• Soft and light touches lift our spirits • A child’s love is downy soft • What you choose to be, to do, to think is a daily diet • Your daily diet displays as a rainbow of colors for all to see. • Exercise your spiritual muscles to warm others and withstand enemies • There are times when we all just want to fly away • Shedding the old opens room for the new • Holding things together is often a challenge • Changing our wayward directions is like refracted light upon shiny feathers • A strong center stands against much bending and whipping in storms • We cover and insulate ourselves from outside pressures • Extend a hand to lighten each other’s load • We are covered by our Maker’s wings
From “Reflections from the Everyday” Charlotte-Anne Allen
“Wow! Look at that! … and there’s another one!” We smiled as we checked out the growing produce from our summer garden. Careful planting, tending, and watering was producing bountiful crops of tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, corn, squash, and much more. A lot of work had gone into the garden and there was much satisfaction and hope for plentiful provision, both for us and to share with others.
Whether tending a garden, caring for others, or looking after our pets or other animals, nurturing is a part of our daily life. When offered in love and compassion, it is an expression and reflection of our Creator, God. A helping hand or an encouraging word can gladden a heart and bring a smile when exhaustion or stress threatens to overwhelm and reaping benefits of hard work and dedication is rewarding.
God nurtures us, both physically and spiritually. I like this passage from the book of Psalms which expresses thanks to God. Think about it in terms of God’s care in our life as well:
You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it. The river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. You crown the year with your bounty. Your wagon tracks overflow with richness. The pastures of the wilderness overflow. The hills gird themselves with joy. The meadows clothe themselves with flocks. The valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy. Psalm 65:9-13
Comforting an upset child. Cuddling a pet. Feeding a hungry family. Sitting with a loved one. Protecting those in our care. Being present to support or to share in sorrow. The many small or large acts that we encounter daily offer opportunities.
As we nurture and are nurtured, we can… Pray for those in our care. Rejoice in provision and growth. Rest in God in times of sorrow and drought. Offer thanks and gratitude for His sustaining presence through all things. Acknowledge God’s provision and thank those He brings to us, as we care for each other.
God bless and sustain you through each day. Be encouraged.
• Calmness brings soothing respite • Words washing like gentle rains will soften the earth • The right ingredients from a pure heart bring healing • Soft words soothe but harsh words destroy • Smooth speech in a vengeful heart covers a drawn sword • A wholesome balance is restored with purposeful application • Joy lights the eyes and shines from soft faces • Doing what comes naturally is not always a positive thing • Healthy habits are both internal and external • For good or ill, we absorb whatever we cover ourselves with • Worries can be sticky and cause severe irritation • We are protected from dryness when we stay close to the Source
from “Reflections from the Everyday” Charlotte-Anne Allen 03/05/2021
When I was a teen, I helped my neighbor clean her home on Saturday mornings. She was a retired teacher and the bit I earned gave me a little spending money. My parents had taught us the importance of keeping our own home as well. We were expected to clean our rooms each week and beds must be made before we went to school or did anything else for the day. Keeping our home clean, and helping outside the home as well, taught us the importance of caring for what we had. Some seasons or days were busier, but the established pattern of keeping our home in order helped ensure that we would catch up. Of course, a bit of prodding and reminders from our parents were sometimes needed!
There was much more involved in keeping a home than cleaning! My dad was a handyman and he made sure the house was cared for, involving all of us in that work as well. Maintaining a home was a continuing job and safety was important too. I remember always checking that the doors were secured each night.
Like keeping our home, keeping our heart is important too, and it impacts how we develop and grow as a person. For me, this is a life-long challenge! What we allow to come in – our thoughts, what we see, and what we listen to – has an effect for good or harm. A favorite verse in Proverbs says, “keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” *
Good “heart care” prepares us to face temptations and difficulties in life. Leaving my “windows” wide open to negative or unhealthy influences when storms of life come or when things seem dark does not protect or keep my heart. Throwing open the doors to them allows the prowlers to come in. What situations are we putting ourselves in? What do we listen to each day? What are we watching? … I so need God to help me with this heart work!
God reminds us of the importance of examining our heart and allowing Him to guide and help us. I am thankful to Him for giving us positive influence and support of parents, mentors, friends, and Christian community. We can all help each other to “keep our heart” so that what flows from it is good and life-giving.
• The bits and pieces we leave behind speak of life lived • We gain in wisdom as we are shaped • The remnants we leave are our legacy • A protective surrounding will shelter and nourish new life • Warmth and support bring contentment • A soft bed and peaceful rest are not to be taken for granted • The smell of worked wood inspires creativity • The unfolding of outer layers can be difficult • An artist forms things of wonder and beauty • The Master’s hand can form beauty from the roughest exteriors
• Each day needs slipper moments • Rise to a new day with anticipation of good • A warm smile and kind touch bring comfort • Soft words encourage healing and rest • Protecting others is a most noble call and occupation • Reach out to others like a warm home on a cold day • Slip on true friendship and slide off falsehood • Put on that which will enrich life • Embrace laughter and silly slippers for a joyful heart • A peaceful evening of rest is a great blessing • Knowing we are useful brings contentment • The Comforter is always with us
• What we take in determines life • Sometimes harmful things enter • It is important to filter what comes in • Ridding ourselves of harmful influences can be difficult • Approach that which affects us with prayerful consideration • We each have distinctive attributes • It is important to determine what is central • We are connected to others • Shade and sunscreen can protect from overexposure • Deeply breath in the Spirit in your daily walk
• Unexpected or misunderstood actions can create alarm • We raise the alarm when threatened or endangered • It is wise not to ignore a warning • When alarm is raised we may react unwisely or prematurely • When we react unwisely others are affected • We often emit foul odors when threatened • Attempts to protect ourself may be perceived as being antisocial • Beauty is difficult to see when we focus on the negatives • Negative expectations can create bad outcomes • Positive expectations guide peaceful encounters • Skunks want to enjoy good food and family like we all do