Sticky Notes

I have a thing for sticky notes. Fun or quirky. Bright or beautifully designed. Different shapes. Ones with quotes. Lined. No lines. Small, large, any color. The only exception is the traditional square pale yellow. None of that for me, thank you. Years of working in an office created a life-long love affair with little bits of paper. Even though I’m retired, I use them every day and get so excited when I see a new shape or color or find a funny one at a specialty or gift shop.

Staring at me now from these sticky notes at eye level on my desk….

A 3 x 3 pale purple on which I wrote, “I give myself permission to take care of ME.”

On a 3 x 3 pale pink with a tulip watermark I copied, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24”

A 2 x 2 neon orange square proclaims, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Nehemiah 6:3”

On another orange I scribbled a Jennifer Rothschild quote, “It is well with my soul even when it is not well with my circumstances.”

On a two-toned bright green one shaped like a thought balloon I jotted a Shakespeare quote, “My conscience hath a thousand several tongues, and every tongue brings in a several tale, and every tale condemns me for a villain.”

Theres a bright yellow flower-shaped sticky note with several scripture references on it. I have used sticky notes through the years to help me memorize Bible verses.

I wish these sticky notes were stuck to my heart instead of my desk! Some of them are stuck to my brain, and I hope they’ll work their way down to my heart eventually. But I don’t think there is enough of whatever that sticky stuff is on the back of the paper to make these words stick to my heart. They keep falling off. And I mess up. Again. And I forget to take care of ME. Or I let my circumstances dictate my feelings, and I get my heart broken. Again.

And I guess that’s why I have them stuck at eye level on my desk. So that every morning, I see them again and read them again, somehow embedding them into my mind and my heart, reminding me once again that I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. To hide God’s word in my heart. To remember who I am and WHOSE I am!!!

I just added a neon pink heart-shaped sticky note. “RWYAAWYA!”

Remember who you are and WHOSE you are! Maybe this one will stick to my heart.

I love you.

Drops in the ocean

Where do you go when you want to know? Most of us grab our smart phones and get any information we need in an instant. Is it going to rain tomorrow? There’s an app for that. How many times a day does someone ask a question or speculate on a topic and everyone in the group picks up their phone to look it up? 

Some things I need to know can’t be found on Google. Like how much my husband loves me, or whether my friend’s test results came out okay, or if another friend was accepted for the graduate program she desperately wanted. How about God’s love for me? Can I Google that or should I look elsewhere? The song in my head tells me where to look. It is Drops In The Ocean from Hawk Nelson.

If you want to know
How far my love can go
Just how deep, just how wide
If want to see
How much you mean to me
Look at my hands, look at my side
If you could count the times I say you are forgiven
It’s more than the drops in the ocean

It’s all about relationship. Do I want a relationship with my phone or with people? With God? Our Heavenly Father created us to love us, to be His children. To put down whatever is distracting us from Him and pay attention. How often have we done that with our own kids? “Look at me. What did I say? Pay attention.” This song reminds me of the promise in Romans 8:38-39…

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If I want to know about God’s love for me, I must go to the source and open my Bible. And read it. And reflect on what it says and remember what it says. I must look at the hands and feet of Jesus. I must fix my eyes on the wounds He suffered, the cruelty and shame He took on Himself so that I could live this life He gave me. Thousands of times he has forgiven me, even before I knew I needed forgiveness. More than the drops in the ocean. There’s NOT an app for that!!

Click here to listen to Drops In The Ocean from Hawk Nelson.

Featured image: Drop in the Ocean by David Ardley, 2012. Click here for more information on this artist. 

Instincts

Copenhagen is a beautiful city and seems to be fairly easy to navigate by foot. We’ve walked all over the city in different directions, but (so far) I have managed to find my way back to the apartment. And if I do happen to get turned around or lose my bearings, I don’t have to wander aimlessly hoping for rescue… I can ask for directions or look at my map. Or I can trust my traveling companion. If I’m walking with my husband or my daughter, I can trust that they know where they’re going and how to get there.

These were my thoughts this morning when I woke up to Unspoken singing Who You Are in my head. Here are the lyrics to the chorus:

You can never fall too hard, so fast, so far
That you can’t get back. When you’re lost,
Where you are is never too late, so bad, so much
That you can’t change Who you are.

The Holy Spirit is my traveling companion in this life until I find my way Home. It doesn’t matter where I walk or how far I go, I can always get back. It’s never too late. What I’ve done or said is never so bad or so much that I can’t change who I am and be what God wants me to be. I’m never alone in this life as long as I’m walking with and trusting The Lord to guide me. I can ask for directions from His holy word… I have the Bible as my guidebook. It’s all mapped out for me, if I’ll take the time to look.

My newborn grandson is snoozing close by while I write this morning. I’m watching closely and listening for his precious newborn noises, ready to pick him up and hold him close at the first sign of distress. He isn’t aware that I’m here, but he instinctively knows that I will care for his every need and he trusts me. I believe God is right here with us as we walk through this life, watching and listening for any opportunity to pick us up, hold us close, and comfort us. We just have to trust… From the deepest, most instinctive part of us.

Click here to listen to Who You Are by Unspoken.

I posted about this song in early June from a different perspective. Just like music you love to listen to, God sometimes lets me hear a song more than once, and teaches me new things. Click here to read Who You Are.

Fuzzy Faith?

“Not that one… It’s blurly.” My three-year-old granddaughter has been using my phone to snap pictures early this morning. I told her that it was okay… “I’m kinda blurly myself this morning.” A little out of focus. A little fuzzy around the edges.IMG_0758.JPGI think that’s how our faith can get sometimes. Blurry. Out of focus. Fuzzy around the edges. We know we believe in God. We go to church. We pray. But maybe we’re on autopilot, just going through the motions. Maybe that’s why it’s called “practicing” our faith. Like this picture, we know what our faith is supposed to look like, but we have to squint to try to see it clearly. We fear that some of it is our imagination.

The Bible says otherwise!! Hebrews 4:12:

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Romans 8:29 says that God’s children are “conformed to the image of his Son.” Somehow, I don’t think our faith can be “blurly” if we are made in HIS image. Jesus is not a fuzzy, out-of-focus, ethereal concept floating out there somewhere. He is real. He lived! He died, and He rose again. He will come back and bring us to himself!

Until that day, we must keep the lens of our minds focused and sharpened on God’s word. Live out our faith every day in the words we say and the things we do. Love above all things, so that our edges don’t have time to get soft and fuzzy. “Blurly, Grandmomma!”

The song in my head this morning is a very old choir anthem called With a Voice of Singing. “Declare ye this, and let it be heard, Hallelujah!!”

Make His praise glorious!!!

Flip-Flops

How to be retired, lesson number One. Sleep at least till dawn! I flunked that pop quiz this morning and was up at zero-dark-thirty. Routine is good for a person, right? I am a “do-er” and I truly don’t know how to be retired. But the song in my head this morning is giving me a little hint. The line on a loop is, “No one but Jesus, nobody else can show us how” from a song called Ain’t I a Woman.

Did you know that “retirement” is not in the scriptures? I have always counted on the fact that God uses old(er) people. I’ve spent the first half of my life raising a family and earning a living, and, while I served my church through those years, I always felt as though there was more out there for me to do. More to see, more to try, more to learn, more to experience. And now I have more time to try.

Yes, I have stuff I need to do. My house needs some serious attention as does my body. Exercise, diet, cleaning, and painting are all on my list. And there are things I want to do like travel, expand my art and music horizons, spend a lot more time with family. The trick for me is going to be how to balance it all. One thing I know… My early mornings will continue, because keeping my appointment with The Lord in the mornings makes the rest of my day go right, whatever I’m doing.

Yesterday was a hard day, but I got through it one task at a time, one minute at a time, one hug at a time. There were two things I saved to pack until the last minute. One was my sign on the door… A painted wooden sign that says, “Dear Lord, please let this be a flip-flop day.” It has a pair of flip-flops painted on it with a beach behind it. Yes! The other was my little Bible that I kept on my desk. God’s instruction manual for life, including how to be retired. “No one but Jesus, nobody else can show me how!”