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Archive for August 30th, 2013

PUDDLES OF JOY

Sloshing in roadside curbs during spring showers always made me giggle when I DSCF1294was a child. And stomping in those puddles with friends to see which one of us could make the biggest splash shoved our laughter clear to bell-ringing joy.

August in drought-ridden Texas is brutal so we escape to the air-conditioned comfort of our homes. Not so for the birds. They’re confined to the scorching concrete and asphalt.

There was not even a promise of rain one hot, dry, August afternoon. But red birds, blue-jays, mocking birds, and even doves, splashed and splattered in refreshing puddles of relief created by my soaker hose.

Except of a few naysayers, who sat in the branches too stubborn or too afraid to surrender to the delight of the cool water, these winged creatures cast their personality quirks off their wing tips to join in a few moments of peaceful restoration.

Did you know God provides puddles of refreshment for His kids too? Puddles of encouragement. Puddles of invigoration. Puddles of comfort. These oasis DSCF1074moments appear like the spontaneity of a summer shower. A phone call from a grandchild. An unexpected letter or card. A surprise bouquet of flowers. Or perhaps a tiny thought or memory that brings pleasure and breaks the grip and stress of life’s storms.

Last week I found myself in one of those funks. Too much to do, too little time. I was overwhelmed. I surrendered to the sudden urge to turn off the freeway and take the country route home. I drove along grumbling and complaining, paying no attention to my surroundings, ‘til something sprinted from the bushes ahead of me.

A roadrunner.

Now this Florida gal never ceases to be amazed and filled with delight at every sighting of this peculiar bird. This long-legged fowl moved with the speed of light, out of the bushes, across the roadway, down the ditch and up the embankment to the other side. I could almost hear the “beep-beep” as his feathers caught the sunlight and flashed snatches of green, blue and chestnut brown. He paused, looked my direction, then spread his wings and flew over the bushes into the safety of the forest.

Amazing.  I’m grumbling and complaining and God puts this puddle of encouragement, especially for me, smack in the middle of my path. I spent the remainder of the journey home thanking God. Contemplating the mercy and grace His love poured on me in spite of the deception of my tantrum.

The lens we choose to look through every moment of each day colors our attitude and guides the ebb andDSCF1220 flow of our tumultuous emotions.

What if I had ignored the impulse to get off the freeway Habitrail and continued zooming home at max speed, my stress building with every turn of the wheels? Could it be our parents understood the old saying about taking time to inhale the fragrance of the blossoms?

IMG_1564 210I wondered how many of God’s puddles, tagged with my name, I’ve missed, run through, or ignored?

How about you? Have you become so embroiled in the deserts of drought, the heat of battles, and storms of relationships that you have failed to stop and enjoy those God given moments of blessed relief?

I would love to hear what inviting puddles have brought blessings to you. Share how those moments of joy changed you.

God promises to renew our strength along this difficult journey. If we wait on DSCF2409 0044Him. He promises to give us His strength. If we seek Him. And He promises to guide us through rough terrain. But, it’s all conditional on watching, waiting, and taking the time to wade into those precious puddles of delightful joy sent by God the Father to His parched, needy children.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary” (Isaiah 40:28-31 NAS).

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