Monday, October 19, 2009

Celebrate Today!

My girlfriend sent me an "Treat Yourself Cupcake Kit". In it is everything I need - cute fluted ramekins, special individual cupcake mixes, frosting, sprinkles and even candles! I am never more that 30 seconds away from a fresh baked cupcake! Hooray!

We've been talking about the need to celebrate every day or if not to celebrate the entire day to at least find something in the day worth celebrating.
As a planner I am always aware of what is coming up next but in looking ahead I tend to lose the present. This is it. This is life. I need to stop waiting for it to start and realize that I'm in the middle of it right now! How I spend my hours today will add up to how my life is spent for life is made up of what I do with my hours.

We of course do not know how many hours we have left, whether it be hundreds or thousands or merely dozens. We have all experienced either with ourselves or those we love the sudden heart attack, accident or injury that in an instant changed the status quo forever. I have friends who are mourning the loss of a baby after only eleven days on this earth, only a couple hundred hours did he grace their lives with his physical presence although he'll be remembered forever. But why is it that we think our lives and the lives of those we love will continue on, as they are right now, indefinitely?

We may not have years to celebrate so why not celebrate today?

Celebrate the sunshine after a week of rain, or the surprising warm temperatures after a chilly spell.
Celebrate the car that, although not new, works and gets you where you need to be.
Celebrate the friends that encourage you and the technology of the Internet that lets you keep in touch with them.
Celebrate the dirty dishes that show we've had food to enjoy, and a messy house made that way by our surrounding family.
Celebrate that you had the strength and ability to get out of bed this morning even though it may not be as enthusiastically as it has in years past, you are still on your feet.

And if nothing else each day we can celebrate the fact that God pours out his loving kindness on us as His mercies are new each morning. (Lamentations 3:23) No matter how rough the day we are never without His attending presence and care. (Hebrews 13:5)

So as I am never more than a minute away from a celebratory cupcake nor are we ever more than a moment away from realizing there are things to be grateful for and cause to celebrate!

So let's celebrate, today!

And if you'd like to add your own personal size cupcake to the celebration:
1/4 c cake mix
1 tsp. pudding mix
1 tsp. powdered egg whites
1 TB water
1 TB oil
Mix well, place in greased ramekin or mug. Microwave 30 seconds. Let cool a minute.
Top with frosting, ice cream, or whipped cream and enjoy while still warm.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

not thirsty


"They were not thirsty when He led them through the desert. He divided the rock, and water gushed out for them to drink." Isaiah 48:12

They should have been thirsty. They were going through a desert!
But they were not thirsty because God was leading them through this desolate place.

Where God leads He provides.
When He leads through desolate places, He satisfies our needs.
The provision for our needs may come from unexpected places - in this case He split open a rock and water gushed out for his children but the bottom line is that they were not thirsty; their needs were met.

I find amazing comfort in this simple sentence.

I know that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and He's promised to meet my needs (Phil. 4:13) therefore whatever desolate place I am in, He can satisfy my thirst there. If He has lead me to a dry and barren place He will provide for me and I, also, will be not thirsty.

The Lord will guide you continually, watering your life when you are dry and keeping you healthy, too. You will be like a well-watered garden, lke an ever-flowing spring. Isaiah 58:11

Friday, October 2, 2009

Rest

I have a cold and have decided they are the paper cuts of illnesses; they're bothersome, annoying and get no respect whatsoever!

The most wonderful part about my cold though is rediscovering the power of a nap. When I finally decide I have no energy to do any more, I surrender to sleep. My heavy eyelids close and everything else spins away and I fall deeply into a warm cocooned place. Sometimes it doesn't even have to be that long and twenty minutes later I'll wake up amazed at how much better I feel. Ah, the restorative powers of sleep!

Psalms 37:7 encourages us to take advantage of a time of stillness pertaining to our hearts as well as it says "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him." The word rest here means to be still, silent, to be quiet and at peace.

Our lives are filled with the things that wear us down and make us miserable and these things to others might be like a paper cut or a cold; not that big of a deal but they are exhausting us. Is there a "nap" we can take in a spiritual sense? Is there a way that we can "rest in the Lord" and find restoration for our souls?

There is and it's as intentional as physically snuggling under a blanket. Come before the Lord and lay out all that is troubling, all of it. Lay it all out before Him and then give it all over to Him; put it in His hands. Philippians 4 encourages us to "Not worry about anything but pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. " I Peter 5:7 says "Cast all your care on Him for He cares for you." Can we give over our burdens to the One who is all mighty and has the strength to carry both them and us?

There's more though than just laying it all down. When you nap you not only lay yourself down but also slip away in your consciousness from your present reality. You sleep and shut out the sights and sounds around you. Once we give our burdens to the Lord we need to slip away from our current circumstances and into His sanctuary where we can "gaze upon your power and glory." Psalms 63:2 Recall the God you see in the pages of Scripture and the great things He has done. Open His Word and let the promises there bring solace to your heart. Remember in your own life how God has worked in your behalf. "Be very careful never to forget what God has done for you." Deut. 4:9

When you again open your eyes to your reality it will be with eyes that have just gazed on the power of the God who loves you; and you will find that indeed "He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; He offers strength to the weak. Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31