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Archive for the ‘Thoughts about God…’ Category

Have a friend in Edmonton, Alberta, who operates a charming little jewelery business called Lilac Lane (check out her page on Facebook). Her summer collection featured a little necklace with a pendant inscribed “Keep Calm and Carry On.” This motto, utilized by the British government in 1939 to raise morale during WWII, is beginning to be a creed of mine. (I had to have the necklace, and it arrived in the mail today – hence this post.)

Think about how our society glorifies  “drama queens” and “divas.” The paraphernalia inscribed with those titles could (and should) fill more than one landfill. Since when have we been taught that it is womanly to overreact and whine and pitch fits when things don’t go the way we want them?

What about when we’re not having tantrums over things not going our way, but just being bowled over by life? Have you seen someone get completely carried away into drama over something that is not even happening to them? I’m not talking about compassion or empathy here – I’m talking about histrionics – deliberate displays of emotion simply to draw attention to oneself . It is SOOO unbecoming!

This saying reminds  me of the disciples’ drama over the tempest that blew up on the Sea of Galilee while Jesus was asleep. Matthew 8:25 says,
“And his disciples came to him and awoke him, saying, Lord save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”  When I read about Jesus and the disciples, it seems like they were often fretting about something – who was going to be the greatest, who healed whom, how the money should be spent, or the fact that Jesus was surrounded by children or unsavory women…and Jesus spent a great portion of his time calming them and the other people around him.

How can we say we have Him with us, while acting all the while as though He is not?

Now, I realize that some people are more easily overwhelmed than others, and that everyone has different coping skills. That’s fine. I understand that. Nor am I professing that I never struggle to be calm. (Why else do you think I bought the necklace! I need the reminder, too!) But when drama over an issue totally eclipses coping and surrendering it by faith to the Lord we claim to trust, we have a problem. It is neither womanly nor dignified. A childish lack of coping skills are what I expect from children, not women who have been through a few things and claim to walk with the Lord. The drama does not become you, ladies.  You bring only negative attention to yourself and shame to your testimony. Please, keep calm and carry on!

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This World is not Conclusion-

A Species stands beyond-

Invisible, as Music-

But positive, as Sound-

It beckons, and it baffles-

Philosophy-don’t know-

And through a Riddle, at the last-

Sagacity, must go-

To guess it, puzzles scholars-

To gain it, Men have borne

Contempt of Generations

And Crucifixion, shown-

Faith slips-and laughs, and rallies-

Blushes, if any see-

Plucks at a twig of Evidence-

And asks a Vane, the way-

Much Gesture, from the Pulpit-

Strong Hallelujahs roll-

Narcotics cannot still the Tooth

That nibbles at the soul-

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I climbed a tree on Saturday. I was trying to get some old dead branches out of my magnolia. My six-year old son was vastly impressed. I’d forgotten how much I always enjoyed climbing trees. I’d also forgotten how grubby one gets mucking about in trees, and was reminded of the poem I read as a child:

…Every time I climb a tree                                                                                                       

I scrape a leg

Or skin a knee

And every time I climb a tree

I find some ants

Or dodge a bee

And get the ants

All over me….

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Secrecy

You know, some things are just too personal to talk about. Talking about them cheapens them. Sometimes the Lord does something so precious for you, and when you try and tell someone about it, it just comes out sounding lame.  A personal pet peeve of mine is when someone posts something overly spiritual in their facebook status – the same place we talk about the commonplace and the frivolous. It just loses all its impact when it’s placed in a status line.

So is it with the relationship between a husband and a wife. Some things are just too personal to talk about, and talking about them cheapens them. You just can’t explain some things.

There is most certainly a time and a place for sharing something that God has done for you. But those secret things that He does for you, the ones that  impact you on the deepest level…those are for you and Him alone. They’re sacred. So, don’t try to explain them, or even talk about them. They make up your secret relationship with Him.

Note: I love this thought expressed by St.John of the Cross in his poem “Dark Night of the Soul” in all its translations, and sung beautifully in two different versions, by Loreena McKennitt and Steve Bell.

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These songs are my current top picks…some are new, some are old…

Holy Spirit, Have Your Way –  Leeland

 

This is a song from Leeland’s latest Album “Love is on the Move”

This song says:
As I lay down my life, and pick up my cross

What a joy it is to give my life away to You

All that I need, and all that I seek is You here with me

Holy Spirit, have Your way in me….

 

Heaven Song – Phil Wickham

I really love songs that make me think about heaven, and Heaven Song is a good one. So is Higher Throne by Keith and Krysten Getty.

Holy Roar – Christy Nockels

Bless the Lord – Laura Story

This is the best song I’ve heard in years. Just love it.  I’m living this one every day… it says

You give and take away, for my good

For who am I to say what I need

For You alone see the hidden parts of me that need to be stripped away

And as You begin to refine, I’m learning to let go and rely

On One Who walks with me, as hard as it may seem,

You’re teaching me all the while to say

Bless the Lord, oh my soul…

Different – Jamie Slocum and Mollye Rees

Restore Me – J Moss

Just As I Am – Nicole Nordeman

Some great music, people! Hope you enjoy it!

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I’ve been reading Lloyd Douglas’s books Magnificent Obsession and Dr.Hudson’s Secret Journal again lately. I don’t remember how old I was when I read them the first time – probably in my early twenties. I read someone else’s copies, so I didn’t own them until just recently. I know these are considered old-fashioned, and perhaps getting obscure. But the fact that Magnificent Obsession ended up selling 3 million copies in its day should speak volumes. Incidently, I spent a lot of this past fall reading Matthew 6 – over and over and over again. I remember really being touched by these books, and reading them now that I’m a little older, I have realized how very important the ideals they demonstrate are in living a fulfilled life. That I had spent so much time on Matthew 6 recently only cemented the impression I had gotten from the books. These novels deal with the practical applications of Matthew 6, and while the outcomes of its application may not be as cut-and-dried or as earthly as the novel would indicate, the concept remains one to be seriously pondered and diligently practiced. I’m not going into great detail because I really want you to read both Magnificent Obsession and Matthew 6  (which is a portion of the Sermon on the Mount that is particularly life-changing in its application). Whatever you do, please don’t wimp out and watch the Magnificent Obsession movie – it’s enjoyable enough but lacks all of the purpose of the book.  Read Matthew 6. Read the book. Read Matthew 6 again. Apply.  Presto!

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33

cupcakeI turn 34 in about an hour and a half. For some unknown reason, I feel as though 33 in particular has been a year of self-assessment. When I turned 33 last October, I remember pondering the fact that Christ had done all He needed to do by the age of 33….and I wondered how I was measuring up….Not in any way to compare my life with His, but more to wonder how I was doing with regards to what I was placed here to accomplish. 33 was definitely a year of milestones – I celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary, and graduated from nursing school. I started full time work for the first time in 10 years, and started my second child in kindergarten here at home. It was inevitable at this point in my life that I would deliberately look at myself and consider my priorities. There are certain personal goals I have set for myself  – attributes, skills, and milestones that I would like to attain. I have set goals for my 30s, 40s, and 50s, that, should the Lord will, I trust will be attained. Beyond that, I know the person that I would like to become, and continuously assess to ensure that I am on the right track – at least as best as I can tell! So, at 33, there are some things I have decided…

I have decided to stop beating myself out trying to be close friends with people who aren’t interested. It takes too much out of me, and they don’t even notice my struggle. So, this year, I gave up on a relationship that I had been working on for 10 years. I honestly felt as though I was no closer to that person than I had been upon meeting her 10 years ago, and felt that way too much energy and emotion had been expended based merely on the expectation that we should be friends.  I am glad to be able to wave and say hello when we meet without feeling that need to go out of my way – she’s just not interested.The corollary to this realization is that I am now free to expend that energy cultivating new relationships.

You know, change is a funny thing. I really hope that in many ways, I am not the person that I was ten years ago. I know for a fact that in many ways, I am not. On the other hand, intrinsically, I’m still the same person I always have been. What makes some parts of us static and other parts dynamic? Despite the changes I like to see in myself, I am finding it counterproductive to expect change in other people. So, I am trying to be more tolerant of those who don’t change in ways that I think they should, and hoping that they are tolerant of me when I am stuck in a similar rut.

Just between you and I, I can be a little paranoid, and have a tendency to take things more personally than they were meant. To hear my Dad tell it, this comes from his side of the family via him and his mother, my Grandma Yvonne. It is only now, at 33, that I have realized how deeply this runs (and how much of it may be attributed to a sense of responsibility for everything and everyone), and am trying to overcome it. My husband has been instrumental in the process of becoming aware of this lovely trait…Thank you, darling (I think!).

I’m also learning some thing about complaining. When you’re a SAHM, you may not be exposed to very much complaining other than your own, which, of course, you feel is perfectly justified. Go to work! Then you will hear complaining like you’ve never heard it before! Being the Libran that I am, I feel the unconscious need to balance everyone around me – so the more complaining I hear, the less I feel I can complain! This is VERY good for me!

There are so many things I want to be and do! Somtimes I despair because there is only one too-short life for me to live. The summary of what I have learned this year is that if I lower my expectations for others while increasing them for myself, relationships are better. I am more contented than I have ever been…I have such a long way to go – maybe  at 66 my self-assessment will be more reassuring…

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