Friday, April 15, 2016

Dogwoods and Spring

The Dogwood tree and it's blooms are so pretty.  They have always held a special place in my heart. Years ago, when my father passed away, my Mom told us Dad really liked them.  So I think of him when I see them each spring.  I have memories of us picking the headstone for his grave. And in my mind we picked the dogwood flowers for his stone. You have to know I change flowers on his grave often.  I've been there in each season.  I've cleaned off the stone.  I've sat by it and talked with Dad.  I have looked at it many times through the years. And yet..  

Here is what I thought was on his stone ...for 35 plus years.

Here is what is actually on his stone:

Blow me over with a feather! 

But I'm getting so off from where I was headed.

I love the dogwood trees.  I don't remember seeing them in Michigan where I grew up.  Only when we came home.  I associate them with Tennessee and spring.  And freshness.  And hope.   
 And my Dad who liked them.          
I love how one day it's dreary and before you know it. WHAM!  Spring is here!!!  And there are other trees and plants besides Dogwoods... 

  But first here are some more pictures of the lovely Dogwood to enjoy. 

Next is our Redbud limb from a tree that is the about the same size as a Dogwood. It makes me smile that the Redbud tree is purple.  It's whimsical.  I love whimsy

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And have you seen the May apples? They are plants that come in April. They look like umbrellas on a New York street in a downpour.  But they grow in the shade of the woods. They are magical.  Some wonder if faeries are living below them or maybe they play among them. But beware!!! All the plant is poisoned except the fruit. But it might make you feel sick. So I'm not trying them. 


But I can't leave you without saying that all of this reminds me of the greatness of our Heavenly Father. All nature shouts of His Glory.  Do you think maybe He created spring for us so when the world around us seems to have gone mad, we will have hope? Just wondering.

So what spring plants and trees bring you joy?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Thicker than pea soup fog...

So, as you may or may not know, I work on a special needs bus. Before you assume, I'm not the driver.  I'm the attendant, the aid.  A couple of days ago on the bus, it was so foggy. You could barely see anything.

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Fog always make me think of Pea Soup. Have you heard the saying it is thicker than pea soup out there? I could go off on such a tangent here. But I won't.
Back to our post...

As I rode along I said to the Lord, there has to be a lesson here or it is symbolic of something, what?   I looked inside the bus, my view was crisp, clear. But out the window I could barely see anything that we were passing.

We are in Tennessee and we were traveling down and up and round this way and that slicing through the fog quickly.  It reminded me of life.  Life has its up and downs.  It isn't always smooth sailing. It takes sudden turns. I have always wrestled with figuring it all out. I seem to have a hard time navigating life.  I could give you a myriad of reasons or excuses but lets not analyse it lets just say that is the way it is.  I do know I'm not alone.  Many people struggle in life.  For instance my Mom has dementia now and life is difficult to her, confusing even.  So the truth of the fog jumped out at me.  Negotiating life can be like moving through the fog. You can only see just a little in front of you.  It's a bit scary and it takes some faith to keep driving.  But I thought of how much easier it was for me to get through the fog now that I was out of my car and on my bus where my driver was driving. It felt safer.  I didn't have to make the decisions.  In fact, I was sitting in an environment where there was much clarity.

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I could see clearly the part that I was responsible for.  I could see the kids, communicate with them, meet their needs, assist them.  I could do my job, my part.  I could rest, at ease as the driver dealt with the bigger picture.  Are you seeing where I'm going?  The driver represents the Lord.  Life is so much easier when we let Him drive our lives.  We can totally trust Him and rest at peace when we let Him direct our paths.  And we can see clearly what our part is and do it well when we rest in Him. We don't have to understand it ALL, the bigger picture.  He does.  And that's enough.

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In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.  Proverbs 3:6

Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.  John Newton

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Good Day for Marrying You ...Blessings on Vev and Eli!!!

This is my new favorite song.  

It played at Vev and Eli's wedding among happy tears and much joy and happiness.  And it was a good day, a very good day!

I pray blessings and love and happiness on this beautiful couple, on our "other" daughter Vevila Covington!  and Her Prince Charming Eli!  

May God grant you years and years of love, laughter, and fun like this song embraces.  May the soundtrack for your life be beautiful and varied and filled with songs that your hearts can dance to!!!  
May sorrow stay far from your door but joy be a welcomed guest!
May your hearts stay turned toward each other as they were on this your first day as 
Mr. and Mrs.
May you always remember the one who placed you together and may you run to Him when troubles come a knockin'. 
God bless and keep this marriage, in Jesus name!

Here are the words...
Good Day for Marrying You

Baby, the sun is shinin'
Dogwoods are comin' in bloom
Put on your white dress
Yeah 'cause, oh baby, it's a good day for marrying you
I'll call my mama and daddy
Baby, you call yours too
Put on your white dress
Yeah 'cause, oh baby, it's a good day for marrying you

I know you by now, which means I know what you're thinking 'bout
Your friends (they keep askin')
About us (with everyday passin')
It's time this fairy tale came true

Baby, the sun is shining
Dogwoods are comin' in bloom
Put on your white dress
Yeah 'cause, oh baby, it's a good day for marrying you
I'll call my mama and daddy
Baby, you call yours too
Put on your white dress
Yeah 'cause, oh baby, it's a good day for marrying you

We got all we need
I'll find a ring if you'll find a shaded tree
My friends (they're all buzzin')
Word's out (everyone's comin')
Better tell 'em to bring a picture too

Baby, the sun is shining
Dogwoods are comin' in bloom
Put on your white dress
Yeah 'cause, oh baby, it's a good day for marrying you
I'll call my mama and daddy
Baby, you call yours too
Put on your white dress
Yeah 'cause, oh baby, it's a good day for marrying you

It's good day, it's about to get better
Every dream is about to come true
No reason to wait, we got the weather
We just need our "do's"

Baby, the sun is shining
Dogwoods are comin' in bloom
Put on your white dress
Yeah 'cause, oh baby, it's a good day for marrying you
I'll call my mama and daddy
Baby, you call yours too
Put on your white dress
Yeah 'cause, oh baby, it's a good day for marrying you

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Counting My Blessings

Image result for picture of song Count your Many Blessings

Gratefulness.  Thankfulness 

Thankful according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary means:  glad that something has happened or not happened, that something or someone exists, etc.
: of, relating to, or expressing thanks

Thankfulness from the same dictionary means: well-pleased, glad

Thankful according to the Free Dictionary online means: Aware and appreciative of a benefit. Grateful.

This morning as I was waking up I felt bad.  A bit hopeless. Gloomy.  As is my routine, I pray when I get up and as I started I remembered these words from the Bible...Come into His gates with thanksgiving, into His courts with praise.  (may not be exactly that way, but how I remembered.)  This for those who don't know was from the Old Testament times when they would go into the Tabernacle and there is this whole awesome study you can do on how it is symbolic of how we enter into God's presence in prayer now.  And I tend to pray that way but this morning I realized that I hadn't been thankful or grateful for a while.

And as I thought about it I remembered to be thankful.  I have a friend who is pretty much homeless right now.  She has been in a couple of shelters, nights in cheap motels, on friend's couches.  It's been rough.  So I thanked the Lord for my home and all the things in it.  
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I have food in the house.  Another friend is working near a college where the students are hungry.  Budgets are very tight and they have sacrificed to be there.  And sometimes that means missing a meal or a few meals.  I'm thankful for food.  And another man I know is on a mission's trip.  They have very little where he is going and I have so much.  
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Then I thought of the prayer needs that have come into our prayer group in the last week.  People in hospitals with dire diagnoses, with little hope for the future.  Others  have lost their mom or dad.  I'm thankful for health, that I can walk and talk that my Mom is still with us.  I'm thankful for my family.  

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I'm thankful for my car.  We were able to get me my own this year.  It's sporty.  It's blue and good on gas.  Some people don't have a car at all. We have two.  I have a job. Many don't have one or aren't able to work. I have beautiful daughters and wonderful grands.  And Bill and John are good to Mandi and Jack and Chanel, John Paul and Bekki.  And my beautiful Carla.  She has been a god-send with helping with my mom this last year.  And right now everyone is healthy.  I have my wonderful hubby Paul.  And he is doing good. We are so blessed!  

My Dad always wanted to move to Tennessee, to retire here.  I'm living out his dream.  I'm thankful I live where I do.  

As I thanked God for all these and many other blessings, I felt the gloomy mood lift and I felt hope restored.  Yes, I have challenges.  yes, I have the same problems that were trying to overwhelm me.  But being thankful gave me a new view.  It gave me a new perspective.  And I'm very thankful for that.  

So if you are facing an Eeyore type of day let me suggest trying to be thankful, grateful, glad. 

When I was young we used to sing "Count your many blessings, name them one by one.  Count your many blessings, see what God has done."  There is a lot of wisdom in those words.  

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Sunday, August 30, 2015


"Living in sin"

We, the church are so quick to point a finger and whisper and gossip and judge.  And it isn't God's plan for couples.  Marriage is His plan.  I believe in it with my whole heart!  So I'm not condoning living together.

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But let me take a bit of liberty here.  "Living in sin"  is usually associated with living together and not being married.  But let me suggest to you, that maybe pointing fingers and not loving these people into the kingdom might just be "living in sin' also. We are judging them.  Wait let me ask you Do you struggle with a sin even though you are saved?  Do you lie?  NO?  Gossip? No?  How about worry? No?  Do you perhaps eat to much? Gluttony? No?   Which sin has been around so long that it's like a pet?  Pride?  Envy?  Hate?  Lust?   Are you uncomfortable yet?  I am and I'm writing this.  Unsettling isn't it?

Well as Christians we are forgiven but we aren't perfect yet.  We are postionally perfect  but we haven't walked it all the way out yet.  We are on that journey though.  I suggest many of us are "living in sin"  and we should not cast the first stone.

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Remember as Jesus told them to take the woman caught in adultery and the one without sin could cast the first stone.  Can you imagine the scene?  The angry crowd that just  moments ago were shouting and accusing.. the woman laying on the ground, ashamed as her deepest sin is out there for all to hear about.  But now there is silence on the hot day, a little breeze blowing perhaps,  Can you see it?  Jesus squatted down writing something in the dirt.  Maybe the women crying softly as she fears for her life. and slowly you hear the stones drop, one by one on the hot dirt street.  Cause I believe they were hefty solid rocks because when we want to accuse others we pick up the hefty rocks to sling.  Our rocks are words though.  We spit them out with disgust and judgement. Do you SEE what they are doing?  How THEY are living?  We get all smug and self-righteous as we hurl our word stones now a days.  We don't "stone" with real rocks any more. We are less obvious.

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But back to our scene.. The stones drop one by one. hitting the dirt with a swirl of dust floating up in the afternoon sunshine as Jesus continues to write something in the dirt.  Quiet footsteps fade away down the street until not one accuser is left.  Jesus says to her in John 8:10-11 "Woman, where are those accusers of yours?  Has no one condemned you?"  She said, "No one, Lord,"  And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."

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He doesn't give her a pass.  He does tell her to sin no more.   According to the law of that day she should have been stoned for she was "in sin".  But he didn't condemn her.  He said sin no more.  And He is till saying to us "sin no more".  And we like her endeavor to obey.  But we struggle.

We must remember how much He has forgiven us and how we are still working out our salvation with fear and trembling.  Only confront sin in others if the Holy Spirit is guiding you into doing it. A word fitly spoken into lives.  For mercy's sake don't go out on your own and try and do the Holy Spirit's job.  Condemnation doesn't lead to repentance.  Conviction does.

You want to do something about other's sin???  Really???  Do you really???  No kidding???

Then let me suggest this radical idea.....Love on people.  Show mercy!  Shine His light in the darkness!!  Be kind!!  You are to be Christ like.   Speak the truth in love led by Him not by your own fears and pettiness.  Love them into the Kingdom!!!  It's simple.  Spend time with Him and his Word and walk it out and lead by example.  Be ye Kind one to another!

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And if you want to do something about your own sin here is a link to a teaching about obedience:

Remember this verse:  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9

Post note.....
It is a balancing act to teach truth to our children and grandchildren while being forbearing and loving.  But pray, pray, pray and He says if you lack wisdom He will give it to you.   

I admit I'm still learning but I think my thoughts here are in line with the Word of God.