Tag Archives: scripture

Rusty

Pick your teeth up off the floor, people. I realize it’s been a while.

Trust me, I have felt my absence from you these last five months. Yes, five months. I can’t even believe it has been that long.

But it has.

Life started going nuts around the end of March. Not nuts in a bad way, really, but nuts nevertheless. Just nuts in an extremely busy way. So, forgive me if I am a little rusty here in the writing department!

Since I last wrote, we went to Disneyworld and Universal Studios as a family for the first time (Words can’t describe how awesome a time we had!), Jacob attended his senior prom (It was amazing!), Emma had her big performance with her show choir/musical theater group (Also amazing!), our homeschool co-op finished up with all its end of year performances and activities, Jacob graduated from high school (Emotions galore, people! Fantastic! So proud! Oh, and Thank You, Jesus!), I attended the Florida Homeschool Convention, Emma completed her 9th grade year and got her learner’s permit, and then Summer commenced in all its glory!

Summer 2013 collage

After an amazing summer filled with surfing camp, Jesus camp, family, zip lining, sun and fun, here we are—already about to fall headlong into the school year—which is KAY-RAY-ZAY, y’all! Such changes lie ahead for us and I am thrilled and horrified and completely at peace all at once.

Can anyone else relate?

Jacob is registered for classes at the local community college. (I am so not ready.) And Emma is all situated to begin her sophomore year in high school. (She says she is not ready, but she is…she just doesn’t know it.) Hubby continues to work so hard for us and I am preparing again to teach classes at our homeschool co-op.

Am I really this old??!

Yes. Yes, honey, time just has its way of traipsing forever onward.

Each time I look in the mirror and see the additional “tinsel” that adorns my hair, I am reminded of that fact. I am also reminded of how incredibly blessed I am.

Even in the midst of aging, Hubby’s car (a 1995 Toyota Camry with 285,000 miles on it) choosing whether or not to crank on a daily basis, college tuition and waking up to a lame parakeet this morning, I am blessed.

And I am so filled with gratitude.

And in the inevitable moments when my gratitude and peace elude me, and I wonder how we will pay for…whatever…fill in the blank, or how I am going to accomplish everything  that needs accomplishing during the course of any given day, or as I want to curse out and give the finger to some jerky teenage driver who just cut me off as I was trying to turn into the grocery store parking lot, and I am distressed about loved ones who are suffering unimaginable hurts and loss and loneliness and illness, I go to the Source.

And here is what The Source tells me:

“In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 NIV

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!” Isaiah 26:3 NLT

“God’s way is perfect.
All the Lord’s promises prove true.
He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
For who is God except the Lord?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
God arms me with strength,
and he makes my way perfect.
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
You have given me your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me;
your help has made me great.
You have made a wide path for my feet
to keep them from slipping.”  Psalm 18:30-36 NLT

In this season of no blogging and all the fantastic family awesomeness we have had, I have experienced such an intense range of emotions. Such joy and such sadness…mostly, joy. But the emotions of it all have been just crazy enough to make me question my mental health at times, but what a comfort the scriptures have been to me! When I keep my mind fixed on Him, it is amazing how much less crazy I feel. I highly recommend.

I would like to say that “I am back”, but it is hard to make the commitment knowing all the things that are coming up to keep me busy. My intention is to be back to blogging regularly, because I do love it so.

If anyone is still out there reading, thank you. Thanks for sticking with me.

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Filed under Faith, Family, Peace

Unplugged

I’ve spent the last four days unplugged. And it was not easy.

This was not planned. I took my laptop on our little getaway, thinking I would do some writing. Or work on school stuff. Or at the very least keep up to date with Facebook and Twitter. And whatever other earth shattering, up-to-the-minute and not-to-be-missed details were going on in the world!

Nope. Not happening. The expected internet connection was out of commission.

You should also know that I am the proud owner of a non-smart phone, just your basic talk and text, since I am too much of a cheapskate to pay for a data plan. So there was no web that way.

I just had to “rough it”—sad, right? Sad that I consider no internet connection roughing it.

Once I realized that I would not be able to check Twitter every 10, okay, every 5, minutes, I took a deep breath and threw my hands up in surrender.

Guess what?

I enjoyed the time with my family, at my Happy Place—the beach. We were with extended family that we only see about twice a year, which was great. My hubby and kids jet skied for the first time and had a blast and I had a blast watching them! It was a wonderful time…except for when it wasn’t…when I saw how short-tempered and easily irritated I can be.

UGH.

Being unplugged allowed me to be free of distractions, the distractions which apparently usually distract me from how very unloving and impatient I can be at times.

Oh, it’s true, and it’s not pretty. It’s a harsh reality for me, the friendly, chatty gal that most people get to experience. I will often save the ugliest part of myself for my husband. I will spare you all the gory details, but trust me when I say, a big old helping of “bless his heart” is in order!

Why do I do that?

I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 13, often read at weddings and referred to as The Love Chapter. Here it is, in part:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails.

Okay, if love is patient and kind, then I am not love. If love is not proud, then I am not love. Not self-seeking? Not easily angered? It could easily also say, love is not a control freak, not a fun-sucker, not moody…

Wow. I am failing miserably at this love thing, which I have seemingly been working at for a really long time.

I whisper a prayer: God, help me.

(Y’all ever send those prayers up? The “God, help me” prayers? When you just don’t know what else to say?)

Here’s what I know:

Actions without love are empty.

Love without action is a gyp.

Here’s what else, I am not love. Apart from God, who is love, I can love no one. God, help me to get it right. Because, like this song (and scripture) says, without love, I am bankrupt:

The Proof of Your Love by For King & Country

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True Confessions, or Worry 101

I haven’t written in ages. Why?

I have been thinking about that—about why I have not written. I want to. I feel like it would be personally mentally beneficial.  I’ve always said I think of my blog as free therapy. But I just haven’t done it. I didn’t even post anything during April—Autism Awareness Month. Oh, the shame!

I could say I’ve been busy. I could say I’ve been uninspired. I could say that I haven’t felt very funny. And all those things would be true statements.

But I think, if I am honest, the simple truth is that I have felt overwhelmed with life and that I just could not think about one. more. thing. I am a worrier. I never thought I would say that about myself, but it is true.

Worries include, but are not limited to: the weighty issues of life and raising kids and financial responsibility and home keeping and home schooling and worries about Jacob’s future and decisions we’ve made in the past and Emma going to high school next fall and is Clyn going to get laid off, and should I get a paying job and what about all the needy folks out there in the world? Should we make Jacob take the SAT or the ACT? Is he going to be ready to go to college after he graduates next year and how will we pay for college anyway? How much longer can we expect our ‘95 Toyota Camry with 240,000 miles on it to keep going? And how will we fit another car payment into the budget when it dies? Oh, and, how is this laundry going to get done? On and on and on with the never ending, paralyzing, worry!

Those are some of the things that keep me awake at night. Trust me, insomnia is a friend to no man. It just gives you more time to worry. It feels like all I have done the last six months is Worry. Worry. Worry. And worry just perpetuates more worry. Sometimes it feels like I am losing my mind. And I just don’t know what to do with it all. So, I just check out and do nothing with it, except to make a feeble attempt at balling it up and tossing it heavenward.

These are the very things I don’t want to write about. Partly, because I don’t like to seem whiney or ungrateful and I really don’t like to be a “downer”.

I recognize that we are blessed beyond measure. I realize that I just need to put my big girl panties on, take some action, and DEAL with some of the stuff. In the scheme of things, I am aware that my concerns are little compared to what some families are dealing with and so I keep it to myself, stuff it down, put on my happy face and just try to fake it till I make it. I give it all to God and then promptly take it away from Him on a daily, no, on an hourly, basis. And then I feel guilty for not trusting Him. I am often reminded of the scripture in Mark 9:24 (NIV) where a worried father says to Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.”  This is how I feel so often!

It’s kinda like my mama, and probably your mama, used to say “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything to say at all.” I don’t feel like dumping all my worries out here is “saying something nice.” And so, I don’t write at all.

Here it is, people. The Ugly Truth. There is an insecure, frightened, anxious girl on the inside of me. (One, I think, who lives inside most of us, if we are honest.) And yet, even as I admit my worries and insecurities, I still feel compelled to cover it up and say– oh, no, really, it’s all good. And smile while I’m saying it. I feel like such a phony. How crazy is that??

I read a poem recently by Paul Laurence Dunbar (thanks to homeschooling 11th grade English) that really struck a chord in me.

We Wear the Mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,–
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

Why do we wear the mask? Why isn’t it okay to be totally transparent? To be vulnerable?

For me, I don’t want to seem weak or too needy. I want to seem in control. I don’t like to ask for help. I want to show others that my faith is strong and that I trust God to care for me, my family and those I love.

But I am weak. I am needy. I do need help. I often feel out of control and like my life is running me. I don’t have all the answers.

And, since I am being honest here, I have to say that I don’t like for people to see that in me. But I am pretty sure, even though I try really hard to cover it up, that I am not fooling anybody. And I’m just plain tired of pretending.

I do know, in spite of my craziness, that God is in control. I do know to cast my cares on Him because He cares for me. I do know all the right answers about anxiousness and letting go of all that stuff. But the act of walking that out daily is a challenge for me; making the head to heart connection is sometimes hard.

What to do, then?

Two words come to mind: Press On.

Yes, people. I am pressing on and hanging in. I desire to worry less and live more. Pray more, trust God more, and acknowledge Him more. Reach out more and be more vulnerable. Try to take action on the things I can and let God handle the rest and then, RELAX.

At least, that is the plan.

I mean, really, what is the worst thing that can happen?

“Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3 NIV

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” 1 Corinthians 1:25 NIV

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”  2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

“’Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’” Matthew 6:25-34 NIV

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