Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Divas, Rawhide Bones, and Stinky Fish

Let me introduce  Miss Foo Foo Diva on the left and Miss Practical Diva on the right.  They both love to shop but when you take Miss Foo Foo Diva into a shop her eyes glaze over and she starts talking very fast.  Not that she doesn't anyway but it goes into high gear when shopping. "Nana, can I have this!? Oh, I want that! Please, Can I get this, also!?"  On and on it goes.  

Because of my history of shopping with her I found myself preparing a speech to give  before I picked her up to buy a birthday gift for a  party that she and Miss Practical Diva were about to attend.  It went something like this:  "Remember we are not buying for you.  We are not looking at stuff for you.  We are looking for a birthday gift. You have to hurry because we have to pick up Pop and then go pick up Miss Practical Diva."  Knowing this could fail I went on preparing my speech. " You just had a birthday in May and were blessed with so many gifts.  You don't even stop to think how many things you got and how much you are blessed.  You need to be thankful for what you........"  In the back of my mind I heard this voice starting to speak, "You really want to go there?"  

"Uh, no.  Let me rework that speech".  I found the rest of the day and the next day bordering on the ridiculous thanking Him for every little thing. That was Saturday and part of Sunday. Monday not so much, if any. Tuesday, nope and now it is Wednesday.  It isn't that I'm not thankful and I do thank Him but I find I take Him for granted.  

So, as if it wasn't clear enough or because I wasn't putting what I heard into to practice He made it a little clearer through a dog. Yes, a dog.  This dog.

When Ronnie retired I told him if it had to be fed and taken care of I did not want it.  He could stay. 

 Before we took  a trip Mother's Day weekend  I emptied our fridge and threw the food in a scrap pile in the woods.  On our return the above dog met us with a grin on his face while running across the yard as if to say, "You're home! You're home!"  I actually started laughing.  As true to form, Ronnie got out and started trying to run him off (he does this often with neighbor dogs) and I began unloading the car.  I was putting the first load down when Ronnie comes in telling me the dog just cowered down and got under my storage building.  I nodded   thinking he would leave.  The dog not Ronnie.  Nope. He adopted us.  Nothing we did could run him off.  He would cower down and  get under a building.  You could see his ribs so I started giving him scraps of food and Ronnie couldn't stand his cowering down so he started talking to him. Then we bought dog food and the rest is history.  Ronnie named him Trespass since that is exactly what he did.

He was so thankful for every morsel of food and loving we gave him.  He took to me and cowered with Ronnie which shows which sex must have mistreated him.  We bought him a rawhide bone  he devoured and he learned to sit instead of jumping  when he wanted to be petted. He is good with the grand kids   They wanted to walk the trails so Ronnie told him to go with them. He did and they said he stayed with them the whole time.

He also likes to drag up dead things and roll on in them and chew the bones.  Once he was so proud of himself he came bouncing toward me with that grin on his face to give me something dead. I threw up one finger  hollering, "NO!"  He dropped it and Ronnie had to remove it to the woods although it was back the next morning.  I had the bright idea of buying rawhide bones and maybe he would quit bringing us gifts. Remembering how he loved the first rawhide bone we gave him I found him lying under my new ride.  I called him to me.  He looked at me like I was interrupting his nap (I was); but he grudgingly came to me.  I showed him the raw hide bone.  He sniffed and looked at me.  WOULD NOT EVEN TAKE IT! I said, "Are you kidding me! You are not going to take it?" Yes, I did.  He just sat down and looked at me.  It was a flavored one, too.   I pitched it across the yard thinking he would go get it. It laid there a day and half until another dog came through and took it.  Spoiled rotten and has taken things for granted where he was once thankful for every little thing.

Remember those times? When you were first saved or we see Him do something really special in our lives?  Yeah, me too. How thankful we were!  Then we start focusing on day to day things.  Things we want to do and what we want.  Just like Trespass we may choose to drag dead things into our lives rather than the living Word.  We may dwell on dead things, also.  Rolling around in our minds the woes in our lives. Preferring dead thoughts and actions and taking granted those things which have been given to us.   

Then there are the stinky fish. One Hundred Fifty Three of them.  Who counts fish, anyway?  A fisherman.  My dad would call me to tell me how many he caught on any given day; and so did Peter.  One of Ronnie's cousin posted on Facebook  a blog she had read  and it was so timely.  I know I will never be able to write like others;  so I want to share the link.  Take the time to read it if life is stinky right now. It is during the stinky times of our life that we really need to count our blessings. Even more so if our memories are stinky.  If we are busy counting blessing it doesn't matter that the fishy part stinks.  There will be a feast laid out for us.
Blessings and my love to you today.
................Rejoice that your name is written in the Book of Life

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Battlefield and Joy

I've done it again.  I haven't been posting.  My excuse...we took a hard life blow in the gut, the emotions, our spirit and soul.  In the beginning, it took faith alone to make myself crawl out of the bed and drop to my knees before Him or just put one foot in front of another. It has been a battle set before me to win.  We are more than conquerors rather we feel like it or not.  I've watched how He has gone before us every minute of everyday.  Placing people in position that I barely know or have not seen in years. I've been amazed they would even remember who we were.  There is so much I want to share but won't.  I have been writing in a journal the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Scriptures galore.  Every detail.  I stand in awe what God will do when we take our hands off and let Him be God.

Trust.  I always thought I trusted Him.  Then that day comes when you receive  the phone call.  The one you thought you might get but deep down wanting it to turn out anyway but the way it had gone down. Earlier in the day we had received another phone call that could have potential to wreck us; so now is the time the rubber meets the road. Again.  We've all had life trials where we have to trust beyond any other time in our lives. In reading "Beautiful Battlefields" by Bo Stern she reminded me every battle we have been in prepares me for the next one.  The more intense one.  She reminded me I had  been born for such a time as this and God was in the business of saving and helping people.  When we are done with this battle God will use it to do just that.  Helping people.  She reminded me that people are drawn to us not because we carry a bible, go to church, or seem to have perfect lives; but because they have watched us do battle.  So, it was time for me to take my hands off and quit begging and start praising Him.  It was time to trust Him with all that was in me no matter what His plan.  Therein lies the problem.  Fear of what He would allow to accomplish His plan.  When I took my hands off that untied His so joy returned & peace reigned.  Tears?  They still come and go. Pain?  Still there. Fear? Cast down. The unknown is still daunting but not destroying. My heart?  Examining it daily and asking Him to show it to me. Several surgeries have taken place and I expect more in my future.

Having finished a bible in plan in the You Version Bible online I was scrolling through the topical plans when I came across Holy  Emotions written by Carol McLeod.  I highly  recommend it as well as the book I mentioned above.  I could feel God's tangible presence when I saw the title and took it as my cue to do it. I find it amusing I had never noticed it before.  The plan was so good I ordered the book "Holy Estrogen" which I am only about half way through at this time.  (Guys, you would understand your women better if you read the book but the You  Version is geared to all.)  She recounted the story of Esther and her Uncle Mordecai.  Remember when he receives the news of the horrid future that was planned for the Jewish people? He puts on sackcloth and ashes and goes through town wailing and then the verse flew off the page at me. I knew where she was going before my eyes could get there.  "He (Mordecai) went as far as the king's gate, for no one was to enter the king's gate clothed in sackcloth." "Esther 4:2  

I miss my dad so much but if he were here he would be telling me to get that sackcloth off and to "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name." Ps. 100:4  And that is where Mrs. McLeod was heading and I knew it so very deep down I knew it was coming.  Honestly, through it all even with the sackcloth I felt His presence from the first phone call. He does want us to voice our pain to Him but I also knew I couldn't keep wailing; not if, I wanted His joy and peace.

Later I was reminded when our two younger daughters were with us at my in-laws who lived in the country.  They had walked down the road to a neighbor who had horses.  When they approached the fence to pet one of the horses he stuck his head through the barbed wire and took hold of   Daughter number 3's t shirt and began pulling her through the fence.  Daughter number two grabbed Daughter number three around the waist  digging her feet into the ground pulling her sister away from the fence.  I hope you can see the mental picture as one is pulling away from the fence and the horse has dug in pulling the other direction.  Somehow she was able to save her sister from being pulled through the fence but the t shirt was never the same again. I asked Daughter number three why she didn't raise her arms and slip out of the t shirt  She said, Are you crazy? I wasn't going to have to walk home without a shirt on!"  I looked at her and said, "So you would rather be dragged through a barbed wired fence rather than take the shirt off?"  It was an affirmative.

So many of us will not raise our hands in praise and slip out of our sackcloth.  We would rather be drug through the barbed wire fence of life that will scar us.  We will carry those scars and show them and wail rather than slipping out of the sackcloth and entering His gates with Thanksgiving. If my earthly dad were here I could tell him I have slipped out of the sackcloth. I'm sure the tendency to slip the sackcloth back on will always be there but His joy and peace is so much more appealing.   I don't want to be any other place but in His presence and He knows it. I  It is my hope that if life has handed you the mourning sackcloth attire, you will slip out and join me in His presence. Spend some time with your Daddy God today.  You will never regret leaving the sackcloth in the ashes.

Beautiful Battlefields
Can be purchased at Amazon or Barnes and Noble
Holy Estrogen
Harrison House Publishing
Carol McLeod

You Version Bible
topical plans
Holy Emotions by Carol McLeod

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

That Grey Matter Between The Ears



First of all, I want to ask forgiveness from those of you who have read the few things I’ve written in the past and asked when I would post again. I’ve already asked my Daddy God for forgiveness.   I think I got overwhelmed with life and the pressure to produce blogs that would speak to you instead of letting God do all the speaking.  Now there is a chance you may be overwhelmed with blogs that will come out of my not writing. J

This week Ronnie and I will attend funerals number six and seven of the New Year.  We have gone to at least one funeral for the last six weeks.  Please don’t tell me it is because we are getting old!  I would rather think it is because our Daddy God has blessed us with so many people we love and care about deeply and vice versa. Also, there has been a lot of stuff happening in our lives that I have had to remind that gray matter between my ears to keep praising the One who has everything in control.  He sees darkness and light as the same. You know pain isn’t always in the death of someone we care for but in day to day living.

One thing I did this year was to start journaling each day and making it a gratitude journal.  Maybe you would like to start one yourself because it helps to stay focus on Him and what He does each day.  Yet, the best way to stay focused is to focus on the Word each day.  I do short bible readings each day but I also do word searches.  I can thank my mother for giving me the love of words.  I might not be the sharpest pencil in the box but words do intrigue me.  Several months back I started on a journey of each word of the fruit of the spirit.  I think not it just happened that I’ve been on the word ‘peace’ for awhile when everything started to get murky in life.  I would like to share with you my favorite verse for my life right now. For me my favorite verses changes as life changes. I like the following version with all the thees and thous but will use another translation later. 


“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee.  Trust ye in Jehovah for ever, even Jehovah, is an everlasting rock.”  Is. 26: 3-4  ASV


            Perhaps, I like this version because my Daddy God is referred to as Jehovah.  The God of Israel who we see performs all kinds of miracles for the nation of Israel.  Perhaps, it reminds me he will perform miracles for me, also.  I like that He is called the everlasting rock which simply means He is my everlasting strength. 

Perfect peace! I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want perfect peace.  I find myself calling it perfected peace.  It can only be perfected if my mind is stayed on Him and He gave me a visual illustration of perfect peace this weekend.  Sunday, Peyton and Gracean wanted to come home with us after church.  Softball season has started for their dad and they had been at a tournament the day before. At one point, I looked in the back seat to see Gracean staring off in space.  I told Ronnie she was in la la land and it wouldn’t be long before she’d be asleep.  Turning around again she had closed her eyes and a few moments later the mouth was wide open ready to catch flies.  She was out like a light with her head rolling from side to side then on her chest and then rolling back onto the back of the seat.

Would it not be nice to go to sleep like that all the time?  I say all the time because Ronnie says I can do the same thing at times.  J 

We found the reason she could fall asleep and stay asleep was because she had no worries.  She felt secure.  She wouldn’t be able to tell you why she could fall asleep as she does.  It is just her existence. It is her life.   She has not experienced life with the hurts of others, grief, disappointment, fears, or rejections. You could fill in the blank.  Go ahead fill your blank.

Isn’t it what our Daddy God is telling us in this verse?  He can keep us in perfect peace if our mind is stayed on Him; but not if our minds are playing our favorite game of ‘what if’.  I bet you are good at this game our enemy has played with you.  I know my record has scored high in the past. I still try to play it from time to time.   What if this happens?  What if such and such doesn’t happen.  What if I had done or not done…..  Then there is the blame game or the control game.  The rules are so simple:  just don’t think on what victories Jehovah has done for you in other circumstances. In circumstances only He can be given glory.  Don’t remember He is our refuge, fortress, our everlasting rock or strength.  Don’t praise Him, worship Him and think only of our circumstances; not that He is in them.

Every translation I looked in used the term ‘stayed’.  Granted I didn’t look at all the translations the wonder of technology allows me to see; but I did look at a lot.   First of all, stayed reminded me of Lamaze.  I had to discipline my mind to know the pain was there for a short time and not try to ignore it away or grit my teeth through the pain.  It was a fact my body was hurting every few minutes then every few seconds until a bundle of joy emerged from the pain.  In Lamaze, you are told to have a focal point to concentrate on while doing the breathing techniques you were suppose to have practiced before labor racks your body with pain.  With one pregnancy we were racing through the night to the hospital when Ronnie passed a car in front of us whose tail lights I was using as my focal point.  I realized I had to find a focal point that could not be moved because when I complained he hollered he wasn’t delivering a baby! I then used a light on the dash board.   Second pregnancy we did a refresher class in Lamaze but I didn’t practice, after all I knew what I was suppose to do and what was expected. 

Life happens.  Faith isn’t faith if we don’t go through pain and learn to have our focal point-our mind stayed- on Jehovah. Our minds won’t stay on Him if we haven’t practiced our breathing techniques (focus on the Word) when (not if) life racks our minds with pain. Remember when I didn’t practice my Lamaze because I knew it.  Well, that labor was harder because I had trouble relaxing and had to concentrate harder on what I was suppose to do.  If we don’t keep His Word fresh in our mind (no matter how well we know it), we will struggle with the pain. Know that “….His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Ps. 30:5   It does not matter if we bring on the weeping or someone or something else does; if our mind is stayed on Him, then joy will emerge from the pain.

I don’t know what the Capitol One commercials are now but they used to ask what is in your wallet.  I’d like to ask what is on your mind.  What is your focal point?  Be careful what you dwell on.  Like those tail lights some focal points will change or leave.  Our Daddy God will never be moved.  Let me go

back to my love of words where I found the biblical definition for stayed is the following.  “a primitive root; to prop (literally or figuratively); reflexively, to lean upon or take hold of (in a favorable or unfavorable sense):--bear up, establish,

(up-)hold, lay, lean, lie hard, put, rest self, set self, stand fast, stay (self), sustain.

I promised another translation and it is from the Amplified Bible.  Maybe you would like to write it down or write it down from your translation to have with you.


“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind (both its inclination and its character) is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in you.  So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, leans on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock (the Rock of Ages).”  IS. 26:3-4 Amplified Bible