Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Souvenirs


Ah, vacation . . . (contented sigh) . . . that’s where we are this week. Our son recently moved within half an hour of Virginia Beach, VA, so we are blessed to be visiting family AND hopefully will get to wiggle our toes in the Atlantic ocean!

Like every other ocean-side town, Virginia Beach has its share of souvenir shops. Racks overflow with tees, sweatshirts, and hats boasting the locale. Bracelets and necklaces dangling tiny beach-themed trinkets, pretty rocks and pearly shells, and a myriad of mugs, water bottles, and other items for customers to buy on impulse (and then donate to thrift stores and next year’s church flea markets), fill the shelves.

I rarely buy any souvenirs, but there are keepsakes I want to be sure to take home with me to treasure later—the memories of moments spent laughing over a board game with my granddaughter, savoring a delicious bite of seafood, strolling hand-in-hand with my sweetheart, a long hug with my first-born, chit chatting with my daughter-in-law over a cup of tea.

All of these mementos cost nothing but are invaluable to me. Even if I fail to capture them in a snapshot, I can relish the snippets of time spent with loved ones over and over. I consider them precious gifts from God whose worth far exceeds any relic I might drag home in my suitcase.

Praying you all find a few of these priceless souvenirs this week, my friends!



Blessings!
Pam

©2017 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Average and Ordinary


I kept telling Him I wasn’t ready, wasn’t qualified, wasn’t sure there was a need . . . and He kept pressing me.

I reminded Him that I often worked on Saturday mornings, that I wasn’t really an in-charge, up-front person, that I had learned the hard way that what works in one church doesn’t always work in another . . . and God invaded my prayer time over and over with His idea, an idea He wouldn’t let me ignore—host a women’s breakfast.

He finally worn me down. OK, God, I will give it a try. I admit, it’s something that I would enjoy attending, something that would fill the need in my own life for encouraging and challenging fellowship with other Christian women.

So, I set a date, printed up a poster, and put an announcement in the bulletin. I invited a young friend for tea, shared the idea with her and asked if she would help me. We worked together planning the event and prayed together for God’s leading. We wanted the emphasis to be on encouraging one another through Scripture and shared stories, not on the food. We figured we would get about seven or eight women.

Twenty-four women signed up, and 24 showed up! I was shocked—and panicked, all at the same time. While I didn’t want to focus on food, would we have enough? Would anyone be willing to share in a group that large? Would it be what they were expecting?

I needn’t have wasted an anxious moment. Everything went smoothly with the blessing of God’s Holy Spirit leading from beginning to end. There was plenty for everyone to eat, lots of honest conversation, and an enthusiastic response to gathering as women on a regular basis to encourage one another in our Christian walks.

What was the topic? God loves to use ordinary, average people—a truth He has proven over and over in His Word and that He continues to give evidence of today. Here are some of the Scriptures we delved into:

Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Ephesians 2:10 "God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do."

Ephesians 3:20 “By means of His power working in us, God is able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of.”

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things by the strength that Christ gives me.”

We closed our time together by listening to the song “Ordinary People” by Danniebelle Hall, prayerfully considering what God might be saying to us through it.

Not only did the lesson itself speak to me, but the experience of stepping out and doing what God asked, even when I felt inadequate for the task, drove the point home—God DOES use ordinary people—even me!

Don’t you love how God gives us a new lens through which to view ourselves? In His eyes, none of us are ordinary or average. We are His unique creation with a purpose designed by Him.

Be encouraged!
Pam

 ©2017 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

More Today Than Yesterday


Forty-three years ago this week, two young lovers joined hands and hearts, pledging their commitment to each other forever. I never imagined I could love Dick more than I loved him that day, but I do.

Every day since that beautiful June morning, our love for each other increases. What we had on our wedding day was merely the bud of love; each successive day has allowed that love to open a little further, like a rose blooming, petal by petal. The love we shared then, while exquisite and beautiful, can’t compare to the deep-rooted, unfurled love God has blessed us with today.

It’s a love that has carried us through all that the wedding ceremony speaks of—better, worse, richer, poorer, sickness, and health. Each blessing and every challenge reveals another layer of love. With every passing year our love grows exponentially.

For me, the 1969 song, “More Today Than Yesterday” by Spiral Staircase, says it all:

I don't remember what day it was;
I didn't notice what time it was.
All I know is that I fell in love with you,
And if all my dreams come true,
I'll be spending time with you.

Every day's a new day in love with you;
With each day comes a new way of loving you.
Every time I kiss your lips my mind starts to wander.
If all my dreams come true,
I'll be spending time with you.

Oh, I love you more today than yesterday,
But not as much as tomorrow.
I love you more today than yesterday,
But, darling, not as much as tomorrow.

Tomorrow's date means springtime's just a day away.
Cupid, we don't need ya now, be on your way.
I thank the Lord for love like ours that grows ever stronger,
And I always will be true.
I know you feel the same way, too.

Oh, I love you more today than yesterday,
But not as much as tomorrow.
I love you more today than yesterday,
But only half as much as tomorrow.

Every day's a new day, every time I love ya.
Every way's a new way, every time I love ya.
Every day's a new day, every time I love ya.

Like finding the perfect Hallmark card, this song sums up my feelings pretty well. I love you, Dicky Williams! And I will love you even more tomorrow!

Blessings!
Pam

©2017 Pamela D. Williams