Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Small Beginnings

Don't despise the day of small beginnings.

As I went out to my garden this morning, to gather some tomatoes, I was reminded of this basic principle of the Christian walk.

It's easy to look at our life from a microscopic view of what is going on at the moment... I have struggled in this at times over the last couple years... but at the same time I try to remember, what is going on 'right now,' is simply that- right now. There is a much bigger picture out there. 

Taken around Aug 10th
When I looked at my tomato plants in August, I wasn't sure how they would do, I had finally figured out how to keep them watered in the heat we were having. That was a huge improvement and they were growing. I thought they were almost as big as they would get, I mean, it was mid-August and they had taken so long to get to this point. But I was fine with it, there was a tomato- almost ripe, some small ones growing and quite a few blossoms. I was pleased with what I thought would be a nice amount of tomatoes, 

I had no idea that just a few weeks later these same plants would be so big that they would be causing the cages to fall over. (next year they will have better support!) I had no clue the true abundance of fruit (or veggies) that I would be getting from these plants. 

Sept 28th
But oh my goodness!! How they have grown. The poor little plants that I worked so hard to get to live through July, had spent August growing and now in September are putting out an amazing amount of tomatoes!! I had harvested a few a day before picking that bowl full this week, and then I gave some to my daughter in law, and there are still going to be a bunch more to pick before the season ends.

It was while I was picking those tomatoes that I began to think about life, my life in particular. Last year I felt like those struggling tomato plants that were in my garden, I was surviving, but a lot of the time I didn't feel like I was growing and I really haven't felt like I was thriving. But I know that the Lord is watching over me, I trust that He is with me and is guiding me, 

I am beginning to feel more like the early to mid-August plants now, I do see growth, I even see some fruit, though I may have to lift some leaves to find it hidden within. I even feel I have a few blossoms... and that is important, the blossoms are reflective of the life and fruit to come! So I will continue to press forward, having faith in Him that eventually I will look and feel more like the abundant plants of late Sept.

When we see a blank or partly done canvas in front of an artist, we don't know what that picture will look like when it is completed, only the artist understands the full picture that he is designing. In this case, the artist is the Lord and He has a masterpiece designed for each of our lives, we can only see the canvas that is near us, He already knows what the final work will look like. I look forward to seeing the masterpiece that He is painting just for me.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Will or I Will?

More appropriately this phrase might be stated, "I will or will I?"

In the past 15, almost 16 months (how can it be that long?!) I have done pretty well about keeping my focus on Jesus in all the aspects of my life... Yes, I have had my moments, but for the most part I have been able to keep my eye on Him as my supplier in all things. The last couple weeks however, I have been struggling.

I have been stressing a few things, and they had begun to consume way to much time and energy. In chapter 6 of Matthew we are told 5 times not to worry  -- 25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

One of Glenn's favorite verses to remind me of when I would stress was that last verse- #34... Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. -- well,  "I've been worrying about tomorrow," and that is what brings me to my statement: I Will or I Will?

This morning I was driving to work and stressing out and I began to ponder one of my favorite scriptures;  Psalms 18:2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

As I was speaking the part "in whom I will trust," I felt the nudging of the Lord letting me know that I was not putting my trust in Him lately... putting my trust in Him- that needs to be a decision, and in my stressing, I had allowed it to become a question... I was, by my actions, saying "in whom will I trust?"

Bam! I was shocked when I realized it. The question mark had crept into my life when I wasn't pay attention, or more accurately when I quit my decision to, not worry, and trust in Him.

It's easier to do than we realize, issues arise, situations, expenses... you name it. Stuff happens and we begin to focus on the 'stuff' rather than the solution- God. God is aware, He knows our needs before we do... He knows my needs before I do- He knows what was going on, what is going on, and what is coming. What I have to remind myself, and apparently more often than I was, is that He is watching over me. He WILL take care of me. He has kept my bills paid so far, so I need to chill out from my stress, and trust that He will meet all my needs to come.  My job, is to not worry about tomorrow- I can almost hear Glenn saying it to me.

I am so thankful that the Lord also understands my shortcomings, and that He gave me that nudge this morning, and will the next time I need one. For now I will again say.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Remember, In The Dark, God Is There

2 Sam  22:9 “For You are my lamp, O LORD; The LORD shall enlighten my darkness."

Saw the news today, and it's all over my Facebook wall, Robin Williams is dead, and apparently by his own hand. Here is a man that, from the outside, had it all. He was talented, funny, successful, married to a beautiful woman and wealthy... and unfortunately consumed by depression. It is sad that he felt that his only way of escape was by his own hand. My heart breaks for him and others like him that have no hope.

I understand depression, I have battled it in the past and it tried to rear it's ugly head this last year. Depression is no respecter of persons. It doesn't care if you are a man or a woman, rich or poor, old or young. When it hits hard it can consume a person, it removes all the color from your life, removing the vibrancy from your life. Yes it is real, where it comes from... well there are the things that trigger it, drugs, situations, chemical imbalances, but in my opinion, it, like all other sickness is straight from the pit of hell. The medical community has drugs that they use to treat it, but have you seen the possible side effects?!? Including depression and thoughts of suicide. Does that seem counter productive to anyone else?

The first time I was hit with it, I had thoughts of suicide, but the Lord knew exactly what thoughts to give me to bring me back to rational thought. The next time, I didn't see it coming and it came in a much different form, first I just pulled back from things, I began to function enough to get through each day, but I did a lot of staring at walls and mindless things. That time I ended up in a doctors office, she told me that I had "situational depression," it manifested in the form of my back seizing up. She put me on low dose Prozac, I took it for a month, but about two weeks in as the 'fog' in my head began to clear I realized what I really needed was to get into my Bible. I never refilled that prescription, because the words on the pages of my Bible spoke to me, they got me refocused on God's love, the hope I had in Him; The hope, that I needed only to access.

Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

The battle with depression, has never since then hit that low valley, because I have learned to recognize it, and battle it in prayer and with the word. There is a hope that can overcome the darkest of times, the hope that comes from the Lord. No matter how lonely a person is, no matter how isolated they allow themselves to become; either mentally or physically, God is there, and they need to remember that.

Romans 8:39 tells us that "nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." This knowledge helps to keep me trusting God and gives me hope for the future.

Hope is a precious commodity, it is one that all the money in the world can't buy, it is one that is readily available to all who want it. This abundant hope that I speak of, comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. It comes from releasing our burdens and sins to Him and allowing Him to become Lord of our life. This relationship brings with it freedom. Does it mean that our lives will never have problems? No, but it means that He will be with us, to strengthen us and to carry us when we are feeling overwhelmed.

I am thankful for the day that I asked Jesus into my life, and I'm even more thankful for when I finally realized what it meant to make Him my Lord and not just my Savior. Through all the ups and downs of my life,  God's constant presence carries me and brings me peace in the storms. He is my Rock and my Anchor, now and always.

If you want to know more about a relationship with Christ, take the link to "Meet My Best Friend."

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sunsets, Day-breaks, & Awaiting a Glorious Unfolding

Psa 30:5(b) Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

Lam 3:22-24 ​​Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, ​​Because His compassions fail not.  ​​They are new every morning; ​​Great is Your faithfulness.  ​​“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, ​​“Therefore I hope in Him!”

With the current heatwave we have seen some amazing sunsets in our area lately, I have been hearing the song by Steven Curtis Chapman; Glorious Unfolding a lot lately. The combination of these have begun to trigger some thought processes about sunsets, sunrises and life.

A little over a year ago, I watched as the sun set on my best friend/husband's life... and it felt in many ways that it was setting on mine too, I knew better but the heart feels what it feels. I put one foot in front of the other and pressed forward, some days better than others, but forward none the less. Today, 14+ months later, I continue that journey forward, thankful for a loving God who has been with me every step of the way!

A while back I started hearing the song, "Glorious Unfolding," on the radio, a lot. I started listening to the lyrics, and somewhere along the way I started HEARING them, again reminded that it was not my sunset last year, but rather the darkness before the dawn of what is to come. 

I wrote in my last blog that I have entered the next chapter of my life, I have come through the darkness and am moving into the sunrise... that glorious unfolding of what lies ahead. I had an amazing trip to Alaska and traveling home down the Alcan (Alaska/Canadian) Hwy. The beauty that I saw really was a reminder to me that God's fingerprint is everywhere, including my life and my heart. I really did get a refreshing break, I detached from work and was able to enjoy the journey.  

Enjoying the journey of life, a life lived in the Lord, that's what I want to do. Yes, the heart still aches, but at the same time, I know that I have more life ahead of me, and I am excited. Do I have a clue as to what it will look like? No. But I know that I have a Father in heaven that does, He has known since before I was born, and I know that I can trust him to open the doors each day that I am to walk through... this is only the beginning of my future.

Take a moment, if you haven't heard this song, listen to it...
Be Blessed!!

Lay your head down tonight
Take a rest from the fight
Don’t try to figure it out
Just listen to what I’m whispering to your heart
‘Cause I know this is not
Anything like you thought
The story of your life was gonna be
And it feels like the end has started closing in on you
But it’s just not true
There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfold

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
You’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

God’s plan from the start
For this world and your heart
Has been to show His glory and His grace
Forever revealing the depth and the beauty of
His unfailing Love
And the story has only begun

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
We’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

We were made to run through fields of forever
Singing songs to our Savior and King
So let us remember this life we’re living
Is just the beginning of the beginning

Of this glorious unfolding
We will watch and see and we will be amazed
If we just keep on believing the story is so far from over
And hold on to every promise God has made to us
We’ll see the glorious unfolding

Just watch and see (unfolding)
This is just the beginning of the beginning (unfolding)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Life Moves On --

It's been over a month since my last post... and what a month, the year of firsts is now completed, including the anniversary of Glenn's Celebration of Life and burial. I am ready to begin this next chapter. I am ready to take a deep breath and continue to move forward, I am ready for my heart to continue to heal and the waves of emotion to continue to smooth out.

This chapter is off to a good start-- beautiful weather, a garden planted (though we'll see how it does, lol), a new job on the horizon, and a very soon a trip to Alaska, followed by the relocation of my son and his family to the valley. Yes a very good start, I will soon have all of my children, and grandchildren living in the area and I am very thankful for that. 

Sometimes we need to learn to appreciate life; A game of golf with my son, a movie with one or both of my girls, an afternoon with a grandchild be-bopping around the house, a conversation on the phone with the kids, coffee with a friend, or any one of a million little things... the little things all add up to memories. Memories are precious, and the older you get the more you realize this.

Cherished memories are a way of looking back with a smile, not living in the past, but just a moment relived in our mind and heart. When someone you loved is gone, you no longer have the opportunity to sit and talk about the silly, or important things you did together. But the memory of those things at least allows for a moment of reflection and a quiet smile to cross your lips.

The last month has been a lot more of an emotional drain than I anticipated. I really felt that I would be more settled than I am emotionally. What has occurred has been an up and down time, kind of like a row boat in choppy waters. As the 1 year mark has passed, I have had some moments that, my memory gates opened up like flood gates, instead of the quiet release of a trickling brook. Don't mis-understand, the memories are wonderful! What it has stirred up is, the loneliness of not having Glenn here to talk with, whether about those memories or the moments of the current day to day- in a way that only he could really 'get.' He understood me like no one else, he really was my best friend and other half of me.

Last year was the chapter of closures, the initial shock waves of life without Glenn have past, and this year is the chapter of new beginnings.  I find myself really looking inward, and upward as I begin to contemplate, who I am. I am having to relearn who, "I" am, as opposed to who 'we' were, I still find myself using references to us, for present day, even though it's just me... this is hard.  But God is seeing me through.

I have always been somewhat of a "Pollyanna," and that's not such a bad thing. If you don't know the term it comes from the attitude of the title character in the novel by the same name. Pollyanna's philosophy of life centers on what she calls "The Glad Game", an optimistic attitude she learned from her father. The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation. It originated in an incident one Christmas when Pollyanna, who was hoping for a doll in the missionary barrel, found only a pair of crutches inside. Making the game up on the spot, Pollyanna's father taught her to look at the good side of things—in this case, to be glad about the crutches because "we didn't need to use them!"

As a young girl it came from a sense of security in the family around me, and yes a level of naivety. In my adult life it's more because I trust the Lord and what He says in his word. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. And add to it Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. So, I think it's not a bad thing to be a Pollyanna.

 I am thankful that the Lord put this optimistic side into my personality, I want to be thankful in all things. I want to be a positive influence on the people around me. I want the Joy of the Lord to dominate my life. This is what helps me press through in the hard times; I will be honest, lately I have had some struggles with the area of depression, fortunately I recognized it for what it is and I am going to overcome. It's not that it's on me all the time, I refuse to allow that, but it hits and can hit hard. But knowing what it is, allows me to give it to the Lord, and battle it with prayer, the word and worship! And through God's strength, I will get the victory!

Remember, the valleys allow us to really enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the peaks!! So, I take a deep breath and put one foot in front of the other, moving forward and enjoying the beauty of the Lord around me, and taking in the moments that will be the memories of tomorrow! Life moves on, and I will move on with it.

a.k.a -- PrairieMouse

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

End of Chapter 1

You may think that the title of this blog is odd, but then again if you know me, or have been following my blog, it may just make sense after all. The 1st chapter in my life without Glenn, year 1, is almost over.

Philipians 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

As I have been out and about recently I am aware that everywhere you look, you see it and you know it... Spring has sprung. Spring is a reminder that life has cycles, after the winter comes new life. That is what I am looking forward to in me, spring... this last year has been a long winter and I am ready for the spring, and I am confident that it is coming. I don't know how long the season of budding before the bloom will be, but I am beginning to feel that I am entering a bud stage. The year of firsts is nearly over and I have survived, and grown.

The year has been a time of hurdles, closures and many firsts without Glenn. I am glad that this time is coming to it's own sort of end.

Hurdles-- that would be adjusting to a new chapter in life, balancing my business plus a full time job, my personal life including time to rest and recharge (never my strong suit), and try to find a way to get back to doing what I did before with in my involvement in church. I need to remember that this chapter is really more of a steeple chase than the quick short hurdles on a track. The hurdles vary in size and intensity, some are easily seen, some I knew were there and chose to go around them temporarily- I will be facing them shortly, and some are like the ones that hide behind a hedge on the steeple chase course. They come from no where but with God's help I have gotten through them and will continue to.

I can look back and feel both frustrated and yet okay at the same time, there are times when I got mad at myself for shutting down, letting my emotions get the best of me. I'm not one that likes to give into emotions, tears and the lack of control that they create-- but I am human and I lost it plenty of times. I want to be in control, to be on an even keel, and some people may be surprised by this; but I like to know the 'plan,' For obvious reasons, that hasn't been the case, so I have learned that I need to be ready to flex, to 'jump' or turn as the Lord leads.

Firsts -- firsts, lots of them... important days celebrated with out him, some holidays and some days that may have only had meaning to us. Some were harder than others, some were surprisingly good, as thoughts and memories added to the presence of family and thoughtfulness of friends counterbalanced the 'empty' factor. One person really went out of their way in a way that probably did the most to get me through what might have been the hardest time of year... and I am forever thankful to them, and I can only hope they read this to know just how much those 12 gifts meant- you see, they were anonymous.

In this last few weeks I have found myself way more emotional than I have been in months. The first year is almost to a close, a lot of the pain has resurfaced. I miss Glenn so much it hurts, physically at times, and and I know that this is normal and natural, but it still sucks!

On the upside, I have found that God is constantly reminding me that I am NOT alone in this, He is always present with me, and His arms are around me.

Closures-- closure can be a good thing, it's not always easy but it's healthy. There have been a variety of things that had to be 'buttoned up,' finished or 'what have you.'  Some were simple to do, yet hard on the heart... things like changing a car title, not a big deal- but a closure. Bank accounts, bills... you know, stuff. There was one big thing that was still looming until a couple weeks ago, our old house.

During the market crash, we, like so many got hit hard economically and fell behind and into foreclosure. Well for several years that house has been in a holding pattern with no auction date. During the fall of 2012 God opened the door for us to buy the manufactured home where I live now, it is affordable, in an area I like and feel safe in. His timing amazes me, we were able to move and know that no matter what, we (I) wouldn't be in a bad spot when the inevitable happened and the house would be auctioned. Well, ironic timing, that time has come and with it the final closures all at once, the auction of that house and the close of my first year without Glenn will occur the same week. Needless to say the last few weeks have been a bit crazy, but I am pressing through them, with God's never-ending grace firmly with me. It will get done, because it has to, but the good thing is... it will be finished, no more limbo land to drag my heart and emotions out. A big closure, and a much needed one, no matter how uncomfortable it's been.

Looking to chapter 2 - I'm the same me as I was before, but yet, I am not at all who I was. Last year was a time of shock, adjustment, often times just survival mode, and possibly semi-catatonic at times. I spent my share of time crying out to God, and sometimes just crying to God, and He brought me through the year. He has blessed me with an amazing family both in the natural and my church family... I couldn't have survived the last 2 years without their love and caring.

I don't know what lies ahead but I know that what is in my heart, and that is to keep pressing forward toward the things that the Lord sets before me. I want to be obedient to the things that He calls me to do. This 2nd chapter is really the start of my new life, you see, in so may ways I think last year was more of an epilogue to one book of my life and the prologue to the book I am now in. Only God truly knows what lies ahead, but I can honestly say that looking backward, I can look forward with confidence and trust knowing what it says in Jeremiah 29:11 really is true for me.

May the love of the Lord touch each of you as it has me.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Season of Fallowed Ground

Hosea 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.

This week an odor filled the air that reminded me that spring is coming, and a new growing season with it. Yes, it was a literal odor, you see every year they do a major fertilizing in Jacksonville, which is just west of me, so I get to smell that 'aroma' for a few weeks in the spring. lol

As I look back over the last 10 months, I see a season of fallowed ground. Fallow, means Land left unseeded during a growing season, this allows it to regain fertility. In farming, there is a practice of crop rotation and after a certain number of years they will take one year to fallow it, they will break up the ground, and create the furrows, but not plant. They give the field a year of rest.

I don't mean to say that I see no growth in my life this year, but rather, I see a season of rest, I know that sounds weird, due to the crazy, chaotic schedule, not to mention emotional spikes, I have had since entering this chapter of my life, but in a way it has been. 

You see, it's kind of like my unfinished planter box in the back yard, I set it up a year ago, I had a vision of what I was going to do with it, but then... well my life, as it was, stopped. Much like the planter box, it is set up, have a few weeds pulled and then it's and ready to be filled so that it can bring forth a crop. This last year, has been a year where in many ways that describes my life too, the ground was set and ready for planting- the way I saw it - and then the pause button was hit. The crop last year was in the spiritual, and it has been abounding, but I feel that now it's time that a new crop, one that I have no idea what it will be, is going to be planted in my life. This crop will harvest something that I never dreamed or imagined about because it is only my harvest, not the our harvest that I had always thought about. 

Yes, sometimes, my thoughts about the future are unsettled, yes I wonder... about so much! But I try always to remember that the Lord knew me when He created me. He knew the end from the beginning, and I try at those times to remind myself, that He has a plan for me; Is it what I thought it would be? No. But that's okay, He is bringing me through this season of fallow ground to prepare me for the path that He has for my life, I can and will trust in Him. When the time is right, I will begin to see the crop. As it grows I will begin to see what it is, and understand what it will become, but, ultimately I will remember that just as different crops have different growing cycles, so does the harvest that He is bringing forth in me. I must be patient and know that in His time I will be ready for what He has for me... I want to have a crop/life worthy of His harvest.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Ruth Response

Ruth 1:16 But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.

As I was spending time in the word, and going through the book of Ruth, I began to ponder Ruth and Naomi. This story struck me differently than ever before, probably due to where I am in my own life.

Naomi and her family had gone to the land of Moab, her sons had married Moabite women; Ruth and Orpah. Naomi's husband died and then so did both her sons, at this point Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem, and tells the girls to return to their families, Orpah does but Ruth says no, she wants to go with Naomi- she tells Naomi that wherever she goes that she will go with her, Naomi's people will be her people, and Naomi's God will be her God. 

Ruth saw something of value in Naomi, even when Naomie couldn't see it herself. Naomi was feeling abandoned by God. She even said, "call me Mara," translated- call me bitter. Naomi is feeling overwhelmed and alone and is not able to get past the feeling of loss- I can understand how that happens when you lose focus on the Lord.

Somehow Ruth had seen past the fear and distress in Naomi and even in her own mourning and loss she knew that Naomi had something in her life that she wanted. My best guess is that she had witnessed it during her marriage into this family that knew the one true God. I'm sure that they honored the traditional Jewish traditions, holidays and feasts, and through this Ruth had begun to develop a heart that was seeking the true and living God. This is the heart I admire, her response to Naomi was the beginning of what I call the Ruth Response.

When they arrived in Bethlehem, Ruth's love of her mother-in-law was evident by her willingness to serve and provide for her. She went to glean in the fields and that is where God began to move on Ruth's life, through her obedient heart. Ruth was seen by the field's owner, who was a relative, and he told her where to glean and made sure that there was provision for her. 

When Naomi found out, she told Ruth that Boaz was a near relative, and that she should go and lay at his feet at the threshing floor, and Ruth obeyed. She lay down at his feet while he was sleeping... She was literally laying at the feet of her redeemer. 

Because her heart was pure to seek the living God, she was redeemed from her widowhood, first provision for her and her mother-in-law, then she gained the love of Boaz and finally she had a family, and from that family would come her grandson, David-- the son of Obed, the King of Israel, a man after God's own heart.

In my own life I have been blessed, I was married to an amazing man, a man that loved God with his whole heart. I have four terrific kids who love God and are serving Him (and through them I have 2 equally terrific bonus kids). I have 4 grandchildren who are being raised to know the love of the Lord. I am part of a wonderful family and also an amazing church family. Through all of these I have come to know the love and strength of the Lord, more and more each day.

That being said, I can't say that each day has been completely a 'Ruth' day... I want it to, but I have my Naomi moments. Fear can creep in during the low points- "Will I be able to pay the bills?" "Can I deal with issues that may arise?" "Who can I talk to during my moments of fear and frustration?" Yep, low points that happen, whether I wanted them to or not. But when they hit, and I realize what is going on, I push past and begin to refocus where I need to, the Lord.

What I admire in Ruth is that she kept focus, she knew that God would provide, she understood His faithfulness and trusted in Him. Obedience to what those around her said, those that she trusted. Again I feel this is because she saw the Lord's hand on them.  I want to have that focus on God, rather than stress, I want to remember to lay down at the feet of my redeemer- Jesus. I can do this anytime, I don't have to sneak in at night to a threshing room floor. I can lay down at the feet of the Lord at anytime, sometimes it may be in a litteral, prostrate position of laying down, other times it is a heart thing, laying down my fears and trusting that my redeemer will provide, I need to remember at every moment the importance of; letting go and letting God.

Another example of the feet of the Lord as the place to be, is seen in Luke 10:38-42

38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

God has shown himself so faithful this last year, I am blessed, and sometimes ashamed of myself for going into a Mara mode... I need to remember my name, Mary, the same as another woman who chose the feet of the Lord.

My prayer; Lord give me a heart like Ruth, one that is obedient to do as You ask, and rest at the feet of my redeemer.