Sometimes I am able to write so causally, as though I were chatting with a friend. Someone told me recently after reading a post that she felt like we had just been in the church nursery together, talking. I love that she told me that. It meant a great deal to me.
But, sometimes I feel a great need to write, as though the Holy Spirit is pressing me to do so. I am careful now about listening to that still, small voice. Much more careful than I used to be. And sometimes He's not so small or so still. It's in those times that I feel a great sense of urgency. Today is one of those times.
I wrote recently a list of useless facts about me. It was the fourth set of ten things, and it was silly and fun. But I said something there that caused conviction to my heart, but not for the reason that most people would think. No one said a thing to me. It is my own burden. It's a burden I have for others, especially young people. ...
I was able to spend the day with my sister the other day. We hadn't seen each other for over two years, when our family took a trip west to celebrate my son's college graduation. He still doesn't have his diploma. Long story.
Anyway, we had flown into Las Vegas from the east coast because the flights were so much cheaper into there. None of us had ever been to Vegas, and I'd heard about those amazing and inexpensive seafood buffets. And it gave us a chance to visit with my sister and her family.
She and my brother-in-law pastor a church out there, and it was wonderful to be able to visit their home and church. Yes, I know that he is the actual pastor, but I have been a ministry wife since I was eighteen and it is definitely a twofer deal. And I wouldn't have had it any other way.
From Vegas we rented an SUV and drove to Southern California. We had an awesome time. It was the best family vacation we had ever had for several reasons, not the least of whi...
It took me a while to come up with any more useless facts about myself. I conclude from that fact that I just might be a little more boring than I'd like to admit. But, I finally came up with ten, and here they are:
1. I have had lasik corrective eye surgery. It was about ten years ago. I had worn glasses since I was in the third grade, and then contacts from the age of eighteen. First hard contacts, and then gas permeable. Old school. The surgery is probably the nicest thing that I've ever done for myself, money-wise. It still feels like God gave me a Bible-times miracle every morning when I open my eyes.
2. I love very crisp sheets. Really cool, crunchy ones with a high thread count. No flannel or soft cotton for this girl. I have the soft ones for the areo beds and such, and use them when the grandkids come. But I can't sleep on them, or at least, I choose not to. And I really can't stand fuzzy blankets! Ugh! Just thinking...
Okay, so now I can't get the circus out of my mind. See, I wasn't kidding about being visual. :) It's an early-grade-teaching thing. Everything becomes visual.
My daughter is visiting with me. She came from the other side off the country to surprise me for my birthday. Best gift ever! You met her here in The Princess and the Lieutenant. My sweet grafted-in son loves me very much to do without his beloved for two whole weeks. I love him big like that right back.
So, she and I are going on adventures. Today is a car ride to make a visit with family who we haven't seen for a couple of years. It's a happy visit. You may remember that Sarah is mini-me. She thinks very much like me. We are kindred spirits. We are so much alike it is frightening. At least, it should be frightening for her. Bless her heart! She is driving. And we talk. Deep stuff. It's good.
I'm not sure that this will help anyone but me today. But it's what God laid on my heart. I saw it written recently:
Not my circus, not my monkeys.
Apparently, it's a Polish proverb. It made me laugh. And then it made me think.
How I live my life and interact with people is the most wonderful thing that God could have ever asked me to do. I love the ministry and I love counseling. He created me for this. I count it a privilege to be a part of other people's lives. I genuinely love others and sincerely share their burdens and take them with me to the Throne of Grace. I try with all of my heart to help through the principles of God's Word and the bit of wisdom that He's given me.
I know that is how God wants us to live. He tells us so, plainly. Galatians 6:2 says, "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."
But, how I live my life and interact with people is the most precarious thing that God could have ever...
Once upon a time, there lived lots and lots of caterpillars. There are caterpillars everywhere. Whole fields full of them. You are a caterpillar. I am a caterpillar. All of God's children are caterpillars.
Okay. I know. Things just got really weird. I taught little kids for a long time. Stories come easily to me. Bear with me.
One day you (who are a caterpillar, remember?) find yourself hanging upside down from a twig. The world is spinning around you. At least that's how it feels. It's really not the world that is spinning, but it is just what's happening to you. But it's frightening.
You are alone. You can't even see the other caterpillars any more. You feel weak and vulnerable. You can't crawl. You can't eat. It is dark. You feel broken and scared. How unfair!
When the spinning stops, you find yourself encased within a silky cocoon. Then it dawns on you that G...
Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am not the biggest fan of most professional sports. But there is one exception. I am a diehard fan of the Baltimore Orioles. Win or lose. First place or last. I love me some Orioles baseball!
Now, we have the most beautiful stadium in all of MLB. It always ranks in the top five, and the only reason that it's not listed as number one all of the time is because they have to shuffle the order around a bit sometimes to make it look good for the other cities. But we have the best stadium. Number one.
And we have the best manager in all of baseball. Buck Showalter is a man of character and knows how to run a team. When I'm watching a game and I see some of the hoodlums that the other team puts up on the field, I admire so much Buck's ability to keep his team clean-cut and sharp. Mostly they could get right into Bible college with little adjustment, appearance wise. Buck treats his players as 'his boys'....
Growing up, I became very good at pleasing people. When you learn to keep everyone happy, you can avoid lots of trouble. Trouble for yourself as well as your little sisters. Then you grow up with skills. :)
Old habits die hard. Especially ones formed at such a young age. Especially ones that had served you so well.
I managed to get well into my adult life avoiding confrontation with most everyone. Oh, I knew that folks who were not saved disagreed with me on matters relating to God and the Bible (which is everything!). But even they thought I was nice. When preaching time came around to being about loving your enemies, I was hard pressed to think of one.
But the ministry makes it difficult to please everyone. Sometimes you just slide right on into conflict without even trying.
One time, the pastor's wife ran a bus route, and for some strange reason the Lord filled her bus up with teenagers. Now, she really loved teenagers, but she didn't purp...
People get discouraged when they are in the midst of a trial because they want to know how it's all going to turn out. Right now! When life is turned completely upside down, our nature is to want to fix it. Immediately. But most of the time, God does not reveal things to us that way.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:34, "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." In other words, don't borrow from tomorrow. Just live today.
Out of my five children, three were readers growing up, and the other two, not so much. The two who were not really into reading did enjoy a series of children's books called 'Choose Your Own Adventure'. The books are written from the second person, and the reader has a role in the adventure. As you read, you are faced with several options, and then you choose your own path, turning to different pages as the story unfolds. You could read the...
I have been saying for many years that if the Lord were to take me tonight, I've lived a fuller and richer life than anyone I know. I've known some heartache, but mostly I've lived with incredible blessing. God has been very good to me, and I sure can't complain. And I wouldn't trade my journey for that of anyone else I know.
But then there came a great trial. Huge trouble that changed everything. I was blindsided. And when I stopped seeing stars, I realized the second truth like I never had before.
Great tribulation will come to everyone. Even Christians. Especially Christians.
Job 5:7 says, "Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward." Jesus told us in John 16:33 that "in the world ye shall have tribulation." Job said in 14:1 that "man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble."
Job was my best friend for a while. I was thinking that at least someone had it worse than me. Misery loves company. :)