Category Archives: Inspirational

Focusing on Truth

When I saw this quote from a new book coming out soon (see shereadstruthbook.com), the words truth and eternal stood out to me.

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Truth and eternal. These two words helped me get through a very difficult time I experienced earlier this summer. A few posts ago, I shared with you that my mom had died. Losing someone close to you totally changes your world. There’s an emptiness you feel when they’re gone. A friend told me, “It’s never easy and we are never ready.”

The day after mom died, I was feeling this emptiness. And cutting through all the swirling emotions in my mind, the Lord spoke, telling me to focus on the truth of the situation. “Focus on what is true,” He said softly. “The truth Is your mother is alive and in heaven.” It was a gentle reminder of what I already knew to be true–a reminder of what John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Although I miss mom, I know our separation is temporaryand I’m happy for her, knowing she is very much alive in her eternal heavenly home.

Knowing and focusing on Truth makes all the difference.

 

Catching Up

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Image from Pinterest

It’s the middle of summer already. Summer is one of my favorite seasons. I love the warm, even hot, weather and the long days. I’m usually outside quite a bit during the summer, enjoying the sunshine. This summer has been a little different, though. My last post was in early June, and I wanted to catch you up on why I haven’t posted in awhile.

During the middle of June, I came down with what I thought was the flu–I had a cold and fever, and normally, since I’m pretty healthy, I get over something like that fairly quickly if I get lots of rest. Well, this fever and cold went on for a week and I was feeling worse, so I went to the doctor. It turned out that I actually had pneumonia, and a pretty bad case of it, so I ended up in the hospital for 4 days. After getting out of the hospital, I was supposed to finish recovering at home, continuing to take antibiotics to clear up the pneumonia.

As I was at home recovering near the end of June, I found out that my dear mom, who lives quite a distance from me in another state, had been taken to the hospital. Initially, we thought she would be okay, but as the days and hours went on, her condition continued to worsen. And then, after just 4 days, she passed away. It was quite a shock, having happened so quickly. And such a sad time for those of us who loved her so much. She lived a good long life, but you’re never really ready to say goodbye to those you love and hold close.

The wonderful comfort I have though, is that this is not a final goodbye. I know mom is in heaven with Jesus and with other loved ones who have gone before her, and I know I will see her again. She is very much alive, enjoying all the beauty and wonder of heaven, and when I think of that, it makes me happy for her. It’s also a comfort knowing the Lord is near to me, covering me with His peace.

So I’m continuing to rest and take the last of my antibiotics. I don’t expect to post anything for at least another few weeks or maybe longer, until I get more of my energy back. Thanks so much for visiting my blog even though I haven’t been posting, and for the comments you have left–I appreciate all of you!

Clothe Yourselves with Kindness

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Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience….And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

COLOSSIANS 3:12, 14 NIV (New International Version)

Image from French Press Mornings

Finding Strength in Beauty

Lovely Pansies @ NancyC

51AAkaaspaL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_In some way I feel you here with me as I write, and I hope you feel that I’m there with you as you read, just your friend, across the table at a coffee shop, swapping stories and sharing hope,” Annie F. Downs writes at the beginning of her new book, Looking for Lovely. And as I read my review copy of the book, I really did feel that way–like I was having coffee with a good friend, sharing life…funny stories, disappointments, struggles…and most importantly, seeing together the hope beyond the difficult times.

Annie challenges us to look for the beauty around us in simple everyday moments, because it’s in those moments we see God in unique ways and we’re reminded of His love and care for us. And we draw strength from that–strength and encouragement to keep us going on our journey. Annie explains, “There is a correlation, I’m finding, between beauty and perseverance….Beauty is what makes it possible to keep going. And beauty is in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it? It’s not just in the things everyone sees, but it is what YOU see, what sticks out to you, the unique moments God gives you to collect up and hold and draw strength from.” 

Strength for the journey–we all need that! Annie, in her very personal, honest style, shares some of her own struggles–things that so many of us can relate to. And how finding loveliness in simple things like a sunrise or time spent with friends helps her see God’s love and His truths more clearly. God blesses our lives with loveliness in so many ways and it’s all around us, like little gifts He surprises us with every day.

I found that I had a new perspective after reading this book. I realized, as Annie points out, that an everyday occurrence like a sunrise is a beautiful reminder that there’s an end to darkness–it’s the beauty God created for us that helps get us through the hard times, keeps us from quitting, and gives us hope. Annie sums it up perfectly when she says, “I’m believing what I cannot see because of what I can see.” And after reading her book, I’m inspired to do the same.

Linked to Thursday Favorite ThingsCreate With Joy.

Trust the Path

Trust the Path @ NancyC

TRUST THE PATH, I heard God say. And I knew He didn’t just mean the “medium” difficulty one at Radnor Lake. He meant the questions in my heart, the things I wonder about, the worries that I am going to miss Him. I don’t have to know where things are going; I don’t have to know the destination; I just have to trust the path. –ANNIE F. DOWNS, Looking for Lovely

Looking for Lovely: Collecting the Moments that Matter  is a new book by Annie F. Downs, available for preorder at http://lookingforlovelybook.com.

Linked to Favorite Things Thursday.

Be Glad

Be truly glad

How encouraging is that? It brightened my day when I saw this over at a blog called French Press Mornings. I thought many of you would find it encouraging, too! You can download this message free there if you want to have a copy for yourself.

One of my designer friends told me about this site–I love the inspirational messages and the wonderful artwork there! This particular verse is from the New Living Translation of the Bible.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

The First Step @ NancyC

The First Step

The First Step @ NancyC

Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

I heard this quote over the radio one morning as my alarm went off. It’s something we all can relate to–being in a place where God is leading you to step out in faith. It may be a small step or a large, life-changing step. It may make perfect sense to you or it may not make any sense at all. But if God is leading you, it’s the right step to take.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. HEBREWS 11:1 (TNIV)

For we live by faith, not by sight. II CORINTHIANS 5:7 (NIV)

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

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Surrender

41PB1RP7MAL._SX293_BO1,204,203,200_I marked a page in a book I had read several years ago and came across it the other day. A Prayer That Moves Heaven offers comfort and hope for those going through difficult times, and we all have gone through or are going through difficult, challenging times, right? As I reread the page I had marked, I thought there were some good nuggets of wisdom there, so I’m sharing a small section of it here. Hope you find it helpful…

God never intended for His kids to live under the pressure and fear and worry of life’s situations. Jesus tells us, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).

Surrendering is a good idea when you are facing dark and hopeless times. But always surrender to God, not to the circumstances.

There is a very big difference.

It’s one thing to sigh and shrug your shoulders and say, “Well, there’s nothing I can do,” and it’s another thing altogether to surrender your situation to the Lord who loves you. When you surrender your life and your circumstances to God, everything changes.

Yielding to His will and His plan is step number one. Once that is done, you can begin to ask Him some questions as you pray. Perhaps you might say something like this: “God, what do You see?” In other words, “How does this situation look from Your vantage point? Please help me to find Your perspective on my situation.”

The second question you might ask is, “God, what are You going to do?”

Third, you might ask, “God, what should I be doing?”

…In other words, “God, I don’t know what’s going on here. I know what I see, but I want to look to You. So I’m asking You for wisdom to let me see these things as they truly are.” 

–From A Prayer That Moves Heaven, pp. 50–52

When we surrender everything to God, it takes the heaviness and weight off our shoulders. I’m thankful He’s always there with open arms to lighten our load.

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  MATTHEW 11:28 NIV

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

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It Is Well

Ihoratio-g-spaffordf you’ve never heard the story of Horatio Gates Spafford, it’s quite inspiring. Born in 1828, he became a well-known lawyer in Chicago in the 1860’s. Spafford and his wife Anna married in 1861, were active in their church, and began a family.

In addition to his position as senior partner in a successful law firm, Spafford also decided to become an investor in downtown Chicago real estate early in 1871. Unfortunately, later that year, Spafford suffered a huge financial set back when his investments were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire. But the family persevered and helped other families who suffered losses from that fire.

By 1873, Spafford and Anna had four daughters, Tanetta, Elizabeth, Maragret Lee, and Annie; Tanetta, the eldest was 11 and Annie, the youngest, was two. It was during this year that Spafford decided his family needed a special vacation and choose to take them on a trip to England where his friend, evangelist D.L. Moody, would also be preaching during the time of their visit.

Spafford had to delay his departure unexpectedly at the last minute because of business, but sent his wife and four daughters on ahead and planned to meet up with them in England. So in November, 1873, Anna and their four daughters set sail on the Ville Du Havre. While crossing the Atlantic near Newfoundland, the ship was struck by another vessel and tragically sunk in icy waters. Anna was one of the few survivors; all four of their daughters were among the 226 travelers who died.

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Anna’s Telegram: “Saved alone….”

As soon as Anna arrived in England, she sent a telegram to her husband that began, “Saved alone.” Spafford left for England to join his grieving wife, sailing over the location where his daughters had drowned. During the rest of his  journey to England, he penned the words to the well-known hymn, It Is Well with My Soul.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul…

How could someone experience all this tragedy and say “It is well”? Author Stuart Briscoe has a great insight in his book, A Peace of My Mind (pp. 49-50): “I have no doubt that he [Spafford] would have spent every remaining penny of his fortune if it would have brought back any of his children. I am sure he would gladly have taken their place on the stricken ship if it would have saved their young lives. I cannot begin to imagine the emptiness that his father’s heart suffered after losing not only four daughters but also his only son [who died as an infant in 1880 of scarlet fever]. All of this on top of his devastating business losses. He knew pain, he knew anguish, he felt it all, experienced it all, suffered from it all. Just as any other human being would feel, experience, and suffer. He was not unfeeling and he was not a superman. He was an ordinary man whose mind was set on God, who He trusted implicitly–and it showed. So he could say, “It is well. It is well.”

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

GerberaDaisy@NancyCreative.com

Keep Your Face to the Sunshine

GerberaDaisy@NancyCreative.com

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows.

–HELEN KELLER

This week, I’m remembering Selma. And this quote reminds me of her. It ties in with the tagline on her food blog, Selma’s Table: Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful…

If you read her About page, you’ll discover she was from a large extended family. She had fond memories of her growing up years, and also remembered the struggles–but the struggles didn’t seem to cloud her outlook. As Selma grew older, she continued to face changes and challenges, but she also embraced things she loved–including creating wonderful meals and raising her son. In Selma’s words, she had “warm memories woven through with food, lots of laughter and the love and encouragement that I have been surrounded with throughout the trials and tribulations that is this wonderful life…”

I never met Selma in person, but got to know her through the weekly blog link-up, Fiesta Friday. She would leave such warm, encouraging comments. She hadn’t posted any new recipes the last several months on her blog, but many times bloggers get busy and take a blogging break. I had no idea she was taking a break because she was battling cancer.

I heard earlier this week that Selma lost that battle. Sad news for those of us who were touched by her warm words, positive outlook, and inviting recipes.

Thank you, Selma, for showing us what it means to keep your face to the sunshine.

Linked to Fiesta Friday.