"Test all things; hold fast what is good." ~ 2 Thessalonians 5:21
I drove up the mountain this week to see the town from above and catch a glimpse of my favourite mountain peaks. I didn't have to go too far before the small patches of snow were showing up in the shady spots. But in the sunny spots there were plenty of yellowy buttercups blossoming everywhere reminding me that Spring is near in the mountains too. The rocky peaks in the distance may hold their snow caps all year long. And down below in the valley, the first of the blossoms are appearing in the orchards. I truly love this time of year.
A lot of things have changed for us since this time last year. We've had a lot of questions and seen various doors open and shut on our lives. While we lamented many of those closed doors at the moments they shut, we can look back now on some of them and see God's purpose for them and see how He has pointed us to good things because if it.
It's hard to know what is good for us in those difficult moments some times. Or when things appear good and they really aren't. We are told to test all things, to know if they are of God. 1 John 4 tells us how to test spirits to know if they are of God. And to hold on to those that are good. Philippians 4:8 also tells us to meditate on the good things of God.
I think the more we learn to discern these things the more obvious it will become and the easier it will be to recognize. While we know that Satan is the ultimate deceiver, the more we learn to recognize his evil works the more our eyes and hearts will be opened to the things that are good, therefore helping us see God's plans when we think things may not be going our way.
Myself, I'm still struggling with giving God the driver's seat because I think I know what is good for me. I have much growing to do so I can learn to test things better and then know that my "good ideas" aren't always of God and with some more faith and better discernment I might be able to see Gods plans are working far better than my own for the good things that I should be holding on to instead.
I'm sitting outside on my patio and it's a lovely warm Spring afternoon. The sun is shining. It's perfect.
The first thing I noticed was the steady hum of BEES. They are busy working their magic in the branches of our elms. (the picture above). If I look really carefully I can see their tiny little bodies hovering but I don't need to see to know they are there because the sound of them is spectacular.
Then I noticed the sound of BIRDS. Near and far the neighborhood is teeming with them. I don't recognize all their sounds but the robin is out there and a noisy crow is also nearby. And several smaller sparrow types have flown by twittering away.
In the midst of all the sounds I also feel a gentle BREEZE. Not a cold breeze that is typical fir March but one that is warm and welcoming. Not too strong bit just enough to make my laundry sway ever so slightly on the clothesline.
And lastly I look around the yard. At the shrubs and trees and see all their BUDS. The rosebush is starting to get green. The elms and maples are reaching up to the sun with buds covering their limbs. The lilac bushes, the cherry tree and the walnut tree; they all know that it's time to wake up and unfold their beauty.
Yes beauty. Just here in my humble backyard and God is lavishing it on me with love and joy.
Bees, birds, breeze and buds are blessing me with their bountiful beauty in my backyard! :)
"He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul." ~ Psalm 23:2-3
We've had some beautiful warm, sunny and calm days already this month. Walking by the lake was breathtaking! Not a ripple but still waters with a perfect reflection.
Then there was yesterday. Cold wind shaking the trees and biting our fingertips. As the day went on my mind and soul started to reflect the weather. Small irritations like sand started eating away at me. Disappointments moved in and threatened my calm soul til I could feel the frown on my forehead and noticed that even the little things were annoying me.
I wanted that calmness back. I wanted those still waters and restoration.
Today I wake and the sun is shining and the air is still. I want to breathe deeply and be thankful for the peace. But why am I afraid that it's a calm before the storm? The wind is still blowing in my soul and mind this morning. I'm praying for some restoration and rest, something else to focus on other than those small irritations.
How do find ways to put your mind and soul at rest?
"We think you'll find that every woman in her heart of hearts longs for three things: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. That's what makes a woman come alive." ~ quote from Captivating
I'm sitting a bit beside myself this morning reading through this book that I borrowed from my sister-in law. My husband has read the 'man' version of this book by John Eldredge "Wild At Heart" and so when I saw that my sis had the 'woman' version, written together by John and Stasi I asked to borrow it.
The reason I am so amused this morning is that just over the weekend, I changed my blog header to the three things that I seek to love in life "Adventure, Beauty, and God" and here it is, the essence of this book is what they say is at the essence of every woman's heart!
I'm glad that I can be confident that my desires are at the heart of women everywhere.
As the book describes, we women are constantly battling against guilt! Guilt to do more, be more, clean more, cook more, volunteer more, host more, help more. More, more, more! Of being 'not enough' and 'too much' at the same time.
"Not pretty enough, not thin enough, not kind enough, not gracious enough, not disciplined enough. But too emotional, too needy, too sensitive, too strong, too opinionated, too messy. The result is Shame, the universal companion of women. It haunts us, nipping at our heels, feeding on our deepest fear that we will end up abandoned and alone."
Now I'm just starting to read this book but I can see already that I could quote every other line as being truthful & inspiring.
So, my woman friends that actually read this blog, I encourage you to peek into your church library or your public library and pick up this book & read it along with me. And if you already have read this, share with me what you thought.
Love of the outdoors, hobby photographer, aspiring writer and now, the job that takes up all my time & passion - mommy! Something I never knew that I couldn't live without :) I love my son! I love my husband! I know I'm blessed!