The Beautiful Remembering Kind

“Leave behind footprints in concrete not footprints in sand that wash away…” ~Heather Dawkins

A thought that came to me the other day.

I was on the treadmill.

Provoking thoughts usually come to me at the strangest times. While mopping or vacuuming or exercising usually.

That might provide some insight into why there have been so few posts lately.. 💁😂

Anyways.. For some reason the poem about footprints in the sand came to mind. I immediately thought of my life & the footprints I am leaving. And just like that, The “footprints in concrete” thought appeared.

I think it’s because of the large amount of time I’ve spent reminiscing since my Daddy died. Replaying events over and over again. Thinking on those footprints he has left that are like concrete in my mind.

Footprints in the sand wash away. The footprints in concrete remain. Daddy left some beautiful concrete footprints.

Which led to me thinking on just what kind of footprint was I going to leave.

Some will be the sand kind. Some will be the concrete kind.
But will they be the beautiful remembering kind?

I’ve not lived a perfect life. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve failed. I’ve fallen.. But I have learned. Isn’t that the blessing?

Even the ugly footprints that we hope will wash away can be where the largest blessings emerge from. The blessings of lessons learned, growth, and hopefully maturity as well.

The concrete footprints are the legacy we leave behind. The lessons learned. The love we gave. The lives we touched along the way.

So I can’t help but wonder, just what kind of reminiscing will be done when my footprints in concrete are left behind.

Do you wonder about your legacy too?

We live here for such a brief moment in the whole scheme of things. Time is such a mystery. We toil and worry and rush around.. But in all the rush, are we doing what is lasting? Are we making lasting footprints? The kind that live on and on and on?

I want to leave behind footprints in concrete not footprints in sand that wash away.

The beautiful remembering kind.

Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭4‬:‭26‬ KJV)

Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace! (‭Nahum‬ ‭1‬:‭15‬ a ESV)

Until Next Time,

Heather

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Tuned Out and Tuned In

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Quiet. Unsettling. Different. I like it.

One week into the social media break and it’s funny how it came after my 31 Days of Being Present in Real Life series. The one that I purposely did NOT complete. Yeah. God does have a sense of humor.

So, here I am. Learning things about myself. Listening so much more to God. The noise is tuned out much better now. More “spiritual whitespace”. And while I am on that subject, I read a book by Bonnie Gray called Finding Spiritual Whitespace a few weeks ago. AH-MAZING. She is a beautiful soul, I can tell by her comments and sweet replies to my comments..It’s so neat how this internet works isn’t it? You can reach through the world-wide web and virtually meet people..but, I am digressing. That book was written from the depths of her soul. She writes so poetically and beautiful and from her heart.


 

I am learning what my version of “spiritual whitespace” looks like in comparison to God’s idea for me. I do want GOD. I want HIM more than the way I used to make time for HIM. I want GOD more than that mindless scrolling through a newsfeed that really  isn’t “news”. I want GOD more than likes or comments or replies or fame or fortune or knowing what everybody is doing. I want GOD more than I want me and more than my idea of wanting God looks like. Then and only then can I be completely at peace.

A soul one with GOD, with nothing in between, is a soul at peace. 

I am learning that obedience truly does lead to blessing. Even when obedience means cutting away some good things in your life. Even when it means removing for a short time something that isn’t necessarily a “bad” thing..just a distracting thing. Because GOD said so.

I am learning that even though I do have a good time of study in the Bible and a quiet time every morning, that God still requires more.

Because my idea of what is enough really isn’t enough at all.


 

I can look back over the past year or so and see where God is working and moving in my life and the life of my family and I am so excited to see what is next! Maybe a little scared too if I am honest. Maybe anxious is a better word. I just feel it in my bones and I am ready and I can’t wait to see what all God shows me and speaks to me through this time with HIM. Sweet time with my Savior and Lord. Tuned in to HIM.

I believe when GOD speaks we better listen. When GOD commands we had better obey. And that….

When GOD whispers, if the noise is too loud, I can’t hear HIM.

 


 RELEVANT SCRIPTURE

James 1:22 (NLT) ~ But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

Romans 2:13 (NLT) ~ For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight.


 REFLECTION

~ Is it too loud for me to be able to even hear God? Too much noise?

~ Do I really WANT GOD or just my idea of what wanting God looks like?

~ Am I willing to focus more on God than on other stuff?

~ Is God calling me to fast anything in order to hear HIM more clearly?


 

Until Next Time,

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New Year New Me

New Year New Me

Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15 NLT)

It’s been quiet here on the blog. Not because my mind has been quiet.. Because it has not. My mind and soul have been overloaded lately. When that happens, I still write, I just don’t publish. Sometimes it’s quiet on here because God is allowing me some time to learn and grow and even rest.

Learn and grow … I’ve definitely been doing that.

Last year God pulled me back from leading a women’s bible study. I wasn’t quite sure as to why at the time. I still obeyed. Around that time, our oldest daughter, a high school sophomore, began expressing an interest in being in a private school or being homeschooled. She’s a wise teen with big plans and dreams for her future. We looked into both, prayed about it, and sent her back to the public high school.

Still praying. Still growing. Learning new things about myself. Learning that boundaries were biblical and good and healthy. Studied a book called Boundaries by Henry Cloud / John Townsend. I did some bible studies on my own, and completed reading and studying through the entire Bible for my first time ever.

Through the last half of last year, I had shingles.. Which was very rare for someone my age. Stress can cause them to appear to anyone who has ever had chickenpox. I was definitely under some stress. My husband had a back injury that had him confined to the bed and then with a walker for several weeks. Things fell apart in different areas and other things fell together.

I got well, He was healed while on vacation. I mean healed. Instantly.
God was good and always faithful.

We also suffered a tragic loss of a family member in December of 2013. God has been faithful and good to our entire family through that as well. Our family’s faith in God is what has sustained everyone. I honestly don’t know how those who don’t have a relationship with God survive the hard, tragic, and trying times in life.

Now on to 2014. After much prayer and research and more prayer, we signed our oldest up with a wonderful Homeschool group… Classical Conversations. She had her first official day of school this Thursday and we couldn’t be more pleased! Never say never… No, really.. Because that’s what I had always said.

God orchestrated every event and meeting and circumstance in a way that led me to meet with a fellow blogger, friend, and homeschooling mom. Which in turn led to us following HIS call on our life. To begin this journey with one of our children. Praying that our youngest will decide on her own to join as well.

Oh, I forgot to mention something. I was asked in the fall to speak at a girl’s conference at a local church. Talk about out of my comfort zone. The thought scared me to death. Me? Yes, HE said.. me. So, after much prayer and seeking wisdom from other Godly women, I agreed. Why? Because praise GODHE uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary. Thank goodness, HE also equips the called. AND… Because I don’t plan on speaking MY words. I only want to speak HIS. If one girl’s life is impacted, then I can handle a little stage fright.

I’ve learned to balance my life. Put my husband first, after God. I’ve learned that it’s okay to say no. That it is NECESSARY to eliminate stress. I’ve learned that it’s okay to set boundaries. I’ve learned that I do not have to allow negative opinions to affect me. I’ve learned that sometimes God requires me to do things that make no sense to me or anyone else at the time. I’ve learned that I do not have to make everyone happy and that I can’t. I’ve learned to be still and bridle my tongue. I’ve learned to set limits. I’ve learned to trust HIM more.

I can’t wait to see what else I learn this New Year!

It’s a New Year and each day HE is making a new me.

As a quote I found yesterday on Pinterest says: “I may not have always known what I wanted to be, but I’ve always known the kind of woman I wanted to be.”

I’m on my way.

I’m living for God.

I’m not backing down.

I’m not entertaining negativity.

I’m seeking HIS WILL in everything.

I’m stepping out, even further out, of my comfort zone.

I’m NOT feeling guilty for saying no to negativity or drama or for eliminating stress.

Lots of new changes this year. One homeschooled by me, one still in public school ( middle school). A 16 year old with a driver’s license… (Learning the real meaning to praying without ceasing). Speaking at an event for the first time, (In front of teen girls). Who knows what else.. I do know that whether it be good or tragic, God is good and will hold me and my family in the palm of HIS hands.

One last thing, I wrote a list of my goals for this year in my journal. Maybe you have already done the same thing, if not, maybe you should.

Just know this… Your goals are great but be willing to let God interrupt your plans. For HIS plans are much better. Even if we don’t always understand them.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8 ESV)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

Seeking HIS Will,

Heather

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YOU TALKING TO ME ?

Psalm 18:31,32 (NLT) ~ For who is God except the Lord? Who but our God is a solid rock? God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect.

 

I have to be honest. Sometimes I really do find myself talking back to The Holy Spirit. When I feel there is something way out of my league that HE is calling me to do. I really do say.. in my head.. “You talking to me?”

{As if HE would get me confused with someone else. Not possible. HE is GOD.}

The truth is, I don’t feel comfortable doing every single thing that I am prompted to do. That’s where HE comes in. If HE calls then I can obey or disobey.

I can shrink back in fear, and I have been guilty of this, or I can rest in the fact that HE is who equips anyone who HE calls. If it was ME…then it wouldn’t be HE.

 

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) ~  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

 

Me…messes up.

Me…gets scared. Really scared. Like, terrified.

Me…wants to sit back and just do my thing..quietly.

BUT.

HE…asks me (and you) to obey.

HE… says “I’ve got this and you are just my tool of choice for this task.”

HE…equips those who HE calls.

 

All of that being said, God has really been working on me lately.

It began back in about April of this year. He pulled me back from leading a women’s bible study for a time. Something that I love doing and still miss! He taught me about getting my priorities in the right order. GOD, My husband, My children, and THEN everyone else. He led me to work on me and the areas that I needed to surrender to HIM.

I obeyed. Not knowing why..just that I HAD to. I waited somewhat patiently for an answer to several questions. I waited some more. Still digging deep into HIS WORD.

Then, HE began opening doors that I never knew would really ever be opened. Doors that scare me. Doors that HE wants opened. Read that again. DOORS that HE wants opened.

There are things that God will call us to do in our lives. If we aren’t listening, we won’t hear HIM. If we aren’t seeking HIM we will miss it. If we are TOO BUSY even with the good stuff, we may miss it. If we say no then we will miss out and at the same time be disobedient. (If you’ve never read some of the history in the Old Testament, you should..you’ll see how disobedience worked out for them.)

It’s really amazing to me how even the Bible studies that I was led to do during this time of alone time are just what I needed. I am currently doing one that has to do with discerning HIS voice. Imagine that! 🙂

God has led certain people into my path who have been obedient to HIM as well. They have spoken truth and wisdom into my life. All because of obedience and answering HIS prompting.

I have lots more to share with you in the days to come, when it is the right time. I am so excited and nervous and scared…but I know that by being obedient to GOD, I am doing what is right and pleasing in HIS sight. That is what matters. 🙂 {AND, I’m reciting 2 Timothy 1:7 over and over in my mind.}

Do I think I am capable on my own to do anything that HE asks me to do? DEFINITELY NOT. That is awesome though! Because of that FACT, HE gets ALL of the glory! 

As I close, I would like to ask you some questions. Questions that are between you and GOD.

Are you intentionally seeking HIS will for you and your family, or are you intentionally not seeking it because it scares you ? (Hey, that is a valid question..)

Are you ignoring HIS voice, or are you making time to hear it ? (it takes intentionality)

Just know that if you find yourself asking, “You talking to me?” , that there is a good chance that HE is. However, to be completely sure, know that HIS voice matches HIS WORD.

 

 

Until next time,

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Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Reflections

 

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Like a lot of others, as this year comes to an end, I am reflecting.

Reflecting on the past year. The choices made. The changes that need to be made in the coming year.

There is always room to grow. Room for improvement. We have never “arrived”. We have to keep growing in our spiritual walk..and keep striving to be better than we were the day before. Not for ourselves, but so that our walk matches our talk.

I began making a list of “goals”. Not “New Year’s Resolutions”, but GOALS. Yes, I know that they are just about the same thing. But, not really. New Year’s resolutions are made and everybody has in the back of their head..“I’ll never fulfill this one.” Goals are more serious in my opinion. Goals are necessary.

My list looks something like this:

Budget/Household Goals:

~ Create a budget

~ Pray over the “budget”…for obedience and determination to stick to it.

~ Work towards buying mostly necessities. (truth is, a lot of money is wasted on “wants” )

~ Make a plan to take each room of our home, and eliminate clutter. 

 Physical Goals:

~ Eat healthier

~ Continue to work out 4-5 days a week

~ Try to cut down on sweets and breads, and eat cleaner.

 

Spiritual Goals:

~ Finish reading and studying the entire Bible..I am currently in Matthew 3. (Genesis to Revelations plan)

~ Begin to read the entire Bible again..using my new Chronological Bible.

~ Trust HIM more fully.

~ Be a better leader.

~ Establish a family devotional time and stick to it.

~ Be a better encourager to my husband.

 

These are just some of my “goals”. .

 

The most important goal is this:

John 3:30 (NLT) ~ He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

That is what it all boils down to. God HAS to be first. HE has to be the center of everything. HIS will HAS to be of most importance in my life. I HAVE to get in the passenger seat. I MUST let HIM drive. TRUSTING HIM FULLY. Even when life isn’t what I planned. Even when times seem tough. TRUST HIM.

 

Until Next YEAR 🙂 ,

 

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Thankful Thursdays ~ December 6th 2012

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV84)

Today… I am thankful for so many things and Granny Shiver tops the list.

Our Granny Shiver passed this earth and entered into HIS presence this morning. I guarantee you there’s a party going on!!

Granny.. Or Grandma.. Or Mama or Hilda.. However you may have known her.. I knew her as a strong and loving woman. A lady who accepted me as one of her own.. (Even though I wasn’t her grandchild by blood) She loved life and she loved the Giver of Life! It was evident. Her actions proved what her lips professed.

Granny possessed a strength that can only come from a real relationship with her Heavenly Father. That strength got her through many losses..many tough times in her life. That strength was Jesus in her.

But you know what? I’m gonna quote her: “I can let it make me bitter or better.” She chose better!

She knew how to live. She lived with no inhibitions. She loved with all she had & would even give you whatever she had. Granny was loved by many.

I’m better for having known her. She lives on through her children, grandchildren, and great grands… Her legacy will remain!

See.. God was first. She had her priorities straight. She missed her husband every single day since he left this earth and entered into the presence of Jesus. She took care of him while he was here. She raised her family.. And she did it well.

She could make the best homemade lemonade… Banana pudding.. Cobbler.. Mayhaw jelly. (Remember the room filled with jars) .. The list goes on.

Her thumb was green.. not brown like mine. She loved her flowers.

Oh and her grapevines! Man..

She loved her family! All of us.. Blood or not.. She loved!

I’m not even going to try to list everything.

Too many memories.

Too many things and funny stories to list.

I’m thankful to have married into this family.

Something tells me that she and Granddaddy danced a little jig and ran into each others arms when she took her last breath here. I bet it was beautiful!

The Bible says:

John 10:27-29~ My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.

Those verses bring comfort and assurance.

I’m thankful that God put my husband and I together. Through a friendship that I had with his cousin. I love our family. I’m blessed with my family and my family by marriage..

I’m so proud of our family. We may not get together as often as we used to, but when there’s a reason to celebrate or a tragedy strikes.. This family unites and stands behind one another. Unity.

I can’t close without saying that I’m so thankful that Granny was an authentic Follower of Jesus! What comfort to know where she is and that all who are also authentic followers, will see her and Granddaddy (or Pepa) again!

So.. I have to ask…Do you know my Jesus? Are you really following Him? Don’t waste another minute of uncertainty.. Don’t waste another minute living with doubt or living without the peace and assurance of truly Knowing HIM.

And one more thing: Do you really love?
Do your actions prove what your lips profess? It’s not too late.. To love.

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Thankful and Blessed..

Until Next Time,

Heather

Law Turned Into Sacrificial Love

 

 

These are all pictures that I have taken of crosses.

 

I am studying Genesis – Deuteronomy right now with a group of ladies. We just finished Exodus and are now moving on to Leviticus. As we were watching the video that goes with the study, I was struck with a frightening thought. One of those thoughts that really puts things into perspective.

If I was living in Old Testament times, I would have had to bring at least one innocent animal to slaughter as a sacrifice today. Why? Because as my day just began, I had already had a slip up….or two. (Praise JESUS for conviction that only comes from a real relationship with HIM .)

(For more information on Old Testament sacrifices, please look in Leviticus in your Bible. There is SO much to share on this topic and it will make you think..)

The teacher on the video explained animal sacrifice in OT times so well. She said that a perfect unblemished animal would have to be brought and that you would lay your hands on its head…a symbol of your sin being moved to the animal…and then you would have to slit it’s throat and you would get blood on your hands. What a visual reminder of sin and the sacrifice that HAS to be made because of it. (There were lots more details..so, read Leviticus.)

Remind you of anything?

Jesus and the cross at Calvary?

Jesus, the PERFECT and SPOTLESS sacrifice for your sins and mine. Jesus…the sacrificial lamb. God’s view on sin never changes. There always has to be a sacrifice because of sin. Sin is UGLY in God’s sight. In the OT times, the unblemished animal was the sacrifice and today, Jesus is the unblemished sacrifice.

1 Corinthians 5:7 ~ Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast- as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

Law turned into Sacrificial Love that day on Calvary. Jesus paid the ultimate price for us to be able to receive the gift of eternal life. Don’t get me wrong, GOD has always loved us. HE just loves us so much… realizing how much we needed a Savior…that HE provided the Ultimate sacrifice in the form of HIS Son, Jesus Christ!!

Aren’t you thankful that you don’t have to perform the rituals of OT times?!

I wonder, Do you know my Jesus? It is about relationship…Not religion, not following laws because you think you are supposed to…but following GOD because you have the desire to!  Do you know HIM?

If you DO, do you realize what a GIFT HE gave for you and for me? You have two choices and you are free to choose between two masters..but the consequences remain the same. Eternal life or eternity in hell. Choose Jesus!!!! Please…choose Jesus

Luke 24: 46,47 ~ He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

 

Romans 6:23 ~ For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Matthew 6:24a ~ No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.

 

 

Until Next Time,

 

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