Rise and Stand Tall

Life can be scary and overwhelming when those floodwaters of life seem to dump on top of your head and threaten to drown you. But I encourage you today to rise and stand tall. God has not forgotten you. Scripture tells us over and over that he is always there beside us. Deuteronomy 31:6 says ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified…the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.’Then all through Joshua, II Chronicles, Psalms, Isaiah and Hebrews, he reminds us over and over ‘I will never forsake you.’ Then there is a full page of reference notes of God saying how much he loves you- I Chronicles 17:13, ‘I will never take my love from you.’

Here in the midwest we are beginning to see the river start to go down. Second street in sections is dry and the chairs at the Le Claire Park band stand can be seen poking their backs out of the water, standing tall. I thought the picture below showed the resilience that nature shows us about their survival and if they can rise and stand tall, then we must as well. God always shows us small signs that he is with us every step, just look around.

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Rise and stand tall

These tulips are a testimony of survival as their street is still underwater and we should follow their lead, rise above the floodwaters of life and stand tall. God will be standing right next to us.

May you all have a calm and beautiful weekend. I know some parts of the nation are still having major issues of storms; my prayers for you is safety and feeling God’s peace. And in the midst of all storms, there is usually a moment when kindness will be needed. I remind you to always be kind when the helplessness of life can effect us all.

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Bloom With Encouragement

This week I have had several “situations” which were not meant to be hurtful but to a more fragile person, it could have been devastating. I am always aware of how powerful words are and how they can uplift or tear down and I push always to build up. We are all creations of a loving God who we, as a creation, sometime forget and walk away form that love, sometimes because of a harsh word from another. Today I read a post that needs reposting as it affirms God’s continual love for us and how he is forever encouraging us. I saw a picture on Pinterest the other day that really speaks to me…”What ever you are praying for…hold on. I am already on it and help is on the way.” Don’t let the discouragement of this world wilt your beautiful bloom but reach to the Son who loves you. Enjoy this post by Gracespeaker and be encourage for the love all around you. And as always, remember to be Kind.

Five Actions to Prevent Wilting

Finding Assurance

While this post is strongly Christian inspired and maybe not really your thing, I do you will read on a little bit as we all need assurance that we are going in the right direction in our lives, that we are hoping to make a difference and last but not at all the least…that we are loved. While the word love is so vastly over used, it is still the most powerful word God created, after all God is love and he proved His love for us by giving us a part of himself, Jesus. Love is a noun and a verb. It shows up in the most unexpected places sometimes and in many unexpected ways.

It shows up in the beauty of a sunrise of the dainty fragrance or color of a flower.

I comes in the form of many works of art, from writing, to painting, to photography, to music and so many more.

In 1873, Fanny Crosby and her friend Phoebe P. Knapp combined Phoebe’s tune that she could not,get out of her head along with Fanny’s words and came up with the song Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine. Fanny was blind at a young age but never let it stop her form sharing the love she had for God and his wonderful love for us.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! O, what a foretaste of glory divine! Can you feel what that says. A foretaste of glory in being assured of Jesus’ love.

Heir of salvation, purchased of God, born of His spirit, washed in His blood. An heir is a person who receives items at the death of another. So we are heirs of salvation, purchased by God with Jesus’ blood. What do we need salvation of?? Think about that.

Echoes of mercy, whispers of love. Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.  What an awesome thought, lost in His love. I think this pictures expresses that.

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The living water of the First Day.

I have strong assurance of His love for me and I hope you do as well. Fill your selves with His love and let it flow from you to others with kindness reflecting God’s love for all.

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Winter Didn’t Kill Them

This past winter was brutal for a large part of the US. We had a week of -30 temps with wind chills reaching -51. Crazy, right. It’s not like I live with Santa or anything.  But with the temps that cold,the heating systems in the area really struggled and so did my indoor plants. I though I may loose my violets because they are so sensitive but as you can see below, they are doing well. My thumb is more brown than green.

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My violets

I love the delicate flower in rich purple with the bright yellow…stamens? I think that is what they are called. See, brown thumb.

Regardless of thumb color, I am enjoying the flowers inside as well as out. Once I finish planting, I will show my outside flowers, that last week were brought inside due to threat of snow…in May!!

I am also enjoying my bird watching. I guess its a retirement thing as I never had time before to really enjoy them. Saw my first Gold Finches this week. Awesome beauties.

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A beauty
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Gold Finch, Wood Pecker and Cardinal
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Wood Pecker & Gold Finch

If you are wondering what the white stuff is all over the pole of the bird feeder…squirrel deterrent…Crisco shortening. They can’t climb the greasy pole.

As we enjoy the fun, warmth and the beauty of spring, lets remember to share the warmth, fun and beauty of kindness. Kindness is God love shining through our action, even if its just a smile. A smile is a frown turned upside down and a smile can turn your upside down mood back into a light mood of love. Always be kind.

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Memories of Spring, Escapist Coloring Club

For Linda G Hill’s monthly challenge of the Escapist Coloring Club, I have created another idea of spring. Our winter was brutal and spring is not being very friendly either. So I color you a fun idea of spring in hopes that your spring will be kinder than mine here in  Iowa.

HOP INTO SPRING!!!

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The fun side of Spring

As you enjoy your spring, remember the beauty of new life as plants start bringing forth their beauty. As this beauty makes you smile, remember to share that smile with others and be kind. Kindness is a reflection of God’s love so share it often.

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Our 4 Legged Children Vs. Emotions

You know that look you see …or give when someone says something really…outlandish, (didn’t want to say stupid, oops, said it anyway). 

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Yea, this look.

The animal version…

This is the look I give people when  they say animals don’t display love, kindness, naughtiness or other “thought of only as human” emotions. Below are a few of my favorite pictures that I repost from time to time as they are precious or hilarious and show a wide range of emotions.

As with all people, all animals are creations of God. God created the ability for emotions. Therefore… ‘Nuff said. But my fun post on this dreary rainy afternoon deals only with one animal in particular…Mimi. For those who may not know Mimi, she is my black and tan coonhound/black lab mix of a best friend. She was a rescue so she is very protective…and loud. When she sees the very idea of someone walking down the sidewalk, it is a high pitched reverberating noise from living room window, running through to bedroom windows then back to living room where I get this look…

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Are you seeing this???

I assure her I see it and all is well. You can literally hear her sigh as gives up and comes back to the sofa until someone else breaks “her” rule of walking on “her” sidewalk.

But today it is raining and while she is welcome to go out at her leisure, she looks back at me when on the stoop and comes back inside. Heaven forbid our feet getting wet unless it is absolutely necessary for business. So now we look for ways to entertain  ourselves. The rope is no fun, the sick is boring, the chicken bone is not right either. Lets see, oh look, mommy left her hair clip on the end table and left me to go wash clothes downstairs.

A lot of her shenanigans  come from boredom or not getting the attention when others are in the room. Jealousy, just a human emotion?? When I came back upstairs, this is what I found.

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I pick it up and say nothing but show it to her. This is the look I got and of course the hiding pace where no one can see her. Dead give away that she knows she did wrong.

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I am not looking at you, in my safe zone, so you cant see me.

I had another dog that thought the dining room table was a good hiding place.  Guess she knows she is too big to get under the bed. Knowing right from wrong only a human emotion??

Do they take clues from  us in guessing right and wrong, yes, but I think it is already there, just like children. If you don’t keep it in check, it gets out of control. But the majority of the time they are just loves, providing that they are allowed to share their love for us. They love us, they need us, they want us to know they are always there for us. And they want the same from us.

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Love you mom .

So look at your family pets with a different perspective in knowing they need you as much as they want you to want them. Share in their love and kindness and watch them smile at you when you do.

And remember to share the kindness with others…people and critters. Kindness is a reflection of God’s love so share it often.

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Love is…

What an open ended statement. Love is many things to many people. I have been away from my computer for a few days as I have been busy with one of my loves…gardening. We have finally been blessed with spring weather, temps anywhere form low 60’s to mid 70’s. Awesome. And this is what I did. You can buy the plants and put them in hangers or buy plants already in  hangers. I did some of both. Plus added some to the ground. But in reality, I am just getting started.

I was trying to get it all done before the rain started last night. Thank goodness I didn’t as what we call where I come from, Blackberry winter, has come upon us. Good grief, wasn’t the real winter long enough. Apparently not. Therefore…the hangers are now decorating my living room as temps are expected to drop below 30 with an inch of that dreaded white stuff. Sorry guys that are already in the ground, hang on.

So since there was no loving to do outside I sat down with another love and read. I finished the next to the last book of a 14 book series by Jan Karon called the Mitford Series. It is a wonderful series set in the North Carolina mountains about everyday life, its tragedy’s and triumph’s. Since I am from the south, I was very familiar with the areas she she spoke of and how very true the conditions she wrote starting in the early 2000’s are even today. I strongly suggest reading this series. You will laugh at the absurdity of its richness and cry with the truth of the pain.

Reading this series really brought home to me God’s love for us as people, human beings and how we as humans are just so…lost sometimes. It is astounding how we as a creation of love can cast off another human or animal as discarded trash or a conquest as we strive to what we believe is a higher purpose leaving destruction in our path. I looked through my study bible to see how many time the word love was used – didn’t want to count them as it was a full page and a half. Scripture tells us to love our neighbor as we love our self. Do we not love our self? And who exactly is our neighbor. My opinion is we are all neighbors, all brothers and sisters, all family. Do I fail at loving my neighbor …daily.  But if we as humans who can reason with some form of clarity about how we are supposed to be, we should be getting closer to our created purpose, yet at times we are in far left field.

So as I write my blog, I always try to remind all of us about the beauty of life that has been handed to us. Yes our circumstances may be in the bottom of the barrel but we can always CHOSE to have joy. There is a vast difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is a feeling we get due to circumstances around but joy is having inner peace. This peace comes from Christ. Jesus says “My peace I give you.” Its a peace beyond all understanding to our human minds but it is a free gift. A gift we often do not use.

As you go through your week next week, remember the inner joy and let the light of it shine through you to others around you so that to may enjoy the light and the joy it brings and always be kind.

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