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O Be Careful Little Feet

5 Oct

So be careful to do what the LORD
your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right
or to the left. Walk in all the way that the LORD your God
has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong
your days in the land that you will possess.
Deuteronomy 5:32-33

 

Cole and Lillianne are at Papaw and Mimi’s house for a couple days while Momma is away at Women’s Retreat and Daddy is working. What a time we will have together, enjoying life on such a different level than the usual Monday through Friday routine.  I marvel how quickly they are growing, becoming their own little persons.  I am in awe of how God created each of them in His own image … and I know that it is my responsibility as Mimi to help nurture, to help lead by example, and to pray diligently for them both to become the big people that God has dreamed they would be.

Mimi and her loves!

During another fun moment with the kiddos this past summer, I took this photo of our feet.  Three pairs of feet, each pair belonging to a different individual, each pair a different size, each a different shade and skin tone, all the while all three pair share the same blood line and are attached to bodies that were all scrunched together for the picture.  I can’t help but smile, then sigh every time I see this picture, because I know that it will only be a blink in time before those little feet will be as big or bigger than their Mimi’s.  Where will those little feet take them in their lifetime?

I quickly think back to just a couple months ago when our family spent the weekend at the shore.  Cole’s first reaction to the sand this summer was not a pleasant one, irritated by the immediate feel of grit.  But it wasn’t too long before he found that the same gritty sand was fun to play in with his loader and dump truck, and great to run on in the wet surf.  As we left the beach, Cole appreciated the security of his favorite yellow crocks from the hot temperatures of the sand, and at day’s in, he was happiest with clean dry feet all snug and warm in his socks.

Our feet carry great loads, some heavier than others, depending on the activity of the moment ~ how important it is for our feet to wear the appropriate attire for proper care.  Boots, sneakers, flip flops, high heels, flats, and house slippers are among the most common gear for our feet, all serving their purpose in protection, comfort, and decoration.  Scrubs, lotions, and polishes all lend a helping hand in keeping the rough edges smooth and adding grace and color.  And for some, a toe ring adds that special touch of décor and individuality.

It’s imperative to do more than just walk on our feet.  We must care for them…

If standing on them too long, feet hurt.  If the right amount of support is not offered, feet ache.  If not bundled up enough, feet get cold.  If not sufficiently protected by sunscreen, feet burn.  If calluses and corns are not properly tended to, feet get infected.  If walking on a rough and rocky path, feet trip.

Remember the little Sunday School song we sang as kids?

O be careful little feet where you go,
O be careful little feet where you go …
There’s a Father up above
He’s looking down in love,
O be careful little feet where you go.

What an incredible message in this simple song.

O be careful little eyes what you see …
O be careful little ears what you hear …
O be careful little hands what you touch …
O be careful little lips what you say …
There’s a Father up above
He’s looking down in love,
O be careful…

Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Ephesians 5:15-17

Each day of our lives, we are faced with decision after decision ~ choices that can be influenced by others, by our surroundings, and by our circumstances … but the responsibility of these decisions belong to us personally.  They all reflect our heart and our core beliefs.  Therefore, we must do all we can to guard our heart…

My son, pay attention to what I say;
listen closely to my words.

Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
and health to a man’s whole body.

 Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.

 Put away perversity from your mouth;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
fix your gaze directly before you.

 Make level paths for your feet
and take only ways that are firm.

 Do not swerve to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.

 My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
listen well to my words of insight,
that you may maintain discretion
and your lips may preserve knowledge.
Proverbs 4:20-5:2

 

Listen to this song by Casting Crowns … “It’s a Slow Fade”
Click on this link to read the lyrics and listen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wo26sCH-Fw

We must pay more careful attention,
therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.
Hebrews 2:1

The simple message in the Sunday School song is a serious one.
Won’t you join me in being careful?
It is a slow fade … people never crumble in a day.
But they do crumble.
Lives are forever changed.
But the good news is that we can throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
We can RUN (little feet) with perseverance the race marked out for us.
BECAUSE WE FIX OUR EYES ON JESUS.
HE is our ONLY hope in being careful.

Jesus is the Only hope for Cole and Lillie … for Kim and Ryan …
for me … for you.

“O be careful little feet…”

Until next time,
Debbie

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3

 

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Potpourri

5 Aug

Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions,
give it all you’ve got, be resolute,
and love without stopping.
I Corinthians 16:13
The Message

Most of the time, life seems like one great big blur, filled with everyday routines.  Each day is different, depending on the day of the week, the weather, and the schedule.  Just like the other night.  I was at the kitchen sink washing the dishes … all the while peering out the window watching the huge moon rise into the evening sky, it’s fullness being a beacon of light reaching out to everyone all at the same time.  The moon, a hot summer afternoon thunderstorm, a visit to a restaurant, time spent with family, and more … the potpourri that helps bring special moments to the mundane of the everyday blur of life.

I think it’s safe to say that no matter where YOU are reading this from, it’s been a hot summer.  Summer is the season for hot weather, but for some locals, the hot dug in deep with not much intention of leaving.  And not much rain.  For some, that is.  Here in our area of the world, we have been blessed with sufficient showers and thunderstorms that have kept our crops healthy and our yards green.  In fact, our plush green lawn has bluish gray streaks all through it … Google says it’s called slime mold, a symptom of hot temperatures and high humidity.  As the season changes, this oddity will automatically clear up and go away.   In other parts of the country there is drought with lost crops, dead lawns, and thirsty rivers and creeks  … and here there is thick green grass and slime mold…crazy!  Oh!  And the bugs!!  We have a friend who lives in Denver … he made the comment once that due to their near perfect climate, there are “no bugs in Denver!”  I can’t imagine!  Due to our very mild winter that blurred right into a very hot summer with lots of moisture, we have a gazillion bugs!  As I mow the yard each week, I day dream of mosquito netting and how nice it would be to be wrapped in some.  Oh well, this too will pass  ~  in our everyday blur of life, we’ll be shoveling snow before we know it.

If Tim and I were supposed to list a favorite hobby, we would have to say that near the top of the list is eating.  As we get older and our bodies are reminding us of that fact, we have become more conscience of eating healthy.  We have gone out to the u-pick fields this year and brought back lots of tasty strawberries and blueberries, freezing the majority of our finds so we can enjoy them all year long.  It is now peach season … nothing like a bowl of hot fresh peach cobbler with ice cream!  I know…not so healthy.  But the hour of workout at the gym helps to offset the tasty treats!  The Food Network Channel is also another favorite – watching competitions, food preps, and our all-time favorite, Guy Fieri with Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  In a previous blog post, I told all about our DDD trip to Philadelphia.  Well, we have recently been to three other places in Baltimore, another breakfast joint outside of Philly on our way to the shore, where we also ate at 10th Ave. Burrito in Belmar, NJ.  More potpourri in the everyday blur of life.

Cole Michael at soccer camp

Soccer camp for three-year olds … what fun!  One hour, every evening for 5 days.  Mimi and Papaw drove down in the middle of the week (freshly baked blueberry cobbler in hand) and watched with the parents as Cole ran, kicked, tossed, chased, laughed, and burned off a lot of energy with 19 other little people.  The intention of signing him up for this slight taste of organized sports was to get an idea if he (and they) were really ready for the focus, understanding, and the commitment of time which would be involved in an entire season of the sport.  The conclusion was no.  This week was fun and made for some really good memories, but all of that older-kid stuff will come all too quickly, with the everyday blur of life.

One of Cole’s soccer mates was a young lady whom Cole accidently knocked down.  As soon as he realized what he did, he went over to her, told her he was sorry and kissed her.  What a testimony of love and care this little guy has been taught at home … which now the parents realize needs to be tweaked just a bit.  Kissing his classmates at school each time he needs to apologize to them will not go over very well.   What a blessing it is to be Mimi and Papaw to two precious little lives.  At three months old, Lillianne just went to the doctor the other day and now weighs 13 lbs and 5 oz.

Mimi and Lillianne

Wildfires in Nebraska, Aurora Colorado shootings, the Olympics, Chick Fil-A …  news and happenings that contribute to the potpourri in the everyday blur of life.  Today’s headlines will be old news next week, for life doesn’t slow down for anything or anybody.  We’ve all heard the saying … “Seize the moment!”   I think of that often in the busyness of life, as a reminder to not be SO busy that I miss out on the blessings that are hidden and only revealed if we slow down.  Just a couple evenings ago as Tim and I were sitting down to supper with Cole at the head of our table, he was his usual distracted and pokey eater.  After taking a bite of my own food, I was just getting ready to turn to him and fuss at him to start eating his chicken nuggets.  As I looked his way, I quickly noticed that he was already very intent at watching me.  Instead of opening my mouth to speak, I simply sat there and smiled at him.  His little face lit up in the biggest grin as he reached over to lovingly hold my hand as he began to eat the rest of his dinner with the other.  I would have missed that very special moment with my grandson had I not been paying attention and had just swooped in to hurry him along.

Today is a potpourri day of birthdays in our family.  My husband turns 51 and our daughter shares his special day by turning 29 years old.  Born an hour and 45 minutes before our daughter Kim, was our niece Joanna.  Tim’s baby sister, Becca, also shares in the occasion of August 5 by turning 36 today.  Mimi and Papaw are celebrating this year by having Cole and Lillianne with them at the beach in New Jersey.  Oh … their parents are along, too!  We are enjoying sunshine, ocean waves, sand, tasty food, and the blessings of family … on this on-purpose, not-so blurry day of life.

Won’t you join me in not allowing the blur to detract and take away from embracing as many moments as we can? … for there just might be a smile to melt your heart and a hand to hold.

Until next time,
Debbie

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith;
be men of courage; be strong.  Do everything in love.

I Corinthians 16:13
NIV

 

Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions,
give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.

I Corinthians 16:13
The Message

 

Colossians 3 and Mimi

1 Jun

Since becoming a Mimi three years ago and having an empty nest of my own for several years now, the joy of little ones in our home once again has awakened a whole new section of my heart that I thought was sound asleep.  These little people are just that – little people.  What a privilege it is to be an active part in their lives and to watch them grow into bigger little people.

Because one of these little people is here with us this weekend and I know my time is limited to sit here in the quiet morning, this will be short.  I was just now beginning my day and having my devotions and I was directed to read Colossians 3:12-17.  As I read, my heart was nudged toward these verses as being just for me today.  Specifically me as Mimi.

Cole and Mimi

First of all, knowing that I’m chosen by God Himself, holy and dearly loved … this puts a big sigh and a smile in my heart!  Then immediately the scripture refers to clothing.  I’m sure Cole doesn’t pay much attention to what I put on to wear each day, but I guarantee that he knows when I am compassionate, kind, humble, gentle and patient…and even more so when I’m not.  I also must be forgiving.  He IS three years old.   In the midst of his ever-changing and growing mind, heart, and personality, he does do things on purpose.  Even when he wipes my kisses off of his chubby cheeks, he’s testing the waters to see how I will react.  I have decided to make those times special and smile real big as I remind him that the reason he must wipe Mimi’s kisses off is because they are too sweet!  He laughs about this little routine that now occurs more often because his Mimi has a wardrobe furnished by the One who loves her!  And over all of it, is covered in love.

From time to time, we need to ask Cole “Who’s in charge?”  Just in case he forgets, he is then reminded that it’s not him.  Verse 15 reminds this Mimi that the Peace of Christ rules in her heart and that I should always be thankful.  My outward circumstances may not be peaceful and would seem to be nothing that I would be thankful for, but even during those unsettling times, Jesus is my Everything and for that I am thankful.

In a past post, I wrote about Cole and Mimi singing at bedtime with his little Play-A-Song books.  Some nights he is more interested in big trucks, Thomas the Train, or Winnie the Pooh ~ but just last night, he was snuggly and wanted to sing.  I reached for my iPhone and hit the video button as we continued our hymn song fest.  Click on the links below to watch and hear Cole sing with Mimi …

Jesus Loves Me
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIGn5kxbJQ4&feature=g-upl

Tell Me the Stories of Jesus
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xgy6Es1s2tE&feature=context-gau

Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjM4rejsYQw&feature=context-gau

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom,
and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude
in your hearts to God.

 

I read this quote earlier this week  …  through the eyes and heart of a Mimi, my soul longs to do all I can to be a Godly influence for my family … which now includes my two precious grandchildren.

 

Does your one goal, one drive, all of your plans day and night
focus on how to redeem your world?
What you cry about, what upsets you, your tiredness,
is it all focused on the one thing that beats in the heart of God?
Do you see every person with the question
of how you can be a redemptive force in their lives?
Is every situation of your life viewed
with a focus on redemption for the world?
May I boldly say that if this is not true for you,
you have missed the impact of the Gospel of Matthew and especially
this initial call to His disciples [Matthew 4:19]

– Stephen Manley –

 

Verse 1 opens this chapter with the phrase “Set your hearts on things above” … followed by “Set your minds on things above”.  Won’t you join me today ~ even in the midst of all the busyness of life ~ to set our hearts and minds on things above and how we can redeem our world for Christ?  Even the little people …

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17

 

Until next time,
Mimi

Therefore, as God’s chosen people,
holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever
grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity.

 

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
since as members of one body you were called to peace.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom,
and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:12-17