Author: hearmorefromgod

In God’s garden everyone has a time to bloom!

Looking around my garden on what seems like a Fall day, even though some Summer weather is still hanging on, I appreciate what I’ve seen over these last months

bloom-blooming-blossom-355663My crocus and tulips are the first to stick their green leaves and colorful heads above the soil in the Spring… actually when it’s still Winter! Their simple beauty dots my garden with hope that Spring is coming: kinder, warmer times for our Colorado climate.

firstiris2021The iris follow. First the papershell… delicate and tall, but not as sturdy as the heartier varieties that come in the following weeks with deep colors and stronger petals. 

poppies25The poppies make a fuzzy green appearance as the leaves and stems become longer and then burst into bright red petals that make a bold statement on that end of the yard. But their glory is fleeting. One hard rain or a hail storm in the vibrant color is just a memory.

By late spring and throughout the summer, flowering bushes, the roses, and the peonies take center stage. The delicate columbine blossoms, the sturdy marigolds, the ever blooming geraniums and pansies bring in color and insect life all around the yard.

whitebush2As they begin to fade and the nights grow cooler, other beauties herald their arrival. Hydrangeas, sedum, edelweiss and chrysanthemums come out and share their colors, aromas, and charm.

eidelweis2021Heavenly Father thank you for the amazing colors that we see, the aromas, the diversity of blossoms… all add to the beauty around us. And if they all bloomed at the same time, it would be overwhelming, competing for our senses…and some would go unnoticed.

And I’ve discovered it’s the same with people.

We are so diverse in our gifts, and the beauty of youth and age can be breathtaking. We come in all sizes, all shapes, all colors, and we mature and blossom at different times. Some of us have a natural talent or gift that is recognized early in life. Others of us need to live a good bit of our life before we discover our gift, our purpose and it too, is beautiful when we blossom.

Thank you Father for how You show me and teach me that You’ve replicated in people what we can learn from nature:

That there’s beauty in our differences.

That we don’t all have to bloom at the same time, or be the same color.

That we’re not all the same size, or bring the same design. 

That we each have beauty.

And that in your garden everyone has a time to bloom!

The answer is The Son

smartphone-gdfebda8f8_640

A friend got a frenzied call last week. It was a couple of young women he knew who found a rattlesnake had gotten onto their porch and wouldn’t leave. And they couldn’t get out of their apartment!

rattlesnake-gbbafc4e27_640My friend is a white water rescue raftsman and He went over in his van was able to coax the snake into a cooler and with a kayak paddle! They were overwhelmed with thanks and offered him dinner for a job well done.

When he left, he drove up into an uninhabited part of some mountain terrain, far from any trails to let it go. But as the evening had grown colder, the snake had become comfortable in the cooler, and refused to leave, rattling a lot to be left alone. So he put the lid back on securely and went home with the snake in his van.

CoolerThe next morning he went back to the uninhabited area, but once again, the snake refused to leave. With the lid back on he sat the cooler in the sun. After a little time, the morning sun heated up the cooler, and when he heard the rattler again, he pried the lid open, and stepped way back. The snake slithered out and took off quickly for parts unknown.

As he’s telling me all this, I’m thinking that this is just what the devil does in our lives.

hide-g0ec3d5d47_640He waits for us, right outside our door, and freezes us from taking action. He shakes his rattle to scare us, and remind us he’s there, waiting to attack if we move in his direction.

When we get help and think we’ve trapped him, he makes his home there and refuses to leave. Even in a sealed box, he is a threat we have to deal with.

clouds-gdac75cead_640In this instance, it took the power of the sun to finally convince the snake to leave.

crosses-gc040f60c5_640In our lives, it takes the power of the Son.

Genesis tells us that he, the devil, will strike His heel, but He (the Son of God) will crush his (the devil’s) head. (Genesis 3:15)

That crushing is the devil’s ultimate defeat.

Has the devil rattled you in some way? Has he frozen you to inaction?

Call a friend when you need one. And call on God’s Son.

There is power in the name of Jesus.

Memory is a blessing

I saw my mother yesterday. That wouldn’t be so unusual, except that she’s gone. She passed away ten years ago.

I was walking into the lab to get my blood drawn. And before passing through the sliding glass doors, I looked up…

Staring back at me in the reflection, was my mother. Our features are similar…dark hair – even into our late 60s, and similar body types as we both have a genetic kidney condition where our kidneys have enlarged to be about the size of footballs.

Most of my life she wore her hair long and put up in a French twist. Mine is longer, and today I had twisted it up with a big clip in the back and a bit of it stood up, much like her French twist used to.

AtMyPlaceMotherWhen she passed away I inherited a few of her clothes. Yesterday I happened to put on one of her shirts – a cool green plaid with ¾ sleeves that exposed my arms for an easy roll up blood draw. I had slipped on a matching pair of green leggings, which I don’t wear often because green isn’t really my color… And there she was.

Liz Higgs the big 40One of my favorite humor authors is Liz Curtis Higgs.  She wrote a book I got when I turned 40 – Forty Reasons Life is More Fun After The Big 4-0  One of the reasons is that your mother comes to visit every day – in the mirror!

I didn’t see that happening then, but this kind of took my breath away. I used to hate being told I looked like my mother. Now, it seemed a kindness.

I used to be the age where a lot of my friends’ parents were passing away. Then it was older cousins. Now it’s our husbands and wives.

elephant-1090834_640I’m asking God to help me remember the good times, the memories of all I’ve learned from those who have gone before me. And to let me use those to make positive memories and pass on what I’ve learned to my children and grandchildren.

question-mark-g8f50bac14_640What good time memories do you have that you can duplicate with your friends, your kids or grandkids?

What have you learned that had a positive impact on your life that you can intentionally pass on to the next generation?

Take some time to make a list of some of those things that made wonderful memories for you – – and pass them on!

bible-g6b1dd5adc_640Deuteronomy 32:7
Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.

Proverbs 10:7
The memory of the righteous is a blessing,

Back to School ? !

Calendars

I truly don’t know where the summer went…May and early June were filled with doctor appointments. Then the heat turned up and we stayed mostly inside and I worked a lot finishing the 4th and 5th books in the 40 Day Prayer Guides series: Praying for your Grandchild and Praying for you Pastor ready.

snowmenlightsBefore the end of July I started seeing ads for Back to School and now my husband tells me Christmas decorations are up at Costco!

Just last week we went to sit our Grand-dog, and on the way back home, stopped at our favorite Mexican food restaurant. Their expanded outdoor serving area was shady, breezy, and completely empty so we sat there enjoying our very favorite soft green chili Rellenos! Sooo yummy!

We took the scenic route home through shady neighborhoods and twisty roads and stopped for fresh fruits and vegetables at our outdoor market. So to me, It felt like I finally got to enjoy my first outdoor summer day!

school-stationery-background-supplies-white-back-1445891-pxhere.comAnd now it‘s back to school! Getting school supplies, preparing tots for the first day of kindergarten, shopping for all those nutritious snacks to put in lunch boxes, making lists of what’s needed for the college dorm room, and pondering what things you want to say to that child – either the one leaving home for mere hours of the school day for the first time – or the one leaving for weeks or months at a time for college or a job away from home.

At least that’s how I’ve seen it before from my perspective. But for some reason today I’m thinking about the perspective of those teachers preparing to go back.

education-product-font-school-class-teaching-1376042-pxhere.comSome who can’t wait to get back in the classroom and are energized by seeing smiling faces ready to learn, and the joy that comes from knowing that they’ve impacted student’s lives for life and taught lessons that blessed and helped children toward their potential.

And some teachers who are excited to be back but are feeling weary perhaps unappreciated and find it challenging to get up every morning and face of classroom with the problems inherent in school administrations and the conflict between students and the misunderstandings or non-participation of parents in their child’s lives.

And then those who return to the classroom with downright fears of what is happening in our world and what might happen to them during the course of the year.

dvxgnwnywem-giulia-bertelliAnd my heart turns to pray for all of them…Heavenly Father, protect our teachers in their classrooms, and their comings and goings. They are strong and courageous and caring to take on the task of guiding our children through their day at school in so many ways – providing mental, social, emotional, physical growth.

Give teachers the wisdom and time they need to learn how each student learns best. Ensure that each teacher has the support they need in their classroom, from the administration, the district, and the parents, to do the job they love. Make sure they are treated with respect by their students, and are able to impart the gift of learning to every student. And encourage them by letting them see ways their teaching is making a difference and impacting lives.

thank-you-g4d0b8df2c_6401 Cor 15:58  Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

** And if you know a teacher – send them a Welcome Back note with a scripture or word of appreciation.

Another Sunlight and Power

question-mark-g04e738b2c_640I don’t know what you are facing…a relationship challenge, a failure of some kind, a financial mistake, a natural disaster, a dashed hope, a serious diagnosis, a betrayal, a home improvement gone wrong, an age-related issue, a missed opportunity…there is an unending list of things that stress us out and cause discouragement, even anxiety in this world.

Each one seems more than enough to handle on its own. But those times when one seems to follow another, when there doesn’t seem enough time to recover from one when another takes hold, it can be crushing

When I begin to feel like that, I remember 2 things from the Bible.

pexels-michelle-andrews-118776031 – Proverbs has something to say about being crushed:

17:22 says A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

18:14 says The human spirit can endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?

2- And what Paul said in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians :

ceramic-g92395581a_6404:7-8 says But we have this treasure in jars of clay (we are the jars of clay) to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (but the power in us is from God!)  We are hard-pressed on every side, but not CRUSHED!

 I had begun to feel crushed when a serious health issue I had been dealing with became grave. Complications were mounting and it was feeling overwhelming, crushing.

question-mark-40876__340Have you ever felt you could handle the actual circumstances, but then something changes in how you feel about it, in your spirit – – And that makes all the difference in the world?

I was feeling Proverbially crushed. But remembering that word Paul wrote CRUSHED, I looked up that reference and was encouraged.

religion-3452582_640

I AM only a jar of clay, but I have a POWER in me that surpasses any challenge, every trial.

 

In verse 16 Paul says (my emphasis) Therefore WE DO NOT LOSE HEART! Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

HOW? Verse 17   By fixing our eyes NOT on what is seen, but on what is unseen

cloud-729064_640As I was entering the building to pre-op for a surgery to create a dialysis fistula since my kidneys are failing, God gave me this poem – same building He gave me poems of encouragement when I went for my Breast Cancer biopsy, mammogram, and surgery consultation. (see the other blogs titled Sunshine and Power)

It was only later that I saw the connection to these scriptures.

Sharing this poem with you to encourage you to look for ways God is speaking to you about your situation.

Ask Him to speak to you.

Let Him speak through these scriptures.

Or the Sunlight.

Or the Storms.

And listen.

 

Your Power

I know that You are with me
I have felt this way before
and time and time again You’ve fought
and helped me win the war

But I’m getting older now
And every battle that I face
takes a greater toll on me
It’s only by Your grace

That as my body weakens
You are strengthening me within
This is how I fight my fears
And this is how I win

Your power is made perfect
Through the weakness that’s in me
And though I’m feeling helpless
it is not what others see

They see how You have lifted
And enabled me to stand
And delivered me from hardship
By Your mighty, sovereign hand

And so I put Your armor on
And face each day anew
In gratitude and faith
I thank You for being You

Laura Fail Shaffer © 7-13-2022