Choosing Life and Joy

It seems this winter has been inundated with tragedy, colds and flu, atypical weather patterns, and chaos.  I choose to look at it all as "normal".  Some years are diffferent...and some are...different.  I can't remember ever when a winter was the same as another.  Maybe we remember a winter by how it affected us...a significant happening that burned into our memory a picture or story that lingers.  In spite of what kind of weather, or activities, or world events, we have always had "winter".  It may have been spring-type weather in January, and we may have a dump of snow in April.  I've never had tomatoes in May, but I always have had pumpkins and sunflowers in September and October.  We have an apple tree that keeps its apples through December in the tip top just for the birds.  Last month I pruned my table grapes before the sap began to run...that's a first!  I took a walk today and found my apricot tree bursting with buds and some are even showing a little white blossom peeking out. I saw a yellow forsythia blossom and several daffodils ready to pop.  I applied a moss control on my lawn and actually mowed it already, and it needs it again. Usually, and I say that with a half-full glass, I don't mow until April.  With three to four feet of new snow on Mt Hood in the past week, you wonder if winter is trying to dump it all in one week so it can move on to spring!

We have a wonderful Creator God who never changes and always keeps His promises.  I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand.  I don't worry about things I can't change.  My faith carries me through it all.  I was reading Job this month and found a verse that spoke to my heart.  Job 13:15  "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him:  but I will maintain mine own ways before him." Job is well known for his suffering, patience, and persevering.  It impressed me that even if Job died, his trust would not falter.  Those are words that were written for our learning. [Romans 15:4  "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.]

Feeling compassion for a friend who was involved in a tragic accident this winter, I was inspired to make a quilt for a gift.  I chose Becky Goldsmith's The Magic Unicorn pattern because of the joyful cheerful bright colors, the promise of hope in the rainbow, and the element of magic and healing...the unicorn.  I don't know if the recipient will find the hope, joy and comfort that is sewn into every stitch by prayers and meditations, but I know it is there.  

My thoughts and prayers are always for those who are close to me, whether friends or family, or acquaintances.  Some days there aren't enough hours to spend in prayer for each one who needs it, but pray I must and those days are an endless prayer.  Then there are days when praying for situations and people who I'll never know, whose circumstances are out of my control, and happenings around the world that seem too far away to matter...those prayers are needed too!  God is like our earthly fathers...He loves to be near us and talk to us and He loves when we talk to Him.  Can you imagine going days and days without talking to your parents?  And how they love it when you do give them a call or visit.  That's how I imagine our Heavenly Father responds to our prayers.  Paul wrote to the Ephesians, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." [Eph 6:18NIV]

Such is my meditation for the day.  Thank you for reading this far...may you  be blessed!