Archive for the ‘Love and Kindness’ Category

Be still, my chld, and know that I am God.So, I don’t believe in opening the bible and pointing at a page haphazardly, as if we could hurdle a dart across a room at a target in an attempt to precisely find answers to life’s challenges.

But, today when I sought encouragement and opened a book, not the bible itself, His voice fell into my lap. I was lifted up by God’s words.

As I reflected at the end of my day, I was not happy with myself, pointedly because it was the 2nd day of the new year and I had already felt anger, discouragement, frustration, and distance from my creator. With all of that bubbling up, brewing and stewing, I wedged that distance in there pretty tightly myself, didn’t I?

I opened the book Jesus Calling, Enjoying Peace in His Presence, authored by Sarah Young,  randomly (I threw the dart.). My thought was, “I cannot do much worse than what I’ve already done to myself today. Let’s see if I find a fix.” Keeping in mind that Sarah’s Jesus Calling books are written in dialogue, as if we are having a personal conversation with our maker (and we are, always, of course, right?), here’s what I buckled my knees down to (excerpt):

“Relax in my healing, holy Presence. Be still while I transform your heart and mind. Let go of cares and worries so that you can receive My Peace. Cease striving, and know that I am God.”

“Cease striving.” Were those tears wetting my dry eyes? “Let go of cares and worries so that you can receive My Peace.” Exhale. Largely. My goodness, I whispered, where had I been? If only, if only I had let Him. If only! He forgives. His grace is love.

As peace wrapped itself around me like a soft blanket, “It is through knowing Me intimately that you become like Me. This requires spending time alone with Me. Let go, relax, be still, and know that I am God.” I do want you, Father. You are my One. There is nothing else. Nobody. Not a thing.

Psalm 46:10 NIV He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Be still my child. Nothing else matters. Tranquil, harmonious peace.



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dreamstime_m_17585533Sometimes a slap-stick moment comes out that reminds us that our marriage is improved by a serving of humor.

My husband goes to a pain management clinic for a back procedure every few months. This involves several processes, but always includes a steroid injection or two that develops into jittery goofiness.

Yesterday, after my husband’s post-procedure nap, we got into the car to head out for dinner. The outside temperature was 102 degrees, and the immediate hot air blasting out of the car vents was enough to make me want to jump back out into the much cooler heat. So I reached for the dial to turn the blower off.

My action was immediately intercepted, “Oh no, you have to have the blower going so the gate will open!”

Seriously, “Are you pulling my leg?” Either the meds had really done a number on him, which would have been understood, or he was pulling one of his pranks on me — which has been a part of our marriage.

“No, seriously, the compressor will not be exposed, so it will not kick in. The gate has to open.”

Was I suddenly on Mars? Was I having a brain spasm? At the 15-year mark in our marriage, I’ve learned to let some things go. Don’t make life more difficult by questioning.

So, I suffered through the death-inducing hot air and I drove through the apartment gate. Then I remarked, “There is no compressor in that gate!”

Well, we both laughed until we were crying. Pull me over officer, I am drunk (with laughter). Right? Apparently, as my refrigeration tech husband then explained to me, inside the air conditioning duct is a little door (which he called a gate) that remains closed when the blower is shut off. Cooling will not begin to occur unless the gate is open.

Life is full of humor. The book of laughter continues to fill.

The funniest moment we experienced happened in our first year of marriage. I was standing in the kitchen and heard my husband calling me from the yard, “Come here, you’ve got to see this.” So I walked out on the deck and looked down to see my man covered with chocolate-colored mud from head to toe, with white eyes glaring where his glasses had been on his face. Imagine it as if he had worn little round cups that had shielded his eyes as he fell. This in-grained image continues to bring on the best of belly laughs, happy memories surface, and relaxation follows suit.

I think humor is critical in marriage. We must forgive. We must take life as it comes. Life is hard, and marriage isn’t any easier. Living with our best friend helps, and thank goodness for laughter!



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memorial day www.hispasturepress.comI brought my satchel of notes and planner with me. I had decided to turn a chair or two into office space as I sat in the waiting room in anticipation of a one-hour stay.

An elderly couple caught my attention as they helped each other walk into the room. When they sat down, the husband placed his hat, which displayed bright gold stitching “WWII,” on his knee. As a daughter of a father that was proud of the years that he had served in the U.S. Army, my heart swelled at the site of the mounted hat.

Moments later, another couple entered the waiting area. After they settled into their seats, I noticed the man was also wearing a similar hat. I thought it was only going to be a short matter of time before the veterans struck up a conversation. The first husband looked at his wife as he rose up, “I need to go pay someone a visit.”

The men patted each other on the shoulders and I heard places of war mentioned, one was Okinawa. My thoughts funneled down to one, this is the way it should be. Without a prompt, this was the unspoken understanding between two strangers — admiration, support, warmth, and love.

The dainty wife looked at me. With honor and respect in her voice, and with tiny tear-drops on her eyelids, “He’s found someone to talk to.” She knew why, and without a doubt, she was also pleased.

When her husband returned to his seat, she laced her fingers through his, “You found someone to talk to.” They both smiled and my heart melted. Time and space filled with unspoken words.

There, in that bland waiting room, one thing stood out – the image of love and devotion. Devotion between two men that had fought for all of our lives, and a woman and a man who had made it through the ups and downs of wedded life. They had bound their gnarled fingers together, held in peace as one.

My own lesson for the day, and one that should never fade from me, to remember and treasure these things. Love. Devotion. Support. Never forget to hold those that have fought for us in honor and admiration.

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action steps, first step to small business, solo-preneaurMy husband shares inspirational videos with me. This is one of the things that I love about him, he knows my heart. He knows where I am at today, and where I want to be tomorrow.

The subject of a recent video was a woman who loves to bake. Her specialty – banana bread.

She did not see the value in her unique and delicious recipe but her loved ones did. Her friends and family presented her with colorful labels and attractive bread wrappers and commanded, “Now go to work. Bake your bread.”

She baked her golden loaves and headed out to make cold calls one Friday afternoon. She was filled with anticipation of a display on the front counter of a local meat shop. The owner did not say no, but told her, “I hate to disappoint you. You are not going to sell banana bread in a butcher shop.” Determined, she placed a basket of sixty small loaves on a glass display shelf.

By Saturday afternoon the basket was empty.

Days later, the buzz question in the meat shop was, “When will the banana bread be available again?”

Today, the banana bread women does not bake a single loaf for the bread basket in the meat shop. She bakes 1000 loaves a day.

I have my head wrapped around a new business idea. The creativity wheels are turning. I was sitting at my desk at my full-time job when the chirp of a new text message caught my attention. It was my husband, “Gotta make the banana bread.” Sheer encouragement. Bam!

There is no giving up. The words I CAN NOT DO THIS are not an option. I, you, we, she, must make the banana bread. The support that I (or you) receive may not be cute labels and wrappers, but out of love, I am reminded to make the bread. I am reminding you to bake your bread!

When you want to give up, don’t give in, smell that bread!

Dreaming is not an action. Thinking is not doing. Taking steps that move me, and you, closer to our end goal, towards the vision that we have, is action.

Bake your banana bread!

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jumbo puppy www.hispasturepressDiesel and I were secured in the dog park when I heard a little voice squeal with delight, “Look mom, a jumbo puppy!” He did not see a chunky wrinkle-faced bulldog, he saw a jumbo puppy! The tiny boy clung to the chain link fence with intent, with nothing short of delight in his eyes. A memory formed in the boy’s mind that instant, the days he saw a tiger-striped chubby dog that strolled in a rolling motion and snorted as he went.

This notice of simple pleasure reminded me to treat today, every day, as the best day ever.

To see life through the eyes of a child.

The sun suddenly became brighter. Blue deepened from horizon to horizon. Clouds fluffed. Air freshened.

This coffee mug that sits within my reach holds not just any ordinary beverage and it is not of a simple design. It is painted with bright hues of red, blue, yellow, and green. I could be drinking it on a veranda, admiring the beautiful Hill Country. I see it. Do you? The coffee is perfectly steamy, with just a touch of vanilla…and something else that I do not recognize. Smooth. This is why they call it Texas Pecan. Today, I let it linger over my tongue. I enjoy every…single…drop.

As I prepare for my day, I am not simply dressing. I am staging my day with color. Today is a deep blue day…from turquoise to navy, with a touch of clay. I am choosing from the box of crayons of life once again. Is it periwinkle, or sea foam green? Perhaps it is tomato red tomorrow. Mountain meadow?

I am listening in these early morning hours to the hum of the refrigerator. I think of my grandmother’s large kitchen with her Formica topped table and white metal cabinets. The freezer and refrigerator filled with Missouri peaches and grandfather’s favorite salads. They also hummed away, holding the treasures from earth cold and fresh. The snoring buzz of the bulldog, the five-year-old jumbo puppy gives warmth to my heart. His eyes pop open now and then, but he is unconscious, the monkey. I hear the tapping of the keyboard. Happy sounds from my fingertips. Painting words on paper. This is not just the ordinary. This is life times one-hundred.

Hello world. I shake your hand. I hug your people. I embrace your beauty. I absorb what you, my Father, have surrounded my being with.

Today, I am who I am. I live in a “jumbo puppy” world.

This is the best day…ever.

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I silently eased the window open.

The world remained asleep in the muted morning light except for an occasional call from a bird.

www.hispasturepress.com dreamstime,douglassdickensThe fog had carried in cool air, filled with dampness in the river valley.

As a child might do, I quietly planted myself on the soft carpet below the window. I imagined a walk in the garden that lay before my eyes.

I wanted to take in a stroll, undisturbed, to fill my lungs with the scent of damp earth, to absorb the favor of tranquility, and to admire the green that my elder was so perfect at urging out of the ground.

If I woke her, grandmother would make herself busy with my breakfast. I would put up a protest without winning. The day would become active in a hurry. Alas, this was my time with nature, to admire it from my quiet spot, and this was her time to rest.

I squinted from my window seat. What was that orange ball in the back row of the garden? I had not noticed it the day before.

I drew my face in closer as I squinted in disbelief. Grandmother had never grown pumpkins before, and how would one emerge overnight?

She was a creature of habit, and pumpkin simply did not fit in. What new church recipe or canning adventure was she eager to try?

I noticed the movement in the back row of the garden. The orange ball stretched out a lazy leg, then another, followed by a head with erect feline ears.

The orange stood up and sauntered to the back porch where grandmother had left breakfast in a bowl.

My grandmother’s first garden pumpkin was content.

The world was at peace.

So was I.

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best day everI like the sound of best day ever. I believe we all do. What about the best Christmas ever?

That is exactly what I experienced, the best Christmas ever.

After the celebration passed, I contemplated life in general, asking myself how I could mirror the beautiful days that flowed from Christmas 2014.

I formed a recipe:

  1. Start each day with a prayer.
  2. Live each day with purpose.
  3. Place every worry in a box. Tie the package snug with a ribbon and give it to God. He, above all, will love his gift because full surrender is what he placed on his “I want” list.
  4. Above all — love completely — with a glad heart that is not blemished with anger, resentment, frustration, or fear. Look at your spouse as you looked at her/him the very day you fell in love. Think of your children, and grandchildren, as the babies that sweetly cooed themselves into your life.
  5. See the world with child-like wonder. Hear the music — break down each melody by note, instrument, and listen to the joys of the world in exactly the same manner. Notice color, aroma, and the beauty that God gave us through nature. Remember these gifts, always.
  6. End the day with prayer. For we are here for him. Always.

Happy New Year…and may it be the best year ever!


Mary L Humphrey

His Pasture Press

Writing from the heart.



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