Serendipity Part Two

During one of my phone conversations with my mother, she mentioned her friend, Mr. H, was having a rough go of things lately. He was down, discouraged, depressed, and distraught. He was in the situation of waiting to hear back from doctors regarding a possible, upcoming surgery. Most of us can relate to the frustration Mr. H feels.

Unlike many of the residents at the nursing home where my mother lives, being in the 50-60-year-old range, Mr. H is a relatively young single man. He is an orphan, which often compounds his feelings of loneliness.

When Mom told me about Mr. H, I let her know I would send him a card to hopefully lift up his spirits and encourage him.

After I found a card to send, I looked through my stash of stationery for just the right notepaper. I have three pads of paper that I purchased over seven years ago. Yep. I tend to hold onto things for a while. With the instantaneous nature of email, I seldom write the long letters I used to.

I pulled out each pad of paper, and chose one. Before I began to write my letter to Mr. H, I did something that is not characteristic of me. I flipped through the notepad.

If you read a previous post, Serendipity, where I found Wilma Flintstone on my living room ceiling, you may remember serendipity means, a happy accident or pleasant surprise; specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it. Well, let me tell you, I had one serendipitous moment, straight from God, that’s for sure.

Stuck between the pages of the tablet I picked out, was a folded piece of paper. I have no recollection of ever seeing this paper before, and I definitely do not remember putting it there. But God knows exactly when that paper was slipped into my pad of stationery. You know why? Because He’s the one who put it there. Alright, God did not physically place the note into the tablet, I know it had to be me, but God sure enough helped me find it at just the right moment in time. Serendipity and grace-drop rolled into one.

I included that piece of paper with my letter to Mr. H.

You see, written on that folded piece of paper was the following message:

You say…God Says

 

You say: It’s impossible

God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)

 

You say: I’m too tired

God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)

 

You say: Nobody really loves me

God says: I love you (John 3:16 & John 3:34)

 

You say: I can’t go on

God says: My grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

 

You say: I can’t figure things out

God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6)

 

You say: I can’t do it

God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)

 

You say: I’m not able

God says: I am able (2 Corinthians 9:8)

 

You say: It’s not worth it

God says: It will be worth it (Romans 8:28)

 

You say: I can’t forgive myself

God says: I forgive you (1 John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

 

You say: I can’t manage

God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians4:19)

 

You say: I’m afraid

God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear

(1 Timothy 1:7)

 

You say: I’m always worried and frustrated

God says: Cast all your cares on me (1Peter5:7)

 

You say: I’m not smart enough

God says: I give you wisdom (1Corinthians 1:30)

 

You say: I feel all alone

God says: I will never leave you or forsake you

(Hebrews 13:5)

Feeling a little like my friend, Mr. H? Keep these scriptures handy and read them often. I know I will.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Job Knew Something We Sometimes Forget

I received word July 10, 2013, an article I wrote for Today’s Christian Woman, “Letting Go” went live on TodaysChristianWoman.com’s ParentConnect site.

The post I wrote July 9 talked about opportunities God gives us to trust him. “Letting Go” tells of an opportunity God gave me to trust him, over 30 years ago. Today’s Christian Woman has asked me to spread the word about the article, so that’s what I’m doing. 😉

If someone mentions the name, Job, from the Old Testament, what’s the first thing we usually think of?

Patience.

But I would like to submit to you, that the Book of Job is sooo much more than merely a beautifully written, poetic story about exhibiting patience, and enduring troubles.

Have you spent much time considering Job’s friends? I use the term, friends, loosely here. I know I’ve had people like them in my life before. Still do.

Friends who tell us our troubles are all our fault. Even when we know for a fact, we haven’t done a thing to deserve what is happening. Or who tell us how stupid we were/are.

Friends who are ready to lecture and give advice, but who haven’t a clue what they are talking about. They aren’t the ones who went through the experience.

When, all the time, what we really need is a true friend. A friend who will sit with us in the ash heap, among the pottery shards of our life. Fortunately, I do have a couple of those. Thank you, Jesus.

And then there is Job’s Curse God and die, wife. Oh. There’s someone I’d like in my life. Not.

Near the very end of the Book of Job, (39-41) God tells Job to brace himself like a man. Then God starts questioning Job.

Where were you when I made the earth’s foundation? Who shut the doors to keep the sea

in when it broke through and was born? Where were you when I said to the sea, ‘you may come this far, but no farther’? Have you ever ordered the morning to begin, or shown the dawn where its place was? Tell me if you know all these things.

Job, wisely, admitted he had no answers to the Almighty’s questions.

But, before Job’s questioning by God, Job did know something we sometimes forget, even being this side of Calvary.

I know that my Redeemer lives, and in the end he will stand upon the earth. Even after my skin has been destroyed in my flesh I will see God. I will see him myself; I will see him with my very own eyes. How my heart wants that to happen!

Job 19:25-27 

The story of Job is not just a story of patience and suffering. It is a story of hope. Hope in a risen Savior. Hope in a Redeemer. Hope in Jesus Christ as LORD. It is a story that should give us hope, even in the midst of our worst trials and troubles.

This is the story of a man who lived in the days of the old and ancient before Jesus walked this earth. A man who knew the truth. A man who knew his, and our, yours, and my, Redeemer lives!

Going through some tough stuff in your life? Hold onto the hope we have in Jesus as our LORD, Savior and Redeemer.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Build Up One Another

The other day, while I watered our yard, I noticed how the blades of grass and leaves of plants seemed to perk right up. They appeared to brighten as the nourishing water soaked in.

I’ve mentioned before, my area of the country is feeling the effects of a year-long drought. There does not seem to be any relief on the horizon. I don’t even want to think what might help the situation, is the rain a hurricane could bring. I do not want to ever have to evacuate during a hurricane, again.

As I watered the grass and watched each blade spring back to life, I thought of how our words and actions could be the soothing, much needed water for someone we meet.

Think back to when the right words, or gestures, came to your dry and thirsty soul. Wouldn’t you like to do the same for someone else?

It really doesn’t take much to lift someone up. We only need to open our eyes and ears to those around us. Sometimes, that may mean closing our mouths to listen.

Is there someone around you who could use a comforting word? A kind gesture? An affirmation that they’re doing a good job?

Step out. Open the faucet. Be that gentle shower on a dry and thirsty land. Make a difference in someone’s life.

Is the fast food attendant wiping the counter where you’re filling your soda cup? Don’t act like they don’t exist. Tell them they sure are making that stainless steel shine.

Wave and smile to the men collecting your trash if you’re in the yard when they come by. They aren’t invisible, and neither are you. They are providing a much needed service. (If I will converse with a talking trash can, shouldn’t I speak to humans?)

Cashier at the store seem a little frazzled? Be pleasant. Tell her thank you when she’s done. I’ve related one instance of my time waiting tables, before. It can be brutal. Give your wait staff a break. Compliment them on a job well done.

Mother of screaming toddler in a public place? Say a prayer for her, and mean it.

Of course, opportunities to build up our family members and close friends abound. Do something nice for them, without being asked. Offer to help with something you know they are struggling with. Encourage their efforts. Applaud their successes. Comfort them when they are distressed. Give a needed hug. A listening ear. Pray.

Just like water on drought stricken plants, your kind words and gestures will bring relief to those in your sphere of influence.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.   I Thessalonians 5:11

What do you do to build up one another? What have others done to build you up? I’d love to hear.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Welcome to Woven and Spun

 

Welcome to Woven and Spun. 

Thank you for dropping by. I appreciate your willingness to take time out of your day and spend it with me. I pray the posts I write are an encouragement to you as they reflect on lessons God teaches me and the strength each of us can find in him as we travel this road we call life.

I write about things I’m learning. Things God’s showing me. Things I have yet to learn. The woven threads of a writer’s life. All in the hopes what I write will be an encouragement to others.

Life is a journey we take one step at a time which weaves together the fabric of our lives. There are good days and bad. Days where we are positive it couldn’t possibly get any better. Days we wonder if the pain will ever end.

Triumphs.  Disappointments.  Mountain tops and deep valleys. Plus, everything in between.

These are the threads that make up the tapestry of who we are. A tangled mess when looked at from the underside of the cloth. A beautiful masterpiece when looked at from above. These are the things I write about.

I write about lessons learned, lessons I wished I’d learned sooner, and lessons I keep having to learn all over again.

One lesson I am learning through my journey is this:  it really doesn’t matter how many times we might fall.  What matters is how many times we get back up.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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