Be Still

Be Still, cally lily, water drop on flowerWhen moving your head causes nausea, the phrase, “be still” becomes very personal.  Today, I am thankful that although still struggling with other aspects of a virus, the nausea is gone.

The phrase “be still” from Psalm 46:10 can also be translated “cease striving”.  Life has been so full, some of it very stressful.

I do not enjoy being sick.  At the same time, it is somewhat of a relief to have to let go of all that has been on my mind, in my heart, and just let God be god.  Let go and put all of it in His capable, loving, and strong hands.

http://www.stephaniehalstead.com

Advertisements

God’s Valentine

God's Valentine Single?  Married?  Doesn’t matter.

Young?  Old?  Doesn’t matter.  Rich?  Poor?  Doesn’t matter.

College degree?  Didn’t go past the 6th grade?  Doesn’t matter.

God’s valentine is for everyone.

Have a sweetheart or not, you don’t ever have to be alone.  God loved the world (that includes you and me) so much that He gave his one and only Son for anyone who believes in Him.

Astonishing love!  Happy Valentine’s Day!

http://www.stephaniehalstead.com

One My Soul Loves

"One my Soul Loves".  Silver cup with red roses.  Red roses on black background.  My husband and I are celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary this week.  Thirty-five years.  They have gone quickly! 

I have always enjoyed fresh cut flowers.  He gave me roses on our first date.  If I had not already been smitten with him, that would have made me take a second look!  Reality was that I was attracted to him the moment I saw him.

Many dozens of roses later, he is still the one whom my soul loves.  Tonight he gave me, yes, you guessed correctly . . . he gave me roses.

Direct My Steps

Direct-His-Steps.  Childwalking in open field. Child with cowboy boots and cowboy hat.Late January. . . which way to head?  The year ahead will hold joys, surprises, good times, hard times and maybe sorrow.

I can plan and I should.  I am.

But my encouragement and comfort is the fact that God directs my steps.

Not a macro image, but one of my favorite photos of one of our small grandsons.

http://www.stephaniehalstead.com

Knit Together in Mother’s Womb

In the early morning hours of April 22, 2011, I saw our second grandchild, Andrew, enter the world.  What pure joy to be part of the labor and birth process with our daughter!  I will never forget my first time to see his sweet nose and cheeks.

This photo was taken in the hospital the following day.  Once again I used my piece of black velvet fabric as a backdrop.  This time it was draped over the  hospital bed.  Light from a side window and diffused light from an external flash provided the illumination needed.

Every time I see or holmother with newborn,  two day old baby with mother, hospital photo of newbornd a newborn I remember the words in Psalm 139:13-16.  They speak of God’s involvement in our lives from the moment of conception.  He alone knows each of us from the very moment our lives begin to the last breath we take.

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

New International Version, ©2011 (NIV)

Thankful for Debt Paid in Full – Celebrating Easter

"New Creation".  Orange butterfly on leaf

Yesterday, I drove up to the window at the fast food restaurant to pay for food I had ordered.  I was informed that the woman in the vehicle ahead of me had paid for my order in full!  The proof was a duplicate receipt.

Easter is only a few days away.  It is not really about a big bunny or dyed eggs.

Easter is about Jesus Christ, God’s  son, paying the debt for my sins (inability to measure up to God’s perfect standards).  God set the standards, but when he saw we could not meet  them, he also provided a way to satisfy the debt owed.  His only son died on the cross to give his life in place of mine.  What costly love freely given!  It is a choice each person makes whether they accept this gift or not.  Easter is a celebration that Jesus Christ did not stay in the grave.  He conquered death.  He rose from the dead.  Jesus paid my debt.   My “receipt” is the written word of God, the Bible.  The evidence is the difference he has made in my life.

 3″ I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.”  1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NewLiving Translation)


Bigger Than Life

tuxedo cats, photo of green cat eyes and whiskersKate, a young friend of mine, who loves cats and dogs recently asked the question, “Have you ever been down on the floor and looked at things from their perspective?  Everything looks really big!”

I shot this image of our previous cat, Dottie, while stretched out on the floor on my stomach.  She usually ran away at the sound 0f the camera shutter.  Only her intense concentration on something on the other side of the glass door made this shot possible.  Reflected in her eye is light coming through the glass.

My friend was right.  At times we can feel dwarfed in comparison to things in our life.

Below is a famous quote  found in the Bible that always encourages me when life overwhelms me.  It reminds me that He is bigger than what I am facing.  I hope it will encourage you, too.

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31 (New International Version, ©2011)