Morning Inspiration – God’s Planting Seasons

Yesterday I shopped for plants to decorate my porch. I purchased two hanging baskets and two citronella plants. Last week I planted coneflowers gifted from a dear friend’s garden. As I look at the porch this morning, enjoying the bright colors, I’m reminded of what God’s instructions to the Israelites when they were uprooted to Babylon. He encouraged them to continue to multiply, plant and reap where He had “planted” them for a season. Throughout my life God has moved me to new locations where I tried my best to plant, reap and bloom until He moved me again. Abraham moved many times in his lifetime as God led him.

When God moved me into my condo four years after my beloved husband was moved to his forever home with Jesus, I knew this would likely be my last temporary home. I’m finding much joy here, as I did in my previous temporary homes. Now there are no children to care for, no husband to be caregiver for, no outside commitments that can’t be changed, and I’m settled in to bloom here. What about you? Do you let the cultural and political pressures interfere with you finding joy in the temporary home God has given you? We certainly face some difficult times, but nothing more than the Israelites endured. We have a choice. We can get caught up in the worldly pressures, or choose to focus on what God is asking you to do.

Lifting my cup of tea and leaving you with this word from God, which was spoken to the Israelites in Jeremiah 29:5-7 NLT. “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”

Morning Inspiration, May 18 – Where’s the Snooze Button?

When I retired, I looked forward to sleeping as long as I wanted. No alarm clock. I hadn’t planned on my cat, Wilbur, not understanding he had to take the place of that annoying alarm. He used to be consistent in waking me around 7am but after this last time change, he began waking me around 6:30. For the past month, it has become 5:30am. While I love getting up earlier and having more daytime hours to enjoy, I sure would prefer to remain asleep until 6 or 6:30. But his howls grow louder and louder if I try to ignore him and he has no snooze button.

I think we all learned how to use that snooze button to the best advantage. I believe there are some people who use the snooze button for God. They think there is time to get right with Him at a later time. The problem with that is we don’t know how much time we have before Jesus returns. It might happen before I finish writing this post. It could happen later today, tomorrow, or next year. Why take the gamble with time? Lifting my cup of tea and encouraging you to stop using the snooze button on salvation. Say yes to God and accept Jesus as your savior. Believe in Him. Tomorrow might be too late.

Morning Inspiration – Comfort from Heaven

Oh, how I enjoyed sitting outside yesterday! Greeting neighbors walking past, feeling the happy warmth of the sun kissing my skin, and hearing the birds singing all around me. When the sun touches my skin, I feel God hugging me. Front porch sitting is my favorite thing to do on a beautiful and sunny day. I worked on updating a color chart with new coloring tools I purchased this past year. I knew if I tried to read, I would probably fall asleep since the ambience is so peaceful! Didn’t want my neighbors to hear me snoring! LOL!

I believe greeting God and the beautiful life He created around me is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my life. From the moment He placed me here, I felt His love more strongly than ever before. Perhaps it is my age and not having my soulmate with me any longer. If God allows our loved ones to look upon us from Heaven, then I know my beloved husband is happy to see how I’m going on without him by my side. There is comfort is this.

Honestly, I do not know where I’d be today without Jesus in my life. The peace of knowing I’ll be reunited with my loved ones destroys all fear of my own death one day. I know where I’m going is my eternal destination and will be more awesome than anything I can imagine. Lifting my cup of tea with a heart filled with joy…a heart that longs for every person who reads this will turn to Jesus and receive the gift of salvation.

Morning Inspiration – Losing Hope

It is so easy to lose hope in the pressures the world imposes and those we impose upon ourselves. I’ve been on Weight Watchers for a couple of months and I was very excited when I received my first 5 pound loss charm. The thought of filling my keychain with various charms marking even more weight loss incentivized me! But I didn’t really want to give up my old comforts of tacos on Wednesday and veggie pizza on Sunday. These are times I spend with one of my best friends every week. I count the points and don’t overindulge. BUT this also has caused me to think I deserve not to cook. So I slip and pick up fast food on other occasions. Ugh.

When my daughter came for a week’s visit, I went off plan completely. I forgot (on purpose) about tracking points. It didn’t take long for me to fall back into a habit of craving and indulging in snacks during the afternoon and evening. Even though she left on Thursday morning, I continued to snack, snack, snack. This morning I thought about Weight Watchers and how I just couldn’t lose weight on the plan. I considered cancelling.

Then I stopped and thought about the reason I wasn’t losing weight. It wasn’t the plan. It was me. So I headed to the community tab and confessed. There I find encouragement to continue. I see success stories of others just like me who made it to their goal. Hope can be lost if we listen to the wrong voice. If we hear words like “you deserve this” it is not the voice of God! When we give up hope, it can all be attributed to our listening to Satan’s voice. He invades our thoughts and crowds out any positive messages. Oh, how easy it is to find excuses to give up.

Lifting my cup of tea on this beautiful sunny morning and encouraging you to pray about any loss of hope you might be suffering. You can do all things through Christ. He will give you the strength.

Morning Inspiration – God’s Postcards

I’m looking at a perfectly beautiful morning view through my window. It’s like God’s postcard to me. Each morning I receive a new one. Each different, yet beautiful. Pictures of the world He created.

When he placed me in this condo, He already had planned for these unique gifts He would bless me with. I’m so grateful. I’ve heard beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but who could not look at this view and find it beautiful? I suppose some people might compare it to a beach view and find it lacking, or to a mountain view and feel it disappointing. But all God’s creatiions are beautiful! Even you and me.

What we sometimes miss is the beauty to be found in each different view God provides throughout the day. Each one given to each individual is unique! Lifting my cup of tea and wishing you a day to appreciate the postcards God sends you.

Morning Inspiration – Waving Goodbye

It is a bittersweet morning. My daughter just drove off, heading back to her home after a wonderful week’s visit. The condo is very quiet now and feels empty. I titled this post as “waving goodbye” but it wasn’t really goodbye, just … until we meet again.

A beautiful cardinal is sitting on a branch in the pine tree in the middle of my window view. I have missed sitting at my desk in the morning and enjoying God’s blessings through the view He provides. But I’m thankful for the other blessings He provided in the interim. A full week of never eating a meal alone; being able to share stories, laughs, and quality time with my daughter; watching her hands as she crocheted and worked on a cross stich project; and the joy of love filling the condo.

My daughters are all so beautiful. All of them are Godly women who have left happy memories in my heart from the moment I first held them in my arms. God’s children, lent to me for a time. And so, as I prepare to rearrange this room from a temporary bedroom into my office, I smile. I reminisce. and I thank God for the gift of this new day.

Morning Inspiration – Trust in God

If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years since my husband traveled to Heaven, it is to trust in God and not to lean on my own understanding. I’ve learned that He is the One I can trust and depend upon. And my relationship with Him has grown significantly and continues to grow.

“I’ll say it again – it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” (Matthew 19:24 NLT)

I’ve had to learn to give up things I considered riches in order to see the true riches in my life. Current culture makes it easy to cling to possessions and strive and desire more, more, more. But should these things be taken away, will we still feel secure? Where do we place our security? Where do we place our trust? Who do we thank when we receive material riches? Food for thought! As for me, I’ve learned God is my true wealth. He has provided an eternal inheritance which is beyond my comprehension! I believe God provides for my needs, and mostly these blessings come from God working through others.

Lifting my cup of tea and wishing you all a fabulous day! I’ll leave you with this prayer in my devotional today “Jesus, please give me the wisdom to manage or multiply the resources You have blessed me with. And keep me from ever looking for peace and safety in money. Amen”

Morning Inspiration – God’s Plan is Always Better

Lately I’ve been feeling a little out of sorts about how cool and damp the weather is where I live. It’s the second week of May and I was looking forward to the warmth of sunny days with temps nearing 70F. Especially during this time that my daughter is visiting. I had hopes of sitting on the front porch and taking walks. The only walking we’ve done has been wrapped in warm clothes and dodging rain, especially on Mother’s Day after church!

But I know this is God’s plan and my plans need to be set aside. Instead we have spent our days inside and sharing talks and laughter. It doesn’t really matter where we spend our time with our loved ones, it is really about the quality of the time. And so, as the clouds cover the skies, hiding the sun, and the raindrops fall, I smile and thank God. Thank Him for the rain to replenish the earth and the time with my daughter. His plans are always good! Lifting my cup of tea with a happy heart and a reminder to look for the blessings among the raindrops.

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 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.