Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Simple Things

Yesterday was an absolutely perfect weather day! Great temperatures combined with the most calming breeze blowing across the ocean made it difficult to resist taking a nice, long walk on the beach. There is something so tranquil about the sound of the waves crashing on the shoreline. With each step I could feel the stress of the week rolling off of me.

I thought throughout that walk how grateful I felt for that time, to just breathe, spend some time talking with my son, laughing a bit, and basking in the warmth of the sunshine. I know it may seem so small, but friends, that's where I have been finding my joy and blessings the small stuff!

 In a world where many of our lives can become so chaotic, distracting and stressful, it is in the small things that the biggest blessings are often found. I am thankful for a heart that no longer seeks the grandiose and can recognize and appreciate God's tender and loving hands in the smallest of things.

I have a new appreciation for simplicity. Think about how peaceful it feels when your life is less complicated. Although those times may not present themselves as much as we would like them too, do we really slow down to appreciate them and the peaceful joy they bring when they do?

started learning the lesson of finding the blessings in the small things during my husbands illness, especially in those last few months of his life. But truthfully, it wasn't until much later during my journey, and even more so now, that I really began to appreciate and recognize that it is those small things that seem to have enough power to pull me right up out of the pit. For me, having the opportunity to reflect back on a life with someone I loved and lost opened my eyes to what those small, simple things that really blessed me were and still are.

When we truly surrender and let God remove the blinders from our eyes and begin to peel away those layers that are weighing us down, our heart can begin to absorb all of His glorious blessings....big or small!

Challenge yourself this week to look for God's blessing in each day, and when you find them, praise Him!

"God doesn't just bless us to make us happy; He blesses us to make us a blessing."
-- Warren W. Wiersbe

Blessings Always,  


Sunday, October 7, 2012

What Does Your Heart Yearn to Hear?

Change of a season can sometimes bring about a change of emotions. According to the calendar fall has officially begun, but for those who live where I live, you know the weather still dictates very warm and humid temperatures. But still, there is a slight, refreshing change in the air that is always welcomed.

This week was one of those weeks where my heart seemed to be reflecting a lot. Several days ago, I had managed to get a lot of work done outside and after finishing up my "chores" on that nice, warm, fall day, I sat down for a moment to put my feet in the pool water and cool down a bit. As I sat, I looked around at the back yard and remembered how pristine Nick always kept it. He took such pride in every little detail of making everything look perfectly manicured. Let me just say I do not have that same gift!

As I sat I began to wonder, "Would Nick be proud of me and how I am doing things?" I am not even talking about the yard, but the things that really matter. My eyes filled with tears as my heart was longing to hear him say "Honey, you are doing good, and I am so proud of you for learning to live again and for taking care of our boy."

There is something about someone telling you they are proud of you that brings about feelings of validation and encouragement. That's why we as parents relish in telling our children how proud we are of them.

Later that afternoon, I was catching up on some emails and come across one from a very dear friend of mine. I read through the sweet words she had written and when I got to the end, these are the words she had closed with "I am always so proud of you." She had not known of my feelings that day and how that was exactly what I was longing to hear! Those words brought nourishment to a heart that was hungry for encouragement.

I was so thankful for that email and those words. For me and my heart, that was a divine confirmation from my Heavenly Father saying yes, Nick was proud of me! But more importantly so was HE. It's funny that since I've started to write this blog post, I have had those very words spoken to me several more times. Coincidence? I think not! When our God wants to communicate with us He will, whether it be through His Holy Word or His people.

In our sermon this morning, Pastor Josh Turner spoke about listening for God. He said, "Often times God speaks in the quiet whispers rather than a dramatic voice."  That resonated with me, because it is in those quiet whispers where my heart overflows with the greatest peace, sweetest love and endless encouragement.

In the Bible, Psalms 46:10 tells us "Be still and know that I am God" Be still? Why is that so difficult to do? But friends, I have learned when I am most still and I give God my full attention are the times that I am able to bask in the full presence of His greatness. 

What is it your heart is yearning to hear God whisper? Take some time this week, be still, press in, and listen. You are His beloved.