All in Encouragement

Be Intertwined

While fishing on a river near flood stage, my husband noticed what appeared to be red leaves floating at a distance. But upon close inspection, he discovered instead that each red patch was composed of thousands of ants intertwined. Heavy rains had washed the ants out of their homes. They were holding onto each other and floating in order to survive. When Don splashed water on the ants, the water bounced off. These ants were averting disaster by remaining close to one another. 

Beauty in Barren Places

Last month, while jeeping on an alpine trail at 12,500 feet altitude, I was astounded at the bounty of glorious flowers. There were natural-formed bouquets of golden sunflowers, delicate lavender blooms scattered among them, and an array of pink and white blossoms peeking around the rocks. 

Lost Fawn

In the little one stop-light town where we vacation during the summer there is a herd of deer that roam the yards, streets, even Main Street, and the parks much to the delight of everyone except some avid gardeners. As my little nephews excitedly exclaim, “Look there are mommy deer, daddy deer, and baby deer!” What a pleasure to watch them quietly move gracefully by you.

The Work of a Lifetime

It is hardly news that traditional marriage is in trouble. And its main competition is not from all the inroads made by its exotic rivals--same-sex marriage, open marriage, polygamy—as we might fear. These days, traditional marriage might just be its own worst enemy.

The Rock

It was obvious from far back in line that my five-year-old pig-tailed girl had not had a good day. As I waited for the teacher to put her in my car, I could see that she was deflated, alone and sad. By the time we pulled out of the school parking lot, she was sobbing. “I had to sit on the rock, Mama,” she cried.

Close Encounter

I was settled in a window seat on the plane looking forward to solitude while finishing my beach trip journal. A slender, pretty and radiant woman—probably in her early forties— became my seatmate. She wore a stylish outfit with fashionable slits in her designer ankle jeans complemented by great shoes. Her short blond hair was chicly highlighted. She explained how nervous she was to fly while she was ordering a glass of wine at 8:00 a.m. from the flight attendant.

Keep it Simple

A few months ago we sold our home. We wanted more time to discern what God’s plan was for our future, so we are living in our farmhouse. It is much smaller that our former home, about half the size. Many of our things are in storage because the farmhouse was already furnished. I am realizing just how many extra things I had in our larger home. We are living comfortably with a lot less stuff.

The Power of Words

Last week I turned over my calendar to a new month. At the top of my March page was this quote:

Kind words are jewels that live in the heart and remain as blessed memories years after they have been spoken. M. Johnson

21st Century Marthas

Mary and Martha is a favorite story of many, especially with those of us who have neither the energy nor the organizational ability to operate at Martha-level. And Jesus’ gentle rebuke seems to be encouragement to simplify our life and center it on Him.

HALT

It was a low point in Israel’s history. Ahab, the king was weak and Jezebel, his queen, was wicked, idolatrous and in charge. She busily imported priests of Baal from her home country while actively hunting down and eliminating all followers of Jehovah. It looked as if the true religion was on a pathway to extinction.

The Best Kind of Pride

My aunt, my mother’s only sibling, was a remarkable woman. My mother was beautiful, but my aunt was smart and stylish. My mother married young and it looked as if my aunt would be a career woman when, in her mid-thirties, she met her future husband. After two years of marriage, they bought a little house. Soon after, opened their own real estate office. Because my uncle was a natural salesman and my aunt was a genius manager, their business was a success.