Do You Remember… Field of Flowers?

She was upset. She didn’t want to go but didn’t know why. She had spent weeks away before. Why was it so hard this time? Because it was going to be a week and a half instead of the week she first thought it would be? Why should that make a difference?

She packed slowly, feeling worse by the hour. She liked being home. All her things were there. She didn’t have many responsibilities lately and was enjoying working on her projects.

But she was needed elsewhere. And she wanted to help so she agreed to go. And had been OK about it until it came time to pack. Her online business required she take her computer, sewing machine, and the boxes of orders she needed to finish. By the time her SUV was packed to the brim, she was angry and stressed and wishing she didn’t have to go. But she had promised. She was needed. So she went.

On the way, she stopped to buy the groceries she would need while she was there. The store was very small and didn’t have everything she wanted. Anger turning to sadness and a bit of self-pity, she  squeezed the few bags of groceries into her car. As she opened the driver’s door, she looked down and saw a penny. She knew God was telling her He saw her and would be with her. She picked up the penny and put it into her pocket, thanking God for the reminder. But it didn’t help much with her feelings.

Driving the long distance, she slowly became aware that almost every light she went through was green. As many times as she’s driven this route, that almost never happens. And where was the traffic? It should have been bumper to bumper at this time of day. God again?

Once at the house, and her things were in the room she would sleep in, she set up her computer and checked her emails. Nothing exciting. She took a few notes on what she would be responsible for  – such as where things were, how to prepare them, what his daily routine was like, when to give him his meds – and felt increasingly insecure. Could she do this? What if something went wrong?

She decided to take a walk to ease the restlessness building in her legs. As she entered the nearby walking track, she looked down and saw something small and colorful. She picked up the little toy and looked around for its possible owner. But there were no kids around. She looked again at it and saw that it was a little plastic flower in a little plastic pot.

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“Aw… God gave me a flower.” she thought.

“It’s more than that,” came a still small voice.

More?

“Remember what you wrote… about a flower…”

And the story she had written about the field of flowers came immediately to mind. And she knew.

She had written about a picture God had given her many years before. About a flowers growing joyfully in a field. And she had been sad that she had picked some of them to give to Jesus, who had promptly given them to the Father.

“These are growing beautifully, just like You said. But the ones I picked are not growing anymore. I ruined them.”

“No, child,” He said gently. “You didn’t ruin anything. Even the flowers you picked were given to the Father. It’s all for His glory – whether growing or picked.”

He continued. “Be like the flowers.  Be the beautiful you He made you to be. Enjoy life, praising and loving Him, relaxing in His care, and sharing your beauty with everyone.’

“That’s easy to do, when I’m in a place as wonderful as this field. But what if someone picks me? What if they take me away from the peace and joy of this field?”  She was thinking about all the demands the people in her life place on her.

“Don’t resist them. Give yourself joyfully. And just like those flowers, you, too, will be given to the Father for His glory.”

She thought she understood. At least here, in this place, it made sense. She wasn’t so sure it would feel the same when she put it into practice.

“Will You help me?” she asked Him. “When people make their demands and take me from where I want to be, will You help me remember the flowers?”

Amazingly, that’s just what He did. With a little plastic flower in the little plastic pot.

That’s My Dad!

As she read the Old Testament, and the various ways God dealt with the prophets and the Israelites, an idea slowly took form in her mind. That was not just God who did those things, it was her Dad!

The whole previous year, God had revealed His Fatherhood to her. And now she connected the God of the Israelites with the God who is her Father. But not just her Father – a parental figure who loved her and took care of her – but her Dad – who knew her intimately and who liked to hang out with her.

Wow!  She was blown away!

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It was her Dad who hid in the burning bush and parted the sea and rained down manna.

It was her Dad who appeared as fire and smoke and scared the Israelites.

It was her Dad who knocked over the walls of Jericho.

It was her Dad who sent the big fish after Jonah.

It was her Dad who had incredible conversations with the prophets.

And it was her Dad who did so many other amazing things!

Excited, she couldn’t wait to reread the Old Testament in this new light. It was like His dealing with people of long ago suddenly became more personal.

Looking up, grateful to the Holy Spirit for helping her understand a little bit more about God, she whispered, “There is none like You, my amazing Dad!”

He whispered back, “And there is none like you, my amazing daughter!”

A Warning to Cat Owners

A Startling Discovery… Cats Can Read and Write!

Confiscated Letters from Our Rescue Cats

A collaboration, by Linda Schnepel and  BibleBloggerGirl 

 

The following are a collection of letters that we were shocked to recently discover . Seems our cats have more in common than just being rescue cats . They can read and write! I shudder to think how many times Cassi sat on my lap as I wrote in my journal, probably reading every word. But I have to credit her with one thing… she can keep a secret! It was just by accident that I stumbled onto these letters. I’m posting them here as a warning to all cat owners. Be careful what you write, whether by hand on by keyboard – your cat just might be reading it!

 

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Dear Miss Potter,                                                                I just read BibleBloggerGirl’s post about you and was moved to write to you concerning her attitude. She sure didn’t seem to appreciate your gifts very much, did she? And after all that work to spit them up at just the right times! I hope you thought of a way to change that!                                                                                                                   With much sympathy,                                               Cassi

 

 

Dear Cassi,
So nice to hear from you! I read about you in Linda’s post. Thank you for reading my girl’s posts. I know she appreciates it. I do try with my gifts for her, and she seems to be warming up to them! Do you ever give your Linda gifts that she doesn’t enjoy? Write soon! I think I’ll go find someone to feed me.
With purrs and rubs,
Miss Potter

 

Dear Miss Potter,                                                                                                                                             No, because I never give gifts. I AM a gift so why should I give them? They already have me!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Indignantly,                                                                                                                                             Cassi

 

Dear Cassi,
I didn’t think of it like that! I’m a gift too, and at least they appreciate me, if not my gifts! Who are the people you own?
Curiously,
Miss P.

 

Dear Miss Potter,                                                                                                                                               I own mostly a little girl who thinks I’m her best friend. But there’s also a smaller boy I try to stay away from, and two grown people. They’re a lot to manage but I get it done. Who do you own?                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Proudly,                                                                                                                                                     Cassi

 

Dear Cassi,
I mostly own that girl I was telling you about, the one who didn’t like my presents. I sit on her lap and sleep on her bed and follow her around. Never outside, though! I don’t go out there anymore. Do you?
The other people I own are a little boy I don’t like, an older boy that I tolerate, a woman who loves me devotedly, and a man who really doesn’t like me. I think if it weren’t for the girl, the man might start a mutiny against me. They are hard to handle sometimes, but I always put them in their place if they start acting out.
Lovingly,
Miss P.

 

Dear Miss. Potter,                                                                                                                                               Outside? Not since I was a kitten. At first my people wouldn’t let me in the house. They said it was for my safety, but I don’t know. I think I could have taken on that dog. In any case, they made a bed for me in the garage and left the garage door open a little so I could get in and out. As if that was as good enough. I wanted IN and I wasn’t afraid to show it! You would think climbing their screens and staring at them through the windows would clue them in!  I even chased the neighborhood dogs to show I could handle that puny one in the house. Eventually they let me in. And I never left. No way was I going to give them the chance to change their minds. I wanted to be with my girl as much as she wanted to be with  me.                                                                                                           So, your people can be hard to handle, too. Go figure.  People! Keeping them in their place sure is an ongoing struggle sometimes. Let me know if that man tries to start anything. I’ll come over and show him a thing or two.                                                                                                                                                           All my support,                                                                                                                                        Cassi

 

Dear Cassi,
Yes, I agree completely – humans are so clueless sometimes! And they can’t seem to make up their minds. When I first moved in, they kept me in the mudroom where all the shoes and coats are put – how undignified. They wouldn’t let me in the house at all! Then, they got these dogs (I don’t know why, as they should have been perfectly content with me) and brought me inside. After that, they wouldn’t let me out! Eventually, I saw that being inside made it much easier to keep the humans in order, so I remained there.
Do your humans ever leave you alone? Mine do that sometimes. They will put my food, water, bed, and litter box all in my girl’s room and shut the door… Then they don’t return for days! I have no laps to sit on, no one to talk to, no one to sleep on, and no one to pet me. I get lonely and sad, and when they do come back I am even happy to see the annoying little one.
Bye for now,
Miss P.

 

Dear Miss Potter,                                                                                                                                                I know it can feel bad to be left alone… even for just a few hours. Days must feel like an eternity!  Hey, this is might be stretching it a bit. All right, quite a bit. But I was just wondering if that’s how humans feel when they think God has left them. WE know better – God is always here. But THEY aren’t so wise. Actually, they can be quite dumb sometimes. Acting all lonely and sad just because they can’t see Him every moment of every day. Sometimes they act so spoiled. But I can’t really fault them too much. After all, I kind of like having my girl around 24/7 myself.  I just know that when she does leave for hours, she will be back. And that belief gives me so much peace that I fall asleep for a good part of the day. But when she’s gone longer than I anticipate and  I find myself starting to feel bad, I make myself jump up and find ways to keep busy. I especially enjoy batting those dazzling dust specks that sparkle in the sunlight – I never can resist anything that sparkles – and knocking everything off the shelves is quite fun too. I like to watch things fall and listen to what sound they make as they hit the floor. Some of those things sure get broken up, though.                                                                                                               That reminds me…  I was pretty broken up when my people found me.  I wonder who pushed me off a shelf. Hmmm… I’ve gotta go sleep on this for awhile.  Write when you get a chance. I always enjoy hearing from you.                                                                                                                                                         Sleepily,                                                                                                                                                      Cassi

 

Dear Cassi,
So nice to hear from you! You are so right about the whole humans missing God thing. When they don’t hear his voice or anything right then, they tend to get depressed or even panicky thinking God isn’t there anymore. But they will hear his voice again, they just have to trust that. Just like we trust that our humans love us and will come back.
Ooh, battling dust sounds like fun! I’ve never tried that before. One game I like is chasing crumbs across the floor. Have you played that one? It’s really a good time. Oh Cassi, you made me tired just reading that… I think I’ll go find my girl’s lap and curl up for a bit. Write soon! Always a pleasure reading your letters 😺
Sleepily also,
Miss P.

 

Dear Miss Potter,                                                                                                                                             Yes, I have chased crumbs, and ribbons and spiders and laser lights. I especially love those laser lights! My humans laugh at me for chasing what they call silly things. They love to watch me but they don’t get it. It’s not about the things. It’s about the chase. Just like with God. It’s not about all the books and studies and sermons – those are all fun and all – but it’s about  hearts chasing after God. And I bet He’s not laughing about how silly it looks. He’s laughing because He enjoys watching the chase.                                                                  You know in my last letter that I wondered who pushed me off the shelf? I think I got it figured out. It was … no, probably not. Got to sleep on it a bit longer.                                                                                                                                   Cassi

 

Dear Cassi,
Ribbons are fun too! You are absolutely right about the chase – that’s what’s fun 😺
The humans do look silly, knowing what God tells them to do and not always doing it, don’t they? Although, sometimes my humans do know what’s better for me than I do, and I won’t listen to them.
What were you going to say about the one who pushed you off the shelf? I’m curious.
Miss Potter

 

Dear Miss. P,                                                                                    I hesitate to say this because it seems so far-fetched, but I believe it was God who pushed me off that shelf. That seems like such a mean thing to do, and God is not mean. So it’s hard to think He would do such a thing. But then, if I had stayed on that shelf (the place I was born, with my mom and siblings), I would never have been found by my people, and I couldn’t have been my girl’s best friend when she needed me most. So really, it was a good thing I got pushed off the shelf. Even though I did break a little, it was only temporary and probably made my people love me all the more. It reminds me all over again how we only see what’s in front of our noses, while God sees the bigger picture.                                                                                                                                

IMG_20180326_011903589On a different note, have you noticed anything… weird about your girl lately? It seems like my girl is looking at my strangely, like she knows something about me. And she’s starting to minimize her computer screen whenever I jump up on her keyboard. Almost like she doesn’t want me to see what she’s been writing. Hey, do you think it’s possible she has found the letters you’ve written me? That would be horrible! We’re not supposed to let ever them find out we can read and write! Maybe we’d better stop writing to each other!                                                                           With Some Anxiety,                                                              Cassi

 

Dear Cassi,
I think you could be right about God doing that for you. Sometimes his plans don’t show themselves right away, but there definitely was a reason for your family finding you.
You know, you are right! My girl has been doing similar things with me. Maybe we should stop writing to each other, at least for a little while, so they will stop suspecting anything.
With much love (and a little sadness that I won’t hear from you for some time),
Miss Potter

 

 

There you have it – proof cats are way more capable than we could ever imagine!  Anyone else have a similar experience with their cat? What unlikely things have you caught your cats doing? We would love to read them in the comments. And we promise not to let our cats look!

And in case you’re curious, here are links to our posts about our cats.

Just Like… The Kitten in the Woods

Can I Get a Cat?

Miss Potter’s Gifts

Even When You Complain

She ran away. Like she always tried to do when confronted with too much stress. This time it was a decision she was having a hard time making. Go to the church service Ruth wanted her to go to? Or go to the prayer meeting at Louis’s house that she had been invited to, again. She didn’t want to do either but didn’t know how to say no. So she ran away to her favorite place – the beach.

Once on the beach, she sat down and began complaining and answering herself, not waiting for God to speak. Almost immediately, like a cool breeze and just as quick, she got the impression that Jesus sat down next to her. Even so, she continued to complain. “Why is hearing from God so hard? Why doesn’t He ever speak audibly to me? It’s not like it would make a difference in my faith or love for Him.  Why do I have to stay here in this small town? There’s nothing here for me. What would I do if I knew I was going to be here for a couple more years? Probably nothing more than what I’m already doing. Why do I have to go to Louis’s prayer meetings? That makes three meetings a week. That’s too much! How can I get out of it?  Maybe I could tell him that, although I won’t be attending the meetings, I would still like to be invited to any other gatherings they have. Like maybe if they have a picnic.”

That gave her a great idea – a beach party! She could invite all the believers she had come to know in this town – which weren’t that many actually. They could roast marshmallows and sing worship songs around the campfire!  That would be awesome! She got so excited, she forgot about complaining.

She looked up into the darkening sky and saw the moon. It looked to her like the eye of God was looking directly at her. She smiled up at it and asked God to help her with her new plans. Then as she left, still smiling, she thanked Jesus for the quiet time on the beach. And she was once again amazed at the unconditional love He had for her even when she was upset and full of complaints!

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The Attack… and Some Brown Leaves

Already feeling low from struggling with a decision she was finding hard to make, she was not prepared for her dad’s attack.

“Christians are all ignorant fools,” he told her. “Too stupid to use their own minds, they just follow whatever the church says. Blind faith. Stupid faith.”

“It’s not like that,” she tried to explain. But he wouldn’t listen.

“You’re no better than them. You have been brainwashed into believing God can actually love you. That He’s actually interested in your life. He is God! Creator of the universe! He doesn’t care about each tiny individual. He made the world and now it’s up to us.”

“But that’s not what Jesus said…”

“Jesus!” he interrupted her. “He may have been a good man, but he was not God. He didn’t know any more than anyone else. People just made him into something he wasn’t because they needed something to hold on to when life got tough. Jesus is nothing more than a crutch.”

“He’s more than that, dad. He is God and He is with us. I know! I met Him!”

“If you believe that, you’re no better than any of those other delusional people. If you were smart, you’d drop this fantasy and look at life as it really is.”

“What about the Bible? The Bible says that Jesus is God and..” She was cut off again.

“It was written by ignorant people trying to explain a world they didn’t understand. We know better now. Science has proven most of the bible inaccurate. It’s just a book of fairy tales…”

And on and on he went, his voice rising as his anger against Christianity grew. Eventually, he got tired of ranting and left the room. She sat there, feeling as sore and bruised as if he had actually beat her. She slowly got up and got ready for bed. She started to pray but stopped. How could she? She didn’t deserve to be with Jesus. She had not been able to defend Him, to speak up for Him, to make her dad understand. She had let Jesus down. She felt like she couldn’t have Jesus anymore – not because He didn’t want her, but because they just couldn’t be together anymore. And she wanted Him. Not just because she needed Him and without Him, she wouldn’t have life, but because she loved Him. And so she wept.

The next day was spent in misery. She felt like God was on her side concerning her belief VS her dad’s belief, but that didn’t help much. She still felt like she had let Jesus down.

That night, before entering the church hall for the weekly prayer meeting she attended, she decided to take a walk down the church yard. It was dark, and the ground was covered with brown leaves from the many trees in the yard. As she walked with her eyes down, she began talking to God, telling Him how she felt. She really didn’t feel like attending the meeting. She was in no mood to go in there and greet everyone with hugs and smiles and pretend everything was OK. So she asked God what she needed to do.

“Rejoice, and praise Me in song and with your words.”

She sighed. “OK. Fine. But it won’t be emotional.” Then she added, “Please keep me from being a wet blanket on everyone else.”

As she walked, she pictured Jesus walking next to her. As often was the case, her image seemed to take on a life of its own, and she saw Jesus act like He was feeling as down as she was and kick at the leaves.

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This made her smile. Jesus feeling down? And kicking at the leaves? She looked up at Him as she joined Him in kicking leaves, and she saw that He was smiling.

“Jesus, You are amazing! You always know just the right thing to do for me!”

And she went into the hall to greet everyone with hugs and smiles and act like everything was OK. Because it was.

A Dime for Your Thoughts

She loved finding stray coins on the ground. Usually pennies, she always picked them up as a reminder to trust in God. The words engraved on them actually told her to do that. But sometimes she thought of them as a hug from Him, or a pat on the back for making a particularly hard decision or finishing a hard job.

Finding coins of higher value were rarer, but they too got picked up with a quick, “Thank You, God” or “I love You, God.”  Sometimes she would get a sense of His love in return, but not any more than that.

On this day, however, it was different.

She had stopped at a gas station to fill her car and to get a cup of ice before heading to her brother’s house almost two hours away. She had been to his house numerous times over the last several months. Although seeing him was always nice, that was not the purpose of these visits. Her dad was the purpose. He had moved in with her brother and was no longer able to take care of himself. In fact, his decline was accelerating and she never knew what she would find when she arrived. Would he be his nice self and they would have an enjoyable visit? Or would he be his angry self, yelling at her because she couldn’t do anything exactly as he wanted? Or would he be sleeping her whole visit making her feel the four hour round trip was for nothing?  Calling ahead did no good because his mood often changed by the minute.

So on this day, as she entered the gas station, she was feeling a tug of war. She wanted to be there for her dad, but she didn’t want to go just to sit there while he slept. And she didn’t want to be yelled at. Looking down, she spotted a dime.

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“Thank You, God,” she said as she usually did. However, this time she was startled to clearly hear in her spirit,  “And thank you for going to your dad.”

Hearing from God was always amazing to her, But for God of the Universe to actually thank her for something? That was truly amazing!

Psalm 139 The Chase

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She ran. He chased.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

And she was glad.