Tuesday, January 31, 2012

OLW Blog Hop: Dwell

Welcome to the One Little Word February Blog Hop.

ONE day I hope to see the Atlanta Aquarium.
ONE day I want to own a boat I don’t have to paddle.
ONE  day I want to learn to knit.
I have ONE daughter, ONE daughter-in-law, and five sons.
My husband is my ONE and only.
ONE time when I was young I tried to build a nest for a bird.  
ONE day soon Anthony and Connor will be taller than me.
ONE thing I know for sure is that God loves me.
ONE reason we had three more children is because we enjoyed the first three so much.
ONE of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 27:4  
ONE thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
ONE Word to frame your year.

     This year the One Little Word that called to my heart was “dwell.”  Dwell means to remain; to live or continue; to linger over; to keep the attention directed; and to reside.  It is a special place of rest.  
         Have you ever had a special place?  A secure place where you could be alone with your thoughts.  Children often find such a place where they can rest safe from demands and pressures.  It can be a tree house nestled in the swaying branches of a sturdy tree.  It can be a quiet corner with a soft blanket and comfy chair.  When I was a teen, I would walk to the top of a mountain in our neighborhood where a power line had cut through the trees.  I could see far off into the distance.  The songs of the birds accompanied my thoughts.  It was always a solitary place.  I went there to think, to pray, to write, and to dream.  Some of you may have had just such a quiet spot to be alone.  We all need a special place now and then where we can quiet our thoughts and be alone with God.

How lovely is your dwelling place, 
    LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, 
        for the courts of the LORD;     my heart and my flesh cry out 
        for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, 
        and the swallow a nest for herself, 
        where she may have her young—     a place near your altar, 
    LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house; 
        they are ever praising you.  Psalm 84

     In the days of King David when this Psalm was written there was a very special secret place where a man could truly be alone with God.   The Ark of the Covenant was placed in the Holy of Holies in the Temple.   The Ark was graced by the Mercy Seat, located between the outstretched wings of the cherubim. The temple was the Old Testament center of God’s presence on earth.  This special place was also a haven for the birds that built their nests.  The birds could not be driven away.  Even the smallest, most insignificant sparrows had a home at God’s altar.  God’s very presence protected them.  They rested in the shadow of His wings.
     The psalmist envied the sparrows that lived in the house of God.  God provided for their every need.  They were fed by the crumbs that fell in the temple courts.  There were soft scraps of cloth and bits of straw for their nests.  They were sheltered from summer heat and winter storms.  They had a place to gather their little ones when the day was over and rest in safety.
       Like the sparrow I want to dwell in the Shadow of the Almighty. 

     What is YOUR One Little Word?
     Thank you for visiting.  Please hop over to Dawn.

Linking with:
ONE LITTLE WORD Feb 1, 2012 Blog Hop  Links will go live at 8:00 am PST 

Margie              http://xnomads.typepad.com
Sharyn            www.lavieenchic.com           
Jill                          http://jillconyers.com
Lynn                        www.crafty-creativity.blogspot.com
Jenn                        www.studiojenn.blogspot.com
Carmen            http://www.carmenpaulsorthner.com
Marilee            http://rose-brier.blogspot.com      
Kristina            http://hrinspirationfromthe403.blogspot.com/
Cindy            C            http://www.cynthiacrysdale.com
Kelly                        http://mindingmynest.com
Cheri                        http://cheriandrews.blogspot.com
Amanda            http://scrappnbee.blogspot.com
Cindy                        http://seriousplay.typepad.com
Brooke            www.everysnapshot.com
Naomi                        www.poeticaperture.com
Melissa            http://www.smudgetime.com
Karen                        http://breathenowsmile.blogspot.com
Melissa S            http://blog.mshanhun.com
Devon                        http://www.youhadmeatneurotic.com
*  You are here   Donna                         http://holimess.blogspot.com/
*  Go here next.  Dawn                        sunshineandcreativity.com
Katrina             www.katrinasimeck.com
Sam                        http://learncreatedo.wordpress.com
Monica             http://scrapinspired.com
Kimberlee              http://scrapsandsass.blogspot.com
Missus W            http://mrswookieswanderings.blogspot.com/
Kaylea                         http://www.myscrappylife.com
Nikki                        Www.inkyart.com.au
Erin                        http://erinsparkes.typepad.com/optimstic-fascination/
Jo                        www.curlyscrapbooker.blogspot.com
Coley                        http://coleybelle.blogspot.com/2012/01/focus-word-for-2012.html
Beth                        www.thesingularlyordinary.blogspot.com
Veronica            www.veronicanorris.typepad.com
Jamie                        http://jmpgirl.blogspot.com/
Lisa                   http://backtoallen.com/writers_blog
Jan                  http://mysimplelittlelife.typepad.com
Veronica            http://www.veronicanorris.typepad.com
Cate                        www.lifebehindthepurpledoor.com
Stephanie              www.scrapworthylives.com
Orange Gearle            http://orangegearle.blogspot.com
Tere                           http://terecontodomicorazon.blogspot.com/
Junelle                  http://yesandamenblog.blogspot.com/ 
Ruth                  http://suburbansahm.blogspot.com
Becky                  www.becky-handforth.blogspot.com

Monday, January 30, 2012

Stop for One Tuesday: Hot Chocolate and Windex

 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 
     For me there always seem to be fewer hours in the day than items on my to do list.  Some days, I crawl in to bed and I wonder where the day went.  I decided that I wanted to understand where my 960 daily minutes were going.  I reasoned if I had 960 dollars to spend each day, I would know how I spent them.  With that in mind, last week I kept a log of what I do with my time.  Every half hour I made a note of what I had been doing during the previous thirty minutes.  It was really interesting to me to see how I thought I spent my time versus how I actually spent my time.  I was spending more time than I thought on a few things and less time than I thought on others.
     My before school routine packs a lot in each morning.  I am the first person up, usually between 5:00 and 5:15, depending on how often I hit the snooze alarm.  I shower, dress, then wake Anthony.  Patty gets up on her own and joins us.  I am not quite capable of coherent thought or speech before coffee.  The three of us are a pretty quiet bunch as we eat.  I make lunches, take care of unloading the dishwasher and send Anthony out the door at 6:30. 
     Connor-the-Irrepressible has strict instructions to stay upstairs until his brother leaves.  The front door barely shuts when he rushes down the stairs like a whirlwind.  Connor talks, listens to a story on his ipod, eats, plays with the dog, and causes all manner of chaos in minutes.  I get him started on breakfast then run upstairs to complete my hair and makeup.  Patty leaves for her bus.  When I come back down I cycle the laundry.  Connor cheerfully follows me around talking nonstop.  Finally, just before I leave I make him a cup of hot chocolate and clean his glasses.  A hug and a kiss for Pat and Connor and I fly out the door by 7:10 to drive to my job at a local elementary school.
     Prior to the time charting, I was completely unaware of how much making a simple cup of hot chocolate and cleaning his eyeglasses meant to Connor.  In fact, the first few days I didn’t even note the two on my paper.  It was Connor who wanted to make sure that they were included in the list of things I do every morning.  And yes, my son is wearing an "explorer's hat" and drinking cocoa with a straw.
     Connor reminded me to I stop for those few minutes each morning to focus on him.  I can get so caught up in getting things done that I miss the important moments with the ones I love.  Each morning I have been given an opportunity to set the tone for my son’s day.  To leave him with the taste of something sweet in his mouth, looking forward to the day set before him, and with a clear vision to accomplish it.   
     Do you have a time in your daily routine where you stop for someone you love?
Linking up with: Positively Alene

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Super Hero

      When my brothers and I were young we had super powers.  Don had x-ray vision and John could shoot bullets out of his fingers.  Of course, both of my brothers were extremely strong and could fly, too.  
     I was fairly certain that given a cape and a sparkly tiara that I could talk to animals and save the world all before Mom called us in for dinner.  We were all going to be famous, for more than fifteen minutes, because we had done something wonderful.  Nothing could stand in our way.  But then much to our surprise, we got older.  We turned in our capes and tights.  X-ray vision and animal communication were put on the shelf.  We suddenly realized that we couldn’t actually fly.    We went from being able to run faster than a speeding bullet, being more powerful than a speeding locomotive and being able to leap tall buildings in a single bound to being rather ordinary, average, people.  
     Although, I’ve become Wonder Woman.  I wonder where I left my keys.  I wonder where I left my glasses.  I wonder where, I put my purse.  I wonder how we became ordinary and average.
     But God uses ordinary, average people to do extra-ordinary things through His grace and power.  As you look through the pages of your Bible you will see ordinary, humble, and sometimes even foolish people become heroes.  Noah saved his family and the animals from the coming flood.  Abraham fathered a mighty nation.  Moses didn’t become a hero until after he tended his father-in-laws flocks in the back of beyond.  David slew Goliath.  Gideon hiding on the threshing floor became a mighty warrior.  Peter became a rock.    
     Jesus did not come to earth to save people who are already super heroes.  He came to save the lost and afflicted.  He came to rescue those of us who need a saviour.  He came to pay our ransom.  He came to grant our pardon.  He came out of love to be with us.
     And then, because of our relationship with Jesus, we become sons and daughters of the most high God.   Exceptionally ordinary people. He gives us the power of the Holy Spirit and the authority to do great things.  He makes us super heroes capable of changing the world through prayer and action in His Name. He gives us a word on our lips and a testimony to share.  He tells us to go.
1 Corinthians 1:26-30
 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast ... you are in Christ Jesus, ... our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
     When we have been saved by His grace, the Hero lies within.
Linking to Serenity Now Weekend Bloggy Reading

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Project 52: Self Portrait

     I love to take pictures.  I do not love to be in pictures.  So I approached this week’s photo challenge with more than a little trepidation.   This is what I came up with.  I  have to admit though that I considered just posting the picture below.
     My son, Anthony, was given the art assignment to draw a self portrait about using one of your senses.  Anthony chose to draw his expression when he encounters a particularly noxious odor.  The black marks under his nose that look like a mustache are actually the words "Sniff! Sniff!"  I loved this picture so much that I framed it for his room. 

      I really don't like to be in pictures.  A few years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer I realized that there were very few pictures of me for my children to have if things did not go as we hoped.  I decided that I need to allow myself to be photographed.  It isn't about me.  It's about my family and those who love me.  Patty snapped this picture when my husband and I were on our way to a wedding.  She did a great job.  I felt the blurry picture of myself above was a little bit of a cheat to the people who are sharing this photo project with me. 

     Our identity is based on God's love for us.
     "But now, this is what the LORD says - he who created you... he who formed you... Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior... you are precious and honored in my sight, and ... I love you... Do not be afraid, for I am with you." Isaiah 43:1-6

Monday, January 23, 2012

Snow Days!

     Job 38:22  asks  “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow ?.......”  
     Children and teachers are certain that snow is a treasure.  Do you remember dreaming of snow days when you were a kid?  My brothers and I would wake up earlier than our usual alarm clock time to listen to the radio.  We twirled the dial frantically until we heard someone calling out the list of delays and cancellations.  We waited breathless with anticipation for them to call the name of our school district.  
     As a teacher, I still hope for snow days.  Except now I am usually jarred awake by the ringing of the phone next to my head.  Hopefully it will ring twice.  Once for my work and once for my home district.  It is always harder for me to go to school when I know that my children have the day off.
        God spreads snow like a white fleece  Psalm 147:16 
     With the exception of the snowfall in October, we haven’t had much snow.  Last year at this time, we had so much snow that I sent our Pastor this picture that I snapped outside a local church.  
    It says:  Whoever is praying for snow please stop.
     But snow is beauty with a purpose.  The winter snows are the storehouse of the water for spring and summer growth.   Like the snowflakes that God sends from heaven, we know that God also has a purpose for each of us.  The water of the Holy Spirit that we receive during the bleak winter days of our lives bless us in the other happier seasons of our life.   
 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Psa 51:7
     Snow cleans the air.  The ice crystals of snow form around tiny impurities,like a piece of dirt or ash, in the atmosphere.  As the snow flake drifts to earth, it takes the dirt with it washing the sky.  Just think, God wants to wash us, and clean us to the point that we are whiter than snow!
     God gave each snowflake a unique and different shape.  If you were to look under a microscope, you could see snowflakes shaped like needles, stars, trees, and even fishbones.  And yet no two snowflakes are exactly the same.  God gave each one its own identity.  
     Like each snow flake, God has designed us to be special and valuable.  We have a creator that knew us before we were formed and who knit us together in the secret places to be exactly who we are. Of the billions of people upon the earth now, and those who came before, and those who have yet to be born, there is not, nor ever has been, two people exactly alike.  People have similarities but we each have distinct characteristics that separate us and define us.  Even identical twins, who share the same genetic make-up, have differences.
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:10-11

     When you see the beautiful fresh snow outside, remember that our God provides for us, gives our life purpose, and washes us clean from sin.  Would you make that your prayer today?  Let it snow in my life.  Wash my sins away.  Thank you for providing for me.  Help me to fulfill your purpose.
     Do you love snow?
Linking to Proverbs 31.
I'm not sure why the spacing in this post is off.  My attempts to fix it have been futile.  Thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Project 52: I Have a Dream

     Our daughter, Patty has a dream of becoming a pastry chef.  She is a junior in high school and currently taking the Culinary Arts Program at the local BOCES.   Patty enjoys baking cake and cookies.  The rest of us reap the benefits, and the calories, from her endeavors.   Patty baked peanut butter cookies for her brother to take with him in the car as he heads back to college.  Isn't she sweet?    
     Patty and I went to see the master baker and cake decorator, Buddy Valestro of the show Cake Boss, when he was on tour near us.  We had a wonderful time.  Buddy shared of his love for family and baking.  He called people of all ages out of the audience to decorate cupcakes.  In good fun, Buddy asked the children if their moms were as good as him.   All of them said, "No!"  Patty and I laughed, completely delighted at the attempts, some good, some not so good, at cupcake decoration.  
     Patty and I had so much fun at the Cake Boss Show that we took a ride to Hoboken, New Jersey to visit Carlo's Bakery.  Here is part of the line that stretched two blocks.  Three hours of anticipation before we even got in the door.  
     When we crossed the street we were given a ticket to get into the Promised Land Carlo's Bake Shop.  There was a "Help Wanted" sign in the window.  Too bad we don't live in Hoboken.
     Buddy's sister, Mary, made an appearance.  She was sweet and friendly and very self conscious of all the  pictures being taken of her.   Doesn't she look like a movie star?
     Some of the beautiful cakes that were in the display case.
     Patty happily holding the cake that we took home.  A rich reward for our day in Hoboken.
     Cakes are wonderful things.  They are points of connection.  At birthdays they say, "I am so happy for you."  At holidays or special events they are photographed almost as much as the people involved.  Cakes are simple or elaborate declarations of love.  
     Buddy called using a box mix to make a cake a "Cheat!"  I confess I am something of a cheater.  Patty on the other hand is not.  It amazes me how individually the ingredients that go into a cake are unappealing and even disgusting to eat.  Who wants to drink oil or eat a raw egg?  But when mixed together and heated at the right temperature they become a delicious wonderful confection!
     There are times when we wonder why God brings raw eggs into our life.  We're not sure why God has us go through bad or difficult times.  But God knows the plans He has for us and when He puts things together He works it for good.  We just have to trust Him to make something wonderful out of the ingredients of our life - even if they come from a box sometimes.
     God is crazy about each of us.  He sends us flowers every spring and a sunrise each morning.  Whenever we talk, He listens.  He gives us dreams to dream.  Like a cake baking in an oven, His sweet aroma fills our hearts and homes with love.  
"...for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." Psalm 107:9
     I hope that your day is a piece of cake.

Linking to:  My3boybarians

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stop for One Tuesday: Compassion International

And of some have compassion, making a difference.  Jude 1:22
     About six years ago a guest speaker came to our church.  I confess that I have forgotten the speaker entirely.  I do not know if it was a man or a woman.  I couldn’t even tell you what they talked about.  But I can say confidently that this unknown person made a lasting impact on several lives that day.  
      Our guest speaker carried a bundle of information packets for children to sponsor through Compassion International.  The packets were placed at a table at the back of the church.  After the service people who wanted to sponsor a child looked at the faces of the children.  I waited until only a few were left on the table.  I wanted to sponsor a child that for one reason or another had been left.  My son Anthony asked if he could chose.  He quickly handed me a packet for a little boy in Indonesia named Jimi.  Anthony pointed out that Jimi was the same age as his younger brother and had a name similar to an older brother.  Perfect.  Jimi’s picture was on the front.  He clearly wore his best clothes, a little denim outfit several sizes too large.  Jimi had enormous brown eyes.  He was just five years old.  We signed up.  I placed Jimi’s picture in a small frame on the window sill by the kitchen sink to remind me to pray for him and his family regularly.  I sent Jimi a few notes and a picture of my family.
      Soon a year had passed and I received a new picture of Jimi.   He still wore the little denim outfit.  It had faded somewhat from washing.  It was not quite as big on him.  Jimi and his mother began to call me “Mama Donna.”  His father sent me a small carving that he had made.  I was touched that he had taken the time to create something for me.  I wrote a thank you note and moved Jimi’s picture to my desk.  Jimi was no longer a strangers child a world away.  He was a child that I knew and cared for.  Sponsoring Jimi had become personal.
     Over the years, letters of appreciation continue to come from Indonesia.  He and his family are so grateful for every little thing.  Jimi blesses me with his kind notes and drawings.  I enjoy learning about his life.  Jimi plays soccer.  He likes school.  He has a new baby brother.  Jimi does not like to have his blood drawn for medical testing (who does?).  He does chores and helps his father.  He has had colds and illness.  He likes to play.  Jimi prays for me.
     In turn,  I write Jimi small notes of encouragement.  I send him stickers and coloring pages.  I give a little extra for a birthday and Christmas gift.  But in reality, this is so little.  I give out of my excess.  I am more like the Pharisee than the poor widow.  And yet in the hand of our Mighty God little becomes much.  Through our contribution, Jimi receives food, medical care, clean water, educational opportunities, and the opportunity to hear and learn about Jesus.
     Would you consider sponsoring a child through Compassion?
     I have been richly blessed because one Sunday morning I stopped for one.
Linking to:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Anniversary, 32 Years

     On January 12, my husband Pat and I celebrated our thirty second wedding anniversary.  And absolutely, yes, I would marry him all over again.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  The day was sunny, but cold and windy.  The church was filled with poinsettias and candles.  We were both wobbly-kneed and, looking back, so very young.  I stood face blurred beneath my veil, breathless with wonder and anticipation and pledged to love Pat forever.  Pat, no less nervous, promised me forever in return.
     We didn’t know what life would bring us.  We just knew that we wanted to live it together.  
     Since saying, “I do,” Pat and I have been blessed with quite a lot - 5 sons, 1 daughter, a daughter-in-law, a dog and a turtle, a house, a bunch of furniture, and a garage filled with everything but a car.  It takes an effort to build a life together, and while most of these things are just things, they stand as evidence of time and energy thoughtfully invested.  Of two individuals becoming one cemented together with happiness, loss, and murmured prayers.
      Thirty-two years ago we had no idea what the everyday details of our life would be.  We could not foresee the habits of courtesy, the words of blessing, or not, that would be spoken daily.  We did not know the schedules we would keep or how those days would become years and then decades.  Getting married is such a great leap of faith.
     Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.  Pat knows and understands my idiosyncrasies.  And I understand his, which are far less, just ask my children.  When Pat and I first married, I discovered that he was one of those people who roll the tube of toothpaste up from the bottom. I am more of a grab and squeeze kind of girl. And then imagine my surprise the first time I realized, oh-my-goodness, Pat turns his socks inside out when he takes them off!  Let me share:  Life is full of toothpaste tubes  and rolled up socks- opportunities to get annoyed with each other.   Way back then it certainly seemed ridiculous that I would bicker with my beloved husband about socks and toothpaste.  Eventually you make the decision to find joy in the everydayness (is that a word?) of the marriage that you leapt into so happily.  You stop looking for reasons to be annoyed and focus on that wonderful person you chose to marry.  
     Pat and I have seen each other in traffic, sick, angry, in mourning, and in prayer.  I know how Pat will react to a stuffed up toilet and a kayak trip down Wappingers Creek at flood stage.  He has seen me cry over a kitchen covered in red sugar Kool-aide powder, dumped cereal, and trails of food items from an early morning breakfast run by a child old enough to know better.  Pat has planned camping vacations, built fires, and put chemicals in a pool that he does not swim in.  Pat starts my car on cold mornings so that it will be warm.  He loves our children.
      Older couples will often remark that they somehow love their spouse more these 25, 35, 50 years later, than they did when they first married.  As a newlywed, I always loved to hear that, but was pretty sure it would not apply to me.  I already was so in love with Pat I did not think it possible to love him more.  
      And I am amazed because I really do love him more than I ever dreamed thirty-two years ago when I said, “I do.”    “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;  then we  shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13: 12  One day not so long from now, Pat and I will stand wrinkled hand in wrinkled hand.  We will look back at our life.  A life based on faith in the God who brought us together.  We will see our love story played out in all its chapters.  On that day, God will reach down gently to me and say,  “Do you see Me?  Do you see Me in the minutes, hours, days, and years?”
     And on that day, I will answer breathless with wonder and anticipation, “I do, Lord.  Oh, yes, I do.”

Linking to: Proverbs 31 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Project 52: Made With Love

           On January 12 my husband, Pat, and I were married 32 years.    I would marry the man all over again.  This photo was inspired by this engagement photo I saw on Pinterest.  I love it.
You can read about our anniversary here.
Linked to:  my3boybarians.com

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Stop For One Tuesday: A Cross In My Name

     Have you ever been stopped in your path by God?  That happened to me several years ago when my daughter Patty was just four.  God taught me many lessons during that time.
      My delightful daughter was at that time very busy.  She loved to sing little songs to herself and chattered like a bird.  One afternoon I learned never to leave her alone with her baby brother, Anthony, and in the vicinity of big brothers permanent Sharpie Marker.  When I returned to the room moments later she had drawn whiskers across Anthony’s chubby cheeks and an eyebrow on his forehead.  “Patricia Margaret, what happened?”  My children know they are in TROUBLE when I use their full name.  With an angelic look on her face, Patty assured me, “He did it.”  Did I mention it was a permanent marker?
     That same day, Patty cooked in her play kitchen with baby powder.  There was powder in her pots, pans, and even in the pretend refrigerator.   We vacuumed and restored her kitchen together. 
     Patty and I were in the car when God blocked my path.  Patty was talking away in her car seat.  I was truthfully only half paying attention to her.  I was thinking of the things I had to do when we arrived at home.  A huge truck was sitting sideways across the back road that I was on making a delivery to a home.  G.O.D. was written in huge letters on the side of the truck.  G.O.D. was the initials for Guaranteed Overnight Delivery.  GOD had literally stopped me in my tracks.  I thought with a laugh, “Well God.  You have my attention.”  That was when Patty piped up from the back seat, “Hey, Mom.  Do you know that I have a cross in my name?”  She had noticed the “t” in Patricia written on one of her nursery papers.
     Patty repeated herself, “I have a cross in my name, Mom.  Do you have a cross in yours?”
     Doesn’t God have a great sense of humor?  One of the most important questions we must ask ourselves from the mouth of a four year old.

But now, this is what the Lord says,
He who created you, He who formed you.  
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; 
I have summoned you by name; 
You are mine.  
When you pass through the waters, 
I will be with you; 
And when you pass through the rivers, 
They will not sweep over you.  
When you walk through the fire, 
You will not be burned; 
The flames will not set you ablaze, 
For I am the Lord, your God, 
The Holy one of Israel, 
Your Savior.  Isaiah 43
     Is there a cross in your name?

Linking with:  Stop For One Tuesday

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Prayer Box

 "Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still." E.M. Bounds
      I don’t know about you, but I find it easy to pray for me.  I let God know of my needs all day long.  I whisper, “God bless my children and my husband.  God help me find a parking spot.  God bless this meal as I prepare it.”  As the day goes on I can give God a pretty extensive “To Do” list.     And while God is interested in the little things that go on in our lives, those kind of prayers are not really helping to develop my relationship with Him.
     Prayer is practicing being in the very presence of God.  It is coming to Him with our praise, our needs, our deepest longings.  It’s abandoning our pride and sharing from our heart.  We come to Our Father as humble supplicants admitting our need and our dependence.  Prayer is casting ourselves into the gracious arms of our loving Savior.
     Our church hosts a prayer chain for urgent needs within the church family and for those we love.  When I received an emailed prayer request I would stop and lift the need in prayer.  Then as it came to mind in the next day or so I would place it before God.  But my mind is not always like a steel trap, if you know what I mean.  I wanted a way to remind myself to pray specifically for the needs brought to my attention.  I decided to make a frame-turned-dry-erase-board.  My inspiration piece can be found here.  
     I was pretty sure I had an extra frame in my closet.  When I looked I found a  Memory Box frame.  It had been there so long that I had forgotten what I bought it for.  Remember when I said steel trap?  And don't think that it escaped me that it was a Memory Box frame.  The Memory Frame worked even better for me.  I pinned in a piece of card stock on which I wrote “Pray.”  I added a cross I had picked up at the dollar store and hung my new Prayer Box up in my laundry area.  I spend a lot of time in the laundry area.  Here is my finished piece. 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7
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