Thursday, January 27, 2011

What a week!

Is it over yet? Seriously, it should be over soon...I think it is Thursday but that is just a guess!

The prep work for House Wyne is both exciting and rewarding. God has been so good to give such clear direction and assurance at every step, that this is almost too easy to be a big deal...except that it is. He has made it very clear that there would be a price to pay for having the audacity to share the Gospel...and there has been. But it has been mostly personal...remember, I don't share everything on the darn blog! But the event itself has been such a joy to watch Him go about His business and the pleasure of being included in His work is beyond description.

On the home front we are into day 8 of frozen pipes. That means no dishes can be done and no laundry...thankful we can at least shower and use the toilet.
VERY THANKFUL!
But it has been a challenge to be thankful that I can do dishes in the tub...and washing clothes on a rock in the in the bath tub is harder than you might think.


The whole thing has forced a schedule on me that I am not sure I like, but it has created a need for organization that is not my gift in the first place. Two days a week at the laundromat and each person must immediately wash, dry and put away any plate, spoon or glass they use. No chance for getting backed up because there would be no where to put it.
It is not very often that the laundry is this organized either. Everyone knows exactly what they are wearing the following day because they have to. I kind of like that. I may just stick with this part! Although schlepping wet laundry from the laundromat to my dryer at home is not as much fun as you may think...did I mention the kids are home on a two hour delay again today? Yes, of course they are.
Don't get me wrong, I like having them home and around. Remember we use to homeschool. It is just that doing this whole, "snow, again" thing with out a routine messes up my routine. Am I kvetching again? Yeah, I probably am. Oh well. By the way, I love that spell check can tell me the proper way to spell "kvetching" but it can't tell me when I use the wrong spelling of "than." Aha.
So the starving artist in me is behind on both my blog and Blissfully Domestic as well. I suppose there are times we put aside what we love in order to do what we have to do for the ones we love...profound huh? Yeah, that is why you read the blog...it can be deeper than a Californian on quaaludes.
When Jesus said to lay down our burdens, did that include our laundry and dishes? Have a blessed day all...and go lay hands on your dishwasher and washing machine. Praise God for them while I meditate on living in 1800's house.

Bitter, Mair. Sounding very bitter indeed. ;)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ouch...

Recently, the Lord gave me a very clear direction. It made no sense to me. My intentions were pure. He even made it clear to me that there was no sin in this area that needed to be addressed. I have to admit, I kind of kept praying: "I don't think I did anything wrong! If I did, please show me, so I don't ever do it again!" And His response?
"No, you didn't do anything wrong. Now obey me."
"But..." I said back.
"Sew buttons on your hiney." He said. Well not really, but I can imagine Him saying that anyway.
At one point my emotions got the best of me and I did exactly what I was not suppose to do. I didn't mean to be defiant. I was trying to do the right thing...
Can you imagine what happened next? Yeah, I got BURRRRRRRN-E-D. Third degree burns all over my poor heart. Whipped my head around for sure. Heard things, that were not true...and left me with information smack off the tree of knowledge. That would be the tree Eve ate from...in case you forgot. I got an ear full of knowledge I had no business knowing, mainly because it had nothing to do with me.

...and than He reminded me of David.
In 2Samuel David & co. were transporting the Arc of the Covenant back home. God had given very clear instructions NOT to touch the Arc. No Touchy-Touchy, He said...more or less.
Well it seems the oxen that was carrying it, stumbled. Uzzah (the job foreman) went to grab it, just to keep it from falling. And what happens next took David's breath away:

"The LORD's anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down and he died there beside the ark of God." (2Samuel 6:7)

Right about now I am thanking God that I am still here. Harsh story right? Not one of our favorites, unless we are trying to teach our kids about obedience. And of course we usually try to soften it with how merciful God is...but on the outskirts of it, wow. At least according to conventional wisdom...harsh. Perhaps God could have sat the boys down and given them a good talking to about putting on their listening ears. He could have explained Himself to the boys for a good long time. But He didn't. Truly, fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. I, for one, am not going to make any helpful suggestions on how He could have handled that one. Nope. Gonna' let God, be God.

A couple of days ago, I was given the chance to be sucked back in. It was like a leaf fell off that tree of knowledge, right at my feet. All I had to do was pick up the darn leaf. That would be it.

Let me tell you, I kicked the darn thing. I yelled at the darn thing. I even jumped on the darn thing. I all but kicked the dog and spit in the fire ~I like that expression, and I am quite glad I got to use it this fine morning. And I yelled, all alone at that leaf. Heck it was completely unfair that it had even fallen into my yard in the first place. I had clearly told that leaf to leave me be...and yet here it was. I was all set to pick that thing up, make my point and be done with it...


I didn't.


I walked away, in silence.


Shhhh.


Because that is what God has demanded from me.

There may be another leaf from that tree of knowledge that blows my way again. I can almost count on it. I pray I have the chutzpa to walk away, again. I will wait on good fruit. Not always because I am hungry to eat from the Tree of Life...how is that for being transparent? I am simply convinced that the tree of knowledge has given me enough bad information to last a life time. And while I accept that little fact about myself, I will seek out the Tree of Life.

PS can I blame it on the kids that I wrote "arch" instead of "arc"? LOL! Love me anyway, won't you? Thanks! ;)

Friday, January 14, 2011

"A pretty girl is like a melody..."

"Girl! You have curves! Men want a woman who looks like woman, not like a boy! Now knock it off and eat a sandwich!"

So stated a teen I live with to another teen I live with. Wow. Someone heard me. The fact that she used the terms "men" and "woman" is still somewhat disturbing to me.

"What men? Who are these men? And what woman? I am the only woman in this house!" I proclaim just before I remember the cup sizes of the not so little girls I live with anymore. Sigh...

I spent some time with a friend recently who has struggled with that woman in mirror as much as I have. We joked, with a lot of truth in there I should add, that while we hated that a friend of ours suffers with Crones...she always looks so great! Another woman at church recently confessed that she envied another woman we know who was never able to have children....'cause she looks so great.

Can we all agree on how sick we are now? I mean seriously? Would any of us give up our babies to be thin or suffer with a horrific disease to have a concave belly? Perhaps we should all sit around and look with admiration at some Auschwitz survivors? Oh, I know, there are woman starving and dying in poverty over in Haiti....lets join them, shall we? Excuse me while I put away my soap box...I am back. Knew you would miss me.

Sigh again. What can I say that would make the woman in the mirror shut up.

"Seriously, lady in the mirror, I know about the back fat. Now shut up. "

Actually, I am the size I am now for you all, dear readers. My weight has become an act of public service to you all. Seriously, I have made many of you feel way better about your waist lines, just by seeing mine. You can gladly look at images of me and say, "Well, at least I am not that wide." So consider yourselves blessed while I try to jump start my IBS and have another bakery cookie. And by the way, to the reader who offered to throw me an intervention at the local bakery...back off lady. I am not giving the stuff up!

What to do, as a woman in the 21st century? We are bombarded with images of touched up models who spend their lives trying to look skinnier...Again, sigh.

Even our government is in on it now days. God forbid our kids should drink whole milk or have a blasted Happy Meal once in a while. There was some news story about how our school lunch programs will no longer offer french fries...seriously? Well that should take care of everything. If obesity is the new epidemic, why do we have so many girls starving themselves to death or longing to do so anyway? Catch 22 I suppose.

"Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like." James 1:23-24

Now I know that James was talking about The Word here...but it does fit doesn't it? And if we read the word and consider what true beauty is (think about our friend the Proverbs 31 lady!) but constantly complain, we are doing just what James has stated.

Hearing my daughter tell her sister to enjoy her curves means that something broke the spell our society seems to hole over us. She heard truth. Maybe that is all a mom can hope for some days..And prayer...Gallons and gallons of prayer. That and hide the bakery cookies so they won't have to be shared. Maybe.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How's that hip?

"So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip." (Genesis 32:24-34)

That is the line God put on my heart these past few days: "he was limping because of his hip."

When I was a student nurse, one of the first things we learned was how to get a hip patient out of bed and into a chair. There is a whole set of steps to take as we pivot and turn the patient. Getting them up on that leg is essential to healing...even though, most hip patients go on to walk with a limp for the rest of their lives.

There are all kinds of complications that can be brought about with a hip patient: blood clots, infection, stroke, bed sores. They are monitored carefully to help prevent any of the above...yet sometimes, even with the best of care, a hip patient never makes the recovery stage.

Just like the hospital patient, the spiritually broken hip leaves us with a limp. But we only get to the point of the privilege limp, if we survive the injury itself.

"Did she just say 'the privilege limp?'"

No. I wrote it, but yes, you read right.

Think about what God told Jacob out in that desert: "...because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

Think some more about the dangers our hip patient faces before getting to the point of a limp. If you are blessed enough to limp, it means you have over come all that could have killed you in the process.

If you have a spiritual broken hip what could kill your spirit?

Pride? "I did nothing wrong! I don't deserve this!"

Fear? "I can't take another step! It will hurt!"

Anger? "This blankety~blank hip!"
Self Pity? "Woe is me. My poor, poor hip." ~For the record: Self pitying child gave permission to use photo!

But what if we responded like Jacob?

"I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

Have you been in a season where you had your spiritual hip dislocated? Did you survive? Thank God for the limp. It means something way more to your walk then you may possibly understand. It may even mean you have been face to face with God.

In the next couple of verses, Jacob and his brother meet. Essau and Jacob run towards each other...but take a second and notice that Essau, had no limp....read something into that this morning, won't you?

Be blessed all...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Just a suggestion...

After making a purchase at Walgreen's, the clerk told Maggie, "Have a nice day."
She responded, "Okay. I will."

Not sure why this has cracked me up so much since her sister recounted the story to me, but I giggle every time I think about it.

Her other sisters have chimed in with other possible answers to "Have a nice day." Things like:

"No thanks."
"Maybe tomorrow."
"I am going for the lousy one today, but thanks for the offer."
"Perhaps another time."
"Do I have to use it to today? Is there an expiration date on that nice day?"

We were hooten and hollerin' all the way to church yesterday. By the time we parked our butts in the pew we had a bad case of church shoulders....come on you know what I mean: the laughter you can't let out of your mouth in church so it comes out your shoulders. Duh.

What if the next time a clerk tells you to have a nice day, instead of responding with the expected, "Thanks. You too." you took the clerk's suggestion.

"You know, I think I will! Thanks for the idea!"

Our nice~isms are so common place we tend not to hear them anymore. We roboticly answer the clerk with a "You too." and go about our day, nice or not. Never occurs to us to actually go about to have that "nice day." Hmmm. Gets me to thinking...

What if we took The Word at His Word? What if we lived out The Word, not as a book of suggestions, but rather as commands, statutes, council?

Twice yesterday, I heard two different pastors use psalm 119:105, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." I think maybe He is trying to show me something....

All of psalm 119 is an invitation to immerse yourself in The Word. Why? Because we are promised to be wiser, have more understanding and to gain insight beyond both our enemies and our elders...I don't know about you, but I like the way sounds! But how? By actually reading the Book, for crying out loud!

It's like being on a diet, you can't lose the weight just by reading about how others lost weight. Or quitting smoking...you can't be smoke free by hearing how others did it. Same concept holds true in The Word...

Imagine if we (read "I" there ladies.) actually did what it says. Now that is something to contemplate today...Oh, and by the way, have a nice day!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I don't feel like it...

"I don't feel like getting up!"

"I don't feel like shoveling snow!"

"I don't feel like making dinner!

"I don't feel like
taking a bath!" Said mostly by 10 year old boys, by the way.

"I don't feel like going to church!" Most often said by teens.

"I don't feel like taking my medicine!"

"I don't feel like praying..."

As a mom, I've heard or said myself, everyone of these, "I don't feel likes..." at one point or another. In the name of full disclosure, I use to fake a bath when I was around nine years old myself. Not sure why Mom never busted me on it, but she didn't. I have no idea how long I went that year...not sure I want to talk about it in public either...so stop bugging me about it. For the record, if my bath tub looked like the one above, I would still be in it. Just sayin'.

Anyway, most "I don't feel likes" have a consequence or two attached to them. Some are obvious right away, some take time to show up. I once knew a woman who had two family members decide they "didn't feel like" going for their dialysis treatments. She lost them both with in twenty four hours. That is one heck of a consequence.

But what do you do when you don't "feel" like forgiving or don't "feel" like praying? What if The Spirit has not moved you? Seriously, what? I recently had a friend ask me if I was attending a "church of the loose leaf bible." Still not 100% sure what that means, but I understood her suspicions. I am pretty sure she was worried, with some good points I might add, that faith had become "an experience." Some of us just are exuberant about God. But we can also be exuberant about a sale at Penny's. And given the right bakery cookies,
we could dance in the parking lot as we pick up our pound of fat to eat in the quiet of our car before anyone finds out...or so I have heard. Given the right concoction of hormones, I hear that a tissue commercial can get you to boo-hoo. You can feel it all. And if you are tender hearted at all, a YouTube video of a soldier returning home from war could make you a hot mess for hours on end...again, or so I have heard.

My point? What do you do on the days when the feeling to pray just never shows up? How about when you go to pray and it "feels" like He never showed up? Can you get you butt out of bed on a perfectly sunny/cold and wet Sunday? Yeah, I know the feeling.

The thing is Christianity has nothing to do with feelings. Love is a fact. Our faith is built on facts. So why did He bother to give us feelings? Why joy, and sadness, pain and laughter? Why would He allow us the thrill of Third Day singing Anges Dei if we weren't suppose to feel anything? Especially we girls...I mean, do we feel or what?

As my dearly, departed mother use to say, "When the hand clapping, foot stomping and arm waving STOPS...and it will, in one season or another, there had better be something underneath. Those roots had better be down deep. Sometimes our roots get tangles. But that is okay. He understands."

There are things I am feeling right now, that have taken my breath away...and there have been moments of true perplexity. But I have every intention to sit in a pew on Sunday morning to corporeally worship my God. Paul tells us to not give up joining together to worship, as some have done. Some seasons, I can't wait to get to church on Sundays...and some Sundays. Sigh. I go as an act of obedience. That obedience is an act of worship, in and of itself.

Some mornings, I sit with my coffee, read the Word, and fall back to sleep. I wake up just in time to start running as a mommy, completely blowing my chance to be just His little girl for an hour. Nice that He lets me come back when the house is quiet again. Very nice.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Schlusser Unit...

In our own little corner of the world stands Schlusser Hospital for the depraved, wounded and sick. As charge nurse, I cover all manner of psychosomatic illness, boo-boo's and bodily fluid when need be. I won't bother you with the details of the virus of January 2001. Suffice it to say, it was not pretty. I tried to call housekeeping to come clean up the mess until I realized there is no union for the nursing staff...that means I am housekeeping as well.

Most times I am left to make a nursing assessment in our home, um, hospital, to decide on the level of care. If the incident is a trauma, I often let John make the decision. You see, at the scene, he out ranks me. Paramedic over RN. In hospital, I out rank him. Give and take kinda thing. But there have been moments...

A couple of years ago, John had a piece of asbestos shingle cut through his work boot and open up his foot. He sent me into the garage to get his old medic bag. I looked at the expiration date on the gauze he wanted me to use...some point in the early 1990's...and I got him paper towels instead. He was thinking about stopping the bleeding and I was thinking infection control. We make a good team.

So last night, when Miss Maggie came into the kitchen to tell us she had an eyeball problem..."It is falling out!!!!!" while pointing to her right eye ball, I turned to John and told him to use his assessment skills on this one...I was too busy giggling.

Turns out Maggie's eye was just fine, but her American Girl doll was in an ocular emergency. Shwoosh. Dodged that one!

We come at things so differently. I love that. Together John and I complete an entire picture. God knew what He was doing so long ago when He introduced us and tugged at our heart strings until we fell in love. He performed heart surgery on both of us and produced something new.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

China and eggs and hearts too...

The first Sunday of the year... I am in John's robe and writing a post...don't ask why I am in John's robe. Perhaps I don't own my own...or maybe I do and am just in the mood to feel close to him...gonna' let that participle dangle right there. See I do read grammar books, I just don't understand them.

Maggie asked me on New Years Eve why doesn't someone make eggs less breakable? Great question, to which I have no answer.

It goes up there with great 2010 Maggie~isms like calling the nativity scene on Mrs. Neighbors lawn her "God set."

But back to the eggs. Yes, they are breakable aren't they. Hmmm. Yes. Why does God let us have breakables? Breakable eggs, china and hearts too. He could have made them all unbreakable. But He didn't.

Mine feels like a piece of fine Parian china right now. That is a good thing. That means it is translucent. It has to be if I am going to write anything or say anything of any matter.
I have to admit, there are some hairline cracks in it at the moment. You may not see them right away, you have to hold them up to the light to see them. I suppose holding my heart up to the Light is the only way to live though, isn't it? Do note mine is Belleek. Irish girl. What else would you expect? Noritake? Not in my cabinet or heart thank you very much. Hmph.

A ll of that said, I guess my struggle is with how the cracks are affecting the rest of me. Truth is, I don't use that Parian china in the course of the day all that much. Don't get me wrong. In my quiet time with the Lord, I have that transparent platter of a heart right before Him. But in the day to day, as we (He and I) go about the business of my ministry to my family, I tend more to be like a regular, old dinner plate. It can still shatter and break if dropped. I have quite a few chips around the edges. But I am not so fragile that I am unusable by Him or unfunctioning for my family. I think that is what I am suppose to be in the day to day life well done.
But in the days when a crack in my platter is feeling particularly deep, I want to spend the day just with Him. Heal it, make the spider cracks go away. Figure it all out at once. And when the practical of my life interrupts...I want to be this:
I can still perform all the tasks around me but there ain't an ounce of light getting through. Hard, cold or hot depending on the moment. The kids stay out of the kitchen and John battens down the hatches. Nice way to be heart of the home isn't it? You know those moments when you are in the kitchen and ignore (cold) everyone until you snap (hot) at them...yeah, call that a cast iron moment. And if you are PMS on top of it, that pan could be a deadly weapon. Or so I have heard.
In the middle of my life right now, I have avoided the cast iron, like I should. But I do believe the kids have noticed the chips in my plate. John has helped me smooth out the spider cracks in my platter too. And I have rested in Him.

This devotion by Cardinal Newman, has been on my refrigerator, in one kitchen or another since 1990. It has served me well as a jump start in prayer and trust.

"God was all-complete, all-blessed in Himself; but it was His will to create a world for His glory. He is Almighty, and might have done all things Himself, but it has been His will to bring about His purposes by the beings He has created. We are all created to His glory—we are created to do His will. I am created to do something or to be something for which no one else is created; I have a place in God's counsels, in God's world, which no one else has; whether I be rich or poor, despised or esteemed by man, God knows me and calls me by my name.

God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission—I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. Somehow I am necessary for His purposes, as necessary in my place as an Archangel in his—if, indeed, I fail, He can raise another, as He could make the stones children of Abraham. Yet I have a part in this great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connexion between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.

Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us. He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life, He may shorten it; He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me—still He knows what He is about. "

I pray it blesses you today or tomorrow or maybe at some other point in 2011. Have a blessed first week of 2011.