Tag Archives: Unconditional love

These Hands

I painted my nails for the first time in several months.

My hands

As I looked at my hands, wrinkles and all, I was reminded of my maternal grandmother, Grandma Fannie.

Grandma’s hands

She always had the most lovely nails. When I was a little girl, I use to spend the night with her. We would watch Lawerence Welk while eating popcorn, then paint our nails. She spent several years in a nursing home, and when I arrived she did not remember me, but she knew I could paint her fingernails. And that is what we always did.

My lovely Grandma

These hands remind me of the love my grandmother had for me, and the love I have for my granddaughter.

These hands remind me of the first time I held Norah.

These hands remind of life…the good, the bad and the ugly.

These hands have wrinkles and show I have lived.

These hands have been enveloped in the love of my husband’s hands and cradled my sons.

These hands have clapped at games and been thrown up in exasperation!

These hands have been cold, warm, and tense.

These hands have been burned, and hurt.

These hands have been raised in prayer and praise…to the one who loves me most.

These hands are full of love.

~Be Encouraged Today~

Tammy

The Zinnia Fields

The Father seems to speak to my heart often through His creation.  It has especially loud over the last several months.  This was no exception.

We visited a lovely zinnia field at a local orchard the other day.  The field was awash with colors beyond imagination.  As the flowers softly danced in the gentle breeze, some lovely little creatures visited them.

Hummingbirds, bumblebees and a plethora of butterflies flitted back and forth from flower to flower with not a care in the world.  Little did they know that there was craziness in our world.  Their goal was simply to gather nectar and enjoy their flights!

 

I tried to capture several pictures and as my husband and I walked along the paths; we noticed something at the end of the field that we could not see from the very beginning.  It was another field.  Brown and barren mostly.

But…

We watched a butterfly make its way out of the abundance of flowers and head toward the what appeared to be an empty field.  We followed it.

And then we saw them……

Amongst all the brown and dusty soil there appeared many zinnias.  There was not a field of them, but a dotting of sorts, like a polka dotted tablecloth set for a picnic.

And the butterfly knew the field had value.  

The fields were right next to one another.  It reminded me of the pandemic. 

Scarred, barren, left alone, confused, misunderstood….

The flowers were separated from their kin, lonely and looked as though they had no job.

And yet.

They were thriving.  They had value.  Their life was important.  They were cheerful.  They were still focused on their purpose.

Like us.

Now.

I was reminded of the scripture where Jesus shared about the birds and the lillies of the field.

How can we ever doubt His love for us?

Even when the field looks hopeless.

~Be Encouraged Today

Tammy

Rocky and the Count

My husband and I love all the “Rocky” movies.  The very first gift I ever received from him was the soundtrack (album) to the original Rocky. rocky-2110778_640

Have you ever felt like you were in the middle of a boxing ring?

Something hits you out of no where and as soon as you get up, another right hook is there to put you down again? 

Anyone?

The last several months has been one thing after another with family members and my personal health.  In fact, all kinds of punches have been leveled. I have been rather sore.

I know that I am not alone.

I kept hearing…  “Count it all joy when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2

I don’t remember Rocky getting hit by Apollo Creed and singing, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.” So what gives?

“Count” means to evaluate how we look at something.  So how do we look at these things from God’s perspective?  We know that “…in this world we will have troubles…” (John 16:33), and I believe that these trials are in our life because of the sinful world in which we live, not because we are being punished for something.

But can we learn from them with the right perspective?

“Joy” means an inner sense of well being; deep settled peace…strength, not superficial giddiness.

“Perseverance” means endurance, steadfastness, patience and victory over the trial.

Back to Rocky.

He evaluated his fight.  How did he look at it? fighting-159921_640

With the perspective that he could win.  

He had a deep settled peace and strength.  

And talk about perseverance!  

He trusted his training.  He trusted his trainer.

Made me think.  Do I trust my trainer?  Has He always taught me truth?  Has he been faithful?

So until I know I am to be “down for the count”, this old gal is getting back up! Whose with me?

 

 

~Be Encouraged Today~

Tammy

Illustration credit: Rocky