Small Seeds of Love Are Never Wasted

“Love each other deeply and fully.
Remember the ways that I have loved you,
and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways.”
John 13:34 VOICE

I was sitting at my desk in my first grade class during recess. He ambled in from the fourth grade classroom, his smile warming my heart, making me feel special.

“Hi, Miss Van Veldhuizen. How are you today?” Conrad was different from many of us, not only because he had Down’s Syndrome, but because I could always trust that his greeting was never out of habit. I always knew he truly cared about my wellbeing and happiness.

It’s been over 30 years ago, but my heart still warms at the memory of him on the last day of school. Most students would wave good-bye as they boarded the bus, but Conrad took special care of greeting each of us teachers by name and wishing us a nice summer.

Conrad was limited in mental capacity, but he had an even greater gift. The gift of uninhibited love and kindness without prejudice. A way of making each person he met feel noticed, special, and cared about.

A smile. A sincere greeting. A caring heart. We don’t have to do big things that get noticed. We can do little things with an overflowing love that spills out of hearts filled from the bottomless well of the love of Jesus. Those little seeds we plant will not be wasted, because God can nurture them in some person’s heart. Like Conrad did in mine.

The memory of Conrad’s caring heart makes me want to love like him. But above all, when I remember the unfathomable, no-greater-love of Jesus, I want to love more like Him. May God teach us to love deeply and fully, remembering how much He loves us!

Every seed of kindness we plant,
However small, noticed or unnoticed,
Can bloom hope in the heart of a hurting soul,
A soul aching to be loved and cared about.
With the nurturing of God’s love and grace
Every tiny seed planted
Will grow and blossom,
Spreading fragrances of love to more souls,
Making a difference in this broken world.

“Teach Me to Love”
by Steven Green

New This Month: Links, Quotes, Books & More

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“And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.
So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God
than a whole flock of sparrows.”
Matthew 10:30-31

“More Than Many Sparrows”
by Andy Severyn

More than many sparrows
More than brightest gold
You’re worth more than people tell you
So much more than people know
Someone put a price on you
He said, “You’re worth dying for”
Yes, you’re precious in the eyes of the Lord…

 

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ABCs of Jesus’ Love

Visit this page anytime and let me know if you’d like to add to the words describing Jesus’ love along with a verse supporting it. Remember, there is also a print-out of the original list.

 This month I have added another “X” Word:

❤︎  eXemplary Love ❤︎
“Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,
It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

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Books

I am not always able to keep up with the abundance of books that promote hope, healing, and freedom, so I haven’t always read every one I post here and on the Books Page. Though many are on my long wish list. 🙂 Many will be from recommendations of online friends. If you ever know of a book that is not listed and that supports this website’s mission, please let me know. 🙂

The book I’m highlighting this month is a fiction book from an online friend:

No Tomorrow by June Caedmon

There are some books I can’t get into at first, but this is definitely not one of them. The main characters, and even all the characters, immediately got my full attention. I just HAD to find out more about their lives.

This is an amazing story of God’s love and plan in Petra and Tony’s lives. There are no Christian platitudes here. The author shows the characters’ deep, authentic emotions as they deal with real-life struggles. I love the growth in Petra and Tony as they learn to let go and let God. To trust God and to desire His will in their lives. It is not a fairy tale ending as in some books. They will continue to struggle with uncertainties in their futures, but God is on their side.

An added bonus are the vividly painted scenes of Hawaii the author describes. Scenery I longed to drink in as Petra loved to do.

I highly recommend this riveting story of the hope and strength God gives in the midst of real-life struggles.

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Hope Harbor

💞  Links That Inspire Hope and Healing 💞

💞  Kintsugi: Beauty In the Broken Places by Lesley – “God takes our broken pieces and puts them back together in a way that displays his glory, because it is in the cracks and in the scars that we see evidence of healing and God’s power to restore.”

💞  Cloud Townsend Resources – Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend have been bringing hope and healing to millions for well over two decades, helping people discover solutions to life’s most difficult personal and relational challenges. These are free short videos that offer solid advice in the areas of relationships, dating, marriage, parenting, emotional struggles, spiritual life, goals and success, and leadership.

💞  When It Seems Impossible to Forgive by Dr. Julie Slattery – “When you have been deeply hurt or betrayed by someone—perhaps by a husband who is repeatedly unfaithful or a relative who is abusive—restoring that relationship can be complicated. While the Bible is clear that we are always to forgive people who harm us, forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean that we go back to relating as if nothing ever happened. A severe offense or a pattern of abusive behavior breaks trust, and a relationship cannot be close unless trust is rebuilt.”

Nature Retreat

“In God’s eyes, all creatures have value
whether we find them cuddly,
affectionate, beautiful or otherwise.”

~ Andrew Linzey

This month’s photos are all ones my brother in Arizona has shared with me.
They certainly make the long, cold winters in the Midwest more cozy.
Thank you, John.
🙂

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Acorn Woodpecker
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Red-back Dark-eyed Junco
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Mexican Jay

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Aren’t the lizards cute? 🙂
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Monarch Butterfly

🐾  Burrowing Owl Video – This video of burrowing owls from Cornell Lab is just so cute! I love it! Great message tied to it, too. We can learn so much from God’s creatures.

🐾  Macaulay Library of Birds – This is an extensive library of over 2 million photos of birds! You can search by location, date, or contributor.

🐾  Michael Libbe Photography – You’ll first see a slide show of breath-taking views of nature. If you scroll down, you can look at the photos by category.

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Quotes

❤︎ God is God. He sees and hears all our troubles, all our tears. Soul, forget not, in your pains, God over all forever reigns.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

❤︎ We are not called to be perfectly awesome. We are called to be imperfectly faithful, because we have been perfectly loved, liberated, and highly esteemed by the Most High.” ~ Scott Sauls

❤︎ “A brook would lose its song if it had no rocks.” ~ Amish Proverb

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New This Month: Links, Quotes, Books & More

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cutecolorsplant6acutecolorsplant4b Therefore, as God’s chosen people,
holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with
compassion, kindness, humility,
gentleness and patience.”
Colossians 3:12

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The Care Bears vs The Cloud of Uncaring

OK, so maybe this is a kids’ video. 🙂
But it’s deep with meaning for all ages.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all worked together
to show love, kindness, and caring?

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ccjesusloves

ABCs of Jesus’ Love

Visit this page anytime and let me know if you’d like to add to the words describing Jesus’ love along with a verse supporting it. Remember, there is also a print-out of the original list.

 This month I have added another “S” Word:

❤︎  Steadfast Love ❤︎
“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God,
the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love
with those who love Him and keep His commandments,
to a thousand generations.”

Deuteronomy 7:9 RSV

bearreadingbook

Books

I am not always able to keep up with the abundance of books that promote hope, healing, and freedom, so I haven’t always read every one I post here and on the Books Page. Though many are on my long wish list. 🙂 Many will be from recommendations of online friends. If you ever know of a book that is not listed and that supports this website’s mission, please let me know. 🙂

The book I’m highlighting this month is:

7 Days of Soul Care

Does your spirit feel empty, discouraged, and confused? Does it feel like you’re missing something important in your life? Do lies about God, yourself, or others torment you? Do you long to grasp your identity in Christ Jesus? Do you crave a deeper relationship with God?

Read the Rest of My Book Review Here

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Hope Harbor

💞 Links That Inspire Hope and Healing 💞

💞 Chosen and Approved Series – An encouraging 6-week series: Three women explore what it means to be chosen approved. They write, share and question what it looks like to live in a world with a set of expectations that do not always match our own. Or how the world sets us up to reach a standard that as hard as we try to achieve, we cannot attain.

💞 Hope Mommies – A non-profit Christian organization whose sole purpose is to come alongside moms and families who have experienced infant loss, bringing comfort, encouragement, companionship, and hope, ultimately the Hope of Christ, as they continue to walk this side of eternity without their beloved son or daughter.

💞 The Day My Marriage Died: Healing In the Wake of Divorce – “It’s normal to try and numb the pain of divorce and get over the grief as quickly as possible. However, God created us to mourn the loss of anything to which we have attached ourselves. A person who does not process the sorrow associated with the death of a marriage is in jeopardy of never completely healing. Jumping into a new relationship, intoxicating with a substance, or becoming consumed with work or children will numb the pain temporarily, but later in life the hidden wound will rear its ugly head. Walking through the grief, not around it, is the only way to fully recover.” 

Nature Retreat

“Adopt the pace of nature.
Her secret is patience.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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🐾 Colorful Sea Creatures – A photo gallery of 12 colorful sea creatures and photo links to other ocean galleries

🐾 Beauty of Nature: 100 Brilliant Examples of Bird Photography – Wow! Incredible photos!

🐾 Interesting Insects by Sayer’s Photography – “Insects up close and personal! It’s amazing how beautiful they can be when you take a closer look with a macro lens.”

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Quotes

❤︎ A thankful mind-set does not entail a denial of reality with its plethora of problems. Instead, it rejoices in Me, your Savior, in the midst of trials and tribulations.” ~ Sarah Young

❤︎ “One touch of Christ is worth a lifetime of struggling. ~ A.B. Simpson

❤︎ “When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” ~ Katherine Ponder

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