a simply lovely life
I am so thankful this morning for the freedom I enjoy in simply being me. Knowing that God sheds His grace over me and that nothing I do or say can change His love for me and mine. Knowing that there is less anxiety *in being myself*, than there is in being who I think others want me to be. Through faith in Jesus Christ, I have assurance of everlasting life, and this is the hope I have for my soul. In living this life, He is the One who leads me all the way. Day by day he changes me into His image, slowly, carefully, gently, lovingly. His children are His precious ones, and not one is lost. It is because of His great mercy that we are not consumed.
“It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” Romans 9:16
I have choices, I have a mind, I have a wisdom that knows what my needs are, and what the needs of my husband and family are. There is still a sacred privacy and security within the family unit, and nothing is worth injuring what we share together. It is the same for everyone. Don’t underestimate what you know in your logical mind to be true. I am often guided by my feelings and by the fear of man, but what the Lord has been showing me lately is that I need to be guided by common sense, wisdom, and His Word, the Bible.
I have freedom and every right to make a decision or have a belief contrary to what others may expect or want. In the rare instances that a friend doesn’t understand or agree, I don’t have to be afraid, I can trust in the peace-making promises of grace and love, knowing that my friends accept and respect me, regardless, as I do for them as well. We can enjoy the freedoms that belong to each and every one of us.
Caleb asked me to take this picture. Parker the dog is his friend and Caleb does a wonderful job of taking care of him, playing with him, sharing his food, and making sure his water bowl is filled. Sometimes if I put the dog downstairs, Caleb feels so sorry for him that he goes, too.
Sarah is getting better and better at the matching game. If I miss a match she reassures me by saying what I say to her, “Don’t be sad, you just need to think about it and remember where it is!”
Just for the fun of it David shut all the cats in the bathroom and then we took a picture, which was very very hard to do. Billy kept leaping away with a yowl.
Homemade donuts on Saturday night.
Emily reading to Seth and Sarah.
Davy had his braces put on yesterday. Oh the hardship of a 12 year old getting used to a mouth full of metal. He has been very brave, especially considering he was not mentally prepared for it at all because I thought he was getting spacers put in and we would only be at the orthodontist for five minutes. He was in the chair for over an hour. Oh my darling son. Your smile is beautiful and someday it will be even more so.
grape jelly meatballs for the son who requested them for dinner.
A tiny chickadee selected a seed and then flew away with it…
I made a dozen muffins for lunch. If you let them rest in the pan for 10 minutes they fall right out of the muffin tin.
Rich is working from home today.
I took this picture of Sherlock through the beveled glass in the door.
Knitting a white dishcloth for Joanna.
Right after I asked Rich if he was going to eat his muffin (it had been on his plate for an hour), Parker stealthily walked around the coffeetable, picked it up with his teeth, and went over to the kitchen to eat it on the rug.
These are the next three books I plan to read. I picked these out without reading reviews so I have no idea (besides the back covers) if they will be delicious. I sure hope they are.
I spent some time getting ready for Bible Study tomorrow and I loved this quote from my book on Romans:
“Think about integrity. To be whole, a genuinely integrated person, is to be the same inside and outside. What you are must be what others see, and what you say should synchronize with what you really believe. Jesus Christ not only saves us from our sins and assures us of eternal life with Him, He also puts together all the bits and pieces of our lives. The Christian life is a process. Making a verbal confession of faith is the beginning of that process–it leads to wholeness for the one who makes it.
“We don’t need to be told that such wholeness is rare in our world, for the disparity between what people are like inside and the facade they show to others is often considered necessary for survival. Perhaps you are experiencing that tension yourself right now and know firsthand its frustrations and anxieties. Some of us are further along in the process of being made whole than others, but all believers are on the way. “For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in Him.” (Colossians 2:9-10) It remains for us to become fully integrated personalities by ‘working out’ or expressing externally, what is already internally true in our hearts. (Philippians 2:12-13). This begins by confessing that Jesus is your Lord.”
Thanks for sharing your thoughts – so true! I love the photo of the four cats 🙂 … and Sarah’s look of joy while she is being read to.
Shanda, I love your posts. They are just a refreshing “just how life really is” kinda post.
Lovely photos–I especially like the chickadee with the red birdhouse. The donuts look marvelous—have you shared the recipe before? I might have to try making them sometime.
Lovely post, Shanda. Isn’t lovely to just be yourself? It’s wonderful to be true to yourself.
Sorry, Shanda, I used the wrong account to sign in. Susan
this resonates so much with a quote that i just read on fb, “How true it is that without the guidance of the Holy Spirit intellect not only is undependable but also extremely dangerous, because it often confuses the issue of right and wrong.”
― Watchman Nee
thanks for the thoughts and verses. lots to think about. and as always, your pictures are a joy.
Love all your photos. Kids, wildlife, Parker, Rich! Thanks for sharing! I’m getting caught up reading blogs, while we are covered in snow here in VA.