Thursday, February 29, 2024

God's Wisdom, a Gracious Gift

 


If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. ~James 1:5


Curious about the photo above?  Danny and I buy flowers together for Valentine's Day.  While it's lovely to have cut flowers adorning our dining room table, we're aware form the moment of purchase that these will not last forever.  Danny trims and refills the water multiple times, but their fate is inevitable.  He decides to simply toss them out of the vase and into the woods; some get caught up in the tree limbs, giving the illusion that they are blooms on the tree.  Whimsical, don't you think?

The nicest part about an early spring, for me, is seeing the gorgeous daffodils come to life in our yard.  I plant most of them in late fall in the early years of our marriage.  They have faithfully blossomed every year hence, although usually in the month of March, not February.  I can recall as if it were yesterday kneeling in the leaf-covered mulch, digging holes in the ground, and carefully covering each bulb with soil, full of hope for a cheerful spring.

It's a good thing I did so then; just the thought of getting down on my knees and trying to plant either flowers or bulbs, fills me with consternation.  Would I even be able to get back up without help?  What a difference this aging process has meant for me and done to me!






Aren't they breathtakingly lovely?

And for me, today, they are an exceptional treasure.  You see, March 1st is my birthday!  Such a perfect gift!  Not that I like thinking about getting older, especially when I'm physically challenged by chores I once did with ease.  But I hope and pray that with my age has come wisdom.  God's wisdom.  Filling my heart, mind and soul.

I'd rather have God's gracious gift of wisdom and to love as He loves more than anything else I can imagine.  And to think, all we need to do is ask Him, and we will receive it from our generous Father.  He doesn't withhold any good gift, but showers us with grace and mercy at every turn.

May I live out my days with gratitude for all my blessings.

Amen!

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Investments

 


Do not be wise in your own eyes;  fear the Lord and shun evil.  This will bring health to your body and nourishment for your bones. ~Proverbs 3:7-8


It seems the older I get (too quickly, I might add), the more supplements I've introduced to my body.  Although some have truly made a difference for the better, there are some with which I part ways.  Their promises for more energy and better health ring empty.


I've also ditched my daily tumeric I have been taking for joint pain, especially in my wrists.  Too much time on the keyboard?  Probably.  Instead, I've opted for this:



Danny researches this product thoroughly, and in only two weeks of taking it, I can feel a measurable improvement in pain-free mobility.  It's a win-win for me since it also helps with hair growth and skin health.  I'm already takin Nutrafol, recommended by my dermatologist, for battling thinning hair.  Who would ever think that the product, so widely advertised, would actually do the trick?



I highly recommend it to any of you who are struggling with hair loss.  However, keep in mind that is by no means inexpensive.

But in my book, Nutrafol has been a worthwhile investment for me.

Yes, good health and nutrition are the bulwarks for living our best physically, but what about spiritually?  How can we boost the quality of time we spend with God each day?

We invest.

In His Word.  In prayer.  In quiet contemplation.  In listening for and to His still, small voice.  Not just daily, but moment by moment.

And as we do, we come to realize that all our surroundings speak to the sacredness of life and living well.



(I will be reviewing Sacred Surrounding by my good friend, Jean Wise, soon!)

God is with us, for us, in us.  At all times and in all places, no matter what circumstances we face or what troubles may come.

No matter how much our joints might ache or how disheveled our hair looks, God loves us just the same.

Every one of us.

Amen!


Thursday, February 15, 2024

Alpha and Omega

 


"I am the Alpha and Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." ~Revelation 1:8


Tenuous times

Temporary times

Uncertainty rules

Obedient hearts 

Now wander, wonder

Pray unceasing

For closure sure

A future hope

In faith reveals

A promise made

A promise kept

He is the Alpha

And Omega

Today, forever.

Amen!

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Just Then, the Bed Broke!

 


In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. ~1 Timothy 6:19


My grandmother, whom I called Nana, had a unique way of always looking on the bright side of things, no matter what the circumstances.  She had a favorite saying when it appeared as though everything was going downhill fast: "Just then, the bed broke."  In other words, life happens in ways we least expect, and we have no other choice but to go along for the ride.

One time, when we were visiting her and my Grandpa, Nana had all of the grandchildren piled on one of the beds, giggling, bouncing, and creating genial chaos when, lo and behold, the bed actually broke!  We kids were momentarily shocked and dismayed at what our rambunctiousness had seemingly caused, until Nana, with her ready smile, declared, "Just the the bed broke!"  Oh, how we screeched with laughter and relief!  No one was going to get in trouble that day.

I wish I'd inherited more of my Nana's indominable spirit.  The other night around 3:00 in the morning, our bed frame gave way out of the blue.  Can you see it listing in the photo above?  The slope it created made it impossible to sleep there.  Danny takes the small double bed in our guest room.



I take the living room couch, where I'm used to taking my naps.



We weather the night fine, but when morning dawns, we are left with an unexpected dilemma - how are we going to remove the damaged frame to allow the bed and box spring to rest on the floor itself.  Because of his recent surgery, Danny is prohibited from moving or lifting anything heavy with his right arm.  Our thoughts turn to Nicco for help, but we quickly realize this is too big of a job for him to do successfully on his own.  The bed is just too cumbersome for any one person to maneuver.

Danny wonders if some new friends from church might be able to help.  They've been checking in on us since the recent incident, and as soon as we contact them, dad, Matt, and son, Joe assure us they'd be glad to help out.

Such a welcome turn of events!  In no time, it seems, the three guys dismantle the frame, move it to another room that can easily store it, and put our bed to rights for the time being.  Once again, we have a firm foundation upon which to thankfully enjoy a rejuvenating night's sleep.



Our bodies certainly need a firm foundation, but so do our souls.  Are you depending upon Jesus for that flawless foundation He has prepared for all of us?  It is there where we can grab hold to the life that is truly life, and rest peacefully in His arms.  No bed can break there!

Amen!

Friday, February 2, 2024

Our Refuge and Strength

 


God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. ~Psalm 46:1


This has been a week when Danny and I have turned continuously to God for refuge and strength.  With every breath, we have asked the Lord to walk with us, to hold us up in His righteous hands, to turn the seemingly impossible to the absolutely possible for us.

He has done it!

Here's the background story:

Last Thursday, we set out on a trip to Brunswick, Georgia, in order to attend my SIL's mother's memorial service on the following Saturday.  We think, too, that this could serve as a mini-vacation for us and a chance to physically reunite with family.

We book an Airbnb on St. Simon's Island within walking distance of the beach; a perfect place to visit during the off-season.  Friday morning, after breakfast, we take a stroll on said beach.  As you can tell from the photo above, it is an extremely foggy day, and the nearby fog horn loudly sounds its warning.  Danny likes nothing better than being in the midst of a misty day.  We are yet to discover just how foggy this day will become.

When it's time for lunch, we drive to the Village on St. Simon's to dine at Barbara Jean's, a restaurant renown for their excellent crab cakes.  Oh, my, their reputation proceeds them!  Such a lovely treat we enjoy, and look forward to chowing down on more seafood during our stay.

We return to the Airbnb; Danny is fine for about an hour.  Suddenly, he tells me he's feeling woozy.  I suggest he go to the bedroom and rest for a bit.  No sooner does he recline, then he shouts, and I mean SHOUTS my name.  His pacemaker is shocking his heart with a force he's never experienced before.  As I hastily dial 911, I'm trying not to panic.  I've never seen Danny in such excruciating pain, a pain that has his body flailing beyond his control; and we are praying and pleading, confessing our forever love for God and each other.

It seems like a week before the ambulance finally arrives and the medics sweep Danny out of the house and on to the hospital.  I don't ride with them because I need to get in touch with my brother.  Of course, Bill is more than willing to get me to the hospital as soon as humanly possible.  Why don't I drive myself?  I am shaking uncontrollably and certainly not confident being behind the wheel in such a state.  The last thing we need is another crisis on the heels of this one.

Once at the hospital, the nurses and doctors successfully stabilize Danny with the utmost are and attention.  He is transferred to the ICU for observation overnight, which is the safest place he can possibly be.  By the time I see him, he is calm and the color has returned to his face.  Talk about feeling encouraged and hopeful!

Long story short, the resident cardiologist sees him repeatedly (how many times does that happen on a weekend???).  It is decided to replace the pacemaker on Monday.  Now, I'm a bit concerned, because the last time Danny had an issue with his device, we were out of town, just like now, and the wound became infected.  I am praying, praying, praying!

While all this is transpiring, Danny's two boys, Giovanni and Nicco, are heading our way at a clip.  I don't know how we would have navigated these stormy seas without them.  Danny is released from the hospital on Tuesday, we stay in a hotel that night, and the next morning, we hit the road for home.  Giovanni drives our Subaru as wife, Hope, takes his car back to Florida.  She is a life-saver, too!

Giving thanks and praise to God is just as natural as taking a breath.  It is non-stop.  Now that we are home and settling back into our usual routines, Danny and I are slowly adjusting.  Both of us have experienced PTSD-type episodes; fortunately, they don't linger too long, but certainly indicate the severity of the trauma we've experienced. 

With God's help as our refuge and strength, these, too, will dissipate in time.

Because life goes on, with or without us. And while we have breath, we should never cease to love God, seek Him, thank Him, praise Him.

Until the Lord calls us home, let us cherish and live life to the fullest.

Amen!

Our Grand Grands

  Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. ~Proverbs 17:6 Every year that our family vi...