“The LORD Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:14 NLT
Last year I toyed with the idea of writing down things from my past I wanted my grandchildren and children to know. Things they never experienced and probably never will. However, as I tried to capture on paper the ideas in my head, they were simply facts. How could I write them in an interesting way? Instead of praying about it, I gave up.
How easily we fall into Satan’s trap of not being good enough! Since childhood, this has been a struggle for me. I spent years feeling I didn’t measure up in many ways. I was very shy. I didn’t like attention being called to me. I spent a lot of time alone.
Now that I’m older I see those signs in the younger me I didn’t recognize then as a deep need to know I was loved. This need led me to being baptized at 13. Oh, how on fire for Jesus I was then! I didn’t have a family life that centered around church. In fact, my parents never attended church or prayed with me. They refused to attend my baptism.
Over the years, I wandered off the path of following Jesus and turned to the world looking for love. I never found the love in these wrong places. It took going through a marriage that shouldn’t have happened (though four great blessings were given during that time: three beautiful girls and a beautiful son). God led me to the love of my life, a Christian man, and I finally realized the love I sought I had all along in Jesus.
My faith has increased over the years and now that I’m in the “winter” of my life, I find so much hope in studying scriptures and spending time cultivating my relationship with Jesus and getting to know God.
The victory belongs to God! And now, I’m saying yes to writing the stories of my past. I know He is providing everything I need. I still have a lot of praying to do over how much to reveal. But He will guide me. All along, through every storm, God was fighting for me. And He fights for all of us even now. He can turn seas into highways! Lifting my cup of tea while my heart is overflowing with love and gratitude. He is my rock, my salvation, my hope, my teacher, my father, and so much more!
One of the most difficult things I’ve learned over the past few years is how to give my concerns to God. Easily said, but not always easy to do. I used to tell God I was giving Him something, but found days or hours later, I was worrying and fussing about the same thing all over again!
I have a prayer wall. On it, I hang scriptures that speak to me, prayers, and my concerns. These concerns are the things that can suck me into fear and worry…things I can’t really control. God gives me wisdom to know there are steps I can take to assist with certain things like health and finances, but in order not to worry, but to trust God, I need to put my faith in Him and let Him carry these heavy burdens for me. God gives me a peace I cannot describe other than as a peace that passes understanding about these things…once I have given them to Him.
What is the key to giving all these to God and NOT TAKING THEM BACK? For me it was remembering I would not give something to any of my earthly friends and then snatch it back again. Being able to give God our burdens is a privilege God grants us. So we give back to Him by trusting Him to take care of them. Taking them back means we don’t trust Him.
Lifting my cup of tea as I watch dark storm clouds pass overhead in a heavily overcast sky. The darkness moves across the sky but not a drop of rain falls. I’m always amazed when I watch what God is doing through my office window. He is powerful. He can do what He says He can do. So I expect to see God do greater things in the days to come!
A holiday weekend is upon us though I hadn’t realized until I looked at my calendar yesterday. Another fact about living alone in retirement: there are no plans for family outings any longer, so unless I have an appointment penciled in my Christian Planner, the days slip by without recognition. Some mornings I forget what day it is. This morning I had a brief thought while waking that it was Saturday. Then I remembered today was Skype day with my daughter who lives in Wisconsin. Friday. Laundry. Thank goodness for routine!
Our routines evolve as our lives change. I’ve never been a spontaneous kind of person. I’m smiling now remembering vacations and how hubby wanted a schedule of what every day would involve. He couldn’t wing it. The best vacation we ever took was a 10 day road trip. I planned exactly where we would stop each day, booked hotels in advance, and we ate at roadside rests from a packed cooler.
That vacation was relaxing, fun, and I wish we had done this more often. As I continue to age in my quiet days of routine, I sift through memories of the good times. A little longing enters. If only I were a little more courageous, I’d like to get in my SUV and take a trip to visit my brother and sister. I’d listen to audio books while I drove once I could no longer get my Christian radio stations. But, alas, it isn’t safe to travel alone, especially as a member of the “golden years club.” Stopping at roadside rests to eat would not be wise. Traveling alone with health issues wouldn’t be wise.
Some tell me to get on an airplane. There were years when I flew quite frequently for business. I enjoyed those trips. Now the thought of boarding an airplane gives me a panic attack. I trust God, but I find it difficult to trust placing myself in the hands of strangers especially in today’s world. I don’t want to fly again until the rapture!
And so, I dream of enjoying traveling alone, seeing myself as a strong, brave woman of age. The dreams will have to be enough. In reality, I enjoy my time in the quiet peace of each day, knowing God is with me and He holds my future.
Lifting my cup of tea with a sigh and closing the dream to inhale the fresh morning air, to see the beautiful light blue sky, feel the warmth of the sunshine, and give thanks to God for blessing me so richly.
It’s a beautiful day here on my porch this Wednesday morning. I so enjoy being able to sit outdoors, despite the ragweed and other pollen which seems to fill my eyes with sand and make me sneeze! God has provided me a sanctuary of peace and beauty.
My citronella plants are huge! They have so outgrown their hanging baskets that I have to keep them sitting on the porch floor. They are certainly keeping the jumping spiders at bay, and that makes me happy.
Here is what I am seeing right now:
Lifting my cup of tea with gratefulness to God, and wishing you all a beautiful day!
Last evening a migraine plagued me suddenly and painfully. Not sure what triggered it, but I’m grateful for medication and that I could sleep most of it off. Those who have ever suffered with migraines can relate to how they linger for a few days.
I’m planning on staying inside and shading the windows from the bright sunlight. This doesn’t happen often, thank goodness! I love sunshine and light. I see God in the sunshine and light of each day. Yet, in the quiet and darkness, I feel God’s presence. I feel loved and protected. This day will be spent in His healing presence. In this, I feel thankfulness for the migraine and for the rest to be found in this day.
This morning I am truly grateful for the gift of tears. Tears allow us to relieve pain and grief, that of which we often don’t realize are still hiding in our heart. Tears are cleansing. They are a part of life. We enter the world with a cry of distress from leaving our warm safe cocoon. It takes time to adjust to the strangeness of this world.
As we grow, we learn tears can bring food and a clean diaper. Then tears can be used to manipulate, to get what we want when parents say no. As the teenage years take hold, we learn the tears of heartbreak from losing love.
And then comes the tears of watching our children climb on a school bus and leave us behind. The young adults pack their belongings and move away. Tears of joy at seeing our grandchildren born.
Tears of saying goodbye to friends and family when they are called home before us. Tears of grief at the loss of a spouse, a child, a beloved pet. And then there are the tears of memories, when life continues on but the new path is traveled alone. The ache of empty places in the heart.
Tears. God. Knowing one day all tears will be wiped away. Trusting in God. Keeping faith. Waiting for a journey to be reconnected. Thanking God. Moving on with a smile.
My daughter made me a beautiful journal for my birthday in 2020. I have listed 160 items, which is so much less than I’d planned. My original goal was to have 1000 entries by the end of this year. Boy, am I behind! I’m going to focus more of filling this journal, but with no end date in mind.
Today’s entries were:
A bunny in the grass.
A quote in my devotional: “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – L. Smedes
Beautiful finches in my hanging basket.
All these things made me smile and filled my heart with how good God truly is. A happy soul is a grateful soul.
Lifting my cup of tea with a happy heart and wishing you all a day to see with gratitude.
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”