Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fall Color

Bet you thought you were going to see some photos of beautiful fall foliage...sorry, our leaves have not begun to turn yet,  but that doesn't mean we don't have fall color, there is plenty. Fall is the time of year I plant pansies, they will continue to bloom through the winter here. Pansies are one of my favorite flowers...but to be honest, I haven't met a flower that I didn't like. That's our little dog at the door, his name is Angus

The marigolds are looking better than they have all summer, many of these had reseeded from last year,
                                                  I just love it when that happens....free flowers

The zinnia's are also doing better in the cooler weather....(my definition of cooler weather would be daytime temperatures in the 70's and 80's.) I have been abe to bring in several little mini bouquets the last couple of weeks that have added a bright spot to our kitchen

Then there are the mums...the flower I always think of when I think of fall. I have a few that survived from last year,  despite my neglect, but also picked up a few....these were quite the bargain...I always check out the distressed plant rack at the big box store...I have rescued more than my fair share. I enjoy the challenge of trying to nurse them back to life.

With outside employment gone I have been able to spend more time in my garden, I have enjoyed that and look forward to planting a fall garden soon. So how are things going now that I am home full time...much to my surprise, it has been an adjustment and I am still adjusting...but it's all good

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Food For Thought

I had an opportunity to attend a Nancy Guthrie seminar a couple of weekends ago. Lots of good stuff to go over and review later but there was one thing she had said that has really made me stop and pause.

The question that has made me think was this..."Do you ever say, God will never give us more than we can bear? either to yourself or to someone else as an encouraging word. " I have to admit I have said it, I have said it often.

Her response to this statement was that "Jesus will repeatedly give you more than you can handle so you will turn to him"

I continued to "chew" on this after I got home. Didn't scripture say that God would not give us more than we could bear? I was sure there was a scripture that supported that, now if I could remember where...Gotta love technology, I googled the phrase and this is the scripture that popped out.

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But where you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it   1 Corinthians 10:13

Hmm, perhaps she is right, it looks like God will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear, doesn't really say anything about our trials. Then I continued to think about it....by saying God would not give us more than we can bear, it sort of speaks of self sufficiency, what I can handle. Then I came across this scripture

We do not want you to be uninformed brothers of the hardships we suffered in the providence of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God            2 Corinthians 1:8-9

Again this seems to support what Nancy had said in the seminar, it's not about what we are able to bear but it's about getting to the point of turning it all to him...being desperate for Him.. will continue to ponder this awhile....then I found this scripture

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on me. that is why for Christ's sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong....(his strength, not mine) 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

A promise that his grace is sufficient whatever my circumstances may be...I may not have it all figured out....okay...really... will I ever have it all figured out this side of heaven....but his word says his grace is sufficient so that is where I will rest

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tying Up Loose Ends

There was one more little detail I had to attend to before I could officially say I was done with my job. Last spring we were told, as a requirement to continue in our positions we had to take an exam for certification in our speciality. We had to the end of the year to accomplish this and we had to pay for the cost of the exam ourselves (it was expensive) I was told even though I was PRN, I was still expected to take it.

I had spent the last several weeks studying for this exam, I even had the book shipped to California, so I could study while we were there.  I had paid the fee and registered to take the exam a couple of weeks ago. You were allowed two attempts to pass, I was in the process of getting ready to retake it, (I didn't pass the first time) when the announcement came that our jobs would be eliminated in October. Because they had made the exam a job requirement and now were eliminating the jobs, they would reimburse anyone who had paid to take the test....okay that was a good thing.

I had to make a decision.... I had done all this prep work, should I still go ahead and take the exam anyway? I already had a day scheduled with my proctor for the retake. Now, there was really no point, no benefit that I could see....but I had put all that time into studying

But I do believe that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose  Romans 8:28

At first glance this whole thing seems to have been a total waste of time, but I know I only see dimly while God sees the big picture. Surely he had a purpose in all of this. Right now I don't get it and maybe never will but I did decide to follow through with taking the exam...complete what I started, no matter that it didn't seem to make any sense. I took the exam Thursday, it's done

That was the last little piece I had to take care of, I am now completely done. This chapter has ended, I had been with this company fourteen years, so it is a little sad.  What's ahead?..... I will be home for now, I am not going to actively seek new employment. I think it's time to just be still for awhile...oh, and the exam, I passed

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fall Favorites

With our temperatures beginning to cool, my garden, which had been scorched and stunted with the summer heat has taken on a new life. My roses are blooming again, and the marigolds and zinnias are looking better than they have all summer. This is prime growing time for a fall garden, I need to get motivated with that and plant some salad greens...meanwhile

We are continuing to get peppers and tomatoes, these tomatoes had fallen on the ground
after a rain storm with a lot of wind had knocked them off. I have two plants that are still full of
green tomatoes, not sure if they will ripen before the first frost. No clue as to what to do
with these...any ideas?

Peach preserves, still in my pantry waiting for some warm toast accompanied 
by a hot cup of coffee

                                 My basil is ready to be made into pesto, we just finished the last
                                      of what I made last year. Great on pasta and pizza

                 Since my cherry tomato plant keeps on producing, I can still enjoy one of my favorite
                             dishes, avocado with cherry tomatoes and shredded cheddar cheese

I am trying to squeeze that last little bit out of summer. The soups and the stews will come later, and I  
                    will begin using the oven again....soon, husband requesting homemade bread.

On another note, thanks to all who have offered prayers and encouragement concerning my job. I decided to make last Tuesday my final day instead of working the rest of the month, it really was not that hard of a decision, it was time. I said my goodbyes, hugged a lot and shed a few tears. Many of us have worked with each other for over ten years, we all promised to get together after this was all over. My thoughts continue to be with them and I have been inspired to pray as to how I can be a blessing to them, especially in the next couple of weeks.


Monday, September 17, 2012

A New Chapter

Some days are full of surprises, today was one of those days. I generally work on Mondays, so nothing different there, but there was an unexpected meeting scheduled off site for this afternoon. I have to admit I had some thoughts about having a meeting off site...there are reasons they do that.

After we all had gathered in the conference room, the announcement was made that our jobs would be eliminated in a months time. You could almost hear the air being sucked out of the room. I think it would be safe to say most were stunned. I was surprised, but the thought of this being an elimination meeting did cross my mind....like I said, why else would you have a meeting off site?

Since I went PRN I was told that my status could change at any time, so it was as if the Lord had already prepared me for what was ahead. I have been working, but only a couple of days a week, but this isn't just about me, I have coworkers that have literally had the rug pulled out from under them. There was a multitude of emotions in that room and all I could feel was compassion.

The next couple of weeks will be difficult, there is still work that will need to be done, transitions that will be taking place. My one question, do I continue until the job goes away in a month or do I stop now, it really is my choice at the moment. Lots of things to consider, there is the people factor, relationships I have made and what my role is now in helping to support my coworkers...I do believe God has a plan and a purpose in all of this....maybe it was to get me moving...have I ever mentioned how I dislike change.

Lord you have assigned me my portion and my cup, you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places, surely I have a delightful inheritance  Psalm 16:5-6

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Divine Appointment

Have you ever had a divine appointment? I had one of these today, I thought I was just going in for a pedicure, but God had other plans. I walked into the salon with a young woman, we sat side by side, as we got our nails done, she talked on the phone the entire time, I was mindlessly watching something on the television. She was busy planning a party, my mind was elsewhere thinking about an upcoming appointment. I don't think we even made eye contact. Doesn't sound very divine but it gets better.

She was finished first and went to the drying area, I followed soon after. Shortly after I sat down she began to talk to me, she thought she recognized me from church. I didn't know her but she was right, we did go to the same church. Our conversation started out fairly casual, we talked about which care group we were in, marital status, children etc...then before I knew it, we were talking about trials that we were experiencing, things we were praying for...we were deep down in the weeds and I'm not even sure how we got there...I didn't even know this person, but we had a common bond.

The thing is, we didn't just talk about the trials and struggles that were going on in our lives we were also encouraging each other in the things that we knew to be true of God. Oh how we need to be reminded of what is true, because we forget so easily. As I was encouraging her, it occurred to me that I needed to take hold of what I was telling her....Remember, he will never leave you or forsake you, he is faithful, he has a plan and a purpose and frequently you will not understand it, he wants us to lose our self sufficiency and be desperate for him...I needed this word as much as she did. 

The conversation continued for about twenty minutes, in the end I had a new friend, one I will look for next Sunday. Soon it was time to go, our nails had been dry for quite a while, we were done long before we left, but then you don't just walk out on a divine appointment.

Monday, September 10, 2012

End of Barefoot Days

I get a little blue this time of year, a little sad to see summer go. In years gone by, when my sons were young,  it meant carefree days of family adventures were about to end and school with it's busy schedules were about to begin. Sons are now grown, one with a family of his own, so our schedules really don't change that much anymore...so why so glum? I think it's because the things we enjoy about summer will end soon. Things like coffee out on the deck,  working in the yard after dinner, being able to walk outside barefoot and watching hummingbirds dart from feeder to feeder. The days will get shorter, it will get dark earlier and we will be spending more time inside.

It won't be long before I adjust, I will begin to enjoy the fall and all the activities that go with it. The cooler weather will be a welcome relief. It will be time to plant pansies and mums, and bulbs for the spring. The leaves will begin turning in a few weeks, maybe we will take a drive to see some fall color. We will make hot chocolate with marshmallows or maybe indulge in a carmel latte topped with whipped cream. It will be time to make soups and stews and maybe some bread. I can almost smell it as I type. I do like the smells associated with fall. Then there is football, not that I am a huge football fan or anything but I have sons who are, so I try to keep informed of how our favorite team is doing and will watch an occasional game. (when I don't watch I at least check on what the score was)

Fall means care groups that had gone on hiatus for the month of August will be meeting again. A new bible study will be starting at church....Ephesians. I will get used to the routine and begin to enjoy all this season has to offer and I will be thankful for each day.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Always Remember

I have been cleaning and organizing around the house, a very good thing, and came across a birthday card someone had given me many years ago. We were going through a difficult time in our lives and this card not only brought birthday wishes but some truths I needed to read during that time. This little card so impacted me that I used to keep it in my bible for a long time. I would pull that card out of that bible and read it and reread it, trying to hold on to what was true. Things got better and the little card was eventually relegated to a drawer, seemingly lost forever until I found it the other day. Maybe this is something that you need to read today

                                             Always remember,  When God made you
                                             He did so with a purpose and a plan. He saw all the days
                                             before you lived one of them and placed over you the
                                             covering of His protective love, 
                                             He has allowed nothing to come into your life that has not
                                             first been screened through that love.
                                             His Hand has remained upon you to this very day.
                                             He calls you by name. You are His beloved child
                                             the apple of His eye...the delight of his heart.
                                             Today you are in the exact place he wants you to be,
                                             and tomorrow He will be with you as He has always
                                             been---in goodness, in kindness, in faithfulness.....from Dayspring Card