Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snow Diamonds

Good morning, beloved friends! What an amazing day this is going to be! I can hardly wait to see what the day will hold and if the sun will shine again like it did yesterday. It was such a beautiful day and as always, God's beauty shone through the cold and warmed my heart with His powerful love. God is so good...always present, always loving, always GOD ~ and that is awesome!
When I set up the office in our home, I made sure that my desk was situated in such a way that I could easily see out the big picture window and enjoy the view of the sky and little wooded area across the road. It's sort of like God picked up a tiny piece of the country and planted it right there just for me. Of course, I know that sounds silly ~ no doubt the previous tenants enjoyed the view for many years before I came along...but I choose to believe that God not only gave me this house to live in, He also gave me this glorious view to behold each day. And believe me, I really do!
I love looking at His creation in nature...seeing the trees, bushes, grasses and flowers cover the land in the springtime... listening to the joy in the birds as they herald another season of life with the music of their songs...watching the weightiness of summer bring the sometimes-too-warm days, thunderstorms and nights filled with the sounds of crickets and owls and...oh, all the other critters that love the great outdoors...and the changes that autumn brings as the trees explode with colors and falling leaves, cooler days and nights and...I could go on and on and on...but I'll stop. You get the idea. God is good and colorful and creative. I love Him!
But I confess...I am not a cold weather person! And when the snow comes to blanket the city as it has twice in the last few weeks, I am always looking forward to the time that it melts...hopefully quickly...and the first little signs of Spring begin to show up. I start looking for them as soon as it starts to get cold outside. Ridiculous, I know...but still, I have a great deal of hope for the next season to arrive once winter begins. What's even sillier about all of this is that I could move to a warmer climate and not have to deal with the cold quite so much, but just like so many people who live in the Midwest and also dislike the cold weather, I seem to be planted here for now. Maybe that will change someday. We'll see... :)
Anyway, back to yesterday... Although I'm not crazy about cold weather, icy roads and trees and gray skies, there are a couple of things about winter that I do love. I love the bright blue skies that occasionally come and the warmth of the sunlight that breaks forth when every tree is bare and all of the roads are wet or slushy or even ickier than that. And if there is snow on the ground, well...the sunlight just seems to cheer everything up a bit. I love the way the snow looks on a sunny day.
It was particularly beautiful yesterday. We've had quite a cold spell here ~ by my calculations, anyway ~ and everything has looked so dreary outside for several weeks now. Being encouraged in all of that grayness can be challenging at best for some folks. But yesterday the sun was shining so brightly and all of the little snow diamonds (that's what I call them) were sparkling as beautifully as the diamond my husband put on my finger. Millions of them...beautiful in every way. It looked like God laid a shimmering white blanket across the land and said, "Look, isn't this gorgeous? Even in the midst of all of the hard things in life, I always have something glorious for my children to see!" Those snow diamonds were a testimony of that for me once again...a testimony of His beauty...His glory...His love for us all.
Some of them looked sort of silver as they glistened in the sunlight, but I noticed several places where the sun hit them just right and thousands reflected the colors of the rainbow. As I looked in wonder at the feast of beauty laid before my eyes, I was again reminded of His love for us. Once again He showed Himself to be glorious and wonderful. Once again I saw that even in the smallest things, God is there in all His goodness and that He does care about the details of our lives. And you know, I figure if He cares enough to make the little snow diamonds that don't seem to serve any purpose other than to be glorious to behold, He most definitely cares about the ins and outs of our daily lives. He cares, beloved. He truly does care.
Look for the snow diamonds He's put in front of your eyes today. Feast on them. Drink in the beauty He's given you to enjoy. And whether it comes in the form of snow diamonds, a friendly smile, a loving hand to hold, a bird in flight, the beautiful sunlight or a precious passage in His scriptures, don't miss it. Don't close the eyes of your heart to the beauty of God's goodness. Drink it in, beloved. Drink deeply. For truly this is the day that the Lord has made, so let's rejoice and be glad in it!
Vicky

Friday, January 14, 2011

Trickles and Choices

Good morning!
What a great start to the day... I'm sitting at my computer, listening to beautiful music that my husband recorded ~ he's an awesome musician ~ and I'm just resting in the awareness that God loves and cares for me more than I can possibly imagine. Now, that's what I call a great way to start any day! :) I am so grateful for all that the Lord has done and is doing in me thus far in my life. I'm most definitely a work in progress!
I've been away from the computer for some time now...not posting for quite a while...and quite frankly, wondering if I would ever write another post for this blog. Many wonderful and many very hard things have happened since 2009...things that caused me to re-think who I am and where I am in my walk with the Lord. My life this past year has been very difficult in many ways and I've needed the last several months to put everthing into proper perspective. The Lord and I have been working diligently on me...and I've sure needed it! Guess you could say I've been restructuring and being restructured by God. It was necessary...and it's all good!
I learned many years ago that God is always good ~ even when the things we are enduring may or may not be. Whether they are things of our own design or something that the Lord is bringing into our lives for the purpose of growing us up...whether they are painful experiences or filled with profound joy...He is always at work in us...showing Himself to be good and merciful, gracious and patient, loving and kind, generous and wise. He is always using the things that seem to trickle into our lives... And at times it is only as we journey further down the road of our time on earth that we learn His 'trickles' came with a purpose...came from the heart of the Father who loves us without reservation...unconditionally...and who knows more than anyone ever could just what we need to purify us and set us free from all of those things that hold us down ~ things that keep us from running fully and freely into His loving arms.
My journey this past year has reminded me repeatedly that I need Him moment by moment and that I cannot afford to step away from Him for one second without expecting there to be some sort of price that will be paid for doing so. I've made choices that I wish I'd never made and done things I wish I'd never done...but I've also made decisions that I do not regret. Some of those very decisions have caused me to lose friends and to seek out my Father in heaven with a repentant heart...and a questioning one, too. I look at where my life is right now and know that God's hand has brought me to this place. But I also know that many people would disagree with me about that. They would say that I have walked away from God and that He is not pleased. I only know this...God is a loving Father and long ago I gave Him my life to do with whatever He chooses. I meant it then. I still mean it today. I trust that He has me where He wants me right now...and He confirms that trust in beautiful ways on a daily basis. I regret some decisions, but embrace others. They have all brought me to this wonderful place and time in my life. God is huge, my friends. Don't ever take that for granted. He is simply HUGE!
Things that come to us may appear to be sent by the enemy. I say 'appear' because I believe with all my heart that God can step in at any time to stop them from finding their ways to us. He could intervene and prevent us from being hurt, or making bad decisions because of the temptations we endure. He is, after all, GOD! Now, I don't discount the fact that He's given us a will that is free to choose whatever we choose and that sometimes, we absolutely make the wrong decisions. Nor do I wish to sound as though I am trying to justify sin or wrong choices where my life is concerned. But ultimately, He is and always will be GOD. (Yes, I know...I said that already... I just love the way it sounds... GOD IS GOD... Wonderful!!!)
If He allows things to come to us ~ things that just seem to trickle into our lives ~ it is for a purpose we may or may not understand at the time. But we can most definitely trust that He has us in His tender care. We must continue to put our hands in His everyday, regardless of anything we may encounter. He knows better than anyone how to work everything out for our good ~ and it even says so in the Word... "He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes." How reassuring that is! How much peace that brings when we feel as though we've lost our way or gone way too far in our poor decision making ~ or our sins.
I'm reminded of the fact that Jesus ~ perfect, sinless Son of God...our Lord Jesus ~ even asked His Father to take away the cup that he would have to drink... And the Father's answer was no. He could have said yes, but He didn't. He not only chose to say no. In Isaiah 53:10, it says
"Yet it was the Lord's will
to crush Him and cause Him to suffer..."
Wow.
So, my friends, there it is. I have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I have confessed and repented, gotten to my feet once again and continue to hold onto the Master's hand. I have made decisions good and bad...and have held onto the promises that my Lord loves me enough to get me where I need to be. I've watched things 'trickle' into my life...thinking they were good or bad...whatever the case may be...and have been affirmed by God's love for me repeatedly during those times. I have seen the same in others...falling down...getting up again...continuing on their journeys as they endeavor to 'endure to the end'. My job is to love them. To love you, friends. Whatever you encounter on your journey. Whatever you choose to do when those things trickle into your lives. I choose to stay commited to God. I pray that for all of us. That we would find ourselves before His throne on a daily basis...loving and serving Him to the best of our ability...repenting and letting go of our sins...then getting back on the road to follow Him wherever He leads us.
December 19th, 2010 I married Charles. He's a wonderful man ~ a musician, songwriter, arranger and singer...who also plays piano, keyboards, flute and trombone fabulously... and who, most importantly of all, is a true worshipper who loves God dearly and lives his faith in powerful ways daily. I thank God for this man. He is truly a gift in my life. Maybe I'll write more about that later, but for now, it's time to say goodbye. Be blessed, dear friends. Thanks for following my blog. I'll write again soon, I think. It's good to be back.
Blessings!
Vicky

Monday, January 3, 2011

Smile

Hi Everyone!



It's been such a long time since I've been on here! Even received a note from someone (Anonymous), asking if I have quit blogging. lol. I sure don't blame you for wondering, Anonymous! Sometimes I've wondered if I'm ever going to get caught up!



I hope every one of you had a beautiful time with the Lord this holiday season and that you're looking forward to a wonderful new year. 2011 is a gift from God - as is every single day we have the opportunity to be alive. I'm so grateful for His faithful love and constant presence in my life. Hope the same is true for you, too, my friends.



As I sit here writing this post, I'm listening to a song entitled "Smile". It makes me think of how our response to God's gracious gift of life - whatever it may hold - should look in each of us. Now, I'm not naive enough to believe that life is all a bed of roses... Surely we all know that! But I do believe that the Lord wants us to have a right heart attitude, regardless of our circumstances. When trials come and life is difficult to say the least, it can be a real challenge to keep a good attitude and a cheerful smile in place. But He wants us to be thinking about 'whatever things are lovely....' I'm working on that one myself! Lately, it hasn't been as difficult as it used to be - and for that I am extremely grateful!

Hope to be able to write more in the next few days. I've so much to tell you all...if you're interested... ;)

For now, though, goodnight and God's beautiful blessings of rest and peace and...oh yes...incredible joy and wonderfully intimate relationship with you and Yeshua the Messiah!

Much love to all!

Vicky