A faithful man shall abound with blessings. Proverbs 28:20 (KJV)
For three years the birds have made their nest in my hanging Boston ferns. And when they’ve left my ferns were dead. I had to take them down and try to revive them but in the end I had to throw they away. For two years now I’ve had a hanging Foxtail Fern and it’s been untouched until this year.
I watched in dismay as momma bird began building her nest. At first I went out and pulled out what she started building, but she came back and rebuilt. I told myself alright, ferns were cheap, go ahead, make your nest.
I think it was God’s way of saying watch what I have in store for you. My lesson in faithfulness was about to begin. This has been the wettest year we’ve had in a long time but I watch with intrigue as momma never flinched protecting her tiny off spring. The rain pelted her and the wind swung the basket back and forth with gusto at times. Still she sat.
I haven’t been faithful in my quiet time like I should. I can be easily swayed so I’m not faithful in my writing. I’m not faithful in exercising like I should be.
I could go on about me not being faithful but watching momma bird sitting steadfast through storms and such reminded me that my God is always faithful. He is always there to listen to me and to give me peace. He reminds me of His love when I see the beauty of His creation through flowers, trees, and the sky above.
Dear Father thank you for always being faithful. What You say you will do, You do. I am forever thankful for your love and patience. Amen.
JESUS HAS COVERED MY SCARS
Galations 6:17 (NIV) Let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
I walked in on the end of Criminal Minds one night and caught the ending when Gideon told Spencer “Scars only show us where we’ve been. They don’t dictate where we’re going”. I had to write that down. It struck me as one’s life. Even mine.
When I was two years old my mother stood on a ladder with a screwdriver. And, like any two year old I had to stand at the bottom and do whatever any two year old would do, shake the ladder, cry, try to climb it, and what ever else it was to aggravate her. She dropped the screwdriver and it hit me just below my right eye. I’ve carried that scar all my life. Now, with age, it’s mixed with the wrinkles.
Throughout my life I’ve gathered scars from verbal and physical abuse. But, that abuse does not define who I am. I am a child of God. He was there with me during the onslaught. He has been and is my comforter and sustainer.
I’m not going to say it was easy but what I’m trying to say is I’ve overcome the abuse and became a better person for it. I have peace in Jesus and know that perhaps I can help someone else going through some of the same things.
Dear Heavenly Father thank you for being with me during good times and bad. Thank you for holding me in Your hands and giving me peace. Amen.
A WRITER’S PRAYER
1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a changing cymbal.
Gracious Heavenly Father I ask for Your love to go before me when I bring my baby to the group to have it critiqued. You know I’ve work hard on it, rewritten it more than a few times. I’ve asked for your words to be on the pages and not mine. You write much better than I. You know how I stumble when I put words together. My writing is to glorify You, Lord.
Lord, please lay it on the hearts of my colleagues to be sensitive with my work as they would want others to be to sensitive to theirs. I ask that they guide me with another choice of words, or let me know my story could be more compelling or exciting if… I pray they would not rewrite everything I’ve written, only treat my hard work with respect.
Shield me, O Lord, open my heart when others tell me of my strengths, or let me know my writing is not their style, or genre but give me thoughtful, helpful, constructive criticism. That I have too many I’s, are, am, or was on my pages.
Thank you, Lord, for hearing my prayer. Please be with me as others read my pages and I listen to their advice. I pray all of this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
LIVING BY FAITH
2 Corinthians 5:7 We live by faith, not by sight.
This is my favorite quote from the Bible. I am human, yes, just like everyone else. What I see I believe, sometimes, as pictures can be deceiving. It’s hard to live by something we don’t see, feel, or touch.
The Bible tells us over and over we are to live by faith. In Matthew 8:13 Jesus said, “Go It will be done just as you believed it would.” Also in Matthew 17:20 He says “If you have faith as small as a mustard see, you can move mountains.”
How then, how can we not have faith. Faith that tomorrow will come. Faith that each day will bring us closer to His coming. Faith for a brighter future, be it here on earth or with our Heavenly Father. Sickness, homelessness, despair, and loss of a loved one plague us every day. Either ourselves or someone we know. Our faith in Him and what He will do is our gift, our promise. He will never forsake us. He is always there, waiting, His hand is outstretched to meet ours. To lift us up into His open arms and give us peace and comfort.
It’s hard to say the least, and I am not alone to live by faith. I have to remind myself each day that because I cannot touch Jesus, He is beside me. A gentle nudge to pick up my Bible and read a passage that pertains to me. I feel His presence. I am reassured that by faith He will take care of my problems, my hurts, and crankiness.
These are only a few passages pertaining to faith but a good reference when you are feeling alone and need to believe. James 1:6; Romans 1:17; Romans 5: 1& 2; Ephesians 6:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:12.
Dear Father my faith is in You Lord. Amen.
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6 (KJV)
When my husband and I take a trip, like other couples one is the navigator and one is the pilot. Since my hubby takes the wheel I navigate. I like to read maps. I want the whole picture so to speak. Hubby uses Annabell, the GPS.
I also use maps when I’m studying my ancestors travels from one place to another. Which way, or route they took to get from point A to point B. It looks so simple when you look at the map. I wonder why they didn’t take another road instead of the one they took. Then I take into consideration what was going on in their lives when they set out.
Just like our lives, sickness, relationships, jobs, the environment. When we think about it there is so many circumstances that lead to the choices we make. In our spiritual life there is but one choice and that is only through Jesus Christ our Savior. We will not enter heaven and live eternally except through Jesus. He is the one true way. We need to confess our sins and ask Him into our hearts. Therein lies peace we are looking for. Your life will not be perfect but when you have face obstacles it will be easier.
Dear Father I believe Your son, Jesus, died on the cross for my sins and was raised for my justification. I do now receive and confess Him as my personal Savior. Amen.
WHY FIGHT WHEN YOU’VE ALREADY WON
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 (NLT)
A writer will go to conferences to perfect their craft. Sometimes taking on line courses. Even belonging to critique groups to talk about their writing and helping others along the way.
I’ve sat down to write but sometimes words don’t come easy. I know what I want to say. What I want to happen and how I want it to happen, but putting it down on paper takes a lot more time. Time to figure out the right way to say it, show my reader, not tell them. Stop fighting when I’ve already won. It’s time to give it to God and let Him do the writing.
There have been times I’ve heard people say something derogatory about not only my writing but about others. They make little snide remarks behind my back, but they are mean and hurtful. My writing takes a back seat for awhile, I play with Facebook, Pintrest, etc. Stop fighting when I’ve already won. Give the remarks to God and let Him lead.
If God has laid it upon my heart to write, words to put on paper, then I need to be writing. I should not let what other people say scare me into not writing. Don’t fight that battle, give it to the Lord. I need to set apart my fear from the power of God.
My God is all powerful. He makes things happen. The Lord will make a way for all things to come to fruition. My job is to stop fighting, listen to Him, then give it to Him. I’ve already won when I let go.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for fighting my battles for me. I pray I let the fight go and let You. Amen.
Monday 13 Jul 2014
THE ROAD TRAVELED
Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden
Job 22:15 (KJV)
“But let me be first to tell you that not all of you who start this weary pilgrimage will complete it.” Those words were spoken by a wagon train master just before they began their long journey across the plains seeking fortune, either in gold, or in land.
Our ancestors braved oceans, famines, hostiles, and other calamities before they found the spot they claimed for their own. They were much like the Jews who faced close to the same issues, the lion’s den, stoning, beheadings, famine, and wandering the desert, waiting for God to deliver them.
Before our forefathers began their trip, the wagon leader voiced his opinion letting each person know that some would not finish. He wasn’t trying to scare them, rather to let them know there would be hardships. Possibly hardships they had never experienced before.
When I think about the wagon master’s comment, it brings to mind the stress and storms we encounter every day. Like our ancestors, we suffer loss in some form or another. It’s how we get through it, that makes us a better person. From Biblical times to present, God has always been there, waiting, ready to help you through your situation. Remember no situation is too small for Him. It’s much easier to give Him your worries than try carrying them yourself. Through Him there is peace and the assurance you will finish the journey.
Dear Father in Heaven, I pray that no matter what happens in my life I will not lose sleep over it, but give it to you, then give You all the praise and glory. Amen.
Wednesday 25 Jun 2014
Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. Edodux 19:5 (NLT)
I was trying to think of a title for a devotion. Obey kept bouncing around my head. I thumbed through my book, ‘Where to Find It In The Bible’ and kept coming back to obedience. Well, Lord, I guess this is what you want me to talk about.
Sherri Summers Hunt wrote a book titled The Oldest Sin In The Book. In it she talks about her struggle with over eating. When I thought about that I came to the conclusion: I have a compulsion too. It’s called “I can think of a hundred other things to do except what I’m supposed to do.”
All kidding aside, when I’m supposed to be writing, I will go read Facebook, check my e-mails, look at Ancestry, etc. Then when it’s time to turn in my twelve pages to be critiqued I’m short eleven pages. I’m upset with myself, and disgusted with my lack of obedience.
God said I am His treasure and to obey Him. When He tells me to write, I am to write. He has laid it upon my heart to tell my stories, so I must tell them. He also said for my obedience there will be rewards. Results of obedience are in Genesis 18:19, and Jonah learned to obey, Jonah 3:3. All I have to do is pick up my Bible, read His Word, and ask Him for his guidance in all things. To obey.
Dear Heavenly Father forgive me for forging ahead and trying to write without Your help. I pray I am more obedient to listening to Your voice. Be with me as I write. I praise You for who You are and what You will do in my life. Amen.
Monday 16 Jun 2014
WRITING OUTSIDE THE BOX
Then the Lord told Moses, “Chisel out two stone tables like the first ones. I will write on them the same words that were on the tablets you smashed.” Exodus 34:1 (NLT)
It’s time to write. I sit at my desk, fingers on the keys, and my mind goes blank. Where do I begin? Or I sit down to write and I hear noises coming from the kitchen. I have to get up and check on my dogs. There is always something to distract me from my writing time and place. But, this is where I’m supposed to write isn’t it. My perfect desk surrounded by books, computer, pens, pencils, printer, and paper.
Instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box—Deepak Chopra
Yes, it’s time to get rid of the box! Stop thinking like everyone else. What is right for one is not necessarily right for another. Be a maverick.
Teri Wilson, with her pretty pink laptop, sits in coffee shops and airports. Allison Pittman writes in coffee shops. Kelly Irvin writes when she get up in the morning, the again on her lunch hour. Kristi Holl attached her computer to her tread mill and walks while writing. You probably know someone yourself that thinks outside the box.
When I started writing I listened to first this one, and then that one, but couldn’t find the writing style that fit me. Just me. This spring I went to a women’s conference and met Len Leatherwood. She spoke on writing twenty minutes a day. I’m surprised at how much I did in twenty minutes, but that twenty minutes turned into an hour, then two, and beyond.
I believe God has laid it upon my heart to tell my stories and has opened my eyes to which writing style fits me. I no longer feel like a failure because I’m not sitting for hours at a time to write. My next outside the box adventure is going to the coffee shop!
Dear Father, thank you for opening my eyes and finding my time to write. Amen.
Tuesday 10 Jun 2014
LIFE IS A SERIES OF STORIES
I listen carefully to many proverbs and solve riddles with inspiration from a harp. Psalms 49:4 (NLT)
Today I looked for a devotion to read to my critique group. I scanned the many books lining my book shelf until I saw Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul. Surely there was something in there I could read. I quickly flipped through the pages and realized the stories were pretty long. Then I saw it. Just a statement, but it hit me. Life is a series of stories, and everyone has one.
When you stop to think about it, each one of us has a story to tell. Be it about the time you went fishing with a favorite uncle, the day you wrecked the new car and everything that happened that led to that event, or maybe the day you met and fell in love.
It’s what you do with those stories. The telling of your story, so others can share your experience. Asking God for His guidance in writing the story so others may enjoy your adventure. I for one, cannot write alone. I need God guiding my fingers, allowing the words to flow onto the pages. Alone I am noting. With Him I can do all things.
Dear Father be with me every time I sit down to write. I cannot do it alone. Amen.
Wednesday 30 Apr 2014
LEAVING A LEGACY
Hear this, you leaders of the people. Listen, all who live in the land. In all your history, has anything like this happened before? Tell your children about it in the years to come, and let your children tell their children. Pass the story down from generation to generation. Joel 1:2-3 (NLT)
Anyone who knows me knows that right up there along with writing, my passion is genealogy. I can get lost in research for hours, looking for that lost relative. But, even more important is the stories they left behind. The stories about their lives, their loves, and their misfortunes.
Most of the time when you’re researching your relatives from the early 1600’s, 1700’s, and 1800’s you have no idea what might have happened. You have to rely on town histories, old newspapers, and other family members writing about them. Unfortunately, most of the time, other family members did not take the time to write anything down; either because they couldn’t read or write, or they didn’t think it was important.
I’ve felt all along, that I want my children to know who I am. My likes, dislikes, and the things that happened before they came into the world. I want my children to be able to share my stories with their children. In a lot of cases, the antics I did were not so different from theirs. It will give them all a chance to see I’m not only their mother, grandmother, great grandmother, but a person not unlike themselves.
Dear Heavenly Father I pray for your guidance to write about my life so my family will have a better understanding of who I am. Amen.
Monday 14 Apr 2014
Roses Have Thorns
1 Peter 1:24 (NIV) All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field, the grass withers and the flowers fall.
Roses are my favorite flower. When I die, I want roses on my casket, on the floor, on the walls, and any where else. I’ve been pricked many times while pruning my rose bushes, but pruned they must be. It makes the flowers bloom more abundantly. A rose is very delicate, velvety smooth when touched, fragile, with a fragrance that will fill a room. Each petal is intricately woven together to create a perfect bud.
With that said, I met a rose over the weekend at a women’s conference. She made a comment about being Native American that caught my attention and I thought to myself, I must talk to her. I waited for my chance and tapped her on the shoulder. I told her that I’ve been working on a novella about a Native American child and thought even though she was not of the same tribe, she could answer some questions for me. She introduced herself and then I think my mouth went into over drive. Words tumbled out, I called her Victoria and without smiling, very stoic, she said, “Veronica”. I forged on, and then introduced her to my good friend as Victoria. Again, she said in the same manner, “Veronica”. I felt so embarrassed. Oh my goodness, I knew she must think I was an idiot.
To my surprise she sought me out several times after that. She was very knowledgeable, spoke three languages, and very conversational. One class we attended together another person came up and asked her some questions about the Native American ways, as she was also writing a book and needed help. Veronica was patient and very forthcoming with information to help her.
You might ask why would I consider her a rose, and I will be glad to answer that. At first glance she was unsmiling, cool, self-possessed, and I thought at first, unimpassioned. But after talking with her, she blossomed, and much like myself.
There is that old saying, “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover”.
We exchanged cards and agreed to keep in touch. I feel honored that she will call me friend.
Dear Father in Heaven, thank you for allowing me the privilege of calling my new friend a rose. She is your rose and now mine. Amen.
SUNDAY 2 FEB 2014
Deuteronomy 4:9 But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live. And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. (NKJ)
Memories….by Barbara Streisand…like the corners of my mind…misty watercolor memories. Memories…they hit you when you least expect it. You can be driving and see an object, be it an old swing in a yard, a broken fence, or whatever it is, and your mind drifts. Memories can be triggered by a smell, the subtle fragrance of perfume of a passing strangers.
Before you can stop it you are in that place again where that fragrance filled your nostrils and you feel the joy or sorrow it brought. Maybe it was the last time he kissed you goodbye and you never saw him again. Was it a good time or was it a bad time? Or was it sweet and sentimental as you parted ways? A mutual but bittersweet goodbye. You brush away a tear.
We go through life making it day by day, working, playing, loving, caring, and laughing. Friends are made, friends are lost, but we carry on. If it weren’t for our memories to fall back on in our later years, as we sit in our rocking chairs, we wouldn’t be anything. Memories are the scrapbooks of our lives. What we’ve done, friends made, and places seen. The lives we’ve touched.
When I reflect on my memories there are some that aren’t so good, but by far most of my memories are sweet, meaningful, and full of life. I pray yours are too.
Dear Father in Heaven thank you for my memories, be they good or bad. My memories make the person I am. They keep me from making the same mistakes and strive to be more like you. I pray I stay focused on You everyday. Amen
Saturday 18 January 2014
You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. Romans 2:1 NLT
Last night my husband and I were talking about our grandchildren and their choices in their friends, girlfriends, etc. It brought to mind the conversation I had with my daughter about her son. She thought he could do better with his choice of girlfriends. I had to remind her of her choices when she was that age. Again, we all want better for our children, and no one will ever measure up to our standards for our children.
I thought about my life and the choices I made. Some were not very good at all. I praise God for Him being there to protect me and wait for me to come to my senses.
Our church helps an organization that assist people that are down on their luck, weather they are homeless, battered, or whatever the reason. I’ve gone a few times to take Bibles and just to sit and listen to someone who needed to talk. I do not know what kind of a life that person has. It is not for me to judge. It is for me to be there, lend a hand, lend an ear, give a hug, to pray with them.
Dear Father I pray for your guidance in helping others and wisdom enough not to judge others. I could be in their shoes if not for Your mercy and grace. Thank you. Amen.
Monday 13 January 2014
For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours. Psalms 90:4
Here it is, another year has come and gone and I feel I’m not any closer to getting my book finished. It seems like the family pulls me one way, house chores another, and then there are things you have to take care of to be able to run your home—bills to be paid, calls to be made, doctor appointments, and the list goes on and on.
I’ve sat and looked at a blank screen and then my mind goes just as blank. I know how the story goes, but it’s putting all those details in between, like words and so on. Then before you know it another week has passed and I’m no further along.
Grandma Moses didn’t start painting until she was well into her years. I’ve asked the Lord several times if I have to wait that long too. I’m still waiting for that answer. My biological clock is ticking. I’m not getting any younger. I still feel like a twenty year old but my old body says differently.
When I’m at my lowest, I hear His voice whispering. Not yet. Keep going. One page at a time. You are not ready yet my child. Your time is coming. I stop and listen and know He is right. My trust and faith is in Him.
Dear Farther you know my faith is in You. You are my heavenly Father and You alone knows what is best for me. Thank you for loving me and guiding me along the way. Amen.
Like these, Newell