Monday, September 12, 2016

Treat Each Day as a Gift


Treat each day as a gift. I know this is the right way to live but I don't always live this way. I can easily become so consumed with everything I think I have to do.  Or I begin worrying about so many things. And many of those things I have no business worrying about.

As my mind becomes so cluttered, I miss out on the beauty all around me. There have been times when I'm driving to work so deep in thought I missed my exit off the freeway.

Lately I've been taking a different route, a more scenic one. I'm purposely trying to become more aware of my surroundings. The desert of Phoenix is actually quite beautiful.

I drive through the mountains and reach a point where I have a unique view of the valley below. I take notice of the clouds in the sky and the outline of mountain ranges in the distance.


I'm reminded of the Scripture from Matthew 6:34 (The Message).

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."

I take a deep breath and say a prayer of thanksgiving to my Lord.

Thank you for the gift of today. Help me to not waste this day worrying about things and people I can't control. Help me to notice the child at school who needs a friend. Help me to be an encouragement to my co-workers. Help me to live a life of love since I know that Jesus loves me. Help me to treat this day as a gift.

How about you? Do you manage to get through your day attempting to accomplish all that's on your to-do list? Do you sometimes realize life is going by so fast that you're missing out on the beauty of the ordinary? Will you begin to think of each day as a gift?

Blessings and love,



Monday, September 5, 2016

What I Learned this Summer


As I move forward in my life, I've discovered that it's good to reflect on the previous season. I always want to be learning and growing no matter how old I am. After all, I'm a committed life long learner.

This was my first summer off work in a long time. And I had plans to rest, refresh and write. In the midst of this time, I had two trips out of town planned.

So here are a few of the lessons I learned.

1. I love and appreciate my iPhone. I have wonderful, kind and generous friends. I've been using a flip phone since the early 2000's. My friend Laurie gave me her old iPhone since she received a new one as a gift from her husband. And another good friend Theresa added me to her family plan. So my new phone is affordable! Best of all, I'm able to call my 87 year old dad in Florida twice a day;  in the morning and the evening. It used to cost me as I had very limited minutes. But now, there's no reason to not be able to keep in touch. I appreciate my friends who helped this happen.

2. I am learning to value and appreciate loved ones. My Aunt Ruth and Uncle Bob sent me a plane ticket to visit them for a few days this summer in southern California. It was a great way to start my summer vacation. My aunt is a fabulous cook and always makes some of my favorite Norwegian dishes. I also had the opportunity to get to know my cousins and their families better. My aunt shared old photos and memories with me. About a week after returning to Phoenix, I received a phone call telling me that my uncle was having a heart attack and was rushed to the Emergency Department. He subsequently underwent bypass surgery and is home and doing well. Praise the Lord! But this also taught me that we never know when things like this happen. So appreciate the time we have together in the now.

3. I still need to keep a routine and schedule during the summer. Yes, it was a more relaxed time and I could sleep in if I wanted. But I discovered that I didn't always do my exercise since I figured I had the whole day to do it. Often it never got done. I'd learned in the past that the way that works best for me is to commit to my morning schedule. After all, I lost 20 pounds in six months and I hoped to keep it off.  Unfortunately, that didn't happen and I gained back about 10 pounds. Lesson learned ...I hope.

4. I love cooler weather and walks on the beach. My good friends Terri and Steve invited me to visit them in Carmel, California. As I left triple digit heat, I felt so refreshed by fresh air and temperatures in the 50's during my stay. Every morning I'd walk for almost 90 minutes along the beach. Although I love Phoenix, I really dislike summers in Phoenix. It may be a dry heat but triple digits is HOT no matter what. So I love to feel the cool breeze in Carmel.

5. I love to learn about history. One of my favorite authors has been Robert Michener.  Historical fiction teaches me and at the same time is entertaining. However, my aunt introduced me to a few of Bill O'Reilly's books. I was a bit hesitant at first but after reading Killing Kennedy, I continued on with Killing Reagan. I enjoyed both and learned much. During my stay in southern California, my aunt and I visited the Reagan Library.

I put together a short video of some of my favorite scenes from this summer. I hope you enjoy.


I encourage you to make the choice to take time to reflect on the seasons of your life. What lessons have you learned?

Blessings and love,


Sunday, July 24, 2016

How Do You Live in the Moment?


Live in the moment. It seems I hear that a lot lately. But how do you live in the moment?

I just returned from the most refreshing peaceful vacation in Carmel, California. I got on an airplane at Sky Harbor Airport leaving Phoenix with triple digit heat. After flying 90 minutes I arrived at Monterrey airport where my friends picked me up. We drove through Pebble Beach to arrive at our final destination; Carmel-by-the-Sea. And best of all; the temperature was 53 degrees! That's half of what it's been in Phoenix and was I ever ready for it.

I really wanted to experience some down time and be still to inspire me to write. My friends are the most gracious, kind and generous hosts. They rented a cottage that was perfectly located within a few minutes walk to town and close enough to the beach.



Every morning Terri and I would walk for about 90 minutes at a fast pace along the beach front. My friend continued even further but I stopped to soak in the scenery. There were benches along the path and I stopped to sit and listen to the sounds of the ocean watching as the waves crashed to the shore. I love the smell of seaweed and salt water. The colder air was invigorating. I took time to breathe deeply. I couldn't help but praise the Lord for the beauty of His creation.


Although I'm not Catholic, I accompanied my friends to their Sunday service at the Carmelite Monastery.  The priest's message was about paying attention. He held up his iPhone and cautioned how hard it is to listen wholeheartedly when we're distracted. He thanked us in advance for giving him our attention for the next 10 minutes.

His text was from Luke 10:38-42; the story of Mary and Martha. Martha was complaining to Jesus about her sister who was not helping her with the preparations. Instead Mary made the choice to sit at the feet of Jesus to listen to Him. Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen what was better.

I think of myself. I call long distance to keep in touch with my family. Sometimes I am checking Facebook or email while talking on the phone. Multi-tasking is something I find easy to do. Or is it? When I make the choice to simply focus on the conversation with my dad or sister or brother, those are the times when we communicate best. It's when I pay attention and refuse to be distracted.


My friends have a Scottie named Andy. He is so friendly and lovable. We stopped at The Lodge at Pebble Beach and walked near the 18th hole of their golf course. Many people were sitting and enjoying the view. A little baby was fascinated with Andy. She was just learning to walk and she giggled and giggled. It was a joy to watch her lost in the moment; no distractions.

I loved the moments during this trip. But I want to continue to live in the moment even when I return home. Paying attention to the little things. Focusing on the conversation. Stopping to breathe deeply. Putting down the cell phone and taking time to be quiet and still.


So how about you? How do you try to live in the moment?

I know it takes effort. It's all too easy for me to get distracted and stop paying attention. It takes practice to be in the moment. But I for one don't want to miss out on the important.

Blessings and love,



Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Remembering My Mom on Her Birthday


Today would have been my mom's 87th birthday. She died in 2005 but I have to admit there are days when I almost reach for the phone to call her. I miss talking to my mom, hearing her voice. I'm greatly comforted by the fact that I will see her again in heaven. So I can reminisce and even laugh at certain memories I have of her.

Yesterday, I received a letter from my dad. He sent me a copy of the text that Mom's Sunday School teacher Jim Boyer had delivered at her memorial service. I found myself nodding and smiling as I read his words. I thought I would post them today on her birthday so you can get a glimpse into what my mom was like.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"The dictionary has several definitions for the word GRACE, three of which are:
Unmerited help given to people by God
Freedom from sin through divine grace
Charm, attractiveness and beauty

God blessed Ethel with all three.

She received help in her sickness and pain by the grace of God to help her endure her long affliction of Addison's disease.

She knew the divine grace of God by her acceptance of Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. 
Today she is with her Lord; free from the torment of disease.

God also blessed Ethel with classic elegance and a sense of style. 

The lasting impression I will carry of her is the smile that she presented to the world, even when she was suffering.

I went to see her in the rehab. (Mom had broken her hip
She was not in her room. She had been taken for physical therapy.
Wanting to let her know I was there, I went to the torture chamber. 
There she sat, fully dressed. Her makeup perfectly applied. 
Wearing her beautiful smile. 
Ready to endure whatever they had devised for that session.

I doubt if anyone ever saw her without the two most important essentials; her smile and her makeup.

Ethel was a lady of style and order.

When she and Harry (my dad) moved to On Top of the World (condos) she wanted to give me the grand tour. She was so proud of her new home and her orchid collection. 
There was one thing she didn't want me to miss. She had always wanted a kitchen pantry and she finally had one that was fully organized. And like her personal appearance there was nothing out of place. 

She also took pleasure in the fact that Harry was finally going to be able to have a closet of his own. Her wardrobe had always deprived him of his personal space. 

It wouldn't be fair to Ethel if I didn't mention a side of her that some of us have had the opportunity to enjoy. 
Ethel had a little girl quality that came out when you spent time with her.  
She had that little naughty sense of humor that let you know she had given Harry a run for his money.

Style, grace, the endurance of suffering, a sense of humor, all these things will make up memories of Ethel Sumstad.

But there is one more memory that will also stand the test of time. 
A loving and devoted husband, who was always by her side in sickness and health.

Harry, this service is a testament to the love you both shared. May God bless you with many pleasant memories.

Jim Boyer 2/25/05

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Such perfect timing for me to receive a copy of Jim's message. I want to  mention that the photo I posted of Mom and me was taken December 2004. She died in February 2005, only two months later. She was in pain in that photo but she still managed to smile and look her best. She never wanted to miss out on our family gatherings by staying in bed. 

So happy birthday Mom. I look forward to the day I will see you again.


Blessings and love,


Monday, July 4, 2016

God Bless America


God bless America! I love to see our red, white and blue flag flying. On this 4th of July, I think back to our country's history. Our freedom came with blood, sweat and tears.

I've been watching Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Patriots on Fox cable news channel. It was eye opening to see the battles that were fought for our independence from England. I certainly don't want to take this freedom for granted.

So on this 4th of July 2016, may we proudly fly our flag.

A street in Montrose, California with flags flying

Flag proudly displayed in Carmel, California


And this flag proudly flying in Arizona

In the midst of some very challenging times in our history, I want to take time in my day to pray for our country and our leaders. I also want to thank those who fought so hard for our freedom. 


 
If you receive this post via email, click here to see video.

Blessings and love,



Monday, June 20, 2016

Simple Act of Kindness

Every Sunday morning, I meet my friend Theresa at AJ's for an iced tea before we head off to church. We sit on AJ's patio and catch up on all that's been happening in our lives. This Sunday was no different.

While we were busy talking, I noticed a very unkempt woman rummaging through the garbage can behind our table. There's always the occasional homeless person who tries to hit the customers up for some cash. But the store managers quickly chase them away. This woman was wearing a dirty t-shirt and missing a few teeth.

Before I could say or do anything, a very nicely dressed lady came alongside of her and told her that she'd like to buy her breakfast. She moved her gently into the store and about ten minutes later, the woman emerged with a styrofoam container filled with food. She found a table on the patio and consumed her meal with pleasure. It was a simple act of kindness that satisfied her hunger pangs for the moment. How easy it is to ignore these people.

It reminded me of the story of the Samaritan in Luke 10. The religious 'experts' of that day were trying to trick Jesus with their questions. In verse 27 Jesus says:

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself."

The man wanted some clarification so he asked who was considered his neighbor. So Jesus shared the story about a man who fell into the hands of robbers, was stripped, beaten and left half dead. A priest was coming down this same road but when he saw the man, he passed by to the other side of the road. The next person was a Levite (another religious man) and he also walked on the other side of the road to avoid the hurt man. But then there was a Samaritan. When he saw the man he took pity on him. He took good care of him and even paid for him to stay at a nearby inn. This Samaritan had mercy on the man. Jesus told the religious expert that he should be like the Samaritan.

The kind lady who bought the food reminded me of the Samaritan.

I remember when I had plenty. I gave to charities and donated time to help others.

I also remember when I was in need. I can't tell you how much I appreciated a basket of Thanksgiving goodies and a gift card to the grocery store.

It's so easy to tell people "I'll pray for you". And yes, it's important to pray for others.


But there are times when doing something is the best thing to demonstrate love for your neighbor.

"As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." James 2:26 (NIV)

Have you ever witnessed a simple act of kindness?

Blessings and love,



Friday, June 17, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Lose


It's Friday when I get to link up with Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday.  We are given a one word writing prompt and have five minutes to write our post. Our word for today is: LOSE.

GO

The first thoughts that come to mind when I see the word LOSE is all that I've lost since 2010. I'd been living in my dream home for 12 years and living a life I  never thought I'd be living. My home was featured in magazines and even on HGTV's  Homes Across America. I never imagined my life would be like that but it all came crashing down.



Due to circumstances that were beyond my control, I had to sell most of my belongings and now live in a 760 square foot condo. After working for 25 years as a cardiac nurse, teaching children in an international Bible Study as a volunteer for seven years ...I had to return to work.

We don't always get to choose the circumstances in our lives. But we do get to choose our response to those circumstances. 

As I look back over that loss, I realize I would never be where I am today if that hadn't occurred. Is there some sadness? Yes. But life goes on. Through that loss I've gained much.

  • I am now teaching in a private school. My little Mini-Mustang class is a blessing to me. They keep me young at heart. 
  • My husband and I are closer now than we ever were when we had lots of money. We are working together as what I like to call our HOME TEAM. 
  • Writing has become more important to me. I've always journaled but now I use words to inspire and encourage others. I'm back to working on completing the book I've been dabbling with for too many years.
  • I've made so many new friends through my work and writing.
To LOSE is painful. But I've discovered that there's always something to be learned through the losses in life. And character is built in the struggles.

STOP

Blessings and love,



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Christina Grimmie's Legacy

Photo Credit

With so much awful news coming out of Orlando lately, I wanted to focus on a tragedy that occurred last Friday. I'm a fan of the TV show The Voice. Each season America is introduced to new talent. I'm amazed at how many talented singers there are who have not been 'discovered'.

Season 6 was no different. Christina Grimmie had been creating videos and posting them on YouTube up to this point. When she sang for the judges, all four turned their chairs as they recognized the talent of this young woman. Christina chose Adam Levine as her mentor for the show.  She came in third but her talent had now been 'discovered'.

This past weekend, I heard the tragic news. Christina finished a concert in Orlando and was signing autographs when she was shot and killed. Such a beautiful talent snuffed out much too soon and in such a horrible way.

Yesterday I wrote a blog post about an American Ninja Warrior contestant. His story and stand touched my heart. He had a Bible verse tattooed on his chest.

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10

Christina Grimmie also had a gift. She was given this talent from God and she was sharing it with the world. She was a Christian and openly shared her faith. I searched her YouTube videos and discovered one of her singing "In Christ Alone". You have to listen to this.



(If you can't view this video, click here)

Although Christina Grimmie's death was a tragedy, her message lives on.

  • Life may be shorter than you think. We really don't know how long we're going to live on this earth.  
  • Use the talents God has gifted you with and continue to grow them.
  • Although death sounds scary, Christina knew where she was going when she died. 
Her early death caused me to consider how I'm using the gifts God has given me. I think of the words to a children's song "hide it under a bushel ...NO. I'm gonna let it shine."

Don't hide your gifts. I'm gonna let it shine. How about you?

Blessings and love,

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Reminder From American Ninja Warrior

Photo Credit
American Ninja Warrior is a TV show I've grown to love.  Competitors go through a grueling obstacle course that takes strength, balance and determination. I especially love to hear the stories about the individuals who are competing.

One story touched me last night and reminded me of something important. It was the Indianapolis city finals and Drew Knapp had an interesting story. His younger brother Dalton had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia. Drew watched him fight this disease with courage and was inspired. Drew trained for four years on his backyard Ninja course and when he turned 21, sent in his application and was accepted as a contestant on the show.

Standing on the sidelines during Drew's run was his brother who is currently doing well. I watched with baited breath as he careened through the course eventually making it to the top of a very steep wall to hit the buzzer. He pulled off his shirt and waved it toward his brother. I noticed a tattoo on his right chest that said 1 Peter 4:10.

I read my Bible but I couldn't recall this verse without looking it up.

"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms."

Wow; what a timely reminder for me! Everything we have is a gift from God. Drew had strength and perseverance. He used that gift as he trained diligently. But it's a gift and he recognized that.

I thought about the gifts I've been given. Am I using them faithfully to serve others?  It can be all too easy to make excuses for not using and developing a gift. Maybe you think you're not really talented in anything. After all, you're not that athletic. But just maybe you have the gift of hospitality or the gift of patience or making people laugh.

Are you using your God given gifts?


Blessings and love,

Friday, June 10, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Want

It's Friday so I'm linking up with Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday. We get to write for five minutes flat and our word for this week is ...WANT.

GO

When I consider my wants, the list is endless.

I want:

  • No worries
  • No problems
  • World peace
  • More time with family
  • Publish a book that will help others
  • Be in the best shape
  • Travel all over the world
  • Walk on the beach
  • Great health; no aches and pains
  • Great relationships with family and friends
  • Become a better photographer
  • More time to write
  • Become a better teacher
  • Be more patient with others
But my time is limited on this earth. This is reality.

I often pray for all my troubles to go away. I remember something that Lysa TerKeurst said to me a few years ago at a conference. I had to write it down as I knew it was something I needed to hear and absorb.


Sometimes it is in the mundane every day occurrences, I find my wants are overshadowed by my blessings.

As I listen to the little children in my Mini-Mustang class, I learn patience. I glance at Miss Patricia and we smile knowingly. Three year old Avery is hugging another student and giving him a high five for doing something good.

I don't want to focus so much on my list of wants that I miss out on the blessings of this day.

STOP

Blessings and love,

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Losing Weight and Keeping it Off


Losing weight and keeping it off are a challenge. And let me tell you it gets harder the older you get. Trust me.

For most of my life, I exercised regularly and ate a fairly healthy diet. However, when major life challenges occurred a number of years ago, I discovered the instant gratification that can come from indulging in sweets and fun food and ...not exercising. It didn't take long before the extra 20 pounds accumulated.

Last year, I made a decision to make changes in my life. I didn't like how I looked or how I felt.


So, I prepared the night before. I had a mental checklist.

  • Exercise clothes ready
  • Water bottle filled
  • Kindle charged and easily accessible
This became my daily habit. Upon awakening, I put on my workout clothes and hopped on my treadmill. I've tried joining gyms in the past but I found I wasn't consistent. Doing my daily workout in my home simply makes it easier with less excuses to not do it.

I also planned my meals in advance. I had oatmeal with fruit for breakfast. I had a fig bar mid-morning. I brought a salad to work for lunch. I had a piece of fruit in the afternoon.


I discovered a store called My Fit Foods. For dinner, I usually ate one of their entrees. After awhile, I got used to the portion sizes and stopped buying them as they were kind of expensive. But starting out with them helped me to reassess the amount of food I was consuming at dinner time.

Fast forward to today. I've had some issues with my lower back. So I've been stretching, massaging and icing it. The last few weeks of work were busy. And there were many parties and celebrations. I got out of the habit of exercising and began to indulge again. I've been noticing my weight slowly creeping back up!

ENOUGH!

So I'm back to recording my daily weight and exercise pattern. I remember Zig Ziglar saying that if you write down your weight and exercise, you will be able to notice when you're getting off task. I may skip a day now and then but if I see a pattern, I'm aware and can do something about it.

My goal is a healthy lifestyle. It's not a diet; it's a way of life. Do I occasionally have sweets and foods that have lots of calories? Yes I do. But I quickly get back to more healthy foods as a way of life.

I find I have more energy when I exercise and eat healthy.


OK, so how about you? How are you doing with a healthy lifestyle? Do you go on a diet and lose weight and then only gain more pounds back again?  Do you identify with any of the excuses above?

Blessings and love,

Monday, June 6, 2016

We Did It


I did it!  I really should say we did it! Another school year is over. But along the way, I had such a good time. This year I had nine students in my Mini-Mustang class. Mind you, my class is the Pre-K 2 class. So nine was plenty and I loved each one of them! 

I didn't have much time to commit to my writing and blogging and visiting my blogging friends. But I hope to catch up during this summer. 

I have to give you a little glimpse of how I spent my days. Because of privacy issues, I can't show you their faces. But I think you'll get the idea.


There were times of laughter.


There were times of comfort.


Last year I won a giveaway on Meaningful Mama's blog. It was a whole package of books and activities on teaching children the concept of filling a bucket. When they do something kind, they fill that person's bucket. When they are unkind, it empties their bucket. It was fun to teach them.

Every day when we had playground time, we gathered together in a circle. We put one hand in and made some agreements. "No pushing, we're all friends."  Of course, the little ones often added things like "no spitting, no hitting, no potty words". I had to chuckle. 


Of course, I couldn't have done it without Miss Patricia. She helped me every day with the children. We make a great team!

I look forward to time off this summer. But I will miss each one of these children. 

We had a great school year.  I know they learned much but they also taught me as well. 

Take time to enjoy the  moments. Put the cell phone down, stop texting for a bit and enjoy the moment. Kids grow up so quickly. Laugh with them. Play with them. 

Yes we did it. Now I look forward to some rest and relaxation and visiting family and friends. I plan to get back to writing too. I hope I still have some readers who haven't given up on me as a blogger. I do look forward to catching up with you.

Blessings and love,

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

One Word Coffee: Today


I'm linking up with Bonnie Gray of Faith Barista for One Word Coffee. Our one word for this week is TODAY.

I found at least two occurrences in my Bible where the word TODAY was emphasized.

Psalm 95 was a call to worship God. But it included a warning to not repeat the mistake the Israelites made while wandering in the desert for 40 years.

"Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did. For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, 'They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways. So I declared on oath in my anger, They shall never enter my rest.'"
Psalm 95:7b-10 (NIV)

As Moses was leading them to the promised land, they complained and argued. They were thirsty and they wanted water. It was at this time and place that God told Moses in Exodus 17:6

"Strike the rock and water will come out of it for the people to drink." 

God provided for their needs despite their lack of trust and obedience.

Hebrews is a letter written to Jewish believers. In the third chapter of Hebrews, there is a warning to not make the same mistake as the Israelites in the desert.  Psalm 95:7-10 is quoted. He encourages them to trust and obey God and not fall into the same sin in their today.

I think of my today.

The words to the children's song come to my mind and I find myself singing the simple tune.

"Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey."

I teach preschool. Every morning I remind my little students to turn on their listening ears. They go through the motions of turning on their ears. However as the day proceeds, I find myself reminding them again and again to listen and follow my instructions. They stop what they're doing and turn their listening ears back on. But they have a natural tendency to go back to doing what they want to do.


It's an important lesson for me. Every morning I take time to tune my listening ears to the Lord. I read my Bible and pray. I write down what I'm learning and what I think God is saying to me in my journal.

However, as my day progresses I often get busy and caught up in what I'm doing. But God is so good. I may be walking with my students to Spanish or PE. Suddenly, the children will become so excited as they point to the birds in the trees chirping to one another. In those moments, I'm reminded of how God cares about the little birds and how much more He cares for me. Is He trustworthy? Oh yes He is!

Today, I want to enter God's rest and walk with Him even while I'm going about my day. When challenges come up as they often do, I will remember to trust and obey. After all, there's no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.

So I ask you. Will you make the choice to trust God with your today?

Blessings and love,

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

One Word Coffee: Rest


Let me ask you a question. It's only the beginning of 2016. But are you already tired and weary?

Writing about the word REST brings scenes like the one in the photo to my mind. Peaceful, quiet, leisurely time. Listening to the chirping of the birds. Feeling a cool breeze on my face. No interruptions. No special place I have to be. Simply sitting quietly sipping a cup of coffee with no demands pressing upon me. Simply being and enjoying the moment.

But let's get back to reality.

I rarely have time for scenes like the one I described. I work full time as a preschool teacher. I have a family and responsibilities. There's always something left on my to do list.

My husband Greg and I have been traumatized by an event that turned our lives upside down five years ago. We've gone through stages of denial, anger, bargaining and depression.  We're slowly coming to the point of acceptance. But it's not been easy.

Spending my days with little children has helped me to heal. I picture the scene from the Bible in Matthew 19.  Little children are surrounding Jesus. Their parents brought them to Jesus. But the disciples scolded the parents for bringing them. Here's what Jesus said in verse 14 in the NLT.

"But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children."

What are children like? I can tell you so many stories from my day. They clamor for attention. They are trusting. They love to hold my hand. They love it when I give them my undivided attention and patiently listen to their words. Sometimes they seem to take forever to tell me something. But I think of how patient Jesus is with me.



How many times do I cry out to God over and over? I wonder where He is since my prayers don't seem to be answered according to my time table. Why hasn't He restored what we lost?

For Christmas, my friend Sue gave me a Casting Crowns CD. I've been playing it in my car on my way to work. There's a song that I play over and over. I have it on repeat. The words are so meaningful to me. It's called "Praise you in This Storm".



So I come to a point in my life when I have a choice to make.

A heart choice. 

Do I continue to wrestle with the why's? Or do I trust Him and rest in His promises? The Bible tells me He never leaves me. It tells me He loves me. It tells me I can trust Him. I don't have to figure everything out myself and take on such burdens.


My part is to simply believe what He says and to ...trust Him.

When I give up my struggle to be in control, I can rest. I remember His Truth. Jesus has me covered.

Here's what happens when the children give up and rest. They fall sleep!



I'm linking up with Bonnie of Faith Barista for our Wednesday One Word Coffee. And the word for today is REST.


Blessings and love,

Am I a kid or what?

Am I a kid or what?

I love this place...Carmel, CA

I love this place...Carmel, CA