Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Moment With Turtle

 Oh, Brave One, with the shell so tough.

 Why do you pull your head inside?

 Perhaps you are trying to cover what you really think, how you really feel.

You do it because you have been put in your place so many times.

 So many people have said you should feel a different way.

  They said it wasn't true, the stuff you were thinking.

 So you hide. 

It's safer in there, inside your shell. 

 Why share your thoughts with those you thought were friends?

  Friends don't judge, they listen.

  Foes look for wrong; for faults... 
poking and prodding to see if you will bite...

 Or is it you? 

What you are saying must not be what you meant.

 Maybe you are biting at sticks without reason.

 You know what you mean, a friend would know too.

Until you know, you will protect yourself. 

You will find out if they are safe, not betrayers.

Better to keep still and wait to be noticed...
be cold to affection till you feel safe and loved.
Then, maybe you will share again.

You remain,

 Respectfully theirs to poke fun at,                                                                         Turtle

Disclaimer:  I don't especially feel like Turtle right now...but I have felt this way before...I often wonder why when we get sore and prickly we try to protect ourselves?  And why hurts make us feel like being a turtle? Also, I wonder do we ever grow mature enough to not get our feelings hurt?  I know people who think they do...but I suspect they are not being totally honest or they are  bluffing their way through instead of tackling them head on and out loud as I tend to do.

Are you a turtle?     

Sunday, October 23, 2016

How to Stop Being Busy and Enjoy Life

The truth is, I don't know very much about how to stop being busy but I have been thinking about it and here's what I am discovering...

People that voice the complaint, "I'm too busy", including myself, are really just making the choice to feel that way about their work load.  When I choose to be thankful for the work God has given me to do, I no longer feel so busy or, as in my case, stressed about my job.

Because being too busy is really an attitude and what we really mean is, "This work in front of me is causing me stress and discomfort", all we really need to do is learn to like our challenges.

Which if you are like me, that can be pretty difficult.  I do indeed like certain challenges.  I like a big fat book that must be read by Friday.  I like to hike a mountain trail...as long as it is a trail that is recognizable.  You see, even my challenges have limitations.  I truly like relationships with people...until they need to be worked at and then I kinda lose my zeal because I find the confrontation too challenging.

It seems that prioritizing what needs to be tackled first, will cut out a lot of what makes us busy. It is a very natural thing for a human being to make busy at something unimportant so as to avoid what really needs to be tackled.  We should really be calling it procrastination instead of busyness.  OUCH!  Me thinketh this be the case... Sorry...

So the next time you find yourself making busy with a conversation, online shopping, or social media, ask yourself...What one thing in particular am I avoiding?

And if you find you aren't in avoidance of any particular challenge then I suspect you are enjoying your life already to the fullest and that you don't feel too busy to stop in for coffee at my house one day soon.  It's on me of course... 

Monday, October 17, 2016

In My Search For Ordinary

In my search for ordinary, I have always found extra ordinary...

  All I wanted when I was little was an ordinary life.  I wanted to be part of a family that got along without much effort. I use to wish we didn't have so many opinions around the supper table at night.  I also wanted to attend a church where there was no fighting or bickering.  

I didn't want to be noticed in the way we were noticed when my dad was removed from the ministry for questionable actions.  I didn't want stickers and balloons and bubble gum when my parents were separated for a night or two while they worked out some issues in their marriage.  I didn't want that kind of care and loving actions shown by concerned aunts and uncles.  I didn't like people feeling sorry for us because our church split and our barn fell down on top of some of our  cows while we attended church one Sunday morning.

I wanted to feel ordinary.  I wished the people would just pretend none of it was even happening.  I wanted to keep the same group of friends in my classroom just like it had been since first grade. Instead, by the time I had hit the fifth grade there was only one girlfriend left in my classroom and the only other person in my grade was a boy.

Ordinary people did things...with other people.  Other kids had a youth group and knew how to play volleyball, and skate and ski.  They even knew what to talk about if they did get together.  Ordinary girls knew how to talk to boys that weren't their cousins.

But because of my lack of ordinary, I learned about true friendship and loyalty at an early age.  I found out about family ups and downs and commitment too because I was involved in those things.  I found out that marriage is work and that relationships matter more than anything else.  

Without a youth group I had time to study and read.  I learned to work and enjoy it.  Libraries everywhere are high on my list of importance because of my little hometown's library and because my mom had a literary mind.

  Because I had no youth group or many friends I was forced to be friendly and interested in other people.  I attended Marantha Bible School four years in a row, to study mainly.  I made a few friends of course, but was pretty cautious about forging deep friendships because of how fleeting they tended to be.  I saw boys I liked but detested flirting from watching more of it than I could hack in my growing up years. When kids resort to flirting with cousins for lack of something better to do...well, you get the picture.

Anyway, as life would have it, I lost my heart to a not ordinary at all guy during one of those years in Bible School.  Maybe I finally realized I liked the extraordinary life I had been blessed with.  Or maybe I was starting to see that things had turned out to be a blessing in disguise and that God was determined to show me extraordinary in spite of myself. 

So, God gave me Bruce.  Not one day has been ordinary since.  Since I married this man almost twenty years ago, there has not been one dull ordinary day...I said it twice on purpose; at the end of every day I am exhausted from trying to keep up. 

  I am also sure this man is exactly what I needed to be drawn out of myself, from becoming an island unto myself. Bruce makes me walk when I feel I can only crawl.  He does this by being himself and not noticing when I am lagging behind.  He does this quite naturally, although sometimes I am sure he is snickering at me into his shirt sleeves.

In February we will have our 20th wedding anniversary.  In November, Bruce will turn 40.  I did back in January.  Guess where this is going?  What do you think an extraordinary guy who married a very ordinary girl would like to do to celebrate these occasions?

Here's the plan...This past year we bought a sail boat and learned to sail.  I didn't learn a ton honestly, but I did learn to enjoy it.  Again, trying to keep up with Bruce on a sail boat is a challenge.  Back to the plan...We are hoping to drive our SUV pulling our 26' Macgregor to the Sea of Cortez over Christmas vacation.

This will require enough food and water for about a week on board our little boat.  I sometimes think we're crazy.  I sometimes know we are.  Even so we are both super excited about it. How much more romantic can a guy plan?  

Meanwhile, I worry about the kids.  They will be fine.  But I feel guilty...It's Christmas...But they will be fine...They are looking forward to watching endless movies, to hanging out with the cousins and family, to maybe going skiing, to eating pizza and ice cream everyday.  They are even making a list of things they want to do while we are gone.

Now, all I have to do is catch up to the idea and find out how extra ordinary I can make this...Even if the car breaks down...Even if the Sea is stormy and windy and I spend the whole time rolling around the cabin trying not to barf...Most probably it'll be sunshine and roses...Or shrimp and lemon butter...You can help us pray about this trip...Praying is how we plan and vise versa... 


Friday, October 14, 2016

How to Have Peace in a Topsy Turvy World

Let me remind you, you are not Chicken Little and the sky is not falling...There.  Now that we have that nicely established I will tell you how I know this.

Almost everything we read these days on the media is plastered with the equivalent of acorns hitting people's heads. And many are running around going from one important person to another demanding a voice; wishing to be heard and taken seriously.

I am convinced that a Christ follower shouldn't join the hysteria.  A Christ follower is commanded to seek peace and pursue it.  We are told to be peacemakers while standing for the truth.  We are asked to lead honest lives free of deception.  We were warned by Jesus, the authority over the ways of the world, to expect persecution and the revilement of men. He even went so far as to say to rejoice and be exceedingly glad when we are persecuted. ( Matt 5:12) 

 So, when I hear Christian people talk about the injustices in our country as if telling the the whole story correctly will make things right or set the record straight, I get a little  a lot sad.  Have we not been forewarned?  Has not the Master of the earth and sky predicted these things?  Did He not tell us as much as possible to live peaceably with all men? (Rom 12:18)

  How can we possibly be at peace when our hearts are full of fear and anxiety?  If we are having conversations of ideals and opinions for the upcoming election by bashing the candidates and trying to see that people are swayed one way or the other by facts, that I might add, are surely misconstrued by social media and the news, we take away every ounce of peace that would dare raise its fragile little head.

The way to have peace in this topsy turvy world is by having faith in our Redeemer.  If we have faith in a Redeemer; we know our world lies in His care. We can pray for our country and the upcoming election with faith that God knows the outcome and that He will provide the strength to survive our perilous times here on earth as Christians.  A Christian shouldn't be overcome with terror and hysteria because they abide in the Vine and are Under the Shadow of the Wing of the Almighty; there are so many reasons like those names of God in Scripture to keep us calm and facing reality.

We must have a quiet and a calm to lead.  We can't guide people to truth and peace by joining the popular cries of the nation.  We must be at rest in our hearts and in our homes. We must live without fear with our friends and our church families. In our communities we will study to be quiet and to do our own business while we reach out and do a service and work our jobs. (1 Thess 4:11) And we must be bold and brave to face the future of persecution which is surely a part of our lives if we live as Christ asks us to. 

The reason I know we are not like Henny Penny is because we know what the acorn is that has hit us on the head.  We know what is falling from the sky and we know why, but we serve a Great God who has given us everything we need to do life and to do it right.  
(2 Peter 1:3)

Now stop all your needless running around cackling and making a noise and remember WHOSE YOU ARE!

Monday, October 10, 2016

To My Beautiful Daughters

This is my daughter...The only reason she is black and white is because she edited this photo with a setting I don't even know how to run on my camera...but it looks artsy, like herself.

 I have been so impressed with her style of decor in her own little room.  She has always put together colors in a unique way, I first noticed this when she started coloring at a very young age.

Books are one of her passions and she is running out of room to store them.

I love watching my daughters turn into their original selves. 


I want to plop down in a cozy chair and read right there...

Or write...that looks like fun too.

    To my beautiful daughters,
You will have days that aren't so fun; keep trying.
You will have friends be unspeakably horrid to you; keep loving them.
You will be unspeakably horrid to your friends; learn to say, "I am sorry."
You will feel ugly some days; don't believe it.
You might not be able to change your flaws, your pimples, your height, your features...BUT you can always change your attitude. 
You can smile and be kind.  That will be the best kind of beauty.
You will naturally want to whine and complain; practise being thankful and grateful toward God, people, and your circumstances.
You will want the good things of life; learn to graciously give up your will and seek God's will.

I pray you have a life that spreads joy and grace and peace to those around you. 
I pray that you never give in to the age old temptation of manipulation, trying to get your own way.  Rather, I pray you learn to be genuine and compassionate and giving.
I also pray you learn to early seek your Maker for any and all dilemmas; that you go to Him first; before you tell another friend your stuff.  Your friends can hear your heart after God has sifted through the stuff that should never be said out loud.  
May you never use your friends to only talk about yourself; but be an encouragement to them by doing at least half of the listening. 
Finally, always listen to your mother; she knows what she is talking about.  :)  I love you!