundaes!
This silly question has stayed with me for several days. Recently at daily Mass, the first reading has been from the Exodus story. Today’s reading was about Manna; bread from heaven. It’s a beautiful story of God and His loving faithfulness. I wondered what it would be like to just see your food appear, morning and night with no effort on your part! Seriously…meals I didn’t have to plan, prepare, serve or clean up…that would be heaven! It didn’t happen once a week; it happened every day. The food was sent in the perfect amounts and nobody had to analyze its protein and carbohydrate ratio, dispute its nutritional density or scrutinize the label. It just came and it was perfect! If you read a little further in the story it isn’t long before the Israelites threw a hissy fit because they wanted meat…it came and then they threw another fit about being thirsty. Each time God answered their whining in a miraculous way. He made it SO easy for them! I have read that story time and time again and I’m always a little stunned that the Israelites could be so whiney and demanding. They lacked appreciation and after all
they had witnessed God do for them they still experienced doubt, denial and
rebellion. I’m pretty quick to think I would have been a much more faithful dessert traveler. I think I might have even been Moses right hand girl. I
wouldn’t have doubted no-sir-re! I would have been awed, amazed and completely obedient. Or would I?
The “or would I” leads me back to my silly question about zucchini verses French fries! Do I have the strength to know the truth and act obediently?
Do I know some choices are better for me than others…sure! Do I always make those good for me choices…absolutely not? Do I try to wiggle out of the “hard way or the right way” and settle for the “easy way”…yes I do more often than I’d care to admit probably. So you might be wondering what lettuce, cookies and the Israelites all have to do with one another and here is the connection…strength to trust and follow the will of the Father…especially when there is a choice available that seems easier or tastier or more self-gratifying. I have to be more willing to experience a little self-denial. If I really want to live as a disciple, I have to stop throwing a temper tantrum about silly little stuff that brings me happiness and comfort. I mistakenly think those simple pleasures that bring temporary good feelings matter. The truth is, they can’t even compare to what God has in store for us. It’s kinda like having a bucket of sand and thinking you have a sea
shore. It took the Israelites 40 years of wandering…I wonder how much longer I’ll be wandering before I truly master the lesson of living in His will instead of wandering my easy path! The road to the Father is paved one
joyfully offered sacrifice and one loving act of obedience at a time. Lord, give me the strength to get to You!
A Seed To Plant: Be consciences of little sacrifices and acts of self-denial you can offer to the Father this week.
Blessings on your day!
Four Young Men and the Good China
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:34
Last Thursday marked the official end of the “graduation season” for me. There was one celebration remaining and the invited guests were my son Jason and his three good buddies Ty, Ryan and Dane. The list of things I love about having these four young men in my kitchen is a long one! I’m lucky to have been their teacher, either in kindergarten or fourth grade and I have enjoyed a front row seat to their entire “growing up.” They are great men, and they have terrific parents so I know they will do great things in this world. It was so fun listening to them jabber on and on about dorms and classes and new college roommates. They have their toes on the edge of a big adventure but I have to say the whole thing hurt my heart a little because they have been such a part of my life it’s hard to imagine evenings without them watching ball games, dueling loudly at the ping pong table and playing PlayStation in the basement. I’ll miss the pile of shoes collected inside the back room door signaling their presence and honestly I’ll miss their perpetual hunger! These boys can eat, and as any woman who loves to cook knows, there’s nothing better than a hungry crowd! Given their intense love for food, it seemed only fitting that my graduation gift to them would revolve around a meal. So, Thursday was the day they filed in to my kitchen for fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn on the cob, strawberry short cake and graduation gifts.
I wanted these boys to know how grateful I am for their friendship to my son and how very special they are to me so…much to everyone’s surprise they didn’t eat at the island or dash off to the basement with a plate. Instead, the dining room table was set with fresh flowers from my garden and my Mothers good china, complete with linen napkins and 50 year old stemware. I didn’t do it to impress them or make them uncomfortable; I did it out of love. The whole time I was setting the table and preparing the meal, I prayed for them. I prayed that God would guide them in the path He has specifically planned for each of them. I prayed for their safety, their purity, their success and mostly for their desire to grow deeper in their faith. By the time they arrived to eat, I was blinkin like a frog in a hail storm fighting back tears!
So why the china…at lunch…on a Thursday…for four teenage young men? Because it’s special! I am not a “stuff” kind of person. I don’t have jewelry or fancy things; except for Mom’s china. It was a gift from my brother Jim. When he was in the Navy, he picked it up overseas for Mom and gave it to
her for Christmas. My mother was not a fancy girl either but Jim’s china and the wedding ring from my Dad were her two great treasures. When she died, Dad gave me the china and it just sits in the hutch looking pretty. I read a story not too long ago about a little girl who asked her mother why they never used her good china and she said, “Well sweetie, it’s for very special people.” The little girl crinkled her nose and said, “But mom, you told me I was special and I’ve never gotten to use the china.” OUCH!
I remembered that story after I had set the table Thursday with the regular every day dishes and quickly put them back in the cupboard. As I was carefully taking the china down from the shelf, it occurred to me that God sees us the way I see my Mother’s china. In His eyes, we are precious treasures. We have been created in His image and likeness which makes us beautiful and special and priceless. The china needs to come out of the hutch more often and I need to act like I am loved and treasured more often. I forget I am precious in the eyes of God even in my sinfulness, even in my shortcomings. Sitting down to a table set with china creates an atmosphere that isn’t there with paper plates or regular dishes. It demands carefulness and appreciation. What if we woke up each morning and
lived the day knowing it was a gift from God designed to be treasured, respected and appreciated like good china? All too often we tuck that knowledge away like china in a hutch, settling for the regular and the average. God designed us for greatness and He loves us with enormous passion…perhaps we should start living like we remember that!
I used my time and treasure to show those four young men how special they are to me. I wish them every good blessing and I know they will be back to share their stories because one of the gifts I gave them was a full cookie box with their name and a tag that said “refills forever” on top. They thought it was a yummy gift…I knew it would be one way to guarantee they would be back to my kitchen again and again and when they leave my kitchen they will get a box of cookies and prayers!
A Seed To Plant: If you have good dishes or special things you are saving, get them out this week and use them to show your appreciation or affection to someone special…it’s a simple way to reflect the love of the Father.
Blessings on your day!
Less and More
He must increase, I must decrease. John 3:30
How’s that for a piece of Scripture that stands in complete opposition of today’s culture! Everywhere we turn someone is trying to market something to give us more. More money, more beauty, more power…you name it and somebody’s sellin it and many Americans are lining up to buy it. All the while, the Father that loves us is gently saying, less of that and more of me…I promise you will be blessed beyond measure. This is a passage that has come to me again and again and again the last 5 weeks and I’ve done a beautiful job of ignoring it until this week! Poor God, sometimes He has to work SOOOO much harder to get my attention than He should have to!
Every summer begins the same; a long list of chores that need to
be done because I didn’t get to them during the school year. These tasks are real gems; things like cleaning closets and extracting the crumbs from the silverware drawer or washing windows and blinds! This summer I had lots of other things on my list too; great books to read and letters to write and sitting on the porch. I told myself none of the fun stuff until the yucky stuff was done. I started with the easy tasks and procrastinated on some of the really awful ones. It got to the point that I dug in my heels and practically threw a temper fit about the last few jobs on my list. It was making me crabby and I was ashamed of my procrastination. As I was doing morning prayers one morning, the devotional was about offering our most “undesirable tasks” as a loving gift to the Lord making the tasks more about Him and less about self. Humm...that was aimed right at me and it was a great idea…but I decided to fold a load of laundry before I tackled those awful jobs. As I was folding, I reached into the basket and pulled out Shannon’s red t-shirt from Bible Study and the back of the shirt said, “He must increase, I must decrease. John 3:30.” As if that wasn’t strange enough, I don’t remember Shannon even wearing that shirt in the past month but there it was in the laundry…that day! I was beginning to soften a bit so I dropped to my knees and said, “Ok God, I’ll do these awful, gross, not-fun-at-all chores out of love for you and in thanksgiving for all you’ve blessed me with, more of YOU less of me.” One second after I said amen and pulled myself off the floor, Jason walked in and said, “Mom, do you need anything?” He helped me with three of the worst jobs on the list and we were finished much faster than I had planned.
It was unbelievable! I was so caught up in how awful this was for me, I didn’t give a thought to Him and how He might use simple tasks to draw me tighter to His love. I even got help washing windows that day! It was like Jesus was sitting at the island in my kitchen saying…quit thinking about yourself and let me show you how amazing I am. He’s calling us to fix our gaze on Him and not on our personal comfort, bank accounts, and our reflection in the mirror or our position in life. The only position He wants us to secure is the position right there with Him. I realized He has all those things in complete and perfect order…I just need to think of me less and Him more. I’m glad He loves me enough to speak to me even through the laundry! God is good….all the time!
A Seed To Plant: Take three opportunities this week to deliberately put
this verse into action. I’d love to know what happens!
Blessings on your day!
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, BEARING WITH ONE ANOTHER in love.” Ephesians 4:2
I was thinking the other day of things that go together. The common ones came to mind, like peanut butter and jelly and salt and pepper. I even began to think of people who went together like Lucy and Ethel or The Lone Ranger and Tonto. Funny how in your mind, some things are just a pair. I’ll bet if you stopped for just a minute you could come up with dozens of things that match. I think we get conditioned to see things together, and don’t really give them much notice. We even see pairs in Scripture. I did a little “independent research” and realized in most cases, (how scientific is that) when people describe something or someone, they use a pair of words. For instance, that flower
is so bright and colorful or that baby is so cute and chubby. We tend to do a lot of things in pairs.
I’ve decided to name this week, “Be a Double Disciple” week. Your challenge will be do Christian acts double. Not just one good deed, but two.
Not just a kind word to one person, but two. You could go all out if you wanted to, instead of giving one thing from each closet in your house to charity, make it two. What would happen if you took a plate of cookies or a bouquet of flowers or produce from you garden to two neighbors instead of one. What about that young couple with little ones you know who could really use a night out, why not offer to babysit their kids for two hours instead of one so they can enjoy a peaceful dinner or a good nap. The possibilities are absolutely endless!
I saw a great church sign recently that said, “A narrow mind and a wide mouth are not a good combination.” It made me giggle. So I’m going to use the idea from that sign to make the “Be a Double Disciple” challenge a wee bit stiffer. If during the week, you happen to demonstrate a pair of “not –so-Christian” behaviors or attitudes ,like being grumpy and impatient with a spouse or co-worker, you have to do another double good act
to make up for it. I can’t wait to see the blessings that are in store for the world if we all take on the challenge!
A Seed To Plant: Take on the “Be a Double Disciple” challenge and let us
know what happened.
Blessings on your day!
The Ants and the Stove
Four things are among the smallest on the earth, and yet are exceedingly wise: Ants – a species not strong, yet they store up their food in the summer. Proverbs 30:24-25
As I was washing dishes one night last week I noticed some little ants crawling across my kitchen floor. That isn’t usually something to sing about but for some rather odd reason I watched them a minute and burst into a rousing chorus of “The ants go marching two by two!” (I think I need to go back to school and hang out with my little lovelies where it seems normal to sing silly songs!) Anyway, after I finished singing and washing the dishes, I investigated and discovered the ants seemed to be coming and going from a kingdom they had established under my stove. Not good! So, I did what any woman who doesn’t want to look under the stove would do…I sprayed some Raid right under the stove and tried to forget the whole unfortunate thing. The next morning I walked into the kitchen to turn on the coffee pot and I discovered the little guys had invited their friends. I didn’t know what was going on under my stove but it seemed to be all the rave among the ants in Clinton County because I was pretty sure they had all come!
There was only one solution…pull out the stove and investigate! Now I’m
gonna be honest, cleaning under the stove isn’t something I do on a scheduled basis. I’m sure my mother did, but not this girl, so I was a wee bit apprehensive about what I might discover under there. As luck would have
it, it was a Saturday so my handsome husband was home to help me yank out the appliance. What happened next was ugly! There were dust bunnies…no they were more like dust elephants, a pencil, and a few other assorted small things that couldn’t be accurately identified. Then I saw it…among the dusty rubble I discovered the main attraction; run-away blueberries! It seems there must have been some sort of catastrophe that occurred during the making of a fruit salad earlier in the week. Before I could catch the whole exciting story from the teenagers in the house, I became fascinated by the behavior of the ants. I was amazed at the precision and teamwork of my little un-invited guests. Everything about their
work was orderly and calculated. If you’ve never watched ants at work, it’s fascinating but I would recommend putting down a small bit of food OUTSIDE to see the show rather than inside your home!
The day after the ant event, I was thinking about writing about the little guys and decided to see what Scripture had to say about ants and imagine my surprise when I came across this verse from Proverbs. I witnessed right there under my stove what this verse points out. They live outside, they come in, find the food under my stove, assemble themselves to remove and store the tasty treat, all in the correct season; summer! So, do things happen randomly? I don’t think so! I think God is that “in charge” and if He designed an itsy bitsy ant to be wise enough to tackle such a task, what does that say about the way He designed us? Give that a little thought today!
Then came the scrubbing! I kept wondering what my mother would have thought if she could see under my stove and I felt this urge to scrub fast as lightning before anyone rang the doorbell and wanted to come in for coffee. I didn’t want anyone to see what I’d been hiding under that large kitchen appliance and then it hit me…I do the same thing with my sinfulness and my flaws. I want to keep them hidden, pretending they aren’t there. As long as I can keep them hidden under a few good deeds and a big smile I can pretend they don’t exist…just like keeping the stove in its spot concealed the mess. Truth is, the mess is still there even if it isn’t visible and it just builds until we confront it. I decided the first thing I was going to do after the clean-up was finished was take some time to acknowledge my sinfulness and ask forgiveness. I even made a list and wrote it all
down…talk about facing the mess! The clean-up I left to the Father that loves me…and already knew what it looked like before I started. Just
as soon as we pushed the stove back in place, Dave looked at me and lovingly said, “Hey, since we’re at it, let’s pull out the refrigerator and clean under that too!” God loves to make us humble doesn’t He!
A Seed To Plant: Go outside with some bread crumbs and find an ant hill. Lay down the crumbs and as you watch the wonder of that whole process unfold, ask God’s forgiveness for your sins one by one as you watch the ants carry away the crumbs.
Blessings on your day!
Joy Beyond All Telling
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3:20-21
“In heaven there is joy beyond all telling.” That was one of the first things Fr. Larry said in his funeral homily last week. The sweet picture that
popped into my head as I heard him say those words made my sad, heavy heart feel a little lighter. Last fall, I wrote a piece about a beautiful woman named Gina and her inspiring and faithfully courageous battle against cancer. Gina’s battle ended last week and her absence here on earth has left a big hole in the hearts of more people than I can count.
Now, you might find it odd that I would be writing about death on website called joyful words! But here’s the thing, death and heaven are the ultimate joy and as much as we look forward to abiding with Christ for all eternity, most of us would prefer to join Him when we’re somewhere in our 90’s. We don’t want to miss weddings and graduations and grandbabies. We somehow think that dying young robs us of some of life’s greatest pleasures, when in fact the greatest pleasure imaginable can only be claimed in death. Joy beyond all telling…better than grandbabies…better than weddings…better than cheesecake and children’s giggles and anything we could imagine. Sounds so true when written…now if we can just convince our sad and grieving hearts that death is a good thing…not so easy is it!
I try my best to pass along words and ideas in this blog that help us figure out how to live…really live as a Child of God. There are tons of books, articles and websites also filled with good information and advice on the same topic. Twice in my life I have been a witness to a woman being truly alive in Christ, and both times the final lesson was not about how to live but about how to die. 25 years ago my amazing mother said, “I’ve taught you all I know about how to live; now I’m going to try to show you how to die, so pay attention." As a 23 year old, I wasn’t ready for that lesson but I tried my
best! I was trying hard not to worry about “my” stuff, like a wedding without her and grandbabies without her and all the other things I felt like I was being cheated out of by her death. But then I saw her courage, her faith, her trust and her surrender. Gina is the second amazing woman to teach me the lesson. When things got tougher, she just trusted bigger and prayed harder. In the case of both women, as the disease consumed them, they turned it around and reached out to others. Just a few weeks ago, my father-in-law who is Gina’s uncle turned 90 and guess who showed up at his front door with a card and a gift…Gina! As mom got sicker and sicker she wrote thank you notes to everyone who had touched her life or the life of her family. When many would have withered and withdrawn, they reached out with joy and kindness and blessings. They were teaching about humble service right up till the very end.
A teenager asked me just a couple of weeks ago, “Why does God take the good people early!” I said, “I don’t know, but I think He teaches great lessons through death and if He only picked yucky people to take from this world we wouldn’t learn as much about how to live!” I think it’s a little like a major motion picture. If a director and a producer thought they had a fabulously important film with a spectacular lesson that would touch
everyone in an eternally profound way, they would want to pick powerful, attention grabbing actors. They would want the stars of the show to captivate us, open our eyes to the message and leave us changed by the experience. But then what? What do we do with the message?
I think the greatest way to honor someone is to imitate the characteristics that made them great in our eyes. I think it’s important to stop every now and again and think about how we’re living. I will stop more often and see if I’m imitating Gina’s trust or Mom’s courage and strength. I’ll also be sure to remember on the days that I fall WAY short; I have a loving Father who is patient and forgiving and always ready to slather me with grace when I ask.
He is the “joy beyond all telling”, He’s called each of us by name and He wants to bring us home!
A Seed To Plant: As you pray today, ask God to help you call to mind a quality or characteristic of someone you have loved and lost, then ask Him to show you how to put it to work in your life bringing honor to Him and the one you miss.
Blessings on your day!
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Galatians 5:1
Happy Independence day! It's a great day for family, picnics, parades and fun. As you spend the day celebrating our freedom and the fine men and women who fought and continue to fight to keep this nation free I hope you take a minute to thank the true author of freedom...God the Father.
Freedom is a funny word. We sometimes think it means the absence of rules and structure designed to bog us down and hold us back. This country was founded by people in search of religious freedom. Today we live in a world sprinkled with people who think religions only purpose is to take away our freedom. If we think about true freedom, we're really talking about a life spent in the loving embrace of a God who chose us and loves us abundantly despite our sins and our failings. He wraps us lovingly in His arms and he sets forth His instructions for us to live by. Being obedient to His instruction doesn't bind us or hold us back; rather it gives us the freedom to trust Him completely...with every detail of our days. Following His simple, loving instruction gives us freedom from worry, freedom from fear, freedom from destruction. He IS freedom!
I hope you have a wonderful summer day! Be safe, be thankful and walk in His light and be free!
A Seed To Plant: Thank two people today for your freedom; God and a Veteran!
Blessings on your day!
Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly...
2 Corinthians 9:6
So, I guess the question of the day is; how thick are we planting our seeds? In our area we have been blessed this spring and summer with lots of rain and the crops look wonderful. As I sit on the front porch typing I see wheat fields to the north and east and corn to the west. The wheat is just beginning to take on a yellow hue and the corn isn’t tall enough to hide the neighbor’s house from view but I know it won’t be long. I’m amazed that the rows of a field are always straight and the precise amount of seed is always planted. Too bad I can’t live my life with such precision and accuracy. If a
farmer decided one spring morning to use half the amount of seed necessary to plant a field his results at harvest time would be very disappointing. In order to get a full field and a plentiful harvest, he simply can’t skimp on the seed.
I suppose in more ways than one, the way we live our faith is like that farmer and his seed. I was reminded of this verse as I listened to a frustrated mother in the check-out lane not long ago. The stuff in her cart was spilling out as her young children played tag in circles around it. She had nearly had it! She screamed at the older child to get the little ones out of her sight for a minute before she decided to sell them. I could tell she was on the edge of a “mamma melt-down” so I helped her pick up her spilled items and began a gentle conversation in hopes of restoring some peace to her day. Her first comment as we bent down retrieving frozen vegetables and cheerios from the center isle was, “I don’t get any respect!” The poor thing went on to discuss in lengthy detail all the wrongs that had been done to her and I listened intently and offered comfort and support when I could. Just when I thought she was beginning to soften, the cashier began scanning her order and the lady chewed her out for a $3.00 mistake on her last order and warned her that if she couldn’t do a better job than the last cashier she was going to take her business elsewhere. She was almost finished paying for her order when the children who had run out of arcade quarters were back and the yelling resumed. As she began to
wheel away, a gentleman riding in a motorized cart crossed her path causing her to stop and she turned and looked at me and said, “See what I mean, I get no respect, just look at the way people treat me.” I remember standing there just hoping she was having a really bad day and that her normal disposition was much better. I realized very clearly that the one thing she seemed to want most was respect but on that day I saw her sow no seeds of respect with anyone around her so unfortunately the prospects for harvest weren’t looking too good.
It’s very easy to look around us and see all the things we’re missing. Our society tends to encourage us to look for what were “due”. We are becoming instant gratification, me first, self-centered, greatest gain with smallest investment thinkers and my question this morning is, “How’s that workin for us?” Maybe instead of fussing over what we’re not getting, we should ponder what we’re giving. If our life seems to be short on peace and kindness, we might consider how much patience and kindness we’re giving away. If respect and gentleness seem to be in small supply, maybe it’s because we aren’t sowing those seeds thick enough with those around us.
If God seems to be distant from our troubles and concerns, we might need
to evaluate the time and attention we’ve given Him lately. According to this verse from second Corinthians, we are going to get exactly what we give. Sadly, we live in a world that conditions us to blame others for our problems before we take a hard look at our own investment. It’s not the first time and it probably won’t be the last time that “world” and “Scripture” don’t match, and friends, “Scripture” always wins! My dad always used to say, “You can’t
get something for nothing!” Between St. Paul and Mike McClaskey, I think we have our lesson for the day! The challenge is to look at the areas in our life that feel short or sparse and really take a look at what we’re sowing.
A Seed To Plant: Name two things you wish you had more of in your life. Now pray about what you’re sowingin order to reap that harvest.
Blessings on your day!
Click on the items below to expand the options available to you to explore the Joyful Words blog.