Matthew 6:25 - 27

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Valentine's Day was two days ago ... 

So WHY am I writing about it now?

Especially because I have apparently not had anything to say here in almost seven months???

And, as a widow, shouldn't I just be saying "I'm so glad THAT day is OVER!"? I didn't receive any special card ... no flowers ... no jewelry ... no chocolate ... So wasn't it really a painfully, lonely day without my special love???

NO!!! I've had this burning in my heart and thoughts and reflected in the smile on my face for more than two days now ...

IT WAS THE BEST VALENTINE'S DAY EVER! I FELT SO LOVED ... SUCH JOY ... SO BLESSED ... CHERISHED ... ! I've been bursting to share it and, at the same time, wanting to keep it to myself so as not to diminish the GIFT in any way ... but I MUST SHARE IT WITH YOU!

Really. It was a day like any other; maybe even with more than the usual frustrations and complications. Another day to drag my teenage son reluctantly out of his warm bed and into a cold car earlier than usual on a winter morning after receiving a couple of inches of icy, sticky new snow ... the roads would be slippery and traffic would be slower than usual during our rush-hour commute the 14+ miles to his school and my return trip home again. I could have just seen all that as more trial and weight for me to bear alone on this special day ... but I've been learning to see with new eyes.

I've been immersing myself in Ann Voskamp's book and devotional, "One Thousand Gifts...". I've been learning to live "eucharisteo" - the life of giving thanks. I've been practicing looking with new eyes - really seeing. I'm learning that to be a Christian means to live in Christ - now, in this moment - no matter what this moment holds ... and to know that ALL is GIFT.

So, even in the rush of the day, complicated by the weather, His Gifts overwhelmed me ... 

A glittering, snow-encrusted wonderland ...
Getting him to school on time anyway ...

A normally 20 minute drive slowed in traffic to a crawl that gave me 40 extra minutes in the car to enjoy the glory around me...

Choosing a "back-road's detour" around the traffic on the county highway, and finding myself driving through the most breath-taking, beautiful, glorious land, filled with horse farms, majestic animals in the midst of all of His Splendor ...

Taking pictures out my car windows with the camera I keep in my purse ... on highway ... in my driveway ...

Trying to take in and record this joy I was being given ... the gifts I could finally SEE ... only to find that the camera can NEVER record what the eyes of the spirit see with the same glory!

Forty extra minutes to listen to the last chapter of the "One Thousand Gifts" book ... chapter 11, "The Joy of Intimacy" which begins "I fly to Paris and discover how to make love to God." and I realize that it is a perfect dove-tail with the chapter of the devotional book that I had read just that morning. And it was Valentine's Day. And I am His Bride. And I am not without a lover, but am held by Him who IS my lover and I am discovering His delight in me and am receiving this day ... this weather ... this time ... as His demonstration of that love - as His GIFTS to ME!

By the time I got home, I was wrapped in this glory ... this joy! I was experiencing JOY on a level new to me ... not a mental joy, but a deep, well of joy bubbling out of my innermost being! Isn't that what His word promises us, this joy, this LIFE bubbling up in us as a fountain ... so that we are no longer thirsty ... no longer weighed down by the world ... but free ... at rest ... nourished by the gifts He gives - our daily bread, manna? I'd sung the words about it, sought it, hungered for it, tried to mentally receive it because I believed in it ... but now I KNEW it ... received it within my spirit ... was fed by it ... carried by it! THIS is His KINGDOM COME! This is the kingdom that we are called to live in ... NOW! Not in "eternity". Eternity is NOW! In His presence is fullness of JOY ... fullness of  JOY is being in His presence! I literally "floated" through the rest of day! 

Later, I went in to have my nails "filled". I have terribly ugly hands. Swollen joints, fingers bent from arthritis. Thin, weak, peeling nails that cut into my water- and winter-dry skin and cause deep, throbbing, bleeding splits in my fingertips. I've envied the pretty, manicured hands of other women, and, at times, tried to make my own more acceptable by polishing and treating nails in the hope of some miraculous transformation. Mostly, I didn't, because I wanted to hide my ugly hands and not draw attention to them with painted nails. A few months ago though, I decided that it was wiser to just go have some type of artificial nail or procedure done to my nails to strengthen them and allow them to grow out without cutting into my skin and causing me to live with even more pain than the arthritis causes. So I went and had them "done" and now I have to "fill" them every few weeks as they grow out. At first I didn't add polish ... just left them looking as natural as possible. More recently, though, I decided to try using some of the polishes I had acquired at home. I'd polish and two days later, change the color and re-polish. On February 12th ... two days before Valentine's Day ... I chose a deep red. I didn't do a very professional looking job and the bright color made it only too obvious. On Valentine's Day, though, I went in for my over-due "fill" and decided to have them gel-polished. I love color ... all color ... and making a choice of polish color was difficult. Then I spotted a "sparkle" polish with very fine flecks of a rainbow of color - beautiful! I decided on that. Then I was told that I had to choose a solid color polish to go under it. There I was again ... how to choose??? Finally, I decided on white, with the sparkle on top. And so the "blood-red" came off and the sparkly-clean white went on. It's very pretty. Even on my ugly hands. The significance of that choice didn't hit me until the next day ... sparkly and white - the nails of a BRIDE! And, it didn't matter that my hands are still ugly, He sees me as HIS BRIDE ... and I am accepted in the BELOVED ... and HE had showered me with the GIFTS of the BRIDEGROOM - all white and sparkling this sunny, sparkling, snowy Valentine's Day!



  1. Hi Jan,
    Kim Gipe suggested you to me. :) I think it was a great idea. I found it very interesting that when I opened your blog link we are reading 2 of the same books! I have a couple of chapters of 1000 Gifts left and it is absolutely life changing! I also just bought the Warrior book of prayers for Boys (or whatever the title is!)

    I love your outlook on life! I am also a widow, I lost my husband a year and a half ago to pancreatic cancer, but I have been brought even closer to God through the journey.

    I'm looking forward to getting to know you better.


  2. Expressing our thanksgiving to God turns on a well of living water and you are letting it flow girlfriend! What a beautiful post, and I'm so happy for the new and deeper love you've found with God.

  3. What a great post! Your photos are beautiful.

    I lost my husband of 43 years to bladder cancer 9 Dec 2012. I also read 1000 Gifts soon after and was filled with God's love and peace as I read it.

    I've read that widowhood is a gift and an adventure, drawing us closer to God and I believe it. Things are still really raw for me, it's just 4 months today, but I feel God's love flowing through and surrounding me each and every day.

    Love, hugs and blessings for you ~ FlowerLady


I'm so glad you've visited with me today! I'd love to hear from you, too!