It was my third day walking the narrow bike path through the woods. I’d had no problems the other days but this time I tripped, not once but twice. Within about ten minutes, each foot had taken a turn!
Both times, my body propelled forward. Both times, I managed to catch myself and regain my sense of balance so I didn’t fall. After the second time I was more aware of my steps. On my return I watched to see what my feet might have caught on.
There were several spots where rocks or exposed roots could have been the culprit. However, it was only a couple that actually tripped me. Maybe I’d been dragging my feet in certain areas. Perhaps, since I’d travelled the path before, I was overconfident and didn’t pay enough attention. Either way, it got me thinking of the things that can trip me up in life.
I have been known to trip over my own feet. I can’t even blame that on an unseen obstacle in my way. It is purely a case of not paying proper attention.
Come to think of it, not paying proper attention is generally what causes me to get tripped up. The trip may not be literal. It could be a slip of the tongue. It could be impatience, overconfidence or carelessness. Whatever it may be, I am always caught off guard.
Sometimes I am able to catch myself before any harm is done. Other times my action causes me to fall on my face. In embarrassment I look around to see if my error in judgement caused anyone else to stumble with me.
I pick myself up and vow to be more careful in the future. And I am, until the next time I forget and rush into something instead of slowing down and paying attention. I can’t be the only one and so I ask, what trips you up?
Once upon a time a man fell in love with a mother of two young children. A wedding took place and they became a family.
As the children grew, he was there to instruct and watch over them. They were nourished, cared for and disciplined when necessary. He loved his children. They loved him in return and knew he always had their best interests at heart.
Years passed quickly and the children became young adults. They were now old enough to make their own decisions. One day they approached their father with a question. “Will you legally adopt us?” they asked.
The man was overjoyed. He had always considered them to be his children. Now they wanted to officially state that they belonged to him.
This story flooded me with emotion. As a good father who had loved and taken care of these children for many years, the man now had the great joy of knowing the children were taking his name.
This man’s joy was an example of my Heavenly Father’s response when one of his beloved children comes before him with the same request.
I picture him rejoicing over each of his children who choose to be identified with His name. God’s arms are outstretched to receive us to himself. There is much more I could share about my Heavenly Father and my relationship with Him. For now, I’ll close by telling you, since I asked Him to make me one of His children, my life is more fulfilling than I ever could have imagined.
“Consider this: The Father has given us his love. He loves us so much that we are actually called God’s dear children. And that’s what we are.” 1 John 3:1
When the digestive enzymes my nutritionist recommended arrived, I was surprised to read the main ingredient was dandelion root. I’ve had to focus on the healing effects to help me get past the atrocious taste!
This product has given me a new respect for what I formerly thought of as weeds.
Dandelions are the most well-known plant in the world. I did a little research and discovered while I knew them by sight, I actually knew very little about these plants.
They are filled with nutrients and have health benefits too numerous to mention here. But these plants are useful for much more.
Dandelions have one of the longest flowering seasons of any plant. Bees pollinate and feed upon the flowers. Their seeds, nectar and leaves are consumed by various insects and animals.
Their wide spreading roots help to loosen hard packed soil and aerate the ground. They also pull nutrients from deep in the soil to make them available for other plants. As anyone who has attempted to rid their lawns of dandelions knows, the deep roots give them an incredible ability to survive.
All of these facts, plus many more I won’t bore you with, have caused me to rethink my attitude to these plants. Their value extends well beyond the joy children receive as they present a bouquet of these bright flowers to their mothers!
I wonder how many other things I have disregarded based on limited knowledge. Worse yet, have I done the same with people? Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. A passing glance is not enough to determine the value of another. It’s time to take a deeper look in order to understand, appreciate, and acknowledge the unique qualities others possess.
Over the years, I’ve received many lovely gifts. Some were beautiful and extravagant. Others were practical items I’ve used and enjoyed. Still others filled an unspoken desire.
Among those I count the most precious are words straight from the heart. I still have a letter written to me several years ago by my employer. In it she expressed her appreciation for me not only as an employee but also for my personal traits. This was a rare gift and I treasure it.
Recently I received a simple card with You Are written on the inside. Underneath, in various handwritings, were words like loving, understanding, compassionate, funny and caring. For me, this was priceless.
Many years ago, a man I respected told me he kept a file folder labeled “encouragement.” In it were placed encouraging letters, notes, and cards he’d received over the years. Words of praise, admiration, thanks and support were saved in this file. He would reread these when he was feeling down and they would always give him the boost he needed.
After hearing this, I started a similar folder. The messages contained inside come from various areas of my life. They are precious gifts, reminders of times my heart has touched that of another. Rereading them is like being wrapped in a warm blanket on a cold winter day.
Encouraging, affirming words can bring hope. They have the power to change a life. Spoken words are wonderful but I believe those written are even more important. Because they can be reread at any time, their impact can continue many years after they were written.
It’s been a while since I sent a note to let someone know I appreciate them. Every day is a good day to send or receive encouragement. In fact, I have a few people in mind to reach out to today. How about you? Can you think of someone to share the precious gift of encouragement with?