|Questions Need Soul Answers-Psalm 131|
I could feel the depression creep into my skin like an insidious attack of insects looking for a winter home in which to roost. I flipped my head to the other side on my soft pillow, hoping to rub out the feeling of invasion and a Saturday morning filled with dreariness. Only the morning’s grogginess filled my waking mind at first. But once the invasion began, my contemplation of the day ahead became sullied with thoughts of weariness, a whisper of unworthiness, a flashlight beaming on my failures, and a gut-wrenching lie that my life was empty. I wanted to bury my head and go back to sleep. I glanced at the clock and then punched my mattress and pushed myself out of bed. This day would begin NOW! But, “Why, Lord?” was the question that haunted me. “When will I awake with joy–the joy you promised so long ago? The joy that will last forever regardless of the circumstances?” The Lord answered my cry in many ways filled with joy. He sent a friend to say, “Hi” while she was out biking with her husband. I let my husband visit while I hid in the laundry room in my nightgown. Too embarrassed to be seen schlepping around in jammy wear at such a late hour of the morning. I hid. An interesting response considering the morning’s meditations. Yet the Lord offered a joyful counter to the thought of “emptiness.” I wandered upstairs and pushed the start button on my computer, then left to change my clothes and do more chores. I returned to check my email for another extra-sale coupon from Michael’s arts and crafts store. But the Lord had a better surprise for me.
There in my email was a note from [email protected] 2 Encourage. She wrote that my blog was her featured blog of the week. And she designed a most beautiful button to represent my blog. Amazement and joy filled my heart as I read her note through glassy eyes.
“Lord, You know how to counter the negative thoughts and feelings that come over me, ” I wrote in my journal. “You put joy in my heart when I least expect it. How much I need to focus on Your word and not worry about being perfect. Just know I am loved–a love I never earned and one I never have to strive to keep. Thank you for your love.”
The devotional I read today was called, “Why Me?” and it really ministered to my questions for the Lord. He is the Lord, and He knows the circumstances and emotions that we go through in life. He also knows His reason for allowing them. All He requires of us is to trust Him and believe He has the situation under control. I like one of the points made by the writer–we probably wouldn’t understand “why” even if the Lord gave us the answer. We just need to quiet our souls in His arms. Keep our hearts humble and concerned only with Him.
“But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
“O Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.” Psalm 131:2-3 NIV
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Youngest was on a gym court again, challenging a few guys to a basketball game. Nothing out of the ordinary. He played Varsity in high school and was named the “top defender” for a couple of years in a row. Basketball runs in his veins like writing does mine. On the court this past week, he was “in the other guy’s face” doing what he has always done best–defending the basket. He jumped into the air for a block, like Michael Jordan, I’m sure, but when he landed, it looked more like one of the Harlem Globetrotters. Only he was wincing, not laughing. A trip to the urgent care raised the question of what might be happening under the knee. Several X-rays later, the initial diagnosis said there were torn tendons and tissue but no broken bones. Rest, ice, elevate, and taking pain killers were the remedy offered by the doctor. Any good mother knows that a patient needs Chicken Noodle Soup as the remedy to heal everything. So, I raced home from work, and two hours later we sat down to a piping hot bowl of homemade soup with King’s Hawaiian rolls. Youngest limped back to his car and apartment with Mom’s “cure all” in a plastic bowl for the next day.
The weather had not cooled down enough that day, but there were still happy faces around the table and lots of compliments on the soothing liquid that warmed their insides. So, here’s my recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup. The secret ingredient (other than love) is Wyler’s chicken granules.
About a 5 lb. broiler-fryer chicken 4-6 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch slices 4-6 celery sticks, also cut into 1/2 inch slices 1/2 of medium onion, sliced Fresh sprigs of parsley or a couple of generous pinches of dried parsley flakes 2 pinches of dried marjoram leaves (my Mom’s secret) 2 Tablespoons of Wyler’s Chicken Granules 2 quarts of water
7 oz. of American Beauty Extra Wide Egg Noodles Cut up the chicken into parts–two breasts, two legs, two thighs, two wings, and the back. Cut off the tail. Wash thoroughly with cool water, especially the chicken cavity where the blood pools. Leave the skin on the chicken for the most flavorful soup. Place the cut up chicken in a six-quart pot with the vegetables and cover with water. Then sprinkle on the seasoning. Heat up the pot until the water boils. If brown residue floats to the top, skim it off but leave the seasoning. Cook chicken for 45 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and let it cool on a plate. In the meantime, boil enough water for about 7 oz of noodles. Cook noodles for 7 minutes, drain, and add to chicken soup. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, tear or cut off pieces about 1 and 1/2 inches to add back into soup pot. Heat everything again for just a few minutes. Serve with your favorite bread, rolls, or corn muffins–even popovers. Let it warm your tummy and heal whatever ills you. Linking with Ann Kroeker at Food on Fridays Share: Share what you have enjoyed.
|Centerpiece on our kitchen table|
Cooler, fall weather whistled through the maple trees on campus today and the smell of a campfire drifted on the air. As I gazed at the blue sky through branches of pine trees in the desert, I felt as if I could get lost in this moment forever. Peace swirled around like fallen leaves and I imagined myself playfully tumbling into a pile of orange and crimson drifts and resting with my face turned skyward. Autumn is my favorite season if I give it a chance to settle on me. Cooler temps; time that seems to move slower; scents of pumpkin spice filling the kitchen; warm, cozy family gatherings; soup cooking on the stove; relaxed evenings before the holiday rush–all reasons that endear this season to me. Like a mother hen, I want to gather in my chicks and the nesting urge grows. For a few more days, maybe weeks, I can sneak in precious time with my young men, surrounded by their love before life moves them on.
Step into our cozy home for a taste of the autumn I love captured through photo snippets.
|Autumn spreads a warm light on our corner hutch in the kitchen. Candle lit ONLY for photo effect.|
|Happy Autumn Faces perched on our counter top|
|The mantle above our fireplace warms us with Thanksgiving “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, …’” Genesis 1:14 NIV|
Drop by Savvy Seasons for their mammoth giveaway this week. Winner will be announced Friday at 5 p.m. Pacific Daylight Savings Time
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It’s been a while since I have put a number to all the thank yous my heart holds for the Lord. The blessings have overflowed:
683) the arrival of fall, even if the thermometer still reads 90+ degrees 684) this autumn season full of promise, bursting forth in harvest; a time to gather, and a time reap what we have sewn 685) the love of family and friends as we joined in the celebration of one of Life’s shining moments 686) fall break–a time to rest and gather photos for family scrapbooks 687) flipping through catalogs and shopping for Christmas gifts 688) oldest making plans to travel out of state for a job interview; watching him make the reservations, research out the best deals, line up the plans, lay out the clothes–it makes me smile while it makes me sad. Still hope he gets a job here. 689) youngest and hubby hauling out the tent trailer for an upcoming trip. All that went wrong, yet for the most part, we all remained calm. Lost keys, some wood molding removed from the garage, a cable broken while trying to open the pop up. Someone doesn’t want us to take this trip. 690) a time to write again 691) a new vacuum cleaner that needs to be returned; hopefully a better one on the way 692) time to catch up on emails 693) a week of blessings with my student at school
694) remembering that the Lord is my peace and my stronghold. He is my strong tower and mighty refuge.
“‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him’.” Lamentations 3:24 New American Standard Bible, 1995
May your week be filled with harvest blessings and eyes open to God working in your life.
Linking with the Gratitude Community at Ann Voskamp’s Multitude Mondays Share: Share what you have enjoyed.
|“Whatever is lovely…think about such things”|
“You worry too much,” my cousin wrote the words that so aptly describe the workings of my mind. Just a few weeks ago I was held captive by worry as I drove home from work, not an uncommon happening.
Anxious thoughts crept into my mind and spiked on the Richter scale of patterns zigzagging across the internal screen. As I wound up the road home, the intensity of worrisome scenarios built for the questions with no answers playing on the field of my mind. My heart beat raced keeping pace with the mind game as I flipped through pages of ways to control the outcome of what could become the reality of my worst scenario. I was almost to the stop sign when I heard the Lord whisper, “You could just think about something good.” “Could I really JUST DO THAT?” I wondered. It’s always been impossible for me to change the direction of my thoughts without a logical explanation to refute them. But the Lord did not say, “Change the direction of your thoughts.” He said, “…just think about something good.” I breathed in slowly and deeply, slowing the rapid pace of my heart. I looked out the car window and saw the sturdy mountains against the backdrop of a clear, blue sky. Mmmm. The beauty began to seep into every fiber of my being and the peace that passes understanding began to control my thoughts. I was amazed. I had never experienced any change in my thinking as dramatic as that before. Just as surprising was the discovery much later that my anxious thoughts were far from the reality of the situation I was stewing over.
Gradually, I’m learning that the anxious thoughts and racing heart do not always signal a need to take action. Often they signal an overactive nervous system that needs to be infused with peace from good thoughts.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is pure, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:7,8 NIV
I actually like the translation in the Amplified for verse 8 better as it elaborates on what could be admirable thinking:
“…whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and LOVABLE, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things–fix your minds on them.” Philippians 4:8 Amplified
Linking with Spiritual Sundays and Scripture and a Snapshot
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A believer in Christ, my heart is given to Him and shared with my husband, our two adult sons, family, and friends. I’m a people person with a passion to encourage and inspire Christian women and others. I write from my heart, sharing my experiences, goals, and vision for living a life centered in God.
I hope you’ll join me on these adventures and follow along as we discover the Lord’s plans for our lives and His whispers to our hearts.