Friday, October 1, 2010

Eye Spy

Wow, October 1.  Where did July, August, and September go?  Good grief.  I remember my grandmother and I sitting in the yard under big pecan trees in the summer time, in green chairs, like this one ------>>>>

And I would be making my Christmas list in July eating ice milk and playing Eye Spy (I would spy something green just to make it last longer.)  And I can remember feeling like the days just took forever, that winter would never come.  And I remember her telling me that as I got older that time would go by faster.  She had to have been around 50 when we had this conversation.  I'm 40 now, and she seemed old, grandmotherly, and smelled of Rose Milk. 

In 10 years I will be 50, my daughter will be almost 24.  

Please God, let it slow down just a little bit.  It's all going by so fast.  Grandma Cleo, I miss you, I miss the house, the yard, and Christmas with you and the family. 

McKenna, write it down so you can remember, and mom, take the time to play Eye Spy with your granddaughters.  It's important today, but also for their tomorrows. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Yep, it's been too long

Things at home have been very hectic. We have all been sick, WH and DD and I passed around stomach bugs like we were playing "hot potato" and then upper respiratory infections.  I felt like we were all typhoid Mary.  Most of the time when I would get off work it was straight to bed. I haven't bought groceries in weeks and thank God DD can do laundry and was willing to clean while mom was working.  She has been a lifesaver over the past 4 weeks when she wasn't feeling awful as well.  It's not been fun.

Everytime I got to feeling better and tried to jump back into life I would be knocked right back down and wind up back in bed.  This has been going on for almost a month.  I had to miss out on plans with friends and we weren't able to go to church.  It seemed to start a downward spiral. 

Not only was my body suffering from illness but my spirit began to grow ill.  Just like germs can gain a foothold and a stronghold over our bodies when our immune system is weak, satan can use our physical and emotional weaknesses to gain a foothold as well that can turn into a stronghold if we aren't careful.  

It has been an interesting journey this past month and I am so thankful that I feel like I'm coming out the other side of it now.  I've been in dark places before but didn't know what was missing or how to fix it.   There is a certain peace in knowing that what is missing, the reason it is getting "dark".  For me it was because I was missing the joy.  Thank about that and I'll be talking about it more. 

Joy. 

Look it up.  How do you define it? 

Leave a comment and tell me about your joy.  There might even be a prize. 

I'll be back, thank God.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

RSVP

Ok, here’s the deal. I have heard this complaint from several different places in the last few days. I am having a “party” on Thursday, some friends coming to try out something that I really like and honestly I want to get some of it free, that’s why women have these “parties” ya’ll. I’ve also got an event at church that I am attending and I had a friend who had a celebration of an awesome accomplishment. People were invited. Plans were or are being made to ensure there are enough seating, refreshment and even prizes, but here is the problem. People who don't RSVP.

RSVP is French for "Répondez s'il vous plaît". Translation, “Please respond”.

I know I have sent out invites in several different ways and all people have to do is check their calendar and check off Yes, No, or Maybe so that I can be prepared. People don’t get upset if you say no. We all know people either aren’t interested or might have a scheduling conflict. That’s fine, but here is my question…Are we so busy with our lives, running around in a million directions, that we have lost our common courtesy? Courtesy is all about respect. I was raised to say Yes Ma’am and No Ma’am, please and thank-you, and to let someone know if I can or cannot attend a function where my presence has been requested.

This isn’t just about a party that I am having. People cry out that they are lonely, that no one cares, but we are a people who are all the time consuming and our biggest consumer is being busy and focusing only on the “I”. We have to climb out from behind the Iphone, the Ipad, and take off the Ipod and interact with real live breathing people. We are losing our social skills byte by byte. We are becoming a society that responds to life in 140 characters or less and we find out about others by reading their Facebook status updates.

I’m not saying that media is a bad thing. I have FB, I have a blog (which you know if you are reading this), and I have texting and messengers and voice mail, but am I the only one that is feeling the disconnect while being plugged into 10 different things?

These are all wonderful tools. But just like the television, video games, sports, etc. it all depends on how it is used and everything that God can use for good, satan can and will pervert. We have to wake up and become aware. Are we replacing real life conversation with a keypad and a monitor and if so why? Are we afraid? Are we so busy that we no longer have time for chats on the front porch or coffee without being plugged in just in case we miss something?

I get so frustrated when I am talking with friends and they are checking their phones to see what else is going on. They aren’t 100% with you, they are distracted by their 400+ friends on FB and whether their mafia group just got attacked or their crops need to be harvested (if you do FB you will get this.)

When you see a post on FB or read a friends email, do you call them or do you just hit the “like” button or respond via text? Can’t you see where satan is seeping in and pushing us further and further into isolation? Kids are losing the ability to converse unless it’s via text. Adults are spending more time with their CPU then their significant others. And people are preparing a table for friends to come and celebrate accomplishments and people are too caught up in the “I” to see the “you”.

Unplug, respond with a phone call at least, but a face-to-face would be best. And please, if you get an invite, let someone know if you can make it.

Yep, told you I’d been thinking a lot.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Playing in traffic (Conclusion)

Ah-Ha Moment #4: “Come here, come on baby, let’s go home.”

He wasn’t going to listen. He didn’t know me. He didn’t know my voice. That wasn’t his fault. He was doing what puppies do. He was playing. He had left the safety of his home to venture out into the big wide world and had landed smack dab in the middle of a mess. Why should he leave the freedom and the fun he was having? Because he didn’t realize the danger. We could see it. All the people in the cars around him knew that one wrong move and he would likely be killed and they were able to stop and prevent the danger. But he still had to get out of the road cause just like there are different cars traveling the roads every day, there are different temptations, different dangers, and different situations that are all around us trying to keep us from our Heavenly Father.

Ah-Ha Moment #5: “Be still.”

God cannot step in, pick us up, and carry us out of the mess unless we stop. We have to be still. We have to get quiet. I struggle with this every single day. Getting quiet and still in my heart. When I don’t know which direction to go, what to do, what step to take, it’s because I have to be still. Then we can either jump the ditch to safety or we might just be so lost, confused, and overwhelmed by it all that all we can do is fall down on our knees and submit. God will reach down, pick us up and hold us close and He will carry us to safety.

How do you get still? Take 15 minutes of quiet time. If you have never done that before, start with 5. Just sit. I light a candle sometimes. Turn out the lights so I am not distracted. When you first start it will be hard to turn off all that is swirling around you but keep turning that focus back to God and give yourself grace. Grace when the grocery list starts forming in your head, grace when you start thinking of all the things you need to do at work, grace when the honey-do list that your wife made for you starts unrolling in your brain. Be kind when you mentally roll that list up and put it away and then turn your focus back on your Father. Be quiet. And just listen.

That’s how I got the ah-ha moment from the puppy. I didn’t “see” all of these points at the time. I didn’t jump in the car after finding his home full of insight and singing praises. (Yes I did find his house; it had a “Beware of the dog” sign in the window, irony much?) It took thinking through what happened. Seeing the snapshots of it in my mind and getting alone with God so that He could teach me. I had to be still.

Ah-Ha Moment #6: (Last one, thanks for hanging in there): Do we bite the hand that saves us (or pee on it)? Do we recognize the miracles and blessings that are all around us? Do we slow down enough to realize when God steps in and wraps us in His arms? Or are we so hyped up, so excited, that we never experience the joy and the peace when He holds us. Or worse, do we attack Him when He corrects, when He disciplines, and bite back the very hand that wants to comfort? God uses people to minister to His children. It may be a pastor in the pulpit; it may be a Godly man speaking to your son at youth. It may be a teenager pouring her heart out to her friend when she sees her going down the wrong path. It may be a woman stepping into traffic to save a puppy.

How do we respond to those messengers from God? Do we embrace them? Honor their words with respect and acceptance? Or do we get angry and pout? Walk away. Reject them and therefore reject God? Or do we run away, oblivious to the danger around us. Refusing to hear their calls, their advice, their wisdom and continue down the path of our own destruction?

Or...

Do we stop, listen, and hear not only with our ears and our brains but our hearts? Do we allow the words to help sharpen us, make us stronger, keep us safe, or do we only get offended, and lash out or run away? Satan wants you to get your feelings hurt. He is the master at manipulating words to wound. He also wants to kill steal and destroy. Do you think you are immune to him? If so, then you are playing in traffic my friend. We can see the danger in the cars speeding down the road and we know we are no match for a 4,000 pound vehicle. (Fun Fact)

What makes us think we can stand alone against the Indy driver of sin? (ok, enough car similes).

I am no match for satan on my own. I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to help a puppy out of peril that he didn’t even realize he was in. But my God is always there, all the time, to rescue, to hold, and to protect the children that He loves and He loves all of us (No matter what kind of car your sin is). Get out of the road, listen to the voice that is calling you. Be still and allow Him to wrap his arms around you.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Playing in traffic Part 2

This incident has been swirling around in my head for a few weeks. I believe that God shows us through example over and over again His love, kindness, and protection all around us but it is up to us to see them and figure out how they apply to our lives.  Go here if you missed part 1

Ah-Ha Moment #1: There are many times that we are playing at life, oblivious to the danger that could be just steps away. There are times when the fear of the unknown (the ditch) looks scary but it will protect us from an even bigger danger (the cars).

There are many cars on the road, many styles and many prices but they all do the exact same thing; take a person from point A to point B. If the dog had been hit it would not have mattered if the car were a Pinto or a Bugatti, he would have still been just as injured or dead.

Ah-Ha Moment #2: Are we playing in traffic but it’s okay because our sin is “no big deal” (Pinto)? It may seem to be “cheap”, no big deal, a little white lie (lying), a wish for what someone else has (envy), a lustful thought (lust, duh)

-or it may be bigger, fancier, a more “expensive” sin: Murder, adultery, stealing, etc. The Bugatti of sin and we believe that there is no way God can help.


Ah-Ha Moment #3: When we are running around in our own world, caught up in what feels good, there are likely people calling to us from the sidelines, (a spouse, a child, family members, or fellow Christians) wanting to help us, but we tune them out, ignore what they are saying and run headlong into what we believe is fun. But it turns into a mess and we see no way out. Are we not seeing the signs, hearing the warnings, or do we hear and just ignore, thinking we know better, or that the rules don't apply to us? 

Often those people cannot stand-by while we continue to flirt with danger, and they have to step away from the edge so that they don’t get sideswiped. They have to give us over to God and can do nothing more than pray. We see this as rejection when in fact if we were to “stop playing in traffic” we would be back where we belong, where it is safe.

Are my actions pushing people away? Is God protecting me by sending people who can give me wise counsel? Am I listening? Am I applying what they say? Or am I playing, getting angry and resentful, and ignoring them?

Sin has no size, weight, or degree, but all sin has danger. Small or large, sin keeps us from God; sin can harm or kill our families, our relationships, and us. But all sin leads to death. Two pounds of puppy on his own is no match for tons of steel and metal. You and I my friend on our own are no match for satan and his schemes.  

Homework:  Psalms 91 (The Message) 

Part 3 tomorrow. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Playing In Traffic (Part 1)

My family and I were going to the store a couple of days ago. As we were driving we noticed the cars in front of us beginning to slow and come to a stop. This is a narrow two lane road with no shoulder. Thinking there had been an accident we slowed and tuned into what was going on around us.

And then we saw him.

He was no bigger then a minute.

He even had a sweater on. He was running up and down along that big highway. Big eyed and so excited to be out and about. He had no clue the danger he was in. We stopped and the car in the oncoming lane stopped and we all sat there and watched, hoping that the little guy would get out of the road. But each time he went to the edge, I think because of the ditches, he was afraid and ran back into the road.

<-------(This is not his picture but he looked just like this.)

How ironic that a 2 pound Chihuahua with a sweater could bringing tons of steel and metal to a grinding halt.

He was running in and around the cars and thankfully no one wanted to move for fear of running over the little guy. Finally I felt like I had to do something. So I got out and started to call to him.

“Come here baby, come on, let’s go home.”
Every time I called him I took a step closer, and as I got closer, he ran. Now think about this my friends. We are in traffic.  This is a dog I do not know and I have no clue where he lives. He does not know me and face it, he's smaller, faster, and a lot cuter then I am and yes, it did cross my mind, he might just try to bite me. But I knew that he would be safer with me then the situation he was in. I just had to convince him of it.

We played his silly game for a few minutes as the cars started backing up in both directions. Every time I would come towards him he would run away and stop and look. I prayed. “God please tell me what to do.” And He did.
                                                   "Stop."
In my firmest voice I looked at the puppy and spoke “STAY”. There was no pleading or begging. There was no tempting or coercing. Firm, strong, short direct commands:

"Stop."
"Stay."
"Be still."

He stopped.  He stayed.  He got still. He laid down in the middle of the road, submissive and waited. I stepped forward and picked him up.

And then he peed on me.  (Sometimes I get that excited too.) 

But I held him to my chest and quickly stepped off of the road.  Praying,

 "God please don't let this dog bite me and these people see me throw him down." 

We had caused quite a backup, about 10-15 cars in both directions.  They honked, waved, and cheered as they drove by but all I wanted was to get him to his home. 

The ah-ha moments came later. 

I'll tell you about them tomorrow. 

Homework:  Read Psalm 91: 3-7

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 12 Devotion

May 12, 2010 Devotion
Matthew 22:34-40

What have you done this week that shows your love for God penetrates to the depth of your being? What have you done this week (not normal activity) that shows those around you that you love them?

Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

With ALL my heart? All of it? ALL my soul? Really God? And ALL my mind? I’m not sure I know how.
Loving the Lord my God with ALL my heart. This means having no idols before Him.

Do I love God more than my husband? Yes (sorry Rodney)

Do I love God more than my parents? Yes  (That truly was a hard question to answer, it's my mom and dad)

Do I love God more than my friends? Yes (Yes, and for some of those friends it's a lot easier to love God more)

Do I love God more than my children? _______ (Um…but..um..)
Wait.

More than my child?

I would die for my child. I would run into a burning building for my child. I would ride into hell with a water pistol full of Holy water for my child. But do I love God more than my child???  Yes, I have to.  She deserves nothing less. 

In order to love my child God’s way I have to love God more than I love my child.

Read that again.

In order to love my child God’s way I have to love God more than I love my child.

Because only by loving Him more am I able to be the mother that she needs.

It is only by loving Him more that I can be the wife, the daughter, the friend and yes the mother that He wants me to be. I cannot do it in my strength because there are times when I will fail.  There will be times that I make mistakes, speak before I think, act before I pray, and make a mess of things. But if I put God and my love for Him before EVERYTHING and EVERYONE else in my life then I can be strong, stand firm, but also take correction, ask forgiveness, and be convicted not condemned.  The love that God has for me can impact not only the ones around me that I love so very much, but also those that I, on my own, find very difficult to love.

That’s just the first part of this verse. Loving the Lord with all our heart. Will talk about the soul and the mind in a bit. I have to get ready for work.

God, please help each of us to love You today and every day more than anything or anyone. It is beyond our human comprehension to understand or know how very much You love us but God I pray that You will speak into the hearts of your children and work through us so that we may each show others what an Awesome God You are. Love conquers all and my Father, because You are Love, then logically, only YOU can conquer all. Father that is what this fallen world needs, our heavenly conqueror to love, protect, and provide. Thank You Father for doing all that and more for each of your children.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Clutter

One of the best things when I was in the Navy and a Navy wife was the opportunity to move quite a bit. I liked it. It was stressful but there were new opportunities, new friends to meet, and you didn’t accumulate a lot of stuff because the military would only let you move so much on their nickel.


Well, I’ve been in the house I live in now for over 8 years. This is the longest I have ever lived in one place since I moved away from home at 18. Unfortunately WH and DD don’t like to get rid of things and now things have begun to pile up, wait…I promised myself to always tell the truth on my blog.

All of us have accumulated an enormous amount of things, broken things, out-grown things, things we don’t use, things that are just hanging around for sentimental reasons, and papers. A ton of paper. I an terrible at organizing but I loathe being disorganized. (Yes, I am a living oxymoron). So I’ve blocked it out. I either “don’t see it”, I put it in the garage (the bottomless pit) and I just refuse to deal with it. It’s not getting better, it’s not fixing itself, and I think it might actually be multiplying

And then I got an ah-ha moment.

There are a lot of things in my head and in my heart that have accumulated over my lifetime. I have things inside that are broken, things that I have outgrown and even things that I am holding on to for sentimental reasons. Some things were major, like my abortion, my abuse, and they caused shame and despair and depression. I didn’t think that people would understand, accept, even that I would be judged about my past, about those things in the closets and garages of my mind. I didn’t want to open the doors and clean them out.

But God…

Eventually it became too uncomfortable, too painful to ignore it, to pretend it wasn’t there. I had to open the doors to my heart and the past. Yes there were some who didn’t understand, would have preferred that I just “got over it” and “sucked it up” but there were many more that said, “me too” or “thank you”, and “You aren’t alone Leigh.”

Healing started, slowly, but the healing came, and God redeemed so much of my mistakes and my pain. Isn’t it ironic that it takes overcoming something so big to help you understand how to face the smaller things?

My carpet is something that reminds me constantly that God cares about what I care about. I think the garage and the other “messes” in my house are helping me to understand that I don’t need to try to do it alone, that I can ask for help from others, and in fact, I need to swallow some more of that pride. So I will see if I can find some really organized friends to come over on a Saturday, get a date set, and really attack this. It’s blocking up too much and causing me too much unnecessary stress. It’s time to clean house. I’ve done it in my heart, now I need to do it in my home.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Noise

I used to play volleyball and basketball a long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away). I was center on my basketball team in school. I am 5’8 and according to my great-aunts I was “big-boned” (the southern polite way of saying I was a big girl). But I had a hard time focusing. I couldn’t concentrate on the plays; I couldn’t remember where we were supposed to go. I wasn’t good. I was clumsy and awkward and felt like a bull in a china shop.  

My father played ball in school and he would take me outside and shoot balls for hours. Work on my lay-ups, my foul shots, and the shots from the outside. But come game time and I would be so nervous. There was so much noise and so many distractions (inside my head and out). I worried about what my dad would think, what other people would think, what the other team would think. Good grief. I couldn’t focus. All I could hear was the noise. I couldn’t take it so I quit.  For years I felt like I let my dad down when I didn’t go back out on that court because I couldn’t live up to what I thought he wanted for me.

There has been a lot of noise recently in our house. Noise from the house being disorganized and things out of place, end of school projects for DD and things going on at work. A few weeks ago I went for a physical. My doctor felt something suspicious. Tests were ordered that turned down all the noise around me because IT was so loud. Lesions, is it cancer? Polyps, a mass? I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t focus on work. I couldn’t focus on being a wife, a mother, a daughter or a friend. I couldn’t focus on writing. Too much noise.

People would say to me, “God is in control” and even I would say “God’s got it.” But the noise around me would start to rumble louder. I didn’t want to come here and blog about my doubts, about my fears, about the unknown and so I quit. Too much noise. But I wrote in my head, because unlike basketball or volleyball, writing is my passion. I just couldn’t find it in me to sit down and focus long enough to get it out. I was doing it in my strength and my strength had run out.

We aren’t completely out of the woods yet on the medical tests but all, thus far, have come back negative or benign (God got it. I’m just lumpy). I meet with my surgeon on Thursday to find out our next step.

This past month I realized that Satan will turn up the noise in order to drown out my shouts of praise. He succeeded for a time. I didn’t know how to tune him out. I have stumbled lately, not knowing the plays, not understanding my position in the game. But God is patient and a coach like no other. I am learning to tune out the world and turn down the noise. It’s a slow process. Distractions and drama fight for my attention constantly. Unlike sports, which I thought I had to do to make my daddy proud (I know that’s not true now), I AM passionate about my writing. I am passionate about focusing on what He has done in my life and I am learning to do it in His strength, not mine.   I have to write it down. I have to speak it. It is as necessary to me as breathing.

How is this going to play out? What's my position? I don’t have that figured out yet, but I know I have to focus on each play, listen to my Coach, and remember that we are all on the same team. So put me in Coach, I’m ready to play. The game is far from over, but guess what,  WE WIN.  

Focus.  

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

God can't...(part 2)

How many times have you done things that you regretted? How many times have you been promised something that did not happen? How often are you saddened by the decision of a friend? All these things create a very powerful emotion. Disappointment.


disappointment: [ˌdɪsəˈpɔɪnt] vb (tr)
1. to fail to meet the expectations, hopes, desires, or standards of; let down
2. to prevent the fulfilment of (a plan, intention, etc.); frustrate; thwart
I have disappointed my husband, my daughter, my parents, and my friends. My intentions are good. I try. I promise. But then I don’t come through and that disappoints those around me and I disappoint myself. I’ve failed again.

But guess what?
God can’t be disappointed.
(I’ll give you a minute to ponder that.)

Let’s look at the evidence:

Fact 1: God is omniscient. He knows everything. EVERYTHING.
Fact 2: God is omnipresent. He is everywhere. Yep, even under the bed, in the closet, in the car, wherever we are…there He is.
Fact 3: God can’t be surprised.
When I tell myself “I’ve let God down” or “I am such a screw-up, God must be so disappointed in me.” Those are lies and lies come from one place only, satan. Satan wants us to turn from God because we have disappointed Him. It’s a lie.

I remember telling my mother a long time ago that I could take it if she and my dad were mad at me, but that “it killed me” if they were disappointed in me. (Yes, I know, drama much?) I didn’t know how to explain what I meant then. Anger comes from people not agreeing on something. Disappointment comes from one person having expectations, hopes, desires, or a standard for someone else. Disappointment is often hidden inside anger.

A father lets down his daughter, she gets angry but inside its disappointment. She had an expectation and her father failed to meet it. Her anger fades, the tears dry up, but disappointment, that leaves a cobweb of sadness on her heart binding up trust, belief, and joy in her father and even in herself. She will have to tear down the cobwebs in order to trust, in order to believe, and in order to find her joy. We have to do the same thing.

Open our hearts and take a peak. How many cobwebs of disappointment are covering things? Cobwebs are strong. Cobwebs immobilize things. How many of our dreams are caught in the cobwebs of disappointment?

We need to realize two things:

1. God can’t be disappointed so we have to stop telling ourselves that we have let God down.

2. We can’t accomplish all that God has for us if we are wrapped in cobwebs of disappointment.
 Look in your closet. What cobwebs are covering your dreams? It’s time to clean my friend. Let the disappointment go. God is not disappointed in anything you have done but see how disappointment can tie you up? God is bigger then any cobweb. Allow Him to wash them away. We ache to understand God’s direction for our lives but in order for the light to shine through us we have to clean out the cobwebs.

If we were able to know everything, could be everywhere, and not be surprised by anything then we couldn’t be disappointed. But we can’t (know everything), we aren’t (everywhere) and we are (disappointed) because… we aren’t God.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

God Can't...(part 1)

Have you heard about how powerful God is? It is hard to wrap my head around the love that God has for me.  Having my daughter showed me a glimpse of my heavenly Father's love but still hard to grasp.

God is all powerful.  God is love.  God knows everything.  God can do anything.

I have been mulling over a different aspect of who God is lately and instead of asking myself what God can do, instead I begin thinking about what God can't do.

God can't... be surprised. 

I cannot surprise God.  You cannot surprise God.  The world in all it's confusion and chaos does not surprise God. 

(You cannot look at Lucille Ball and not smile.)

Looking at the world, at the big picture, it's easier to say, "God knows everything" but I have to look inward, at my heart, my past, and my life and accept that God does know everything that I have done, am doing, or will do.  No surprises for Him.  

He knew that I would have an abortion.  He knew that I would get married and get divorced twice.  He knew that I would run from Him.  He KNEW when I would stop running. 

He knew that I would argue with a friend last week.  He knew that I would pray outloud during bootcamp every night in a barracks of 80 women while we all wondered if we had made a huge mistake by joining the Navy.  He knew that I 20 years later I would pray with someone while she accepted Jesus Christ into her heart. He knew that I would say something that would hurt someone's feelings in a moment of anger.  He knew that yesterday I would have a conversation with my mother that had been coming for 20 years that both of us were afraid to talk about.

God provided for all of these situations.  He works ALL things for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28).  All things.  He can do that because God can't be surprised.  He doesn't sit on his throne and facepalm when we do something wrong.   The angels do not scramble around under red alert trying to regroup when we decide to do things our way instead of God's way. 

If you are debating this whole "God thing".  If you just aren't sure about this whole Christianity thing, I understand.  There is a lot of information about how wonderful God is.  It is all true but can be hard to accept in a cynical world. 

I encourage you to take some time and think about what God can't do. Perhaps by looking at it from a different angle you will understand.  Know that no matter what you have done, haven't done, said, haven't said, you never once shocked, dismayed, or alarmed God because...

God can't be surprised.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

No sin too great.

Psalms 32


We are taking a journey right now with my church. A “Walk to the Cross” where we are discussing the things that happened prior to Jesus being crucified and his resurrection. God is the God of second, third and fourth chances, check out what He did with Peter.

Martha Fry, our pastor’s wife, has a blog where she is interviewing people and how God has given them 2nd chances (or more). I was honored to be asked but what we talked about was not easy.

We talked about my abortion and how that impacted my life. How I didn’t think that God could ever forgive me. I didn’t think I could ever forgive myself. I kept silent.

When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night
your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.
Selah
At the time of my abortion all I could think about was I was single, no job, no future. What would everyonethink? The world tells you it is just tissue, not “real” but scripture says different,

For I knit you together in your mother’s womb”. (Psalms 139:13).

I made a decision that would impact my life forever. Depression, suicidal thoughts, mood disorders, emptiness, a shadowed existence. I bought the lies of Satan. God wouldn’t forgive me.

If I steal, if I lie, if I cheat, even if I kill. The world says they are different and punishes accordingly, but God says all is sin and sin separates us from Him.

Satan does not want you to know that God forgives all. He wants to convince you that YOUR sin is too much for God. That is a lie. Someone spoke the truth into my heart. Someone spoke about her abortion and that God forgave her and gave me hope. His timing, not mine. Perfect. God’s love poured in. No more secrets.

5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, "I will confess
my transgressions to the LORD "—
and you forgave
the guilt of my sin.

God loves you. NO MATTER WHAT. Confess your sins to Him, Ask for His forgiveness, and Accept His love. There is a life that is sweeter then you will ever know just waiting to be lived. Do not give the darkness one more minute of your life but walk in the light.

1 Blessed is he
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the man
whose sin the LORD does not count against him
and in whose spirit is no deceit.

God's children are walking around in darkness believing that God couldn't love them.  I know because I was there.  There is nothing you can do that God cannot bring good from.  Please, if you carry the pain of abortion get help.  Email me at leigh at leighfrance dot com and I will send you more information.  Allow me to pray for you.  Leave a comment or email me.  Do not walk another day in the dark. 

God,
Thank you for all that you have given us.  It is impossible to truly realize the gift You gave when you sent your son to die.  To pay the price for our sins, no matter what they are is a gift beyond all comprehension.  God your children need you so much.  Your daughters are hurting and needing to know that they are forgiven.  God I pray for peace and understanding that once confessed ALL sin is wiped away.  Pour your peace and love onto all who call on you today my God and help each one to step out of the darkness and into Your light.  

Amen.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hello old friends

Yes it's been a while.  It's ironic how things that are vital in our lives get pushed aside when things that "seem important" but really are not crowd them out.  I have allowed that to happen recently and even though I knew it was going on I felt helpless to stop it.  I normally get up very early and spend some quiet time with God, praying, reading, journaling, and hopefully just listening, and then I write, most of the time it's a blog entry about what's going on in our lives at that moment.  But I got tired and I allowed a warm bed to keep me away.   I didn't want to get up.  I was still waking up but instead of getting up I'd say to myself, "just five more minutes", doze back off and then an hour had passed and it was time to get ready for work.  Not just one morning, but two, then three, and soon many days had passed. 

The impact of this?  So much more then I realized. 

I haven't gotten my time with God like I need it.  My days have been a shadow of what they were. My nights not restful and satan is prowling around seeking to steal, kill and destroy and I'm not equipped to fight like I should be.  I know what I need to do.  I know that God has given me the armor and the tools to fight the good fight.  I had a choice to make every morning.  God didn't dump me out of bed (nod to boot camp days) and scream and yell for me to get up.  He woke me up and invited me to spend time with Him but gave me the choice.  He will not go where He is not welcome and He will not make Himself the priority. 

I have to make Him the priority. 

When the blog has been dark it's because I'm not willing to do what I know I should.   Does that mean that I need to shut the blog down, delete all my writings and consider myself a failure?  Satan would like me to think so.  He would like me to quit.  He would like nothing more then for me to stop, to admit defeat and walk away from what God is working in my heart.  But I know more now then I knew before.  I understand a little more about my Father and what He would have for me, and so I can say those two little words that brings joy to my heart...

...But God...

Every morning during this God has woken me up like clockwork.  He showed up every day.  I was the one who didn't sit down with Him.  My southern upbringing cringes at the thought of Him knocking and me going to the door and shutting it in His face but that's what I did. God knows what I need and He has been waiting patiently for me to realize it as well. 

So the lights are slowly coming back on in my heart and in my creative flow and will show up eventually, when it's time, here.  Today it did, tomorrow it might.  But I realized something. I need to write, not just because I want to but because God has placed a passion in my heart. 

The past few weeks have been a huge learning process and I pray it will add more to my writing because I know it has added more to my faith and my understanding.  That's what walking with God through this life is all about.  To learn and to grow closer to Him, to make mistakes, to stumble and fall, and even fail but as long as you GET BACK UP then God still wants to use you.  So I'm up, I'm out of bed and the dark is lifting.  Thank you God for loving me even in the dark. 
 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Too much to say, don't know where to start

Have you ever been in a place where things are just going so fast, in so many directions that you just want to bury yourself under the covers of your bed and wait for the ride to be over? 

I'm doing that right now.  LOL.  Some is self-induced and some is outside of me.  Things that I have no control over and things that I do.  Unfortunately, when I start getting too busy my writing suffers.  It's interesting to me that the major thing that feeds my soul, that sustains me day to day and that I love is the first thing that "dries up" when life gets too crazy. 

It's not that I don't have anything to write about, it's mainly that satan is trying to get a foothold.  He's been doing that a lot lately and I feel like my eyes have been opened to it for a reason, but we will come back to that at a later date. 

Right now I want to encourage my readers to check out a blog http://www.karendawkins.blogspot.com/  Karen is an amazing woman of God who inspires and challenges me.  I believe that God places people in our lives to help us travel down the segment of the narrow road where we are at that specific time in our life.  Karen is traveling this with me and is giving me much to think about, chew over, and process.  Her blog pours fresh words into my soul, fresh insight into my mind and helps me fall deeper and deeper in love with my Jesus every day.  I'm not putting Karen on a pedastal and she certainly doesn't expect it, but I do know that writing and blogging and pouring our souls out on paper (or pixels) can be challenging and even lonely, and so for now, while I'm wading through the muck and mire stop by Karen's, grab a cup of coffee, and read a bit.  It's time well spent. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What's love got to do with it?

Satan is trying to diffuse the biggest weapon God has placed in our arsenal. Love. Follow the link and read the following passage 1 Corinthians 13 but come back!!!!  Below are the first 3 verses.  Most of us skip those.  I know I did until God opened my eyes recently. 
1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.
Many of us, who have studied and read these verses, begin at verse 4 with “Love is patient” stop at “Love never fails” and that is so true but God is giving us something so important in the beginning and the end of this passage.
1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
Speaking in the tongues of men and of angels. Men (the world) can speak pretty words. They can entice, encourage, compliment, and give assurance. The tongue of angels, in my opinion, are “pretty words” music, poetry, praise and exhortation. Don’t we hear those things over and over again throughout the day? In the media, the songs on the radio or on our Ipod, the books that we read or download to our Kindle, the movies that we watch or rent from Red box. Over and over again our brains are saturated with beautiful words that sound like love, but do they contain love? And bring it closer, how much of what we speak on a daily basis contains love? The way you speak to your spouse or your child? What you mumble under your breath in traffic or waiting in line at the grocery store? Are you a clanging cymbal or do your words flow like a soothing breeze over the hearts of those around you?

2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
Wisdom, prophecy, understanding what is to come, discernment, and faith. All things that we can correlate with God and so many “see” as Christianity, but we can easily be misled. There have been many prophets, preachers, teachers and proclaimers of Christ who were “wise”, who had “faith”, but the only love they felt was for themselves. I am not sitting in judgment of anyone, that is not my place, but we must ask the question of our spiritual leaders and of ourselves, is our wisdom and prophecy and faith focused on furthering our own agenda or is it supported by a love for Our Heavenly Father?

3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.

Surrendering my body to the flames? Sacrificing for someone or for a belief. Well, that should be proof of what a “good Christian” I am. No, it's not.

You can give all you have, but why are you doing it? We have to check our hearts and be honest with ourselves because God already knows your heart.  Are you “giving all you have” so that others will be impressed? Are you sacrificing and surrendering so that you can look like a “super Christian?” to those around you? Are you doing all that you are doing because you believe that you can be "good enough" that you can "give enough" or that your works will "be enough".  It's not good enough, you will never "give enough" and you will never be able to "do enough". 

I truly believe that the only way we can love, truly love the way 1 Corinthians instructs us, is to have God living in us and therefore through us.  We cannot do it on our own.  We don't have the strength, the power, the capacity to love, truly love.  But God does.  Watch this. This is from scripture, not embellished, not interpreted, just truth from His word.  He's talking to us.  The love that we are all searching for, it's here my friend. 



That is love. We will talk about the rest of this passage tomorrow.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thin Places

This post below is my entry to win a Kindle based upon Mary DeMuth's newest book, "Thin Places." To enter you have to write a 259 word essay (the cost of a Kindle) on a thin place in your life. You can enter too if you're interested.

What is a Thin Place? "those times where the division between this world and the eternal fades; they are snatches of holy ground, tucked into the corners of our world, where we might just catch a glimpse of eternity."

I experienced a thin place this week. I had been disobedient to God, not intentionally at first, but over time, 6 months time, it became true disobedience and I suffered the repercussions. The fallout from my disobedience was escalating all around me. I refused to do the one thing that would fix it, and that was to tell someone that they had said something that had hurt me. Our words are the most powerful weapon that we have in our arsenal. Satan had used someone words to wound me and God was aware and had given me the weapons to fight what Satan was doing, but I would not follow God’s instruction. I was going to do it my way, the way the world said, and just “get over it” but the wound would not heal. It festered and spread, and poisoned, first the relationship with my friend, and then those around us.

This week the band-aid was ripped off, the wound exposed, and the poison removed. My precious friend had no idea that Satan had gotten a foothold that grew into a stronghold. By my being honest God destroyed the stronghold. Looking into my friend’s eyes and hearing her laughter and feeling her hand in mine God healed the wound and even rewarded my obedience (finally) by replacing all that hurt and pain with joy, and love, and gratefulness, and forgiveness of my disobedience.


When we walk as God instructs us, we are allowed the thin places, glimpses of glory, to cling to when the world gets hard.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Our New Normal

We are going to Duke Children’s Hospital today. We will be there at 7:00 a.m. and I’m not sure how long we will be there. It doesn’t matter. We could stay an hour or two, or if they need us to, we will be there until 9:00 p.m. It’s the Children’s Hospital annual radiothon. Seven years ago this month, we made a trip to Duke on a Friday afternoon.


In looking back I guess I noticed that something was “not right” around Christmas. Normally any 6-year-old would have been bouncing off the walls, but McKenna took a nap halfway through opening her presents. She just seemed to be so tired. A few days later she was at a friend's house and had a nose bleed. Not just any nose bleed, but one that wouldn’t stop. I called her pediatrician the next day, a Wednesday.

They drew some blood and sent us home with an antibiotic and instructions “not to worry.” So I didn’t worry…until Friday.

On Friday she went to school and I went to work. Around 1:00 in the afternoon I got the call. It was her pediatrician. She asked, “Where is McKenna?” I told her that she was at school. The doctor said, “Go get her right now.  You need to go to Duke Hospital, they are waiting for you.” She said, “We think that McKenna has leukemia. We just got her blood work back and she has no platelets, no red blood cells and very few white blood cells.” I didn’t know what half that meant. I don’t remember much of the conversation beyond the words “leukemia and they are waiting for you at Duke.”

We walked into Duke Children’s Hospital at 3:00 p.m. They ordered more blood work and we waited. The clinic emptied out, and we waited. At about 6:00 she came back in and said that McKenna’s blood work was concerning and they wanted to do a bone marrow biopsy. Now.

So they applied some cream to her hip, and started an IV and gave her some medicine to keep her calm. They put a Disney movie in and they let me hold her hand while the doctor took the marrow. I remember watching her place something so small, but a part of my baby, into a tube to be tested and being so scared. And then we waited.

We found out that night that it wasn’t leukemia but we knew we had a seriously ill little girl. For months, every Friday, we spent at Duke getting blood drawn and waiting to see if her platelets had started trending upward again. She was diagnosed with aplastic anemia and her life changed completely. No more learning to ride her bike, no more trampoline, no more gymnastics. No more running and playing. No platelets meant that she could bleed internally just from a simple fall and she could get very sick over something very common, like a virus.

A few months later her doctor asked if McKenna could go to camp. The hospital provides camp for a week, free of charge, to patient’s that wouldn’t normally get to go to camp.

My six-year-old, critically ill child, going to camp??

Her doctor assured me that she would be with her and would be keeping a very close eye and honestly, we just didn’t know if she would ever have the opportunity again.

So we packed her bags and in July she left to spend 6 days just being a kid, surrounded by nurses and doctors, residents and interns, and she got to play and laugh, and yes, she was homesick, and so was her mommy. But she had fun and she made friends, and for a little while it wasn’t about test results and what she couldn’t do anymore. It was about laughter, and playing games, and being just like everyone else, around other kids who had to take medicine and get blood draws. But for a week, they were just like everyone else, and if they had to rest, that was okay, or if they needed a breathing treatment, that was okay, or if they got hurt and everything had to stop for a bit, that was okay too and no one stared, or made fun, or thought they were weird, because it was everyone’s normal.

She came home, tanned, tired, but happy in her heart and with camp songs, and friends and memories. Precious memories. And we have done this every summer since for 7 years.

Eventually her platelets started to go back up, her red blood cells and white blood cells increased. We still have go to Duke to have her bone marrow checked and blood draws but right now, she is doing great. I still get apprehensive if she seems overly tired and I tend to be a bit over protective, but that’s our normal.

Today though, we get to go and tell a bit of our story. We get to talk about how much Duke Children’s Hospital means to us and how much we love Camp K. We get to help raise money so that the kid who is walking into Duke today and entering into a new normal can learn camp songs, make friends and bank memories to hold on to while they wait for the next bone marrow biopsy, the next CAT scan result, or for the next blood draw.

The medicine is important, the research is important, but the memories last forever. Thank you Duke Children’s and thank you Camp Kaleidoscope for giving us the memories to cherish for a lifetime.  And thank you Bill, Lynda, and Vanna and all of the volunteers at 101.5 FM for doing the radiothon and helping the kids. 

So if our story has touched your heart consider making a donation today, for McKenna and all the other kids who have a new normal that they live with every day but for a week each summer they get to go to camp and be “just a kid.” This overprotective, extremely grateful mommy thanks you.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Radical Obedience

I tried to be obedient when I was growing up. I listened to what my parents said and obeyed (most of the time). As a young child I obeyed out of awe and some amount of fear (they were bigger then me) and as I became a teenager I tested the boundaries and in some respects flat out disregarded my parents instructions. I was radically disobedient. I didn’t understand that my parents were on my side.  That other then God my parents loved me more then anyone and that they wanted me to be happy. They were old and old-fashioned and didn’t understand what it was like to be me. And yes mom, you were right, I do understand now that I am a mom. 


Obedience means to obey or the willingness to obey.

Radical is “departing markedly from the usual or customary, extreme”.

Moses and Noah were both radically obedient.

John the Baptist was radically obedient.

Mary, David, Saul/Paul, Timothy, Stephen, Mother Theresa, Billy Graham,
Matt and Martha Fry, all have been radically obedient in their own time.



Wait, who are Matt and Martha Fry?

My pastor and his wife.

Radically obedient? How?

Where our church stands now was a tobacco field.



But my pastor had a vision and a desire to be radically obedient. Was it easy? No. Are there still struggles? Yes. Are there times when things happen that others may not understand? Yes.

But that is what being radical is all about.

Listening to what God is telling you to do and DOING IT no matter what “the world” says.

Matt Fry was willing to be radically obedient to our Heavenly Father and Martha, his wife, was willing to be obedient to her husband’s calling and vision. They both trusted God completely and it was through that obedience Matt and Martha opened a door for hundreds of people to come to know God and to understand salvation and redemption. Because Matt was willing to obey God’s instruction for his life, even if he didn’t understand it, God, through him, is able to reach people that would still be walking around in the dark, lost, and in despair.

I know this to be true because I was one of the lost. My husband and daughter were surrounded in that darkness as well. Did we know what was missing at the time? No. Did we have any idea a little over 3 years ago that we would be making the changes and taking the steps we are today? No, not in a million years. But you know what?

God did.

God knew that what was once woods, and then a field growing tobacco and cotton, would one day be a house where Christians would be planted and would grow and here, 10 years later lives are being changed, impacted, marriages restored, children and grandparents giving their lives to Jesus, the harvest is ripe.



Is our church perfect? No, thank God, if it was, they wouldn’t let sinners in and then it wouldn’t be a church, it would be a country club, and I don’t get to love my Jesus at the country club. If perfect is what you are looking for you will not find it in ANY church. But what you will find in churches that are living for God are people that are radically obedient. Not just in the church that I love, but in churches all over the world, God’s cool like that, He can be everywhere at once, as long as He’s welcome.

Are you obeying the call God has placed on your heart to become radically obedient? It can start small my friend. Saying yes to daily quiet time. If you have never had that with our Father, then this is radical obedience. Are you faithful with your tithe? Giving your tithe, first fruits, for a lot of us that is radical obedience. Are you serving at your church? Opening a door, helping with the children, parking the cars, these are all forms of obedience and if it is stepping out of your comfort zone, then my friend it is radical. And once God sees that you will be obedient to Him, then what He asks will stretch you and you will grow and you will be working WITH God to further His kingdom. 

Not everyone is called to start a church. Not everyone is called into the mission field.

But

Everyone is called to be obedient. Make it radical and see what God will do.

Thank you Matt and Martha Fry, thank you staff and leaders, and volunteers at C3 church for opening a door, pouring a cup of coffee, giving a hug, saying a prayer, singing a song, and just wrapping your arms around every person that walks through the door. Because you each have said "I will do it" God’s love is growing and touching lives in ways you will never know this side of heaven. All because you were radically obedient to Him.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I am not worthy.

I have heard that a lot in the past few weeks. Satan has whispered it in my ear. Friends that God has put into my path, people that are hurting or have made mistakes, stumbled and even fallen, they too cry out, “I am not worthy of God.”
And they are right.

None of us are worthy of God. Not one.

Mother Theresa was not worthy of God. Billy Graham was not worthy of God. John the Baptist, the 12 disciples, Mary or Moses, none were worthy.

(25As John was completing his work, he said: 'Who do you think I am? I am not that one. No, but he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. Acts 13:25)

No matter how great, no matter how small. No matter if we cure cancer, fix the national deficit and balance the budget, feed every mouth, shelter every body, and adopt every orphan.

It still won’t matter; we won’t be good enough.

How good we are makes no difference because we cannot be good enough. We will always mess up. We will always fall short. Which is why we need Jesus.

I have a debt I owe. It’s more then I can ever repay but Jesus has paid it in full. There are so many people walking around who cannot put their head around that. They doubt their salvation, they doubt that God could love them, they don’t believe that He could love them. But this is a lie that Satan has planted in our heads.

It is impossible to grasp the enormity of our God because we believe that God views us as we view each other. God doesn’t work that way. You need to take Him out of the box, break down the walls and open up the door to your heart.

Think with me for a minute about a person in your life that you love. Just picture that person standing in front of you. It could be someone living or dead, a child, a parent, a spouse, but just one person. Think about how your heart fills when you think of that person. Think about how much you miss that person if they are gone, how your heart hurts if they have passed. Taking this journey right now might be painful, but it’s important, because my friend, no matter how much you love that person you are thinking about, GOD LOVES YOU MORE.

Think about that for a minute.

And then accept it.

It is simple, but it’s not easy, but I promise, it is worth it, and so are you, through Jesus.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It cannot help if you don't take it.

I'm not feeling well today.  I think I have a bad cold (I've never met a good cold though).  I woke up several times during the night with pressure and pain and now my neck is extremely stiff.  When I got up this morning I decided I needed to take some medicine. I am blessed to be able to work from home and I felt like I needed to find some relief this morning so that I could focus on my job.

I went and got some medicine from the medicine cabinet and made my tea and put the kettle on.  I came into the office and started my quiet time when the kettle went off.  As I walked back to the kitchen I started to wonder when the medicine would kick in and I would feel better. I debated if I needed to take something different, stronger, or maybe this wasn't just sinues/cold and something that would require a physician.  All this as I'm going into the kitchen and preparing my oatmeal. 

I came back into the office still focusing on how long it would take before I could get some relief when I sat back down at my desk and saw it.  The medicine that I had gotten out of the cabinet over an hour ago, sitting on my desk, I hadn't taken it.  No wonder it wasn't working. 

If you have been reading this blog long at all, you probably already know where I am going with this.  The medication was not at fault.  I was because it couldn't do it's job until I used it, until I had opened it and taken it in. 

Yeah, just like Jesus.  How long has it been since you have opened up your bible?  Is it still sitting on the coffee table and are you dusting it once a week?  It's not going to do you a bit of good unless you open it up and take it in. 

What about our Heavenly Father?  He sent His son but unless you open your heart to Him and accept Him, take Him in, He cannot do you one bit of good. 

God is the great physician, healer, and the giver of life, but He cannot work if we do not believe in Him and just because you buy the medicine and put it in your cabinet, or even open the package and put it on your desk, it cannot do what it was created to do unless it is inside you.

Friends, we cannot do what God has created us to do unless He is working inside us.  So do me a favor, take your medicine. 

Today's verse: 
23Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. (Matthew 4:23)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fasting to the finish

We are only a few days away from finishing out our 21 days of fasting.  I encourage you to take a step out of your comfort zone if you did not fast the entire 21 days and fast the last three, a true Daniel's fast.  I think I left some Ezekial bread and organic OJ at Lowe's food but you might want to go grab it before the snow. 


If you have been fasting over the past 19+ days, wonderful.  It has been an experience that I will never forget and that I will add to my arsenal of spirtual weapons to use just like the prayer. 

To me it was amazing how often my thoughts turned to food, and just how difficult it was to push beyond that.  I seemed to be constantly hungry when I knew good and well I wasn't but Satan wanted to continue to distract and play mind games and keep me from spending time with my Father. 

But God still showed up.  Even when I reached for that Ezekial bread and all natural peanut butter for a snack, again...and I have gotten clarity to some questions that I had and reassurance to a leading that I was feeling on my heart and you know, maybe there is something to all this prayer and fasting and giving (the three responsibilities of a Christian). 

I've said it over and over again on my blog, God loves each of His children and longs to walk through life with each of us.  Praying, giving, and now fasting are wonderful ways to deepen that walk and color your life with vibrant, extrodinary color. 


Again, if you haven't fasted at all, I double dog dare you...(ok, that was to make my WH laugh), but seriously I challenge you, take the step today, set aside the sweets, the meats, and the dairy for the next 3 days and see what happens. 

Leave a comment if you are up for the challenge and we will pray each other to the finish line. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In the doghouse

28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  (Matthew 6: 28-34)

I realized something this morning, I am much like the pagans mentioned in verse 32 “running after all these things” when my Heavenly Father knows that I need them.


I had a hard time sleeping last night. We have new carpet, which I am very thankful for, and we have a dog, which right now I am trying to be thankful for. The dog is still confused about where she needs to go potty and so she is sleeping in a crate at night. Let me rephrase that, she is sitting in and whining in a crate at night. She needs to learn control, boundaries, and that there is a place for everything, including where that all potty needs to be outside and not on the new carpet.

So she has been whining and crying all night. She doesn’t like her crate and I don’t understand why. It’s comfortable, it’s big enough, it’s warm and dry in the house, and we provide all of her needs, food, water, even a cute sweater if she gets cold (she doesn’t like to wear them), but it doesn’t matter, she doesn’t like where she is during the night, so she cries and whines to get out. And I don’t get any sleep.

So I got up at 3:45 a.m. for the final time and thought, I could spend some one on one time with my heavenly Father, just me and Him for an hour or two before I had to go to work.

And so I walked into the kitchen and then…

I needed to make tea so I put the kettle on, and then I went and got my laptop because I left my Bible out in the car, and then I couldn’t find my journal, so I had to log on to the computer, and I had to check my email, and then I went to check my Facebook, and then I had to check my bank balance, and then I got distracted with the news, and then…

And now it’s 5:30 and I have to be at work in 30 minutes. I got very little time with my Father this morning. I was worrying about what I would eat. I was worrying about what I would drink, and while I wasn’t thinking about what I would wear I was worried about money and would we have enough to cover the rest of the week.

I don’t want to be “like the pagans”. I don’t want to run after all the things of this world, but I do and then I wonder why my soul cries out in the dark just like our puppy in her crate. God wants me to go to Him first. He wants me to give Him the first fruits of everything, including my day and after all He has given me, why do I chose things that are of this world? I want to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, but the enemy doesn’t want that. Satan will use distractions and business and even good things to keep me from God’s best. I am hearing that over and over again so God really must want to make sure I hear it.

Trinket, our dog, has all of her needs provided for her. She has food and water, shelter, toys; all she has to do is be a dog. We have rules and boundaries that she needs to understand and follow but once she figures them out or maybe I should say, once I figure out how to help her understand and retain them, then we can have a healthy, enjoyable relationship. But right now, she cries and whines and she doesn’t like where she is. She just needs to be obedient and let me know (her master) when she needs something instead of making a mess and having to suffer the consequences. (No, I don’t beat her; don’t get all PETA on me.)

Yeah, wow moment for me too.

My Master wants me to come to Him first. I have to stop putting the world first and wondering why things aren’t working out like I want them to. The world doesn’t care about my wants and desires, or what is best for me because the world doesn’t love, therefore it has no capacity for care. God cares because God loves. It’s just that simple. When I allow all the other “stuff” to interrupt my God time it’s no wonder I have a mess and therefore suffer the consequences. I don’t have to run after anything. I just need to sit with Him and listen and stop whining and crying in the crate but come out and be obedient to my Master and His word and “not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself”.

I’m glad that God doesn’t sleep because I would have kept Him up all night whining and crying from my own crate. He has boundaries to keep us safe, to keep our lives clean and pure, and to help prevent us from making a mess. (Hmmm, sound familiar?) I just need to stop worrying and accept, embrace and learn so that He and I can have the relationship He wants for us to have, the best.

I guess I’ve redefined “being in the doghouse”.


God, I am sorry that I pushed you aside yet again this morning. Help me to be better disciplined with my time and my focus. Keep me from the temptation of the business of this world and all it’s emptiness and instead draw me closer to You because I know that you love me more than the lilies of the field, Your word tells us that and I thank you for loving me enough to give me the boundaries, the rules, and the instruction to keep my life safe and without worry. I love you God. Amen.