My Linus Blanket

Conversation with Friends

Recently, while hanging out with friends and having some life conversations that lead to one discussion about what is one thing that could make our life better right now, and second what are the security blankets that keep us from really reaching for our dreams and making our life better.  While eating wings, watching some football and having this discussion my friend turned and said this may be your next post… and so here I am exploring the path of God’s plan for me and how I hold onto my security blanket that can hinder God’s plan for my life.  My challenge to you as you continue to read is to think about what your security blanket is? What hinders you from living out God’s plan for your life.

Security Blankets 

Everyone remembers Linus in the Charlie Brown comic series.  He carries his blanket without fail everywhere he goes.  He doesn’t believe that he can do anything without the blanket.  Many times it appears the blanket gets in the way of what Linus wants to do but without fail he will only continue on within the safety of his blanket in tow.  When this question was asked in the conversation, I knew my security blanket was the safety of my hometown, where I have always lived,  and my career.   Over the years I have enjoyed lots of adventures in my life, but my desire to live a daily adventure, although great, is hindered by the safety of home.  I need to make my home within the Lord like Psalm 16:8 reads, “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”

Drop the Blanket

Over the Christmas holidays, I read an article about the only time Linus drops his security blanket is in A Charlie Brown Christmas when he begins to tell the Christmas Story and the real meaning of Christmas with these words, ‘And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”, Luke 2:10-11.  Linus found God’s security in his word – “Fear Not” and he no longer needed to hold the blanket.  I hear God’s word calling me to “Fear Not” and take the steps to release my security blanket and “Live Life”.  “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14.  Go and find the beauty of his world, and explore the handiwork of his hands.  “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:16-17.  Go and watch the dolphins jump and the sun set over the water.  Go and listen to the waves crash and smell the sand and salt.  Go and experience the simple and slower life that I hear him calling me towards.  I will need to seek God’s strength to drop the blanket.  The strength found in 1 Chronicles 16:11, “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”

Fear Not

I must walk in the words that Linus spoke when he dropped his blanket, “Fear Not, and know that God is with me.  As I open my eyes to my security blanket and seek the strength of the Lord to fulfill my life and allow me to let go and enjoy!   Psalm 34:4 encourages me to seek the Lord, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”  I have to unwrap myself from my blanket in order to feel the freedom that Christ can provide for my future.  I seek the freedom of John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Closing Verse: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Challenge:  Find your blanket and let It go.

Charlie Brown pictures are courtesy of pixabay.com

There is a God…

Without Excuse

Having the opportunity to see different places in this great country, I know there is a God (The World Around Me).  How can anyone see majestic mountains and crashing waves and not know there is a creator.  Romans 1:20 reminds me, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”  I am without excuse to know his name!  God has left his Word for us in all that he has created here on Earth so that all would know His Name and His Glory.

Traveling North

My husband and I are once again moving our daughter.  As we traveled North to Syracuse, New York,  we spend the entire day with a view of majestic mountains and beautiful valleys.  Moving through CNY (Central New York), I was amazed at the continuous beauty and large farms across the countryside.  This is one of those moments when I think I know what to expect and it becomes apparent that I had no idea what to expect. Psalms 95:4-5 reads, “In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.”  The rolling mountains are just breathtaking and were formed in his hands. Be sure to stop and linger in the awe of rising mountains each time the opportunity is given.

New Home

After moving her into her new home, the real adventure began when we explored the area.  The rolling hills of Syracuse, NY allow for beautiful views especially on campus.  Finding the unique little restaurants and shops in her neighborhood that are just a short walk from her house was for North Carolinians a real treat.  Meeting people with smiles on their faces who were more than happy to share about this city they love.  This college town is both large and small all wrapped into one.  Yes, the magnificence of the Carrier Dome is real!  You can’t miss it when you view the horizon of the city.  Exploring a new and beautiful area once again brings God’s creation to my thoughts.  “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”, Revelation 4:11.

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Water

Our final adventure was to one of the most beautiful waterfalls.  Although the tourism around it was more than I expected.  The beauty and power of Niagara Falls was stunning and breathtaking.  I stopped to try and view each detail.  The rocks below the American Falls, the openings in the mist around Niagara Falls.  The rock cliffs that linger over the falls on the American side.  I can not find the words to describe the breathtaking experience of watching the water fall. Even in the midst of the tourist and chaos, Niagara Falls radiates a peace as the water falls over the cliffs.  It is a creation of beauty from my Father. “Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.” Psalm 42:7.

Closing Verse: Psalm 27:4, “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.”

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Challenge:  Seek Gods’ Beauty all around us and know that this is a gift to know his name.  My prayer for everyone who reads this is to stand in the beauty of our Lord one day.  How majestic that will be!  I know because I see the world around me he has created.  Stop and look at God’s beauty today.

 

The World Around Me

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Traveling NC

I have had a great opportunity to travel across the state of North Carolina over the last two weeks.  I have lived in just one area and worked in that same community, so I have forgotten how big just this state is and how beautiful.  Not just the natural beauty but the people.  Especially those teaching our students each and everyday.   What a life changing experience to see our state and engage with educators who care about the students they teach?  I wanted to pack so many in my suitcase and carry them back home to my students.  Learning with educators across the state reminds me of the verse in Isaiah 40:31, "But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."  As educators we are on the front line for our students.

Educators in NC

These past weeks gave me the opportunity to meet such strong passionate people and reminds me of how God is working in the lives of people around me each day, but also people across the state, the country and around the world.  His guidance is evident when you talk to so many who just care so much about children.  Jesus was an example to us all on how to love children.  In Mark 10:16, "And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.", we read how Jesus take the children and changes their lives.  I met educators who with whatever they have they strive to give their students the best they can and in turn they are a blessing to their students.  This experience has been a reminder to me of not just why I do what I do but why so many have chosen to love all our children just as Christ has chosen to love us.

Natural Beauty of NC

Finally, as I drove across the state, I was blessed with seeing so much of God's beautiful creations.  Sometimes the Sun was shining and the breeze was awesome. Then the storm clouds would open on the fields and pastures.  I watched the sun rise between the mountains of NC one morning as I drove through the valley.  I saw the flatlands of eastern NC humid and dry and then drenched and wet.  I drove back roads I would have never known without this adventure and all of it was full of God's beauty.  I watched the sunset each evening in a new location and praised God for his beauty.  I was reminded of the verse in Ecclesiastes 3:11, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end."  No matter what the circumstance be sure to take the time to see the grace and beauty of God all around you.

God's world is full of beautiful people and beautiful places.  Sometimes I just can't get enough!  Makes me want to find another adventure.  Maybe I will head to Syracuse, New York….Stay Tuned.

Closing Verse: Psalm 145:5, "On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate."

Challenge: Open your eyes to all the beauty God has given us.  Sometimes it is an unexpected blessing.

 

God’s Perfection – Me!

Life isn’t about finding yourself.  Life is about CREATING yourself.  -George Bernard Shaw

Who Am I?

Maybe I have been trying to find myself for too long, and now I finally realize that I should have been creating myself.  So, if I want to create myself then I must look deeply at who I am.  So who am I?

I Am A Christian

First and foremost, I am a Christian.  I am not a perfect Christian because I fall short of God’ glory each and every day and seek his forgiveness and mercy in my daily life.  I believe in and love the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior.  Sometimes, I forget what an important piece this is in my life and that nothing else that I do is more important than my life as a Christian.  I am reminded by John 3:16 ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”  This famous verse in the core of my faith.  God has provided an opportunity for me to show the world how God has saved and blessed me.    Recently, My husband and I were given the chance to share his grace with a neighbor.  We did not have a sit down and discuss, but just modeled his love and blessings in our lives and tried to help her refocus all her anger and bitterness on the positive.  She has just let life get the best of her like so many of us and learning to lean on Christ in both the good and the bad is what should truly define our lives.  I pray that I continue to CREATE myself as a Christian so that others will always see Christ as Matthew 7:16 reads, “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?”  I pray I bear his fruits.

I Am A Wife And Mother

As I really look at the life I am creating, I see the blessings I have from a loving husband of 28 years and two beautiful adult daughters.  I know that as a mother I failed them both many times, but I hope that above all they knew I loved them and Christ.  Psalms 127:3 brings me joy, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”  I hope that somehow I showed them how to love those that God will place in their lives both now and in the future.  Being a mother never really stops as I continue to pray for their futures, their lives, and that they will be blessed.  I could not have been a loving mother without a loving husband by my side.  He is my greatest blessing from God.  Ephesians 4:32 defines my marriage blessing, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  My heart hurts when I think about how I have let him down, but the life that he has given me is one of laughter, fun, and dreams lived.  He helps me see the future so that I can believe in my own dreams.  Each day and each year just gets better and I can’t wait for the future with him.  He is the gift God gave me so that I could CREATE the real person that I truly am.

I Am An Educator

God has given me the great opportunity to work with so many children in my career.  I get excited when I bring a child and learning together.  I love the sparkle in their eyes when the learning means something to them deep inside.  I know that this comes from the Lord because Jesus has a special place in his heart for children, Matthew 19:14 reads, “But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.””  Over the last twenty years, I have been a school librarian and this has changed my life.  Working with both students and teachers in this role has allowed me so many opportunities to see not just the success in the classroom but around the world.  Proverbs 8:10 clarifies this purpose, “Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold,”  I hope that my future somehow holds a piece of this in it because I truly love this part of me, but I know that it is not the definition of who I am or who I want to be.  It is just a piece of me, but a piece that I love.

I CREATING Myself To Be Free

What I have learned about myself is that I want to live a life as free as the life Christ has established for me.    What does that mean? Psalm 119: 105 explains it this way, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  I look for the path where I feel free and I find that is when I am on the sand and near the water.  This is when I feel free.  I want a simple life that is what is deep down inside.  I want to CREATE that person who needs less, loves more, and explores the beauty of God’s creation all around me – (but especially those areas near a beach and the water!)  Digging deeper into myself has allowed me to really see what I have been created to love and to be.  I am ready to start CREATING a new part of me!  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Closing Verse:  Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

Challenge:  Stop trying to find yourself and look deep inside so you can CREATE who God planned for you to be.

 

Last Summer College Visit

Jesse and I made our last college visit of the summer over to Salisbury, NC to visit Catawba College.  I must say they roll out the red carpet there.  We were given so much one on one attention.  Jesse and I were invited into the President’s office where we sat and chatted with the President for over 30 minutes.   I think Jesse impressed him with her tough questions for him.  After meeting with the golf coach we were given dining hall passes and once again met the President eating in the dining hall where he introduced Jesse to several girls who play golf.  They just opened their arms to her and invited her back to campus to stay with them anytime.  The coach was very positive and seemed like he was willing to help Jesse if she worked hard and told her if she chose Catawba she would play golf!  This has been an exciting summer of college visits so now the time is here to finish and submit applications and wait for decisions and packages to make that final choice.  So hard to read Jesse’s mind.

College of Charleston

It was another day for a college visit.  Today we ventured into historic Charleston, SC to visit the College of Charleston.  This is an old and historic college right in the middle of Charleston.  We enjoyed the tour of the college and the walking up King Street and through the market.  A Few pics we gathered along the way.  Here is Jesse petting “Curtis the Cougar” the school mascot.  The legend is that touching/petting will bring you good luck so of course everyone had to have a touch.

As always we want the details on the School of Business here is a sneak peek of the outside of the building which was beautiful outside and in.  But the CofC does not allow you to declare a major until your Sophomore year because they want their students to explore before they decide.

The next picture is of the original library on campus a beautiful building that sits next to the building on campus that has been a backdrop for movies like The Patriot, The Notebook, Dear John, and a few others.  I wish I had a picture of that building but I have some video for a Connected Educator project I was working on during the visit.

We finished the day with a little shopping and waiting out the rain in both Charleston and Murrells Inlet, South Carolina.

I had a great day hanging out with my girls!