Wheels

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAWhile driving on a highway that is a major trucking route, something unusual caught my attention. It was an empty flat deck trailer that had a few of its wheels raised off of the road. After pointing this out to my husband, he told me that if I watched, I would see more of these. I soon noticed this on other big rigs as well, not just on flat decks.

He explained to me that without a heavy load, not all of the wheels were needed, so some were raised up to save wear and tear on them. In this way they would be in better condition when they were needed to support the load.
Not only was I impressed with this clever idea; it was also something I could relate to everyday life. There are times in life when we carry heavy loads and need all of our strength to keep moving. At other times our load is light and we should conserve our energy for the next time it will be needed. Just as not all trucks have the ability to lift their wheels, neither do all people have the ability to preserve their strength. It is by trusting in God and giving him the control of our lives that we receive this gift. He knows what is in store for us and gives us exactly what we need to get through whatever situation we are in.

For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you to bear is light. Matthew 11:30 (NLT)

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Purple Hair!

purple hair photoI willing allowed 2 young women to bleach sections of my hair and then dye it purple! Why would a conservative person such as me do such a thing? The answer is simple, because I care about building a relationship with these young women. You see, they are my granddaughters and trusting them to do this spoke volumes about my feelings for them.

When first asked, my thoughts were conflicting. Part of me thought it would be fun. The other part argued that it might look ridiculous and someone like me just didn’t do this sort of thing. Deciding to be spontaneous, I went for it. Although it didn’t turn out exactly as I had imagined, I am enjoying the comments I receive!

When one person asked me about the colour in my hair, I jokingly said that our children may have made us grey but our grandchildren make us much more colourful. As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I realized how true that was. In the business of life we tend to let the colourful, spontaneous part of ourselves fade away. By the time our grandchildren come along, we don’t have the same pressures so can relax and allow ourselves more time to have fun with them. This is when we rediscover the joy to be found by stopping to explore everything around us.

For someone who normally likes to ‘play it safe’ my impulse to try something different has been a big eye opener for me. Wanting to be sure that I make the right choice has often been paralyzing for me. Not long ago, when I was putting off a decision, I confessed to a friend that if I didn’t decide, then I couldn’t fail. As soon as I said it, I knew that was wrong. By not making a decision, I am failing. If things turn out in my favor, it was a good choice. If not, it’s a learning experience. In either case I am moving forward.

God did not give us a spirit of fear but of trust. I trust him to guide me. He can take any mistakes that I make and turn them into something he can use.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT)
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Juicing

juicing photoAfter hearing several people enthusiastically share about juicing during the past few months, I decided to try it for myself. Being very practical, I didn’t want to buy an appliance that I may never use again, so put out a call to see if anyone had a juicer to loan me. Many replies telling me how much I would love juicing came in. This should have encouraged me, but instead made me nervous. What if it wasn’t a good experience for me?

A friend offered to loan me her juicer and although I took her up on the offer, second thoughts were creeping in and it took me weeks before I actually made arrangements to get it from her. Then, I had almost a month of wondering when a good time to start would be. Excuses to put it off were very plentiful. It seems the hardest step to take is the first one. Finally I started my 3 day juice detox. Following a plan with the menus and recipes set out made it easy for me to complete. Surprisingly, the juice tasted good and I did not feel hunger or a craving for food. When I completed my 3 days, not only did I have a sense of accomplishment, but I had lost a couple of pounds and felt healthier.

For me, the big lesson here is about much more than juicing.  I need to stop second guessing myself and looking for excuses. God wants to work through me and this can only be accomplished if I trust him and take the first step in the direction he is leading me. Once I am willing to take that step he will lead me to do more than I ever thought possible.

Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. (Psalm 25:4 NLT)

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Appreciation

envelopeLast week I received one of the most valuable gifts I have ever been given. It came in the form of a written letter. This letter was from someone who wanted to let me know how much I was appreciated. My friend had verbally expressed appreciation for me before, but wanted to put it in writing. Reading the words had a profound effect on me. The fact that I can read them again at any time is priceless.

A few days ago I was one of many volunteers at a community event. Standing in the pouring rain, taking my shift as a crossing guard, I was happy and smiling at the people who went by. One of the main reasons for this was the appreciation that was expressed. The majority of people thanked me for serving in this way. Many offered kind words and one even offered to give me his umbrella! That evening I received an email expressing appreciation for my help during the event.

These experiences have reminded me the importance of showing appreciation. Even a difficult situation can be made better when appreciation is shown. I do my best to let people serving me know that I appreciate what they are doing. How often, though, do I make a point of letting loved ones know how much I appreciate them? It doesn’t always need to be for what they have done; maybe I need to let them know that I appreciate them for who they are. How will they know if I never tell them?

One that deserves my constant appreciation is Jesus. His love is faithful and he is always there to lead and guide me. He provides me with much more than I could ever deserve and I need to show my appreciation by thanking him every day.

Kind words are like honey – sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. (Proverbs 16:24 NLT)

My mouth is filled with your praise, with your glory all day long.  (Psalm 71:8 GWT)

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Grasshoppers

grasshopper imageI was standing in the grass on a highway median, doing my best to keep three little girls occupied while a tire on their vehicle was being changed. They were starting to get restless when I spotted movement in the tall grass. Showing them the grasshopper was a wonderful distraction. Soon we were on the hunt for more of these insects.

Two of the girls excitedly spotted several more and delighted in watching the hopping action. The other one complained that she couldn’t see grasshoppers; all that she could see were bugs! Explaining that these were the grasshoppers didn’t help. She wanted nothing to do with them.

Reflecting on this later, I wondered how often I have missed the wonder of something new because I couldn’t see past my perception of what I thought it should be. Life is full of exciting adventures but only if I open my heart and mind to accept and receive them. Immediately deciding that I don’t want or like something means I will miss these discoveries. It is when I forget my routine life and enter into the adventure that I can truly experience what God has in store for me.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV

Be inspired this week!