{ My Psalm 34 }

I will choose to praise God – all the time.

He will be at the center of my words, my whims, and my ways.

My soul is clean because He washed it. Anyone who feels low, or dirty or discouraged– take heart! My God can be yours, too.

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Join me in a standing ovation for God!  Applauding, dancing and shouting for joy is not enough!  I want to show everyone how huge, how powerful and how worthy God is!

He’s at the root of everything, and He is the maker of it all.

As for me…I constantly need direction, hope and help.

I often crave comfort, contentment and healing.

That’s when I go searching for God in my thoughts, my dreams and my prayers.

It’s as if He wants me to search for Him,

think about Him and

ask Him for every little thing.

Because when I search with all my heart, I find Him waiting there for me.

And He sends my fears flying.

My soul glows when I think of God– and I’m not ashamed that I need Him.

When I feel poor and needy and unloved, He hears me.

He saves me out of anxious thoughts and guides me out of self-made troubles.

His angels huddle protectively around me.

I will trust God on any pathway and through every valley.

He will always deliver me in His own perfect way.

 

Inspired by Psalm 34:1-7

© Lisa M. Luciano

Photo Credit:Matt Botsford

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{What’s in Your Hand?}

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This is a wreath made from the abundance of healthy and aggressive wild cucumber vine that took over our yard last summer.

 

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘What is that in your hand?’” Exodus 4:2

When summer arrives, my children start thinking about making art projects for the County Fair.  Come rainy summer days, they pile crayons, markers and paints on a table and create potential first-prize-winning art.

Rather than load up a WalMart cart with manufactured foam shapes and fake gems, I try to encourage the young artists to forage around the backyard for art supplies.

In our “big outdoor art supply store”, they can glean grapevines, sticks, twigs and seed pods. They choose smooth rocks for painting and we grow birdhouse gourds that eventually become Mod Podge masterpieces.

When we create with these materials, at least we will know that — for better or worse — our projects will be unique.

After all, no one else could possibly bring the same oddly-shaped, wood-burned gourd studded with round pebbles to the County Fair.

Speaking of using what’s handy…let’s look at the life of Moses. When God chose Moses to approach Pharaoh, Moses objected. He doubted that he could persuade the king of Egypt of anything.

God asked Moses, “What is that in your hand?”  It was his shepherd’s staff– his familiar, occupational tool.

What power could an ordinary staff possibly hold? Yet, God eventually used it to confirm Moses’ prophetic message and showcase His own mighty acts!

We can also ask ourselves, “What do I have in MY hand?” What has God given me that I can use for my family’s needs?

What has God given me that I can use to help someone?  Bless someone?

When we put forth our everyday supplies (however ordinary they are) God seems to add something to them.  When we offer up ourselves and our humble assets, God can do amazing things!

 

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

 

 

 

{ If I Were a Rich Girl }

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Loosely written to the tune from Fiddler on the Roof…

If I were a rich girl,

Diddle, daddle doodle dadda dadda doo…

All day long I’d biddy boddy boo

If I were a wealthy girl.

 

Wouldn’t have to work hard,

Wouldn’t have to weed or scrub or lift that heavy load of clothes

If I were a biddy boddy rich, giggle gaggle gooda gadda girl.

 

I’d have no daily challenge wondering in the pantry,

“What can be made with these two cans?”

(Instead we’d eat the food that strangers make.)

 

I’d have a good supply of LP

And wouldn’t need to hang the clothes outside,

(And never smell the breeze on sheets again.)

 

We’d buy our kids the latest t-shirts and jeans,

And not even care about the price,

Forget about those bag sale / tag sale days.

(No more finding treasures on a rack.)

 

If I were a rich girl,

Diddle, daddle doodle dadda dadda doo…

All day long I’d biddy boddy boo

If I were a wealthy girl.

 

Wouldn’t have to work hard,

Wouldn’t have to weed or scrub or lift that heavy load of clothes

If I were a biddy boddy rich, giggle gaggle gooda gadda girl.

 

We’d frequent high-class black-tie dinners and galas

And full-price movies with popcorn,

(No more stuffing my purse with snacks from home.)

 

We’d go on airplane-flying family vacations

Without a thought about the fares

(No more of those fun and free so-called “field trips.”)

 

I wouldn’t be sitting here waiting for free wifi

At the parking lot in town

We’d have unlimited access back at home.

We’d have the internet 24 / 7 and could toss non-digital games

(No more Quelf, or my favorite – Taboo!)

 

Lord, who made the lion and the lamb,

You decreed I should be what I am,

Thanks for your delightful, sovereign plan,

I’m married to my love —  (a non-rich man.)

 

My sons came home yesterday from cleaning a 34,000 square foot new home.  They told me all about the features and benefits of this amazing living space.  It made my mind start exploring the features and benefits of NOT being rich.  I am content!

{ No-Complain Campaign}

complain2My son is looking forward to winter ( 😲 ) and he wanted to find out when the nearest ski hill opens.  He scrolled and browsed, and started laughing out loud. Turns out he was reading customer reviews from last year.  One said:

“…lines were too long and too many reserved spots at chalet tables.  Mentioned this to staff but they didn’t care; they already had our money.”

stop complaining accept fate and be positive dont complain and t

It’s never funny when we are the ones complaining.  And, there is definitely a time to speak up and bring grievances effectively to the right people.

But if we could take a step back and see ourselves, our knee-jerk complaints can sound rather whiny.

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In our griping, we often:

  • Assign wicked and evil motives to those who have wronged us in some way
  • Build up small slights into mountain-sized offenses

Looking inward, I see at least one thing about which I have complained over the weekend.

I complained in thought and I complained twice to friends yesterday at church.

(But…I had a smile on my face and did it somewhat creatively so that perhaps it didn’t seem like I was grumbling?)

But I was.

People complain collectively about everything, from the weather to politics to jobs to  whatever. When we make a habit of griping at home, our children catch the wave and join in.

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Fussing, grumbling, and complaining are things we are trying to discourage here at home.

Instead, we are hoping that words like “thank you” become an almost involuntary response.  We would like to foster a daily regimen of gratefulness and promote an anti-moan-&-groan manifesto.

But how can that happen if Mama is (overtly or covertly) whining or moping about circumstances?

Some clear reminders for me today in God’s Word:

  • Do all things without grumbling or disputing. Philippians 2:14
  • Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. James 5:9
  • Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

Trying this week to advance a “no complain” campaign. Starting with the Mama in the mirror.