Morning Inspirations

April 30 Morning Inspiration

This morning I cleaned the fan blades on the unit mounted on my cathedral ceiling. It was a challenge. I stood on my two-step kitchen ladder and held a tool my daughter gifted me to clean under stoves, refrigerators, and such. It gave me the extra height I needed. But every time I touched one of the blades, they would move out of reach. I grabbed a yardstick which worked great to stabilize each blade as I stretched as high as my arms could reach to clean the top of the blades.

So why am I telling you this boring story? It made me think of how I chased different dreams throughout my lifetime. Some of them alluded me, just like the fan blades. I chased after them, yet they remained just out of reach, taunting me. I believe this starts for us when we are children. I remember standing on a little wooden bridge over a creek in my grandparents’ backyard singing at the top of my lungs in my imagination as I imagined I was a star. That dream never materialized and in fact faded as I grew older. I chased dreams of being a lawyer (one my mother had for me), a teacher, an author (which came to fruition later in life).

Looking back, I realize these were things I wanted, but I didn’t factor God into any of them. What did He want for me? During my writing career, I heard him speak loud and clear to me to change my direction and write books that shared a Christian walk. And I followed His direction. But now in my last season of life, I have retired from writing books. Now God has placed me here to share words from my heart. Was this a dream I sought after? Perhaps it is an extension of my dream of being an author. I know I write for God and it brings me joy.

So what dreams have you chased after? Have you listened to God or prayed for His guidance? Have you identified the gifts He has given you? God is the stabilizing force. Just as the yardstick was a stabilizing force for me this morning. Lifting my cup of tea and wishing you all a day of love and kindness.

Morning Inspirations

April 29 Morning Inspiration

Rainy spring morning here! I love how the rain turns everything such a luscious shade of green. I can almost feel the color. It hugs me when I stand on the porch surrounded by green and the scent of wet earth. A new day. Life is beautiful.

Yesterday I was reminded of how blessed I am to be living in the place God has planted me for this season of my life. My smoke and carbon monoxide alarm started giving off intermittent loud chirps. I knew that meant the battery needed changing. I have three such alarms in my condo. I thought it was the one in the kitchen. I climbed on my two step kitchen ladder (the only one I own) and I could reach it. As I started to twist it open, the chirp sounded again, but it wasn’t from this unit. It was from the one in the living room on the cathedral ceiling. No way could I reach it.

I walked to my next door neighbor’s door to seek help. He had one of those ladders that fold down and brought it over. He didn’t even hesitate. When I said I needed his help, he stood and asked, “What can I do?” Isn’t this what we all should do? He didn’t stop to think about anything I might be interrupting…how inconvenient helping me would be. I want to be more like him…more like Jesus. When we found out the alarm required a 9-volt battery, I didn’t have one. He said, “I think I have one. Let me check.” And off he went. He didn’t have one either, but that isn’t the point, is it? He was willing to give me what he had that would help me. That’s loving your neighbor. He told me to let him know when I got the battery and he would come and put it up for me.

How can I not shed tears of joy every time I think about the day I walked into this condo and felt God’s arms wrap around me. This is where He wanted me to be. Where I am spending the last season of my earthly life. And I am blessed. Lifting my cup of tea and praying each of you who read this will find the true joy of feeling God’s love in your surroundings, wherever you may be.

Morning Inspirations

April 28 Morning Inspiration

Good morning! Did you thank God for the gift of a new day yet?

Rain is expected later today, but the forecast also includes temperatures climbing to 80. I’ll take it with much gratitude! As I gaze across the freshly mowed landscape, I’m filled with peace and joy. There is something miraculous in the quiet of the morning amid God’s handiwork. Such beautiful green colors with the treetops moving softly in the breeze. A robin is having breakfast in front of my porch. My neighbor’s tulips are bright and beautiful. The little pine tree that last week drooped beneath a cover of snow, is standing tall and spreading branches to welcome the day. Life is all around me. And I am in the midst of God’s majesty. I am blessed.

Lifting my cup of tea as I smile with true joy at this gift God has given on this morning. May your day be sprinkled with happy views, loving kindness, and gratitude.

Morning Inspirations

April 27 Morning Inspiration

The parable in Matthew 25 about the bags of gold has given me much thought. The three servants were given gold to care for while the master was away. They were given differing amounts according to the ability the had seen in them. Two of the servants invested the money and earned more for the master. But the one given the least buried it to keep it safe. The master was displeased with him because of his choice. This is just the highlight of the parable. So what does that mean for us today?

God gives to each of us differently, but He also gives us opportunities to invest our abilities, finances, intellect, etc. Instead of coveting what another has that we don’t, it is best to remember that nothing belongs to us. All we have belongs to God. One day we will be held accountable for how we handled the opportunities He placed in our lives. We should be serving God with our little or much. We should be sowing seeds to further His Kingdom. We will never be worthy of His grace. Grace is given freely, because Jesus died to atone for our sins and weakness. Lifting my cup of tea as I give thanks for this new day and the opportunities He will place before me. I pray I don’t miss them.

Weekly Reflections

It’s Been an Up and Down Kind of Week!

Good morning! Look at the pretty clouds in the sky. Couldn’t resist taking a picture through my window. There is a frost advisory, but I don’t think it will affect my little area. The sun is already breaking through to warm the day. Yesterday was my grandson’s 21st birthday. I’ve celebrated this milestone for several other grandsons already, and a few more to go. Thank you, Jesus, for your blessings.

What a week! It was cold during the middle of the week, so I spent a quiet week at home bundled in sweat pants and slippers. On Tuesday afternoon our small group met and it was a lovely day. We had a wonderful time discussing the Bible and how we each interpreted the meanings in the scriptures of 1 John 1:8-2:2. Our small group is a women’s group. We share from the heart and there is no judgment, only love. I’m so glad we are able to meet in person again!

Satan has been actively attacking me this week. Oh, how he tries to put negative thoughts in my head, but I’ve been heavily cloaked in the armor of God. Did you know that singing praise songs makes that evil one turn and flee? I have to laugh when I picture him that way! When he grabs me unexpectedly and sprays me with sadness, I just say Jesus and begin to pray. Then I order that nasty deceiver away. So, that has been my week. Fighting the battlefield of the mind. This happens when I spend too much time in my little space alone without hearing another human voice. Looking forward to summer months where I can sit outside and enjoy the sunshine and visit with neighbors. God fills my porch with so much love, there is no room for Satan to enter.

But, I’ve been busy with puzzles this week. I also started practicing some shading techniques with markers. Another thing I’ve been battling is getting sleepy and dropping off into little naps. I used to crochet or knit while watching television, but since my fingers cramp and lock when I’m holding the hook or needles for any length of time, I’ve given up that hobby. So I started bringing out a small table and coloring while watching tv in the evening. Yes, it can be done! Without further ado, here is what I accomplished this week with my hobbies.

This cute little girl is from Chibi Girls 2 Grayscale. Colored her with markers. Quick and easy.

Finished this puzzle. I didn’t realize when I read the words “perfect snap” on the box, it meant just that. I picked this puzzle up and held it upright and not a single piece let loose! It was truly locked together! I don’t keep puzzles, so I began trying to take it apart. Ha! It took a long time because I had to pull one piece at a time. I got bored and called my brother to keep me company while I dismantled this one.

Later, the evening I finished breaking down the cat puzzle, I began working on this one. It had less pieces and they were a little larger. I completed this by the following evening.

This is the first picture I colored in Damita Victoria “100 Easy Flowers” coloring book. I bought it so I could practice with makers and shading since no shading is provided in the pictures. I like how it turned out.

This is the second picture colored with markers in the Damita Victoria book. I tried to mimic the picture the way it was depicted on the front cover. Not as happy with this one, but practice is all about learning and having fun.

This picture is in Christine Karron’s newest coloring book, Fairies and Fantast 2 Grayscale. I used multiple media tools: Faber Castell pastel pencils, Copic Sketch markers, and Black Widow pencil sets.

In addition, I finished coloring the picture of the month buddy color which cannot be revealed until the 30th, so I’ll include it in the next weekly reflection post. I’m lifting my cup of tea this morning and wishing you all a beautiful Monday. May your hearts be light and may your joy be abundant. Until next time…

Morning Inspirations

April 25 Morning Inspiration

Each morning after my two cats have been fed, I brush them to remove any loose hair. This is especially important as they are now seniors and are not as nimble at grooming themselves as in their youth. This morning the grooming session reminded me of something beautiful.

As I pulled Templeton to my lap and flipped him so I could groom his belly, his brother, Wilbur began washing Templeton’s feet. When it was Wilbur’s turn for belly grooming, Templeton did the same thing for Wilbur’s feet. Yes, it reminded me of how Jesus washed the feet of His disciples shortly before He was betrayed.

I believe feet washing is a humbling act of kindness, but I also believe this act means much more. It means we should care for our brothers and sisters at all times. Maybe we aren’t literally washing feet, but we can be the hands and feet of Jesus when necessary. I learned so much about this when I became caregiver to my husband. It wasn’t the retired life we planned, but it is one God planned for us. Love is all about giving from the heart. About washing feet. Lifting my cup of tea on this Sunday morning as I wish you all a blessed day.

Morning Inspirations

April 24 Morning Inspiration

Ever feel that you don’t have anything else to give? Like you’ve reached an age where you can’t contribute anything worthwhile to further the Kingdom of God? Let me ask you another question: Is there any verse in the Bible which states age is a limitation?

When we grasp and believe the lies Satan plants in our minds, we are led into feeling worthless. God doesn’t ever look on us as useless or worthless. He sent His Son, Jesus, to become human and walk faultless on the earth to teach us the truth, to turn our lives around. And then Jesus was sacrificed to take our sins upon Himself and die that we might be forgiven of the many sins that are part of our everyday lives. That doesn’t sound like a God Who thinks us worthless. There are many stories in the Bible relating people in their old age (much older than any of us live today) who were called to work for the Kingdom.

We are worthy. We are necessary. We were placed here on this earth to live out a holy purpose. We may not ever know what good we sowed during our earthly lives until God reveals this. The best thing we can do is trust in God’s Word. To know that God is Who He says He is, that God can do what He says He can do, that we are who God says we are, that we can do all things through Christ, and that God’s Word is alive and working in us. Lifting my cup of tea with a reminder that you are beautiful, a masterpiece created by God, and you are a necessary part of the Kingdom.

Morning Inspirations

April 23 Morning Inspiration

Good morning! Isn’t it a beautiful day to be alive? Even though it is below freezing again this morning, the weather is supposed to be pleasant and rise into the 50’s. Long range forecast shows 70 and 80 degree temperatures for next week! I love the sunshine and on days when the sun shines, my spirits are high. When the sun hits my face, it feels like God is smiling upon me. I often wonder how any person can look at a tree, a flower, a bird, a sunrise, a sunset, or a newborn baby and not believe in God. He has transformed my life and I’m grateful from every fiber of my being. I lift my cup of tea this morning as I list the three things I’m thankful for this very moment: this computer which gives me a way to share God’s love to the world, this gift of a new day on earth, and my Bible beside me from which I gain truth and guidance. May your day be awesome and your heart be happy. I pray blessings upon you.

Morning Inspirations

April 22 Morning Inspiration

Very cold start for an April spring day. A coating of white frost on the ground and 30 degree temperature. I was happy when the sun came out yesterday afternoon and the snow disappeared. I know the sun will return and the temps will rise again. This morning, however, I am very thankful for my furnace to add warmth to my home. Yesterday’s dinner was homemade vegetable soup. Yummy! There is enough for three more dinners, so no cooking until Sunday evening. Best of all, eating the soup adds no points to my daily WW count!

So many things to be thankful about! I’m happy to be alive, happy for a new day, and happy to be giving all thanks to God for His goodness! Blessings abound all around me. All it requires is recognizing them. In my sinful past, I didn’t see all my blessings for what they were. I overlooked them as I desired more, coveted what others had which I didn’t. Satan was having a good time with me, keeping my mind from acknowledging and appreciating what God provided. No peace to be found in my heart then. I thought I was happy most of the time, but it wasn’t true. Only when I renewed my faith and trust in Jesus as my Savior and bowed humbly to thank God for true blessings did I find true peace in my life, in my heart. Lifting my cup of tea with a huge smile and a heart filled with thanksgiving to wish you all a day to be kind to yourself and to give thanks to God for his blessings.

Morning Inspirations

April 21 Morning Inspiration

Brrr. Temperature right at freezing with a wind chill 10 degrees colder. This is what I woke up to this morning. I took the picture of the little pine tree to show how it is bent beneath the heavy, wet snowfall. This reminds me of a country song sung by Tanya Tucker years ago “Strong Enough to Bend.” I’m reminded that in the storms of life, we need to be like the trees. As the words of the song say:

“There’s a tree out in the back yard,
That never has been broken by the wind.
And the reason it’s still standin’
It was strong enough to bend.”

Songwriters: Schlitz Donald Alan, Chapman Beth Nielsen

Though this spring day has turned into a winter-like landscape, this will pass. In the wake will be sunshine, flowers, and warmer temperatures. So bend with the changes, and wait for the new spring God will provide. Then stand tall and bloom. Lifting my cup of tea with a smile and a joyful heart!