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Funny What A Few Flowers Will Do

by Cathy Baker

Sunshine warms the body but
encouragement 
warms the soul. 
 
E-N-C-O-U-R-A-G-E-M-E-N-T
We were enjoying a meal, my friend and me. Well, maybe enjoying isn’t the right word. She was struggling to come to grips with possible changes in her life and I was struggling for the right words to say. 
And then it happened. Joe, an older gentleman whose family once attended church with ours, approached our table out of nowhere and handed each of us a bouquet of flowers. 
The hands that offered us the flowers were Joe’s—the heart that prompted them, however,
 was God’s. 
Joe bought flowers that morning having no idea how greatly God would use them to encourage a person he didn’t even know. He simply felt prompted to buy and share them with others. 
Who could use a little encouragement in your sphere of influence this week? 
After all, it’s funny what a few flowers will a do. 

Rainy Days and Mondays (3 Summer Activities to Enjoy on Days Like These)

 
 by Cathy Baker

“Lost time is 
never found again.”
Benjamin Franklin

R-E-D-E-E-M-I-N-G  
S-U-M-M-E-R
I made a lot of mistakes as a mom of two little boys, especially before coming to know Christ. But one thing I longed for as a young mother was to create good memories for my children. Today, I’m sharing three favorite family activities from way back when. Thankfully, rainy days and uncharted roads still offer much fun for children and adults alike. 

On rainy days, pull out a lightweight sheet, gather a few chairs, and make a tent indoors. Fluffy pillows, popped corn, and a favorite movie are the perfect ingredients for a gaggle of giggles. Enjoying a picnic-type lunch under the sheet makes peanut butter and jelly taste even sweeter. Now I make tents for the grandchildren and they love it as much as their dads did all those years ago.

Play in the rain! I can’t say this happened often but when it did, it was fun. On days when lightening stays at bay but rain pours in buckets, take the kids outside, stick your tongues out and take it all in, for in a blink they’ll be taking their own children out to play. Trust me.  

 

    Explore! On a whim, I’d load up the boys to explore back roads we’d never traveled just to see where we’d end up. Of course, our final destination was located on a very familiar road offering up a well-acquainted dessert, the TCBY Shiver. (Who says I’m not adventurous?)

    Your turn! Do you have a favorite activity you share (or shared) with the little ones in your life? We’d love to read about it, if so. Please share in the comment section. 

    “School teachers are not fully appreciated by parents 
    until it rains all day Saturday.” Unknown

    When It’s Proper to Nap on a Date

    by Cathy Baker

    How do you spend Sunday afternoons? 

    Some of my favorite childhood memories are grounded in those mid-day hours. My step-mom and I made lemon blueberry muffins (with tart icing always dyed blue!) We’d gather around the TV to watch the Cowboys (Roger Staubach days) and during half-time we’d walk through nearby woods in search of kindling for our wood stove. 

    In the chapter, hammock: why you’re never too old for naptime, Laura J. Boggess has this to add about those days:

    “I remember long afternoons under the shade of the apple tree—cooling our tongues with the juice of green apples, drifting in and out as the sun played chiaroscuro over our eyelids. And I remember the scent of summer rain through open windows as my little brother and I lay whispering on my bed—waiting for our bodies and minds to drift into an afternoon nap. Rest. As I gently touch these memories with the finger of my heart, a gale of longing wells up inside of me, and I wonder. When did I forget the way slowing down leads me into the arms of the Father? 

    My Jewish friends would not be surprised at this tender ache that pulses inside of me. “You are missing keeping the Sabbath,” one tells me. “Your life is too busy. How can you hear the voice of God amidst all that noise?” He believes this longing for rest is built up into my spirit; he believes God put it there.

    http://redemptionsbeauty.com/sabbath-society/Might practicing Sabbath be a way to meet that hunger and set a table to feed it? And so I began to sit with the longing. I start small—Sabbath moments. With each setting sun, I gather a bit of the day together at its edges and be still. These moments take me back under the apple tree—looking up through the branches at the clouds moving slowly across the sky. And I feel the promise of new life; the hunger is sated for just those short moments.” -Laura J. Boggess, Playdates with God, Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-Up World


    Our Turn…where was (or is) your “under the apple tree” kind of place where you gather the bits of your day and be still?


    Coming up in June…
    Kick off those sandals! Posts from our NEW series begin Monday, June 1st.

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