Tag Archives: Christ

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.

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Note to Self: A Really Big Storm is A-Comin’

21 Apr

raining sheets

After bringing the little ones to the zoo today, we all took a nap.  We were awakened by a crazy storm that dumped hail and sheets of rain while lighting up the sky with lightning and booming thunder.  Within a few minutes, the sidewalk surrounding my apartment became a small stream a few inches deep.  In the midst of it all, I put raincoats on the toddlers and pushed them in a stroller to the car so we could pick Logan up from school.  How quickly the world changed completely!

The storm reminds me of the very first rain storm, which was when Noah had finished building an ark and had loaded two of every creature on board.  Everything changed as it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, killing every living, breathing thing that wasn’t on the ark.  A similar event is due to come someday, when the rapture occurs.  Believers will go up and things on earth will get very volatile after that.

Ultimately, the earth’s purposes will be finished and all of humanity will either go to heaven or hell.  And this very thing is what our existence on earth is about.  It’s so easy to forget that, what with the world offering so many engaging distractions.

What would happen if we lived every day with a stark awareness that an eternal tempest of judgment is coming upon everyone who rejects Jesus Christ?  I don’t know about you, but I believe it would help to nudge me out of my complacency and find creative new ways to share the Good News that Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our sins.  And we can pass from this tumultuous journey called life into a place of eternal peace and joy.  There, we’ll probably never have to slog around in soggy shoes.

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“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man.”  Luke 17:26

Don’t Pry the Clutter From My Cold, Dead Hands

14 Apr
office supply barrette

office supply barrette (Photo credit: jamelah)

Gifts come in all forms, and one gift I want to leave my children is a lack of clutter to deal with when I change my residence to heaven.  I’ve been working on getting rid of stuff for years now.  It’s most difficult for me to let go of anything related to writing or office supplies.  I discovered today that I also hang onto the children’s toys.  They have boxes of things to play with, yet all they usually want to play with is their DS.  I’ve put the multiple pieces of various toys together.  But what I really need to do is donate more than the one box I’ve got ready to give away right now.

When I move (again!) soon, my goal is to have gotten rid of the approximately 10 or 12 boxes that were in a storage unit.  Now everything will be in one apartment while at the same time not crowding us out of our closets.  Amen.

Why is it so dang hard for me to let go of these little things that, put together, add up to boxes of clutter?  I absolutely love feng shui, the minimal environment that promotes inner peace (I don’t pay attention to the parts of feng shui that could be considered a form of worship of other gods.)

In my clutter devotional called Devotional for Clutterers by Melody Carlson, today I read the thing that I believe most about this entire struggle.  Carlson says, “As we become more orderly and less cluttered, we focus less on surviving and more on actual living.”

The Lord is good and is helping me through a lot.  But He doesn’t mind that in the midst of it all, I’m asking Him to help me eliminate all the clutter I possibly can before we move into our new home.  Nothing is too hard for God!

I just know I’ll sleep more peacefully knowing that when I ultimately fall asleep for the last time, my children can deal with their grief without having to deal with my clutter.

In case you’re wondering why I’ve got my own death on my mind, it’s because I secretly wonder if moving twice in one month is going to kill me!  lol

I’m Buried and I Can’t Dig Out

11 Apr

When I’ve needed a pep talk the most is typically when I have the most trouble giving one to myself, and that has been the case lately.  My situation has been so difficult and yet personal on several levels, I’ve had no words.  Even now, I don’t want to expose all the details of my struggle.  Don’t we all have at least a little something that we could complain about, if we really wanted to grumble?

Here’s the gist of my dilemma:  God hates complaining, and I have trouble knowing how to write sometimes without feeling that I’m partly airing grievances while tacking on a word of faith at the end.

And right now I don’t feel at all like a victorious Christian, although I believe that I am.  I’m clueless about how things are going to work themselves out, which is a very helpless feeling.  I don’t know what to do!

Česky: Kříže - symbol utrpení Ježíše Krista a ...

My hope is in Jesus and all He accomplished for me on the cross. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s one detail:  I just moved into this lovely, spacious apartment three weeks ago.  And because of the toxic air that even the landlord acknowledges, I must move.  Yes, they need to take responsibility; but if they don’t fully own it, I’m not capable of covering for their mishap at the moment.

And, Lord, where should we live?  I feel a little lost mostly for that reason.  I haven’t recovered from the recent move, and I’m physically disadvantaged because my arms and hands, which are permanently injured, are weakened and hurt more than usual.  So I don’t know where in the world to move and I don’t know how on earth I can achieve it apart from the management paying for me to be packed and moved, as I believe is only fair.

Here’s the pep talk part of this entry:  I have no doubt that this trial will ultimately work for my good because God is my Lord; I’m not trying to do my own thing.  (Right now I wonder if I have already somehow made a departure from God’s path; but since I’m not walking in any area of habitual sin that I’m aware of or trying to fulfill my own agenda, I’m inclined to believe I’m on the right track.)

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Romans 8:28

New King James Version (NKJV)

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

 

 

Saturday Night Romance With a Nun-Like Twist

1 Apr

Have you ever had a true love?  I think one of the best definitions of love is that when you’re with that person, you feel whole; and your insides are comfortable, like when you wear the clothes that both fit and flatter you. Being with the love of your life is unlike anything else, and it’s just the best.  Do you agree?

Well, I’ve just been spending a lovely Saturday night with the One who holds my heart in His hands.  God is a very real presence in the life of a person who seeks Him with their whole heart.  My day which started with a desperate prayer for guidance and motivation has been a joy because God gave me the grace to do what I lacked the energy or vision to do without Him.

As the day turned to night, I read some devotionals and drew even nearer to the Lord.  Meditating on the wonders of His creation always brings Him extra close.  In Streams in the Desert Book 2’s March 31 entry, Amy Carmichael’s story about a sun bird in a delicate nest surviving a monsoon fills me with awe.  This tender care with which God watches over all creatures is also extended to me and all who put their hope in Him.

Life on earth is sometimes like being in a series of treacherous storms.  And placing faith in things other than God leads only to heartache and disappointment.  But my eyes are on the Lord, and I know that no matter what storm may come, God is with me.  And simply being in His presence is just the best.

Song of Solomon 2:4-5

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Shulamite to the Daughters of Jerusalem

He brought me to the banqueting house,
And his banner over me was love.
Sustain me with cakes of raisins,
Refresh me with apples,
For I am lovesick.

How to Be Happy When You’re Not Where You Want to Be

31 Mar

Selah, a fellow blogger, regularly posts gorgeous pictures of nature.  Today I literally wept as I looked at her images of the great outdoors.  A shot of their campground brought back a flood of delicious memories of childhood in which my daddy brought the family camping every summer at various locations across Texas.  Cousins or friends usually joined us, and the adventures were always awesome.

The desire of my heart is to live in the country and experience nature, but where has the good Lord placed me?  Directly in the heart of the fourth largest city in all of America!  This is literally the opposite of where my heart longs to be.

But don’t get the idea that this is a whining session.  I’m merely stating this fact in order to say that when we moved into our spacious new home, it was with me having decided that I would embrace city life.  I am purposely making it my own.

Before, I think I may have gone around town sort of gritting my teeth and/or holding my breath.  Now, I’ve opened my arms and heart wide to say, “This is where God has placed me, and I rejoice!”

We are members of the Houston Zoo and visit there frequently.

What a difference this decision has made.  My entire being is more relaxed, and the possibility of being an effective witness for Christ is no doubt ramped up.

My family is right here, and I’m sure that’s a great reason for God to have me in Houston.  So for now I will do what my daddy did.  I’ll bring the kids on major outdoor excursions every year, though I doubt we’ll camp the old-fashioned way (I don’t feel safe enough as a single woman in charge…armed with joy as my only weapon.)

A 2009 adventure -- a visit to Natural Bridge Caverns in Texas Hill Country.

 

Hebrews 11:8

New King James Version (NKJV)

Faithful Abraham

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

Freaked Out by Favor

29 Mar

I felt a little bit like a fraud this week as I stuffed down the inclination of my flesh to have a fit followed by a pity party. But I put on Christ by choosing to submit to the Spirit, believing that I would bear the fruits of the Spirit in spite of myself. God met me more than halfway and blessed me to be a reflection of His peace at home and everywhere else I went. One result of my calm demeanor was what seems to me and my family like a downright miracle.

Apple iPhone 3GS, Motorola Milestone and LG GW60

Apple iPhone 3GS, Motorola Milestone and LG GW60 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I actually thought I had a visitation from heaven when a man at a certain phone store gave me a replacement of a nice smartphone that I purchased 50 days before and that was now completely inoperable. The tricky part was that I bought the phone at one of the “unofficial” outlets, and they wouldn’t do what was right (I’m sparing you all the details of what happened).

So an angel by the name of Lamont did the right thing with essentially no questions asked and gave me a brand new smartphone to replace the one I bought on Groundhog Day. I literally thought this guy would soar back into heaven when I walked out, having completed His special assignment from God.

The favor of God is always a wondrous thing, especially when it’s the last thing you expect. I think I actually failed in my faith here by being so very shocked by the blessing. God is my heavenly Daddy. He cares about every detail of my life, and even the hairs on my head are numbered. This phone miracle was, of course, the way He’d want to bless one of his own.

Why am I so suprised?

Ephesians 3:20-21

New King James Version (NKJV)

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.