Saturday, January 21, 2012

Are you KIDing

So FINALLY there are now baby goats on the ground...KIDS!  For awhile I thought they were just going to explode!!  As some will recall I had said that I had told the whole maternity ward to wait having babies until the shepherd got home...WELL...I got home from work last night...checked and NOTHING was going I headed back in the house and since I knew that the shepherd was en route from the Stock Show...I thought I would wait and then go help him with chores.   And when we walked into the barn...there they were...two little baby goats laying on the ground...

I guess the shepherd  maybe named them nanny nanny so perhaps that is where nanny nanny boo boo comes... hmmm I wonder what they would think if I named one nanny and the other nanny boo boo...I'll tell Izzy...

Actually I think one does have a "boo boo"...a bad leg...the shepherd told Maryann (Jay's mom who claimed them as her grand goats)...the mama was not doing too good at taking care of them...that if she didn't hop to he would be sending them her way...It turns out the mama was more interested in trying out the straw than tending to her babies...

But the shepherd helped her out...gave them a little extra to eat and put them in the heat barrel.  So by this morning they were looking much better...of course a "bath" does wonders!!  Glad "Mom" decided that she had other things to do than just eat straw...Even though the shepherd is still threatening the goat's Grammy that she should take the one...and she has said send it her way...I think it would be a great mascot at school!! 

Having baby goats is a little bitter sweet as these are Jay and Izzy's goats.   Jay loved his goats and I include a couple pictures Jay had sent me last year from his phone when he and Izzy were delivering babies...and how I wish he were here to deliver these...I can remember the excitement he would have with each delivery...him and Tim talking on the phone about shepherding...and funny how Isabel loves those goats...

I always wondered why Jay got goats...he really didn't have a lot of place for them (even though I know that isn't really criteria in having them)...but he seemed to have a passion to have them and an excitement...he wanted to show them someday...and here it is Stock Show time...and I think of the memories made from the Stock Show...and perhaps these goats serve to remind us that life does indeed go on...
"Old Friends" Pete and Phyllis came by and hung out...

The Pennington Girls..."Say Cheese Kasey Jo"

Izzy and Uncle La...I mean LANCE...I mean Lance P...

Izzy and her mama...
Misty, Jay, Aunt Aum, Firecracker, and Patrick...more of my kids...
I come across these stock show pictures from last year...and think how in a years time how things can change...I think of Jay and Isabel and goats...of fun memories of stock show...speaking of friend Phyllis is now a Grandma...I think of Autumn preparing for a wedding and how though Jay would have gave her a hard time...I am sure he would have been happy with her choice of "Jay's friend Andy"...

So I include one more picture of the goats...this one seems to be sticking his tongue out at me...and I smile and am thankful that life does go on...even though we miss those that are not with us...really they are always with us...and we get little reminders...sometimes with a goat sticking his tongue out at you!


Friday, January 20, 2012


Have you been looking at the sunrises lately?   They are amazing...I mean they are the kind that just takes your breath away and so needless to say I have been playing with my "Ahma sized toy" and snapping pictures...this morning was fire red...we were discussing "red sky at night, sailor's delight.   Red sky in morning, sailor's warning."   However, I think we have red sky morning and night...why is it sometimes that the sunrises and sunsets are so amazing.   I sometimes think God gives them to me as an exclamation point...I hope you are looking at this mornings right now!

Anyway I shared one of my pics with my friend Mary who felt inspired to add yesterday's Eventide to my picture...I thought it was very cool so I am sharing here as well...

And it just makes me sing...I love when I get to watch the sun I wish I could wake up with such beauty myself (why doesn't the sun have to deal with crazy hair!...perhaps it is all burned off!!)  ANYWAY...yesterday morning I felt nudged to take more sunrise pics...when I went out there framed perfectly in between was the moon...and it seemed to say...see what can happen if you step outside of your "box"!    Look at what all we miss...when I had came back in from taking pictures...I had came across this scripture...they just seemed to go together...

So...I must say I am having so much fun with the pictures and just all of the creative part...the shepherd is taking the sheep up to the stock show along with his daughter and granddaughter and dad...I said that I have told the mama's to be put on hold until he gets back one could not wait so at 4:00 a.m. this morning he was up delivering a baby...I did my part and watched him on the lam-cam!   However, I must go to work and then of course...Lance the sheep show guy is fact he posted a picture of how hard he actually is working!   What a trooper...

Lance in the BVI...

Well I better head off for work as well...Though not blue pools...I do have some beautiful mud puddles out in the pasture that seem to glisten when those beautiful sunsets hit...I think you better check them out...I think I learned to appreciate them from my dad...he always pointed them out...and it would comment as to if it was a good one!   So have a great day...enjoy where you are...and step out of your never know what might be out there!!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012


And I look out the window and the snow seem to hit town so quickly accompanied by the wind--it acted like it might be quite fierce at one point...but then in a short time it passed...but there was a moment there...I was wondering how bad it might be!   That just seems to tie in with the theme I had going this morning "STUFF"!    It hit me while getting ready for work that you know we all have "Stuff"!    Can we really say well his stuff or her stuff is worse stuff...or I surely have the worst "STUFF".   To each of us our stuff is our stuff...and like the snow...sometimes it seems like A LOT OF STUFF when all we can see is what is around us right then and not the big picture!!!   If we would get the overview shot...we would see it wasn't near what we thought it was...of course that doesn't make it feel any less when you're in the storm...

I guess it is what we choose to do with that "stuff" that is what makes the difference.   Most times we tend to stuff our "stuff".   If I stick it deep enough one will know...NOT EVEN ME!    But you know I read this illustration the other was talking on depression.   I have started getting these devotionals e-mailed to me titled "Girlfriends in God" (though I don't think it is just for girls...)   Anyway  Mary Southerland wrote a blog titled, "Coming Out of the Dark P1".  I put a link in for you to read the whole thing...but there was one part that just seemed to go with the whole "STUFF"  theme...

"With that single heart cry, my journey from darkness into light began. The first step was to recognize the factors that can trigger depression; a lack of replenishing relationships, various chemical imbalances, and a poor self-image, just to name a few. One of the most common and deadly factors is failure to deal with the past. The "mire" mentioned in Psalm 40:2 means "sediment at the bottom." When our children were small, we frequented the beach. Wading out into the ocean, they took turns pushing a beach ball under the water and counting to see who could hold the ball down for the longest time. Eventually their arms would tire, or the ball would escape their control, popping to the surface. The "mire" in our lives is like that beach ball. The "sediment" or "junk" that we have never dealt with settles at the bottom of our souls, randomly popping up until we run out of energy to keep it submerged. Eventually, this mire works its way to the surface, spilling ugliness and darkness into every part of life."

And this just gave me such a visual as I love to take a ball and push it in the water and watch it pop to the top...yet when we try to stuff "stuff" probably isn't such a good thing...but you know we all do...we think if we hide it good enough...but you know God knows about our "stuff" anyway...  I read Psalm 40:2:

Psalm 40:2

New International Version (NIV)

2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
   out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
   and gave me a firm place to stand

Another visual...and I think of my morning devotional...I started reading "Jesus Calling - Enjoyng Peace In His Presence" by Sarah Young, and I keep finding more and more people who are also reading and I hope they are being blessed as much as I seems to just be talking to me where I am at...but today's was one of those that really makes you stop and think.   Stop and think about how I handle my "stuff"...

"TRUST ME by relinquishing control into My hands.  Let go, and recognize that I am God.  This is My world: I made it and I control it.  Yours is a responsive part in the litany of Love.  I search among My children for receptivity to Me.  Guard well this gift that I have planted in your heart.  Nurture it with the Light of My Presence.

When you bring Me prayer requests, lay out your concerns before Me.  Speak to Me candidly; pour out your heart.  Then thank Me for the answers that I have set into motion long before you can discern results.  When your requests come to mind again, continue to thank Me for the answers that are on the way.  If you keep on stating your concerns to Me, you will live in a state of tension.  When you thank Me for how I am answering your prayers, your mind-set becomes much more positive.  Thankful prayers keep your focus on My Presence and My Promises."

She lists scripture after the writing that I include...but again I encourage you to look up on your own...because there is usually MORE STUFF for you to read!

Psalm 46:10
New King James Version (NKJV)

 10 Be still, and know that I am God;
         I will be exalted among the nations,
         I will be exalted in the earth!

* * *

Colossians 4:2

New King James Version (NKJV)

Christian Graces
   2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;
* * *

2 Peter 1:3-4

New King James Version (NKJV)
3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

* * *

And I think again on my "stuff"...I think of those around me and their "stuff"...and you know we can choose to stuff our stuff down deeper...or we can choose to let it go...I recently was sent an e-mail that is one I have seen several times...but it is a good one as far as what to do with our "stuff"...

God's Boxes

I have in my hands two boxes,
Which God gave me to hold.

He said, "Put all your sorrows in the black box,
And all your joys in the gold."

I heeded His words, and in the two boxes,
Both my joys and sorrows I stored,
But though the gold became heavier each day,
The black was as light as before.

With curiosity, I opened the black,
I wanted to find out why,
And I saw, in the base of the box, a hole,
Which my sorrows had fallen out by.

I showed the hole to God, and mused,
"I wonder where my sorrows could be!"
He smiled a gentle smile and said,
"My child, they're all here with me.."

I asked God, why He gave me the boxes,
Why the gold and the black with the hole?
"My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings,
The black is for you to let go."

I am not sure who wrote the above...but I think it is a good one to this day choose what "stuff" you choose to stuff...and try and focus on the good stuff...

I include one of my favorites...I do not know who created it but...but perhaps it has more for us to think about....what I'm not sure...but sometimes we need to STOP what we are doing...and try something new...and so I am bumming because the one I tried to include of the penguin slapping the other penguin on the back and knocking in the ice water...I am not able to include so I put another picture that is grouped with it...and it surely has another lesson...and perhaps it is just to make you smile...and think about the good "stuff".


Wednesday, January 4, 2012


This morning at my kitchen table...I was a little later...a little slower...I was taking a sick day...but I came after the shepherd had headed off (and yes he is shepherding)   We began on Monday once Lance got here and I guess gave them the memo that it was time to begin!!   We are now at four ewes...there is a betting pool for the week...I have chose the highest number 7 so WE WILL SEE!   I am really not sure what I win...Lance said something about if I win I can come out of my bedroom and take pictures or something...I kind of didn't pay too close attention because as my friend Debbie would say, "Ya'll are just being ugly!"  

But like I had said earlier that this year the new devotional Mary and I are doing is "Jesus Calling ENJOYING PEACE IN HIS PRESENCE" by Sarah Young.   And I look back at what I had just written and I see that it says that Mary and I are "doing"...and I start to change to reading...and I think NO there was a reason...we should be DOING and not just reading about it!   Anyway I must say I have enjoyed the short and sweet writings that take me off to a variety of places...I am sure many say...SHORT SWEET hmmm take note Penny...I try really I do!!   So anyway this mornings “reading” I thought was a good one with good food for thought!

It starts out, "I WANT YOU TO LEARN A NEW HABIT" to which I wonder hmmm I seem to have plenty of habits already...should I really have a new one...but I read on:

"Try saying, "I trust you Jesus" in response to whatever happens to you.  If there is time, think about who I am in all My Power and Glory; ponder also the depth and breadth of My Love for you.

This simple practice will help you see Me in every situation, acknowledging My sovereign control over the universe.  When you view events from this perspective--through the Light of My universal Presence--fear loses its grip on you.  Adverse circumstances become growth opportunities when you affirm your trust in Me no matter what.  You receive blessings gratefully, realizing they flow directly from My hand of grace.  Your continual assertion of trusting Me will strengthen our relationship and keep you close to Me."
I go and read each of the references...

Psalm 63:2;   And though I read it I am caught instead by 63:1 "O God.  You are my God.  Early will I seek You, My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water."    And I think of early in the morning...a time I love coming to my kitchen table...and I give thanks for the puddles around many of us understand the dry and thirsty I give thanks for mud...for puddles...

Then I came to  Isaiah 40:10-11;  Again I would encourage you to go read each because sometimes there is always so much more to show you...this morning I went to Isaiah 40...I know I have read it part of it contains one of my MOST FAVORITE of all Isaiah 40:31.   But I include in here the whole thing if you want to read it makes me smile thinking of Mary telling me a story yesterday of a guy going into this planetarium...and seeing this display of the whole universe and of it clicking to him...of him getting IT!  Mary of course told the story much better to me as I do better having something in writing so I can read it and reread it...but the point is there...and so I include Isaiah 40 that I copy from which is pretty cool in how easy it is to find:
Isaiah 40
New King James Version (NKJV)
Isaiah 40
God’s People Are Comforted
 1 “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!”
      Says your God.
2 “ Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her,
      That her warfare is ended,
      That her iniquity is pardoned;
      For she has received from the LORD’s hand
      Double for all her sins.”
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness:

      “ Prepare the way of the LORD;
      Make straight in the desert
      A highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be exalted
      And every mountain and hill brought low;
      The crooked places shall be made straight
      And the rough places smooth;
5 The glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
      And all flesh shall see it together;
      For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
6 The voice said, “Cry out!”
      And he
[b] said, “What shall I cry?”

      “ All flesh is grass,
      And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades,
      Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
      Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
      But the word of our God stands forever.”
9 O Zion,
      You who bring good tidings,
      Get up into the high mountain;
      O Jerusalem,
      You who bring good tidings,
      Lift up your voice with strength,
      Lift it up, be not afraid;
      Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand,
      And His arm shall rule for Him;
      Behold, His reward is with Him,
      And His work before Him.
11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
      He will gather the lambs with His arm,
      And carry them in His bosom,
      And gently lead those who are with young.
       12 Who has measured the waters[c] in the hollow of His hand,
      Measured heaven with a span
      And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?
      Weighed the mountains in scales
      And the hills in a balance?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD,
      Or as His counselor has taught Him?
14 With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him,
      And taught Him in the path of justice?
      Who taught Him knowledge,
      And showed Him the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket,
      And are counted as the small dust on the scales;
      Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing.
16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn,
      Nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering.
17 All nations before Him are as nothing,
      And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless.
18 To whom then will you liken God?
      Or what likeness will you compare to Him?
19 The workman molds an image,
      The goldsmith overspreads it with gold,
      And the silversmith casts silver chains.
20 Whoever is too impoverished for such a contribution
      Chooses a tree that will not rot;
      He seeks for himself a skillful workman
      To prepare a carved image that will not totter.
21 Have you not known?
      Have you not heard?
      Has it not been told you from the beginning?
      Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
      And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
      Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
      And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
23 He brings the princes to nothing;
      He makes the judges of the earth useless.
24 Scarcely shall they be planted,
      Scarcely shall they be sown,
      Scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth,
      When He will also blow on them,
      And they will wither,
      And the whirlwind will take them away like stubble.
25 “ To whom then will you liken Me,
      Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high,
      And see who has created these things,
      Who brings out their host by number;
      He calls them all by name,
      By the greatness of His might
      And the strength of His power;
      Not one is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
      And speak, O Israel:

      “ My way is hidden from the LORD,
      And my just claim is passed over by my God”?
28 Have you not known?
      Have you not heard?
      The everlasting God, the LORD,
      The Creator of the ends of the earth,
      Neither faints nor is weary.
      His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak,
      And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
      And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the LORD
      Shall renew their strength;
      They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
      They shall run and not be weary,
      They shall walk and not faint.
And I decided I wanted to copy this in my journal...I put it in the back so that I can find it easily and I start writing and end up having to go backwards…you see it is always a bike ride...and as I start writing, I note that I usually write in black...unless I have used up all resources of pens...but today I had this urge to pull out one of my colorful pens to highlight the two verses that I had put up above in purple.   Well I grabbed from my whole collection of "INK JOY" pens I got for Christmas.   You see I am not really one who makes lists for Christmas...I like the surprise...the thought that goes into the gift.   HOWEVER, this year I had been asked several times what I wanted for Christmas to which each time I would reply, "pens".   See since I have been writing seems that I go through pens fairly quickly and so I was so excited when Tyler gave me a whole collection of PaperMate InkJoy pens...and on the back of the package...which makes it all the more cooler it reads:

Paper (two hearts here) Mate
The InkJoy Story

"Our mission was simple: To develop a revolutionary ink system that would give you the best in effortless writing.  We wanted to give you a pen that starts quickly without dragging, requires minimal pressure from your hand, and delivers crisp, clean lines every time.  but most of all, we wanted to bring back the joy to writing, so it felt right to call it InkJoy.  We hope that you feel the joy whenever you write with and InkJoy pen.
And I copy from my journal "And I have changed to a purple "InkJoy" pen from my Tyler collection...I had thought I only needed to write in black but it brings a brightness, a color, a joy!   Though there are times to write in black (in darkness) there are also times to write in JOY! 
And so I say thank you Tyler...because I am sure most of us know...we ain't just talking pens...but I have so enjoyed the whole writing experience and while it has helped me through dark times...I also am thankful for it being there in joyful times!!   And I would hope these pens would keep me from dragging…crisp clean line…minimal pressure…and above all…feel the “Joy” when you are writing.

So I come to the last scripture in the group...Psalm 139:7-10.   But because it is so easy I include the whole chapter:
Psalm 139
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
 1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
         You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
         And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
         But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
         And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
         It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
         Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
         If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
         And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
         And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall[a] on me,”
         Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
         But the night shines as the day;
         The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
         You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[b]
         Marvelous are Your works,
         And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
         When I was made in secret,
         And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
         And in Your book they all were written,
         The days fashioned for me,
         When as yet there were none of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
         How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
         When I awake, I am still with You.
19 Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
         Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
20 For they speak against You wickedly;
         Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You?
         And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
         I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
         Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
         And lead me in the way everlasting.

And the last part...Search Me...Know My heart...boy these are ones to think on and so I give thanks for the color in my day...and I share another one of my gifts...taken from my Christmas camera an amazing gift from my kids…but it is of a sunrise the other morning out my kitchen window...I love the old cottonwoods...even though they are showing the age of time...they seem to have such a distinctness and in this season of their life...without leaves...still give hope that spring is coming...and there is some mud puddles to help it...

May you have a day of color...


Mary sent me the story...worth the read... epiphany at the alder

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Discipline...Zippity Do Dah

So it seems that very word just keeps haunting me and here it is New Year's Day and many are making their New Year's Resolutions...I probably do not really make New Year's Resolutions per se...I make random resolutions...multiple times throughout the year...the problem is they do not always seem to stick!  I seem to lose FOCUS...I know that is hard for some of you to believe...So thus probably this could be a part of the very word--discipline.   I am speaking of the word does almost have a negative feel to it...when in reality if implemented correctly can be completely opposite...However, I do struggle with those that are so disciplined that they sometimes miss the spontaneity of a moment because they have something that is clearly too important not to do.  Granted there are moments...but there are moments when you just "go with it".   

I have this recent picture in my mind...Christmas day in fact...and I was having well for all technicalities I was calling it lunch...even though I told others 2 p.m...really not the traditional time for lunch...but as I seem to march to this different drum...others have excepted it and to some extent accepted it.    So needless to say...we spent a wonderful time Christmas morning opening gifts and before I knew was time (maybe even past time even though the shepherd had gotten some items done) to get the meal ready...HOWEVER, there was one little Firecracker who had her mind set on a bath...and nothing doing but that Ahma needed to give it to her...there was a part of me that started saying we cannot do a bath right now...when it seemed a peace came over me and is what it is...we are not under a time clock...we will not starve...there is food for everyone to eat if they are hungry...and so with the assistance of Great Grandma...we got our bath took and though I must confess "lunch" was not ready at 2:00...turns out the partakers were not ready then either...something of getting stuck in the snow...then others taking another vehicle down...but you know it was a great day and no one really seemed to worried about if we ate at 2 or 4!!   Or at least didn't tell me anyway...and I think of last Christmas...and how if I have learned nothing we may not have another I cherish the ones I have been given!  I cherish the fact that the Firecracker is growing up so very fast before my eyes...that I have to take these "opportunities" when given...and I think of Martha and Mary...

But again I may get off my point a little but I do think that there should be time for "life" and not always DOING...Although I think there should be balance...harmony I prefer...that satisfaction and peace that comes when in fact things are done...perhaps that harmony I might feel...if I was disciplined in eating and exercising...the rewards I am sure would outweigh the short lived burst of grabbing the wrong thing...of sitting in the chair instead of working out...and so though I am not sure how well I'll there are many other things I want to "accomplish" this year.   And as I was writing this in my journal...I was taken back and instead asked as to what things do I want God to accomplish through me this year...and though I am starting a new devotional...I went back to God though an old friend...

January 1 - Between the Years
Our Lord and our God. We joy in Thee. Without Thy Help we could not face unafraid the year before us.
I stand between the years. The Light of My Presence is flung across the year to come - the radiance of the Sun of Righteousness. Backward, over the past year, is My Shadow thrown, hiding trouble and sorry and disappointment.
Dwell not on the past - only on the present. Only use the past as the trees use My Sunlight to absorb it, to make from it in after days the warming fire-rays. So store only the blessings from Me, the Light of the World. Encourage yourselves by the thought of these.
Bury every fear of the future, of poverty for those dear to you, of suffering, of loss. Bury all thought of unkindness and bitterness, all your dislikes, your resentments, your sense of failure, your disappointment in others and in yourselves, your gloom, your despondency, and let us leave them all, buried, and go forward to a new and risen life.
Remember that you must not see as the world sees.  I hold the year in My Hands - in trust for you. But I shall guide you one day at a time.
Leave the rest with Me. You must not anticipate the gift by fears or thoughts of the days ahead.
And for each day I shall supply the wisdom and the strength.
I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk
 in darkness, but shall have the light of life.  John 8:12

And I am given this "Gift"...that I do not have to worry about what all will happen every day this year...I just have to take in day at a path will be lit...and I mentioned that I am starting a new devotional with my friend Mary...who last year had given me the "God Calling" the two listeners and we had started that journey and I am so thankful for that gift in the year that was...So this year we are starting "Jesus Calling--Enjoying Peace In His Presence" by Sarah Young.   It seems to be based on the "listening" concept.   One of those things that some days I do better than others...and I am trying to figure out if I have repeated myself as the words kept deleting off of here and so I have to come back and rewrite...trying to LISTEN closer...So I share today's from the new devotional...and I am excited for the upcoming year...

"Come to Me with a teachable spirit, eager to be changed.  A close walk with Me is a life of continual newness.   Do not cling to old ways as you step into a new year.  Instead, seek My Face with an open mind, knowing that your journey with Me involves being "transformed by the renewing of your mind".  As you focus your thoughts on Me, be aware that I am fully attentive to you.  I see you with a steady eye, because My attention span is infinite.  I know and understand you completely; My thoughts embrace you in everlasting Love.  "I also know the plans I have for you: plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Give yourself fully to this adventure of increasing attentiveness to My Presence." 

And I see she puts two Scriptural references at the bottom and realize that they are for the italicized portions..."Romans 12:2; Jeremiah 29:11".   Although at the time this morning I didn't think about this and so I had went to each of those and actually I think it is always good to reference and go check it out for yourself because oft...there is more...or you get the full view of the context...and so this morning there was I read it in the New King James Version and I came upon not only 11 but 12 and 13 as well...

"11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek
Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. "

And I realize what a lesson that I am receiving...a "feast" if you will that I wonder if I can digest it all...but I laugh at the Jesus Calling and  the whole focus if it were written just for me...And it goes on to say as if God were telling me that His "attention span is infinite".  Wow!   What a concept!  

So I see all these things and I am inspired...and I do not include many of the very "discipline" items that I had heard all week...but instead...I have Help...but I was given a daily calendar from a special friend...and yesterday's from "God's Way Day By Day" with Charles Stanley said:

"He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly" Titus 3:5-6

"God is looking for imperfect men and women who have learned to walk in moment-by-moment dependence on the Holy Spirit.  Christians who have come to terms with their inadequacies, fears, and failures.  Believers who have become discontent with "surviving" an have taken time to investigate everything God has to offer in this life.   God's method for reaching this generation, and every generation is not preachers and sermons.  It is Christians whose lifestyles are empowered and directed by the Holy Spirit."
"Imperfect" hmmm I seem to fit that bill...but I love that we can be used as we are...not when we become something different...and so I add in today's portion of the calendar as I hope it will inspire you as well...

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." 
John 10:10

"God has a master plan for your life, and that plan does not change.  It is a plan designed specifically for you.  It is a plan that God intends for you to live out fully, beginning at the moment of your birth and continuing until the moment of your death.  God's plan for you has a purpose, a blueprint for your particular life, a character-development plan, a communication plan, a call to service, a guidance plan, and a blessing plan...Your destiny is to be the person God has created you to be."
I don't know about you but that one just seemed to really inspire me...that no matter what age we are...God still has plans for us...I had seen something the other day on the thought that we do not do "good works" to be "saved" but we do good works because we know God...

And so I think this year...while I hope to work on many of my "areas needing discipline", home, organization, and I could put quite a list...but I do not worry about it...but I do have one that seems to be pressing...sharing God's Love with those around me...whether it be a smile...a kind word...a gift...or a prayer...I think of a beautiful example while recently shopping with the Firecracker...

We were in Hoffman's Drug Store...I think a familiar hangout for her and I come and I am sure her and Granddad Sheridan come because we had to look at the birds and the fish and she knew there was nothing in the gerbil cage...but as we were walking through the store...there was an older woman standing out in the middle of an area...I was not sure if she was waiting to check out or what...she seemed at first look to be a woman that I did not pay much attention to...while I did not judge her I noticed her hair not neatly combed...(although this would be nothing as it would definitely be a board in my the Firecracker and I were both probably adorned with our own crazy hair) her clothing was "comfortable" (another I know).  But maybe she just had something about the Firecracker marched right up to her and proceeds to tell her "five" and holds her hand out...she was wanting this woman to give her "five".    She was wanting to touch this woman and touch her she did...the woman readily knew "five" and their hands touched.   And at the moment they touched...a smile came to this woman's face...and I wondered how much "touch" had she had.   I think of those that live many hugs and hand embraces do they get?   And Firecracker went on to introduce me to the woman as though they were long lost friends..."This is Ahma".   The woman smiled and we talked for a moment...something I may not have done without this little child...And I thought of Izzy's daddy...of not knowing a stranger...and when I had shared the story with Izzy's mama...she said like her dad..."Old ladies need love too!"    But it was such a lesson...and so I carry it with me...

I think of our other shopping adventure...and the old man who was shopping with his wife...who had assumed the know the one of following his wife and having that pained look upon his face of how much longer will this agony continue...when Isabel seemed to instantly make eye contact with him and began singing at the top of her voice as she almost skipped down the aisle in the middle of a fairly busy shopping area..."Zippity do DA...Zippity Ay my oh my what a wonderful day..."    To which this man's whole posture and facial expression changed instantly and he grinned from ear to ear as he watched her skip down the way.   I love it...and though I know I do not have that same "Appeal" that one little Firecracker has...BUT I can take lessons...and give a touch...give a smile...give a song..."    So I look forward to this New Year and wish you all God's Blessings and Providence...and I say.

Zippity do of Firecracker's "Favowites"...and we love watching this one especially when the "kids" come on...

And I smile thinking how I have moved from DISCIPLINE to ZIP A DEE DO DAH...I know now that's a "bike ride" but I think perhaps I have learned a little something about maybe the SPIRIT and attitude in which I go into it...if I consider things as a "Gift" to be shared and not a "duty" that HAS TO BE DONE!!  
I continue playing with all my "Ahma Sized Toys" and love this picture that I was playing with...

I love this one of the Firecracker in her sheep jammies...and you can just feel that love and energy that she shares...

So I wish you all a HAPPY New Year...and Thank You!   God Bless!