Tag Archive | Story

Quiet Time Musings

This week has been a breakthrough week in my mind.

Making a quality decision  to not ignore quiet time, and to put that time to better use.

By putting it to better use in this instance means to to use that time to create my own thoughts, consider my own beliefs, understand what things I think and why.

I can always find time to read someone elses words. I’m not saying that that is wrong, certainly not, because it does help to create questions for further thinking in my mind. I’m only saying that I need to find out what I, myself think about things.

One of my favorite/best ways to get my thinking to get moving, is to read scripture. It creates many questions, and answers many as well.

The place I landed in my thinking was about space. Quiet space. Loud space. Crampy space. Spacious space.

I then looked up my favorite verses about space, and realized yet again, why I love living where I live.

I grew up in a larger city forty miles north of here. Houses. Streets. Voices. Traffic.

White houses out my window in rows. Utility poles breaking every small stretch of sky.

Someone elses noise always, always, always filling my head.

Some people, and their different personalities, thrive on just such environments. I however did not. I always wanted to be out. Some place green. Some place that I didn’t feel smothered.

My Grampas’ house was like that, but as a child, not very accessible.

Psalm 31:8b (ESV) You have set my feet in a broad place.

Then we moved here. My children called it Podunk. It isn’t really. Podunk, to me, would be much further than the few miles we travel from here to get to town.

Psalm 18:19 (ESV) He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued  me, because he delighted in me.

It is close enough to be close, and far enough to be far. Away from the hum of the city.

I knew I always wanted to be where I didn’t see only rows of white houses, and poles scratching at the sky. I just did not know how much. Nowadays, a trip to town quickly makes me want to return home.

It was very difficult to find quiet space back then, and it often involved a camping trip, or a car ride to a empty country road. Not impossible, but often difficult.

I am positive that living here, has saved my sanity. I have now spent almost exactly half of my life here; and I’m grateful. I am grateful for the overstuffed chair, that sits by the window, and looks out over a really broad space.

2 Corinthians 9:15 (ESV) Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

Maybe to you this does not sound like a gift; Your personality prefers the hum of activity.

Psalms 139:13 -14a For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

(He knows how He made you – He will show you another way)
Maybe you are here just wondering when your gift will arrive; You’ve been waiting and praying.

Matthew 6:8…. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

(Hang on!)

Questions to consider;

  • Does my quiet time require total silence, or maybe some music or other ambient noise?
  • Do I require quiet EVERY day? Every week? More than once a day?
  • Does my quiet time involve time together, alone, with someone else?
  • Does it contain devotions? Book reading? Bible reading? Audio reading? A quiet video? Or just staring out the window – at my street, or at my space?
  • Does my quiet time release me from the stress and pressure of the daily grind?

Please feel free to leave a response in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Enjoy some quiet. It’s Under the Hill.

29jan2017

 

 

 

 

 

Take a Chance

I’ve been reading lately about how to make this blog a better place to visit.

My first thought, long ago, was to tell my personal story, then use it to help some to crawl out of the pit that they, or someone else, dug for them.

Camera Photos 6-12 - Deb age 4 and 7 003

I have for many years, off and on, written random and not so random things in journals. I’ve kept them all, even shared bits and pieces of them, in an attempt to help others.

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From there I went on to showing people the value of some quiet in their life, and hopefully, helping them to create some for their own.

Next came the photographs that I so love to take.

Some have been made into my little films, calendars, puzzles and coffee table books.

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Now I’m even thinking of, gulp, my religious and political leanings.

I must say, I hate confrontation of any kind.  (Confrontation there would most likely be!)

The prolonged temper tantrum I see all around makes me angry, and quite frankly, sick to my stomach. This is not to mention that it intimidates me a lot.

Tantrum.jpg

What do I do?

What would You do?

What would you like to see here?

What would make you want to come back?

I’ve been a blogger off and on since 2008.  I’m still not happy with where I am, but I am also not compelled to quit.

All the years of processing cannot be for nothing. Can I ask? Where have your processes taken you? Would you care to share in the comments?

There. It’s out there. My fears. My questions.

Do I pick just one topic, hope for the best, and stay comfy and safe?

Can comfy and safe really change the world?

 

 

 

Here We Go Again

This tiny video might not look like much

But please, let me tell you why I left it here.

You may have heard of 2019’s polar vortex?

Well, here in the mid-west, we appear to be right in the middle of it.

I’ll bet we’ve have had more snow in the last month, than in the previous ten years.

Snow is one thing. But then there’s the ice. Hidden discreetly underneath that beautiful layer of snow.

Here is what happened yesterday;

I went out to shovel an inch or two of fluffy snow off the drive. (It’s a long drive with quite a bit of slope)

Shoveling along, and forgetting there were long patches of ice on one side. (At the top)

Boom. Flat on my back. Standing up was a trick, because it was solid ice, and about a half an inch thick!

I finally got back up, determined I was unhurt, and proceeded shoveling where I knew there was no ice.

When suddenly, Boom. Down to my knees. (Half way down the slope) This time I couldn’t get up, so I had to slide further DOWN the hill, so that I could find a not icy spot to get UP the hill! (Glad we live where we do so I didn’t have an audience!)

You know, sometimes, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. So laugh I did. And I quit shoveling for the day.

Now my husband, who hates snow, and just had shoulder surgery, thought it was all pretty funny.

Here’s what HE did;

He replied on Facebook to our daughters post talking about how thick the ice in her drive was. She was talking about wanting to make “snow angels”, he told that I was in the drive making “snow angels” of my own.

My reply to that was that it was more like “snow sprawl” and “snow crawl”.

This quickly de-generated into a much less flattering comment from him. Some about doing the “croppie floppie”. Oh. Brother.

Can I say that even for someone who loves snow as much as I do, that I am done.

Well done.

ANother batch of undetermined size is just beginning here now.

Complaining about it of course won’t help.

And if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.

Don’t Give Up!

Back in September, we read  David’s story

It was a story about loss, and persistence, and restoration.

Here it is again, in a nutshell;

David – Returned home to find that his entire village had been destroyed. Not one living thing was left, not one building standing. His wife and children were taken away, and he had no way of knowing whether they were alive or dead. Here’s what David (and his men) did. You can read this account in 1 Samuel 30. Here’s what he did –

1. He wept bitterly, until all of his strength was gone.

2. He then found strength in the Lord his God.

3. He inquired of the Lord to see what he should do (He prayed)

4. He took a portion of his men with him and pursued the enemy. He got EVERYTHING back, and then some. God honored the fact that he did not quit, but that he and a small number believed God could restore. (Nation, Families, Finances, Churches)

Now here is another story, this time about Daniel;

Daniel – Chapter 9. Now Daniel finished reading the scrolls and saw that the captivity was coming to an end. He could have said hip-hip-hooray and stopped praying, but he didn’t. He didn’t stop crying out to God, he called out to God what He had already promised! Three things he did –

1. He repented, for his sin AND the sin of his people.

2. He interceded. He took the promises of God’s word and brought them before Him all the more.

3. He gave thanks. He gave thanks for what He had done and what He would do. He thanked Him for His promises and covenants.

Both of these men could have given up. They could have stopped. They could have taken the freedom God gave them, and hidden themselves away. They never would have gotten the promises of God fulfilled in their lives.

Instead, they were persistent. First in their belief that God would care for them, and then, in their tenacity to continue moving forward, through pain and loss, to receive the prize at the end of the line.

The questions here for you and I are these;

  1. Will we persist?
  2. Will we believe God?
  3. Will we go on until we reach the prize?

To be sure, there are prizes here on this earth that are worth fighting for, but in reality, they will all fade away.

My persistence will lead not only to some of these, but to the ultimate prize – Living in the Presence of God. In His kingdom. Forever.

Pretty sure of this am I?

Yes.

Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6:33

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  Romans 8:35
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Psalm 16:11

 

How about you?
Are you sure?

Restoration

Have you experienced loss?

Have you experienced grief?

Have you experienced physical pain?

Have you experienced mental anguish?

Have these experiences seemed to come one right after the other, after the other, after the other?

Have these experiences caused brought you to a worn out, I give up sort of place?

I understand. Sometimes it rains. Other times it pours.

Allow me to share a story with you from the Bible.

It can be found in 1 Samuel 30.

The story is about part of King David’s life.

You might say, he was having a really bad day.

David and his men were coming home from battle to their home town of Ziklag. Upon arrival, they found that their town had been burnt to the ground, and their women, children, and every one else, great or small, were taken captive. David and his men wept bitterly. They wept until they had no more strength. The men were so distressed about the loss of their wives and daughters, that they wanted to stone David to death! But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. David then inquired of the Lord his God about what he should do.  “Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?” He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue.” So David took four hundred of his men with him. They traveled light for expediency. David left two hundred behind to guard all of their stuff.  Along the way they found an Egyptian in the open country and brought him to David. And they gave him bread and he ate. They gave him water to drink. David asked him, “To whom do you belong? And where are you from?” He said, “I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago. “We had burned Ziklag with fire.” And David said to him, “Will you take me down to this band?” And he said, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me or deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to this band.” He led David to where these men were. They were all partying because of their great plunder. David and his men surrounded them, and overnight, killed them all. David recovered all of their belongings, all the wives and children. Everything that had been taken, in addition to the flocks and herds of the enemy. When they returned, David shared his “spoil” with all who went with him, and with all of those who stayed behind to guard their baggage.

Here are the steps David followed to regain power over his circumstances. These steps led him to total restoration.

 

  • David wept.

  • David found strength in the Lord his God.

  • David inquired of the Lord.

  • David pursued his enemy.

  • God restored everything.

 

Note: David HAD to depend on a power greater than himself.

He depended on the Lord his God to deliver him from his circumstances.

This “depending” takes a while to learn, but is well worth the effort.

Personally, the more I can depend on God, and less on me, the more peaceful and content I find myself, whether my experiences are good, or even if they are horrible. I’ve found that being in charge is not all it is cracked up to be.

How about it? Can you depend on someone other than yourself? Where do you find your strength when you are weeping? Where do your answers come from? Do you face your enemies/fears? Or do you hide away? Are you happy with the results?

Romper Room Do Bee

The original posting of this was posted by me on my Blogspot/Blogger blog, on Sunday, February 28, 2010. The message is still a part of my story, so I thought I would post it again.

…..”Romper Room   Do bee

When I was little there was a show on called Romper Room. The theme song said “Do be a do bee and don’t be a don’t bee.”

Well my “Do bee” and my “Don’t bee” have been colliding as of late. Stated another way, my Do-er and my Be-er have been having a fight.

My flesh says go and go, do and do. My spirit says stop striving. Listen for His heartbeat.

The only way to hear it is to be.

From just about every direction I’m hearing the same thing. Rest. Rest well. Repeat. Be intentional about listening. Reflect. Ponder.

Then, I feel like I’m doing that too much and being lazy.

I’ve really had to ask God where that line is. How can I be a “Do bee” and not cover His heartbeat with busy, and how can I be a “Don’t bee” without being slothful.

It is a fine line, but one that I believe He wants me to explore.

This mornings sermon implored us to put our whole faith in God. Trusting in Him alone to keep ourselves in balance. We cannot earn it or learn it. We have to look (at Him) and live.

I’m looking at Him, and believing that my hive will have the proper balance of “do-ing” and “be-ing” “…..

A lot has happened since that time.

I did indeed take the time to “Just be”.

I have quieted my soul. I have reflected. I have pondered.

And I have heard His heartbeat. Right there next to mine.

I’m not saying that every day is quiet and peaceful, but I am saying that there are more and more quiet days than ever before, and it soothes my nerves, and keeps my heart at peace.

I have in fact, been able to coach a few people in the “Art of Quietude”.

It may not be for everyone, but I urge you to try it. Even for a short time. You can even begin with three minutes!

What you need to know, is that it isn’t always easy, in fact, the distractions get downright overpowering.

But if you want a quiet spirit, and a quiet mind, it is possible to achieve it.

Romans 12 speaks of renewing our minds, I wholeheartedly believe it can be done.

You know the saying, “If I can do it, you can too”?

It’s so true – even my run away thoughts can be tamed.

Would you like to give it a try?

 

Bigger, Taller, Stronger

Although I was tall in stature, taller by a head than most of my classmates, I’d always held the secret of being intimidated by giants. It was rare to be around girls taller than me, and when I was, I was intimidated.

As an adult, I am what many would call average height. So that part of my life came and went. What I never knew, until I grew older, was the non-physical baggage that that intimidation had left behind.

Sounds funny doesn’t it? Carrying baggage about being tall.

When you are bigger or taller than most your age, you are expected to act differently. Act your age. Straighten up, fly right. In my case, I was told to act my age and not my shoe size. Adults around me expected me to behave in a manner that wasn’t appropriate for my actual age.

So basically, what this leads to, is a little one not knowing how they are supposed to act, because they are not intellectually or emotionally to that stage yet. Some will act out, be loud, boisterous behave badly, others will hide away, building a hard shell around themselves for protection.

I’ve always thought myself a little of a split personality in this area. I went back and forth. The two sides of my personality did constant battle. I could act out, or I could hide.

My poor mother. She never knew which one would show up!

Now a days, I recognize that battle more about personality than size.

You see, I’m an introvert. I am not shy.

I am quite capable of taking the lead on things when needed, public speaking, or calling out things I may see as wrong.

The secret of introverts aren’t made up of by the lack of those traits.

The secret of introverts, is that they need much more time than the extrovert to charge up their inner batteries. When they are charged up, they often appear to be extroverts.

I said all this to say this. I don’t have to feel intimidated, and neither do you.

Get proper rest. Have adequate quiet time. (Adequate for you, everyone is different)

Take the time it takes to recharge.

When properly charged, you can be Bigger, Taller, Stronger. Or at least appear that way.