It’s so funny how God speaks to me. Or maybe what’s really funny is how I listen? I told my husband the other day that I had never dreamed about being a writer. Like, that is what I want to do when I grow up! Nope….never felt that way. Writing for me is more about submission and therapy? I write to submit my thoughts and feelings to God, and ask Him to help me sort through them. To move from knowledge to wisdom. Well…hopefully.
“So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time, before the Lord returns.” ! Corinthians 4:6
I’ve said it a bit recently to those around me, “it’s not how you start, but how you finish.” And don’t get me wrong…. It’s easier to finish well when you get out of the blocks cleanly.
We judge a person on today or their past, but we have no idea of their future and where that will lead. The choices, experiences and people that will all come together to make a complete picture in a life.
I know it’s hard, but as I read the verse this morning I wondered if we judge in life, when we should just have discernment? So I got out the old dictionary and looked at the difference between judge and discern.
Basically, discern is to recognize something as opposed to judging where you form a conclusion about it. I mean, I can discern that someone else is doing something that is harmful or full out wrong. I can then take steps to not be harmed by these actions, but I just can’t pronounce judgement. The end isn’t written yet! If I do judge, does that contribute to an environment that pushes them towards a not so good result?
I am not sure….but it makes me think? There have been people in my life that have judged me prematurely, and I think there has been a bit of an impact. I am grateful though for those who have been on the other side. The one’s that have given me the chance to change, grow and mature. Those are the ones that didn’t write me off, but gave me the time, love and encouragement to fulfill the potential they saw and hoped to see bloom.
I was driving through the fog and couldn’t believe all the cars with their headlights off. It was crazy to me, and I thought, “your lights aren’t for you to see better, they are for me to see you!”
I totally knew that was important, but I wasn’t sure why? It was just one of those statements that seemed bigger than the moment for me. Bigger than just lights in the fog. So I’ve been thinking about it off and on again, why is it so important to be seen?
Well in the fog it’s pretty obvious, so I don’t get hit! But what about in life?
Part of it was something I already knew, but I kept skipping over it, because I was looking for other meaning. “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
So in life the light isn’t really for me to be seen, but to show off God. I knew that though, so it really didn’t seem like the whole answer. Well, that was until this morning. Since my hubby’s surgery, I don’t sleep really well. So at 3:30am, my brain went to the WHY people didn’t have their headlights on.
Worst invention ever, automatic headlights! You see now that people have automatic lights, they don’t have to turn them on when they get in the car. At night it works great, but when it’s daytime and foggy, those lights don’t function correctly. People are driving around assuming they’re on. They assume, they can be seen.
That was the perspective I was looking for. So God wants to be seen through the lives of His people, and that happens through how we live. So what if our lights aren’t on? What if like the automatic headlights, we assume we can be seen and in that assumption we believe Jesus can be seen. So that’s the question, are my lights on? And what am I showing the world? Are we hoping going to church on Sunday shows the world we love Jesus? Maybe it’s the verse we post on Facebook, or the fish we have on our car?
Sometimes I think much of the things we hope shows people that we love Jesus, just doesn’t. Just like the headlights, we assume they are on, because they’re supposed to come on. We don’t bother to check our lights before we go.
My friend Kay just went through a bout with breast cancer and came through fighting. A couple of weeks ago she posted something that was cute, but to the point. “Check your coconuts!” She’s an island girl so it’s perfect for her. I want to steal that for myself, but change it up a bit. So today I don’t want to assume my lights are on, and I would encourage you to do the same. So don’t forget, “check your light!”
“Isn’t it amazing how long it takes to build something, and how quickly it can be torn apart.”
I had a sermon playing on my phone as I was pulling weeds. It’s funny. I’ve listened to it a couple of times before but this was the first time I remember hearing the quote. Maybe it caught my attention because of circumstances. I tried to keep listening, but the quote kept turning in my head, so I turned it off and put on some music.
We’ve had so much rain lately that the weeds have taken over. So it was past time to get out and clean them up. They were easy to pull, as the ground is soft and the weeds were pretty big. Some of it was small and kind of reminded me of ground cover. It was more delicate and harder to pull out. It was such a pain! I had half a mind to let it stay, but I knew no matter what they looked like, they were still weeds. As green as they were, I knew that it would take over and that wouldn’t be good. Plus, it would have gotten me into huge trouble! My son worked one spring to get the area all dug out and the mulch put down, so I want to honor the work he did by keeping it cleaned out and looking good.
I think of how upset he would be if I just let it all go to the weeds. It took him time, sweat and a lot of hard work to get it all completed. Like the quote, he had built something that took effort, and as I looked at the mulch, I saw how easy it could be ruined.
It’s a lot like life. Even things that are developed, worked on and cultivated can be ruined when we leave the habits, activities or even people that shouldn’t be there.
Today is the start of the Lenten season, and in the past couple of years, I’ve come to really love it! I almost missed the beginning, since we have been a little busy around our house. My hubby reminded me yesterday was Fat Tuesday, and its kind of become a tradition to have red beans and rice for dinner. I am glad that we didn’t miss it because we needed a little fun this week, and I needed a little reminder of what Lent means to me.
Not being Catholic, Lent is something that I’ve adopted as an adult. I typically don’t give anything up, cuz that just didn’t seem right for me. What I try to do is write daily and this year is no different. It seems like the perfect time to process all the things that have been going on in my life and in the lives around me. Since December, our world has been knocked off its axis. What with my hubby’s tumor diagnosis and even some upheaval at the church I attend, chaos has entered places where I had felt pretty darn safe. The funny thing is, while I should have felt fear, I have only felt peace. Like I told a friend today, “I am not sure how it works, but all I can do is point to God and say it’s all Him!”
So for the next 40 days I am going to try my best to listen and write. To try and see how we got here, how God is getting us through and look into the future to see where He may lead us next on this crazy journey!
I wondered if this would be my last post for 2018 or actually be the first of 2019? I have plenty of time to make it before the new year, but I don’t seem to be very focused. Like other times when I am writing, I seem to have a hard time starting. If I can get my brain to relax and just type, then I can actually get something done.
So our Christmas is finally over. It was a weird year, but not in a bad way or anything, just different. We planned to have my extended family down this weekend, so a few of my boys got into town to be here when everyone else was. So for Christmas itself, we were not all together. Since there was only my husband and two of the boys, we hung out and went out for a fabulous dinner. It was fun, but different.
It’s also been a little mellow because my hubby isn’t feeling well. Constant headaches and dizziness are really taking a toll on how he is feeling. So we stayed close to home and just kept a low profile. This weekend though was full of extended family, babies, nieces, nephews and pierogi. While it was kind of hard on my hubby with so many people in the house, I could not have been given a better Christmas present. We typically get together during this time of year, but it’s always somewhere else. This year, they all made the drive to see us. It was great because now I have all those good memories of Christmas fun, in my own home. That was worth everything to me!
I was able to talk to my oldest son for a while last night. We stood outside beneath the stars, wondering at the beauty of the night sky. We talked of the new year and the feeling that something was coming. It was a bit foreboding, but we both agreed that no matter if it’s good or bad in store, God would have our backs.
As I dropped him off at the train station this morning, we somewhat felt the same way, and continued to talk of what the new year would bring. We encouraged each other and then I left him at the station. I started the car and I drove away. The radio was turned all the way down, so I turned it up and had to laugh at the song on that was playing. It was “Faith” by George Michael. It was a reminder that no matter what’s in store, faith was going to get us through. I pulled over so I could text my son right then, and he texted me right back, loving the message in the song. It was then I let him know the very next song….. “I will survive.” And in those lyrics I knew whatever is coming this new year, God already knows and has the way through it.
His response to my second text? “God is the best DJ!” And it’s so true!
“Maybe I am a woman searching for a word?” I love words, so when I heard the line from the movie Eat, Pray, Love….it obviously caught my attention! So on my laptop, I just keep it open to notes, and when things catch my attention I write them down. Sometimes I expand on them, and sometimes I don’t.
So it is early Christmas morning and I tried to get up before the whole household to write a post. It didn’t work. Ugh! So after they were settled in with some coffee, I started writing about the fog again. I guess I really do have it on the brain! As I was trying to put some thoughts together, I read it again. “Maybe I am a woman searching for a word?” and right below where I had written that, was a word. I started laughing…. Really? It had been there all the time, but it was like I had only just saw it.
The word was Noel. For the past few weeks it had caught my eye in stores, and on cards. As I was out, and when I was in. I heard it on tv and in songs. So being the word nerd I am, I had to look it up!
A noel is a Christmas carol, but if the word is capitalized, then it refers to Christmastime or the celebration of the birth of Christ. There is a reverence to the word, and a spirit about it. Maybe I think that because it is a French word? Just sounds so cool! Christmas is such a special time. As someone who believes the whole “reason for the season” thing, I am struck by the spirit around Christmastime. I know, I know….there is a lot of stress, sadness, and unmet expectations during this time. But…there is a general sense of fun, wonder, and joy that surrounds Christmas. I think that the spirit of God, just can’t be contained! Just like the angels on the night of His birth. Heaven could not contain the party, and I think it’s the same today.
So today, it you celebrate the birth of Christ….then CELEBRATE! Don’t hold back! The angels couldn’t contain themselves and we shouldn’t either. So eat, drink and be merry! Love today. People you know, and those you don’t. Be silly, fun, and give grace. And did I say LOVE? Because the bumper sticker on your car, the cross around your neck, the book in your hand and where you sit on a Sunday morning says nothing about God. But when you love? That is how the world will see Him! The only way.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:10
I love the fog….it is such a great metaphor. I do hate to drive in it though. The fog we have here in Central California is called Tule Fog, and when it comes in, it can be a nightmare. Yesterday while driving in it, I couldn’t help but think how like life it is. You are going along, going down one path with a destination in mind, but not quite seeing where the road is taking you.
So I am in the left hand lane, and I was following the lines, because I COUND NOT SEE! Anyway, as I did I kept with the white line to my left and it started to curve a bit, and I started to follow. Now it was only a split second because I pulled it back to the right when I realized that the line was shifting for a turn lane. And it was a turn I did not want to take.
It was so easy to follow the line. What started as a little shift in direction, was going to take me to the left hand turn lane. That turn? Well that was going to take me to somewhere I really didn’t want to go. (and really couldn’t see) Luckily I realized quickly what it was and was able to correct my course. It seems to be that way in life too. If you are following the wrong line, you could end up in a place you don’t want to be. There are times, like yesterday, where to fix your course takes just a little re-direction. It seems though the further you are into it, the harder it is to do. That seems to go for many things in life, money, relationships, jobs or lifestyle. In the beginning, you have an easier time correcting the course, but as time goes on, the course corrections become bigger and more drastic. And many times, more painful.
What course are you set on? Are you unsure of where you are going? Take a look for the little signs. They will either be pointing you in the right direction or giving you a hint of upcoming danger.
Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say,
“This is the way you should go,”
whether to the right or to the left.