Save The Best For Last

Good morning!

Save the best for last.

It’s how we are taught.
From the very beginning.
It’s how we eat a meal.
Clean your plate of nutritious vegetables first. Then dessert. 
We save the best for last. 

There have been countless love songs sung about it from Vanessa Williams to Adele.

Just when I thought our time had passed, you go and save the best for last.

How many of you have ever related to those lyrics?

I know I have! ♡
I’m presently living them! 🙂

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I’m no spring chicken. I wasn’t born yesterday. I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve lived and I’ve loved. I’ve done a few things right, and made my share of mistakes along the way.
This time, I’m saving the best for last.

I’m not settling for second best. In anything. I’m following my heart. My passion.♡ In work and in play. I’m savoring every moment. I’m dwelling on only the good. I’m striving to not just be better, but be my best! And surround myself with the best.

Reality is none of us are the best. 
The best is Jesus.

Jesus performed His very first miracle not only to exhibit His own glory, but to help others at the request of His mother. He used His first miracle to foreshadow His saving the best for last. He changed the water to wine at the wedding at Cana in Galilee, leaving the steward of the feast believing the bridegroom held out the best wine for the last.

The last will be the wedding when Christ returns as the groom. And we, the church, are His bride.
He’s saving the best for last.

Let’s all make sure we give Jesus that position as best. Above all others. And He in return will give us His best. He already has. Forgiveness of our sins. Eternal life.  He’s saving the best for last!

Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.
John 2:9b-10

Love and laughter,

Sandy

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In Memory Of

Good morning!

Happy Memorial Day!

In the olden days it was called Decoration Day. It was the day we paid our respects to all our lost loved ones. We “decorated” their graves. With flowers. And flags.

A flag of the United States decorates the graves of all those who served to protect our country. In memory of their brave service for our freedom.

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We still decorate graves today, but many have opted for the alternative of cremation. If your loved one is privy to a small piece of real estate, you, too, probably decorate.

As you relax today at the lake, at the pool, or staying at home with family and friends, take a moment and reflect on what this day really stands for. Recollect on memories past of your loved ones that are no longer with us.  Especially those that fought for our freedom.  Then say a little prayer of thanks for the awesome privilege of living in the U.S. of A.!  Land of the free! Home of the brave!
And may God truly bless America! ☆

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5:13-14

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Leave Nature In Nature

Good morning!

Working with pre-schoolers, I’ve learned several catch phrases that are used frequently. 

Sit on your pockets. For one.
You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit. Is another.
My all time favorite (because I walk several children outdoors each day to the nurse and to and from their buses) is Leave nature in nature.

Or else every teacher in JWE Building B would have caterpillars, pretty colored autumn leaves, snowballs, worms, mud pies, and dandelion bouquets as her gift offerings each day.

This past weekend afforded me a lesson learned in just that.
The baby ducks I spoke about earlier.
The mama duck did not leave nature in nature.

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She and her mate chose a man made swimming pool as the habitat to birth their young. Privacy. Beautiful, clean, cool, refreshing water. No preditors in the backyard. Who wouldn’t?  It was an oasis! Complete with harsh chemicals used to kill germs and bacteria for human use. And It cost her dearly. The chlorine was too much for her baby ducklings. It was a sad lesson to experience. For mama duck. And for me. 😦

That’s why when we hike or camp we must respect nature. We do not remove animals from their environment. We simply enjoy them. We leave nature in nature. 🙂

It’s the circle of life.  When we intervene, it leads to endangered, extinction, and ultimately death.

Their home is theirs, and our home is ours. That’s how God intended it to be. The life of everything living lies in the hands of God. He spoke every last detail in place as part of His master plan. And His plan is perfect.

So let’s all keep our hands off it and out of it the best we can. Instead let’s respect it. Admire it.
And leave nature in nature. As God intended.

7 But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; 8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. 9 Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? 10 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
Job 12:7-10

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Taste Of Summer

Good morning!

It’s summertime!
The lines are growing at Josh’s Sno Shack, a Tulsa favorite for summertime treats.
Who doesn’t love a snow cone? ♡
They have every flavor imaginable and then they’ve created dozens more of their own!

For a taste of summer, I encourage all you Tulsans to stop by their nearest location and try one for yourself.

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Snow Cones are enjoyed by the young and old alike. This is one of my favorite pictures of my little grandson, Tucker. I think it’s pretty safe to say he thinks snow cones taste pretty good!

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Snow Cones aren’t the only things that taste good in summer. So does ice cream. And watermelon.  And corn on the cob. And home grown tomatoes. And grilled anything. And food from food trucks.

And our Lord.
Not just in summer,  but every day.
The psalmist tells us to taste and see that He is good. God is good all the time. And all the time God is good.

It’s summertime!
Grab your kids. Grab your friends. Go outside. To a movie. A concert. A festival. A pool. A splash pad. A lake. A backyard. A sno shack. And taste something good!

O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
Psalm 34:8

Love and laughter,

Sandy

To Do list

Good morning!

Summer break is upon us. I have some time off. What better way to use it than to organize my life. I plan to start first with my home. Inside and out. One day at a time. Chip away at it one piece at a time.

I’ve very painstakingly plotted out my very detailed to do list. What needs to be done.

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Instead of making mile long to do lists that overwhelm us, let’s instead make done lists. Just like Jesus.

John 19:30 records for us His final words as He completed His to do list. “It is finished. ”

The Old Testament prophesied His coming. It was God’s to do list so to speak. On His perfect timing. Jesus birth and resurrection marked it done!

It is so much more fulfilling to see the after. To mark it done. It just takes a little effort. And the finished product is so rewarding! That’s how it is with accepting and serving the Lord.

Let’s all stop procrastinating.  Putting off for tomorrow what we can do today.

How many of you see life like this?
I’ll worry about faith when I’m old. Right now I want to have fun.

None of us know when God will mark our to do list done in His book. Let’s have fun now AND faith!

And if you want a little fun and faith, come on over! I’ll be glad to provide you with both. But I may just put you to work! 🙂

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Colossians 3:23-24

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Sometimes Life Hurts

It’s not such a good morning. 😦

Today I come to you my friends with a heavy heart. You see, I spent yesterday removing lifeless baby ducklings from the pool. Three of them. One little body  is still MIA. From morning ’til evening. 😦 Those same little miracles I got to witness take their first swim just days ago.

Presently there is one sole survivor.
And now two new eggs.

Sometimes life hurts.
Today is one of those times.

I have no words for you today. Only tears. I’m one of the world’s biggest softies. Especially for animals,  small children,  the elderly,  and anything “special” in any way.

I leave you with this.

In spite of my present heartache, I am thankful I have a God to comfort me. To wipe away my tears. And the knowledge from His word that death will one day be defeated.

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Love, but no laughter,

Sandy

No One Left Behind

Good morning! 

I had the best weekend!  🙂
I experienced God’s creation at its finest.  The miracle of birth. In a slightly different setting than one would expect.  No pond. Instead nature took its course with a private backyard pool as the backdrop.

I had the opportunity to witness five newly hatched ducklings take their maiden voyage onto a pool before my very eyes.

Soon after hatching, mama duck was ushering her offspring into the pool for their first swimming lesson. In she  jumped. Followed without hesitation by her alpha duckling. Ducklings 2, 3, 4, and 5 soon joined in the family aquatic festivities. Sticking close to mama duck’s side.

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Getting out wasn’t quite as easy as getting in. Gravity afforded jumping into the pool. It did not offer any assistance with jumping up out of the pool. Nor did mama duck.

There was a concrete edge at least six inches above the water that was necessary to hurdle. Six inches to a baby duck was like ascending the Great Wall of China. Ducklings 4 and 5 struggled with it. They were not able to get out. So mama duck jumped back in. Alpha, 2, and 3 following.  She did not leave any of her young behind in their imprinting skill. It became a comedy of errors watching mama repeat getting in and out. With three following. Two left in the water. But never left behind. She would not stay out of the pool if even one of her offspring was left behind. Back in she went to protect them.

We began to worry as we watched. What if they all could not get out? Would she leave them? They had been in the pool for hours! Would they tire?  What would they eat?

The wisdom of the pool owner saved the day!  Filling the pool’s water level to just beneath the edge would afford the ducklings that extra leverage necessary to get out. The jump was now achievable. What a great idea! Why didn’t I think of that?!

They eventually did all get out. Naturally when we were not looking. And back in. And back out.

No one was left behind.

Thanks to Google and a trip to Fresh Market, defrosted frozen corn and peas became the meal of choice waiting for the hungry swimmers upon their exodus. And they loved it!
Mama duck and all five of her ducklings.
Once again, when it was time to eat, no one was left behind.

That’s how it is with God. He does not want to leave anyone behind. Not one of His creation is desired to perish. So just like mama duck,  He takes His time. He patiently waits as each one of His children returns to His flock from where they came. 

And just like we offered our assistance to the duck family in as noninvasive manner as we could by adding more water to the pool and providing nourishment on the deck, God, too steps in with a helping hand when necessary.

Sometimes with His own miracles.  Sometimes through the words or deeds of another of His creation. 

Let’s all be in tune with our environment.  Let’s make sure no one is ever left behind. Whether it be in a pool for a family of ducks. Or in a game of outside fun on a playground. Or on an invitation to a birthday party or friend’s wedding. We are all God’s hands and feet. It is our job to help show His love to the world.

Now let’s get “quacking”!

Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
Luke 15:4

Love and laughter,

Sandy