Blessed

1149B188-E29B-46A0-8764-EB0CBE14E40EBlessed

When my brother died at age 24 in 1973, I remember my grandmother saying, “Never to have suffered means never to have been blessed.” That was a hard message to hear then and one that still can be difficult to understand. Through the years, I have come to realize that it is the tough times that allow us to appreciate the good ones. As I contemplate this situation, I try to focus on the fact that God sees all of us, living and dead, the same. Our mortal minds cannot possibly comprehend the infinite wisdom of our Creator. Today at work, an atheist stated that he only believes in the facts of science. As a scientist myself who sees the many associated shortcomings of the scientific world, I paused and thanked God for my wisdom to know all the blessings He has bestowed upon me.

Children

257E8357-BD36-4987-AD40-E33C92EA96EB“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭127:3-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Children

As my mother and her mother always reminded us, children are a blessing. With the average cost in the USA for raising a child to age 18 of about $300,000.00, it is definitely a financial sacrifice; but, there is no greater investment of money. My children have brought much joy into my life and have taught me far more than I ever imagined. Life is a struggle and one of my goals is to help my children become all they are meant to be. They have far surpassed my intellect and accomplishments educationally; and while that is so amazing, my hope is that we all stay focused on the real prize—our eternal life with God.

 

Home

140DDCAA-3560-4683-9AF2-E9CF28D57424“By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭24:3-4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Home

Growing up monetarily poor seemed a severe disadvantage to me. I remember not making the basketball team because my athletic shoes were the 2 dollar ones with slick soles that slid like ice skates on the polished gymnasium floors, instead of the 20 dollar Converse ones that could turn on a dime. It is hard to compete when you are slipping on the floor while trying to play. Likewise, our home was an old farm house that my father had renovated. It literally had honey bees living in the walls and snow blowing around the window frames accumulating beside our beds. There were 8 of us living in 3 bedrooms, with one recently acquired indoor toilet. Our heat was wood initially, but replaced by fuel oil heaters that sat in the kitchen and living room downstairs. While our material wealth was below today’s poverty level, we always had plenty of good food raised and prepared by our parents. Most importantly, we knew that our parents always had our best interests in mind and they sacrificed what little they had to help us be all that we could be. From these meager beginnings, I received the most rich blessings and I believe that background has taught me to persevere through all circumstances. The life lesson that I have passed on to my children is always do what is right, always do your best, and trust in God.

Positive Attitude

92043888-D550-4B1B-8107-14169C17AECB“What I say is this: let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭GNT‬‬

Positive Attitude

Every day I battle with the stresses of life and maintaining a positive attitude. It seems that the world is collapsing into a chaotic quagmire of anger and hatred and hurt and pain. But I try to remember that focusing on the many blessings in my life always allows me to see with rose colored glasses. Then I realize that changing my circumstances starts within me. The Spirit inside me ultimately guides me to do the right thing, despite my contrariness and my inherent laziness. Life is a journey that should bear good fruit.

Posterity

D619C3AE-AAAC-44DA-A699-B57243001F32“Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭22:30-31‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Today my family went to Maymont and enjoyed all the free activities.  In 1893, James Dooley, a wealthy Richmond lawyer and philanthropist, and his wife, Sallie (who grew up in my home county of Lunenburg) completed their elaborate Gilded Age 100 acre estate high above the James River.  They left Maymont to future Richmonders.  What a great gift indeed that has blessed so many people.  What if everyone left a gift that kept providing joy to future generations?

Mercy

4E512572-AB40-4364-8C8A-236BCD722CC0“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭51:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

My daughter, the artist who does the paintings for my BLOG, did art with foster children today. Her genuine act of compassion toward them demonstrated her mercy for their distress. These kids just want a home where they are loved for being themselves. (Check out the link below to help) None of us deserve the many blessings in our lives and truly God’s mercy is beyond our understanding and blots out our many transgressions.

Home

Rest

38bfaa4f-b05d-42a4-8254-437fa7e47cc1“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭ASV‬‬

Rest
Sometimes I just cannot seem to get enough rest and I feel exhausted. It may be easy to refrain from physical activity, but it is often difficult to relax the mind…so I lay still, but keep thinking and worrying about all sorts of things. What seems to help me most is to count my blessings. That reminds me Who is in charge and how much He loves us. His Peace provides true rest.