Tag Archives: hope

Speak Life…

Be a lamp

When is the last time you stopped to consider the words you speak?  I think about it quite often.  I have witnessed the power of the spoken word and how it can lift someones spirit or tear them down. I have seen  the crushing blow of a parents angry words to a child over a missed pitch in a baseball game.  I have seen a beautiful vibrant woman turned into a sad shell of herself due to the constant insults leveled at her by her husband.  I have also witnessed a husband lose his sense of self-worth because his hard work goes unnoticed by his family.   Then on the other hand,  I have seen tears replaced with laughter, desperation replaced with hope.  I have seen anger replaced with peace,  rejection replaced with acceptance.  I have seen a lost soul find their purpose.  All because of the spoken word.

This week one of my young volunteers lost his life in a horrific accident.  As you can imagine the family and everyone who knew him are devastated.  When the Pastor met with the family the grandmother recounted a story of how one particular person had spoken words of encouragement to this young man while he was volunteering and the incredibly positive affect it had on him. “Her words lifted his spirit!”

Every conversation and interaction we have is an opportunity to speak hope  into someone’s life. Recently, Toby Mac released a new CD, Eye On It.  There is one particular song that I listen to almost everyday on my to work…Speak Life.  The lyrics remind me that I have the power to speak hope, love and life into someone’s world…

“It’s Crazy to imaging that the words from our lips as the arms of compassion. Mountains crumble with every syllable. Hope can live or die. So speak life. Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted. watch them come alive as soon as you speak love, speak hope, speak life.”

What will you do with your words today…tear someone down or Speak Life?

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Filed under encouragment, Faith, Leadership

Hope Springs Eternal

Hope Springs Eternal!

Hope is a trustful expectation!  Hope is to look forward to something with desire and reasonable confidence!

Suncreek Gardens Chronicles…Hope

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

“Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise. C.S. Lewis on Hoping for Something More.

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Filed under gardening and other green things, Nature

Hopes and Wishes for 2012

My Hopes and Wishes for 2012 are simple.  To live the life that God has planned for me…a life filled with Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness,  and Self Control.  Galatians 5:22-23 

I hope to love without fear of heartache.

I wish to laugh until it hurts.

I hope I will never stop trusting that I am on the path that will lead me to a life everlasting.

I hope to offer up grace and mercy to those who cross my path.

I wish for everyday of the new year to include random acts of kindness, so much so that they become a part of who I am and not something I do.

I hope to live my life above reproach so that my actions do not cause others to stumble.

I hope to have the faith of a child..to believe in the wonders of the world without question to why or how.  “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

I hope to continue to grow a spirit of gentleness that has only come to me through stopping to consider the other persons situation before reacting.

And lastly but certainly not least of all…I hope to continue to grow in my understanding that self-control does not come from my self-centered mind-set but a mind centered on the Spirit that dwells within me and the small quiet voice leading me, guiding me through all that is my life.

I hope to continue to live a life filled to overflowing.

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

This past year has been filled with many blessings. My husband blessed me with his unconditional love and support without fail or hesitation, he is my biggest fan.  I have watched my son treat his girlfriend with love and respect that can only come from the example set by the way his Dad treats his Mom.  Although a few friends have passed away from this life my life is richer for having known them and called them friend.  I have enjoyed a renewed love and passion for writing.  I have realized a long time desire to have a little junk resale business of my very own.  I have entertained my friends and family in my home.  I have seen my prayers answered when the Doctor finally found  a treatment for my Dads Parkinson’s that has given him back his quality of life.

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” unknown

This past year has been filled with many new friendships.  I have met their families; rejoiced at the arrival of precious little ones and experienced heartache over their losses.  I have enjoyed a cup of tea as well as delicious desserts at their kitchen table.  I have watched the sun rise and set from their decks and patios.  I have heard them sing in church and I have celebrated their anniversaries and birthdays.  I have even traveled with a few of them on their wonderous and amazing vacations. I have come to appreciate the differences that make each of us unique.  But it is our uniqueness that draws us together and links us together.  Our camaraderie comes from our willingness to “just write”.    My friends have shared their lives with me yet we have never met in person.

Here are some their reflections of the past year as well as some of their hopes and wishes for 2012.

Making Room (emjayandthem’s blog)

“Your closet should contain 3 categories of clothing: clothes you love, clothes that fit you now, and clothes that garner you compliments whenever you wear them.” Peter Walsh, organizational expert.

View Outside My Window for 2012 (This Man’s Journey)

“I wish for 2012, more love, inner peace, loads of smile and laughter, of happiness that comes from a contented heart for me, for my family, for my friends but more importantly for those whose 2011 had been covered with anguish and struggles.”

Zen Living for Idiots (Spirit Lights the Way)

“As we cultivate mindful awareness, we begin to view the world with alert curiosity, rather than through the distorted lens of stale judgments, attitudes, and opinions.  We start to see things as THEY are rather than as WE are.”

Failure Succeeding In the Opposite Direction (Janna T Write’s Blog)

“My relationship with God is the glue that bonds me as a wife, mother, friend, writer, employee, leader, and compassionate human being. Sometimes I feel like parts of me threaten to peel away, but I want my life to be held tighter than crazy glue between fingertips.”

Reflecting on… this past year, today and the coming year (Pocket Perspectives)

May those of us who might be reflecting during the next few days…

review with clarity
ponder with insight
consider with love,
gentleness and forgiveness

appreciate with heartfulness

prioritize with wisdom
wonder with depth and imagination

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today…i wish i were a poet…the sounds of silence and so much more

On days like today, I wish I were a poet.  I wish my words could describe this moment in time in a way that would draw you in and delight you with what you hear.  I am sitting in what may be my new favorite spot, on my back patio at the end of the day surrounded by nature. 

The very first sound I notice is the sound of silence.  It is so peaceful!   I do not hear cars or emergency vehicles in the distance.  I do not hear airplanes overhead or  noisy neighbors.  I hear nature!!!

Then the sounds begin to come in layers.  At first I hear the chirping and singing birds and then the buzzing of the bees.  I hear the call of the crow and hoot of the owl.  There are at least a dozen different bird songs all happening at this very moment.    I hear the falling acorns and the scurrying squirrels. I can hear the distant bark of a dog and the low hum of a tractor. 

Then there is my favorite sound of all of natures sounds,  the gentle sound of the wind rustling the leaves on the trees.  At first I can see the movement in the trees at a distance, and then I hear the leaves begin to rustle as the wind works its way through the canopy, then I can feel it… the cool gentle breeze.

The sound grows louder and the breeze washes over me and then it is gone leaving me waiting, hoping for more.   Then there it is again, softly gently soothing fresh and clean, a wave filled with sound and movement.  On the breeze is the smell of barbecue and the sound of children laughing. 

It’s as though God himself is wrapping His loving arms around me to let me know that He is here with me, watching over me, sending me a little message of hope in the caress of the wind.

I linger waiting, listening and wishing…that I had the words… i wish i were a poet…

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Filed under Life..such as it is, plain and simple

to be warm and fed…

I am sitting in my living room surrounded by what is my life.  My family, our dogs, a collection of things.  I am very blessed and do not have need of anything.  I have a new roof over my head, food in the pantry, and a well stocked refrigerator.  I have a blanket on the bed to cover up with if I should get cold and a pillow to lay my head on when I am tired and ready to go to sleep.  Should I have a need, a real need, I can get in my car and drive wherever it is I need to go. 

However, that is not the case for more than 40,000 individuals living in the Houston Metro area who have experienced homelessness this past year, up 20% from 2009.  Families now make up 21% of the homeless in the Houston area.  People are hurting and are in great need of the very basic necessities to make it through another day or week.  Unfortunately there will always be this need and I realize we cannot help everyone.  But each of us can help someone. 

There are community centers, churches and civic organizations that are always trying to reach out to those in need.  Usually when we here there is a need we instantly think that we have to give money to help out.  Yes, money is always the biggest need for organizations who are trying to take care of the needy.  However, that is not the only way you can get involved and make an impact in someone’s life.  We all have something we can give.  We can donate gently used clothing to those in need.  We can pick up an extra $5 or $10 of non-perishable food the next time we are in the grocery store and drop it off to the local food pantry.    We can also donate our time.  It takes a lot of man hours to collect, organize and distribute the items to the needy.  

If we all do a little it will add up to volumes.  The one life you touch will end up being one of many.  And you my friend will be receive a blessing beyond measure in the eyes of the One. 

Matthew 25:40 Jesus said…” whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine you did for me.”

So my friend if you know what it is to be warm and fed…go and pay it forward…and help someONE to be warm and fed…

I would love to hear how you have helped out those in need in your communtiy and how that experience has impacted your own life.

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on the move…literally

If you have been stopping by for any length of time you know that we have been in the midst of building our new home.  Well the building process is complete.  The papers have been signed.  The checks have been written.  The truck has been loaded and then un-loaded.  We have officially, MOVED!

We are in the process of getting familiar with our new surroundings.  As well, as trying to determine the best place to drop our personal belongings when we come through the door.  So that when we leave again, we can grab them and go. 

We are un-packing the multitude of boxes that we deemed necessary to pack up and bring with us to our new home.  So we…,move a box, un-pack a box, wash what was in the box, find a place for what was in the box, breakdown the box and begin again. 

As the boxes are emptied the house is filling up and our new house is beginning to feel like HOME!!!

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sticks and stones and words…hurt

Sticks and Stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me… is so incredibly off the mark. 

 A few years ago, I cut my finger using a really sharp knife and for a very long time I could feel the knife cutting into my flesh.   All I had to do was see that particular knife and I could feel the knife cutting me all over again.  This is exactly how hurtful words feel. I have been cut to the core of my very being, twice.  Each time the words came flying in out of left field.  Totally unexpected!   The person might as well have used a knife, because the wounds are as deep and the scar tissue is just as real. 

I think the reason these particular exchanges remain so raw in my memory are because they were spoken by individuals that I cared for a great deal.  I also think the words hurt because I had given everything I had to give to each situation.  If I shared the exact words with you, you would probably think, what’s the big deal?    I really do not think that the individuals meant to hurt me with their words,  but they did and unfortunately they still do. 

 I don’t remember everything about each of those encounters except  who was there and what was said. I don’t dwell on these comments, in fact I rarely think about them,  but when they do come floating back up from the recesses of my mind they are real. I am hopeful that I can use the memory of how these words made me feel to keep me from hurting someone with my words. 

I am sure, almost positive,  that I have on numerous occasions cut someone with my words.  I wasn’t always as nice as I am today.  I do not know who I might have hurt so I have asked God to forgive me.  I have asked God to use my hurts to keep me from hurting others with careless mis-spoken words.  If you are reading this and I have ever hurt you with my words, I ask for your forgiveness.  Also, I ask for your prayers as I try to look at these memories from a different prospective so I can grow, overcome and be more Christ like in my life.

Be careful what you say…your words are the one thing that you can never take back.

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Filed under Life..such as it is, my story.., plain and simple

encouraging others to serve…

There are so many things I love about my job.  But one of the things I enjoy the most is when I have the opportunity to encourage others to serve as a volunteer.  Every other month I schedule a volunteer orientation for church members and attendees that are interested in helping out with “the chores” in the ministry I oversee.  I usually get pretty nervous at the thought of speaking in front of strangers but once we are all gathered together I feel God’s peace and off we go.  I always have my notes handy, I refer to them from time to time but seldom do I follow them all the way thru. 

In the beginning of the orientation I cover the nuts and bolts,  who we are as a ministry and what the volunteer opportunities are on each team.   I discuss the time commitment and the requirements.  All of which is very important to helping each person decide where they may want to serve. 

But the part I really love is when I get to explain WHY we serve.  This is when I get to explain to them how God has been busy prompting people to come to church and that he has planned for each of us to interact with these individuals on his behalf.  I get to explain to them about the short amount of time that we have to make a great first impression and how our area of ministry is a big part of that process.   I love explaining how it’s the little things we do that make a huge impact in the lives of those searching for the “something” that is missing in their lives.  I help them to see that it only takes a warm and genuine greeting, the offer of something to eat or drink and making sure that each person is made to feel like they belong.  I get to explain to them how as a church we try to make sure everyone visiting our church feels welcome.  

Then the moment comes, when they get it.  I can see it on their face and they know WHY we serve.   It’s not about me or them or even the church.  It’s about helping others find what each of us in the room have already found.  Jesus!!! and this is the reason I love…encouraging others to serve.

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Filed under Life..such as it is, my story.., plain and simple

worry has no place in my life…

I tend to worry!  It is not an obsessive thing but I do tend to worry. Usually after I have spent the better part of my day worrying over something the situation tends to work itself out or a solution presents itself making me think why was I worried to begin with. 

 So I have to ask…Why do we worry? If we allow it, worry can become a constant depressing companion.  You can worry yourself silly or even worry yourself sick.  Anxiety is brought on by worry.  The symptoms include excessive ongoing worry, unrealistic view  of problems, headaches, tension and difficulty concentrating.  So what do we gain from the time we spend worrying?  The bible teaches us that not one of us can add an hour to our life by worrying.  So why worry?  Worrying isn’t the answer!  Worry won’t pay the bills, bring your child home on time, get you a raise or even make someone think better of you.  I have taken a poll of my Facebook friends and for the most part they refuse to worry.  Instead they give their concerns over to the Lord.  They pray for guidance, answers and peace.  But they do not give into wasting time worrying. 

So, I have decided that instead of choosing to worry I will choose a better way.  The Lord has a plan for my life and worry is not part of that plan.  When worry rears its ugly head I will try to recognize it for what it is and go, no RUN in the opposite direction because… worry has no place in my life.

Jeremiah 29:11  “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and to not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

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a dream come true

For years Danny and I have talked about buying a piece of property in the country and building our dream home.  Danny grew up in the country and has always wanted to get back to his roots.  On the other hand I am a city girl who loves to be around people.  I guess we are kinda like the Douglas’ on that old show Green Acres except without the money.  Several years ago we found a piece of property, 4 acres in Iowa Colony.  We got a great deal on it and immediately started clearing the land.  It didn’t take long to figure out the land was covered in poison ivy and so were we.  Although we thought we could overcome the poison ivy it was just a little to country for me.  Our nearest neighbors kids were in AG and the cow pens butted up to our property line.  It didn’t take long to figure out that I didn’t want to smell cows while trying to enjoy my morning cup of coffee.  So, we decided that we would not be building our dream home on this property.   I don’t think it was God’s plan for us either.  We decided to sell.  It didn’t take long to find a buyer and we turned a nice little profit. 

A couple of years go by and we have the itch again.  After a little looking, Danny found a great piece of property in Rosharon, 2 acres in a deed restricted neighborhood.  The best of both worlds.  This is a really beautiful piece of property, one oak tree that is at least 100 years old and 2 others half as old.  When we have been out to the land we have seen large owls, a mama pig and her piglets, over-sized rabbits and deer, lots of deer.  We have affectionately dubbed the property the hundred acre wood.  I just hope we don’t see a Tigger or Pooh Bear. 

Danny and I are very excited about realizing our dream of building a home in the country.  But it’s coming with some resistance.  Our 20-year-old son is really having a difficult time with the change.  He loves the house he grew up in as do I.  We have lived in this house for more than half his life. I don’t think he realizes why this house means so much to him.   This house is more than a home, it is security, it is comfortable, it is dependable, it is his childhood.  Leaving this house means so much more than just moving for him.  It means change, it’s time to grow up, become responsible, make his own way in the world.  All of which can be a little scary.  I admit I am a little scared at the uncertainty of it all.  But I am more excited at the possibilities.  I hope I can help him to see the excitement of new beginnings.  I hope he will never forget his childhood in this house that he loves but I hope he will begin to see the unlimited possibilities that are his future.  I know if things remain the same there will be no stretching and without stretching there can not be growth.  And it is time for all of us to stretch and grow into the person God has planned for us to be.

I know with all my heart that God has opened this door for our family.  God has a plan for each of us in our new home.  A plan that will help each of us to move out of our comfort zone, stretch and grow to be more Christ-like.  A plan that is unseen by our eyes but we know in our heart it is good.    A plan that will glorify HIM.  Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

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