Have you ever thought about the many gifts that love brings?

Of course, GOD's love brings gifts beyond measure but I'm speaking of HUMAN love. When we let love reign in our actions, words, thoughts and attitudes, many wonderful and beautiful things happen...

...like patience, humbleness and forgiveness. Like kindness, gentleness and mercy. Some of these, in and of themselves, are often difficult things to practice. But graced with the oil of love they become easy and even pleasureable. Why do we shy away from them?

There are no limits nor barriers to the many-faceted graces of love. Love is given AND received by the unloved and unlovely, makes both parties more beautiful in each other's eyes and is NEVER a wasted act. Do I need to repeat that?

What is love, anyway?? Simply put, it is "a concern for the well-being of others". My husband gave
me that definition many years ago when we were dating and I must say that it about wraps it up in one neat and beautiful package, don't you?

So go out there and practice the divine act of love to your fellow human being. No one deserves it but everyone needs it. It isn't as difficult as you think and the rewards are priceless.

        This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. (John 15:12)


Drunk With Beauty

My heart is drunk with the beauty around me.
Every day my eyes search God's creation
for the beautiful, the amazing, the incredible.
Every morning I am motivated by the thought
of what beauty I will see that day.
The intoxicating wine of the stunning loveliness
of color and form with light and shadow
is overwhelming at times...
Thankfully, I have a camera to capture
some of those moments!


There are times when I catch an intoxicating glimpse
of the beauty of the Lord-
His holiness and power, His love and gentleness.
Oh, that I would search for that every day
as I do in His creation around me.
Oh, that it would be a motivation in my life,
in my service for Him!

"The earth in summer is brimming with beauty, beauty of such magnificence and variety and unembarrassed lavishness, ripe beauty, lush beauty, beauty given to us with such generosity and abundance it is almost scandalous.
Nature is not primarily functional. It is primarily beautiful...Which is to say, beauty is in and of itself a great and glorious good, something we need in large and daily doses (for our God has seen fit to arrange for this). Nature at the height of its glory shouts, Beauty is essential! revealing that Beauty is the essence of God. The whole world is full of his glory."
                                                                               - John & Stasi Eldredge, “Captivating”

...The whole earth is full of His glory. (Isaiah 6:3b)

For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty!...(Zacharias 9:17a)
 ...I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness.(Jeremiah 23:9b)


For All Who Have Mothers

Honor your father and your mother,
 that your days may be long upon the land
 which the Lord your God is giving you.
(Exodus 20:12)
(Click here to see another Mother's Day post.)


A Joy Dare (May)

I have decided to take the "joy dare" as described here by Ann Voskamp. I fear that I will forget on some days to write them down or won't have time. But I am going to try.
So each night or the next morning I plan to write down my "3 joys" for that day. I will be adding them to this post so one has to scroll down to see the most recent ones:

1. Gifts Tasted
   -A juicy, just-right-amount-of-sweetness-and-
    tartness apple.
   -Cafe com leite at a lady's house
   -God's goodness ("oh taste and see...")
2. Gifts Flat
   -Smooth, thin pages of my Bible
   -Windowpane glass that I wipe clean so I can take a picture through it.
   -Blue glass plate from which I eat my lunch of baked potato
3. Gifts Found in Difficult People
   -Beautiful smile
   -Faithfulness to attend church
4. Gifts Before 9 A.M.
   -Birds fluttering around in my yard
   -Coffee to wake me up
   -My corner to sit and read and think and pray
5. A Gift in a Sign/Smile/Snack
   -Sign: a child with a white horse (on our way to church)
   -Smile: Straight, perfect teeth in most people!
   -Snack: peanuts
6. Gifts Found In Christ
7. Gifts About Your Home
   -Homemade bread
   -Pink rose blanket
8. Gifts Inside A Closet
   -Necklace with a harp pendant
   -Alabaster box
   -New thingies to wear
9. Gifts Found In The Dark
   -Birds singing before sunrise
   -Moon partially behind the clouds
   -Sleeping husband beside me
10. A Gift Outside, Inside, Upside Down
   -A loveseat for the yard my hubby
    bought for Valentine's Day
   -A new electric beater (M's Day gift)
   -China cups sitting on a wall shelf
11. Gifts About Your Parents
   -Six books written by them, some of which 
    has some family history.
   -Exemplary, dedicated Christian lives
   -Their prayers for us (I miss that!)
12. Gifts Held In Hand Today
   -My camera
   -My Bible
   -Gift (for mothers) from church
13. Gifts Found In Your Mother
   -Inner strength
14. A Gift Picked Up, Put Away, Put Back
   -Clean dishes
   -Portion of food (that I wanted but resisted)
15. Gifts About You
   -Calmness (so I'm told)
   -Content to follow
   -More like Mary than Martha
16. Gifts Found In His Word
   -Comfort (Is.41:10)
   -Eternal security (Acts 16:31)
   -Instruction (I Sam.12:24)
17. A Gift In A Box, A Bag, A Book
   -Christmas glassware
   -Sentimental bookmarks
18. Gifts Unexpected
   -A colorful bird in a tree
   -Good attendance at church
   -One pound weight loss
19. Gifts From My Childhood
   -Good memories
   -Loving parents
   -Scripture memorization
20. Gifts Sweet, Sour, Salty
   -Homemade grape jelly
   -Swiss lemon-aid
21. Gifts Found In Little People
   -Looking up to me
   -Cute photos
22. Gifts That Made Me Laugh
   -Conversation with friends
   -Animal antics
   -Husband's pun
23. Gifts Found In Community
   -Paved streets
   -Flowers in front of houses
24. Gift In A Plate, Pot, Package
   -2 slices of pizza
   -Hot soup
   -Goodies from the USA
25. Gifts Hard Giving Thanks For
   -Physical pain
   -Emotional pain
   -Mental pain
26. Gifts Worn, White, Whispered
   -Warm wool socks
   -Washed sweater
   -I love you
27. Gifts Found In Church
   -Blue glass in windows
   -Verse projected on screen
   -Smile with handshake & hug
28. Gifts In Today's Work
   -Promises of prayers
29. Gifts At 8AM, 12PM, 8PM
   -My corner
   -Relaxing moments
30. Gifts Blue
   -Husband's shirt
31. Gifts I Gave Today
   -Thank you's