How to Have A Steady Faith this Advent Season

Hey!

This morning, I’m posting the second installment of Sweeter Than Honey Ministry‘s Advent series on the topic of faith.  Won’t you come join in the discussion?   Read more

Blessings,

Mimi

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  Hebrews 11:1 NIV Bible

Friday Fun #6

Hey!

The temperature outside is frigid.  I would love to sit all bundled up under a blanket reading but today is a writing day.  I’m making progress on my bible study but the tempo is slow.

  • Beautiful images of our world found here on Distractify.   I couldn’t pick a favorite.  They’re all so stunning.
  • Do you dream of traveling the world to see those beautiful sites in the above link?  How much fun would it be to go around the world meeting and filming a new person each day?  This pair of filmmakers are doing just that. Check it out here.
  • Bored with your job?  Would you like to work for a doggie daycare and be the puppy lifeguard on duty?  Puppy Pool Party here.

     

    A quote from Isak Dinesen:

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.” 

 Autumn on the beachbeach in the fall 2

Blessings,

Mimi

“You are the salt of the earth…”  Matthew 5:13

Some secrets are worth sharing

luna mothHey!

Some secrets are worth sharing.  I’ve been keeping one relatively quiet until recently.  No reason.  The only possible one is I’ve been a hermit and therefore, have not seen anyone.  I’ve been writing a bible study.  I’ve written several but I’ve never done a study for publication. This time is different.

I’ve taught bible study at church for almost 20 years.  This fall, I decided not to teach and focus on writing.  Research came first and I did most of it during the spring and summer.  Unknowingly, my Sunday school class was the beneficiary of some of my research and study.  But my words and the actual writing and formatting started in September.

My pastor has been mentoring and encouraging me.  He says of my endless draft tweaking, ” you have to let it go at some point and trust God.”  I keep going in and out of writer’s block, writer’s frustration, writer’s depression, writer’s procrastination, and writer’s envy.  Of the last one, I kept seeing my thoughts on other writers’ pages or my ideas being implemented by another.  Pastor Steve says, “God uses many people with similar messages to get His purpose across.”  I’m believing that to be the case.

I made up a writing schedule complete with target dates.  Pie in the sky.  I didn’t hit my targets but the beauty of it is that I’m the one who set the schedule and I’m totally flexible to continue pushing at the current pace.  I’m hopeful for a January date but I’ve got to complete the draft.  The process and journey with God is far more important than an end date.

Spare writing moments with a busy family are a challenge.  Uninterrupted time a luxury.  That has been my greatest challenge.  I’ve been so thankful for my daughter to keep this blog afloat by writing a post here and there as well as cook meals to give me more time.  I’ll do my best to have a post or 2 each week but I’m not promising.  This season of my life is full and not all the juggled balls can stay up in the air.  I’m going out on a limb and asking you to be patient with the possibility of meaningless blog posts on the horizon in order to keep the site afloat.

I also ask for prayer for this study’s fruition.  I believe that God led me to this particular topic and has a purpose for it.  As the study continues to unfold, I’ll share more details.

Blessings,

Mimi

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV Bible

Tending the Garden,Tending the Soul

Hey!

I’ve done a little garden tending this week.  The birds were chirping, the wind whispered in the trees as I pulled up weeds, raked, and moved dirt around with my hands. I like this task of caring and tending to the garden.  My mind wanders and begins to soul tend, too.

fleabaneI found weeds blossoming. Pretty, but a nuisance.  I work diligently to keep them away.  Sometimes, poison is required.

I have weeds deep in my soul.  I fool myself into thinking they’re pretty.   As I yanked and pulled those weeds in my garden, the roots held firm into the ground while they broke easily at the base of the stem.  I know that I need a spade to get the remainders out.  Like those in my soul, I know they’re going to require some muscle to remove and if I don’t take care of them, they’ll once again produce and choke out the good I want.

With a little effort and nurturing, the blossoming begins.

clematis 2I removed debris and the suffocating weeds so the plant had the space to freely thrive and bloom.  I tilled at things buried deep inside as I puttered about the yard while persuading attributes of joy, hope, kindness and love to sow in their space within me to bloom like my garden: fresh, clean, and well-tended.

clematisHow does your garden grow?

Blessings,

Mimi

“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”  Isaiah 58:11 NIV Bible

The First Signs

Hey!

Tiny nubs of green slowly appear heralding the arrival of the earth’s cycle to warmer times. The ascent of life, long laying dormant, is coaxed out of its slumber into light. The time for renewal has come.

forsythia bush

Spring’s arrival comes in the midst of turbulent weather: strong thunderstorms, erratic temperature changes that dramatically swing up and down and winds that can blow a house down.  These small sprigs of life blossom out of this difficulty, vibrant and brightly hued.  Delicate flowers born out of adversity; not the hardier variety of later days; those hot, humid days of summer.

This time of year is my favorite for nature watching.  I’m encouraged by the first glimpses of the earth waking up.  The evidence of hope revealing itself as the splendors of God are brought out of the dark and into the light. Nature rejoicing.

forsythia blossom

I’ve experienced the winter seasons of hardship, heartache, the numbing coldness of hurt, times of lifelessness when hope was only a figment.  Then, a tiny nub of possibility begins and I’m reinvigorated with the promise of rebirth and awakened to that promise of possibility to come once again.

What tiny nub is blooming in your life?

Blessings,

Mimi

“For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”  Romans 8:20,21 NIV Bible

Christmas Tree 2013

Hey!

Curious what I decided to do with my ornaments I made “new” last week?  I used them to decorate a very special tree I planned this year.  If you’d like to see the post from last week about how to turn old ornaments into clear glass, look here.

This year, I decided to have a “blessing tree”.

christmas tree 2013 picEach ornament has a written blessing inside.  I added a little bit of salt to each ornament which is supposed to look a little like snow.  I’ve had everyone in the family write their blessings.

blessing ornament closeup picThis year, I went with an unconventional wrapping paper.  I thought the melon color was fun and I loved the pattern but what I really loved was the price tag: 89 cents a roll from Target.  The bows are made from left over tulle from my daughter’s wedding.  Now, if only, the cats will leave them alone …

presents pic I wanted this year to be focused more on things money can’t buy.  I think that’s why blessings came to mind.

closeup christmas tree 2013 pic The grand total for this year’s tree decorations and wrappings: Less than $20.  But, the blessing of the memories will be priceless.

Here’s the link to my tree from last year.

Are you almost ready for the holidays?

Blessings,

Mimi

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.”  Jeremiah 17:7,8a  NIV Bible

The Need for Thanksgiving

Hey!

Every year, merchants rush to fill their aisles with holiday trinkets hoping to persuade us as consumers to immediately leapfrog from Halloween into Christmas.  We enter the hustle and bustle to the ring of charity bells, sale circulars cramming our mailboxes and in-boxes and the pulsing beat of a countdown signaled on signs and newspapers everywhere.  Worry lines, fret faces and stress marks steadily begin to appear on our countenance heralding the birth of the holiday season.

We need Thanksgiving.

Some have taken drastic measures to try and control the onslaught.  Out come the holiday boxes, the tree for trimming and various ephemera after the last ‘trick or treat’ has been said and before the gobble of a turkey can be heard.  Their hope is avoidance to everything that would cause a seasonal nervous breakdown and consequently, be released to enjoy the festivities more. To an outsider’s view, they appear to have adopted the phrase,”if you can’t beat them, join them.”

We need Thanksgiving.

As holidays go, Thanksgiving is simple and rather dull in comparison to the other two.  No hoopla.  Children aren’t giddy with excitement staying up all hours of the night in anticipation of getting the wishbone.  But they will remember, long after they’ve forgotten the toy they had to have or the costume they wore when they were 10, the time shared around the Thanksgiving table and the feeling of their hearts and bellies overflowing with warmth and closeness of family.  They will recall their mother’s famous pie, their aunt’s out of this world casserole or their grandfather’s stories repeated over and over again.  They will remember the tangible expression of love.

We need Thanksgiving.

We need the pause before Grace comes.  A time to prepare our hearts and to begin our advent of remembrance and worship.  We need a time for shared communion with family and friends to give an account of God’s blessings and abundance in our lives.  Leap frogging over robs us of this gift.  Perhaps, we even have considered this holiday a nuisance, an inconvenience or maybe a drudgery to have to endure another day with our difficult company or the exhaustive preparation of the meal.  Thanksgiving is not just the pie, turkey and dressing but an opportunity for us to see God’s reflection in the faces of our loved ones as we recount His goodness to us throughout the year.

We need Thanksgiving.

This passing over Thanksgiving reflects how we sometimes approach God.  Takers by nature, we expect the abundance to pour from God often forgetting to thank the One from whom they came.  We bask in His blessings and thrive on the mountaintop of His goodness yet when we come to the in between times, the quiet times, we feel God is not there.  His working for us appears to be missing.  In these moments, we can find ourselves craving the Halloween and Christmas sugar highs of God.  Our journey with Him can’t be sustained on those moments alone. God wouldn’t allow it.  He knows the quiet, in between times are when we grow and thrive. He knows our very souls need the nourishment of pausing and giving thanks.

We need Thanksgiving.

Blessings,

Mimi

“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.  Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.  Know that the LORD is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name;. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”  Psalm 100 NIV Bible