Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I Love Trees

I've been fascinated with trees since I was a young girl, playing chase under a beautiful Mimosa. The fuzzy blooms dazzled me, along with their sweet, delicious aroma. I never considered how messy the tree was, but I'm sure Daddy did—every time he mowed.

After my divorce in 2002, I bought a house surrounded by tall pines. For sure, pine trees are beyond messy, but their soaring beauty always leaves me in awe.

And if you're looking for me around lunchtime, you'll probably find me here, parked under these sprawling branches. I don't just eat here though; I often sing, and pray, and count my many blessings.

I hope the tree stands forever. It reminds me of my Father's love, hovering over me, keeping me sheltered, keeping me safe. ♦

Monday, September 21, 2015

Mosaic Monday ~ My Beautiful Leslie

"A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart."

My beautiful Leslie, I love you so.

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Joining Judith's Mosaic Monday,

Monday, September 14, 2015

Blue Hour Blue

Blue Hour is one of my favorite times of the day, and I couldn't resist this shot prior to dinner at a favorite Mexican place. The sky almost looks fake, it's so lovely. If Blue Hour interests you, click HERE.

I'm joining Sally for her Blue Monday linkup.

Friday, September 11, 2015

God Works From A Calendar All His Own

If I've learned anything at all in my journey as a believer, it is that God works from a calendar all his own. No matter what my calendar says, he's never late, and (alas) he's never early.

I recall an instance a few years ago, during a challenging time of unemployment.

With only a few hundred dollars left to my name, and no more unemployment checks coming in, I was a bit anxious about paying a mortgage without an income. However, I reminded God often that his Word promised to provide. I didn't know how, but I knew he would.

Out of the blue one day, I thought of a tax credit that I should've claimed the year before. How had I forgotten something so significant? Within a few weeks, I had researched the matter, filed the proper paperwork and received over six thousand dollars in the mail. The facts of my calendar said those funds came to me a year late, but the facts of God's calendar said they came when I needed them most.

And recently, while perusing through my Facebook messages, I found a message that had been sent to me over a year ago. I hadn't seen it at the time, because it had been diverted into a "spam" folder of sorts. 

“Hello, Gayle. You don’t know me,” the message began, and indeed, I did not. However, as I read this person's gracious words and sensed the honest emotions shared, I knew that the message had been diverted and delayed by divine design.

My immediate circumstances had me feeling worthless, as though my life had no value, no meaning, just a colossal waste of time. But the writings of this thoughtful stranger was God's way of assuring me that my life has eternal value, and nothing can ever rescind that.

The note ended like this: "I hope you realize the importance of your life, ministry and music, and how it has influenced others. It has instilled in me something that will never diminish.” The facts of my calendar said those encouraging words were meant to be read a year earlier, but the facts of God's calendar said I read them when I needed them most.

Romans 8:28 says: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God." That scripture can be puzzling when your heart is heavier than bricks and you cry every day, no matter how hard you try not to. But every believer's journey is a journey of faith. You either trust God, or you don't.

The other night, while standing in my kitchen, tears falling like rain, I told God—in a very loud voice—that I still trust him. I don't understand the inky darkness surrounding me, Lord, and some days I can hardly breathe, my heart is so heavy within, but my faith in you will not waiver. It will not waiver, Lord. It will not waiver!

Though I can't see my hand in front of my face, I will trust you! Though the storms rage and the waves crash, I will trust you! Though the howling winds of sorrow blow, and blow, and BLOW, I will trust you, Lord! Today! Tomorrow! Always! You are the captain of my vessel, and even if it's dashed into a million tiny pieces, leaving nothing but me and the angry sea, I know you are with me, Lord, and you can walk on water. ♦

"Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield," Psalm 33:20.

I'm linking to:
Spiritual Sundays, where hope and inspiration can still be found.
Me, Coffee and Jesus, my first time to share here.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Spontaneous Getaway to the Seashore

The sea has a way of lifting my head and lightening my load, so I made a quick getaway to the Island on Labor Day. It was a last-minute decision, and I was happy twin sister was able to join me. She makes everything better without saying a word.

Sitting on the beach, listening to the waves roll in, I considered the seagulls standing on the shore. Day, after day, they come, and day, after day, they find what they need to sustain them. Knowing I am more valuable than many seagulls to the one who made me brought a renewed sense of peace to my soul.

Dinner was fried oysters at one of our favorite spots.

Back at the hotel, coffee and dessert was served on the balcony. 

And as the evening sun painted glorious hues around us, I thanked the Creator for the priceless gift of another day.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Happy List

When the heart aches, finding relief is often difficult, so this week I made a "Happy List." It's something my daughter and I used to do during the initial days of my post-divorce life. It forced us to look for ordinary things that made us feel good and forget our worries, if only for a moment. The list can have one item or 10—doesn't matter. If you're struggling with heartache, I highly recommend it.

My "Happy List"

1. The freshness of the mini-bundt cake I ate yesterday.

2. A cheery voice calling, "Hello, cowgirl."

3. The snowcone truck at work.

4. The way the evening sunshine streams through my front windows. 

5. Blue Hour in the suburbs.

6. Rocking Arabella to sleep, her tiny fingers wrapped tightly around mine.

"Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."  (Philippians 4:8)