Monday, November 13, 2017

The Proverbial Dark Cloud



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Last week my husband and I spent a few days in New Hampshire.  My husband had found a great Groupon deal at a newly remodeled hotel that sits right on Lake Winnipesaukee.

The room at the top left corner was ours complete with two sliders and balconies...


With these accompanying views!


This is the Mount Washington, a boat that provides daily tours of Lake Winnipesaukee from late Spring to mid-October.
 I went on this boat as a little girl!  I had no idea that it wintered in Center Harbor where we were staying,
let alone that I would have such a view of it!


Sadly, we only got to enjoy sitting out on these balconies for two mornings which I realize is pretty amazing considering it was almost November.

You see Tropical Storm Philippe wanted to "come join" our vacation.  I wasn't even aware or had even heard of Philippe until we were watching the local news the first night of our vacation, hours before it was due to hit.

The entire night tropical storm force winds buffeted our hotel room.  It was very loud and very concerning!  At about 5 a.m. we lost power.   A few hours later we would learn that Philippe was historic and deemed the worst storm to hit New Hampshire with over 450,000 people without power and many roads closed due to downed trees.

In addition to the storm, I woke up with either a mild case of food poisoning or what I believe was continued exacerbation of my stomach situation.  Quite disconcerting when you are away from home, let alone in a hotel without power.

It also became apparent that the hotel must use well-water because suddenly the faucet dried up and the toilet would not flush.

We hadn't even been there 24 hours and it looked our vacation could already be over.  The reports about when the power would return looked bleak at best.  We were almost to the point of having to have a conversation with the hotel staff about leaving.  I prayed and asked the Lord to have mercy on us and to restore power.  An hour later the power was back!!  Which was quite amazing considering many didn't have power restored until days later!

That afternoon, my husband and I took a ride on a beautiful country road and were blessed with the following scenes...







The power and swiftness of the flowing water was incredible!


The cloudy skies just enhanced the beauty of the landscape and the fall colors...



When we are in a season of life's cloudy skies, does the beauty of our Godly character become enhanced?

My husband can attest that there was very little beauty shining forth from my character during a majority of this vacation.  The continuing troublesome health issues between my stomach and dizziness made me feel like I was walking around with a dark cloud over my head as I succumbed to worry, resentment, complaining and dare I say, anger toward God.

I had prayed that the Lord would bless us with a restful vacation, but in the moment, I just saw the storm, the power outage, most everything closed due to off-season, rain for a majority of the days we were away, and not feeling well...

Yet, despite my grumbling state, I poured myself into spending time with the Lord...

Normally, on vacation, it can be hard to find quiet time to be with the Lord, for any length of time...  But this time, I spent at least an hour every day reading my devotional and journaling through the Word.

During our last night of vacation, these words from November 1st Streams in the Desert jumped off the page and grabbed hold of my heart...

When the cloud tarried... then the children of Israel... journeyed not (Numbers 9:19).

This was the supreme test of obedience. It was comparatively easy to strike tents, when the fleecy folds of the cloud were slowly gathering from off the Tabernacle, and it floated majestically before the host. Change is always delightful; and there was excitement and interest in the route, the scenery, and the locality of the next halting-place. But, ah, the tarrying.

Then, however uninviting and sultry the location, however trying to flesh and blood, 
however irksome to the impatient disposition, however perilously exposed to danger -- 
there was no option but to remain encamped.

The Psalmist says, "I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, 
and heard my cry." And what He did for the Old Testament saints He will do for 
believers throughout all ages. Still God often keeps us waiting. Face to face with threatening 
foes, in the midst of alarms, encircled by perils, beneath the impending rock. May we not go? Is it not time to strike our tents? Have we not suffered to the point of utter collapse? May we not exchange the glare and heat for green pastures and still waters?
Daily Devotional Commentary


I realized that it was not a dark cloud hovering over me, but the very presence of God, continuing His refining work within me - even while on vacation...

And then the Lord sent these spectacular scenes of the fog to help solidify what He had taught me about the cloud of God's presence which tarries...


  Christ's light is ever-present even behind life's clouds.  





  As the seagulls testified, clamoring and squawking to take advantage of
the multitude of bait fish drawn out by the fog, when the Lord's cloud tarries,
He will provide rich food from His Word,  through prayer, reading devotionals and faith-based blog posts; and through encouragement from brothers and sisters in the Lord...

There is no answer. The cloud tarries, and we must remain, though sure of manna, 
rock-water, shelter, and defense. God never keeps us at post without 
assuring us of His presence, and sending us daily supplies.
Daily Devotional Commentary - Streams in the Desert


God truly has been assuring me of His presence, sending me daily supplies.  It's been stunning how everything I hear, read or has been said to me, directly speaks to and encourages me while the Lord has me tarry in this season of refinement.





When the cloud begins to lift, the Lord's work within me will become majestically evident and will show forth the beauty of His refinement, and the reflection of HIS character.



In total transparency, these lessons have not been easy for me.  But the Lord is showing me that it is good to tarry with Him and to wait for His timing as He brings forth the beauty of His character from within me for His Glory.

Through this whole season, I can attest that He has been mercifully with me every step of the way as evidenced by His daily Graces through the areas I described.

Remember how I said that prior to this vacation, I prayed that the Lord would give me rest, well indeed between not feeling well, the storm, and the lack of things to do, this was probably the most restful vacation I have ever had!!





If anyone reading this is feeling like a dark cloud has been following them, I hope you have found encouragement here.  Our Heavenly Father redeems everything that touches your life.  You never have to go it alone.  He is right there with you...


He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, 
a joyous blessing instead of mourning, 
festive praise instead of despair. 
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks 
that the LORD has planted for his own glory.
Isaiah 61:3


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me Grace, Testimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home  ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays  Let Us Grow Small Wonder Link-up Winsome Wednesday Growing in Grace Thursday After My CoffeeRewind Friday Fresh Market Friday Moments of Hope Wonderful Wednesdays Christian Blogger Link-Up Tea & Word Tuesday Heart Encouragement Thursday Hearts for Home Messy Marriage Link-up Friday at the Fire Station Link-up Tune In Thursday Faith on Fire Link-upSunday Scripture Blessings Link-up, Warriors of the WordCandidly Christian Link-upSunday ThoughtsWriter WednesdayFaith Filled Friday

Monday, November 6, 2017

Careful What You Pray For




As I've shared in numerous blog posts, I have battled anxiety for my entire life.  But that's okay...  Because the Lord used my anxiety to ultimately draw me to Himself, and to continue to keep me close to Him as I walk on this Pilgrim journey.

The Lord has been merciful to me in that even though I still suffer with anxiety, there is an inner calm that wasn't there years before.  This calm might be barely detectable, depending on the circumstance, but nonetheless it is a vast improvement from the type of anxiety I used to suffer with.

As I shared last week in my post, That Moment I Wanted to Cry Uncle, ever since August, I have been revisited by health issues I haven't dealt with in decades!  And some new ones!  At the time I wrote that post, I truly felt I was in the midst of a full-on spiritual attack.

But then the Lord started speaking to my heart through several Streams in the Desert devotions that caused me to reassess the trials I currently find myself walking in...

Let me back up...

One of my biggest fears as a Christian is relinquishing control to the Lord.  I shared about That Moment I Finally Relinquished Control to the Lord here. 

The following is an excerpt to add perspective...

As I began to back out of my driveway, on the way to the doctor, I relinquished all control to the Will of the Lord, and did so without hesitation.  I told Him that whatever the outcome of today's appointment was, I knew that in Christ Jesus, it would all work out in the end, whether high blood pressure, good report or bad report, the Lord God, my Heavenly Father, would not leave me or forsake me.  I would ALWAYS be in His protective care.

But there is something I didn't tell you...

While I was in the middle of writing that particular post, I actually received a phone call from that very doctor with test results that I never in a million years would have expected or even ever worried about.  In fact, I thought I had a better chance of getting hit by lightening!  It was quite upsetting and took me a few weeks to process.  I fretted.  I kicked and screamed.  (Well, I didn't really scream, but I was angry.) 

But why was I fretting or kicking and screaming?  Didn't I tell the Lord that "whatever the outcome of that appointment was, I knew that in Christ Jesus, it would all work out in the end.  Whether good report or bad report...  The Lord God, my Heavenly Father, would not leave me or forsake me.  I would ALWAYS be in His protective care."

The Lord took me at my word!

They were living to themselves; self with its hopes, and promises and dreams, still had hold of them; but the Lord began to fulfill their prayers. They had asked for contrition, and had surrendered for it to be given them at any cost, and He sent them sorrow; they had asked for purity, and He sent them thrilling anguish; they had asked to be meek, and He had broken their hearts; they had asked to be dead to the world, and He slew all their living hopes; they had asked to be made like unto Him, and He placed them in the furnace, sitting by "as a refiner and purifier of silver," until they should reflect His image; they had asked to lay hold of His cross, and when He had reached it to them it lacerated their hands.

They had asked they knew not what, nor how, but He had taken them at their word, and granted them all their petitions. They were hardly willing to follow Him so far, or to draw so nigh to Him. They had upon them an awe and fear, as Jacob at Bethel, or Eliphaz in the night visions, or as the apostles when they thought that they had seen a spirit, and knew not that it was Jesus. They could almost pray Him to depart from them, or to hide His awfulness. They found it easier to obey than to suffer, to do than to give up, to bear the cross than to hang upon it. But they cannot go back, for they have come too near the unseen cross, and its virtues have pierced too deeply within them. He is fulfilling to them His promise, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" (John 12:32).

Streams in the Desert, October 17th

As I read that devotion, I started to see that the sufferings I have been enduring, even those unrelated to that doctor's appointment where I relinquished control, are because the Lord took me at my word. He lit the refiner's fire to bring forth the precious silver of patience and the pure gold of increased faith.

When the suffering soul reaches a calm sweet carelessness, when it can inwardly smile at its own suffering, and does not even ask God to deliver it from suffering, then it has wrought its blessed ministry; then patience has its perfect work; then the crucifixion begins to weave itself into a crown.

It is in this state of the perfection of suffering that the Holy Spirit works many marvelous things in our souls. In such a condition, our whole being lies perfectly still under the hand of God; every faculty of the mind and will and heart are at last subdued; a quietness of eternity settles down into the whole being; the tongue grows still, and has but few words to say; it stops asking God questions; it stops crying, "Why hast thou forsaken me ?"

... for, let the circumstances be what they may, it seeks only for God and His will, and it feels assured that God is making everything in the universe, good or bad, past or present, work together for its good.

Oh, the blessedness of being absolutely conquered! of losing our own strength, and wisdom, and plans, and desires, and being where every atom of our nature is like placid Galilee under the omnipotent feet of our Jesus.
–Soul Food   

The great thing is to suffer without being. discouraged.
--Fenelon

 Streams in the Desert, September 10th

In total transparency, this suffering soul has not reached a calm, sweet carelessness that can inwardly smile at it's own suffering.  I am still discouraged in my suffering and still pray for deliverance.

But I am leaning and learning...

Leaning on the Lord and learning...

A few weeks ago, my husband discovered that a pond in our state had been stocked with trout. Not just any old trout, but brood stock brown trout with an average weight of 4 to 6 lbs. 

The trout are raised in controlled environments and then released into fresh water ponds.   This particular pond, which is relatively small, as far as bodies of water go, was stocked with 400 of these large brown trout! 

My husband and I loaded up the canoe and headed on down to Carbuncle Pond.  We didn't catch any of these monster fish because we weren't using the type of bait that they were accustomed to in the hatchery - powerbait.  We did get to see them jumping all around us, though, which was pretty neat actually, as they made quite a splash. 

We found out a few days later that at least 100 of the 400 brown trout in Carbuncle Pond died; they assume it was because of the unseasonably warm weather as trout do best in deeper, cold water.   Those that died probably stayed in the shallower water where they were closer to people fishing from shore who were using their favorite - Powerbait.  If they didn't meet their demise due to the warmer water, they surely would on the end of a hook!

I realized over these past four months, I am no different than those fat brown trout that died.   I want to hang out in the warm shallow water and be spoon fed ease, to my Spiritual demise. 

Fearfulness keeps me from swimming into the cold, unknown deep...

But there my Savior waits for me...

 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
 Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.
Psalm 139:1-12

When a person is drowning, they are so busy kicking and flailing, they are not aware of their rescuer's arms trying to grab hold of them.

That was me...

Until I slowly stopped kicking and screaming did I hear the Lord speaking to me...  through devotions, blog posts, and dear friends.  All speaking the same Truth -  The Lord sees me, He is always with me,  He strengthens me, and His grace is ALWAYS sufficient for me.

Times of affliction can actually be times of rejoicing because we know the Lord is bringing about new growth.   We are receiving a promotion of sorts to the next level of faith and communion with Him, ultimately preparing us for that great day when we will meet Jesus face to face where there will be no more sickness and no more tears.

The following Bible verse was at the end of a dear, sweet friend's precious email to me this morning.  As you can see, the Lord is continuing to minister to me...   

Therefore we do  not lose heart.  
Even though our outward man is perishing, 
yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, 
is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
2 Corinthians 4:16-17

Last August, I did sincerely relinquish my will to the Lord.  But if I'm being honest, I don't know if it was easier for me to relinquish control because this particular annual visit is not one that I've ever been concerned with.  There is also a possibility that this test result may be a false positive, but the medical protocol deems waiting a year to re-test.  It makes me wonder if after all is said and done, next year I will find out it was a false positive, and the Lord was using this season to show me what it means to truly relinquish my will to the Lord...

In the meantime, I will soak up His Love and Grace while He teaches me...

You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me Grace, Testimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home  ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays  Let Us Grow Small Wonder Link-up Winsome Wednesday Growing in Grace Thursday After My CoffeeRewind Friday Fresh Market Friday Moments of Hope Wonderful Wednesdays Christian Blogger Link-Up Tea & Word Tuesday Heart Encouragement Thursday Hearts for Home Messy Marriage Link-up Friday at the Fire Station Link-up Tune In Thursday Faith on Fire Link-upSunday Scripture Blessings Link-up, Warriors of the WordCandidly Christian Link-upSunday ThoughtsWriter WednesdayFaith Filled Friday

Monday, October 30, 2017

It's Blogcation Time Again!



I will be taking a blogcation this week 
and will be back with all new posts next Monday, November 6th.









And he said to them, 
“Come away by yourselves 
to a desolate place and rest a while.
Mark 6:31

Monday, October 23, 2017

That Moment I Wanted to Cry Uncle...



As I'm pretty sure I've shared on my blog in the past, my husband and I enjoy fresh water, catch and release fishing.  We've probably been at it in earnest for about seven years.   Early into our new found hobby, we bought a Scanoe which is basically a canoe/row boat, as it is a bit wider and less tipsy than a canoe.  Which is a good thing for these two middle-aged anglers.   lol.  And I am proud to say we have never flipped the boat.  Haha.

When we first started fishing years ago, we had a small local pond that we would fish at most weeknights after dinner and also on weekends.  The smallness of the pond was convenient since we were using oars to scanoe around.  We could always count on catching at least three good sized large mouth bass every trip, but as the years went by, the weeds began to overtake the pond, making it very frustrating to cast without pulling up large amounts of "sea lettuce".

We then moved up in the Scanoe world and got a trolling motor which opened up more opportunities for larger bodies of water to fish in.   One such pond is quite big - so much so, that white caps can form on a windy day making it quite intimidating to be out on the open water.  The fishing typically is quite good here, but to my husband's chagrin, very rocky.  As a result, he can be heard saying on any given fishing trip, "lost another lure to Stafford"...   I actually prefer the rocks because I don't like touching slimy seaweed. lol

Over the years, our fishing season seems to get cut shorter and shorter, either because it's too windy to be out on the water or because the ponds and lakes are closed to fishing due to blue green algae blooms.  I already don't like slimy seaweed, but a blue green algae bloom is just creepy looking.  What do YOU think??





And not only is blue green algae, which is scientifically known as a cyanobacteria, creepy looking, it's downright dangerous...

"Cyanobacteria occur naturally in lakes, typically at low concentrations that are not harmful and not visible. But when levels of key nutrients -- particularly phosphorus -- in a water body soar and combine with hot temperatures and stagnant water, the organisms thrive. Under these conditions, they outpace growth of other types of algae and streak or coat the water with bright, sometimes iridescent, blooms of green or blue-green cells."  Jessica Marshall, The Atlantic

Humans can be adversely effected by exposure, but usually not too serious, although some cases have been reported when the person had significant contact with the bacteria.

Animals suffer the most from exposure to blue green algae since they are more likely to actually ingest the lake or pond water.  Most animals will die as a result because of a neurotoxin that is released through the algae.

So my healthy fear of blue green algae is indeed justified.

Our Christian walk can sometimes suffer from a blue green algae bloom...

When the heat of trials assail or we feel as though we are stagnating in our circumstances, we can become bogged down, unrecognizable to friends, family and even ourselves.




Or when we find ourselves, like John Bunyan's Pilgrim in the "Slough of  Despond",  not living in the freedom of our redemption in Christ Jesus, but instead believing Satan's lies that we are not "good enough", becoming consumed with the guilt of past sin.

One of the components that must be present in pond or lake water in order for the high summer temperatures and stagnation to cause the blue green algae bloom, is run off of manure into the water which contains high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen.

When we allow our trials or circumstances to spread manure (Satan's lies) into our thoughts and mind-set, the blue green algae of self will rear it's ugly head.  All of our energy will be focused on the issues we are plagued with rather than the One whose loving hands have ordained everything that touches us.

I want you to know that I am preaching to myself here.  For even as I type this blog post, I am suffering with three separate health issues, all equally disconcerting and frustrating.  It seems that since August, I have been revisited with health issues that haven't been a problem for decades, including a cavity!

As a result, I have allowed the manure of self-pity, resentment and at times anger to turn the heat of my trials into blue green algae.  If I'm going to be brutally honest, the thought has popped into my head to back off from ministry to find relief from what I believe has been full-on spiritual warfare.   And isn't that the goal of Satan.  He wants us to cry "UNCLE!"  God, in His mercy, caused me to recognize this immediately, and reminded me that HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR ME.

I am still struggling under the weight of these health issues, but the Lord continues to minister to me as He did with this excerpt from last night's reading in Streams in the Desert...

"Let us remember that if self-pity is allowed to set in, that is the end of us—until it is cast utterly from us. Joseph just turned over everything in joyous trust to God, and so the keeper of the prison turned over everything to Joseph. Lord Jesus, when the prison doors close in on me, keep me trusting, and keep my joy full and abounding. Prosper Thy work through me in prison: even there, make me free indeed.
—Selected

A little bird I am,
Shut from the fields of air,
And in my cage I sit and sing
To Him who placed me there;
Well pleased a prisoner to be,
Because, my God, it pleaseth Thee.

My cage confines me round,
Abroad I cannot fly,
But though my wing is closely bound,
My soul is at liberty;
For prison walls cannot control
The flight, the freedom of the soul.

I have learnt to love the darkness of sorrow; there you see the brightness of His face."—Madame Guyon


May we all walk through every vale, in the freedom and joy of Christ Jesus, as the shiny new creations we are,  cleansed in His blood and ever in His care...   








"I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys;
 I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water. 
"I will put the cedar in the wilderness, The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree; 
I will place the juniper in the desert together with the box tree and the cypress, That they may see and recognize, And consider and gain insight as well, That the hand of the LORD has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it.
Isaiah 41:18-20




You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me Grace, Testimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home  ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays  Let Us Grow Small Wonder Link-up Winsome Wednesday Growing in Grace Thursday After My CoffeeRewind Friday Fresh Market Friday Moments of Hope Wonderful Wednesdays Christian Blogger Link-Up Tea & Word Tuesday Heart Encouragement Thursday Hearts for Home Messy Marriage Link-up Friday at the Fire Station Link-up Tune In Thursday Faith on Fire Link-upSunday Scripture Blessings Link-up, Warriors of the WordCandidly Christian Link-upSunday ThoughtsWriter WednesdayFaith Filled Friday



Monday, October 16, 2017

Let the Leaves Fall



As most of you know, I have a granddaughter, Lexi.  She is already two-and-a-half years old!  I don't know where the time has gone, but it has flown by!

Lexi is an absolute delight, and a beauty at that with long golden banana curls, long lashes that shield striking gray blue eyes, an adorable button nose and the cutest lisp.  To look at her, you would think she would be a girly girl who loved to wear dresses and hair bows.  I may be typecasting here, but you know what I mean.  ;-)

Lexi is anything but a girly girl.  I always tease my son-in-law that Lexi may be the son he'll never have.  lol. 

Lexi LOVES the outdoors and all that God's creation has to offer under His great canopy.   On walks, she stops to inspect everything whether it be plant-life or bug-life.  From the time she could walk, her favorite past time is stopping to smell every flower that she happens upon.   But then, she can't resist the urge to pick them.  We are working on letting the flowers stay happy, rooted in the ground.   One such teachable moment, Lexi looked perplexed, showing me the wilted dandelion that she had picked earlier.  I told her that the flower was sad now because it wasn't in the ground anymore.  Now, whenever she sees a wilted flower, she tells me, "Mimi, that flower is sad."  I just love her!!

Aren't Pansies just the happiest looking flowers?  :-)


And flowers aren't the only things Lexi likes to pick up.  She has no problem picking up bugs!  I hide my squeamishness as much as I can.  Eeeek!!  This Mimi does not like bugs!  lol.  Lexi is just fascinated with them.  She gets that from her daddy who at a very young age just loved bugs.  So much so that everyone thought he was going to grow up to be an entomologist.  lol

I love to watch Lexi study anything new.  Her brows furrow and you can see the little wheels in her head turning as she processes and learns all she can from her experience.

And Lexi is sooo observant!  I am always amazed by what she takes away from her observations. 

For example, a couple of weeks ago, my daughter and I were out in my front yard with Lexi near my apple tree which had already shed most of it's leaves.  {My granddaughter has been obsessed with our apple tree.   Whenever she comes over she will yell from the car, "Apples!  Apples!"  lol.}  All that covered the ground beneath the apple tree this particular day were the dried up leaves that had fallen to the ground prematurely; the animals already having feasted on the apples that once lay there.

This is not our yard, by the way, but an orchard.  ;-)

My daughter and I were chatting away when Gabrielle noticed that Lexi was underneath the apple tree very carefully picking up a fallen leaf and trying to reattach it to the tree!  She patiently tried several times, and managed to get the leaf to stick on to the end of the branch.

Do you ever find yourself trying to attach the dead leaves of your life back on again?  Is there an emotional hurt that you keep replaying over and over again?  Are there insecurities that you ascribe to yourself again and again?  Are there fears that you have given over to the Lord, only to pick them back up again?  Is there an area where you have died to self, but end up walking in the flesh once again?

I think we can all have a tendency to reaffix a dead leaf or two back into our lives.

Or, like the Oak tree, we carry our dead leaves for a long time... 

Early cold weather and early frosts interrupt the process by which oak leaves die and fall from their branches.  Their leaves hold fast to the branches and shield the new buds which will eventually come in the Springtime.

We wear our dead leaves like a shield, don't we?   When we find ourselves in harsh circumstances, be it emotional, physical or spiritual, we tend to stop the process of letting go or dying to self.   Instead, we carry our hurts, and prevent new growth.

Let us learn from the deciduous tree whose leaf drop benefits the tree by reducing water loss, and allows the tree to develop leaves that efficiently use available sunlight during warmer seasons.

When we cast our cares upon our Savior or when we die to self out of obedience and gratitude to the Lord, we will continually drink from the Streams of Living Water and will soak up the Sonlight efficiently, making our joy complete and our fruit abundant.


Truly, truly, I say to you, 
unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, 
it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
John 12:24



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