The Body

The other morning I awoke to my stepson, Eric, saying, “Parents! Parents! Get up!” As annoying as it was, we needed the wake up call. In Jason’s defense, he had to go back in to work the night before at bedtime so he needed the extra sleep. In my defense, well… I’ve never been much of a morning person. Jason, however, is an early morning riser for the most part.

When my daughter, Leah, wakes up before I do, she is much easier on me. She brings me a cup of coffee in bed and tells me what time it is. She’ll say, “I hope I did the sugar and creamer right.” It is always perfect. But coffee before I get out of bed can never be wrong!

This morning we were sitting on the porch before time to leave and Eric said, “Dad, how come the mornings I get up early, you don’t and the mornings you’re up early, I’m not?” I really don’t remember what was said. Maybe there was just laughter but it made me think about our Christian brothers and sisters.

Just as our family is a whole, so is the body of Christ, which is the church. I’m not talking about the local church, I’m talking about the children of God.

We are all needed, we need each other and we all play a specific role.

1 Corinthians 12:14 KJV says, “For the body is not one member, but many.”

Verse 18 says, “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.”

It goes on to say that all members are necessary.

So here in this family, we supplement each other. When one is lacking, another picks up. That is what family does.

I have Christian brothers and sisters that do the same spiritually. We are all different with different gifts, yet we have the same Father. We lift one another up and minister to one another and it truly is a blessing. It shows me that we do need our Christian family as well.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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Last in the Checkout Line

I’ve never really thought a lot about the self-checkout lanes in a negative way until I started seeing different posts about them on social media. I always looked at them as a convenience due to usually being in a hurry, tired or just ready to get out of the store. I never thought about it as taking jobs away from people. I haven’t used one in a while due to this reason, but I can’t say I won’t ever use one again. I’ll just try not to make a habit of it.

There are stores that don’t offer this method, such as the local grocery store in the small town where I live. I go there a lot and most of the time they’re pretty quick about opening another lane when the others get backed up. One day there were quite a few people in line. A big dirt bike event was going on in the county, therefore, extra people were in town and extra customers were rolling in. I caught myself becoming impatient but I came to my senses and realized I’d be ok with just waiting. After all, I wasn’t in too big of a hurry.

Shortly after, a young man opened another register. He said, “I can get someone over here.” I looked, not wanting to jump in front of anyone, but no one left their place in line. I went over, thanked him for opening up his lane, paid for my two items and went on my way.

As the electronic doors opened for me, I thought of being the last one in line. It seems I’ve often been last at a lot my whole life. Last to arrive (haha), last to get the punchline of a joke, last to finish eating or, even going way back to the old days, being the last one to be picked on a team in P.E. class.

In Matthew 19:30 KJV, Jesus said, “But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” In Matthew 20:16 KJV, He said pretty much the same thing- “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.”

I know it’s a bit repetitive, but I am thankful He understands those of us that need that extra reminder, or the extra reassurance. He knew what it would be like for us to live in this world of “keeping up with the Jones’s” so I believe He knew He needed to stress this point.

If you read the chapters, you will see when He was speaking of “the last”, He was speaking of those that followed Him, regardless of who or what they lost. To the world it means being last, to Him it means putting Him first.

So next time I’m waiting in line, I hope I will remember to take advantage of the extra time given and use the self-checkout method to check out my heart. The condition of my heart will determine the destination of my soul. One day, when I breathe my last, I want to walk through those doors that are opened for me after my name is called.

Thank you for reading!

 

Why Am I Even Doing This

Yesterday I thought, “Why am I even doing this?” I’m not even a week in and I was already so discouraged with blogging. They say post on Instagram. I haven’t even tried that one. Twitter? I have an account somewhere out there in cyber space but I just never really got it. If I want to make it in the writing world, I’m going to have to take the proper steps. I just have to pray that God will grow it and I already know that writing grows me.

They say patience is a virtue, right? I’m writing about waiting on God’s timing, yet I’m ready to throw in the mop and bucket and write for a living RIGHT NOW! I have a lot of passion when I start doing something, whether it be painting, making wreaths, wood burning, selling stuff, cleaning, etc., but this is different. Writing is from the very depths of the heart. It becomes discouraging, to say the least, when you pour out your heart but don’t see a lot of interest- especially the people you would hope would support you the most. Selfish, I know. Human, yes, that too.

I even went to bed early last night. My back hurt, I was sad. Actually I was heartbroken. But then I typed in the search bar, “when your discouraged about your Christian blog”. (Yes, I randomly Google things but I find a lot of answers.) My search sent me to a fellow Christian blogger’s post. IT WAS AWESOME! It was just what I needed! It hit many points and reminded me “there is no new thing under the sun”(Ecclesiastes 1:9 b). Every blogger gets discouraged. Every blogger looks at numbers, but it isn’t about numbers. If God says write, then you write, right? Right!

The funny thing about it is, I started a blog over a year ago. I created the cover page, then it got a little harder so I quit. That is one thing I am good at – quitting. That isn’t good.

This past June I had been thinking about writing again. After all, I write all the time. It may just be a sentence or an idea that I jot down that may not go anywhere but on the top shelf with all my other thoughts. So, I created this blog right here, got confused and stepped away. I watched two different movies around the time I started this, and to my surprise both of them were talking about writing and blogging. I felt it was the Lord speaking to me, yet again, but I quit (yet again).

Fast forward to mid August, last week. The day before my first blog post I Googled my website and there it was! I thought I deleted it and there it was just sitting there. Blank. So I grabbed my laptop and started typing.

A couple of days later I figured out how to make my little icon for my blog. It was so tiny, yet so huge to me! I decorated it up like I paint my toenails in the summer- with all sorts of colors spotted up all cool looking (to me and some of the gals in my family anyway). I was so excited and overcome with joy that the Lord had helped me figure this stuff out. I just sat and cried and thanked Him. I am not one to figure this kind of stuff out so I know it was only made possible because of Him.

How quickly my emotions change. There’s a lot I don’t know but I realize that doesn’t mean I can’t change that and grow instead of doing the usual – quitting. I enjoy doing this! And what a humbling experience that God would speak to someone like me and to help someone like me, with all my imperfections I can’t hide from Him. So I’m thankful for this experience. I’m thankful I can work for Him in this way. It’s an offering. It’s all I’ve got to give right now and in His time all will be made right! If God is in control of all things and I’m doing this for Him, then I guess I should think this is already right.

If you have a dream, go after it! Sometimes I feel silly being a small town girl wanting to be a “real” writer, but hey- “all things are possible to him that believeth.” (Mark 9:23) – And Jesus said that so I’m going to go with His answer.

Thank you all for reading, sharing and encouraging me to continue on with my dream! May God bless you!

 

Steps

One evening I walked out the door, dog on leash in one hand, cell phone in the other, while wearing Jason’s size 12 tennis shoes. I stopped on the top step to type a message to someone. I took another step down to finish the message. I stepped down one more time, only to plummet to the ground. I ended up on my back in the dirt. I thought I was on the last step but I had one more to go. I thought I was big enough to do all these things at once without watching the steps I took. I never even considered I might fall.

My husband stood on the porch and watched the whole thing. He rushed down the steps and held out his hand, asking me if I was ok. I laughed and told him I just wanted to sit there for a minute. He refused to let me, so I finally grabbed ahold of his hand and accepted his help. Once I was on my feet, he put his arm around me and asked me again if I was ok. I said I was and we both laughed.

As the night wore on, I became sore and ached in my lower back, hip and leg. It bothered me enough that I got out of bed and sat down to write the rough draft of this situation. I had to feel the pain to realize what it was symbolizing spiritually. The pain in my spirit I was feeling was much stronger than the physical. It was the pain of being separated from God. I had walked away from Him. I had so much going on and was so caught up in myself, I took my eyes off the steps I needed to take in my walk with the Lord. I had become haughty and didn’t even realize it. I had become a rebellious child towards my Father, yet He still reached out to me. He had never left me alone. I just chose to ignore and even argue about His mighty hand He stood there extending to me until I was down in the dirt. To my surprise, He took both the physical and spiritual pain I had felt completely from me.

When we fall, or mess up, as a Christian, we oftentimes are surprised we did. It’s not usually even intentional. We often begin to think we’re superhuman and cannot make a mistake; we think we cannot fall. I thought I could walk in shoes much bigger than my own. We all can fall into that way of thinking in our spiritual lives. I went a step further (pun intended) and took on even more tasks. I was holding on to a dog leash to take our little dog outside. In addition to my multi-tasking, I added texting to the mix, while walking down the steps. Sounds dangerous, right? Or maybe it sounds like no big deal. Are you saying, “I do things like that all the time, no problem.” Well, that’s what I thought too until I took a tumble. We can easily take our focus off of Him and replace it with things that are of very little importance.

As I thought about this, I could hear my mother say, “You’re going to trip and fall in those big ole shoes and break a bone.” Why could I hear her say that? Because I have heard her say that! She’s wise. She’s lived long enough, seen enough and knows enough that she could rightly give me that warning. She can see from a different point of view. She had offered that precise instruction, on more than one occasion, according to my memory of the phrase I heard in my head so clearly that night.

I can hear my Mom’s words throughout my life before I do something. She instructed me a lot, still does, but even in my late 30’s I still don’t heed her warning in all cases. It’s similar to the Holy Spirit warning us, bringing Scripture to light in situations that arise. That voice that echoes in our minds and in our hearts. It’s up to us whether we choose to take heed or ignore it. That is why it’s important to read the Word of God. We will know the truth and the truth will set us free and guide us in our lives. If we don’t read, asking for knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures, we won’t have the truth to count on when we need it.

When we fall spiritually, very often we will have pains (or consequences) from it. It may be physical, mental, emotional or even being called a hypocrite, ruining our reputation as a Christian. The important thing is to get back up, regardless. It actually humbles us, helping us to realize we are no better than anyone else. If we look past the lies Satan wants us to believe, we’ll see our Father is still there, holding His hand out to help us up, just as my husband was that evening. It can be hard to force ourselves to even want to get up after a fall. Sometimes maybe we choose to sit there for a while, or even for the rest of our lives. We must be aware of an important truth: God wants us up, the devil wants us down. After all, if we don’t get up, we won’t risk falling; we’re already down. But who really wants to just sit there in the dirt? We need to take hold of the hand of the Almighty that is offered out to us, regardless if we are ready to get up or not. We just have to be careful in our walk, knowing we can fall if we’re trying to fill shoes that we’ll never be able to fill. It’s dangerous ground we’re standing on when we think we are infallible.

1 Corinthians 10:11-12 KJV  11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples (examples): and they are written for our admonition (instruction), upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed (care) lest he fall.

(Words in parenthesis are my addition for definition.)

The fall of those in the Holy Bible were written for instruction, for all the world to see. Sure, we’ll make our own mistakes at times, but there are so many laid out in the Word of God. If we read and put in our memory, maybe we won’t repeat all of them. We must remember: we are humans. We do need a Savior. That being said, we will make mistakes but God’s grace and mercy are abundant. Does that give us a free pass to sin? Certainly not, yet our Father knows we are prone to that sinful nature and He is loving and wants us to get up, dust off and keep moving forward. That’s one thing I know for sure!

Thanks for reading!

 

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!

 

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)