Tag Archive: New Life

Spring Joy

close up of pink cherry blossom
Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

Blossoming white, deep rose, and pink trees dot the carpet of green grass and fountains as we enter our housing area. Today a pair of mating ducks crossed the street (yes, of course we stop!) while Canadian geese watched from the lawn. Seeing the beauty of Spring, along with a lot of neighbors out walking again, has been renewing and peaceful.

This afternoon I enjoyed an outdoor visit with a potential dogsitter on a patio covered with plants, potted flowers, and statuary.

Perhaps the pain in so much of the world helps remind us of our blessings. Even when we have difficulties, there is so much for which to be thankful.

A year ago our nephew left the hospital after a bout with Covid that almost took his life. KD’s doctor fasted and prayed for five days while treating KD. What an amazing gift!

I hurt my right hip a few months ago and have been walking with a cane on and off. Today Paigey and I walked about ten blocks. Don had offered to pick us up on the return trip, but we made it home without a rescue! It felt good!

Last night we dined with dear friends, then went to a worship night at our Evergreen Valley Church. The evening was meaningful and unscripted. The leaders allowed the Holy Spirit to work through music, a word from one of our pastors, and testimonies of various individuals of how God is working in their lives.

One man, who used to hold services for the homeless, is unable to attend church now because he is caring for his ill wife, his first priority.

Greg spoke about going to lead Bible studies in jail. He thought he would face threats, mocking, and fists. Instead, there were 25 men waiting to hear from him. And over the next significant period of time there were never fewer than 20 at Bible study, men whose lives are being changed because they met the One who came to set the captive free!

Joy, a teacher, felt a pull to start a Bible study for teachers last summer, after a year of online learning. At first she thought what she was feeling must be a mistake, but after two months she said “Ok God.” And that study has been so needed as the teachers have faced a difficult year coming back into the classroom. Recently Joy felt a tug to start a prayer group–and this time she determined not to wait two months. That very week two parents came in to pray with her.

Another woman shared that repeating scriptures she knows has freed her from severe panic attacks.

Our world is in turmoil. And yet, God is at work around the world. And one day our God will reign supreme, evil will be abolished, and those who trust in Christ will live forever with Him. This world is not the end. It is just a teeny moment in time, a stepping stone. An opportunity for God to develop our holiness rather than our happiness.

The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.

Zechariah 14:9 NIV

What a day that will be!

post by carolnl | | Closed

Froggies and New Birth

Our niece, Janae and her two-year old son joined us for dinner Thursday. Titus is an adorable, all boy moving wonder! After dinner we took them on a golf cart ride through The Villages, especially along the golf course. We crossed the street to reach the pond with ducks, geese and frogs. Titus was fascinated. We stopped, and he and Janae got out of the cart and walked toward three bullfrogs sitting on the lawn. The first two, flip, leaped into the pond as soon as Titus headed for them. The third held his ground, didn’t move, and eyeballed Titus from about 12-18″ apart. Then, as Titus’ little hands reached for him, he jumped. What great fun!

Soon after, our decades-long friend Susan Jones spent the weekend with us. So lovely to catch up face to face, to share our hearts and pray together.

And early yesterday morning Don’s grandson and his wife gave us our second great-grandson, Michael James. We are thrilled that all are doing well and look forward to meeting the newest Loewen.

A few days after Janae and TItus were here, I called his grandmother, my sister-in-law Sheila. We talked about upcoming plans for a family reunion and Titus insisted on getting on the line.

“Hi Aunt Cayo, Unca Don.”

“Hi sweetie.”

“How it going?”

“It’s going well thanks. How’s it going for you?”

“Good.”

“Remember the frogs we saw last week?”

“Yeah, froggies in the water. Crocodiles in water.”

Sheila spoke up. “I don’t think they have crocodiles in their water, Titus.”

“No, we don’t have crocodiles. But honey, the ducks just had babies! They’re so little.”

“Babies just like me.”

“Yeah. Just like you. Isn’t that great?”

“Yes. Bye Unca Don, Aunt Cayo.”

Now if that conversation isn’t a blessing I don’t know what is!

God, give me a grateful heart. It’s so easy to focus on the things I don’t like, from family conflict to poverty to national conflict. But God has given me this day, this week, and for that I am thankful. He has richly blessed me in family, in two wonderful marriages, and with deep friendships. So teach my heart to praise, to give thanks, to look for the positive and the blessings in life rather than getting wrapped up in the negatives.

“A cheerful heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit makes one sick.Laughter is a good medicine …”

Proverbs 17:22, TLB

For what are you thankful this week? What little or big blessings have you experienced? I find It’s often the little blessings that we miss most when someone is gone from our lives; the loving smile or hug of spouse or parent, the ability to talk through issues and make joint decisions, the fun of laughing at each other and at ourselves. Each of these is a blessing not to be missed.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Colossians 3:15-16, ESV

Thankfulness – in ALL Things!

As we sat around the Thanksgiving table, my husband Don asked that we each express thanks for one thing. In my turn, I reflected that nine years ago, Thanksgiving 2005, I was in intensive care with my very ill first husband. God had surrounded us with new friends 3000 miles from home, and some had invited another hospital patient’s wife and me to a lovely Thanksgiving dinner. Although hesitant to leave Jerry, I felt I needed to go as the other woman didn’t know these new friends of mine. After dinner I returned to the hospital to find my husband in crisis with a large pool of clotted blood at his side–one the nurses hadn’t yet seen. After I yelled for help, the room filled with doctors. I stayed in the room until Jerry was stabilized about 2 am, then finally went to get a few hours’ sleep before returning to the hospital later that morning.

Three days later, after a surgery to remove a difficult-to-locate aneurysm, my lovely husband passed into the arms of Jesus.

I had no idea at the time what God had in store for my future, but a few years later He brought a new love into my life. Don is an enormous blessing and gift to me–one totally unexpected.

Life is sometimes filled with pain; but we don’t know what God holds in store further down the road.

new love, new life

new love, new life

So on this Thanksgiving weekend, I praise God for the following:

1. His great, unconditional love and forgiveness.
2. His gift of Presence.
3. His promise never to leave nor forsake us–no matter what!
4. That the life beyond this one is eternal, and will far surpass the one we now know and love–full of awesome surprises, the best of which will be meeting Jesus face to face.
5. That even after loss He can bless us in unexpected ways, and joy can return.

Sarah Young says “Thankfulness is not some sort of magic formula; it is the language of Love, which enables you to communicate intimately with Me. A thankful mind-set does not entail a denial of reality with its plethora of problems. Instead, it rejoices in Me, your Savior, in the midst of trials and tribulations. I am your refuge and strength, an ever-present and well-proved help in trouble.” (bold = mine) JESUS CALLING, November 22, p. 341.

I have experienced His help in trouble. I have experienced His joy. And I am deeply thankful.