Category Archives: blessing
Last year my bloggy friend, Mary Demuth, posted this on her blog site in a post titled, “Sometimes We Need the Truth.” Here is an excerpt from that post:
My friend Jeanette Morris sent this to me last week, with some trepidation. She worried it would be too scary or harsh.
But I loved the Fourfold Franciscan Blessing by Sister Ruth Fox. Jeanette said her pastor prayed it over the church as they left. It’s hard, but good. Difficult, but beautiful. An oxymoron.
Mary’s right. It is an oxymoron: difficult yet beautiful, and yet I love it. Even though I often fail in that at times I need to make myself pray the hard things in order to grow: in myself, in my relationships with others and especially in my relationship with my Lord Jesus.
Beloved, how about you? Do you believe the beautiful things are worth the difficult path to get there?
I love this, and it is so true!
Thank you, Laura Story, for these special song lyrics.
I tried to embed the video here but between the quirkiness of WordPress and Firefox, I am beyond frustrated by my repeated and failed tries. So click on this link to take you right to the video.
Read the story that was the inspiration for this song.
As today’s Treasure Tuesday post, let me introduce you to my “Beloved” ring. It looks like two entwined silver bands and each is engraved — one with the words ”I am my beloved’s” and the other says “My beloved is mine.”
Such simple words for such a complex relationship, because let’s face it: marriage isn’t always easy. Oops, did I say something I shouldn’t have?
Let me just say here that Rick and I have a wonderful and blessed marriage. It is a covenant marriage, which means we each made a covenant — a promise — to God while speaking our wedding vows to each other. We promised to stay married for the rest of our lives and to always place God at the head of our relationship. To paraphrase something Rick wrote to me recently, thank God that He has put us together and we can relax and know that it’s forever.
Has it been easy? Well, during the first couple of years we struggled with certain issues in each of our lives. Since we were already in our 40′s when we married, we carried a lot of “previous experiences” into our relationship. How’s that for another term for “baggage”?
We’re both first-borns so we both have the tendency to want to be in charge. This used to cause many clashes and harsh words. Even though I yearned for my husband to be the head of our home, I still found myself trying to take over that role at times. We do have a fairly traditional marriage where I take care of the inside of our home while Rick maintains the outside. Go ahead, you can say it: we’re old-fashioned.
We agreed on this split while we were still engaged, and it works very well for us. Although I can change the oil and brakes on our truck, as well as rotate the tires if that was necessary, I no longer have any interest in those kinds of things — or the energy to do so. Among other things, I have also been known to install ceiling fans, repair kitchen faucets and put up sheetrock. But that doesn’t mean I still want to do these things.
I happen to be married to a guy who not only knows how to do all this stuff, he would rather spend his time on these types of tasks than cook or bake. However, he does do the vacuuming, pumice the toilets and generally pick up after himself. Neither of us likes clutter or things left out in the way.
We have learned over the years that our relationship works well because we allow each other to do what comes naturally and is best for each of us.
One of our friends shared this with us a few months ago. When he and his wife are at odds with each other, instead of glaring angrily at the other, they try to remember to look UP first — to the God who placed them together. They have found that in the process of looking up, their anger becomes diffused and they can then start talking about whatever the problem is rather than pointing accusing fingers. Rick and I like to think of it this way: our marriage relationship is a triangle with equal sides. God is sitting at the top of that triangle while Rick and I are each seated on either side at the bottom.
As for that ring? Rick gave it to me for Valentine’s Day last year and I treasure it. As sappy as it sounds, Rick is my beloved and I am his. The word “beloved” means “dearly loved” and after so many years, we have come to “dearly love” each other. We appreciate each other for who each of us is — quirks, warts and all. One of us without the other is not complete!
Oh, by the way, the message engraved on it is from chapter 6 verse 3 of Song of Solomon which says:
I am my beloved’s
and my beloved is mine…
I love Sundays. Even though I don’t work outside my home any longer, Sundays are still special to me, especially when I am feeling well enough to go to church with Rick. There is nothing like that special time of worshipping and praising God, learning more about Him through His Word, and fellowshipping with friends.
Today is an especially happy Sunday for me. It’s Rick’s and my 13th wedding anniversary. Neither of us can believe how quickly time has flown by. I can still picture his face as he slid my wedding rings onto my finger…
Neither of us could imagine the changes that would take place so soon after our wedding. In the space of four years, I went from being able to work 60-70 hours per week to not being able to work at all. My “new normal” had nothing at all to do with being normal as the world sees it.
I thank God daily for Rick, my beloved. In the face of uncertainties, difficulties and major life adjustments, he has remained steadfast and true. His love for me is evident as he helps me cope with those uncertainties, grieves with me over what was lost, shares my disappointments when we have to cancel fun outings. But the thing is this: he loves me for me, no matter what I can or cannot do any longer. He is my best friend and biggest cheerleader!
So, here’s to us. As Rick and I continue to look to God for every single thing in our lives, may He continue to bless us individually and in our marriage. To God be the glory!
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.
Okaaay, I can hear most of you saying to yourselves right now. The rest are thinking, say what?
Yes, you read it correctly. I thank God for things I don’t have, things He has not allowed in my life. I’m not just talking about more serious illnesses than those I live with every day or cataclysmic events such as tornadoes and hurricanes. I’m talking about other stuff: more money, maybe more (and more stylish) clothes or a bigger house. How about straight hair instead of the naturally curly mop I was born with? Or writing talent so spectactular that publishers come after me instead of the other way around.
It seems to me that the more we want, well… the more we want, like some vicious cycle. Contentment with what we have now is admittedly difficult to be thankful for. And yet, I’m wondering if allowing ourselves to feel such contentment will result in that inner peace that is so illusive.
“Peace, mercy and love be yours in abundance.” –Jude 1:2
These are what can be ours. And from personal experience, reminding myself that I have these things usually leads to my feeling happy and contented with what I have in the here and now.
How about you?
“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the LORD is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.”
–Psalm 95:1-3, ESV
This year has been one of ups and downs for me, but the ups far outweigh the downs. The best thing that happened in my life this year concerns my son. After praying diligently for him for many years, he came back to the Lord and was baptized in September. And the day after that, he was on a plane to Albania where he was part of a medical mission team. To say that this mother’s heart was full of thanksgiving and praise to the Lord is a gross understatement!
All around us things are happening that make life a challenge. My daily battle with migraines continues but the pattern has changed somewhat. I still wake up with a migraine every morning and go to bed with one every night. The difference now is that on many days I am migraine-free for about four hours so I can at least feel somewhat human and get a few things done around the house.
The other day a close friend who has been estranged from her son for several years received the sweetest note from him as the first step in a joyful reconciliation. In this note, he asked for forgiveness and told her that God had been doing a work in his heart.
My husband and I were saddened to hear of the recent sudden death of a dear friend we knew when we lived in California. We shared many a Saturday morning over coffee, discussing many things including Biblical matters. We don’t know if he ever came to know the healing power of Jesus Christ, but our heavy hearts are comforted by the fact that God knows, and that is enough for us.
Read or watch the news and it is easy to see that all over the country people are struggling with health and financial issues, family and personal relationships, extreme weather devastation, and job problems. Our cost of living is constantly on the rise in direct contrast to most people’s income staying the same or going down.
And yet, in spite of all this, God is always with us and ever in control.
Is life getting you down? Are you wondering when — or if — your suffering will ever end? Why not do something completely different than what our normal human tendency dictates? I’m talking about a radical approach to everyday life, a way of lifting ourselves up before we get mired down in the muck of life as we know it. Here it is: thank God for each and every thing in your life, the bad as well as the good.
Wow… really? Yes, really! It is understandably difficult to thank God for illness, questionable finances, family problems…and on and on. But — and here it comes — how we will be blessed!
This is more than the power of positive thinking. It is an inner calm and a peace that “surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7), not in spite of your circumstances but because of them. See what I mean? Radical, right?
Beloved, our thanks to God ought to be because of who He is, not for what He does or does not do for us. We need to be thankful for every single thing in our lives, whether good or bad, because these are what He uses to shape us into who He wants us to be. And the first and best thing we should thank Him for is the ultimate gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, Who died in our place, for our sins. How awesome is that?
I wonder if changing our thought process this way would change our outlook on life. I mean, if we remember to thank God first for everything in our lives, wouldn’t that change our view of our circumstances?
Since I am a visual person, I like to picture this: place your arms out wide — this is how much we think we need; now place your hands about six to eight inches apart — this is how much we actually need.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please forgive us for not always acknowledging who You are and how much You have given us. Thank You for sending Your Son to die on our behalf so that we can spend eternity loving and worshipping You on Your throne. Help us to always remember that You want the best for us, even when we can’t see or understand it. We love You, Lord, thank You for being our All in All!
“I thank God for my handicaps, for through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God.” –Helen Keller
“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” –Henry Ward Beecher
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” –1 Thessalonians 5:15-18
Live Uncaged: http://www.marydemuth.com/
Devotionals That Encourage: http://lynnmosher.com/
I Hope 4 Him: http://ihope4him.blogspot.com/
Girl Talk: http://www.girltalkhome.com/
Faith Imagined: http://www.faithimagined.com/
And now I’ll turn the platform over to all of you listed above to pass on the Liebster Blog award!
I had quite a nice surprise in my email box this morning when I found out my blog was awarded the Liebster Award. To quote my friend’s blog, “liebster” means “favorite,” so this comes as a wonderful surprise, especially since my blog is so new and has very few followers so far.
The really fun part of this award is that I now get to nominate five of my favorite blogs that have fewer than 200 followers! I’ll be working on that this week, but for now I need to rest this weary bod. Blessings till next time…