Monday, March 28, 2011

Festa Mondo... E La Pesca Dei Libri...


Un bel iniziativa!! Dai, vai a vedere...

"In occasione di Festamondo – Festival di storie e canzoni popolari per bambini e ragazzi, la tradizionale pesca dei libri del blog di Centostorie si sposta su Facebook. Sono in palio 4 libri per un mese, uno ogni settimana. I libri in palio sono:
dal 7 al 13 marzo – Grillo Bel Grillo, Sinnos
dal 14 al 20 marzo – Il principe granchio e altre fiabe italiane, Mondadori
dal 21 al 27 marzo – Il pentolino magico, Laterza
dal 28 marzo al 2 aprile – Eyabè Ne Ne, Sinnos

Aggiudicarseli è semplicissimo:
1) andare alla pagina di Facebook dedicata all’evento
2) cliccare sul tasto “mi piace”
3) condividere l’evento Festamondo
4) lasciare un commento alla pagina.

Ogni settimana alla mezzanotte della domenica si chiude “la pesca” e viene estratto il vincitore che riceverà gratuitamente a casa sua il libro della settimana. Allora, che aspettate? In bocca al lupo a tutti!" (http://www.centostorie.it/public/wordpress/?p=2434)


Se hai Facebook, vai a questo indirizzo per cercare più informazione.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Missings...

I am having a "missing" day... I miss many things which you may only roll your eyes at, and say, "Goodness, is she still on that track?" Yes, I am, and because there are those who will not understand, I will not say what I am missing. Let us just say that I am grateful for what I have. God has blessed us. But... I just think about about milestones I and my family can never have again. I remember things that began as challenges and ended in tremendous blessing. I miss loved ones who have passed on. I miss... I miss... I miss...

Today is just one of those days, but tomorrow should be better. At least, I think so. If not, rest assured, I will not write another "missing" note quite so soon.

I am looking forward to Spring, for its new beginnings, the return of more sun, BUTTERFLIES, and blooming flowers. I love spring here in Italy. I think that I need to have a "thankful" moment...

Lord, thank you for...
1) Spring things...
2) smiles and missing teeth
3) knot-"tied" shoes
4) snail mail
5) creative inspiration from the least expected places
6) blog friends and their blogs
7) wildflowers handed to me from 6 year olds
8) the captured memories of photographs
9) hope
10)birds songs and twitterings

That is it for now, as I could go on, but I will leave some for another day... "Count your blessings..." Does wonders for the soul. Now, I am off to stand in the sun and bathe my face in its warm reaching fingers.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Portion of Voices of the Faithful, Book 2...


I had to share this. HAD TO... These are a couple of portions from the book that have completely spoken to me.

From the portion from May 8... "God provides when He says, GO." The applicable prayer at the bottom of the page... "Thank You, Jehovah Jireh, for providing my every need and for using those moments of urgent need to teach me both physical and spiritual dependency. Help me abandon my plans of security and seek Your wisdom alone."

From the portion from May 10... (THIS HIT ME HARD... I may not be a career missionary, but I KNOW so much of THIS!! Not all, but some...)
Scripture reference from Philippians 4:13
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

The devotional goes on to say,
"People in the States often ask,'Do you like where you live?' Not always. Many times we can appreciate the beauty of the places where we serve and the people we live among. Sometimes we can't. On those days when my vision seems to fail, I call to mind Paul's confident claim in Philippians 4:13. GOD CHALLENGES ME TO MAKE IT PERSONAL. I can live in this place through Christ who strengthens me. I give up my personal freedom to dress as I choose and to go where I choose through Christ who gives me strength. I can deal righteously with people who constantly beg me for money through Christ who gives me strength. I can be flexible when plans suddenly change and my expectations are not met through Christ who strengthens me. I can live in a world of uncertainty and violence through Christ who strengthens me. I can daily witness through Christ who strengthens me.

No, life on the mission field is not always easy. The struggles and annoyances we face are real. But joy comes from surrendering our frustrations to God. We give Him our weaknesses, and He replaces them with His strength. Then our vision is restored, and we can continue doing His work and sharing His love with those around us."

AMEN!!! Please, pray for the missionaries across the globe. They need our prayers and intercessory care. And, remember those of us, also, who are not career missonaries, but still living in a foreign land with foreign customs, and challenges you may not be able to imagine. Thank you.

March 8, 2011 Happy International Women's Day, Dear Ones!!!... (Gentlemen, pass that on to your wives.) :-)


Oh, how I miss checking in more often... I kid you not, challenges and trials, floods of wrangled emotions and lots of lessons learned; that has been how things have progressed from September of 2010 to now. Sickness hit hard this year, shortly after November's lice and burn dramatic events. I mean the sticky sort of germs that cling and don't want to leave. I mean the kinds that come, make a full round amongst every member of the family, and then, upon seeing an opening in a weaker immune system, choose to begin another round. I mean from injuries, to operations, to challenges at school, to challenges in relationships, to challenges in trying instruct my kids to have faith in their own trials, to remembering God's healing power so I do not have to wallow in pity, grief, or sorrow...

Loneliness has been an interesting fair weather-companion, challenging me to remember that Jesus "never leaves or forsakes me". Thankfully, Loneliness has not dominated my life, as the Lord has seen my needs and granted some beautiful, needed moments with friends. Exhaustion is ever near, reminding me that my "strength truly does come from above." Then there are spurts of energy that remind me of days long ago, in my youth. When did I ever had such strength, such energy? Where has it now gone? Well, it all reminds me that our "times are in His hands". All of our times. Desert, Mountain, Valley, Joyful, Sorrowing, Grieving, Hurt, Healing, Loving, Disdaining, Strong, Weak... ALL of our times are in His hands. (Psalms)

"My hope is in You, Jesus. My hope is in You.
I have nothing to give but a heart weary and weak.
Take what I have, Lord, meager at it is.
Make from it flourishing seeds of faith and peace.
My hope is in You, Jesus. My hope is in You.
Help me to cling, to rely, and believe.
You are my Strength, my Praise, my Joy...
You are sufficient in all ways and all things."
(by Celita, March 8, 2011)

In general, I am well, just a little tired. I came across a verse that has started making a path through my heart. I am not sure exactly the effects of it, but, it has been an interesting sort of affect.

Exodus 14:14 "You only need to remain calm; the Lord will fight for you."

It has meant so much to me during this season of trudging, growing, stretching, waiting... When I have felt most desperate, I have yet felt the Lord reaching out to me. When I have felt the most alone, I have felt Him caress my soul with His creation's beauty. When I have fallen before His feet, anxious, worn, distressed, He has helped me to stand once again.

I had a moment on Sunday... Let me tell you, it was a hard moment. I was down, really down. I felt the Lord tell me to go to the roof. I asked Him for a bit of beauty to my soul, and when I arrived to the roof, I waited only to see fathoms of clouds tumbling slowly over each other, to be knudged by winds not healthy to my bronchitis recovering lungs. I waited, for a rainbow, the sun to all-of-a-sudden shine, something... I waited, and wept before Him. PLEASE, Help me! I need You. After pouring out, I went back to my kids. I sat at the table STARVING for something, and just read from the Bible before me. Part of what I read seemed like illumination through a tunnel of misunderstanding and immaturity, another part remained just words on the page, and yet another part seemed to fill me with such tremendous, emotion-packed joy. I read, I cooked, I put it all aside, and after the kids were down for naps, I resumed with a flurry of aching desperation. I wanted, I needed, and... after a few hours of pouring over words, meanings, anything before my eyes... He met me.

I tell you, even now my heart is overwhelmed as I recount this to you.

This is what I wrote in my "Book of Remembrance: Sacrifice of Praise and Joy Journal" (I named it.)

"I was so discouraged this morning. Feeling the weight of challenges, the hopelessness of challenges regarding my family, weaknesses, needs. Feeling down, overwhelmed, and trodden down. I felt Him say to go to the roof...So I did. I asked Him to show me something beautiful, something to encourage my beauty-starved soul, beaten down by negativity, nagging, criticism, unappreciation... I wept.. I saw the land, His mountains, and innumerable, layered clouds. No rainbows, no other lovely or miraculaous thing... Here I have been poring over scriptures just NEEDING... after these hours, He showed me the "why" in these verses... Praise Your name, my Jesus! Thank You for calming me. Thank You for this unexpected and necessary word to my heart. You are so Great!

(When you see clouds or are surrounded by fog remember this)...

1 Kings 8:10-12
"And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the Cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. Then Solomon spoke: 'The Lord said He would dwell in the dark cloud...' "

He is the Creator of all things. The Psalms clearly state, "The heavens declare the glory of the Lord." Do you see? I will think twice before I complain about dark clouds and rain again... for, you see, He created even these. It is after the storm and rough weather that a rainbow can be shown in all its splendor. So, I will relish the storm and the clouds, and believe that He is near. I will call on His name to save me, and know that He is near. I will trust Him as I am wind-tossed, and know that He is near. I will believe His promises, to "never leave or forsake me", to "catch me when I fall", to "fill me when I am empty", to "give strength when I am weak"... I will trust Him, and know that He is near.

I hope that you will also be blessed to draw near to God. He will draw near to you, too. Blessings, dear one.

And, to my sisters in this world... May God bless you and remind you of how special you are to Him. Happy Woman's Day!!! You are loved, desired, and known... Thank Jesus!