Tag Archives: memories

Beautiful and Encouraging Words Just When You Need Them

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Beautiful and Encouraging Words Just When You Need Them

Enjoy the many beautiful words from ~Ann VosKamp with a little sprinkle here and there from my small view.

So just in case you have had a hard day…. because we all do every now and then, please dive in and give thanks for the timely words to follow.

And for our beloved MRO Ladies…… It brings my heart such joy to watch you quietly and significantly caring for your families in the daily and so often unseen. Yet your story is being written into the hearts and lives of every life you touch. You need to know how amazing those seemingly unimportant parts are and just how BIG things are to our God. #keepshining #keepthefaith 


“Have you been wondering, waiting and have doubt that the “Big Dream” you have been dreaming of and have prayed for will happen? Or at least should have by now? 

Maybe you await the peace and whole “Big Purpose” for why you are here to manifest itself in real time. That the awkward waiting would be gone and that you’d finally see that your life has made a real difference, you’d made a real mark, and that you really matter.
The real truth is….. You don’t have to worry: 

We all get to make one unforgettable mark. And every day, with every word, we get to decide: Do we mar the world, or mark the world?

Why in the world do we seem to disdain the small? It’s always the smallest strokes that add up to the greatest masterpieces.

Because the thing really is: Do we ever really know which mark we make — that will matter the most? The extraordinary things happen nowhere else but in the everyday and today can always be the beginning:
That card you signed and sealed and put in the mail, the way you smiled and nodded to the white-crowned woman bent over the still-green bananas, the way you dug around in the dirt and and left that seed or that gift of the knees and that prayer whispered for a stranger or that glass of water you handed to someone and winked because you just knew — 

You’ve got to remember: we don’t know when and how we are leaving the greatest marks on the world. It ALL matters.
Believe it: 

Every tremor of kindness might erupt in a miracle on the other side of the world.
And the only way to ever leave beauty marks on the world is with bits of yourself — Things of realest beauty don’t bring us glory — but Him glory.

Just For Today — take these words, words of Dag Hammarskjold, Secretary-General of the United Nations, words that you can take to the bank, take to eternity: 
“It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for … the masses.”
Christ left the ninety-nine for the one.
Where you are, with that one child, that one street, that one call, it is a noble, Christ-called thing. It only takes one person to change the world — and one individual, one soul, can be all your world.

Really, beautiful You: The most exquisite marks anyone makes with their life — are the marks done in secret. The mark that no one — but One — will ever see.

And tell yourself this when you feel forgotten and invisible and unimportant: 
But the wise are the hidden who hold out for heaven — and the applause that comes from God. This is to choose the far greater.
I know you’re brave … and you’re scared. Because you keep doing big things that seems so small and you wonder where all this is really going and you only get one life here —

And though you may get weary, you do hard things and you keep getting out of bed and this is always the hardest part — and you keep believing that Christ didn’t leave this world until He showed us His scars — and He won’t ever let you leave this world until you leave your most beautiful mark. To show Him.
So Just For Today — listen: you’ve got to keep going.

His Kingdom is Upside Down and in Him your part is large and lovely and needed and art.

So go get the milk and take out the trash and throw in the laundry and wave giddy to the neighbors because there is a plan and there is a purpose and there is a God in heaven who didn’t just ink you onto the palm of His hands but etched your name right into Himself with nails and He’s hasn’t just got your number, He’s got your heart.
He sees you, hidden in Him, and you aren’t ever forgotten because God can’t forget those right in Him. Keep doing, keep reaching, keep loving, keeping living fully in the moments we get to small things with great love as we hold onto the Cross.
So really — you’ve got to believe it for your 16 year-old-self and 56 year-old-self and for yourself right now: really, it’s all working out okay.

Because God’s writing your story and He never leaves you alone in your story, and His perfect love absorbs all your fear and His perfect grace carries all your burdens, and your story is a happily ever after because Christ bought your happily ever after so you always know how this story ends.

You’re going to be okay.

Dear beloved- tuck these truths away to read again whenever you need to know it again — and promise me, you’ll laugh and sing and dance a bit today?” Ann VosKamp

Memories of Days Gone By

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Love these ladies, Morgan and Jamie Grace. They lead us to a place deep inside the “old souls” they know so very well. I’ve had the privilege of serving alongside of them on several occasions. I love watching them “make music” and somehow the “old” HAS become “new” again. Grateful! I pray that you are blessed by their spirit as much as I am!

This song takes me back to a special place, so very long ago…..

My family: Godly men and women who lived a heritage of faith in service as pastors, teachers, musicians, people of conviction and the example of service that I hold dear in my heart to this day. My great-grandmother was the organist at church. My grandmother, her daughter, was a gifted pianist. The old, upright piano she purchased used so long ago, now has a treasured place in my home. Often asked when someone visits, “Why two pianos?”  My reply, The newer piano has provided opportunities to grow musically and meet the financial needs of my family. The old one…The black giant? A reminder to myself and my family that the work of God continues through His faithfulness and should be passed on to the next generation. Three generations of us have either learned to play on the black giant or continue to lovingly play her today.

Fond memories of life and lessons learned while spending time on my great-grandparent’s 200 acre farm down a long and winding dirt road with only two other neighbors. Family joy. Simple people. Simply Living…..in the boondocks!

Pictured memories flash through my mind:

A dozen folks eager to eat at the simple wooden table in the kitchen. The children were seated on a long wooden bench made out of a rescued, fallen tree. I would fondly run my hand down the grain of the well-worn “provision”. We prayed. Not just at meals or bedtime. We PRAYED!! We thanked God for His goodness throughout our day, for the abundance of the good food we ate, for the rains that came just when they were needed, for the Lord to hold back the rain at the precise moment necessary for a successful harvest, etc… The farmer truly knows what it is to live by faith!! And the meals that were made from scratch in that kitchen, were amazing and meant for royalty. Well, that’s the way I saw it anyway. Stacks of biscuits, gravy, fried chicken, fresh vegetables, tomatoes, collard and turnip greens, numerous pies for dessert and all that your mind can dream…Manna, cherished nourishment that comes because “Our faithful God rewards faithful hands.” A surrender to work hard.  A quote worth remembering and spoken often by both Larry and Emma Fisher, my great-grandparents, as a reminder when someone may lack gratitude in any of life’s important moments and especially around the dinner table. :-)They knew how to trust God for everything. And I mean EVERY THING!!!

The days were filled with…..

playing and rolling around on the ground with my great-grandfather’s Coonhounds, watching the guys head off to hunt, quietly listening as the ‘coon dogs got farther and farther away, standing under the Muscadine and Scuppernong grape vines~eating the fat grapes sweetened by the rain and sun until we had a tummy ache, family reunions, tobacco barns, tractors, busting watermelons in the field to make sure that the crop was ripe. And when we did get a break from work, on a hot day, running down the road to the neighbor’s house to cut a bamboo pole, and head over to the pond to go fishing. For the children, we hoped we didn’t get “caught” swimming more than being concerned about  “catching” fish to eat.

A distant place and simpler time….

My  great-grandparents were likely considered “poor”. They worked hard but I more remember the good times after dinner at the last shades of light led to the day’s end. We would sit quietly on the porch, in the cool of the evening and I never remember things being anything other than good. Life was good. We hoped for a breeze, as we fanned ourselves. I can always remember moments in the quiet, when out of nowhere, someone would start singing. We made up songs. They were simple songs, silly songs, old hymns in harmony. It was music. Strings, improvised percussion with hands and feet and a quiet hum would fill the air as someone made melody from their soul. The stories were intense and remember when. So much so, that the children including myself sat intently hanging on every word. We laughed at each others jokes, hoped someone might drop by for a visit and the fun we kids would have dancing, singing and playing until it was almost dark. The days would always end in togetherness. We were truly grateful when we lay our heads down at night to say our prayers.

Some days I wonder why my heart and soul has been filled with so many words? Could those quiet moments in the boondocks have given me a bent for speaking and writing words that build hope, encourage, lead others to trust, to dream, to believe, to know His love by hearing, gathering words, telling a story and faithful living and working hard at it? There are days when I care, share, teach, love, give, serve and reach for someone to love like Jesus would and at day’s end, I am out of words. Then the Lord lovingly and quietly reminds me that He, the author of love, life and promise sent His only Son to this earth with the mission of loving, teaching, leading, inspiring and empowering us with the message of hope and to go, to serve, to tell. Our individual relationships with God have been restored and reconciled with God through the life, death and resurrection of His promise of a Savior. Tell others the good news!! And just as Jesus exampled for us; He spoke of His life, His Heavenly Father, His living, His coming, His dying, His resurrection, ascension and the gift of the Holy Spirit, our Helper. We are here to continue the message of hope to all.

Jesus would come in an unassuming way, live simply among ordinary people, not as a king but a servant to all. His story, God’s Word, His message to us still lives on through His children, long after His Ascension and return to His rightful place, at the right hand of God the Father.

Jesus told stories. Parables, short tales that illustrate universal truths, one of the simplest of narratives. Sketching a setting, describing an action and showing the results. It often involved a character facing a moral dilemma or making a questionable decision and then suffering the consequences. Though the meaning of a parable was often not explicitly stated, the meaning was  not usually intended be hidden or secret but on the contrary quite straightforward and obvious.

We all have a story. We share our lives with every relationship we build. Words that tell our life’s journey paint a picture of the where we have come from. In our relationship with Jesus Christ, His story becomes ours and we spread the joy of our beginnings while He is still writing, loving, leading, honoring our days and endings until our days on earth are done. Will our children become followers of Jesus Christ as modeled by our example? Will their lives tell of His goodness, shout praises, pray always, word hard, laugh, love others, serve everyone and live a loving, surrendered life in service to the Lord?

I am grateful for words. For the author and finisher of my faith and the privilege to serve Him with all of my days. Lord find me  faithful. May I be first and foremost about the things of God, wherever I am, serving with all of my heart the story that You have written for me and made my heart to do……

Lord, leave our families, those we love and serve the LIFE’S legacy and the WORDS to keep painting our world with YOUR story.

“…the details of our days do make a difference in our lives… no experience is ever just for drill…
everything can be a springboard for inspiration if we are willing to be open to the goodness of life.”

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Simple Abundance

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out…………The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And He will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. The Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord…………..And the Lord will make you abound in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. The Lord will open to you His good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands.” Deuteronomy 28:1-12a

You Version Christmas Story Tracker

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Christmas Story Tracker

Check out this phone App that will show you where the Christmas Story is being read all around the world. A great family project and reminder to stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas. A beautiful thought that hearts are connected all over the world around the Christmas Story!!

The Birth of Jesus

“At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the
Roman Empire. This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to
their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David,
he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth
in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant. And while they were there,
the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in
strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no  lodging available for them.
The Shepherds and Angels
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly,
an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They
were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that
will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in
Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped
snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others
—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on
earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven the shepherds
said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord
has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby,
lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what
the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but
Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their
flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
Luke 2: 1-20

From the Rising of The Sun….

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“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the Name of the LORD is to be praised.” Psalm 113:3

Sunsets have always brought to life wonder in me. As a young girl, I would lie in the grass and look heavenward. I considered the mysteries of the world, as a curious observer of clouds in action. Every gaze distinguished shapes that stood out to me as uniquely created for me. I would reach my hand as if to touch the images so very far away only to come up short but better for dreaming, enjoying, experiencing and hoping.

Tonight, at Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida keys, I was swept away by the beauty of my surroundings. Inside of me, my heart, resonated the same heart of that little girl long ago with child-like fascination regarding the grandness of the universe and the great things still yet to be explored. Having lived 50 years, I am still growing in wonder and  love with my God. I am still compelled to wander, explore, pray, trust, wait, meditate on the Word, listen, obey and grow in my understanding of my great creator God as He continues to beautifully set in motion His creation for us to enjoy. This brings blessing, honor, pleasure. glory and adoration. A testimony that He is God and there is no other!

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,  and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun. It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat.” Psalm 16:1-6

The sun-s0aked day welcomed scattered clouds, created as a day for us to treasure. Hiking, walking along the beach hand-in-hand learning about the native culture. slipping our toes into the cool waters, experiencing the coastal elements and relishing in the tropical blue waters. Fair weather, balmy winds and beauty were today at every turn in the Florida Keys. We daily cherish quiet moments, relaxed dinners and have fallen in love with the slow, island pace and enjoy exploring every beautiful corner.

Sunsets, beaches and the natural habitat at Bahia Honda State Park in Florida are filled with well-preserved history.  The coastal setting surely provides interaction with an area that is is almost untouched by unnecessary improvements. Its pristine parks meets the needs of any traveler that may happen upon this oasis of protection, preservation and historic reference for future generations.

At this moment words fail me as I try to paint a picture of my encounter with my Lord, my God and my Savior this night. My heart is full. My mission for relaxation is often complicated by not slowing the pace long enough to communicate with my heavenly Father. I am always going, doing, being, serving, working. Today, after several nights of true rest,  I sat in the sand, knowing that I would have communion with the lover of my soul. My heart was expectant and I longed for His embrace. The need for clarity, love, encouragement and intimacy would meet a felt spiritual need.. The Lord taught me so much in the quietness of those moments. As the Lord always does, when we come seeking Him, He will find us. Tonight He painted a picture of Himself in the sky, just for me. He IS the Light of the World!! Gleaning much from simply being in His presence I renewed a vigor for principles for living as He guided me to Biblical moments and knowledge that challenged me to my core  The darkness of my sin, much like the striations of clouds, shades the brilliance of His light.  My heart is grieved for the times that I have hidden the true light that speaks to hearts regarding the gift of salvation, a hope, a future and heavenly award. My a re-committed life to be a vessel worthy of His light and the furtherance of God’s perfect love come to earth with the purpose of rescue, restoration, reconciliation and renewed hearts.

   Peace, joy, love, hope, and help today.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it  under basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew5: 14-16

God painted a new view of my faith journey with Him in a simple sunset…..L.I.G.H.T.

Life

God’s light shines no matter the circumstances. When our lives seem to be falling apart, God leads our way through speaking wisdom and giving LIFE through the power of the Holy Spirit. His commitment to us is sure and steadfast. Like clockwork, the sun rises and falls in the same way. He is trustworthy, sure, immovable

“The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.” John 1:4 NLT

Quote: “I know that life is given us so that we may grow in love. And I believe that God is in me as the sun is in the color and fragrance of the flower, the Light in my darkness, the Voice in my silence.” Helen Keller

Invitation

We have been invited into His family and our faith walk continues with an invitation. Are you waiting for the “silver lining? Have you ever posed this question to God? “When will the sun to start shining again”. God is not done. Darkness has no power over Him!! We must accept His invitation to walk every day that we have breath in the Light of His Love!

For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!” Ephesian 5:8 NLT

Guide

Light is purposeful and directed with meaning. We depend on the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us as we journey. Imagine one small light in pitch blackness. Faith steps out to take the next step for the Lord, His light shines exactly where we need it to for protection and direction.

“You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light.” 2 Samuel 22:29 ESV

Harmony

Light shines in spite of us. Tonight the moon slipped quietly behind the clouds just before descending beyond the horizon. Striations of darkness did not obscure the light but it was not fully seen.  No matter how bright the light of God is in us, the power of the light in my walk and testimony is affected by the darkness that I bring to the relationship. God longs and desires to shine in His fullness in our testimony of faith. When I am walking in harmony with my God He is radiant. When our flesh creeps in, the shadows and darkness affects the outcome of light in our lives. His light shines in darkness still and on darkness.  We are affected in ministry because of frail, sinful selves are seen clearly in light of the Son of God.

Read Proverbs 10 regarding to harmony with God!

“Our faith in Jesus brings us into harmony with God. Accepting Jesus’ vision of life, what it can be and how we should live it, aligns our will with God’s will. As a result of this harmony we work for the same goal that God works for.” Rootings Blog

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving brings hope. While we are all flawed, our testimony of faith will be known by the fruit of our labor. What are we doing for the kingdom? How is He being blessed? Honored? Adored? Refreshed? And how does in shine in our lives. Each one of us uniquely created by God o stand as a correct interpretation of who God is. And what is our message? Jesus loves you without condition, we are partakers in grace and salvation as it is offered to us through the plan of God and sacrifice of His Son.

 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14

GO LIGHT YOUR WORLD!!

“Sunrise, sunset Sunrise, sunset Swiftly fly the years. One season following another. Laden with happiness and tears.” Fiddler On The Roof

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Memory Making Idea for any gathering

What a wonderful way to create a living memorial of the event you are celebrating. Weddings, birthdays, graduation, friendship…..Take the time to celebrate with the purpose of remembrance.

Simple Life Heartenings Pin Of The Day

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Mason Jar Love! 50 Fabulous Ideas To Inspire

Simple Life Heartenings Pin Of The Day

Take time to slow life’s pace. Prepare in every moment to create an atmosphere for memory making. Every party is a beautiful chance to celebrate life and living.