Timing is Everything

After months of hard work, my stepson, Eric, decided to buy himself a new phone. He was anxious to get it set up and ready to use. So anxious, in fact, that when he opened the package, the little card (SIM card) that makes it work, fell out onto his lap and fell down into the unknown. It happened to be very dark where he was. Even though he searched as best as he could, he never was able to find the tiny card.

He called the company and ordered a new card. They said it would be delivered today, but to no avail. When he came home, he called the company. They said their warehouse was closed Saturday and it wouldn’t arrive until tomorrow, but there still may be some problems with the shipping and receiving process. He was on the phone with them for quite a while and his discouragement grew by the minute. I’m not sure how this will end, but the night he dropped the small, yet much needed card, he admitted he was just so anxious to use it but instead should’ve waited until a better time to have opened it.

We humans can become impatient beings. God’s children are often no exception when it comes to patience while waiting on the Lord and His timing. The story that comes to mind is that of Abram (Abraham) and Sarai (Sarah). The Lord made a covenant with Abram that He would give his (Abram’s) seed certain land. Abram and Sarai didn’t have children so Abram jumped ahead of the Lord and decided to have a child with the Egyptian handmaid, Hagar. It wasn’t until Abram was 99 years old that the Lord appeared to him and said unto him, “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.” Genesis 17:1 (b)-2 KJV.

When God made His covenant with him, He changed their names from Abram to Abraham, and from Sarai to Sarah. He went on to tell Abraham he would have a son and name him Isaac at the age of 100, and Sarah would give birth at 90 years old. Although Abraham laughed to himself, as did Sarah, the Lord did as He said He would. (I encourage you to read Genesis chapters 15-18 for the full story. There’s more depth of the matter than what I wrote about here.)

It can be rather difficult to wait on the Lord and His timing. Sometimes we may be in a dark place and struggling to trust God, but His timing is best. If we only wait on Him and trust Him fully, it will prevent difficulties we may have if we were to jump ahead of Him.

As always, I thank the Lord for speaking to me, causing me to dig in to His Word deeper and allowing me to share it with you. Thank you for reading!

 

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The Passing Lane

With an hour and 20 minutes total drive time, 5 days a week, to take Leah to school and pick her up, I see many vehicles on the roadway. As I drive along, I see many people driving in the fast lane and not passing. Today seemed especially bad. Maybe because it’s Friday, or because some think it’s optional- or maybe it’s just that they’ve got a lot on their minds. Whatever the case, it seemed to be a struggle just to get down the road.

Last school year I was beginning to wonder if I was experiencing mild road rage. I’d kick the ole V8 in to high gear and scoot on past. I would gripe to myself for way too long, or until I came upon the next person poking along in the passing lane. Finally I realized I was literally driving myself crazy over something I can’t do anything about.

So today, when I saw those people I was having to pass in the slow lane, and those people I had to try to cut in front of to take my left turn, I had to remind myself: it’s not about what they’re doing, it’s about how I react when dealing with what they’re doing. Christian life can be the same way. Sometimes when we’re traveling to our destination (Heaven), we come up on those that are in the wrong lane. Sometimes we come up on people that we have to work our way around just to be able to make the right turn. We have to be careful to not kick it in to high gear and pass them by angrily, but to be patient, just as God is patient with us. I know many times when I’m driving in unfamiliar territory, I’ve been honked at, passed or even worse.

2 Peter 3:9 NKJV says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Toward the end of last school year I’d gotten a lot better about just doing what I had to do and getting on down the road. (That almost $200 speeding ticket probably helped.) As the new school year is fresh, I am reminded once again that I need to be patient. We are called to have the same character of our Lord, meaning at times we must suffer long on the road of life. Sometimes we may slow down, or even get lost, as we head toward our destination. We may end up getting in someone else’s way and find we need that grace as well.

Thanks for reading! Drive safely!

 

Whatever Your Name Is

For many years I’ve laughed at my mom for calling me “Dor, Beck, Cilla,” (Dorothy is one of her sisters, Becky is my sister). Now the tables have turned and I’ve started calling roll. You’ve probably heard someone, more than likely a mom, call out several names before getting to the right one. Every time I say to my husband, “Eric, Jason!” He’ll jokingly say, “It’s Jason Eric (which is his name and Eric is my stepson).” Everyone laughs and I laugh along with them, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized why I do that.

This revelation came one day when Leah, my daughter, was holding our dog, Honey. She was wanting to get down out of her lap, but Leah wouldn’t let her go. Jason does that every once in a while. He’ll ask me to call Honey but then hold her so she can’t come to me. He’s good at aggravating, and although something like this was out of character for Leah, she was acting just like her dad. I said, “Jas, Leah!” I finally figured out that it’s in the heat of the moment when I need to get on to someone, a lot of times they’re acting like someone else and that’s who’s name they are called by first.

This evening I stopped by a friend’s house so Leah could see her daughters for a few minutes and I even called one daughter by her sister’s name. In this case, she doesn’t remind me of her sister, but I figured that was the Lord reminding me of what I should write about today. After all, this is what has been on my mind all day.

Proverbs 20:11 KJV says, “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.”

So watching my nephew, Austin, and my niece, Alex, (who are now in their twenties) grow up, I tend to call their names out first when getting on to my niece, Alana, and my nephew, Andrew. I go down the generations and even call my great nephew, Gaven, Andrew’s name before his own. When they do something that reminds me of the others, that is what flies out of my mouth first. As far as the four of us that live under our roof, anyone could be called anyone else’s name first on any given day, and sometimes I just go straight through the list. It just depends on who they’re acting like.

Thanks for reading and good night, whatever your name is! (haha)

Stung

As I sit here struggling in my mind with what to write, Leah points out a black wasp flying around in the house. It reminds me of what happened yesterday. We’ve made it through the season of carpenter bees here in Middle Tennessee. Now there are wasps or some kind of hornets flying around my front porch swing. I haven’t looked but I’m pretty sure the piles of dirt, larvae and other debris are from the new flying creatures using the bees’ holes. I have been sitting on it for weeks with them flying all around, especially underneath. Sometimes Leah (my daughter) will come sit next to me. When she sees one flying close by, she jumps up and says, “I’m getting out of here! I don’t want to get stung!” I’ve been saying, “Oh Leah, I’ve been sitting here for a long time and they never bother me.” She moves to the metal bench, I stay seated.

Well, yesterday I was proven wrong once again. I was on the phone with my sister when all of a sudden I got stung (twice) on the back of my leg and it did not feel good. When Leah came out, I told her what had happened. She made a face and said, “Mmm hmm.” It never feels good for your words to come back to sting you. My foolish thought was I don’t get stung much and I wasn’t bothering them so I’d be ok. Reality is, I was sitting in a bad spot and ended up paying for it. Again, I should’ve listened to my daughter’s wisdom.

Proverbs 13:20 KJV says, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”20180815_172404 (1)

I wasn’t destroyed, but I was stung (twice). I didn’t think it would happen to me, but it did. I didn’t walk away to another seat, even though there was one available. I chose to stay where I was and take my chances. You play with bees (or hornets or wasps), you’re gonna get stung. How we choose to walk, and who we choose to walk with, determines the outcome of our lives. I hope next time I will choose to walk with the wise.

Thanks for reading!

Disclaimer: No insects were harmed in the making of this blog post. I wanted a picture so I searched and found this lying on the ground by the door.

 

What happened to the AC

20180814_131921Last fall, while it was still a little too warm for us folks that are spoiled to having air conditioning in our vehicles, my car vents began to only blow heat. Jason decided to have it looked at by a mechanic at an automotive shop. Long story short, it would be $600 to have it fixed. On the diagnosis slip was a side note in all caps: CLEAN OUT THE GLOVEBOX!!! A lot of the stuff in it had fallen out behind it and caused it to mess up. Napkins, forks, straws and some papers were removed by the mechanic. My justification- my Dad has always taught us to be prepared. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve gone through a drive-thru and someone didn’t get a straw? How many times I’ve had to blow my nose on those valuable napkins? How many times that chili cheese hot dog has come without a fork? My famous words, “Look in the glove box” have suddenly become bad words.

I thought that was a lot of money to pay in the fall of the year for some air conditioning. Thankfully, Jason (my husband), just happens to know a guy that works on cars. His girlfriend knows a pretty good bit too. (There’s you some recognition Brandy [insert smiley face].) Anyhow, he looked around and told us what was going on. If you reach up in behind the glove box, there’s a little bar. You push it back, you have air. You pull it forward, you have heat. I had some sticky tack (again, preparedness), the kind teachers used to use to hang things on the wall in their classroom, so I decided I’d stick that back there on that bar to hold it back. I think it was around $60 for a diagnosis and for someone to tell me I need to clean out my glove box. In my mind, this solution would do.

Fast forward almost a year- the day before yesterday to be exact. I was in the car and the air conditioner stopped, then came back on. A few minutes later it stopped completely. Even though it was a different situation, first thing I did was reach for that bar. The sticky tack was holding strong so then my second thought was maybe it’s a fuse. My third thought- man, it’s hot. When I got home I started searching online. I was in the glove box looking around, then I popped the hood (like I was going to do something). Jason came out to the car and started checking fuses. I told him maybe it was the blower motor. After all, I watched a video. He said he hated when I started acting like I was a mechanic. Haha

Later I went out to my parents’ house. My Dad got his testing kit out. I told him what I saw on the video so we unplugged the motor and he tested it. Only thing was, I quit watching the video when I saw you had to have a testing kit. I thanked my Dad and came back home. Jason called the guy that he knows that works on vehicles and he came the next morning. He took the blower motor off and you’ll never guess what was in it. A napkin and a fork. That was the wrong  place to set the table. I suddenly had a flashback to those capital letters that I took offense to almost a year ago: CLEAN OUT THE GLOVE BOX!!! The next words from my mouth after “oooh noooo,” were, “Don’t tell Jason about this.” For the price of the motor I could have some nice cloth napkins and some sturdy silverware that wouldn’t easily be sucked up in to the motor.

Later in the day Jason called and asked if I had AC in the car. I said, “Yes. And you’ll never guess what caused it.” I proceeded to tell him about the napkin and fork. I think he might have said, “Priscilla!” but he didn’t give me a hard time about it and I was glad (and I never said a word about that dirt on the floor I wrote about yesterday haha).

Proverbs 1:7 KJV says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” If I turned this around spiritually, I think that verse sounds fitting for this hot little situation I found myself in, don’t you?

I’m all about being prepared, yet I need to make sure I store what I have properly- such as in a plastic container. With a lid. Not in the glove box. I’m all about someone giving me advice but I’m afraid pride set in there when I saw those capital letters. I am really stubborn and that’s not always a good thing. I NEED instruction. If only I had listened, but I didn’t and it cost us. Again, affecting more than just me.

It doesn’t really matter how the advice in all caps about cleaning the glove box out was given. It was instruction and I didn’t want to hear it because it was telling me I was wrong. It’s not that I feared the mechanic, yet my rebellious self didn’t like the way it was said. Instead of wanting to be ashamed, hearing I was wrong or being told what to do, I thought, “What does he know?” and “How dare him tell me to clean something out like that!”

Maybe that’s how people think of the Lord. That He’s some kind of Creator that just wants to tell us what to do or put us to shame. That’s totally wrong. He wants us to listen and learn. He wants us to gain wisdom and welcome instruction. It’s to help us so we can have the best He has to offer. It’s to keep us from having problems down the road of life. It is to protect us from going to an eternal place that is too hot (with no AC). It is because He loves us.

Thanks for reading!

Someone Else’s Dirt

This morning when I woke up (yes, on time), I walked through the living room only to feel dirt stuck to the bottom of my bare feet. I was irritated immediately. I looked at the floor to see a trail of dirt from where my husband sits to put his work boots on, all the way to the kitchen. I’m certain this was the result of his last trip to the coffee maker for his second cup of coffee to enjoy on the ride to work. Monday mornings are not usually a friend to anyone, including him. I quickly forgot about the mess as I scurried to get my daughter up and get us out the door.

When I arrived back home, I grabbed the broom and swept the mess up. I relived our many conversations in my mind about how he wished we had carpet in the living room and why I pushed to have laminate hardwood flooring. Although something soft beneath our feet would be wonderful, it’s easier to sweep and mop than to shampoo carpet every time you turn around.

Once I got past the thought of how I’m always right (haha just kidding), I began to think about how this pertains to life- the dirt people have walked, or are walking through. Maybe it’s by choice, but a lot of times it’s not. Situations that we go through have a strong impact on us. It molds us in to who we are. Sometimes it makes us bitter, sometimes it makes us better. It’s up to us as to how we respond. Then there’s the other side- walking through someone else’s dirt. Coming face to face with those that are impacted from their walk in life.

How do we handle walking through someone else’s dirt? Are we willing to see through God’s eyes instead of our own? It takes inner strength to walk through someone else’s dirt and not let it affect us in a negative way. It takes strength to pray for those that lash out at us because of what they’re going through, or have gone through. How do we find that strength? From the Lord, of course. It’s necessary to stay in God’s Word, to pray and to remember the truth: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV)

What does that mean? Do we ever stop to think that maybe the ole devil is trying to get in to our lives and ruin us? Even though he has a lot of power, he is not stronger than Jesus Christ. The devil wants to defeat us. He wants a reaction and he wants us to act out in sin. He desires that we become so overcome with our problems, or the result of someone else’s, that we fail to see the hope, peace, patience and joy that we can so freely have with Christ. He’s miserable and wants us to be miserable too.

That dirt is the debris from those dirty chains of bondage we so often can find our own selves entangled in. I don’t believe that any one of us are better than anyone else. If we have our own dirt, and I can guarantee we do, we can ask the Lord to help us rise up above all that. We can ask Him, in faith, to break those chains we’re wrapped up in. If it’s someone else’s dirt we’re trampling through, ask God to help us to see it for what it really is. We need to pray for them. It’s not the easiest thing to do, however, it is the right thing to do.

It’s important to not allow someone else’s dirt to have power over us. As my stepson will jokingly ask me from time to time, “Is she getting in to her feelings?” Truth is, I can’t let those negative feelings dictate my life or I’ll be miserable, hopeless and even angry. Luke 9:23 (NKJV) says “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (He and Me referring to Jesus.)

I could have easily called Jason or sent him a message griping about the dirt on my feet and the floor but instead I am choosing to walk an inch in his dirty old work boots. What does he go through at work so that I can sleep later than he can? What is it like to get up in the morning at the crack of dawn, not knowing what you’re going to walk in to? I’m guessing a lot more dirt than what was left on my floor. We know work is called work because it’s not called play. If I love him, I can bear it. God loves me and puts up with me and all my shenanigans. It’s called mercy and I have to show mercy to be shown mercy by my Father above. (Matthew 5:7 KJV  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.)

So now maybe we’re thinking about those that leave that trail behind for us to walk through that don’t do a thing for us? We still have to sweep it up and remember that word- mercy. When it boils down to it, it’s all between God and us, not us and them. He will give us the strength to endure if we only ask.

Keep in mind, I’m easily prone to become aggravated. Probably even more so than others. It’s just piece of my cross to bear, but if I keep my focus on the Lord, I can walk through the dirt- mine and anyone else’s, clean up my feet, clean up the floor and go on with my life as if it were never there. It’s all about the choice I choose to make. Something that has been proven to me time and time again is that I can’t make the right choice without Him.

I just saw some grass I tracked in with that one foot I used to step inside the house so it’s time for me to get to cleaning. That one foot is all it takes! Now let’s grab a hold of that broom and have a great Monday!

Late Again

If anyone knows me, they know I’m notorious for being late. (I wonder how many are nodding their heads in agreement right now.) Whether I show up for a family gathering on time or minutes behind, someone will comment on my punctuality- or lack thereof. Some things I just can’t live down because some things I just can’t get right.

Let’s rewind to the my daughter’s 3rd day of 8th grade, which would be the day before yesterday. I should’ve been on the road and halfway to the school. Instead, I was waking up to giant numbers inches beside my head- 7:38. My daughter got up around 5:45, got dressed, sat around, then came and asked if she could lie down with me for a few minutes. Some time later, I awoke to the sound of my alarm. I continued to hit the snooze button until the last possible minute. Being the morning person that I am, I told Leah to get up as I planned to hit snooze button “just one more time”. She said, “Can I have 5 more minutes?” Too tired to argue, I replied with a groggy, “I guess”, and we both went back to sleep.

I’m not exactly sure how my alarm works. How many times in an hour, over the course of almost two hours, I can hit snooze. How much time goes by before the alarm sounds again? There must be a limit, or else I knocked the clock on it’s top again and didn’t know it. Whatever the case, the scene from Home Alone 2 comes to mind. You know, the one where they jump up out of bed and yell, “We did it again!” That was me. I said, “You gotta get up! We’re late! We have no time!”

My poor daughter. We were so late I didn’t even have time to try to blame someone else. (Having done quite a bit of self-examination the past year, I’ve realized I rebel against accountability. I’m sure that will come up later if I can figure this blogging thing out.) No time to waste, I ran in the kitchen, grabbed the biggest cup I saw, filled it up with coffee and didn’t look back. We headed towards the school, arrived like a whirlwind and had her signed in 5 minutes late. The office staff were nice. We all joked about being late and blaming others. I told them my husband and I were late for our wedding. We overslept, waking to a call from my future mother-in-law from the church building. “Cilla, are you kids coming to get married?” Twenty years and you’d think I’d get tired of that feeling. Instead, it seems I’m just tired.

As I hopped back in the car, I still had no time to waste. I had to go home and get ready to go to work. (I clean houses.) I thought about how my oversleeping had affected Leah. Someone I love deeply. My child, the one who doesn’t want to be in the spotlight, had to walk into class late on the 3rd day of school. I felt terrible. As I thought about it, back in high school I had my share of late days because of me. My friend that rode with me also had her late days because of me. My family had to wait on us to arrive to our wedding. My family does without the side dishes I bring to meals because of my “habit”. I could go on and on about who I affect because of my tardiness.

As the wheels in my mind continued to turn, I thought about other things that affect others, such as sin. How it doesn’t just affect me; it affects many. In the Bible, you read of those that had consequences of their sin, and how the domino effect takes place. From the very first man and woman- Adam and Eve. Their sin affected the whole human race. What a heavy burden to carry. Thankfully, God gives grace. He loves us, yet Jesus tells us to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11 [b] NKJV). The ones we love, the ones that love us- they’re affected whether we realize it or not. When we “mess up” it creates the domino effect- just as my tardiness continues to cause trouble for me, as well as others.

Now is the time to find a solution to being late. If I affect others, I want to do so in a positive way. The same with my Christian walk. I want to be tired of sin in my life because it affects others in a negative way, not to be tired in life, hit snooze and cause more problems. I know with the Lord’s help, I can overcome.

What are your thoughts on this? Feel free to comment. God bless and thanks for reading!