Most of the time, people usually go along through their normal day without even a thought of anything catastrophic happening. Most of us usually have just about enough steam to trudge thru the mundane and the what is expected of us duties, so when it comes to looking up and paying attention to something out of the ordinary we mostly just sigh and go on. I don’t think it is just us busy Americans, I think this is a worldwide normal. Of course, the terrorists have this figured out already!
Some days though, something is out of “wack”…just a little bit off…..out of kilter…or off kilter? which ever one…. it just ain’t right!! There is a weird shift in the world, a strange feeling…somethings up! As a mother, I find this a constant in my daily life and anyone who has more than one perfect child (just kidding all the parents of one child, I know they can be a handful also…all ONE OF THEM!) knows that when somethings up there is a vibe. On the one hand, you have the guilty trying their best to lay low and on the other hand you have the one who is dying to snitch but wants to be asked, questioned even ….and not really…. out right blab it all. (helps with the guilt of snitching!) The key is to entice them both….I have many years of experience as a bird dog mom that I am sure my four can attest to. MY record has proven that I am pretty good at detective work, really it is pretty easy….usually they catch themselves, bless their hearts, they are not very good at getting away with what ever “it” is. We raised them right and that usually is the proof. They still haven’t lost all sense of right and wrong...whew!
So being a pretty good sleuth, if I say so myself, for some crazy reason……I become a total novice when it comes to figuring out God. Many great and mighty men and women have come before me attempting this same feat. I also have many years under my belt in this area….I have been a believer for over thirty years, I have studied and believed like a child, never straying from the most trusted and valued tenants of faith, I believe it ALL from the ….In the beginnings to the maps! I have taught Sunday school, children’s church, adult classes even…I have filled in, helped out and stood in the gap for pete’s sake…..I am a preachers wife! A lot of good that does me……God is no respecter of persons for which I am glad of but gee whiz, could he not throw me a bone ever now and then? I am out of clues about what HE is up too these days!
I have come to the conclusion, after much prayer and not enough fasting(obviously!) that even though I am steadfastly a student of perception and discernment, it is impossible to get ahead of God. Usually I can get a sense of what may be up, but these are dark days my friend. Where I “pride” myself (oops, this may be a clue) in feeling like I have a handle on things, I now know I do not. I have NO CONTROL on any of it. I would be a fool to think I do. I have been a fool numerous times, apparently! Control is one of those elusive mind games I play….for which I see that it is just an illusion. The best I can do is keep watch over my own heart and mind and thoughts and deeds, even then I am challenged to keep the course. It is not up to me to “watch” and make sure everyone does what is right and expected. The best I can even hope for is what happens in my own kitchen and even that has gotten away from me from time to time. Question for the day: Exactly how high can we fill a trash can before it all falls in the floor?
My only job is to “watch” and pray. Look up for my redemption draweth nigh……there are many snares out there and in my need to be a watchman on the wall I can’t be the commander and chief of everyone I know. There are some pits and some will fall into them and if they ask for help out I will be there to reach out my hand , but we all have our own lives to lead and choose who or what to follow. My heart tells me to follow after God and that will be enough. Even as I right this I have so many BUTS that come to my mind…but I have to just leave them alone. On my watch I must seek the Lord and pray and probably should try some of that fasting stuff…ugh!
……I wish this picture could convey the day, the clear pure sky bluestraight out of the Crayola 64 crayon box, as well as the spring greenof the new tree buds. I am not sure if those are the names Crayola calls the crayons anymore which is aggravating to us old school kids. I want burnt sienna to stay and red-orange, not lollipop red or any other “cute” name. The need to change such trivial things as the names of crayons may seem silly to me but to Crayola it must be BIG!
My nostalgia keeps me longing for the past which is the essence of what also can destroy me. I must allow spring to come, making all things new. Fresh oil everyday, fresh thoughts and hope for the future. The now of it all and looking forward to the future joy is what keeps us.
Back to my picture! On this day I was sitting on the deck at my Mothers home, relaxing with the light breeze blowing the wispy clouds, the blue was so poignant, a classic blue and the spring green buds on the huge trees popped against the blue and white. I have told everyone I am with at the time to notice the color of the trees, the new buds of leaves in that bright color. It is a joy to notice. This is why spring is so nice, new fresh colors and smells and HOPE. I am sure it is the artist in me, but spring is as vivid as fall. My Mom has Alzheimer’s and is still with us, she still knows us but her world is now sweet and happy. She seems to not have any worries which is a great joy to me. Even as I say that I am a bit envious….she doesn’t remember all those hurts and wounds she so rehearsed in the past years. While I sat admiring the view and she repeated herself, I could not help but laugh at the quirkiness of life. All the drama is such a waste……on that porch, looking at this sky was what was real...the here and now.
For me that HOPE couldn’t come at a better time. It has been a long season of darkness. The days became months and then years and the coldness insurmountable. I HATE COLD and coldness. In the midst it appears there will never be an end, yet when the breakthrough comes it is as swift as the wind on the new spring afternoon. The frustration comes when we are not in control….if everyone would just listen to me and do what I say then easy…huh? Poor GOD, I know he wants to smack me and then at the same time he probably feels the same way….silly people!
There are so many tests in this life….so many questions and not enough answers. Like JOB we all are open season for the TEST. I HATE THE TEST…TOO! How will we act or react to a given situation. Will we walk the walk we have talked. What is the first thought? Run like hell usually….if we are honest and I can’t help but be. It takes a bit of re-grouping,re-sizing up the situation, re-minding ourselves of what God says about it, re-alizing that….. but for the grace of God go I, and re-leasing the flow of forgiveness. I know my very life depends on it…even more my soul!
That is the hard one….forgiveness and the releasing of the pain and what pain it is. We have every right to our pain….it wasn’t our fault!!! It is so hard to get past the pain and see the possibility of life without it. The pain has usually been there for a while, during the dark cold, hidden deep in a cave, unable to even look out to see the light. To release the new pain…the band-aide that was pulled off and allow the sore to heal….give it air and salve and dig out the yucky stuff is really the beginning of the healing.
Forgiveness is a gift, a gift to ourselves. Without it we will stay in the pain and never find out it can be better. I tend to look for the happy ending. I always want to know what happened after the book ended and everyone was ok…how did they walk it out? Was it still painful or did it become good again. JOB shows me that God can re-store back to even better.
Once the cave is shut up, let those boulders fall in front of the opening…..the beautiful sky blue can be seen…the spring-green pops out in front of the wispy white clouds. This is the face of forgiveness. Forgetting why it happened (even though that feels impossible for us that have to know the whys!) moving forward to the future.
I have found this forgiveness gift is the gift that heals….a wounded heart needs love and compassion and hugs and kisses and attention and cuddles and more of the same over and over which eventually brings trust and security once again. It must be the groundwork for a huge blessing, going through such struggles…the “going through” part being the key.
Blue skies are all around us…the light wind is blowing…..God is speaking…...be still and know i am GOD! My heart doth safely trust in you Lord…thank you for your freedom to live again and more abundantly.
In honor of the…(because February is boring so lets make up a holiday), …..special day called Valentines Day, I must take a minute to say, the heart is a fragile yet quizzical thing. A very needed organ for the body, no doubt but, within all the blood flow and reason we breath in and out, there is a mystery.
In our lives there are millions of decisions we make…many little choices which change the future of our paths. We make split second decisions all of which create our lives as a whole but, also bring about good and bad. Why is all this left up to us?
Is there really a master plan or even a Master who is directing the orchestra of lives, or are we blowing willie-nillie out here without any sense of whats to happen next? Lately I have been confronted with these questions. I had thought I had it all figured out. What a shock to see I have really blown it.
It reminds me of the pixie sticks that I played daily as a kid. No matter how hard I try to gently drop them down so they will not fall all mangled up….they still do. Then one by one…slowly and gently I begin to pick each one up hoping against hope I will not disturb the others.
And so life goes….all mangled up. As hard as I try those sticks just get all twisted up in each other…this is life.No matter how we try to stay clear of trouble, free from all the turmoil from all the other sticks, that red one just will not stay off the blue one…some days are just that way.
A thousand little choices we make that can change the outcome of our lives and the lives of others. I wish I could see the future, or maybe not. This continual struggle is more than one heart can endure most days. But endure we must….this sick joke called life.
The Bible reads….in Mark 9:24…”I believe help my unbelief” says the father with the boy who had been sick his whole life. Now that is a story I can relate to. Maybe not an “official” sickness but, a life of torment all the same….Jesus had compassion on this child and as every mother and father through the years has prayed for their own kids…we all believe with I am sure an element of unbelief.
When a heart is broken it is hard to rebuild…..but even so…Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!
What causes this deficit? What choice was made way back before all this? Or did anything….choices, free will….AUGH!!! My mind swirls even trying to understand it all.
When a person is empty it is not the end…but a beginning. This is the time that one is in need of a filling up. Only then are we ready to let go of all of our own wants and allow our needs to be filled. I say this to encourage my own self as I have been empty before. I know how emptiness feels. Lord hear my lament…..
The only filling up that I know is of any purity is to be filled up with God‘s Spirit. God is able to take a frail frame of a man and breathe life into him once again. He gives us the freedom to run as long as we can….then when we have run ….out…..HE is there to lift us up. Lord hear my lament…….
Emptiness is not the worst, it can be the best and today I have faith that HE sees the emptiness of the heart and pours out HIS spirit and heals the brokenhearted. I lament for comfort and peace for a person who feels desolate and alone. I cry out to the Lord for grace and freedom from the demons who have tried to kill steal and destroy. Lord hear my lament…..
Even now, it is hard to find the strength to see hope, but because my hope is in the Lord I do. I know, even through these tears, I will see the victory…even though at this moment my bones ache for the heart of a person in pain and fear on the journey for his life. I pray legions of Angels to camp around and Holy Spirit courage to stay strong. Lord hear my lament…….
God…it’s time …I need you to grant me that serenity……….
Lord hear my lament………
There are times when we can only breathe…in and out; even that takes too much thought. The oppression is thick and our strength is tested…..our souls cry out, into the deep, grasping for a thread of hope.
Then the reality sets in…..this is real life…this is the way it has been. When did we fall? What could have happened to cause life to evaporate away? Where were the signs and why did we not see?
No more! We will not go back there….GOD is in control…..He will be our strength. How many more will suffer at the hand of darkness? NO MORE! My house will not be sacrificed any more…..never will we allow the guard down. We are wiser now, we are not invincible, but we are HIS.
Our lives will never be the same….and we are or will be better for it. We will be more than conquerors with Gods help. It is all in him. Perfection is not the goal…freedom is the reward for a life lived in Him. Our hope is made perfect in Him. I still hope, hope and peace surround me now.
There will be a day of rejoicing for us, we will have our day for dancing; no more mourning, no more fear and sorrow. I will call out to the Lord for his hand of protection…He will be there to lift us up.
Even though it is a cliché’, it is still the truth…home is sweet.
I really like to travel and I am always excited when I go away for new adventures. I have been blessed to be invited on a short getaway with my husband and another couple, church friends but even more than that ……family!
They are people who nearly instantly became our buddies, as if we had no choice! Now that I know them… I don’t think we did and I am so glad. They have become people who we are more than comfortable with and that is not easy for us. Take it from this preacherswife….it’s not all angels and doves of peace on these mean streets! It is lonely on the bottom…as I say humbly! To find friends in the midst of the world we live in is not the easiest of feats. But we have been blessed with several and these dear friends are pretty special!
I suppose we have laughed more than any should, the good belly laugh way and it is the most fun ever…we have showed them some of our home town, seen many deer, red-headed woodpeckers( my particular favorites!) and eaten great food.
So far I have nearly had an aneurysm, and a tumor then realized it must be a headache since it was cured with Advil! Hmmm! I still not sure if I will live much longer, time will tell, I will keep you posted!
There’s more fun to have and even though we aren’t at our home sweet home, we are happy at our home away from home with our goofy bff’s probably learning way too much about each other. We will see if they still love us afterwards?
My story is …….what happens at the mountains, stays in the mountains…. If those pesky woodpeckers don’t blab about it! Living the life!
Recently, I was reminded by my dear friend from college of a time when I had thought my life was a great as it could be. She posted some pictures of us laughing and having a blast like we always did. It made me pause with nostalgia remembering a girl I had seemed to forget about. An ordinary girl with big dreams and places to go.
The future looked bright; I had it all ahead of me.
I was young and popular and the pictures weren’t ones I wanted to hide in a drawer. For me it was a good time in my life. A Kappa ALpha Fraternity “Southern Belle!” It wasn’t always that way though.
Growing up on a my beloved farm and then having life take an awful turn when I was ten, created a feeling of loneliness and abandonment. There was only one thing that I had on my side, I thought….but it was the best thing, Hope. Somehow during this time of unknowing and fear I had this tangible feeling, a sense of freedom that told me, “you can do this, you can have Hope!” I thought I could do anything I wanted, accomplish anything. I felt that deep down in my soul even though I had no real understanding of what I felt. I wasn’t raised with a strong christian background. My maternal grandmother whom I adored did attend church regularly.
But, I have not many memories of being taught any strong spiritual strengths from that time except for my sister who made me read the Bible when ever I asked a question that could be answered by the Word.
For some reason I have always had ….the look on bright side personality which is ironic because I spend most of my thoughts about myself assuming I will end up walking in a hole or tripping up steps and splitting may pants or something equally embarrassing. Not normal I know but I have a constant movie reel running in my head and when I appears the worst thing could happen I fear it will. On the flip side I have crazy feeling of “Hope” and I just believe that life will turn out okay.
What I do know is that I was raised with a strong work ethic, my father and mother always were hard workers, none of that laying around watching television for them, there was always something to be done. I know that if you want to eat you must work, if you want new shoes…work to earn them. They were not special, that is how they were raised, children of the Great Depression. They had little or nothing. They were just ordinary people living their ordinary lives raising ordinary kids day in and day out. And I was an ordinary girl but I always had my sights on an un-ordinary life.
What I saw for my life was fantastic and fearless, full of excitement and mystery and an unabashed determination to get where I wanted to be. I am here to say today that to this point I feel like I have made it, maybe not what I had first expected my life to be, but what I got was so much better. It has been a road less traveled and a road that has been splattered with rocks and dirt and puddles and blockades.
But when I total it all up I have been given a great gift, the gift of a belief that there is always room for more, the day can always bring better and I have the ability to make it a better day for someone else. I still believe I will become all the things that my little girl mind had hoped for. I have had some pretty exciting times in my life and I have been loved by some very fantastic people.
The mysterious meanings of life have been revealed to me (well, some of them) and I have raised some fearless children and I still have an unabashed determination to get where I am going with a pretty special mate to go there with me. I am still hopeful…hope filled actually; and for an ordinary girl who could ask for more.