Have a dressed up day!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

when we remember to be free

We are no longer slaves to problems, but instead are freed by His promises.
For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. 2 Corinthians 1:20


And we no longer live on a teetering edge, bound by fear, desperate for hope. We live our lives on the solid Rock-
rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as we were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. Colossians 2:7


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

when you feel yourself slipping

Her name was Patty and she was my best friend. 

She had a kind of clown trailer in her backyard that her daddy rode on for parades, and when she and I pleaded hard enough he let us play in it.  He wore a funny hat with tassels hanging and did charity work and Patty won beauty pageants and wore white go-go boots. 
She had hair one would describe as raven black.  She could twirl a baton and dance and had cases of trophies and tiaras and wore real diamond earrings and won a car before she could drive. 
Her teeth were perfect and she never wore braces.  
Her bedroom furniture was a matching suite and her room was pink with a double canopy bed and ruffled everywhere.  A large pink stuffed snake she had won wrapped itself around the post of her bed and I thought she was the luckiest girl in the world. 

She was kind and shy and didn't sit with the popular girls. 

I had mousy brown hair that hung straight and limp and a huge gap between my front teeth.  I wore glasses and Steve Finnegan always called me four eyes.  I wore whatever shoes Howards had the cheapest and one day when I was at school my mama covered the walls of my bedroom in green ships.

 I never owned a pair of boots until I was grown. I've still never owned a pair of white go-go boots-
But there's always tomorrow.

Patty and I were a pair.  Someone should have written a book about us.

And when we were nine years old she accepted Christ as her Savior and Lord.  It was bible school 1974 and she whispered in my ear that she was scared and took my hand and we walked that long aisle together, holding hands.  I did what she did.  I prayed after Brother Benton and answered the questions right and we were baptized together one right after the other in the same water.  She went first.

Watching her life it seems and always seemed obvious she knew what she was doing that summer of '74.  But I was just there to hold her hand.

And I never seemed to know what I was doing.  I rarely did the right thing because I never searched to do the right thing.  I just acted on feelings.  I followed desires instead of a heart that was flooded with the love of Jesus.

And it wasn't until thirteen years later that I surrendered a lost life to a One and Only Savior.

And I don't want to be a mere believer of Christ, as if I'm believing in a fairy tale or myth of old.  Showing no more proof of my love and loyalty than a babe nursing.  A babe who would take of any substance offered to remove pangs of hunger or fear or death.
I don't want to walk everyday surrounded by barren land while I live under the guise of grace.  For God has poured His salvation onto my life and I have lived in the sheer goodness of God.  Forgiving.  Saving me from judgment of death.  Eternal hell.  Loving me for who I am.  Not who I was or can be.  But for who I am now.
And does my life show proof of fruit sprouting up from life watered with the Word?  For my Heavenly Father does not miss anything and knows if I'm staying the course or if I'm spending each day with back turned to Him.  If I'm just living on His promises with no work in the field. 
And a life walking away from my Father instead of toward Him is a life of crucifying Him again and again and bringing shame to the only One that gives me life.  My life eternal.  My hope and my peace. The One who loves me with an uncomprehendable love. 
Do I think of these things each day?  Am I drowning in an ocean of selfishness? 

Don't let me slip into a world that is bored with you, Father.

Do I remember that Christ won't allow Himself to be crucified again and again by the ones who have seen and felt and tasted and know the truth?

Do I remember fields with nothing to harvest will be burned?

Father, don't let me be content in talking about what team won the game or new recipes or my problems or the world's problems.  Let me long for you and your Word.  Don't let me move or even drift. Take away my contentment and confidence and replace it with urgency of judgment and fear of you for myself and an unsaved world. Let me remember each day how much you love me.

Soften my heart.  Don't let me neglect.  Don't let me rest.

Friday, October 17, 2014

When you accidentally on purpose read

I'm probably gonna get in trouble for blogging about this.  There's really no probably about it.

Isabela is taking a literature co-op class that Shelby took years ago.  She didn't want to take it.  Izzy doesn't like to write.  She doesn't think she is good at it.  But Shelby took this same class from Jennifer years ago and the progress she made in writing was encouraging.  So when we were given the blessed opportunity for Izzy to take it I didn't hesitate.

I'm not supposed to read what she writes.
 I'm not to correct it or hint suggestions or just look at her the wrong way so she knows to fix something.  And for me, if you know me, that is a hard one.

I sit down at computer to check bank (yep, still doing that.  Won't it be nice when the day comes that I don't have to check in everyday to be sure there's enough to make it through that day?  I have a feeling I'll be living a heavenly life before that happens.  And that's okay.) 

And there is her writing.  She didn't click off or exit out or whatever.  And I look at it.  But I don't read.  And there it is.  That ever knawing gut feeling that I get when I'm about to do something I'm not supposed to do.

Ever get that?  Sure you don't.  Can anyone say I'm a mama?

I swivel in the chair and look the other way.  I ponder.  I swivel back and the other way and ponder some more.  I minimize it.

I ponder.

What will it hurt to read it?  It's not her journal writing.  It's just a writing on a children's book she read.  Just for practice.  It's not private.  And Jennifer is my secret twin and she would read it if in the same boat and she is the teacher so after a short time of rationalizing I click on and read. 

She writes this book she reads reminds her if she is ever some place she doesn't like she can simply turn her head and walk the other way.  She writes the book makes her feel good and as if she can accomplish anything.  That the book reminds her she'll struggle and fall and that friends will come and go and that one day she might end up alone.  She says she knows there will be bumps in her life she has to crawl over and that life is going to be harder than she expects and that there will be smaller bumps on the big bumps but there will always be a way to make it through. 

And I'm looking at the grammer and how she quotes the book and wondering if I should tell her I accidentally read it so I can help her make corrections. 

But then I read the last paragraph.

And I forget to breathe for a moment.  Because this is being written by the girl everyone thinks has it all together.  But she doesn't.  Who does?  And she lives every day with the knowledge that some people choose to not like her.  That some of the people she is to respect have chosen to put her in a neat little box they think she belongs in because they have put other girls in it.  And she doesn't belong there.  And she knows it.  And I know it.  And it can be hard.  And it hurts her.  But she is learning to live with it because that is what people do and this is what one does when they do. 

And I read her last words.  That it is important to her to keep her head on straight.  That she never wants to forget who she is.  That she doesn't want to look toward something that appears grand and wonderful to discover she should have turned away from it. 

And then in this little paper I wasn't supposed to read, this little paper that is just what a children's book makes her feel like, she writes that she wants to be guided by the One that created her and everything around her. 

Isabela's not perfect.  Who is?  She puts toothpaste on her pimples at night and longs to have a mole she thinks is ugly removed and hasn't memorized all her time tables and can't keep her room clean.  She knows what it is to be selfish and all-consuming when she should be aware.  But who doesn't?  Certainly her mama does.

But children's books make her think of her future and her future includes God by her own choosing. 

So to my darlin' sack of baby bones - yep, this world can be hard and there are huge bumps on top of the hugest bumps but you will be just fine.  And you will never, ever end up alone.  That is a pinkie promise.

Drawing of me losing my cool courtesy of budding artist, Izzy.

Have a dressed up day!

. . . put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12