The Anticipation


“Advent, meaning “the coming,” is a time when we wait expectantly.

Christians began to celebrate it as a season during the fourth and fifth centuries. Like Mary, we celebrate the coming of the Christ child, what God has already done. And we wait in expectation of the full coming of God’s reign on earth and for the return of Christ, what God will yet do.

But this waiting is not a passive waiting. It is an active waiting. As any expectant mother knows, this waiting also involves preparation, exercise, nutrition, care, prayer, work; and birth involves pain, blood, tears, joy, release, community. It is called labor for a reason.

Likewise, we are in a world pregnant with hope, and we live in the expectation of the coming of God’s kingdom on earth. As we wait, we also work, cry, pray, ache; we are the midwives of another world.” *

As we join together in waiting…anticipating…let us not grow stagnant in our faith, but seek out ways we can actively give of ourselves and enjoy this Christmas Advent season.

Angels Announcing the Birth of Christ to the Shepherds

Angels we have on heard high
Sweetly singing ore the plains
And the mountains in reply

Echoing their joyous strains


Gloria in excelsis Deo

Gloria in excelsis Deo

Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ whose birth the angels sing
Come adore on bended knee

Christ the Lord the newborn King

Gloria in excelsis Deo
Gloria in excelsis Deo

See him in a manger laid
Whom the choirs of angels praise

Mary, Joseph, lend your aid

While our hearts in love we raise

Gloria in excelsis Deo
Gloria in excelsis Deo

Gloria in excelsis Deo

* Found in Common Prayer – A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, page 50.

When Do Dreams Come True? – Week #4 Women’s Ministries Retreat Devotions


#4 When Do Dreams Come True?

“Now Joseph was governor over the land; and it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the earth” (Genesis 42:6) (NKJV).  In this verse Joseph’s dream comes true! It was the dream that he had back in Genesis 37: 7, “There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.”

Between Joseph’s dream and its fulfillment about 20 years had past. So how do dreams come true? Very, very slowly!

The truth is that God’s plans, thoughts and ways are strictly His own. Scripture says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways . . . for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9) (NKJV).  When God births a dream in your heart, you can rest assured that it will take time for the fulfillment of that dream. Dreams aren’t rushed. They come about over a period of time.

Between the time that Joseph dreamt his dream and the time that it was fulfilled, he went through many things. And chances are, that between the time that you dream your dream and the time that it is fulfilled you will probably go through many things. But ultimately, your dream will come true in God’s perfect time. As we prepare for our time together at the conference, take the time this week to think through how long it may take for your dream to come true. I want you to prepare yourself. The Bible says, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9) (NKJV). So don’t give up even if it’s been a long time already.

As you reflect this week, look at these two Scriptures. Write what they mean to you in relationship to the dream that you are waiting for. What is God saying to you?
Scripture:

1. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways . . . for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts”
(Isaiah 55:8-9)

Meaning to You:

2. “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9)

Meaning to You:

#4  ¿Cuando Se Hacen Los Sueños Realidad?

“Y José era el gobernador del país, y el que vendía trigo a todo el mundo. Cuando sus hermanos llegaron ante él, y postraron a Él rostro en tierra” (Génesis 42:6) (NVI).  ¡En este versículo, el sueño de José se hace realidad!  Era el sueño que tenía en Génesis 37:7, “Resulta que estábamos todos nosotros en el campo.  De pronto, mi gavilla se levantó, y quedó erguida, mientras que las de ustedes se juntaron alrededor de la mía y le hicieron reverencias.”

Entre el sueño de José y su cumplimiento habían pasado unos 20 años.  Entonces, ¿cómo los sueños se hacen realidad? ¡Muy, muy lentamente!

La verdad es que los planes de Dios, pensamientos y formas son estrictamente suyos. La Escritura dice, “Porque mis pensamientos no son los pensamientos de ustedes, ni sus caminos son los míos.  Mis caminos y mis pensamientos son más altos que los de ustedes; ¡más altos que los cielos sobre la tierra! (Isaías 55:8-9) (NVI)  Cuando Dios da nacimiento a un sueño en tu corazón, puedes estar seguro de que se necesitará tiempo para el cumplimiento de ese sueño.  Los sueños no son apresurados. Vienen aproximadamente durante un período de tiempo.

Entre el momento en que José tuvo su sueño y el momento en que se cumplió, pasó por muchas cosas.  Y lo más probable es que entre el momento en que sueñas tu sueño y el tiempo que se cumple posiblemente pases por muchas cosas.  Pero al fin, su sueño se hará realidad en el tiempo perfecto de Dios.  Mientras nos preparamos para nuestro tiempo juntas en la conferencia, tome tiempo esta semana para reflexionar sobre el tiempo que puede tomar para que su sueño se haga realidad.  Quiero que se prepare.  La Biblia dice,  “No nos cansemos de hacer el bien, porque a su debido tiempo cosecharemos si no nos damos por vencidos” (Gálatas 6:9) (NVI). Así que no te des por vencido, incluso si ha pasado mucho tiempo ya.

Al reflexionar esta semana, mire estas dos Escrituras.  Escriba lo que significan para usted en relación al sueño que usted está esperando.  ¿Qué le está diciendo Dios?

Escritura:

1. “Porque mis pensamientos no son los pensamientos de ustedes, ni sus caminos son los míos. Mis caminos y mis pensamientos son más altos que los de ustedes; ¡más altos que los cielos sobre la tierra!”
(Isaías 55:8-9)

Significado Para Usted:
2. “No nos cansemos de hacer el bien, porque a su debido tiempo cosecharemos si no nos damos por vencidos”
(Gálatas 6:9)

Significado Para Usted:

What If People Don’t Like My Dream(s)? – Week #3 Women’s Ministries Retreat Devotions


#3 What If People Don’t Like My Dream(s)?

Everyone will NOT support your dreams. In Genesis chapter 37, between verses one and eleven, 5 times the Bible says Joseph was “hated” because of his dreams! Five times!

“They hated him…” verse four says. “They hated him even more . . .” verse five repeats. “They hated him even more . . .” echoes verse eight. “His father rebuked him . . .” verse 10 emphasizes. And finally “his brothers envied him . . .” the Bible says in verse 11.

Joseph got no love from his family regarding his dreams. And you may not either.

But thankfully God doesn’t require family support when it comes to our dreams! In fact the Bible reminds us that, “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” (Ephesians 3:20) (Message Bible) That means that God is responsible for fulfilling your dreams, not your family.

If people (even family) don’t support your dream, you’re going to have to push forward anyway. The good news is you don’t have to pursue your dream alone. The Bible encourages us, “For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37) (NKJV). You must accept the fact that everyone may not support your dream, but God is ultimately responsible for making it come true. So whatever dream you are imagining, whatever dream you are pursuing, whatever dream you are waiting for to come true, push past the hate, push past the doubt, push past the it’ll never come true and trust God.

As you are spending quiet time this week, look at these two verses again and answer the following:

“God can do anything you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” Ephesians 3:20
1.    Think about your “wildest dreams” what could God do this week to show you He is behind you 100% (even if others aren’t)?
2.    Ask God to heal the hurt from the pain of others not supporting your dream(s). Write your prayer to God.

“For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37
1.    What “impossible” dream are you believing God can do?
2.    Ask God to help any unbelief or doubt that is preventing you from believing your dreams will come true. Write your prayer to God.

#3  ¿Qué Pasa Si La Gente No Le Gusta Mi Sueño(s)?

NO todo el mundo va a apoyar sus sueños.  ¡En Génesis capítulo 37, versículos entre uno y once, 5 veces la Biblia dice que José era “odiado” a causa de sus sueños!  ¡Cinco veces!

“Ellos lo odiaban…” versículo cuatro dice. “Ellos lo odiaron aún más…” versículo cinco
repite. “Ellos lo odiaron aún más…” ecos versículo ocho. “Su padre lo reprendió…” versículo 10 enfatiza. Y, finalmente, “sus hermanos le tenían envidia…” la Biblia dice en el versículo 11.

José no tuvo el amor de su familia con respecto a sus sueños. Y puede ser que usted tampoco.

¡Pero afortunadamente Dios no requiere el apoyo familiar cuando se trata de nuestros sueños!  De hecho, la Biblia nos recuerda que “Dios puede hacer cualquier cosa, ya sabes – mucho más de lo que puedas imaginar o adivinar o solicitar en sus sueños más maravillosos!” (Efesios 3:20)  (Mensaje de la Biblia) Eso significa que Dios es responsable de cumplir sus sueños, no su familia.

Si la gente (incluso la familia) no apoyan su sueño, va a tener que seguir adelante de todos modos.  La buena noticia es que usted no tiene que perseguir su sueño sola.  La Biblia nos anima, “Porque para Dios no hay nada imposible” (Lucas 1:37) (NVI).  Usted debe aceptar el hecho de que no todo el mundo puede apoyar a su sueño, pero Dios es al fin responsable de hacer que se haga realidad.  Así que cualquier sueño que se está imaginando, cualquier sueño que está persiguiendo, cualquier sueño que usted está esperando que se haga realidad, empuje más allá del odio, empuje más allá de la duda, empuje más allá de que nunca se va hacer realidad y confíe en Dios.

A medidas que pases tiempo en silencio esta semana, mira estos dos versículos y responda a lo siguiente:

“Dios puede hacer cualquier cosa, ya sabes – mucho más de lo que puedas imaginar o adivinar o solicitar en sus sueños más maravillosos!” Efesios 3:20
1.    Piense acerca de sus “sueños maravillosos”, ¿que podría Dios hacer esta semana para mostrarle que Él está detrás de usted 100% (incluso si otros no lo estan)?
2.    Pídale a Dios que sane el dolor de las heridas de los demás que no apoyan su sueño (s). Escriba su oración a Dios.

“Porque para Dios no hay nada imposible.” (Lucas 1:37)
1.    ¿Qué sueño “imposible” cree usted que Dios puede hacer?
2.    Pídale a Dios ayuda de cualquier duda o incredulidad que le impide creer que sus sueños se harán realidad. Escribe tu oración a Dios.

Dreams Have Significant Meaning In Your Life – Week #2 Women’s Retreat Devotions


#2 Dreams Have Significant Meaning In Your Life

A famous person once said, “You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’” That’s how I feel every day of my life! It’s time that we dreamt dreams that take us to places in which we are fulfilling God’s plans and purposes in our lives. It’s time that we allow dreams to have their way deep within our hearts, molding and shaping us into the women God knows we can be. Dreams give us direction. Dreams put us on the pathway to our purpose. Dreams draw us to realities yet to come. And God-dreams keep occurring over and over and over again in your life.

Your dreams have significant meaning.

“ . . . I dreamed another dream—the sun and moon and eleven stars bowed down to me!” (Genesis 37:9b) (Message Bible).  How Joseph must have sounded to his brothers, father and mother! A 17-year-old “kid” talking about his “dream” of seeing himself as someone in authority over his family, even his father! But that’s what dreams do they cause you to see the impossible and improbable. Dreams—God dreams—have deep meaning and are filled with promise and purpose.  Joseph had no idea why he was dreaming what he was dreaming. But God knew why.

And He knows why you’re dreaming what you’re dreaming too!

Back in 1992, my Pastor and his wife prayed for me. And I “saw” thousands and thousands of women in a huge coliseum and I was on stage talking to them. At that time I was a stay-at-home mother with two babies, working part time on a local radio station. I couldn’t fathom that “dream” coming true. Well God could and now I “talk” with millions of people each and every week on a national radio “stage!” Ladies, that dream burned an imprint into my heart that I still see all these years later. God will do (or has already done) the same for you.

As you are preparing your hearts and minds for the conference this week, set aside some time to begin to “interpret” your dreams.

REFLECTION

In as much detail as possible write down a description of the dream that you see for the following areas of your life. What do you think your dream means (in each area)?

1.    Your spiritual growth
2.    Your finances
3.    Your marriage
4.    Your parenting
5.    Your health
6.    Your ministry, business or career

#2  Los Sueños Tienen Un Significado Importante En Su Vida

Una persona famosa dijo una véz, “Tú ves cosas; y te preguntas, ‘Porqué?’ pero yo sueño cosas que nunca han ocurrido; y me pregunto, ‘Porqué No?’ Asi es como me siento cada dia de mi vida! Es hora de que soñemos con sueños que nos lleven a lugares en los cuales estemos cumpliendo los planes y propόsitos que Dios tiene para nuestras vidas.  Ya es hora de que dejemos que nuestros sueños tengan su propio camino en lo mas profundo de nuestros corazones, moldeandonos y formandonos en las mujeres que Dios sabes podemos ser.  Los sueños nos dan un sentido de direcciόn. El Soñar nos pones en el camino de nuestro propόsito u objetivo en la vida.  Soñar nos acerca a la realidad que esta por venir. Y Los sueños de Dios ocurren una y otra y otra vez en nuestras vidas.  
Tus sueños tienen un significado importante.
“…He tenido otro sueño. Soñe que el sol, la luna y once estrellas se inclinaban hacia mi!”(Génesis37:9) (Reina Valera). Como José debio escucharse delante de su hermanos, padre y Madre! Un “Niño” de 17 años de edad hablando de sus “Sueños” viendose a si mismo como alguién con autoridad sobre su familia, hasta por encima de sú padre! Pero eso lo hacen los sueños, te causȧn ver lo imposible e improbable.  Sueños – los sueños de Dios – tienen significado profundo y estȧn llenos de promesa y proposíto.   José no tenia idea de porqué el estaba soñando y que era lo que soñaba. Pero Dios sabia el porqué.
Y Él sabes porque estas soñando; lo que estas soñando también!
En el año 1992, mi Pastor y su Esposa orarόn por mi.  Y yo “Vi” miles y miles de mujeres en un coliseo y  estaba en la plataforma hablandole a estas.  En aquél entόnces yo era ama de casa, con dos niños, trabajando a medio tiempo en una estaciόn de radio local.  No podia imaginar que los “Sueños” se hacieran realidad.  Bueno Dios lo puede y ahora yo “hablo” con millones de personas cada semana en la “plataforma” de la radio nacional! Señoras y Señoritas, este sueño quemo una huella en mi Corazόn que todavia veo despúes de tantos años.  Dios harȧ (o Ya ha echo) lo mismo por usted.
A lo que usted prepara su Corazόn y su mente para esta conferencia, en esta semana dedique un poco de su tiempo para comenzar a “interpretar” Tus sueños.

Reflexiόn
Con tanto detalle como le sea possible, describa el sueño que usted ve en las siguentes areas de su vida.  Qué crees significa tu sueño (en cada area)?  
1.    Su crecimiento Espiritual
2.    Sus finanzas
3.    Su matrimonio
4.    La Crianza de sus hijos
5.    Su salud
6.    Su ministerio, negocio o carrera

A Dream is Inside You – Week #1 Women’s Ministries Retreat Devotions


Image

We are excited to send the first of our four week Women’s Ministries Retreat Devotions. We are so thankful for Jennifer Keitt graciously writing each devotional! Our prayer is that each week the devotionals will help focus you on our theme: In Your Wildest Dreams, and our theme verse, Ephesians 3:20: God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!

Each devotional is in both English and Spanish (BIG THANKS to Clarisa Pichardo and Carmen Rios for translation!!) and can found each week in this email, on our Women’s Ministries web page and on our Facebook page. Because we do not have everyone’s email address that is attending the retreat, please forward this email on to your ladies.  

What better way to start this retreat, but as a community focused on God’s Word and praying for what He has in store for each one of us! God Bless You!

http://www.tsafloridawomensministries.org
http://www.facebook.com/TSAFloridaWomensMinistries

#1 A Dream Is Inside You

What were you doing when you were 17 years old? I was in High School, trying to survive. My major thoughts centered on my classes, friends and boys and not necessarily in that order! I can’t say that I really had a “Big Dream” at that time but looking back now, I realize I had all of the ingredients.

One of my favorite quotes comes from the book “The Dream Giver” by Bruce Wilkerson. He said, “Like the genetic code that describes your unique passions and abilities, your Big Dream has been woven into your being from birth.”

There’s a Bible character named Joseph who I bet would agree with Wilkerson. He had a dream.

In Genesis 37, we meet Joseph, a 17 year-old boy, working in the family business. Ordinarily, one might think that 17 is way too young to have a “Big Dream,” but fortunately, for us, God didn’t think so. In fact, Joseph dreamt of greatness not once but twice. The Bible says, “Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look I have dreamed another dream. . .” (Genesis 37: 9a).  At 17, Joseph saw himself in places of authority doing things that he could only imagine. He dreamed of greatness.

What about you? Do you have a dream?

Dreams are those things that we hope and long for. And for many of us, before life got complicated, frustrating or difficult, we dreamt. As little girls we pretended, we played, we saw things, imagined what could be and should be in our lives. Dreams are usually something difficult to attain and they are far removed from our present circumstances. Joseph was feeding his Father’s flock—with his brothers—dreaming of being the one whom everyone in his family would bow down to. Dreams don’t necessarily make sense.  They may not even seem attainable based on where we are at the present time. But dreams burn inside our hearts and they help propel our lives into purpose. We can’t shake them. God doesn’t want us to. He, after all, is the one Who gives us the dreams.

This week, think back to your childhood. Chances are, you had a dream. The questions below are designed to help you remember your dream!

QUESTIONS
1.    What did you want to be when you grew up?
2.    What kinds of activities were you involved in?
3.    What did you enjoy doing more than anything else?
4.    What did you dream about all the time?
5.    What dream has God placed in your heart?

#1 Un Sueño Dentro De Ti

¿Qué hacias cuando tenias 17 años? Yo estabȧ en la escuela secundaria, tratȧndo de sobrevivir.  Mis  pensamiento mayores estabȧn céntrado en mis clases, amistades y los barones y no necesariamente en este ordén!  Yo no puedo decir que realmente tenia un “Sueño Grande” para este entonces pero, mirando hacia atrȧz, ahora, me doy cuenta de que tenia todos los ingredientes necesario.

Una de mis quotas favorita del libro “The Dream Giver” (El dador or Portador de Sueños) por Bruce Wilkerson.  El dicé, “Como el cόdigo genético que describe tús pasiones unicas y abilidades, Tus Sueños Grande han sido tejido dentro de tu ser desde que naciste.”
En la Biblia hay un personaje llamado José, el cuȧl apuesto estaria de acuerdo con Wilkerson. El tenia un sueño.

En Génesis 37, conocémos a José, un joven de 17 años de edad, trabajando en el negocio de la familia.  Ordinariamente, uno pensaria que a la edad de 17 es muy temprano para tener un “Sueño Grande”, pero, afortunadamente, para nosotros, Dios no lo pensό asi. En realidad, José soñό con la grandeza no una vez, si no dos veces.  La Biblia dice, “Después José tuvo otro sueño, y se lo contό a sus hermanos, Les dijo:  Tuve otro sueño……….”(Génesis 37:9).  A los 17, José se vio a si mismo en lugares de autoridad haciendo cosas que solamente el podia imaginar.  El soño con la grandeza.
Que tȧl usted? Tienes un sueño?

Soñar son esas cosas en la cuales esperamos y anhelamos.  Y para mucho de nosotros, antes que nuestras vida fuera complicada, frustante e difíciles, nosotros soñabamos. Cuando eramos niñas preténdiamos, jugabamos, vimos cosas, imaginabamos como nuestras vidas podian y deberian de ser.  Los sueños son usualmente algo múy dificil de adquirir y estȧn bien lejos de nuestras circunstancias.  José estaba alimentando el rebaño de su padre – con su hermano – soñando que toda su familia se inclinara ante el.  Los sueños no necesariamente tienen sentido, tal vez ni siquiera parecén alcanzables, basado en donde esté en estos momentos.  Pero, los sueños que tenemos ardén en nuestros corazones y ayudȧn a impulsar nuestras vida a tener sentido. No podemos sacudirlos.  Dios no quiere que lo hagamos.  Después de todo, Él es quién nos da nuestros sueños.  
Esta semana, piensa en tu niñez.  Lo mȧs probable, soñaste.  Las siguientes preguntas hȧn sido diseñadas para ayudarte a recordar tus sueños!

Preguntas
1.     Qué queria ser cuando creciera?
2.    En qué tipo de actividades participabas?
3.    Qué es lo qué mȧs te gustaba hacer?
4.    En qué siempre soñabas?
5.    Qué sueño ha puesto Dios en tu Corazόn?

Be Kind to Yourself!


Do not be discouraged at your faults; bear with yourself in
correcting them, as you would with your neighbor. Lay aside this ardor of mind,
which exhausts your body, and leads you to commit errors. Accustom
yourself gradually to carry prayer into all your daily occupations.
Speak, move, work, in peace, as if you
were in prayer, as indeed you ought to be.
 
                    — François Fénelon

There is not much to say after a quote like this one!  We so often times deprive ourselves of positivity, encouragement and being “okay” within our own skin. You cannot be genuinely kind to your neighbor if you are not kind to yourself.

You and I need to make a conscience effort to be kind to ourselves. Here are three foundational ways:

1. Deflect – We tend to focus on the negative. If you find yourself in a pattern of negative thoughts that even are becoming negative talk…turn your thoughts away from the negative…maybe even just STOP your thoughts! Realize what you are doing and find something joyful, positive to focus on. Sometimes we also need to remove outside negative sources, such as websites we visit, T.V. shows we watch or co-workers or friends who tend to have a negative outlook.

2. Meditate – Scripure is the best place to turn when you need uplifting, spiritual thoughts in your head. Make an effort to memorize a verse or two a week. Save the verse as your wallpaper on your phone or computer, write it on an index card to keep with you in your car, or even write it on your bathroom mirror.

3. Encourage – To help yourself through this process of changing the foundations of your thought patterns, be encouraged. Tell a close friend what you are going through and ask them to hold you accountable and encourage you during this difficult change. Use Scripture for encouraging reading and study, and prayer for focus on praise, thanksgiving and intercession. Surround yourself with those things that are “true, noble, authentic and beautiful”.

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

                          Phillippians 4:8-9 msg

Written By: Kim Touchton
Special Events Coordinator for Florida Women’s Ministries

Welcome to Valerie’s Happy Restroom


We are awaiting a connecting flight in the Charlotte Airport.  After a visit to ‘the necessary room’ imagine my husband’s surprise when I rushed back and said, “I wish you could go into the Women’s restroom!”   It was a singularly unique experience for me.

In terminal A of this busy airport is a bustling women’s washroom.  Valerie, dressed in her blue and black airport garb, was dancing back and forth, spray bottle and cleaning rag in hand. She was greeting everyone who entered with a beatific smile.  That would have been delightful enough.  But it is not enough for Valerie.   She does not allow a single woman to get by her without an exuberant greeting; “Welcome to Valerie’s Happy Restroom!”.   And that is only the beginning of her remarkable enthusiasm.   You are escorted to the ‘condo of your choice – large condo, small condo, kiddie condo’, inviting one and all to ‘take a seat – there’s a seat for one and all!’    I believe this is the first time I have been serenaded during  . . .  while um  . . .  when visiting my condo of choice.    All condo visitors enjoy her rendition of “Don’t worry, P_ _ Happy” [Right, I did not say “Be”]

Please excuse me if I border the wasteland of the offensive.  I do not intend to assault the sensitivities.  My hope is to inspire all of us to see even the most mundane tasks with new eyes.  If Valerie can have a happy restroom, then I can surely clean up my own attitude when I must face the unpleasant.  Unpleasant- ness comes in so many shapes and forms.  I here and now proclaim to you that whatever comes my way I promise to do my best to put the best face on it!  Wouldn’t it be a better world if everyone did?

I once told my dearly departed friend, Major Patty Parker, that “whenever I saw things her way I got a headache”.  Once upon a time when we worked together, I bought a decorative pillow for my office chair with this inscription on it and called it my Patty Pillow.  Patty was a beautifully, unusual person.   She was like Valerie in her outlook.  To some it may seem “Polyanna-ish”, but what I know for sure is that it is entirely possible to have depth of insight, strength and valor, and still not worry, and be happy. Proof in the pudding was Patty, with an added portion of zest.   How I miss her.   I’m adding Valerie to my list of “models for living” in the Patty Parker category.

The Message

“Seize life!  Eat bread with gusto, drink wine with a robust heart.  Oh yes – God takes pleasure in your pleasure!

Dress festively every morning. Don’t skimp on colors and scarves.  Relish life with the spouse you love each

and every day of your precarious life.  Each day is God’s gift.  It’s all you get in exchange for the hard

work of staying alive.  Make the most of each one!  Whatever turns up, grab it and do it.

                           And heartily!  This is your last and only chance at it.”

 

Ecclesiastes 9: 7 – 12

Written by: Lt. Colonel Martha Jewett
Florida’s Director of Women’s Ministries, friend to all, wife, mother of three and grandmother of two