Thursday, December 23, 2010

Stir It Up

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice; let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them; let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.  For thou, Lord,wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
Psalm 5:11-12 King James Version

True joy comes from the Lord.  His joy is our strength.  It is very important to stir up the every day mix with plenty of peace and joy, goodness and kindness.  Through good times and bad, times of happiness and sorrow, plenty and want, as we remain faithful to God, He continually generates the desire within us to be refilled with His spirit.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Whether you go out into the world today or remain in your home, remember to stir it up!
Take care.  Merry Christmas!  Love, Nan

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Great Discoveries

I discovered something truly great last night as I prepared to respond to an email I received from a dear friend yesterday.  The number of days between my message of Nov. 11th and the message I wrote yesterday was exactly 40 days!  That may not be a significant discovery to some.  There are those among you who do understand the significance of how God prepared people in biblical times, including Jesus, using this specific number of days.  I am amazed God has worked in my life in such a way as this.  I had no clue as I rose from my bed yesterday morning that my absence from you would come to an end.  Mind you, the total days between writings wasn't 35 days or 47 days.  It was 40 days exactly!  I have no doubt God led me to this room, knowing I would write to you after a 40 day absence from writing.  The hand of God is in every aspect of our lives.  Yes, absolutely, even when we aren't aware of it at the time.  I find great joy in this discovery and am thrilled to share it with you!

Mark Twain wrote "Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy you must have somebody to divide it with."  I am honored to divide my joy with you.  As I divide my joy with you, it is multiplied many times over and I am able to continue being filled with joy.  It is only worthwhile when I share it with someone else.  What good is joy if I keep it to myself? 

If you can't put your hand on your joy right now, find it.  It's there.  Share it with someone today.  It returns to you greatly multiplied!  God is holding out to you in His hands the gift of joy.  Accept it.  Open it.  Share it. 

1 Thessalonians 3:9 How can we (I) thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we (I) have in the presence of our God because of you? (my friends)

Share the joy of this most special time of year, not only on Christmas Day, but each day of the year!   Keep the joy of Christmas in your heart all year long.
Merry Christmas! Love, Nan

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

In The Zone

As I read a Nan's Calendar message before posting it to the blog, it must be a reflection of the light of God within my heart.  When the message is lacking, the words are mine.  When the message glows with great beauty, warmth and encouragement for another, the words are from God.  It is then I know I am in the zone.
Nan Forehand

Dear friends, Since my last writing on November 11th, much has happened in my life.  I had not abandoned God, you or Nan's Calendar.  Rather, I found myself in an entirely different zone altogether, so much so that the words wouldn't come to compose a message for you.  I wondered at times if the end of Nan's Calendar had finally come after three years of writing.  The message of the 11th wasn't intended to become closure of this legacy of love, but at times as I came back to the blog and read "I Gave Something Back" again and again, there were moments I felt the impression of an ending I had not sensed at the time I wrote it.  I pondered this quite in depth.  Listening for God's direction and guidance brought me to a very quiet place in my own mind.  As I listened, it was necessary to quiet the keys on my keyboard.  There were days at a time I didn't even come to the computer and turn it on. Yes, in August of '07 when I began to write Nan's Calendar, there was a great need within to give something back.  As I gave, so also, I received.  More recently, there came times I wondered "how much more am I able to give?" Had the reservoir  run dry? 
Why am I writing today?  I am writing today, because God guided me here and He is directing my words to you.  This is God speaking to you through me.
There was no spiritual "writer's block" because I was still close to God.  As I reviewed my sitemeter on the blog, I realized someone in or near Palatine, Illinois and Mountain View, California have continued to visit the blog during the weeks of my absence.  I can't truly know how many people across the world read my messages of love, but I know these two people have kept coming back for some reason. Their faithfulness deeply touches my heart. These two people, when they didn't even realize it, even when words of encouragement weren't audible, have inspired me and encouraged me to come back.  Thank you.  You know who you are.  Perhaps, there were those who have been praying for me.  If so, thank you.  I, too, need to be lifted up by prayers and encouragement. 
I receive literally hundreds of emails from loving people whose intentions are good.  Many of these emails are in the form of "forwards".  I appreciate the thought and intention behind them.  These "forwards" are intended to bring smiles and encouragement, but the one thing that is lacking in this form of communication is the person's own words to me.  My inbox has become a place I am not excited about visiting.  I want to hear from you personally with even a brief note as to how you are.  I know you are alive because I received a "forward" from you, but I really want to hear from you, even if it's only a line or two.  I will do my very best to respond to your personal message as quickly as I am able.  Working full time in an outpatient psychiatric practice, limited availability on the computer at home (since I share it with my two guys), family and church activities, time alone with God, (not to mention keeping our home in order and the pantry stocked), not necessarily in that order, requires a lot of juggling to keep everything in balance.
I believe I understand how God feels sometimes.  We send Him messages others have created, but few of those from our own hearts.  There are very few emails I receive of late that are personal in nature and I cherish each one of those I receive and the ones who sent them.   It is a great challenge to balance everything and create the necessary time to be alone with God and to be in communion with Him.  But, we must take the time to nourish our own spirit and be still with God.
Know this is not intended as an admonishment of those who send me "forwards".  It is the truth spoken in love. I would rather you save this blog address  in your favorites and visit at your leisure than to receive it as a "forward" from someone else.  I want you to delight in reading what I have written rather than to breathe another "sigh" and say, "oh, there's another "forward" someone wants me to read." I take a great deal of time and effort to listen to the voice of God as I write these love notes and God deserves to have them received in the way He intends them, not merely deleted without being read, as another "forward among the many you don't have time to read."
I know there are those of you experiencing this Christmas without loved ones who have passed on. I understand.  Yes, I have Allen and our children with me, but I know the loss of a parent, sister, brother, grandparents, friends.  You won't always hurt as much as you do right now.  Trust me.  I want you to have the merriest Christmas you are able to have.  You are making memories with loved ones who are still here.  Make them good, happy memories for them to cherish later in life when you are the one missing from the Christmas celebrations.  You are all in my thoughts and prayers this Christmas season.  May the love and comfort of Jesus be with you. I love you.  Nan
Merry Christmas
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