Tag Archives: thanks

I need You

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Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
John 16:24

There is something about a sleeping baby that fills my heart with such joy.  As I watch our little one sleeping so peacefully, I am reminded the joy, the happiness, the delight in my heart isn’t just a happy emotion.  That kind of joy, that happiness is fleeting. It lasts only for that speck of time.  Rocking her to sleep, relishing that moment of joy, I find myself humming “Lord, I Need You” to the sleepy little one snuggled in my arms.  Every single need of this precious little one is dependent on someone else to supply.  Her honest needings remind me of how much I need to lean into Him, how much I need to depend on my Father  . . . not just when I “need” Him, but every moment of every hour of every day.

I need Him in my joys and in my time of need.  I need Him when I’m strong and when I feel weak.  I need Him moment by moment. He is my one defense, He is my righteousness. 

Your awareness of your constant need for Me is your greatest strength. Your neediness, properly handled, is a link to My Presence. However, there are pitfalls that you must be on guard against: self-pity, self-preoccupation, giving up. Your inadequacy presents you with a continual choice—deep dependence on Me, or despair. The emptiness you feel within will be filled either with problems or with My Presence. Make Me central in your consciousness by praying continually: simple, short prayers flowing out of the present moment. Use My Name liberally, to remind you of My Presence. Keep on asking and you will receive, so that your gladness may be full and complete. (from Jesus Calling)


(click to play “Lord, I need You” – Matt Maher)

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart
 
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
 
Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
 
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
 
Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay
 
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
 
You’re my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

“you got this” ~ thank you, Dad

The Hallmark reminder popped up on my computer’s calendar ~ “Father’s Day is today.”  Not that I needed a reminder  … in fact, I don’t need Hallmark to remind me to celebrate my dad!   Each and every day, my dad is one of the very special people in my life that I thank God for allowing to be part of my journey.  My dad is the one who has guided me, pointing me to Him every step of the way from the very beginning.

 

A Father is the seed of your beginning, he is the catalyst of your being, the genesis of your becoming.
~Ann Voskamp

 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
Psalms 103:13

 

What better legacy can a daughter ask for?

Dad, I’ve got it . . .  because our Father has you!

 


the grass, the birds, the lilies and me

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If God so clothes the grass of the field . . . , will He not much more clothe you . . . ? Matthew 6:30

Sounds so simple, doesn’t it?  The problem is as much as I want simplicity, something inside me fights it.
I let the cares of the world come in to my mind and my heart. I allow myself to think I know better than Him.  And every time I allow this to happen, I push my Creator aside, losing that intimate place of close relationship with Him. 

How do I let the simplicity of the grass of the fields be my simplicity?  I set aside myself for Him.  I listen – receive His Spirit.  I am learning to rely on Him, not on my feeble attempts at “doing life.”

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“Look at the birds of the air . . .” Matthew 6:26.

I enjoy walking through the woods and the meadows at our country place.  The cacophony of sounds from all types of birds resonates through the ever-present stillness.  All you have to so is look up and the birds are there.  Are they dependent on me?   Absolutely not.  These feathered creatures, from the tiny little blue bird to the beautiful hawks that soar overhead as they intently watch our fields, follow the instincts their Creator places inside of each one.  He watches over every single one.

So why do I doubt?  Why would I think He wouldn’t watch over me?  Me.  The one he says He has known before I was created?  I want that freedom, freedom from worry.

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“Consider the lilies of the field . . .” Matthew 6:28.

We don’t have lilies in our fields, but we do have most of the beautiful Texas wildflowers one can find in the Hill Country.  The ever-changing landscape reminds me that these flowers always grow right where they are planted.  Not planted by our hands, but by the Hand of their Creator.  How many times do I refuse to grow right where God has planted me?  How many times do I not allow my roots to go down into His Ground?

Jesus said if we would obey the life of God within us, He would look after all other things. Did Jesus Christ lie to us? Are we experiencing the “much more” He promised? If we are not, it is because we are not obeying the life God has given us and have cluttered our minds with confusing thoughts and worries. How much time have we wasted asking God senseless questions while we should be absolutely free to concentrate on our service to Him?
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

And just like with the grasses, the birds, and the lilies, this is not just a one-time thing for me either.  It’s a daily act. I need to stop and look again each day. Give myself up daily. Not just when I “need” Him, but give Him every single moment of every single day of my life.

Looking for Him in the little things, as well as the big things of my day.


start to a new week

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Yesterday the calendar said “first day of autumn.” Typically, here in Houston that doesn’t mean too terribly much.  But this past weekend brought us some nice changes.  Let’s see, we had a couple of days of really good, soaking rain that we really have needed in this time of drought.  And that was followed by the ushering of some cool, fresh air.  The change was definitely welcomed!  ‘Now if only the start of my work week would bring some change’ was my prayer as I went to sleep last night.

So today was the start to another week of teaching middle-schoolers with this year’s crop, so far seeming be a ‘bit of a challenge‘.  This morning when the alarm went off, my hand hit the snooze button, trying to put off the inevitable.  But when I realized this wasn’t a morning I could sleep in a little, I had to put myself into high gear when I remembered I had an early meeting before school started this morning.

Sadly, I short-changed myself spending some quality time with my Creator before starting my day. But just when I was bustling around,  getting off on the ‘short’ foot, my sweet husband opened the balcony door and called me to just take a moment to look at the sunrise.  What a gift He gave to me this morning.

A beautiful reminder – that no matter what the day before me may have in store, no matter what the challenges may be, He always goes before me.

The Lord is good,
A stronghold in the day of trouble;
And He knows those who trust in Him.
Nahum 1:7


a choice

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One of my favorite delights of summer is fresh fruit ~ always sweet and satisfying.  

It’s hot and it’s sticky outside.  A hot August sun is beating down and we’re in the dog days of summer here.  The humidity is so thick and it is still.  Even a hint of a warm breeze blowing would be welcomed!

I have a choice to make. Do I sit here, grumbling and complaining, wishing I was either somewhere else, or the weather would miraculously change?  Or . . . Do I enjoy some fruit?

It’s pretty easy to offer up praise when life is rolling along great, like we think it ought to be.  When we’re experiencing success, happiness, maybe even “perfect” weather, that sacrifice of praise can come quite readily.

But what about when the tables are turned and we’re staring unhappiness straight in the face.  What about when circumstances in life aren’t peachy keen?  Maybe it’s rejection or something out of our control.  Maybe it’s a decision we don’t necessarily want to make, or one we want to live with.  Is it the voice of the enemy saying, “Did He really say…? The sacrifice of praise doesn’t come easily, especially when the world seems full of emptiness.

I have a choice.

One thing my journey continues to teach me is that God is good and He is faithful in spite of my failings.   When my heart offers up the sacrifice of praise, especially when I don’t feel like being thankful for the pit I find myself in, it is in Him I can find my peace.

I can’t feel these two extremes of emotions at the same time.  Joy will surpass every other emotion.

I have a choice.

So when things come at me in life – be it a little speed bump, or a dark abyss – when turmoil comes, and I know it will, do I choose to grumble and complain?  Or do I choose to be continually ready to offer up thankfulness and receive such incredible peace?  In His incredible Peace I can praise Him for His faithfulness. 

Seeing God in every circumstance is not a matter of me being the ultimate optimist. Seeing God in every circumstance is a matter of seeing the Truth.

Choosing to praise Him is always sweet and satisfying.


beauty in bird calls

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As you listen to birds calling to one another, hear also My Love-call to you.

I speak to you continually: through sights, sounds, thoughts, impressions, scriptures. There is no limit to the variety of ways I can communicate with you. Your part is to be attentive to My messages, in whatever form they come. When you set out to find Me in a day, you discover that the world is vibrantly alive with My Presence.

You can find Me not only in beauty and birdcalls, but also in tragedy and faces filled with grief.

I can take the deepest sorrow and weave it into a pattern for good.

Search for Me and My messages, as you go through this day. 

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with your whole being.

from Jesus Calling (Sarah Young)

What a beautiful reminder to stop, to look, to listen and to reflect.  No matter what is going on my world, I should never be too busy to spend time with my Father.  It’s not a matter of squeezing in 5 minutes here, and 10 minutes there.

It’s starting my day looking for the many ways He communicates with me and to just listen . . .

Listen with eyes that see, ears that hear, and a heart that knows its Creator.  

All day and in all circumstances, I hear His Love-call to me.

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And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13


the lost one

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See that you don’t look down on one of these little ones,
because I tell you that in heaven their angels continually view the face of My Father in heaven.
 [For the Son of Man has come to save the lost].
What do you think?
If a man has 100 sheep, and one of them goes astray, won’t he leave the 99 on the hillside and go and search for the stray?
And if he finds it, I assure you: He rejoices over that sheep more than the 99 that did not go astray.
In the same way, it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones perish.
Matthew 18:10-14

Do you believe in angels?

 I do.

I. Most. Certainly. Do.

The Word says:  the Father sends His angels of great strength to do His Word and they are obedient to His command.

I’m so thankful for the angels He gives my children . . . angels who always see His face.

I’m so thankful for all the times His angels look after my children when I can not.  Be it distance, or our circumstances, or in their rebellion, I know His angels continue to be with them, just as when I prayed for the little ones held close to my heart.

Angels were there:

  • Daniel in the lion’s den to shut the mouths of the devouring lions
  • Peter bound in jail between 2 guards, the night before his execution is rescued and walks out of the jail
  • Elijah was afraid and running for his life was touched by an angel, not once but twice
  • The apostles jailed and angels opened the doors of the jail
  • Lot’s hand grabbed when he hesitated to leave Sodom with his family, because You were merciful to them

And so it is even today.  I pray for the angels who always see the face of the Father.

And for the one who has strayed . . .

I ask that You send an angel from heaven to help him.

Just as we can entertain angels without knowing it, I pray for a stranger with the heart of Yours to show him a kindness that he will recognize is from You.

For someone who will share Your love and Your presence with him, so that he will remember, he will believe, he will run TO You and will bow before You once again.  Your Word tells me about what you’ve done for those You call your own ~ In all their distress He too was distressed, and the angel of His Presence saved them.  In His love and mercy He redeemed them.

I don’t know how or when, but I ask that You help him open his heart to You, his Abba Father.

So I watch, I pray, and I wait.  And I say thanks.  It is not the will of my Father in heaven that one of these little ones perish.

The Kids


a summer afternoon

It was time for a walk.  A reflective walk – taking in a little time to look and listen.  A time to count the gifts, the big and the little.  As long as thanks is possible – then joy is always possible!

Now mind you this is Texas – Texas in July.  And it’s hot.  But you know it’s hard to count Joy and complain at the same time!  So . . . no complaining, just an attitude of gratitude! 

So I grab the camera and the iPod, put in the ear buds, listen to a new playlist, and spend some time walking and talking to my Daddy ~ the Creator of all things great and small.

Even though the land is on the dry side, [we’re still in a drought] . . .

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we managed to find some bright spots along the way . . .

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We meet some creatures big, small, and tiny.

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And as the bright Texas sun is shining down on our walk, the shade is a welcome sight . . . 

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and we pause for a rest in the shade and enjoy the view of the blue sky through the shady limbs of the big oak tree . . .

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It was time to walk the fence and do one last check of the bluebird houses.  We start at the end cleaning out the deserted nests as we go and we were thankful for the plentiful season of blue birds we saw this year. And as we opened the last bird house, knowing that last week we saw four baby birds nearly ready to fledge, He saved the best for last.

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One last baby blue bird waiting for his time to leave the nest . . .  to remind us

as long as thanks is possible – then joy is always possible!

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:6


summer

 Hot Summer Day

summer . . . the word itself will bring a smile to my face.  school’s out.  it’s time to wind down, relax, and spend time catching up with a multitude of things.

summer in this part of the country will usually look something like this . . .

summer heat

hot, a sweltering summer season.  summer has arrived big time here in Texas.  we’ve been in the middle of a drought for quite a while, and even though we’ve had some rain, most days are hot and dry.  it’s that kind of hot where you plan your day thinking of air-conditioning.  it’s that kind of hot that will make you focus on the negative.  but instead of looking at the negative side of summer, i’ve been inspired to take to heart my desire to be intentional in seeing Joy in my life’s seasons.  

so one of the benefits of the summer season is  . . . 

Summer_Fruits

 a time for ripening and picking of summer fruits.  

i’m looking expectantly. i’m watching carefully. expectantly and carefully for His fruit to ripen.

 seeds that He has sown.  
seeds He has sown in me.  
seeds He has sown through me.

summer may be a dry and hot season, but summer is always a time for ripening and picking His fruit.


God has created good things

a couple of weekends ago, we took the opportunity to take some time away from the hustle and bustle of our city life and spent a little time {not long enough!} up at our country place.  one of my delights was to sit so quietly on the front porch swing watching the hummingbirds flocking around the feeders.

what a reminder of our Creator.

every day – 24/7, we are bombarded with all the turmoil around the world, nations threatening other nations,  political upheavals, financial woes, crime running rampant, human trafficking, upside-down moral values, and the list goes on and on.  with all the distractions it can be easy to overlook  those hidden treasures He places in our path every day.  those delights, those blessings are a constant reminder, a revelation of His Presence.
His Presence, every single day – 24/7. 

God has created good things . . . a reminder to us that He has not abandoned this shackled world.
HE lavishes His Presence on each of us every day . . . all we have to do is search for His treasures as we go through the day.

He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.
Isaiah 33:6


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