November 28, 2009

I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues

I cannot recall the first time it happened to me, but I am certain I did not have a clue as to how I could have fallen sleep only to awaken in what seemed to be a desolate and secluded place.

One moment I was living on top of the world and in what seemed like a flash I found myself standing on what appeared to be the edge of the abyss.

All joy felt as though it had been drained out of me. My smile seemed forever lost. I couldn't eat or sleep and could hardly form a thought worth thinking. I tried to slap on a smile but could not find one lying around.

I desired to sleep both day and night but rest could not be found. It was as if the world had gone from beautiful vivid colors of reds and purples to a shade of cold misty blue. I felt lost in this far away place not knowing what to do.

My Christian friends seemed distant and aloof but then again I was equally distant, too. I was very frightened by what I felt as it was out of character for me, and all I could think about was getting back to the place that I had been before everything turned blue.

November 24, 2009

Mine, Mine, Mine

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine."
Isaiah 43:1 NKJV

The question seemed to leap off the page during my quiet time. "If you were to ask God to change your name, what would you want your name to be, or to mean?" Wow. Now there was a question to ponder. In some ways I had been pondering it for years.

When I was a little girl, my friends and I would play. Part of the fun was in choosing new names that we liked better than the ones we had. None of my childhood friends felt that their parents had given them appropriate first names—myself included. Worse yet were the "unmentionables," those, of course, being our middle names. Heaven forbid we even allow them to surface in a conversation, which, by the way, is something I still struggle with to this day.

November 23, 2009

The Battle

Wounded and weary the warrior laid down
Face deep in the dirt with mud all around
Longing for silence, no strife no more fight
Jeers by the enemy instilling more fright

A voice said "Arise, stand tall, I know that you're hurt
But the time has now come be sober, vigilant, and alert
Your enemy is roaring and prowling about
It's not time to be silent, lift your voice now and shout

Submit to My plan
I'm in command
I'm the power behind your sword
I'm Your Captain, The Highest, Your Lord

Warrior, lift up your head
Listen to what I have said
The plans for this battle were drawn before the foundation of this world
I knew of this war and every dart that would be hurled

I gave you weapons of war and power to fight
Go in My Power, My Strength, and My Might"
Lifting my head I looked at His face
I caught a glimpse of His glory, His eyes full of grace

I rose to my feet with the help of His hand
Positioned on His Word I fought just to stand
The forces of darkness came running at me
I submitted, I resisted, and they had to flee

November 22, 2009

Thanks Living

If you've been out shopping recently it’s pretty obvious that “Christmas is in the air.” Local stores, shopping malls and restaurants appear aglow with everything from candy canes to mistletoe.

Many retailers began playing Christmas music long before the costumes and masks of the trick-or-treaters had been put away. It is not “beginning to look like Christmas” but rather as if it is well under way.

There have been grumblings about this issue within the ranks of those who participate in social networking. “Isn't there a holiday between Halloween and Christmas” many people are asking?
Some are acting upon their concern that Thanksgiving has been lost in the holiday shuffle by joining sites such as GratitudeLog or by posting daily status updates expressing thankfulness via Facebook or Twitter in an attempt to counteract the perceived sweeping away of what many consider a holiday of “reflective gratitude.” They've spent a few moments every day in the month of November making their blessings publicly known. Many of these posts are quite moving to read.

November 20, 2009

When Pigs Fly

I just returned from a doctor's appointment with the dreaded "offical diagnosis" of H1N1 otherwise known as the "Swine Flu." It was not really a suprise to me as I could almost hear oinking during my endless coughing fits over the past week.

Fortunately there are medications to help with the complications of the flu. My infection & bronchitis should fly the coop soon. Then it will be time to disinfect our stye home. All of this is good news. Yet I can't help but feel a little bit down.

We just had the vacation of a lifetime. We returned with many dreams, plans, & goals which we collaborated on during our 5,000 miles in the car. Seems that illness has quickly put the brakes on everything and it's not the first time, either.

I was just about to have a pity party when I thought back to another time. A time off great difficulty in my life. The testimony I am posting below is very special to me. I pray that as you read it you'll be reminded, as I was today, that God is always "on the scene" in your life. 24/7 He's orchestarting our affairs for His glory and our good. (Rom 8:28-29) When will that change? When pigs fly!

November 19, 2009

Monkey Business

"Poor little guy" I said to my husband on a recent visit to the zoo. Looks like he could use a Prozac fortified banana milkshake. If that doesn't work a second helping complete with Abilify
I'd never seen such a dejected animal in all my life. All of his friends and relatives were monkeying around--but not him. He could have been the "poster monkey" for depression.

Come on, unless you have Tivo and never catch a commercial, or have thrown your set out of the window you must have seen that coming. Surely you realize we're talking "anti-depressants." We've all seen enough advertisements about them to choke an elephant.

$122 million buys a lot of air time these days. Apparantly the money has been well spent as an estimated 27 million Americans, or 10% of the population, are currently taking medication for depression.

I don't mean to throw a wrench in all this "monkey business" but doesn't that sound a little excessive? Oh, and just for the record, I'm not judging those who are currently under a doctor's care or taking anti-depressants. I've taken a few in my time. Who can say what the future might bring.

November 17, 2009

The Struggle For Simplicity

Struggling for simplicity is something I've done a lot of lately. Perhaps you can relate. It almost seems that:

"Life is one long struggle to disinter oneself, to keep one's head above the accumulations, the ever deepening layers of objects which attempt to cover one over, steadily, almost irresistibly, like falling snow."- Rose Macaulay

In retrospect I often experience something that is much more like the sensation of an "avalanche" in my life. Yet I can't help but wonder if a struggle of such magnitude is meant to continue all of life's days? Somehow I don't believe it is.

It seems so cruel to me that life would be so smothering; not unlike a huge snowdrift from which we can never shovel out. Just because someone has said it--doesn't mean it's Gospel truth.

November 12, 2009

The Sands of Time

I have always been facinated with hourglasses. If I had my way there would be one in every room of my house replacing the bright digital displays and noisy ticking clocks. In my heart I believe that it would make me more mindful of how quickly time passes.

Speaking of time, as difficult as it is for us to believe, my husband and I are celebrating 25 years of marriage this year. It hardly seems possible that we have known each other 25 years and 5 months. Yes, we had a very short engagement, but that's an amazing story for another day.

Show Me The Money

Our recent trip put me far behind on email. When I began taking the time to read very little some of it I was amazed by the amount of junk mail that had slipped past my spam folder landing in my inbox. For a few moments I thought I had some real treasures to explore.

Much to my chagrin billions of dollars apparantly awaited me--according to several dozen emails from various countries. All promised oodles in return for what seemed like very little. Some banking information, a small sum to ship documents--you know the drill.

A few of the letters were much more original than the ones I have seen in the past. That means one of two things: either the scammers are getting better OR I'm growing more naive. Not naive enough, however, to fall for any of them.

November 9, 2009

Faith Worth Lugging Around

For several months, prior to our 25th wedding anniversary, my husband and I had been kicking around the idea of taking a trip out West. Perhaps it would be more accurate of me to say that my husband had been seriously considering it. I was merely going along with what sounded like a lovely fantasy dream.

As the days grew closer to our anniversary my husband continued to research possible places to travel to and got in touch with friends he wanted to see. I nodded my head to show some interest now and then but gave very little input. It all sounded wonderfully impossible to me.

Why would it seem impossible, you might ask? After all people take vacations all the time, right? Well most people do but I somehow fit into the "unique" category which means what most do rarely works for me. Severe physical limitations have made short trips a "rare treat" over the past decade and a half. Who in the world could ever HOPE to take a jaunt clear across the country? Not me.

Did You Get The Memo?

"Then God said to Noah,  "Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number upon it." Genesis 8: 16-18



There they stood like statuses--this pair of zebras. They were totally isolated from the rest of the "herd" which is quite unusual for this uniquely patterned species. Normally zebras enjoy mingling. The more the merrier. As I took the photo I could not help but wonder if somehow these two had not "gotten the memo" issued in Genesis 8 to move out and on with their lives.

Then I began to question how many times my life has remained unchanged because I did not "get the memo." In all honesty it feels like I missed a memo or two in recent days. The world is moving forward yet it feels like I am standing still. It's not that I want to because there is so much to see, do, and experience. It's just that I can't clearly discern what is next. On the outside it looks like "business as usual" but on the inside there is a voice shouting "I did not get the memo. What am I missing? What is next for me?"

When I look around it seems like everyone else has "gotten the memo." They seem to have an awesome plan for their life and are moving forward in it. At least that is how it appears. I wonder if appearances are deceiving?

Ever fail to "get the memo?" When did you notice? What did you do?


November 5, 2009

Can You Picture It?

My husband and I just returned from a 17 day journey out West to celebrate 25 years of marriage. It was the first time we have traveled alone in over 20 years. We logged in nearly 5,000 miles and saw 7 states. Of course some of them we saw twice from different points on the map. All in all the trip was wonderful and something we will never forget.

Prior to leaving my husband decided to get a new camera. My little pink one did not seem befitting to him. Besides I am forever crying--"I need more zoom." During our trip we took at least 1,000 pictures. Not only did we both have cameras we had tons of great scenery, animals, people, & signs to capture. I personally think I found a new addiction hobby. As a matter-of-fact I just came in from shooting pictures of the moon in freezing weather wearing my pajamas and hubby's slippers. Apparantly I'm becoming a nut shutterbug.

November 2, 2009

Seasons


"He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding." Daniel 2:21

In case you haven't noticed summer is over. Crisp cool air is replacing the heat of day. "Old Man Frost" is leaving interesting patterns on the ground. The leaves are turning colors. Many are falling off the trees. Without a doubt a change in the weather is upon us.

During this "season of change" what is God saying to you? What wisdom has He given to you regarding your life? Who or what needs to be removed from your life and who or what needs to be set up in it's proper place in order for you to mature in Christ?

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. Eccleiastes 3:1

What is His purpose for you during this time and season? Are you open to His leading in all things and willingly sensitive to His timing?

These are some of the questions I have found myself asking as I have witnessed the visible changes as Summer turning to Fall. Colorful changes like those captured in this picture I took while in Russellville, AR yesterday.

God changes the times & seasons. Life would be boring otherwise. He also directs us toward times of transformation during the various seasons of our lives.

What season is it for you? What activities will you engage in and why? Will what you do display the awe of His wonder and power for all the world to see? One of the things that I love most about seasonal changes is the visible display of God's handiwork.

Lord, may Your handiwork be clearly displayed in my life during this new season!


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