The Slave, The Retch, & The Widow

What does a teenage slave. a smelly retch and an elderly widow have in common? Let us consider each one separately, to begin with:

The Slave

The youngest son of Jessie was a good boy. Joseph always did what his father instructed him to do and was loyal to his family. Joseph was born after his father was much older and was his favorite. Sibling rivalry is always an underlying factor in a household with boys or girls, and it was becoming a more complex problem of jealousy in this family.
It did not help matters that Jessie doted on the boy. Scripture even says that at seventeen, Jessie gave Joseph a multicolored robe/coat to wear. These coats were worn by shepherds in the fields and Joseph often tended his Father’s flocks. Generally, these coats were plain and one colored, but not Joseph’s. This multicolored symbol of his Father’s favor and undying love began to be a source of real resentment for his older brothers. A plot began to form.

The brothers took Joseph’s coat, and after putting him into a deep pit, they smeared animal blood on the coat. They returned the coat to their father and told him that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal as he was defending his father’s sheep. Jessie was devastated.
The brothers sold Joseph to some people traveling through as a slave. They truly believed that their dealings with dream boy were over.
Now here is where I will advise you to read the complete story for yourself, cause the hero, Joseph, deals with some pretty crazy stuff. And yes I called him the hero because that is what he truly turns out to be. (Genesis 37)
Many years down the line, Joseph becomes the most powerful man in Egypt. Famine is rampant and Father Jessie sends the boys to get food in Egypt. These cruel, jealous men have to come groveling at the feet of that most despised favored one.
Long story, slightly shorter, Joseph reunites with his father and meets his younger brother.

The Retch
Jonah was a prophet with an attitude. He had formed his own opinions despite what the Almighty had to say.
God told Jonah to go to Niveah and preach to the people.
These people were the most vial and nasty creatures and Jonah did not have much concern for them.
Most of us heard this story as a child, but really need to get a clear picture of what occurred. Jonah boarded a ship and headed the opposite direction of Ninevah.
So God decided that He needed to get Jonah’s attention. A horrific storm began to terrorize the ship. Fearing that all would be lost they began to basically ask all onboard who had made God mad.
Once Jonah confessed, over the side went the prophet. Quickly the storm settled as Jonah sank deeper.
Now a large fish swallows Jonah for his meal and this is where things get a bit confusing for most Believers. We often get a picture from a storybook of Jonah with a table, chair and a lamp sitting and praying for three days. This is so far from the truth. A great deal happened to him. Take time and check out the whole story sometime. (Jonah chapters 1-3)
As for our purposes, this guy spent 3 days and nights with the digestive juices of this enormous fish. The pungent smells and discomfort would have been enough to get most folks praying for help. His clothes would have dissipated. His skin would have turned very pale and sick and shriveled and all body hair would be no more. Covered in seaweed, skin burning, Jonah began to pray to God.
Finally, Jonah was regurgitated by this fish, the Bible says he went straight to Nineveh. Get the picture, this guy is like walking death coming there. They could look at him and tell he had been dead and was alive again.
That captured their attention better than a three-piece suit. They all listened. God’s message was heard and the people began to serve God.

The Widow

Famine covered the land where they lived so Naomi and her Husband, as well as both of there sons leave Judeah to the land of Moab. The sons grew and took wives. After years there, Naomi’s Husband dies and so do both of her sons. Now she was practically destitute, so she decided to return to Jerusalem. One daughter in law pledges to stay with her wherever she goes, while the other decides to remain in Moab.
Ruth the girl who stayed with Naomi was young enough to marry again, so Naomi introduced her to one of her late husband’s relatives. A man named Boaz who happened to be successful and well known in the community. Under the keen direction of her mother in law, Ruth set her eyes on Boaz as the ultimate prize. She did not just flirt or even seduce him but won the heart of Boaz and they were married. Once she became his wife, they had a son named Obed who was the father of Jessie. Jessie was the father of King David who was the direct lineage of Jesus Christ.

So what do those three less than desirable people have in common? They were all called by God for a very important purpose. No matter the situation you find yourself in, God can turn it around.

Are you a slave, a retch, or a widow?
Did you feel like the favored one and now you are in the bottom of a pit? Has life been so cruel that you feel like fish puke? Or are you in the senior part of life going, now what?
God wants to use you. Just as you are! You do not have to be perfect to be used, you just have to be willing. It is my prayer today that you will recommit yourself to God like never before. Become the person that He created you to be, and fill His purpose for your life.

If you do not know Him, that is easy, talk to Him. Understand that ALL have sinned and are not worthy of the glory of God, but Jesus Christ gave His life for our sin that we might have perfect peace with God. He not only died but He rose again three days later and is alive today! Now tell someone that you accepted these things and have talked to God. Leave a note below, call a friend, or even better, do both!

It does not matter where you started, it matters where you are going!

Specifics

The men of our household were all gone one late morning, and I found myself alone with just my three kids. Of course, as a reminder, I use the word kids simply because I am a mother, but there is no one less than 16.  When they were little it was more demanding because you always had to stop what you were doing to see to someone’s toilet issues, or to get a drink for someone, or to find “the quiet one” and find out what he/she was up to. Today they all are big enough to fend for themselves, most of the time, yet it is not always true about them staying out of trouble.

My son is busy on the computer, and when that is the case he is pretty well occupied. The only time he seems to stop is when a hunger pain hits. The girls and I are busy with crafts which are really tough on me today because my focus is off. I keep pushing through. I mess up and start over. Sometimes I mess up and revamp my idea completely. Nevertheless, I was finally being productive and realized that Elyssa, my middle child, had slipped into the kitchen.

I kept working. When she arrived back into the room, a wonderful aroma accompanied her. I took a long slow breath. It was sliders she had made from the porcupine meatballs from last night’s supper. The sweetness from the bar-b-que sauce and the freshly grown bell peppers. The aroma of onions mixed delicately with tomatoes and that sizzling beef made my mouth begin to salivate.

Back to work, I looked up and realized that my other daughter had made herself a sandwich of meatballs as well. Hmmm, probably all gone with everyone digging in. I thought to myself. I hear the beep of the microwave and realize that my son is also having lunch now. He has just warmed the meatballs. I feel like I can not stand it anymore. “Nate, will you make momma a sandwich too?” I called to him, “Please and thank you. ”

“Sure.” Came the reply that may have been sarcasm, but I ignored. As I glued my final piece to my project, a plate hovered near my head. “Here Mom.” The 16-year-old presented my lunch. Yet instead of the delectable meatballs that I had been smelling, I had been given a cold chicken and cheese sandwich. From the refrigerator, lunch meat and a cheese slice between two slices of bread.  My heart sank.   As I took a bite I could not convince my taste buds and brain that this was what I wanted.  Finally, I said to my son, “Nate, you want the rest of this sandwich?” He comes around the corner mouth full, with his one hand meal well in hand.  He finally swallows and replies,”I guess so.”  I looked up at him to respond and see his scrumptious meatball sandwich.  “Wow, I guess you got the last of the meatballs, huh?”  I asked resigning myself to the answer.

“No,” he responded,”  There’s plenty more.”

I pondered what I had heard.  If there was…?  Then why did I…?  And why did he…? I felt slight outrage.  Everyone else had a warm lunch, and I was stuck with cold cuts. To top it off my son seemed indifferent to it. “So, I just have to ask,” I chose my words carefully, “why did you give me a cold sandwich while making yourself a meatball one?”

My daughters began to laugh and make snide remarks like,”Oooo, you got caught.”  “Boy, you gonna get it now.”

“Now, Mom, in my defense,” he began to respond to me once the jeering died down,”You asked for a sandwich.  You never once specified what kind.”  I took a slow cleansing breath.  At that moment I felt that there was egg all over my face.  There was no argument to that.  He was right.  I did not specify anything except a sandwich.  I thanked him for his efforts and went and made me a meatball one on my own.  But as I did being “specific” kept rolling around in my mind.

With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people. (Ephesians 6:18)

So God wants me to pray specifically.  Not just generic requests.  Not just God bless So-in-so, but God bless him with a new better paying job and heal his marriage.  See the difference.  Because those specifics are not just for our own personal issues but the petitions of all of God’s people.  It says so right there in Ephesians.  It amazes me how much instruction can be found in just one verse.

So, I have learned an extremely important lesson.  Ask for sandwiches, and pray very specifically, or you might get what you do NOT ask for.

 

Tidal Wave

I had hoped that today would be a day full of laughter and smiles, instead, it was full of new symptoms that can be described as waves.  One moment I feel content and putting on my mascara.  The next thing I know my mascara is streaming down my face. At first, I am busily going about my day, and end up dazed and confused about what I was even doing.

I realize that depression is probably an underlying factor, but these waves are new.  They have sent my family into a flurry of, “Are you all right?” and “What is the matter?”

I find myself at a loss for words when they ask me these questions.  It seems that this sudden onslaught comes out of nowhere.  It is said that stress is a contributing factor to anxiety, yet at the moments when these surges occur, I am not necessarily feeling burdened.

So I am attempting to write this post and had to stop typing because my eyes were so fogged up with tears.  I have no particular reason for this feeling, and once it passes, it is over until the next wave.

I have taken several days to complete this story and I feel that maybe I have a better handle on things now.  My storm was very real and in my face.  I have decided after much contemplation, that I have been experiencing grief.  I lost my mother back in October of 2017.  Every time I believe I have dealt with all the grief steps, something else rises up.  And in this storm, it was coming fast and hard and scary. You know hindsight is 20/20.  Well, after I am finished with the storm, I see perfectly.

Reminds me of a Bible story.  Jesus and the disciples climbed into the boat to travel across the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus has been preaching to throngs of crowds all day and was exhausted.  He went down into the boat and fell asleep.  A deep sound sleep.

A great storm arose with waves that beat against the ship and it began to fill with water.  In my mind’s eye, I can see disciples bailing to keep afloat.  They were scared to death and began to cry out and beg for help.  Finally, some genius decides to shake Jesus awake and ask, “Don’t you even care if we die?”

And He got up and [sternly] rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Hush, be still (muzzled)!  And the wind died down [as if it had grown weary] and there was [at once] a great calm [a perfect peacefulness]. Mark 4:39 AMP

As a Christian, I have Jesus in my spiritual boat.   Yet, I question sometimes if He is asleep.  Be honest, you do too sometimes.   Now even when He was sleeping in the boat with the disciples, He knew exactly what was happening.  After all, Jesus was God as well as human.  God also sees and knows what is happening to me.  He feels the pain I feel, and the sadness, and even the loneliness.  But He is always there to take care of me, guide me, and see that I do not go under.

And Jesus said to them, “Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith and confidence [in me]?” Mark 4:40 AMP

Why am I afraid?  365 times in the Bible the words, “do not be afraid” is written.  One time for every day of my life. Jesus rides with me. The ruler of the universe, the Savior of my soul rides with me.  All I have to do is ask for His help.  He will stand up inside my situation and speak peace.  Even against a tidal wave.

 

For a bit of humor in the rain.  Try this story: Caught in the Rain

Word Bombs

I am in the family room with my feet propped up watching and listening to my two younger kids play a game. I took my turn and am now waiting. The title of this games is Keep Talking and No one Explodes. It is literally a bomb defusing game. It is played with one person on the computer and one with a printed manual. The idea is to communicate and not “blow” up. We have done fair. Only exploded 60% of the time.  Okay, that is not so hot.   The kids are better at it than me, but they have had a bit more practice. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

  •  How many wires do you see?
  • 4   
  •  How many red wires are there? 
  •  3 
  • Okay, cut the last wire.
  • The last one? 
  • Yes.
  • Are you sure?
  • I’m sure.
  • Really?  Be sure.
  • Yes, for heaven’s sake, cut the wire!
  • “Snip”
  • BOMB EXPLODES ON SCREEN
  • Okay, maybe I wasn’t sure

 

Communication is a huge deal in life. It is a necessity to keep things running smoothly in every aspect where we deal with other human beings. Wow. So, we are referring to work, family, church, shopping, …. this is too much for me to fathom. I am supposed to be cautious and careful in my communication? Why don’t other people just make allowances for me, and then things would be just perfect?  If only!

Sometimes when you need a bit of entertainment, go and people watch at the local Mart store or shopping mall. It is the funniest thing. When you get past the weird way people dress then start noticing people communicating, or not.   People yelling at their family members, some so angry with each other they won’t even speak.  Folk complaining to employees, and occasionally quite boisterously.  Every single person trying to push their point of view on the other, giving no caution about the other’s feelings, or purpose.

Now, as I have said before, I am a Bible-believing person.  I do my best to follow what the Good Book instructs me.  Yet just like playing baseball, you may not get a home run every time, but you should always aim for the fence.  Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (1 Corinthians 15:33 KJV)  Wow, you can sure see that people watching!

Ephesians 4:29, Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  

Now for those of us who are not Bible scholars, corrupt is having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain.  How many times have I opened my mouth with the intent of gaining personal superiority?  In other words, giving someone a piece of your mind just to make yourself feel better.  We have all probably been guilty of that at one time or another.

Edifying means to instruct or benefit, especially morally or spiritually; uplift.  So, these people who really do need our instruction need to be told in the right way.  Oh, help me, Lord!  Cause I honestly, want to tell them exactly how it is!

Grace in Ephesians 4:29 literally is a Greek word meaning that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness.  When was the last time you set out to say anything that followed that pattern?  Hum, you don’t answer that and neither will I.

Just like the kids had to learn how to talk to each other to keep the simulated bomb from exploding, we must learn to talk the right way and to listen the right way.  Listening is just as important as proper speech.  The person in the game giving the instructions must be heard correctly by his teammate or the instructions are useless.

There is a ton more that could be said here about positively communicating but I will tell you one thing I know for sure.  It must start somewhere, and it might as well start with me.

So the game name should be Keep Talking Correctly or You Might Explode.  I guess it doesn’t have the same ring to it, but I bet the next time you think about telling someone off, you will remember this story and the scripture.  Then hopefully a bit of grace will be on your lips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overcoming Captivity

My head pounds until my vision blurs.  Pain trickles down from the base of my skull to the fingertips of each arm.  My chest feels compressed by an unseen force. I struggle to breathe.   A searing, burning pain explodes in my mid to low back and I suddenly notice a freezing numbness in both my feet.  My legs ache like I have overworked the muscles for days.  Anxiety engulfs my soul and causes me to tremble.  Every word that is spoken to me cuts into me like a knife.  Silent screams rise up inside and dare to escape me.

“My Lord, please let this pass” I pray in desperation, ” I do not know how long I can take this.”  My family is still learning to deal with these episodes too.  They must understand that if I speak harshly to them, I do not intend any harm.  They also must learn that I will probably not have much memory of what the tell me.  If I have any at all.

Anything planned out of doors today will have to be postponed.  I can not face the outside world.  My family will forgive my shortcomings and inabilities, but outside if I overreact in the world I would be labeled a witch (But it would probably start with a different letter.)

These are the times when you learn that depression is more than just sadness.  It is more than loneliness.  Although those are a definite part.  Pain is a part of my depression that no one ever thinks about.  The pain that I already have in my body be it arthritis or injury can be intensified at the height of my depression symptoms.

Depression is like being lost in the rain. You long for the sun to return.  You know where the umbrella is, and that there is shelter nearby, yet you are frozen standing in a downpour that never seems to end. It seeps into every part of you while you stand helplessly drenched.

Now I have heard and read several trains of thought on what I have been experiencing.  I am a Bible-believing person, and I do accept the Holy Bible as divinely inspired.

Now it has been proven that depression is a chemical imbalance of the brain. I understand that this is the case for me as the situation has run in my family.  I do take medication once a day for this imbalance, the medicine makes a great deal of difference.  That said, I also believe that there is a spiritual component to this as well.  The enemy of my soul wants nothing more than destroy me completely.  If I listen to his propaganda I will end up in worse shape than before.

2 Corinthians 10:5,  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Satan and his imps will jump on the bandwagon when those physical symptoms of depression and anxiety occur.  He will cause you to imagine every awful thing under the sun.  He will cause you to have nightmares that will stay with you after you wake.   He will cause you to think things that are so far from the truth that you can not even trace it back to the truth.  He will cause worry and fret to exalt themselves so high in your thoughts that you can not even conceive the knowledge of God.  According to the scripture, we must cast down, and bring into captivity.  Now those are some violent actions.  Get that junk under control!  Don’t let the devil feed you any more junk!  Tell him out loud that you have had enough.  That you are not going to take it anymore!

When my thoughts do not agree with what God says I am, I must forcefully remind myself even though I do not feel it, that God is for me and nothing can stand against me. (Romans 8:31)

Symptoms will come. They are inevitable.  But I have decided I will not allow myself to be snatched down into the abyss that Satan wants to keep me in.  I will overcome.  I will beat this!  I will be strong in the Lord and I will conquer this battle with help that only comes from above!

Careful Directions

Life with depression can have its lows and highs.  There are days when you feel everything is wrong, and will never be right again.  Yet there are the days when the sadness seems a slight memory that you long to make a distant memory.  Those are the times when you push to do things that you do not normally do.  Today was that day for me.

My husband and I had taken a short drive into town together, which was a pleasant change of pace.  We even had time to hold hands and sing to some old Country and Western music playing on the radio.  It simulated the moments from when we were dating.  We have only been married for 9 years, but the stress we have been experiencing lately has caused us to lose track of time.  He is the man I have waited for all my life.  God took all the pain and sadness from all the past and multiplied it with twice as much love and happiness.

We picked up the middle child, Elyssa and ate lunch in town just the three of us. She is so busy with school and works during fall and spring semester we do not get to see her much.  Full of our meal and of all our chit chat, we climbed into the car to start for home.

A quick side note here.  Practically everyone in the world has a vice.  Some people smoke cigarettes, and some drink alcohol.  Some people get regular manicures and pedicures.  There are even people who have to have only the latest and greatest tech items.  This is not a judgment by any means, to each his own.  I have a vice.  Some people in my family might even say an addiction.  My thing is Diet Dr. Pepper.

Just for the record, I also have Hubby addicted. I can say with definite certainty that we are the only ones that in our home that feel that way.  I don’t think you could even pay any of them to drink it.

Well, today as we are leaving the parking lot, my dear husband reminds me that we are almost out of soda.  Now I am scanning the sale papers in my mind trying to remember who has our delicacy on sale.  Of course, the fog that comes along with my depression is playing with my memory.

I turned to my daughter in the back seat and requested that she ask Siri.  Her phone is more advanced than mine.  “Hey, Siri,” she said, and the phone beeped. “Where can I find Diet Dr. Pepper on sale near me?” Another beep comes from the small device.

“Okay,” the answer came, “I found a clinic with the nearest Dr. Pepper on…”I can not tell you exactly what Siri said after that because I was laughing so hard.  Actually, we all were.  We had gone from a beverage of choice being located to a real person of the same name.  Just crazy funny!  So many people use Siri or similar assistants every day.  I hope they are getting better results than we did today.

There are millions of self-help books, preachers, teachers, videos and CD’s, all claiming to know how we should live, and change and be in this life.  My personal experience is BE VERY CAREFUL.  Just because someone is popular does not mean they are in the right.  Just because they have published a dozen books is not proof that they are the one you should base your beliefs on.  1 John 4:1 reads, Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 

 You do not want to be deceived.  You do not want to follow someone blindly.  If someone is praiseworthy, you will be able to tell if you will only try the spirits.  Ask questions about what they say.  Do they line up with God’s Word?  If not, leave them be.   After all, today if I had followed Siri’s directions, I would have been sitting in Dr. Pepper’s office waiting for a beverage.  It really just would not have made sense.  Following people who look and sound good, but are leading people astray with wrong or slightly mixed up directions is a choice that will be detrimental to your eternity.

 

You really do not want to miss the article called GPS

Gone with the wind

The strain on the Jeep ‘s air conditioner was a fully loaded locomotive traveling uphill. 98 degrees but with the humidity, it was feeling 108. The Florida sun blistered the asphalt without a cloud in the sky.

The traffic was alive with vehicles of every description moving at an urgent pace. My daughter and I were among the herd, trying desperately to get to our destination.

It is a rare event that the two of us get away alone. We do not have a lot of time, but we are taking what we can grab. My relationship with each of my children is important to me, but with the nest so full it becomes a strain to get one on one time. Just ask my hubby about that.

My daughter, Elyssa and I share our thoughts and our concerns and sip our ice cold drinks as we buzz along the highway. The traffic was our only care in the world at that moment. Once she emptied her bottle she reached to the spot where I keep a plastic bag for trash. Her hand found nothing. “O, there is no bag?” she questioned.
“Whoever cleared out the old one, did not put in a fresh one I see,” I replied with a scrunched up face. “Nothing new under the sun.” I shrugged.
“Oh Lord, we sure do need a bag,” Elyssa said. We chuckled together about needing divine intervention to solve this as we were moving at 70 mph and had no other source.

Once we arrived in the beautiful, designated spot here on the Emerald Coast, I had my meeting. Then we had lunch and headed to the beach for a few fun pictures and selfies. On the way back home, the traffic was worse than before. It moved like a caterpillar climbing a tree. This did wonder for my anxiety, and not in a positive way. After a u-turn and some backtracking, we decided to kill a bit of time in a store and wait out the traffic beast.

Once we had tired from our meanderings, we headed back to our vehicle and proceeded on our way. Suddenly in front of our jeep in mid-air was a plastic grocery bag taking flight across the parking lot. “The answer to your prayer from this morning, Lyss, grab it!” I taunted her.

A crosswind lifted the bag away and we both responded, “Ahhh.”

“See,” I touched her arm jokingly, “God answered your prayer, and you didn’t reach out and take it.”

She smiled and replied, “That’ll preach!” We both laughed together.

I knew that moment would become a blog post because it made me really start to think. How many times have I prayed for something and missed it when the answer came.
I missed it because I was too busy, or too sick, or too hard headed. Maybe my eyes were closed when I should have been looking. Maybe it came in a way that I did not expect.  Maybe, just maybe, it flew by me because it was what I asked for, but not what I needed.

It makes me ponder. God is all knowing(Omniscient), He is all-powerful (Omnipotent), and is everywhere at all times(Omnipresent). I, however, know very little, even with an education, and am constantly reminded that I have very little power, and can only be present in one place at a time, despite what the scale tries to imply. So why do I prefer to handle my issues myself? What stinking abilities do I have? Why would a person be so impressed with themselves that they do not need God?

In Psalms 8:4 the Holy Scriptures ask the question what is man, that thou art mindful of Him? And the son of man, that Thou dost visit him? Isaiah chapter 40:29 says, He gives power to the faint; to them that have no might he increases strength.

When times are hard and when they are better, I like the idea of being under the care of a loving, powerful God. You may or may not agree with me and that is your choice. I just believe if a God who will send an empty grocery bag flying through the air simply because His child said that they needed one, he is a loving, understanding God who has a sense of humor. He must have, He puts up with me and mine on a regular basis.

 

More family funnies here: Nature pants

STOP

You have seen them.  They are everywhere. Those 8 sided soldiers standing with their cardinal red glow.  The white letters attempting to jump in your face: S-T-O-P.  Yes, stop signs are everywhere.  Yet they seem to have become, at least here in our fair city, something different than stop.  Webster’s defines one as a sign telling drivers to stop and wait until they can continue safely.  Hmm? Really?  I was beginning to think it was an acronym for Slow To Own Preference.

My point was made the other afternoon as we were sitting outside a restaurant at lunchtime in plain view of a stop sign. Traffic is routed here in a pretty smart fashion. Drive through customers to the right side of the building and people going inside exit the parking lot on the left side.  Both sides joined at the point of entry with a stop sign coming from the drive-through and nothing on the parking lot side. The idea is simple.  Leave the drive-through and stop at the sign, so cars from the parking area can move first.

I stopped counting after about the fifth car just blew the stop sign.  Like it was not even there. Completely oblivious.  Several near mishaps were spotted that they.  Well, I personally think they need to tie a bunch of balloons to it or put a guy in a character suit there to wave.  Of course, they would probably wave back at the person sweating in this suit for their own safety and keep on driving.  An “on purpose” accident will happen and then people will become astonished that there was even a sign there at all.

Stop signs appear on the road to help things move along in a smooth and orderly fashion.  Stop signs also appear in our lives in the same way.  And exactly like the drivers at the restaurant we just keep on cruising.

Why would the creator of the universe in all His wisdom place a stop sign in His child’s situation?  Maybe it is because I need to stop. Sometimes waiting for an answer is really hard to do.  Stopping is a great deal tougher to do than just pushing forward.  There are times when plowing on through life’s hardships are exactly what we should do.  Perseverance is important, but a ceasing can be a key.  Stop talking. Stop meddling. Stop worrying. Stop complaining. Stop trying to do it all on our own.

Psalms 121:7 tells me, The Lord will protect you from every danger.  He will protect your soul. So He is protecting me.  His stop sign is necessary.  Misfortune might happen if I do not follow the signs.  He will give me the green once it is safe to move forward.  He knows the way better than you or I.  We should “go” when we can but, be contentious to stop.

 

Hope you enjoyed that article.  If so click the link to try another: Walking the bird

Eat more chicken

Sometimes buying groceries for a family of seven can be a real challenge.  Money is usually tight and I shop the sales and search for the best deals in town.  I try all kinds of ways to cut the food bill, especially since the price of consumables has gone up.  It is no wonder then that our table regularly has the same types of meat.  Chicken, pork, chicken, hamburger, chicken.  You get the picture.  Like any decent cook, I try and make them in different ways, so that the family will not become bored.

My son was expressing his displeasure with the fact that we were having chicken at dinner the other night.  He threw his head back and made a growl-y grown of some sort.  Then he began to argue his point that we always eat chicken and that he was so sick of seeing the chicken that he just wanted to vomit.  Mind you he said it slightly more descriptively, but I think you get the picture.

Like the concerned, forward-thinking parent that I try to be, I did my best to validate his feelings. I reassured him that he should be thankful to the good Lord that he even had any meat to eat.  I further reminded him that there are people who eat just cold beans or worse have no food at all.   Yet before I could finish my explanation, his eyes began to roll into the back of his head in general disdain.  You know that look that teenagers give you that says that you are out of your mind and that they are the superior being. I hate. No, I despise. No, I have a deep-seated loathing for that look.

“Well, when we get to the supper table,” I announced, through slightly clenched teeth,”If you do not want the chicken, do not eat it.”  Besides fewer mouths to feed, fewer dollars have gone, right?  I figured it was a win-win.

We sat down at the supper table and once Grace was said over our food, we began to start dishes passing around.  The homemade chicken nuggets were the last bowl to arrive at my son’s plate.  I reached for the bowl,”Let me take that.  You didn’t want chicken.” I said calmly. “Wait!  Yes, I do!” He responded quickly, “I didn’t know it was going to be this kind of chicken.”

We all had a good chuckle, to which I declared, “I’m gonna use this on the blog.”  He grinned at me and began heartily eating his chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese.

I have to admit that I understand the premise of what my dear son was expressing in his own unique way.  Why the same old thing?  I feel that regularly about the anxiety that creeps up for no apparent reason.  Why is this happening again? Why must I fight another day to keep this situation at bay?

Repetition can get old, but the alternative might not always be a pleasant one.  Just like no chicken on my kid’s plate.  You might find something missing if you didn’t have your day-to-day routine. I have a great story about Missing Chicken You should check out here:  Missing chicken

You are alive!  You have gifts and talents that no one else has.  God chose you to take care of what he has given you.  “Don’t be weary in well-doing.” says 2 Thessalonians  3:13. Keep on going, working as hard as you can.  Just like my son will keep consuming yard bird.