Saturday, July 30, 2011

Feed the Spirit -- The Secret Garden

Wouldn't you love to have a secret garden where only beauty and peace and love exist?  A place of refuge from the storms of life, a place of personal renewal, a haven from the pressures of everyday life where you feel safe and secure and protected?

Each of us has the ability to plant that garden with seeds of love, joy, peace, goodness; to water it with refreshing cool water from a deep reservoir given especially to each of us if we desire it; and to reap the fruit of our time and effort.

HE WHO dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust! (Psalm 91:1-2)

We have a Heavenly Father who desires a relationship with us, a Father who desires to bless us beyond our wildest dreams,

But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed]. (I Corinthians 2:9)

a Father who will walk with use very day leading and guiding us into ways that will bring only good into our lives.

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. (Jeremiah 29:11)

That relationship requires our time and God has provided His Spirit deep within us that gently prompts us to take that time and spend it with Him so that we will have access to that secret garden where we can be strengthened and encouraged in our walk.

Why would we be "too busy" or "too tired" or "too distracted" to cultivate this garden?  Time spent in this secret place renews our strength and our ability to handle life successfully.  Time spent here insures we have a companion walking the pathways of our days with us.  Time here will bring help in days of difficulty; peace in days of instability; strength in times of weakness; courage in periods of fear; joy in times of sadness.

Time in your secret garden is time well spent ...

Blessings on your time,

All scripture quoted from the Amplified Bible

Friday, July 29, 2011

Clearance Time -- Yeah!

I just love to go shopping when everything is on clearance ... that's my kind of day.  It's that time of year so I spent a couple of days this week looking for some items for an upcoming trip this fall.

This one is just for fun!

And I found a little cover-up jacket to go with it --

And for evening a "little black dress" --

Love the lace detail on the top --

Found a pretty chiffon shawl with a lightly beaded edge to go with it but it doesn't photograph well.

Next a couple of dressier tops to go with pants suits I already have --

And, of course, shoes --

And a top just for fun!

That was enough shopping for this week.  It's 113 or more here today so I'm hibernating.  Thank God for air conditioning!  (and electricity to power it).


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lazy Summer Days

I was in "slow mode" this week ... fighting off a bit of the stomach flu so I spent some time reading, studying, and lazing about.  Went for a wonderful full body deep tissue massage this morning and I should be a new woman now!

This has been my afternoon habitat -- cool and refreshing --

And here is food for the mind and soul --

And some snacks --

That and some naps and a nice dinner out with my husband last night was my week.

Stay cool ... and blessings,

Saturday, July 16, 2011

More Water & Spirit

Still pondering on the water and spirit thing.  Living waters are on my mind today.  What is living water as opposed to dead water?

Living water is moving -- like a brook or a river -- bringing life to fish and water creatures, graceful trees on its banks, and perhaps even being used for drinking water.  Living water has both an inflow source and an outflow ... it continually replenishes itself and in so doing gives of itself.

Dead or stagnant bodies of water receive water coming in but have little or no outlet.  The water just sits and becomes filled with algae and overgrowth of aquatic weeds.  It may be a nice quiet place for a canoe ride but not so good for swimming, definitely not for drinking and fish cannot survive in its oxygen starved atmosphere.  It takes but does not give.

In John 7:37-38 Our Lord, speaking of the Spirit of God, said "He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water. (Amplified Bible)

So, from us should flow rivers of living water ... water that is fresh and clean and good for its intended purpose, bringing help and hope and comfort to those around us just as the living water flowing from under the feet of God in New Jerusalem.

"THEN HE showed me the river whose waters give life, sparkling like crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the broad way of the city; also, on either side of the river was the tree of life with its twelve varieties of fruit, yielding each month its fresh crop; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing and the restoration of the nations. There shall no longer exist there anything that is accursed (detestable, foul, offensive, impure, hateful, or horrible). But the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall worship Him [pay divine honors to Him and do Him holy service]. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. And there shall be no more night; they have no need for lamplight or sunlight, for the Lord God will illuminate them and be their light, ..." (Revelation 22:1-5)

When others look at our lives or come into contact with us do they find healing and refreshing?  Are we a light and a blessing?  Have we made sure there is nothing foul or offensive or impure in our actions?  I still have work to do ... but with God's Spirit at work in me I will make progress.


Friday, July 15, 2011

You're gonna laugh ...

Ok, so this morning I was sitting on my back patio for my morning prayer and reading time and a family of quail popped up over the hill and trekked down the area right around our a/c unit to pick at seeds or whatever is hidden there among the rocks.  Daddy proudly led the parade of three wee, tiny babies -- just little cotton -ball size bundles of fuzz -- and Mom guarded the rear.  They came down just behind my asparagus plant and since I wanted a better view and hopefully some pictures I carefully and slowly moved over to where they were pecking away.

Well, here is Dad --

And here is what I got of the rest of the family ... believe it or not there are five birds here!

and here ...

Guess you'll just have to take my word for it.  This is what we have in our yards in Havasu in lieu of grass.  The good thing about it is that it doesn't need watering or mowing ... other than that I can't think of anything else it's good for.

Still the sky is magnificently blue every day and the sun just keeps on shining.  I used to long for the sun to appear during the long New England winters; now I'm blessed with it every day!

Since our flip house hasn't sold yet, the family is taking Kentucky Fried Chicken up to the house and enjoying the pool this evening.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Water and Spirit

Just as I can float freely in cool, clear water

and my body and mind are at ease and refreshed,
so can my soul and spirit rest freely without worry or care 

in the refreshing water of the Holy Spirit as I 
allow it to wash through my life.

May you find peace today and


Friday, July 8, 2011

True Relaxation

We babysat for my son's kitty while he was away a couple of weeks ago.  Sarena was a joy and we laughed alot at her antics.  As I was going through my pictures today I realized that she is an aficionado of relaxation.  Take a peek ... we should be so laid back!

 She likes TV too ... 

The remote comes first --

Hmmm ... this looks interesting --

Maybe I should take a closer look --

Aha, this is the view I like --

Hope you have a relaxing weekend, too!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Back to Everyday Life

We had a wonderfully relaxing weekend in Prescott for the 4th.  This year is was rather warm -- 101 on Saturday, the day of the parade.  We expected (hoped for) a bit cooler; fortunately there is plenty of shade around the courthouse square.

The white tents are part of the Arts & Crafts Fair that is held on the 4th each year showcasing artisans from across the country.

Of course, their parade is one of the highlights of the weekend.  It was over two hours long!

Stagecoaches ...
Cowboys ...

Classic cars ...

Old Glory ...

Musicians ...

Honor Guard ...

Pretty ladies ... beautiful dresses ...

After that a delicious lunch in a cool garden ...

And a quiet afternoon respite at a lake ...

Sunday there were two band concerts ... one the US Army National Guard Band ...

And the other a band from the Phoenix area ...

Something we had not seen in a long time -- both adults and children doing the hoola hoop!

And everyone engages in people watching!

Now George is once again tethered to his computer and phone and I'm off to do some grocery shopping.  But it was nice to get away for a bit and relax.  

Make it a good week!