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, “I 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!

Good Steward

Someone asked me not long ago, “Why did you stop writing?” I think I gave the best answer yet- “Which excuse do you want to hear?”

So, why haven’t I written in months until recently? Do you want an excuse or the truth? I’m going to go with the truth because in the latter part of verse 32 in the book of John, chapter 8 (NKJV), Jesus says, “…the truth shall make you free.”

Truth is I haven’t been a good steward of what God has given me. Monetarily? Not necessarily. Thoughts, ideas, words? Most definitely.

A little less than a month ago, out of the blue, I received a message from a complete stranger. She told me she knew my mother-in-law, she’d actually led her to Christ many years ago. She said she’d stumbled upon my blog and that the Lord has used it to help her. I thanked her for the encouragement and for letting me know. I also told her it had been a while since I’d written due to lack of obedience. A few minutes later she sent a response:

“Yes Sis. You have a calling.. follow it closely. People are hurting…looking.. longing…”

It pierced my heart. It wasn’t this stranger, it was my Father speaking through her.

I actually started writing this particular post weeks ago and never finished it. I’ve worked on it here and there and have had to go back and change yesterdays to the other day, as days have passed by.

After I talked with a friend the other day, I decided to pick up where I left off. She told me she was enjoying reading my posts recently. I told her how it had been a long time since I’d written and how it didn’t really make sense that I wouldn’t continue doing what I love to do, which is write, but there is much more to this writing that I do. It’s obedience. It’s using a gift I’ve been given to serve the Lord.

That night as I lay in the bed, I opened up the website I use here but I couldn’t think of what to write. There are thoughts that go through my mind many times a day but a lot of times I won’t write the idea down. Again- not being a good steward of what He’s given me.

I have a radio in the kitchen and when it picks up, it’s tuned in on a station that plays Christian music. I often jot things down that I hear that seem to speak to my soul. A few mornings ago I walked into the room to fix a cup of water to take to work with me and I looked over at my dry-erase calendar hanging on the wall. There, written on the top was, “Be graceful stewards of the gift God has given you.”

1 Peter 4:10 NKJV says, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

It was the same topic I’d began to write on a couple of weeks ago but never finished.

Please understand this. Is this something I can do apart from God? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Can I receive the glory for words I type? ABSOLUTELY NOT. It is a gift (that I just happen to love) and it is to be used for HIS glory, not my own. If I don’t use it properly, or even at all, it is taken away.

It is my prayer that these little happenings, thoughts, lessons or whatever they may be will help you draw near to Him just as it does me.

And one more time with that good advice- if you are a child of God, you have a calling.. follow it closely. People are hurting…looking.. longing…

Thank you for reading. Good night.

Air Hockey

Back when I was a teenager, my best friend and I played air hockey fairly often. No matter who won, we always had a great time. As years have passed, I haven’t played as much as I used to, but I did have the chance to play a game with my daughter and also with my stepson the other day. Leah and I had a pretty calm game, but Eric on the other hand, played, well, like a maniac.

I watched as he hit the puck off the table several times and it flew through the air. I just laughed at him, becoming even more amused afterwards as I watched him and his dad play with up to three pucks at once. I told my daughter that’s what boys become when they grow up 😂.

As I played that wild game with Eric he said, “You can’t just keep your paddle sitting right there the whole time.” He didn’t want me guarding my goal (or whatever you call it). He was hitting that puck and it was bouncing off my end, his end, the sides, every which a way but I stood calmly, guarding.

After a while I did give in and move my paddle around and a few times it allowed him to score. Of course there were a few other times he got one past me when I was on guard. I just wasn’t fast enough to block the puck.

As I stood there I thought of Leah.

By no means am I a Bible scholar. I’ve never even read in the New International Version (NIV) until last week but for some reason I’ve been telling my daughter lately- “Guard your heart.” As I searched, I found those words in that very version.

A few different versions of Proverbs 4:23 are listed below.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.  (KJV)

Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. (NKJV)

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (NIV)

My daughter’s heart is tender, always has been. The older she gets and the more hurt she endures, the more of an impact it could have on her character. It doesn’t mean it can’t be positive, but we all know life tends to leave scars. The choice will ultimately be hers, just as it is ours, as to how we care for those wounds.

I know I can’t save her from hurt. That is part of living. I can’t save her when hurt tries to take the defense and turn into bitterness, anger and any other negative emotions that are really just gaining the enemy points on the scoreboard.

Thankfully our guide book, the Bible, offers the most sound advice we can possibly receive. We can freely ask our Father for assistance in guarding our hearts from those pucks that are coming towards our goal, whether aimed straight at it or ricocheting off of something else. It doesn’t mean they won’t get through from time to time, but if we are guarding our hearts we’ll be able to respond in a healthy manner and better deal with the issues of life before they cause us to throw our hands up and leave the table.

Thank you for reading. Good night.

But When?

Sunday before last Leah and I went to a morning worship service. The preacher kept saying how important fellowship was. That familiar hungering in my heart could not be satisfied any other way. I knew what I needed so I went up to a peaceful spot I’ve gone to for years and had fellowship with my Father.

My daughter went somewhere with a friend and my husband slept in so I knew the time alone was allotted for just this. The wind was blowing quite a bit, the sun was shining down. The humidity was low and the temperature was comfortable. It was a beautiful day.

I pulled up and put the car in park, got out and hopped up on the hood. I sat there looking out over the hills at His creation. Then I looked down and about 2 1/2 feet from me was a snake. I hopped down off the hood of the car and jumped inside (super fast).When I see a snake I immediately think of the ole serpent in the book of Genesis. I sat there for a moment and debated on leaving. I mean I could talk to the Lord anywhere, right? Sure I could have but there’s always been something about that place. We’ve worked through many things there so I decided to stay.

I focused on Him and not what the devil wanted but then I caught myself looking back at the enemy and what he was doing. I’d focus again, the wind would blow and I’d become consumed once again with His Spirit and then I heard, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7 KJV)

I watched the tall grass blow in the wind right past the snake. I didn’t even worry about him. I was in awe of my Father and His creation. How He made the wind blow. How the leaves shook. The beautiful hills covered with grass. The gift of senses. The beauty of that fellowship with Him. The love and patience He has for me and my honesty towards Him.

After a few minutes I looked down and the snake was gone. I thanked the Lord and continued to sit with my head propped on my arm out the window. “That was quick,” I thought.

I stayed for a while, talked and listened, read in His Word and was grateful for all that had happened there.

I guess it was about a week or so after this and I’d stepped out onto the porch. I was talking to my mom on the phone and actually heard some leaves rustling around the porch. The thought crossed my mind that I should look but I didn’t. After a few minutes I looked down and there was a snake about 4 feet from me on the ground. My dad came to my rescue as soon as my mom told him what was going on.We didn’t know if he’d stay close until my dad got to my house but he did. He saw him and told me it was a chicken snake. He let him go because he posed no danger. The snake slithered right under my dad’s arm when he’d crouched down looking at him.

This snake didn’t go away as fast as the last one I’d seen.

It reminded me of a conversation I had with a Christian sister, my mother-in-law, early in my walk with Christ. I remember quoting James 4:7 followed by a question- “but when?” She said “bless your heart” and that’s all I remember.

I realized that sometimes it takes time for the devil to flee and sometimes he goes away just as quickly as he came. He’s always busy trying to get at someone. We have to remember- “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4 KJV [b])

God bless and good night.

The Perfect Shot Part 2: Forward-Facing

When we have that camera in the forward-facing position, we’re not always going to get that “perfect shot”. We have to remember that humans are human and none are going to be “photogenic” all the time.

In the last post I wrote about a beautiful view of God’s creation such as sunsets, rainbows, etc. If we look at a different angle, human beings are part of His creation as well. When we think of human beings as His creation, maybe we first think of babies.

Looking at a baby we see innocence, purity, new life. A little face, a little being, perfect and untouched by the world. No wonder so many want to hold them.

As those babies grow older, they begin to change. They go through different stages at different ages. They sometimes break out with pimples in the teenage years or even later down the road of life, wrinkles begin to develop- not to mention anything and everything else in between.

Babies become adults in what seems to be the blink of an eye, yet nothing has changed as far as the Creator is concerned. People are His creation. So innocent in the beginning, then developing their character as well as their imperfections and blemishes. Not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. It’s hard to look past that, right? Sure it is, sometimes.

If it’s someone we know and love, we tend to have an easier time maneuvering around those things that block our view to see the beauty inside of them we know is there. Or is it easier?

Sometimes what we end up seeing on the inside makes it a little more difficult to look past.

Life eventually takes it’s toll on all mankind, sometimes more on the inside than the out. Then, sometimes equally, it seems.

When we have that camera in the forward-facing position, we’re not always going to get that “perfect shot”. We have to remember that humans are human and none are going to be “photogenic” all the time.

I’m reminded of when my husband is engrossed in some sort of program on television. My daughter walks in and just so happens to stop and stand right in front of the TV. He’ll move his head around to see what’s on the screen.

Making the effort to look past something to see what’s behind it must mean there’s something back there worth seeing. That is the way the Lord wants us to see people, the way He sees them- looking past the effects life has had on them. He wants us to see who He created and He wants us to love them just as He does.

*Application*
Ask the Lord to help us see others through His eyes, to have love and compassion for those we view as unlovable.

The Perfect Shot

When I see a beautiful sight, I always grab for my cell phone in hopes to get that perfect shot. What makes it perfect to me? To not have anything obstructing my view.

I’ve missed numerous sunrises due to the fact that I’m not a morning person but I’ve chased many a rainbow, ran to see a sunset and, of course, walked around with my head in the clouds.

It’s God’s creation and it always amazes me. It’s perfection at it’s finest: raw, unfiltered beauty.

Do you ever think that God looks upon His creation in this way? In the beginning, the book of Genesis, the Bible says God saw that it was good.

When I see a beautiful sight, I always grab for my cell phone in hopes to get that perfect shot. What makes it perfect to me? To not have anything obstructing my view.

I live in rural America, nice place, not a lot of buildings to get in the way but there are plenty of powerlines. Numerous times I’ve had to crop these things out of my photos before being satisfied- and some aren’t able to be cropped out. They are right in the way.

20180301_174139

I don’t want to have to look past these man made things to see the beauty but sometimes I have no choice. It may not make for the perfect shot but it doesn’t take away the beauty that exists past it all.

Sometimes we have to look past those “power lines”- those things in our lives that tend to have so much power that they distract us from the beauty beyond.

Do we see the beauty past the chaos? Are we looking at what’s going on OR are we seeing what’s happening? Although I’ve used both of these phrases in italics as an informal greeting,  I realize they are actually very different.

It is possible to become so tuned in to the Father that we can still see that raw, unfiltered beauty in even the toughest of situations in our lives.

We must desire to look through God’s eyes. We must have faith in Him and in His Word, remembering His unfailing love and promises to His children that He will keep. He is where that power lies.

*Application*
Ask the Lord to help us look past what’s obstructing our view: to see through His eyes.