Tag Archives: joy

The Miracle of the Boxes

15 Mar

Do you have little categories of worry that are part of your identity, in a way?  For me, it has been a fear that I wouldn’t have the boxes I need for a move.  One of my former employers was amazing about supplying, free of charge, the best quality boxes for moving.  They were boxes left over after the files that had been stored in them were destroyed.

Since I don’t work at that company anymore, I was so worried when I moved about a year ago.  How could I get some good quality boxes just like that without paying $30 to $60?

Lo and behold, I went to an office for an appointment not knowing the location had been moved.  And guess what was piled up in a cage-type of moving truck?  About 50 brand new boxes just like I got from my former employers!   And the moving guys told me to help myself to all that I wanted.

I thought that box miracle was astounding and showed the love of God just for me.

Well, I move next week and God has done a whole new kind of box miracle.  I expressed to one of my daughters that I was worried about where to get boxes, and she said, “Just get them at HEB.  That’s what all of us do.  And, frankly, we’ve never understood why you always freak out about boxes.”

Another daughter has just moved back from California and I asked if I could have some of her boxes.  And she told me the same thing.  Yes, I could have her few boxes; but just go to HEB.

Well, I did just that.  I also went to Walmart, and between the two stores I got all the boxes I think I may possibly need for the move.  It was free and it was easy.  The kids slept through it all, since their aunt and cousin spent the night.  All I had to do was stay up really late and go out and about until 1:00 am.  But I found that God gave me opportunities to be a blessing to tired people who have to work these tough hours.

And what am I going to put in all of these boxes?  A lot less than I did for my last move, good Lord willing.  I’ve been downsizing for years now because I don’t want to someday leave behind a mountain of clutter for my family to have to deal with.  Yes, I have traces of pack rat syndrome in my blood.

The hard part of this move is, of course, ahead of me, though I will hire movers.  And all three of my daughters will help tremendously.  But I’ve already received a new freedom inside because the Lord has shown me on a new level that there is never anything for me to worry about.  He has everything covered.  And I believe that the more clutter I let go of, the more room there will be in my life for beauty and freedom of simplicity.

Such a refreshing in my Spirit God has given me on this late night of preparing to move.  Who would have thought that box collecting could be an occasion to be filled with the joy of the Lord?

The Fog Lifted, and I’d Forgotten What Was There

14 Mar

Life has been clouded a bit by the pressure of challenging circumstances, which I know is typical of the human experience.  Sometimes I get so caught up in trying to just keep up with the day-to-day grind, I miss out on the good stuff.

Then suddenly God blesses me with a moment of grace, and I remember to just take a breath.  When I exhale, the fog is pushed away, and I see that God has given me opportunities to love. Being an expression of God’s love is more important than anything else I keep myself busy doing.

It’s past time for me to pray more.  A few years ago, I didn’t have the same level of responsibility; and I had the joy of reading spiritual volumes and the Bible and of worshipping to my heart’s content.  Now I have little people counting on me and Jesus as my only partner.  But I’ve been forgetting to communicate with the One who says He’ll be my husband and father and mother when I have none.

Frankly, it’s embarrassing to admit that I’ve been living in a fog and carrying around wrong attitudes that lead to impatience with others.  But I know I’m not the only person with these struggles.  I believe the blessing of this hole I’ve dug for myself is that I can share the victory God gives to me as I climb to high ground.

These are the faces of the little ones God is giving me the clear blessing of helping to raise.  They are what I see when the haze clears.  I pray that the fog will be a lot more intermittent than it has been of late.

Breaking Up With Frosted Cookies

4 Mar

Augustine had it right when he said, back in about the year 400:

“Thou madest us for thyself, and our heart is restless, until it repose in thee.”

God has stilled the awful restlessness in me and filled the emptiness that previously made my life so hollow.  But now I have a new struggle.  In striving for the fulfillment of dreams, what I’m really trying to do is realize the potential God has placed in me.

All of us have amazing potential, and I’m no different.  What holds you back?

For me the biggest barrier to success is an unhealthy lifestyle in the area of eating too much and not exercising enough.  I’m frustrated about my lack of motivation to control my appetite.  What’s really happening is that I’m allowing my appetite to control me. How sad is that?  I have all the freedom and potential in the world and I let myself be pushed around by a desire to taste food.

I know I’m not alone.  A lot of people have a food addiction, just like me.  Mine isn’t as severe as others.  For instance, I don’t get up at night and eat.  I simply make wrong choices and sit in my computer chair far more than I should.

If you’re reading this and you’re a praying person, please don’t consider it a waste of your energy to pray for me to get control of my appetite.  There’s an impact on the world that won’t be made if I don’t find a way to be free of all that hinders my journey with God.  (The same is true of everyone.)

I’m going to let you in on a secret that my kids know all too well.  Whenever I let the idea of romance enter into my heart, my response is to lose weight.  As if the romancing of God that’s very real to me isn’t enough!  No man with flesh on is a awesome as almighty God.  I mean, I’ve been divorced for many happy years, and God has proven to be a faithful husband.  When I need encouragement, it comes from somewhere every time.  Just the words I need are spoken by someone’s lips or written in some book.  And God finds a way to make sure I hear or see it.

God is enough, and it’s a real shame that I live as though he isn’t.

Me February 2012 with my youngest grandson.

Big Bouncy Balls and Open Sky

29 Feb

The weather was just right today, and I took Logan and Aubrianna outside to play.  I’ve been in a rut, you see, and haven’t been doing this.

Aubrie was happier than I’ve seen her in a while.  I think she’s been bored lately because she doesn’t go to preschool anymore.  This morning she got a big bouncy Dora ball from her Mom.  When Logan got home from school is when we had our playtime, and he got out his Spongebob “tennis” set.

Aubrie and Logan last spring

We played pretty hard.  Logan practiced his tennis moves, and Aubrie practiced dribbling her ball after I taught her how.  It was really nice.

Getting outside to play is so important for all of us.  Even here in the heart of a metropolis, the great outdoors dwarfs everything else.  There’s more air out there, and the plants that survived the drought are a feast to these eyes that have been staring at a computer too much for too long.

We’re moving into a bigger place soon, and there’s an excellent walking/biking trail a block away from our apartment.  I look forward to walking with the kids there and letting them ride their bicycles — Aubrie will have one by then because her 3rd birthday is 3 days before we move.

There’s also a wide covered porch at our soon-to-be home, with a view of the swimming pool.  I can just imagine now how nice it will be to work on the porch and see the kids playing because there’s a wide enough area for them to play and still be in my vision.  The new apartment complex also has a playground.  So we’re all set to get outdoors more.  Let’s just hope that in my lifetime there’s never another summer as hot as the one in 2011.  Here in Texas, it was an inferno.  Of course, we can just jump in the swimming pool.

It was definitely a better day for having enjoyed playing outside with the kids.

But I love to be outdoors. I prefer being outdoors to, you know, being inside.
Keith Carradine

Read more:http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/outdoors.html#ixzz1nk8gWytn

Turn on the Dang Music!

27 Feb

This is a sad thing to admit but here goes.  I’ve gone literally for years with very little music in my life!  It’s not that I don’t have a stereo and CD players and radios everywhere because I do.  But…

  • In the car I usually opt to listen to talk radio because I’m truly concerned about the direction our country is headed in
  • In the house my excuse forever for not having music is that my Christian station can’t be picked up in the house, but I do enjoy other types of music.  Just despise all those many commercials!
  • I don’t have a music iPod.
  • I don’t buy CDs because I usually like only 1 or 2 songs on each.

Then about a year ago I discovered Pandora at http://www.Pandora.com.  I have these very nice Bose speakers hooked up to my computer.  So why haven’t I been turning the music on?  One reason was that I’m almost always working, and I needed a “station” that was jazzy instrumental but had trouble making that happen.

The rhythmless era of my life is over, though.  Yay!  I’ve got Pandora really figured out, I think.  Now I have a great instrumental station to work to called Indra.  (I can write with music on, but if there’s singing, it’s distracting.  Some of the music on the Indra station seems like it’s for people of other religions, but, oh, well.  It’s all good.)  I also have an upbeat Christian station (Love Song for a Savior) and an Extreme Ways station, inspired by the theme song of the Bourne Identity.  The music is filling my home, and it is just lovely.  I’m also moving my body a lot more because I can’t help but get up and dance to some of the tunes that play.

Music is one of the simple pleasures of life that no one should be without.  It stirs the spirit and enlivens my whole existence. So glad to be out of that stupid rut!

Where to Begin?

26 Feb

I’m going to throw myself a line here and blog the pep talks I give myself in order to pull out of the rutted areas of my life.  I need to enjoy the outdoors more and let the kids do the same.  I need to eat healthy foods and lose a whole heck of a lot of weight. I need to pursue my dream of writing inspiring books.  I need to pray more and worship God more.

Encouragement Comments

The longest journey ever taken began with that first step.  So my first step in this journey toward rutless living is to remind myself that life is short and I shouldn’t sacrifice the joys of life that only balance can bring.  I can be healthy and fit, and it’s a  wonderful thing to get hooked on physical exercise of one kind or another.  I bought Michael Jackson the Experience for our XBox 360 Kinect because I always thought it would be fun to have Michael Jackson moves.  I love to dance, and it’s the best way for me to exercise.  But the experience isn’t all I hoped it would be.

So what do I need to do to get moving?  Whatever it is, I absolutely must spend 20 minutes minimum every single day either walking, following along with my old aerobics tape that helped me get fit in the past, or dancing to tunes.  Okay?  So starting today I shall make excuses no more.

□  Done!  I went walking, pushing Aubrianna in her stroller.  In 30 minutes, I feel better already.  You’d have to know just how sedentary I’ve been and for how long to understand!