Author: hearmorefromgod

If a Rose needs support – do I?

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I bought a trellis for my rose bush this weekend.

It’s for its own good.

It gives stability for the plant’s long, gangly branches that hang down to the ground. And it provides a framework to display its beauty.

But does the rose understand what I’m doing for it?

Does it resent being tied to a frame – limiting its growth to one direction or one plane? Is it grateful for the support? The stability it offers? Will it feel different from the other plants that don’t get that kind of support?

 

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This project caused me to think about my life and how I am like a rose bush

I want to have the freedom to go in any direction I choose or feel led. But do I need a trellis?  And what is it for me?

 

 

book-1936547_640For me, the Bible gives me guidance, structure, some might say wisdom. But do I see it as wisdom and embrace it willingly? Always? Or sometimes, do I see it as restriction, leading me in a limited path that seemingly restricts my freedom of choice?

 

I would love to say I embrace it all the time. But I have fought it, tried to get around it, occasionally wondered what my life would be had I taken a different path.

I hope, with the support of the trellis, my rose bush will stand tall, displaying its beauty and fragrance for all to enjoy.

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And I hope my life will be the same. That God will be my gardener. And that I will embrace His Word to direct, guide, encourage, support and strengthen me whenever and however I need it. So that I will stand tall, displaying His honor and His grace for all to see.

 

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Memorial Day

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Having recently lost my Father, who was an officer in the United States Army, this Memorial Day feels much more personal.

 

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I was raised with lots of parades and military air shows with troops marching in formation. It was a reminder that freedom is not free. That the wonderful country I lived in was made free by the strength of the force of the living military and the blood shed by past soldiers.

 

bastille-1296479_640Until I was made aware of the oppression of people in other parts of the world, I took for granted that I was born to parents who loved me, provided for me; in a country where education was free and for everyone, and where I could choose to be whatever I was willing to put in the work to become, marry who I wanted to, and have children as I wanted to.

In the Bible, there is a Hebrew word “zakar”. It means “to remember, to recall, or call to mind. It’s not just a passive recall, but an active commemoration. It can even mean to re-enact, to bring the event remembered to the forefront of your mind, to focus intently upon it, to see it clearly and appreciate its significance appropriately through the enlightened perspective of time.” Teaching by Bill Bullock a Torah Teacher.

That expanded meaning of remember challenges me. Why is it I can remember toothpaste or cereal jingles from my childhood, but I can’t remember significant events that impacted my life? Or conversations that steered me towards a better path, or kept me from bad decisions? Or prayers that were answered bringing my father safely home to our family?

ebenezerThe Israelites would often set up a stone or pile of stones to commemorate significant events. I can do the same with a piece of art, or jewelry, a song, poem or picture. I can place things on my desk or in my home or yard so that when someone comments on it, I can tell the reason for its significance.

 

What do you need to remember, commemorate? How will you do it?

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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.

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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