Christmas: Tears of Joy, Tears of Sadness

Psalms 147:3-6 “ He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.   He telleth the number of the stars, he calleth them all by their names.  Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.  The Lord lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.”

 

I love Christmas!  The tree has always been a special gift to me since I was twelve.  But it is one Christmas tradition that brings tears each year. . . sometimes tears of joy, sometimes tears of sadness. Our first Christmas as a married couple, I cried because it was my first time to be away from my home. (Rich tried to comfort me . . . we were only three hours away!

 

I heard him lugging our mattress down the hall of our little home.  We started the tradition of sleeping by the tree. . . lights were on all night.  It was magical!  Then when the girls came, we were the “guards” of the tree.

 

Things changed over the years. A couch/bed made it easier for us. When it was more difficult for Rich (His battle with cancer) I had our tree in the bedroom.  I remember those years–only one were we not able in almost thirty-three years.  But “He healeth the broken heart, and bindeth up the wounds.”

 

Time heals all wounds is such a false statement.  The wounds of a lost loved one NEVER heal, we just learn to deal.  I honor my promise to Rich. . . to be happy.  I try every day to look for the joy in life. I am so grateful for my family and all my many blessings.

 

Debbie Macomber’s beautiful prayer is so timely:  Lord, You came among us to heal our brokenness.  May your love hold us all together now and always!

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Power of Prayer

Power of Prayer. . . II Corinthians 1:11 “Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.”

 

Some have a gift of prayer. . . Dad could say the sweetest prayers.  Winn Lembright’s prayer took Rich and I  away from the craziness in the hospital, an oasis from the storm of life.  I will never forget that gift to us.  Many of our elders have a sweet gift of prayer that sets the tone for the message to follow. And I have spoken many times that I do love the hymns . . .

 

“Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, unuttered or expressed

The motion of a hidden fire, That trembles on the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,The falling of a tear,

The upward glancing of an eye, When none but God is near.

Prayer is the simplest form of speech That infant lips can try;

Prayer the sublimest strains can reach The majesty on high.

Prayer is the christian’s vital breath,  The Christian’s native air,

His watch-word at the gate of death–He enters heav’n with prayer.”

 

One of my student teachers, Brent Beery, said he thought the words PRAY WITHOUT CEASING was written for teachers. . . so many little ones with so many different strengths and weaknesses.  Prayer is needed every day, no every hour/minute. . . Please join my prayer for our churches, families, community, our children, and our country.

There Is A Plan

I had the music playing . . . “God will take care of you . . . ” and I thought of one of our hymns.
 
Why O my soul,those anxious cares?
Why thus cast down with doubts and fears?
How canst thou want if God provide?
Or lose thy way with such a good Guide?
 
. . .Did ever trouble yet befall,
And He refuse to hear thy call?
And has He notHis promised passed
That thou shalt overcome at last?
 
He who has helped me hitherto,
Will help me all my journey through,
And give me daily cause to raise
New Ebenezers to His Praise.”
 
I just need to breathe! I am not sure of my travels and what I am to do with my days since I have retired. I don’t know exactly where they writing will lead me? If it leads me anywhere, but to MY heart. I do know that God has a plan.
 
Jeff Japinga’s prayer: Your guidance is real today. God,open my eyes and heart to those unexpected places of your leading.

WONDERING. . .Walk Down Life’s Road

Psalm 73:26 “ Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.  Whom have I in heaven but thee? . . . my flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”

 

I ponder why Satan attacks me with doubt, fear, and worry.  He keeps coming back from time to time. I have realized that I am his easy target. . . I am weak and insecure.  I told this to a fellow teacher once, and she laughed– until she saw the seriousness on my face. . . I work really hard to not let others see my doubts and fears. I try to be strong for others.

 

In my early years, Mom said that I was determined like Curious George!  I was pretty self assured when I was really little. I am told.  When I was three or four, I sat on Rich’s Uncle Wayne’s lap . . .the first he came to Mom and Dad’s house after church.  I got right in his face and said, “Hi! My name is Johnson. What is yours?”  Mom was mortified.

 

Then at ten, I was convinced by a family “friend” that I was a NOBODY!  At twelve some of my classmates convinced me even more.  Words were hard to overcome.  But God’s voice said not be convinced by Satan’s army. . . God said not to let anyone make me feel that way! He loved me. . . and would never leave me alone! . . . I have been trying ever since to put on the armor and walk on down the road of life. W O N D E R-ing every day why we all can’t just be friends and help others on down the road with a smile and a good word.

Veterans Day

My husband ( U.S.A. Air Force/Vietnam)  and I worked together to plan the school’s Veterans Day program. . . even after his death, I worked with love to prepare each year.  Veterans, family, and friends sent many things throughout the year that I might want to share.  These are two powerful ones that I found today.  Thank you Veterans for your service to our country.

Major Sullivan Ballou wrote to his wife, hoping to return from battle to her and their sons. . . “If I do not, my dear Sarah, when my last breath escapes me, it will whisper your name. I shall always be near you, in the gladdest days and the darkest nights. And if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath. Do not mourn me dead, think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.” Major Ballou was killed seven days later in the Babble of Bull Run.
 
Fay Angus’ prayer is beautiful! “Around the world, night and day, those in the armed forces stand watch for us. Oh, Blessed Lord, be their strength, their courage, their protector and their shield. For those who have endured, who still serve in hospitals and on battle fields of their own daily lives, be their peace, their comfort, their hope”
 
THANK YOU VETERANS!

Enjoy God’s Beauty and Friends

Leaving early this morning was a challenge.. . .it was dark and I was sleeping. I wondered if this was worth the effort, if my story had any merit. As soon as I turned on 600, I saw the sunrise. I thought about stopping to take a picture, but knew nothing could do it justice. Traveling on down 69, it was hard to keep my eyes on the road. There really were brush marks in the sky! Really! God’s beauty took my breath away! I think I smiled all the way there.

Music was playing as I traveled:

There is no problem too big
God cannot solve it
There is no mountain too tall
God cannot move it
There is no storm too dark
God cannot calm it
There is no sorrow too deep
He cannot soothe it
Oh, if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders
I know my brother that He will carry you
Oh, if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders
I know my sister that He will carry you
He said, “Come on to me all who are weary
And I will give you rest, rest, rest, rest”
Rest, rest, rest
There is no problem too big
God cannot solve it
There is no mountain too tall
He cannot move it
There is no storm too dark
God cannot calm it . . .

Friday was a frustrating day. . . little things got in my way. I was certainly looking down and not up. Brock Kidd’s prayer: ‘Father, thank you for friends who lift us up and for the chance You give us to return the favor.”

May we always take time to see the beauty and to encourage our friends when difficult times are here. Nothing is too big or small for God.

Passion in Education

I have been pondering education, our schools, our children, our families . . . today’s prayer by Gail Schilling was perfect:  “Lord, give me the wisdom, love –and energy–to instruct.”

 

Passion leads instruction.  Students need to know your passion  before they can figure out theirs.  It was so obvious that I was excited about reading, writing, country/community. (Dinosaurs and Economics too).  We have teachers that have a diversity of passions: exercise, nutrition, science, nature,hunting, dancing are just a few.  Life is short! Passion excites us and fills the empty spaces.

 

Students that enjoy: sports, reading, math, performing plays, music math, sewing, cooking–will have a spark and are alive.  They have worked to develop and love a skill.  Our challenge is to light the spark in the others! Don’t give up teachers!  Be the spark that changes  lives.  You have an awesome profession!  Share your passion.

 

Thank you Lynn Wilson, Judy Carpenter. . . Warner Michener, Bea Sousa, and so many more that put sparks of passion in our family.