Sunday, March 23, 2014

Audrey Does the Rodeo

The Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show has been a staple of Texas entertainment for more than 80 years. It consumes about 20 days in March, and last year, more than two million people attended. My daughter gave Audrey her first taste of the rodeo earlier this month. I don't know about you, but she's cutest little cowgirl I've ever seen.

Joining Mosaic Monday

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Promise of Spring

I'm joining Vee's Note Card Party.

I first posted about these yellow daffodils in 2010. You can read that short post hereI was in the midst of a bitter winter on a personal level, and seeing their brilliance, bursting through the lifeless ground, shouted words of hope to my sagging soul.

The remaining pictures were snapped while visiting a nearby arboretum. If these were note cards, the inside might read:

No matter how cold the winter has been, spring is on the way.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Got Anxiety? It's Your Own Fault.

In his letter to the church of Philippi, the Apostle Paul wrote, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation." Historians tell us that Paul was in prison when he penned those words, and if you haven't read Philippians 4 in a while, you really should take time to read it. It won't consume nearly as much time as scrolling through Facebook does.

I love that entire chapter (as seen from the markings in my old Bible) but specifically the part where Paul instructs the Philippians not to be anxious—about anything. Instead, they should make their requests known to God and focus on the positive. "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

How easy it is for us (mere humans that we are) to do just the opposite. To become obsessed with the negative, and be beyond anxious about today, and tomorrow, and 10 years down the road. But that way of thinking isn't pleasing to God. He doesn't want us to be anxious. We're his children, after all, and in Luke 12, he reminds his disciples of their worth. "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

Of course, God can't take our anxieties if we don't release them, and today I am challenging you to join me in releasing your fears and practicing faith. Faith in God who loves you. Faith in God who wants to provide for you. Faith in God who works the night shift on your behalf, protecting you when you aren't even aware.

As a matter of fact, I was reminded of that just last night.

After a long, tiring two days of helping my daughter move, I got home around 9:30 p.m. I have a detached garage, and as I approached the backdoor to my house, I noticed it was open. Not wide open, but a few inches open. The fact that I had been away for over 24 hours didn't escape me as I retreated to the car and got back in. Without a weapon on me (other than a large black purse), I wasn't comfortable going inside my house alone.

Thankfully, my twin and her spouse live in my neighborhood, so I phoned Dayle and told her the situation and asked if Stan would mind bringing his weapon and giving the house a thorough search. Of course, he came, and not with just one weapon, mind you. He came with two. One was a four-footed beast named Diesel with a keen nose and killer jaws.

Man and beast found nobody lurking inside, and nothing had been disturbed, so I thanked my personal constable and went on in. Later, after a little prompting, it came to me what had happened. I will spare the full details (since this is already the longest blog post known to exist) and just say that I left the door ajar on purpose while appraising a certain situation outside, and while appraising a certain situation outside, I was distracted by an unnamed source and totally forgot about leaving the door ajar. Airhead me.

But regardless of the reasons why, it was yet another lesson in how much God loves me, and how good he is to me, and how it should be the simplest thing in the world to not be anxious about anything. Ever!

If you're still with me, dear friend, go read Philippians 4. I even linked to it to make it easier for you. The principles taught there can change your life for good, and just like Paul, you'll discover the secret of being content whatever the situation. ♦
I'm joining:
Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays
Michelle at Graceful