Road Block

A peculiar thing recently happened…

Fading away while waiting for car tag…

We all face road blocks from time to time. Sometimes its a bump in the road of life. Other times it seems as though you’ll never reach the end of the road block. My mother-in-law was in the process of moving to assisted living. She had been in the hospital and would go straight into assisted living upon her discharge if a place could be found. At the time it was uncertain if she’d go straight into an assisted living facility or if she would be at home for a short period of time. So my husband and his siblings got together and start going through her belongings separating the things that would go with her, the things that they wanted, things to donate, and things to throw away. Now this process would take more than a day or two to get done. My sister-in-law drove down with plans to stay until everything was taken care of. My husband had work so he drove back and forth for a few weeks and his brother, well he lives there so he didn’t have to worry about traveling.

One such item to decide upon was her car. She still had car payments and needed to sell it. In the beginning we were asked if we wanted it and we had declined. Yes, we were looking for a vehicle but it wasn’t something we needed right away and we had decided to save up for a year and then get a car. But it turned out her car had low mileage and the balance due on her loan was less than we thought and within our budget. We took out a loan and then….

Then the road blocks began…

Our bank cut a check for the payoff of the loan and gave us the paperwork needed to go pick up the car because it didn’t have a tag. A few weeks go by and we hadn’t heard anything about getting the tag for the car. My husband calls them and they tell him the check hadn’t cleared. Okay…so what are you going to do about it? Our bank contacted the bank holding the title to the car and gets met with -I’m sorry I can’t give you that information. Excuse me?!?!? ๐ŸคจYou gave it to us before. After about a week of that run around they finally get the information needed and cut a second check. In the meantime, we wait a few more weeks and nothing.

During this time of waiting, my husband had asked around at the office if anyone knew of someone that might be interested in a truck for sale. That same day someone came to him and said they might be interested. He let them take it home to test drive and the NEXT day my husband gets a cashier’s check for the sale of the truck. So now we have two vehicles sitting in our drive. One with a car tag and one with a cardboard handwritten “tag applied for” sign. I’m driving this “tag applied for” car back and forth to work waiting for news that we can go get a tag for it. Several more weeks go by and during this time my husband is trying to find out any news as to when we could get a tag. I offered to call and he shut me down. I mean he said NO before I finished my sentence. ๐Ÿ˜… Something about me not keeping my cool. Okay, so he is way more patient when dealing with stuff like that. I doubt I would have been as patient as he was. You know the person who can be aggravated with a situation and still be polite? He’s that guy. I’m just saying, oh and by the way? This all began in December and here we are in and February and we FINALLY got a tag!

As we went through the craziness of trying to purchase the car tag so that I could properly drive it, (we found out you aren’t supposed to drive with a makeshift tag.) I was reminded of how the devil will throw road block after road block up in order to distract you from God. To blame God for all the “road blocks” in our lives. When the truth is it’s the devil playing havoc with our lives and while he is busy trying to blame God, God is standing in the wings waiting for you and me to go to Him and let Him walk us through it. Can He make it go away? Yes, He can. But sometimes He will use those road blocks to get our attention. To hit pause so that He can refresh our spirits, renew our faith, and trust in Him.

O God, do not be far from me; O my God, make haste to help me!

Psalm 71:12

My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:2

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalm 46:1

When going through the trials and when the road blocks seem to get in the way, look to the Lord for your source of strength to get you through. And remember the reason for the road blocks is because God has great plans for you and the devil is trying to distract you from the things God wants for you. God bless!

Innocent Distractions

It started out innocently enough.

It started out innocently enough. Looking through YouTube videos I happened upon watercolor tutorials. I had been in search of videos that would teach me how to sketch better. It was a great idea except I became distracted and lost sight of the prize. Now there is nothing wrong with watching videos to learn how to do things but it’s the time spent watching and doing, that can become the problem. Realizing my lack of discipline I decided I wanted to learn to listen to God better. Things didn’t turn out quite the way I had planned. Instead of listening, I became even more distracted when I happened upon a watercolor video about making homemade Christmas cards. So I started to make them.

I became so focused on making the cards that I lost sight of spending time with the Father. So much for listening. I was doing the right things, praying, doing devotionals but I wasn’t spending the quality time with God that He deserves.

As I thought about that, I realized that the whole time I was wanting to hear from God, He was trying to speak but I wasn’t stopping long enough or being still long enough for me to hear Him. You know, kind of like that person who asks you a question and moves on to the next question or topic before you can answer them. That was me. I wanted more of Him but I wasn’t waiting for Him to speak, instead I was moving to the next topic. Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t treat us like that? Can you imagine if He did? Maybe that’s why He has so many teachings on what we our relationship with Him should be like so we could use that role model to have that kind of relationship with others. Why He took time give examples for us to follow.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

We love Him because He first loved us.

1 John 4:19

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

Colossians 3:12,13

But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

Colossians 3:14

God bless!

Celebrating God’s Goodness

Wow. What a year. Earlier this year we found out that my husband had thyroid cancer and had to have his thyroid removed. Between the discovery of the cancer and the actual surgery, Covid-19 hit. After surgery he had to have an ablation to confirm there wasn’t any lingering cancer cells. Here we are in November and my husband finally had his ablation. Now most people when they hear the word ablation they automatically think heart. Not in this case. He had to swallow a radiation pill. Yep, a special diet for two and a half weeks, 2 days before the procedure he had a shot and the day before the procedure he had another shot. Then he was quarantined for three days at home where he couldn’t be around people. Room Service please! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thinking about the past few weeks with the strict diet and then the quarantine, I thought about how God can use those minor distractions in life to encourage us, to help us grow stronger in our relationship with Him. It can also, if we aren’t careful, be used by the enemy to try and discourage us to take our eyes off of the Lord.

For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.

Psalm 27:5

It could have been so easy to become discouraged during this time. Sometimes we can take things for granted and don’t realize it until we are forced to take a step back. We had to read the labels of everything we bought. If it had salt, we had to avoid it. Dairy products we had to avoid. (Egg whites were allowed) We became rather proficient with label reading. (Something we probably should be doing all the time.) We did find some new permanent food fixtures in our house as a result of the diet. Hamburger buns made from scratch. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Hubby decided he liked them better than store bought. But guess who gets to make them? ๐Ÿ˜‚ Although I will admit that it isn’t that hard to make so I don’t mind.)

The care we had to take in making sure we were following the diet brought to mind how we nurture our relationship with the Lord. Do we spend quality time in His Word? Do we spend quality time in prayer talking and listening to Him? If we don’t take the time to nurture our relationship with God then we are neglecting the most important relationship we will ever have. How can we expect to nurture and grow our relationships with our family and friends if we neglect the most important relationship of all? How we nurture and grow our relationship with God reflects how we will nurture other relationships in our lives. If our relationship with God is one of little communication, our other relationships will suffer the same lack of communication.

O God, Thou art my God; I shall seek Thee earnestly; my soul thirsts for Thee; my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Psalm 63:1

and

You will seek Me and find Me, when you will search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

My husband had a post ablation whole body scan to make sure there were no lingering cancer cells. PRAISE GOD he is cancer free! To God be the glory! Thank you to those who prayed for us. God bless!

Break Away

Family and good friends!

How times flies. Can you believe it’s already nearing the end of October? Wow. Today we are taking a journey. A trip down memory lane. Speaking of how time flies, it was a year ago today (October 22, 2019) that I officially started blogging.

A year ago God nudged me into starting this blog. He sent me an encouraging friend to nudge me into obeying Him. He gave me a supportive family, friends, and fellow bloggers to continue encouraging me to blog. Thank you so much for your support! To God be the glory!

Marie

There is something about breaking away for a cup of coffee with friends. You talk about life, family, friends, and well just about everything. It was during such a visit with my friend – Nudge (I decided she needed a nickname) ๐Ÿ˜Š that we started talking about different things. I happen to mention something about doing a blog or even a podcast. Nudge said “do it”. I said I would pray about it. Between God nudging me by planting the seeds and Nudge over there watering those seeds for Him, the idea began to take root. Can I just tell you that when God sends someone your way to encourage you in something He has planted in you; He is going to send a persistent, quiet, force to be reckoned with. Oh what a joyful feeling it is when you obey.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another, just as you also are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

I shared my thoughts with my husband and he also encouraged me to follow through with it if that was what I wanted to do. Our son and my sister were also very encouraging. I began to pray. As I prayed I could feel an excitement building inside me. A few weeks went by and I decided to blog. I started setting goals of where I wanted to be. Goals are good as long as you don’t fret and worry about reaching them within a certain time. Don’t get me wrong, yes, you want to set goals. But worrying, or stressing over reaching them in a specific amount of time, isn’t going to do you or anyone else any good. Strive to reach them and when you do reach them celebrate!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

I had these grand ideas of where I wanted to be…not where God wanted me but where I wanted me. Ouch. Don’t ever put yourself ahead of God. It doesn’t work. But God is a loving and forgiving Father. The blog started to slowly gather followers and then a wonderful thing happened. I met a really amazing prayer warrior through blogging. She encouraged me to keep pursuing and not worry about how many people were following but to be obedient to what the Father put on my heart to do. And so I have. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for the coming year. God bless! โค

The Artist’s Lesson

No matter how hard we try there will always be a bit of a flaw.

One of my earlier watercolor paintings.

Recently I took up painting with watercolor. As I sat at the table practicing on a small sheet of watercolor paper that I had for scrap I made a tree. The tree wasn’t quite the way I would have liked it but I was anxious, ready to work on a painting. I made the tree trunk on my paper and frowned. It was too dark and looked more like acrylics than watercolor. I extended the branches next. What a disaster. Next came the leaves, a mix of color because it’s fall. That was so so, I could live with it, but not quite what I had hoped. So my painting turned into another practice session. I took the different colors and made a small area of a colorful bush. I tried to fix the dark trunk that didn’t go over so well. I made it worse by trying to lighten it up with water. I finished my practice page sat back and frowned even more. I scribbled notes on the paper, criticizing everything that I had done wrong. I went over and sat next to my husband on the couch and whined. He stopped what he was doing and listened as I criticized my work. He looked it over, read my notes, and said practice. So not what I wanted to hear. I wanted him to tell me what was wrong, what I needed to work on. You know all the things I had already written down.

As an artist himself, I was looking for criticism -did I really say that?๐Ÿคจ- on what I should have done. (Honest criticism on what I needed to work on.) The problem with that is my husband doesn’t work with watercolor. He works with acrylics and oils so it’s hard to say what should be done except practice until its the way you want it. We both agree that working with watercolor is a whole different animal. If you make a mistake with acrylics or oils you can paint over it and continue on. With watercolor, not so much. Put a drawing pencil in my hand and I do fairly well with drawings and sketches. Working with pastels, I do okay and I can manage working with acrylics. But there is something about watercolor paintings that drew my attention and I wanted to learn how to paint with watercolor. I’ve learned that as an artist, I’m way to hard on myself. Actually, I’m probably way to hard on myself most of the time. ๐Ÿ˜… I should also mention that I’ve only been working with watercolor for about two weeks now. ๐Ÿคจ Yeah, way to hard on myself.

If we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves falling into the enemy’s trap and instead of recognizing that it’s okay to make mistakes, we become critical and judgmental. If it isn’t perfect then there is something wrong with it. There is no such perfection here on earth. No matter how hard we try there will always be a bit of a flaw. There is only one perfect man and His name is Jesus. As I chewed on that thought for a minute, I thought about what the Bible says.

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.

Matthew 1:21

Save His people from their sins. Huh. Not a word about having to be perfect first.

And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

John 12:47

I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. So, no mention of having to be perfect first. Totally not judging the world but coming to save the world. Can you see where this is heading? Lies. The lies we believe. We know that Satan is a beautiful fallen angel. In my mind’s eye I can visualize him walking up to you or me with that winning smile, carrying on a conversation as he began whispering little things in your ear, things you may have already been thinking about yourself. He probably subtly mentioned you weren’t good enough. Might have even said something about Jesus being a perfect man, (you know after he realized Jesus wasn’t going to fall into temptation) and there was no way you could even be close to Him. Wait.

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

Matthew 18:11

Save that which was lost. Well that sounds like Someone you can get close to. Which means we don’t have to be a perfect person first. That He takes us where we are, as we are, and when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, He begins to create a new person on the inside. God bless!