Take the Medicine

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I love when I open the page of  my devotional, no matter how many days have passed from the last time I read, and the reading is appropriate for that very day. The topic this morning was ….

Being cheerful.

It’s the easiest way for us to be when everything is coming up roses. When life is going the way WE would like. When we have everything we want. And none of what don’t.

It’s easy to be cheerful when life is perfect.

Let’s prick the balloon at this point as here is what I just fully and completely came to realize ….

Life will never be perfect. I know I am slow on the uptake. It took “Miss Happy” fifty seven years to come to this conclusion.

I have honestly found this last week to be depressing. There I said it. Not that I am depressed but I certainly have found myself to be less joyful. And then I read ….

Your heart and mind are intricately connected.
(from Jesus Lives by Sarah Young, page 80)

Here’s the point …. Intricately (according to dictionary.com) —>

  • having interrelated parts or facets; entangled or involved;
  • complex; complicated; hard to understand, work or make.

Our hearts and minds are so intricately connected which makes it totally perplexing and hard to understand the way they affect one another. But take it to the bank – they. surely. do!

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” (Proverbs 17:22, NLT)

Being cheerful does not mean we take on the proverbial, “fake it to make it”. It means we put our trust in Who our God says He is and what He says He can do. We nip the downward spiral before we hit bottom. It means we do not let the negative thoughts take us farther away from the truths which God promises in His Word.

We ask Him to restore joy back into our hearts as we trust Him to ….

  • to bring job opportunities
  • to help us pass tests
  • to not get discouraged under demanding or unreasonable bosses
  • to give us the energy to deal with teething toddlers
  • to bring our dreams to fruition – mine and each one of yours
  • to provide a way out of situations where we feel stuck
  • to show us how to do “ministry” (youth and otherwise)
  • and yes, to relieve back pain
  • to bring healing to hurting hearts
  • to take care of the needs of the world around us

The truth is, while our circumstances may not change today, today is all we have and we will never live today again. So we might as well live it cheerfully. And honor Him. And bring Him glory. And trust Him.

Because if I am reading it correctly -

A cheerful heart is good medicine.

May we take a good dose today.

**This post is not negating the illness of depression nor the need for medication. It is addressing the occasional feeling of depression which everyone feels at times in life.

Today I am joining … Thought Provoking Thurs. and Tell His Story and Quitting Thurs. and Thurs. Favorite Things and Thrive at Home .

“I’ve Missed You”

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Words are a funny thing. We throw them around all day long – in conversations of small talk and in those of deep meaning.

Sometimes are words spill out before we even think about what we are saying. Other times, we mull the words around in our head, like a teabag in water, waiting until they are steeped before we release them.

We all know our words are powerful, Scripture telling us “they have the power of life and death” (Proverbs 18:21). We reap the consequences, good or bad, of the very words we speak.

Yesterday I read words which fell on my soul like a balm. Three simple words which spoke volumes and have continued to minister to me, deeply. The funny thing is I have never met the woman face to face, only through blogging. I never even gave thought as to whether or not she noticed me. We connected here and there through links and comments. Plain and simple.

Would you like me to share the words? I think we all can learn deeply from them, I promise.

“I’ve missed you.”

There you have it. The words which deeply blessed me at the moment I most needed to be encouraged. No Scripture. No cute meme. No quote. Just three words …

“I’ve missed you.”

Solomon had quite a bit to say about our words:

Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
(Proverbs 11:25, NLT)

Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
(Proverbs 16:24, NLT)

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
(Proverbs 25:11, KJV)

Since reading those three words, I have found myself so grateful to have read them. They spoke more deeply than the blogger could have imagined. They were words fitly spoken. I finally, fully and completely, understand the meaning of this Scripture …

Our words can stand out from all the others.

Much like golden apples would stand apart in a painting, our words when spoken at the opportune time, will stand apart from the words spoken by others. They can bury deeply into the heart of another, to be cherished and retrieved as needed.

May we think about others in our lives, who may need a kind word, an encouraging word to get them through their day. Don’t ever discount the power in your words. Even three little words …

“I’ve missed you.”

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Today I am joining … Words of Life Wed. and Coffee For Your Heart and Three Word Wed. and Whimsical Wed. and Wed. Prayer Girls and Wedded Wed. and Winsome Wed. and Works For Me and A Little R & R .

Of Beauty, Creativity & Faith

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This was a quieter week so I had plenty of time to catch up and read. I kept wanting to share these posts as soon as I read them but saved them for today. So grab your coffee and stay for a bit ….

1) This post is beautiful in both word and photos. Through a simple walk on the beach, Ginger is reminded to “appreciate the simple, imperfect steps toward wholeness and growth.” She is reminded there are “no ordinary moments” but that we can “discover the extraordinary every day.”

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2) There are times we do something seemingly small, like send a card. But it may not be as small as we think. In this post, Michelle encourages us to follow the nudges we feel inside. “Because you never know – as Mother Teresa once said, your one small thing may offer someone a glimpse of great love.”

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3) This post has every sort of beauty which can be compiled into a post. I loved the photos and the creativity and the joy which was exuded in every inch. Take it all in and may it challenge us all to look for the beauty all around us.

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4) We save and hold onto things often not even knowing why we hold so tightly. Faith – - it seems to grow best in the soil of trust. This is a post sure to resonate with those wanting to distinguish between a faith that is static and a faith that is moving.

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5) This week I met a blogger, new to me. And she introduced me to a song I had not heard before. It has been on repeat since first hearing it. May it bless you as you listen.

May you all have a blessed weekend. May you have time to rest, to let Him speak deeply into your heart that He loves you. Fully. And completely.

Love,

Joanne

Today I am joining … Recommendation Saturday and The Weekend Brew and Beauty Observed and Faith Along The Way and The SITS Sharefest .

Bloom

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5minutefriday{{Today is Friday!!!  It is the day I link with Lisa Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday. Here is how it works…. One word prompt. Five minutes. No editing. Lots of women. We all write on the same word.})

Today the word prompt is …. Bloom.

There are times when life can be compared to a desert …. dry, lifeless, barren. bleak, empty, lonely, uninviting, dehydrated, withered.

Perhaps this is why I have always disliked the saying, “Bloom where you are planted.”

It seemed to be said to me at times when people just did not know what else to say. Or perhaps they thought I had some control and could bloom wherever I would choose.

There are times life happens. There is no controlling the circumstances as they seem to barrel over you like a steam roller.

Much like a desert, the days suck the life right out of you leaving you feeling parched and withered.

As day turns to night, and night to day again, there is nothing happening as you look to the horizon.

It is at those times, by faith, we remember ….

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. (Isaiah 35: 1, NIV)

Much like the crocus, which blooms while it is still cold and snow is often still on the ground, God causes life to burst forth again.

He opens opportunities, changes circumstances, brings healing, restores relationships, binds wounds.

Why?

There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God. (Isaiah 35:2b, NLT)

When something comes out of seemingly nothing, it is then and there the Lord is seen most visibly in our lives.

Like the crocus, our lives will burst into bloom.

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I’m joining with … Five Minute Friday and Faith Filled Fri. and Friendship Fri. and Fellowship Fri. and Everyday Jesus and Essential Fri. .

 

How Does It Grow?

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Gardening is the talk of the summer. Every gardener wants to show off their plants, share their crops and discuss gardening tips.

I have heard it said for a garden to grow best it needs good soil, proper watering and the proper amount of sunlight. So I took this to mean most growth occurs during the day.

But I am beginning to wonder if this is necessarily true ….

Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows but he does not understand how it happens. The earth produces the crops on its own.” (Mark 4:26-28, NLT)

We tend to think our gardens grow only during the daylight –> when the sun is shining. Yet those very plants are sitting in the same soil during the darkest hours of the night. Even in the dark, they are sucking up water and nutrients, from what is around them, in order for their growth to continue.

As I read this portion, I recalled the many times I said to my children, upon awakening in the morning, “You must have grown while you were sleeping!”

Can it be it is the same with us spiritually? Perhaps in the darkest nights of our souls, there is a growth which occurs ….

  • which cannot occur in the daylight
  • which cannot occur at any other time but in the night

If I am honest, I wish growth occurred solely in the daylight, or in the good times, for then growth would always be pleasant, welcomed, and desired. To get through the night, or the difficult times, growth can be painful, dissatisfying and unpleasant. Yet growth occurs both night and day.

The gardener does not understand how it happens. He only knows his gardens grows and produces a harvest.

And here is the mystery which stood out to me …

At times it happens -

On. Its. Own.

In. The. Dark.

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Today I am joining …  Thought Provoking Thurs. and Tell His Story and Quitting Thur. and Thurs. Favorite Things and Thrive at Home .

The Sacred Whitebox

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By the time the end of the school year had come, I was ready for summer. I was ready for a rest. A sabbatical of sorts.

I love the stillness of both the early mornings and the late nights. Quiet. No TV, no voices, no demands. Nothing pulling at me to get a piece of me.

The question has been looming big in my head – How do I find it in the course of my day? Where do I find it?

Without this “sandwich” of time, I have nothing to offer anyone. I need quiet in my life. The solitude somehow cures me of the clutter I often feel my life has become.

Clutter according to dictionary.com –>

  • to fill or litter with things in a disorderly fashion
  • to run in disorder, moving about with confusion
  • noise

Some synonyms –> mess, disorder, jumble.

I thought to myself, “No wonder we always enjoyed Design Star.” Remember The Whitebox Challenge?

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Each designer was presented a totally white box room. It was their space to create in. The challenge sparked creativity, providing each designer with the opportunity to create something new.  And each whitebox was as unique as its designer.

The whitebox, by its very nature of being totally empty, was devoid of clutter. There is no mess in the box. The blank canvas is a wide open space waiting to be created upon and within.

“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” (Psalm 18:19, NIV)

He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me.” (NLT)

Can it be that because He delights in me, He desires for me to have space in my life? Can it be in that very space, which He calls me to, which He creates in my life, is the very space where I will find safety? Can it be He rescues me to bring me to the very place where He can create something new in me? A sacred whitebox.

He brings me to the “whitebox”, which is:

  1. 1) A safe place. “You have not handed me over to my enemies, but have set me in a safe place.” (Psalm 31:8, NLT) He brings me to a safety, not to a constricted place filled with distress.
  2. 2) A place of direction. It is a place where He directs my steps AND takes care of every detail of my life. “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” (Psalm 37:23, NLT)

I began to clean our home, like deep clean, one room at a time beginning with our bedroom. I sorted, filed, separated, folded, dusted, and vacuumed. I also removed from the house bags being donated and those being trashed. Our room looked worse before it looked any better, but as I stayed the course, I began to feel lighter, more orderly, and less claustrophobic.

And I was beginning to realize our lives are a continuous whitebox challenge both in the physical and spiritual sense.

Is it any wonder I long for this space?

The sacred whitebox.

Today I am joining … Three Word Wed. and Coffee For Your Heart and Words of Life Wed. and Whimsical Wed. and Wed.Prayer Girls and  Wedded Wed. and Winsome Wed. and Works For Me and Capture Your Journey .