Sometimes We Need to be Carried

Sometimes we need to be carried. Just ask the little bird who’s hitchin’ a ride on the back of the pronghorn above—a sight we witnessed over ten years ago on our trip to the Tetons and Yellowstone.

Maybe the little guy was tired from a long flight through the mountains or possibly he wasn’t feeling well. Maybe that was the best spot in the meadow to catch a refreshing breeze. Whatever the reason, he decided to use someone else’s strength for a bit.

I wonder if any of us need to be carried today, need to use someone else’s strength for a little while. Maybe we need friends praying for us. Maybe we are overwhelmed with life right now and could use some help with certain tasks or responsibilities. Or perhaps we simply need a listening ear. I find all of this to be true from time to time in my role as caregiver right now.

Let’s not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for and accept help. Sometimes we need a little encouragement.  Sometimes we need some extra strength. And yes, sometimes we need to be carried.

“Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus.” Luke 5:18 NIV

*Do you have a burden I can help carry through prayer?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early May. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo

Let’s Cause Others to Rejoice

“May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word.” Psalm 119:74 NIV

Do people rejoice when they see us coming? Does it make them happy to get to spend time with us?

If so, why? If you’re like me, it might be because you carry chocolate at all times. Ha! Hopefully, though, it’s something more meaningful than that. Maybe we always have a smile for others and freely share encouraging words. Or perhaps we’re good listeners. Think about yourself for a moment. Why do people rejoice when they see you?

On the other hand, if people don’t rejoice when they see us, why not? Could it be that we tend to have a negative attitude or are always criticizing others? Are they afraid we’ll slam them with a sarcastic remark or perhaps pass them by, treating them like they’re invisible?

None of us want to become a person that others dread interaction with or try to avoid. Instead I think we all hope to be someone that others are drawn to and want to be around. We all want to be liked.

The verse above from Psalm 119 holds one of the keys to being a source of joy for others. It tells us that if we put our hope in God, people may indeed rejoice when they see us.

This could be true for a variety of reasons. If we’re trusting in God and his Word, we may radiate a sense of peace and joy that naturally spills out onto others. We may have a reputation for honesty and dependability or inspire confidence and hope in others. We may have the wisdom of God’s Word stored up in our hearts, making us a welcome source of encouragement and advice.

I don’t know about you, but I want others to rejoice when they see me. I want others to see the love, the peace, the power, the wisdom, and the hope of God when they look at me. And the only way that can happen is to stay very close to him.

I bet you’d like others to see glimpses of the Lord in you as well. To be honest, we’ll fail at times, but that’s no reason not to try. Let’s surrender our hearts to him each day and let him fill us. Let’s cause others to rejoice when they see us coming!

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?” 1 Thessalonians 3:9 NIV

*What do you want others to see in you?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early May. Sign-up is FREE! *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

A Twist on a Traditional Ring Bearer: A Dog!

Yes, Virginia, weddings with dogs as ring bearers do indeed happen. I’ve never been to one myself, but we all know people who love their doggies so much they want to include them in the wedding in some way. Having the dog act as ring bearer is one fairly simple way to do it since the rings can be secured on a pillow and then tied around the dog’s neck.

And yes, there might be some challenges when going with this plan so the happy couple needs to think through the possible scenarios in their particular situation and be ready for come what may. They first need to check with their venue to see if dogs are allowed, and then they can come up with the best plan for their dog’s participation.

So, Mother of the Bride, if your Mr. & Mrs.-To-Be happen to have a dog they love and also like to be a little unconventional, they might just opt for a “man’s best friend” ring bearer. Curve balls come in all shapes and sizes so be prepared if your sweet couple throws you one in the shape of a dog. Don’t say you weren’t warned!

*You might also like to read Sweet Engagement Photo with Your Favorite Pooch and Burlap Ring Bearer Pillow and Flower Girl Basket.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out today. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is FREE! *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Flickr photo by shannylynneCreative Commons License

Bird Feeder and God’s Word: Discovering the Treasure

My dear friend Teri, knowing that I’d developed an interest in birds one summer several years ago—thanks to my desire to use my camera—got me a bird feeder for my birthday that August. Of course, she included a songbird blend of food and also a bird guidebook. Yes, she’s one of those friends who doesn’t miss a beat.

Within days, I had the bird feeder up and filled with food. I even bought a special pole to hang it on in the backyard. I positioned it not too far from the birdbath and also made sure I could see it from my back porch steps. I was all set. Couldn’t wait to see the flurry of beautiful birds that would visit my yard now.

Fast forward a few weeks and my bird feeder still waited to be discovered. I’d glanced out my office window and looked out my back door several times each day, and only once had I seen a bird come close to it. The tiny sparrow flew away before it landed, almost as if it was afraid to try it.

I’d done my part. The feeder was filled with food and was even located near a water source. It was all prepped and available, just waiting for a taker, just waiting to be discovered. I figured once that happened, the news would quickly spread by word of mouth—or should I say by tweet of beak!

I wonder if the Lord feels the same way I did as he waits for us to discover the provision he’s made for our spiritual nourishment. He’s given us his Word. He’s inspired and equipped preachers, teachers, and writers to offer sermons, Bible studies, and other spiritual food. He’s done his part and made the feast available.

Yes, I think God longs to see us fly to his Word—to his truths—and to partake of all that he’s given. He waits for each of us to discover his provision.

Let’s not be like the birds who come close but go on their way unfed. Instead, let’s be the ones who discover the treasure of nourishment. Let’s be the ones to share the good news!

“When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty.” Jeremiah 15:16 NIV

*Yes, the birds did indeed discover my bird feeder before too much time went by. Success!

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early May. Sign-up is FREE! *Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*My photo

Comfort and Encouragement for You This Christmas

*I am taking a blogging break the rest of the month. God bless you and yours this Christmas season!

For some of you Christmas may be different this year. Some of you are hurting. Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, financially. I pray my words today will be a balm to your spirit and soul this Christmas season. And never forget—God sees you. He loves you and sent his Son to be your Savior and ever-present Friend.

And now, from my heart to yours:

I’m thinking of you this season, friend,
Knowing your heart must ache,
While others fill their homes with cheer
You must be struggling to just feel normal.
Life’s changes hit fast and hard sometimes
And often knock us to our knees,
It’s okay to take time to rest and heal
It’s okay whatever you’re feeling.
While in the midst of heavy-hearted days
May the joy of Christmas come through at times,
May Christmas peace surround and support you
May you notice things to be grateful for.
And with these thoughts I’m sending love
And hoping both offer some comfort and peace.
May God’s tender touches be yours this season, my friend.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given . . . And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 NIV

*Feel free to share with those you know who are hurting this Christmas but please include attribution “written by Cheryl Barker.” God bless one and all!

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, comes out in early February. Sign-up is free! Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by mseckingtonCreative Commons License