• Approach life with interest, flavor, and zest • Treasure those memories of special moments frozen in time • Cold hearts lead to a dreary life but warm hearts provide cheer to many • True friendship is like a taste of creamy goodness • Live honestly that your true colors reflect integrity • Sharing compassionately arises from brokenness • Do not allow frosty responses to dim your peace • Be your positive and add color and flavor to life • When coldness invades, allow warmth to savor goodness • God can melt the most cold and stubborn heart • Seek what refreshes and strengthens you and give thanks • Missed opportunities can result from frozen indecision • Let go of worries and enjoy good fruits of life • Your center support is God’s strong presence
From “Reflections from the Everyday” Charlotte-Anne Allen
I was thinking about all the ways I use the word “good” … both positively and negatively!
That’s good. You need anything? … I’m good. Thanks Have a good day! This is no good. Good morning! That tastes good. Be good… Good Lord!
And what does “good” really mean anyway? Many a debate or disagreement boils down to a different perception or opinion of what is good. We try to teach children to make good choices and to use good behavior and manners. What one person thinks is good may not be good at all to another person. I may decide that something is a good idea, only to change my mind about it later… Changing situations and differences in how we grew up or our current culture, among other things, leads to some differences.
Yet there are many common things for which “good” is very apparent. The Bible sets our standard for goodness using different examples and teachings. I love how it shows real people struggling through life, some failing dramatically and others accomplishing great or positive things for the good of many. Micah said it well!
He has told you, mortal one, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 NASB
How do we decide what is good for a given situation or for life in general? What helps us to decide what is good. I find that taking time for self-reflection helps keep me on track. Just stopping, praying, reading God’s Word, listening, and considering recent actions or thoughts and perceptions is a great way to steer back in the right direction! I realize areas where I need to improve and to hopefully consider where I have grown and learned. Do I “do justice” … and what does that mean anyway? It is a high goal – to be founded on love, be honest, have integrity, be true, and be faithful. “To love kindness” is something that attracts, to care for others and to be cared about. When we walk humbly with God, we recognize His sovereignty or authority and our own imperfect nature and we follow Him, secure in His presence and knowing that He walks with us always.
What is good? That which lives out our love for God, our love for others, and His faithfulness and mercy.
• See the beauty woven into the fabric of life • Hope is like drops of dew amidst fragile strands shining in the light • Outward fragility can belie strength and purpose • When sticky situations rear up, hold on to what is good and kind • Dishonesty builds tangled webs of deceit • Nurture that which builds lasting relationships and overcomes storms • Attend to tremors and shakings signaling significant arrivals • If caught unaware, we run headlong into that which can trap us • Know there is still purpose when we are dusty and spent • Recognizing our smallness builds humility and empathy • The spider’s mountain is still a mountain • We are nourished as we are being formed • Be one who draws others to receive healing • When ragged and torn, turn to God who makes us new
– From “Reflections from the Everyday” Charlotte-Anne Allen
• Joy and peace sound out from the heart • Words and actions will peal far and wide • A soft voice, like a carillon, sooths, calms, and brings enjoyment • A welcome call for meals announces care and fellowship • What we choose to consume in life brings nourishment or illness • Unexpected announcements bring excitement or dread • Be vigilant and heed warning signals when they come • The tolling of bells draws attention to our own mortality • Guard your senses and cling to faith to drive away harmful impulses • Welcome joyful messengers both great and small • Simple hands and strong cords are each of great value • Victory celebrations and shouts of triumph lift spirits • God’s calm strength rings out to all nations • The ringing bell herds us back to the Shepherd
from “Reflections from the Everyday” Charlotte-Anne Allen
What a welcome southern invitation bringing thoughts of warmth, good company, and honest labor! Settling down with a cool drink of water and comfortable companionship lifts one’s spirits. After a long but satisfying day of work, I look forward to sitting and relaxing for a while. Don’t you, too?
I find that it’s harder to get to sleep at night if I haven’t given myself some time to just sit and find refreshment in some simple enjoyable things. Easy time talking with a family member is appreciated, as well as some time alone. I look forward to a nice quiet spot by myself where I can read or write, spend some time in thought, pray, and do other things which I enjoy.
What are some things that refresh you after a long or busy day or week? Those of us who are caregivers may be especially challenged to create moments to refresh yourselves. Seeking ways to pause, if only for brief breaks, will do much for our frame of mind and our ability to do our best with a positive attitude.
This reminds me that even Jesus was intentional about creating those times. As he was traveling with his disciples, they stopped at a well and Jesus sent the disciples off to town to buy some food. He sat down by the well, tired and thirsty, seeking refreshment and welcoming the pause.
Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. John 4:6
I remember my childhood days of warm summer evenings playing outside with my brothers and neighborhood friends. I hear again the sounds of occasional passing cars, televisions, and our laughs and shouts, as our parents sat and talked after finishing the day’s chores… drinking from that well that comes from God. I remember times when we gathered with my family around a campfire, roasting marshmallows and enjoying each other. I’m thankful for those times and for opportunities to create them now, to pause and be refreshed.
May you be blessed this week as you rest in your travels and sit down by the well. Prayers for refreshment and renewal, quiet times of rest, and comfortable companionship!
• It takes a seed to form ideas to have a vision for great things • We often underestimate the impact of one life upon another • The effect of one person will have lasting results • Fear and uncertainty can blind us or hold us back from taking positive steps • Sometimes we need to remove things which prevent us from growing and becoming • Cultivate good qualities and use them to benefit others • A single skill or interest has endless possibilities for expression • We absorb attitudes, assumptions, ideas, expectations, and philosophies from everything around us • It is prudent to keep a clear head and take time for contemplation before making decisions and following a chosen course • Let experience bring calmer responses and clearer insight • Offering encouragement and value to others is like water to sustain a body • Food for the soul comes from God, the great provider and source of life
From “Reflections from the Everyday” “Charlotte-Anne Allen
Honey. I love honey, especially in a cup of hot tea or maybe spread on some toast or a biscuit.
Growing up in a small town, our neighbors behind us kept some beehives and the busy bees were regular visitors to our apple trees. We were also thankful recipients of some of the harvested honey and honeycomb. I still have fond memories of that honey!
A fun fact I’ve heard is that honey is the only natural food source that has all the nutrients that we need. Natural raw honey is rich in antioxidants. It’s also helpful in healing wounds and is a positive alternative to processed sugar. Isn’t that amazing?! The fact that it is good for us really makes one of my favorite verses even more meaningful.
Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16:24
Like honey, words spoken in kindness are healthy and healing for both soul and body. When our spirits are low, an encouraging word can be powerful. We remember soft and comforting words offered during times of stress, don’t we? Even if I can’t remember the exact words later, I do remember that they were spoken and how much they meant at the time. Thoughtful words spoken during times of celebration or after hard work and accomplishments are important too.
“Kind words are like honey.” What we choose to do with our words has an impact every day. Do you ever think of the effect of your words, both words spoken, and words left unspoken? I was thinking about the fact that words we don’t say can have as much effect as words we do say. What if we don’t encourage or express our love and caring to someone who needs it? How will that affect their lives and what blessing do we also miss? Then too, what if we hold our tongue and don’t speak that hasty or critical remark? Aren’t we all more prone to snapping at others during times of anxiety or exhaustion? Stepping aside, avoiding words, or being especially mindful of what I say helps… Those are good times for some kind words from others!
Just as a smile is contagious, so are positive and kind words. “…Sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Maybe we can help each other out with that, and in so doing better reflect God who loves us.