Archive | Naughty behavior RSS feed for this section

My Alienating Porcupine Quills May Come Out

1 May
A porcupine

A porcupine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a genuine knack for orchestrating excellent events.  When these occasions include my family, they hate being around me.  Moving is sort of an event, and tomorrow my youngest daughter will be helping me.  She dreads it because of the demeanor I take on during such activities.

Frankly, I don’t know what their problem is.  I’m simply focused on the task at hand and not in the mood to molly-coddle.  I guess I become like a drill sergeant without realizing how mechanical I become.  But I really need to be a different me tomorrow than I usually am during a move.

Here my daughter is planning to help me do one of the worst things for anyone to be involved with, and she’s dreading the time with me.  That’s just not good.

The question is, can I change?  Can I behave differently, after being pretty much the same all of my adult life in such situations?  Can I be sweet as a kitty, which is my usual demeanor, instead of as prickly as a porcupine?

If I don’t let pride get in the way, I know that God will answer my prayer to make tomorrow actually fun for all of us.  After all, I’m beautifully packed up with a minimal amount of work remaining.  The apartments I’m moving from have promised to pay for the move because of the situation I’ve had to put up in this toxic place.  So there’s no money pressure.

There’s simply no excuse for me to be terse tomorrow.  Lord, for my daughter’s sake, help me put on Christ instead of my prickly suit.

How to Be Beautiful Via Meditation

17 Apr
Mirror

Mirror (Photo credit: Chapendra)

I follow a beauty regimen which involves moisturizer, eye cream, and now a primer to put under my foundation (something I couldn’t recommend highly enough), and more.  Day after day, I don’t miss the routine which keeps me looking young for my age.  But there are other mirrors I need to be looking in besides my makeup mirror:  a full-length mirror to remind me that I’m overweight and, chiefly, scriptures about how to be more like Jesus.  Specifically, 1 Corinthians 13:4-13.

No matter how unwrinkled my skin is, what good is it if I’m impatient with grocery store checkers?  How lovely is it when I speak harshly to Logan, even if he has been a holy terror?  My hormone pills don’t control my irritability when life gets especially stressful, and you know that when momma’s not happy ain’t nobody happy.

In short, I’ve been an ugly lady for a while.  Yes, I’ve been in a bit of a pressure-cooker situation; but that’s no excuse.  All this time I could have gone through the exact same things with love and grace.  What’s been missing?  I haven’t been meditating on God’s Truth in an effective way.  I also haven’t been praying enough.

So yesterday I started out meditating on the love scriptures.  I want to tell you, it was like taking a powerful vitamin supplement!  I felt like a different person as my mind was not on myself all day.  My thoughts were on others, and love leaked out of me instead of tetchiness.

I think I’ll add something new to my makeup bag.  I’ll put these powerful scriptures in a frame or something and put them in front of me.  This way, I’ll erase my self-centeredness while I’m erasing signs of age.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[b] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

Buying Fat Pants: Big Mistake or Outright Sin?

18 Mar

Finally broke down and bought some pants and shirts that fit my new size, and it was glorious.  But now I’m so comfortable in my clothes, I’ve lost a huge motivation to lose weight.  My health really depends on my dropping pounds.  I got to wondering if it’s a sin that I continue to choose comfort over the sacrifice of doing what’s right.

Actually, it struck me that I am sinning big time by expanding into a bigger size of pants instead of trimming down.  The heart of the issue is that indulging the flesh means more to me than presenting my body to God as a living sacrifice.

Christianity as God intended it involves sacrifice, and I’ve been forgetting that.

I don’t go around struggling with “bigger” sins such as sexual immorality, but I do walk in the flesh rather than the spirit as regards eating and lack of exercise.

The Bible has a lot to say about this topic.  Are you familiar with the huge struggle to do right that is expressed by Paul in Romans 7:14-25?  He longs to do right but continues to do wrong.

Then the good news in verse 8:1 of Romans is that we are not under condemnation, in spite of our weaknesses, if we belong to Jesus Christ.

But I do feel guilty when I read the verses which talk about being set free from the flesh.  It’s like I’m sitting in a prison with bars made of chocolate, and the door is open.  The only thing stopping me from stepping out of this bondage to my fleshly desires is me.  I sit there lacking the resolve to resist the flesh.

My Bible study on this served as a reminder that if I feed the Spirit instead of the flesh, the Spirit grows stronger; and vice versa.  Truthfully, as I’ve been diving into ministry-related activity more and more, I’ve been eating less and less.  So the principle is proving true, even though I haven’t developed an exercise routine.

One thing I did today was drive on the nice hiking/biking trail behind our soon-to-be new home.  If you go to the end, the entire route is 1 mile.  I already envision myself walking there in the cool of the morning five days a week.  I can push Aubrie in the stroller, and Logan will be on the bus headed to school.

Developing these new habits of engaging in more prayer and Bible-reading as well as putting exercise on my daily schedule is all it will probably take to make these new fat pants fall right off of me.

I really would appreciate others’ insights as to whether it’s merely a big mistake or something that seriously separates me from God, this complacency about being overweight.   Please share if you have confidence about your spiritual understanding on this topic, based on scripture.  All related opinions are welcome.

I Got Squeezed and Guess What Came Out

13 Mar

Last night I barely slept, a normal result of overdoing it physically, which I did the day before.  So today was tough because I’ve always been a person who needs those minimum hours of sleep.

This evening I made a “quick” run to the store without having said a prayer for hours.  The person in front of me at Kroger wasn’t buying anything except stamps and yet it took about 7 minutes for him to get finished up.  The pressure of my yucky day and of wanting to hurry out of there so I could get home and catch up on work that I got behind on had a squeezing effect, and what came out of me was, sadly, not pretty.

I used all of that impatient body language that sends a clear grocery store line message, “I’m not happy with how slow this line is moving!”  For a punctuation effect, I did finally pray, saying aloud softly but with tension, “God, help me.”  (Yes, I realize that I looked like a crazy woman.  At least I was polite when it was my turn!)

No one has influenced my spiritual growth more than Joyce Meyer (but don’t let my bad behavior be a reflection on her).  She taught me that when you’re impatient with people, you’re failing to demonstrate the love of Christ.  (She learned this the hard way, too.)  So I didn’t allow the fruits of the Spirit to flow out of me in my brief encounter with society today.

I was thinking about this as I drove off toward home with my “YS 2 God” license plates.  And you wonder why Christianity has a bad name?  Well, it’s not all my fault – just partly.

Although I sometimes seem like a hopeless case, I’m not going to give up on my goal of allowing God to shape my character so that I’m a better reflection of Him.  After all, it’s not like I’m trying to get to the good character buried inside of me.  Instead, it’s getting me out of the way so that Christ can shine through that makes the dream happen.

By the way, it’s comforting to know that God’s not disappointed that ugly stuff comes out of me sometimes when I’m squeezed.  He doesn’t love me any less; Jesus already knew it before He died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins.  And He died for me anyway.  (The ultimate squeeze.)

It Stinks Up in Here

10 Mar

What smell is it that transports you most quickly back to another time and place?  Since I’m determined to be honest on this site, I’ll tell you that a certain men’s cologne brings me right back to the side of my “first love.”  I don’t even know what the cologne is, but I know it when I smell it.  The reason smells are on my mind is that my home, which I’ll move out of in two weeks, has lately smelled kind of unpleasant.  Since there are babies with diapers here 24/7, I’ve been looking for some poopie diaper that didn’t make it to the trash can.  But I haven’t identified the source yet.

This apartment smell isn’t nearly as stinky as the attitude I’ve had off and on lately.  In general, I’m calm, cool, and collected.  But I’m going through something with a certain 8-year-old that I need to get a new attitude about.  I’ve decided that while it’s good to expect a lot out of children, I think I’ve been expecting too much out of Logan.  There, I said it.  I’ve been wrong!

I think my stinky attitude has been tied to that old nemesis of mine:  Expectations.  There are certain expectations that are okay, such as when training up children in the way they should go, such as regarding fulfilling one’s own responsibilities like a mature adult.  But some expectations can lead to no good.

Relationships are frequently destroyed by that multi-syllable word:  expectations.  For instance, when you marry someone with the intention of changing them.  Not good.  When you expect people to read your mind, such as a spouse who doesn’t have a clue what you’re dreaming about as a special surprise for your birthday, even though you hinted several times.  Not good.  Come out and say what you mean.  Guys don’t think the same way as gals.

Have you ever been in relationship with someone and you came to a place where you realized that your life would be much easier if you simply never have any expectations whatsoever of that person?  Since they never do what it certainly seems they should, you just quit expecting anything.  It saves you a lot of frustration but may also be an indication that the person, even if a family member, is creating a mysterious stench in your life and needs to be shown the door.

All this thought about smells and expectations got me to wondering what God expects of me today and how my life can be a sweet fragrance in his nostrils instead of a big stink.  Here’s an answer from the Bible:

“The LORD has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.”  From Micah 6:8

How awesome that God would lead me to the scripture, which convicts me about expecting too much from Logan.  Because if I’m walking humbly before God, I will quit expecting more from others than what I harshly demand of myself.  (I’m not very harsh with myself and my flaws!)

Hey, just realized that repentance produces a sweet smell, no matter what else hangs in the atmosphere.  Nice!

The Old Lady Who Shook Her Finger in Traffic

7 Mar

In Houston, driving in traffic is a constant opportunity to exercise Jesus muscles.  Unfortunately, since my plates read ‘YS 2 God,’ I react to other drivers more like the devil than the angel God empowers me to be.  This morning I saw an old white lady with the same kind of sunglasses as mine – the kind that rest over your prescription lenses.  She was part of a four-car crowding at a mid-road intersection between Kroger and Voss.  A black motorist’s car was blocking her progress.

Suddenly, I felt that I was looking in a mirror.  She threw up her hands, as if to say, “What the…?”  Then she used her own traffic stylings and shook her finger at the guy repeatedly.  He politely creeped out of her way as quickly as he could, and she was still stuck in position until after I was able to move along.

The point is that I often use body language similar to the old lady who seemed to consider herself superior to fellow motorists.  This will not do!

Before inspiration struck to get a personalized license plate as a witnessing tool, I waited years to even put a Jesus bumper sticker on my car.  I’m an aggressive driver, you see.  One of my son-in-laws calls me Speedy Gonzales.   Well, I finally decided that I was ready to be a witness on the road.  I put a bumper sticker on my car that read “Got Jesus?”  And that very afternoon, when I got off work, I discovered that the bumper sticker had been removed from my car.  !!!

Shortly after that I was buying a new car and during the night I suddenly woke up with the unexpected idea to get license plates that read “Yes 2 God.”  Where did that come from? Not from me.  It had to come from the Holy Spirit.  The next day I contacted the Texas license bureau and found out that indeed the personalized message wasn’t taken.  The guy on the phone said I should send my money immediately to reserve it because it’s a small miracle to find such plates available .

So, anyway, now my car is a witness, and nobody can rip it off (like a bumper sticker) without breaking a serious law.  I just don’t want to grow old continuing to insult fellow drivers.  My car will be such a witness when I start acting more like Jesus than the devil.