"Welcome to my blog space. I believe that God has carefully placed gems in our paths to fill our days with joy. The challenge for us is to take the time to notice them. My desire is to share the gems in my life so that, hopefully, you will see the ones He's placed in yours. I hope what you read here will be worth your time and you'll want to return often." - Cathy

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What's in Your Hand?



As the music reached a crescendo, my hand rose into the air. The Spirit wove its way through the sanctuary inviting worship. As the music ended, a peace settled over my soul and my hand came to rest in my lap. I noticed my pen was still in my hand and the thought came to me that I had offered my pen to God. For a writer, that seemed significant. It was as if I had surrendered my writing to God and asked Him to write through me the words He wants people to see.

Days later as I was pondering what happened on Sunday, I remembered a passage in Exodus 4 where God asked Moses, “What’s in your hand?” God had given Moses an assignment and Moses was giving God all kinds of excuses as to why he couldn’t perform. God showed His great power by transforming the rod Moses carried in his hand. Moses gave in and, with God’s help, accepted the task he was given.

A week later I read a book about a quilter who used her craft to fashion quilts for babies who were born in a home for unwed mothers. She wanted each baby to have something of their very own to take with them as they left this home, and something they could use for several years as they grew.

Do you have a bottle of nail polish and an hour to spare? A friend takes her bottles of nail polish to a nursing home near her
house and goes from room to room once a week spending time talking to each resident while she polishes their nails. Such a simple act, yet so meaningful to the ladies she visits.

Maybe you have a pen in your hand but you don’t consider yourself a writer. A dear friend who was virtually homebound due to the illness of her son spends her spare time sending greeting cards to folks in our community. Once a year, in December, she prints a poem called My First Christmas in Heaven on parchment paper and sends it to local families who have lost a loved one during the year. I was the recipient of one of those letters in 2010 and was deeply touched by it.

What do you have in your hand? Would you give it over to God for His use in blessing someone today? Please leave a comment about how God is using whatever is in your hand.

Going out with joy today-

Cathy
 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

It's All About the Cross


              This weekend my family will be celebrating Easter along with other Christians worldwide. Though society tries to discount the meaning of Easter and make it all about cuddly bunnies and chocolate eggs, for those of us who acknowledge Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, it’s all about the cross of Calvary.

The Cross Declares the Love of God and the Sinfulness of Man

            My sin caused a chasm between God and I that could not be breached through my own efforts. My death was required as payment for my sin. Yet, God loved me so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross in my place. I owed a debt I could not pay. He paid a debt He did not owe.

The Cross Demands Acceptance and Repentance

            God offered me the free gift of everlasting life. I accepted His gift of love when I was sixteen years old. Repenting of my sin has given me a heart bursting with joy. His gift gives me abundant life now and life with Him in eternity.

The Cross Divides the Spiritually Blind and
the Spiritually Blessed

             Do you know the Jesus of the cross? He died to set you free from the chains of your sin. He came back to life three days after His death to go live with His Father and prepare a place for you to live with Him forever. He loves you and He wants you to be His child. The cross presents you with choices: accept or reject the love He offers. Take a look at the cross this weekend and make your choice. He’s waiting for you to decide.

Going out with joy today-

Cathy

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Running the Race - Part Two


Cathy running thru the pink zone at
The Color Run in Asheville, NC
 I am finally getting back to Part Two of my exercise/race series which has been delayed by holidays, sickness and life in general. Thanks for your patience. You are an awesome group of people. Click here to revisit Part One to refresh your memory. As I told you, I’ve been using a walking DVD to get back in shape. As the instructor gives directions, I hear words like Stand Tall, Reach, Keep Moving, Choose, and Expect.

            Stand Tall – When I stand tall during exercise, my muscles can achieve peak performance. Standing tall improves my attitude and gives me a sense of confidence. Surveys of Human Resource Managers shows that job applicants who stand tall during an interview are hired at a much greater rate than those who slouch in with shoulders in a defeated position. Standing tall is as much an attitude as a physical position. I know a lady who is wheelchair bound, yet she portrays an attitude of standing tall. The wheelchair is a circumstance, but it hasn’t affected her confidence in herself.

            Reach – When I stretch and reach, my muscles are lengthened giving me a longer, leaner look. Setting health improvement and other life goals should cause us to reach beyond our comfort zones. If I can reach my goals without reaching and stretching toward them, they probably weren’t appropriate goals.

            Keep Moving – Any kind of movement is healthier than no movement. When I think I am at the end of my strength, I force
Cathy and Mary Jane (in yellow shirts) at
Meet Me at the Fountain Run, Forest City, NC
myself to keep moving for another minute or two. Push yourself. Not quitting will do amazing things for your self-esteem. When I’m doing a 5K race, I usually breeze through the first mile. The second mile my body wants to get a little slower and the third mile is torture. I often want to stop but by then I’m a mile into the race. Heading toward the finish line only makes sense.

            Choose – One bit of encouragement the instructor offers is that because you made the good decision to exercise, you will likely make other good decisions that day, possibly good food choices. One good choice leads to another and another. Ever hear the phrase: sit, soak and sour? The choices to stand tall, reach, and keep moving will keep me us from stagnating.

Group Shot after the Race
Light the Night, Forest City, NC
Expect – As I make right choices, I can expect good results. Do you hear that recording playing in your head that says, “Be a good girl and clean your plate?” I’ve seen a change in my thought pattern that tells me I can quit eating when I am full. I don’t have to go away miserable because I overate anymore. Our body is miraculously designed to tell us what it needs. Listen to it. It will tell you when it’s hungry, or thirsty, or tired.

            I hope my experience will help you stand tall in confidence, reach for your goals, keep moving in a positive direction, make good choices, and expect great rewards for your effort.

I’m going out with joy today, thankful for a body that still moves-

Cathy

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Running the Race


I never fancied myself much of an athlete. I don’t have the competitive edge needed to be successful at team sports. I am much better at individual activities where I only have to meet or exceed my own expectations. The only team sport I ever semi-excelled at was bowling when my husband and I joined a team when we were first married. In elementary school, I was the marble champion of the playground, but, again, that is more of an individual sport.

In May, I decided I needed to do something good for my health. My doctor had asked me numerous times what I was doing for exercise. My response of, “not much” wasn’t making her smile. I started by buying a DVD walking program with the option of doing one, two, three or four miles and a cool down. The first and fourth miles are 15 minute miles which is the pace I had done years before when I was on a regular exercise program. I knew I could do it now because I had done it before. The second mile is a 12 minute mile, accomplished by including a two minute running portion. The third mile is a 10 minute mile and includes, you guessed it, two running sessions of two minutes each.

I diligently used the DVD in varying lengths every morning for about four weeks. When grandchildren were here, they had fun doing it with me, especially the running sets. We’d run through the house and out the back door and around the deck and back in time to do the next part of the video. I was feeling very accomplished.


Cathy and Mary Jane crossing the finish line
Color Run, Asheville, NC



 
About that time my daughter sent an email advertising a 5K Color run/walk in nearby Asheville, NC. The proceeds would support two local charities. We talked it up and several of us signed up, along with some friends. It sounded like fun and we had 6 weeks to get ready for it. The only hitch in the plan was that I did all my training on level ground and Asheville is very hilly. There were several smaller hills that I managed to navigate without much trouble, but then came the granddaddy of all hills. The sight of it made me groan. It rose in front of me like an impenetrable wall. I made it about halfway up before I had to stop and rest. I am so thankful for my dear friend and running/walking partner who waited with me and encouraged me to keep going.
First Place Medal
 

Since then I have done three more races and have three scheduled for November (what was I thinking???). The funny thing is that I have won first place medals in my age group at all three of those, not because I am fast, but because there aren’t that many people my age running 3.1 miles. Come back next week to find out what I have learned through all of this.


 
Going out with joy today-

Cathy