Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Word Wednesday - Matthew 19 - and a prayer...

The Rich Man - Matthew 19

16 Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”
17 “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” the man asked.
And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
20 “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”
21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
25 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.
26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
27 Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get?”
28 Jesus replied, “I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.

This has always been one of my favorite passages of scripture... for many different reasons, but today I want to focus on the last part of it. 

Verses 29 - 30 are scriptures that I've clinged to most of my adult life. We may give up houses for a number of reasons... I think that it represents wealth as a whole. Sacrificing luxuries for the advance of the gospel. 

It seemed easier to write about this aspect of it when we were poor... really poor. There were years that we lived paycheck to paycheck, and didn't have much to share. We used credit cards to pay for medical expenses, and often had to do without things that others considered "normal" in life... to us they were luxuries. We couldn't afford them.

Now, our life is very different - but I tend to hold it all very loosely! I'm grateful for our home - but we could live with much less - square footage, furnishings (and I think many would be surprised that it's not top of the line, and it's more creatively decorated than "expertly" designed!), but it's home. It's becoming home. I had a hard time moving here... it's by far the "nicest" home we've ever had, and I think it's too big, too fancy... but for this season, it's where God has us. I look forward to seeing how HE will fill it! 

And HE can move us - to a different house, or a different city, or even another country where houses look very different - any time He wants to! That's ok by me!!

The second part of the verse is a little different, but just as important... giving up family for the sake of the gospel. How hard it is when family members choose to let their opinions of your relationship with God separate them from you... but I know from our family's own fractured state, that it happens all too often. But don't be dismayed! He EXPECTS it to happen! We are supposed to love God the most, our spouses next, then our children, siblings and parents, etc. We can show our parents respect (v19), and not cower down to their wishes to leave our faith. Our relationship with Jesus is, and always will be, the most important relationship we have. When our family members are non-believing, we can still love them (absolutely! EVEN Jesus loves them!!) but not give in to them. We can honor God by showing them kindness, pray for them in their relationship with God, their salvation, and their relationships with others (including us), and also pray for God to send other believers into their lives to impact them. 

It's so hard to step away from unhealthy relationships in family, but sometimes the best thing we can do is "tough love" our kids (we had a season of that too; you can read about it here, here, and here), or put space between our parents. I think that the only relationship we have to really fight for is with our spouse... it's so easy for Satan to wiggle in and cause problems there. Even if a spouse is unbelieving we are told to stay in the relationship and pray for them, show love to them, honor them... UNLESS the relationship is abusive... then that's different all together. 

Have you ever had to distance yourself from a family member for the sake of the gospel? How did it affect you? How did it affect them? Did you stay close in the relationship? How did that affect you? Them? 

Have you struggled with owning possessions and wealth, or has love of money come between you and the Lord? What have you learned in your life over these things? 

I hope that you'll share what your thoughts and opinions are, and how God has worked in you and through you in these areas...

Lord, I pray for each of us that will read this blog, continue to grow in us and to always love you "more" - More than money and material possessions, more than our parents and siblings, more than our children. Give us grace to love them the way YOU love them, but for none of things to have such a hold on us that it draws us away from You. Give us wisdom and discernment, and teach us to let You have control of these things, and people, in our lives. We love You... and it's in Your Name we pray... amen.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Middle-Aged Mondays - To replace hormones or not... and a little prayer...

I had to have a hysterectomy when I was in my early 30's, and there was no question to do hormone replacement. They started me on a low dose, but after a few days of intense, strange dreams and hot flashes they bumped me up to the top of the list... that little yellow pill. Bioidenticals were not even mentioned at that time, nor at any time afterwards. 

It's funny, how the desecrated pig thyroid is considered the more "natural" thyroid medication... but estrogen made from pregnant horse urine is considered "chemical".... all a matter of semantics!

Now I've been on a lower dose of estrogen for a number of years, and this past December decided to quit it - once and for all! Oh boy! Within a week, my hot flashes were raging, I was hardly sleeping at night, and I'm sure I was more than a little emotional. I was praying for my husband BIG TIME!!

Since then, I've seen a new doctor in this new town, and she just "happens" to be a specialist in bioidentical hormone replacement! I had all my bloodwork done last week to determine what my levels are (estrogen free at that time!) and I'll find out later this week what she has to say. (I LOVE when God orchestrates this stuff!!) 

What do YOU have to say? If you are under 50, have you had a hysterectomy? If you are over 50, have you reached menopause? Are you using hormone replacement? What kind? And perhaps... why not? Maybe you haven't heard of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy... and this can be a place for all of us to learn. 

I don't want this to be an argument, just a discussion. I know that people get passionate about their personal health care decisions and don't want to infringe on those boundaries... let's be respectful!

Lord, thank You that You created us to be amazingly complex in our physical being. I pray that You will give us wisdom as we learn more about the many chemicals that You integrated in our bodies, each one having a purpose. Help us to learn! 

I also pray that as we face emotional, exhausting days; as our bodies are not functioning as they did while they were younger, and as the changes we are going through can put stress on our relationships - give those around us grace, give us foresight to see when what we are going through is hormonally based, and give us lots of forgiveness to extend to the ones we love (or even just like a little). 

In Jesus' Name... amen. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Word Wednesday... and a prayer...


"For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” - Matthew 18:20 NLT

Oh, the week has been so long, and writing here has really been hard. I've had a week and a half full of lots of phone calls, emails and emotions as my sisters and I sort through the facts of our father's death. Some parts of this are so, so hard. Other times I'm delighted as I see God open and close doors. Even when the results are not so favorable, I am easily pleased to see His provisions. I'm often relieved that I don't have to cross certain bridges today, or this week, and I can rest and trust God to make a way for the future. 

I'm surprised at the amount of peace I'm feeling, but I shouldn't be surprised. 
I KNOW that the prayers of our believing friends and family members, as they lift us up, are sustaining me. I'm SO grateful that despite miles and the trials that they are facing in their own lives, they have taken the time to pray for me, for my sisters, for our families. What a blessing!

I truly believe that our "gathering together" can come in many ways. Of course, being face to face is SO valuable; it's easy to feel His presence when we are on our knees together. I have felt His presence also in praying on the phone with friends. I've also read prayers that others have typed out to me in emails, in Facebook posts, even in text messages... all of these, I think, constitute "gathering together". I'm so grateful for His provision of "being there" for us, even when we can't always be side by side. I'm so thankful for Him to allow us to use technology to connect across the miles...

Father, I thank You for the ways You have created all things to be used for Your glory. Please continue to motivate us to utilize the tools that You have given us to lift up and pray for others, and for each other. I ask that Your will would be fulfilled in my life, and that I will be obedient to Your voice to pray as prayers are needed. 

Thank You for the provision of prayer, and for making a clear way for us in the midst of trials and troubles. We love You, and are so blessed to be Your blessing! 

In Jesus' name we pray... amen. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Middle-Aged Mondays - When You Want to do SOMETHING MORE... and a prayer...



I'm not quite sure when I decided that I wanted more than *just* staying at home; when I realized that I had skills, talents, and interests (and ok, got a swift kick from God) and had to get up off the couch and SERVE. I think I've always looked for opportunities to serve Him in Kingdom work, and WAS involved the whole time our kids were home (youth group, worked and volunteered at camp, etc) but to take it beyond the comfortable was new to me. 

Imagine my surprise when my God passion for missions and starts opening doors for me to serve through them. Cooking at a camp or training. Mobilizing for an agency. Speaking to a group about being a Parent of Missionary (POM). Writing about being a POM. Then serving in our church in the area of Missionary Care. I loved doing all of this!

If you are approaching middle-age, have you thought of how you will serve? Are you involved in a ministry now that will allow you to stay with it as you get older? Is there an area that you've always wanted to serve, that you've been too busy (or broke!) parenting to do? Will you take steps towards that in the coming year? 

One of the doors that God has opened is with the women at (in)courage.me. The ministry of (in)courage is so much more than *just* a blogging website. In a few weeks there will be 57 groups of women meeting online and in community! The topics they share in common will span topics from empty nesting to military wives, from wives of pastors to infertility. Anything you can think of will draw women together to encourage and pray with and for each other. 

The group that I'm involved in is called (in)courage global care. Our focus is women serving abroad - ALL areas of serving! We are there to provide support for women global workers, women who provide global worker care, and moms, sisters and daughters of global workers. 

Tomorrow starts the early registration for our group! If you are interested in learning more, or signing up for ONLY our group, please come on over and sign up!! We meet on Facebook in a private/secret group, and have a separate blog site for the women working in more secure areas. You can learn more by reading and signing up here. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment, or email me. 

Lord, I pray for each of us, as we grow in You and in maturity. Please use our days to bring glory to Your name, to share Your love with those that don't worship You, or don't know You. Whether You put us to work here, near, or far away, let our feet be willing to go, our hands willing to support others that go, and our lips to share Your Word. We love You and honor You! Amen. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Word Wednesdays... (in)RL - and a little prayer...

Save the date!! 

I want to start this post with the prayer... and a little mercy... since this isn't going to be a Bible focused post... but a God-inspired-our-need-for-community post... 

Father, my sister is reading this here. You know her, who she is... who You have made her to be... who You are MAKING US to be. Lord, You gave us a story. Long before today, You were working in us, drawing us to You, shaping us, breaking us, molding us again. Father, You know the desires of our hearts... make them to be Your desires for us, the things that we need the most to become the women You want us to be. And Father, thank You for the ministry of (in)RL. Please let it minister to each of us, open our hearts to community one more time, to reach across the table, the room, the building, to get to know the women in our neighborhoods, our churches, our communities. I pray Father, that even if they don't know or understand exactly what (in)RL is, that you will give them a curious spirit, and a little bit of BRAVE to sign up and come. To sign up and host. To join together and do something completely different to make sure that their story is told... and that we can listen and learn from her... because it's her HIStory. You alone created it for her. Amen. 


OK - what exactly IS (in)RL?? Well, the website describes it as this: 

WHAT IS (IN)RL?

Derived from the social media acronym “IRL” or “in real life,” (in)RL is our annual conference that takes place the last weekend in April. In 2014, it will be the weekend of April 25th and 26th! It’s unique because instead of asking you to travel to us, we bring all the content to you. There’s a webcast to tune into and a day of real life meetups with other local (in)courage readers.
In 2012, over 1,700 women participated.
In 2013, there were over 6,000 women from more than 20 countries.
Born out of two years spent listening to women in the comments here at (in)courage craving local, real life community, (in)RL is an invitation to share what we’ve learned about community and encourage women with stories and suggestions for connecting deeper in real life.
(in)RL is the combination of outstanding online content that encourages, moves and inspires women as they watch in the comfort of their own homes and local meet-ups where small becomes the new big and women connect, in person, beyond the comment box.
Are you curious yet?? In AR (where I lived last April) we had a great time!! A beautiful menagerie of women gathered together to learn about the good reasons to stay in community (HA - I just saw the irony of that in my own life... but that's another post!). I'll host with a friend here in my home this year... and whether it's 2 or 10 or 30 women that come... I'll be thrilled!! 
This year, we want to hear about your story! Everyone has one! Whether it's painful, profitable, or punishable... we all have one to tell. I love sharing how God has worked in my life, turning this self-centered, broken, bad girl into someone that is growing in His character and love... and He's still working on me.. my HIStory is not finished yet! 
You can find out more about (in)RL here, and then go HERE to see if there's one in your area! If there is, then pray about attending. If you live in a heavily populated area, consider hosting another one! If no one is hosting, then pray about hosting one too - whether its in your home, a coffee house, a coffee shop, or a room at your church - THEY ALL WORK OUT GREAT! 
It's FREE to host, FREE to attend, and you have the freedom to structure it as you'd like to! Some women go all out with party favors and themes... some enjoy just letting everyone bring something to share... others like everyone to be able to order from the barista at the counter!! All you need to have is a computer, some wi-fi, and some speakers to be able to play the content that is shared. 
Do you know that women have been praying about you attending this whole past year? I'm still praying that you'll join us over at (in)RL and become a part of the community... 
Join us?? Become a part of the (in)courage community!! Don't worry - you'll fit right in!! I promise!
More than anything, (in)courage is about relationships – with God and each other.
We realize that our readers are in many different places in their journeys of faith. All of you are welcome.
Our relationship with Jesus is the heart of who we are and all we do. It’s not about going to church or doing good things.
And even if it were, that wouldn’t be enough because we’ve all messed up in life.
We know what it’s like to have distance in a relationship because we’ve hurt someone else. And with God, there’s only one way to close that gap. Jesus came to earth and died on the cross to make that happen.
We believe when we pray, “Yes, Jesus—you are my Savior. I ask for your forgiveness, receive your grace, and give all of my life to you” then our relationship with God is made right and we become His forever.
We still mess up but we can always come to Him again and simply say, “Jesus, I’m already yours. I know I’ve hurt you…will you please forgive me?
Our relationship with God keeps growing all of our lives and we hope (in)courage will be part of that journey for you. The (in) actually represents being in Christ and then in community with each other…this is our heart and prayer for all of us.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

On Raising Generous Children... a featured post at The Generous City...

Much like other habits (smoking, snapping our bubblegum, eating at McDonalds,etc) generosity is a habit learned when parents pass it down to their children. I have observed this all around me in community.
Last spring I attended a women’s writing conference in Nebraska and met Jennifer Dukes Lee. Jennifer is a storyteller, a wife, and raiser of generous daughters. Their family has been connected to ministry and missions in Haiti for several years now, and her girls have grown to know the names of the people there as if they are a part of their own family.
She saw her next generation begin to sprout generosity...

I hope you will join me over at The Generous City and read the rest of the story on Jennifer's amazing girls? 

And then go and spend some of that Christmas cash you got over at the store for Givington's or for ViBella!



Monday, January 13, 2014

Middle-Aged Mondays... and a prayer...



I don't want to go into a lot of detail here, just yet anyways... but last week we found out that my father passed away. That in itself isn't unusual... family members move.. stuff happens... but what my sister had found out online was that our father passed away last October. His current wife chose to not contact us to tell us.

Our family has been fractured and estranged for a number of years, and I'm finding out that that is more common than I'd ever believed.

I'm thankful that I don't have to worry any more about my father's health... I don't have to worry if he'll call on my birthday (he never did anyways...) and I don't need to wonder if he's doing ok. I don't have to struggle over whether or not to send him a card for any holiday, or if he would ever get to actually see his card (his wife did everything possible to build a wall between the two of them and everyone on the outside).

I don't have to be concerned about the weather in his neighborhood, and if they'd make it to dialysis, or if they had money for food and utilities.

I'm so SO grateful for the chance meeting that we had last summer... and the closure it gave me then, and again today. There was something about knowing that this, THIS moment, is likely the last time I'll see them.. a perfectly timed gift. If you get that chance, take it. I had already grieved the lost relationship. I really didn't like the uncomfortable feelings of being in his presence again. I didn't want to be vulnerable again. But it was totally worth it.

I love that God has ALWAYS been my Heavenly Father! Now, more than ever, I'm having to rely on His arms, His wisdom, His strength. I'm so thankful that all the years I didn't have an earthly father in my life, I had the example of Jesus' love to grow in. His love was always alive in my life... and yet He cared so much for me that He allowed me to reconcile with my earthly father too... only God knew the days that were so closely numbered.

Has your family ever been fractured? How do you pray for your estranged family members?

Father, I thank You for placing me in a dysfunctional family, and for walking that road with me. I pray for my earthly father's widow, asking You to be real to her, and comforting her on the lonely days. I ask Father, that You will give my sisters and I grace, wisdom and strength, as we learn to walk this road that's so unfamiliar to us. Give us Your love to share with each other, and those around us. I pray that although we will never comprehend why things have happened this way, that Your love will always shine through us, and that Your peace will surpass all understanding. 

Father, thank You for the gift of the visit that You provided last summer. I know that there may be others who are walking the path of a disenfranchised family that may be reading this now. I pray that You will give them wisdom, patience, and courage to reach out to their estranged family member. I pray that the memories of GOOD will overcome the wrongs that have hurt them. Lord, reign supremely! We praise You! Amen


The last time I saw my earthly dad, Marinus J. "Pete" Peters, 6/2013.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Five Minute Friday... See... and a Prayer...

On Friday's I like to join in the fun over at Lisa-Jo Baker's place, and play in her Five Minute Friday writing exercise. Each week there's a different word posted at midnight, and then the frenzy starts to write for 5 minutes flat on that topic. There's no correcting, no editing, just raw, writing fun.

This week the word of the week is "SEE". I'm writing my five minutes worth below... and enjoy the photos at the bottom of the post... things I'll see this week while we're on vacation...

(START)
We sat in the car together side by side, and I couldn't get enough talking, or listening in. He gladly pulls over from the long drive to let me snap photos, as we meander our way (mostly familiar) to get from the frozen homefront to the coastal cold-ness... not the ideal time to go to the beach, but it doesn't matter. It's not frozen like home!

When we arrive, find our friends that have invited us to join them, I SEE all I want to see... the sun setting in the Gulf, the white sandy beach, the smiles of our friends - out of our normal places, and learning to see so much more... the bird life, the people working around us, the lines relaxing from my husbands' forehead.

We walk on the sand, let the guys go golfing as us girls go to the zoo (SO much to SEE!) and look for wildlife in it's own habitat. Vacations are good to do that... look for the ordinary in our unordinary. Although the beach is familiar to me, THIS beach is not! The places, the hidden great things, the restaurants... lovely things to SEE in all of it. I'm glad that my eyes are SEEing it all! Join me in the memories...

(STOP  - I had 14 seconds left, but wanted to put the photos up...)







Father, allow us to admire and be captivated by the beauty of Your creation. Thank you for making the world for us to enjoy, and for putting us on this planet. You are the best Creator... the only Creator... and we love it for the senses that You give us to enjoy this world You've created... amen.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

And Now For Something Completely Different... WORD Wednesdays... and a prayer...



Along with Middle-Aged Monday's, I'm starting WORD Wednesdays, where I share a little bit of The Word (HIS Word) that God's been pressing in on my own heart. I'm hoping that it encourages you to open your Bible (or Bible App on your phone), look up the passage... maybe in a different translation, and see what He speaks to your heart about it... or for you to share a bit of insight that He has given you...

Who knows?? Perhaps YOUR words will encourage ME!

At the start of each year I start reading the New Testament. Occasionally I've read the whole Bible in a year (ooh... if you like to do that, or want to do that, check out A Woman's Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year, by Diane Stortz... SO very good!!). Usually I weave my NT in the year with a daily Proverb (one Proverb chapter for each day of the month...) as I NEED the constant repetition of the wisdom of Solomon. I'll read some Psalms too, as they speak deep to my heart and remind me that I'm never the first person in the world that has felt like ... THIS ... (whatever THAT feeling is!). The Psalms are also great to pray over other people... just taking the Psalmists words and asking God to fulfill that Psalms promise in someone else's life. 

How do YOU approach the scriptures? 

A few years ago I felt convicted about reading my Bible on an electronic device all the time. I'd stopped carrying my Bible, and used the convenient Bible Gateway app (or went to their site online). However, when there were kids around, even my own grandkids wouldn't know what I was doing on my computer or phone... for all they knew I was reading a romance novel, playing a game or just catching up on Facebook! It impressed upon me that I wanted them to know that I read my Bible... even before they were old enough to read, I wanted them to know this book I was reading was special... so I broke out the paper bound Bible again! 

After all, how many times had I read (or sung the song that reflected this passage...) 

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.  Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.  Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

And that's just what I wanted to do... but I wanted them to KNOW where they came from... not just an app, not just a website, but THE Bible. The heavenly inspired WORD of God. 

Are you a mom? Or a grandma now, like me? How did you (or DO you) inspire the next generation to read their Bibles? Do you have a system, or a program that you like to read? Have you been given any special ways to fulfill Deuteronomy 6:4-9 in your home? 

Pray with me...

Father, I thank You for giving us many ways to read Your Word, study it, and learn it. Open our eyes to understand what we read, and give us creative ways to pass along this passion to the generations that come behind us. I ask Lord that we would have an unquenchable desire to know You, to know Your Words, and to see them come alive in our lives. Help us to be obedient to whatever it is You are asking us to do today. In Your name we pray... amen. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Middle-Aged Mondays: New For 2014 - and a Prayer (of course)!

So many folks are re-vamping their blogs, getting face-lifts if you will, to put their best foot forward for the new year. I didn't want to re-do things, but wanted a way to ADD to what I felt was already good. I'm pretty diverse, and pretty spontaneous, and those two things need to be reigned in a bit and need to learn about scheduling blog posts...

That being said, the "new" in new year is going to be more of content and scheduling and not a pretty new face. (I kinda like my face anyways...)

... so adding to the mix of PRAYER (and being a SAFE place to PRAY), I'm adding a few themes and scheduling things....

Starting with...

MIDDLE-AGED MONDAYS!!

Don't you feel your age (or a few years older?) on a Monday mornings? I love the fact that weekends are over and I get to settle into the routine of a week... but sometimes I feel the creeks and crimps MORE on a Monday morning than any other day of the week! I want to capture that moment, and TURN IT AROUND for God's Glory! I don't want to gripe about growing older, I want to celebrate it ... even the gray hairs and hot flashes!!

So on Monday's I'll be writing about things only a Middle-Aged woman would fully understand, but I also want to invite you younger women (because I know that you're out there) to peek in too... I don't have a mom around to tell me about the woes and wonders of being this age/stage and I'm sure some of you don't have them either (or are not comfortable asking about it!). So pull up a chair and listen in!

Will you join me??

I also invite you to write in if there's a special topic you want brought up! I may have to creatively type to get the point across... but I don't think any topic is off base when it comes to health, mental health, taking care of ourselves, and mentoring through seasons of life. If it's really a borderline topic, we'll just have to email about it!

I hope that you'll join in, come along, and speak up where you are led to!

Pray with me...?

Lord, I don't have a close "older woman" to talk and walk me through this phase of life, and I don't want any other woman to feel this way. I pray Lord, that You will give me wisdom and discernment on what topics to write on, and creative ways to laugh at myself as I bumble through the process of learning to discipline myself to schedule posts on these different topics.

I'm so grateful for the gifts that You give each of us. Please bless my sisters (and brothers) out there to have courage and wisdom to know what steps to take to use their gifts too. Father, equip us, give us boldness to speak Truth, discernment to not stumble others and Your fruits to hold each other in prayer and friendship. Help us Lord to know that You are always with us, and to accept the rough days, no matter what day of the week it comes on. Let us see Your plan unfurl in our lives... all for Your Glory... Amen... 



Thursday, January 2, 2014

Snowy Birds... and a prayer...



It's bitterly cold out, and snow has been lightly blowing off and on all day. It's going to be colder soon. MUCH colder. 

I've drug my feet about putting out a bird feeder until we know what's going where in the yard. Still, the songbirds come seeking refuge. Today a large group of robins were clustering off of the patio, hiding under the bare rose bushes and eating the holly berries in the trees and drinking from the few unfrozen puddles on the patio. It reminded me of the need for clean water for them, and that God's providing despite my lack of movement in feeding them. 

I'll pick up some seed for them anyways, and see if we can find a spot for me to feed them where I can catch some photos... and just enjoy their beauty. Especially with the single digit (and negative??) temps creeping in over the weekend. 

Father, thank You for providing for the birds of the air, and the trees of the field. I ask Lord, that You will help me to remember to do my part, and also help me to remember that as much as You provide for them, You will provide for me. Help me to remember this in every season of life... in plenty and in need... and help my heart to hear Your prompting as You desire us to help others. Let me always be willing. Use us Lord. 

In Jesus' name... Amen