It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.

Author Unknown

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Chapter 4, Page 24, Book 14

Having a place to go — is a home. Having someone to love — is a family. Having both — is a blessing. 

Donna Hedges

There are days that go by here at my house that for the most part I am alone.  My family may be large but they are all grown with families of their own.  They have jobs and responsibilities that keep them busy day to day  A very few of them live close, most are far away, but I do know if I need them they will be here for me.  

The picture above was of three of my children, the two youngest of my sons and my daughter,  and their families taken at church on Easter Sunday.  I don’t often get them there with me, usually I’m sitting by myself.  I do have warm memories of filling a whole pew just with my family alone.

We try to get together for holidays and special occasions, but it’s not often at all that the whole family is together.  If they can’t make it in person though I know they are here in spirit.  I’ve never regretted having such a large family.  They’ve been a blessing to me for sure

Day 4 of 50:  Plan fun family activities.  Do one for every week of Easter.

We do make sure there are some times set aside to be together.  The dates are usually set aside far in advance.  It’s not easy finding a time that is convenient for everyone so we put the date on the calendar.  Just like making an appointment for a dentist or doctor, the time is set aside.  

Cling to the people who love you.  We  all really need someone to lean on. It's only after we've come through the darkness that we realize that others were there, urging us on, reminding us to mind our step.

This Easter season, find joy in those who traveled through your Lent, literally and figuratively,  with you.  For me, my family and friends are the ones that help to keep me on track.

We laugh. We play. We give thanks.

Today I’m thankful for:

1610. For trees, big or small and their wonderful blossoms this time of year
1611. for my home, it’s a comfortable place to be
1612.  for a life, deeply rooted in faith

When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. 

Joyce Brothers

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Chapter 4, Page 23, Book 14

The spirit of Easter is all about Hope, love, and joyful living. 


Day 3 of 50:   Every day, read together from the Easter story: Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20-21.

Tell me the old, old story, of Jesus and His love.

We are the Easter People and ‘Hallelujah’ is our song. 

 St. Augustine

The picture today is of 3 of my little grandsons on Easter Sunday.   The Easter story has been described as the greatest story ever told. As 'Easter people' we know that goodness can overcome evil. We understand that even in the darkest moments of our lives, there is a promise of new life, new hope, new energy, new possibilities. We know that God can transform everything into something good – no matter how painful, boring, or difficult things may seem. We can be renewed, re-energized, recreated.

How will you live as an 'Easter person'?

Will you let go of bad habits, judgmental attitudes, or negative outlooks?

Will you let go of anger or resentment toward someone who hurt you?

 Will you ask for forgiveness from someone you have hurt?

Will you reach out to someone who needs a kind word or a helping hand?

Will you set aside time to work on your spiritual life?

Will you stand up for something that is important?

Will you say no to something that is wrong?

Will you try to cultivate a sense of gratitude for all of the good things in your life?

If your answers to any of these questions is yes, then you understand the power and the promise of being an 'Easter person.’

Author Unknown

The story of Easter is the story of God's wonderful window of divine surprise.  

Carl Knudsen

Today I’m thankful for:

1604. for the chance to do something new
1605.  for all the risks I took in life
1606. for the opportunity to broaden my faith

See the land, her Easter keeping,
Rises as her Maker rose.
Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
Burst at last from winter snows.
Earth with heaven above rejoices…  

Charles Kingsley

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Chapter 4, Page 22, Book 14

Prayer for the Home

Peace, unto this house, I pray,
Keep terror and despair away;
Shield it from evil and let sin
Never find lodging room within.
May never in these walls be heard
The hateful or accusing word.
Grant that its warm and mellow light
May be to all a beacon bright,
A flaming symbol that shall stir
The beating pulse of him or her
Who finds this door and seems to say,
Here end the trials of the day.

Hold us together, gentle Lord,
Who sit about this humble board;
May we be spared the cruel fate
Of those whom hatreds separate;
Here let love bind us fast, that we
May know the joys of unity.

Lord, this humble house we'd keep
Sweet with play and calm with sleep.
Help us so that we may give
Beauty to the lives we live.
Let Thy love and let Thy grace
Shine upon our dwelling place.

Edgar Guest

Home and family are two of the most important things in my life.

Day 3 of 50 :   Use a special candle at family meals to recall the light of Christ.

I always have candles lit here at my house, but to have one dedicated to Easter will remind me over and over that  Easter is more than a Day, it is a Way.   A Way of living our lives differently as we make our way in the journey of life.  The real issues of life, love, loss, death, fear cannot be resolved by anything we can see, touch or feel. They can only be dealt with through hope, and the greatest symbol of hope is resurrection, our dear Lord’s  power to raise anything and anyone from the depths.

Remember: Smile

Wherever you go, look people in the eyes, and smile. It seems so simple, but a smile can bring light into a person’s life quicker than anything else you can do.

Today I’m thankful for:

1601. for daffodils and tulips bring a world of color to my door
1602. for automated car washes that save me a lot of work
1603. for warmer weather and sunshine giving me wonderful days to spend outdoors

Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space.  It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe.  It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Chapter 4, Page 21, Book 14

This is going to be a joyful day. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, whomever you’re with, you can add your own joy to the mix.

Ralph Marston

 I’ve decided to celebrate the season of Easter here on my blog this year.  Easter Day was celebrated yesterday, the 20th of April and today for some it’s over and done.  But Eastertide is the season of the year that begins on Easter Sunday and ends 50 days later on the day of Pentecost, that is on June 8th this year.

Easter is a season of JOY!  And I’m all about celebrating every day and enjoying what each one offers.  Just as with Christmas, Jesus is still the reason for the season.

I found a list of 50 things to do for the season Easter and am going to be improvising on it and hopefully giving some new insight along the way including 50 days of Gratitude - the 3 things I’m thankful for each day.  I think Easter is about resurrection, resurrection is about new and unexpected possibilities, and unexpected possibilities are an occasion for gratitude. My hope is that by spending the next fifty days giving thanks for all that I have been given I will live into the Easter reality of new life and possibility more fully and thereby face all the challenges of my life with greater faith and confidence

Rise up and walk in newness of life

Day 2 of 50

I have counted at least 3 things every day that I'm thankful for a little over a  year and have now reached 1600 gifts.  On my way to 2000.  I'm not stopping, but will continue on counting.  There is always, always something to be thankful for.

1598.  for all the good and the beautiful all around us, it is there if we take the time to look
1599. for another new week ahead. 
1600.  for time to revive and refresh

The Lenten fasts are over, so rejoice with special meals or treats. The purple or violet of Lent is replaced by the white and gold of Easter, so wear brightly colored clothing to show your joyful spirit, and decorate with lilies and other flowers.

Easter isn’t one day because love in its fullest measure does not happen in one day. It roots and grows over days and weeks and a lifetime. It enters our lives sometimes quietly, sometimes surprisingly, always a change. We may open the door to love after a time of grief or a period of preparation. On Easter, we are asked to open the door to love in its most glorious expression. 

One of the articles I read about the 50 days of Easter call it 50 days to Fabulous!  Easter is pure gift, but it takes some discipline to live into that gift. First we need to receive the gift, which requires more than restoring some Alleluias into our lives, celebrating the return of baseball and basking in the blossoms of Spring. We are given fifty days  which, tellingly, is longer than Lent, to allow the Easter gift to be absorbed into the depth of our souls. 

If you want to change your living, you need to change your thinking.

 Robert Maddox

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Chapter 4, Page 20, Book 14

An Easter Prayer

God, give us eyes to see
the beauty of the Spring,
And to behold Your majesty
in every living thing.

And may we see in lacy leaves
and every budding flower
The Hand that rules the universe
with gentleness and power.

And may this Easter grandeur
that Spring lavishly imparts
Awaken faded flowers of faith
lying dormant in our hearts.

And give us ears to hear, dear God,
the Springtime song of birds
With messages more meaningful
than man's often empty words.

Telling harried human beings
who are lost in dark despair
'Be like us and do not worry
for God has you in His care.'

Helen Steiner Rice

Happy Happy Easter everyone!  It’s especially rewarding for me to be celebrating Easter this year.  I do hope you all have a very Happy and Blessed Easter Day!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Chapter 4, Page 19, Book 14

The fasts are done; the Aves said;
The moon has filled her horn
And in the solemn night I watch
Before the Easter morn.
So pure, so still the starry heaven,
So hushed the brooding air,
I could hear the sweep of an angel's wings
If one should earthward fare.

Edna Dean Proctor

Today’s focus:

Give up giving up----hang in there!

Here we are on the eve of Easter and finally we are almost done.  If you’ve hung in there with me these 40 plus days during the season of Lent, I hope that something in my reflections helped you to have a more meaningful Easter.  I know they have made me realize what I needed to do more of and less of too for that matter.  It’s been a time of new paths, new perspectives; of renewal and hope.

Lent gives us time to think anew, to change our thinking and how we view life. Every day we get a chance to do better than the day before.  No one is perfect, but we have choices to make that can and will make our lives better.  Each day is a new day and a new opportunity to grow and learn.

Let go of the struggles and embrace your potential. Your shift in attitude will shift your life from the shadows into the sunshine.

Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life.  

S.D. Gordon

Friday, April 18, 2014

Chapter 4, Page 18, Book 14

It's Up to You

One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream.
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.

One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal.

One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room.
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.

One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.

One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what's true.
One life can make the difference,
You see, IT'S UP TO YOU!
Author Unknown 

Today’s focus:

Give up giving up----hang in there!

Faith goes
up the stairs
love has built
and looks out the window
which hope has opened...

Charles Spurgeon

The value of one can seem so insignificant in the grand scheme of things but when we think about one positive word of encouragement, one positive goal, one precious new life, we realize that one can make a tremendous difference for good.

 When we hang in there, we are practicing the God given characteristic of perseverance

There is no challenge too small for someone who is rooted in faith. There is no time that is too hard, because those with faith keep their ideal outcome in mind and know that they are stronger than their circumstances.

The number one reason to never give up is we don’t know what will happen next.  We can’t know what the next minute, hour, or day will bring. And maybe if we hold on and keep trying, it will be the turn for the better we were waiting for.