Strawberries in Spring

shutterstock_172937480I love spring! It’s my favorite season of the year! Flowers in bloom. Trees are filled with new growth and budding new leaves. Beauty is in the air. All around. I breathe it in. I am so ready to welcome the springtime and say goodbye to the coldness of winter!  This has been one of the coldest, iciest, freeze covered years that I can remember. I’m so ready to thaw out and embrace the warm sunny days. How about you?

Springing forward. The time change helps extend the daylight and the days seem to last a little longer when the sun sets later in the day. Sunshine brightly and radiates our days. This is the goodness days are made of.

My hubby loves to plant flowers and fruit in our backyard. The strawberry vines are one of our favorites! The vines produce many juicy, ripe, red & luscious strawberries. He will come close with handfuls of fresh strawberries straight from the vine and he is always surprised by saying look at our little harvest. I am so looking forward to his freshly grown strawberries this season. He will be planting and preparing the vines really soon.

I read this scripture today and it spoke so clearly to my heart.

God’s Word is better than a diamond, better than a diamond set between emeralds. You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring, better than red ripe strawberries. Psalm 19:10 MSG

As much as I look forward to the juicy red strawberries to savor and enjoy… I look forward to reading and enjoying God’s Word so much more! It is so satisfying and savoring more so than anything else on the planet!

In moments when I am needing wisdom, direction, insight, guidance, encouragement or a little spring in my step, I will look to God’s Word to deliver and to fill my soul and satisfy every longing and craving. It is always exactly what I need. I will flip to scripture or a passage and it reveals just what I was searching for. It’s all in the delivery!

The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together… God’s word directs us to the hidden treasure. Psalm 19:7,11 MSG

I went to the market today and handpicked strawberries and fruit in the produce section. I looked for the red ripe, juiciest ones. I can not wait to wash and eat them. Yummy! As much as I love strawberries and spring… I love God’s Word 1000x more!

His Word brings revelation and insight and so much goodness too! Taste it and see. Enjoy your fill of strawberries and seeds of God’s Word this spring. You will be so happy you did and once you eat some, you will go back for more and more!

I looked up strawberries in the almanac online for more insight.  It reveals that they are sprawling plants and the seedlings will send out runners, or ‘daughter’ plants, which in turn will send out their own runners. The strawberry vines produce blossoms before the fruit appears. Tiny white blossoms appear. I love to look and search through the green vines to see the blossoms that have come up overnight…

A similarity in these strawberry plants can be compared to you and I. We can be like the strawberry sprawling plants and the seedlings sending out runners or ‘daughter’ plants in that when we share the good news of Jesus and the truth in His Word, it spreads and produces more runners and blossoms for others to enjoy and savor. Enjoy the goodness of this delicious fruit in this spring season.

Written by Salina Duffy

Sunshine and Smiles

shutterstock_92466964Approaching the hospital entrance I noticed fields of sunflowers all around. I whispered a silent prayer, Jesus please speak your words through me today. Let this be for your glory and not of my own. I opened my console and found a note-card and a book full of God’s wisdom for Mothers. I flipped open to take in a daily dose of energy and encouragement as I read the verse. That tiny dose energized me similar to drinking a 5 hour energy. You’ve seen the commercials of the tiny bottles of 5 hour energy and somehow wonder how something so tiny could ever give someone a power pack energetic boost.  Well…That one scripture dose was all I needed to kick it in gear… and  let me just say it will last way longer than 5 hours!!

I began writing a note full of hope to a sweet bloom in our Southlake Embrace Grace. The words began to flow. You light up a room like a ray of sunshine with your sweet smile….and then a scripture You rejoice over me with singing {Zephaniah 3:17}. Before me is a field of sunflowers and I felt drawn to pick one for her. The first one that captures my eye is the one that is chosen. I clasp it in my hand as I walk into the hospital on Golden Triangle. I enter the elevator and push the 4th floor.

Entering the room and seeing Katelyn resembled the words that had just been written in her card. Her radiant smile is really like sunshine lighting up the room along with a brightness in her eyes that speaks rays of hope. She was in pain, but yet so hopeful. She had been there since Thursday night. She has  kidney stones and complete blockage on her right kidney and partial blockage on her left. Urologist was coming in later this morning to do more evaluations.

I handed Katelyn the sunflower that had been handpicked just for her. As I placed it in her hands, I looked over at her Mom that has been by her side the entire time and so very nurturing. She was doing everything she possibly could to help her daughter as she was in pain and discomfort. The sunflower had a big bloom at the top, followed by a little bud close to budding in the middle of the vine, and then a tiny baby bud at the bottom. I shared how God speaks to me in the smallest of things in nature. As I was walking to the hospital room He shared with me that this sunflower represented their family. Nana, daughter and grandbaby. Nana is attending Embrace Mercy, our group for the mother’s of the girls that are single and pregnant. She said she has received such love, hope and mercy from the ladies in her group and her heart is so inspired!

Nana began to cry and looked over at Katelyn as I spoke about the rays of sunshine. She said Katelyn, what was the first song your Daddy ever sang to you? Katelyn replied You are my Sunshine with the biggest smile. She said he sang that over and over to me. That little note card with words of life was confirming to both Nana and Katelyn. They knew at that moment that God was speaking to both of them and He was singing over her and bringing healing.

I handed her a skittles packed and reminded her of the rainbows and promises that she had written out in class. Rainbow seeds and little prayers she had requested for her baby boy. She is holding on to those promises and believes they will come to pass at the right time. She said I just want to reject the negative thoughts that keep creeping in. Alright then, let’s just pray. So her Mom, baby daddy’s Mom and I gathered around her hospital bed. She placed her hands on each side of her kidneys. We spoke  life over her kidneys. Prayed God’s Healing Hands would come and move and groove inside of her and bring healing and break the blockage so that the fluid would release. Kidney stones will dissolve.

I placed my hands upon her womb. I could feel her baby’s life kicking around inside his cozy home. He was happy and moving and grooving.  I moved closer to her tummy and began speaking to her baby Kree. He was listening. He was liking what he was hearing. I said baby Kree your mommy is so sweet and I’m so sorry she is in pain and we know you want her to feel better. He kept kicking back in response saying I’m listening. Sweet baby bun we want you to stay in the oven as long as you can, you just keep baking and letting the rays of sun warm you up on the inside until the perfect time. The right time. He was listening. Mommies smile was as big as Texas. She said he is rarely up this time of the day. He is usually more active at night. He hasn’t moved like that before! I believe at that moment something was moving and grooving on the inside, and not just her sweet baby. Jesus was touching her kidney’s like we had asked Him to do.

It was one of the most rewarding moments to feel life kicking within and knowing and feeling God’s healing touch. Feeling the warmth of His SUNSHINE in the room all around us. We could all feel His Presence. It was sweet. It was warm and it felt good down in our soul. I gave hugs all around and kissed baby Kree and whispered softly through her tummy… I love your inside, I love your outside, I love your teeny tiny toes, your sweet little nose, your lips, your eyes, you are a precious ray of hope. Smiles were glowing in the room.

Katelyn said I haven’t missed a class yet and I am bummed to miss tonight. I told her she was excused of course. Her mom mentioned we should face time during class so that she could interact with the girls so she could be a part even though she wasn’t physically there. Brilliant idea. Thank you face time! Bringing interactions to a whole new level. Her smiles will light up the place tonight!

A smile costs nothing but gives much. It takes but a moment, and the memory of it sometimes last forever. A happy heart makes the face cheerful. {Proverbs 15:13}

Whole hearted, ready laughter heals, encourages, relaxes anyone within hearing distance. The laughter that springs from love makes wide the space around- gives room for the loved one to enter in.  Eugenia Price

Such a beautiful encounter. I walked outside and noticed the fields of sunflowers again encompassing the hospital on every side. 2 little ladybugs fluttered their tiny wings right above me. I rejoiced on the inside and then gave a shout out loud. God You see your little ladies and babies and you love us! You cover us with your mighty wings.

Katelyn was surrounded by God’s sheer rays of HOPE and Sunshine to break through the storms of life and pain. After the rain comes a RAINBOW and signs that promises are to come. We hold on to the promises. And so can you. No matter what storms, rain or pain you are weathering, Jesus promises to see you through and bring you to the other side where the sun shines bright and the rainbow glows!

Driving home my heart was so elated! I felt so alive on the inside. God you showed up and showed off BIGTIME today! I am forever grateful and thankful! Saw a truck right after that read Bloomin’ Blinds. I laughed. Such a simple gesture. Our blooms can open the blinds and let the sun shine through. Grace Happens Here.

All sunshine and sovereign is God, generous in gifts and glory. {Psalm 84:10-11}

A smile takes but a moment, but it can leave a lasting impression upon the receiver forever. As you are going about your day in the daily routines and things that need to be done… Picture your Heavenly Father smiling big and radiant like sunshine gleaming down upon your face. A new realm of the meaning FACETIME. As you soak in His Presence for a moment feel His rays of Light and Hope shining upon you. Just as sunshine is to flowers, you soak up the sun and shine it all around with your smile. It’s contagious. It will spread. Just try it. Keep on smilin’ on!

So now I can walk in your Presence God in your life-giving light. {Psalm 56:13}

-Written by Salina Duffy