Friday, May 19, 2017

how GREAT thou art!

(photo credit Ellen Wilts)

Today is Friday. Normally I love Fridays as it is the start of a new weekend, yet today I was a bit down. Capping off a hard week of work, I still had to care for two dogs as part of my daily routine and today, the alarm clock just seemed to call out to me a bit sooner than I would have liked.

I am caring for a neighbor's Bloodhound, those big dogs that are seen usually sleeping on a back porch on those TV shows from the sixties. As I yawned while walking up to her back door, I hooked her up and, taking a look at the morning sky, I was mesmerized. The clouds thinned just enough to allow some of the sunrise to shine through. Colors of lavender, orange, yellow, red and pink turned the sky into a wonderland of beauty. Several wood ducks flew overhead; a tree swallow sat on a power line twittering away and I immediately straightened up and took note of the beauty around me. As we walked, or shall I say, I walked, she shuffled and snuffled her way across the sidewalks, I began to appreciate the world around me.

The photo above was taken by a gal who has endured a house fire in just the last six weeks, losing many things that she held dear. NOT her family though, and for that, we ALL give thanks! But her "home" since then has been a hotel here in my small town on the prairie. The scene she has had to look at out her window is a parking lot that ends next to a corn field. Yet today of all days, she had this view to wake up to, a view so full of promise. When I think of her, all of my troubles disappear. I too, was in a house fire when I was just three years old, too young to really appreciate the serious magnitude of losing everything except the pajamas I was wearing and too young to also appreciate how close I was to losing my own life in it. I am not too feeble to understand, however, just how wonderful life can truly be and thus, when I see sunrises or sunsets, I am so very grateful for all that God has graced me with. It isn't material things. It's people and the chance to HUG them. It's sunrises and the ability to SEE them. It's the birds singing and the chance to HEAR them. It's lilacs and the ability to SMELL them. God has graced us with so many senses, to show us how wonderful being alive truly is!

Yes, it may be just another Friday, with yet more cool rain in the forecast but for right now, this moment, I was lost in the grandeur that God had provided for me.
And I smiled and gave thanks to Him for the moment He gave to me and all who were up this early in the day! How great thou art, indeed!

May you also be blessed by such moments of grace!

click this link below to hear Carrie Underwood sing "How Great Thou Art"

How Great Thou Art

Thursday, May 11, 2017

what path do YOU take?

A question was just posed on Facebook: "What does it mean, "Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven?"

Thy Will...God's Will. We all know that to "will" something means to have the ability to do something. As in, "I WILL wash the dishes." "I WILL go to the store." It means that you are going to do something. Or it can be known as a Will, in which, after your death, another may inherit something from you. Or it can  mean that you try to do something to the best of your ability, as in, "she willed herself to survive the disease that had overtaken her."

God's Will, though...what is that?

When we pray, we (usually) go to God with a laundry list of prayers and petitions. Although we may pray "Your Will be done," what we really are asking is for God to grant us what we have asked for! Not unlike a little child who asks grandma for a cookie, hoping (and knowing!) full well that said cookie will, in all likelihood, be given.

But God is not like that. He doesn't wave a magic wand and grant you what you have requested. He is not a genie. This doesn't mean you shouldn't ask...what you should do is to pray with an open heart- be accepting of whatever answer you receive. Maybe right now is not a good time. Maybe your request isn't a good choice for you. Maybe...maybe you need to learn to have more faith..or gratitude, to accept God's best answer for you. Many times a situation is hard to understand, such as why good friends die young while others live a long time. Or someone you know just lost a job and might be homeless soon unless a new job can be found. And so on. It is hard for us mortals to understand what God wants for us individually, let alone as a nation of peoples. Life can be so confusing!

God's Will for us is that we live in peace, harmony and in service to others. Not just when we feel like it, but all the time. If you want peace in the world, begin with you. 

When we pray "Thy Will be done," we are surrendering ourselves to God, heart and soul. We are putting ourselves completely in His care. "Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit." Jesus prayed this while dying on the Cross. A death He undertook for you and I. The whole Lord's Prayer was His way of sharing His love for us, allowing us to also put our own selves into God's Hands. We may not always like it, it may not always be easy, but by golly, with God on our side, with us totally immersed in His love, how can it be any less than the greatest blessing there is? His Will...God's Will! Not Diane's will, not James' will, not Betty's the end, God's Will prevails!

I, for one, am so grateful for that! "Make me an instrument of your peace," St. Francis of Assisi prayed. We are all instruments of God. How well do you play His melodies?