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

Take Time to Get Energized

You know the feeling. The lift in your spirit, the yes in your heart, the light in your eyes. You’re doing something you love to do. And you get a little rush of joy. You’re energized.

Sometimes this burst of happiness happens in the midst of our regular work—and how fortunate we are if our work does this for us. Not everyone is so lucky.

For writers like me, many times we have to just plod along, laying down one sentence after another while stopping frequently to agonize over the right word choice. We’re not sure the piece is working and then bam—the right word, the right phrase, the right rhythm flashes through our minds and everything comes together. We feel exhilarated. Our hearts say yes!

More often, though, I would guess that such rushes of joy come as we engage in interests or passions that are not work-related. For me, I’ve found that taking photos—especially capturing something unusual or beautiful in nature—also makes my heart say yes and sparks a happy burst of fresh energy.

When this kind of satisfying joy and excitement pays us a visit, let’s soak it up and enjoy it to the fullest. Let’s pay attention to it and pinpoint the things that make our spirits take wing.

Once we’ve identified the things that energize us, wouldn’t it make sense to engage in those activities regularly? Those infusions of happiness will benefit not only our sense of well-being but our relationships and work as well.

After all, the lift in our spirits, the yes in our hearts, the light in our eyes are all worth the time we take to get that little rush of joy. So let’s do it. Let’s get energized!

“My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7 NIV

*What energizes you?

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out earlier this month. 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.

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

*Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Biblical Blessings for the Mother of the Bride

Mother of the Bride, I’d like to pray some blessings from the Bible over you as we’re beginning a new year this week.

As you help your daughter plan her wedding, I’m sure you’ll need an extra measure of God’s strength and blessing. I want the very best for you this year as you prepare for one of the best days in the life of your family. So from me to you —

Blessings from the Word of God, the Bible (NIV):

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us—” Psalm 67:1

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14

May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness—an abundance of grain and new wine.” Genesis 27:28

“From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.” Psalm 3:8

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

I hope these blessings encourage you, MOB. Keep looking to the Lord!

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

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early February. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free! Temporary problem with Life Notes sign-up. To sign up, just contact me.

*Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

A Time for Everything—Even A Time to Hide

“When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.” John 12:36 NIV

Ever have times when you feel like hiding?  I bet we all do—and we’re in good company. The apostle John tells us that Jesus hid too.

The instance in the scripture above took place in Jerusalem during the week before Jesus’s crucifixion. While speaking to a crowd, he predicted his death and encouraged the people to “‘Believe in the light . . . so that you may become sons of light,’” (first half of v.36). Then he left and hid from them.

We aren’t told why Jesus hid from the people at this time. Maybe he needed a break from the crowd surrounding him daily. Or possibly he was trying to prevent an uproar that could lead to his death before the time was right. He might have wanted the people to have time to consider what he’d just said. Whatever the reason, Jesus saw the importance or felt the need to hide.

An oft-quoted passage from the Bible tells us that “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”(Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV) If Jesus saw that there was indeed a time to hide, should we not secret ourselves away at times as well?

So when should we hide away—either from everyone, those outside our closest circle, or maybe just from our work environment?

One instance might be when we’re in serious need of rest or refreshment. Another could be when we need some time to focus on a certain project, person, or aspect of our lives. There may even come a time when we need a period of healing or a season when we need to hide for protection. And we always benefit when we take time to hide away with the Lord, through daily time in prayer and the Word and also in extended times alone with him.

I wonder if it’s a time to hide for any of us right now. Can we sense the importance of such a time? Do we feel the need? Let’s remember that there is indeed a time for everything. Yes, even a time to hide.

“. . . hide me in the shadow of your wings” Psalm 17:8 NIV

*When was the last time you hid? Why did you do it? What resulted? Do you need to hide now?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, will come out in early November. 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 check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by It’s No Game, Creative Commons License