simplyenjoy


Hope is an anchor.
March 12, 2014, 8:15 pm
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With so many distractions, interruptions and things fighting for our attention… Focus can seem fleeting. Balance feels elusive. Hope seems unreal…

But the truth is that God’s word is a rock to stand on.

I love this strong word describing God’s love –

Rock.

And others…

Anchor.

Refuge.

Strong tower.

Cornerstone.

That’s what the hope of a personal relationship with Jesus brings. Solid security of a life-long relationship.

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Art created at Westerly Town Beach, Westerly, Rhode Island. Sunshine yesterday – rain, ice and snow today. Even the weather displays confusion.

Life is not without storms, without fear and without failure, but The Lord is holding His people steady. The promises speak to this.

I’m grateful for this undeserved gift of grace.

Hebrews 6:19 We have this hope as an anchor for our souls, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary, behind the curtain where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever.

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Throwing stones.

I’ve learned some valuable lessons in the past month that have really hurt.

I’ve learned not all professing Christians walk in love or even tell the truth.

I’ve learned not all employees in the mental health field are educated in mental health wellness.

I’ve learned when to speak, when to listen and when to stand my ground.

I’ve learned that wearing your heart on your sleeve (and, honestly, I knew this before) often gets you hurt.

I’ve learned not to make assumptions about other people – i.e.) “They work in the care-giving field so they must be caring.” FALSE.

But I’m not a victim.

I left a job because of unfair and unjust circumstances and I’m emotionally stronger because of it.

I have a greater understanding of this now: Matthew 10:16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

…at the end of the day, I do believe God will close doors in our lives in order to protect us. He tells us that he has plans for our good and as a believer, I take that to heart and I believe it! God is not a man that He should lie. In some way, that I can’t yet see, blessings will come out of this situation.

He has already blessed me with employment at a great agency, a beautiful family and food and shelter. I know that my gifts are over-flowing. I may  not understand the “why” of it… but it is what it is.

And right now, I’m praying for ways to share my gifts and to really serve in a greater capacity…

And this is what has come to me – STONES. Quite clearly I heard the whispering. “Don’t throw stones like the accusers do… but build with them.”

So I’m building with the proverbial thrown stones that have been tossed my way and unknowingly, I’ve been building with them for over a year. I’ve been drawing in the sand of different beaches, arranging pebbles and stones and musing on my Savior.

I know I’m not perfect and I have certainly thrown my own stones in life and projected myself when I should not have. I know we all make mistakes. Jesus’s mercy is so great. It’s awesome and undeserved.

I’m praying the words I use will always BUILD UP others and not drag down. I truly know how it feels and it’s disheartening. It’s awful. No one should ever have to feel that way. I don’t want to throw stones… I truly want to build with them.

This is my practice:

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balance

Balance – Marconi Beach – Cape Cod National Seashore – Eastham, MA Winter 2012

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Standing on the promises – Longbeach, CA Summer 2012

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Fruits of the Spirit –  Monomoy Beach, Chatham, MA Summer 2013

underwater

Immanuel – God with us – Westerly Town Beach, Westerly, RI December 2013

Photo: Tidings of comfort and joy ♥ Moonstone Beach, South Kingston, RI

Tidings of Comfort and Joy – Moonstone Beach, South Kingstown, RI December 2013

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

Matthew 19

28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls.They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”



Greater things, still.

“A free mind is a great thing, no doubt, but loftiness of heart,

belief in goodness,

capacity for enthusiasm and devotion,

the thirst after perfection and holiness,

are greater things still.”

– Amiel – 

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Gettysburg, PA ~ July 2011

“He who is silent is forgotten; he who abstains is taken at his word; he who does not advance, falls back; he who stops is overwhelmed, distanced, crushed; he who ceases to grow greater becomes smaller; he who leaves off, gives up; the stationary condition is the beginning of the end—it is the terrible symptom which precedes death. To live, is to achieve a perpetual triumph: it is to assert one’s self against destruction, against sickness, against the annulling and dispersion of one’s physical and moral being. It is to will without ceasing, or rather to refresh one’s will day by day.” – Amiel –



Always delighting vs. peevish bemoaning

Sun

Sunrise 6:43 a.m. Chatham, MA

“Those who can repress complaints, murmurs and peevish bemoaning will really find that their little daily worries are turning into blessings.” – H.L. Sidney Lear

Release it here… toss it among the waves, hand it over to God and let him handle the business of life, which He tends to so much better.

So human.

So lacking.

So small in this big world.

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And paradoxically, though this a seems self-deprecating and “weak” description, there is no better way to be here. There is no greater joy than to delight in the smallness of being human and enjoy the vastness of God.

In this Lenten season (February 13 – March 31) believers are reminded of the beauty of letting go… the grace involved in delicately releasing problems to the source of all love.

Believers are consoled that Jesus Christ, Himself, who came for people – preaching, teaching and healing – was drawn into the desert, tempted and disciplined in order to complete the calling on his life. He was not without human suffering – he was not without challenges – but he was obedient unto them… even unto death on a cross. So obedient was he to follow after the Lord that he turned all of Himself over so that others could see his submission to the Lord and it would live on and on as a testament to God. Whether one believes Christian theology or  not, one cannot deny it’s persistent presence throughout the ages and it’s ability to continue shedding light and mercy to those who would choose to better understand.

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Whether you are a believer or not, you can take this example of Christ’s life as a metaphor for the daily strife and life struggles that no human is immune to. We often run away from our pain (avoidance) or seek to heal our own pain (self-medication) or cover-up our pain (over-compensation, denial, manipulation.)

A positive coping skill for dealing with pain would be a tactic employed to produce greater feelings of flexibility and positive health.

Positive copings skils:

A beloved hobby (sports, art, music, creative expression.)

Taking time outs from stress through a quick walk, relaxing stretches, short mediations or prayer, silent counting, calling a beloved friend or relative, writing in a journal.

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Other ideas for positive coping skills when dealing with life stress and change… anything that creates a feeling of spaciousness or peace in your life without negatively deteriorating your health or the well-being of those around you. 

Sun5When tempted in the wilderness…

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39



Love > Hate

“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:9

Lighthouse



A jump for joy!

I had a couple instances of such happy news this week that at one point, in a school-girl like automatic response, I lifted my bum from the sofa and a happy squeal launched itself from my mouth. Where did that come from?

Nerdy as it may sound, my inspiration and an esteemed neuro-psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen returned a private message I sent him. I was not expecting it. And three simple lines of thoughtfully returned communication made me smile, and umm, jump. For Joy!

Let the moments of joy lift you up. Let good news elevate your heart! With so much heavy, we simply must make, appreciate and thoughtfully sustain our happy.

Put a little pep in your step today.

A happy bounce, a cheerful lilt… or a jump for JOY!

And speaking of jumping for Joy I’m resharing this blog because it consistently brings a smile with each new entry. A simple concept in a complicated world.

The diverse participants and beautiful locations are ever-changing in this blog, which makes the simplicity so universal. I doubt this blog will ever lack for subjects. Stop on by and check out the skips, hops and jumps for joy.

JUMP FOR JOY! Photo Project

The lovely Tiffany jumping or joy on lava rocks by the Ocean in Kauai, Hawaii.

Enjoy your afternoon!

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