Mid-Summer Refreshment: Week 2

The lazy days of summer are getting to me! My mornings are running into my afternoons and into my long evenings! Hence, the reason for this blog getting posted later than usual.

How are the lazy days of summer treating you?

Are you feeling a little parched? Maybe your spirit could use a dose of refreshment.

When you think of being refreshed, what pops into your mind the quickest?

Do you think of a cool refreshing dip into a swimming pool? Or maybe jumping into a brisk lake. Or, maybe it’s jumping the waves in the ocean and having the foam of the water rush over your toes.

My granddaughter who is six going on twenty, recently asked me the question, “Mama, what does refreshing mean?” I thought for a minute, and then replied to her that it was like when she and her brother were playing in the park on that late summer evening. I said, “remember when you were hot and tired from playing and you asked me for some water? When I gave you that cup of water you felt refreshed.”

Then she replied, “oh yeah, it’s like when you gave Cade and I those refreshing strawberry lemonade Popsicles you made us!” 

Perfect example baby girl!

Refreshment comes to us physically typically by a cool refreshing sip of something wet, or dipping our feet or selves into a cool body of water. I have a recipe for my favorite summer refreshment I call it, Lemon Refresher!

Take your favorite summer glass, add ice(crushed or cubed which ever you prefer), splash the bottom with sparkling lemonade, my favorite of choice is simply raspberry pink lemonade or sparkling pink lemonade from Trader Joe’s. Then add sparkling water to the brim. After that, cut a fresh slice of lemon squeeze the lemon juice straight into the glass and top with the slice of lemon. Lastly, add a straw and sip away! It’s pure summer refreshment in a glass!

Spiritually, I feel refreshed when I let go of my to do list, put aside my calendar, and set my mind free from being perfect and in control. I opened up the Word of God, I allow the words to soak into my mind, heart and spirit. And then I spend time with others, those I love, the ones that refresh me as I pour in and refresh them!

Proverbs 11:25 

The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

Truth Bomb

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The best way to refresh yourself, is to refresh others!

I was recently blessed with a week away from all of my “to do’s! I was able to be in the heart of God’s beautiful creation, with those that I love the most! My spirit was refreshed as I opened up his Word each morning, took it into my spirit, walked to the beach hand-in-hand with those I love most, watch the grandeur of the rolling waves hit the endless sand, and watch those I love play, laugh with glee and run to their hearts content! I was blessed to be able to cook for them, take care of them, walk hand in hand with them and enjoy the refreshment of their company as I poured into them!

My spirit was refreshed as I’ve poured into them and they poured into me!

Lemon Drop🍋

Stay Refreshed by Refreshing Others!

God’s Word is the perfect antidote to whatever ails us! Isn’t it so like God, that whatever the world tells us to do to refresh, is upside down in God’s economy! When we feel tired and weary all we want to do is get away from people! We think that taking care of ourselves by retreating somewhere alone will cure whatever ails us. But God tells us that refreshment, true refreshment, comes when we give back to others. We are truly refreshed when we refresh others. There’s no denying it, some people take everything we have! Truthfully, they drain us. But the others, I think God is talking about can be the very ones who refresh us. When we put others first, just like God does, we find true refreshment. So here’s to summer! Here’s to finding the most perfect summer sips that refresh us physically, and those beautiful times of refreshment with the ones we love the most! Stay refreshed my friends and I’ll see you back here on the blog next Tuesday!

Speak Truth Love

Mid-Summer Refreshment

The Summer is Real! The Heat is Real! No denying it now, Summer is in full swing! Staying connected to God’s Word May be our truest source of Restorative Power!

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The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.”‭‭ Psalm‬ ‭19:1-2‬ ‭

Staying Encouraged is a key component to spiritual health.

Nothing encourages my soul as deeply and profoundly as being in the midst of God’s creation, surrounded by the people I love!

God has given me, what I refer to as my “Spirit Quencher.” When my family surrounds me, and that includes my “Heart Friends,” the Friends God has given me whom share the same heart for Him and others, and we are in the middle of His glorious creation together, my spirit is quenched!

I am filled up to overflowing with God’s love and goodness. My spirit is quenched and ready to give back and face a new day.

This week I am putting my toes in the sand and jumping the waves with my grandbabies and kids! I am sipping coffee and taking in rich conversation with my heart friend and her family at their beach house. I am cooking dinner together with my deepest of loves, and laughing and enjoying it with them around an outside table under the stars.

TRUTH BOMB

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LEMON DROP🍋

STAY ENCOURAGED, it is your direct Spirit Quencher!

How do you stay encouraged? What fills your spirit to overflowing? Find ways to quench your spirit this summer and STAY ENCOURAGED!

Speak Truth Love

Lemonade N’ Lessons: Week 3

As we enjoy Summer and a “Break From Reality,” we must still maintain wisdom or our vacation, get-a-way, or staycation, can quickly turn into a nightmare!
One of the ways we maintain wisdom when we get away and take a break from the realities of life, is we stay physically hydrated. To not do so would cause all kinds of physical problems and quickly ruin our break!
Staying spiritually hydrated is also demonstrating wisdom and allows our lives to reflect the love of Jesus.
“But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it.” Luke 7:35

 

 

 

 

What “tricks of the trade” are you using this Summer to stay hydrated?
Are you remembering to sip that water throughout the day and not just when you feel thirsty?
Are you carrying that water bottle with you so you won’t be without it? Maybe you have even invested in a stylish water bottle and carrier. Maybe you have even taken it to the limit and invested in a ‘Hydration Backpack’ so you are always supplied with plenty of water?
Are you remembering to “pre-hydrate” before a strenuous activity, and are you avoiding Ice Cold Drinks and limiting your caffeine intake?
I must confess here, that I am doing a pretty good job of keeping my water intake high, and not dong a good job at all of “limiting” my caffeine intake. I mean after all, a girl must have her coffee to survive! Why else would Starbuck’s have come out with a delectable iced cold foam cappuccino?
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 My favorite
Yes, they speak my language too loudly at Starbucks!
The majority of you could have quoted the above facts about staying hydrated physically before I ever wrote them.
Why? Because staying hydrated is critical to our physical health and well being. Doctors have told us that, and there are millions of articles and posts that remind of this truth every day, especially in the Summer!
Recently, only a few months back over Easter, my step-father was hospitalized with heart issues, kidney issues, and several other organs failing. He had experienced fainting spells and blurred speech and foggy mental episodes. It took them awhile to realize that he was basically DEHYDRATED! Yes, you heard me correctly, he was suffering from dehydration which was causing his body to fail.
His physical body was failing because he was neglecting to supply it with the amount of water it needed to sustain health.
I believe that spiritually our minds, hearts and spirits are becoming blurry, foggy and failing because we are not keeping them spiritually hydrated with the Word of Truth.  God’s Word is as critical to our spiritual health as water is to our physical health!
Why then is it so easy to listen to doctors who say they are experts, and believe in what the science books tell us and keep ourselves drinking physical water daily, while neglecting to hydrate our spiritual bodies and take in the critical dose of living water daily?
Because maybe, much like the crowd Jesus was speaking to in Luke chapter 7, we are fickle. We would rather pick up a new water bottle, with the latest and greatest ability to keep our water pure and decorated with our favorite colors and design, then pick up the word of God!
I have several of those high Tech water bottles myself. I pick up my water bottle daily, I clean it daily, I fill it full of fresh water daily, and I carry it with me wherever I go, daily.
I am basically never without it!
But sadly, I am often too busy, too tired, or too rushed to pick up the living water of God’s Word each morning, clean my heart and mind of any impure thoughts, fill my mind and spirit with God’s Truth, and carry that Truth with me wherever I go!
But the TRUTH is, my spiritual body will die without God’s spiritual hydration in my life daily, just as sure as my physical body will die without water daily.
TRUTH BOMB
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SPIRITUAL HYDRATION IS AS VITAL AS PHYSICAL HYDRATION.
 
So let’s commit to living our lives and taking our Summer breaks with wisdom. Stay hydrated with God’s Word daily, so that our lives will reflect the One we follow!
LEMON DROP🍋
 
Stay Encouraged,
Stay Refreshed and
Stay Hydrated by The Living Word of God!

DIGGING DEEPER

 
STAY ENCOURAGED: Name 3 people who encourage you:__________________________________________________
                                                                                               __________________________________________________
                                                                                              ___________________________________________________
Record below why they make you feel built up and encouraged:
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
Write them, call them, thank them! It is good to surround ourselves by those who encourage and build us up so that we are ready to love those God puts in our lives!
Read these scriptures and savor the truth about how much God loves you! Below each passage write how it makes you feel encouraged.
I John 4:9 “God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him.”
 
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
 
I John 4:10 “This is real love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”
 
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
 
STAY REFRESHED: Name an activity that makes you feel peace and calm and refreshed after you do it.
___________________________________________________________________________________.
Now spend some time this week DOING IT!
Record how you feel after you finish it:
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
Try and come up with a weekly time you can write down and commit to DOING this activity…__________________________________________________________________________________.
Now, take a moment and ask God to help you stick to this commitment! Keeping ourselves REFRESHED is important to keeping ourselves in God’s Word!
STAY HYDRATED BY THE LIVING WORD OF GOD:
PICK A BOOK OF THE BIBLE AND READ A VERSE OR CHAPTER EACH MORNING OF THE SUMMER. Write the name of the book of the Bible below:
______________________________________________________________________________.
Ask God to help you stick to this commitment no matter where this Summer takes you.
Psalms 1:2
 
“But they delight in the law of The Lord, meditating on it day and night.”
 
In order to live out right lives full of wisdom, it is not easy, but it is simple! Stay hydrated with The Living Word of God DAILY!
Enjoy your Sweet Summer Sips my friends as you read God’s Word, and hydrate yourselves physically, as you hydrate yourselves spiritually!
 
Speak Truth Love

Lemonade N’ Lessons: Week 2

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This week I’m drinking my lemon water in a different spot as I take advantage of Summer Days to explore new areas… EVEN WINDY ONES!

 

TRUTH BOMB
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WHEN WE LET GO AND LET GOD, WE DON’T LET GO OF GOD
It’s Summertime! The days are long and the the sun is bright! As we take the opportunity to “Let Go, and Let God” take control of what we have been holding on too tightly to, we must take hold of God’s Word for it is the KEY to our life!
Take hold of my instructions: don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.” Proverbs 4:13
A key is what unlocks something that is locked and prohibiting us from entering.
 
A key affords our means of access. It is something that secures or controls entrance to a place.
A key is something that affords a means of clarifying a problem. It can be the system, the method or pattern to decode or “unlock” that which we could not unlock on our own.
Without the “KEY”, we remain  captive to the worries, anxieties, fears, and yes, even the schedules, that hold us captive.
So, let’s turn the key, and enter into the peace and promise that God offers when we “take hold of His teachings.”
 
LEMON DROP🍋
TAKE HOLD, (HOLD FAST), TO GOD AND HIS TEACHINGS EVEN WHEN YOU TAKE A BREAK.
 
DIGGING DEEPER
What is it that you find hard to let go of? Is there something that you are hanging on so tightly to, that it now has a grip on you?
And while that ‘thing” you find virtually impossible to let go of has a hold on you so strong you can’t let go, is there something vital to your life that you barely have a grip on?
 
This destructive pattern seems to be the way the majority of us live. We hold so tightly to what we are comfortable with, to what makes us feel good, and to what we can control. The problem with that is, much of the time those elements are worry, schedules, anxiety, fear, and phobias.
These words may sound “clinical”, but they come in all shapes and sizes!
Worry-worrying about something we cannot change or fix. Our sure source of freedom from worry is PRAYER! It may not produce the outcome we immediately desire, but it does produce peace, the kind of peace that we do not understand.
Schedules? It’s Summer, remember! Are we continuing to allow our schedules to dictate the way we spend our days, hours or even minutes? Summer offers warmer, longer days. Take advantage of eating dinner outside. Take a long evening walk while the sun sets. Visit a nearby park and walk quietly through God’s creation while silently thanking Him for it. Don’t allow your regular schedule to stop you from taking a break in your routine.
Anxieties-allowing stress to overtake our bodies. When you feel anxious, take a deep breath and slowly let it out. With each exhale thank God for something good in your life. The shift may pleasantly surprise you and bring you a peace and calm.
Fears and phobias, they will immobilize you if you let them. Use this Summer as an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Maybe a new class at the gym, or maybe sign up for an art class or a cooking class. Try an online class in a subject that interests you or join a new Bible study group. Take a drive to a new location and try a new food.
You will be surprised at how each new experience will develop strength and courage in your character.
Letting Go of destructive patterns are good and healthy for us, but they must be replaced with something positive.
 
When we “let go and let God”, we must take hold of His teachings!
 
Read and write Proverbs 4:13 below:
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________.
Now read the entire chapter of Proverbs 4. Read it through slowly and carefully one time, then read it a second time and record below all of the “WISE ADVICE” the Father is speaking to His child.
You are that child friend! Your Heavenly Father is speaking His love, truth and direction to you!
It is the KEY to living your life!
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
___________________________________________________________________________
 
WRAP-UP:
 
Now soak up the sweet days of Summer while sipping your “lemonade,” and let go of everything that holds you captive and ties you down. But remember to also take a firm hold of God’s word and His instructions to you!
You are dearly loved child of God!
Speak Truth Love

Lemonade N’ Lessons: Week 1

GET READY FOR YOUR FIRST…Lemon Drop!
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IF YOU WANT THE FRUIT YOU HAVE GOT TO HAVE ROOTS!
Isn’t it just like us to bounce into the lazy days of Summer, and want to enjoy all of the goodness without any of the effort?
I know that can be my tendency. I want to sip the sweet tangy lemonade without putting in the effort it takes to make it. Oh, I have the enjoyment part down!  I like to create a warm, sun soaked spot where I can sit and sip the tasty deliciousness. But I want what I want, when I want it, and the sooner the better. So instead of putting out the labor myself, I reach for a jar of instant powder and swirl it together with a bit of water and assume it will produce the same result!
It doesn’t!!
I sit down in my beautiful spot, and sip shear disappointment! Oh, it’s sweet and it’s wet, but that’s about the extent of it. I guess I was spoiled by my sister-in-law making fresh squeezed lemonade from the lemons off of her backyard tree! There is truly nothing like it!
The smell of strong citrus hits your nostrils as you slice the fresh lemon in half. You hear the sour juice flow from the lemon half as you squeeze every ounce of juice from it. Your mouth puckers and sallivates at the same time. You pour fresh cold water over the lemon juice and watch as it mixes together in a perfect swirl of yellow. You add just the right amount of sugar to produce that tart/sweet flavor that is unmatched by any artificial source. Finally, you pour that delectable liquid over a tall glass of ice and sip the true taste of Summer! IT IS SO WORTH THE EFFORT!

Why am I so willing to put forth the effort to create the “perfect glass of lemonade”, and not so willing to put out the effort it takes to grow my roots down deep in Jesus?

So let’s Dig Deep and put down strong roots this Summer!
If you are with me, let’s Dig Deeper!
DIGGING DEEPER
LEMON DROP🍋
KEEP YOURSELF IN GOD’S WORD SO THAT YOUR ROOTS WILL GROW DOWN STRONG EVEN WHEN YOU TAKE A BREAK.
NOW, Sip some Lemonade or summer beverage of your choice, and keep yourself in The Word while enjoying the Lucious Days of Summer.
**Read Colossians Chapter 3. Read it through once or twice, and ask God to speak His Truth to you through it.
Ask God: What is this passage saying to me, right now, in my circumstances and in my season?
Be Still With God and let Him speak His Truth to you.
Now, write down Colossians 2:7 in the space below:
Let’s dissect these words from verse 7 a bit…
“Let your roots grow down deep into Him and let your lives be built on Him. COL. 2:7a
In a plant a root has four major functions:
Number 1, The root absorbs water and nutrients; in other words “the root feeds the plant!
Number 2, The root anchors the plant to the ground and supports it. In other words, “the root is the support system and stability of the plant!”
Number 3, The root stores food and nutrients for the plant. In other words, “The root sustains the plant!”
Number 4, The root is the vegetative reproduction of  the plant. “In other words, “The root makes it possible for the plant to reproduce itself!”
What are the four major functions of a root in the life of a plant:
1)______________________________________________________________________
2)______________________________________________________________________
3)______________________________________________________________________
4)______________________________________________________________________
According to the first part of Colossians 2: 7, this means that if we grow our “Spiritual Roots” deep down into HIM, our lives will be built on HIM as we are;
1) FED BY HIM
2) ANCHORED TO AND SUPPORTED BY HIM
3) SUSTAINED BY HIM
4)AND HIS CHARACTER IS PRODUCED IN US
“Then your faith will grow strong in the Truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Col. 2:7b
The ‘RADICLE’ is the first part of the root to emerge. It is what is seen. It is the strength and essence of the plant.
When our lives are deeply rooted in God’s Word, we will live “RADICAL” lives for God!
WRAP- UP:
 
As you continue to sip some lemonade this week, continue to read one or two verses of Colossians chapter 2. There are 23 verses in this chapter, divide them up and spend time reflecting on them as you enjoy these lazy days of Summer.
Speak Truth Love

 

SUMMER SERIES: LEMONADE AND LESSONS!

Happy Summer!

Even though the calendar isn’t officially Summer yet, June sparks that thrill that
we feel, as it’s time to dip our toes into cool water and sit and watch the
butterflies flutter and the bees buzz by.  Summer brings on the promise of “free time.”
Time away from our calendars, our schedules, and our routines.  Even if it’s a day away, a weekend away, or a week away. Summer is the time of vacations,
Summer camps, Summer barbeques, etc!

As Summer comes into my life this year, it brings with it the promise of longer days as the weather gets warmer and the sun stays out longer, and inevitable change.  With the heat comes to desire to have a nice cool glass of lemonade.  I have a lemon tree in my backyard: in fact I have two!  And one of them is producing lemons year round!  As I pull the lemons from the tree, bring them inside and cut them in half, the juice it produces is strong and sour.
That by itself doesn’t taste very good.  It takes the addition of a sweetener,
combined with fresh cold water, and several ice cubes to produce the flavor that I want to sip. This reminds me that some of my Summer days will be sweet, and some will be sour. What I have in “my glass” will determine the direction of those days.

Hebrews 5:14 says,
Solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Constant use means that, although there will be times of refreshing and taking a break–much like Summer can be–in order to be a mature Christian, I need to keep my prayers and the filling of God’s word a daily habit in my life.

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 A daily dose of God’s Word sweetens a sour day.

So while I sit at my patio table and sip my cool refreshing lemonade through a straw, I will open the Word of God, read His truth, thank Him for it, and be prepared to face the sweet and sour days of Summer.

As we enter in this refreshing season of change called Summer, I hope you’ll jump in with me with both feet as we savor this series on Lemonade and Lessons.  Hoping your week is sweet!

All my love!

Speak Truth Love

A MOTHER’S HEART, Week 5-The Conclusion

As we come to the end of our series on ‘A Mother’s Heart’, we can clearly see that the heart of a Mother loves before she thinks. She leaps into action like a modern day Super Hero, to meet the needs of those she loves!

A mother’s heart believes, protects treasures and is selfless! In a word a mother’s heart LOVES!
As we conclude our series on a mother’s heart, it becomes crystal clear, that a mother’s heart reflects the love of God!
If you are a biological mother or a spiritual mother, you are called to reflect the LOVE of God to those He has placed in your life. Some of those relationships are easy, and some may stretch you to the limits of yourself. But the matchless, endless, all powerful Love of God will supply you with everything you need to Love the way He loves! Bottom Line:
A MOTHER’S LOVE NEVER GIVES UP!

God spells it out for us in bold print in the letter of First Corinthians;

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand it’s own way. It is not irritable, and it it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, it is always hopeful and endured through every circumstance.” I Corinthians 13:4-7

Ultimately, LOVE NEVER FAILS!

God’s love, filling our hearts, accomplishes His great purpose of loving others above ourselves!
When we fill ourselves with His great Love we will have the hearts that love like He loves, and be able to demonstrate His Love to everyone He has placed in our lives!

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A MOTHER’S LOVE NEVER GIVES UP!

So hang in there! Keep trying, keep filling yourself daily with God’s Love, and allowing His love to be demonstrated through your life!

After all, GOD’S LOVE NEVER FAILS!

Meet you back here on the Blog next week as we kick off our Summer Series!

Speak Truth Love