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!

Resting As He Rested

As I sketched the above drawing, I originally started out practicing how to draw trees. Funny thing about that tree, drawing it on the left side of the paper proved to be harder for me than drawing it on the right side. ๐Ÿ˜„ One would think it would be the same. So after I finished with the tree, I thought about something a friend of mine said about writing a thought or something to go with the drawings. I decide to drop a fella in there resting against the tree. After adding the scripture in there I thought about the Friday devotional I needed to send out and since we were headed into the weekend it seemed to fit just right.

Six days we’re to work, to get things done. Whether we work in an office, an industrial setting, a farm, or in the medical field, we are to work six days and then rest. The seventh day is to be a day of rest. To give our bodies and minds a rest. If God, our Father, created the world in six days and on the seventh day rested, shouldn’t we follow His example and do the same? It isn’t that He needed the rest, as much as He was teaching us to rest. He knew that we couldn’t go seven days a week of working and not resting. Do you or someone you know fit in this category? I don’t think the day of the week matters as much as taking that seventh day to rest.

Remember that saying about burning the candle at both ends? Eventually the candle will burn all the way down to the middle and then burn out. Just as the candle burns out, we also will burn out if we aren’t careful. As long as we are here on this earth, there is work for us to do; and when our work is finished, then we will be with Him. I think maybe that’s why God wants us to have a day of rest, to recharge, and refresh so that we can handle the tasks He has for us to do.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

This coming from Jesus, as He goes on to say…

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:29

So take that seventh day to rest, recharge, and listen to the Lord as He refreshes your soul. God bless!

Start ~ Dawn of A New Day

From my sister’s yard.

Here it is the start of a new day. Yesterday’s problems have passed and today’s slate is…wait full? How is this so? It’s a new day and you haven’t even left your bed yet. You just opened your eyes and already your slate is full? How can this be? How indeed. Why did you wake to the morning remembering yesterday’s worries? After all they belong to yesterday, today is a new day. A new dawn. A fresh start, yet your slate is already filled with worries, regrets, stress and you haven’t even gotten out of bed!

Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for I trust in You. Teach me the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.

Psalm 143:8 AMP

And so

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

Isaiah 43:18 NIV

Meditate on God’s truths before you start your day. If there are any residual worries of yesterday, you can know that the enemy is messing with your mind and trying to start out your day in chaos. Don’t let him succeed in taking territory from you that isn’t his to take. Take back that territory and don’t let him steal from you what belongs to you. There is a reason we are told to forget the former things and not dwell on the past, it’s already gone and there isn’t anything we can do about it. We can only look at what is in front of us for today and take care of those things.

Now it’s time to get out of bed and start your day. God bless! โค