Planting Seeds

It’s the end of May and it’s time to get those seeds in the ground

if you expect a harvest in a few months!

The very first ‘First Lady’, Martha Washington, shared some thoughts on seeds…

the seeds we plant in our minds.

 

In a letter to a friend she wrote,

“I am still determinedm washington

to be cheerful and happy

in whatever situation I may be;

for I have also learned

from experience

that the greater part

                of our happiness or misery

                depends on our dispositions

and not on our circumstances.

We carry the seeds

of one or the other

about with us in our minds,

wherever we go.”

 

Seeds of happiness or misery. That is your choice.

Whatever the situation, it is your disposition and not your circumstance;

your outlook, not your condition.

 

seedsAre there thorns and thistles in the ground? It’s not too late to uproot them, to till the earth, and to plant seeds of contentment.

 

It’s the end of May and it’s time to get some new seeds in the ground

if you expect a harvest in a few months!

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Quote from: The Pioneer Mothers of America

 

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Fruit Salsa

We’re almost at the start of the summer vacation season.

Picnics and parties are about to begin!

In fact, this coming weekend is one of the most popular times for cook-outs…

Memorial Day weekend!picnic

With parades planned and families gathering to honor those who’ve served in the Armed Forces, shared meals are bound to be a part of many celebrations!

So let me share with you a new recipe for the occasion – fruit salsa & ginger chips.

It’ll give you one more reason to invite someone to join you around your table.

 


FRUIT SALSA

20 oz unsweetened, crushed pineapple (save the juice)

1 large mango (or 2 medium peaches) – peeled and diced

2 kiwi– peeled and diced

8 strawberries–diced

½ cantaloupe– peeled and diced

2 T vanilla

1 T lime juice

¼ c flaked coconut

¼ c brown sugar

 

Mix all the ingredients together with 3 T. of the reserved pineapple juice.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Serve with ginger chips.

 


GINGER CHIPSfruit salsa

Get 8 eight-inch tortilla shells.

Cut each into 6 wedges.

Place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Spray (or brush) the tortillas with water.

Sprinkle with a mix of ¼ c sugar and 1-2 t. ginger (or cinnamon).

Bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 min or until brown and crisp.

Serve with the fruit salsa.

 

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Fresh, easy, and delicious.

It’s a great addition for any summer-time meal!

This Is Your Life (Part II)

Last week, I posted the first part of a spring-time journey that I took… and today I want to let you finish reading it. After traveling all day, I’d found that the path had led me to the place where the river met up with the sea. As I sat and thought about the journey, I heard the whispering voice of God speaking to my heart. This is what He said to me.

“This path you’ve been on is a picture of your lifetime, my daughter. It started out so quiet and free, a solitary line in the meadow decorated with flowers and grasses, sunshine and breeze, laughter and carefree play. The periodlife of glorious childhood. This is how I planned it to be. I sent the sunshine. I sent the gentle breeze. I provided the beauty in My creation for you.  

                But the time of childhood and childish things came to a close, and the forested portion shows the changes you went through in your journey to become the women I have called you to be. Things seemed so different, so strange, when you entered this stage of your life2life. But you learned to adapt and enjoy the beauty of girlhood as well, my daughter. You learned to look at life in a new way, to appreciate what you didn’t even notice at first. You learned to appreciate the companions that I sent to join you on the journey, other girls who knew and loved Me too. And you have come to understand that all that was along the path was allowed by Me. The shade. The song of the birds. The praise of the trees. It’s all been for a gift to you.

                And then, as you matured, challenges came your way. It was inevitable. No one makes it through life life3without trials, my daughter. Life wasn’t always as pleasant and carefree as it used to be, but it became more meaningful. Life, at times, was harder than you’ve ever known it to be. But My plans for you were always good. The steep hills were to strengthen you. The deep grooves of the path were made by those who’ve gone before you. The deep hunger was for Me. The thunderous sound of the water was Me, calling out to you in your weariness. And when you reached the top of that pathway, you saw Me with a clearer perspective.

                And now, in your own life, you are preparing to descend that mountain. Getting down is going to be a journey of its own. The path seems to plunge into deep, dark gorges, between high rocks, where no sunbeam ever falls and no flower ever blooms. At times you will feel like you are grasping at anything to steady you. Remember that I am here for you. I am the only thing solid enough to depend on in this life. And I am the only One that will satisfy your hunger and thirst. Whenever you drink of Me, you will be renewed in your spirit and will have more energy for the journey ahead.

                When you reach the flatland again, continue to walk firmly forward toward the high calling I have for life6you. You may feel weary from the journey but you will be stronger than ever. And before you know it, you’ll be able to sit down beside the river and gaze out onto the sea of eternity with sheer joy. Knowing that it was Me who brought you this far and it will be Me that will lead you home.”

What a day that was. I will never forget it.

I shared this with you because I believe there is a message in this for all of us.

Girls, young ladies, you are just at the beginning of an incredible journey. I am so excited for you. You are in the meadow of childhood. Lace up your hiking shoes and get ready for an amazing trip. Live life to the fullest! Enjoy the days of sunshine and the soft, warm breezes. Laugh, dance, and sing for all you are worth. God is good, and all He does is for our good.

Ladies, we are all in different parts of this journey. Some of us are just entering the forest of girlhood and are working to adjust our eyes to the changes before us. Some are climbing that steep hill of womanhood and all we can hear is the rushing waterfall before us; it’s almost drowning out every other sound. And some of us are on our way down that treacherous mountainside, grasping at whatever is within reach. God is beside us on the path. His plans are not to harm you, but to give you a hope and a future.

Older women, you with the crowns of graying hair are women of noble character. (I know, I know. Some of you color your ‘graying hair’ but you still are crowned in my books – crowned with life experience, with wisdom and understanding!) You are virtuous women whose price is far above rubies. I want to thank you today. Thank you for persevering on the path of life. Thank you for marking it out for us, for leaving behind flowers for us to pick and reseed, and most of all, for giving us the gift of your wisdom. Thank you for being willing to share what you’ve learned!

We need you, you know. We crave something more than we did as youth, more than the fleeting pleasures. We crave your words oflife8 encouragement and your good judgment. Your conversations  are of infinite value to us. You’ve gone over some steep mountains and have undoubtedly tumbled into the dark and murky valleys a time or two… and you’ve lived to tell about it. You plodded along the trail when you were weary and faint… but you continued on.

Thank you for telling us about the anxieties, like shadows in the forest that can be saturated with the light of God’s Truth. Thank you for explaining how you traded in childish laughter for deeper and more real joy. Thank you for reminding us that all of our paths lead to the sea of eternity; some paths are longer than others, some are smoother, others more rough, but they all come to an end. You’ve shared your life with us, and that has been a huge gift.

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No matter your age or your position on the path of life, you – dear reader – are a gift to the world… and when you give of yourself, youlife7 can make a difference in the life of someone else, for the call to truly share life with one another is for all of us, no matter our age.

I wonder: Is there someone you know that you could bless by sharing your journey? By walking beside her on her path? You can change the landscape of someone’s life by giving of yourself. THANK YOU to all of you that are already doing this. And thank you to those of you who’re committing to step up and do the same.

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And a very special THANK YOU

{and Happy Mother’s Day}

to MY mom,

one of those priceless women

who has invested in me, my siblings, and so many other ladies,

with her time, words of encouragement, and practical help.

You are a ruby beyond compare, Mom!

I love you!

This Is Your Life (Part I)

I was walking alone one morning, in the quiet of the countryside, when I saw what appeared to be a path among the tall grasses. At first, I hardly took notice of it; it was so narrow, seemingly insignificant. But when I paused my steps to gaze about me, I contemplated that sliver in the meadow.  I recognized that it wasn’t even a path… just a single footpath, really, that traversed across the field and then disappeared over a small hill.

My curiosity piqued and I began to follow it. Chasing it up the hillside, I observed that the pathway had become more noticeable, more sure and packed down. As if more people had passed this way. Pausing at the top of the knoll, I looked out across the landscape. The site was absolutely breathtaking. So full and lush was the land, bursting with life and promise. I smiled to myself as I began to follow the trail on a winding descent. The sun was shining brightly, and it felt so warm on my back. The breeze was light, subtle, refreshing. Ipath2 picked some wildflowers and tucked them between the buttons of my shirt. Maybe someday I could plant some of those seeds. It was so glorious, so pleasant a moment, that I surprised myself by laughing out loud. I pressed on, the experience delightful, taking light dance-like steps through the meadow.

And then, much too suddenly, I was at the entrance of a forest. The path had led me straight to a wooded area. The journey ceased momentarily. The shaded woodland was mostly blanketed with leaves in the early spring. It took my eyes a moment to adjust to the faint darkness, but when they did I continued on. Gradually I recognized that the path through the wood had transformed into a trail that was wider than before. I noticed, too, that from other places in the woods, small walking paths seemed to join up here and there, merging with the wider trail I was now on.

After traveling for some time, it became apparent that I had been slowly ascending in the forest. When I turned to look back, I could see that a gradual incline had indeed happened. The forest didn’t seem nearly as dark and shadowy as when I first walked in and my senses began to notice things I’d neglected to see, hear, and smell earlier on the trail. While the sun’s rays were no longer on my back, the sun was still shining, filtering through the leaves up above and casting rays of beautiful light all around me. The sound of birds singing and branches creaking in the light breeze was like a song of serenity. Green plants poked up from underneath the thick layer of leaves on the forest floor. I bent and picked a few more flowers to add to my collection.

Turning back to the pathway, I continued to venture onward and upward.path The growling of my stomach told me that it was lunchtime and my eyes darted back and forth, away from the pathway into the woods in hopes of finding some wild berries to satisfy my hunger. The trail unexpectedly took on a much sharper incline. Not wanting to wonder off and lose my way, I trudged forward. A steady weariness began to pull at me. Rather than the singing of birds, I began to hear a rumbling noise, a low rumbling and a rushing. The sound increased the higher I climbed, and became so thunderous that I began to feel it in my chest. The trees grew fewer and farther apart as the path became steeper. Rather than a smooth, flat walkway, the trail was now more like a deeply grooved trail, much narrower than before.

At the precipice I saw a rushing waterfall crashing down onto the sharp rocks below. From there, the path took such a drastic downward turn that I had to grab hold of nearby tree limbs and branches to steady my slipping feet. I stumbled and slid my way back down to the flat land again. My throat was parched. My eyes were stinging with the tears of fear, loneliness and uncertainty.

When I reached the forest floor, I realized that the answer to this deep thirst could be met by the water of the clear, cool stream. Kneeling down, I scooped up the ice cold liquid and drank deeply. Then I drank from it again. And again. Water had never tasted so path3good! The pounding of the waterfall, now off in the distance, had been replaced by the rushing of a smooth river. A soothing sound. And I could see that the pathway was leading me out of the woods.

I felt a renewed sense of energy as I began walking steadily onward into the field. While I was physically tired from this last portion of my journey, I knew that I had grown stronger in it. My pace had slowed a bit, but was still steady and true. As I left the woods, I noticed that the sun was now shining in my eyes for it was late afternoon. Soon the big fiery ball would be sinking below the horizon. I wondered how much further I had to go on this journey and just where this path was taking me.

But then I saw the answer. As the meadow lane turned and dipped slightly downward, so did the swift flowing water. Following it, I could see that in the distance the river met up with a vast sea.  The sunlight sparkled on the water like diamonds, shimmering in all their glory. The breeze had picked up and it seemed to almost push me forward. Overwhelmed by the beauty, I stopped and sat down for the first time that day, right in the middle of the path.

I thought about the day. It had gone by so quickly, the course had varied greatly, but it had turned out so beautifully.  As I sat reflecting, I heard a whisper. Not an audible whisper, nor the whisper of the wind, but a whisper in my heart. The voice of my Savior. “This path you’ve been on is a picture of your lifetime…”

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(Stay tuned for the post NEXT WEEK when you’ll read what I heard from Him!)

In the meantime, ponder your own journey through life. What has it looked like? What type of terrain have you covered? How do you feel about the rough patches you’ve endured? The mountains you’ve climbed? The meadows you’ve merrily skipped through? The treacherous canyons you’ve fallen into?

Pause your steps and contemplate the path you’ve been travelling.

Till next time….