Genesis 2:1-3

“So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested[a] from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.” Genesis 2:1-3 (NLT)

With each day there was a boundary established by God, day, night, sea, land, seed bearing fruit, trees, birds, fish. Each creation had a boundary. Then He rested.

For the past two weeks, I have not given myself boundaries. I did not schedule time to write or really exercise. I enjoyed the company of my daughter, her husband and our Little Miss. Each day held it’s own excitement and adventures, even if it was just sitting on the couch watching television and playing restaurant. Each day gave me memories to cherish.

Now, we are home. Today I awoke with determination to get back into full swing of schedules. I have half succeeded. Laundry is finishing, most of the groceries are put away, and although writing has been on the forefront of my mind, these words are my only accomplishment.

I tend to be pretty hard on myself when I am not in a regimen. I look at numbers in my statistics on my blog, each time reminding myself that stats are just numbers. That does not always work for me, because with each number I see a person that has reached out to me. Each person who reads what I attempt to say is a gift to me, after all, they have taken time from their day to see what I have tried to say.

When my stats go to ‘0’ or ‘1’, I chide myself. I see in my mind a finger pointing at me and scolding me for not being where I think I should be. There are a lot of “I’s” in these sentences. It is then, that I remember that this blog is a gift also. My words do not come without a lot of prayer and my Lord sees the entire perspective. This blog belongs to Him and only through Him can I write.

So, after pushing myself to get back on track, fretting and stewing that I am not back where I think I should be, I have heard a gentle voice whispering, “Chill out! I’ve got this.” Followed by my thankfulness that I serve a God who understands me.

God in the little things

Recently I have written about the names of God. I will most likely continue with these, but the past couple of days I have seen in action all that God is.

We are visiting Little Miss and her family. During this visit I have seen our God in action in this family. I have seen His protection over this home and extended family. I have experienced God our peace in the conversations and interactions.

God is bountiful. He is present. He protects and defends us. He answers prayer. He is all in all. I rejoice in the answered prayers I have felt.

I often look to see God in all areas and situations. These past few days, I have been immersed in the presence of God.

Walking into this home is walking into peace. It is comfortable. It is filled with teasing and laughter, giggles and snuggles. I have been wrapped in peace and for that I am thankful.

May your day today be filled with all the good things from our God.

“Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:8-9 (NLT)

A Glimpse ~ God, Our Hiding Place

“You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7 (NKJV)

With a shout of “Ready or not, here I come” the searching begins in a game of hide and seek. We have each played this game, trying to find the best hiding spots. Our granddaughter loves this game and I have played it with her, finding spots where she would not look. She is a great ‘hider’ too. She has stumped me many times.

Hiding in play is one thing, but I remember my youngest would often try to hide behind me when she was around strangers. I was her shield and protection. I sometimes would gently pull her from behind me to introduce her to people and allow her to warm up to them.

I have been known to just hide. This is during times of stress for me, when I need to collect my thoughts and my peace. I usually quietly head to a closet and stand there. If I have to, I take a deep breath and start to pray, sometimes crying when situations have upset me emotionally.

God is our Hiding Place. In times of distress, I can picture myself like my youngest, grabbing onto the robe of God and hiding there, occasionally peeking our from around Him to glimpse at what is going on. As He is the perfect parent, He knows I am there and allows me to use Him as a shield. But, when the time comes, He gently reaches around and brings me out, reassuring me that is it okay and I no longer need to hide.

God is always there. He is always ready to be that perfect place to hide. It is not a fearful place, or an obvious place, but He is a place of security and protection. A perfect hiding spot.

Back to School

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT)

School started back this morning here in the upstate. My facebook page is filled with first day of school photos of kids either very excited or the middle school and high school kids with sleepy expressions and that first day of school look. I smile with each picture I see, as I remember the feeling of the first day of school and I think of my daughter’s first day of school each year.

It is the feeling on mornings like this that the school year looms ominously ahead. Going back to having to wake up early, starting a schedule again, and the uncertainty of what the year holds. To me, it is a reminder of when to plan my shopping trips so that I don’t end up behind school buses making the thirty minute trip to town more like forty-five minutes.

My Little Man started his school year last week. He is homeschooled, and in the fifth grade. I know his fifth grade teacher is much better than my own. Of course, I also know my youngest is an excellent teacher. Little Miss starts early September. She will head into second grade.

This fall, my younger sister will realize she is a retired teacher. She retired in June, but, like every year previous, she had the summer off. She is now realizing that there are no lesson plans to get ready, no classroom to prepare, that school is out forever. In years past, she said school was a word off limits for the month of July and August. I remember hearing that and still I smile. I can’t help but feel a bit melancholy for her this year. She touched so many lives which in turn will reach future generations. I admire her.

So, as I think of this new school year, all bright and shiny with new pens, pencils and crayons that have points I pray for each teacher, student, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and staff that helps everyone run. May this be a year of joy. A year of learning, not only head knowledge, but heart knowledge. May there be peace and safety on the school grounds and on the bus runs. May our Lord bless those who touch our precious ones with learning.

Yearning

“My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” Psalm 73:26 (NLT)

The past two weeks have been filled with much activity. In the middle of the weeks I had my final appointment with my orthopedist. My elbow is healing nicely and I can resume slowly getting back to normal. This is great news.

The only drawback is that I am weakened in my right arm. My wrist still hurts and my shoulder does also. I find I don’t have dexterity in my arm and that can be frustrating for me.

These minor frustrations lead me to the Lord in prayer. I know movement will return, as will strength. It will just take a few more weeks.

As I have thought about this, I realize that in the busy-ness of the past two weeks, I haven’t devoted as much time to prayer or reading my bible.

Today as I began my normal schedule the word “yearning” came to mind. According to Mirriam-Webster, yearning is defined as a tender or urgent longing.

I long to draw near to my God. It is an urgency within me. For the past two weeks, each morning, I had a seven year old grab a blanket from the back of the couch, wrap herself up in it and climb onto my lap. For the next few minutes there would be a cozy, intimate conversation between us. She would lay her head on my shoulder and tell me she loved me. This is what I yearn to do with my heavenly Father.

Little Miss #4

I have always said that the current age of my children and grandchildren are my favorite. When they were newborn I loved the new person smell. Sort of like the new car smell only much better. The little coos and sounds that only babies can make.

Toddlers make me smile. You never can predict the next moment. Each second is a new discovery for them or a new emotion.

Now my Little Man will be 10 tomorrow and Little Miss will turn 8 in October.

We had two weeks with our Little Miss. I waited to write this last piece for her until she left. I wanted it to speak of current things we did.

We had many activities, all different and all enjoyable. My heart is full of new memories and experiences with her.

What continues to run through all encounters with our Little Miss is a zest for life. Her wonder of things around her astonishes me. Her love of nature, her love of all things water, bugs, animals and ice cream. Each thing holds her attention and care.

Although this Grammy is tired, I am filled with an awe of the things I take for granted.

When I see things outside they are just trees, grass, weeds, flowers. With Little Miss here, it was like a curtain was drawn back and once more there was a newness in what I saw. Trees took on personalities. Grass was more than just green, it held and hid discoveries of ants and bugs. The weeds were as beautiful as a florist shop. Flowers were meant to be stopped by and smelled.

Our outdoor cat nipped her. I wanted to get rid of the cat for doing that. Little Miss drew a picture and wrote a note to the cat to say she understood that the cat didn’t mean to nip at her. She attached the picture to a string and let the cat play with the note. Each morning she picked a black-eyed Susan to place in the cat’s water because the cat needed to have a pretty meal.

These are just a few of the adventures this senior had the past couple of weeks. I once more realized I need to see the world through the eyes of a child. What beauty we miss when we don’t do that.

“But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”” Matthew 19:14 (NLT)

Little Miss #3

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

This scripture has been used in many writings and in prayers. Today I use it in regard for my Little Miss.

She has a heart after God. She is always ready to pray and go to church and even discuss with you what she believes. Which is an interesting thing for a seven year old.

She has never ceased to amaze me. Born early and so small, preemie clothes were big on her. She may have started out small, but nothing has challenged her. She meets challenges head on and smiles when she has passed them.

I know her future is going to be an incredible one. Unlike most little girls who want to be a princess when they grow, or a dancer or any of the little girl dreams, this one wants to be an entomologist. She loves bugs!

I didn’t even know what an entomologist was until I was an adult. Plus, the study of bugs? No, not me. Bugs need to be stomped on, smashed and thrown away. I often wonder why they were created, but I know they have a purpose.

Little Miss loves her bugs. She knows which are beneficial and which aren’t. She will retrieve bugs from the swimming pool, grabbing a net, pulling them out, talking to them and placing them where they will be okay.

She is saddened by those she hasn’t recovered. She intrigues me with her knowledge and love for all things.

Our God gave each of us an innate ability and gift. This child can be all girl, frills, and shoes and jewelry, what you think of with a little girl, but residing deep in her is a respect for God’s creatures. The little ones. The ones we step on without a thought.

I have often been scolded, “Oh, Grammy, you just killed a bug”. I think nothing of it and yet she is thinking of the bug’s family.

Lord, may she grow continually noticing what You have created. Keep her heart pure and open. Let her serve You with a power and might. Use her mightily for Your kingdom. Amen

Little Miss #2

“A garden of love grows in a grandmother’s heart.” ~Author unknown

Having raised two girls, seeing them married and mothers has given me insight that I never thought I would have.

My precious Little Miss is a mixture of both of my girls. She is a mini-me of her mom. The looks, the life she exudes, the go-getting of anything new is all like her mom. On the other side the impishness, the dare-devilness (a bit of her Dad), the impetuousness is all her aunt. I love that she is such a great mixture of my girls.

I often told Dale that I felt like I was an okay Mom, but I had a feeling that I was going to be much better as a grandma.

Our Little Miss wears her heart on her sleeve. She is so kind and gentle. She is compassionate and giving. She loves deeply. She teaches me how to be filled continually with compassion and care. Her love knows no ends.

She has a good word for everyone she meets. Her gentle ways produce smiles on many. In the car line waiting for school to begin, she will often ask for the windows to be down so that she can greet the teachers and staff as she sees them. Wishes for a good day, a great day, or just a good morning from her prompts laughter and smiles in return.

Little Miss sparks in me a desire to be like her. She encourages and gives freely. “Give as freely as you have received!” Matthew 10:8b (NLT)

Each of us has been given great things, we can pride ourselves with our gifts, but, do we give as freely as we have been given? I know a seven year old who can teach us all how to give.

Little Miss #1

(Reworked from an original post October 2019 from dearanonymousfriend)

Little girls come into your life and they nuzzle up and reach in and steal your heart.  They do this easily and quickly.

I always wanted to have five boys.  That was my dream when I was young.  I wanted enough boys to have a pick up basketball team.  I always thought I would have a household full of boys.  They would grow up and look down on me and be in my home to eat all my food and make me laugh.  Yes, if you would have asked me in my early twenties, that is what I would have told you.

Then, near my mid twenties, our first daughter was born.  Suddenly, little girls were my world.  Lots of pink and ruffles and sweet little smiles.   A few years later her sister was born.  Again, lots of ruffles, but, lavender this time.

Finally, years later, our Little Miss came to us.   This little girl, this little gift.  She came a bit early and was really small.  Her size did not deter her personality though, as it was full grown and ready to be presented to the world.

Granddaughters are so much different than daughters.  They melt your heart even sooner than my daughters did.  I saw my husband melt within the first few hours after her birth.  It was different than with Little Man.  With Little Man, he was proud.  I could see his chest popping out in pride.  This was his Grandson.   In a moment he was in the future with him, working on cars and going fishing and doing all the guy stuff he had experienced when he was young.

When Little Miss was born, this man of mine became jello.  He held her and melted.  I watched him do it.  He looked at her and his heart was now in her little fingers.  It has remained so to this day.

She is our Halloween pumpkin.  She is giggles and long stories.   She is a ballerina on her toes, leaping and in the next minute she is chasing her dogs and trying to hug them.   She is wanting to wear frilly dresses but not let her long locks be touched by a hairbrush.  She is a range of emotions like the range of the Appalachian mountains, it just goes on and on.

She is our precious little one.  The one who has her Mom take pictures of her in her church outfit so I can see how she looks.  She poses with one foot out, like a ballet position.  She is a true little girl, the sugar and spice, but also a measure of snips and snails and puppy dog tails…

It continues to amaze me how wonderful our Lord is. He gives us such abundant gifts in our families. He renews the wonder of new born lives. We get to relive the joys of childhood without the stress and strain of parenting. We see our children in these little lives. We remember the stress and tiredness of raising children. But, as grandparents it all seems like golden memories.

“We love each other because he loved us first.” I John 4:19 (NLT)

Cousins

It is said that cousins are your first friends. That may be true in many families, but, in ours the cousins live away from one another and the chance to be together is rare.

It is a joy to me when I get to see them together. Little Man is two years older than our Little Miss. At one time, the age difference was noticeable. Little Man could read and go about being a little boy, while Little Miss was a toddler and kept clinging to her cousin. This proved annoying at times for our grandson, but he was patient with his younger cousin.

There is a difference in the two of them and yet they have so many similarities that you don’t notice the difference.

The last time they were together there was no warm up time to reestablish boundaries or behavior. They saw each other and instantly bonded. The conversations were non stop. The squeals and laughter echoed in the house. The running kept ending with wrestling on the floor. They played their hearts out.

My heart was blessed by seeing this. These two precious gifts of mine filled my heart with such love and peace. Little Man will turn ten at the end of the month. He made me a grandmother. He stole my heart the first look at him. He has grown from being a chubby cheeked toddler to a young man. He knows no end to learning. He loves to learn, to read, to play piano. He researches each new topic and excels in knowledge of it. He continues to amaze me. Yes, I know all grandmothers think this and each of us think ours are unique and the brightest and smartest.

Our precious Little Miss will turn eight on her next birthday. She is also unique and bright and smart. She also has taught me much and the next few days will be concentrated on her.

These children are precious gifts from our Heavenly Father. He knew what our children needed and He knew how they would be as parents. Our Lord also knew Dale’s and my heart. He knew the joy we would feel in these grands. He knew what we would learn from these two.

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13 (NLT)

When the Lord knits us together He takes the best of the parents the grandparents, and so on. There are traits knit deeply in us that reflect those who came before us. The same is true for our grandchildren. They reflect so much of their families. They have Papa’s smile, Mama’s laughter, Nana’s love of details, Oma’s tenacity, Daddy’s love of singing, Mommy’s, well, she is just a mini-me of my daughter. I see the cousins resemblance, you can tell they are family. Our Lord does that for each of us. We are all unique and all a blend of the best traits.

On top of all of this daily our Lord sings a song over us. When I can catch a quiet time with these cousins, I can hear the echo of that song resounding in my heart.