A journal of thankfulness and inspiration as I travel the paths of spiritual awakening and a healthy lifestyle

"Enjoy the journey; rest in God's love."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday's Thankfulness

Today I'm thankful for:

A free meal out... as members of a local forestry group we get a meal out (and a short program on forestry management) once a month. This is sponsored by different local businesses. HOW NICE! I DIDN'T HAVE TO COOK TONIGHT!

The Lord's protection: We were in a terrible thunder/lightning/heavy rain storm on the way home. I could not see the lines on the road at many points. A quick prayer for safety and protection, and we eased on toward home. It was just too dangerous to pull over since shoulders are narrow and visibility was near zero. Thank You, Lord, for keeping us safe!

Company coming: Tomorrow we will host our BIL and SIL in a meal of Reubens and watermelon... What a combination! But these are things we all enjoy. We'll be cooking corned beef that we corned ourself. YUM! THEN, we will have an evening of dominoes or games of some sort. I love game time with friends and family!

Be blessed in all you do tomorrow!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday's Thankful Thoughts

How time has flown since my last post! When I started this blog I had planned on it being a daily journal... HAHA! WHAT was I thinking????

Today I am thankful for:

The meatloaf DH made and I cooked last night. I LOVE leftovers... more time to quilt, less to cook!

The fresh grape tomatoes that continue to be picked each day... they really add taste to our salads.

The fresh okra that is now being picked by the gallon every day... what were we thinking when we planted so many plants? But, YUM! Fried okra tonight was delicious.

Elderly ladies that continue to enjoy their hobby of quilting. Yes, their quilts sometimes present unique challenges to me as their quilter, but I so admire those that keep making quilts even though the aches and pains of growing older might cause some less determined soul to just give up sewing. I worked hard today to finish one very challenging quilt. It won't win any awards, and some would look at it and wonder why I did THAT to this quilt. It was a means of stabilizing the hand-piecing that was coming undone in MANY places, and finishing something that was pieced probably around the 1960s. When I return the quilt I will get "the rest of the story" and find out exactly who made it.

Rain and cooler temperatures. It is still hot, but not nearly as hot as a few weeks ago. We've had several small rains and more on the way, so things are really looking nice and green again.

That's my short list today... you can tell I'm tired and heading for the shower and bed.

Be blessed in all you do!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Power (and Pain) of Pruning

Photo curtesy of freefoto.com

I guess none of us want to be on the receiving side of pruning... it's just not fun! We often don't understand why the Lord is pruning us (or a church body), and it is very easy to try to come up with our own solutions that remedy the hurt of pruning.

John 15:1-2 (NASB) "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. [2] "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.

Pruning is a GOOD thing... it is a sign that we ARE bearing fruit! But the Lord does not just want fruit, he wants EXCELLENT fruit.

As we were reminded last night at church, a rose bush that is not pruned regularly does not produce quality roses. The canes are spindly, the leaves are small and not able to nourish the plant very well, the roses only have a few petals which open quickly and then are spent in a short while. Only through pruning can a gardener produce quality rose bushes and thus beautiful roses.

Snip, snip! The Master Vinedresser cuts things from our lives that don't need to be there. Sometimes it might be a person or persons; sometimes it may be an activity which of itself is not wrong but is causing distraction from the Lord's perfect purpose and plan for your life. Sometimes it might be a needed change in your priorities, that they may better line up with His will for you.

Regardless of the reason, pruning hurts (especially when the Lord prunes people from your life or church family). The love of others (especially church family) is very deep, so when they are pruned there is a type of mourning that must take place. You naturally feel very concerned for those you love and you miss their presence.

When church programs and activities are pruned we want to figure out a "plan B". "Surely there is some other way!", we think. Why is it so difficult to believe that He really knows what He is doing and has nothing but good for us?

BUT... during these times we must trust in the Vinedresser... He DOES indeed know what is best for us and for a church. When direction is given that we have strayed from the chosen path and must return to the original purpose and vision we will be blessed if we obey (even though it may be painful to do it). Snip, snip!

Jeremiah 6:16 (NASB) Thus says the Lord, "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you shall find rest for your souls.

Lord, we surrender all things to Your wisdom as the Master... prune those things that are not in keeping with Your perfect will... Thy will be done!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday's Thankful Thoughts

Today I am thankful for:

Time away from home (read that as, no cooking, no cleaning, just sewing as much as I want!)

A sweet husband that does not mind that I occasionally get away from home.

Great meals prepared by someone else... why does it ALWAYS taste better when someone else has cooked it?

Friends that enjoy laughing and having a good time.

Digital cameras that give us instant gratification and laughs as it captures images of our silliness.

A good AC system in very hot SW TX .

A soft bed, which I will be in much earlier tonight, than I was last night!

Answers to prayer. Marvin and Helen are doing much better. Thank YOU, Lord!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Blessed to Be a Blessing

This week has been a great opportunity for me to pass along some of the things the Lord has blessed me with. First of all I donated a BUNCH of tomatoes to a friend for the governor's reception today. Then I had opportunity to repay some of her kindnesses by helping her prepare and serve food.

Todays event was wonderful! The governor, many elected officials, and local citizens enjoyed great food and visiting in the beautiful B&B. It feels really great to serve others. I have to keep reminding myself of that, for I definitely was NOT given the hospitality gift when the Lord passed out spiritual giftings. My giftings are more in the organizational areas and teaching, as well as music. So as you can imagine I was really out of my comfort zone today. This small-town gal has never seen such a fancy spread as was set before the guests today!

You know, we never give (of our talents and gifts) without really receiving more in return than we are giving. It amazes me how thankful people are even for small acts of service like fixing them a to-go plate, or helping them find foil to cover a plate, etc. But yet it really is fulfilling to be helpful. I must keep reminding myself of THAT, also. It is so easy to get so bogged down in my world and my long list of "Things to Do" that I don't stop long enough to see how I can be helpful to others.

Lord, please open my eyes to areas of service around me. Help me to see the needs of others through Your eyes.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Thankful for Friday

Or I guess I could use the acronym... TGIF!! This week has REALLY flown by, probably because I have been so busy. I've gotten some quilting for customers done and a lot of quilts came in this week and are lined up waiting for me to return from quilt retreat. I've done some sewing on a project of mine, some fabric painting, and housework. BUSY!

Tomorrow I will go help a friend get ready for a huge reception for the Governor of LA! Can you believe he will be coming to a tiny town like ours on Sunday?! Paula has a B&B here and a reception for the Governor and 100 of his invited guests will be held there. Nope, I did not get an invitation, but I volunteered to help her serve, so I may just get to meet him.

I really don't want to say "TODAY I am thankful for..." because it has been so long since I posted, so I will say,


Time to work on some of my own quilty things.

A really fun get-away planned for next week.

Okra and tomatoes... YUM!

Beautiful painted fabric.

Creativity and inspiration given from God.

Healing truths the Holy Spirit has been reminding me of this week.

Hot showers... and I need one RIGHT NOW!

Blessings to you all,

Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday's Blessings

RAIN!! We have not had any measurable rainfall in weeks, until today. Thank you Lord for the refreshing rain. Everything looks so much fresher with the dust washed off. Our garden is really saying "thank you"... plants that had wilted and were thought to not survive have perked back up after our morning rain. And along with the rain came cooler air. Our high today was somewhere in the 80's. This is quite a change after having about 2 weeks of 100+ temps!

AAAHHHHH! Nice weather, nice rain! We are blessed.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Fearless Fridays

Fear... we all have it at times. Sometimes it overwhelms us and controls our thoughts. I realized a number of years back that I was becoming fearful about many things... driving, riding in the car when someone else was driving (I think that is a control issue!), fearful of the future,... the list could go on and on. The enemy of our soul loves for us to be fearful, because then we are not in faith!

I have heard that the phase, "Fear not," is used 365 times in the Bible. That is one for each day! So I have decided to "fear not". Yes, it IS a decision that we must make. There are multiple opportunities each day to fear about something, but you can join me in 1), recognizing the fear when it tries to come upon you, 2) choosing NOT to let it take root, and 3) stand in FAITH instead of fear.

It is always easy? Nope, it is not. Sometimes our senses tell us that things just can't work out well, so we may start worrying about the outcome. That's when we have to look with our spiritual eyes and see what the Lord has done, and read about what He has PROMISED us.

He has promised to NEVER leave us or forsake us. He has promised to guide our steps, even through the fire and the flood. He has promised that we have a hope and a future. He has promised that all His promises are yes and amen.

He is a Good God, He has good plans for us, and He loves us greatly, so stand on His promises, stand on faith in Him and His Word, and cast that fear right back where it belongs!


Today I am thankful for...
Accomplishments... we cleaned the porch today, raked leaves off the top of the house, and then raked the yard and hauled away the leaves. I feel SOOO much better about the looks of the front of the house now.

A husband that likes to grill. YUM!! He smoked the BEST brisket ever today. I added with it some store-bought potato salad, beans, and bread. Easy peasy for me! It was all delicious.

Our new dog, PJ. She has been a lot of company for us (especially DH, since she loves to run along with him when he goes in the woods) and she is a very sweet natured dog. I'm thankful my friend rescued her and then offered her to us.

Visits from my son... He is so busy I don't get to see him very often, but offer him BBQ and he shows up! Is that really fair, bribing him to visit by offering him food????

Tired muscles... they show I have worked hard today, and I can look behind me and see accomplishment! That feels good.

Thank You Lord, for all Your many blessings!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday's Thankfulness

Today I am thankful for:

A safe and fun trip to Galveston/Bacliff, TX area.

DH who agreed to motor me there in the RV, even though he really did not want to go. (And he later fessed up that he was glad... he needed a getaway from the garden stuff.)

Meeting new quilting friends... quilters are just the nicest, most sharing individuals!

Learning new fabric techniques... taking classes really expands your vision and creativity.

Fresh seafood... nothing tastes quite like it!

Sleeping in a king-size bed last night (the camper bed is a little scrunched!)

Coming home to discover that DS DID remember to feed the dog and cats while we were gone.

The bookkeeping that I have been procrastinating on... it is a sign that my business is going well, even if I don't like doing the records.

The green beans are done (I'll miss them, but I'm kind'a tired of them.) and the okra is getting ready for picking. Now if the purple hull peas will just kick in so we can have some of them!

Long-distance friends that keep in touch on a regular basis (Hi, Donna!).

I could go on and on, but I better go do that bookkeeping!
Have a blessed day!