Thursday, October 12, 2017

Quieting My Heart: Searching for the Gold

This practice we call prayer
is really quite illusive …
we long to be faithful in prayer,
and we often struggle with prayer.

The short, desperate prayers come easy;
asking for things, for help,
but the prayer for others, 
the real travailing in prayer - 
for things of eternal significance;
well, why is it often so hard?

Could it be that the most important
actually can become the hardest;
for the gold is often hidden,
kept for those who search the longest
and with the greatest effort.

And so taking time to pray,
to faithfully intercede
on the behalf of others -
maybe it is of deeper significance
than we even realize.

For in travailing in prayer
we enter into the very center
of God's heart -
and in entering,
we become one with Him,
with His plan and purpose
for all to come to know Him. 

And maybe if we neglect
this most high calling -
“What will suffer is the 
life of God in him,
which is nourished
not by food,
but by prayer.”
(Oswald Chambers
in “If You Will Ask”)

Lord, will you teach me,
will you teach us,
to pray?
Lead us to the gold,
the place where 
we are nourished
by You.

(Photo: our crabapple tree)

Monday, October 9, 2017

Quieting My Heart: Just Come

"I am
the Bread of Life;
whoever comes to Me
shall not hunger,
and whoever believes in Me
shall never thirst."
(John 6:35)

It's as simple
as pausing,
taking a moment, 
lifting our eyes to Him,
quieting our hurried pace,
coming close to listen
to Him.

"Why would we abandon
what is simple, available,
and sustaining
for what is cumbersome,
hard, and heavy?
Why do we try to fill 
our need with what is
ultimately empty?"
(Shelly Miller)

Lord, may today
be a day of pausing,
of quieting our hearts
even amidst our work,
and of coming close
to listen and learn,
to be loved by You.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Quieting My Heart: Completely Abandoned to You

Lord, at the start of this new month,
I long for quiet amidst the noise,
for paying attention to the
small and the ordinary things,
for spending quiet moments with You
listening, learning, and following.

“Hear me as I pray, Lord.
Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard You say,
‘Come and talk with Me.’
And my heart responds,
‘Lord, I am coming.’” 
(Psalm 27:7-8)

“Only when we give all of
ourselves to God -
unedited, abandoned,
even wastefully
by the world’s standards -
can we live out who
God created us to be.”
(Sara Hagerty, in Unseen)

May all of my days -
my quiet moments
and my work hours
flow from within -
a heart full of You,
completely abandoned 
to You.

(Photo: from our weekend getaway at a Branson condo -
Fall 2017)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Digital Scrapbooking: September 2017

It has been a beautiful month - one of my favorites! And now, my dear hubby and I are enjoying a weekend away, relaxing, and being refreshed in God's amazing creation. But I am just popping in here to put up my monthly post about digital scrapbooking - the preserving of memories and of God's presence in our lives, through photos!

Here are two of the pages that I scrapbooked in September ... and then another one that I finished up this month from happenings back in June when my Siebert family came for a visit! 

Note: Most of the page templates and digital products that I use are purchased from Digital Project Life. About five years I switched from paper scrapbooking, and took some online lessons from Digital Scrapper to learn how to digital scrapbook using Photoshop Elements. (You can also click here for some great tutorials on the Digital Project Life website - maybe a quicker way to learn than the site that I used five years ago.) Also, besides being able to share my completed pages online, I also print them out at home in 8x8 inch size to fit in the albums that I purchase from Michael's.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Quieting My Heart: His Agenda or Mine?

Whose agenda do I follow?
When I awake each morning,
do I think first of all
of all the things that I need to do?
Of all that is going on in my world?

Or do I remember
to pause,
and to also consider 
Who I am working for,
Who I am living for,
Whose I am?

If I really am created by God
for His purposes, for His glory - 
then clocking in with Him
is of highest importance,
as soon as I open my eyes
each morning, of each day.

“He must increase,
but I must decrease.”
(John 3:30)

Lord, may these words
be on my mind, my heart
each new day …
will Your agenda, Your plans,
be my highest goal each day …
and may I open up my
heart, and my mind, to
receive all that You have
for me today - 
all the love, all the strength, 
all the peace,
that You have for me today
as I follow You.

(Photo: from our Colorado Trip / Sept. 2013)

Friday, September 22, 2017

In the Kitchen: September 2017

After the more carefree days of summer, with the last-minute menu selections of easy grilled meals, together with fresh veggies from the garden for sides, I've switched to being a bit more intentional with my menu planning again. I've welcomed the change, and thought I'd share a little snapshot of some of the things that have been happening in my kitchen during September. Just for fun, and in case it may be an encouragement to you!

In the Kitchen: September 2017

From top left photo, and clockwise:

Loaded Grilled Chicken Sandwich

meals have been a blend of summer and of fall:
grilled meals, and the first soup of the season, 
salads, and the first butternut squash recipe. 

And today, the first official day of Fall
the warmth and delicious aromas
of pumpkin, apple, and caramel,
of comforting soups and main dishes;
calling me into the kitchen, again.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Quieting My Heart: Our Words

just one word, or a few words,
or a whole lot of words - 
they make a huge impact.
They can make someone’s day,
or they can ruin the day.

Do we stop to realize
the power of words?
And do we stop -
think, and pray,
before we speak words?

Some say that I have 
a gentle, quiet spirit.
But I find that it is most often
my words
that cause me the most 
shame and regret.

How do we tame our tongue,
and how do we
s-l-o-w it down,
and how do we 
speak only those words
that edify and build up,
that instill love and hope
in others.

In this noisy, quick-speaking world,
may we learn to quiet our hearts,
asking God to control our every word.

“You must all be quick to listen,
slow to speak,
and slow to get angry.”
(James 1:19)

Lord, please fill us with Your Spirit,
with Your thoughts, Your words -
that we will only speak what is
“helpful for building others up
according to their needs,
that it may benefit those who listen.”
(Ephesians 4:29)

(Photo - of our peach tree 2017)