You’ve captured my heart

 

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It’s a wonderful delight

in the absence of sunlight 

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to sit and gaze upon 

a yellow bloom 

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A flower big and bright

I smile at the sight

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a little bit of happy

fills the room

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We sang one of my favorite worship songs this past Sunday- Beautiful One.   I love how you can sing a song a hundred times, but God still makes it new in your heart!  I heard this line-

You’ve opened my eyes to Your wonders anew, You’ve captured my heart with this Love...

As we sang this song, I began to think of all the ways He has “captured” my heart over the past week… little things– like a random phone call, or a simple text message from a friend.  A compliment from a stranger, the perfect song on the radio at just the right time…

And yesterday He captured my heart again!

Last week, I had planned on going to pick sunflowers, but I ended up unable to go.  There’s just something special about sunflowers- I can’t stop smiling when I see them!  I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to go, but didn’t think much about it afterwards.

Well, just yesterday someone out of the blue brought me a bouquet of the longest, most beautiful sunflowers!  She knew how badly I wanted to go pick them last week, and wanted to brighten my day.  Such a simple gesture- but He captured my heart once again!

“You’ve opened my eyes to Your wonders anew, 

You’ve captured my heart with this Love, 

’cause nothing on earth is as beautiful 

as You”

…that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever.  Psalm 30:12

 

 

 

 

He has made me glad

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I had someone recently tell me they were looking for a sign from God.  I told them that He is always faithful and will give them exactly what they need -in His perfect timing!

I know this because He has been so faithful to me.

With no stream in sight, lately I’ve felt like I am walking through a desert.  As someone who wears her heart on her sleeve at all times, I’ve cried more in the last week than I have in ages.  I HATE to cry.  Especially in front of people.  It is humiliating, embarrassing, and makes me feel weak. But sometimes I just can’t stop the tears from flowing, and I have stopped fighting it.

I arrived at church Sunday morning, and was sitting at the piano- praying and getting ready to begin our worship practice.  As I sat there, I got a text from a friend saying they were praying for me.  I responded, letting them know how much their prayers meant to me and to share with them that I had been feeling very “down” this past week.

As soon as did I hit “send” on my response, I saw someone enter the sanctuary- all smiles, and holding a flower.  I got up from the piano as she came to the stage.

“God told me to give this to you today!”  She had cut the bloom from her yard that morning.

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I cried- yes, again, lol–  but this time they were tears of joy!  It was a gladiola bloom.

“He has made me GLAD,” I said as I hugged her, and in that instant the joy of the Lord flooded my heart.

He is with us, and He shows up in the most wonderful ways!

And always right on time.

For You, Lord, have made me glad through Your work;
I will triumph in the works of Your hands.  Psalm 92:4 

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Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  1 Peter 5:6-7

 

 

stop and smell the roses

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This week, I celebrated birthday #39, and it was also my 3 year anniversary of starting this blog.  I feel like I’ve been celebrating for a few weeks now, because my hubby surprised me with my birthday gift a bit early.  We took a trip to the beach a few weeks ago, and the day we arrived, he gave me a big box.  Seeing how excited he was to give it to me made me even more giddy to see what it was! DSC_0442

He bought me a nifty new camera- all decked out with different lenses and filters and a tripod… more stuff than I know what to do with!  And I love that he gave it to me when he knew I’d have the time to learn how to use it.    DSC_0444

One day while we were at the beach, we visited the Elizabethan Gardens.  The weather was gorgeous- just slightly breezy and warm.  With my swanky new camera dangling from my neck, we strolled through the gardens, taking in all the scenery.  DSC_0418

It was definitely a day to remember!  Just the two of us, leisurely strolling along without a care in the world- except to enjoy the beauty around us. DSC_0495

Here he is, trying to sneak away from the camera… holding my camera bag and map in hand…

I was so thankful for all the the Lord has  blessed me with, and for the wonderful husband He has given me to share my life with-  someone I still look forward to going on dates with.  Someone who makes me see things from a different perspective.  Someone who knows me better than I know myself at times, and who always sees the best in me.  DSC_0419

I’m gonna to make it a priority as I begin the countdown to birthday # 40 to

stop and smell the roses

to appreciate His creation

to spend more time with my family and friends  

and to seek JOY!

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The Lord is my strength and shield.
    I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.  Psalm 28:7

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For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit-  Romans 15:17

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May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

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All Dried Up

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At first glance it seems as if 

it doesn’t stand a chance

all dried up and withered

due to “desert” circumstance

I admit, I haven’t been

as faithful in its care

I left it by itself

as if it wasn’t even there

but as I take a closer look

a new bud, do I see?

I think it’s not done living yet-

A second chance for me!

IMG_3398I actually cleaned today.  Yes- that’s a small victory worth writing about in itself.  In the process, I thought I’d “clean up” this poinsettia that seemed destined for the dump.  Remember when I predicted the demise of my gorgeous poinsettia  before Christmas?  Well, I had given up and was ready to send it on it’s way to the trash.

I carefully sat the plant in the kitchen sink- after my daughter helped me clear away all the dirty dishes, and I picked each dead leaf off, one by one.  Crinkly, colorless, and void of any life- these dead leaves willingly fell into my hands.  As I cleared all the dead stuff away, to my surprise- I noticed that there were signs of new growth at the top.

So I cleaned it up, watered it, and left it in a sunny spot.

I thought about how much easier my own life would be it I would willingly get rid of things that are keeping me from growing.

I sat the poinsettia back onto my table, knocking over one of my favorite coffee cups. It was broken beyond repair. I have had this cup for over 15 years. It was given to me by a student on my last day of student teaching when I was in college.  I felt like I never really connected with these high school kids, and because of that- I thought of myself as a failure.  Until one of the students came up to me and gave me this coffee cup and a balloon.

It meant the world to me. It was proof that I had mattered to someone.  I’ve drank coffee from that cup nearly every day for the last 15 years.  And for the past 15 years, I’ve also held onto that feeling of “failure”- as unfounded as it was.  So, as I cleaned up my mess and threw the cup in the trash, I agreed to let go of that memory, too.

So, I’m throwing away the “dried up” thoughts and memories that are holding  me down, and throwing away the “dried up” leaves that are preventing new growth on this plant that is still hanging on!

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead  Philippians 3:13

Standing Tall

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Standing tall- a radiant sunflower on a recent day trip

 Listen, stay alert, stand tall in the faith, be courageous, and be strong- 1 Corinthians 16:13

It’s the little things that make me smile.  Sunflowers are one of those things.  I can’t get enough of them.  A daydreamer at heart- I could stare at them all day if I’d let myself!  I remember seeing them when I was young, and wondering how on earth they could have such a huge, beautiful bloom and still stand so tall on such a thin stalk.

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God’s business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, Setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye.  Psalm 11:7 (MSG)

I remember when I was in elementary school feeling self-conscious of how tall I was. Feeling like a giant, I often walked around with hunched shoulders, hoping it would allow me to fit in and not be noticed by others for my tallness. Standing tall meant that I would be standing out above the crowd- literally. It was during my adolescence that I took notice of sunflowers and how beautiful they are.  If they somehow had the strength to stand tall, certainly I could find it the strength to embrace my tallness and do the same.  I began to realize all the beautiful things I missed out on seeing by hunching and looking down all the time.

And one of the things I detested about myself as a child, I have grown to appreciate. I love being able to grab something off the top shelf for a friend, or a fellow shopper in the grocery store.  By His grace, I now stand tall for my faith in Christ. And I stand tall for my fast-growing daughters- who look up to me (literally and figuratively) and follow my example.

God’s business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, Setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye.  Psalm 11:7 (MSG)