My son-in-law, Brian, took the above picture of a tiny frog nestled all snug on a piece of gingerbread work by my garden gate. The picture doesn't really let you know how tiny the frog was, but it wasn't over an inch long and probably one-half inch wide - just a tiny little thing. Brian and I both thought it a good picture to illustrate peace when all around there may be noise and confusion!
The noise or storm around us may be voices in our own head; worry noises about what to do, how to proceed in this time of unprecedented concerns. We hear opinions advising us in different directions and we may feel confused.
This tiny frog gives us a lesson in sitting still and just finding peace in the storm. Jesus said "do not worry" and "do not be afraid" again and again in His Word. So I choose not to worry nor be afraid; however, He also told us to "be wise." We are not to ignore problems but are to face them with wisdom, not fear and panic. My God is able to take care of me as I put my trust in Him, and He also gives me knowledge, discernment and wisdom to be aware and cautious.
Let us not fear, nor worry, yet be aware and cautious. God is always with us, even through times of stress. He doesn't say we will have no problems in life, but He does promise to be with us through the times of problems and shows us a way to have peace in the storm!
Verses to help us find peace:
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous righteous right hand."
- Isaiah 41: 10
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
- Philippians 4: 6-7
I don't know about you, but I have been having an abundance of alone time. Some of us cope with this well, while others may not. One thing I have been impressed by is the creativity of people during this time of isolation. On Facebook many have shared ideas for those who are home-schooling; fabulous ideas. I have been amazed at the craft projects, garden ideas, music and art expressed on Facebook. This time of quiet and reflection has brought out the best in many.
I see people being creative in helping their neighbors. I heard of one neighborhood where every evening at six o'clock everyone goes out to the street in front of their home and all dance separated but together. How fun!
People celebrating birthdays during this social-distancing time have enjoyed family and friends driving by their homes, honking car horns, shouting hello, displaying balloons and banners and singing Happy Birthday.
Those who have loved ones in assisted living or nursing home facilities have visited them from outside their windows, talking to them on their phones, or make large cards for them to see at a distance. Such love is being shown to others and that is what's important.
We may not be able to hug our loved ones, but we can tell them they are loved and show them our love. Two of my grandsons, one living near me and the other one in another state, have started to send me a video each night at bedtime of them playing songs (some they have written) on their guitars. This makes my day! Other grandchildren have texted and called. Some have come for a front porch visit (where we sit six to eight feet apart) and we talk. Some of these things I want to continue even after the pandemic is over.
Having some time alone to rest and just think is good for us. This alone time or time just with our family has had some benefits. It has caused us to slow down and talk to each other. I know many have lost loved ones, or have been separated from them, have lost income and things haven't been good. My heart goes out to you. I do care, and I do pray for all of us, our families, our nation, the world.My prayer is that God will have mercy on us and help us!
All of my pictures this month seem to be of the garden or outside. Well, May is the month of the garden to me. In the picture above beautiful purple clematis are blooming around the garden gate. May is probably my favorite month. The weather is usually pleasant and one can be outside working in the garden or sitting and enjoying the flowers. Birds are busy building their nest and having babies, and you can hear birdsong all around - lovely!
I wrote on my chalkboard something to remind myself before I step outside my back door:
"Focus on the flowers - not the weeds!"
It is hard for me to sit and just enjoy the day, the blue sky and what's around me, because I am constantly looking at the weeds needing to be pulled, or debris that has fallen from the trees, or some mess to clean up. Is this hard for you as well?
You, like me, may have to tell yourself "Focus on the flowers - not the weeds." Well, this in so true in life right now. We need to learn to try and focus on the good things happening and not on the bad. What we focus on will either make us happy or unhappy. Let's choose happy today.
There are many things we can do nothing about, except worry, and that helps no one does it? If we can do something to help a situation, then do it, but if not stop focusing on the bad, and look instead to the good.
You may say "I can see no good in this." In every problem there is something to be learned, something to help us grow into a better person.
"Glance at problems - Gaze at God."
We must put our hearts and minds into solutions which will help our situation. What can we do today that will help someone? Can we make someone's burden less? Will a kind word, a smile, a flower picked from our garden possibly lift someone's spirit? Let us love and lift up others! Sometimes it only takes a small thing to help a situation.
GO INTO THE GARDEN AND BE HAPPY!
JUST SIT AWHILE AND ENJOY THE DAYS OF MAY!
"IF I HAD A SINGLE FLOWER FOR EVERY TIME I THINK ABOUT YOU, I COULD WALK FOREVER IN MY GARDEN."
- CLAUDIA ADRIENNE GRANDI
'BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD."
- Psalm 46: 10 NIV
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