Squiggly Lines

 

It’s in the squiggly lines of the map. Yesterday I had the awesome privilege of meeting a friend for breakfast just to chat. I love those days where I can make the time for fellowship, laughter and tears with a trusted friend. We talked about where we came from. We went from talking about our roots to actually looking at them via map. She brought her atlas with her so that we could both get a visual. I showed her New Jersey, Maine and Rhode Island. She showed me the Dakota’s and Nebraska. Here we were, having breakfast in a little diner in Missouri, coming from totally different states, talking about our divided hearts from family.

Some days she longs to be with her family that lives so far away and oh boy, so do I. It’s hard when we come home from time spent with family and have to adjust to our routine without them, but that’s exactly what we do; we adjust. I have had the opportunity to live in the mountains, on the ocean, in the suburbs, in a city, on a farm, in an apartment, house, townhouse and farm-house. When we looked again at the map with all of its little lines I thought, every part of this earth is sacred to God. He loves every shining pine needle, every sandy beach, and every mist in the dark forest and every clearing farm land. He loves every humming insect and every squiggly line on that map. We are all HIS and HE loves us.running brook

So when the voice of God thunders in your silence, remember that when He’s talking to you, He’s talking to others as well; He’s that HUGE. The mountain road may tug at your heart, the sandy shore may be calling your feet, and the garden may be calling your hands. Just remember, God is calling your whole. He wants you to renew and rejuvenate yourselves within for Him. Wherever you are, draw near to God and He will draw near to you.shan and alex

Are you traveling this summer; maybe taking a family vacation? If you are, just remember, that in every destination, God is there with you. He is within every squiggly line on your map. Let’s just give Him the glory for summer, vacations, family, friends and anything you want to praise Him for. Beth0408120451

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It’s in the JUST of Life

 

I have been sick since Sunday and I’m so tired of being on the couch, doing nothing but sleep or watch television. I can’t even read. I am not used to this. Two weeks ago I had the stomach flu and was on the couch for several days. I went on vacation and came home with this nasty head stuff. It’s in my head, chest and ears. I finally went to the doctor yesterday and she put me on Amoxicillin. I don’t particularly like calling in “sick” to work. I know how busy they are and I know how rough times are around the branch, but I have to get well. Will I ever get well?

Most people would say “it’s just a cold” but with me, nothing is JUST. Since I have a kidney disease I am very limited to what I can take. I cannot take over the-counter drugs to relieve the congestion or cough medicine for the cough. I have been taking Tylenol (which is safe) and drinking a lot of Gatorade and now this antibiotic. This now amounts to 10 different medications I am taking. TEN!!! The one I hate the most is the most recent. It weakens my immune system and I am much more susceptible to catching things and to stay on it for more than a year can bring on a whole new bag of issues like blood cancer. I work at a public library. How in the world do you stay away from the germs there? The staff shares computers, phones, and pens. ???????????Customers come in with coughs to grab a book to read while sick or stock up on some movies while they are stuck in bed sick. Oh, I just want to cry. My happiness scale is definitely tipping towards the non-happy side. I have to work a little harder these days to find my joy in all of this mess. I am struggling with a less-than-satisfying existence and yet, I am blessed to have so much.

We are all unique individuals and our own joy does not come in a packages tied up with pretty bows. It is created within ourselves. We have choices we can make, when to let go and when to search for the dreams behind our wishes. Life is pretty simple at birth; we need food, sleep, shelter and cuddling and that’s about all we demand to keep us happy. Why do we feel we need more? For me, it’s because I have not figured it out yet. “IT” is why the slow down; why the bad health; what is next?

My new favorite verse: “come near to God and He will come near to you.” James 4:8. This is a time that although I am going through much confusion, I am NOT confused about who God is and what He can do for me. He has me here in this “unknown ill” state right now for reasons I do not understand but I just have to trust and know that He is in charge. Chronic illness isn’t any fun. God hears my cries for help.                                                                                  water

If you too are suffering from a chronic illness or are just going through a time of uncertainty, apply Psalm 34:18 to your life. “God is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” If you are struggling with an illness, please respond. Just send your first name and I WILL pray for you. I have my list of those who are crushed in spirit and I do pray for them. Please share with me what you are doing to get through your days when you are striving for some sense of normalcy.

Blessings! Beth

I’m Too Human to be like Jesus by Poppy Smith

ImTooHuman Quote2

 

 

 

I’m Too Human to be Like Jesus…

Have you ever experienced seasons in your life where you’re stumbling around feeling frustrated in your spiritual grown? Do you try to measure up to other women because they appear to have it all together? I know there are days where I try to measure up only to realize it is just not possible. Do you feel failure when life’s storms are pulling you under?

Well, in Poppy Smith’s book, “I’m too Human to be Like Jesus: Spiritual Growth for the Not-So-Perfect Woman” I found some very inspiring words of wisdom that changed some thought patterns about myself. Through her honest words, Poppy admits that she too is a not-so-perfect woman herself, and I related to her own personal struggles.  As I began to dig into the chapters of her book, I melted into each page, shedding tears of heavy baggage that I had been carrying around for many years.

I was in denial about my attitude until I read the chapter on changing your attitude.  Yes, I admit, I’ve been known to have a tude from time to time. I can easily get depressed and I can easily blame everyone and everything for my problems.  In reading this chapter, I am able to apply some practical principles in changing my attitude about certain situations. Poppy’s book gave me insight on how I can weather the storm; how I can overcome the depression and more importantly, how I can become more like Jesus. Isn’t that the goal of every Christian? Poppy uses Biblical principles and Biblical stories to show us that our striving to be more like Jesus is a journey and not one piece of it is wasted.ImTooHuman Quote1

At the end of each chapter she includes study questions which I loved because I love to read and reflect. But, the questions would be perfect for a Women’s Study for women of all ages.  Growing spiritually to be more like Christ does not have to be a struggle if you take the principles that Poppy has laid out before you in this book along with allowing the guidance of the Holy Spirit into your quest. I would strongly recommend this book as it helped me reconnect to my life. I will refer back to it over and over again as I left a few questions unanswered. I believe God will take me back to those questions over and over and sweetly whisper the answers into my ear over time.  I would like to give a big thank you to Poppy for writing, I’m Too Human to be like Jesus.

 

Here’s a bit of background about Poppy:

Born in England to a non-believing family, she grew up there and in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Kenya. She met her American Husband in Nairobi and they soon moved to the United States. The adjustment to her new marriage and new country, combined with loneliness and the loss of all that was unfamiliar brought her to a crisis with God. The resulting change, from anger to acceptance, from fighting God to seeking Him, led her into a life-long love of Scripture and the One it reveals. She subsequently became a Teaching Leader in Bible Study Fellowship, a speaker and author of several books, and she got her Masters in Spiritual Formation and Direction. Her book, Why Can’t HE Be More like Me?, which encourages women to grow, rather than go, if they’re in difficult marriages, won the Golden Scroll Award in 2012 from AWSA. You can read more about her story here: http://www.poppysith.com. Poppy is also an International Speaker and Spiritual Life Coach.

 

I received a free ecopy for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.

-“Sometimes growing more like Jesus can seem to be frustratingly slow, at a bumbling-around, falling-down and picking-yourself-back-up pace, but inner change can happen. How? Check out Poppy Smith’s ebook, I’m Too Human to Be Like Jesus for answers from a not-so-perfect woman herself: http://amzn.to/12RFQgp
-“Love nonfiction books with room to reflect and small group discussion guides? Read I’m Too Human to Be Like Jesus by Poppy Smith for thoughts on spiritual growth for the not-so-perfect woman: http://amzn.to/12RFQgp

A Love Affair

I had an affair this past week. How can I do such a thing? It drew me in. It called my name. I became one with it, entangles, twisted and mesmerized by its unbelievable beauty. It is called Maine. I was able to spend a few days at my mother’s camp in Maine this week and it took me to a place that was needed to be taken. The crystal clear lake has a way of attracting every bit of my attention. It reminds me that everything will be great.  I stare down at the little ripples, gaze upon the rocks. I’m meditating.  My breath has slowed down and although this is a temporary time, it is sweeping me away into a connection with my Divine’s unconditional love for me. It has calmed my mind. Damaged kidneys? What kidneys? Our struggles with finances; what is that? I am in a place that is creating an awareness of the significance of accepting my manifestations with absolute love. I know that all will be well because it IS well with my soul.

I’m back! Joy and sadness in one! One day at a time. I cannot look back and grieve over the past week; it’s gone. I cannot worry about the future, for it has not come. I can live in the present and make it so beautiful that I will experience another love affair and create a moment worth remembering.

Thank you for the beautiful week we had in Maine. Thank you God, for the memories that were created around the campfire, in the water, and in the boat while casting the fishing poles. Thank you for the family that surrounded me and reminded me that the best of life is that which I make.

PS: Pictures to follow