February Flew Fast!!

February already has a tendency to ‘zoom’ by so to speak; it does have only 28 days after all.  Our winter camp meeting also takes place every February for a full week and immediately following this, the music festival at our local college happens.  This camp meeting was especially wonderful for me as one of my dearest friends came with her family to stay with us during the meeting.  It was a great time of fellowship!

Music Festival was February 10th and they added the strings to the performances this year.  This meant violinists could showcase their talent as well!  In past years, piano and voice were the main events along with a theory written test. All of our children received the highest scores possible on their pieces.  Our youngest son (who performed on piano even though guitar is his primary instrument) was given a 3/4 size cello by his former teacher at the event!  He has prayed for one since last June so needless to say, he is very excited!

February 13, 2018 a sweet elderly lady from our church passed away, days after her 84th birthday.  She will be greatly missed! We had a wonderful graveside service for her.  The Lord made a great day for it the following Monday.  Clouds kept the sun off of us, there was a gentle breeze, and the ambient air was a great temperature.  Mrs. Hoffman was a genuine lady with a heart full of compassion.  One year, my husband was between jobs and she made sure that each of our children had a nice Christmas gift on Christmas morning.  We hadn’t said anything to anyone about our Christmas plans and teach our kids that Christmas is about sharing Christ more than getting a gift.  They had great attitudes even knowing Christmas would be a small affair.  God used Mrs. Hoffman that year, 2011, those gifts are all still found in their rooms today.

All of these events have really kept me on my toes and out of my computer chair.  I’ve been keeping up music practice both at home and at church and started learning the key of “F” to my practice last week.  So far, I’ve only done “C” and “G” on piano.  I have dabbled a little bit on violin as well in the key of “A” but this needs a lot of work.  Oddly enough, bowing a violin or cello “feels” much more natural for me than strumming a guitar.  It kind of drives me crazy actually!  I’ve invested a lot of time in guitar heretofore and it still feels a tad alien to me.

I want to thank all my readers for their patience with me.  I do apologize for the lack of posting!  What do we do when we fail to meet February goals?  We take inventory, dust off, and try again in March.  Here’s to improving in March!  I’ve got a feeling we have the luck of the Irish for this upcoming month! 😉 Hahaha

Until next time,

Davi

Journey Learning To Play Music As An Adult

Did you hear that? She was born with such talent!

Have you heard something similar?  I know I have, in fact, most of my life I heard that musical people come from musical families and it is a genetic thing.  “Either you’re born with it, or you’re not!” That is another thing I heard all the time.  This comment always puzzled me since babies are not born speaking English or German, or any other language, they are taught how to speak the language by their parents.  Growing up on a ranch I also saw my fair share of calves being born.  They do walk pretty quickly but, they don’t just start off amazing at it.  In fact, I bet if they didn’t need to learn so quickly so they could reach for food, they may take a few more days getting better at it because they fall a lot on that first day.

My Inner Struggle

In 2010 I began a real struggle on the inside.  I desperately wanted to learn more about music and how to play at least some of it.  However, I was paralyzed by fear and of the lie I had been conditioned to believe.  I was taught, whether on purpose or not, that music was to be reserved for only certain people, those who were born with a natural God-given gift that I was most certainly not  given.  More over, I believed that adults could never learn music, learning music was only for children, special children, of which I was not.  These lies I believed choked my desire to learn, I would find myself wandering through a book on music in an emotional tirade thinking I was not good enough or smart enough to understand any of the concepts outlined.

TED talks to the rescue!

I’m pretty thankful for YouTube as silly as that may seem; I found TED talks on YouTube when looking into the possibility of an adult learning to play music.  Adults have fully formed brains and if we didn’t learn music as a child, our Corpus Callosum is smaller; therefore we can not learn music because it requires a LARGE Corpus Callosum!  Well, thankfully, this may not exactly be the case, you see as much as human knowledge has improved (we think anyway) there is still much to be learned about the brain, thyroid, and well just the human body in general.  Watching TED talks gave me hope that 1) learning never has to stop 2) an adult brain can adapt and learn new pathways at least some and 3) proper nutrition has more to do with brain function than ever known before.  Jonathan Harnum wrote a book, The Practice of Practice and it really changed my view on my ability to learn this new skill, music.  I highly recommend that you read it.  Obviously, I may never be as good as my children since they started music at a very early age but that doesn’t mean I can’t be good enough to play quite a few songs my friends and family enjoy!

The Commitment

Every week I try to set aside time to practice, that is really the biggest detractor from adult learning, you know, all those responsibilities.  We all run around chasing kids, pets, trying to keep order in the home and still maintain some me time.  Now that I know I can learn music, I actually find it truly relaxing to play the portions I do know well.  Now, while I’m learning a new concept and creating a new neural pathway in that gray matter, it is work!  Sometimes I even think I feel a heated “tar” being laid over asphalt in my brain, so don’t be fooled into thinking adults can learn music means it is easy.  However, it’s work that I love!  I know that I’m fulfilling a life long dream of finally learning piano and violin!  I’m helping to keep my mind sharp and giving my brain power up for later on in life in the event I do suffer from a stroke.  Exercising my brain with music is building alternate routes for the future if I ever need them.  Moreover, I know that I am currently making a joyful noise for my Lord and Savior and one day, one day, it may even be played skillfully for all of you to hear!

Psalm 95:1 O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Psalm 33:3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

My DD made me this cover sheet for my music binder.  I can tell you she knows I struggle on guitar!  She just thought this cover would be so funny. HaHa For some reason both piano and violin just click in my brain better.  I’m pretty sure that brain signals crossfire when I pick up a guitar.  I know what I’m supposed to do with a guitar but for the life of me I haven’t been able to make it click into place.  Sneetch number 2 on the other hand is a natural guitarist.  He loves it, is largely self taught, and can also play piano!  He doesn’t enjoy piano as much but he plays it well and if he loved it like he does guitar, I’m pretty sure he’d be just as good on one as the other.  It’s already difficult for those who don’t listen to him daily to tell which was his first choice instrument.  Now he wants to start flute as well.  You can be assured this house is rarely quiet unless we are all sleeping.

MomsMusicCover

I hope that this inspires you to at least consider picking up an instrument and fiddle with it.  I’ve got a couple of videos, albeit very amateur ones of what I learned in the first 3 or 4 months of practice.  I need to make some more since I’ve learned a tad on the violin since then. My Music Progress 1 My Music Progress 2 I’m almost too embarrassed to even show these videos but, everyone has to start somewhere!  I’m even more embarrassed that I’ve only made 2!  My hope is, by documenting the change over time, someone can click through and see improvement and be inspired to at least give it a good college try!  Let me know in the comments below if you play or think you may now!

Well, it’s getting late so, as always,

Until next time-

Davi

January 2018 is here!

Well, it’s here ready or not!  We rang in the new year last night with our church family and I must confess I ate way too much but it was really yummy!  I had some organic eggs and gluten free blueberry Van’s waffles so, at least it wasn’t all bad despite being too much.  Good food is even better with great friends!

I’m sure many of you are now reviewing your list of resolutions and telling yourself this year will be different, I will make myself accomplish these! Our New Year’s Eve service at church was different this year and I’d like to share what I learned from this lesson we were taught.

Normally when I hear “turn to Luke 16,” I think of the story of the rich man and the beggar Lazarus, in fact I recently read a blog that discussed this very same passage on the two men.  I have heard a lot taught on the rich ruler who begged for even a drop of water while he was tormented in hell and how he asked for someone to be sent back to his brethren to tell them and warn them of the awful place called hell.  I was taken a little off guard when we went to Luke 16:1-9 and I was a little ashamed to admit I had almost forgotten that the chapter doesn’t start at verse 19.

Luke 16:1 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.

And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.

Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.

I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.

So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord?

And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.

Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.

And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.

In verse 4 we find the one and only use of the word “resolved” in the Bible which is about as close to “resolution” as we can get.  Let’s see what we can glean from this selection of scripture as we consider our plans for the new year.

First let us look at a definition from dictionary.com about the word “resolve” which means “1.to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine (to do something) 2. to separate into constituent or elementary parts; break up; cause or disintegrate 3. to convert or transform by any process and 4 .to reduce by mental analysis” In order to prevent being redundant I  used the most common uses of the word listed. 

Now, the servant here is wicked and dishonest with the goods and wealth he has been entrusted with.  I get the idea he was managing the wealth about as well as Bernie Madoff in our current day.  The steward was caught presumably by one of the other people employed by the rich man and like most people who are caught doing wrong he began to panic regarding his future.  Notice in verse 3 “the steward said within himself, What Shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.” He is speaking within himself, a mental analysis of resolving begins here, with an unstable future he must reflect on the things that have lead up to this event and how to prepare a future that is better than being homeless or incarcerated.  Certainly we must be able to take an honest account of our own lives in order to make any resolutions to produce a better outcome in our own future as well however, this steward is full of pride and speaks only with himself, not God when making his mental analysis.  What shall I do? I can’t, I’m ashamed even though I alone am responsible for where I am, no mention of how he hurt God with his dishonesty or violated God’s trust and law. He doesn’t mention God at all during his surmising.

Also, the steward admits to himself that he has no useful skills at all.  He can not even so much as use a shovel to dig a hole.  Surely the servant was somewhat educated just as Bernie Madoff himself was educated both in the laws of God and in upper level college courses.  However, both of these men seem to believe it was easier to make money by being deceitful rather than by using their intellect to provide a useful service.  We are not told how old the servant here is, perhaps he was also of advanced age when the whistle was blown regarding his Ponzi scheme and therefore he was unable to even dig a hole outside.   Perhaps the steward did not take care of his health and was unable to do physical labor even though he was young or maybe he had a medical condition, we can only speculate, either way he was not skilled at any type of service for others that could offer him a living wage.  Although he is capable of determining that he has no skill, the steward chooses not to endeavor to develop a skill for his future.  I find that very interesting, it seems that his resolving may not actually be to become a better person rather, he just wants to ‘feel’ better in the future. I also get the idea he has a victim mindset here as well, “my lord taketh away my stewardship..” notice that he makes mention of who is taking away his title but fails to be honest with himself that his own actions have taken away his stewardship, his master is just enforcing the laws that exist.  This reminds me of a child who was caught with a hand in the cookie jar and another hand filled with a cookie.  When the mother takes away the cookie, the child is upset with the mother, not himself for the disobedience of taking his mother’s cookie without permission.  The mother did not cause the child to take the cookie although she must enforce the rules of the household lest the home be run by chaos itself.  Obviously the master would not have knowingly given stewardship of so much wealth to a man he knew would steal and it is equally ridiculous for the steward to attribute blame to the master for “taking away” his job, yet that appears to be what he does.

The steward’s mind now takes another direction, begging for bread.  The idea of sitting on a street corner reduced to poverty makes the steward shudder to think of it at all.  He is far too prideful to be reduced to such a thing.  Psalm 37:25 “yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” must have rang in the ears of the wicked servant as he contemplated what begging bread would mean for him as people walked past him.  All of this mental analysis has lead to the steward breaking up into elementary parts the different courses of action he could take, he has used 2 parts of the word resolve already, let us see what else he does with this word.

A ha! The servant has it, an idea popped into his mind, lets call all the people that owe money to the master and reduce their bills.  Now the servant has firmly fixed himself on a definite course of action and begins earnestly about the resolution at hand, to “get in good” with those who owe his boss before they find out that he has lost his job. Verse 5, 6 and 7 show us that this steward is certainly wicked because the only idea he can come up with to save his future is to again steal from his boss.  The steward doesn’t care at all and shows no remorse over having committed a crime.  This also shows us how selfish the steward is, he is only helping to benefit the people that are in debt in order that he can pave the way for his own future.  However, his master did commend him for doing ‘what he could’ to take care of his future.  I suppose many in the shoes of this steward would consider suicide a way out like Mark Madoff did.  Even Bernie and Ruth Madoff said they attempted suicide as well.  This steward was at least willing to keep living despite the humiliation of having lost a well paying job and the reputation of a good name.  The master even considered it somewhat wise to make friends with those who have the means of obtaining money so the servant will not go on homeless.  Ruth Madoff kind of did the same by living with her sister and later her son and somehow avoiding a prison sentence herself despite being the bookkeeper for her husband.  This steward used “any process” including stealing again to “convert or transform” his lowly future into a more desirable one.

How will this apply to us as Christian ladies you may ask? Well, do we really want to use “any process” to convert our future into a better one or would we prefer to seek God and His will first?  In the end, this steward still looses even if he finishes his life here in ease and with a full belly.  He never repented of his sin and so still has a record of broken laws with God on judgment day.  Further more, God does not receive any glory from this servant who has done foolishly, not one person can look at his life as see God reflected.  The servant has spent his life trying to do his own will his own way.

I challenge you as a Christian lady to reflect on the “resolutions” you have been unable to keep on your own and be honest with yourself.  Were those things you consulted God about first? Are they actually sins in your life you need to repent of? Are you trying to ‘convert’ things your way or are you allowing the renewing of your mind through the word of God? Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  Contemplate with me, are my resolutions failed from previous years because I haven’t confessed them as the sin they are and instead try to fix it in my own way with my own will and deny the Holy Spirit and the power of God himself the ability to transform me into the image of Jesus Christ? Friends, I would rather be guilty of just about anything other than denying the Lord himself to work in my life and create in me His perfect picture and will.

I will be honest, I have felt the Lord wanted me to write and learn music since 2010.  Every year I have failed to write much at all.  I would always tell myself, such and such happened and I just don’t have time.  Friends, the bible says “redeeming the time because the days are evil” and we all do what is important to us right?  I confessed to the Lord, I’ve not used my time wisely, I’ve “wasted his goods.” as verse one says.  I do not wish to be counted as the wicked steward but rather as the faithful steward who used the little he had for the Lord.  Time starts off small, first filling up mere seconds that turn into minutes which become hours, days, years and finally your lifetime.  I want to fill my time with God and that starts with spending seconds capturing thoughts, minutes in prayer, hours in the Word, days in his service, years of grace and mercy that finally culminate in the blessed hope of eternity with Jesus in heaven forevermore.  If this is the life I want to reflect when I’m aged, I’ve got to stop filling my time with ME and fill it with HIM.  You wouldn’t fill your pockets with sand and run to the candy store for a sweet treat, you fill it with money, the world’s treasure and then run to the store and buy your sweets.  So, fill your pocket here with heavenly treasure and heap up rewards in heaven, the final resting place of a Christian.

Are you afraid of what God has asked you to do?  To be honest, I am still afraid of writing.  Writing about God is a sobering and serious thing to do.  Every idle word is taken down by the Lord.  (Mathew 12:36) In fact writing at all about anything makes me vulnerable since there are a multitude of people with differing opinions who will express them, as my friend recently said.  There is a healthy fear of the Lord we all need, especially when writing for him, but there is a fear that comes from the enemy.  This is a dark night, the word of God is hard to find in so many places, we need to publish it and put forth as much light as possible to hurting and dying world.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. God doesn’t intend ‘evil’ for us when he gives us His will, He intends it to bless up, to earn compound interest, to gain large dividends in heaven, treasures unspeakable.  Certainly fear the Lord and give him reverence, but do not fear succeeding in the will he has given for you and your family! Obedience to God is for your own good, he wants to bless you, he loves you, he isn’t a mad scientist in the sky trying to see if you can find the cheese.

So, how about it? Do you need to confess something as sin, truly repent and finally see good success in this new year? Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”  There it is folks, our blueprint for a prosperous new year with good success, it has nothing to do with eating peas!

Happy New Year!

Until next time-

Davi

 

Looking Forward 2018 Book List

I can hardly believe that 2017 is nearly complete history now!  This time of the year, a lot of people are making New Years Resolutions and reflecting on the things that went poorly this year.  I’m not sure you about you, but I often forget to look at the good things that happened during the year unless they are really big like, one of my best friends got married, or another out of state friend had a baby, etc.  The negative seems to linger more for me.  Since I’ve pin pointed this dilemma, I’ve decided to remedy it by making lists to track my accomplishments during the year.  It’s not a new concept really, I mean when you’re in school you get report cards that keep you in touch with how you are progressing.  I can not really remember even 5 of the books I’ve read in 2017!  I know I read many (my overdue library fees will prove it!) Are you compiling a list yourself?

Our sweet little bookstore, Read It Again, is going out of business this year, December 31, 2017.  It’s really pretty sad for us since the owners have watched our children grow up over the last 10 years.  The silver lining is, we were able to use up our store credit and the books were 40% off as well.  With $33 dollars of credit in tow, DD and I went shopping!  Here’s a list of much of what we found and what currently makes up my 2018 reading list.  The books are not in a particular order.

Build Your Author Platform by Carole Jelen and Michael McCallister (2014): I hope that this book will still have relevancy since my end goal is to write full time.

Sim and Schuster Handbook for Writers by Lynn Quitman Troyka and Douglass Hesse (2005): I’m sure this will come in handy!

Teaching Developmental Reading by Normah A. Stahl and Hunter Boylan (2003): It’s probably a good idea to freshen up on “how” to read so I can also learn to write better.

Two Parts Textbook, One Part Love by Louanne Johnson (1998): This seemed interesting!

Lessons From A Lifetime of Writing by David Morrell (2002):  Hope this will get me a little bit of a jump on the learning curve.

Yankee Home Hints by Earl Proulx (1993): because my homemaking skills can always use a little tweaking I’m sure. 😉

Blue Mountain- Turning Dreams Into Reality by Susan Polis Schutz (2004): I’m excited about this one!  I hope it inspires me and ya’ll… I got this one brand new in the shrink wrap, a retail of $35.95 for $3.60!  Gotta love a bargain for your frugalista self!

Incidental Music- Remarkable Stories About the Worlds Greatest Composers by David Ott (I can’t find a year): I’m really stoked about this book too since I’m an aspiring musician and love to hear stories of real people years ago.

A Short Guide to Writing About History by Richard Marius and Melvin E. Page (2002): I have always had a desire to write some sort of historical book.

What’s Yours is Mine Open Access and the Rise of Infrastructure Socialism by Adam Theierer and Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. (2003): I have no idea what to expect here, but it was very inexpensive so, why not!?

Defense of the Faith or Christian Doctrine by Albert Garner (1956): I really like the very old Christian Writing from the 1800’s and early 1900’s so 1956 is a little “new” for me but I thought I would give this a try.

Unfashionable Convictions by Bernard Iddings Bell (1931):  Again, a little newer than I generally like but, the title was alluring.

Cupcakes by Susanna Tee (2006): Everybody needs a new book on making cupcakes once in awhile. num num DH is looking forward to reviewing this one with me, only he will do the eating not the reading!

Zone Meals In Seconds by Barry Sear and Lynn Sears (2004): It’s a cookbook but i have no idea what zone meals are.  I sure look forward to having food in seconds though!

Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson (1999):  I didn’t get this one at our book store, I ordered this one off of Amazon.  It looks like it may be able to offer some information on the art and science of homemaking and I always desire to improve there, especially in house keeping and clutter control (my biggest area of failure).

Cold Knights: Two Brothers: One A Prince by LeRoy Clary (2017):  I saw the cover and have looked forward to reading this since!

GotBooks

I plan to review all of these books, we shall see how the endeavor goes!

What do you think? Did you get any ideas for your book list?  Get started today, not much time is left before we start a brand new year.

Until next time-

Davi

Bloom Baby Bloom

I really love sunflowers!  One of my childhood memories involves my father planting a field of sunflowers.  That year, I must have been around 12 years old, it rained, and it rained good!  You see, I’m from an area of Texas that literally hinged on 3 words all my life, IF IT RAINS.  There were green blades of grass, the little “buttercup” flowers came up with green leaves, the Mesquite was even green!  Daddy knew the birds would fly and we’d have a good hunting season, he also knew I loved flowers, so he killed two birds with one stone and planted an entire field of sunflowers.  I loved riding out with daddy in his truck to see them grow, we’d go as often as possible and I loved how the “head” of the sunflower would “wake-up” in the mornings and follow the sun and then “bow it’s sleepy head” in the evening.  Many evenings those sunflowers would shelter a deer family.  It was a wonderful time, filled with life and joy all around.  When the sunflowers were fully grown I remember standing under them and feeling as though I was actually “Alice” in wonderland.  I’ve tried several times to grow sunflowers here in Florida and I have yet to be successful.

This year we decided to have our towering pine tree removed.  It was such a beautiful tree, I really enjoyed it the three years we had it but, it was located in a bad spot and with the hurricanes here, we were asking for trouble; so, I reluctantly agreed, it was time to cut it down.  I encouraged myself by making plans to save for a new tree, perhaps a fruit tree like, lemon, lime, or tangerine and tried not to be sad about the pine. With winter approaching, I didn’t want to buy anything right away, I felt a good rest would do the lawn some good so, I tabled a tree purchase for now.

Fall is may favorite time of the year but, it does get busy so quickly, I often feel I could loose my head if it weren’t attached.  One day, I was looking out of our dinning window and I noticed something growing near the area our pine stump had been ground down.  I went outside for a closer look and I thought, perhaps, just maybe, it was a sunflower. (I’m not exactly a botanist okay.)  Allowing the plant to grow proved that it was indeed a sunflower after all.  I couldn’t believe it, I finally had my very own sunflower and I didn’t even know how it had gotten there!

All this time, I had tried to follow the instructions given to me on the packages of seeds I’d bought and I waited until March to plant my sunflowers.  A precious friend of mine now passed on told me that squirrels were more than likely eating the seeds I buried year after year.  Hazel, living well up to 89, had been a very experienced gardener over the years and I enjoyed her hydrangeas and gardenias every year.   I knew she was a gardening authority worth trusting so I had nearly resolved to just give up and then this wonderful sunflower popped up just after my first Thanksgiving since she had passed.

I’m sure that the equipment used to cut our tree down had a sunflower seed on it.  The tree was removed in the middle of September and we have had an unusually warm winter with a few odd cold days thrown in.  Even the Walton Outdoors website (www.waltonoutdoors.com) says that sunflowers should be planted no later than the end of August for a fall crop so, I was very happily surprised to see this beauty.

What can we learn from this bold sunflower that choose to bless me this fall?  Well, I believe we can learn several things from nature if we will listen and pay attention.  After all, hasn’t God told us to observe his creation when he said, “go to the ant thou sluggard Prov. 6:6” and “be instant in season and out of season 2 Tim. 4:2.”

One of the first things we can see from this little sunflower is, the ground was prepared.  The sunflower would have had a difficult time growing directly under the old pine tree.  The needles would have blocked the sunshine and the roots of the pine were well established ensuring the pine would easily sip away the water and nutrients.  When we had the stump ground up the roots of the pine no longer drank all the water.  The fine mulching left behind aided the sunflower seed during germination and the direct sun warmed the seed and called it to grow.  Is there a giant pine tree in the fertile field of your heart preventing the seeds God’s planting in your heart from sprouting?  Luke 6:41b “but perceivest not the beam that is thine own eye?” Perhaps you even like your pine tree but, God’s been trying to show you, it’s just time to have it removed, it’s in a dangerous place in your life and it’s just time to cut it down with the Word of God and grind the pulp for a new seed God is ready for you to have.  Perhaps this seed is something you’ve been trying to do for awhile and you just keep failing because this towering pine sips all your energy, and sheds pine needles down on you.  The pine tree doesn’t even have to be a “sin” but rather it could simply just be a “great waster Prov. 18:9.”  Once this pine tree has fallen and the stump is ground, not only will God have a clearing for His seed to go, you will have a clear view straight to the Son of God, His love will warm your heart as you begin the next phase of your life.

Next we can see the flower respond to the sun in it’s newly prepared place.  The seed needs to be nurtured out of it’s shell so to speak and the sun and earth help it to germinate, first the root, and then the stem begins to pop up.  When we begin a new phase in our lives, the Lord bathes us in beams from His Son as we read in the word, he waters the seeds he has planted as well.  Slowly, we begin to develop a special strength for this new phase as the Lord himself nurtures our heart and soul. As we yield our lives to the Holy Spirit, our seed becomes a baby plant unfurling itself before the Lord as he coaxes us out of our tight shell and into His light.

Now, the sunflower is fully grown and it’s bright petals reflect the glory of the Lord himself who gave the little flower not only it’s life, but it’s full color to beam outward for others to gaze upon as well.  This tiny seed black seed only about a half a centimeter in size or so is now bright yellow and well over a foot tall.  The black of the seed can represent ashes and the new bright yellow plant can represent beauty; sunflowers are beautiful.  Jesus also takes our ashes and gives us beauty in return.  Although bringing in our ashes can be a painful time, we have hope in the promise Jesus has given, to give us beauty in their place, once we have handed Him our ashes. (Isiah 61:3) The roots are strong and sturdy, supporting the plant in the wind, rain, and cold; the plant follows the sun with it’s “head” and points to those looking on, “look up there, there is the sun.”  We too root in the word of God so that we are not blown around by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14), and reflect the direction of the Son on our faces as we follow his will.

Finally, the sunflower didn’t argue about where it was planted, it just received the spot it was given.  Nor did the sunflower dispute the well known fact that it’s “too late” to plant this year’s sunflowers.  This sunflower was planted in the “last hour” (Matthew 20:12) of 2017 and since the Lord knew it would be a warmer winter, the sunflower bloomed beautifully!  Although there may have been a better time in the farmer’s almanac for a sunflower or even a better place, nothing can take away the fact that THIS sunflower was a blessing for me to gaze upon while sitting in my dinning room.  Often it is easy to read about Esther the queen and think, what a time to live in! Or perhaps you’d like to meet Mary the mother of Jesus and ask her what it was like to be his mother? (I’m sure it wasn’t an easy task!) Don’t get stuck wondering why you are in “this place” or why you are in “this season.”  Your time is now, God is here now just like he was before, he still asks you to bloom NOW despite the conditions you are in and show the world, the direction of the Son.  There are so many barren fields; dry, cold, empty just waiting for you to plant your flower there and point the way to the Son.  Don’t let the devil discourage you by telling you it is just not the season for flowers; you’re not too old or too late, you’re here to please the Lord and point others to Him, so just Bloom Baby Bloom!

Isaiah 61:11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Until next time,

Davi Todd

 

 

 

The Power of the Written Word – Authorship

Have you ever wondered why everyone is not out here in cyberspace writing a blog?  Yes, I know there are lots of fish in the cyber sea and I am just one of many hundreds, thousands, millions actually. However, many thousands and perhaps even millions could also have a blog, maybe even a profitable one; so, why don’t they?  Writing can be intimidating!  On the face of it, it does seem silly that putting together a string of letters to form words and then sentences would actually be scary but, for many people it is.  In fact, I myself have fallen prey to this fear of writing for others to read although I actually like to “write” as long as no one else reads it.  Words have power, especially written words.   Have you heard the old adage “the pen is mightier than the sword”?  Well, in many cases it is true.  One of my mother’s favorite quotes is, “Say it, forget it. Write it, regret it!”  I’ve found after nearly 15 years of marriage that “say it, forget it.” is often true, as far as the “write it, regret it” part, well the bible says in Proverbs 10:19a “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin:” so, I’m sure there will be times I mess up, I’m still human and no one is perfect, only Jesus ever accomplished that.  When I fall short, I hope that readers will remember my frame, that I also am just a human that makes mistakes and have a forgiving heart.  

In my early twenties I attended a few political gatherings (remember the forgiving heart!), mostly just to meet new people in the area I had recently moved to.  I remember someone saying there, though I don’t remember who, that one handwritten letter to a congressman is worth about 13,000 emails to the congressman.  The logic behind this was that emails can be auto generated very easily but a person must purposely set aside meaningful time to actually find paper, ink, envelopes, stamps and TIME to write a handwritten letter.  Time is valuable to highly successful people so, when they know a person has spent enough time to organize thoughts in a letter with the old fashioned pen and paper, those words are very highly valued to the addressee, even if the words are harmful; they provided a valuable insight about something or someone to the addressee.  Now, I certainly can’t say that this has caused me to write a lot of letters to my congressman or even the city council, but it has shown me that words are valuable and they can and do have an effect of us whether we realize it or not.  

Words can be intimidating because they evoke fear.  Once you’ve written it, an expression of what was already in your heart has manifested.  Once you’ve published it on the world wide web, it’s there forever to be a reflection of your life whether that be good or bad.  Not only that, often words will be twisted and used against you in way you never intended them to be taken.  Sometimes we have very passionate thoughts that are not easily transcribed in our current vocabulary, wherever we are on our learning journey, and we choose a word that misses the mark of the thought or emotion we truly meant to express.  I know in my case, these fears have kept me from publishing a single word on davitodd.com until just recently.   As I pondered over my blog, I realized that this fear of people I’ve never even met was choking out a desire to share the good things I have learned in my short life so far.  After reading 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” I knew that allowing this fear to rule over me was not smart and not of God.  

Be brave just like Davy Crockett!  My father used to encourage me to be brave with this little taunt when I was a girl.  Once I identified that “fear” was the root cause of my lack of action and that “not enough time” was really my justification for being afraid, I sat down to make an action plan.  I began to pray and ask God for guidance about writing, blogging, new time management goals, and anything else that came to mind.  On one of our family outings to the local library, I found out that a new writers group had formed so I signed up for it and have been to two meetings so far.  Although I still mostly observe, I look forward to pushing myself into new journeys and expanding my horizons.  I’m older now and although I can hear my daddy say, “Come on Davi Jo, be brave, just like Davy Crockett!”, I’m a Christian now so my battle cry shall be, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him[Jesus] that loved us.” Romans 8:37  

If you’re interested in following along the life of a little ole’ housewife working on overcoming fear, learning new things, and making a cozy little home, stick around! I look forward to meeting you and hope to encourage you along the way of life’s journey. Thanks so much for stopping by and spending time with me today, I truly appreciate it.  Leave some feedback in the comments and help me grow. Would you like shorter more frequent posts or longer more detailed posts?  Are there any topics you’d like me to cover? Are there fears holding you back and keeping you from accomplishing a desire you have?  I’d love to see your thoughts!

Until next time,

Davi