Monday, June 22, 2015

The Greatest Tattoo Artist...

I was laying in bed on a recent Saturday, the early morning light barely peeking through the blinds. One of my cats jumped on the bed and rubbed my hand. I felt to see which cat, but knew from the sound of the jump it was Bucky Boy. I rubbed his head and thought of my children.

I know Andy and Bailey. I can distinguish the sound of my son's footsteps when he comes to pick up his dog over the sound of my husband's footsteps. I'd know the sound of Andy's voice in a chorus of a thousand voices and I recognize the dimple in his cheek as soon as he smiles.

With my eyes closed, I'd know if I were hugging my daughter or a stranger. There's a way she fits perfectly against me, snuggled next to my heart, her head on my chest. I'd know the feel of her hair and her skin without the need for sight.

I know what foods they like, what kinds of movies they prefer. I know one likes to read and the other doesn't. I know they both love the outdoors, and they both adore their dad. He taught them to love the outdoorsy stuff. I know they both love to cook. I know I would give my life for them, yet I've never been faced with that decision.

God knows me far deeper and intimate than I even know my children. The Bible says He even knows the number of hairs on my head. He knew me when I was in my mother's womb. He knows I went barefoot in the grass and got way too many bee stings when I was a little girl. He knows I told all my secrets to my cats. He knows how many nights I cried myself to sleep because He caught all my tears in a bottle. He knows all the times I was disobedient and got away with it. He knows the joy I experienced when I became a mom.

He knows me because I'm His child.

The morning after this post was written, I read this in Jesus Today:

"I have called you by name; you are Mine. No matter how isolated you may sometimes feel, you belong to me...although I have vast numbers of followers, you are not a number to me. I always speak to you by name. In fact, you are so precious to Me that I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands."

We all want to be known by someone. We want to count for something, leave a mark to say we were on planet Earth. The hit television series, Cheers, of the 80's decade, made this line famous, "Where everybody knows your name."

I'm so thankful to the One who knows every star, every galaxy, every tree, bird, or fish in the deepest sea, yet He knows my name and has it inscribed in the palm of His hand. He loves me so much He gave His blood for me, and you. He willingly died for all, even the vilest sinner.

Is your name inscribed on His palm? He shed His blood for you but you must repent of sin and confess Him before you can truly be called one of His children.

My children know how much I love them. We have a relationship. Do you have a relationship with the God who loves you? Do you communicate with Him? His Word was written for you to know Him intimately, as He knows you.

While many long for everyone to know their name, the only one that really counts is the One who holds your eternity in His hands. It  mattered enough that he would inscribe it in His palms.

Now that's a tattoo I'd like to see.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

How I've Learned to Have a Good Day

One of my blogger friends wrote a post recently and listed several ways to be happier in your daily life. It's the simple things we do that make a difference. She inspired me to share a similar list with my readers.

1. Begin your day with an open heart before the Lord. A good devotional and journal are good, but your Bible is all that's necessary. Express your love for Him and thankfulness for blessings, share your troubles, and intercede for those who come to mind. Don't feel guilty if it's 15 or 50 minutes, just do it. Your day will be better for it.

2. Exercise...and I'm not talking about going to the gym and doing an hour of cardio or pilates. Get out and work in your yard, take a walk, jump rope with your children, or pull them in a wagon through the neighborhood. Cut grass with a push mower.

3. Do something for someone else. There really is truth in the old adage, "it's better to give than to receive."

4. My friend included make your bed, and I have to agree. I've made this a daily habit and it's nice to climb in a neat bed at the end of the day. On the rare occasion it's been left unmade, my day has felt rattled. Maybe that's just part of my weirdness.

5. Empty your sink of dishes and wipe off the countertops. It sounds simple, but for me, it helps.

6. Call someone you love and haven't talked to in awhile. A small gesture sure to put a skip in your day.

7. And in that same vein, write a letter to your children for them to find when they get home from school. If your children are grown, write a letter and send by snail mail. Tell them why they are special. The same could be done for your spouse or significant other.

8. Unplug from, phone, television, and connect with people. I promise you will have a better day.

9. Let go of the guilt that you were not all things to all people. There is only One who can fill that role. Let go of the pride that your "to do" list was not completed. If you did Number One on my list your day was a success.

It's your turn, I'd love to hear how you've learned to have a good day. Please share in the comments.


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Sittin' on the Dock at the Lake

What a picture perfect, gorgeous day on Hartwell Lake. I hadn't planned on coming but the sunny skies and my need to write called my name. A change of scenery is good for me, it helps get my creative juices flowing.

I love the beauty of four distinct seasons. I love the hope of spring. Flowers begin their trek into the light after laying dormant through the long, cold winter months. Birds can be found nesting in trees, and if you watch their flight pattern, you can spy them feeding their hatchlings.

Lawn mowers and weedeaters can be heard in the neighborhood as yards are rid of winters' remains. The smell of fresh cut grass is heavenly to this country girl.

I'm sitting on a dock, in the sun, with the wind blowing in my face. At the moment, it seems I haven't a care in the world, but I do. Life is hard, but God gives us these days to focus on Himself. He gives the beauty of His world that He created to enjoy, so we might look to Him and be reminded of who He is. Ultimately, He is in control, not only of His creation, but our lives.

I forget that sometimes and get in His way. I fret and worry and leave Him out of the equation. It's days like today that He reminds me who controls the wind and sun, the clouds and the rain. He watches it all and He sees the big picture of my life, beginning to end. He knows where I've been and where I'm going. I need to trust Him.

He knows all this about you too. He knows the big picture of your life and longs to be involved in the intimate details of your day. He cares about the sunny days as well as the gray skies that come your way.

I hope you've found some time this spring to reflect on the beauty of creation. More importantly, I hope it causes your heart to worship the Creator. A heart of praise is the best medicine. Whether rain or shine, He is our source of peace and the light for our path.

Come let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him.
The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
For He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care.
Psalm 95:1-7