Category: seasons

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.

Time to Plant!

garden1It’s FINALLY that time of year where we can begin to think about planting in Colorado. We may still have freezes for a couple more weeks  – and hail is always a possibility in the Spring here. And the growing season is pretty short – we may be getting snow again by early September…

So, when looking at packets of seeds, it’s a challenge to find things that fit the dynamics of my yard.

The instructions said some do best in full sun, some in partial and some only thrive in shade.  Also, some germinate in 6-10 days while some take 20-30 days before peeking their tiny green shoots above ground.  Some can be planted a half inch apart, and some need more room to grow. 

I decided that this year my garden would do best if I follow the suggestions I got back in Sunday School so many years ago:

praying-hands-on-biblethree rows of peas
. . . Preparedness
. . . Perseverance
. . . Prayer

three rows of squash
. . . Squash gossip
. . . Squash criticism
. . . Squash grumbling

thanks tablethree rows of lettuce
. . . Let us be faithful
. . . Let us be thankful
. . . Let us love one another

and no garden is complete without turnips
. . . Turn up for church
. . . Turn up with a smile
. . . Turn up ready to serve

You reap what you sow, so sow acts of kindness, encouraging words, supportive attitudes.  And recognize that:

hugging1When you smile at someone, you are planting kindness and acceptance. 

When you play with them, you are cultivating fun and joy. 

When you give them a hug, you are fertilizing with love and security. 

hugging2When you help a friend or child learn a task, you are growing patience and success into their future.  

When you give them encouragement, you are growing confidence. 

When you share, you are seeding goodness and selflessness. 

hands-2168901_640When you pray with someone, or let them see you pray, you are sowing faithful fellowship with God. 

 

Be intentional about what you plant.

Everything you do is a seed of some kind. 

Choose one thing to sow into someone’s life today!

 

I Love March!

calendarMarch

I love the month of March!  It feels like the year is finally beginning.

 

bloom-blooming-blossom-355663The seasons change and it feels like the world is waking up again…more sunlight, warmer temperatures, and spring flowers begin to show filling dead looking spaces with beautiful colors and aromas.

 

choir-306900_640I remember songs from growing up in Military Chapel services like: Lead On O King Eternal the day of march has come, March On O Soul with Strength, and Onward Christian Soldiers, to name a few. Scripture tells us that spring was the time that men went out to war. And so many of these songs have the word “march” in them, that I associated them with the month of March. 

 

March on O soul with strength, as strong the battle rolls! ‘Gainst lies and lusts and wrongs, let courage rule our soul

Lead on O King eternal, the day of march has come…we follow not with fears…till sins fierce war shall cease

Onward Christian Soldiers marching as to war…like a mighty army moves the church of God…hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross…put on the gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer

We’re marching to Zion, beautiful, beautiful Zion

warfarehelmetsI know the lyrics weren’t necessarily referring to the month of March, but every March I’m reminded of them. And it births in me a strong desire to be adequately armed for spiritual battle.

It reminds me that the enemy of our soul is on the move and ready with an attack, and I need to be vigilant in praying for my loved ones. And in praising God that He protects and directs, that He guards and guides, He helps and heals.

winner-4912049_640I am reminded that He dwells in the midst of our praise. So I give Him praise! No matter what circumstances, or trial or sorrow I may face, God will be with me and is in control.

And in the victories, it is His power that allows me to rejoice.

March is coming to an end, but as you see the signs of spring where you are; the snow melting,  the flowers blooming, the trees budding, the birds returning, let it be a reminder to you to armor up! And join in, for the Battle Belongs to the Lord!

Are you thirsting in the midst of provision?

girl snow hatI didn’t want to walk.  It was very cold, and starting to snow.  But in an effort to be consistent with exercise for my body and spirit, I headed out.  I doubted that God would show me anything this blustery day.  The wildlife was in hiding, and the low cloud cover gave a dreary monotonous look to the landscape.  Soon, I had to raise my coat collar and pull down my hat to keep the icy snowflakes from getting into my eyes and down my neck.

fog trailThe flakes grew in size and density until I could hardly see where I was going.  As the snow moved in, the wind died down.  The whole sky was gray with large spots of whiteness drifting down.  I kept my head down and squinted my eyes to keep my feet on the path before me.

The cold air made my nose stuffy and I began breathing through my mouth. Walking on, I realized how dry my throat was getting and became very thirsty. On a warmer day, I would have my water bottle at my side. But not today. Complaining out loud about the cold and dreariness of the day and about being thirsty, I trudged on.

Why had I walked today? If God wanted to speak to me, did I have to be so cold and thirsty to hear His message?

It was then I perceived a voice saying, “Look up!”

When I did, a huge snowflake hit me on the lips. Startled, I flinched my head back down to avoid a face full of cold, wet snow.

catching snowflakes tongueBut in licking my lips and tasting the moisture, I realized this was God’s provision for me! I had heard of “showers of blessing”, but this?  I looked up again, and opening my mouth, made a game of “catching” these blessings coming from Heaven. My thirst was quenched.

What a wonderful lesson!

It wasn’t the birds or the plants or the lake. Today the lesson was me – and how God meets my needs! Provision was all around but focused on my uncomfortable circumstances, I didn’t see it.

How often do we grumble and whine about our needs, when God’s provision is showering all around us? We need to:

  1.  Look Up: take our focus off the problem and put it on God!
  2.  Open our mouth: in praise to receive His blessing

Are you so focused on your problem you can’t see anything else? Look to God.

Are you using your mouth to moan and complain? Use it to praise Him

Are you standing under a ledge of bitterness or rebellion, preventing God’s blessings from falling on you? Step out from under that canopy to catch God’s provision.

winter-g7b1f70a3d_640

Whatever the weather –

Look up –

Open your mouth in praise –

Receive His blessing.

God is with us!

I believe you and I are in a new season. And I don’t mean Fall.

Our lives have been so radically changed over the past 2 years that we are finding ourselves in situations we don’t have any reference for, or know how to cope with.  We’re anxious to get on with all the things we’ve put on hold…

The leaves are turning colors and falling off the trees so it seems things should be changing. And yes, we may have added pumpkin spice to our hot drinks, but we’ve been enduring the new “normal” and so many things have stood still, like travel and social plans, while our bodies have continued to age! Wrinkles, aches and pains!  We’ve gotten older, but are we wiser for the time we’ve circled the sun twice?

Covid has had an impact on our jobs, schools, travel, finances, and personal relationships. Some of us have lost loved ones and are dealing with grief, financial strains, or new health challenges. We don’t have solutions to these problems yet … we can’t see an end in sight.

And quite honestly, may not even know how to pray.

But here’s the constant: God

God IS with us, wherever we go. Joshua 1:9

AND He will provide all that we really NEED – spiritual gifts, support, encouragement, direction – if we can remember to look for it.

2 things may confuse us though:

1 – it will be what we NEED, not necessarily what we want.

2 – it will look different than how He’s provided in the past because we are in a different place now.

I’ve been singing the words to a worship song by Jenn Johnson and Ian McIntosh  lately…

winner-4912049_640God I look to You, I won’t be overwhelmed

give me vision, to see things like You do

God I look to You, You’re where my help comes from,

give me wisdom, You know just what to do…

Click HERE to sing along

My prayer for you:

May you sense God’s presence that He has promised, in real and tangible ways.

May God give you vision and wisdom to deal with your life and circumstances.

May you see with clarity all that God brings to you – even if it looks different than you might expect.

And may you accept and act on His direction.  Amen