Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lesson #16: Never Judge a Book by its Cover

My friend and I have been walking sporadically as of late.  The reason: pesky, irritating, breeding, biting mosquitoes.  They are everywhere at every time of the day!  We have attempted walking at different hours of the morning.  But no matter how hard we try to conduct ourselves in a normal manner... we can not help but begin flailing our arms about as we hike our legs high trying to deter the beasts that pursue us.  (This does not bode well for our reputations of being normal female adults to passerby's on the road.) 

Therefore, in an attempt to continue trying to live a healthy lifestyle, we chose to abandon post on the outside track and head to the comfort of the indoor retail superstore. 

I left the parking lot first and turned left.  My friend turned right (as my rear view mirror revealed to me.)  My heart began to pulsate in my chest as my competitive nature ached to come forth and reveal to my mind that I was taking the long way and she would arrive in the parking lot before me.  In an effort to ease my pain I acknowledged my defeat immediately and sent a text to my friend stating this fact.  Her reply sent no comfort, but ignited the flame.  She stated, "I'm gonna win!" 

My mind raced to all of the obstacles that laid ahead.  Numerous stoplights.  Cops patrolling the streets.  And the worst fate of all... grey-haired little old ladies out for an early morning cruise.

As fate would have it, I pulled up behind such a car.  There she sat behind the drivers seat barely able to see over the steering wheel.  White Lincoln Towncar without a speck of dirt on it.  No tint on the windows so she can catch every ray of sunshine while she is out.  Hair freshly curled and teased to create that perfectly hair-sprayed poof on top of her head. 

A silent Ahhhhhhhhhhh escaped my lips.  My shoulders slumped and I knew that the line of cars next to me would never let me by.  I was going to have to embrace second place.

As the seconds ticked down until the light would turn green I began to perceive this was no ordinary grandma.  She placed her finished cigarette in her ashtray and proceeded to lay both hands on the wheel.  Like a flash of lightning the light turned green and she 'flew out of the gate' as if the bell had just rung at the Kentucky Derby.  I was behind 'Lead-Foot Granny!' 

(With a bit of imagination you can see the ring of flowers around my neck as I took my victory lap at the superstore while my friend laughed hysterically at my competitive nature. )

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lesson #44: Alarms (are the devil)

I am NOT a morning person.  To accuse me of such is slander in the worst possible form.  I will rise early when occasion calls for it, but I prefer a late night and a late sunup.  I will confess, I seem to get more accomplished when I allow my eyelids to break formation and wedge open enough to allow sunlight to weave its way into my consciousness 'prematurely'. 

As of late, I have been setting an alarm to rip me from peaceful slumber and announce that I have made a commitment to my very dear friend to walk with her at the '---- crack' of dawn.  (I admit there are people who leap out of bed a lot earlier than me to do far more noble deeds.  I salute you.)  But this has caused me a dilemma. 

When I wake my first thought is..."Is she crazy?!  She wants me to do what?!  I am perfectly happy with my fifteen extra pounds and continually decreasing lack of muscle tone.  Do I really have to slither off my bed and into the bathroom to 'freshen' up to walk 3 miles?"  The answer is invariably yes!

Do not misunderstand me.  I love working out and striving for a healthier lifestyle.  I do not, however,
enjoy beeping, blurting, song-playing, gentle nudging or any other form of tactic used to pry me from my pillow.  I prefer sleep.

So my dilemma is this... Do I throw the cell phone at the wall or out the window?  Because as brave as I think I am, I do not dare attempt throwing my friend!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lesson #22: Time Well Spent

Yesterday we experienced a warm summer rain all day long.  The skies were gray and the intensity of the rain varied by the hour.  It was the perfect occasion to curl up on the couch and watch a favorite movie, or dive into a book that had been left to gather dust, until such a day. 

I chose to do the first. 

I had borrowed a couple Jane Austin movies from my dear friend and decided to take a trip back in time.

My kids were anxious to snuggle under blankets and engage in the seldom practiced art of 'a lazy day'. But after one very long hour (for them) they became restless and needed to move about.  I did not allow their lack of endurance to sway me, and I continued to persevere.  

Baby girl took to listening to her Ipod on the front porch while sticking her toes under the waterfall of rain pouring down from our roof.   Studly decided to engage his mind in a battle of Kingdom Hearts on his game system. 

Every few minutes Baby girl would try and convince me that a game of cards or coloring would suit the day much more adequately.  I tried not to let her pleas distract me from the task at hand.  And I was very successful for several hours. 

Soon the movies ended and the abundance of energy that had been pooling while I lay on the couch suddenly needed to be expended.   About the same time the rain decided to take a break and allowed me enough of a stretch to fire up the grill and cook some mouth-watering cheeseburgers.  We sat around the kitchen table savoring every bite as the sound of the rain began to patter against the windows once more. 

Bellies full and taste buds satisfied, we chose to break out the UNO cards.  Hubs, kids and I sat around the table for two hours more during this grueling crusade.  The stars were somehow tossed out of alignment though (due to all of the rain and wind I am assuming) because, oddly enough, my husband won the match. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This Is 'My Today'

I am reading a very short but profound book called School of Christ  by T. Austin Sparks.  This passage from chapter 3 sums up a lot of my day today:

God always keeps the revelation of Himself in Christ bound up with practical situations. I want you to get that. God always keeps the revelation of Himself in Christ bound up with practical situations. You and I can never get revelation other than in connection with some necessity. We cannot get it simply as a matter of information. That is information, that is not revelation. We cannot get it by studying. When the Lord gave the manna in the wilderness (type of Christ as the bread from heaven) He stipulated very strongly that not one fragment more than the day's need was to be gathered, and that if they went beyond the measure of immediate need, disease and death would break out and overtake them. The principle, the law, of the manna, is that God keeps revelation of Himself in Christ bound up with practical situations of necessity, and we are not going to have revelation as mere teaching, doctrine, interpretation, theory, or anything as a thing, which means that God is going to put you and me into situations where only the revelation of Christ can help us and save us.  ...

Do not ask for light as some thing; ask for a fuller knowledge of the Lord Jesus. That is the way, for that is the only living way to know Him: and remember God always keeps the knowledge of Himself in Christ bound up with practical situations. That cuts both ways. We have to be in the situation. The Holy Spirit will bring us, if we are in His hand, into the situation which will make necessary a new knowledge of the Lord. That is one side. The other side is that, if we are in a situation which is a very hard and a very difficult one, we are in the very position to ask for a revelation of the Lord.  

Friday, May 21, 2010

Last Day of School

Hallelujah!   It's finally here!  The last day of school!  We have survived!   

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lesson #119: Learning to Rest

I am a planner and a doer (with a dab of O.C.D. on top.)  This has been manifested over and over through testimony of friends and family (along with the occasional personality test... just for fun.)  When a chore needs to be completed, I will 'spearhead' the task unless someone else takes lead.  I do not see the point in wasting time.  This has proven useful on many occasion.  It has also annoyed my husband countless times.
 
But...

At this season in my life, I am having to lay down my 'do or get out of my way' attitude and allow God to teach me that His work is perfect.

I have heard the scripture quoted from many a pulpit, for many a year, but for the first time in my life I am beginning to understand what Jesus meant when He said, "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.  Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  For My yoke is easy, and My load is light." Matt 11:27-30 
My desire is to solve all the riddles in my families life that are unknown to me right now.  But Christ keeps whispering to me, "Why are you trying to take on tomorrow when you have enough tasks to complete today? Rest dear child.  Rest in Me.  Allow Me to do the heavy lifting.  Tomorrow will be full of its own struggles and tasks, and when the time comes, I will provide what you need.  But I will provide when the time comes."

How gracious God is!  I complain because I want my complete 'to-do' list, and God is mercifully handing me a few at a time.  He doesn't want to overwhelm me with all of them at once.  I am very slow to learn... sometimes.