Crumbs from the Table: Mud in the Barnyard

mud stuck in the mud psalms 40 help for women devotioans for women

It was early spring – you know, that time of year when we are waiting to see new life but the leaves are still dormant in their buds. I was driving home from work, turned onto our winding road, passed by the cattle barn, and then came to a grinding halt.

“Is that who I think it is?”

Yep, my 5-year old granddaughter, alone, in the middle of the pasture, crying. She was stuck in the mud and absolutely could not move. The mud was up over her boots. She was hanging on for dear life to a sickly looking small, leafless, tree, and sobbing. Stuck. Scared.

Are you stuck in the mire?

You can’t move. You feel all alone. You are sure no one else has ever had this problem, but yep, here you are. Is there any hope of getting out of this pit of mire? No matter how hard you try, you cannot get out of the mud that’s become part of your life.

There is HOPE and His name is JESUS.

In Psalm 40: 1-3, David the Psalmist writes:

“I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see it and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him.”

Don’t panic! Wait patiently for the Lord, just as the Psalmist did. He hears your cry. He will lift you out of the mud and mire and set your feet on a rock and give you a firm place to stand. You will praise Him with the new song He puts in your heart!

My precious granddaughter did get out of the mud, and so will you. Wait on the Lord!!

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Verna Mullen is a wife, mom and grandma who loves sharing the beauty of music, crafting, and life on the family farm. Her insights about faith and family will encourage women and we’re thrilled to have her sharing “Crumbs from the Table” on the Savvy Rose blog.

The Tapestry of Dark and Light

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A Few Thoughts Before We Get Into Today’s Tune-up

Psalm 92:14-15“They shall still bear fruit in old age.  They shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the Lord is upright, He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”  I’m here today to share some fruit. And it will point you to my Rock!

Jill Brisco and her husband, Stuart, were being interviewed on a Christian radio station.  Both are over 80 years of age.  I loved the remark that was made – that they were being introduced as “experts” because of their age.  So I want you to understand – I’m an “expert” – I turned 82 in May! If time isn’t precious to you right now where you are, you need to change your priorities!

Incidentally, the Briscoes have a book out called “Improving with Age”!!  How about that!

I may be older than you but I’m still young at heart!

the savvy roseTUNE-UP TIME! THE TAPESTRY OF DARK AND LIGHT IN OUR LIVES

I can guarantee – “light and dark” tapestry occurs in each of our lives.  God uses both to get our attention, to challenge us, to help us grow, to assist in the transformation process that He sovereignly designs for each one of us as He fulfills His plan to see us become more like His Son.   Romans 8:28-29 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.  For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son…” – and THAT is what all the dark and light times of life are about. 

Presently, I send an email to my adult kids each weekday morning to remind them of my cheerleading efforts in word and prayer on their behalf.  And on June 28 I wrote:

“In August I will be speaking to a group of ladies so I am beginning to prepare a message on the dark and light times in our lives using some quilting projects as illustrations.  Consequently, my mind is focusing on the difficulties and challenges of the tough times faced, along with the unfathomable provisions that are given to us by the Father to counterbalance and totally overwhelm the heavy loads we find ourselves facing as we trudge, crawl, climb and sometimes scrape and dig our way along, and then at other times joyfully leaping and bounding along the pathway on which God is leading each one of us.  I’m being reminded of the constant, unfailing love and strength and provision of our Father to me as His child.  I am praising Him today with a thankful heart.  Acts 17:28 – “…in Him we live and move and have our being.  I love you – Mom”

And with that introduction, in my next post, we will look at how the tapestry of dark and light is illustrated in the beautiful art of quilting.

Are you a quilter? What are your favorite colors to use when you create a quilt?

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Robin Cox is an avid learner who shares encouragement and life lessons from God’s Word. She plays a mean game of Scrabble when she’s not baking, cooking, quilting, or spending time curating her incredible flowers and plants. Robin has taught women’s Bible studies for years in the local church, special events, and professional businesswomen meetings. There’s not much that makes Robin happier than knowing a life has been changed by trusting in Jesus. The gift of hospitality and a love for people shines through her written words.  Robin is delighted to find herself a contributor to The Savvy Rose. Make yourself at home, grab a cup of tea, and sit awhile in the garden.

Sharpeners

sharpening lives and homes tools for women

“If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.” John 13:17

Years ago the sharpening of tools was a regular necessity. A dull edge meant more work and possible harm to the wielder of the tools. Perhaps, today, it’s wise to consider way to gently “sharpen” our lives as women.

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Tools to Sharpen Our Lives and Homes

 

  • Read the scriptures daily.  Through them God will cleanse and renew your mind.  Romans 12:2 is a good resource. Watchman Nee, a Chinese church leader and Christian teacher who worked in China during the 20th century, daily practiced not eating breakfast until he had fed on God’s Word.  This is a great idea to consider. Whether you read God’s Word before breakfast or at another time during your day, as you read, circle the action words – then prayerfully choose to obey.
  • Memorize Scripture.  Buy a set of index cards.  As you read Scripture, print out a verse on a card that speaks to your heart. Tape the new verse where you will see it every day.  Practice saying it.  (I type mine up on business card stock and carry them with me so I can practice them wherever and whenever.)
  • One of the most beneficial places to install a book/magazine rack or to place a basket full of good things to read is in your bathroom near the toilet and tub.  Good reading for little people and big people!  Give the kids their own rack or basket.
  • Read, read, read – good magazines, good literature, biographies, autobiographies, history.  Subscribe to some good Christian stuff: World Magazine is a favorite of mine (World Magazine gives the Christian perspective on colleges, world happenings, etc. that we do not get in the world’s publications and printings), Focus on the Family magazines and books for the family, Turning Point literature (David Jeremiah),  etc.  Visit your church library for some excellent literature.  If you don’t like accumulating books, invest in a Kindle and simply read your books via today’s technology!
  • Do crossword puzzles and play Scrabble or other word games.

Start a prayer/memory journal and record in it on a daily basis.  (I use a spiral notebook.  At the start of each day, I record the month/day/year). With each contact that the Lord gives you on a daily basis, record a prayer request or praise regarding that individual.

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Remember to Sharpen Your Body

 

  • Decide to exercise every day one way or another.
  • Find some stairs to walk up and down as part of your exercise.  Walk inside your home or outside.  Walk the halls at the mall.  Walk around the block or in the school halls (some have approved walking programs).  Take the dog for a walk.  Take a longer walking direction to your destination (parking farther away when going to a store or for an appointment).  If you garden, that provides lots of exercise.  Join a fitness club or a fitness class.
  • If your physical agility allows, establish a daily stretch/bend/tummy tightening/arm exercise routine.  Do the exercises before you shower and dress.  Invest in a pair or set of dumbbells.  That will help prevent arms from becoming flabby or will lessen the flab.
  • Invest in other exercise equipment that is suitable for you or check out your local city or town for memberships to the YMCA for exercise classes, swimming, etc.
  • Use a doctor-approved wellness plan.
  • Follow scriptural instruction to lend to a healthy body.  That’s a program that should start yesterday!  Encourage family involvement.

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Remember to Sharpen Your Soul

 

  • Your outlook on life matters!
  • Tend to nurture/cultivate your relationship with God.  It takes choosing—then discipline, determination and planning—no matter how many years you walk with the Lord!
  • Tell God you want to be a source of joy to Him first and then to others.  Then ask Him for the grace and strength to be that each day.
  • Start a “Remember” journal of all the good things God does for you and of all the precious things others do for you.  I hope to do a “Remember” quilt sometime for posterity.
  • “He who hath friends must show himself to be friendly.”  Work at developing friendships!!
  • Train your mind to focus on serving others and away from focusing inwardly on self.  Mark 10:45 – “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  As we become more like Christ, this becomes of more importance to us.
  • Literally pray that God will help you train your mind to think positively (especially if you tend to be a negative person).  Being happy is a choice!  We can learn to choose to be happy women no matter what our circumstances!  I am currently doing a one-on-one Bible study with a young mom on this very subject.
  • Work on keeping your sense of humor.  If you’ve lost it, go find it!!
  • Practice smiling more!

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Remember to Sharpen Your Outreach

 

  • Decide to make one “new contact” phone call or go up to someone in church you haven’t met yet or put a thoughtful little note in a mailbox at church.
  • Track the church calendar, circle birthdays, and send an e-mail or card at the proper time.
  • Drop a “You’re on my heart” note to someone.
  • Ask pastor(s) who needs a visit.  Volunteer to do visitation.  Pastor(s) will faint.  Then when he/they revive(s), he’ll/they’ll praise the Lord!
  • Participate in your church’s Secret Pal ministry – it’s so much fun.  If your church doesn’t have one, organize one!  If you have an idea about a neat way for fellowship, share it with others.
  • Ask God to give you some fresh new ideas.  Then watch out!!

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Remember to Sharpen Your Sense of Accomplishment

 

  • Use lists – cross off each task or challenge as it is accomplished.
  • Early in the day make a list of things you’d like to get under your belt for that day:  make that phone call, quiet time, exercise/walking, reading/study, baking, water flowers, time you need to leave house for meeting, remind yourself to ________________________,
  • Keep two lists – one for future goals on it and one for today’s goals.
  • Do one little “extra” around the house each day: you’re queen of the castle so clean the throne – ha!  Clean out a drawer, dust (boo-0-0), wash curtains, Windex windows and glass frames, the TV screen, your glasses (!!), mend/iron clothes (yes I said “mend”), or organize an area.
  • Bored?  Ask God to help you see what He’s doing or ask Him what you can do! Editor’s note: You may have noticed, Robin does not get bored easily.

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Remember to Sharpen Your Personal Relationships

 

  • Pretend you’re an author and write an appreciation list to someone (from Max Lucado’s “Shaped by God”).
  • Send a note.
  • Plan a special get-away day and don’t reveal where you’re taking your friend until you get there!
  • Take a penny ride (every time you come to a turn, flip the penny – heads turn right, tails turn left).
  • Have an annual weekend reunion just for the girls and women in the family at a cottage, each others’ homes, etc.  Everyone brings games, food, whatever they love to do.  A few years ago we rented a cabin at North End Marina on Keuka Lake and also rented a pontoon boat so we could spend as much time as we wanted on the water sight-seeing and fishing.  Bring a journal that everyone can sign and note what was special to them.
  • Use your vocal chords to say, “I love you!”
  • Bake and share – on baking day I play a game – my extra batch of whatever I bake goes to the first person to stop at the house.  If no one shows, it goes to a neighbor.  It’s a lot of fun.  I swear our grown kids smell my chocolate chip cookies several miles away!
  • Remember!  Home is your husband’s castle.  Work at creating a home filled with peace, comfort, security, love, respect and joy.
  • Form the habit of looking for opportunities to compliment others and start with home members!
  • Practice looking attractive when it is time for hubby to arrive home from work.
  • Practice focusing on the joy of returning to your family at the end of the day while you drive home from your place of work.

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Remember to Sharpen Your Personal Relationship with God

 

  • No. 1: Make sure it exists.  1 John 5:11-12 tells us, “…God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
  • Keep short sin accounts with God.
  • Keep that which the Lord commands – 1 Samuel 13:14 – one day at a time.
  • Pray: “Please give me a heart and home You love to visit.”
  • Pray: “Help me Father.  I want to be a joy to You first of all.”
  • Pray that He will provide the needs of your life.  Don’t lay that one on your husband or your friends.
  • Make “I thank You Father and I love You” a daily statement.
  • Get up earlier and spend quiet time with Him if you don’t seem to make time as the day goes forward.  He can set you free from the bondage of sin and also the bondage of a too-busy day!  He can give you victory over circumstances.
  • Play peaceful music in your home.  You can pull in www.FLN.org and click on Praise Channel on your computer.  It will give your morning a gracious start.

The best way to sum up all the ways to sharpen our lives? Here it is: Yield to God the mundane, repetitive things of daily life!  LET GOD RENEW EACH DAY FOR YOU.  He’ll make the old seem like new!

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Robin Cox is an avid learner who shares encouragement and life lessons from God’s Word. She plays a mean game of Scrabble when she’s not baking, cooking, quilting, or spending time curating her incredible flowers and plants. Robin has taught women’s Bible studies for years in the local church, special events, and professional businesswomen meetings. There’s not much that makes Robin happier than knowing a life has been changed by trusting in Jesus. The gift of hospitality and a love for people shines through her written words.  Robin is delighted to find herself a contributor to The Savvy Rose. Make yourself at home, grab a cup of tea, and sit awhile in the garden.