Dragonflies abound this time of year. The iridescence both on their wings and their bodies captures my attention. I enjoy them for their beauty but also because they dine on the mosquitoes that often plague so many of us.
Wanting to know more about these insects, I did a little research and learned some very interesting facts. The dragonfly moves at an amazing 45 miles an hour. It’s very agile and can hover like a helicopter, fly backwards like a hummingbird, fly straight up or down and to either side. It does all of this while flapping its wings only 30 times a minute, compare to 1000 times a minute for a housefly. This power in its wing strokes is what makes it look so graceful.
In almost every part of the world the dragonfly symbolizes change. It lives most of its life as immature. There’s only a fraction of its life that it’s actually able to fly. For this reason, for the short time it has, it needs to live life to the fullest. This living in the moment is what resonates with me.
When I live life in the moment, I am totally focused on God. His power is sufficient to guide and sustain me. My boring life is forgotten and I am willing to enter into the new adventure that he has in store for me every day.
Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence. 2 Corinthians 5:17 GWT
My husband and I went to a buffet restaurant when we were on vacation. The one we chose had five stations, each with food selections from different regions of France. There was also an elaborate salad bar and a large dessert area. The abundance of food was staggering.
We thoroughly checked out each area before deciding on our selections. I found myself bypassing items that were not familiar to me and sticking with what was tried and true. Eventually I did try a few new items. One was disappointing, another was something I didn’t care for and the third was a new taste treat.
The whole experience reminded me of life. God has prepared an enormous buffet of experiences for me to enjoy. Everyday there is a fresh new selection to choose from. I wonder how many I have passed by without a second glance because I’m looking for what is familiar. There are many blessing I will miss out on if I’m not willing to try something new. Not everything will be right for me, but I won’t know until I try it. What I do know for certain is that if it is something God has prepared for me, there will always be a benefit to the experience.
For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:9 NIV
A severe hail storm hit the seasonal RV Park where our trailer is kept. We weren’t there at the time but received an email advising us that the storm had done quite a bit of damage and suggesting we check our trailers as soon as possible.
Upon inspection we discovered that our roof vents had been shattered. We were prepared to find water damage inside but were quite surprise by what we found waiting for us.
Planning on doing some cleanup on our site, we had dropped of some large Rubbermaid bins the previous week. Unsure of where to place them so they wouldn’t be in our way, I had put them on the bed. One of the broken vents was above the bed and a bin was in the perfect spot to collect the water that came in. This was something we didn’t plan, but the bin placement saved the mattress and floor from getting soaked. I looked at this in awe, knowing that this wasn’t just a happy coincidence.
To me, it was a beautiful illustration of God’s protection in my life. When I cry out to God, he stills the storms in my life. My distress is lessened and the damage is minimized as I allow Him to guide me to peace and safety.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Psalm 107:28-30 NIV
I have heard it said that giving is receiving. This has proven itself true many times in my life.
In previous years I have given my time as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Due to changes in my life, this is no longer possible. BBBS has a vision that every young person realizes their full potential. This was something I couldn’t easily walk away from.
God showed me a way that I could still support this worthy organization. He had given me the words needed to write a book of short inspirational stories. Two of the stories were based on my mentoring experience with BBBS. While the book was in the publishing stages, I felt a strong desire to use it as a way to give back to my community. After much prayer, I approached BBBS with the idea of giving them $2 from every book I sold. They are a donor supported and volunteer driven organization so didn’t hesitate to accept my offer.
In late June, just four months after ‘Inspirations From The Everyday’ was released, I was able to present them with a cheque for over $500. The joy I received from giving this gift was incredible. I knew that this little book, privately sold, was making an impact on the lives of many who would never come in direct contact with it. I am blessed to be able to honour God by willingly sharing the gifts that he has given me.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV
In many churches today the words of the songs are projected either onto a large screen or a wall, making it easy for people to follow the words and sing along.
My husband and I were attending a large gathering where we were invited to sing along with the person on stage. There was no projector for the words and we were told we’d need to sing “off the wall.” That meant that we couldn’t rely on the words on the wall. Instead we would have to go by memory which meant singing the words “by heart.”
The words “off the wall” also had a different meaning for me. When I’m not doing what others expect of me, I might be referred to as “off the wall.” On occasion, my sense of humour has also been referred to that way!
Thinking about this, I realize that my “off the wall” times have been when I haven’t relied on outside prompts. They are the times I have been my true self, and done things “by heart.”
To me, this is the best way to honour God. He wants me to depend on Him and what He has planted in my heart, and not on outside influences. This is accomplished by praying and then waiting for His leading. When I do this, I am “off the wall” in the best way possible.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3 NLT
Camping is something that our family enjoyed for many years. Our methods of camping have evolved over time. We started by camping in tents, using camp stoves for cooking and kerosene lanterns for light.
There was great excitement when we moved up to a tent trailer. Now we had foam mattresses under our sleeping bags and a sink and icebox right in the trailer. Many happy hours were spent as we traveled with our tent trailer.
Eventually the stitching on the canvas started to deteriorate. Repairs took many long hours and were not long lasting. Our children were growing up and no longer wanted to camp with us. The tent trailer was abandoned.
In the past few years we have started camping again, now with our children and grandchildren. Our camping has changed as each family has their own large trailer. These ones have all the amenities of home. It is inevitable that one day these trailers, too, will become outdated and replaced by something new.
The camping abodes we have used over the years remind me of my earthly body. It, too, has become worn as it has aged. The difference is that when I am done with this body, God has a new heavenly body waiting for me. The one he has prepared will never become old or outdated.
For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2 Corinthians 5:1 NLT
Our strawberry plants have flourished this year. We have already harvested more berries than ever before and there are many more still growing. After some very sparse years, it’s exciting to be reaping this bounty.
We haven’t done anything different with the plants this year. They have been cared for in exactly the same way as previous years. Perhaps it just took them this long to mature to their full potential.
This is a fairly accurate description of my life. There have been times that I have worked hard but not obtained the results I had hoped for. Sometimes the disappointment has been enough to make me quit. I may have even been in reach of my goal but just not realized it. Dreams and goals will never be achieved if I give up.
Fortunately, God has never given up on me. No matter how long it takes to mature into the person he wants me to be, he is always there nurturing me. In his loving care my life can reap a harvest like never before.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
The regular aquasize instructor was on vacation and the one filling in introduced a few new exercises to the class. At one point she was talking about using the resistance of the water to get better results from the workout. When she said, “Resistance changes your shape,” my mind went in a completely different direction.
Over the years I have learned that when I resist things that are good for me, my shape does change. If I resist the apple and have a couple of chocolate chip cookies instead, it’s my physical shape that changes.
Overall, I believe that it’s my emotional well being that has suffered the most due to my resistance. When I refused to accept something new or different, I got ‘bent out of shape’. Certain that my way was right; I was not willing to consider other options. My stubborn attitude didn’t make me pleasant to be around. This resistance caused me to miss out on new experiences.
Looking back, I can see that my resistance has often come from a fear of the unknown. Once I learned to put my trust in Jesus, the fear and the resistance lessened. When I relaxed enough to trust him with the outcome, my life has been far more fulfilling. He has proven over and over to me that when I pray and rely on him, he can accomplish so much more than I ever could on my own. My shape has been changed, not by my resistance, but by the loving guidance of Jesus in my life.
I have commanded you, “Be strong and courageous! Don’t tremble or be terrified, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 GWT
My husband and I attended the Canada Day parade in our city. The crowd of spectators was composed of people of all ages who had come out to celebrate the birthday of our country. Flags were waved and many wore red as a sign national pride. All were in a very festive mood. It was clear that those gathered were proud to be Canadians and to live in what we consider to be one of the best countries in the world.
Since it was a holiday, people were free to take part in the many activities happening around the city. The finale to the day was a spectacular fireworks display at dusk. It was a fitting end to a day of celebration. Such displays of pride in our country took place all across this vast nation.
We are not the only country to feel this way. Many countries have days set aside as national holidays, to celebrate the uniqueness of their homeland. Each has people proud to be citizens of that country.
No matter what country we live in, we are citizens of heaven. One day we will all be reunited in heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ. That is the best cause for celebration.
But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. Philippians 3:30 NLT