Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What A Friend We Have In Jesus - Alan Jackson

I love this song.  So beautiful and so true.

Today's scripture is in Luke 6:27-33
"But I tell you who hear me:  Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also.  If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.  Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.  Do to others as you would have them do to you.

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?  Even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you?  Even sinners do that."

Today's devotional is a quote by Sue Bender
"Listening to your heart is not simple.  Finding out who you are is not simple.  It takes a lot of hard work and courage to get to know who you are and what you want."

Monday, March 23, 2015

Authenticity and New Seekers- Free to be you and me

Well here we are the first day of "homeschooling."  It is official though I still need to file the intent today.  I have taken the approach that since we really need to see what is up with her math that I will result to a couple of math sheets a day.  Aside from that I am going to let her guide her studies.  She is so busy on her own reading her novels, and writing letters all day long that I am not worried about the other.

I am enjoying my moment of me time with my devotional even though I have probably answered 20 of her random questions during the 10 minutes haha.  A lot of the morning with her math was spent working with her to build confidence about problems in general.  She is so used to a sped up mentality with the pressure of students around her that after reading a simple problem she begins to stress out.  We are talking write the numbers 11-20.  I notice that she does a lot of moving and talking out loud in order to process it.  Something that she isn't able to do at school.  We also worked on taking a problem a sentence at a time and wrapping her mind around it piece by piece otherwise it is overwhelming.  By 1 1/2 sheets at 12:00 we were both done.

Today our theme is about being authentic and just being yourself.  Everyone is different.  Life is not a one size fits all situation.  The daily devotional from Sarah Ban Breathnach says, "Let me tell you about another woman I know.  When her first book was published, close friends will testify, she acted like a raving lunatic.  Instead of congratulating herself on producing such a beautiful book after years of effort, she was about to throw herself off a cliff because she had used the wrong verb tense in one sentence.  Instead of celebrating her achievement, she robbed herself of joy.

Now she knows better, thank God.  Did you know that Amish quilters will deliberately add a mismatched patch to each quilt to remind themselves that only Spirit can create perfectly?  We need to remember that. We should only strive to be first-rate versions of ourselves.  And our best is always good enough."

Isn't it amazing that God made us unique and authentic?  Let's give thanks to God for that and view it as a blessing!

"Shout with joy to God, all the earth!  Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious!  Say to God, How awesome are your deeds!"  So great is your power that you enemies cringe before you.  All the earth bows down to you, they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name."

Psalm 66:1-4

Today's song is "Free to be you and me" by the New Seekers.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Taking Time to Rest and Deciding to Homeschool

I have missed a couple of days.  Life has been getting busy as it does with cleaning and shuttling and figuring out what to cook for dinner.  I have also been contemplating and then deciding to take my daughter out of school and start homeschooling or "life schooling" her.   My younger son will follow after the close of this year.  A lot of stuff.  A lot of excitement, but also a lot of uncertainty.

I dropped her off for her last day of school today, and watched as she ran in excited behind one of her friends knowing that in her hand was the letter to her teacher that this is her last day.  This afternoon I am going in to sign the district declaration.  We thought long and hard about the decision, and I feel that it is the right one for our family, but it didn't make it easy to drive home while praying to God for assurance.

Change is scary especially when as a mom I feel that the outcome of our kids is all on me.  I would hate to fast forward ten years in the future and have my husband shake his head and tell me we should have kept them in.   I believe in them and the fact that their love of learning will win.  It will take some time to get used to it all.  To feel as though at the end of the day I don't have to always have everything together as my husband walks in the door to feel confident about my decision.  Their imaginations, a love of learning, signs of tenacity, becoming amazing and adaptable people as well as a sanitary house are my aspirations.

Among all of this flurry I had to remind myself that time with God each day is what is most important even if I don't remember until 11:00 am.  I don't want to do this without God.  I also don't want to forfeit my 15-20 day of inward contemplation and study in order to accomplish one more load of laundry.  If I put God first the rest will fall into place, and I will be a less frenzied person for it.

I wanted to post a link to the Good Morning Girls site for additional inspiration on this topic.  It came through my email today after I had forced myself to spend time with God this morning.

Good Morning Girls, Finding Time to Rest

Today's scripture passage is from Luke 4:1-4.  Jesus has been been in the desert for a very long time and was extremely hungry when the devil comes to tempt him.  I love it because in it Jesus reminds us about the importance of God and having the Spirit in our lives.

"Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.  He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

The devil said to him, 'If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.'

Jesus answered, 'It is written: Man does not live on bread alone."

Today's devotional from Sarah Ban Breathnach's book titled Simple Abundance is about how inner beauty translates to outer beauty.  In it she says:

"Why does working on our inner beauty produce outward charm?  Perhaps it is because the two are inexorably connected.  A Gnostic axiom teaches 'As is the inner, so is the outer.'  Women who realize their full potential delight the Great Creator with their brilliance.  Marianne Williamson tells us that the process of personal transformation --whether it be in our lifestyle or in our appearance -- 'is the true work of spiritual growth."

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Christ Has Risen and Simple Gifts - Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss

Today's video is the song Simple Gifts sung by Yo Yo Ma and Alison Krauss.

The sun here is shining again, the kids are back in school, and health has been restored to the house.  I am thankful for days of rest and rejuvenation.  I am thankful for days of sunshine and movement.

Today's passage is picking up where we left off yesterday in Mark.  Three days after Christ's death the two Marys go to his tomb with their burial spices only to find he is not there!  Hallelujah and Glory to God!

"When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bouught spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body.  Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, 'Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?'

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had bee rolled away.  As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

'Don't be afraid,' he said.  'You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.  He has risen!  Here is not here.  See the place where they laid him.  But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee.  There you will see him, just as he told you."

Mark 16:1-8

Our devotional from Sarah Ban Breathnach's book titled, Simple Abundance is about asking how do I feel instead of how do I look?

"After years of concentrating on the glitz of the outside packaging, we need to change our approach to beauty completely.  Personal transformation begins with a strong inner life.  We need to let Spirit show us the way, whether it's changing our wardrobe, losing weight, or finding the right hairstyle.  Twenty minutes of meditation a day, quiet reflection, or a restorative walk seeking your authentic self will do more for your looks than you will believe."

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Rain Sounds and Birds Song for Healing, Meditation, Study, Sleep Video

Today's video is a meditation of rain sounds. Today is also our first day of rain in nearly a week, and it marks a morning with two of my kids feeling under the weather on my back couch.  I can almost feel the illness chasing me, so I started my morning with a long hot bath and a book.  Now I am back into some relaxing clothes on the couch with the rain outside and a cup of tea quickly approaching.

Take time to center your senses and restore not only your soul, but your body.

Today's scripture is the final moments of Christ on the cross.  Such a humbling moment for me to read as he sacrifices his life for mine and your sins.

"At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour.  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' Which means , 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'

When some of those standing near heard this, they said, 'Listen, he's calling Elijah.'

One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.  'Now leave him alone.  Let's see if Elijah comes to take him down.'

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

The curtain of the temple was torn in two from the top to bottom.  And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, 'Surely this man was the Son of God!"

Mark 15:34-39

For our devotional today I wanted to share a quote that was taken out of Good Housekeeping December 1947 from a Ponds Cold Cream Advertisement.

"If you will resolve to work each day for self realization, your whole world can change....The two women you are, they can make you over."

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Christ's Return and A Day in the Life of a Tulip - HD

I wanted to share this video that shows a time lapse of the day in the life of a tulip in order to celebrate the coming of spring.  I also splurged on a bouquet of beautiful tulips that are gracing my dining table this morning.  They only come around once a year.  Find time today to celebrate the blessings all around you no matter how small.

Today's passage comes from Mark 14:61-62.  This is as Christ is being tried by the courts before his sentencing.

"Again the high priest asked him, 'Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?' 

'I am,' said Jesus. 'And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

How amazing is that?  I hope and pray everyday that I will be ready and praising him in that moment.  He will prevail!

The devotional for today from Sarah Ban Breathnach's book titled Simple Abundance is about continuing to work towards finding and becoming your authentic self.

" 'Beauty is an internal light, a spiritual radiance that all women have but most women hide, unconsciously, denying its existence.  What we do not claim remains invisible, ' Marianne Williamson observes in A Woman's Worth.

But as you become more intimate with your authentic self - as you recover your true, incandescent identity - there will come a gradual but undeniable physical transformation.  It is absolutely impossible to commit to your spiritual growth, awaken to your own radiant Light and not have it reveal itself on the outside."

-Sarah Ban Breathnach

Monday, March 9, 2015

Philippians 4:4-7 and The 3 Winans Brothers Perform "Trust In God" | The Queen Latifah Show

"Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again, Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, thanksgiving, present your request to God  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:4-7

" "We are not born all at once, but by bits.  The body first, and the spirit later,' Mary Antin wrote in 1912 in The Promised Land.  'Our mothers are racked with the pains of our physical birth; we ourselves suffer the longer pains of our spiritual growth.'

Simone de Beauvoir put it another way: 'One is not born a woman, one becomes one.'  This becoming takes time.  We need time to consider, time to reflect, time to make creative choices, time to emerge from the cocoon, time to clean out our closets, and time to clear away psychic cobwebs so that we might pare down to our essence."

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Friday, March 6, 2015

Mark 12:7-9 and Focusing Inward

"When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed.  Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines.  These are the beginning of birth pains.  You must be on your guard."

Mark 12:7-9

"Today, deliberately turn away from the world.  Don't read the newspapers or watch the nightly news for a week -- longer if you can stand it.  Shun the glossy magazines featuring expensive suits designed for success.  Wean yourself away from the opinions of others -- however talented, creative and celebrated they may be -- as you continue to journey within.  Absorbing the shock of becoming aware that many of your preferences and opinions are not truly your own.  Begin, instead, to listen for the whisper of your authentic self telling you which way to go.  We are always being shown the net step of our uniquely personal journey....Only when the clamor of the outside world is silenced will you be able to hear the Deeper Vibration."

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Today's song is, "Still Small Voice"

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Mark 12:28-31 and Love

"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, 'Of all the commandments , which is the most important?'

'The most important one,' answered Jesus, is this:  'Hear, I Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.'

'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'

'The second is this:  Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these."

Mark 12:28-31

When you have a moment check out this lecture by Russell H Conwell called, "Acres of Diamonds.". It is about a man who sells his farm to travel far and wide in search of Diamonds to not realize that there was a diamond mine in His own backyard.
Acres of Diamonds

Here is a quote by him.
"Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them."

The song of the day is,"What the World Needs Now."
What the World Needs Now

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Psalm 47:1-2 and Encouraging Inspiration

"Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.

How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth."

Psalm 47:1-2

"The well of Providence is deep.  It's the buckets we bring to it that are small."
Mary Webb

"This week , think of creating a reassuring ritual that primes your personal pump.  Carry a large bucket to the well of Providence with a ceremony of comfort."

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Song of the day is Nat King Cole, Our Love Is Here To Stay

Our Love Is Here To Stay

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Psalm 46:1-3 and Meditation

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though it's waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging."

Psalm 46:1-3

"Meditation is simply about being yourself and knowing about who that is.  It is about coming to realize that you are on a path whether you like it or not, namely the path that is your life."

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Song of the day:
How Great Thou Art
How Great Thou Art

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mark 10:25-27 and Serenity

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

"The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, who then can be saved?"

"Jesus looked them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."

Mark 10:25-27

"For we can consciously seek to restore serenity to our daily endeavors.

How exactly can this be accomplished in our lifetime?  When women stop behaving as if they were whirling dervishes.

If you frequently feel as if you're about to spin off this planet, it's probably  because you are.

Sidetracked women, who scatter their energies to the four winds, never acheive serenity.

Today, we must start to recover our sanity. The way we do this is to concentrate slowly on completing one task at a time, each hour of the day, until the day is over."

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Here is a song for the day.  It is You Raise Me Up

 @ You Raise Me Up