Monthly Archives: March 2011

Follow Me

March proved difficult for me.  I found myself staring into that dark pit within me.  My husband watched the anger swell.  My close friends kept a watchful eye over me.  Fear mixed with a whole lot of anger makes a combustible concoction.  This concoction had been mixed a few years ago and it crept back into my heart.

Back then, I prayed out of hurt and confusion.  I didn’t know how to trust God at that point in my life.  I mean I knew He was with me and all but the flesh self-trusting part of me was still in control.  God eased the hurt and cleared the confusion.  And little by little I put my trust in HIM.  I began to seek His path for me.  Don’t misunderstand.. I don’t do it perfectly.  I still have trouble with taking over God’s plan and letting Him have the day off.  That’s the flesh getting in the way..

This time, God diffused the anger.  He allowed certain things to happen to let me feel the anger I have had bottled up for such a long time.  And boy did it get ugly… remember I threw raisins a few days ago!  It was like God needed me to react so He could heal.  And my prayers were much different than the first go around.  Three days ago, I read what I had wrote recently in my prayer journal.  Years ago, I was angry at God for letting things happen.  Those words were on those freshly scribbled pages.   I knew this because I kept using the word, “Again.”  I was humbled because I didn’t realize that I was not only angry about the situations but at God.

A friend suggested “Quiet Submission.”  And so, I asked God for a release of the anger and I told Him that I was going to be quiet and allow Him to do His work in me, on me and around me.  Quiet submission without me butting in and doing things the way I would do them.  Quiet submission, with me sitting still and listening.  Quiet submission, without me talking myself into something or out of something.  Quiet submission to accept His ministry for me.  Quiet submission has been the hardest thing for me to do…

Because

#1 I am a talker

#2  I like control

#3  Let’s face it, God can be slow I like things done in a hurry.

My list can be quite lengthy and I think you get the picture.

God has worked on my anger.  God has opened doors.  God has a purpose.  God is in control.  Quietly I await more submission opportunities.  Jesus just said, “Follow me.”  He didn’t say “YOU do all the work today.”  “Get  YOUrself distracted with all the busyness.”  “Do all the good deeds YOU want.”

Nope.

He said..

Follow

ME.

I think Jesus should have added in tiny print for all of us who can’t read between the lines…

“Follow Me and leave YOU behind.”

Have a blessed day!!  God bless….

Advertisements

Nursing

Here recently, I have been going through a personal struggle.   I was feeling more than just a little blue.   I was beginning to feel strangled, smothered and just plain old YUCK!  Slipping into old habits of “the blues,”  I found myself in bed with the covers over my head silently crying and praying to be released from it all.  Pulling up the bootstraps only around my kids, I managed to find the “want to” to go volunteer.  Isaiah 58 reminds us to help the oppressed when we are feeling oppressed.  So, I did just that..

I walked into the humane society feeling rotten, worn down, and frowning.  I made small talk and found myself cuddling with a puppy.  What is it about puppy breath???  I mean, come on!  It melted away some of the yuck.  The sweet kisses and the wet nose chipped away at the rotten feeling.

And then….

The director’s daughter showed up with a box… a girl scout cookie box.  Cookies!!!  Oh wait!  Lent!  A frown crept back on my face..

And then..

She opened the box.  Four tiny kittens, barely a couple days old, laid in that box.  My heart stopped.  I pulled one out.  Its tiny feet stretched out looking for its mommy.  It cried from hunger.  The crying I had done before seemed so insignificant.  This tiny creature, God’s tiny creature, was fighting to stay alive without a mother.

See someone put these four tiny babies inside the box and left it on the side of the road.  A lady driving by thought someone had lost a brand new box of Girl Scout cookies and she stopped.  She brought them to the Humane Society for help.  And help they were getting.  Sadly though, kittens are fragile at this age.  Without a mommy cat, it is almost a death sentence.

There is a special lady in our community who opens her heart to feed the newborn animals.  She was given two litters the week before and couldn’t take another.  As much as she wanted to,  she knows her limits.  God bless her heart… she already had a set of puppies to feed and then two litters of kittens.  Heart of gold, I tell ya.  Well, I was asked if I would like to be the surrogate mother for these babies.  Why of course!!!

So for 24 hours, I dropper fed these tiny babies.  I held this tiny life in my hands.  I petted each one gently as I dropped a little formula on each tiny pink tongue.  I whispered a prayer over each one during each feeding (round the clock!)  My heart melted.  I was so afraid something terrible would happen.  I couldn’t sleep.  I would wake up and check on them.  If they were asleep, I would wake them just to make sure everything was okay.

I had a wonderful time.  All the YUCK that I had been carrying around had slipped away.  My full attention was on these babies.  Every time I heard a little whimper, I jumped up, dropper in hand, and fed.  Then I would gently clean each one just like a mommy cat would do… So helpless!

Then came the call… The director said a lady’s cat just had a litter of stillborn kittens.  If this mommy cat will accept our babies then there is a good chance of survival.  I quickly packed up my babies and rushed them to the shelter.  I wanted my babies to live.  I had gotten so attached to them that I didn’t want think of losing them to the harsh reality that newborn kittens rarely survive without a mommy cat.  I handed off my sweet babies to a stranger.  She assured me that her mommy cat would take care of them.  And she did… they are thriving!!  I am so thankful that this lady wanted to help my babies.  Now I am counting down the 4 weeks until I can see them again.  I wonder if they will remember me…

When we are feeling helpless, God wants us to hand over our troubles to him.  There are times my knowledge and expertise is limited.  But God is so much more capable of handling my troubles.  I could have nursed those kittens and be determined to do every thing in my power to keep them alive.  What was best for those babies was a real life mommy cat.  I knew if I didn’t hand it over… things would have gotten bad.  It was a no brainer to hand those babies over to a cat.  So why am I so selfish with my troubles?  Why do I insist on nursing them myself ?  Handing them over to God is what is best…  I know that and yet I rarely do.  And of course, most of the time, things get worse.  If I am to thrive, I need God to do the nursing.

I hope you enjoy your Tuesday… God bless!!

Alienation

 

When I was 19, I experienced my first church involvement.   I attended a small country church and learned a lot about Jesus.  I wasn’t familiar with church business.  I basically didn’t know business was a part of church at that point in my life.  I was there all the time and loved serving.

Then out of the blue, the pastor left.  Leaving behind a wife, he found new love from an 18 year old boy.  It shocked the little church.  Within days the broken hearted wife had to pack up her belongings and leave the parsonage to make room for the new pastor and his family.  What saddened me the most during those few days was the behavior of some church members that I had grown to love and respect.  Basically, they alienated by placing the blame onto her.  Fingers pointed and she crumbled from the stress of it all.

My young mind was puzzled over the lack of love, support and understanding from the people she served.  The cruel judging and the unfair attacks enraged me.  I couldn’t support a church doing such things that the Bible clearly opposed.  She needed love to peace her life back together.  But instead she met opposition and harsh judgment.

That was my first experience of Christians’ messy lives and hardened hearts.  If I could turn back time, I would have asked where “Love your neighbor” was being practiced.  I would advise her to read Psalm 118 and know that God was with her.  And I wouldn’t have been so silent.  I didn’t know better back then.  I would have stood next to her to help protect her from the harsh words and bullying.  I would have shown Christ-like love and compassion.  I would have given her a helping hand to piece back her life.

I guess that is the difference age and experience makes.

I hope you enjoy your Monday… God bless..

Downtown 2011!!

 

Yesterday, I shared our first stop for the annual trip downtown.  Central High was an awesome experience.  I hope you check out yesterday’s post and read all about it.

We spent 2 hours at Central and we were famished.  We headed to the Clinton Presidential Library lawn for our picnic lunch.  Remember our downtown trip is a cheap trip.  Our goal is to spend as little as possible and still have a great time exploring Little Rock.

100_4594Of course after a great lunch, what is more fun than a giant hill to run down???  The lawn is built next to the Arkansas river bank.

100_4595 100_4597

After a few minutes of running up and down the giant hill, we began our adventure along the Sculptural Promenade.  Here’s a few of the sculptures we found:

100_4599 100_4601 100_4603

100_4607

Then of course we had to visit the Nature Center.  It is free and there’s live animals!  The kids love it!!  I don’t care for the snakes!

100_4605

I spent $2.25 on souvenirs.  The girls got tiny bugs and the young man of our group got a bird whistle.  I couldn’t resist.

We left the Nature Center and went down to the playground.  The girls made comments like, “We are too big for most of the stuff.”  ((sniff))  My girls are grown up!!  Don’t like it!!  Now our little guy loved climbing and sliding and having a ball.

100_4610We walked down to the Old State House.  But we had to cross a creepy old (wooden) walk bridge over 4 lanes of traffic.  It was a little scary!!

100_4614The Old State House was the first capital building in Arkansas.  It was the headquarters for Bill Clinton’s election night.    The girls had fun.  They even pretended to be Representatives.  My little guy got creeped out and begged me to go back downstairs by the door.  He said he didn’t like the place.  So the girls explored and we checked out the gift shop.. by the front door.

100_4616 100_4617

Next stop… The Peabody Hotel.  They rode the elevator and escalators.

100_4620 100_4622 100_4625

The kids were tired and hungry by this time.  So we walked to the River Market and had ice cream.  Ahem.. they did anyway.  I gave up such luxuries for lent.

100_4632 100_4634 100_4635

100_4636

We spent $7.50 for the cones.  Yikes I know… but worth every bite… so I’m told.

And you won’t believe this!  We were walking to the River Market and ran into fellow Sardis peeps!!

100_4631So after the ice cream, we had to ride the trolley!  It is a 30 minute ride through the River Market area and North Little Rock.  It is air conditioned and a great place to rest tired feet. Tickets for the trolley were $4.50.

100_4643And that is when the batteries died in my camera.  But we visited the public library and then headed home.  Another great year  downtown!!  The conversation on the ride home made me smile:

Friend:  I can’t believe people told me that downtown is boring.

Daughter:  Yeah.  They just don’t know how to have fun.

Friend:  It is fun friends that make it great!

Daughter:  You’re so right!

*************************

Friend:  I was asked how much money I was taking to Little Rock today.  When I told them none, we did free stuff.  They laughed at me and said I couldn’t have fun without spending a lot of money seeing things.

Me:  It isn’t the money spent but how the day is spent.

Friend:  Yeah, you’re right.  I love how we spend it together!

************************

Little Guy:  Mom, I’m hungry!  What’s for dinner?

*************************

It was a wonderful day.  Full of good memories and BIG smiles!!

100_4646 100_4647

The grand total for the day’s events… $14.25!  It was worth every penny!  Can’t wait until next year!!

God Bless….