"I remember the days of old,
I think about all Your deeds,
I meditate on the works of Your hands.
I stretch out my hands to You;
my soul thirsts for You like a parched land.
Let me hear of Your steadfast love in the morning,
for in You I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go,
for to You I lift up my soul."
Psalm 143: 5,6,8
I have gone back to these verses many times this past week. They so perfectly give the progression of the heart that SEES. To remember and think about what He has done, to stretch out open hands for more. . . it all brings me full circle to want more, to hear more, to trust more, to follow closer. . . and to lift my soul to Him in gratitude, worship and praise. And so the list continues. . .
131. Veggie plants still growing --- I haven’t killed them off yet.
132. An always smiling, happy UPS lady.
133. Peach iced tea and my old rocker on the porch. I’m sounding so old!!!! I remember as a kid thinking only old ladies sat on their porches, doing nothing but rocking back and forth. How did I get here so quickly?
134. Watching Buster with his “big blue ball”. He’s had it since the very first day I got him. He still attacks it, runs with it, taunts me with it, and runs some more.
135. God’s patience as I learn to be thankful. As I learn to SEE thankful. As I learn to pray thankful.
136. An email of encouragement from a friend. Load-lifter, burden bearer, bright light in a dark corner, a hand that pulls me along when I’d rather hang back.
137. Reading. I had almost given up. I always loved to read, always had a book. But something seemed to affect my ability to concentrate and I gave up. Perhaps chemo, I don’t know. But I’m so thankful to be reading again. Learning, studying. . .all a passion of mine.
138. A new book --- really, an OLD book --- called, The Valley of Vision. It is a book of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. I will admit and confess to you, I’m a nosey person. If I see a book in your hands, or on your table, or in a picture, I want to know what it is, is it good, and I want to read it. I saw this book in a picture on one of the days of Ann’s postings over at Holy Experience. I think she also quoted a few lines from it.
Strange that I would say this, but I don’t often read books of prayers, or memorize someone else’s prayer, etc. I say “strange” because most of my own personal writings, poems, etc., are words from my heart directly aimed at Heaven and God’s ears. Why would I not read the prayers of others???? So I began. One by one by one, I felt as if I were being taken to the very Throne of Grace. If it be true that we learn to pray by hearing others pray, then, Oh Lord, open my ears and teach me as I read these.
139. Thank you, My Father, for prayer. For listening. For asking me to come. For hearing prayers as short as, “Wow, Lord, did You see that?!” all the way to the soulful, tearful, unending cries of my heart.
140. Thank you for teaching me Who and What you are. Abba -- Daddy! El Elyon -- the Most High God, and all Your most precious Names. What a profound, unique way to teach your children who and what and where you are --- names that describe You, what you are like, what you can do, and how you relate to to me.
Today, I call you El Roi -- the God who sees ME. Sees me as I am in my imperfections, my fears, my lack of trust, my stumbling, my fumbling ways. The God who sees it all, and still -- again and again -- bends down and whispers “It is I who sees you, who will pick you up, and open your eyes to see ME.”
141. A sunset beyond beautiful -- beyond any that I’ve ever seen. There it was, as It turned into my street, the biggest ball of flaming red sinking slowly in the west and into the Gulf.
142. Endless singing of birds! Am I just more aware of it this year or do we just have VERY happy birds this year? Cardinals, Mockingbirds, titmice, chicadees, wrens -- add a few woodpeckers, a crow here and there. . . It’s never ending!
143. Spinach! Last year, I tried growing some New Zealand Spinach. I know, it’s not REALLY spinach. But it is supposed to be close, and it’s supposed to grow in warmer climates ---- hence, my trying it here in Florida. It grew last year, but very slowly, and I lost interest in the heat of summer, etc. I left it in it’s pot like a left over weed. This spring, I dumped the pot of dirt into the wheelbarrow, mixed in new compost, dirt, etc. and filled another pot. Before I could plant something new, the spinach came back. Not only came back, but filled out this HUGE pot with lush happy branches. And it’s perfect ---- almost like a silk plant. I’ve already cut it once and loved it raw in my salad. But here it is, hanging all over my pot and ready to be cut again. Now I wish I had planted more.
144. The never ending drumming of a determined woodpecker. Sweet little thing! Turning a dream of a new home into a headache and a reality!
145. Digging in my trash for cans I threw out yesterday. I want to make Tammy’s bread, all baked up nice in cans. You can find her post here:
146. Skype call with big sister!
147. Coffee with little sister!
148. It’s official. Came in writing in the mail that mammogram is normal. I figured that no call from the Dr. was good news, but . . . I just wanted to know . . . For sure. I say I trust. “Oh for grace to trust You more!”
149. I mourn the loss of three who recently lost their fight with this dreaded disease. But I am thankful for their brave and heroic fight, their fearless hearts, their faith and their grace. And in my thankfulness for my gift of another day, I look for more. . .all around me. . . More graces, more gifts, clearer vision. I wonder, did I live worthy of this day? Worthy of the gifts given to me freely and abundantly?
150. Looking back. Where I came from. All the way back to memories of my grandmother’s basement apartment. I could still hear her yelling, “Don’t slam the. . . .” as the screen door with the spring went BANG! Back to hiding in large, dark closets, back to hiding my fears. All the way back, looking at my footprints as they journeyed on . . . On to the cross. And I ask why? Why choose ME? Why wear a crown of thorns for me? Oh love, that wilt not let me go. . . .
151. My “littles” in life -- all the things that seem “everyday, take-for-granted” things. Like dish soap, sugar for my coffee, finding the right sized lid to the right sized pot, remembering to buy laundry detergent, ink in the printer, and enough shampoo for one more shower (please, Lord, don’t let me forget on the next trip out!)
152. Did I mention Spinach??? I picked enough for dinner, along with more mustard greens. Just the best ever! Even Buster likes it, silly dog.
153. Good news! REALLY good news! A friend who was going through all kinds of tests because Dr.s thought her Breast Cancer had returned, got her results back. NO CANCER! Thank you, Lord! When I had not heard sooner, I feared the worst! I am NOT good at waiting. I did continue to pray, though, even through my doubting and worst of fears. Why do I just see the Lord smiling right now with a “Will she ever learn” type of look on His face.
154. Watching tiny Sycamore leaves growing bigger every day.
155. Watching squirrel pulling on tiny Sycamore leaves and eating them!!!!!
156. Putting out seed for hungry squirrel!
157. (Next morning) Squirrel sitting in empty feeder threatening to rip more tiny leaves if I don’t hurry with more seed!!!!
158. The sound of my coffee maker dripping. Not sure which I like better, the sound of an old perc coffee pot on the stove or the automatic drip. My Aunt Jen made the best coffee in her little aluminum perculator pot on the stove! Years back, my sister always used a glass one. Me? I’ve either bought it out or used the automatic drip. Never learned the art of true coffee making!
159. A meaningful Bible study continuing in I Peter 2 with a chocolate chip cookie.
160. Fellowship with people who bring chocolate cookies and who are eager to hear God’s word and do what it says.
161. All that I have is all that I need.
162. Knowing that tomorrow, if there is anything else that I need, He will see to it that I have it.
163. Streams of sunlight through the trees bring birds who awaken with a song. Always a song first. . . Then check the feeders. Where did I hear that before????? Give Thanks BEFORE the blessing????
164. Macaroni salad. All mixed up with sun-dried tomatoes, celery, onions, relish, eggs, mayo, relish, mustard -- touch of cayenne pepper. . . .I’m in Heaven!
165. Pan fried pork chops, saurkraut all sautéed with bacon, apples, and apple juice.
166. Green. Everything is green. That new, fresh, springtime green. Do we just get used to it as summer comes on, or does the green change? It’s just so. . . . .GREEN right now!
167. Little chips of wood floating to the ground! I look up and there he is. A little downy woodpecker has pecked a hole in the tree. He’s gone far enough to be totally inside, flinging out unwanted “stuff.” Wood chipper for free!
168. A week of devotionals that are delivered in my email box. They are taken from the book by Ann Spangle about the Names of God. This week, they were about The Bright and Morning Star. I went back several times and reread this particular week.
169. Fellowship and worship with believers.
170. Finding out my sister has read 1000 Gifts and is counting.
171. Music night at our church. Once a month, “music night” alternates where we have it -- either our church or another “sister” church in our area. We were the hosts last night. The church was full, the music was great!
Add to that, a baptism. Perhaps one of my favorite services to witness. It always reminds me of the day I was baptized, reminds me of my own confession of faith. But to hear the testimonies of others is just wonderful. I love the stories of others -- where they’ve been, how they came to know the Lord, their growth and desire to follow Him. Tonight was special --- two men I’ve come to know and respect greatly were baptized.
172. Good food and fellowship afterwards.
173. Jello salad that didn’t set in time. More for me on Monday.
174. Making roasted potatoes, carrots and onions with sausage and a bunch of deviled eggs. Isn’t it always the way ----- just when you are taking eggs to a church function, you get a batch that just won’t peel pretty??? NOT a good thing for the “crabby gourmet” here. Buster got a good amount of eggs yesterday!
175. Waking up to rain! It’s been so dry here lately. And I didn’t listen to the weather reports over the weekend, so it was truly “showers of blessings.” Nothing better than the sound of a slow rain and the dripping off the roof.
176. Tree bark that turns all dark when wet, set against the bright clean and shiny green leaves of spring.
177. Squirrels that seem to know there are little rivers of water flowing down in between the bark. It’s so cute to see them hanging on, getting little drinks with cupped hands. And watching them instinctively run for the underside of a branch when it rains too hard. Nature’s umbrella!
178. The sound of splashing puddles as cars fly down the street.
179. Inspiration and thoughts of obediently following:
To bend the knee and have to put it down,
to pick up thorns to weave a painful crown,
to cast aside a jewel for nails placed in my hand --
His way is best, and better than I planned!"
To leave behind that which is not a cross,
to count as gain what seems a heavy loss,
to bear the scars of wounds from long ago --
His way is best, it’s all I need to know.
To choose to stay, to burn within the flame;
see! gold comes forth to glorify His name.
Unnoticed, cast aside are ashes cold --
dreams I longed to keep but could not hold.
Tears that burn, but still I choose to sing;
blistered feet yet still, I’m following --
Stepping in His footprints in the sand --
His way is best, and better than I planned.
There is nothing better than going from blog to blog and reading the lists that others are keeping. I feel that I'm standing in one big, continual shower of blessings that I just never saw before. You can find all these gratitude counters at Ann's blog, A Holy Experience, by clicking on the following link:
Monday, March 28, 2011
"I remember the days of old,