Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘blessings’

They’re All Carrots


They’re All Carrots

orange carrots on table

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In My Devotional Today

Rick Hamlin likened our act of praising God to the act of munching on a handful of carrots.

Rick said he ate carrots as a kid not because some adult said they were good for his eyes or his health, but simply because he liked them.

“Whoever said the things that are good for us
have to be hard or come as a result of great struggle
or simply taste yucky?” Rick Hamlin asked.
“Think of… the carrot, not the stick,
about how people are motivated by rewards
rather than threats or punishment…
Praise, thankfulness, enthusiasm,
kindness – they are all carrots, not sticks.”

Carrots in the Classroom

When I was in my last two years of teaching, before I retired (from public education, but not from working) in 1999, I had a group of second graders that I had taken on from first grade.

Our classroom “Discipline Plan” was a set of rules with rewards. They were as sweet as honey! Our classroom theme was a garden. Bees (with the students’ names on them) flew above, in, and around the bulletin board garden. In the soil were listed rules such as “Bee Courteous,” –  “Bee Honest” – and  “Bee Helpful.” A favorite one was “Lettuce Carrot for One Another.”

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If a student was caught BEEing good, exhibiting one of the characteristics mentioned in the rules of conduct, their bee would “fly” into my apron pocket – the pocket with a heart on it. A heart would be drawn on their bee’s body. At the end of the day, the bee flew back into the paper garden, and the thoughtful child added a paper seed to their garden plot on the bulletin board. At the end of the week, all bees that had hearts on them would have their seeds traded for a plant – a vegetable or fruit or flower to “grow” in their plot. (I wore a different colored apron each day of the week – inspired by Patricia Mckissack‘s book, “Ma Dear’s Aprons.” It’s one of my favorite children’s books.)

 

Just that little act of recognition – taking the bee down, tucking it into the heart pocket, and saying, “Thank You for BEEing ________,” – encouraged more students to do likewise.

Carrots in Our Daily Walk

If we “carrot” for one another on a daily basis, we will find ourselves munching on praise, thankfulness, enthusiasm, and kindness. Our gardens of compassion will grow, and we’ll bee happier people. Guaranteed!

We need to carry lots of “carrots” – and eliminate the “sticks”  – on our daily walk. Thank and praise God for the acts of kindness and compassion shown to us each day. Bee caught BEEing good!!

 In today’s devotional in Guideposts,
Rick Hamlin went on to say,
“God likes us to praise Him because it’s good for us.
It feels good.
The words are sweet in our mouths,
nourishing, crunchy, and satisfying. Irresistible.
Like munching on a handful of carrots.”

vegetables market basket carrots

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Praise God! And thank Him for His wonderful blessings.

Then go out and pay it forward.
Remember you are blessed to be a blessing.
It’s all a bunch of carrots!
Meant to be shared…

Munch on love!

heart of love
See ya tomorrow!

Newness


Meet my new great-granddaughter: Sienna Cantwell.

She was born early this morning (6-5-19) weighing 8 lbs. 10 oz. and she’s 21.5″ long. A healthy, beautiful baby.

Congratulations to Hope & Drew!

Naomi’s Nurturing News


Welcome to Day #14
of my A-Z series:
Adding Meaning
and
Finding Purpose
in Life

Today’s letter is “N”

The title, “Naomi’s Nurturing News” is inspired by the Biblical account of Naomi, a destitute widow. The story is told in the book of Ruth.

We all have a lot to learn from Naomi and God’s steadfastness in her life.

When a famine occurred in her home area of Bethlehem, the widow migrated with her two boys to Moab, where she intended to ride out the famine – and then eventually return with them –  where she imagined her sons would marry hometown girls. She dreamed of living a productive and happy life near them, filled with grandchildren.

However, her dreams were shattered when her sons married Moabite women, produced no grandchildren, and then both sons died. She did eventually return to Bethlehem, but she was a beaten-down woman who told her old friends who greeted her by name to call her “Bitter” instead.

With God working behind the scenes, a few chapters later, we see a transformed Naomi, filled with joy and a new zest for life. Yes, our God is an awesome God. The Good News from Naomi’s story is the power of nurturing love to bring life’s true meaning and purpose to fruition.

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Naomi’s Nurturing News

Naomi is a woman whose story
Inspires me to want to know
How to develop her nurturing spirit
And watch my family’s greatness grow.

Naomi moved from Jerusalem
To Moab with her two sons.
She dreamed that they would marry
Israelite women – but they were not the ones

The boys selected for their wives –
Instead Moabites were chosen
And when her sons both died,
Naomi’s life seemed hopelessly frozen.

She told her daughters-in-law that
Jerusalem was calling her home.
“Stay here and remarry,” she encouraged.
“Don’t come with me to roam.”

But one of those lovely ladies,
(Ruth was her name, we read),
Told Naomi she would go with her
And take care of her every need.

In spite of Naomi’s objections,
Ruth did exactly that – she went –
And stayed with Naomi faithfully;
Loving her back with every second spent.

Naomi’s nurturing spirit
Helped Ruth find Boaz, her new love,
And eventually came the baby, Obed,
A gift from God above.

Instead of dying bitter and alone,
Naomi’s life was full, not hollow.
Her nurturing spirit invited love –
Her faith is an example we can follow.

Don’t let life’s troubles stop your heart
From reaching out to others in love.
The more you give, the more you’ll get,
In blessings galore from our God above.

prayer time

Luke 17:6 teaches us, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

Naomi’s story reminds me that life is not always fair. Our dreams do not always come true. We will have days (maybe even months or years) of questions, wrestling, and searching for answers. But, God has room for our questions and our searching. God is with us during our periods of bitterness, our uncertainty, and our doubting. God does not give up on us.

To find more meaning and to ultimately fulfill our purpose in life, we need Naomi’s mustard seed faith. We must trust God and cling to Him. Develop consistent prayer time … regular, open, heart-felt conversation with God. He will give us what He gave to Naomi: a new zest for life.

Trust – and work with our nurturing God as He writes a new chapter in your life.

He has promised to protect and provide for you all your life. Pick up your mustard seed faith – and watch Him fulfill His promises in you!

See you tomorrow.

Inspirational Monday


Remember you are blessed to be a blessing!

Know someone who’s not feeling well? Find a little something to deliver to them today or send a card or visit with your best smile!

I’m volunteering at the medical center today. Greeting those who come in, walking them to their designation. We used to call folks like me “Candy Stripers” back in the “good ole days.” High school volunteers who wore red & white candy striped vests. Here we are retirees who are part of the Auxiliary. We’re the “Purple Ladies.” I showed you the group in a post last week with the check we donated after our annual fund raiser. A great bunch of giving ladies!

Are you a “giver”?

Is there a group you can join or start who will reach out to others in your community?

Or are you already a part of one? Tell me about it.

Cold, Colder, Coldest


Don’t you just love this winter blast of arctic air?

 

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Hang in there!

It IS warming up…

Look at that…
up to -5 by 9:00 pm…

That’s worth staying up for!

Happy Sunday, my friends.
God bless you!
Stay warm!

person holding coffee filled mug

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Spice Up Your Life (Haiku x4)


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Add spice to your life
Salt your days with rest and praise
Take time to relax

Add pepper daily
With personal time to pray
You’ll taste the difference

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Use leisure as time
To greet Jesus in your soul
He is there waiting!

God bless you this day
Health, strength, and vitality
Are His gifts to you

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Which Blessing Do You Need?


Blessed are the ____ for they shall ______

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The Beatitudes are a series of blessings
well-known by most Christians.

Usually when I read them, I think:
They are for others
… those folks long ago …
or “hurting” folks today.

But rarely do I see myself in them!

I’m not trapped…
I’m not hurting THAT much!

close up finger hurt pain

… or am I?

How are we hurting?
Each of us has an area of vulnerability.
Each of us has a past that haunts us when we give it permission to emerge.
Each of us has need for forgiveness.
None of us is immune
from identification with the Beatitudes.

Jesus preached
in the Sermon on the Mount (The Book of Matthew, chapter 5:1-12) blessing the:

  • poor in spirit,
  • those who mourn,
  • the meek,
  • hungry,
  • merciful,
  • pure in heart,
  • peacemakers,
  • those who are persecuted and insulted.

He told each of those how they would be blessed and invited each to “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…”

The blessings included:

  • The Kingdom of Heaven
  • comfort
  • inheritance of the land
  • satisfaction
  • mercy
  • seeing God
  • rejoicing

In The Artist’s Rule,

the book I am reading/studying, by Christine Valters Paintner,
we were invited to write our own Beatitudes.
I invite you to try it, too. It was an enlightening exercise.

Let me share my results with you:

Blessed are the broken,
….. may they find the Glue of God.
Blessed are those in pain,
….. for their endurance is heartening.
Blessed are the parents who’ve lost children or spouses,
….. for their pain is unfathomable, but their love is endless.
Blessed are those who serve others,
….. may they also be served.
Blessed are the lonely,
….. may they feel the presence of God.
Blessed are the homeless,
….. may they know the Promise of their eternal home.
Blessed are the caregivers,
….. for their compassion is great.
Blessed are those who seek to know God,
….. for He is in them.
Blessed are we in our imperfection,
….. for we recognize the One who is Perfect.
Blessed are the lame,
….. for their perseverance strengthens us all.
Blessed are the weathered,
….. for they have dwelt in the sun.
Blessed are the scarred,
….. for they have fought the battle and won.
Blessed are the tarnished,
….. for they shall sparkle with the balm of forgiveness.

We all are tarnished.
… all in need of blessings.

Which blessing do you need most?

God bless you!

blessings signage mounted on wall

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