It Only Takes 21 Days . . . Hidden Blessings

July 31, 2012

I don’t remember the context, but my dear priest and friend spoke of training his dog not to do “mischief” on the carpet and reminded me that habits only take 21 days to “stick” and thus be a part of us.  I know, when you see a commercial and remember it but not the product, perhaps they missed the opportunity to make a sale.  However, my priest “sold me” on this concept even if I can’t remember the specific “thing” he may have been pointing to at that very moment. 

A recent devotional reading spoke the same message without any puppy puddles in the equation.  I “got it” quickly because of the puppy illustration, perhaps.  Anyway . . . think about the rough time when we first try to change our diet.  Oh, the difficulties as well when we try to add daily exercise to our routine.  How easily we can get out of step with our daily “rule of life” or our commitment to spending daily quiet time with the Lord.  Gosh, the scientific fact of a habit becoming part of us in 21 days has actually been proven.  Funny thing is that length of time seems so LONG.  I could say “three weeks” or “less than a month” or . . . but when we are talking about a life changing opportunity and growing in our relationship with the Lord, 21 days isn’t that much to ask is it?  Okay, I’m making a face as I say this, but my instinctive response to my rhetorical question is “sort of.” 

We are a society of “instant gratification” seekers.  So, the point made in my recent devotional reading which brought me back to my priest’s puppy puddles . . . was that we should find a reason to give thanks and praise in everything we face every day.  Admit it, that sounds like a simple “yes, of course – what’s your point here?”  We “get it” but speaking for myself I know I don’t always “do it.”  Know what though?  If we work at it, we will find His blessings in each of our days.  On a bad day it’ll be a challenge.  I know.  THEY ARE REAL AND THEY ARE THERE.  Blessings – how much better is it at the end of a long “I can’t take another day of this” sort of day to think back on it over a cool drink on the porch at night, reflecting on finding those unseen blessings which were right there with us in the distress of the rest of it?  I can tell you that it’s much more likely that if I don’t remind myself, I’ll sit on the porch and whine over all the crap in my day, my life, and then wonder why it’s all I seem to see?  Why am I in a bad mood?  Why does my head ache?  Why can’t I sleep? 

Take a deep breath . . .  in . . . out . . . in . . . out . . . now, ignore the phone, forget the honking car horn down the street, the barking dog, the loud music, and take a minute and find a way to release all that and FIND blessings.  It will only take 21 days to change a habit . . . I think when it comes to blessings, you’re probably gonna realize they begin to be very clearly present in your life much sooner than that.  Try it.  Baby steps . . . think of just one.  Say “thank you.”  Feel the Lord’s presence . . . try to go for a second “found” blessing . . . He was with us in the mess.  He didn’t have to get His hands dirty.  It was our mess, but He seeks to be “in it” with us and blessing us.  We love Him, but He first loved us.  FIRST.  Not “if you’re good” or “if you listen” or “if you could just get what I’m trying to teach you” but FIRST.

Really, 21 days is just a small portion of a lifetime.  Try it.  You’ll be blessed.  You already are!

July 31, 2012

This has been a “because He first loved me” kinda day! Play this song and sing with me!

Believe! Good News For Tuesday!

July 31, 2012


“Yet to all who did receive him,

to those who believed in his name,

he gave the right to become children of God—

children born not of natural descent,

nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

John 1:12-13 NIV

A Poem – Excerpt From My Book

July 30, 2012

The following poem is an excerpt from a book of poetry I am writing.  It is nearly finished and I am currently in the process of finding a publisher.  In fact, I was invited to prepare a book proposal a short time ago and have done so.  No decision has been made yet as to whether it fits their current vision.  Prayers appreciated on this.  Thanks!

Soul Kisses From My Savior


You introduced me to my heart

The day that I accepted yours.

I know now that true and lasting  joy

Was never before mine

Until that day I looked into your eyes

And found my very soul

Was looking back at me

In the pure love and grace

I saw reflected there.

You touched my hand

And led me to the place

That I’d been seeking all my life

Without ever knowing what I’d missed.

Suddenly, this secret of our love

Is one that I can no longer keep

To myself

And so I freely share it

Every chance I get.

A most amazing consequence

Is now so clear to me.

For every time I blow a kiss

You blow me two of yours!

by Martha L Shaw Copyright July 25, 2012 

July 30, 2012

The weather outside may be dark and stormy, but that can never take the Sonlight from my heart. I desire to give Him my heart.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

July 30, 2012

I have been honored by the with this award and I encourage you to visit her blog and linger a while . . . when you begin to read her blog, the desire to keep reading will be impossible to ignore!  The rules are as follows:

Now for the RULES to follow when nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. State 7 things about yourself. –

  1. I am in love with Jesus
  2. I seek to reflect Jesus in all I do
  3. I feel called to be in ministry as He chooses to use me
  4. I enjoy walking in the rain
  5. I see beauty in puddles during a storm
  6. I see the most amazing things in clouds
  7. The Lord speaks to me through nature

4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them

5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

There are so many ways these folks inspire me . . . it is difficult to limit myself to only 15 choices.  Some of these have received the award before but the Lord seeks to RICHLY bless us:


Shining On A Rainy Day

July 30, 2012

Yup.  It’s raining.  My paper’s still in the driveway and wet, so here I sit chatting with you and drinking coffee without the paper.  It’s Mom’s 83rd birthday today and I planned some “out and about” things today, but the skies are bleak and gray and there’s a promise of a return of yesterday’s bad storms both today and tomorrow.  They’ve said “avoid travel until the storms pass . . .”

We do try to avoid storms, yet they find us don’t they?  Still, as I was waiting in the cafe at the front of a store with a ton of other shoppers yesterday, we were taken by surprise by it.  We sipped sweet tea or lemonade and waited.  We saw a pause between the drops and ran to our cars laughing.  We drove a short way and ‘WAM’ the storm was lurking there awaiting us. 

As we arrived safely at our destinations weather or not, the focus of our attention on the storm shifted to relief as we laughingly ran into the shelter awaiting us.  This is what our Lord desires us to do.  We weather the storm knowing He’s in it with us, will calm the storm, and has His welcoming arms waiting for us to run into when our focus shifts from storm to Sonshine. 

Anyone can reflect His light on a sunny day, but we are called to do so at all times . . . weather or not.  Who’s with me? 

““You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and

glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14,16 NIV



Don’t Forget Your Soul

July 28, 2012

To attain well-being, we need to take care not only of our bodies but also of our minds. Mindfulness practice is central to seeing the interdependence of mind and body.  – Lilian Cheung, Thich Nhat Hanh –

I think this quote is good as far as it goes.  I can take good care of my body but I can think my way into an early grave, so it is important to keep my mind healthy, but what they’ve neglected to mention is, to me, the most important aspect of all for my total well-being, and that’s my soul!  It seems to me that on days my mind is distracted and my body has its challenges, when I feed my soul . . . or seek nourishment from Him who is my source of all strength, everything changes for the good! 

“Praise the LORD, my
soul, and forget not all his benefits”Psalm 103:1-3

De Colores – A Tanka Poem

July 27, 2012

De Colores


Life in black and white.

Weeds grow in Eden’s Garden.

Original sin.

God’s compassion . . . Jesus Christ.

Garden blooms, living color!


by Martha L Shaw Copyright July 27, 2012

How Does GOD Feel?

July 27, 2012

I just thought of a friend of mine whom I knew would not be available to take my call, but whom I had a message for.  So I texted him what I needed to say.  The message?  “I Love You.”  We know we love them.  We kinda figure they surely know we love them.  Probably they really do know it . . . but it still needs to be said. 

I was also thinking of my Godchild . . .  She is grown up now.  She’ll be coming home from her summer job soon and then moving about 1000 miles away to begin her adult life . . . post-college.  I’m already missing her even though she’s coming “home” for a month or so, but I wouldn’t change a thing about her nor do anything to hold her back even if the idea of her having a permanent residence far from me stings a bit.  Oh, her college wasn’t near but I could kid myself that “she’ll be home on break.”  Not a phrase that comforts me now.  So, she’ll be home a while and we’ll get to be together . . . I won’t be a distraction from homework or cramming for exams.  We’ll have some special time together.  I’ve loved her more than life itself since before she was born.  She is the daughter I never had, is wise in ways I cherish too, and just being present with her knowing she loves me and I love her is good. 

Oh, there are delightful memories of her helping me with things and me helping her with things and those times will always be in my heart.  There will be lots of new memories taking up residence there too.  Some of the times that I treasure most were just our being together because of that loving relationship we have. 

Do you know what?  God feels this way about us.  He delights in us and while the depth of His love is beyond the human ability to measure, the best comparison I can come up with is my love for my Goddaughter.  Sometimes He just wants us to be hanging out with Him, holding His hand, looking up at Him lovingly.  Words?  There’s not a need for any but three . . . “I love  you.”

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