Sunday, May 10, 2015

May Memories

Today is Mother's Day, and I enjoyed a wonderful, blessed day with my precious children. Now as I glance out at the evening sky, it seems this is the "finale" to a glorious day - - the colors are gorgeous. It's as if God used His paintbrush and swirled shades of pink, blue, and orange - - breathtaking! Another reminder that we serve an amazing God who loves to shower us with unexpected blessings and beauty.
This same God is always with us - - through happy days such as today, and through the sad, difficult times that everyone goes through.
Since it is Mother's Day, I've thought a lot of my own precious Mama--now in Heaven--and how very much I miss her. But I'm so very grateful for the time she was here on earth, and I treasure all the sweet memories of my Mama, and am thankful for all that I learned from her. May I always strive to be the loving, Christian mother to my children that my precious Mama was to me.


     Her children arise up, and call her blessed.   Proverbs 31:28

Friday, April 24, 2015

An April Afternoon

A few days ago I went into my backyard to pick up some paper plates that had blown off my deck (where I feed stray cats). As I walked across the yard I suddenly stopped, taking in the picture-perfect Spring day. I looked up at the bright blue sky, noticed how green the trees were with sunlight streaming between the branches, and listened to the birds chirping their hearts out. It was impossible not to feel a sense of joy as I took in the beautiful day that the Lord had provided.
I couldn't help but think back to my much-busier days of teaching school, raising my children, and constantly feeling I was in a rush.
Not that I didn't appreciate pretty days then, because I did. But now that my life is at a slower pace, I can take time to savor all the beauty around me. And take extra time to give thanks to the One who created all the wonderful sights and sounds around me.
    This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.   Psalm 118:24

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Book Review: WHEN GRACE SINGS

Author Kim Vogel Sawyer has been my favorite author for quite some time, and each time I read another book written by her I'm reminded of why she's my favorite!
The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy Series follows members of an Old Order Mennonite family who live in Kansas. Book 1 is When Mercy Rains and is excellent. I recently finished reading Book 2, When Grace Sings, and highly recommend it. The only problem was that a couple of nights I stayed up way too late reading, because I wanted to find out what happened next!
When Grace Sings follows the story of Alexa Zimmerman as she's running a B&B in her grandmother's home. A Chicago tabloid reporter, Briley Forrester, arrives for an extended stay at the B&B. Alexa is unaware of Briley's hidden motives for being in her community. The events become even more interesting when Alexa agrees to host her cousin Anna Grace, who is engaged to Steven, a young man with a hidden dream.
These characters came alive for me as I read this book---another reason I love Kim Vogel Sawyer's stories. She has a talent for creating believable characters that you find yourself truly caring about!
Now I'm eager to read Book 3 when it comes out, and I highly recommend this series.

Monday, February 23, 2015

February Feelings

The month of February is often associated with Valentine's Day, and I've even heard February referred to as "the month of love" (even though Valentine's Day is only one day, LOL). But how wonderful it would be if every month could be a "month of love" - - as in showing LOVE for EACH OTHER. 
In the book of John in the Bible, Jesus says that we are commanded to love one another as He has loved us. WOW! I think we all can use this reminder (at least I know I sure can) because some days we just don't feel very loving toward others. Yet we need to remember that as Christians, we are to strive to follow the example of Jesus and love everyone (yes, easier said than done).
One way that we can show love for others is when we let people know we hurt when they hurt. I was recently reminded of this when I had many friends and relatives who demonstrated love by their compassion and caring. One of my sweet kitties had cancer and had to be put to sleep at my veterinarian's office. Even though the loss of an animal is not the same as a human loss, it's still a terribly painful time. As I cried and felt so sad as I left the animal clinic with an empty cat carrier, I was soon comforted by those who truly understood the grief of losing a beloved pet. They felt my sadness, and as they showed compassion and understanding, I felt their love.
May I always look for ways to show others that I love them, just as I have felt loved.


     This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  John 15:12

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Joy in January

For the past several years I've had a special "word for the year" rather than setting New Year's resolutions as I used to do. I don't choose this special word lightly - - actually I pray about it and then wait to see what the Lord impresses on my heart.
Back in December I started thinking and praying about my "Word for 2015" and before long the Lord clearly gave me the word JOY. My first thoughts were: Am I understanding the Lord? In the past I've had words like TRUST, PERSEVERE, and SERVE. So....I prayed some more, and sure enough it was clear. My Word for 2015 is JOY.
I want to be JOYFUL every day - - not just when things are going smoothly, but EVERY day. Because as a Christian I have many reasons to be joyful - - especially knowing I have a Savior who loves me and has promised me eternal life!
This special word also has another meaning in my life. Many years ago my precious Mama (now in Heaven) told me that the way to have true joy in your life is to live this way:  Put JESUS first - J
                                                          Put OTHERS next - O
                                                          Put yourself last - Y
Her reminder has stayed with me over the years, and that is how I always want to live. I show my love for Jesus by serving and doing for others, and in doing that I receive joy. May I always have a spirit of joy in all that I do.
     Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy;
at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.  
                                                                                    Psalm 16:11

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Serving and Showing

Tomorrow is the last day of 2014. I cannot believe how quickly this year has zipped by! I've said that in years past, but I honestly feel this particular year has seemed to go by even more quickly.
Overall 2014 was a very good year for my family and myself, and I'm very, very thankful. Even though there were some times of illness for different family members (myself included) we've always managed to bounce back with the Lord's help.
Now as I'm looking to a brand-new year, I'm thinking about new opportunities to serve the Lord. Sometimes it's easy for us to become comfortable in our regular routines, and we overlook ways we can help others and show the love of Christ. Even little things---making a phone call, sending a card, helping out a neighbor---small acts that can really help a person and show that someone cares.
So as we prepare to finish one year and begin a new one, my prayer is that we will always remember the One who gave us each day, and we'll live each day showing His love to others.


     Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
                                                                   Philippians 2:4-5

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Frustrated or Faithful ?

As if to emphasize a previous blog post I wrote about the time going too quickly, over a month has passed since I've written one of my Corners. Actually, I did attempt to post a blog in November - - all written out, with a Scripture at the end - - and for some reason it would NOT post. Aaaugh!  Not a big deal, but I was a bit aggravated *wink*. So I will try again, and hopefully my computer will cooperate. :)
Now that the Christmas season is upon us, lots of people are busily rushing around, shopping, decorating, preparing for parties, and as a result are feeling frazzled and frustrated. Numerous articles have been written on "how to avoid stress at the holidays" and advice on ways to enjoy the season more. Yet year after year so many folks end up the same way: tired and frustrated. As we all know, Christmas should be a joyous time of celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and NOT a time to complain. So even though I'm not nearly as busy as I was when my children were younger, there's still a good bit I need and want to accomplish. And this year I am determined to keep the True Reason for Christmas at the center of my heart and mind. The Lord has always been faithful to me, so shouldn't I be faithful to Him? Instead of feeling frustrated at all the busyness around me and what I'm not getting accomplished, I will be faithful in praising Him each day and truly celebrate His birth with joy!
     And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  Luke 2:10