Saturday, July 30, 2011

Staying on the Road

Philipians 3:13,14
Good News Translation (GNT)

13 Of course, my friends, I really do not[a] think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead.14 So I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God's call through Christ Jesus to the life above.

Sometimes things in life can be very distracting.  Circumstances and situations that are hard to understand.  Not to mention people...well, let's not even go there.  As the reader may have already figured out, I am an analyzer.  I want to know why, what, where, when and how.  And I will usually spend some time trying to answer those questions about any given situation.  Anyone who has any amount of life experience already knows this is usually a fruitless task.  Our view as mere humans is pretty much one dimensional.  We can see one side really well...our own!  I know that everything, good and bad, has a cause and effect process.  Most of the time, it's pretty easy to figure out cause and effect.  But it can be very distracting when you feel the effects of something you don't know the cause of.  Extremely distracting.  And if one lets themselves be distracted by this kind of thing, it is mind numbing.

My solution to this issue of distraction is to keep refocusing.  Sort of like driving a car.  When you are driving down the road and you look to your right or left, you tend to start steering in that direction.  But you naturally refocus and adjust your steering wheel to stay on the road. 

I find myself having to adjust my heart and mind a little here and there as the distractions of life try to get me off track.  My mental list of priorities comes back into focus.  The distractions fade into my peripheral and there is freedom and clarity.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I enjoyed spending some time sitting out on the deck this afternoon with my firstborn.  With only one month left until he heads off for college I feel an urgency to squeeze in as much time and discussion as possible.  Getting my last little bit of influence and (very) sage  advice in before he spreads his wings and starts making his own way in the world. 

I know a lot of kids his age are eager to be on their own, out from under parental rules and eyes.  However, the smart one's realize their parents have more than rules and judgement to offer.  Son, if you're reading this...

Proverbs 3:1-2
New International Version (NIV)

1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Romans 12:10
New International Version (NIV)

10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

From childhood most of us have been taught to be respectful.  Respect your parents, teachers, other adults, privacy, etc.  And as adults we continue to have an expectation of respect.  We generally demand it from our children...our spouses...even our parents!

I would suggest that respect should be given. Of course, it can be earned and even demanded.  I think that earned respect is obligation.  Demanded respect is fear.  These two forms of respect are not necessarily bad, but they do come from a different place than given respect.  Given respect is the real deal.  It comes from love.

Friday, July 22, 2011



1 Samuel 20:17
New Living Translation (NLT)

17 And Jonathan made David reaffirm his vow of friendship again, for Jonathan loved David as he loved himself.

 So, you've probably heard or seen that little poem about some people being in your life for a season, reason, etc, etc.  Well, I tend to get emotionally attached to everyone.  This presents a problem when it turns out that person was one of those just passing through!  Then begins the process of unwrapping my emotions...which is sometimes very difficult since that person is already long gone!  I have experienced this enough times now to be a little more careful with my emotions and expectations.   So, with my tendency towards attachement, I have to say, I've never really cared for that little poem.  I don't like goodbye's.  I don't like loss.  I don't like untangling my emotions!  Seasonal friends!?

 I am thankful to be blessed with lifelong friends.  The kind that are with you season after season.  When you're up or down.  Who overlook it when you have a bad day.  Who aren't jealous when things are good.  Who care enough to find out who I am...and then still want to be my friend!  Thank you, friends!

Thursday, July 21, 2011



Psalm 119:50
New Century Version (NCV)

50 When I suffer, this comforts me:
Your promise gives me life.

A warning to my reader, my posts most likely will be interspersed with my feelings of angst as I adjust to being the mother of an (legally) adult child.  I find myself at any given time, with no notice at all, dealing with a lump in my throat.  And, I admit, a few tears.  Not only have I lived through the overnight phenomenon of having an adult child, I know exactly how many days until he leaves for college.  Today's count was thirty-seven.  This transition period is rather overwhelming and leaves me with the feeling that there is a huge part of my heart being slowly ripped out.  I know this is a normal process of life.  I know babies grow up to be adults and the whole process starts over.  But right now, I feel like the only mother in the world who has ever had to go through this painful process!  My heart is breaking!  Again, the scriptures bring me comfort.  I trust in His promises and my heart will live.

Shut it!


Proverbs 10:19
King James Version  (KJV)
 19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin:
     but he that refraineth his lips is wise. 

In case the point of this scripture is hard to understand in the KJV . . . here is the New Living Translation (NLT)

 19 Too much talk leads to sin.
      Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.

As a teen I used to hang out with my big sis and her friends once in a while.  I would get so frustrated when they would ask me if I ever talked.  Like I was some sort of side-show.  The question I asked back was, Do you ever stop talking?  Naturally, this was only in my head.  I was a bit shy and generally was pretty entertained by just sitting there listening to everyone.  I did have plenty to say as the aforementioned big sis can attest to since after these times I would let her know what I thought about everyone.  Instead of talking I had spent the time listening, observing and pretty much categorizing everyone and everything.  My mouth wasn’t moving much, but my brain was chuggin’ right along.  And I had no shortage of opinions once I was in the right environment to share them.  It did come natural to me to just keep my mouth shut and observe and it probably did keep me out of a little bit of trouble at times. 

As the KJV version says, the point it is to refrain your mouth, control it.  And yep. . .at times we need to do what the NLT version says. . .shut it!  I've kind of outgrown my shyness now and have definitely opened my mouth when I should have kept it shut a time or two...or three or four.  I know of several people, some of them reading this right now, who are amening that statement!  I still find myself, once in a while, saying something and then thinking about it later and kicking myself.  Everything that comes to our minds does not have to be said.  Words are powerful for good and bad, for better or for worse.  If I could go back in time and take back every unwise word...I would.  Come to think of it, I would even like to go back and take every unwise word spoken to me and shove it back into the speaker's mouth...mmm, that is such a nice mental picture...but back to really isn't about the words out of someone else's mouth, but my own mouth.  Whether it is my husband, my children, my family, my friends, my co-workers, my acquaintances...even the other driver on the road...I don't want to see anyone cringe when I open my mouth!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect


1 Samuel 15:29
New Century Version (NCV)

29 The Lord is the Eternal One of Israel. He does not lie or change his mind. He is not a human being, so he does not change his mind."

At the ripe old age of 39, I feel pretty set in my ways.  And being somewhat of a stubborn person in the first place, it takes a lot to change my mind about something. 

However. . .being a woman I feel I have an inalienable, God given right to do just that whenever I want to!  No explanation, rhyme or reason necessarily needed! 

So, everyone knows someone who is wishy-washy.  You just can’t count on them for consistency.  I’ve run into my share of this “type”.  Over the years I’ve learned, slowly but surely, not to take someone else’s lack of consistency as a personal affront to my being.  And as much as I would like to see myself as consistent, steady and hard to bowl over. . .being just a humble human being myself, I know that I am just as susceptible to anything as anyone is.  Consistency, steadiness, commitment. . .that all takes practice and thought.  I could expound on several areas in our lives that we need to practice these characteristics. . .but for the sake of this blog, I will let the reader use their imagination and apply it to their own life.  (I’ve never been of the mind-set that it was my place to tell someone how to live. . .and I’m not about to change my mind!) 

For now, I will continue to practice consistency, steadiness and commitment.  Maybe a little less stubbornness.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Psalm 34:17-19
New Living Translation (NLT)

17 The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
19 The righteous person faces many troubles,
but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.

Have you ever gone through a situation that seemed hopeless or unbearable?  Where there was no one to turn to for help?  I certainly have experienced this hopeless feeling a time or two.  Life has seemed to offer up these sorts of circumstances more often than I have been able to truly appreciate.  At times it has seemed like no sooner do I get through one tough time but another one is just around the corner.  You start to I a target?  Well, it all sounds very dramatic when put into words.  And, of course, in the middle of the storm it is pretty dramatic!  I was talking to God on my way to work last week thinking about all the negative...honesty here...and asking Him why is everything (dramatic) such a battle.  Why do I always feel like I am fighting?  And immediately He spoke these words into my mind -- The battle is mine. Why are YOU fighting? -- Um...I felt a little silly.  Here I was asking HIM why I was always fighting.  I had obviously gotten a little mixed up about how this works.  Sure, there are storms or those pesky situations where you kind of start to wonder what is going on.  Yes, there is spiritual warfare going on.  And yes, you can feel a little beat up after a bit.  But even I, who was childish enough to ask a silly question, have seen Him bring me through more than one hard time.  I guess I do know He can do it again.  So, the next time I feel troubled, or the next time I feel sad or hurt, I will remember how close my rescue is.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Little Bit of Heartbreak

Psalm 127:3-5
New Living Translation (NLT)

3 Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
4 Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
5 How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.

As I sit here this evening contemplating the day, these scriptures come to my mind.  Eighteen years ago today I gave birth to my firstborn son.  Little did I know that the next eighteen years would go by so fast!  I can still remember in detail the day of his birth.  The feeling of awe when I first saw his little 7lb 2oz body.  Holding him in my arms for the first time after the nine months of wondering who he would be and what he would look like.  Then taking him home from the hospital (and wondering if I would be able to take care of him properly without a full-time nursing staff!)  Looking back I realize how little I was prepared to take on the job of motherhood.  Oh, some things come natural, for sure, but at the age of twenty one, you have no idea how much effect this little person will have on your life.  Then and now.  So, to the now.  My mother's heart is breaking just a little today as I realize a large part of my job is done.  He is ready (or not!) to face the world and all of its challenges.  I don't really want to let him go.  I want to have,  what I perceive, as much control as possible.  Okay, that's just being honest...but not to control him,  but to protect him.  I know now, after eighteen years, that life isn't always easy or fun.  I know he will have to face hard times himself.  And make hard decisions of his own.  This brings me back to these scriptures which have comforted me today.  My son is a blessing from God Himself.  Just because I'm having a hard time letting go doesn't change that fact.  I know as we continue this transition, he will be more of a blessing than before.   As he pursues his dreams, meets the love of his life and has children of his own...I can see a glimmer of some joy that will outweigh this little bit of heartbreak I feel right now.