February 24, 2017 at 10:04 pm Elliot Jane Morris was delivered into the world and placed in the arms of our youngest son and his tender wife. I remember my own experience and know the joy that was complete in their arms after nine long months of expecting the love of their lives to live and breathe moving from the womb into this world. Olivia was spent and very sedated. It had been a very long nineteen hours of intense but non-productive labor resulting in (more…)
“Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
who walk in obedience to him.
You will eat the fruit of your labor;
blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
Yes, this will be the blessing
for the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion;
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
May you live to see your children’s children—
peace be on Israel.”
Psalm 128 NIV
I will never forget a sermon from this passage of scripture I had the privilege of sitting under years ago. As I write I am remembering it may have been like twenty years ago!
WOW! Where has the time gone?
Fall comes slowly here in the South, but that never stopped me from wanting happy little pansies to begin taking root as soon as September came around. There is something wonderful about cultivating the soil in anticipation of growing something beautiful. Except I don’t have a green thumb and my visions of gardening have always been overcome by my reality of forgetting to water and tend to the flowers I plant. Nevertheless, I had spent time planting my favorite colors in the flower bed just outside our front door one day while the boys were at school.
Evergreen Street was a kid-filled street and our house seemed to be in the middle of all of the activity. Bicycles, balls, and boys go together like peanut butter and jelly and we had both on overflow most days. I have always loved being a mom to three boys and my heart is as happy as the pansies I planted that day when I remember all the crazy moments spent sorting socks, shoes, and sand from their pockets.
One specific afternoon comes to mind when I think back to our days living at 119 Evergreen; it was warm, sunny and the yard was filled with the voices of laughter, talk, and noise of little boys. I was making dinner or something inside while listening through the open door to the boys play outside. The doorbell rang and rang and rang. I knew who it was. Our youngest loved to ring the doorbell to let me know he was “home” and I would have spoken to him for ringing the door for the hundredth time in an afternoon, except this time was different.
Looking out the glass door as I approached, I could tell something was different; he had that look in his eye and I knew he was up to something. He was holding something behind him. I hoped it was not some kind of critter from the woods out back. But as I approached and opened the door, his hand presented to me in the most elegant fashion a fistful of happy pansies! With a smile as big as the sky and sunshine flushing his chubby cheeks, he announced, “I picked you purdy flowers!” He was so pleased to give me a gift. “I know you like flowers, Mommy!” And I do! But in that moment, I loved him more!
It didn’t matter that the entire root system and ball of potting soil was still attached to his gift. He was absolutely delighted to give his gift! It didn’t matter that I had bought the flowers, they belonged to me, I had planted them where I wanted them; he had seen them and thought of me and wanted to delight me with a gift. His heart was in the gift and I received it, dirt and all, with love, delight, and joy.
He helped me trim off the roots and dirt and we filled a clear vase with water to display these little beauties for as long as they would last. Then he skipped off to play with his brothers and friends and my heart was tender before the Lord as I considered what giving means.
These little pansies that were given back to me that day are what I envision when I think of the joy of giving. When giving our gifts to God, He is delighted when we do so with a cheerful heart.
When we stop to notice something beautiful, to acknowledge that every good and perfect gift comes to us from God the Father, when we give back to Him what is already His and we do it with gladness, He takes great delight in us! Even when our gifts are messy and dirty or in need of work before being placed on display before others, He delights in our giving not because the gift itself is special, but because we are special to Him.
Let each one give [thoughtfully and with purpose]
just as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly
or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver
[and delights in the one whose heart is in his gift].
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 AMP
When you consider giving to God a gift of praise, thanksgiving, your time, talent or tithe, how do you feel?
Do you feel excited, joyful, and blessed, or do you feel resentment?
Please feel free to share in the comments below. We want to hear your stories of giving and thankfulness!
Just released by DeAnna Morris:
Simply Life; Live in Faith Every Day
Every one is on a journey. We are either farther along the faith walk than someone else, or someone in our life is farther along than we are. Jesus went about His Father’s business in a non-hurried lifestyle, with a come-as-you-are approach. I believe mentoring should be the same.
I am very thankful for women in my life who have mentored me along the way. These women did so without frills, checklists, or a “how to” booklet. They have simply been leaders in my life by their own example of Faith Walking.
My grandmother was a woman who mentored in her own way. She let me “help” her in the kitchen when baking cakes and cookies, she let me set the Sunday lunch table with her fine china and silver. She spanked me if I needed it and wasn’t afraid to tell on me if I had misbehaved in any way. She made me clothes and afghans from her skilled fingers. I didn’t realize how much I took for granted when I was a small child and young woman with the gift of my grandmother.
God knows exactly what you need in your life to help you
become more like Jesus.
She was punky, feisty at times and more than ornery (speaking the truth in love here…) She loved as best she could from the resources of love she had within her. If I could go back in time, I would speak more words of appreciation to her for the love she gave to me and others.
Flawed that she was (who isn’t?) she did the best she could to be loving and kind, demonstrating service to others.
Memories of my grandmother inspire me to invest in the lives of others around me. Women who are younger and just beginning to walk in faith, women who are young mothers, frazzled with the endlessness of laundry and little people, women who are struggling with depression, hurt, anxiety and overwhelmed by life. I want to invest in women around me. I have been blessed by women who have quietly mentored me along the way and I pray to be a blessing to others.
If you want to know more about mentoring, Nancy Leigh DeMoss has a great article on her site, Revive Our Hearts.
Who has quietly mentored you on your journey? Please comment below and let us know how you have been mentored and how you mentor others in your life.
Ask God Today Ministries has decided to make a difference in as many seniors’ lives as possible. We will be collecting items that elderly persons may need in “Senior Bags of Love,” which we will be distributing in the inner city of Spartanburg County in December to selected number of people in need, and we could use your help.
Here’s what we’re looking for to get started:
Shoes of all sizes
You can mail items to:
C/O ASK GOD TODAY MINISTRIES
P.O. Box 161625,
Boiling Springs, SC 29316
What Good Is It?
I have a love/hate relationship with the book of James.
He just gets in my business, keeping the zingers coming with talk of being a self-proclaimed righteous person. In fact, in chapter 1 he tells us that true religion is to look after orphans and widows and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (1:27.) I usually only hear the first part of that verse quoted, since none of us wants to admit we have (more…)