The Mourning of Rejection

Just the other day I told my daughter it really meant a lot to me that she wasn’t embarrassed by me telling her goodbye with a hug and a kiss on the head in the morning when I dropped her off at school. Today was a sad morning. This cold Friday in November became a bit colder at the drop off line.

I pulled my daughter close towards me, as I always do, only this morning she pulled away. She looked at the kid getting out of the vehicle in front of us. I said, “Leah, you’re not going to let me give you a kiss this morning?” She didn’t respond. It ripped my heart out.

I guess she was like a lot of other teenagers this morning – too cool to let Mom say goodbye in the usual way. That’s not the way my daughter is supposed to be though; she’s supposed to be different than them! She isn’t supposed to be ashamed of her mother! I told her years ago I’m way cooler than she’ll ever think about being πŸ˜…. And another thing – I’m always there when no one else is and she knows this. It’s been proven time and again.

So she looked at the world this morning and worried what they’d think of they saw she loved her mother?

Let’s think about this from a spiritual perspective. You’re out in the world, not of it but in it, as we are called to be. As a child of God you’re feeling the pressure of walking the narrow way. It’s easier to push that away and take the broad path, right?

So you have an opportunity to share the love of your Father and the love you also have for Him, but instead you pass on it. After all, you don’t want people running from you when they see you coming. You don’t want people to laugh or talk about you, right? So you reject Him.

That’s not the best choice, and even when you feel that feeling of guilt inside, you can push it away but you can’t push the people away.

While it’s not the same as my daughter rejecting me this morning, it’s something relatable to the Word of God. A good reminder and a crucial warning from the mouth of our Savior Himself, Jesus Christ.

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny be before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 10:32-33

Of course as children of God, we know how much He loves us. We should also know how much the world hates us. If we are His children, our hearts have been pierced with the reality of the sacrifices Jesus made for us throughout His life and with His death. (Not leaving out His resurrection which shows the power of God and the hope He brings.)

It shouldn’t matter what the world thinks of our relationship with our Father. We know He’s always faithful to us, never leaving us, always loving us, even when He knows us better than we know our own children. He’s more faithful than any human could ever be.

The world is always trying to draw our children away from us, while the enemy is always trying to draw us away from our heavenly Father.

I can’t say anything about my daughter when in a split second I can allow my mind, my heart, to wander away from the Lord. In the blink of an eye I can be enticed by something besides Him and pull away from His embrace. The embrace I always run back to when I come to my senses.

Dear Lord,

Thank You for Your love towards us. Help us to accept that great love You offer to us, whether anyone’s looking or not. Please forgive us for the times we don’t. Thank you for Your mercy and grace and for taking the time to catch just a glimpse of how You may feel when we reject You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Still a Maid

Every once in a while I get to the point where I don’t think I can take it anymore. Take what, you ask? Cleaning!

I know I’ve written about this before. Once in my book for sure. I remember as if it were yesterday- the disappointment, the tears: that day I found out I Didn’t Get the Job. Maybe I’ve written about it on this blog. It’s something that crosses my mind occasionally, only at the present time I feel I couldn’t despise it more.

When I go to work, I clean. When I get home, I clean. On a lot of my days off, I clean and if I don’t? Then later I really have to clean. I don’t get to enjoy it. All this cleaning I do and then I leave because the job’s done or I get home and it’s never ever “done”.

Now I’m not trying to be ungrateful. I’m thankful I can get out of the bed and walk in the morning- that I can do this cleaning biz every single day of my life. (OK, still sarcasm there but by the time I finish writing this it’ll be gone.)

I’ve gone back and forth with the “do what makes you happy” thing today. I know it isn’t about my happiness. You grin and bear it. You do it as you’re doing it unto the Lord, not men. (You’ll see the irony of this in a minute.)

These cleaning gigs have allowed me to be mom, wife, daughter, sister and aunt first. This line of work is flexible and gives me freedom. If anyone knows me well enough, they know that’s exactly what I need, yet I cringe at the very thought of cleaning one more thing!

So, as they say, I did a thing today. I got online at a job website, filled out an application and sent my resume in. Then I found a job that I’d just been thinking about 3 days ago!

I made passwords, reset passwords, set up an account along with a password for that. Later on I went back when I had more time and guess what? I can’t log in. Too many attempts. Email already used, other email already used, wrong password, enable Javascript. I don’t even know what Javascript is for goodness sake. I watched a video on how to enable it. Oh, you have to find how to enable it on Microsoft Edge with Windows 10. I give up! I gave up.

A few minutes before, I sent my daughter out to the car to get my Bible case that had my notebook in it. Surely to goodness my old email password would be in there. That’s a negative.

I sat in my recliner with tears in my eyes and looked at my Bible case. I pulled the Trusty Book out. The Lord knows when I’m desperate. I didn’t even pray my famous, “Lord, lead me to what You’d have for me to hear” prayer.

I opened and my eyes fell upon Colossians 4:17-18 (NKJ) 17 And say to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.” 18 This salutation by my own hand –Paul. Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Amen.

OK. So right now I’m Archippus, I gather. I cried (of course). The question is, is this cleaning thing my ministry or does it allow me the time (I don’t always use wisely) to write? Or is it both?

In the meantime, that huge chunk of irony I spoke of earlier? It’s not irony at all- it’s the Lord. It is in the column right next to where my eyes fell first.

Colossians 3:23 (NKJ) And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.

Good ole Paul. Even in his chains he was encouraging others. Even all these years later his obedience to the Lord has made a huge difference in our lives. Maybe one day, many years from now, some of my words will have a positive impact on someone. Maybe even today.

Thank you for reading. Good night.

The Storage Unit

Over the past year I’ve significantly reduced the amount knickknacks and wall decorations in our home. There have been days I’ve come home from cleaning a house and just started taking things off the walls and getting rid of them, just for the plain and simple fact: I dust enough elsewhere. With that being said, I still have plenty to deal with- just not near as much.

One weekend, months ago, I decided I’d had enough. Again. I started pricing things and boxing them up. I was going to have a yard sale. A few weeks ago I set a date for this weekend. I still had items in the house that needed to go so I gathered them (well, some more of them) together.

Then, there’s the storage unit. I took a few trips there this week and dug through totes of this and that. I found so many things I haven’t seen in so long. Some brought a smile to my face, while other things brought back painful memories.

Just as I have so many times before, I wondered why I held on to so much. Maybe I will need this for something one day. Maybe I shouldn’t get rid of that because so-and-so gave it to me. Maybe this item would take me back to my youth, before I experienced the sting of life. Just as I have so many times before, I am doing a lot of soul-searching.

This year alone, so many things have come about to take me back in my mind to things that changed my life. Back then they were bad, but God has worked those things out for my good, just as His Word says:

Romans 8:28 (KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

I realize, not only do I still need to get rid of some things in my home and a lot of things in the storage unit, but also in my storage unit. That stuff I need to let go of in my mind- that stuff in my poorly guarded heart. The junk I need to properly deal with, and heal from- just me and the Lord. After all, that’s the only proper way.

Do you even know how many times I have written on this same topic? I know one thing, I can’t continue to be consumed with all this useless, worthless junk. It’s not worthy to be stored.

It constantly amazes me how patient my Father is with me, how He continually reminds me of what He’s said before and how caring He is that He wants me to have that peace that only He gives.

John 14:26-27 (KJV) 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

I’m ever so grateful He allowed me the quiet time to sit still and write this out tonight. It’s been a while. Thanks for reading and may God bless ❀️.

Maid to Love

When I first started cleaning, it was buildings and businesses. I started my very first cleaning job on March 6, 2006. How do I remember the date? I guess because it was time to get serious and grow up. My daughter had just turned 2.

I was hired to clean a church building every week. At first it was just a job to help me take care of my child and our financial needs. After a while it became much more than a building where my in-laws attended worship services; I began attending there as well. Some time later, my sister, her kids and my mom started going there.

It was a blessing to me to be there. I could go to the altar and pray when it was impressed upon my heart to do so, or sit down, grab a hymnal and sing a few songs (alone or with my sister when she would come there and help me clean).

I would talk with members of the congregation that would come in to take care of maintenance issues, got to know the preacher and his wife as they would come in or bond with two different ladies that printed the bulletins throughout the years. Over the course of seven years, those people went from being strangers to being family, even some of the best friends I’ve ever had.

There were times my mother-in-law would come in to practice a song on the piano she planned to play or work on a song she planned to sing the following Sunday. I always loved those days.

During that time I started picking up other one-time cleaning jobs. As the years went by, I began to clean for individuals on a regular basis in addition to cleaning the church building. These clients were at work so I had a lot of time to commune with the Lord as I did my job at their homes.

Then, several years back, the Lord started giving me widows and elderly people. It was quite the change to begin cleaning for someone while they were at home.

It was then that my job became very personal. When someone invites you in to their home week after week, for hours at a time, you get to know those people.

You dust pictures of their families, they tell you stories of items in their homes or simply tell you stories about themselves, their family and their past.

They tell you of things they once did but can longer do. They begin to tell you of their health issues, seen and unseen. One couple was waiting on a call from a doctor the first time I went to clean for them. The next day I had to go back to finish up. The call they had anxiously awaited for the previous day brought bad news. Bonding time was cut extremely short, but it was there. The thing I like is with most older people, they want it to be there. I learned that client’s passions quickly as I listened to stories as I dusted.

The ladies, they tend talk about their husbands that have passed away and their eyes well up with tears as they tell you how they long to be in Heaven with them.

Not only have I cleaned their homes, I’ve put flowers on their spouses graves for them or held their hand to steady them while they did it themselves.

I’ve asked for a couple to pray with me and they have. I’ve asked if I could pray with some and we have. I’ve cried to a few and I’ve cried with a few. I’ve told most of them I’m not just there to work for them, but I am there to work for Him (the Lord).

These clients, they become more than just people I work for- they become people I love. They become another piece of my heart.

I believe He sends me to these places. No, I know He sends me to these places and it’s humbling. It’s not that I have so much to offer. It’s not always about what I give or do. I don’t walk away empty-handed. I learn so much from all the people I’ve been blessed to work for- past and present.

Of all the things I’ve learned, what comes to mind the most lately (aside from love) is this:

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15 NKJV

The hard thing about the places the Lord has sent me the past several years is several people I’ve rejoiced with and wept with have gone on to be with the Lord (recently) and I wasn’t finished.

I wasn’t finished showing them pictures of my daughter growing up. I wasn’t finished hearing their laughs or joking around in our own special way. I wasn’t finished going to see them. I’m not finished with my life yet, there’s so much more to tell but I can’t tell them anymore.

I talked to another client of mine today that had called to let me know a lady I worked for for several years had passed away last night. I told her how many I’d lost within a year and she said, “My goodness. Bless your heart. You’re going to have to find some younger people to work for.”

After the past couple of weeks the thought did cross my mind that maybe I just needed to get out of the cleaning business. The selfish, childish part of me would rather not have to hurt with my job (with the exception of when arthritis begins to flare up). Although there’s great pain in my heart, I wouldn’t trade it for the world- the opportunity I’ve been given with these folks.

I know if these people were here, they would weep with me. Recently those family members I’ve seen week after week in those still photos have come to life and become the ones to take on the role of hugging me and weeping with me. For that I am grateful.

When someone I love passes away I say, “It’s not just that I lost someone I loved, I lost someone that loved me.” That is what hurts.

Thank You Father for teaching me how valuable time really is.

In loving memory of these special ladies and a fine gentleman:

Mr. H. Curtis 2/39-10/18

Mrs. Charlotte Breeden 2/34-3/19

Mrs. Betty Davis 5/41-7/19

Mrs. Roberta Robertson 7/26-7/19

I Got Her For Christmas…

Many years ago, I’d say 34-35 years ago, my siblings closest to me (my brother and sister) would occasionally grab an arm each and start pulling. One would pull an arm and say, “She’s mine. I got her for Christmas.” The other one would pull the other arm they had a hold of and say, “No, she’s mine. I got her for my birthday!” “No, I got her for Valentine’s day!”. “I got her for Thanksgiving!” And on and on and on. I was thankful when the holiday list would run out!

I began thinking of these memories last night when I found some old pictures of us when we were kids. The irony of it is, I feel so many things in my life are still playing tug-of-war with me. The past few days I’ve literally felt as if I’m being ripped to shreds. Actually it’s been more than a few days.

Division. Games. Manipulation. Hurt- past and present and I’m in the middle. The middle of right and wrong and to be quite honest, I’d just rather run. After all, I’m not 4 or 5 years old; I’m 39.

Then I think, there are no coincidences with the Lord. Why does he have me here? Do I have the ability to bridge the gap between hurt and healing? Is it even a choice to take the easy road and run or do I have to stay in the middle?

What words do I say, or do I say nothing and just listen? Do I offer a hand or is that enabling? Do I keep it in neutral, or do I put it in drive or even reverse? Was I born on this earth as a gift to be pulled apart at the seams?

One thing I do know is with all the pulling, nothing can separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: β€œFor Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 NKJV

Not the real or the fake, not the love or the hate, not the terrible or the great.

Thank You Lord. Help me to listen. Help me to love. Help me die to myself because it’s not about me. Help me to obey You and no one else. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Light in My Eyes

I was so excited when I rearranged our bedroom several years ago. The way it was situated before didn’t allow room for me to have a nightstand on my side of the bed. I’d have to hand things over each night such as my watch, ponytail holder- things like that. I also had to climb over my husband to get in and out of bed.

I’d come to a point where I was tired of getting up on the wrong side of the bed, so this new arrangement was something to look forward to.

One thing I didn’t count on was the light that shines right in my eyes from another room. My husband wakes up earlier than I do so when he flips that switch on it hits right on my face.

What an aggravation it has been to wake up with a bright light shining right in my eyeballs first thing. I continue to deal with it because I’m happy with everything else the way it is. Plus, it’s a big job moving the bedroom furniture around.

As I stated above- this has been going on for several years but now there’s a new thing.

A while back I decided to rearrange our living room. Not long ago I asked my husband if we could swap our seating spots because the air conditioner blows right where I sit and he tends to want it on full blast.

We moved our recliners. Although I wasn’t in the Arctic air anymore, there, through the blinds covering the window was the sun shining right in my eyeballs! About 5 p.m. is the perfect time to not be sitting in that spot.

I couldn’t believe my eyes! Can I ever just relax for goodness sake! That thought does come to mind, but one morning when I awoke to the light in my eyes in the bedroom I thought about how Jesus is the light.

John 8:12

NKJV Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, β€œI am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

KJV Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

So do I want to get irritated when the light appears, shining brightly in my eyes? No, I do not. Are there really coincidences with the Lord? I don’t think so.

He doesn’t want me to walk in darkness, but to have the light of life.

Does that mean He allows light to shine in my eyeballs because these ways are ways He speaks to me? Probably.

I guess all I should say is, “Shine on!”

Thank you for reading! Good night and God bless. And you can almost guarantee: I’ll wake in the morning with the light in my eyes- literally. I just need to make sure it’s also spiritually. 😊

Great Expectations

Don’t judge a blog post by it’s title because this has nothing to do with that story we read in high school- (or at least I think that’s where I heard the title). Instead I’m going to talk about us.

We, as humans, have great expectations when it comes to people.

Towards the end of last year I realized something huge: I expected WAY more from people than they could, would or even what I felt they should offer me.

It was actually a big turning point in my life. With this realization also came great peace.

I realized I had to lower my expectations for everyone else and raise them for myself. I’m not being sarcastic, hateful or vengeful- only truthful.

Did I have people placed up on a pedestal or was it my own self I had perched up there? Maybe both, but this changed the way I responded to disappointments.

Now don’t get me wrong. There are times when I forget this revelation, but shortly after, I am once again enlightened by the simple truth: people are just people, just like me.

For example- my husband is a pretty good guy. He pays the bills, goes to work, comes home, he’s a good dad to the kids, and the list goes on, but like me- he isn’t perfect.

I can focus on a minor imperfection so much that I can become a miserable person. He should do this, he shouldn’t do this, he should care about this… Blah blah blah.

You see what I’m saying? I expect something and when it’s not there I am let down and can continue to plunge into a pit of despair. OR I can remember who I am in Christ and go paint a piece of furniture, hang some wallpaper, clean the bathroom or wash the dishes.

I might bang a plate or two but then I remember the truth: it’s ok but I better get ok.

Am I holding up to my expectations of myself? It’s always much easier to lower that bar on my end. It gets heavy but doesn’t it get heavy for others as well?

Surely we’ve seen those quotes that say something like Expectations preceed disappointments. How true that is!

How often do we feel let down by someone? How often do we feel we deserve more than what we are given?

How many times are we really placing others, or ourselves, above God? Only He can supply our every need, yet sometimes we look to people to fill what only He can fill and then we wonder why we’re empty.

Us on the other hand? More is expected from us if we are followers of Christ. We should expect more from ourselves due to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He is our Helper and He lives within us.

I don’t even want to walk around offended or feeling rejected. Why? Because then my focus is on me and not my Father. It’s a diversion from the enemy himself.

Psalm 62:5

My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. NKJV

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. KJV

Thanks for reading and God bless!