Friday, May 30, 2008

CLAIM YOUR INHERITANCE

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By Carla Y. Nix

“So Moses brought their case before the LORD and the LORD said to him, "What Zelophehad's daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father's relatives and turn their father's inheritance over to them." ~Numbers 27:5-7 (NIV)

One definition of “inheritance” is “birthright”. Meaning, simply, a right that one has because they were born into something of value. As parents, we want to leave an inheritance for our children. We want them to be blessed with something that is special and of value. We work hard so that we may have something to leave with them once we pass. Also, we desire that our personal and sentimental possessions are left with them.

I cherish my mother’s high school class ring that I inherited. The ring is now an antique, but it wasn’t a particularly “valuable” piece of jewelry in a monetary sense. However, it holds deep sentimental value for me.

My father died before my mother did. She died about 2 years later. My brothers and I were the heirs to our family home and other items. This was our birthright. Unlike in many families, there was no in-fighting, bickering, conniving, or battles over anything. We handled everything just as our parents raised us – in a peaceful and respectable manner. We all had equal claim, as our parents desired. And there were some particular items that we individually received by bequest from the Will.
I cannot imagine being overlooked, or having my birthright stolen from me. Jacob stole from Esau the birthright and blessing due to the oldest son. He lied and deceived his father Isaac into giving him what was due to Esau (Genesis 27).

Being female, I also cannot imagine not receiving my inheritance simply because of my gender. That was the case of Zelophehad's daughters (Numbers 27:1-11). Zelophehad had four daughters, and no sons. Zelophehad died in the wilderness as the Israelites wandered for 40 years after their exodus from Egypt. When Moses began to designate and distribute the inheritance of the Promised Land to the Israelites, these women stood to lose their portion simply because of their gender. The rule was that the inheritance would be given to the sons of the family clans (or tribes).

Zelophehad’s daughters boldly went to Moses, the priest, and the all of the leaders and expressed their dismay that their inheritance would be lost because their father had no sons. It was not fair.

They stood up for what they knew was rightfully theirs. It was their birthright because God promised Abraham that He would bless his seed. God promised the Children of Israel that they would be given the land. This was more than a “will”, such as my parents had. It was a bonafide promise from God, and God is faithful. He does not, nor cannot lie!

Moses presented the daughters’ concern to God, and God agreed that they should not lose the inheritance. They had a right to the promise. God instructed Moses to give them their portion of the land.

God is a God of promise. God’s Word tells of all of His promises. Here is one of my favorites:

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you." Isaiah 43:2

This comforts me whenever I am going through seemingly overwhelming circumstances. I can always go back to God in prayer and express my faith in His promise. He promised to be with me, so I can say that, not to remind Him (because He doesn’t need reminding), but to encourage myself and to strengthen my heart.

His Word is a book of His promises. Read it! And you can boldly approach God’s throne with the assurance of His promises. This is your inheritance. It’s your birthright. When you accepted Christ as your Savior, you experienced a New Birth. You now have a birthright to everything that God promised. You don’t have to lie, cheat, deceive, or steal, as Jacob did, to be blessed. You simply have to trust and have faith in God.

My inheritance from my parents didn’t come until they died. However, in Christ, I can receive what He’s promised right now, and in the future. The most glorious inheritance of all is eternal life with Him. But, until that time, I can enjoy the peace, love, and joy that He’s promised me.

Stand up today and claim your inheritance. It’s yours!

Suggested reading/reference for an exhaustive list of God’s promises, visit Dr. Charles Stanley’s website (In Touch Ministries) by clicking here.

It is excellent reading.

Monday, May 26, 2008

MARKING TIME

MARKING TIME
By Carla Y. Nix

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV)

Time after time we do not value one of our greatest resources – time! We take time for granted. We do not take advantage of the time that we have. We lose track of time. And way too often, we simply mark time.

When I think of marking time, I think of the wonderful school marching bands that performed in the parades that often occurred in the city of New Orleans when I lived there. I love music and I love the whole process of how it’s brought together. So, I enjoyed watching the bands perform. My son and one of my daughters were also musicians in their school bands. I was always there to support them whether it was a parade, or a concert, or even in competitions for displaying superiority in music. I also sat through many long hours of rehearsals and practices.

However, during the performance of marching bands in a parade, very often an example of marking time is obvious. Any musician will tell you that keeping time, or the measurement of time, is vital in the music. Timing is everything and the success of the performance of the music depends on it. One of the very first things a musician must note when reading music and preparing to play is the “time”. This determines the tempo of the music. Everyone, regardless of the notes they’re playing, must adhere to the tempo (or timing) of the music. Each section may play a different arrangement or notes in order to provide the melody and harmony of the song; yet, everyone keeps the same tempo. For marching bands, there are times that as a unit, they have to stop marching even while they’re playing. They may have to stop because the flow of the parade has stopped, or perhaps they decided to perform at a certain spot in the parade. Very few really good bands just stand still and play. They continue to keep the tempo by marking time and of course the drumline holds it all together. The players are still lifting their feet to the tempo while they play. They are marking time; yet they are not going anywhere. They are in a spot, not moving, but still keeping the tempo.

This is what we often do in our own lives. We mark time! This may be an exciting thing to watch in a marching band, but not necessarily for our lives. When we mark time, we may not be standing still, but we are not going anywhere.

Time is important for us because in another word, it is “opportunity”. The New International Version (NIV) of Ephesians 5:15-16 tells us to make the most of every “opportunity”. Other Biblical versions use the word “time”.

As we know, time waits for no one. It moves on whether or not we take advantage of it. It passes when we live foolishly and not make wise choices. Time goes on and on, but one thing about it, time never returns. I hear people often say that they are making up for lost time. Guess what? You can’t! You will never catch up on it, bring it back, make it up, or re-live it. What you can do is to make the most of the present moment and do your very best with the time – or opportunity – that you have in your hands today.

I don’t believe that time can be wasted, but I do know that we can miss out on what is available to us right now. And, actually, that’s all we have anyway. What has past is no more. We can only hope for what might be ahead. Tomorrow is promised to no one. We have this present moment. We have this time right now. We should not allow our opportunities to continue to pass us by.

I regret not making better choices in the past. I am sorry for not having enough faith in God, nor myself, to do the things that I wanted to do. So many opportunities passed me by simply because I allowed fear to grip me, as well as the expectations of others to govern me. I always took the safe and acceptable route on my journey. I refused to open my eyes and my ears to what God was showing and telling me about my own self. I never believed that I was worthy or deserved to experience the happiness of doing what fulfilled me.

I’ve marked time way too long. Busy, busy, busy………but not going anywhere! No progress! The other day I had a little “discussion” in my head and wondered if I should go back to the safe and acceptable way in my life. The thought was only a fleeting one and just as quickly as it came in, the assurance of my decision to step out and walk in my purpose was emphasized. And then the idea of marking time flooded me. I realized that in a few years I will be 50 years old, and what a tragedy and pity it would be “if” I live to be that age and I NEVER do what I know God has purposed me to do. My entire life will have been one of simply standing there in the middle of a parade, marking time. Entertaining others, but not living a fulfilled life. How awful would it be to never know what might have been because I was too afraid to try?

I am so happy now that I have answered God’s call in my life. The feeling is awesome and for once, I know who I am. I am doing what He’s given me to do, and most of all, I am enjoying it. This doesn’t mean that challenges and mountains escape me, because they haven’t. But, He continues to bring me through each challenge and over every mountain. I thank God for all of His blessings.

I am most thankful that the beautiful music of my life is playing, and I’m able to enjoy it. But, I am no longer standing there, marking time, going nowhere!

Thank You Lord!

Friday, May 23, 2008

First Family - Simply Beautiful

Someone shared these pictures with me, and they just warmed my heart. Please enjoy them. I absolutely love the Obama family and I stand behind them in full support as they have taken on a task that some thought would never be possible. I also pray for them in this endeavor, as we know that there are so many out there who are full of hatred and wish not to see a Black man succeed. I have been made aware of some startling pictures and articles drenched with hatred and raises the obvious, unfortunately. That is that there are some who are not beneath torture and even thoughts of assaination. (Need I go back to not getting me started about the racism and hate that still exists from White folks right here in the good ole U.S.A.?)

I will not post those startling images, but I will give a link to my friend Wayne Hicks' blog, Electronic Village, where he has a very detailed and informed writing about it. Please visit the blog for this article, but also for great reading on a number of issues. Click here for the write up about the hating on the Obamas.

Below, I am sharing the beautiful pictures of our new First Family!






















Wednesday, May 21, 2008

HURRICANE KATRINA SURVIVORS STILL STRUGGLING

August 29, 2008 will mark the third year anniversary date of Hurricane Katrina. As you all know, my family and I are Katrina survivors. You know that we lost all of our property, our jobs, our children's school, and our accustomed way of life in New Orleans. I thank God that He has delivered us, and restored us, elsewhere. We decided that we would not return to New Orleans to rebuild our lives there, however, the city will always be home for us. We grew up there. Our children were born and raised there. We love New Orleans. But, it has forever changed for us. Although I personally get home sick and I miss it, I do not regret not going back. That's a personal choice for my family and I. However, others have made their own personal choice to return and/or remain. I understand.

I return home periodically, and my last return was just a couple of months ago in March. Not much has changed. The pictures that I took on this return trip are very much the same as pictures I took only a month after the hurricane.

I ran across this short video documentary of survivors in the city, still trying to make it. I hope you take a moment to view it.

I ask that we all continue to pray for our people in New Orleans.

Carla

Monday, May 19, 2008

Oooooh, don't get ME started!!!

I've made it no secret as to how disgusted I am with the politics of politics. I can NOT stand all of this fighting and attacks that have stemmed from this presidential campaign. And, we're not even in the full campaign yet......we're still trying to name a nominee for the Democrats.

People are so afraid and intimidated by the fact that Barack Obama will most likely be our nominee. I am not even mad with Hillary Clinton for not backing down now, as I truly understand that you don't give up and you don't quit just because it looks like you're losing. I honestly understand that.

What's ticking me off.....again......is the attack against Obama from the Tennessee Republican Party. Granted, we can't even fault McCain or Clinton for this attack, but it's something that clearly shows that folks are grasping at straws just to see what they can do to harm Obama.

Read Obama's response to their attack here. He flatly says, "Lay off my wife!" Who can blame him? They are trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill by the comment that Mrs. Obama said waaayyy back in February! A statement that I fully understand. "They" don't understand it. Her comment was that for the first time in her adult life, she's truly proud of her country. "They" are trying to say that she's unpatriotic. That's hogwash! Her statement has nothing to do with patrioticism. She actually made a PROFOUND truth.

The Tennessee commercial continually states that the Republicans have always been proud of their country.

Therein lies the problem!!!! This is the heart of my discontentment. This is what outrages me.

They want to pick on Mrs. Obama and make her seem like she's wrong.....yet, to me, they've proven exactly what she said.

Were they PROUD of America when they used slavery as a right for Whites to use and abuse Blacks? Always proud?

Where they PROUD of America when Whites took the liberty to hang and kill untold numbers of Blacks? Always proud?

Where they PROUD when they raped our women, separated our families, and broke our men down so badly that they didn't even know who they were anymore? Always proud?

Hey....let's go back a little further......were they proud when they came to this land and stole it from the Native Americans? Always proud?

Fast forward......were they proud when even after slavery was abolished (a political move), Whites continued to mistreat Blacks? The same people who built this country.......the land that was stolen! Always proud?

Were they proud when Whites continued to cling to the notion that Blacks were inferior and did not deserve the same rights in this country as they had? Civil rights? Human rights? America didn't know how to treat even their White women. They were not seen as equals. They did not have the same civil rights as the self-righteous White men. Yet, they were proud of that!

Were the Republicans proud when Black churches were being burned and bombed? When Black children were not allowed to go to their schools? When they hated us so much that they fought against every attempt for equal rights? When they killed Martin for trying to make a difference? Were they still proud?

I could go on and on. Ooooh......don't get me started!!!!

I'll just end with one question. Are they still proud today......this moment in time....that race is still a big issue because of the mistreatment that White America has thrushed upon us? Yes, it is still an issue and we see it every single day. If someone doesn't see the bigotry and racism that still exists in this country, I really have to question their sanity. What world are they living in?

Yet, they pick on Mrs. Obama and then say that they have always been proud of this country!

Something's wrong with that picture!

Carla Y. Nix

HOW TO DEFEAT YOUR INSECURITIES

You are welcomed to listen to my f*ree teleclass, "How to Defeat Your Insecurities".

Click the play arrow below, or go here.





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Blessings!

Carla

Thursday, May 15, 2008

No matter how bad you may think you have it...

....there is ALWAYS someone else worse off than you!

I am sure you've heard that term all of your life. I know I have. And it always prove to be true.

I'm not particularly in a "woe is me" frame of mind, but I have been quite internal and inward with my thoughts as I am in preparation for a conference I'm speaking at on this coming Saturday. I'm excited about it. I am looking forward to the blessing of being able to impact the lives of others.

Yet, the mental preparation causes me to block everything else out around me and to totally focus on the job at hand. Which isn't a bad thing. But, when I look around and keep seeing all of the devastation going on all over this world, it aches my heart.

There is always someone or something to pray about. The plights of people are so deep and real and for any of us not to take notice is a shame. I've had to break out of myself today and pray......really pray......for our world......pray for our community.....pray for people.

It is not about me. I had to let my heart grieve and feel compassion towards all that is going on around me. In doing so, of course I felt a sense of gratitude that I am not experiencing what so many others are. At times, I may think that it's rough, but again, no matter how bad I may think it is, there are others who are much worse off. Someone else wish that they could be in my shoes (not that it's a particularly pretty picture - but I have to admit how blessed I am).

We all have to move out of ourselves and see what's going on around us. It may seem rough. It may difficult. It may not be what you're used to. You may be trying to do better for yourself. You may be tired of struggling. You may feel that God is not hearing your prayers. You may feel lonely. You may think that nobody likes you. You may need more money. You may be tired of "robbing Peter to pay Paul". There may be a huge list of things that you are tired of. But, look around you. It could definitely be worse.

My heart definitely goes out to the folks of Myanama who are trying to survive the cyclone. Hundreds of thousand lives have already been lost. And the people of China who are dealing with the earthquake. Another 15 thousand lives have been lost. The devastation is mind boggling. It brings tears to my eyes each time I see the reports.

Just look around you. And you don't even have to look very far. What's going on in your city? How many people are victims of crime, drugs, etc.? How many people are not able to feed their children? How many homeless people are forced to roam the streets? How many people are sick and suffering?

Someone is much worse off than you. Don't forget that the next time you begin to feel sorry for yourself.

Carla

Monday, May 12, 2008

PUT THE FORK DOWN!


PUT THE FORK DOWN!
By Carla Y. Nix

"For we walk by faith, not by sight." - 2 Corinthians 5:7


My daughter is home from college for the summer. She told me about one of her friends who seem to share one of my idiosyncrasies. We both use a fork when we eat!

What’s so odd about that?

Well, my daughter says that we use a fork EVERYTHING, and frankly, that just burns her up!

As she told me about her friend, I actually understood a little more about myself. My daughter explained that her friend, just like me, uses a fork for such things as hot dogs, fried chicken, sandwiches, pizza, etc. Foods that most people consider finger foods. As my daughter spoke about it, I immediately said that her friend does this because she likes to be in control. My daughter was amazed that I understood her friend so well. She said that I definitely described her friend.

I was able to do that because the friend’s peculiarity made perfect sense to me and I saw myself. I’d never even considered my urge to use a fork for everything as a need for control. But, my eyes were opened when I saw myself through someone else.
I explained to my daughter that it’s not purely a fight FOR control, but a struggle for being IN control in my life. I’ve long learned that I can’t control all things around me, but I strive to be in control for myself even through chaos. I thrive on structure.

How does using a fork demonstrate control?

For me, it allows a semblance of having everything together. Having my hand on the pulse of things that pertain to me. It’s like having a plan. Directions. A clear understanding.

That says a lot for using a fork, doesn’t it?

What I saw in this is that it definitely is my choice to use a fork, even when it seems extreme and unreasonable, but this tendency for me also means that I am not always free and open enough to simply walk by faith. God strongly spoke to me as we approached the beginning of this year and let me know that He desired for me to walk by faith as never before. He was letting me know that I had to totally trust Him in all areas of my life.

The analogy of the fork showed me that I need to put it down more often. I need not be afraid of getting messy. I don’t have to always hold everything together, or at least try to. To totally trust Him means that I don’t even have to be concerned about what I can’t see ahead of me because God is in control. I don’t HAVE to be! Walking by faith means that I can put down the fork and simply be comfortable knowing that God is more than capable of being God without my help!

Carla

Friday, May 09, 2008

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY

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HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Thanking God for the love of our mothers. It is so true that the closest love we will get on earth that represents the love of Christ is a mother's love.

Honor your mother today, and every day! Let her know that you love her and appreciate all that she's done for you.

If you are a "motherless child", as I often say of myself since my own mother is now deceased, realize that you are still a "blessed child" because of your mother. I thank God for my mother!

If you are not on good terms with a living mother, seek God to mend that relationship and to allow it to grow as it should.

If you are a mother, love your children! You are blessed to have been selected by God to give birth and to bring life to them. If you are not a biological mother, but a mother to children none-the-less, you are indeed an honored woman!

If you are a mother who has lost a child(ren), as I have also experienced, stay strong. I know that Mother's Day is difficult and often you suffer in silence. Know that you are loved and that most of all, God loves you and has not forsaken you.

Happy Mother's Day to all of my sisters!

Blessings!

Carla

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Where was OUR government for US?

This is absolutely and strictly my opinion.......and I've been trying to hold my peace about it because I'm thinking that I'm just being unreasonable......or perhaps, still "shell shocked".

Here's my opinion. I think that it's admirable that our government is trying to help the recent victims of the cyclone that killed so many people. I am sorry and sad about the tragedy that has befallen that country. My prayers definitely are with the survivors and I have prayed for their recovery and rebuilding. But..... where was our very own government when Hurricane Katrina struck us here in the united states? Where was the urgency and quickness in distributing assistance? I lived that terrible tragedy and like so many others, was labeled a "refugee" in my own homeland............yet we (the government) now have at our disposal the availability of funding and resources to literally assist another country immediately. They dragged their feet in the wake of Katrina!

And it continues. Tornadoes are rumbling through many states here in America even up to today! Yet, on April 4th, near where I am now residing, there a string of tornadoes smashed through the city of Jackson, MS and destroyed 100's of homes, and damaged many more. Businesses have been damaged. Today, more than a month later, people have not received assistance. The federal government......the same government that is sending assistance to another country.........declined to assist US citizens once more. They decided not to help!!!!!

I don't know the details of other areas, but I am sure that American citizens across this country are not receiving any federal assistance for a disaster and tragedy that they have had no control over. But, we're fighting trying to send aid to another country who doesn't even want our help.

I guess I'm just venting. Don't get me wrong. I am not against helping others. In fact, I believe in it. But, I also believe in treating your own people right and remembering that charity begins at home!


Carla

THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR WORSHIP AND PRAISE

This is an excerpt from the weekly prayer and fellowship call that I am honored and blessed to facilitate. This was recorded on May 4, 2008.

Be blessed!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

THE DEVIL IS A LIAR!

My Sisters and Brothers.....

I am asking you to stand in agreement with me in prayer. Since last week, I've been feeling sick and not knowing why. It has progressively gotten worse, but today we finally figured out why.

After a doctor's appointment last week (Monday), he called in a prescription of an antibiotic for me (Bactim). My only known allergies are to Penicillin and Bextra (which they no longer produce Bextra because it was one of those pain pills that was killing folks a few years ago - however, I was prescribed it just before the ban on it, yet I had a terrible adverse reaction).

So, I thought nothing of the Bactim when I picked it up. I've been taking it as prescribed. Eventually, I began feeling extremely weak, nauseous, headachy, joint pains (thought it was simply my arthritis), and here is the kicker..........my blood sugar levels began to drop to dangerously low levels. Additionally, over the last couple of days, I've developed fever (I'm walking around here right now wearing sweat pants, sweat socks, and I'm wrapped up in a thick terry cloth robe - because I am having uncontrollable chills and I'm freezing cold! - Yet, it's about 85 degrees here!).

I called the doctor's office today to tell them about my continuous low blood sugar levels - still not connecting anything to this antibiotic. I was told that I could reduce my dosage (I take orals meds and I take them twice a day). The last few mornings, I've been awakening in a hypoglycemic state (low sugar). In addition to what I've already been feeling from the allergic reaction to the Bactim, I was also fighting the low sugar (imagine, me sweating, yet I'm freezing cold.......confusion.......uncontrollable shakes........extreme weakness, etc.).

Today I just kept thinking what has changed with me. Why would my sugar be dropping so low! I mean, I've been doing well as far as my nutrition/diet. My levels are normally at an acceptable normal range (80 - 120). But, to drop to 50 and below is not at all good. Especially on a consistent basis.

I've been very upset about this because I have work to do. I'm working on a website for a church, I'm writing a speech for a Louisiana State Senator, working on my own stuff, and preparing for the statewide women's conference in 2 weeks where I am one of the facilitators.

Even last week on Thursday, as Brooks and I were on the phone for the National Day of Prayer Call that we scheduled, she asked me "What's wrong? You don't sound like your normal self." I told her that I was just tired, and I was, but I didn't know why.

I went back and found the leaflet that came with the medication. It outlined possible side affects and allergic reactions. I couldn't believe that i had many of the symptoms. And then there was a quick blurb that said that "special monitoring might be necessary for anyone taking the following medications...." And there was a lithany of medications, and among them was "medication for diabetes".

I'd already taken this morning's dose of the Bactim (supposed to take it every 12 hours), but I refuse to take anymore. I'll call the doctor back in the morning and let him know what's happened. I don't know if he's going to prescribe something else, but I'm a little ticked with him because I feel that he should have known that this medication may not interact with my current Glucovance (diabetes med).

All I know is that I've been concerned about the things that I'm working on and I've been pushing myself trying to complete them. I haven't been able to because it has been boiling down to me almost crawling to my bed. I want to be 100% for the women's conference as well, as teaching and leading workshops is my passion! I absolutely love it and I cannot wait for May 17th.

I'm on my way to bed now, but something told me to check email first, and to let you all know what's going on with me, for I do desire your prayers. As I went through the email, it became clear to me what's been happening. I know that the devil is trying to stop me in my tracks, and I'm not having it! I opened my email to an invitation to be a speaker in North Carolina. I don't know this lady, but she said that she found me, enjoyed my teleclasses, presentations, and other work that I put out here in cyberspace. Additionally, I she's asked that I submit a "media kit"......and those of you who are in my writers and motivational speakers know that JUST last week, I asked for advise on putting together one for speaking and writing. I had no idea that today, this lady would contact me. But, God knew.

I am going to bed right now. Let myself get some more rest, and let this medication clear out of my system.

The devil is a liar, and I WILL move forward in doing what God has called me to do!

I appreciate your prayers.

Carla

Thursday, May 01, 2008

National Day of Prayer

It was my pleasure to facilitate two prayer calls today in observance of the National Day of Prayer.

You are welcomed to listen to the prayer from our noon day session. Click the play button below:





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Blessings!

Carla

BLOOM


"A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men." Proverbs 18:16


God has blessed us with a beautiful rural home that sits on 8 acres of land. We are in the “country”, and it is quite different from what I was used to in the big city. It’s been quite an adjustment, but I am thankful to be here and I love what God has blessed us with. I am surrounded by “nature” and I must admit that I like it. I have always enjoyed the sights and sounds of God’s handiwork. The only difference now is that it’s up close and personal for me.

Last Spring, a bird decided to make her nest right under my daughter’s bedroom window. We watched the nurturing of the mother bird. Her babies were often loud when she was away searching for meals. They were also ugly little things, but they eventually grew big and strong enough to leave the nest.

This year, there is yet another new bird’s nest nearby the house. I am consistently amazed and in watching these birds, I am reminded that God’s eye is on the sparrow and His Word promises me that just as He cares for him, He also will care and provide for me.

On our property, I’ve seen a family of rabbits hopping along on several occasions. During the Fall and Winter, it is not uncommon for deer to roam our land. Big bucks, does, and what I call “Bambi” fawns. At night, there is always a chorus of crickets singing loudly. There are cattle that landscape much of this small town; and horses are as common as the family dog.

Nature is all around me.

What I love most around here is this time of year. Spring. As I said, God blessed us with quite a bit of land. Right now, it is fragrant with the luscious aroma of wild flowers. The flowers are simply beautiful. This morning, as usual, I walked my daughter from our house to the school bus stop. See, our house sits way back on the land, which is a nice little walk to the street to await the school bus (well, I would say that it’s about the distance of ¾ of a city block). The bus passes very early and we’re surrounded by so many trees that I don’t let her walk to the bus alone. I enjoy our mornings walk and it usually gives us time to have good talks before she leaves for school. I also observe quite a bit during our walks. Each morning when I step out of the house, I am embraced with the sweet fragrance of the honeysuckles. This morning, I took special notice as we walked, and as we stood there awaiting the bus. Then, when I walked back to the house, I just took in of the lovely sight and smell of all of the flowers that are in bloom in my yard.

Later today, I ran errands. As I got into my van, again, the fragrance wrapped itself around me. I had to take a moment to pause and simply adore it. I simply love flowers, and I can’t help but stop and admire them. But today, I had an interesting take on them. As I was admiring them from my vehicle, I heard and saw another sight and sound of Spring. Bees! Just as we have a lot of flowers, we also have bees.

As the bees buzzed around the flowers, it was as though God spoke to me. First, He reminded me that as I adored the honeysuckles earlier this morning, I’d begun sneezing. Then, He pointed out the bees again. I questioned within, what does all of this mean?

The answer came to me: In appreciating the fullness and beauty in our own lives, we sometimes have to tolerate and deal with the nuisances (i.e., the pollen that triggered my sneezing, or the presence of bees buzzing around the flowers).
It didn’t really make sense to me, but the thought would not leave me today. This evening, it became clear. Through my pondering the message, God brought one word to me – BLOOM! He let me know that I am at a point in my life where I am in BLOOM! I am walking in my purpose, as He’s directed me to do, and right now I am experiencing a blossoming period of life.

Several definitions of “bloom”:
• (v) To flourish or thrive
• (n) The flower of a plant
I then looked up “flower”
• (n) Best
• (n) The superlative or most preferable part of something
Synonyms: choice, cream, elite, pick, prize, top

For me, I have to connect things to get a decent understanding. The bees and the pollen was pointed out to me to remind me that they only show up when the plants are in full bloom. At its best. At its most beautiful. Fulfilling its purpose. Realizing its fullest potential.

Okay, here goes one of my favorite sayings – such is life! See, I know that I’m walking in my purpose, but I have not understood the nuisances that I have had to deal with. I haven’t understood the challenges. I haven’t understood the difficult moments. I haven’t understood it all, yet I’ve continued to follow my calling, regardless. I haven’t always understood the course, but I walked by faith.

Now, I haven’t done everything right. There have been times when I acted on my own and did not be still to hear God’s voice. But, through it all, I’ve done my best. Now, God is presenting to me opportunities to honor Him.

I have grown. I am still growing. At this point, He is allowing me to bloom. And most of all, He has encouraged me to stay strong and not to give up just because of the pollen and the bees that may swarm around me. They’re only there because I am in bloom!

Carla