Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Turn Away

Do your circumstances or choices ever cause you to feel distanced from God and convinced that the blessed assurance of His peace wasn't meant for you? Sometimes in order to find peace we have to choose to turn away from  the people, possessions, and problems which steal our joy and hinder our affection for God. For me this is a daily struggle.

What is the stronghold in your life that has displeased God or displaced your relationship with Him?  Is it a particular habit that you enjoy in excess, or a seemingly harmless friendship with someone who is not your mate?  Even if you are wise enough to step out of the relationship you may be plagued by lasting memories which can threaten your marriage and hinder your fellowship with God.

So how can we turn away from those things that become strongholds in our lives?  We must choose to turn away from the stronghold and turn back to the Lord. As difficult as it may sound, it really is that simple.  Turning away involves repentance -- true repentance, not merely being sorry for making bad choices and unwise decisions.

Jesus said, "If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell" (Matthew 5:29, NIV).  Practically speaking, turning away may mean leaving a job, moving away, avoiding social media, or taking another way home.  The choice to turn away isn't easy; that is why we must turn to the Lord for His forgiveness, wisdom, and strength. It is only in His power that we can cast away the strongholds that take hold of us and in His forgiveness that we will find peace.

Copyright © 2015 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Writer's Block

The cursor mocks me as it blinks;
With steady pace it winks and winks,
And words escape me, gone away –
I hope they will return some day.
No words to write have I today,
No words of wisdom I can say
As daylight fades to evening pale—
For in my world, well, all is well.
When problems come so do the words
Like scattered flocks of winging birds
That settle in the trees at night
To rest from their long-distance flight.
I do not mind this life of ease
Although my publisher’s not pleased
Because I’ve nothing to submit –
No words of wisdom or of wit.
So with this poem that has a rhyme
I’ll take my leave and spend my time
In study of God’s Word so true
So I can be inspired anew.

Copyright © 2015 by Dee Dee Wike.  All rights reserved.  www.deedeewike.com

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Making It My Own

There are few things I find more therapeutic than planting and nurturing things that grow.  When we relocated to Virginia we left behind gorgeous azaleas and flower beds I had tended and nurtured for thirteen years.

My perennial bed from our home in Tennessee

The azalea bed we left behind

Sunflowers -- one of my favorite flowers

Nearly a year ago we moved into a home with one small flower bed croweded with shrubbery and weeds.  The lot on which our small house was built is picturesque, with a willow tree and bridge out front and lush forests behind.  However, it lacked one thing -- the color and fragrance of flowers.

Our new home in Virginia with scrubby yard and neglected flowerbed

We have been in our home nearly eleven months and the flower bed out front has taunted me daily since we moved in.  Too busy last summer getting settled in and looking for a job, I left the flower bed alone.  Besides, I was hesitant to alter the landscaping (if you could call it that) of a rental home. After all, it isn't technically our home.

After nearly a year of pulling into the driveway and walking beside that sad little flowerbed I knew I couldn't let another day go by without taking action.  On a gorgeous spring Saturday I headed off to Lowe's to pick up flowers and mulch then returned home to begin re-landscaping the front of my house.

Flowerbed before the work began

Flowerbed after removal of two unsightly shrubs, trimming of two remaining shrubs, and addition of pink Knock-Out rose and several bedding plants -- much improved!

Side view of the front porch -- in a few short weeks the tiny new plantings will grow into beautiful flowers and add color to my little corner of the world!

The exciting thing about tackling this project is not that I accomplished it but that I get to spend the next several months watching tiny little bedding plants grow and bloom.  How I look forward to that!

Copyright © 2015 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Though Tears May Fall

In each of us there is a dam
That holds back tears and grief.
Though sometimes bitter, fearful, sad
We cannot find relief.
We sometimes feel our hearts will burst
And stress will overtake us --
It's in those times we must remember
That God will not forsake us.
Though floods may come and tears may fall
And heartaches overwhelm us
If we will heavenward lift our eyes
The Prince of Peace will calm us.
At times we need to shed a tear,
Our fears and stress release,
And crawl up in the lap of God
Where we can find our peace.
Though tears may fall as raging floods
Our God will not condemn us,
But rather he will draw us near
If in Him we will trust.
His bottle holds our many tears,
His peace our heart consoles --
Though sad and anxious we may be
His love will make us whole.
At times we must let down the gates
And freely shed our tears
As we invite the God of peace
To cast away our fears.
With thankful hearts we can embrace
His promise to remain
And know that He will faithful be
The Healer of our pain.

Copyright © 2015 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Easter Frog

I believe that God created animals not only for our pleasure but also to teach us his truths.  For instance, my daughter once captured a frog on the Saturday before Easter.  It wasn’t a large frog, but God used it to visually illustrate the Easter story for our family.

When it came time to settle into bed Saturday night, Joy decided that the frog should sleep in her room.  To make sure the frog would have no way of escaping, we fitted a mayonnaise jar with a wax-paper lid, secured by a strong rubber band, punched with tiny holes for ventilation.  When Joy awoke in the morning, she came running to me in a panic.  “Mom, the frog got out!”  Sure enough, when I got to her room I discovered that the frog had indeed escaped his enclosure and was nowhere to be found.  Despite its small size, the frog had managed to hop high enough to bust a big hole in our wax-paper lid.

The scene was quite hilarious, actually.  Outfitted in latex gloves, I was shouting directions at my husband, who was running around in his underwear and moving furniture so we could get to the frog, which had jumped off and hidden behind the dresser.  Knowing we had only a short amount of time to get dressed and off to church, we scrambled to recapture the fugitive frog.  We finally managed to restore order to our chaotic Easter morning, but not without a glimpse of what that first Easter morning might have been like.

Can you imagine the surprise and panic of the women who went to the tomb that morning?  The tomb had been secured by a large stone so no one could steal Christ’s body during the night and fake his resurrection.  When the women arrived, they discovered that the stone had been rolled away, and Jesus was nowhere to be found.  Bewildered, not only by the absence of his body but also by the words spoken to them by the angel who proclaimed his resurrection, they ran to tell the disciples, “Christ is risen!”

We rejoiced when we recaptured our amphibious escapee, but I imagine the  disciples were ecstatic when they realized that Jesus was alive and had risen—just as he said.  What a Savior!

Taken from Good to the Last Drop:  Refreshing Inspiration for Homeschool Moms and Other Busy Women by Dee Dee Wike

Copyright © 2015 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com