Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Splashes Of Red!

Purple, pink, purple-pink, yellow...red. Purple, red-purple, yellow, light purple, green. My backyard-my flowers.

I've been told I am too matchy-matchy. Every color has to blend.

I can hear my daughters voice ringing in my ears; "Mom, everything does not have to match ex-act-ly!"

Not this time!

Last summer I decided my kitchen and dining room needed a change. Hours I spent, (or wasted), finding all the colors that blended perfectly with teal. First choice; a picture. Store to store I went, eyes roaming up and down the walls of Hobby Lobby, Bed Bath and Beyond; and my favorite, Gordmans , just to name a few. It took days for my neck to return to a straight position again.

So many to choose from: too much teal, too little teal, much too modern, not sure what THAT is? Too country, too small, too big, too scary, ugly frame, ugly picture...oh wait, back up.

Oops, there it is!” Haha...did I just say that?

Indeed there it was. The perfect blend of colors, each representing a shade in my dining room. Teal, of course. Brown for the wood table and hutch. Cream, perfect match to my upholstered chairs. A little green, drawing color from my fake plant. Buttercup gold flowers; near perfection to my entry way hall walls, which can be viewed from any of my dining room chairs facing that direction.

My heart raced just a little as the clerk climbed the ladder to pluck it from the wall. Once home, I made a beeline for the dining room, anticipating that moment when all the colors of the room found a home in my prize pick. Hammer and nail finished with its work, I stepped back to enjoy the view. Perfect! They all matched!

Wanting to share this moment with someone I love, and, the only female of the family available and slightly interested in my new found treasure, I dialed my daughters number.

Sure, she could come over. Just give her a few minutes.

Great! That would give me the time I needed to set the scene. Opening the doors of my hutch I gathered all the pretties I'd been putting aside to set the table. Each one, of course, picking up a color from my picture palate. I finished just as I heard the door open.

Anna entered my perfectly matched room as I held my breath, waiting for the oohs and ahs.

What do you think?'

Uh, it's nice mom"

Slowly walking around the table she stopped in front of my prize picture. Was it only a few seconds before she spoke? Seemed like an hour.

You need red in here mom.”

What? Anna, no way! I spent hours matching every color in that picture to pull this thing together. Red would look like a 'bull in a china shop'. Why red? Nowhere is there red in this room."

Come here mom, look.” Pulling me toward the picture, her finger landed on the specks in the middle of my beautiful yellow flowers. There it was. Red!

How could I have missed it? And who mistakenly put such an outlandish choice of color in my picture? There was no denying it.

You need something big with red in it Mom...and it doesn't need to be the same shade of red.”

What!”

You always try to match, blend in, be perfect. The eye is drawn to the bold, the misshaped, the splash of color,” she offered carefully.

She was right. So often I tried to make my life appear perfect. Life isn't really that mundane. God colors the world with a rainbow of colors and threw in splashes of red to make it adventurous. It draws us into him and helps us see beyond our design of perfect works.

A few days later, walking through a store with my lovely, insightful daughter, she stopped me in my tracks. “Mom, that's it!”

Turning my head there sat a totally out of character lamp with a bright red shade. I would have never picked it...but that day, I did.

It graces my odd shaped, wrong color table that sits in the corner of my perfect room. Each time I enter that room I smile and remember to let God color my life with the unexpected, and splashes of red.









Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Growth

John 10:14  "I am the good Shepard; I know my sheep and my sheep know me."


Sitting in my favorite chair, what I call my "prayer chair". Love this chair. But today, I am frustrated with myself. I nearly had to drag body to this chair to spend time with you God; creator of heaven and earth...and me. Somehow, watching a movie about General MacArthur competed for time with you, the great, powerful force in time.

But, here I am. Driven by a voice in my head and a pull in my heart whispering your name. "Come to me child."

Before you think I've become delusional and hear voices, let me explain. A mother hears the cry of her child; a servant hears his masters voice over all others; a sheep hears his Shepherd's call. There is ownership. I, too, am bought and paid for with a price. I answer to no other call.

Like all other relationships it doesn't mean I always go willingly. A child knows he cannot ignore his mothers call for him, but if in the middle of doing something fun, he may reassure his mom he is coming, to buy a little time to do what he wants to finish. He knows his mom is not going anywhere and will continue to love him.

That's me. Will I ever grow up? I am so that child sometimes.

So here I am in my chair, rain falling outside my window, Bible open, feeling once again, defeated. Not with God, but with my growth. Why is this so hard when I now with everything in me that spending time in the Word is the only thing that gives me true satisfaction, peace and a sense of hope and joy?

Glancing out my window at the Spring rain He reminds me: Growth takes time. And it's not in your time.

This Spring has come slowly. But growth is coming. Flowers are growing, though buried in the mud and darkness. The clouds cover the sunny days ahead, when the rain will stop, the warmth will return
and the earth will burst forth green and vibrant. The best encouragement of all...it continues to happen year after year. No two Springs are alike, each determined by the harshness of the winter before and the steadfastness of the One who is faithful..

Although I am in the fall of my life, Spring always comes. Growth continues to bring forth new color and God is faithful to bring it all to pass.

Monday, April 01, 2013

What is Easter Like In Heaven?



Is it an annual event? Are the gates of heaven shined to a golden gloss to welcome the newly forgiven? Do all the residents from days past clean and sweep their mansions?

What about the choirs? Do they practice day and night for the heaven wide Alleluia chorus?

I hope food is part of the celebration! Especially yummy silk pies with mounds of meringue like my mama used to make. Now, those were a mouthful of heaven on earth!

I do hope there are round tables to share our feast. You know, the kind that lend themselves to intimate conversation; not those long banquet type that make it hard to hear the person two people away. And I'd like to be on the table setting duty. How I love to plan and set a lovely table for my guest to feel special.

I wonder if the angels are still in awe  that Jesus sacrificed all his life in heaven to become a mere human and live a life of strife, toil and pain on earth. He had no guarantee of acceptance or appreciation.  They must scratch their halo's and wonder why he left behind perfection and pure love to save a wretch like me.

Oh, flowers...there must be a million flowers of every color and scent, scattered through-out His kingdom. I imagine turning ever corner to a new heavenly scent.

Do you suppose church bells will ring, welcoming all of heavens residents to the great and mighty feast - the banquet of the lamb, celebrating that moment in time when love paid it all.

I can only imagine ....until He calls me home.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Now THIS is scary!

 Diann, a friend I dearly admire recently wrote about decluttering her closets and her life. In fact, I have a house like that. ...and a life. If you walk into my house most days, hopefully, you find a reasonably uncluttered home with a place for everything and everything in its place. Right. That is the picture I present on the first floor. Of course, no one is allowed in the (ooh, scary!) upstairs. No, that is off limits, except for a few old and faithful friends who will love me in spite of my secret hoarding. If I allowed you to creep upstairs with me you might be sucked into my web of stuff, never to return again!
Entering at your own risk, you may first look for an exit sign, sensing it may be a one way trip. Cautiously, you would lift one foot, than the other, over the overflowing boxes of mementos of days gone by, from an era few remember. The scariest part - they are not my mementoes, but people I don't even know...and never met! Yes, that's right, I buy boxes of other peoples stuff! Weird, I know. But, oh how I love it. Before you risk putting another foot down, you may spot what looks to be a desk in the right hand corner of the room. I say looks, because it is hard to tell what it is under the piles of papers, books, collectible glassware, jewelry, pens, magnifying glasses etc.
In the left corner of the room is (what others may call) mess, is my comfy chair with Bible, books, paper and pen strewn lovingly around it.Some have told me it is a miracle in itself that I come out of that chair alive and am not swallowed, never to be found.  
When I am overcome with the stuff in my life, I sit and read about the creator of peace and order and allow him to work on me to clean up. After all, He is the only one who has a shot at helping me declutter my life. For I am a closet hoarder and in need of my Savior to help me through my daily messes. Without Him, I am without hope. But I trust Him, so nothing to be scared about. He is my shelter.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Lessons God has taught me....

Psalm 119:66  "Teach me Knowledge and good judgement, for I believe in your commands."


1.  Love, Then let go and let God.

2.  Nagging is a form of manipulation, no matter how righteous I feel. God doesn't nag us. He is a gentleman. He leads us to the truth, offers it and waits for our acceptance. He sends the Holy Spirit to help us understand and encourage us in the right direction. Once we are of age and right mind, he puts in our path evidence and proof of his love and power. If we use nagging to get results it is usually self aimed and not for the good of others. We must give God respect and the opportunity and trust that He is in charge and the other person is responsible to Him in the end.

3.  To walk in love, I must first know the object and creator of love. God gives me the capacity to love , thru first loving me. He sacrificed His own son so I may live. I now have the opportunity to lavish that love on others so they may want to know Him. He draws them near. He makes them His own. I am only the clay in His hand to be formed into His likeness and be used for His purpose. How grateful I am to be used.

4. Peace is not obtained by momentary lack of trouble. It has nothing to do with circumstance. It has everything to do with trust and surrender and abiding in Christ. Each day can bring me a challenge...or not. Doesn't matter. I cannot put on peace and wear it like a jacket. It doesn't fit most problems if I choose it like I'm choosing a coat off a rack. God has a "one size fits all" rack that He gives us our peace. And it works no matter how large or small our problems get. It is a promise he keeps when we keep our eyes on him. Isaiah 26:3,4  "you will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord, the Lord is the rock eternal."(NIV)

5. Sometimes we try to put our footprint on something, but instead, put our foot in it.   Proverbs 21:23, " He who keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble." True wisdom.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Seasons Of Growing

  

Gold, orange, red and brown; tumbling leaves all around.
Cool winds blowing, sparsely dressed trees; chilling the air for the first freeze.
Dark awakenings, early to bed; slower pace, warmer threads.

Where is Summer? It was just here!
Did I blink? Did I not care?

Taken for granted...warm, sunny days; many choices, lighting my way.
Stretching before me, lazily spent; plenty of time before winters event.

Before Spring(it seemed so long!)...waiting, anticipating, hurrying along.
Planting my future, much time to spare. Opportunities for growth, everywhere.
No need to hurry, p-l-e-n-t-y of time...years before Fall and life starts to unwind.

Winter must be close. What good comes from cold?
Slower moving, barren days, what promise can this hold?

Shared wisdom as memories unfold; lovely warm fires and stories to be told.
A life anticipating seasons of change; each an opportunity of wisdom to gain.

What was I thinking! Didn't I know? God gave us seasons to help us grow!
Each with its purpose and color to delight; holding out promise for each new life.
Just as seasons come and go, year after year, they display their show.

To remind us that He never changes or moves
Each season a promise of life to renew.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Joy Comes In the Morning. Alleluia!

(An excerpt from my devotional journal) Why I Celebrate Easter

1 Corinthians: 5 "...so that your faith might not rest on man's wisdom, but on God's power."

Thought: God, I remember how I struggled with the former things I had learned about you, and my pursuit of you through good works. It all seemed right, that I must earn my way to heaven. It was logical since my knowledge of you was to do the work; earn the reward, or, fail. It depended on me and how I lived my life. I was to work hard to get the prize. It went against the gift of grace, that a 'mighty and powerful God' was offering me eternity with him, just as I was. Bringing nothing from my past as a payment.

I clung to the wisdom of the world....and my life, with fierceness, not willing to unclench even one finger for fear that all I believed in would dissolve. My life was live by a ridged set of rules, imposed by well intentioned people who loved me and thought these rules would help me secure the 'good life'.

But, as I've discovered, law without redemption and grace, holds no power. Only pain and loss. It doesn't produce fruit and joy, only guilt and anger. It leaves no room for peace, but stirs resentment and judgement.

How are we to live like this? How are we to have any hope of others desiring to know our God?

For behind a heart of man made, ever changing rules, lies a continual sense of restlessness and longing, void of all that we hope for in this life and the next.

A mighty, loving, forgiving and understanding Creator loves us for who we are and longs to be our Father. He has made a way through his beloved son, Jesus. A gift to me and all who will accept that gift.

Only you, Lord, have been able to give this to me. No wonder this Easter morning I can proclaim, Alleluia! Alleluia!