Someday you will Understand

I hear my mother echo down through the years, “Someday you will understand.”
Back then life was carefree; my dad and mum looked after their big family. We children played in the barn of hay, ducked in the river, roamed over the hills, played hide and seek, made mud cakes or climbed trees. I grew up on a farm and most of my childhood playtime was outdoors.

I became aware of the bigger world outside of our farm when I went to school. The master would have us stand around the map of Ireland. I realized I lived in Ireland. Another day we studied the map of The British Isles. Ireland was an island beside England. We were part of Europe and the World. “Who am I, a little girl in this big world.” What is life about? My father and mother shielded us from any concerns or worries they may have had in raising their ten children. How did they do it?
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Now many years later my husband and I have raised fourteen children. We learned from the example of our own parents and the wisdom we gleaned from the scriptures and wisdom from other people. We have faith in God Almighty who we believe is looking after us. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, yet he cares for us.

“Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭8:1, 3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I did not know what life had in store for me when I left home. I was like a plant that had been nurtured in a greenhouse but had to face the elements when planted outside. Life has taught me many lessons.
I now want to tell my children the wisdom I have gleaned. Here is some advice from Proverbs in the scripture.

“My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.
Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God.
Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭2:1-2, 5, 9-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“My child, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:1-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I want to give my children some understanding for the future. I know life was daunting as I started out in life in the world beyond family. The above scriptures give advice that gives one guidance that is sure not to fail wherever one is in the world.

Someday they will be thankful.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/someday/

Paths of Peace

Brendan and I were visiting a friend today.

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In her garden is an ancient olive tree.  It has a knarled and thick trunk. There are young trees springing up around the trunk from olive seeds that took root.  The olive tree is symbol of peace.  When invaders conquered a region in ancient times they cut down the trees.  This olive tree has remained standing.

Here is the view out the front of her home.

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Her garden is a peaceful place, a little bit of heaven on earth.  As I walked through the garden and discovered the olive tree and took in the beautiful view,  I was reminded of some verses from Proverbs,

“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.

Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:13-18‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Today I was walking along paths of pleasantness and peace.

All Creatures Praise God

 

A reading from the scriptures caught my attention today.

Two weeks have passed since we remembered Jesus brutal death on the cross, his burial, and his resurrection from the grave.  There is no other grave in the whole world that is empty!
Jesus appeared to many of his friends and even ate food with him.  Finally he ascended into heaven where he is seated at the right hand of the Father.  John, the beloved apostle had this vision of heaven and he describes what he saw.
The Lamb is Jesus who was slain, sacrificed for us, forgiving our sins and giving us eternal life.

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.
12 In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
13 Then I heard every creature in the air and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (‭Revelation‬ ‭5‬:‭11-13‬ NIV)

Not only are the multitude of angels praising The Father and Jesus, but so too are the birds of the air, animals on the land, even rabbits that burrow under the earth and the fish of the sea.

As one meditates on these words you will have peace.  We are encouraged by scripture to keep our minds on things above, and the peace that passes understanding will enter our minds.  This is a good way to heal a troubled mind.

Meditate on this truth.  This will keep me thinking for a long time.

The Fig Tree’s Fruit is Sweet

I live in Northern Ireland where the weather is not extreme.  Our winter is mild and our summer is not too hot.  When I travel to warmer climates it takes time for me to adjust.  It is true the saying, “there is no place like home.”

Given that, I do enjoy going on holiday to the sun for a week or two in the year.  My body gets comforted by the rays of warmth on my back.  Then a quick dip in the sea or pool to cool off.  I do believe I get healing when I come to Greece.  The sun is much brighter there.  In the scripture it says ”   The sun will be seven times brighter when I heal the wounds of my people.”  Isaiah 30 v 26

This is my beauty treatment for the year.

When I go to the Mediteranean countries the stories from the bible come alive.
In Greece I have seen families sitting outside their white washed houses, eating, talking and relaxing under a veranda frame with a grape vine covering it.

The vine can grow up quickly.   It’s tendrils shoot out leaves in many directions so it can cover a large area.  The broad leaves make a green canopy to give shelter from the sun.
Fig trees can be trained along a frame as well.  Their broad leathery leaves protect and shelter from the strong sun’s rays.

The fig tree however takes years to grow.
Here is a fig tree I took a picture of recently.
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Neither of these plants wither in the harshest heat.  An added benefit to the householder is the sweet fruit both plants produce.

The fig tree and the vine are symbols of peace.
It is God’s will that man has a home and lives in peace and not war.
The scriptures tell us about the harmony of man benefitting from the plants.
Solomon is know as a wise king.
During Solomon’s lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, everyone under their own vine and under their own fig tree. (‭1 Kings‬ ‭4‬:‭25‬ NIV)

There was peace. Another scripture says,

Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the Lord Almighty has spoken. (‭Micah‬ ‭4‬:‭4‬ NIV)

In times of war, houses are demolished and trees destroyed.  No more days of peaceful family times.
Often families can be in turmoil and war internally.  No more happy times eating together and sharing.  The vine tree is left unattended and the fig tree not pruned.

But God gives hope when there is no hope as we trust and praise him.

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (‭Habakkuk‬ ‭3‬:‭17-18‬ NIV)

Even in the darkest times of war from without and from within God promises restoration.

The Practicalities of Living in The Real World

 

What is life about.”  “Is my life worth living?”  “Who am I in the midst of millions of people on the earth?” I asked myself these questions.
 
When I had two children I began to think more seriously about how I would guide them in life.  Children are not just for Christmas.  They are for life.
 
The family unit is the environment a child is born into.  In that place, depending on the parents, the child can feel secure, loved and learn to trust.  If the home is not a secure place, if the parents are not loving, then the child will not have a good start in live.
 
If he does not receive love along the way in his formative years, in the extended family, at school, from the community, then the child will not have a good experience in life.  He will be disadvantaged in overcoming difficulties this world throws at him.
 
I decided I would have to make some sacrifices to think of my children before myself.  I wanted them to grow up in a loving home.  I knew I would have to make changes in my relationship with my husband.
Was there any help out there?  I searched, asked questions, I was looking for truth.  I looked at other people that were rearing their children.  Did I want the way they lived?  Were others successful?  How did their children turn out?
 
My husband and I travelled with our two children to Findhorn, a community in the north of Scotland.  Did they have the answer for community living?  We wanted to find a community of people that demonstrated love.  
 
At the time in Northern Ireland the Christian communities were at war.  There was hatred in the atmosphere and we were all under that cloud.
 
We returned home.  We knew Findhorn was not for us.  
 
I was given a bible and I began to read it.  Jesus claimed to be the way, the truth and the life.  Now I was getting somewhere.  I was looking for truth.
 
I read on.  Jesus said God gave Moses the commandment to love one another, and to love your neighbour as yourself.  Okay here I find someone talking about loving one another.  But there was war in Northern Ireland.  I was confused.  I decided to find out more what Jesus said and take my eyes off man.
 
Jesus prayed “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”  I thought I will have to look to God in Heaven.  Life on earth revolves around God not me.  
 
I began to follow Jesus’ guidance about prayer.  I went into my room and prayed to God in Heaven.  I learnt to forgive others anything they did against me.  I had joy when God answered my prayers.
 
I read, “Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:40, 41 NIV)
 
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 The Garden Of Gethsemene where the disciples were found sleeping.
 
I decided to spend fifteen minutes praying and fifteen minutes reading the bible.  Sometimes I  may have  prayed for an hour.  It was a start.  I decided to do what Jesus said “Abide in me.”  I wanted to be fruitful for God.
 
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit;

apart from me you can do nothing.  If my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”(John 15:5, 7, 8 NIV)

 
What a statement Jesus made!   I can do nothing without him.  I believed!
 
He began to change me.  He brought new friends into my life.  He gave me patience.  My money went further.  I was getting on with my husband.  We did things together.  The Truth began to teach me.
 
I grew in wisdom.  God gave me wisdom. Wisdom has to do with becoming skilful in honouring others, loving, raising my children, handling money, morality, working, treating others kindly, not arguing, living in an attitude of peace and not war.
 
Heaven was coming on earth in my life.  I had love, peace and joy.  I was finding meaning to life on earth.  I wanted to continue on this journey.
 
Why not go into your room and pray to the Father in heaven.  He is listening and will answer.