Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Gift of Rainbows

"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!" Matthew 7:11

Everyday...sometimes even several times a day...I admire one of my most favorite gifts given to us by my parents. It is the large decorative window that is over the garden tub in our bathroom. My Mama and Daddy went with John and me when we had the overwhelming opportunity to choose everything for our home...appliances, paint colors, carpet, light fixtures, and so on. They have such great taste and a knack for decorating (which I don't have...How did I miss that?). Oh my word, they were so helpful! We'd probably still be sitting there to this day making decisions if it hadn't been for them! We really did a good job staying on the conservative side as we made pretty, yet cost-conscience decisions. Then we came to that bathroom window. We opted to go with the most basic, yet attractive one, but on display was a bevelled glass beauty. I tried to keep my eyes off of it, determined to save money. But my sweet Mama and Daddy saw the glimmer in my eye. They liked it too. They said, "We'd like to get it for you." I doubt they had any idea that it would be one of those "gifts that keep on giving."

Most of the window is opaque, preventing anyone from seeing in. But then there is the ornate design near the top. Through the flat, clear glass I can see whether the sky is blue or grey. I can occasionally catch a glimpse of the moon. I can see minute pieces of bolts of lightening during a summer storm. Then there are the places where the glass has been cut. Through those prisms, the sun frequently casts tiny rainbows, splattered all around the room. They make me smile. And they always make me think of my parents, the givers of the gift. I'm so blessed.

My parents have given me so many gifts over the years. Wonderful gifts. Thoughtful gifts. Gifts that often required hours of labor to produce. Our family has a heritage of giving. My grandparents were givers of much! The gift goes on.

One day as I was admiring the window and thanking God for the gift He gave me in my parents, He breathed that verse in Matthew over me. Mmmmmm, to think that He desires to give me even more than they do boggles my mind! And another amazing thing is that in Luke 11:13 that reiterates Jesus' words says, "If you then...know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Now that's a gift that is one that keeps on giving! Another gift of rainbows...a lasting covenant to us.

"Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us...that we should be called Sons of God!"

Lord, you are the giver of every good and perfect gift!! You have given and continue to give beyond our wildest dreams! Thank you for your unfailing, unending love for us! Thank you that we are Yours...heirs of Your kingdom!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bring On the Fattened Calf...OK...So Bring On the Skinny Chicken!

" one another deeply, from the heart." 1 Peter 1:22b

My man is coming home today!!! He has been in Mississippi since Tuesday, and I can't wait to see that handsome man come walking in the door! I've cleaned the house, washed the sheets (so they smell Downy fresh!), and tried to make everything look nice for his return home. I am ready to celebrate!!

May I just brag on him a minute? The man is looking good!!! He is doing such a great job (since the stroke) to positively embrace a new lifestyle of eating and exercising!! He gave up Breyers Ice Cream and butter!! And red meat!!! I'm so proud and so thankful. I want to grow old with him...walk on the beach, go to the mountains, travel other places, rock on our front porch, enjoy our, that's not an announcement.

I am so blessed to have a husband who is committed to God and serving Him faithfully! He is so smart!!! His job requires so much...and he rises to every challenge with intelligence, love, and grace. He is also committed to his family, and provides for us in amazing ways. He has done a fabulous job being Daddy to 4 wonderful daughters. He is a very supportive husband...encouraging me (as well as our daughters) to pursue our dreams. He is a master griller! He gives the best massages EVER. He is great in ways too numerous to name!

So, bring on the rotisserie chicken! (Fattened calves are really over-rated!) Let's celebrate!

Lord, thank you for answering my parents' prayers and blessing me with a man after your own heart! Thank you for allowing me the privilege of being the bride of such a brilliant man. Thank you for the love that we share. Thank you for the paths that we've walked...the good and the bad. Thank you for the lessons that we continue to learn. Thank you for the hope of the future! Lord, you are good and your mercies endure forever!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Look What Some Rain Can Do!

"See!...the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come...." Song of Solomon 2:11-12

This afternoon when I took my sweet Cocoa out, I was awed by my Lantana bush as I walked up to my back porch. It was beautiful!! It was covered with brilliant red blooms, orange blooms, and red with orange blooms!! My first thought was, "Wow! Look what some rain can do!" That drenching rain over the weekend did wonders!

As I looked at the bounty brought forth by the rain, I couldn't help but consider how the "rains" and "storms" of life can also cause us to flourish...if we allow God to work within them. I want to share with you some words that are such a source of comfort and encouragement to me.

"Jesus draw me ever nearer As I labour through the storm. You have called me to this passage, and I'll follow, though I'm worn. May this journey bring a blessing, May I rise on wings of faith; And at the end of my heart's testing, With Your likeness let me wake. Jesus guide me through the tempest; Keep my spirit staid and sure. When the midnight meets the morning, Let me love You even more. Let the treasures of the trial form within me as I go - And at the end of this long passage, Let me leave them at Your throne."

Lord, please help us to allow you to draw us ever nearer to you. Help us to follow and allow your work...even when we're worn. Help us to live and walk in faith. And, Lord, may your likeness and the deepening of our love for you be the blossoms of testimony to your goodness.

"Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer" (Music by Keith Getty; Words by Margaret Becker Copyright © 2002 Thankyou Music)

Monday, September 8, 2008

God Doesn't Have a Secretary

"But God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!" Psalm 66:19-20 (NIV)

First of all, let me say that I am very thankful that my husband has a wonderful secretary!! I appreciate the "interference" that she runs for him. I love the way she "looks after" him and protects him. It takes quite a woman to keep that man in line! (And just for the record, I have a direct line to him. I rarely even get to talk to that precious woman.)

I understand the importance of those amazing servants who screen calls and emails, but doesn't it hurt your feelings just a little bit when you think that perhaps your phone call or email wasn't deemed worthy of being addressed?

I'm glad that God doesn't have a secretary. I'm glad that He's always there. He always listens. He always loves. He always responds. Oh, how He loves you and me!

Lord, thank you for knowing us...and loving us anyway. Thank you for the assurance that you never sleep...that you're always there to listen. Thank you for the Holy Spirit that lives in us and speaks to us. Thank you for your Word...the greatest proof of your love and that you answer prayer.