Thursday, August 10, 2017

No matter what, safe inside His hands...

Today I snapped this amazing picture of sweet Grace with Lucas Bear.  (This special bear was created in honor of Grace's big brother Lucas - you can read about Lucas here).  Grace is six months old! The time has gone by so fast and it is amazing to see her grow and change.  Lately it seems like she has some new accomplishment every day.  As I took this picture all I could think about was this song...Hills and Valleys by Tauren Wells.  Being with Grace is certainly a reminder of those "Mountain Top" times.  And the lose of Lucas was a valley time for our entire family.   Please stop and listen to this incredible song.   It grabs you from the opening line.....

I've walked among the shadows, you wiped my tears away.  I've felt the pain of heartbreak, and I've seen the brighter days.  I prayed prayers to heaven from my lowest place, and I've held your blessings....

The point of the song is captured in the title "Hills and Valleys"....  You're the God of the hills and the valleys and I am not alone!   Wow!  Is there any message that is more needed right now?  Yes, God is the God of the good times and the bad times.  He is the joy bringer and the pain taker.  He does give and take away.  He gives blessings and takes away our pain and sorrow.   I love the line that says...
No matter what, I am safe inside His hands!

Once again, a song that just resonates with me.  And when I look at this picture, it is like seeing the words of that song.  We have certainly had our hills and valleys since 2014.  But I can say, with full assurance, that I know that Jesus was with me through it all.  He was there in the valley and it was His grace that has taken my pain.  When my dreams were broken, it was Jesus that gave me hope.  
Such truth in a song.  When we are in those mountain top places,when things are going so well,  when everything seems wonderful.... we need to remember that it was God who brought us there.  He is the God of the hills.   When we are in those really tough places, WE ARE NOT ALONE!  Jesus is right there with us, walking through those valleys.  No matter where we are on life's path, no matter what is going on, our companion is Jesus.

The chorus of this wonderful song says....
On the mountains I will bow my life to the one who set me there.
In the valley I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there.
When I'm standing on the mountain I know I didn't get there on my own.
When I'm walking through the valley, I know I'm not alone.  

Yes, this picture of Grace and Lucas Bear is a picture of the hills and valleys.  It is also a picture of love and hope and so much joy and blessing! 

Jesus, thank you for another amazing song and for Tauren Wells.  Thank you for the reminder that you are always with us - in good times and in hard times.  Holy Spirit, encourage us to lift our eyes to Jesus when it seems dark and hard and remind us who brought us into those mountain top places. Thank you Jesus for Grace and Lucas.  Amen

Sunday, August 6, 2017

When there is another generational "shift".....

 This photo is one of my all time favorites.  My mom, my daughter, my granddaughter and me.  I am so thankful that we got that picture when Lia was just a few months old.  So tonight, sitting here at my computer, (thanks to the marvels of modern technology), I experienced another "Generational Shift".  I just watched as Lia was leading worship for a youth praise service at her church.  As I was watching her, I was flashing back to sitting in a pew with my mom, watching Gwen lead worship when she was just a bit older than Lia is now.  And I was remembering my mom watching with tears in her eyes.

I took a couple of screen shots of the video, just to capture this moment.  Besides singing, Lia also played keyboard on a couple of songs. That last picture is Gwen and Lia at the keyboard.  Suddenly, I am the grandma with tears in her eyes.  It is one thing to know that your children and grandchildren love the Lord, it is quite another thing to see them publicly express that love.  I am so grateful that Lia has a place to grow as a worship leader. Right now, she looks like a baby compared to the other youth leading worship.  But in several years, she will be the leader welcoming new youth to the stage.  I love this "mentoring" model that keeps building for the future by bringing the youngest youth into the group.  I can imagine many years watching Lia at the microphone, or the keyboard, or dancing....well you get the idea.  She is a performer for sure. And I love that she is able to grow in her gifting.

On Friday I had the opportunity to watch both Lia and Ellie perform in an musical after a week at "Spotlight" Camp.
Both Lia and Ellie had some speaking parts and both sang at the microphone by themselves.  They sang and danced in many songs.  It was really amazing what they can accomplish in 5 short days with these kids from 6-12 years old.  While Lia looks like she is loving every minute that she is on stage, it was not so much for Ellie.  She has a big smile here, AFTER the performance.  She did so well with all of her songs, dances and speaking part and solos, but she was just not loving it.  Ellie will be a wonderful behind the scenes person.  She will be the one designing the costumes, arranging the hair and makeup, finding just the perfect accessory for the performers to wear.  And mostly, she will be holding a hand of someone dealing with stage fright, she will be hugging someone else who isn't feeling well.  She will be everyone's friend and will make sure that everyone has something to eat and drink.  Because, well, that is just who Ellie is.  Seeing just how different these two girls are, is a great reminder that there is a plan, a purpose and destiny for each of us.  

Just imagine how many more worship leaders, teachers, pastors and evangelists, how many more "good samaritans", helpers, intercessors, greeters, ushers, servers we would have if we started to encourage these obvious gifts of the children around us.   So often adults decide that children need to wait to "grow up" before they can use their gifts.  But I think this is a mistake. Watching Lia on the stage tonight confirmed that for me.  

Yes, it was a night when I felt that shift of the generations.  Looking back, but also looking ahead.  I love that I can get a glimpse of the  amazing working of the Lord as I see the potential in each of my grandchildren.  I challenge you to look around you at the children, youth and young adults you encounter. Look at the adults around you also!   Look beyond their clothes or their hair style, ignore their tattoos or piercings, and see the marvelous gifts and talents that they have.  Encourage them, mentor them.  Give them a place and means to use those talents.  You will be blessing them....but you will be blessed also!

Jesus, thank you for Fellowship of Faith and Boulder Ministry.  Holy Spirit, give us all reminders to look for ways to mentor and  encourage those around us.  Help us to see the unique gifts and talents that you have given to each person.  Keep us from trying to put others into places that just don't fit them.  Jesus, help us all to know that you have a plan, a purpose and a destiny for each of us!  Amen

Thursday, July 27, 2017

When that "Aha" moment brings you truth.....

You know how it is when so many little things just kind of come crashing together and give you one of those "Aha" moments?  Well, I sort of had one of those times today.  Backing up a bit, on Sunday Ken and I went with all the kids and grandkids to the waterpark.  It was a wonderful day spent swimming and playing that ended with pizza at Doug and Susie's house.  It was Grace's first time in the water and she loved it.  Here is a bonus picture of the kids.....

 After that event, I happened to be talking to one of my friends about swimming, being at the lake, and my mom.  So of course, I was thinking about my mom.  The picture at the top of this blog is my mom and (a much younger version) of me, taken at Lake Maud.  I was reflecting on the fact that being at "the lake" was not much of a vacation for mom.  Our cabin was "primitive"  - we didn't have running water until I was 5, no hot water until I was 6, no indoor bathroom until after I was married!
And we always seemed to have lots of people around who needed to be fed.  And the clothes needed to be washed.  And the dishes needed to be washed.  And my dad always had some project that he needed help with. And well, you get the idea.  Not much fun for mom.  And during my grade school years, she was working full time!  So all of those weekend trips to the cabin, just made more work for my very tired mom.  But she knew that having the cabin would give us kids a wonderful place for fun that would not have been possible without owning the cabin.  It was a sacrifice that she made for all of us.

So my mom was on my mind this week.  Then on Wednesday, Susie asked me to give Grace a new food to try.  Peas from their garden that Susie had made into baby food and frozen.  The second I defrosted the cube of peas, I smelled that heavenly aroma of the garden and fresh picked peas.  I was immediately back in Aunt Avis' wonderful garden near Lake Maud, picking peas to bring to my mom.  They were one of her favorites!  Another wonderful memory of being at Lake Maud!  (Bonus picture of Grace eating her peas!)

Then last night, not surprisingly, I had a dream about my mom.  It was interesting because in my dream, she was singing!  Although she loved music and always sang in choirs when she was younger, I don't remember her doing much singing.  She always said her voice got bad "when she got old" and I guess that she was "old" my entire life.  She talked about singing, but she never did sing.   In my dream she was singing beautifully - one of her very favorite hymns... "What a Friend we have in Jesus".  I woke up this morning with that song playing over and over in my head.  

Now for the "Aha moment" I mentioned at the start of this blog.   This morning my phone alerted to a text message from my small group.  One of my dear friends wrote this message to us......

"This morning I was listening to a preacher's sermon who was really engaging with the Spirit and heartily preaching God's word, when all of a sudden he broke out in the song "What A Friend we Have in Jesus".  He kept saying, JESUS, JESUS, JESUS.  God whispered two things as I listened to him repeating Jesus' name.... 1.  Satan trembles at the name of Jesus uttered by a child of God when it is done in reverence.  2.  What amazing friends we have as our prayer partners pray on behalf of each other and call on Jesus.  That old devil trembles.  The preacher said, "When Satan trembles, that is the time to attack him with the Word of God! When we do, he retreats and we keep at it in the strength of the Lord." 

Clearly there was something - some message in this for me.  But I was sure not connecting all of the pieces.  That is until I sat down at my computer this evening and looked at the full lyrics of that song.  I knew the first three verses of the song, but don't think I ever knew the fourth verse.  As a matter of fact, I couldn't find any video of the song with this fourth verse.  Yet it is written in the original song.  Here it is.....
Blessed Savior thou hast promised, thou will all our burdens bear.
May we ever Lord be bringing, all to thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded, there will be no need for prayer.
Rapture, praise and endless worship, will be our sweet portion there.

Isn't it just exactly like Jesus to bring me so much truth and comfort in one simple song?  So much in that song - the power of the name of Jesus.  The benefit of bringing all of our concerns and cares to Jesus.  How powerful it is to surround yourself with prayer partners who stand with you and pray when you are unable to even utter the words.  How amazing the very name of Jesus is and the impact that His name has for us.  And the reminder that His promises are true.  What an amazing reward awaits us, praise and endless worship!   All I can say is that I am incredibly thankful right now.  So thankful for my mom, for my kids and grandchildren, for my wonderful praying friends, for Jesus and all that he does for us, for what is to come!  

I woke up this morning really missing my mom.  That is not unusual for me.  But I am ending today with a big smile - knowing that my mom is in that place of endless worship and praise, singing her heart out!   What an amazing gathering together of little things to bring me this message of truth.  What a friend we have in Jesus!

Jesus, thank you for using all of these things to remind me just how much you love each one of us.  Thank you for music, for songs, for lyrics that speak after 162 years.  Holy Spirit, nudge us when we forget how powerful prayer is.  Help us to use the name of Jesus to fight off the attack of the enemy.  Thank you for connecting us together as we pray for each other.  Amen

Friday, July 14, 2017

The best laid plans......

So Ken and I were SUPPOSED to be on a much anticipated vacation right now.  But, alas, it was not to be.  Unfortunately, earlier this week, Ken found out that the company he works for is closing his location as of 2018.  There are some options, however it is never good to find out that you are out of work when you are 65 years old!  We had all of these wonderful plans for the next few years that included Ken continuing to work!  But, as they say, the best laid plans of man often don't come to pass!  We are in a time of transition and don't really know what the next few months will hold.  For now, it is just a day at a time!  We decided to cancel our vacation since we would not lose any money on the deal.  Given the news about his job, neither of us would have really enjoyed the time away.  We did decide to take today and just drive to a new botanic garden and spend some time outside.
We took all back roads and drove into Wisconsin through fields of corn and pastures filled with cows.  It is a cloudy, overcast kind of day, but there was no rain in the forecast.  When we stopped for breakfast, we quickly realized that we should have brought jackets with us!  It was only in the low 60's and kind of breezy.  So we stopped at a Walmart and bought a couple of sweatshirts.   Let me tell you I was quite glad to have that extra layer of warmth while walking through the gardens - and especially while sitting by the lake.  

This is my favorite picture of all that I took today.  I love the water drops on the flower petals.  I always look for water - especially flowing water - when I need to rest and catch my breath and/or contemplate the future when my plans don't work out.  Thankfully I found this.....
wonderful water feature in the middle of the garden.   I spent a fair amount of time just listening to the calming rush of the water over the stones (while Ken spent lots of time taking photos of flowers).  
There was also a small lake surrounded by a walking path.  I didn't spend much time there, however, since the breeze was actually colder than just chilly!  So I returned to the flowing water and realized that the entire time that I was walking around the garden, I had been singing the chorus to this song You Are Beloved by Jordan Feliz  If you click on the link you can hear the song.  The words that I had been speaking to myself (without really being aware of doing it) were...

You are beloved.  You are beloved.  I wanted you to know, you are beloved.
Let it soak into your soul.  Oh, forget the lies you heard, rise above the hurt,
and listen to these words.  You are beloved.  I wanted you to know, you are beloved.

As I was looking up the song and actually reading the lyrics, I saw these words in one of the verses...
Don't be afraid, don't let hope fade.  Keep your eyes fixed on the light above.
In the heartbreak, in your mistakes, nothing can separate you from love.

Isn't it wonderful when a song just touches you when you especially need it?  When our plans fail, when things look like they are falling apart, when circumstances seem so overwhelming - there is nothing that can bring peace like knowing that we ARE BELOVED!  This is such a big truth to get solidly into our souls, isn't it?  Jesus loves us - he looks at us as His beloved!  With that truth playing in our hearts and in our spirits - we can let go of fear.  We can have hope.  No matter how dark or unsettled things seem.  If we keep our eyes fixed on the light above!  NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE AMAZING LOVE OF JESUS!   

Yes, I needed this song today.  I know that it will be my theme song in the weeks ahead as Ken and I make a new set of "plans" for the next few years.  Today I am thankful for rolling hills and green pastures, fields of corn, quiet gardens, flowing water, Jordan Feliz, and so thankful that I am beloved!

Jesus, thank you for wonderful music that can speak words of truth to us, even when we are not thinking about it.  Holy Spirit, speak truth into all of our spirits through the power of songs and music.  Help us all to grasp how much you love us.  Jesus, thank you for the reminder that nothing - no pain or sorrow or job loss - can separate us from your love.  Amen  

Saturday, July 8, 2017

What we pass on to our kids and grandkids....

So many people commented on my recent Facebook cover photo of our grand kids on the 4th of July.  It reminded me of this photo from 1983 of my own cuties - Gwen and Doug and a long ago 4th of July.  We took loads of photos during our get together (as usual) and I have so many favorites that I know will be pages and pages of scrapbooking!  I loved this picture of Lia - our oldest grandchild and Grace - our youngest grandchild!
And looking at these pictures, one on top of the other in this blog, I can sure see Doug in Grace and Gwen in Lia!  It's amazing to think that 34 years separates these pictures!  

I've been thinking about all of the things that we pass on to our children and even to our grandchildren.  It must be because, like so many of my friends, retirement is approaching for Ken and I (in a few years).  Besides all the fuss and worry about where to live, insurance, making those dollars last for your lifetime, there is that consideration of your legacy.  Websters defines a legacy as "something transmitted by or received from an ancestor."  The things I have been thinking about are more along the lines of the transmitted items.  I am so thankful that my children love celebrating all the holidays with family.  I love that being together is the most important thing for our family.  The 4th of July was always a big memory for me - being at Lake Maud.  There was always a big gathering with a cabin full of people, the yard full of tents and campers, sunburn, swimming, bug bites and fireworks.  I believe that I was 19 the first time I missed a fourth of July at Lake Maud.  While the place was important, it was really being with the people that made it so special.  I love that special legacy that was passed down to me from my parents, has now been passed on to my children and grandchildren.  Seeing the pictures of  my grandchildren together - seeing the joy of the cousins being together, reminded me of this picture....
Here I am (bottom left)  with my sister Julie (top left) and our cousins Corrine (top right) and Thoralee (bottom right)!  And of course, this was taken at Lake Maud!  Thoralee is the closest in age to me (two years older) of all of my 32 first cousins!  Yes, I have 32 first cousins!  But since my mom and dad were both the youngest in their families and I am the youngest in my family, most of my cousins were MUCH older than me!  As a matter of fact, several of my cousins were in their late twenties when I was born and already were married. Still I loved spending time with my cousins and have many wonderful memories being with them.  This extended family time was another legacy from my parents.  In spite of living so far apart, I really tried my best to give Gwen and Doug time with their cousins.  I love that Gwen and Doug make time to be together with their families. It is certainly a blessing for this grandma!  

Just putting these words on the page is such a good reminder for me.  The idea of leaving a legacy can be so daunting.  It feels like somehow you have failed if there is not a large monetary inheritance to leave your children.  When I reflect on my parents and my grandparents and the legacy that I received from them, it is never about money or property.  It is always about the love and the closeness of family and the traditions that have been carried on into my life.  It always is about the Spiritual legacy - the seeds of faith and belief that were a part of the foundation of our family.  

I have the wonderful opportunity to continue to live out that legacy of love with my children and grandchildren.  Each of you have that same ability to have an influence over the next generation.  If you don't have children of your own, befriend some children in your neighborhood or church.  Volunteer and meet some new people.  Leave a legacy of love that will live beyond your years.  The only requirement for this is time.  Be with the ones you love!  Give your love to those you are with, whoever that may be - friends, neighbors, coworkers, people you meet in the stores or on the street.  Let your life be filled with love that touches others.  Now that is an important legacy!

Jesus, thank you for reminding me of your great love for us.  Holy Spirit, turn our eyes away from the material things and fill our hearts with love for those around us. Give us eyes to see those who need our time and our love.  Jesus, thank you for family and friends and Facebook - that helps to keep us close even when we are miles apart!  Amen

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Not quite what it looks like....

One day, not so long ago, I happened to catch this interesting picture from Doug and Susie's front yard.  There are a number of undeveloped lots in their neighborhood and the local fire department uses them to empty their water tanks and refill them from the fire hydrants.  I loved this really pretty rainbow that was created by their hose!  When I looked at the picture later, I realized that it looks like it might be an actual rainbow with a dark cloud behind it!  One of those times when what you see is not quite what it actually was!

Doesn't that phrase pretty much sum up so many of the stories and/or posts that you can find on the internet these days?  It is so difficult to figure out exactly what the truth is in each story.  It has been a challenging year with the heated political arena and the news media.  Us regular folks have to be very careful believing the things that we read.  Just this week, several large media outlets have had to retract stories that were never true.  The amount of MIS information that is swirling around is frightening.  As someone who has put a very high price on "truth telling", going through my Facebook feed or even just looking at news headlines makes my stomach quiver.  I love that Gwen always reminds her kids whether a book/story they are reading is true or made up.  Their home school curriculum has many true story books so this is a good practice.   I love that they are reminded daily that the Bible contains true stories.

A while back I considered just not looking at anything in the news or on the internet.  But this is a dangerous thing to do.  Having NO information is not the answer to finding the truth.  Sticking your head in the sand will only get you a mouth full of sand!   I was reminded of this picture of Sammy, Doug and Susie's dog.
He is quite a nervous dog and any little noise sets off his "BARK" reflex.  You would not know that he is nervous from this picture since he also often sleeps in some of the most uncomfortable looking positions.  His head sticking through the rail doesn't seem at all like a good sleeping position.  The thing about this position is that he can't see out the window with his head like this.  If he lays with his head on the stair he has a perfect view out the front door.  I think he likes this position because he can relax and not worry about who or what might walk by (or fly by - lots of birds around) the house.  It is his version of sticking his head in the sand.  

My answer to this dilemma of information that can not be trusted was so easy.  I actually was doing this several years ago, but somehow got out of the habit.  I simply pray before I read anything.  I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me and to reveal to me the things that are true.  It is amazing how many articles I skip over and don't even look at now.  I have learned to be very prayerful before reading any post on Facebook.  The number of blogs that I read has dropped dramatically since I have been praying before reading.  I can trust that the Holy Spirit knows ME!  There are things that might really trouble me that might not bother you at all.  When I prayerfully read and/or listen to messages I know that I will hear exactly what I need that day.  Now when I do come across information that is upsetting, I can immediately pray for the people or the situation.  Knowing that Jesus is the King of King and the Lord of Lords brings me great peace.  I have added many things to my prayer list through this practice of praying before reading.

My encouragement to you today is to trust the Holy Spirit to show you the truth.  Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.  THE truth!  So you don't have to stop reading and or listening to current events.  Just make sure to pray before you scroll, read or listen!   Often you will discover nuggets of truth, revealed by the Holy Spirit,  contained in stories covered with layers of deception and cloudy facts. Remember that just like my rainbow picture, sometimes things are not quite what they seem.  It is a rainbow - but not after a storm.  A really nice rainbow caused by a powerful stream of water on a sunny clear day.  Keep on seeking the truth!

Jesus, thank you that you are the truth!  Holy Spirit, give us all boldness and courage to continue to seek the truth with your guidance.  Keep us aware when we start to hide from the noise of the world.  Help us to lean on your discernment as we sift through all the information in front of us.  Remind us to pray before, during and after we take in all the conflicting bits of news.  Thank you for loving us so much Jesus.  Amen  

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Going on an adventure....and having my thinking changed!

It's hard to believe that this cutie is 11 years old - but she is!  The only thing that she wanted for her birthday was to see a real Broadway show.  Now this is no surprise since this girl loves to dance and has a wonderful voice.  Lia is still very shy about singing in front of people, but those yearly dance recitals have pretty much killed any fear she had of dancing on stage.  Since "Disney Aladdin Broadway in Chicago" was playing, it was a no brainer what her birthday present would be!
I decided to make this a "Grandma Lyn, Mom and Lia" event since Gwen loves these shows also.  Lia was extremely excited when we got to the train station to catch the train to the Chicago and she saw a billboard for Aladdin!
We had a bit of concern when the train we wanted to take into the city was delayed with "track construction".  First the announcement was 10 to 20 minutes late.  Then there was an announcement that the train was not yet moving.  In order to make the show we knew that we needed to be on the train by 11:45.  If the train had not come by that time, we would be forced to drive into Chicago and try to find parking.  It could have made for a tense trip.  But thankfully the train arrived at 11;30 and we made it into Chicago in plenty of time.  We grabbed a quick fast food lunch and ate outside overlooking the Chicago river.  We had perfect weather - sunny and it was actually a bit cool with a strong breeze.  
The show was amazing.  Lia was pretty much mesmerized through the entire production.  There is a major difference between the Broadway productions and some of the other shows I have seen. The music, acting, special effects, costumes - really everything was top notch. Our train ride home was uneventful and we arrived back only a few minutes late.  Such a wonderful experience with Lia.  

As I was driving home after this memory making day, I reflected on just how fast these 11 years have gone by!  Lia is my oldest grandchild and it really doesn't seem possible that I have been "Grandma Lyn" for that long.  

Shortly after I started home, while stopped at a stop light, a seriously silly thing happened.  A car pulled up on the left side of my car and a man jumped out of the front seat.  He was wearing cut off jean shorts, a tie dyed shirt and a bandana tied around his head like a headband.  He proceeded to dance in the middle of the road!  There was rock music from the 60's playing from the open windows of the car, and several occupants of that car were laughing and clapping for him.   My immediate though was , "Wow, that is something that you don't see everyday!"  As the light changed, he hopped back into the car and they sped away.  I was chuckling about this event, which seemed very 1970's, for the next several miles and thinking about some of the crazy things I had witnessed and participated in oh so many years ago.  And then, unbelievably I witnessed a "Chinese Fire drill" at another stop light!  If you are not familiar with this, everyone jumps out of the car and runs around the car and then gets back in.  I am sure that my jaw was on the ground watching this.  I don't recall the last time I actually saw this happen.  By now, I had begun to wonder if I had stepped into some kind of odd time warp and had been transported back to the 1970's!  So at this point, my day had certainly had some adventures that are out of the norm for me.  My drive home was not over yet and even now I find it hard to comprehend that  I saw ANOTHER "Chinese Fire Drill" happen in the drive through lane of the Dairy Queen near my house.  How crazy is that?

Today this crazy-silly end to my wonderful day is making more sense.  Without realizing it, I had started to feel really OLD!  My thoughts had been shifting to the swift passage of time and wondering just how many more of these memory making experiences I would be able to have with my grandchildren.  I would even have to admit to being fearful of the future.   It is never worthwhile to focus on these kind of things.  None of knows the length of our days and we are charged to live everyday with purpose.   I truly believe that those silly events I witnessed on the way home, were a gift for me.  It allowed me to let go of those depressing thoughts and to focus on the truth of the day - time and memories with Lia and Gwen.   And it made me laugh!  

The whole process of "taking our thoughts captive" is certainly a challenge. I am so thankful that I have progressed and don't allow these thoughts to live in my mind for days and days or even weeks and weeks as I had in the past.  More often than not, I can catch myself and stop these thoughts from taking over.  But this is a life-long process that has to be practiced!  I am reminded of this Bible passage from the Passion Translation.... Philippians 4:8

"So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and king.   And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always."

 I am incredibly grateful that sometimes the Holy Spirit finds ways to break into those ugly and untrue and even hurtful thoughts to remind me to "Stop thinking that way!"  I especially love that God will even use a man doing a silly dance on the road and several groups of young people acting like typical kids and pulling off a time worn stunt to get my attention and make me smile.  

Jesus, thank you for a wonderful, glorious day with Lia and Gwen.  Holy Spirit, continue to remind me to be aware of my thoughts.  Thank you for singing and dancing, for big wonderful shows in impressive theaters and for silly dances on streets.  Jesus, thank you for extra grace when we need it during the process of life.  Amen