Thursday, February 24, 2011

and so begins the season of storms

The day begins with out a speck of sun, dark clouds cover the sky and it makes getting out of bed so much harder. I wake up smiling.... this not-a-morning-person is smiling first thing. I wonder why and a glance at my bedside table reveals the culprit. That book, most of you know which one I'm talking about. That one which tells us that the secret to a full life is gratitude. And I remember how I fell asleep last night.... counting. Hmmm..... it really does work, doesn't it? This concept of taking captive every moment and turning it into a God-moment really does affect the soul.

I also remember how last nights chapter ended and the smile goes away. She says true gratitude isn't thankful so that life will change, no true gratitude is being thankful here, where I am at right now, and with no change expected.

I rather dislike that statement.

I sit here at work and watch the sky grow darker, and the wind get stronger. It's that time of the year again. Winter is on it's way out and the storm season is rolling on in. Spring is eagerly anticipated but with it comes the storms. Storms that while they quench the grounds can wreck havoc, devastating the earth. Yet we must have these storms, without the rain there can be no new life. New life requires the old to be stripped away, to be pruned, to be destroyed.

And the same must happen to us. The old must be torn down. We must be pruned, the dead things stripped away so that new life can grow.

Ann likens our lives to a canvas. The things that happen to us, the plans that fail, the dreams unfilled, and the pain that occurs all rip holes in our canvas. Ann proposes that instead of looking at these things as ruining our canvas, rather look at those things as holes to see God. That maybe the tough things in life happen so that we may see that it is God that controls our lives.

The wind dies down and the rain slows to a steady fall. The sound of the drops on the metal shop roof fill the office and I smile. I don't yet know if this idea of gratitude works in the long run, but I can tell that it worked today:-)


Fun times at Awana's

Sweet note from a missing T&T

Sweet greetings from soft noses over the fence

My dog, never ever has he been disappointed to see me.

Those daffodils still a bright and cheery yellow

Raindrops hitting a metal roof

The howl of the wind

Soft thunder in the distant, always a reminder just how powerful my God is

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A long overdue post

Snow came and covered the earth in a thick layer of sparkling white glitter. Usually this brings happiness to my soul and the days are spent sipping hot coffee and immersed in a good book, however the past few weeks have been hard. The snow days which confined me to a house made it even worse. Then came that birthday... the one that will forever serve as a reminder that it is the Lord that directs my steps. Then tax season hit and work has been insanely busy.

Needless to say I have had no desire to write and absolutely no time to write.

Sunday a dear friend took me on a coffee date for my birthday. Words cannot express just how much we both needed this date. We sat and sipped yummy starbucks for well over three hours, then took the conversation back to her house. I love this friend and cannot imagine how I would get by without her. She is a blessing from above and I pray I never take her friendship for granted.

She is the one person I know who is a great listener and knows when I need to just vent without receiving a lecture yet will give me one when I need it. In our conversation we both realized that though our situations are very different we are struggling in similar ways.

I have struggled recently with talking with a few of the friends that I usually talk with because both are the lecture types. I am very grateful to have three Godly women who know me as well as they do and are willing to speak truth even when it is/can be hurtful. However the place I am at is a fragile one. I know what is right, I know my attitude is bad, and I know how to fix it. And honestly a lecture isn't going to tell me anything I don't already know nor is it going to make me change anything. Being told constantly to fix my attitude gets old and makes me not want to be around those that are doing the lecturing.

My sweet coffee friend is in the same spot. I know that God takes us through seasons to teach us valuable lessons, and not all those seasons are enjoyable. The one I am currently in certainly has amazing things about it but overall it is very hard. I don't want advice, I don't want a lecture, I don't want to be told if-I-were-you-then-I-would....... I just want to be left alone with my thoughts, my struggles. The only one who can truly fix my attitude is God and believe me I get stern lectures all the time from Him. I'm not ignoring His instruction, I'm not shutting the door to His plans, but I am having a hard time with them. I have come to realize that as His child I am allowed to question Him, I am allowed to not like His instructions, and I am allowed to have negative feelings toward Him. What matters is my actions. I can question Him, but I still have to listen. I can not like His instructions but I still have to obey. I can have negative feelings but I still have to fight for joy.

And be assured that I am fighting. It is no coincidence that a book on gratitude by a treasured blogger just came out, and that it is the book the book club I participate in is reading through. I don't have the option of putting it down. It also serves as a daily reminder to keep counting.


Moonlight reflecting on horse trough

Older siblings helping younger ones find the Scripture during church

Coffee date with a friend


Warm weather

Trail rides with the old friend

Good training with the young one

Seeing and feeling the young one improve in such a short time

A sweet date on valentine's day with my nephew

A day at the zoo with that nephew

A week that begins with a nephew date and also ended with a nephew date

Watching his eyes light up at the sight of all the animals

Piling on abed with four sisters and singing songs to Jesus before tucking them in

Daffodils given by a Sunday school student

Waking up every morning and seeing those Daffodils

Evidence that spring is almost here

The anticipation of planting flowers :-)

Gearing up for planting a huge garden

Knowing that I am not forsaken

The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Deuteronomy 31:8