Little Things that Grow

Readers of my blog will have noticed that I enjoy sharing stories about “little blessings”.  These stories are very important and special to me.  The next two stories are little things that became bigger.

One day a friend from church gave me a small package wrapped in brown paper.  On the paper she wrote, “I thought of you when I saw these dear friend. You will make them pretty.”  I know her exact words, because I kept the paper.  I was so touched by “dear friend” and built up by her compliment that I would make the gift pretty.  This was during a time when I felt worthless.  I knew that I was capable of many things, but I had been through a tough situation that shattered my confidence.  God used her compliment to build me back up. Reminding me of who God made me to be.  

What was the gift you ask?  Two packages of cards that need to be colored.  One of my favorite things.  I remember the story every time I color one; I remember how this friend invested in me.

This next story happened while I was working two jobs. I had posted a request on Facebook about the gutter on one side of my house (it was falling off).  When I got home that night (after my second job), I found someone had taken the gutter off the house. I was blessed that someone had taken the time to help.  I did not realize the full blessing until the next day.  Someone had mowed my lawn and removed some bush trimmings that I had left.  That summer mowing the lawn was hard due to the food issues I had not figured out yet.  One week of no mowing was a nice treat. 

I enjoy storytelling so I take great pleasure in sharing these stories.  However, I also hope to encourage my readers to consider this with others.  Both when you have the opportunity to give and when you receive.

The little things matter.  God uses them in big ways for His honor and glory.


Am I Enough?

I enjoy watching the movie “A Moms’ Night Out”.  The story is about a few moms that go to the same church.  They decide to have an outing with no husbands and no kids.  It is a fun idea, but the night doesn’t go the way they planned.

The best scene is when Bones (the tattoo parlor guy) talks to the mommy blogger after the night out goes badly.  She is complaining about how she isn’t “enough”.  Bones gives some great advice.  He tells her that she has impossible standards for herself.  This isn’t what she expects.  His words can give us all a light bulb moment.

We set impossible standards for ourselves and others.  We have thoughts about how life is supposed to be, then we try to live that ideal.  I have found many of these standards have no Biblical basis. 

God gives us a standard.  An impossible standard.  Our standard is Jesus Christ.  If we understand Romans 3, then we know we will fall short.  However, since God gave us the right to become the sons of God (John 1:12), He gave us the ability to become like Christ. 

So the next time you think you aren’t enough, ask God.  He will remind you that He is enough and He gives freely (James 1:5).  So you are enough.  Because He is.

Praise His Name!

My Birthday Reminder

Last week my birthday reminded me that little things can be just as important as big things.  (Sherlock Homes said, “To the great mind nothing is little.”)  Let me share some stories.

While on vacation the week before, my friend sent me a picture that she and her family thought I should put a verse on.  She knows how much I enjoy that and she wanted to encourage it.  Then her daughter-in-law sent me a message about putting verses on pictures from their recent trip to Israel.  Pictures from the Holy Land?! Oh yeah! I am honored to be asked.

While on vacation, my friends daughter found something that she thought I would enjoy.  She was right.  When I opened the gift I went right for this set of cards that I could color.  I enjoy anything creative.  I was so blessed that these friends (who know me well) would be thinking of me on their trip.  I have already enjoyed creative time with my gift. 

I have learned from experience how much those little positive things can bless me.  Some of the stories I have shared happened years ago.  Some are more recent.  No matter when they happened, they bring a smile to my face again and again.

Father God, thank you for the reminders of how much You love me through the thoughts and actions of my friends.  You have blessed so much.  I praise Your Name.

God’s Gifts

Gifts from God come in all shapes and sizes. The picture behind this verse is from friends who are on vacation. They sent me a few pictures and said that they thought I should put a verse with this one. 

I was so touched that they were thinking of me while on vacation. I was also blessed by their encouragement of one of my hobbies. I very much enjoy scenic pictures and putting verses with them. So please enjoy my gift with me.

God is so good.

Christian Friends

Today I had the chance to talk to Christian friends that I haven’t seen for a while.  I enjoyed the blessing of a relationship that God put together.  I meet this couple 20 years ago when I was their son’s 4th grade teacher.  Over the years we have seen each other here and there (we live in a town of 25,000 people).  Each time we have talked I have been blessed.  They have life experiences that give them a unique understanding of mine.  They are able to sympathize with me in ways others could not.  Only God can arrange that.  He set up their lives and mine in such a way to honor and glorify His name.  I am awestruck that God would choose to bless me this way.

Praise His name!


Life Lessons from Imperfectly Spaced Flowers

P_20170713_173111I love flowers.  They are happy and cheerful.  Most of the time.  This bunch is a bit wilted after being transplanted from my friend’s yard, but they will perk up.

I often have good intentions of putting things in “perfect order”.  I am a perfectionist after all.  However, I am a very, very, flawed perfectionist.  I do not always have the energy or desire to put in the amount of work required for “perfection”.  I used to chide myself for that.  I now have a different view.

I should seek Christ honoring standards in everything I do. “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) I think we can lose sight of the object of this verse.  If I start seeking man-made, man-honoring perfection, then I miss the God honoring life that I am supposed to seek.

I will not be perfect in this life.  No matter how hard I try.  I will attain perfection when God calls me home to heaven. He will then give me Christlike perfection.  In the meantime, I need to give my life over to God and He will correct my imperfections.

Now back to the flowers.  Some things do not require “perfection”.  It is acceptable that my flowers are not evenly spaced.  I need to spend my time and energy elsewhere.  I think God smiles on my imperfectly spaced flowers. He knows who I am (flawed and quirky), and loves me anyway.

“Me First”

Usually, we think of “me first” as a selfish idea.  Most of the time it is.  However, when it comes to giving – we should lovingly say, “Let me give first”.  When a conflict arises, love says, “Let me makes things right first.”  When there is a need, Christ-likeness decides to go first to meet that need.

So the next time you have the chance – go first for the sake of Christ and others.