The ups and the downs

Day 31 of 31 Days of October – Roses Among The Thorns

Life is prone to vicissitude.

It is rainy and chilly on this last day of October here in the bluegrass land.  It’s necessary and right. The ground needs the rain.  All our days cannot be sunny, else the trees and flowers would dry up and wither from lack of moisture.

I have my sunny days and my rainy days.  So do you.

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Shining mornings when the world looks bright and lovely, I long to go outside, take a walk, pick some flowers, invite someone over, do a happy dance.

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Thunder and lightening can send me running to batten down the hatches, secure what may blow away, escape indoors because a storm is coming.  Safe inside, I can settle in with a good book and a cup of hot coffee.  Or I can watch the fury outside and fret that we are all going to blow away.

My emotions can run up and down like the weather.  Some days I am faith-filled and can believe to see the goodness of God.  Then there are days of dog-tiredness, bone-weariness when I wonder how I’m going to get through this putting one foot in front of another, and does God even know I am down here?

The weather and the week have changed my plans completely today.  What was to be a fun excursion has turned into a day at home trying to catch up.  It’s been quite a week.  I will miss time anticipated with a friend, good conversation, and the wandering of antique and thrift stores as we had planned.  My friend and I, we talk a bit this morning about what to do.  She reads a devotion to me.  Tears threaten to fall like the rain.  I am encouraged to trust.

And I want to put good use to this day turned upside down.

I will place today in the hands of the One who fashioned my days before time began, He who knows my thoughts and the words that are about to come out of my mouth.  I will trust Him for the present moment, for it is a present, and pray that my spirit will attune to His Spirit for what He is working out in me.

I want to honor this day as a gift, the Lord’s day.  And I want to rejoice and be glad in it.

This ends the October journey, my friends.  I am thankful you have joined me and encouraged me along the way.  While I won’t be posting every day, I am committed to continue sharing my words with you, and I pray that in some way we will be strengthened by grace from the Word who was made flesh.

For a list of the days of October, go here please.

Busy day

Day 30 of 31 Days of October – Roses Among The Thorns

Wake to alarm.  Busy day ahead.  Coffee.

Read the Ephesians letter.  Attend to prayer.

Doggie duty.

Breakfast for Sweet William.

Letters to little people.

More coffee.

Lunch for Sweet William.  Snacks for later.

To Little Flock. Piano students.  Music, music, music!

Funeral home visitation.  Sorrow for loss.  Joy at seeing friends from days gone by.

Home.  Supper for Sweet William.  Doggie duty.

Night time tasks. Clean up.  Lock up.

Watch Jill Dugger get married.  Remember our own wedding.  Sigh.

Bed.  Yawns.  Eyes close.

Prayers as sleep comes.

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That was Wednesday.  The day was too full for a post of words.

And today, we wake and start again.

And oh how thankful I am for a compassionate God who gives new mercies for another day.

I pray for my daily bread which is more than just breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It is exactly what I need for what lies ahead.

I take courage for I have assurance that my Father will provide.

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I am almost at the end of my 31-day challenge.  I would love to hear from you if you’ve been walking this journey with me.

For a list of the days of October, go here please.

Little dog

Day 28 of 31 Days of October – Roses Among The Thorn

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Buddy Boy is our eleven-pound Maltese, given to us by a friend who kept offering him to me, the last pup of the litter.  I was sure I didn’t want another dog.  We’d had our mixed breed Poodle during the one and only son’s growing up years.  She lived to be 18 and died the year Travis married.

No, I didn’t need another dog now.  Until I saw that little ball of white fluff one more time.  Sure enough, he claimed me.

He’s getting to be an old boy now, and like Sweet William and me he has his own health issues.  I’ve started making him wear doggie booties when he first goes out in the morning to keep the dew off his feet and hopefully help alleviate his allergies.

Buddy is low to the floor, so he’s always looking up.

Whenever I start cooking, he looks up at me to see if I might offer a morsel of something.  His tastes are discriminating.  He likes lettuce but not tomatoes.  He’ll eat a pear but not a banana.  He says “no” to strawberries but “yes” to green beans.

He looks to me for his needs, all of them.  He reminds me that I should be looking up also.

Buddy is content just to be with me.  He loves to go in the car, whether it’s two miles to Kroger or 600 miles west to Tusla, Oklahoma.  He is just glad to be along for the ride.

He wants to be where I am, upstairs or down, on the deck or the couch, by my rocker in the morning or at the foot of our bed at night.

I could learn something about contentment from him.

If I could only be that satisfied with Jesus.  Just happy to be going with Him wherever He is leading.  Just willing to trust Him for the journey without worrying about how long before we get there.  Just able to rest at His feet.

Yes, I can learn from our little Buddy Boy, learn to always look up.  Looking upward will keep my focus off the minutia down below.  Fixing my eyes on Jesus turns my heart away from my problems to the Problem Solver.  Looking to Him for my every need teaches me utter dependence on the One who is completely dependable.  And the things of this earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. 

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For a list of the days of October, go here please.

Smiles for a Monday

Day 27 of 31 Days of October – Roses Among The Thorn

Because some days I just need to smile, you know?

I am not a fan of the common field mouse.  He has ventured into my house on too many occasions, wrecking havoc inside my pantry.  I can fume and fuss for quite awhile as I scour and sanitize the contents and put edibles in glass and metal containers.  Expect a loud squeal if I see one of the little critters.  Just ask Sweet William.

But . . . I can change my opinion even at this age.  As I grow older I want to be open and pliable and able to look at life with fresh eyes.  I want to examine someone else’s viewpoint before I make a judgment.  Especially about something that has to do with my like and dislikes.

[Now if it has to do with my faith and God's word, there are truths on which I will not waiver.  But we are talking about mice today, OK?]

That said, I came upon some pictures of mice that made me smile.  Yes, smile and not growl.  These small creatures have their purpose on the earth, doing what their Creator made them to do.  I can learn to respect them, even appreciate them.  And yes, smile at them.  Just don’t let them in my front door.

So even if you are not a mouse fan, I bet you can’t not smile at these faces.

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28 Teeny Tiny Wild Mice – Click to see some more adorables.

For a list of the days of October, go here please.

Just for today

Day 26 of 31 Days of October – Roses Among The Thorn

Just for today let someone love you.

Just for today laugh deep and long.

Just for today count your blessings for they are many.

Just for today receive grace, embrace it, wrap yourself in it like a warm blanket.

Just for today give grace to someone else because it has been lavished on you.

Just for today enjoy the life God has given you, every single second of it.

And when tomorrow comes, start all over again.

Sunday grace, friends.

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For a list of the days of October, go here please.

Burden bearing

Day 25 of 31 Days of October – Roses Among The Thorn

The call came in the middle of a beautiful October Saturday when the sunshine’s warmth is a surprise.

It’s been a busy and full day already.  There are tasks still ahead that don’t even show up on the list of things to do.  They simply must be done before night falls.

But the call interrupts and I hear her sadness and then the struggle to speak because of the tears she is trying to hold back.  And my heart breaks for her, for her family.  The loss is sudden and unexpected.  The grief is hard.  Isn’t it always?

Sometimes I can get caught up in my own stuff, my own struggles, my own thorns.  It is easy to forget the rest of the world while I’m muddling through my mess.

But there are hurting people all around me.  I must pay attention.  I must share their load.

Jesus came as the ultimate Burden Bearer.  He took the weightiest load in the world, my sins, to the cross and thus relieved me of having to bear the unbearable myself.  At the same time He asks me to help carry someone else’s burdens.  This is the law of Christ.

Love God.  Love others.  It really is that simple.  Do it with all your heart.  Do it with all your strength.  Do it in whatever way you can.

While I pray for strength to get through my day, I must not forget to pray for strength for someone else.  It is the Lord’s way of helping us all to keep going.

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On the phone, I listen to her talk.  I share her sorrow for I have dealt with my own loss.  I promise to pray.  And I will.  For this is my duty of love, for Christ and for my my friend.

I am extravagantly loved by God in order to be a conduit of His love to others.  No matter what, this is my highest calling.

  For a list of the days of October, go here please.

Respite

Day 24 of 31 Days of October – Roses Among The Thorns

Respite  – time with a sympathetic friend who listens with her heart.

Respite – when someone gives time and full attention.

Respite – shared laughter and tears.

Respite – not being judged when doubts are expressed.

Respite – giving joy to someone who needs it very much.

Today, I experienced respite.  And I am refreshed.

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For a list of the days of October, go here please.