Road Closed

21 Aug

Jesus, pray, direction, guidance, destinationOne of the major roads in our city was undergoing road works. This caused a portion of the road to be closed. Instead of traveling their normal routes, drivers were faced with a detour that took them through residential neighbourhoods. This caused an unwelcome delay for countless motorists.

I looked at the large flashing arrow pointing to the detour. The road beyond was torn up and there was heavy equipment working. Several ‘Road Closed’ signs had been set up. All of the warnings were there to tell me that I couldn’t take this route.

There have been times in my life when I thought I knew where I was going, only to be met by an unexpected detour. The route I intended to travel was closed to me. This led to confusion. The detour would take me through unfamiliar territory which would slow me down. Not only was this inconvenient, it was also disorienting.

The direction my life was to go had been planned. Now everything changed. My initial response was to worry. What if I got lost and couldn’t find my way? Then I learned to trust in Jesus. I soon found that His direction for my life was far better than any route I had planned. Sometimes the detour would show me new things I needed to know. Other times it would lead me in an entirely new direction. Instead of focusing on what I thought I needed, I learned to pray to Jesus for guidance. If I was on the right route, I would ask that the way be clear. I would also ask him to close the road ahead if it wasn’t where He wanted me to be going. He is the one that knows my final destination and know the best way to get me there.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

What if?

18 Aug

imagination, games, dreamsOur seven-year old grandson was spending a couple of days with us. Two adults to spoil him and no siblings to share the attention with made for one very happy boy.

As I played Snakes and Ladders with him he said things like, “What if I gone one more and got to go up the ladder?” or “What if you got three instead of five and had to go down the snake?”

This line of thinking continued after the game. I’d hear, “What if …” and he would talk about a fantastic make-believe experience. I soon realized that our time together was filled with “What ifs?” In his imagination there were no boundaries. He was free to dream, limited by nothing more than the power of his mind.

I marveled at this and wondered how different my life would be if I adopted this attitude. Instead of limiting myself, based on fears of failure, I would say, “What if” and follow my dreams.

Someone once told me that it was far better to say, “What if” and then work to make it happen, than to look back and say, “If only.” I may not always succeed, but will not suffer the regrets of having never tried.

What I need to remember is that none of my “What ifs” are too big for God to bring to fruition. In fact, many of these may be dreams that he has planted deep in my heart. When I was struggling with self-doubts, a good friend changed the course of my life by saying, “What if God wants to bless you with this?”

If it is truly a dream that God has given me, he is more than able to make it happen. I just need to trust and go along for the adventure.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in good time. 1 Peter 5:6 NIV

Hail

14 Aug
Jesus, grace, love, trust

hailstones in my yard 2 hours after the storm

The area in which we live has been rocked by several severe thunder storms in recent weeks. The storms were much more than thunder and lightning.  They were ones with large hailstones crashing violently into everything in their path. These storms have caused tremendous damage.

Until the last storm, we had never suffered enough damage to make an insurance claim.   Although our house only had minor damage, our vehicles did not fare as well. Both of them were covered with dents after being pelted with golf ball sized hailstones. Hours after the storm had passed, many of these large chunks of ice remained on our property.

My husband and I were both indoors when the storm hit so suffered no injuries. The things that were damaged would be covered by our insurance. Our only cost would be the deductibles.

Thinking about insurance coverage reminded me of the insurance that Jesus provides for me. After one of life’s storms, He is always there to help me pick up the shattered pieces of my life. He does so tenderly, while guiding me to safety. There is no deductible here. I am fully covered by his grace and love. All I need to do is reach out and trust in him.

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my Savior, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the strength of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2 GWT
In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Psalm 118:5-6 NLT

5th Wheel Trailer

11 Aug

legacy, memories, Jesus, GodRecently my husband and I purchased a 5th Wheel trailer. When searching for the perfect one, we had more than our own immediate needs in mind. Having room to comfortably entertain family and friends was high on our priority list.

The one we chose has the name Legacy on it. While the name was not a factor, it is perfect for our purposes. Our goal is to create many precious memories while spending time at our Legacy with those near and dear to us.

In our first few weeks with the RV, we hosted two family birthday dinners and had our seven year old grandson there for a sleep over. He was thrilled to have that special time with us and kept commenting that he was our first overnight guest.

When I saw him standing close to the logo on the trailer as he “helped” by hosing off chairs, I couldn’t help but smile. This Legacy was already fulfilling its purpose by being the gathering place where new memories of loving times together are formed.

Every time I see the name on our RV I am reminded that the legacy my life leaves, is up to me. By thinking about how I want to be remembered, I will be more likely to act in a way to create that. Everything I do pales in comparison to the legacy that God has provided for me. He has given me the right to be one of his children. By my belief in Christ Jesus this gift was given. There is no greater legacy than that.

You are all God’s children by believing in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:25 GWT

Campfire

7 Aug

spark, flame, JesusMy husband and I pulled our chairs close to the campfire. We laughed about the fact that it didn’t matter which side of it we were on, the smoke soon changed direction and blew in our faces.

There is something mesmerizing about a campfire. It seems to be an integral part of the camping experience. Roasting marshmallows over a campfire is practically a tradition. The fire can also be enjoyed on its own as it crackles and sends sparks into the air.

The flames eventually died down and there were only a few embers left smoldering. When we took a stick and stirred them up a bit a new flame was created.

This happens in life, too. I have had many experiences where the spark or flame of passion for a project has died down. All it took was for someone to come along and point something out from a different angle and the spark was stirred up, rekindling the flame.

When an ember is removed from the fire it soon becomes cold. If left with the other embers, it will retain its heat for a much longer time.

In my life I need to surround myself with positive, encouraging people. Together we can fan the flames of potential each of us carries. As followers of Jesus, we are called to be the spark that points others to his love and light.

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20 NIV

Anchor

4 Aug

Jesus, safe, secureIt was a beautiful summer day and many boaters were out enjoying the lake. Some were towing water skiers or wake boarders. Others were more relaxed as they slowly explored the lake.

There were also a few empty boats bobbing close to shore, patiently waiting for their next adventure. These were anchored to keep them from drifting away. There is slack in the line so some movement is possible, just not enough to cause danger for the boats.

Watching the boats, I see a fitting metaphor for my life. It is easy for me to drift along with the current of life, content with where it takes me. I may not see the dangers or a sticker in my way until it is too late. If I don’t have anything secure to hold onto there is no telling where I may end up.

My relationship with Jesus is the anchor that keeps me secure. Without him I am tossed to and fro like a wave on the sea. He has promised never to leave or forsake me. I know that I will be safe and secure in his loving care.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19

Dragonflies

31 Jul
change, focus, God,

picture from photobucket

Dragonflies abound this time of year. The iridescence both on their wings and their bodies captures my attention. I enjoy them for their beauty but also because they dine on the mosquitoes that often plague so many of us.

Wanting to know more about these insects, I did a little research and learned some very interesting facts. The dragonfly moves at an amazing 45 miles an hour. It’s very agile and can hover like a helicopter, fly backwards like a hummingbird, fly straight up or down and to either side. It does all of this while flapping its wings only 30 times a minute, compare to 1000 times a minute for a housefly. This power in its wing strokes is what makes it look so graceful.

In almost every part of the world the dragonfly symbolizes change. It lives most of its life as immature. There’s only a fraction of its life that it’s actually able to fly. For this reason, for the short time it has, it needs to live life to the fullest. This living in the moment is what resonates with me.

When I live life in the moment, I am totally focused on God. His power is sufficient to guide and sustain me. My boring life is forgotten and I am willing to enter into the new adventure that he has in store for me every day.

Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence. 2 Corinthians 5:17 GWT

Buffet

28 Jul
familiar, experiences, God

photo from dreamstime.com

My husband and I went to a buffet restaurant when we were on vacation. The one we chose had five stations, each with food selections from different regions of France. There was also an elaborate salad bar and a large dessert area. The abundance of food was staggering.

We thoroughly checked out each area before deciding on our selections. I found myself bypassing items that were not familiar to me and sticking with what was tried and true. Eventually I did try a few new items. One was disappointing, another was something I didn’t care for and the third was a new taste treat.

The whole experience reminded me of life. God has prepared an enormous buffet of experiences for me to enjoy. Everyday there is a fresh new selection to choose from. I wonder how many I have passed by without a second glance because I’m looking for what is familiar. There are many blessing I will miss out on if I’m not willing to try something new. Not everything will be right for me, but I won’t know until I try it. What I do know for certain is that if it is something God has prepared for me, there will always be a benefit to the experience.

For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:9 NIV

Hail Storm

24 Jul

God, prayer, protectionA severe hail storm hit the seasonal RV Park where our trailer is kept. We weren’t there at the time but received an email advising us that the storm had done quite a bit of damage and suggesting we check our trailers as soon as possible.

Upon inspection we discovered that our roof vents had been shattered. We were prepared to find water damage inside but were quite surprise by what we found waiting for us.

Planning on doing some cleanup on our site, we had dropped of some large Rubbermaid bins the previous week. Unsure of where to place them so they wouldn’t be in our way, I had put them on the bed. One of the broken vents was above the bed and a bin was in the perfect spot to collect the water that came in. This was something we didn’t plan, but the bin placement saved the mattress and floor from getting soaked. I looked at this in awe, knowing that this wasn’t just a happy coincidence.

To me, it was a beautiful illustration of God’s protection in my life. When I cry out to God, he stills the storms in my life. My distress is lessened and the damage is minimized as I allow Him to guide me to peace and safety.

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Psalm 107:28-30 NIV

Giving is Receiving

21 Jul

gifts, presentation, God, MentorI have heard it said that giving is receiving. This has proven itself true many times in my life.

In previous years I have given my time as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Due to changes in my life, this is no longer possible. BBBS has a vision that every young person realizes their full potential. This was something I couldn’t easily walk away from.

God showed me a way that I could still support this worthy organization. He had given me the words needed to write a book of short inspirational stories. Two of the stories were based on my mentoring experience with BBBS. While the book was in the publishing stages, I felt a strong desire to use it as a way to give back to my community. After much prayer, I approached BBBS with the idea of giving them $2 from every book I sold. They are a donor supported and volunteer driven organization so didn’t hesitate to accept my offer.

In late June, just four months after ‘Inspirations From The Everyday’ was released, I was able to present them with a cheque for over $500. The joy I received from giving this gift was incredible. I knew that this little book, privately sold, was making an impact on the lives of many who would never come in direct contact with it. I am blessed to be able to honour God by willingly sharing the gifts that he has given me.

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV

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