Meditations of my Heart

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Happy and Joyful!


Virginia "disguised" as her Gammie!

Psalm 68:3
But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.

My granddaughter, Virginia Rose, and I share happy and joyful times when we visit with my mother, her Nana, over the recent long weekend.  Aside from the always welcome play dates with Princess when she shows up,


we have fun engaging in simple, but entertaining, activities.

Virginia loves the outdoors, and we are blessed to have I-don't-need-my-coat-in-January weather.  Whether it's finding holly berries or pecans on the ground, it's not long before she is burying them in hopes they will grow in springtime.







Virginia discovers a Frisbee in the room we share, and we spend lots and lots of time throwing it around the spacious yard.





  I'm amazed at how good she's gotten at it, though she did lose it twice in the holly tree by the screened-in porch.  Luckily, I pop it free with a long stick.  You can watch Virginia in action here. 

Now that's what I call high energy!

We also enjoy some quieter moments.  Who doesn't like being pampered with chocolate ice cream?





Or playing a "Frozen" spelling game?





Or endless rounds of Uno?


I neglect to count how many games we played in the time we are there, but I do know Virginia won all but seven.  Her strategies are top notch!

While taking another stroll around the yard, we spy a gorgeous pink camellia blooming behind my mother's garage.





What a delight it is to see such cheerful flowers in winter!  Of course, Virginia has to pluck one to bring to her Nana.


And she insists on drawing the precious bloom.


By day's end, Virginia is so tired, she falls asleep before I can finish reading her a bedtime story.  I kiss her forehead, bid her sweet dreams, praying they will be as happy and joyful as this day has been.

Amen!

Friday, January 20, 2017

All God's Children


Romans 14:10-12
You, then why do you judge your brother or sister?  Or why do you treat them with contempt?  For we will all stand before God's judgment seat.  It is written:  "As surely as I live," says the Lord, "every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God."  So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

Granddaughter, Virginia Rose, my mother and I are gathered at the small dining table enjoying a simple lunch of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, in my opinion, the ultimate in comfort food.  Out of the blue, Virginia pipes up with this observation.  Pointing first to me and then to her great grandmother, she says, "You're my Gammie and you're my Nana, but you're also my sisters."

Mom and I exchange quizzical looks.  "Virginia," I say, not understanding where she is coming from (yes, I can be quite obtuse at times), "Savannah and Alexandra are your sisters, not Nana and Gammie."

Virginia cocks her head to one side, and asks, "Aren't we all God's children?"

"Why, yes, honey, we sure are," I readily confirm.

"Then you're my sisters," she declares.  "We're all sisters and brothers; everyone in the whole world!"

Wow!  You could have knocked me over with the proverbial feather!  I know that I've told Virginia many times before that God is our Heavenly Father and we are His children, but after checking with daughter, Sarah, to see is she has told Virginia about the brother/sister connection, I discover it's a conclusion this sage six-year-old has come to all on her own.

That's HUGE!  (My word for the year)

~

Today marks the inception of a new era in American history as President Trump officially takes the oath of office.  For some of you, this is a day of joy and hope; for others, it may feel like the beginning of the end.

The past election cycle will be remembered, I fear, as one of the most divisive and mean-spirited in recent history.  Tragically, this propelled many Christians into judging their brothers and sisters, and treating them with contempt for their political stance.  And in many instances, the bridges of love and friendship, once so steadfast, burned to the ground.

My hope and prayer as our nation moves forward is this:  May we look past our difference long enough to see the commonality we share.

We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, called to love others in His name.

We are all God's children.

And it's about time we act like it.

After all, if a six-year-old can figure it out, why can't we?

Amen!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Prodigal Princess

Virginia Rose ready for her road trip!

Psalm 21:2
You have granted him his heart's desire and have not withheld the request of his lips.

Our granddaughter, Virginia Rose, is so excited about spending the three-day weekend in Oxford with my mother, her Nana, and me.  It's a long, sometimes tedious, road trip, but we make frequent pit stops, and take our time over lunch at McDonald's, to give us a break.





But as much as she is looking forward to spending time with her Gammie and Nana, Virginia is anxiously hoping that the cat she dubbed Princess will make an encore appearance.  She mentions repeatedly, while we travel, that her heart is set on seeing "her" cat again; and she wants my reassurance.

"Gammie, do you think Princess will know I'm back in Oxford?  Do you think she will visit us like she did last time?"

"I certainly hope so," I tell her, "but I can't promise anything."  Silently, however, I say a prayer about the situation, knowing this is her heart's desire, and I surely don't want her tender heart broken.

We arrive at long last, relieved to be stretching our legs and to hug Nana.  As I unload the car, Virginia is already looking all around for any sign of her beloved Princess.  But the cat is nowhere to be found.  After waiting over an hour or so for the expected visit, Virginia becomes despondent, a rare mood, indeed, for this child who almost always radiates joy.


"I have an idea, Virginia," I say, wanting desperately to cheer her up.  "Let's take a walk down the street and see if we can find Princess.  We never did figure out where she lives, but it has to be close by."

"Let's go, Gammie!" Virginia shouts, all smiles again.

We stroll leisurely up the road, peering into driveways and yards as we walk, hoping for a glimpse of Princess.  That is when we meet up with not one, but two, other cats, one of which seems taken with Virginia.









Virginia enjoys hanging out with the cats for a while, but is soon eager to resume our search for Princess.  After we have walked for another twenty minutes, I tell Virginia it's time to go back to Nana's house.  "Who knows?"  I say.  "Maybe Princess has already turned up there looking for you."

That theory seems to satisfy Virginia for the time being.  Back we head to the house, not really looking for Princess any more.  The moment we set foot on the stone patio in front of the house, we hear a timid meow behind us.  We whirl around.

"Princess!!!"  Virginia exclaims gleefully.

Sure enough.  It's the prodigal returned home.  And oh, what a welcome she gets!











The Lord has granted my granddaughter's heart's desire, and I offer a prayer of thanks.

Amen!

~

Do you have a special memory of a time when God granted your heart's desire?

Friday, January 13, 2017

Happy at Home


Genesis 25:27
The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents.

I'm a home body.  Nothing makes me happier than having an entire day spread before me, Knowing I don't need to leave my comfortable surroundings.  And during the recent snow storm, when we are confined to the house for three days, I'm not surprised to find I'm the only one who doesn't catch the cabin fever bug.

Yes, like Jacob, at home is where I am most content.

And never bored.

There are books and blogs to read (or write), routine chores to execute, and reflective times, sitting on our deck, watching the birds and squirrels at the feeders.  There is ample opportunity for leisurely Bible study, meditation and prayer.

No deadlines.  No have-tos.  No hustle and bustle demands from the outside world.

Quiet.

Peaceful.

Still.

Sometimes I think to myself, Martha, you should get out more.  Maybe do some volunteer work at a food pantry, an animal shelter, Virginia Rose's school.

But I hesitate to commit to anything other than willingly babysitting my grands whenever my daughter needs me, which is oftentimes at the drop of a hat.

I cherish my freedom to choose how I spend my days.  Perhaps that's selfish of me, but the older I get, the more I realize that God means for me to embrace my being, not my doing.

I read many Christian blogs extolling the virtue of being still with God, and advising others to reject getting perpetually caught up in a whirlwind of busyness.  For some of us, depending upon where we are in our life's journey, that is easier said than done.

I am simply grateful to God for allowing me to find my happy place.

My secure place.

At home.

With Him.

~

Do you make time each day to spend quiet moments with God?

As happy as I am at home, I will be leaving Saturday morning with granddaughter, Virginia, on a road trip to visit my mother over the long weekend.  Her computer is not the most reliable, so I might not be able to get to your comments here until I return on Monday.  Please leave your thoughts, though, as I love you input here at Meditations of My Heart, and will respond to you as quickly as I can.

Blessings!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

There's No Business Like Snow Business


Psalm 147:16
He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes.

All last week, we stay tuned in to any change in the news of the winter storm slated to hit the Southeast by Friday night.  The computer models, it appears, swing wildly from one end of the spectrum to the other, leaving meteorologists grasping at straws and changing their predictions as to when the storm will hit, and more critically, how much "white stuff" we'll see or not see when all is said and done.

Nonetheless, we, like all seasoned Southerners facing potentially icy weather, make sure our fridge and pantry are well stocked just in case we are snowed in for any length of time.


The post storm temperatures, predicted to drop into the teens, will freeze any moisture that has accumulated, making our steep driveway impassable.  And who wants to walk to the grocery store in below freezing temps?  Really!

Friday evening arrives at last, and my husband, Danny, and I are expecting, according to the latest forecast, anywhere between two to four inches of snow in our neck of the woods.  Imagine our dismay when the precipitation begins as sleet!  Nothing worse in the South, with all our towering pines with their pliant, vulnerable branches, than an ice storm.  

We are relieved when at last the snow appears.


But we know there is already a sheet of slick and treacherous ice lurking beneath it.

Again, it sleets.  Again, it snows.  And this is the scenery that greets us the next day.










Yes,that's the ice-coated Driveway of Doom!

As folks begin sharing their snow pictures on Facebook, we realize, with not little surprise, that some locations in Georgia got walloped with snow, much more than we got, and others, nary a flake!  Was this storm a hit or miss event, or what?

My daughter, Sarah, and son-in-law, John, live about sixteen miles northeast of us.  Their snowfall, as you can tell from the photos, is much deeper than ours, and provides some chilly entertainment for the grand-girls.


Alexandra with Daddy


Looking a bit confused by the snow and bitter cold


Savannah exploring her new surroundings



And Virginia hamming it up!


And as I ponder this grand diversity of winter precipitation, I think that with all our computer technology, even the experts cannot accurately predict the weather.  Let alone control it.

That's God's business.  He spreads the snow and scatters the frost, however and wherever He wills.

As humans, we can prepare all we want for a storm's outcome.

But what we should prepare ourselves for is to be surprised by God.

Amen!

~

Do you have a favorite snow memory?  Please share in the comments.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Prayer Power!


James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

At my last dental cleaning and check this past December, my dentist, Dr. Lisa, concludes that the hairline cracks in my four front teeth aren't getting any better.  She is worried, as am I, that one could easily chip or break, making capping it that much more difficult.  I make an appointment to have the procedure done the week after Christmas.

And while I know this dental work is necessary, it doesn't make me less anxious about it.  I've had crowns done before, yes; but four teeth at once?  My husband, Danny went through the same experience several years back; he still recalls the intense discomfort he felt the day after, and makes sure I'm prescribed a decent pain killer.

Okay.  So I'll have something to assuage the ache.  But that doesn't go far enough to allay my fears about the entire process.  Even in the joy of our Christmas celebration, I find it almost impossible to take my mind off the impending appointment.

As the day looms, my apprehension grows.  I decide I need something to calm my nerves.

And that something is prayer.

I post my prayer request on Facebook.  The response from my friends?  Overwhelming!  I am so touched by how many are more than happy to pray for me at this worrisome time.

And best of all, their prayers worked!  When I stroll into my dentist's office the next morning, I'm anxious for nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  I feel such an incredible peace about the whole thing.  Eager, even, to simply 'git 'er done!'

Some folks, I'm certain, must have prayed for a speedy recovery, too.  Although I have some soreness once the Novocain wears off that afternoon, the next morning, not a shred of an ache remains!  It's as if I never went through the ordeal in the first place.

So, my friends, when someone asks you to pray for him or her, do it!  The influence and blessing of intercessory prayer cannot be underestimated.

Your prayers are powerful.

Your prayers are effective.

Your prayers are huge!  (My word for 2017)

And I can't thank all of you, who did pray for me, enough.

Amen!

~

Do you have a testimony about the power and effectiveness of intercessory prayer?  Please share in the comments section.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 Is Going To Be . . .


Psalm 92:15 (MSG)
Such witnesses to upright God!  My Mountain, my huge, holy Mountain!

As 2016, winds down, I begin searching for a word to guide me in 2017.  The following are some I consider:  Hope; wait; dwell; lean; faith; trust, and promise.  It's a great list to choose from, but there is one problem.

None of these words choose me.

Frustrated, I share with my husband, Danny, my predicament.  "Don't worry," he assures me.  "Your word will appear all in good time."

"How can you be so sure?"  I ask, despondently.

Danny laughs.  "Because God always comes through," he declares.  "I'm as sure about you finding your word as I am about 2017 being a huge year!"

Can I believe my ears???  "That's it!!!"  I shout ecstatically.  "Huge!  HUGE!  That's my word!"

Because this year, I long to experience my Lord in a huge way.  I want to do everything in the name of my huge God to His huge glory, for He deserves nothing less than my huge devotion.

As I peruse Bible Gateway, using The Message translation and the key word, "huge," I am rewarded by the following inspirational Scriptures, not by any means exhaustive, which I now share with you.  ("Hope," in caps, mine)

Blessed are you who give yourselves over to God, turn your backs on the world's "sure thing," ignore what the world worships; the world's a HUGE stockpile of God wonders and God thoughts.  Nothing and no one comes close to you!  ~Psalm 40:4-5

Generous in love - God, give grace!  HUGE in mercy - wipe out my bad records.  Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry.  I know how bad I've been; my sins are staring me down.  ~Psalm 51:1-3

You who sit down in the High God's presence, spend the night in Shaddai's shadow, say this:  "God, you're my refuge.  I trust in you and I'm safe!"  That's right.  He rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards.  His HUGE outstretched arms protect you - under them you're perfectly safe; his arms fend of harm.  ~Psalm 91:1-4

"What a HUGE harvest!"  he said to his disciples.  "How few workers!  On your knees and pray for harvest hands!"  ~Matthew 9:38

"God's kingdom is like a pine nut that a farmer plants.  It is quite small as seeds go, but in the course of years it grows in to a HUGE pine tree, and eagles build nests in it."  ~Matthew 13:31-32

But Jesus was matter-of-fact:  "Yes - and if you embrace this kingdom life and don't doubt God, you'll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over HUGE obstacles."  ~Matthew 21:21

At once the angel was joined by a HUGE angelic choir singing God's praises:  Glory to God in the heavenly heights!  Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.  ~Luke 2:13-14

Aren't these verses amazing?  Yes!  I am thrilled with the word that chose me this year!

Because I believe, with God's help, that 2017 is definitely going to be HUGE!


Have you chosen a guiding word for the year?  Please share in the comments!