Bouncing Back

2 Corinthians 4:8  We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.  NKJV

Looking out of my window recently after an ice storm passed, the branches of evergreens in the back garden were clearly distressed.    They hung low under the weight of ice and snow.  Not even the bird feeder escaped the icy coating. The birdhouse no longer visible was hidden by the heavily laden branches.  It appeared to the eye there was no shelter, no nourishment, no escape from the discomfort of the wintry blast.

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Stress enters everyone’s life.  We instantly feel bowed down; burdened and unable to function.  There seems to be no way of escape.

Under duress we can choose to trust in God. Faith and hope in Him can help us bounce back from our personal dilemmas, but only if we fully rely on the spiritual guidance that He provides.

Leaning on God and not mankind, we can find shelter from the storms of life; life-giving strength and determination to survive.  Endure.  Overcome.  The shackles and grip of worry can be broken if we choose wisely, just as nature’s icy imprisonment will disappear with the warmth of the sun.

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Trust in the Lord, I say, trust in the Lord always.

Philippians 4:4  Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice.  NKJV

Prayer:  Lord help us to persevere and lean on You for all our needs.  It is not easy to do, so help us to trust and hope as we await Your guidance.  Amen.

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A Warm Hug

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My friend, Brenda, and I, contribute hand-knitted shawls to local agencies to comfort cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

We knit squares (well, that’s a loose term for the ones I donate), these are then crocheted, sewn or knitted together to make a warm wrap.  Undergoing chemo is a tough treatment to endure.  Nervousness and discomfort can make one feel cold and lonesome.  Our hope is that each of these garments brings a warm hug to each person given one.

I like to choose colours that I consider cheery.  But, sometimes, I choose each with a thought in mind.

Red and orange I consider bold ‘look at me’ signals.  I consider them strength.  Everyone who has undergone chemo needs that to persevere the discomfort.

Purples I choose for a more masculine portion of the wrap.  Pink, of course, for females.

Greens and purples are incorporated for the sheer guts it takes to tolerate this invasive method of treatment.

While yellow is a sunshine square for a person to hold on to.

White is hope: cure: successful treatments and health returned in full.

We put a lot of prayer and a ton of love into each of these gifts.  Our hope is to bring a little comfort into a dark place in somebody’s life.  A warm hug from people who care.

Patricia

 

 

 

Nothing To It!

‘It was easy,’ she said.  ‘Nothing to it really.’

Humph!  Easier for some than for others, I was thinking.

My friend, Brenda, is a nifty creator.  She can turn any piece of fabric into a wonderful creation.

I had taken knitted squares to her.  That’s the limit of my creativity (at present).  She turns these insignificant pieces into afghans, or throws, for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.  They are really comfort shawls, because we each put a lot of love into each one.  Brenda, more than me.

So, I handed her my bag of knitting and prepared to leave.  ‘Wait’ she said.  ‘Try this,.  See what you think.’

She handed me a red poncho.  ‘It was so easy to make.  I just buy ‘throws’ and put them together.’  ‘You can have it, if you like it.’

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It fitted beautifully and felt so cozy.  That is what I call a great exchange.  I had given her a few knitted pieces, and she added this lovely garment to my wardrobe.

Thank you, Brenda.  It might be easy for you, but I know I’d be all ‘fingers and thumbs, trying to create something like it.

Easy for you to say!  Easy for you to do too!  You’re so talented (and I am so glad I know you).

🙂 🙂

Patricia

 

 

 

The Persistent Noise of Freedom

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Psalm:  28:7-9 You are my strong shield, and I trust You completely.  You have helped me, and I will celebrate and thank you in song.  You give strength to Your people, Lord.  And you save and protect Your chosen ones.  Come save us and bless us.  Be our shepherd and always carry us in Your arms.  CEV

Whenever I listen to the music of Les Miserable, I continue to hear it on and on, long after the source of the music has faded.  I find many of the songs hauntingly beautiful despite the fact they are relating real and traumatic events.

It is not due to distaste for the music, or the lyrics, it is that the content resonates in ways I cannot describe.  What I do know is that my mind instantly becomes saturated with the tunes and words, as well as the stirring anguish of the main characters.  Having seen the movie no doubt adds to the depth of emotion I encounter.  It is filled with human suffering and fights for liberation of many kinds.

The peoples freedom was won at great cost.  Today, there are similar battles still raging.  The news is full of suffering, conflict and pain.  Perhaps that explains why my head remains filled with melodious refrains.  I can almost feel the devastating conflicts and heart-wrenching decisions being made.

Perhaps, I can relate to some of the struggles so skillfully portrayed in the movie.  The characters blend with my psyche and their grief invades my being.  I become one with them.

So when I hear ‘I dreamed a Dream’ – Little Fall of Rain – Bring Him Home or A Heart Full of Love and more, my head takes me on a journey back in time, and I live through the revolutionary battle, along with Fantine, Valjean, Cosette and the cast members.  I take on their fight and the music, and I battle on.  After two or three days, the music in my head begins to fade and I can once again escape the fight for freedom that they fought, and escape into my ordinary, often mundane day.

But it is my day.  I am free, because at one time battles were fought to keep it so.  The battles for freedom continue.  Some will succeed.  Others will fail.  That is the way of the world, and it is often brutally unkind.

In the spiritual realm, God rules.  His domain is worthy of our effort.  He gives solace, and mercy, and strength to those who believe in Him.  Those who choose His Way, through Jesus, might not have worldly success, but they will have spiritual strength, and will be rewarded with eternal life.

Prayer:  Father God, your Bible assures us of Your unending love for each of us.  Through our many struggles, You are with us.  Please reassure us, according to our needs, because You tell us that you give us strength and will protect us.  Thank you for Your mercy.  Amen.

Patricia