Blossom Anyway

Last week a friend gave me some bulbs. We didn’t have time to put them in the ground so I placed them in a shady spot so they would be okay until Saturday (tomorrow) when we could clean out the flower bed and plants these potentially beautiful flowers.

But one didn’t want to wait to blossom.

Sometimes things don’t turn out in life the way we planned.

Some days are hard and the unexpected comes knocking on our heart.

Blossom anyway.

Right where you are.

Here.

Now.

In The Silence – Obey

For about six weeks I have struggled – it’s like there’s a disconnect between me and the Lord.

Have you ever been there?

The silence leaves you questioning . . . .

“What am I doing wrong?”

“Are you hearing my prayers?”

“Are you still there?”

“I FEEL so blah.”

“How can I go in there and teach when I can’t even HEAR from you right now?”

“What. Is. Going. On?!”

I know I’m not the only one that has ever walked through a season like this but when one is walking through the desert it sure feels lonely.

Each week I teach I remind Him I can’t do this on my own. I remind Him how I struggle with comprehension and connecting the pieces (as if He could forget) – and every week He shows Himself faithful – even in the day to day silence.

I was flipping the pages of a Bible I use occasionally and this picture caught my attention. What assurance of His love and faithfulness.

If you are struggling through a time of silence right now keep doing what He has called you to do.

Your quiet times might look different than you prefer but that’s okay.

Be still in Him. Even if you think He isn’t there He is.

He’s gonna do what He says He’s gonna do – not for your benefit or praise – but for His glory and to bring Him honor.

As painful as it is, this is just another part of the pruning process that inevitably makes us look a little more like Him.

Perspective

I took these today while I was supposed to be walking.

I like to take multiple pictures from different angles and distances for one reason – perspective.

I used the same edit feature to brighten these pictures up yet they all have a slightly different look and even drastic look depending which one you look at.

The only difference – my position.

And that’s how life is.

You and I could be standing side by side and looking at the exact same image or listening to the exact same speaker and see or hear something completely different because of our lifestyle and our past experiences.

We could even see the complete opposites of each other.

What one sees as good another sees as bad.

And you know what – in that moment – it’s okay.

We all process and work through things differently. It might take me longer to trudge through the muck and mire than it does you.

And that’s okay.

We all have a story to tell. My path and my story won’t look like yours and yours won’t look like mine.

Be encouraging of the person working their way to wellness. Even if their path looks different than yours.

A Permanent Respite

For the first time today God showed me a beatitude in Matthew 11:28-30.

I love how He sprinkles the Beatitudes throughout scripture.

He also showed me a permanent respite we can have in Him and it isn’t done by works or anything of self.

And He isn’t speaking of the physical rest.

The rest He is speaking of is to eliminate spiritual bankruptcy.

He is in the stillness y’all.

The Nineteenth Verse

You would think with all the spare time I have on my hands my house would be in order and immaculate.

But it is the exact opposite.

The truth is I spend much more time sprawled out on my front porch reading, taking pictures, talking with the Lord, and just being still; therefore nothing is really getting accomplished. At least not the way I would like. But I can’t seem to pull myself away . . .

I am going to have to invest in an inexpensive iron bistro set so I will have a place to sit and not sprawl out on the ground and kill my back leaning over.

But while sitting sprawled out I noticed my first dragonfly – it is a horrible picture but he is just so beautifully perched on the gladiola about to bloom that I had to try and get a picture. I am pretty far away so the zoom was extended full depth – I’m sure he will be back before I leave my post this morning and I will try for better images.

I shared several weeks ago about the spiritual meaning behind the number nineteen.

The Lord has continued to hone in on that number.

Last week the Lord prompted me to start reading all the 19th verses in scripture. I knew IF He was prompting me THEN there was a reason.

And there has been.

It doesn’t matter where you start, but I want to challenge you as you are reading God’s Word every day to pause and look at the 19th verse of every chapter(s) you are reading in. If you are like me and don’t know a lot of history to understand what events are occurring before or after the 19th verse you are reading, then don’t be afraid to use a reputable commentary or study Bible. I have been amazed at what the Lord has shown me, how He has encouraged me, and just how relevant those verses are to today.

I am praying for you.

Stacey

Diverted Eyes

I just left Winn Dixie. I wore my mask and gloves as did many others. Everyone respected one another’s space.

But one thing broke my heart.

Diverted eyes.

It’s like we (and I’m included in that) think if we look at someone in the eyes we can get the cooties.

And that makes me sad.

That makes me sad.

I realized just how fearful we are all.

And even though we can’t see someone’s smile doesn’t mean we can’t smile underneath our mask. And that’s not for the other person as much as it is for those of us behind the mask.

Something I see missing because we aren’t making that eye contact – small conversations.

My heart hurts.

As I head to one more store today 😬 I will be intentional on making eye contact with others.

No more diverted eyes.

Service During Uncertainty

Someone I have never met just dropped off four masks and left them on my front porch.

Just yesterday she heard through a friend of the need and brought them by today. I offered to pick them up, even offered to pay for them . . . but she insisted there was no charge and wanted to drop them off.

Ministry appears in various acts of service. What ministry looks like to me is going to be different to others. For me, praying for others, encouraging them, and preparing meals for families is how the Lord uses me to touch lives. But to this person . . . sewing is therapy for her and she says she is able to use it to bless others.

How encouraging to my soul.

During this pandemic we are able to use our gifts and talents to touch others . . . even while social distancing.

So let me encourage you . . . be an encouragement to someone today.

Yes the blue in my hair is fading and I desperately need a haircut. But I just love that my mask has birds on it . . . AND . . . it’s blue.
She made four but my son claimed his and won’t let me share his picture.

He Loves You.

It has been an interesting month to say the least. But this particular week has been hard on me.

One day this week I cried. Oh nothing specific was wrong . . . except the unknown . . . but for the first time I felt scared.

I have been countering fear and fighting that demon for weeks, even ignoring it and stuffing it . . . but that is what a coward does. They stuff it and pretend it isn’t real. But this particular morning I looked it straight on and faced it.

It was hard.

But it was good.

A few days ago the Lord was prompting me to begin researching some verses. This morning He began to unfold the reason why and in my time walking through Genesis this card fell out.

One of the Charis House ladies gave it to me. She had been memorizing it and during one of our classes she reached in her Bible and handed it to me. It has stayed in my large study Bible ever since then. I would see it from time to time but this particular morning it fell out of my Bible.

Not only had God reminded me through this card that had my life verse on it that He is able to use bad things for His glory but He also reminded me I am loved by many because of a note she had written on the back of the card.

It is easy to remember the good coming out of tragedies when good is happening. But it is often hard to remember the good and His promises when things aren’t so certain.

So today, even if you are scared or maybe you are so wounded from pains of the past and you feel you can’t keep going – I need you to do two things . . . 1- Remember His faithfulness in previous times of darkness and uncertainty and 2- I just need you to know it is completely okay to not be okay – just don’t let yourself stay there too long.

He loves you.

A Not So Quiet, Quiet Time

My quiet time has been a little different this morning. My mind is kind of cloudy from a a bad night of sleep and headache today so instead of trying to reread and dissect to grasp something and force a “quiet time”, I turned to music as my not so quiet – quiet time.

A time of worship.

Here’s a small portion of my playlist this morning. These songs of worship helped prepare my heart and mind a little better to be in His presence.

I saw this quote on Tauren Wells video below and wanted to point it out –

“If God answered the prayers you’ve been praying, would it change anyone else’s world but your own?”

That smacked me right in the gut. While I consider myself a prayer warrior and intercessor for others I can definitely see where my prayers for my family have been more fear driven in recent weeks. I am so thankful for this morning’s time of worship and how the Lord uses music to prepare my heart for more of Him.

 

 

 

*I do not own the rights to any of the music played in this post.*

A Little More . . .

We are all in a unique season. Usually we are all walking through various trials in our own day to day lives but this time – we are all walking through one trial together.

It’s in the 40’s here in the panhandle of Florida this morning and my heart is thankful. Cool sunshiny mornings are my favorite.

During this new season of a world wide pandemic the Lord has shown me so much. The timing of many personal events makes sense now.

And I am thankful.

Usually we are all walking through trials individually. We all carry our own burdens and walk through desert storms in difference seasons and various times. And even though we might each individually be carrying something right now there is something that is bonding us together like never before – Covid-19.

Believer or unbeliever.

Rich or poor.

Black or white or red or brown.

Popular or unpopular.

Republican or Democrat or Independent.

Somebodies or nobodies.

This virus is affecting us all.

Maybe not in the same way . . . each one of us is dealing with it differently . . . but we are all being affected by it.

Because of that . . . it would seem to me, that in this season of uncertainty, we could all show a little more kindness. A little more love. A little more compassion. A little more grace. A little more generosity. A little more hope. A little more patience.

What if we all showed to someone else just a little of what we need today?

Lord today I thank you for a fresh wind. I thank you for cooler temperatures, a sunshiny day, a solid night’s sleep that offered rest. I thank you for what you are doing in this season of uncertainty in so many of our lives. I thank you for the stillness and rest you’ve given me. Thank you for new green growth around my pond, for the birds singing this morning, for quietness on my porch as the wind chimes sing in the gentle breeze. Thank you for my Crepe Myrtle that has dozens of birds resting securely right now. Thank you for the way you provide for them and for your Word that tells me if you will provide for the birds of the air then you will provide for me . . . for all of us. I pray today for the small businesses in our nation. Lord I pray blessings upon them. Meet their needs as a business but also meet the needs of the employees that have lost jobs through this. I pray for our pastors. Oh Lord, do something new and fresh in their lives through this time of uncertainty. Meet the financial needs of each ministry. Lord I pray for our medical personnel – from the doctors and nurses – to the lab techs – to the administration – to the maintenance and housekeepers that are bravely walking in to each shift with uncertainty – protect them. Protect their families Lord. Lord I pray and I believe you will be glorified through this and I pray for all those who don’t know you as their Lord and Savior. Show yourself today in miraculous ways. Lord, we need a miracle. I pray for our first responders today Lord. Oh Lord they need an Aaron and a Hur – oh Lord send an Aaron and Hur to our medical personnel, our first responders, our military being deployed to serve . . . Lord we need you more than ever. I pray for our national leaders. I ask you to give rest, wisdom, and discernment to them. I ask you to eradicate the hatred between political parties. You’ve allowed this virus to come upon us now I am asking and believing you will use it for good. Bring unity in our nation. I love you Lord. Amen.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:26-34