another Mother’s Day

Proverbs 31 tells us “A woman of noble character, who can find, she is worth far more than rubies…

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My mother is that kind of woman. She:

planned and carried out personalized, theme birthday parties, complete with homemade designer cakes

 

 

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Sewed most of my clothes (some of which I actually liked) including 3 squads of Cheerleading uniforms and bridesmaid dresses for my wedding that she made after cutting her own patters from sketches she made

If they awarded frequent driver miles – for driving me to school, practices, games, lessons, the pool and friends houses, she would have earned several trips around the world

And has probably spent years just waiting on me, at piano lessons, sports games, doctor’s offices, cheerleading practices and more

 

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She stayed up all night with me typing a high school term paper

She was a Girl Scout leader who camped and cooked and worked on merit badges with us

My mother is a wonderful friend to other women. She modeled for me, the kind of friend I want to be. She showed me the importance of women sharing together, encouraging one another, doing ‘life’ together.

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She taught me that motherhood is a profession…and an honorable one.

She showed me the value of giving to others out of the goodness and bounty which God has given us, and the value of volunteering to benefit even those you don’t know, to build community.

She showed me the values of loving God, loving my country, and loving my family.

I am very proud of her, and thank God for her, and miss her a lot these last six Mother’s Days without her.

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My Dad

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God is speaking to me through my circumstances recently.  Last Tuesday my father
passed away and today is his memorial service.

Even when it’s expected, you’re never really prepared to lose a parent.

 

 

0049Your Mother and Father are the very first relationships you have.

Theirs is the longest and most intimate. They are the first people who love you and care
for you, who teach you not only things about how the world works, but also how to relate to the world and the people in it.

 

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They teach you how to succeed, and rejoice with you when it happens, sharing your successes with others.

And they teach you about failure, and how to deal with it, learn
from it, and move on.

 

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Although it seems logical that the natural order of things is that parents go before their children, isn’t it also logical that we would grieve the most for the longest, most intimate relationships we have.

My dad was a Texan, an officer, a husband, father and grandfather. He loved God, his
country and his family.

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He was a man of honesty, integrity, dedication, humility, compassion and generosity.  I thank the Lord that he lived long enough to be not only my father, protector and hero, but also my friend.

 

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Over the last 15 years we became very close having discussions about life and death, scripture, church sermons and Sunday school lessons. Together we cared for and were present with my mother when she died. His love, devotion and tireless care for her inspired me.

I will miss him terribly.  But I know he is with his Savior and Lord and at peace.  And I know I will see him again one day.

God has reminded me that He is the Father who blessed me with a kind and loving earthly father.  And I can still trust Him to provide everything I need.

Even though I am grieving, I am thankful for having my dad as long as I did.  Thankful for all he taught me.  And thankful that I can move forward, trusting my heavenly Father to help me through this sense of loss, and rely on Him to meet my needs.

Smart as trees?

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In Colorado, the trees are bursting forth! Some have pods opening to reveal the tiny green beginnings of what will be big beautiful leaves.

 

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Some have burst into blossoms in white and many shades of pink – from light pastel to deep maroon. Beauty is all around, and the signs of life reawakening.

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It didn’t happen two months ago, when the trees in Arizona popped out. It didn’t happen on the first day of Spring, according to the calendar. No, trees seem to have a God-ordained wisdom of the earth and time.

 

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They respond when the temperature of the earth gets warmer, and the hours of light get longer. They know when the time is right for them to bud, leaf out, blossom and produce fruit.

 

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And they recognize when the days get shorter and the temperatures colder, to prepare for winter. That’s the time they change the color of their pigment, let go and let the wind take their leaves. And then in winter they go dormant and store up energy for the coming season of growth.

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We, on the other hand, seem to have no understanding or even awareness of the spiritual climate we live in. We try to produce fruit out of season. We try to hold on to our stuff and be showy when we should be letting go.

 

We don’t take time to draw on our resources. We often want to run ahead on our own timetable, then keep all we have forever.

tree streamWe could be listening to God’s voice as He speaks in our ear – “this is the way, walk in it”. Yet, we don’t often listen for it. Or if we hear, we don’t obey.

There will come a time, when what is not productive in God’s heavenly economy, will be uprooted and burned. All that is “fruitless” will be stripped away.

To everything, there is a season. It’s time to ask God to show you where you are – what season you are in with regard to specific issues in your life.

Ask God to prune you where things have gotten out of control, or where you are not being productive. Ask Him to speak to you about new projects, ministries, opportunities to see if it’s the right time to move forward. Let Him show you if it’s time to let go of some things. Or simply rest. And be willing to listen.

With His help, we can be as smart as trees.

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Is it Spring where you are?

 

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God knows us so well, and so like a parent prepares a nursery for a long awaited newborn, God planned earth to meet our needs and reflect His provision and love. His intelligence and compassion are shown in giving us seasons.

 

As we cycle through a year we can experience changes in the world around us and learn lessons for our own lives as God gives us both change and consistency.

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God gave us a desire for change. But He also created us with a deep, deep desire and need for stability and consistency. He knows that random change without purpose can be scary and upsetting. And so He gives us purposeful, predictable change.

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Every few months we see something new and fresh in our lives all around us. It affects our entire environment. The growing seasons bring different harvests of foods.  The climate impacts the way we dress and how we build our homes.

 

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The seasonal colors of plants impact the way we landscape our cities and homes and surround ourselves with the beauty of His creation.

 

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Like His love, which is secure and stable and never changes, He gives us the surety of knowing that the seasons always occur in a predicted order. In the midst of and in the excitement of change, we get the security of knowing that one season always follows another.

 

These same seasons of change exist in our lives. They do not occur every 3 months as the earth sees the change of seasons. Over a lifetime we experience seasons of change: waiting, testing, growth, calm, fruitfulness, pruning.

autumn-1001140_640With some issues, we can go through many seasons in a week. With some activities, relationships or circumstances, each season may last several months or years. Some things may take a lifetime.

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I believe God prepares us for these changes by reflecting change in His creation. Ask God to show you where you are – what season you are in with regard to specific issues in your life.

 

Is it a time of rebirth? Renewing interests with newfound vigor and attention?

Is it a time of growth? Should you be fertilizing a relationship, an idea, a project to prepare for fruitfulness?

Is it a time of harvest? Of enjoying the benefits and provisions of hard work, but letting go of some responsibilities? Changing over to a new focus?

Is it time for resting? Being refueled by cutting back and preparing for building deeper roots?

Ask God to show you how to recognize what He wants you to know about His timing. To hear more from God, look around you at the living, growing, 3-dimensional teachers in His creation: the animals, the plants, the environment.

And be willing to listen.

 

Be a Silly Goose for Christ Part 2

Continuing to learn from the Goose:

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3 Communicate with those around you.

Geese are not quiet birds. They seem to always have something to say to each other. Whenever a group is already on the water and another group comes in to land, all kinds of honking commences. Similarly, when a group is preparing to take off, there is much ado.

We should share with other believers what we have learned: how to get along better in life, where there are traps and how to avoid them, praise and thanks for God’s bountiful provisions. I don’t know what the geese are telling each other, but it could be: “Hey there’s great grain over here!” Or “Watch out for the foxes at the end of the lake!” Wouldn’t you like to receive helpful direction and encouragement?

 

4 Circle before you land.

wild-geese-1148985_640Geese will always fly around an area before they actually touch down. I have seen them circle the lake 3 times before the first one touches down on the water or in a field. It’s as if they’re scoping out the location for danger and suitability.

Too often, we jump right in without checking things out and counting the cost. We need to use the brain God gave us and seek His wisdom as we make decisions, accept commitments, and move forward. Pull back to get the big picture and know what you’re getting into before you jump in with both feet.

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5 Travel light.

Before a bird takes off, it offloads all excess baggage. Every ounce counts when you have to physically carry it, especially long distances. So before it takes off, it poops! If you live in a flyway, this is a common sight and the result makes for very messy walking or picnicking.

We need to remember to take only what we need on our journey. How often do we travel with so much past hurt, anger, disappointment and upset that we can barely move forward? We need to expel envy, malice, bitterness, and hate because these things weigh us down and keep us from flying high. Drop off and leave behind discouragement, resentment, unforgiveness, whatever entangles you. Get the help you need to be rid of those poisons that will steal your joy and sap your strength. Read books, get counseling and pray to be able to forgive and let go of past hurts and failures.

We may like to think of ourselves as more majestic creations, maybe like the swans or eagles of the bird world. But God has placed wisdom all around us in all shapes and sizes. We can learn from everything He created. Learn from the behavior I’ve seen in these geese.

Dare to be a Silly Goose for Christ!

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