Weekly Reflections

Oh, the Fun and Blessings of Family!

Mother’s Day was a wonderful day. Attended church with family and close friend followed by an afternoon with three of my daughters. We ate homemade tacos with all the trimmings including chips and homemade guacamole. And we all wore matching shirts provided by my second youngest daughter. The shirts have printed front: “The devil whispered I’m coming for you. I whispered back bring tacos.”

After we ate, we spent the afternoon doing Bible Trivia questions. Lots of fun and we learned a lot, too!

My second oldest daughter arrived on Wednesday and we’ve been enjoying our days with crafting, chatting, and eating! She made ratatouille one evening. I’d never eaten it before. Yum! It was delicious. Lots of yummy fresh veggies which were quite healthy. Of course, we had to have a lunch the next day to counter all that healthiness…we sat at the kitchen table and colored while eating Velveeta and Rotel green chilies dip with Tostada Scoops! Yum!

I’m going to be blessed with her presence for three more days. The house will seem too quiet when she leaves on Thursday. As for my coloring, I haven’t really finished anything this week. I have been coloring several introductory pages in two books, but nothing is completed. I hope to share something next week. So the only picture I can share is one I should have shared last week. It’s the April buddy color with my daughters. It is titled “Green Man’s Door” and is in Selina Fenech’s book Fairy Companions. I colored it with a variety of mediums: colored pencils, pastel pencils, paint pen, and gel pen.

Looking back over my week, I feel so blessed. Almost overwhelmingly blessed. God has been so good to me in my lifetime and I’m happy I’ve spent the last few years of my life truly appreciating the real blessings. Focusing on my relationship and spending quality time in His presence. I’ve taken on a love for working puzzles and my daughter gifted me with one for Mother’s Day which I’ll work while thinking of Heaven and my future life and thanking Him for the blessing of the present and the person who gifted it.

And so, I leave you with a smile and a prayer that you have a beautiful week. May your table be filled with food, your shelter be warm and comfortable, and your heart be filled with gratitude. Until next time…

Morning Inspirations

May 9 Morning Inspiration – Happy Mother’s Day

Yesterday my heart was blessed so deeply by children and grandchildren…and friends! One of my daughters lives out of state and is here visiting for a week. Her daughter and granddaughter drove in from a bordering state to visit for the day. Oh, the blessings of seeing and holding my one year old great granddaughter! God created us to be mothers and when our children grow and become parents the blessing continues!

My oldest daughter called and asked if she could stop by for a brief visit. What a joy to see her and also my beautiful granddaughter who is grown and working as a nurse. My youngest daughter and her husband stopped by after they had left. I counted my blessings as I silently thanked God for His many blessings.

The doorbell rang and I opened the door to find a sweet and dear friend had stopped by to bless me with some coneflowers to plant in my garden! What a surprise. My heart was overflowing with joy to see her and with the sweet heart gift she had brought. I’m hoping we will get a chance to really visit soon.

Today my youngest and second youngest daughters are stopping by and we are having a taco Mother’s Day lunch after church! I’m so overjoyed at times with how good God has been to me by filling my life with children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and beautiful heart friends! I was raised as an only child though I had a brother and sister in other states. I always longed for a real family and He has given me one!

Lifting my cup of tea and wishing each of you who care for children, whether from your own womb or not, a very Happy Mother’s Day. This is a day to give thanks for the love you share, for the arms that hold and protect, for shoulders to cry on, for hands that wipe tears, for a heart that never stops loving. God bless you!

Morning Inspirations

May 8 Morning Inspiration – Chasing the Wind

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33 NLT)

I recently spent time reading the book of Ecclesiastes which recounts words from Solomon about chasing things we believe will bring us pleasure, but learn the chase ends in failure. In my lifetime, I have chased after things that really didn’t matter, that didn’t bring the pleasure I’d sought. Eventually it brought only heartache, shame, or guilt. This is life. We have decisions to make, which God allows us to do freely.

Through my almost 80 years of living, I’ve come to learn “things” don’t matter. People do. God does. Sharing His goodness does. Being kind does. Loving does. Not the obsessive loving some people will give, but the kind of love that comes with no conditions. God loves each of us deeply. Every single one of us. He wants to have a relationship with us and He wants us to be with Him in Heaven one day. He gave His only Son to die for our sins, yes every one of our sins, so that we could be forgiven and become an heir of the Kingdom.

That’s the good news of Jesus Christ. So what do I chase after today? Deepening my relationship with the Everlasting Father. Sharing kindness and love without expecting a return or reward. It makes me so happy. It gives me peace and an overflowing joy in each new morning. Lifting my cup of tea with a prayer that you will find fulfillment in God’s daily bread, rather than in chasing the wind.

Morning Inspirations

Morning Inspiration, May 7 – Infectious Laughter

My daughter and I went to the grocery store yesterday to pick up items for a few specific meals. It was her first time visit to this store, so she was excited to look around. We found almost every item we needed except for an eggplant and a couple others. No problem because a big box store was across the street. Before we checked out, we recited the three things we still needed.

I parked in the lot near the doors and she looked at me and started to repeat the three items we needed. No matter how hard we tried, neither of us could think of the third item. I mean we had just repeated the items not two minutes ago! And then it struck me funny. I said between giggling, “Two old ladies sitting in the car laughing about forgetting something they knew just two minutes ago.” That triggered even harder laughter. You know…the kind that fuels the other and you just can’t stop!

As I sit here giggling to myself about the incident, I’m thinking of how easily some things can slip our minds when we are trying to process a multitude of outside stimuluses and conversation. On a recent visit to my doctor, I was given a wellness check. One thing the nurse did was give me three easy words and then told me to remember them because she was going to ask me to repeat them. After which she launched into a number of other questions. I did remember those three words because I kept concentrating and repeating them in my mind.

That is the kind of concentration we should have when we read our Bibles. I concentrate on reading slowly and thinking about what God is telling me. To understand how this applies to my life. It may not always be easy to accept the revelations, but they are worth remembering! Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could spread the hope and love of God in an infectious way like we do laughter? Lifting my cup of tea and wishing you a day of love, laughter, and gratitude.

Morning Inspirations

May 6 Morning Inspiration – Dreaded Spillovers

Ever had a dreaded spillover in your oven? Last night I cooked barbeque Hawaiian chicken with rice for dinner. My daughter arrived for a week’s visit at dinnertime, so it was a perfect meal since I did all the prep work earlier in the day. However, I didn’t anticipate such a horrible spillover from the baking sheet onto the bottom of the oven. Oh, the nasty huge pile of liquid that foamed up like some kind of living organism, growing and blackening. Sigh.

Sometimes we let anger brew inside us until it bursts out into a nasty spillover that spreads and covers others to whom we should be sharing love. Instead the mess bubbles and infects the hearts of our children, our spouses, our parents, and our brothers and sisters. Just like that nasty blackened mess in the bottom of my oven, it isn’t always easy to clean and renew.

The messes always require attention. Just like I will need to work hard and diligently to repair and clean my oven, we need to do the same for those who were in the way when our spillover happened. I’m so grateful to have a self-cleaning oven and a forgiving and loving Father. Lifting my cup of tea and wishing you a blessed day in the Lord.

Morning Inspirations

May 5 Morning Inspiration – Accepting Imperfection

A couple of days ago, I opened a box filled with bottles of spices. I liked the way they all looked so pretty as I arranged them in the spice rack that came with them. But now I’m sitting at the breakfast bar and realize the rack is slightly defective. The top rack is tilted a bit. Spinning it in different ways makes no difference whatsoever.

The filled spice rack is similar to other things around me. A vehicle with some small dents and scrapes. A dining table that can sit only in one position or it is off balance. The kitchen floor which has a cut in the cushioned vinyl from moving furniture in and out. I could go on, but you get the idea. I’m not concerned about any of these imperfect things. In fact, I embrace them, just as Jesus embraces me with all my imperfections.

Lifting my cup of tea with a smile and a grateful heart for the gift of a slanted spice rack!

Morning Inspirations

May 4 Morning Inspiration

Good morning! I am anticipating a visit this week with my daughter who is driving from another state to spend a little time with me over Mother’s Day. Anticipation is a time of building up joy or it is in my case. Some have done something they regret and are anticipating the worst to happen.

At this stage of life my anticipation is for joy in the future. Currently for seeing my daughter again. And for future, the joy of seeing Jesus face to face. The joy of living in heaven for eternity. Others who are at my stage of life might have a different anticipation for the end of life. They might be fearful of death. Of no longer being part of this world. But God says we are not to love the world. If we love the world, we don’t really know Him so we can’t really love Him. How easy it is to change this. God made life eternal easy for us by sending Jesus, His Son, to die on the cross for all of our sins. All of our sins. Everyone’s sins. Period. How do we accept this?

By accepting the gift. By believing in Jesus Christ as our Savior. By telling Jesus how grateful you are for giving you salvation. By asking Him to forgive you for your past sins. It’s easy as that. Your heart will be changed. You will no longer want to live for the world, but to live to please God. Your name will be written in the Book of Life. It will transform your life. Learn who Jesus is and let Him work a miracle in your life. Anticipate with joy the reality of living in heaven eternally and seeing Jesus face to face.

Lifting my cup of tea with a heart filled with joy and a prayer for at least one person to believe and accept the gift freely given with love.

Weekly Reflections

God’s Plans are Always Better

Good morning! God is sending rain this week to prepare the soil for May flowers. I was hoping to have sunny and dry weather since my daughter is coming to visit for a few days and spend Mother’s Day with me. I’m so excited to see her after a year and a half of no face to face time. I hoped for porch sitting time, sunshine and fresh air. God had other plans and I know His plans are always better than mine. So I’m thanking him for the refreshing rain He is sending as well as this anticipated time with my daughter.

Last week I had several commitments and I have learned to accept my limitations. I’m good from morning until early afternoon, but then my body needs to rest. I am not able to do as many things as I did even eight years ago. I tell myself, as I told my husband when he became ill, to be grateful for being able to do some things others cannot. Thank God for what you can achieve and listen to your body. I must confess it is easier to give advice than to accept that same advice for myself!

I had lunch with two friends last week, a Skype visit with another dear friend, a Skype visit with my daughter, a haircut appointment, grocery shopping, and, of course, went to church where I heard a wonderful sermon on “Chasing Carrots – the Endless Pursuit of More.” The weather was fantastic! It reached 79 degrees on my front porch, so I spent the afternoon there and finished coloring a picture. My closest neighbors were all sitting on their porches enjoying the warm weather and beautiful landscape. I walked to one of my neighbors and visited for a time with her. She puts out the most beautiful gardens every year and is very creative. I can’t wait to see a garden ornament of a watering can with light beads hanging from it to represent water with a basket of flowers beneath!

The picture above was taken one morning as I woke to a perfectly cloudless sky. Isn’t the blue just perfect? I feel God surrounding me when I view the beauty He provides as views from my front porch.

So today, the rain just makes me smile as I thank God for yesterday’s blessings and today’s blessings. Here are the few things I colored last week.

This is the first picture I colored last week. It took me three days to complete. I started by using Copic markers for the skin, but one of the markers I used to add shading “burped” a large amount of ink which spread all across his face. So I had to rethink and make his skin dark. I used several layers of ink with some colored pencil to even things out. The pencils I used for this picture were from the Crayola 120 pack. I paid less than $20 for this set of pencils. I hope this shows one doesn’t need to have expensive tools to create pretty pictures. For the hair, I used a base of a light gray with Caliart markers and used strokes with the black Crayola pencil to make the hair black leaving highlights with the gray showing through. This was a fun picture to color! The picture is titled “Johnny Thunderstorm” by the artist, Sarah Richter. It is in the Colouring Heaven issue 70 “Creatures of the Night.”

This is the cover page of the newest book I purchased. I bought it to use markers and practice with shading. I just love the sweet pictures of flowers and some animals by the talented Jane Maday. I am looking forward to coloring in it. I colored the “belongs to” page last night while watching television. It is shown below:

When I purchased this book, I also purchased some water based Ohuhu marker pens, a set of 60 pretty colors. I didn’t use them on this, however. I pulled out my Southsun Brutfuner oil pencils. They work marvelously on this paper. This set was gifted to me by my daughter a couple years ago and are one of my favorite pencils and are not an expensive pencil. I’m hoping to get a backup set soon as some of the pencils are quite small now.

And those two pictures are the only ones I have completed. As the weather warms offering more things to do, I will most likely be coloring less pages than during the cold and lockdown seasons. Yet, every single pencil or marker stroke is a joy. I thank God for providing these tools to bring me comfort and happiness in this season of my life. May your week be full of blessings! Until next time…

Morning Inspirations

May 2 Morning Inspiration

Good Sunday morning! My view is so beautiful this morning! God’s hand swept across the landscape and created a perfect blue sky above the green fullness of the trees surrounding the pond area. A perfect day to go to church to worship and spill out my heart filled with gratitude for the past week. As this new week begins, I’m anticipating a visit from my daughter who lives in another state. What a beautiful mother’s day present she is giving me with the joy of her presence after a year and a half of absence.

Lifting my cup of tea and sending up a prayer that all who read this will be truly blessed this day and that each will recognize the blessings.

Morning Inspirations

May 1 Morning Inspiration

May…how did you sneak up on me so quickly? I see the year passing like a leaf in the wind. The furnace is running bringing heat to my chilled bones on this morning boasting 30 something temperature. Yet, flowers are blooming, grass is growing, trees are filling their branches with lovely shades of green. Hope is what I see when I gaze through my window. Hope for a warmer day soon, for sunshine and small children running and playing, laughing and enjoying life. Hope for a beautiful tomorrow.

Lifting my cup of tea as I leave you with these words from C. S. Lewis.

“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”

And from 1 John 2:16 NLT: “For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.”