Saturday, December 26, 2015

One Word

Here is a repeat post from years ago.  As I was that morning in 2008, so I am this morning; procrastinating working out/doing chores/doing "anything"!

One Word

You Can Only Type One Word Answers. Not as easy as you might think!
1. Where is your cell phone?....table
2. Your significant other?....wonderful 
3. Your hair?....ponytail
4. Your mother?....nearby
5. Your father?....same 
6. Your favorite thing?....home
7. Your dream last night?....varied 
8. Your favorite drink?....martini 
9. Your dream/goal?....peace 
10. The room you're in?....nook
11. Your ex?....colorado

12. Next vacation? augustine
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years?....alive

14. Where were you last night?..... home 
15. What you're not? ....mean 
16. Muffins? ....taboo
17. One of your wish list items?....watchband  
18. Where you grew up?....california 
19. The last thing you did?....typed
20. What are you wearing?....boxers 
21. Your TV? on? 
22. Pets?....six
23. Your computer?....laptop 
24. Your life?....full 
25. Your mood?....lazy 
26. Missing someone?....always 
27. Your car?....dirty 
28. Something you're not wearing?....socks 
29. Favorite Store?.... publix
30. Summer?....humid
31. Like someone?....several 
32. Your favorite color? 
33. When is the last time you laughed?....yesterday 
34. Children?....cailyn 
35. Who will/would re-post this?....nobody

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Galatians 1:10

I underlined this verse months ago during our Covenant Bible Study Class.  It struck me at the time as important to remember; especially the last sentence.

Every time I flip past Galatians, I see that underlined verse, nod to myself and think, "Yes, yes, valuable stuff to keep in mind."

A series of events over the past few weeks have caused a range of troublesome emotions within me; all events having to do with people in situations where I most decidedly have felt a lack of their approval (or support).

When  this happens, I tend to fall back into the role of middle child, trying her best to mediate the issue while at the same time, trying to keep everyone all honesty...happy with me...and thus staying out of  trouble!

At 51, I hope I know enough by now to comprehend this is an exercise in futility!  And, I DO know it in my head, yet my heart is wounded nonetheless.  As a child, that wounded heart meant tears and fears.  As an adult, although the tears might still make a surprise appearance, the fears have advanced to bitterness, resentment, judgmental behavior and irritation boarding on anger.

Only with Mr. B do I feel free enough to share these emotions, and thankfully his heart is large enough that he doesn't judge me.  I think he understands why I may feel a certain way, although he's at a loss how to help me stop feeling this way.  Understandably, because it's not his responsibility, it's mine.

Today's Upper Room (devotion) was about looking for God's signs, His marks, that you are on the right path.  I've felt a decided lack of direction in my faith-journey of late.  All that I am involved in, well, it is starting to feel a lot like an over abundance of Kitchen Service.  Many frustrations, not a lot of joy.  But, I think God put a sign on my trail this morning when I yet again stumbled on Galatians 1:10.  This time, I took a moment to stop and really read the entire verse.  And, it clicked.

"Am I now seeking human approval, or God's approval?"  

A question.  A good  question.  A most important question!!!

I have spent way too much time in  my life seeking the approval of people; trying to please them, and then ending up troubled when I feel that I have somehow failed to do so.  What I have failed in is my motives.  Rather than trying to please people, or obtain their approval, all that I do (and I mean all) should be with the intent and desire to  please God, to serve my Lord. Because if following Christ, being a Disciple of Christ, means to emulate Him, to be "God with skin on", then it stands to reason that people will also be served, according to His will. Those who are not pleased are no longer anyone I needed approval from in the first place. Even those who are approving; well, that's a nice but unnecessary by-product. 

I have a servant's heart.  My problem has been in my attempts to serve people rather than Christ. Sometimes the difference is a  fine line to the observing eye;  yet, it's a huge chasm in the heart that is wounded by human disapproval, lack of gratitude, and ungracious behavior. However, if the desire is to serve Christ, His approval is all that is needed.  Hurtful human behavior can be forgiven and forgotten and any gratefulness is merely the icing on the cake.  

Really pondering that last sentence was also eye (heart)  opening.

"If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ."

Not.  As in, can't be.  It is one or the other.  PERIOD.

And this is a realization that brings humility and repentance.  A heart that aches not for me, but for my Savior that has done everything for me while I have stood by and done so little for Him.  And what I have done has not always, no, not nearly enough, been for the right reasons.  

To serve Him. To seek His approval and trust that everything will fall into place; that those feelings of hurt, fear, bitterness and anger will fall away from me leaving nothing but peace in their wake.

Mrs. B

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Exodus 14:14

I wonder if I’m unusual in that I tend to look up and see the time on the digital clock right when it’s 12:17 (my birthday).  This happens frequently; also, expiration dates on milk cartons seem to reflect important dates and the birthdays of others all too often.  The other day I was handed change for a $20 at the Dollar Store and the clerk said, “$14.14, that’s a good number!”  I told her, “Yes it is!” because it immediately brought to mind Exodus 14:14.  So now, in addition to numbers that I espy representing significant dates, they now also bring to mind Bible verses J

In this chapter of Exodus,   the Israelites, that group of whining, complaining, and fickle ex-slaves of the Egyptians, are following their leader Moses through the desert; bickering and nagging at him the entire way.  They soon realize that they are being pursued by their former captives, and, as my Father would say, they “Homered”.

I must digress and explain this family terminology.  Homer was my Father and step-mom’s big black cat with a serious overbite and an even more serious lack of (the usual) cat-savvy.  He was routinely beat-up by his older brother, Cletus, who, while not a mean cat, was a hunter.  More than likely, Cletus was simply using Homer as a form of convenient target practice. In any case, Homer became so paranoid that Cletus might “attack” at any moment that any small noise or movement would stop him dead in his tracks; whatever he was doing or wherever he was going.  He might be aimlessly meandering across the family room floor on his way to a patch of sunlight when he’d hear “something” (Cletus or not) and he’d immediately freeze, flatten himself to the floor, eyes wild and staring in fear, unable to move; unable to do anything but stay put and look foolishly ridiculous.  Then, out of the blue, he’d totally make the wrong move and bolt right into a wall.

After observing Homer’s behavior, whenever we’d encounter a situation where a person appeared to become immobilized, unable to make a decision or to move forward and/or to make a completely nonsensical move with seemingly no thought behind it (another term for this being “Like a deer in the headlights”), we’d say, “Oh!  They Homered!

So, the Israelites were homering; freaking out and about ready to run amok in the wrong direction: back into slavery and captivity; probably even to death. I think of Moses standing there trying to calm them when he says, “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still!”  Don’t wig out!  Don’t make any rash decisions!  Have faith!  Don’t worry!

I know this verse resonated with me because, in the face of adversity, trouble, difficulties, fears, struggles; I tended to immediately do two things:  1.  Freak out or worry (or some other unfortunate emotion) and 2.  “OCD” the situation; take charge, write a ca-zillion to do lists, and try to get everyone else to do what I think is best.

“Keep still!”  How often are there references to being still in scripture?  Just sitting here this very second, two more popped into my head; Psalm 37:7 and Psalm 46:10 (you can look them up J )Yet, this does not mean the brainless frozen immobility of a person “Homering”; but a trustful, watchful, waiting expectance that God is there in the moment with us, fighting for us in ways that we may never fully understand, but we can be confident that He is. Sometimes, that very stillness brings discernment; a thought, an idea a nudge, settles in our mind saying, This is the way, walk in it!”  Isaiah 30:21(b). 

Although I find peace and comfort knowing that I don’t have to freak out and take immediate control and responsibility for a situation; that God is there, acting as my undercover redeemer, I also know my next step (and, of course, there does eventually have to be a next step) can be taken confidently, with God’s guidance and instruction.

Back to the Israelites.  Soon after Moses got their attention, guess what?  God stepped in and took control.  With Moses as the means, He prepared a way for the Israelites to move safely forward, saying to them through Moses, “Ok, now it’s time to MOVE!” 

And they did.  And so should we, but only after we’ve kept still long enough to listen to the directions.

Mrs. B

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Genesis 28:15

There is so much evidence of God's promises to us in this verse.

"I am with you and will keep you wherever you go"; whatever is going on, good, bad, scary, ugly, happy.  God with us.  Emmanuel.  

There is peace and comfort in believing God's eternal promise to be present with us, and with those whom we love.  With so many loved ones and friends lately facing extremely difficult situations, it has been reassuring indeed for me  knowing that God is with them and will keep them safe, close, and protected wherever they go, through whatever trial they are enduring. 

"And will bring you back to this land" refers to God vowing to Jacob (soon to be renamed “Israel”) that He will return him to the Promised Land at some point.  I believe that God will bring us all of his children back to where they need to be, when the time is right.  God was with me, even when I turned my back on him for over 30 years (as a child does at times to a parent).  He stood steadfast, waiting for me to turn back around and He led me back home.

"I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."  This is the ultimate promise. God won't leave.  "I will not leave you" are powerful words to speak and to receive.  I think about Stephen Ministers and other people with the gift of care; who walk alongside those facing difficult times, who offer the gift of their presence no matter what the situation. 

Who are they but God with skin on?   

Mrs. B