Friday, July 29, 2011

He Uses Everything!

...being confident of this very thing,
that He who has begun a good work in you
will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Philippians 1:6

       When I go through difficult times or through things I don't understand, I try to remember that God allowed it, and there is a purpose for it. I may not understand, but I can know that He is in control; He reigns over everything. He is never surprised or taken off guard by anything that happens...He is God. Everything that comes into my life or yours, is sifted through His hands, and they are loving hands. If He allows it in our lives, He will use it...He doesn't waste a thing.

He Uses Everything!
by Charlotte Foster

There’s not a single thing, that passes through a life,
That God does not intend to use, no triumph, pain, or strife.

It’s all a part of His great plan, set perfectly in place.
To teach us hard learned lessons, and demonstrate His grace.

Though some things seem so hard, we don’t think we’ll survive.
But when we reach the end of them, we find we’re more alive.

He stretches us in areas, we thought we couldn't grow.
Maturing us in such a way, His handywork to show.

Often things we thought we knew, are visited once more.
Making sure our trust in Him, resides down at its core.

He wants us to remember, as we walk through life’s hot fires,

The image of His Son in us, is all that He desires.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 NASB

Distractions…so many distractions! The world is full of them. Things to do, places to go; more than a lifetime will allow. So many good things- what should I do today?
Whatever it is I choose to do, it should be something pleasing to God…to glorify Him instead of myself. If this one standard is used as a sifter, it will stop the meaningless time wasters from making their way into my day.
Sometimes the things that please Him are simple, like the laundry getting washed or dinner cooked on time. They bring Him glory by me loving and serving the people in my home…as unto the Lord.
The distractions will always come, that is sure, but knowing I have a choice, to choose the things that glorify God, will help me separate the good things from the best.
Today I chose to write this post for you and share this simple truth in hope that in some small way my Lord will be glorified within the words written here. I chose to press the “publish” button as I said a prayer for you.

          ~ “That the Lord will bless and keep you, that He will cause His face to shine upon you and give you peace…and that His glory will be revealed within the framework of your life.”
To God be the glory, great things He has done…and continues to do!

 And now, I will finish the laundryJ


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tea with a friend...

It is hard for me to separate the garden from tea time. They seem to go together so well. If I could drag my table and chairs out next to the zucchini and tomato plants, I probably would. The butterflies and bumblebees wouldn't mind my company one bit, and I wouldn't mind theirs. Today, the back deck is as far as I can go with my tea. But don't be surprised if a future post finds me knee deep in Lemon Balm, Rosemary, sage...and yes, tomatoes!

I set out a table cloth with a Lady Bug pattern I made a while back and cut some Hydrangeas from the yard. If I can't go to the garden, I can bring it to me!

"For flowers that bloom about our feet,
Father, we thank Thee;
For tender grass so fresh and sweet,
Father, we thank Thee.
For the song of bird and hum of bee,
For all things fair we hear and see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The tea cup I'm using has roses on it but my roses aren't feeling well today, so I didn't cut them for the table.

This carrot cake was made for a potluck at my church; there were a few pieces left over for tea today, and I added some zucchini bread, to stay with my garden theme:)

I've found some wonderful recipes in our church cookbook. Both these treats were taken from there.

I love to bake, but the best part of all is sharing it with a friend. 

Having tea alone is nice and relaxing, but sharing it with someone special creates a memory to cherish forever.

"A friend loves at all times." Proverbs 17:17

I hope you are able to spend tea time today with someone you love
...a dear friend?
If you can't be out in the garden, perhaps you can bring a small piece of the garden to you.

"If I could treat my friends as flowers,
I'd like to spend away the hours,
arranging them around the table
as long as life has made me able."

Blessings and have a happy Tea Time!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Can You See It?

"So it shall be, while My glory passes by,
that I will put you in the cleft of the rock,
and cover you with My hand while I pass by."
Exodus 33:22

      I have a favorite place I like to sit and read my Bible. It's a bench made out of an old log cut in half. It was difficult getting it right where I wanted it because it's very heavy, but I managed to drag it to the barn and close to my favorite oak tree where I feed the horses in good weather. You can see the bench in the header above. There is something special about sitting under the blue sky, listening to the birds sing in the trees, watching the horses graze and reading the words, "The earth declares the glory of God."


      Those words take on new meaning as everything around me says Amen. His creativity is seen in His handiwork and it glorifies Him. Do I notice it enough? Do I even take the time to look each day? Is it possible that I could walk by such beauty and not even see it, that my eyes could become accustomed to it and I might no longer behold His glory in it?

      I want to see it, to always notice, to never take it for granted...never take Him for granted. His breath of life fills the air around us all. His majesty is displayed in all He has made...even you and me, His children. Can you see it?

The earth declares His glory!

Your Glory
By Charlotte Foster

“Show me your glory,” I dared to say,
As I walked along the road today.
 Then as I spoke a cloud passed by,
A soft white pillow in deep blue sky.

 And gentle breeze of such degree,
Not hot or cold as it touched me.

 More like a touch from someone’s hand,
Softly passing where I stand.

 A bird high in the old oak tree,
Sang his tune so happily.

 And then I realized all around,
Your voice was heard in every sound.

 In every wind and passing cloud,
Revealing of yourself out-loud.

 For all to see - Yes you were there,
In every song or breath of air.

 In Your creation loud and clear,
Are signs of you so very near.

And when I stopped to ponder You,
I saw Your glory fresh and new.

The earth declares the glory of God!

Linking up with Charlotte and Ginger at....

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pink Roses

      As I visited my Father-in-law one day I walked along the little garden path leading to his front door and saw these roses bent over with their stems broken...barely hanging on. The rain had fallen with such force that they bowed from the weight of it. They were so beautiful, I thought it would be a shame to leave them there so as I left I broke them off and put them in  the back seat of my car.

      They didn't mind the two hour ride home one bit. I think they were grateful for all the attention I was giving them. My Father-in-law takes care of them, but he doesn't really admire them and baby them as my Mother-in-law did before she passed away five years ago. He maintains them, but doesn't love them as she did.

      When I put them in the vase at home they reminded me of her and what a gracious lady she was. She was also beautiful, like the roses. She chose them long ago, planted them, and nurtured them. Now they live on as a memory of her caring touch.

("Fragrance" Royal Grafton, Fine Bone China, England)

      When I pulled out this teacup, I saw the pink roses looked a lot like the ones in the vase. I'm sure they are happy to share a cup of tea with each other and me. The gold trim on the handle of the cup is worn off a bit, so I know someone in the past enjoyed using it. Perhaps it was someone special like my Mother-in-law. I'm thankful she took good care of it and I can enjoy it now...and the roses.

      I hope I will be the kind of person to pass on beauty to others, whether it is something I have planted and nurtured, or gently cared for and preserved - like the tea cup. In that small way I can share a little of the blessings God has given me.

What blessings are you enjoying today?


I'm linking to these lovely tea parties...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Joy in the Storms

But I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.
Psalm 71:14

      There have been a lot of trials in my life lately, some big, some small, but they are piling up at an alarming rate. I don't step out of bed wondering what will befall me today, but I am putting my feet on the floor a little slower. Last night I was cleaning up from dinner and spilled some liquid on my ceramic range top...which seeped under the knobs. No big deal, I just removed the knobs and got a wet dish cloth and proceeded to wipe it out of the hole when...bang, poof, spark, smoke! It gave me a good jolt, and I haven't been able to use it since. Minor annoyance. So on to the next chore, laundry. First load...a little water on the floor, hmm that's weird. Second load...more water, but I wasn't giving up without a fight. Third load...lots of water on the floor. OK, the washer is broken. No stove top and no washer, but it isn't all that bad, right?

      Then the neighbor comes over, not happy, to tell us our rooster has been waking him up early every morning for several days (we live on a farm). So these little trials seemed to be leaking, like the washer, from the house - to the barn, and apparently were making their way down the street. It didn't stop there but I don't want to drag you through it all, so I'll stop.

      What was interesting (and suspicious) is before the trials really got thick, I prayed for joy. I had prayed for joy and peace for a couple of weeks because my family was going through something very hard. Now I'm not saying God answered my prayers with trials and tribulation, I'm just saying that I prayed for joy before they started piling up.

      I'm positive God doesn't do things to keep us from having joy - actually He gives us fullness of joy - but I do think we have an enemy who wants to steal, kill, and destroy it. Real joy doesn't depend on what is going on around me. It doesn't go away when the appliances break down, when people are upset with me over a rooster...or when the light bulb above my head burns out - just now! It can't be killed, stolen, or destroyed.

      Joy is something that fills us even when we're going through the storms in life. It doesn't get poured into us from outside, it pours out...overflows from within. It is placed in the heart by God Himself and no one, or thing, or trial, can remove it. It's times like this God proves to me what His word says about Him is absolutely true - He is my rock, my fortress, my strong tower, shield, deliverer, strength, and my joy.

My Firm Foundation

Standing on the solid rock, though all may crumble 'round,
I will not fall from where I stand, I am on solid ground.

Storms will blow around me, and tides will rise and fall,
My eyes stay on my Master, and my heart tuned to His call.

No power can remove me, from this solid place I stand,
The One I've placed my trust in, holds all power in His hand.

At times I may grow weary, but those times He has foreseen,
He's promised not to leave me, and hold me as I lean.

He is my firm foundation, where no higher place is found,
Than the Solid Rock - Jesus, as I stand on holy ground.

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
 my God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
Psalm 18:2

Linking up with Ginger and Charlotte at... 


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

An Empty Tea Cup

      Today my cup is empty...and yet at the same time it seemed as though it is overflowing! Not with tea or coffee, but with thanksgiving. Everything feels upside down in my life right now, but strangely it is all OK. God keeps reminding me that He is in control and His words, "let not your heart be troubled" have brought a peace beyond my understanding. This past weekend was very busy. I didn't think I would be able to join you for tea today, but here I am joining late.

      It is in the busy, hectic times of life that I appreciate the few minutes I can sit down and have a cup of tea or coffee and read a bit from one of my devotionals. I find that when I'm feeling heavy and weighed down with cares, taking a moment to think about all the blessings in my life helps me refocus and my heavy heart is changed into a thankful one. A thankful heart is very light and wants to do things like sing, dance, and praise. It wants to rejoice, whether there is tea in the cup or not.

      Today is a beautiful day, the flowers are all abloom, my family is well, and there is much to be thankful for. One of the reasons I didn't want to miss out on joining you for tea today is because I was anxious to share this little book with you. It is filled with tea time devotions...short encouraging tidbits from the Bible and tea related things sprinkled in between. It is quite lovely.

This is the page I turned to....

It says, "David was dancing before the Lord with all his might."
2 Samuel 6:14

      It got me thinking about what that would look dance with all ones might. I don't think it's something a person could do if their heart was heavy. It's something that is done when a heart is filled with praise and thanksgiving.

This quote was at the end of my reading today...

      I hope you have time to sit down today and enjoy a cup of tea, but even more, I hope your pretty tea cup will give you cause to remember all your blessings, and your cup will overflow with joy and thanksgiving.

"With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord;
and in the midst of many I will praise Him."
Psalm 109:30

Have a blessed day,

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Losing my mind!

      This week has been a week of losing things. 5:30 one morning I am awakened with the sounds of my husband opening and closing drawers...shuffling through papers on his dresser, and coming in and out of the bedroom. I made the mistake of moving (signs of life) then he started questioning me about the set of keys for our new front door lock. I am not a morning person by nature, nor can I think cognitively before say...7AM? And even then I need coffee. So I just kept repeating what he said..."keys", "keys?" "new lock", "lock?" Then he asked a question that woke me up. "Did you throw the box away with the keys still inside?" Oh no, maybe I did! I thought and thought, but couldn't remember if I'd even touched the keys...but yes, I did throw the box away! Now that I was completely awake I thought of something I learned when I was a child...God knows where everything is! Nothing is ever lost to Him. So I prayed.

      It wasn't five minutes until my husband found the keys, and yes, it was HE who misplaced them in HIS nightstand drawer! I'm always happy when it ends that way:) But I am curiously suspicious of the fact that whenever we lose something, we rarely find it before we pray and ask God to reveal to us where it is. I think it is just a little reminder to rely on Him, and remember that He is all-knowing.

      Apparently though, I moved on from that lesson a bit too fast. That afternoon I couldn't find the computer cord to my camera. I looked cord. I searched the entire house twice! I went over and over in my mind the last time I used it...where I was...what I did with it.

      I had my fourteen month old grandson here for the weekend - the tabletop dancer...chair place too drawer too low...get into everything...always moving baby boy! So now I was going over and over in my mind what I would do with a computer cord if I was two and a half feet tall! Then I remembered once again that simple truth I learned when I was a child. God knows where everything is...even the missing cord, so again I prayed!

      Five minutes cord, ten cord. I was beginning to panic. I had a deadline and I needed to get pictures from my camera to my computer...pronto! "Lord, do you not want me to do this thing I committed to do? Why are you not showing me where my cord is? My laptop doesn't have a port for the memory card." I was seriously starting to doubt whether I was supposed to be doing this, when a thought entered my mind - the old PC in the den! It has a port for my memory card, but it didn't work the last time I tried it, however, if the Lord was leading me in that direction, I would follow.

      I put it worked! I was able to meet my deadline and stop having a nervous break down. Today as I cleaned off the back deck, guess what I found? You guessed cord! Did God know it was there? You bet He did. So why didn't He show me? If there is one thing I have learned about Him, it is that He doesn't think like me. He does things differently than I do. When I can't figure out a situation I am left with putting my complete trust in Him...and not myself. He answered my prayer and eventually led me to the cord, but He worked out the things in between the losing and the finding in a way that would cause me to rely on Him more fully than if He had just revealed the whereabouts of the cord.

      I am so thankful He is Omnipotent. Nothing is lost to Him. When we can't find something, all we have to do is ask Him, and like a loving father He will help us find it...and perhaps teach us a thing or two while we look. Some days I may feel as though I am losing my mind, but I don't have to worry...He knows right where it is.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and your plans will succeed.
Proverbs 16:3

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