Pleasant Dreams

#inspiration, #God, prayerSomething had been troubling me since early evening. The issue had been resolved but my mind couldn’t quite let it go.

A few hours later, when I went to bed, the matter had finally been put to rest. Or, so I thought. Several times in the night I awoke after magnified scenarios of this issue took control of my dreams.

I would chastise myself for these negative thoughts and then fall back into a fitful sleep. Unsuccessful attempts to redirect my mind resulted in frustration and loss of sleep.

Eventually, I found the perfect way to calm my mind and drift into a peaceful sleep. I started to pray but instead of asking God to take away the troubling thoughts, I changed my focus. Instead, I concentrated on praising God and thanking Him for what He has done in, for and through me.

The Bible tells us, “He will keep in perfect peace, those whose minds are focused on Him.”

I experienced this fully when pleasant dreams appeared once again.

“My mouth joyfully praises you, whenever I remember you on my bed, and think about you during the nighttime hours.” Psalm 63:5-6 NET

One at a Time

#inspiration, love, Please welcome Kim Louise Clarke as my guest blogger today. Kim and I met through Inscribe Christian Writers Fellowship. Her first book came out in 2016, a devotional travel memoir, entitled The French Collection – Moments with God in Paris.

Outside my friends’ house, I waited for her in my car. Across the street, the movement of a swinging birdfeeder suspended from a tree caught my eye. It was a simple design: an open tray suspended by ropes from a branch about a metre above the snowy lawn.

The cause of the movement came, not from a bird, but from a squirrel rummaging around in the feeder. Nearby on the ground, a bird—a magpie as big as the squirrel—seemed to be pacing as if waiting its turn. No sooner had the squirrel hopped off the feeder to scamper down the road, than the magpie jumped up to see what it could find. And no sooner had the magpie flown away, than a tiny bird that had been waiting on its perch high in the tree, darted in to have its turn.

Because I’ve seen how magpies can torment squirrels, with three of them squawking and hounding one poor squirrel fleeing along a fence, this was like a peaceful scene out of Narnia. It was a short animal dramatization of I Corinthians 13, focusing on love. “Love is patient, love is kind. … It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered” (verses 4, 5).

How appropriate for February, the month of love, to see this reminder of how we should treat others. Even doing the little things, like patiently standing in a cafeteria line, waiting your turn, and letting others go first does not go unnoticed by God. It is by our loving behaviour that He is glorified.

My friend arrived and got into my car. We drove away with me chatting about squirrels and magpies. Having been exposed to one sermon, we drove off to church for another.

You can find out more about Kim through her website: www.kimlouiseclarke.com
To contact her email: writer@kimlouiseclarke.com

Acceptance

snow, spring, peaceThe date was May 3rd. I was attending a weekend retreat. When I looked out of my window in the morning I was greeted by the beauty of snow-covered evergreen trees. The snow, soft and gentle, continued throughout the day.

While this is not typical weather for this time of year in Central Alberta, it was no use being upset. There was nothing I could do to change it, so instead I chose acceptance. Mid-afternoon I decided to embrace the weather and went for a walk in the beautiful surroundings, enjoying the peace as the snow covered everything under a blanket of white.

There was a deeper lesson for me here. My life does not always go the way I had envisioned it. Sometimes the sun I long for disappears for a time. I can grumble and complain but the only thing that will accomplish, is to make me feel worse. What I need to do is not only accept my situation, but to make the best of it. God is always watching over me. Nothing I go through is a surprise to him. When I willingly leave it all in God’s hands, acceptance comes easier. He is able to make everything work for his good.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV