Graze: To feed on growing grasses.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

-Ps. 23:1-6

Growing up on a farm, I used to watch the cows, sheep & horses graze in the pasture. Each morning we would open the gate to the barnyard and they knew there was freedom from that small pen they were in. They also knew there was nice green grass beyond the barnyard. Once the gate was open, look out because those animals wanted to get where the tall, green grass grew – the pasture! They would take off sometimes even running up the old fenced lane that went up over the hill through the cornfield to the lush green pasture on the other side of the farm. There they would graze for a while then lay down and rest for a while then graze some more. They did this all day long. Come evening we would go over to the pasture’s edge and call the cows – 'come boss, 'come boss. They would gather at the pasture gate. Sometimes we would have to go round up a few stragglers and when all were accounted for, we’d open the lane gate and back over the hill they would go to the barnyard for the night. The next morning was the same routine, day after day.
What a life, huh?!

Oh that we could just graze and rest in shady green pastures all day long! But we can rest and graze in God’s green pastures and restore our souls . . . The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. (Ps. 23:1) I believe God wants us to slow down and “rest” and “graze” and “feed” on His Word. Life throws so many things our way and we are so busy – busy doing good things. But are we running on empty a good share of the time? Are we feeling stretched to extreme? Are we content with who we are in God’s divine providence? Slow down and take some time to just leisurely graze, rest a while, then graze and feed on the good things God has provided for you. Graze, rest, and enjoy the “shady green pastures” of God’s abundant love, grace, and mercy.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Changing Seasons

Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas lights are going up all around on my block. I am running a little behind with my Christmas decorating! This week I plan to get most of it done! But on the flip side of Christmas decorating, I also like to enjoy one season at a time. Especially Thanksgiving season! There is so much to be thankful for not just at Thanksgiving but all year long.

Like today when I got up and looked out to see snow and the cold wind blowing. But as I sat down to my warm cup of coffee, read a little and got ready for work, I was thankful for a warm house (although my daughter says I need to turn up the temp a bit – I told her to wear a sweatshirt!!) And when I stepped outside thinking I may need my snow shovel, I was overjoyed that the cold bitter wind had blown the snow off of the sidewalks leaving a nice clear path. Yeah – no shoveling!! As I went out to warm up my PT Cruiser I was thankful that it has such a great heater and doesn’t take long to get toasty warm. Then as I was driving to work I noticed this car ahead of me that had plastic covering the window on the passenger side. As I watched it blowing in the wind, I just thanked God for the unbroken windows in my car!

Little things . . . maybe so . . . but all of these are things that effect my life, making it easy or difficult one way or another. It is the little things that change my outlook on life. Little things that make a difference in my attitude, my joy level, my ability to cope and see and do what God put me here on this earth to accomplish. All of these little things in life make up the big thing - who and what I am about.  What are the little things in your life that make you who you are?  Are there little things that you are thankful for that distinguish your character - your being?

Thanksgiving is over but that's ok - what are some of the things you are thankful for today one week after thanksgiving?  I challenge you to look around you and see, I mean really see, the things in your life that you truly are thankful for each and every day!

. . . So when I arrived at work today, I took the thanksgiving “Turkey” outfit off of my “Gertrude Goose” that sits on my desk and put on her “Santa” outfit!! I strung a few Christmas lights around my computer and put up my little Christmas tree!! So I guess you could say that I have officially started my Christmas decorating here at the office.

Moving from Thanksgiving on to Christmas is great - for without Christmas and the Christ Child I think I probably would not have a truly thankful heart! I love the Christmas season and enjoy all of the joyous celebrations of Christ’s birth but I will still keep a Thankful spirit along with my Christmas spirit! Happy Thanksgiving ALL year long and Merry Christmas to you!

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