Springtime Blessings

Picture1What can beat a mixture of family and nature for springtime blessings?  Not much in my opinion.  Here is a throw back photo of my daughter at springtime in the past.

And what a relief to see your friendly smile.  It is like seeing the face of God!  Genesis 33:10 NLT   I thought the picture to the left was perfect to go along with this scripture.  I love this scripture because it’s how I feel every time I get to see my daughter’s beautiful face or even talk to her on the phone, although when I get to see her it’s under much better circumstances than when Jacob said these words to his brother Esau.

I spent this past Memorial Weekend 2015 with my daughter.  I can hardly put into words how rejuvenating the time was…beautiful weather, springtime flowers, humming birds, good coffee, bible reading, and quality time with my daughter.  Oh, how I’d love more times like this with my baby girl.  Nothing compares to the loyalty and genuineness of family.  Just being present in an environment like this makes a person thrive spiritually.  No matter what we’ve both grown through together, we both want what’s best for each other and want each other to succeed in life. Her presence in my life is such a blessing.  I get so filled with Holy Spirit Joy with our visits.  Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.  Psalms 127:3 NLT

I know at some point in the next few weeks I’m going start missing the friendly family environment that so fills me up with joy.  Feelings of lonesomeness will hit and I’ll have to be double diligent at encouraging myself with God’s word, my blessing journal, riding my horse, and fellowshipping with a few gal pals.  I’m so looking forward to my next visit with her!!!

My daughter at Grandma & Grandpa’s house in springtime past.

Below are some pictures I took of Springtime 2015.

I will bless and praise the Lord with my whole heart! Let all His works throughout the earth, wherever His dominion stretches, let everything bless the Lord!   Psalm 103:22 TPT

image-10-06-15-10-00

image-10-06-15-11-33-1

image-10-06-15-11-33-2

image-10-06-15-11-33

image-26-05-15-11-39-3

image-26-05-15-11-39-1


ASK FOR PERMISSION Heather Britain and Blessed At All Times, April 2015.Unauthorized use and/or duplication of written material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Advertisements

A Girl & Her Horse

Picture4I was searching through my storage stuff for a certain picture and unexpectedly came across some old journals I forgotten about.  As I opened the pages and started reading, I found a journal entry about my horse Dusty Painted Duke and one of our rides together.  I was so excited to reminisce about what was going on during that time in my life.

Duke has been a Godsend.  From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another”. John1:16 (NLT)   We have been through a lot together and have a bond that I don’t know I will ever find with another horse.  He was my happy pill while I was in a tough un-healthy marriage.  By the way, he wasn’t treated well during this time either.  When times were tough and I had a heavy heart, going to ride Duke was a glimmer of light shining in the dark depressed places I was in.   We acquired such a bond that while riding in familiar territory, I could literally drop his reins, close my eyes, and pray…and no, I’m not making this up!

Duke has been a joy to pleasure ride and barrel race on.  He’s made my heart smile countless times.  And no, I did NOT do the eyes closed thing while barrel racing in case any smarty pants people are reading this.  The only time I did this was while riding in a very familiar place I had at the time down an irrigation ditch road, and the road was out of the public eye…it was just me, Duke, and God our Creator.   I have just recently been moved by the Holy Spirit to share this experience.

The following journal entry was written in July 2006:

I was getting close to the end of my ride loping down the last stretch of ditch road.  I decided to explore the rest of the time with my senses.  I closed my eyes letting Duke take the lead and keep on loping down the road…he knows the way.  With my eyes closed, I let the sound of his hooves take me to another place.  Each hoof beat was loud and I could feel them in my heart.  I could hear the water flowing down its path in the irrigation ditch, and I could hear the hum of the environment around me.  With eyes still closed, I could smell the sweet alfalfa hayfields…their life smells so sweet.  Then the rain started to lightly sprinkle.  I felt the rain hit my body.  It was the most awesome feeling.  The air was warm and the rain sprinkles seemed to kiss me when they touched.  I could also feel my saddle under me and Duke’s movement all in sync with what I was taking in.  When I got on the other part of the road, I opened my eyes and took in the deep green color of the alfalfa hayfields, it was a deep nourished color of green and the fields looked happy.  A breeze started blowing and a symphony of grasses and weeds touching and blowing amongst each other sang to me, the crickets serenaded me.  The air was warm and smelled sweet with alfalfa.    

I wish I would have taken the time to journal about our rides more.  If you’re wondering about Dusty Painted Duke, he is enjoying retired life now.  He gets to be fed and petted every day!  I have a newer horse that is just awesome too.  No, I do NOT have the closing of the eyes type bond with her, and it doesn’t really matter because we are enjoying each other in different ways.

I have to say for me personally, during my pleasure rides with Duke I felt close to God most of the time.  It filled me up with the joy of the Lord.  Riding him was a respite from a rough and tough marriage with someone I was so unequally yoked with in more ways than one that I should not have chosen that path in the first place… lesson learned from the school of hard knocks!

I credit God for my family and Dusty Painted Duke getting me through those times.  Time spent in the saddle renewed my thinking and refreshed my spirit and I believe it contributed greatly to me not giving up on life.  “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day”.                            2 Corinthians 4:16 (NLT)


ASK FOR PERMISSION Heather Britain and Blessed At All Times, April 2015.Unauthorized use and/or duplication of written material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

More Things Go Right Than Wrong

1c95df67ff7dc726f8b0e73086be89f2

“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”   Psalm 126:3 (NIV)

Thinking back on the bumpy road of my life up to the present moment, I can definitely say no matter what challenge is going on at the time, more things go right than wrong at any given time.

For example, fairly recently a relationship I had  such high hopes for fell apart fast and hard, within the same time my mother found out she had stage 4 colon cancer, and in 2½ months passed away.  While all of this was going on, someone I had called friend and agreed to roommate with to help with our cost of living expenses turned out to be not such a good a friend, violating the friendship and damaging it to the point that the dynamics changed and it won’t ever be what it used to be.  Talk about feeling kicked in the guts! Three aspects of my life changed in a big way all around the same time.

After an appropriate amount of time grieving the loss of my mother, although I still shed tears now and then for her, the feelings of sadness, loss, betrayal, you name it swirled around inside me for long enough.  I was feeling so blah so much of the time.  I had to start encouraging myself and remember what was going right in my life.

Keeping a blessing journal has really helped me encourage myself, by keeping track and reviewing my blessings in remembrance of what God has done for me.  In which God instructs us to do in Isaiah 46:9 (NLT) says, “Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me.”

I had heard about keeping a blessing journal several times and always thought it was a good idea, but didn’t put in it to practice until the topic came up again in my women’s bible study group when we read One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. After doing that study I actually put it into practice.

A few things I had written in my blessing journal concurrently going on at the same time during those challenging times were:

  • I have a roof over my head.
  • A working vehicle to get my daily living done.
  • Food in my belly.
  • Hot running water.
  • A comfy bed to sleep in.
  • Admiring beautiful sunrises/sunsets.
  • Someone told me the positive qualities she sees in me.
  • My daughter’s love and support.
  • The presence of my horses is good medicine.

Also listed are a few answered prayers and several fun surprises God blessed me with.  I can literally declare, God has done great things for me and I am filled with joy!!!

Amidst any struggle, God sure shows his love with blessings that just seem to blend into the background of our lives and sometimes get overlooked.  For most of us, whatever we are struggling with, simultaneously these blessings are still there in the backdrop of our daily lives and are going right.  Now whenever a challenge comes up, I allow myself to feel what I need to feel because it’s important to acknowledge our pain, then as soon as I can I start encouraging myself by saying, “Heather, more things are going right than wrong.”  By picking up my blessing journal, counting my blessings, and giving thanks to God my inner wellbeing shifts.

Are there a few circumstances in my life I’m not too crazy about and would like them to change, you bet!  Do I sometimes slip and get weary by giving my circumstances too much attention, guilty!  Do I think life can be unfair at times and feel upset at injustices? Oh yeah!

In times like this, I have to make a conscious choice to pick up my blessing journal, start reviewing it, and honor God by obeying Him and keep in remembrance all he has done for me and is doing for me presently.  Sometimes if I need and extra boost of feel good I will call or fellowship with a friend who can offer words of encouragement.  Reading my Bible or other scripturally inspiring books helps too.

To some degree we will all experience being hurt or discouraged in life.  Remembering more things go right than wrong and counting our blessings will help bring peace to the heart.

My Prayer:  Lord, no matter what is going on in my life, may my thoughts return to all you have done for me and fill me with joy.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.


ASK FOR PERMISSION Heather Britain and Blessed At All Times, April 2015.Unauthorized use and/or duplication of written material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.