Signs All Around Us

shutterstock_175011749When I was a little girl I remember traveling with my grandparents for summer vacations. We would drive for miles and miles before arriving to our destination. To occupy us for the long car rides, we would play many games to keep us entertained. ABC game was searching the billboards and road signs for letters of the alphabet. The license plate game was always fun in searching for letters or out of state plates to cross off my list.

I guess those early days inspired the signs and plates that seem to entertain me daily as I am driving. I am not necessarily searching for letters of the alphabets for the game, just words or phrases that seem to draw my attention. I keep a small notepad on my console to jot down phrases or plates that catch my eye. It is fun to look back at the daily collaboration of notes, messages, or signs that spoke to my heart. Even songs that I hear and the words that speak most I will jot down to reflect upon later.

Some license plates and their numbers will reveal a scripture for me to look up. Its a fun game to me as I hurry to look up what the scripture says. ie… RVL 041- Revelation 4:1 says Then I looked, and, oh!—a door open into Heaven…These little signs placed throughout my day speak life, give inspiration, and encouragement to pass on to others.

Yesterday seemed to have moments that personalized license plates were grabbing my attention in a small time frame. A little journey around town brought revelation and inspiration to my heart.

I pulled into a parking lot and laughed when I found a parking spot right next to a license plate that read X-HALE. I had no idea how much that little plate was going to speak to me in that hour. I began walking back to my car and the lady that owned the car began backing up… I held my hand up and motioned to her that I was taking a picture to remember her plate! She rolled her window down and said she is always telling her husband and son to exhale, breathe, let it out. Whatever is going on, it’s going to be ok. She said she knew if she ever had a personalized plate, that has always been her motto. I smiled and told her how much that spoke to me. I always share how it is so easy to inhale grace and exhale any cares, concerns, worries or fears. It is such a simple exercise, but brings lasting results!

The next personalized plate read MYBOYS – I smiled as I was reminded of my boys and how much joy they bring to our life!  I prayed for their protection as they are at school learning and interacting with their friends. Praying that their life can be a true reflection of Jesus and that others are naturally drawn to the light that they shine brightly for Him.

Driving down the same street I saw BLIEVE. I was impressed to press in and pray and believe for the promises that have been on my heart to come to pass. Dreams, small and grand, that are on my heart I began to believe for! I declared them as I was in the car. I approached  a familiar street named DreamMaker and pulled over for a little inspiration and the expressions of the dreams were written out in my journal. As the thoughts and impressions on my heart began to flow and seeing the words expressed brought joy to my heart. I had a little tube of heart bubbles and began to blow them in the wind. Also had a little jar of sparkly white glitter dust and began to throw it up in the air and believe for those promises. I believe for these miracles for the mommies and babies… I believe for____… I truly felt God smiling! His heart was for me. His heart is for YOU! I was reminded of this truth.

Proverbs 4:20-22 says Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to hear my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health.

On the way to pick up my boys from school, a car that was parked on the side of the road caught my attention. When I came closer, I saw their personalized license plate read ILUVIT. My heart smiled as I thought about how much I say this very same thing! I love it! I love it! At that moment I felt a whisper in my heart… I luv it… I love the way you love me and how you express your heart to me. Simple, ordinary moments that draws yourself closer into my heart. You release your thoughts, prayers, requests, & love words to me and I love that about you. Now share it! So that others can be inspired to do the same in their own creative ways.

Your love language and life expressions are unique and carry your own creativeness. It is custom tailored to you and God. Express yourself to Him. In the simplest of ways, whatever gets you jived and excited… go there with God. Talk to Him. Express your heart to Him. He is listening and LOVES that about YOU!

So that brings me to my question for you. If you could have your own personalized license plate… what would it read? I would love to hear your responses!

Written by Salina Duffy

Playfulness

shutterstock_113583727Playfulness is described as full of play or fun, high spirited state, lightheartedness & waggishness (more on this word as you will see).

New Years Eve my husband walked in our door with the most peculiar and intriguing flower. He carried in his hands a small clear vase he had just bought at the local grocery store. The vase held a bulb with white roots and green shoots portraying an enclosed tight bud that would soon reveal a flower of some kind. The picture displayed a hyacinth on the rim of the vase. Curiosity had my attention so I quickly looked up the flower meaning for hyacinth since this was new to me. The first word that popped out at me was playfulness. At that moment a word was given to our family for 2014. Playfulness. Encouraging play in the most creative, spontaneous, adventurous, casual, and eventful times. Big ways and little ways to add play in our days.

The bloom of the hyacinth was revealed about a week later and the pink flowers and fragrance that come from it is so sweet. It is in our kitchen and serves as a reminder each time I see it of our family word for 2014~ PLAYFULNESS.

Take time to play. Encourage playfulness. Having two very active boys ages 13 and 6; our home and days are full of playfulness in abundance of ways. They keep us on our toes in their activities in football, basketball, fishing, hunting, ping pong tournaments, sword fighting, lego building, creative play in so many ways. They love for us to be involved in their play and encourage them as they well… PLAY!

Our family gained a new addition two days before Christmas and this tiny little thing has brought on a new sense of play in our lives. A puppy. His name is Howie. He is a rescue dog from Homeward Bound. He was ran over by a car and broke his front leg and was in a cast for 10 weeks. Sad. We adopted him after his recovery and he has introduced us to a new sense of playfulness. He makes us laugh, growl, bark, rough house, and an increasingly amount of puppy time has been our family togetherness that is shared between all of us.

The waggishness that is mentioned above made me laugh when I saw the definition. It could not be any plainer than that. This little puppy wags his tail, follows us around and wants to go everywhere we go. He is a jackawawa… that’s right. Part jack russell, part chiwawawa- hence our nickname jackawawa! He is the cutest little thing ever. He has stolen our hearts.

My son has been known to reveal my lack of love for dogs in the past. When dogs would come around and try to get close or get my attention, Logan would say to their owner matter of factly… Umm, my Mom is a baby lover, not really a dog lover. They would laugh and instruct their dogs to keep their distance. We have had family dogs, but they stay outside and run around and play. Bringing this new puppy in our home has been an adjustment and has increased my love for puppies!! A new season. I am embracing this puppy. Literally, he is in my lap now all curled up in a ball… how cute is that.

I started thinking of the symbolism of the playfulness that has been increasing in our home. Did you know that Jesus inspires playtime? He loves for you to take time to enjoy yourself and play. Play with your little ones. Play with your friends. Play dates. Adding play in your day in some creative way will bring enthusiasm and joy to yourself and those around you. Doing something that stirs passion in your heart, a favorite hobby, a love that you have. Whatever fills your days, it may be school, work, many duties, but there is still some time for you to enjoy yourself. Make time for fun. Take time to play.

Write out some of your favorite ways that you used to play as a child. Let those memories inspire you to pass on some of those creative play to your little ones. Maybe it was to swing as high as your legs could possibly go on the swings until you felt as though you were flying. Maybe it was to blow the biggest bubble with your wand, or fly a kite in the wind, run around carefree and play games… these are just some samples to get you thinking. I encourage you to take time for PLAYFULNESS this year. You will be so happy you did!

Even in my writing, I am learning to use playfulness. I looked up the word in biblegateway reference and this passage spoke to my heart.

Words are tools… The word of God comes asking the prophet what he sees. He responds that he sees something rather ordinary. An almond tree. God uses this ordinary sight to give him an extraordinary message. There is a play on words… a playful and clever use of words gets Jeremiah’s attention… it stirs prophetic imagination so he will similarly use poetry, word play and object lessons to get the attention of his listeners… {Jeremiah 1:13 THE VOICE}

Written by Salina Duffy