Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Clay in His Hands


Isaiah 64:8
Yet you, Lord, are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

Last Friday, I pick up our granddaughter, Virginia Rose, at her bus stop.  Danny, aka Papa, and I are looking forward to having her spend the night with us as we have lots of fun activities planned for that evening and the following day.  Virginia is content just knowing she will be with her Gammie and Papa, but is beside herself with excitement when I inform her she is going to help me make Christmas cookies.

I prepare the dough the day before so it can be adequately chilled and ready for the big roll out.



The dough is hard, and I explain to Virginia that we can only roll out a small portion at a time on the generously floured counter top.





When the appropriate thickness is achieved, Virginia follows my instructions to flour the cookie cutter before plunging it into the dough.  She forgets a few times, but quickly becomes a pro at it.  She is so proud of herself!



And each time we reform the dough to roll it out flat again, I add more of the chilled dough to the mix, gratified to see how the flour tames its stubbornness, making it soft and pliable, easy for small hands to press the cookie cutters into, leaving lovely impressions.

As much as Virginia loves this part of the process, her eyes really light up when the time comes to shake red and green sugar sprinkles on our cookies.  She follows my directives and does a fine job of decorating.







With the cookies finally in the oven, Virginia dashes off to change out of her flour-caked shirt so she can help her Papa finish decorating our tree with "snow" and ornaments.




Racer!

~

The cookie dough, cold and unyielding, reminds me of how the wintry trials and tribulations we endure in this world can harden our hearts, and leave us feeling as rigid and unfeeling as a rock.  That's when we need the hands of the Master Potter, the only one who can transform our stubborn stone into malleable clay.  If we let Him, God can take us in His lovingly floured hands and, piece by piece, roll us out and re-shape us, until we reflect His glorious light and love.

The process may not be painless, the changes might not be sudden, but when we trust in Him, His divine hand will soften the most inflexible of hearts and work miracles in our souls.

~

How is God molding and shaping you into the creation He intends for you to be?

Prayer:  Father, may we all be clay in Your hands as You work to perfect us to do Your will on earth.  Soften our hearts to welcome Your grace and truth.  Make us new creatures to Your honor and glory.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Meditations of My Heart will be on hiatus from now until the New Year.  May each and every one of you have a Merry and Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year filled with love and grace!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Just Tell the Story


Ephesians 3:20
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

It's not the final novel slated for my series, Adventures in The Glade, but it is the last one on the perceivable horizon.  Revelation should be released in plenty of time for Christmas orders, and I hope, find itself tidily wrapped beneath the Christmas tree at many of your homes this holiday season.

I reflect upon this past summer as I wrote frenetically.  Compulsively.  Determinedly.

Joyously.

For I felt God's presence through the Holy Spirit, helping me to accomplish infinitely more than I could ever think or ask.

The endless hours of writing are hours met with eternity.  The present celebrating in the Presence.

How can I describe it?

I'm not going to try.  Because as a writer, I know I owe my inspiration, imagination and word flow to the One who created it all.  How could I possibly explain any part of it?

When His mighty power is at work, who am I to interfere?

I just tell the story.

Use my God-given gift to convey His message.

And before you start thinking I'm someone super-natural or super-special to be able to connect with the Lord in this way, take some time to review, ponder and pray about the gift/gifts with which God has blessed you.

Yes, you!

You have it within you.

Unwrap your gift.  Offer it to God.

He will show you how to use it to His honor and His glory.

For the Lord will always help you to accomplish infinitely more than what you ask or think.

~

What is your special gift from God?

Prayer:  Father, there are so many of Your children suffering because they don't believe they have the unique gifts You have given each one of them.  Help them to realize their gifts, that they can further Your kingdom whenever they share those gifts with others.  May we all see Your mighty power at work within us.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I Lay Myself Before Thee


James 4:6
"God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble."

This past Sunday marks the beginning of Advent, the Christian New Year, occurring an entire month before the world rings in 2016.  It is a time of high expectation as we wait for the coming of Christ Jesus once again; looking forward to both celebrating His birth, and awaiting in faith His coming again in glory for His own.

We honor the Light of the World not only at Sunday service, but also at our evening meals at home.  As the skies darken and winter nights creep closer, the glow of the candlelight fills us with hope, cheer and comfort.  Yes, I know our candles are not the traditional purple and pink, but they match beautifully with the Celtic-designed Advent candle holder I purchase a few years ago.



The reason I chose this particular Advent centerpiece?  Easy!  My ancestral roots drink deeply from my Celtic heritage.  In simply contemplating the twists and turns of the designs, I find myself on another plain of observation and awareness.  It's as if I can see and know at the same time; not needing words, only wonder.

But it is the words lacing the circle of this Advent wreath that draw everyone in the family into what it means to worship the Lord, our God:  "I lay myself before thee as I light this flame."


I lay myself before thee . . .

In this season when we anticipate the arrival of the unrivaled grace offered to us by God, we need to humble ourselves, lay ourselves before Him, as we acknowledge the light soon to return to the world.

We need to recognize our unworthiness, uncleanliness.

Our inability to achieve anything or be anyone on our own without God's help.

We light the candles.

But it's only by God's grace we see the light.

~
How are you observing the season of Advent?

Prayer:  Father, let us humble ourselves before You and Your Son, the Light of the World, as this Advent promises new hope and blessings for our lives.  May Your Holy Spirit fill our hears and minds with the real reason for the season, and keep us ever focused upon Your promises, which we know, will be fulfilled in Your time.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Friday, November 20, 2015

I'm Thankful


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Give thanks in all circumstances . . .

The alarm goes off at the way-too-early time of six o'clock in the morning.  In a fog, I turn it off, grumbling before I recall that this is the day I am going to my granddaughter, Virginia Rose's, kindergarten Thanksgiving Day play.  My inclination to return to the comfy, cozy bed dissolves.  I am up and at 'em, knowing how blessed I am to even have a granddaughter, and to witness her theatrical debut as a . . . turkey???

Oh, what a long drive to her school, with rain spattering my windshield, and the promise of coffee's awakening effects fading fast.  I find myself hoping, under the dismal weather conditions, if the trek is worth it.  Yes, I want to see Virginia every chance I get, but wonder how this Thanksgiving play will pan out.  Will my time and effort reap rewards?

My mind turns to thoughts of gratefulness as I drive the winding back roads, sixteen miles, to her school.  My car, which chugged ominously at me just the other day, is wending its way smoothly once again; it's raining, but it's light and intermittent, no matter what the play is like, I get to see Virginia!

By the time I reach the elementary school, my mood is definitely brighter than the gloom of this drizzly day.  I sit with a congenial group of parents and grandparents, eager for the extravaganza to begin.

I'm thankful.

The children gather on stage behind the curtain; we can see their sneaker feet beneath its edge.  Phone cameras poised and breath baited, we anxiously await what is about to unfold.  The curtains are at long last drawn, and we behold the Pilgrims and Indians of that first Thanksgiving feast, along with the corn (yes, their lines, when cued, were, "Pop,pop!), and of course, the turkeys, replete with targets on their chests.  The costumes are perfect!

I'm thankful.

Different children narrate the story.  At appropriate times, the Pilgrim men shout, "Bang, bang" as they are determined to bag a turkey for the feast.  The Pilgrim women interject a humorous and timely, "Mercy me!"  Indian men shout confidently, "Big and Brave!"  And the Indian women chime after them, "Go, Braves!" as they do the tomahawk chop.  

Songs and recited rhymes replete with hand motions keep this entertaining, yet historically correct, play moving along splendidly.  This Gammie especially loves the dance of the turkeys and their chorus of "Gobble, gobble!"  Virginia struts her stuff!


I'm thankful.

The last song in the play, believe it or not, did not refrain from praising God as the creator of all our blessings, and the One most deserving of thanks.  And this in public school.  Hard to find in these days of darkness . . .

I'm thankful.

I'm grateful.

For all God's innumerable blessings.



~
Are you giving thanks to God in all circumstances?

Prayer:  Father, as Thanksgiving Day draws near, let us all reflect upon the many blessings You give us each and every day, even when trials and tribulations momentarily detour us from the great love and mercy You desire to give us.  Guide our hearts back to You.  Let us acknowledge and cherish all Your wonderful gifts.  May we treasure them and give thanks always for Your innumerable blessings.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Meditations of My Heart will be on hiatus until Tuesday, December 1st, so I can enjoy the Thanksgiving holidays with family and friends.  May God bless your Thanksgiving time, and bring you fresh revelations of what it means to be grateful in all circumstances.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

This is Only a Mountain



Matthew 17:20
He replied, "Because you have so little faith.  Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move.  Nothing is impossible for you."

My husband, Danny, and I are grateful to live in a forest so deep we don't even own a lawn mower.  Our ground cover is moss, beautifully springy and evergreen.  The only yard work in which we engage is in the fall when all those enchanting leaves, which give us generous shade throughout the summer, know it's time to release and descend.

Usually, autumn here in Georgia tends to be drier than wetter.  That means sweeping the decks, the stairs, and blowing off the moss on a regular basis is a fairly easy task.  But when we suffer through the recent torrential rains, observing the leaves falling in swarming hoards upon the sodden ground, our hearts sink.  How will we ever dig out from this mountain of deciduous vegetation threatening to smother our tender moss and annihilate the sanctity of our deck?

How will the leaf blower tackle the soggy mess and not harm the moss hidden beneath its cloak?

We are blessed with a respite from rain for one day's time.  Danny decides to take the challenge, to move the mountain of leaves, wet or not, from the forest floor.



It takes him four hours to accomplish the task, a time unheard of with regards to previous autumn toils.  Danny and I both had doubts that this horrendous mess could be salvaged.

Yet, God reminds us:  This is only a mountain.

We balk, we falter, we question.

We doubt.

But God proves, time after time, that He is in it all, providing the miracles we need even before we ask, if we open the eyes of our hearts to behold them.

Danny and the Lord prevail!



Just as Danny freed the moss from the bondage of the soaking, choking grip of the fallen leaves, the Lord frees us from the bondage of sin and death.  We need only believe that, by His grace, we can move a mountain.

Many mountains.

Because with God, all things are possible.

~
What mountains are standing in your way today?

Prayer:  Father, sometimes I feel my faith is as tiny as a mustard seed.  Life is hard.  It's unpredictable.  Moving mountains seems impossible.  Yet life is filled with Your grace, mercy and love.  May we all trust in Your promise and in Jesus' words that with Him, the mountains will move.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

You can listen to the praise song, "Only a Mountain," here. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

He Has Done It!



Psalm 22:30-31
Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness,
declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it!

When I post the photo of my youngest granddaughter, Alexandra Nancy, on Facebook, I receive, among many beautiful and touching comments, this one from high school friend, Robb:  "Love the smile . . . Our future . . ."

It moves me to tears.

Alexandra is so vulnerable, knowing nothing but surrounding arms of love, basking in the awakening to life as she grows and develops with each passing day.  Her story is one the Lord already knows, and will be one for all of us who love her to discover in time.

Our hearts are filled with promise.

Promise for the future.

But . . . 

In these difficult, trying days, when it seems the world has turned against those who first seek the Lord, the promise can become hard to hold on to.  No matter where we look, despair, depravity, and hopelessness prevail.  As Pastor Wallace warns us in church this past Sunday:  "The world has taken over the church; the church has not taken over the world."

A powerful admonition.

One we need to take to heart.

Because future generations must be told about the Lord and His saving grace; announced with grandeur and celebration, that they would remember.  After all, He has done it for those yet unborn.

And for His children abiding.

Our future?  Believing in God's promises.

Believing in the smile . . .

Remembering always,

God has done it!

~

Will you choose to believe in the smile of God?

Prayer:  Father, let us find the joy You wish us to experience in the smile of a child.  May we realize in that one smile, the gesture of the hope and the promise You have for this world, and continue to spread the Good News of Your saving grace to a world that does not want to hear Your righteous message.  Give us the grace and courage to spread Your Word fearlessly, that a people yet unborn will declare, "He has done it!"  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Think About Such Things


Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.

Living a reflective life is a spiritual practice that adds depth and gratitude to our lives.  Often our busy schedules make it difficult to keep a daily journal but we can find the time to take note of some of the highlights, lessons and joys we experience. ~Jean Wise

I used to write in a journal faithfully.  I haven't done so in over ten years, ever since Danny and I were married.  The journal is replaced by writing novels, starting/maintaining this devotional blog, and jotting down ideas and inspiration in any number of small notebooks cluttering up my already cramped computer desk.

Lately, I have become frustrated with this half-baked method of note keeping.  It serves its purpose in the short term, but provides no consistent, reliable record as to when, why or how I fancied a memorable quote to us in future blogs, or thoughts pertaining to future plots and characters in my books.

Imagine my delight when I discover that my blogging friend, Jean Wise, has created the Monthly Musings Journal.  It is the answer to this disorganized note-taker's prayer!

The journal is designed to be used over a two year period, although by the amount of notes I've already amassed for the month of November, I may have to use four pages for each month of the year!  At the top of each section, there is a space to fill in the month and the year.  Jean provides eight categories with room to write your reflections.  They are:


  • Lessons Learned
  • Good Reads
  • Wise Words to Remember
  • Terrific Tools and Tips
  • Innovative Ideas and Information
  • Joys and Delights (I'm partial to this one!)
  • Memories to Hold and Hopes for Tomorrow
  • Favorite Blog Posts
Aren't these great?  What a wonderful way to organize your thoughts, all in one convenient place.  If you or someone you know could benefit from using this journal format, you can order it here.

And be sure to check out Jean's blog, Healthy Spirituality, which she pens twice a week.  She will be sure to help you think about those good things Paul describes in Philippians 4:8.

I guarantee it!

~

Do you already keep a journal?  Would a tool such as Jean's book be helpful to you?

Prayer:  Father, today we give thanks for all those who inspire us with noble and true thoughts, which help us to keep our focus on You.  May we, too, think on those things You deem worthy, and bless others by our words and acts of kindness along life's pathways.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Note:  I purchased Jean's book voluntarily and decided that it was more than worthy of a review here on Meditations of My Heart.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Fingerprints of God



Psalm 139:13-14
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Our youngest granddaughter, Alexandra Nancy, just turned three months old toward the end of October.  As I treasure the photos my daughter, Sarah, has sent to me, it makes me wonder:  What did Virginia Rose and Savannah Jane look like at that tender age?

To my Picture Directory, I go, hunting for the right folders (and there are so many!) where photos of the older girls can be found.  After a focused search, I hit pay dirt.




Virginia Rose



Savannah Jane



Alexandra Nancy

Wow!  Who would have thought three sisters could look so different from one another?  I stand in awe and amazement at God's endless creativity and blessings.

And as I gaze at their precious faces, I'm reminded of the praise song, Fingerprints of God, by Stephen Curtis Chapman.  Listen here!  These are the lyrics that immediately pop into my head:

I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you.
I can see the fingerprints of God,
And I know it's true.
You're the masterpiece that all creation
Quietly applauds;
And you're covered with
The fingerprints of God.

Yes, I see God's handiwork all over our darling grand-girls.  Each one is a masterpiece in her own right.  Each one unique.  Fearfully and wonderfully made.

And it is with a heart overflowing with love and gratitude, I give thanks and praise to the Father who created them.

~

Wouldn't this world be a better place if we recognized and honored the fingerprints of God in every person we meet?

Prayer:  Father, You have fearfully and wonderfully made each and every one of us.  We are Your children, and we are loved by You.  Let us see Your fingerprints in the faces of all the persons we meet in life, and treat them as the masterpieces they are.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Be Reconciled


Matthew 5:23-24
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar.  First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

'Tis the season for political debate.  The media is rampant with discordant opinions as the presidential candidates from both parties flex their muscles and propose their ideas and visions for a better America to the prospective voters.  For some, this is simply a sideshow at a circus, a mere distraction or nuisance at best.  For others, like me, we truly stay engaged with the entire process, wanting to know the ins and outs of each and every candidate on both sides of the aisle in order to develop a better perspective.

It is at times like this that I am more grateful than ever to live in a country where free speech is still protected by the Constitution.  Yes.  I know.  There are those who consistently try to circumvent our constitutional guarantees, and it makes me wonder if these folks have even read this very document that allows them to rant and rave in all their thunder and glory.

In too many countries, freedom of speech is not allowed, unless your goal is prison or death.  What would these persons do if they suddenly found themselves living in one of these tyrannical pits?  But that is a post for another time . . .

The point I set out to make is based on Matthew's Gospel quoted above.  My family is, to say the least, politically diverse.  We all plan to gather together, as many families do, at Thanksgiving.  After a recent political exchange on Facebook, a heated one at that, I lay down the law:  Freedom of speech is respected, but there will be no political discussions during the Thanksgiving festivities!

My son, Daniel, is in full agreement.  "That's exactly how Grandpa would want it," he tells me.

Yes, my Dad . . . The peacemaker, the reconciler.  Placing his gift before the altar only when his heart was in the right place.  Reminding us always to be respectful of one another's views.  Honoring us by always listening to our concerns privately, offering his gentle guidance, and keeping altercations to a minimum during family gatherings, that our memories would not be tarnished by words better left unspoken.

I miss my father, more than words could ever or will ever express.  And I hope that I carry within me his resolute love for family and dedication to one another no matter how the whimsical winds of political storms may blow.

We are family.  We are blood.  We are Americans.

We are one in the Spirit.

We are one in the Lord.

~
Are you reconciled to your neighbor?

Prayer:  Father, it's so easy for us to get on our high horse and tout our agenda without regard for the opinions and feelings of others.  May we make all our earthly decisions on the basis of Biblical truths, and be reconciled to one another, for Your sake.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Tell It Like It Is


Psalm 15:1-3
Eternal One, who is invited to stay in Your dwelling?  Who is granted passage to Your holy mountain?  Here is the answer:  The one who lives with integrity, does what is right, and speaks honestly with truth from the heart.  The one who doesn't speak evil against others or wrong his neighbor, or slander his friends.

Our granddaughter, Virginia Rose, has the endearing quality of telling it like it is.  Whether the news is good or bad, she consistently reports to her mother what happened during her day at kindergarten.

"Mommy, I was talking when the teacher was reading to the class, so I had to turn in a dollar today."  (They have a play money reward system, and can cash their dollars in for a reward every Friday.)

"Beverly wouldn't stop poking at me on the bus, so I whacked her with my lunch bag.  She started crying, and I felt bad.  I apologized, but I think she's still mad at me."

"Guess what, Mommy?  I have a boyfriend and one day we're going to get married."  (It starts!)

Yep!  Virginia just comes right out with things.  Maybe such fearless honesty comes with a five-year-old's territory.  The cognitive skills aren't yet developed enough to think to tell anything but the truth

But there's also a definite element of trust.  Virginia knows her mother will listen and not judge.  If a situation requires correction, it is done with love and gentleness

Virginia has nothing to fear.

And when I reflect upon what it means to speak honestly with truth from the heart, I think back to times in my own childhood when I lied about something.  It was always, always because I feared, imagined or not, retribution and punishment should the truth come out.  Yes, I admit it, I was a people-pleaser from the get-go and felt strongly that if I didn't keep up my "perfect" facade, no one would love me.

I bought into that lie for way too many years . . .

But when I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life, everything changed.  The knowledge that I was loved as God's child, warts and all, and could trust in His saving grace replaced the who I wanted others to see with the authentic me.

I could live with integrity.

With truth from the heart.

And like Virginia, I can tell it like it is, for I have nothing to fear.

~

Have there been times in your life when you feared telling the truth?

Prayer:  Father, help us to remember Jesus' promise that the truth will set us free (John 8:32).  Let us live fearlessly as we put our faith and trust in You, knowing You love us just as we are.  May our words and actions reflect Your great love to others.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Autumn's Peace



John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

I watch
Leaves falling
Drifting
Color brown
Wanton wind
Bids them down
Down, down
Never again 
To rise
Green and supple
Duty done
They rest
On deck and porch
On forest floor
They rest
In peace
Forever peace
No understanding
Only peace

~

How are you experiencing the peace of God in your life today?

Prayer:  Father, we see the seasons change and we know You change the seasons of our lives.  May we live as those who know Your unsurpassed peace no matter what our ability to understand.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Joy of Cooking and Then Some


Matthew 5:17-18
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

During my most recent stay with my mother, I note there are some ripening bananas on the kitchen island just begging to be transformed into banana bread.  Mom has a plethora of cookbooks, but as I peruse some of them, I'm at a loss as to finding a reliable recipe.  As my husband, Danny, doesn't care for banana bread, it's been years since I've made any.

"Mom," I say, "I'd like to make you some banana bread before I leave, but I can't find a recipe.  Can you look through your cookbooks for one?"

"No problem," says Mom as she retrieves her reliable Joy of Cooking from the shelf.  "I'm sure it's here; it's the one I always used."


She searches the contents and flips through the pages.  "It's right there," Mom confirms within a matter of moments, leaving the cookbook open to the sought-after recipe.  "Now can you heat me up some coffee?"

I do just that, but pause to take a look at the cookbook page.


It sports the evidence of many years of  wear and tear, stains and blemishes.

Much loved.  Much used.  I think I can't go wrong with this one!

But I get a bit discombobulated because I'm trying to bake the bread at the same time as I am nurturing a beef-vegetable soup on the stove.  Mom's oven/kitchen timers don't know the difference from one another, so I'm left to guess the time remaining for the banana bread to be done.

Whew!  Here's hoping I don't burn it!

Much to my surprise and delight, not only does the beef-veggie soup come up to snuff, but the banana bread does, too!



Mom and I indulge in some most satisfactory slices from this, thankfully, successful endeavor.



And I am left to ponder the wisdom of "old" recipes, the oldest of which for our hands to grasp being the Holy Bible.  God's recipes for our lives never age.  His Word is the same today as yesterday, and will remain so for all the tomorrows yet to come.  His ingredients of love, grace, forgiveness, and faithfulness will never end.

God is the Joy in all our lives' cooking, and then some!

~

Do you have a tried and true recipe to share?  Please feel free to post in the comments!

Prayer:  Father, we thank You for the unending and everlasting truth You give us in the Bible.  May Your words simmer and bake in our lives so that we might serve the world the food and nourishment of Your Spirit.  Let us be content in knowing that in Your time, all will be accomplished through Christ Jesus.  It is in His name, we pray.  Amen.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Gifts of the Spirit


1 Corinthians 12:8-11
To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and still to another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

"God gives unique gifts to each of us, Anna," Jim told her.  "We know they are His gifts when doing them brings us incomparable joy and satisfaction like your art does for you." ~Excerpt from Redemption - Adventures in The Glade 


My granddaughter, Virginia Rose, like the character of Anna, Davy's younger sister, in my Glade novels, loves to draw.  She tells me her favorite activity in kindergarten is art.  Whenever Virginia comes to visit, the first thing she used to request was for me to set up her Crazy Sand.  Not anymore!  Now it's paper and crayons.

In perusing a sampling of Virginia's art work below, I can't help but feel this just-turned-five-year-old has a gift like Anna's.





















But it's what Virginia draws when last at our house that has me convinced she is, indeed, gifted in art.  She purposely asks for these objects to look at in order to render a depiction of each.







Honestly, these last two works of art amaze this Gammie.

And I pray Virginia will continue to develop her talent over the years, just as Jim encouraged Anna to do so, and use the skills with which God has blessed her to bless others.


~

With what gifts has God graced you?  How are you using these to His honor and glory?

Prayer:  Father, we thank You for all the gifts You have given us by Your Holy Spirit.  May we use them to faithfully carry out the work You would have us to do here on earth.  Bless our gifts that they might be a blessing to others.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Crown to the Aged


Proverbs 17:6
Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.

Once my children, Daniel and Sarah are born, I repeatedly hear from my mother, "Your own children are great, but there's nothing more special than being a grandparent."  I confess, with diapers to change, noses to wipe, endless laundry to do, maintaining feeding schedules, and attempting to juggle home and work, I hardly understand where Mom could possibly be coming from.

But now I know.  And Mom was spot on!

There is no greater joy in this life, aside from knowing the Lord, than being a grandparent.  This Gammie and Papa, aka Danny, are enjoying every sweet and precious moment we spend with them.

Alexandra Nancy is uncharacteristically fussy in the family photo above.  She is, overall, a calm, good-natured baby who is always looking around and taking everything in.  She will be three months old on October 23rd.  Hard to believe!







Then there's Savannah Jane.  She is always on the go as you can tell by the photo and eager to explore the next forbidden fruit available, be it the cupboard doors under the sink, a plug outlet, or a remote control.  At sixteen months, Savannah isn't quite grasping the concept of "no," but she's getting close!  We never had that issue with Virginia Rose, but her dad, John, reminds us that Virginia didn't walk until eighteen months and Savannah walked at a year.  That explains a lot, doesn't it?






Still, Savannah's humor and adventurous spirit are captivating and contagious!

Last, but not least, is the confident, unflappable, ever cheerful Virginia Rose.  She is this Gammie's heart's delight.  That is not to say the other girls aren't, but the two of us have spent so much time together during her five years, we have forged a special, indissoluble bond.  Virginia's winning smile and bubbly personality, I'm convinced, can win the heart of even the most inveterate curmudgeon.






Virginia is, and always will be, our precious princess!

Danny and I know how much we are blessed by this family, and the young ones who bring the crown to the aging (not that aged yet!).  We savor and cherish with abundant love the joy of being grandparents.

~

If you are a grandparent, have you found my mother's saying to be true?  If you have neither children nor grandchildren, are you finding ways to spend time with little ones whom Jesus said bring us closer to God's kingdom?

Prayer:  Father, we thank You for children everywhere in this world.  They are treasures!  Let us celebrate every moment we spend with the ones through whom You chose to reveal Your kingdom to the jaded and worn.  May we all become as little children as we seek to follow You in our daily faith walk.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

Meditations of My Heart will be on hiatus next week due to my plans to visit with my mother.  Hope to see you all back here on Tuesday, October 20th.  God bless!

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