Tag: time

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!

Will you join your Father?

When I go to my parent’s home for a visit, I love doing things with my father. It doesn’t matter what it is.  He is always busy at something.  If I get up and he’s in the yard planting gladiola bulbs, I go out and help plant gladiola bulbs.   I don’t do it because it’s my favorite thing to do, or because I am particularly skilled or ‘gifted’ at it, or even because he needs my help.  I do it to be close to him and spend time with him.

If he’s polishing the silver, I pick up a cloth and help him polish the silver.  If he’s trimming the trees, I pick up some clippers and manage the trash bin.  Again, not because it’s my favorite activity, or because I will get recognition, or even because of any sense of accomplishment.  But because it’s something we can do together.  And I love spending time together.

He is delighted when I help, but if I don’t join him in an activity, there is no condemnation or guilt.  He doesn’t get angry with me, or not allow me to join him in other activities.  It’s just that I missed an opportunity to spend time with him.

I think it’s like that with our Heavenly Father too.   He is at work all around us.  And when we see Him at work, we can choose to join Him.  It may be in an area we feel gifted in, or it may not.  It may be something we will be recognized for, or not.  It may become our life’s work, or it may not.  But our motivation is that we get to be with our Father.  And that is also our reward.

When I die, it is doubtful I will be remembered for some great ministry work, or some famous accomplishment.  But I hope it will be said of me, that I loved spending time with my Father.

In John 5:17, 19; Jesus told us His Father is always at work, and He did only what He saw the Father doing.

What do you see your Father doing?

Will you join Him?

Some of the fruit of our labor:

gladiolas

Does it feel like you are missing some blessings?

Sometimes water is let go from a nearby lake and the water level drops. When that happens, the most noticeable thing is there are fewer birds on the water and rocks lay exposed. At first glance the water looks shallow and scummy and the banks muddy and messy. As if the water was the blessing and it had been taken away.

rock-328783_640

Do you feel like some of the blessings you enjoy have been removed? For a time during Covid, many of us are missing comforts we had before.

When we have the blessing of good friends and family close around us, meeting together, celebrating together, we revel in it. We immerse ourselves in God’s blessing of good times when we have them. And so often, take them for granted. It seems to lose even a little of it would not be a good thing. Like the water level dropping in the lake. This was my brief conclusion.

Ducks_'n_trashWhere the trail comes near the water’s edge, I stepped off to have a closer look. From there I could see things… the ducks and geese had gathered in this inlet to feast on algae that had grown on the underwater rocks, now exposed because of the lowered water level.  What a blessing they were enjoying!

Many bottles and cans that had stuck in the muddy bottom were also now exposed, and a couple of kids had made their way down to the rocky edge to pull them out.  So, this “clean up” effort was made possible by the lowered water level.

If these benefits were occurring when water was withdrawn from the lake, could there be benefits in our lives when we feel blessings have been withheld for a time?

Would our examined lives reveal hidden blessings we take for granted, or that we usually don’t even notice?

If we take the time to look, the answer is probably yes.

Like the algae covered rocks, can we feast on the growth of our faith in God that has grown in the depth of His blessings but is not fully exposed until the level drops?  Yes.

Trusting God in the good times is building our faith and strengthening it so that when challenges arise, our faith can handle them. It’s encouraging to learn that the trust we have in the steadfastness and faithfulness of God in the good times will carry us through the harder times.

Have we allowed things into our lives under the covering of God’s blessing, that we need to remove when we see their trashy presence in full view.  Undoubtedly, yes.

Ecclesiastes says, “There is a time to every purpose under heaven.”  And if you are feeling like God’s blessing has been somewhat withdrawn in your life, don’t be discouraged.  You have a wonderful opportunity for discovery, feasting and clean up before you.

Kneeling-in-awe

Take a moment of quiet, and ask God to reveal a new blessing to you in the here and now.

Ask Him to reveal any attitude, behavior or relationship adjustment that needs to be “cleaned up.”

Appreciate that there is blessing in even this time.

And before long, the depths will return. my-lake

All God’s Children

We are all God’s children. Period.

He loves us and desires to have a relationship with us. To show us how much He loves us. To teach us. Encourage us. Protect us. To enjoy time with us just the way He created us. All the same reasons we desire to spend time with our children.

Ianunder1When they’re young there’s more protecting and teaching. But as they mature and get older the time we spend together is simply to enjoy their company. To do things together. To laugh together. Still to support them, encourage them, help them over tough times, even cry with them.

How sad to be a parent whose child only comes to them when they’re in desperate need. When they’ve gotten themselves in some kind of trouble and need to be bailed out. Not much of a relationship is it?

But how often are we like that with God? When things are going well, we keep our distance.

IanGuitarPicture1

Children go through stages.  Some are more demanding than others. I loved teaching them how to walk, speak, dress themselves, how to play games. And I loved teaching them algebra, how to get along with people, and how to make spaghetti sauce from scratch

Each one of our sons has left the nest and come back for a time.  It has been such a joy to get to know them as adults. When they left for college, they had gotten to such an enjoyable stage! They were pretty independent and so much fun to be around.  We missed them terribly. I felt like we sent them off to go brighten up someone else’s life.

When was the last time you spent any quality time with your heavenly Father?

wood-bench-986347_640Spend Time with God. Get to know Him as an adult. Let Him continue to teach you, to build into your life, to speak to you, and encourage you as an adult.

We are not meant to face the world alone. And He is there. As close as a prayer.

Even more than I desire to spend time with my sons, He desires to spend time with you.

underground-885206_640 (2)

Make some time this week.  He remembers you. You’re the apple of His eye. He still has your picture on His refrigerator!

No matter your age – You are His child.

God’s Sabbath is Our Sabbath

jesus-and-world

Thank You Lord for Your Sabbath to rest in.

Whether you celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday, here’s some food for thought:

God created the world in six days and on the seventh He rested.

This is something we may have been taught as little children. Or maybe read it in the book of Genesis later in life. For some families and individuals, it’s a very different day from the rest of the week. For some, not so much.

I went to my first Virtual Seminar this Spring, and a wonderful teacher – Dr Saundra Dalton-Smith spoke about her book Sacred Rest.  She has identified 7 areas where we can be lacking in rest.  More than just feeling tired, a lack of rest can impact your health, your relationships, make your thinking fuzzy, cause moodiness, and more.

So we need rest. After talking about the 7 different kinds of rest we need, which you can read about in her book or on her website, she said something that struck me.

God created the world in six days, and on the seventh day, He rested. That I knew.

But He created us, man and woman on the 6th day. So His 7th day, was actually our 1st day after being created.

God made the Sabbath our first full day.  We didn’t have to work for it.  We didn’t work 6 days like He did to earn our Sabbath.  It was His gift to us.

It’s a small distinction, but it’s had a great impact on me.  God created everything out of nothing!  And then he rested. He must have known we would not be able to work for 6 days before we needed a rest, so, in His wisdom, He gave us our Sabbath at the beginning.

It’s the same now. I don’t have to work 6 days to earn my Sabbath. It’s not something I even deserve from working hard. It’s His free gift to me, that one day a week I can come and spend time with Him to be filled, encouraged, and empowered for the coming week.  He will give me what I need so that I am not pouring out from an empty cup.

It’s a small tweak in my understanding, but it’s changed the way I feel about the Sabbath. His gift to me is to prepare me for the week.  And since He knows what my week will holdHis preparation is perfect – if I will just take time to connect with Him.

calendar-660670_640On your next Sabbath, I hope you will set aside time to rest in the Lord: to listen for His voice, to accept His instruction, to revel in His presence.

And to thank Him for your Sabbath.

For more information on the 7 types of rest, take the Rest Quiz