Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wonder Woman

I have been having some major league epiphanies this week. I mean major. It's not everyday that I wake up and have one of those "ahhhhhhhhh" moments where I hear large choirs singing ethereal music, but this was definitely a week for one. You remember Wonder Woman? You know, she could bend iron (never steel or titanium, though) and deflect bullets with her special cuffs, lift men by their collars and toss them aside and she always seemed to never come undone from her highly patriotic superhero swim suit no matter how many times she had to knock someone out? Well, it finally dawned on me that I thought I could be like Wonder Woman. I thought all I had to do was be strong and sure and do EVERYTHING to make things run right. I am NOT Wonder Woman. Me and God have been having several fights about who is to be in charge and how to go about running my life. Obviously, God pointed out my "superhero" weaknesses and showed me that my way of running things and thinking is flawed when He is not the first factor in the equation. I am a writer. I know that and God has shown me that. I want to write books right now yesterday. I want to continue to be a stay-at-home mom. I want to travel all over the country and then the world telling people about what God has done for me. I want to be the best wife for my husband. I have many other gifts and ideals and plans. These things are all noble and good, but none of them can happen or will happen as long as I try to force what I want to happen my way and in my time. One of Wonder Woman's flaws was that she was conflicted about being a "regular" person while trying to save the world as an undercover superhero. The problem was she wasn't just a "regular" person. She was a princess with royal responsibilities and duties with her first submission to the needs of her kingdom. God wants me to submit to the needs and will of His kingdom first and then all the other things will be added to to me. When I have totally given myself to what the higher calling is, then although I will face difficulties, I won't be on my own. I will be able to accomplish the desires of my heart and I will have the back up of all heaven on my side. If Wonder Woman had submitted to the will of her kingdom is it not possible that the citizens would have enlisted and gotten on her bandwagon? Would they not have fought with all diligence and ferocity for their beloved ruler? How many battles have we both fought and suffered through on our own that could have easily been over before it started with the help of the kingdom?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Blogosphere Throwback #2

Saturday, July 26, 2008
Lots To Think About
Wow! It's been a year since I've posted on this blog and I am not as deeply ashamed of myself as I was for the other blog I have that I have not posted on in TWO years, but I am ashamed nonetheless. I was looking back over some of the things I wrote to myself to unknown others and I couldn't help but smile at how deep thoughts can run when you allow yourself to be open and free about what it is you feel and think. I've had so many life changes in the last year that I don't know if I actually processed them all appropriately. A new job come and gone, a new baby, a new kind of spouse (same guy, different behavior), a new outlook on where I'm going and how, and the realization that I just might be a little older and possibly a little wiser. I'm finding that not everything I want in life is really "it." I thought I wanted two children and that was all I could handle. Amazing how the stretched mind and body can be much more flexible than previously believed. I thought I needed a job in order for my husband to respect me and to give me the proper support. Isn't it something when you add more to your plate and discover that what you thought you wanted and what you actually want and get are remarkably different. I handled having a job and raising two and a half children the best way I could. I felt ashamed when I didn't succeed as I thought I should have and wondered if I was destined to "just" be a good mom and stay out of the gladiator's arena called career. But time at home with my three boys has proven a mighty healer and wonderful deliverer. The fact is, I AM a good mom. I AM a good employee. I AM a good wife. And even (more like especially) when I'm not trying to be; I AM a good person. None of those labels define me in and of themselves, yet without them I cannot be myself. This year is a very interesting one for me. I plan to do what I have always wanted to do. I'm going to write: More and more, day by day. Pretty soon I hope to get published somewhere. Even if not forever as a career, I want to do it just so that I can say I did it and I can do it. Even as I say that, in my heart I know I am a writer and if it were my only choice, I'd feel like I'm getting the better end of the deal. Anyway, Look up!

Valley Girl

Yea, though I walk through the valley and the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me. . . Psalm 23: 4. Have you ever noticed that for every mountain there is always a valley below? I never really thought much about it until now. I used to live in Tennessee and one of my favorite pastimes was going up the Cherohala Skyway, a long mountainous scenic highway that overlooked the the Tellico River valley in Tennessee and parts of N. Carolina. The view is just so breathtaking and at certain times of the year the wild concord grapes would be filling out and the scent of passion fruit would be everywhere (yes, I said passion fruit). Other times, the valley would be ablaze with reds, yellows and motley hues indicating the approaching winter. I've had some pretty awesome adventures riding up and down that highway. The mountain always evoked a sense of reverence and awe in me and the valley always seemed to have an air of mystery. The valley was mysterious to me because no matter what time of year it was, I could never see what was really down below as long as I was on the mountain. As soon as I would descend down into the valley everything would come into sharp focus: the campgrounds, the small towns, and little cities. It hit me like a brick: No one really lives on the mountain. There may be a house speckled here and there or even a resort or two, but all real living and interaction takes place in the valley. The valley is where we work. The valley is where we eat. The valley is where our homes, families and friends are. The valley is also where our troubles wait for us. There are floods in the valley. There are extreme storms in the valley. There's crime and even despair in the valley. We love to escape to the mountain and forget about what is down below and I think we should at times. But I now think I understand what King David was trying to say: Valley living is the norm not the exception. Oswald Chambers was spot on when he said that we cannot stay on the mountain because our view of reality is distorted. The valley is covered by the multitude of tree tops and the view is slanted at an angle. We can only look down upon the valley. The only way to know what is really happening in the valley is to actually be in it. As Christians, no matter how close to God we get we are still valley dwellers so long as we are on this earth. The mountain is that mind-blowing experience with God. God reveals His glory to us and He proclaims Who He is: The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin and that will in no wise clear the guilty. . . We quickly recognize how small we are. We need to go up into the mountain and see God's awesomeness from time to time to remind us of Who and what we have in Him. We need the mountain so that we don't become so engrossed with valley living and forget that the valley is not our final home. Yet, we also need the valley. We need the valley because without it we wouldn't know just how much we need God. We would forget that it is He who hath made us and not we ourselves. We wouldn't have a way to grow and be strengthened in our walk with Him and we wouldn't see a need to cling to Him. We don't have to be afraid of the valley. Though there is evil and trouble all around, God is with us. He is not just the God of the Mountain. He is everywhere and not limited to when we feel good or limited by our down times. He is Who He is. I like knowing that I can live in the valley because God has my back. Like the Good, strong and gentle Shepherd He is, He will walk with me through the valley and fight back the evil with his rod and staff. I am comforted in knowing that though I must go through the valley the valley doesn't have to go through me.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blogosphere Throwback #1

Monday, May 01, 2006
I Could Use A Drink
Wait. This isn't me. I want to do something! But is there really any way a thirsty-thirty-something-parent-of-two-and-spouse-of-one can really find contentment without "contempt"ment? Sometimes I wonder if being dedicated to a cause without consideration of my own desires is okay. I really do ask myself if what I long for on the inside (dreams, hopes, personal goals) is realistic or even necessary. Any one else?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Already Dead

You know what? I love Florida. No, really I do. It is definitely my home and I don't plan on moving until God says I must. But I promise you, If I ever have to see one more Palmetto/Evil-Skull-Capped-Flying-Relative-to-the-cockroach-why-are-you-up-in-MY-house-Dear-God-Where-is-my-husband-when-I-need-him-bug it's already too soon! Um, I don't normally disclose that kind of information to potentially everyone in the world, but let's not front: Everybody has some sort of pest from the outside that keeps working around traps and sprays, and crawling through spaces and places to get into their environment. For some odd reason, that particular bug clan has a secret gateway to MY bathroom. MY bathroom. Did I mention that the gateway is in MY bathroom? They come to the one place I can normally go to have some peace and quiet with out husband and children. The one place I can read, pray, dream, etc. And that poor good-as-dead creature has the un-sense to come in MY bathroom. Uh uhn. No, no. It's on now! Dialing numbers and creating distance between myself and IT "Baby? Um, how soon before you get home from your thing? Huh? What's wrong? Um, nothing really. I just need you (please, please, please) to take care of something for me. . .when you get here. . . please?" Desperate housewife am I! And truth be told (but don't tell my husband I said it) I am the one that usually ends up killing stuff while my husband conveniently loses something in his office. Punk. Seriously though, about that pest thing, I literally cried out to God about it because I didn't want to have that invader in my home another second, but I was too afraid to do anything about it. You wanna know something? God told me what to do. He told me to spray in the bathroom and wait. I raised an eyebrow and looked at Him a little funny but I did it. I didn't even see the bug anymore (I assumed he was lurking in the shadows waiting for me to return) but I sprayed some Ant Killer (Ha! It wasn't even the right spray!) between the open door and I left. I sat on my sofa and I cried out to God a little more about it because my husband wasn't coming anytime soon and I just didn't know what to do about my situation. Little did I know, God was working that thing out while I waited. God's ways are so past finding out. It's a bug ya'll. God took the time to work out the dismissal of a bug. For me. I love a song I heard by Dietrick Haddon called "Love Him Like I Do." It sums up my whole relationship with God. He keeps doing all these totally awesome, yet, teeny weeny things for me like a father does for his baby girl even when they are completely ridiculous. Daddy, kill this bug for me. Daddy, I need your wallet. Daddy, pick me up. Daddy, I want you to serve justice to that company for swindling me out of my college fund. Daddy, I need new clothes. Daddy? And like a father who pities his child, he does just what I need/want even when I know that sometimes those things border on extravagance. Okay, so back to the bug. I was sitting on my sofa and thinking, God, I don't think I can do this by myself. What am I going to do? I can't let that bug run all roughshod over me. It's a bug! Then, God speaks again, "Go to Your bathroom and close the door." I knew that whatever He was sending me back for was actually the moment of truth and sure enough I saw it. That bug was dying and trying to escape and I got my broom. I smote my enemy; for the Lord had delivered it into my hand! Ha! Ha! That's why I love Him like I do, hey! Isn't that also how it is with our adversary, the Accuser of the Brethren? A real pest that belongs on the outside and yet he finds his way in through some little crack or gateway in our homes and our own minds? He then uses it to come in and wreak havoc all over us mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. We have absolutely no way to get rid of him on our own. We just sort of sit in shock or whine to people who can't fight for us until we realize that if we don't find a way to get him out of our homes and lives, he will not only move in but he'll bring his "buddies". He's a bug ya'll. A fly on the wall or a nasty Palmetto, but we don't want to touch him. We recognize that our only hope lies in God. So we cry out to Him and God tells us to apply the weapons of our warfare (What do you have in your hand? The Name and Blood of Jesus, His Spirit, His grace, The Promises and Power of His Word, and His Strength for our weakness). Then all we have to do is sit and wait for His signal. Break the pots and sound the cry (Gideon)! March around 7 times and blow the trumpet (Joshua)! Rise early and go out to battle with the praise team (Jehoshaphat)! All God wants us to do is announce our victory to the enemy, and while we're breaking, and marching, blowing and praising in the beauty of holiness, God is fighting, breaking apart, ambushing and destroying our enemy. We just go in later as the clean-up crew. Hallelujah! God already defeated our enemy, even while we are in the midst of our crying out to Him. Isn't that all the more reason for us to love him like we do?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kids Say The Darndest Things. . .

Ok, I am like so late but I don't have a good excuse really. Anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed the 4th of July and ate lots and lots of grilled stuff what ever that stuff may be: meat, veggies, dessert--it all tastes better seared over open flames! Me and my peeps went to the beach a couple of days ago and my oldest son tickled me purple. He was sitting in the van with semi wet clothes and a ton of sand. We were parked at a grocery store so I told my son to open the door and brush the sand out of his seat. He must have been in deep thought about it because he said, "But Mom, what if someone sees me and thinks I'm sexy?" I was so taken aback my 8-year old's (yeah, he's 8) reply that I couldn't do anything for a moment. I just sorta sat there while I tried to make sure those words actually came from my little genius boy. Then I cracked up. "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?! Are you serious? Open that door and do what I said, boy!" Then, I chuckled a little more because my little baby was serious. It was like he was saying, "Hey, Mom, I'm just saying I don't wanna cause a stir from showing off my awesomeness, you know?" and now I'm saying, "Lord Jesus, what a world we live in when little 8 year old boys have "sexiness" that they must protect from others!" I'm realizing that our kids are growing up waaaaaaaaaaay too fast. Now my son doesn't even know what sexy means but he knew that it had to do something with his body and others. I don't really know what I'm supposed to do about that. I know at his age that he could maybe handle it(he's a very smart kid) but I don't just how much "I" can handle it. So ya'll pray for a mother. . .

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