Deliberate or Default

 

 

 

“I’m NEVER gunna do that to my kids when I’m a parent?”

“Agh!  I’m Never doing that when I’m old.”

There’s plenty of things we observe and/or experience that we

don’t want to imitate someday. But just saying so will NOT

keep us from doing it.  If we don’t have a deliberate plan to do

otherwise, we’ll most likely slip right into default mode &

do exactly what we’ve seen/experienced.

So, what are the things you DON’T want to do someday?

What, how & when will you replace them with?

 

 

Busted out the Old One

Wednesday morning while I was spending time with Jesus

I grabbed the “old” Bible that my parents had given me for

Christmas when I was  junior in high school. I was just

looking up something in that particular version (I’d already been

reading The Message that morning.)   A couple things screamed

at me! (not literally, but close!)

 

I’ve always tried to

write the date next to a

verse if I highlight it,

but for some reason this

really grabbed my attention.

This verse, pictured left,

from Psalm 26 is about

loving the house where God lives. It’s dated 12-29-85…

that’s Christmas time my Senior year. In the margin I’d written,

“His glory dwells in me!”

This was the beginning of my understanding that because JESUS lives in

me & has possession of my life, I can like myself… and that I’m worthwhile.

HE loves me… so confidence and courage can fill me & spill out of me.

I cried tears of joy & gratefulness to my Savior, Jesus! I prayed this

truth for my children… and that they’d understand it much quicker

than I did… I think they do already!

 

A few verses later in

Psalm 27 I’d

written similar notes…

and it was dated 4/20/86.

That’s exactly 25 years ago

this month! That was springtime of my senior year. God was driving that truth deeper into my heart.

I cried again. Thankful tears. Thinking of how my life has changed since

then… rejoicing that the insecurities of an 18 year old from Colorado are

not holding on to the heart of a lady who lives in Detroit… pondering

how huge & wonderful JESUS is… and for the joy of knowing

Him better each day!

I’m so grateful that I busted out the “old” Bible.

HIS WORD is alive & always relevant.

 

 

Observations of a News Junkie

I’m not really a News Junkie.

However, since Sept. 11, 2001 I’ve watch the news every morning.

Seven days a week.

If I ran into one of the morning news anchor

people from Detroit’s Fox 2 News or the Nat’l

Fox & Friends morning news, I’d be tempted to

run over & hug them… cuz it totally feels like I know them.

Ha! (Ok, I wouldn’t really… cuz that’s creepy!)

Anyway… there’s a few observations & lessons I’ve learned from my years

of continually watching the morning news.

– Does anyone else notice the little dial that Kam Carmen has

in her hand each morning at the beginning of the 6AM broadcast?

What IS that thing?

-Do news anchors get memos to make sure their clothing

won’t clash with the other anchors?

– Why must professional woman news anchors wear clothing that

does not completely cover their cleavage?

– When a reporter says “Also, too” … that drives me crazy!

– When the anchors tease each other occasionally … I like that!

-Cheesy joke or puns are OK with me, as long as it’s not making

fun of a serious/tragic news story. (They don’t usually this anyway.)

-Have you noticed that when it switches from one anchor to the

next they don’t usually comment on the story that was just mentioned?

It goes to show that we don’t always have to have something to say

about everything.


But here’s the big question:

When a guest is on the show it’s because they have been invited

and have something to say. So why then do the anchors and/or

reporters do most of the talking/question asking?  The guests often

get very little time to actually answer. Then the reporter will get

that look on their face that says, “Ok, hurry cuz I have 2 more things

to say and we only have 30 more seconds.” That bugs me cuz it’s

disrespectful to the guest & implies that the host/reporter has more

importance or more knowledge than the guest.  Hmm

We know that face. We’re familiar with those actions. People

do that to us all the time. They ask a question but stop listening

before we finish the first sentence.

As a matter of fact, I know that situation so well because I’ve

done it to other people.  I’ve taught my face to stay focused

on the one talking, but my brain isn’t so well trained.  Thoughts

wonder. Questions arise. Sometimes they’re totally unrelated.

Rangle in those wondering thoughts, Netta, and listen.

REALLY listen.

As a church leaders we have tendency to assume that what we have

to say is more important & can often ignore what’s being said cuz

we’re busy thinking about what we’re gunna say next.  ICK.

JESUS values each person and cares about them. When I listen

to them I’m showing them they are worthwhile to Jesus. (He died for

them, remember?) Therefore, they are valuable to me, too.

Each time I get slightly annoyed at a news anchor’s impatience I’ll

be reminded to LISTEN, and truly pay attention… and to listen

carefully to that  quiet whisper speaking instructions into

my ear, too. (But that could be whole other topic, huh?)

What do you think?

 

The “No Blog” Blog

 

What?

No blog?

 

Here’s what I mean…

and why…

 

 

Jesus.

While reading Mark 3, I just had to stop & praise Him for being so

kind & patient, even when other people must’ve driven Him crazy.

(The very people He made, who then questioned His every move & word)

[box]Only those who are truly confident can display real humility.[/box]

Sigh.

I’m far from humble… especially at home.

So I must be far from confident.

Sigh… again.

Then, the conversation went something like this…

“Lord Jesus, confidence usually alludes me most

at home cuz I’m often frustrated about “always feeling behind”

and having an ever-growing ‘to-do’ list.

I just cannot do everything I’m supposed to.”

“Then what will you cut out?”

“Well, um.. I like everything! (except cleaning house… can I cut that? hee hee)

Seriously, Lord, what am I supposed to do? Please. Please instruct me.”

“Blogs.”

“Blogs? My blog? What blogs?”

“The many “Mom-Homeschooler-Craft-Decorating-Homemaker”

type blogs that you subscribe to via your email…

Stop reading those… until at least Easter.”

“Um, OK. Why?”

They take up your time, attention and make you feel that you’re

not living up to some standard. They make you feel like you’re

failing. Stop comparing yourself. Stop reading them for a while.

Fast them.

(sigh… the pleasant, happy kind)  “Yes, Lord!”

And, also… make more eye contact with your kids.

Look at them. Seeing their faces reminds you of how much

you love them & that makes being patient much easier.


(whipping tears) “Yes, Thank You, Jesus. Thank You.

Oh, I love You so much!”

 

 

 

Said Too Much?

Did I say more than I should’ve?

No.

Did I say more than I wanted to?

Yes.

You see, last week I posted something on my Twitter that is more

than I ever say about a specific topic… TMJ

and it’s caused me pain for over 15 years.

Lots of people have this. It’s not embarrassing.

It’s just that I don’t talk about it much.

Complaining bothers me.

And I don’t want to be a complainer!

But last week God’s Word kept pointing at something inside of me

it sickened me… and God continued to bring up… pride.

ick

Pride has various forms.

My problem?  Somehow taking pride in not letting people

know that I’m in pain… being tough enough to tough it out.

There’s nothing wrong with “not blabbing” about your situations…

that’s probably wise. But finding satisfaction or a form of

accomplishment in NOT telling it cuz it makes ya feel tough

well, we can see where that got me… confession.

First, repenting of pride & asking  Jesus to forgive me.

Secondly, tweeting about it… and now having to add a little more info

so that my pride is dashed.

If this is completely confusing to you.. that’s OK.

Just know that NO one is tough ALL the TIME!

That everyone needs prayer!

And pride creeps into the strangest areas… so beware…

and be quick to repent & make it right.

There. I’ve said it.

Don’t expect me to complain about it… but it’s no longer a secret, either.

Jesus is totally able to heal me in a second… but He also can use this

weird jaw problem to form my character.

And I’m OK with that, too!

I love JESUS!

Not Expected

Last night some sweet young ladies from our church came
over to help me decorate our house for Christmas.
This has been a tradition since the start of my “grown-up” life…
an all-girl night of putting up the tree, eating cookies, laughing, etc..

They were all nothing but adorable, helpful & sweet.

But I felt poopy.
But I wasn’t sick.
Truthfully, I was completely disappointed in myself.

-My kids were arguing with each other & acting like people I didn’t know.
What kind of a mom am I anyway?

– My gorgeous historic house deserved beautiful holiday decor…
and I don’t have much… and I’m lacking the skills to do anything with
it even if I did have more.
What kind of homemaker am I anyway?

– The lights were hung uneven, so the top of the tree is dark-ish.
It looks kinda silly. Who strung those lights?  Oh… me… sigh
 Apparently I can’t even do the simplest tasks of decorating.

– etc….etc…

This morning in prayer I pathetically told Jesus how I felt
bummed out… for no reason.

Oh, there’s a reason!


Really, Lord? What?

Expectations.


Huh? Oh… yeah. You’re right. (Like Jesus needs me to tell Him, that! ha)

Sadly enough, I’d let my “ideas of what it SHOULD be” cloud my
gratefulness and it robbed me of the joy of the actual moment.

Expectations keep us thinking about self… ick.

Forgive me, Jesus, for thinking about myself and what I think
things should be. 
That’s so NOT like You. 
It’s NOT the joy of CHRISTMAS.
I refuse to think of myself.
JESUS!!!!!

A Strange Fast

The first week of every month our church has fasting & extra prayer.

Sometimes God asks me to fast:
– sweets
– carbs
– Diet Coke (Oh, that’s a tough one)
– a particular meal every day
– etc…

This month was different!
One evening BEFORE the Week of fasting our family was sitting
in the dining room & I asked my husband, “What color in that
 ‘inspiration painting’ over there do you think I should choose to
paint the walls of this room?”

His reply:  “Please, can we stop painting & redo-ing things &
just live for a while.”

Ouch!

It was at that point that God asked me to fast…

ALL things associated with home decorating & improvements…
which included-
– HGTV (tough, cuz that’s really the only TV I enjoy)
– Home magazines of any kind
– All decorating blog sites & websites
– All e-newsletters regarding improvements or projects
– conversation & thoughts about “what project to do next, etc”

The result…
I had NO idea how much of my time & energy has been spent
on this.  All week long I was catching myself starting to think
about all this… numerous times a day. Numerous.
Now, we just moved, and it’s OK to improve your
home… but I was thinking about it ALL the time!

My brain was constantly pondering, deciding, planning,
calculating, etc… it was ridiculous!

So now…
well, I still have lotsa things I want/need to do with our home,
but I’m gunna put “obsession” on a self, lower the number
of things I read, keep my thoughts in check… focus on what
is lasting!

My home is TOOL in God’s hand.
I work for God!
I don’t work for my house.

In the OT, when God blessed people they’d sometimes
turn that blessing into a shrine & worship it instead of the
Lord who gave them the blessing. When I read that I think,
“Wow, how dumb is that?”
Then I started doing it.

I will not do that.
Thank you, Jesus (and Chilly) for pointing it out to me!
I serve JESUS!

Don’t listen to THAT girl

You know the girl…
the one that always seem to have some crazy story
that you just know is NOT true.
You sorta nod,
smile,
squirm
and look for a way outa the conversation cuz
she’s just saying crazy stuff & you don’t know how to respond..
and you just cannot listen to another second of her nonsense.
You know.
Yes, you KNOW that girl ….
but the problem is, you actually listen to a girl just like her
each morning while you’re getting dressed,
when you’re working out,
while you’re shopping,
when you’re with a group of other ladies.
In those times, YOU LISTEN!
cuz that girl talking to you is the same girl
that looks at you every morning in the mirror.
She’s talkin’ crazy…
and you’ve been listen to her…
and believing her.
Don’t.