Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bathing My Soul

     Something about the water coming out of the spout draws the pain up and out.  When you’re a mom sometimes the only quiet time you get is when you are in the shower.  The one time your children are afraid to come and find you for fear they may have to gouge out their eyes if they were to see you in your birthday suit.  Knowing this…I use my time as I am cleaning my outer shell to cleanse my inner self as well.  I use this precious alone time to talk with my Father.  

     Telling Him all my sorrows that I have been bottling up for days, partly pretending it doesn’t really hurt, I wash them away.  The tears flow down the drain along with the dirty water and I can have peace again.  I know He knows the whole story.  Even though I can’t explain it to anyone else; I can’t even explain it to Him.  But, he knows.  I asked Him to fix it like only He can.  This is one mess I can’t begin to know how to clean up.  He cleanses my life from start to finish.  I just have to wait and believe it and I do.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Inspiration from a Turkey

    I received a compliment on the title of my blog this week.  After thanking her I looked at the title and really thought about it.  As I said it aloud I had a thought.  “Birds don’t worry.  I’ll bet the turkeys are worried this time of year.”  But, you know what?  They aren’t.  Every morning they get up just like the day before and they go outside and look for their daily sustenance.  The food that God provides for this day; they eat and are full.  They don’t think about tomorrow, or even the next time they’ll be hungry.  They just live.

     We have been instructed to do the same.  Just live, abide in Him.  Those turkeys aren’t worried about the fact that they are being hand-fed and fattened up for something, shhhhhh!  They have no idea that eventually someone will be coming for them and….well, you know what comes next.  We won’t get into that part.  We, in our daily walk also have no idea what will happen next.  Even if we think we do.  All of the “what ifs” we ask ourselves are futile, a complete waste of time.  We need to trust more and worry less.  Spend the time that we would have spent worrying doing something good instead.  We pray, we trust, then we live.  It’s that simple.

My Life as a Turkey
I found this video yesterday shortly after writing this blog.  I felt it fit so well with what I said here that I just had to share.  Watch it with your kids if you have some, if not, it’s still fun to watch.  There is reference to a turkey being 20 million years old and it doesn’t mention God.  Still, it has a spiritual lesson in it if you’re looking for one.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Giving Thanks Where Thanks is Due

     Have a busy week planned and I’m thinking I probably won’t get back here, but I cannot go through this season without expressing my gratitude.  This is the traditional time of year where we are supposed to stop what we are doing long enough to realize that we have blessings and are grateful for them.  We are to acknowledge that aloud and be thankful.  

     I’m thankful for my family and for my wonderful friends.  I’m thankful for healthy children and a loving, giving husband who loves me as Christ loves the church.  I give thanks for a comfortable house and clothes to wear.  I never have to worry about what we will eat or wear.  I’m thankful for the country I live in and for the people who died to make it what it is today.  I love that I have the right to homeschool and be with my children to give them a good foundation.  The nature in this beautiful world is something to behold and treasure every time I step outside.  I’m thankful for life and the gifts of it.  I give thanks regardless of my circumstances because I know it’s all for my good.  But to whom do I give my thanks?
     I sometimes wonder who is being thanked.  When I was young, I was taught the history of Thanksgiving and what we were called to do on that day.  I wrote “Give Thanks” on my turkeys made out of construction paper hands, but I didn’t really know what it meant.  Now that I have grown and have become a child of God, it means so much more.  I know “WHO” to thank.  I know that “For from him and through him and for him are all things.  To him be the glory forever! Amen.”  So for Him I give thanks most of all, for without Him there would be no thanksgiving.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Waiting: A Gift of Time

     Thinking about waiting today…I spend a lot of time waiting.  Don’t we all?  I wait for my kids to finish their schoolwork.  I wait for someone to buy my house.  I wait for enough money to be saved to buy things or to pay off the orthodontist bill.  I wait on the phone when I call a business to ask about my account.  I wait for answers to questions; I wait in line.  I wait for Abbey, oh Lord, do I ever wait for Abbey.

     It has really been trying my patience lately and after reading one of my regular blogs, it really made me aware that it keeps us from having peace in our home.  I feel a burden to fix the problem.  The blog really helped me and gave me some great advice.  I also feel like part of the burden is inside of me though.  I have never been gifted with the virtue of patience.  Let me just put it this way, I really don’t like waiting.
     So today I tried to look at it from a different point of view.  It’s wonderful that I am efficient with my time and that sometimes I am finished before others or I am early.  It’s not very wonderful how I spend the leftover time I have, complaining about waiting.  I just need to have a productive plan for that extra gift of time.  I could use it to pray for my character flaws and focus on the plank in my eye instead of judging someone else.  Admittedly I’ve gone there.  I will think “How dare they always keep people waiting, how rude.  I don’t do that.”  What do I do instead?  I could open up my bible app on my phone and read about judging, a sharp tongue, anger, patience, lack of wisdom….my problems.
    I’m not saying that I don’t want my daughter to be on time and to learn that it’s rude to keep others waiting, but I also need to look within myself and see why it steals my joy.  We need to learn together and as the grownup in the situation it is my job to keep the peace while the lessons are taught.  So today I give thanks for the spare time I receive throughout my busy days.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

One Way to Give Thanks

     Tonight the children and I are looking at the Compassion International Website and trying to pick out a child to sponsor.  How do you pick from so many?  They all have a story and a reason to be chosen.  So rather than me sign up to sponsor the whole page, I let the kids pick. 

My son picked a young boy, age 9 named Kevin.  He has such sad eyes and he looks so tiny.  James liked him because he enjoys playing marbles and soccer, two things that he aspires to do but hasn’t mastered yet. 
There were no twelve year old girls in Ecuador, the country I picked, so Abbey chose a 10 year old girl named Jessica.  She liked active games and music and I’m just crossing my fingers that there is a love of some type of equine in her heart too.

They are both excited at the prospect of becoming pen pals with these children and that they will be able to buy them gifts and know someone in another country.  I don’t think they see the impact that we will have in the lives of these young people and their families.  They just see at as a fun idea.  They can’t fathom being poor, really poor.  They have such lives of luxury.  I can only hope and pray that through this, they will learn how blessed we are and how much we have to give.  That love is an action not just a feeling.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Getting Unstuck

     This morning Peanut got stuck in backward sneezing mode.  If you have ever had a short-snouted dog you understand.  Here is a demo of some other dog in this horrible dilemma:  

Pretty amusing, huh?
     So this, of all things, had me thinking about spiritual battles.  Life will just be happening and all of a sudden WHAM!  I’m struggling.  I pray and I read God’s word and try to seek my answers.  The thing is I’m fighting the same battle as I did last week.  Maybe with a different person or situation, but if I narrow it down and dissect it, it’s the same.  If you’ll notice in the video of the poor honking dog, his person simply bent down and held his nose and he stopped. 
     I have people like that.  Even though they probably had to say the same thing to me last week, they are ready and willing to listen to me struggle this week as well.  They seem to do it effortlessly and they never show that they are tired of helping me with my spiritual spasms.  Thank God for true friends.  You know who you are out there and I love you. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

To Really Understand...

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.   James 3:1-6

     I never seem to have the time to read books for grownups these days.  Children’s literature isn’t void of meaning for me though.  As of late, the kids and I just finished a wonderful book entitled The Giver by Lois Lowry.  It’s about a world of the future where anything inconvenient or unpleasant has been annihilated from existence.  The people of this world no longer feel happy or sad, they just exist.  They don’t feel love or hatred or have the ability to do anything out of appreciation or spite.  They are given their role in life and on the surface, happily carry it out without purpose or meaning.
     The main character of the book is a twelve year old boy named Jonas.  At the ceremony of the twelves, he is given his life job.  He is to be the receiver, later the Giver.  This is a privileged position in the society and only certain types of people are called to do this.  In his calling he will receive memories from the current person who holds the position of the Giver.  These memories have been passed for generations from one Giver to the next.  They are the feelings and occurrences that no longer exist.  Things like pain, snow, love, sickness, rain, and numerous other things that got in the way in the past.  The Giver is the only one that knows these things and must carry the burden of them alone.  Once the current Giver shows the new one a memory or a feeling then it belongs to them and the former Giver no longer has it.  Understanding between the old Giver to the new one is as easy as that.
     One of these days we will reach a society where we will truly understand one another.  No conflict, no hurt feelings, just harmony and perfect peace.  Until that time we must do our best to love one another in spite of our different opinions and ways of life.  We can’t “give” our ideas to each other as we are limited by a tongue that doesn’t always get it right and a heart that isn’t always ready to receive.  While I wait, perhaps I could take the time to try to understand people who think differently than I do.  I can use this time to learn patience for others that do not.  I can work on loving like I want to be loved, and wrapping my head around a viewpoint other than my own.  Lastly, I could probably learn to sit quietly and listen for a change.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

All of Creation Sings His Praises

For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
 the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  Isa. 55:12

The best remedy for those who are frightened, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere they can be alone, alone with the sky, nature and God.

For then and only then can you feel that everything is as it should be and that God wants people to be happy amid nature’s beauty and simplicity.

As long as this exists, and that should be forever, I know that there will be solace for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances.  I firmly believe that nature can bring comfort to all who suffer.
Diary of Anne Frank
                                                                                                                                                February 23, 1944