Lemon Drop Moment

Flowers blowing. Branches bending. Trees swaying.

God’s beauty bursting upon the page.

His grace pouring down over the fields

The merry little breezes playing tag through the meadow

Looking for the peace of His promises

Stubbornly I turn my head the other way

Aching. Yearning. Pounding.

God is knocking upon my heart

Oh, how I hurt inside for the sin I have done

Trying to hide. Hiding my face. Bowing in disgrace

Tenderly a hand lifts my head

I weep at the sight of the love I see coming from God’s eyes

Hard for me to accept His forgiveness

Falling to my knees before His holy presence

Trembling I come into His arms

All the weight I tried to carry falls at God’s feet

How gracious He is for loving me.

A simple love poem for my Lord and Savior Jesus…with all my love Sara

Lemon Drop Moment

I came across two quotes on Faith-suffering that hit its mark in my heart for my present circumstances…not knowing where I fit into this whole big place called life.

The First:

Our Lord does not promise to change life for us; He does not promise to remove difficulties and trials and problems and tribulations; He does not say that He is going to cut out all the thorns and leave the roses with their wonderful perfume. No; He faces life realistically, and tells us that these are things to which the flesh is heir, and which are bound to come. But He assures us that we can so know Him that, whatever happens, we need never be frightened, we need never be alarmed.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, © Lloyd-Jones,1959-1960, p. 196.

The Second:

If only for a moment, take your eyes off yourself and your circumstances, off the ways of this world and all rival claimants, and look at who God is. Ponder His mighty deeds. This isn’t to say your soul or circumstances aren’t important. It simply means that you are in the hands of an omnipotent God whose ability to act on your behalf is equaled only by His passionate affection for you as His child, whose strength is without end and whose sovereignty covers the expanse of the heavens. God’s desire isn’t to minimize your life and struggles and disappointments. His intent is for you to gain hope, knowing that nothing can wrench you from the loving arms of a God like this!

Sam Storms
One Thing, Christian Focus, © Enjoying God Ministries, 2004, p.100.
www.enjoyinggodministries.com.

2_Timothy_1_7_No_Spirit_Of_Fear In my arrogance and immaturity, I once felt I knew just how I fit into this ‘world’. I went along day to day doing what I thought was best for that day. I took my quiet time with Jesus and went about my merry little way to accomplish ‘MY list’. There were days that were more challenging and there were life happenings that slipped their way into my days. But, I still had MY list and kept revamping and updating it to keep my task on the path I had intended.

Then once glorious day, my husband and I were blessed with an opportunity to buy a farmette out in God’s countryside. We were removed from the hustle and bustle of the distractions of the city. We even gave up our cell phones. We were placed right smack center out in the middle of God’s land. Trees, flowers, grasses, creek, and two small fields are part of our homestead.  No matter what direction we intend to go, we need to drive, the minimum being about 10 miles away and calls are basically long distance. My husband was commuting to his job nearly 75 miles away.

As time began to pass, little subtle changes began to peak through. Changes that seemed to be very unfamiliar to me. You know how when bloops or bleeps appear on the radar that cause you to take a second look and check to see if everything is ok…you may have encountered a similar experience in the past the helps you to compare and help you navigate through the upcoming turbulence. Being a city girl all my life, I was not familiar at all with the surroundings and the tasks that go along with living on a small farm and having animals. I have no training in the basic farm life and the simple chores and tasks that accompany the everyday life. My training lies in getting up in the morning and getting ready to go to a job, doing the job and then coming home all within the ‘city limits’. No longer living in the city, my job changed and the job description for my new position was nowhere to be found. Watching “Little House on the Prairie” does not qualify me to be a farmer’s wife! MY list not only needed a major revamping it needed a whole new makeover! Where do I start?

I know how to cook, clean and do simple household tasks. There is a whole other side to living out in the country. My job includes caring for the animals, caring for the land, and caring for whatever else comes along. After moving out here, I realized I had only been ‘playing house’ in the city. My limited training had not prepared me for the deep level of participation in the life on a small farm. As much as I am ashamed to admit it, I have not given my full attention and commitment to our farm. My husband’s words ring loud and echo through my head, “What are you here for just as a temporary? This is where our life is.”

This realization is what has caused me to flounder like a fish out of water. I do not know what I am supposed to do or how to do most of it. I have a vague idea but I am swallowed up by my laziness to participate and my lack of desire to learn. And it has not helped with my husband, God bless him, noticing it and making me accountable to it. God has blessed me with a most loving husband. He is always so willing to share his life, his experiences and his love with me. AND, I have held back on more than one occasion to do the same. This alone has caused my husband much aggravation.

I see it, I know it, yet I have no clue as to how to change it. I want to find a quick answer and way to, “POOF”, WandStar become an instant wonderful farmer’s wife!

That is my heart’s desire is to become a better helper suitable for my husband and glorify Jesus. The enormity of the information that lies before to learn weighs heavily on my heart. Not to mention the added wondering of when one of us or both us will find a job as we are both unemployed. I had not anticipated that this would go on as long as it has, about 8 months. There in lies the dilemma, it comes back to that “I, me, my and mine” thing which is always in the way of what Jesus would have me do and accomplish for His sake. 

When I happened upon the above quotes, they reassured me of the God’s promise:

The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]! For the Chief Musician; with my stringed instruments. ~Habakkuk 3:19 The Amplified Bible~

I am ever grateful for these words. I have fumbled around in fear of failing of becoming the wife and helper suitable for my husband. I have worried that would let Jesus down and let my husband down. Oh how my heart as ached with silly fear of not being a perfect wife. And then I also remember:

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. ~2 Timothy 1:7 KJV~

 

 

Lemon Drop Moment

Romans 15:7

~So accept each other just as Christ has accepted you; then God will be glorified.~

je tomb Ah, this has been a very difficult challenge area in my life recently. With both of us being unemployed and at home, we have stumbled over each other for past few months. In the beginning, I reacted to the differences I had discovered unfolding within my husband on my own terms and limited understanding of them. Each moment of opportunity would seem to flare up in my face and turn into an argument. There were moments when it appeared that we might not make it to the next day married. I kept asking myself, “What AM I doing wrong? Why is he treating me this way? Why doesn’t he listen better?” Then BOOOOOOMMM…it hit me…I was making it all about ME! I was trying to handle it ALL BY MYSELF. Silly me. Silly pride.

I eagerly sought out the Lord’s wisdom and guidance as to how to positively deal with the differences between the both of us. I found the answer within a book I had purchased several years ago [shortly after we were married]. The book is called “20 Rules and Tools for a Great Marriage” by Dr. Steve Stephens.

Here is some excerpts from the book: Rule 2: Accept Differences

“Every couple has its differences. Maybe spender has married a saver. Or a highly structured person is drawn to someone who celebrates spontaneity. Or a collector who likes a certain amount of clutter has married a tosser who draws great joy from clearing away clutter. God clearly has a sense of humor. He made us so that opposites attract. Often, once we get together, we drive each other crazy.

Sometimes it’s easy to let differences get the best of you, and you begin to believe that you’re just too incompatible to make your marriage work. NONSENSE!

We are all incompatible in some are or another. If compatibility were the main criteria for a great marriage, everyone would give up. God knows that balance is important;that’s why he gave you a spouse who is different from you. Thank him for those differences. Don’t try to pressure your partner into thinking of feeling or acting like you do. Instead, make an effort to understand and appreciate the differences.

If you grumble or nag, you will become bitter. If  you fight, you will become frustrated. but if you relax and accept the differences as a blessing, you will learn the art of flexibility and compromise. You will grow in maturity, and the texture of your life will become richer. In the end, you will develop into a better person—a person of character and compassion.

Most conflicts are not about major moral or ethical issues but about different preferences. She wants it her way and he wants it his. The Bible asks, “What causes fights and quarrels among you??” In the next verse it answers its own question: “You want something but don’t get it” James 4:1-2, NIV.

As we learn to accept that we won’t always have to have it our way, marriage becomes a lot easier. After a while we realize that most of our fights are either stupid or selfish. As you learn to respect each other’s differences, you’ll find that  you aren’t fighting as much and that you’re actually moving closer to each other. As you begin to accept the ways in which you and your spouse are different, you will begin to grow closer together. and as you grow closer, the differences will no longer seem like such a big deal.

 

Let’s pray together:

Dear God,

Thank you for making my partner just the way he is—with all his strengths and weaknesses and differences. Before the earth was formed you dreamed of my spouse. When the time was right you shaped his soul and watched his life grow into what it is today. It is no accident that the two of us are together. Yet there are days when our togetherness is challenged by our differences. Help me to accept what you have given me. Help me to rejoice in our differences, rather than merely tolerating them. Forgive me for the many times I have been less than respectful—those times I have not paid proper attention or have not acted upon my spouse’s words and ways which were different than my own. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The next time you have an argument with your spouse, ask yourself, “Is this really about preferences?” Then try to see the issue from your spouse’s perspective. you might even try it their way.

 

 

 

Lemon Drop Moment

In honor of Mother’s Day

Ephesians 2:10

~For we are his workmanship, created in Christ unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.~

0_0_0_0_185_309_csupload_17106169 This is devotion written by Mary Hollingsworth:

A woman is not just a person; she’s a miracle! Like a cosmic shape-shifter of Star Trek, she can transform into anything she needs to be in an instant.

She turns into a nurse at the sight of a scrape or a scratch; in larger emergencies, she’s instantly a paramedic. When trouble comes or the enemy attacks, she becomes the fortress behind which the whole family—even Dad—huddles for protection.

Or she snaps her fingers and changes into a Little League coach, a Girl Scout leader, a homeroom mother, a corporate executive, financier, a Sunday School teacher, a playmate, a seamstress, a play director, or a volunteer for the March of Dimes. She is, all in the same day, a cook, a taxi driver, a boardroom presenter, a maid, a politician, and a referee.

In addition, she is often the spiritual heart of the home—guiding, encouraging, leading, teaching, and praying. She is God’s hands and feet, HIs laughter and joy, His tears and sorrow. She is the heart of God personified.

There’s no doubt about it—a woman is not just a person; she’s a miracle!

 

Learn more about Mary:

Blog: http://maryhollingsworth.blogspot.com/

Website: http://maryhollingsworth.vpweb.com/

Lemon Drop Moment

I am ashamed to say that I was more than ready for the season to change. It is a shame upon me as I have been a most willful child this winter.

The definition of willful: 1. Said or done on purpose; deliberate. 2. Obstinately bent on having one’s own way.

stubborn%20horse I am eagerly wanting to put my behavior over the past few months behind me and not look back. Knowing with the season’s change, I can move forward. Or CAN I?

It is has been a long dreary winter according to my very limited and immature opinion. There has been a darkness harboring within me these last few months and I have tumbled down into the very depths of it. It all began when Salah was let go from his job back in September.

With uncertainty lying before us as to how ‘we’ would make it through the winter and how ‘we’ would meet all of the monthly expenses, Salah and I did what any person or family would do in our circumstances. ‘We’ took matters into our hands! I know, I can see you shake your head, silly us. What is that saying, something like, “if I knew then what I know now, I would do it different.” Yet, if that were true, I would not have Jesus in my life and I would never learn God’s plans and purposes for me and would be far worse off without Him.

Anyways, back to the wandering thought…

With him being at home now and me being a ‘wife at home’ for the last two years, we found ourselves asking, as some couples find themselves asking after retirement, “who is this person and what have you been doing all day?” It was a very new circumstance for both of us. I being used to ‘doing my thing my way’, while he was working, found it very uncomfortable with someone “hanging over my shoulder” so to speak. And adding his two cents worth when it was not asked for in the first place. Wait it gets better!

We have spent time together but not like this. Either one of us or both of us had been working and time spent together was after work, on vacation, etc. Being together like this every day ALL day indefinitely, that is something different entirely. And my willfulness did not take long to show itself. I openly admit I did not like being “watched” so closely. It would be so much easier and less painful if I placed it on him, but that would not honor the Lord, would not be true and would not teach me what I need to learn. No, it rests within me and I take responsibility for my actions and the consequences from them. Whatever part Salah played in any of this I will keep that between him and God’s hands.

A man’s [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil]. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]. Proverbs 18:20-21 Amplified Bible

Meanwhile, I found myself opening my mouth and out would come this awful attitude or response. It was not pretty. Over and over. Thoughts and words are related. Thoughts are unspoken words. Words are verbalized thoughts. Your words are a reflection of your thoughts…UGH! I was so frustrated…I could not tame my tongue.

Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief. Proverbs 21:23 The Message

I found myself amidst a totally new ‘comfort zone’ without ANY comfort. My attitude and responses to certain things began to weigh very heavily upon me. That is where the dark cloud comes over me. I wanted to scream, I wanted to yell, I wanted to say all that was in my heart…but the Lord placed His hand over my mouth and told me to be quiet. I kept saying, "But, Lord, he…" And the Lord places His hand over my mouth again. I said again, "But, Lord, he…." And the Lord placed His hand over mouth yet again this time telling me, "Be still child." Then I said, "But, Lord, I don’t want anyone watching me so close. I want my privacy." And there was the dark cloud storming above…my pure unadulterated pride was being poked. Suddenly everything seemed very transparent and very self-centered.

If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religious service is worthless (futile, barren). James 1:26 The Amplified Bible

I was smack dab face to face with my ugliness of my space being infringed upon. I was mad because I felt like I could not enjoy a leisurely coffee and breakfast. I was resentful because I could not take a nap in the middle of the afternoon just because I wanted to. I was frustrated because I couldn’t sit and watch a movie eating a snack instead of doing…anything more productive…like dusting or vacuuming. Instead I was constantly being held accountable for my actions and how I spent my day. I did not like facing the fact that I had become pure lazy! How do you think I put on all this weight? Not by keeping my hands busy doing my daily tasks.

Anyway, it all seemed to blow up in my face right around Easter. I was not feeling healthy about me. Anything and everything has made me cry and cry and cry over the last month or so. I was not able to hide this embarrassment. I was so afraid to look at you for fear you would see how low I had sunk. Especially, since I have not been very supportive or encouraging for you during these past few months with all the changes that you are heading into [which I am so excited for you both, really]. Drama. Drama. Drama. That is how I felt…I was making much more it than necessary. But, laziness is a very serious condition just as overeating is. Both are equally bad for your health. And instead of rejoicing that Salah wanted to spend time with me doing projects like the goats, I slapped him the face with my attitude of having my space infringed upon. Which led way to all kinds of other grief in the process.

Now that this has been revealed to me about my laziness and poor eating habits…what I am doing about it? I have no clue. Which in lies a whole other side of just being plain lost. I have no clue what I am doing about anything. I used to be able observe and figure out where I could jump back into my life when I stumbled so badly. You know like jumping rope with two people holding the rope for you. You wait and watch them turn the rope for just the right time to…JUMP…and phew…what a cool thing when you made it! Well, there I am waiting, watching the rope…only I haven’t the foggiest of when to jump in anymore. Nervous about making the wrong jump. Fearful of messing it up. I am sure that the Lord is right here with me. Knowing that and saying that is one thing BUT believing that is the biggest challenge to accept. That is why I am still watching and waiting…I learning to believe and trust more in the Lord.

Lemon Drop Moment

Forget about self-confidence.

This is a thought I shared with my sister recently in an email to her. It seemed to make a nice Lemon Drop Moment to share.

praise-the-lord The last few days of God’s sunshine and warmer climate has helped to renew my spirit. plus, I have been attending church these days and I am even in the choir. That alone makes a HUGE difference in my spirit. Not that I want to preach, just wanting to share a bit of me with you, going to church really, really, really helps clear out all those cobwebs and brightens those dark corners that lurk deep within me sometimes. We all have those moments when all we seem to do is struggle, struggle, struggle and feel so helpless and broken. Some of the moments last longer than others [I guess then they would become more like days, huh!!??]. They are so trying to me as I feel like I cannot hear what God is telling me or understand what He is teaching me. I feel very far from Him. As I am still learning and growing in my faith with Him, I get lost and wonder around like a chicken with my head cut off. I don’t like that feeling and I struggle with not understanding what my daily tasks and accomplishments are when I am in the middle of one of those moments. In the end, He has it all under control and is bending and stretching me into the woman He wants me to be. His plan and design for me is far better and goes way beyond any of my dreams.

My downfall is my pride. It trips me up every time. I so want things to go my way, so I can prove I can do this or that. Silly, silly, silly me, I simply cannot do anything on my own. I tell Jesus, "It is ok I got this one." I think I can, I think I can, I think I can do this…not so my dear one. It is always better to have a helper and have someone to encourage you. And who better to do that job than Jesus.

"So do not lose the courage you had in the past, which has a great reward. You must hold on, so you can do what God wants and receive what he has promised." Hebrews 10:35-36

Alas, hearing, reading, knowing and understanding that is one thing…BELIEVING and following it is WAY harder!

"These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence. No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it." 1Corinthians 10:11-13 The Message

So there you have it…in a nutshell…another day…another step on the path of my walk with Jesus. He is such a great guide!

Lemon Drop Moment

Lord, make me a helper suitable for him.

DSCF0071~The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”Genesis 2:18 NIV~

Today is our 7th anniversary. It hardly seems like seven years. In honesty, I feel we have been together much longer [in a very good way!]. God put us together just like pieces of a puzzle…a good fit.

I spent many years in agony wanting and waiting for a husband. There were only a few other candidates prior to my beloved husband. I mourned over the loss of them in wonder of what was wrong with me that they would not ask me that simple question: “will you marry me?”

Looking back, God had a much better plan and purpose for me as He always does. I was unaware of this simple concept at the time. I had not found Jesus yet. God was protecting me from myself before I even knew that.

We met through the internet. He answered my personal ad. Yes, dear ones, back in the day before my Lord Jesus saved me, I placed personal ads on the internet. Oh, the stories I could tell. I placed myself in some uneasy situations. I even went all the way to Baltimore once [in the summer of 1997 I think it was] to meet someone. My goodness what was I thinking? I was thinking how badly I needed to find that special someone. Through those times of searching, God was sheltering me without my knowledge of course!

We exchanged emails and telephone calls for nearly two months before I would agree to meet him. We met July 14, 2002, it would be the day that changed my life. When Salah gave me my first hug, my head just fit on his shoulder and that was a good sign. I did not have to stand on my tiptoes to reach that special spot. I just fit…right there…so nice so cozy. He wore Christian Dior Fahrenheit cologne. And we spent our first date watching the Rock Aqua Jays [of Janesville, Wisconsin] and then went to Perkins for coffee. I even remember that when we were sitting in the bleachers watching the water-ski show I had been sitting on his right side. He told me, “Do you mind if you sit on my left side, I want to see you.” Such a smoothie!

Well, we dated a couple of times more when in September of that year [2002], he ended up having double bypass surgery. That was what brought us closer together. He popped the “BIG M” question on my birthday two months later. We married in March of 2003 only 8 months after meeting. I confess at first I was not so willing to accept this new gift. I doubted God’s wisdom and thought, “why this man and what made him more special than the others I had chosen?” I prayed several times asking Jesus to to make it clear to me what He would have me do. His answer every time, “Love this man.” I did as I was told. Everyday since seems like a gift. God certainly is the best match maker ever.

In these past few years, we have been blessed in numerous ways. Jesus has touched our lives and made us the husband and wife team we are today. Just yesterday as we went to the store my Salah told me, “I am glad you decided to come with me to the store. I am just so used to having you at my side. I am not sure what I would do without you there.” That my dear ones, is the best gift of love anyone could share…his open heart. My husband touches my heart and fills my eyes with tears of joy. He always knows just what to say and how to say it. I give the credit to my Lord Jesus who shines through my husband shaping me into a helper suitable for him.