Wednesday, June 20, 2018

On My Heart: Watching Every Day for the New

"I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun!
Do you not see it? I will
make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."
(Isaiah 43:19)

Sometimes I long for something big,
some big momentous change,
a pathway that is marked and visible.
Do you do the same, as well?

But maybe the pathway can come
in a very quiet way,
on a very ordinary day ...
the beauty enveloping our souls
in the grandest sort of way.

"... sometimes God will 
set the stage to move our hearts
and minds closer to Him
as we embrace His purposes afresh."
(Tim Keller)

On an ordinary day,
as we quiet our hearts,
and spend time listening to 
His Words. Even these days
can bring life-giving rivers - 
as we embrace His Words, His heart,
and allow His Spirit to flow through
the innermost places of our souls.

Lord, may I watch with expectancy
each day, for You at work
in my heart, in my world.

Photo: our cucumber plants, growing and surprising us with new little yellow flowers even in early June. And today, almost a week after the photo above was taken, and after some heavy summer rains, our cucumber plants are bursting with even more growth.

Monday, June 18, 2018

On My Heart: The Growth, the Beauty, and the Fruit

"If we long
to face each day
prepared and equipped,
we need to start each day
inspired and steeped
in the Word."
(Elisa Pulliam)

"God uses it (His Word)
to prepare and equip His people
to do every good work."
(II Timothy 3:17)

may our roots grow down deep
into Your Word this week,
today. The growth, the beauty,
and the fruit that we long for
comes only from You.
Soften the soil of my heart,
fertilize my thoughts, my very soul,
with the richness of Your Words.

Photo: continued lessons from our flower plants ... a little corner of our veggie garden holding the varied brilliant colors of Vinca, beautiful purple Laurentia, and bright red Superbells (Calibrachoa).  

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Summer: Let Your Roots Grow Down

Spring has come, and summer is following so close ...
And here where I write this, the warm days 
of summer have already arrived.
All around me, the joy and the activity of summer has come.

And though I am grown, I am still like a child -
bursting with excitement and anticipation for summer ...
The outdoors, the beauty, the activity of summer call me.
And home projects, and also the possibilities of more carefree days
beckon me, as well, for there is much that I love about summer.

But I am also taking my cues from what I see all around me.
Summer is a season for growth; it is bursting all through our yard.
We're planting flowers, and more flowers - in our patio planters,
and in our flower gardens, filling every spot that we can.

And we are planting in our veggie garden ... tomatoes, peppers, 
green beans, even some potatoes. And this year,
some pots of herbs as well ... basil, rosemary, parsley.
There is no end to what we can plant, and what we can watch grow.

And maybe, in all the fun and activity of summer,
we should learn, and we should follow the pattern 
of what we see all around us.
In all the excitement of vacations, of family, 
of work and of play ...
we can choose to rest our hearts, and to listen to His voice, 
to read His Words,and to let our roots grow down 
deeper than ever before. 

Let your roots grow down into Him,
and let your lives be built on Him.
Then your faith will grow strong
in the truth you were taught,
and you will overflow with thankfulness.

(Colossians 2:7)

May I be as the flowers on our patio, in our flower gardens,
the herbs - freshly potted this week, the plants in our veggie garden ...
may I rest, may I soak up the Son, may I listen closely to Him;
may this be my highest priority, my highest calling.

As the flowers grow and bloom, and the herbs and veggies produce,
may my heart be growing deeper in You, and may Your love
overflow from my heart - through my words, through my actions.
May this be a summer of growth as our roots grow deeper in You.

"Lord, let Your Word be not merely something I believe
but something that dwells richly inside me,
so it reshapes all my thinking and feelings,
and even the very foundations of my heart."
(Tim Keller)

Monday, June 4, 2018

A Collection: In Our Yard, In the Kitchen, and a New Devotional Book

I think I like this type of post ... a little collection of various things from the past week. You can read my first one here.

In Our Yard ...

Oh, how I love this time of year - my favorite! And each year we come to love our patio flower planters, our various little flower gardens, and our veggie garden even more. How amazing to plant the little seeds, or plant starts, and then watch them grow. Such beauty ... and all, a gift from God.

I shared these photos and these words on Instagram this past week:

"A new planter for our patio table, 
filled with pretty little stones, potting soil,
some Osmocote Plus (timed release plant food), and ...
little white & purple Catalina flower plants!

These delicate flowers will share their beauty with us
over meals and gatherings this summer!
A little bit of prep and care on our part ...
and God will bring the growth!

And maybe it's the same with us ...
taking time for some tender loving care for our souls
at the start of summer days, and each day,
and the growth and the beauty will surely come."

 In the Kitchen ...

We've had so much going on during the past month, that I have become a bit lazy with my food prep and cooking.

But the start of June brings with it a new fresh desire to prepare fun summer meals for my hubby and I, and for any who come to our table.

I started out with purchasing a 6# pkg of chicken breast, dividing it up for 4 meals, preparing a favorite Teriyaki Marinade Sauce to put over the chicken, and freezing it.

It will make for a few easy meals in the next weeks ... just pull out, thaw, and grill for a summer meal together. Click on the link for the recipe here on Pursuing Heart:  Grilled Chicken with Teriyaki Marinade.

I'm also hoping to have a good amount of main dish salad meals ... especially for lunches ...

And using some new colorful salad bowls makes the main dish salads even more fun! These two are a recent purchase, from the Pioneer Woman dish collection. I love the size of these bowls, too - just right for a lunch salad. The salad in the photo holds cut up spinach mixed with part of an Asian Chopped Salad mix, with added shredded roast chicken from the deli, and dried cranberries. 

A New Devotional ...

Last week I shared what I am currently reading (click here), and this week I have added another book to my little pile of books that I am reading now ...

I first came across this book on my Instagram feed. A brand new book, Unblinded Faith by Elisa Pulliam, featuring 90 days of devotional readings, all centered on God's Word, and all focusing on believing His Word through all of life. Through the good and the hard. It sounded perfect for what I am desiring for these summer months, and having read the first 4 of the 90 days so far, I am refreshed and encouraged, and so very thankful for this little devotional. If you like to go through a book together with others, you can check out the facebook page that goes with this book ... click here.

Happy June! Enjoy the beauty of this month!