Who Is Valentine’s Day For?

DSC_1010This week I am celebrating all week!  Why?  Because this is a special week in my life…its Valentine’s Day week!  It has special meaning to me.   People think more about love this week than any other week so it is said, but it also seems to bring other emotions to some.  I would say it is less about couples, and more about love.  Showing and demonstrating to the people around you, family, and friends just how special they are to you.  My man and I were to become husband and wife on that special day many years ago, but circumstances didn’t cooperate with us.  So we were married in May instead.  However, we have chosen to celebrate our anniversary in February also!  We do something special every year at this time.  But don’t let the “couple thing” be a stumbling block to how to share your love that day.  Here are a few things to make it fun:

  • Note in your child’s/parents lunch
  • Pay it forward in a Starbucks line
  • Let someone go before you in a line in the store or gas line
  • Sneak a note in to a co-worker to let them know you care
  • Note on the windshield of a special personIMG_2490
  • A phone call, text, card, or letter to let someone know you care; personal touch is best if possible
  • Cookies to a neighbor
  • Invite someone you love out for coffee and tell them how much they mean to you
  • Write a letter or card to someone who has had a great impact in your life and tell them what it has meant
  • A special movie night in your home or meet up with a friend(s)
  • A treasure hunt in your house or office for messages of love
  • Cook a special dinner and invite a friend
  • Write down 14 ways that you have seen God’s love in your life in the first 14 days of February
  • Do something special for your pastor and family to let them know you appreciate them
  • Go visit a shut-in
  • Make a love collage of how you have been shown love lately
  • Starbucks card
  • Go visit your favorite place
  • Take yourself out to dinner
Photo by Cameralab
Photo by Cameralab

The most important thing is to have fun.  Don’t let the day go by without taking the time to do an act of love.  I get to share some love with a wonderful group of women Wednesday morning and following that, my hubby and I are making a road trip and enjoying a few days away.  I will be using my Valentine’s gift from him; my Fujii XT1 camera!  We will sport our LOVE Tumbers in the car with us.  We will enjoy a few snacks on the road.  Picture taking all the way.  My car should have a sign on it that say, “This car stops for all photo opportunities!”  We will check out a little church I told you about in the last post, and stop where ever we want to stop, and enjoy every moment.  But we are making a week out of celebrating it with all we do.  We are living in expectation of this Wednesday afternoon.  There is something to be said for expectation.  We should live our lives that way every day because God has something in mind for each day He grants us.  I don’t want to miss out on what it is!  I want to jump up and down in the morning, waving my arms, saying, “Here I am Lord!  Where are we going today?”  Can you see that visual picture?  Joy in the journey!  He cares about big and small things as I have shared before and here’s another good example of it today:

We got back home from the accountant’s office and we had to check out something regarding the Lime Squeeze and get the information back to him.   Low and behold, we find in that process that we have been driving the Lime Squeeze with expired tabs since September!!!!  I don’t have any notice of it anywhere in the files.  Now I have been around many state patrols and policemen/women and yet I have not been stopped.  I say that, not in trying to be a smarty pants, but because I believe that God has blinded the eyes of many in order to keep me from having to pay a ticket.  I didn’t plan it that way, but God sure took care of me!  Needless to say, first thing in the morning, I have to go get that done.  But this is just another example to me of how God cares for the little things in life!  He watches over us.

IMG_1095Be crazy celebrating in gratitude this week!  Look over the list above, add some of your own, and commit to do something different this year when that special day comes on Saturday.  You know, with technology being what it is, you can even send a mocha or coffee via the internet and they have it right away to enjoy!  Whatever your choice, I want to wish you a wonderful Valentine’s Day FULL of love, and I hope you make it a great day of sharing your love in action with others.

Walking the journey with you…

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Between Cupcakes

IMG_5966I LOVE cupcakes!!  Especially if they are devils food chocolate with fluffy white frosting!  Oh my!!  They are the best!!  So why do I share this tidbit of information?  Because this week was one of those times where I NEEDED cupcakes; a lot of them!  There is nothing better than those delicate, fluffy cupcakes topped with fluffy not so sweet frosting!  I had such a hard day, that I ate six of them right in a row and smacked my lips with everyone!  As I was eating them, I thought maybe there was something to the name of them.  The devil was sure doing a number on me today and I was eating my way through it with cupcakes!  And…I was careful not to leave any crumbs behind!

Now, it is a couple of days since that time and I got to thinking, “Why is it that we do that to ourselves?”  Do we think that something like that is going to helps us feel better?  Or, that eating them will somehow dissolve the problems that we are facing?  I have to admit, though, they really hit the spot!!  But my problem was still right in front of me.  Sometimes, we do this kind of thing and then deal with the guilt afterwards.  I can’t say I felt the guilt where chocolate cupcakes with fluffy white frosting are concerned, but along the lines of, “Shoot!  I did it again!”

I guess what I have thought about in retrospect is, that in all fairness to great cupcakes, they don’t help much of anything, except taste good at the moment!  When I look back on eating my six cupcakes in a row on Monday, I didn’t care about the reasoning.   But now what I am wondering is, why didn’t I go to the Source of all problem solving and ask for His intervention?  What is it about pride that keeps us from going directly to Him for the calm and peace we need?  Or maybe the insight we need to identify what is really going on, and the boldness to share it?  Maybe, because we would have to be responsible for our reactions, as well as, our actions.  I kind of think so.  It would mean I would have to go to prayer and ask for help instead of allowing my feelings to control me, so I can feel justified.  So…(pause) what?  I am just going to eat those cupcakes because…I CAN?  I deserve them?  I can even tell myself that if I have a bad day, and don’t do it again tomorrow, then I can justify eating them.  Amazing what our brain and heart can figure out between them, when we don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.  We can get SO creative!!

We are always going to have those “things” that tempt us, make us angry, hurt our feelings, or cause us to go for the one thing we love.  Satan loves to put those temptations right in front of our eye gates.  He will even go through the trouble to set up the scenario for you!  He loves to use his expertise to make that happen!  What we are doing may taste good to our emotions at the time, but there are always consequences to not taking it to the Lord first.  Always.

I share this because I know we all deal with this in some way, shape or form.  I want to be able to go the God with anything first, and ask Him to help me figure it out.  I want to deal with it in His way and His timing.  I want to surrender my pride and listen to the still small voice, and take my next steps accordingly.  I can send myself on all kinds of guilt trips, OR, I can go to God and ask for His direction.  His strength will give me the power to say no to what I FEEL like doing.  If I ask Him, He will let me know what I need to do.  We have a free will and can decide to pray about it, or, eat six cupcakes and have nothing change.

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I want to change and be more like He wants me to be.  In the time it took me to eat those cupcakes, I might have been able to totally solve the problem if I had been willing to face the problem, pray about it, and do what I know God would have wanted me to do.  Humm…do I detect a bit of rebellion in there somewhere?  Possibly.   That isn’t the way I want to live my life, and it will not help me live in peace and harmony.

Now, does mean that you can’t eat cupcakes?  Of course not.  But maybe not six of them, and certainly not for reasons and emotions that you alone are responsible for.   I had my time with the Lord to talk this over with Him.  But I kind of get the feeling that I should have done that in the first place.  Duh!  He gently reminds me that He is here with me.  I can always come to Him with anything.   Now that I listened to the Holy Spirit, I have taken action regarding my reaction.  I learned.  I live another day to learn some more.  In learning something valuable, I got to drop another heart in my Gratitude Jar.

Walking the journey with you…

Where Do You Go?

If you could choose a place where you can go when you need to be refreshed, where would it be? Where can you go, that when you get there, you can dial down, hear God’s voice, and actually feel your spiritual tank getting filled back up? In Romans 15:32, it says “… so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed.”

My place?  Anywhere near the water. That’s a beach, ocean, river, stream; it doesn’t matter. I love to sit and look out on the water. When I am there, I can feel my body calming down, I can breathe deep of the fresh air and feel the relaxation that the water brings to my soul. The ocean is one of my most favorites but I will take what I can get where I am, which is usually the bay, a lake or river. I can think and create there, and it is there that often times God places special things in my heart. If we know our place of replenishment, then why don’t we go there more often? We know what it can do for us, we know it gets our creative juices flowing again, and that our spirit is renewed. So, what is the problem?

I think it has to do with what we tell ourselves. What do you tell yourself that keeps you from being in that spot where you can be lifted up? Is it the time? You might have to do somethings differently to make it happen, but you can. Is it children? It may mean taking kids along with you. Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and milk with you. GO! Even if it is cold, you can go with the kids and have a car picnic and enjoy the view and talk about all things fun with your kids while you look out, see the beauty, and let God speak into your heart. Even a ride through the country can change a mood pretty quickly when you see the beauty all around you. Maybe it isn’t the water at all but a country farm, or a hike. Whatever it may be, find it. Search it out. If it is just you and your sweetheart, then pack a love basket, bundle up and go for a walk on the beach, and look for shells, or just go for a drive. If you are a camera bug like me, make some memories with your camera. BUT DO SOMETHING!

What if you can’t get to a beach or to your special place outside the home? Ladies, our home is our sanctuary. Find that place in your home that can give you that same kind of lift! It may be a corner of a room with a chair and light next to it. Make it your corner. Add your favorite reading materials, your bible and maybe get a candle to place there when you are sitting there. The man’s spot may be in front of the fireplace, out fishing, or in his work shop. For me? I have my office. I love it there and it is the first place I set when we  have moved. Why? Because I know I need that in my life. It’s my creative space. In my office, I have a little fountain that I run that also helps me feel close to the water. I love the sound. I have candles to light up my life. I have music that makes my heart sing. Key word: do SOMETHING!

God wants some time with you, when you aren’t distracted. When you can hear His voice, and it is quiet enough in your spirit to be refreshed. Let’s go to that place! Know where it is! Let’s get refreshed! Let’s ask God to help us arrange it. Let’s ask Him to speak specifically in that place of renewal. I’m ready! My car is packed. My camera is in the back seat! I want to hear what He will give me next! How about you? Let’s go!

God bless you as you find the “sweet spot” where you can be refreshed with Him. Walking the journey with you….

Slowing Down…

I had the pleasure and fun of having my grandson over night this weekend and what a great time we had. He is five years old and a very busy little boy! His energy is non-stop and as he tells me, he NEVER runs out of energy. After following him around for a couple of days, I am inclined to agree with him. But the other side of him asks me, “Grandma, why do you go so fast?”  When I look down at him, I wonder the same thing. What IS my hurry? He likes to stop and look at things; admire them, ask questions about them, ask what it means or why it is that way. I enjoy his curiosity and have come to adopt that in my life more and more as I am around him.

Just think of what that could mean in our relationship with God. What if we “slowed down” to enjoy time, or more time, with Him? What if we would stop and become a “noticer” of things and people around us? What would happen if we stopped to enjoy the flowers, or the hear the birds more, children’s laughter, our husband/wife, our family? What would happen if we started looking at things more simply or asked God what something means or why it is that way? The exciting part of that is, just like when Ethan asks me those questions and I want to answer him the best I can, so much more so, God wants to talk with us and help us understand and see things more clearly. Now THAT is something to get excited about!

So over the next few days, I hope this encourages you to slow down a bit, pause a while, smell a flower, see the mountains, smell the rain, and breathe deeply of a loving Father that wants to share in your life and loves you very much. When I hear Ethan repeat back to me weeks later what we have talked about, there is no greater joy to me. I know God feels the same way about you and me. He loves it when we come to Him and pause a while, and remember His goodness and enjoy His beautiful creation around us. Enjoy this week and God bless you as you journey on!