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In This Strange Season

In this strange season I attempted to ‘rethink’ this blog, realign it, redirect it.  And, for the life of me, I haven’t been able to “get it” or come to a resolution. But, here’s my attempt…

In this past year—this strange season, many changes have occurred in my life and our home. In this strange season (as in your strange season, no doubt) the changes and restrictions have forced me to think about or, rethink what I’m doing, what’s important, what’s got to change or, really, what ought to be eliminated.

And it’s not just things, it’s not just eliminating clutter or getting rid of things we no longer use or need. It’s more than that. It’s coming to the strange realization that a season is passing away and a new one is dawning.  And with this new dawn, eliminating things, activities, routines, expectations and planning of events that were necessary for the season that’s passing and yet, will be unnecessary for the season ahead.

Nothing and everything has prepared me for this strange season.  The constant that I’ve resorted to through many years is: Do the next right thing.  Another constant is recalling what did I do? whenever I was facing a completely “new normal” or a “strange season” — motherhood, postpartum, another move, another new baby, homeschooling, teenagers, financial strains, another move, more babies, married-in’s, more teenagers, losses, more married-in’s, grand babies, life’s surprises, health issues… you get the idea.

So, what’s my next right thing now? You know what? I don’t know—I mean I don’t know the big picture. I’ve been a mother for over 41 years and now for all intents and purposes have an empty nest—but am still a homemaker.   I don’t know how I want to do the days ahead… But what I do know is this: as I embark on this strange season, I want to do what I will wish I had done.  This thought quite often helps me decide what the next right things is.  My hope is that each next right thing or each next right step will be through open doors and the days ahead will be more fruitful than the former days.

The Covid-19 virus and all the societal changes that have come as a result have really clouded, hindered, or suppressed creative thought for me —maybe (and probably!) for you, too.  The lockdown brought some pretty depressing weeks. And now, I look back and it seems the past 5 months have just evaporated in all the busyness of life and “distancing”, creatively keeping in contact with our kids and grandkids, but not seeing friends and church family (in real life) and figuring out how to do/buy/get things differently and yet still accomplish the work — and the new-normal Zoom communication.

In the midst of the strangeness, I lost creativity… I didn’t write. I didn’t journal. I didn’t draw. I didn’t write letters. I didn’t make any wedding cakes.

I did prune trees, plants, hedges. I did read. I did make lots of masks (I hate masks!).  I did plant and regularly tend to the gardens. I did bake and (with my husband) drive all around several times to deliver boxes of a variety of baked goods to the homes of each of our children/grandchildren. I did clean and sort a lot of things. I did Bible studies. I made birthday cakes. I did and will do a bunch of canning. And I’m making plans……….

But nothing’s been normal.  And I want guard against all this strangeness becoming normal.  So, as I said, I want to be about the business of doing what I will wish I had done in this next season.  That, and I don’t want to look back and regret any longer what I didn’t do in this strange, strange season.

more later… ♥ps

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The Gathering

The gathering happened and afterward I returned home again  to my warm, comfortable, familiar, safe haven.  Now, nearly two weeks later, I look back with heartfelt gratefulness.  It was such a stretch for me, but I’m so glad I met the people I did and am thankful for the messages that were shared.

Over the years I’ve headed women’s ministries, Bible studies, retreats, and other church events. So I totally get the gatherings deal and the sincerest efforts to create a space where women will gather, feel the love, be ministered to, and not feel like they’re on the outside. I know the planning that goes into making each woman feel as though the evening was planned specially for her.  I’ve worked at fine tuning programs to include levity, food, chocolate, and messages that touch the heart, to stir responses and affirmations of faith, joy and hope.

That gathering had those elementsby design or incidentally. It was beautiful, warm and welcomingand the food was delicious. I now recognize that I’ve longed for such a gatheringto feel the familiar and to receive much needed encouragement.

I’ve reflected on the blessings of the warm conversations and the messages of each of the speakers and much inspiration has come from the things they shared.  And since I began writing this entry it’s occurred to me that I’m so not alone in longing for fellowship such as was visibly demonstrated in the elements of that gathering.

And upon further reflection, I’m sure there’re older moms just like memoms who find themselves journeying along in the midst of moms who aren’t in this next season yetthis season of moms who’ve raised families, who are dealing with adult children, grandchildren, aging parents, aging issues themselves, regrets, desire to still be useful and on and on.

Maybe, like me, you attend a church where younger moms fill the positions of leadership and are beyond busy with activities and programs for women and all the children—you know, doing all the stuff we used to do. And now, we are the older women we used to tell to ‘rest and enjoy, we’ve got it handled, thank you.’ And the older women faded into the margins. And eventually died… along with their stories.

I so don’t want that to be me and I don’t want that to be you.

So, hopefully this blog might minister to older moms-of-many in need of the same encouragement I’ve been desiring.  I’ll keep using this platform and the ACH site I’ve had for over 20 years… I’ll endeavour to write more regularly and hopefully minister to those longings… and encourage us both to stay in the game!  It’s taken me ten years of climbing out of regret to resolutely determine to not be super-glued to failures and disappointments. They’ve been emotionally paralyzing me from being able to confidently move ahead.  And to dare to go to a gathering of “strangers!” I’m so glad I jumped off that highdive!

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect,
but I press on to make it my own,
because Christ Jesus has made me His own.
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own.
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind
and straining forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Let those of us who are mature think this way,
and if in anything you think otherwise,
God will reveal that also to you.
Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”
philippians 3.12-16 esv

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Your Sphere of Influence

Your sphere of influence is broader than your sphere of acquaintance… have you ever stopped to think about that?

Maybe you have never given much personal thought to the influence of your own life; maybe you think your mundane life, your seemingly menial work, doesn’t have much impact around you. But your daily walk, the investments you make in your home, family, prayer, work, church, etc., etc., are likely having a much greater impact than you can possibly imagine.

We never know who is watching us—who will be affected by our actions—who will be influenced by our decisions, our faith, our experiences. You may think your life is insignificant by comparison to the lives and lifestyles of others you know. But, God. But God who is rich in mercy toward us sees a different view, for you do not know the depth of the impact you are making on those in your sphere of influence—for it is broader than your sphere of acquaintance.

Do you think King David realized at the time his sphere of influence when he made the decisions he did? I really don’t think he did… but what did he realize? He realized that his times were in the Hand of the LORD—he walked with God and his heart was for God. Did his actions always appear to be so? By no means… in fact, many times, his actions appeared to be completely contrary to the will and ways of God—yet The Word says in Hebrews 13 that he was a man after God’s own heart and yet, it is unlikely that some of his acquaintances would have thought so! But through his life, we see his sphere of influence was beyond remarkable!

Hebrews 13.21-23 “And afterward they [Children of Israel] desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will. Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:”

King David’s life and his writings influence us even to this day: he was used of God to demonstrate His mercy, His forgiveness, His love. It is because of David’s failings and shortcomings and the resulting faith that many of us are encouraged to press on, to climb the heights and to seek the Face of our LORD. O, how great is his influence! His acquaintances saw a shepherd boy and God saw a King whose sphere of influence was broader than his sphere of acquaintance.

What of your life? Do you see? Do you realize young wife, that your influence over the condition and direction of your home is great? And mother of young children, your influence over the course and behavior of those children is tremendous? And mother of teenagers, whether it appears like it or not, your influence is deeply affecting the decisions they will make through the course of their lives? And grandmother of little ones… your influence is keenly felt by your children and grandchildren? You see, it really doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, your sphere of influence is broader than your sphere of acquaintance… and it is in both cases, much more intense and far reaching than you may realize.

Last night I was talking with some old friends I hadn’t spent time with in years. It was incredible, though, the passage of time had little effect on the conversation nor the familiarity we all felt. It was as if the passage of time hadn’t existed and we talked as though we had talked every day. Neither of us realized that we had made such a tremendous impact on one another’s lives, but it was evident by conversation that we really had. And now, we sat sharing stories that were at once familiar and yet much time had passed since our last visit. During our conversation, things were mentioned about our oldest children and how much influence she had had on them as youngsters and how some of the things they do today in their own home are things they learned many years ago from this friend… little did she know that her influence would carry this far and still be in motion today.

I was visiting another friend last year and she shared that fifteen years previous to that time, her sister had talked about fearing having children and shared that I had answered her that God would take care of them, that He would guide and direct… and other things that I don’t recall… but you know, apparently, even now she tells of the influence of those conversations… conversations I really took very lightly–conversations that come so easily to me. O, our sphere of influence is broader than our sphere of acquaintance.

Some of my favourite reading comes from works that are hundreds of years old… you see? The sphere of influence is broader than the sphere of acquaintance. God used these men to write His truths and to testify of His marvelous greatness which are still being read and applied and blessed even hundreds of years since they were written and the authors went on to their reward. They likely never knew the tremendous impact they would have even yet today. Yet, in obedience to the call on their lives, they wrote of timeless truths and enduring love. Their focus was on the eternal, not the temporal and the far reaching effects still touch lives today— their sphere of influence was far broader than their sphere of acquaintance.

The lonely, lost world is looking for answers to the dilemmas of the day, to the emptiness of routines, and to the dryness of daily living. Jesus is that Well of Living Water for which they are thirsting. You have a cup in your hand… will you ask the LORD to fill it and will you offer it today? I pray you will… for your sphere of influence is broader than your sphere of acquaintance.

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Life’s Greatest Hindrances are its Greatest Teachers

More and more I find that what I used to consider my greatest hindrances were, in fact, actually my greatest teachers.  I used to believe that all my troubles were attributable to lack of finances and consequently, thought all of them could be solved by a surplus.  I considered all the disadvantages and often almost totally overlooked the great trust and creativity I was developing and gaining over the years.   I used to overlook what God was placing right before my eyes.  Troubled with how things were going to work out—crippled by fear that they wouldn’t, days were difficult and money seemed so scarce.  Little did I know at the time that I would look back on the more difficult days and remember them with sort of fond, but perhaps bittersweet, emotion.

I’m sorry for the young woman who was so fearful, but happy for the way the LORD did provide and for all they ways she learned to cope, learned to be creative, learned to be hopeful, learned to trust and increased in faith.  But the younger woman who used to live in my shoes was often plagued by the “what will people think” albatross, and was sometimes shackled by doubts and insecurities – as I suppose we all are from time to time, but when they become interwoven in every thought, then they’re like that heavy, paralyzing albatross.

The LORD worked through all those sorts of situations and blessed me with a sort of “blindness” to my situation—sort of a “rose coloured glasses” tenor to my life—and brought me through those valleys.  I began to see things less and less for what they were and more and more for what I hoped they would be.  Sure, the lack of finances still was a hindrance, but I stopped allowing myself to feel as though that defined me or my family.  I decided to stop getting tripped up in the trappings of the have’s and have not’s in life—they weren’t helping me.  I decided to not let my possessions (or lack thereof) define who I was or who I am—other people may have judged me in that manner—but I never wanted to be that shallow and I knew the LORD didn’t want that for me either.  He was taking me through the school of contentment.  Had I not had lack, I’d not have learned to be very creative with what I did have and I suppose I might’ve become smug or assume it was all my doing when there were great increases and successes. I surely know that whatever good has come, whatever gain I’ve experienced – successes, benefits or blessings have all been of the LORD.

Learning to trust God for things unseen or things unknown is perhaps more difficult for some than for others—I know that for myself, it was a struggle to trust:  that what I could not see was already seen and covered by the LORD.  My fretting and my doubting never helped me or the situation I faced, regardless of whether the situation was financial, physical or vocational.  Looking back, some of the times of the greatest doubt or greatest fear are now the sweetest memories to me.

Some of the deepest valleys produced the richest fruit and it’s faith from those lessons that has guided me through the more recent years and the struggles or trials we’ve faced.  When trails have been forged or mountains scaled, the path is a bit less daunting each time it’s traversed and with each passing, faith is strengthened and trust is deepened.  With each passing year, the have’s and the have not’s are less and less noticeable to me and my concern is less self-focused.   Pride is an ugly thing I came to see… for it is often pride that keeps us from living and giving – pride is that gripping thing that prevents us from being transparent, from being open and vulnerable.  We all have it to some degree or another and sometimes when we very least anticipate it, pride wells up and swallows us. Gains and losses are the great equalizers in life—they happen to all of us.  Same with fear and doubt—but some people are just better at hiding fears and doubts than others.  It’s the admission of those fears and doubts that is the beginning of turning from them and yielding to the LORD.

Because I know my Redeemer lives and ever lives to make intercession for me—for us—, I know that I can trust Him beyond a shadow of doubt, that what He has promised to do, that will He do—He promised to never leave me nor forsake me and He promises in His Word that He will complete that which He has begun.  What He’s begun in you – He will complete!

So the LORD has used trials as teachers, loss as gain, and lack: to fill me.   His faithfulness truly has been great and His mercies have been new every morning.  Now when financial set backs come or when there seem to lack of funds, I have learned to anticipate the Hand of the LORD and to watch for what He will do.  Thirty-five years in the swimming-pool business in the chilly Northwest has given our family ample opportunity to watch the Hand of the LORD both guide and provide—sometimes in the most surprising and unusual ways.  As with so many other things in life, I’m learning to see this much more quickly than I did in the early years.   He has proven Himself faithful… and I’m seeing this more and more in the seen, or outward things of life as well as in the unseen, or the inward things of life.

always in His hands, p.

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Jumping Off The High Dive

Now, many decades ago, I climbed the steep steps up to the high dive at our local community pool in Southern California where I was raised. I’d been swimming most all my life (it was a given that most all the homes had a swimming pool) and from a young age I was able to dive and do back flips, etc., off the diving board. I wasn’t afraid of the water or the depth of pools.  But the high dive was daunting. So high. I don’t recall how long it took me to muster the courage to mount those steps or to walk to the end of the board. I know it was not brief. But I did it… I walked to the end of the board and jumped.  As I recall, the water initially felt like hitting a hard surface and then, suddenly, I was down and swimming up to the pool ledge.  And, climbing out, I jumped again.

I thought of this recently when I decided to look into attending a local gathering. I saw the opportunity and instantly wanted to go. I mean, really wanted to go.  And, I had (have) no idea exactly why!  I read the information, and as I read, those old steps began to look daunting and the whole thing too big, too high. Too high for me. I closed my computer and determined not to think of the matter any longer.  A few days passed and I was drawn to consider the event again. What was drawing me to this event? I don’t honestly know — but I know this, if I don’t jump in somewhere, sometime, I’m kinda worried I’ll never “swim” again. My consideration led me to write to one of my daughters… and in so doing I threw out the idea that I’d like to go to this gathering — and described it to her. I was shocked {but not at all surprised} that she wrote back with a, heck yes, I’ll go with you… I’ll pick you up!

Had I been told, ten years ago exactly, that this would be happening as it is, I’d never have believed it. Sincerely, not in a million years.

So now I’m standing at the top of the steps, but not to the end of the board. It’s high and the stretch to the end of the board is long, and in a day I’ll walk to the end of the board and jump into our daughter’s car and go to the gathering.

I’d like to tell you about it all… and I will.

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Super Simple Simplifying Checklist

A year ago I embarked on a journey to declutter our  home — I wrote about that in several posts, Intentional DeCluttering, Tidying: You’re Still You!, and a couple more, beginning with, Eliminating Clutter.  As I mentioned then, I hadn’t heard of Marie Kondo until after I’d begun the arduous project. My family “introduced” me to her program and teased me a bit about getting rid of everything that didn’t spark joy. The idea totally resonated with me and propelled me to keep working at it. And it still does in many ways.

In the decluttering process I had to change some of my self imposed rules from time to time — I had to “give myself permission” to not go through/sort/declutter some things.  I didn’t have or wasn’t ready to take the necessary time to sort through and organize our gazillion pictures (again!), for example.  Nor did I feel like going through bins of notes, letters, cards, mementos from travels, programs, etc.  I also didn’t want to go through our homeschool books/workbooks/materials. I’m sure one of these days I’ll just wake up and, out of the blue, decide to tackle one or all of these three areas!

So, for today I thought  I’d share a list with you that I have in the ongoing quest to simplify our home.  By the way, my simplicity is probably not at all what another woman’s simplicity looks like. Example: I have way, way, way more dishes, cups and glasses than most would think necessary. Same with pans, kitchen gadgets, small appliances, and clocks.  But the daily goals for a tidy home, clean counters, orderly shelves, no piles of laundry, sorted mail/papers, and several other things continue to be met.  Decluttering really and truly has made an enormous difference.  Feel free to copy, add to and personalize this list.

Give yourself permission to reduce or get rid of these things:

  • Chipped/broken or disliked  dishes, cups, mugs, glasses
  • Kitchen gadgets you NEVER use, don’t like
  • Old food {fridge!} {pantry!} {spices!} {coffees/teas!}
  • Frozen foods you cannot identify {old or freezer ‘burned’}
  • Under sink stuff (Order, consolidate, eliminate)
  • All plastic storage containers that don’t have lids. Lids.
    Refrain from buying various types of plastic. Choose one. Stick to it! Always.
  • Water bottles you do not use. Leaky ones will keep leaking!
  • bread bags/ties and bad paper plates/napkins you NEVER use
  • spent birthday candles (Any candles you really don’t like/use)

Closets / shelves / drawers

  • Clothes. Clothes you KNOW you’ll NEVER wear
  • Old shoes. You know you don’t even ever plan to wear them
    especially if they don’t really fit or are in terrible shape
  • Coats, Jackets, Scarves, Belts, Gloves, Hats you NEVER wear/use
  • Underthings you KNOW you’ll never wear or that don’t fit you
  • Socks, stockings, leggings, etc., you know you’ll never wear
  • All socks MISSING mates
  • Event t-shirts and/or tote bags with no sentimental meaning
  • Glasses (donate) sunglasses, jewelry, wallets, purses
  • Old luggage, bags, backpacks you NEVER use
  • Make-up and nail polish (esp. old!), toiletries you NEVER use
  • Old perfume
  • ALL *old* medication, creams, drugs, cough syrup etc.

Books
Magazines
Movies
Electronics
Arts / Crafts / Sewing  {lists for another day!}

And remember… even “baby steps” taken to declutter, simplify, or add order to your home are steps taken!
There’s no score keeper, the steps you (and I) take to simplify or declutter our homes are just for us and our families. There’s freedom in order!
There’s freedom from bondage to meaningless or useless or no longer useful stuff!

I’m on to “round two” or year two of simplifying and decluttering…
Continuing to work on my Super Simple Simplifying Checklist.

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Hindsight Isn’t 20/20

You’ve heard the saying — probably have said it yourself from time to time: “Hindsight’s 20/20!”  When looking back on what you did, what you shouldn’t have done, or what you’re sure you ought to have done, could have done, would have done… you may have reasoned a better outcome with your 20/20 hindsight vision.  But it’s a lie.  Hindsight isn’t 20/20.

Hindsight isn’t 20/20 bcz we don’t know what God knows.  You don’t know if you would have had a perfect outcome had you been able to exercise your now perfect 20/20 hindsight bcz you couldn’t have known all the variables at play, or all the extenuating circumstances surrounding that situation.  Sure there’re things we wish we’d done, or things we regret doing, but our now “perfect” or mature vision/hindsight really has no sure affirmation of what could have been had we exercised it back then.

One thing’s sure: God allowed what happened to happen for His purposes—for your good and His glory.  All the things we should have done or “could have” done but didn’t are still being worked out for our good and His glory.  To claim 20/20 hindsight is to take the place of God and all He knew/knows.  We were imperfect then and imperfect now. Even our so-called 20/20 hindsight isn’t clear.

Lately I’ve begun to accept the failings I’ve had and have finally begun to see all I’ve learned bcz of those failings, all the things God did in and through all the different trials.  I’ve begun to thank Him for them all and in doing so, I’ve begun to see I was taking too much credit for things that didn’t go well or for things I thought I’d don’t badly or hadn’t done right. I’m beginning to see what He allowed to happen was for my good and His glory and had I not experienced failure, I’d not have learned all I have from those experiences and I just might still be entangled in failings and shortcomings, distractions and self-centeredness.

What is clear is that God works all things together for good to those that love Him and to those that are the called according to His purpose. Only God’s foresight, sight, hindsight is “20/20” or, rather, perfect. Perfect: better than 20/20.

So at the beginning of this new decade, this new year, this new month:  “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.” 1Peter 2.21

I hope you’ll join me in seeking to walk in His steps this year.  By His faith, not by our sight, by His will, in His grace, for His glory, not by or for our own.

The year stretched out before us is as an unpainted canvas, vast and wide, unblemished, full of opportunity and hope. 2020… a new year, a new decade, a clean new slate.  Sure, we’ll bring into it all our stuff, but let’s endeavour to walk with the Saviour and let Him guide the path and sort it all out.

God bless you, God bless the year ahead.

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Thanks Giving Is Here

T
hanksgiving is here, I heard someone exclaim. And one might immediately wonder how it came so quickly again this year.  I mull this over (and, yes, I do marvel that another Thanksgiving is already upon us), I think: Is Thanks-giving here? I mean… here, here.  Here in my heart, here in my life, here in my thoughts and in my words.

I stop and take a mental inventory of my days of late. How thankful have I been–or have I displayed thankfulness at all? Is thanks g-i-v-i-n-g a characteristic plainly obvious in my life? Is thanks giving part of my everyday conversation? Is thanks giving the tone my ready reply?

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts,
to the which also ye are called in one body;
and be ye thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms
and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
And whatsoever you do in word or in deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.
Colossians 3.15-17

I was looking through some old photos this morning and it was there that I really got to thinking about thanks giving and what a thankful or thanks-giving life looks like. It’s easy in the moment (when things are going well, supplies are ample and health is strong and full) to be thankful.  It’s another thing to be thankful or giving thanks when things aren’t going so well — when the yets of God aren’t yet (I’ll write on that another day).

It’s also pretty normal to consider one’s current state of affairs when feeling thankful or not. But those photos I was looking through changed my perspective quite a bit.

 

These photos are 10 years old. I’m thankful for this… all this. All the children living at home at the time, gallons of milk, heaps of food, piles of laundry, hundreds of thousands of miles on the fifteen passenger van and on and on. Thankful, really thankful.

Fast forward to today… less and fewer of everything… more and greater of so many other things.   In between the more and fewer are sicknesses, health, losses, weddings, funerals, births, disappointments, achievements, mistakes, graduations and countless other life events that have clearly shown the great grace of God — things for which to give thanks. Much thanks.  Had all these various things not happened, I’d not known the vastness of the graces of God and how to be thankful, or how to give thanks in/for adversity, loss, failure and regret.

So, this Thanksgiving, this time of giving thanks, I’m truly thankful, very thankful. Thanks giving is here for me. I trust it is for you as well. Or, soon will be.

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Drawing a blank

I used to think that drawing a blank (in writing, conversation, blogging) was the result of having nothing to say, or not being able to gather one’s thoughts or whatever. I now think that while there may be times of writer’s block, it’s usually something else that’s preventing someone from moving on in writing.  I think, for me, it’s being shot in the foot, or ideas being shot down, or being mentally shot in the head — ideas gone, drawing a blank.

And, it occurred to me the other day that the devil’s generally in the details here–doing the shooting when an idea or writing plan comes about but isn’t acted upon.  He’s in the details shooting things up.  But here’s the thing I’ve decided to acknowledge:  he shoots blanks.  He’s ever lurking about in the shadows.  In 1Peter 5 (after we’re told, humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon Him for He careth for you) the Word says: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.  (1 P 5.6-8)

I’ve taught on this section from time to time — highlighting the fact that the devil is always roaring about seeking to destroy whatever God’s doing, whatever a follower of Jesus is doing, doing whatever he can to destroy it. But he’s a roar, a lion with no teeth.  Scary, yes. But shooting blanks.

You get what I mean? Blanks. We’re often held back by the roar of those blanks. The roar of the shot that says we’ve failed too often.  The roar of the shot that recounts all those failures and superglue’s us to them.  The roar of the shot that says our best days are behind us and there’s no use trying to gain ground now. The roar of the shot that says we’ll never be ___________ or whatever enough.  The roar of the shot that says we have no credibility or will just likely fail again so why try.

Those shots are blanks. They roar at us or past us, but they’re blanks.  God’s mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is above the heavens.  I may feel wounded by the shots of those blanks, but I mustn’t think they’ll destroy me — I must take those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.  I do this bcz of His faith — my faith in Him is His faith. The Word says that when we’re in Christ Jesus, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. (romans 8.37)

I’ve decided to keep writing and when I draw a blank or am shot with one, I know I can go to the well. Drinking at the well of God’s Word fills in the blanks, mends the wounds of the shots of blanks, gives me strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.

God bless your day & your home. ♥ –ps

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You can’t afford to not pay attention.

I know. The last entry I wrote was 7 months ago. Hounded by voices that tell me I’ve lost mine, by regrets that prevent me moving forward, and various time/emotional demands that drain creativity, I come to my blog and draw a blank — or am shot with one.

But… again, here I am. I love to write. I love this platform. I love the connections it’s given me through the years. And I love that the Lord has given me a whole bunch more time and has absolutely dumped His great mercy and grace over me every day of these last emotionally crippling ten years (and all the years before these).

So, here we go.  I thought I’d just jump into blogging by just writing about things that come up each day and we’ll see how it goes.  This might end up being what the blog originally was fifteen or sixteen years ago… Slices of Life and Views of the Day. That could be anything from verses to sermons, recipes to homemaking, politics to societal trends, marriage and family to motherhood and what it looks like in the rear view mirror. ~smile~

Here’s a slice of today for you:
Chic-fil-A. I had my first Chic-fil-A sandwich in Marietta Georgia in 2006.  It was good. But you know why it was good? I was eating it with my dear friend. Lunch with dear friend makes just about any meal good — any cup of coffee better.  The other thing that made that Chic-fil-A sandwich good was the wholesome atmosphere and the fact that the company was a Christian company. You know, like A Christian Home. ~wink~

Truett Cathy, the company’s founder was still alive. Business was running on Christian principles, morals and character. It was well respected for all of that. Business boomed for the Cathy family because of that.
Tenacity and hard work built the business into a multi billion dollar company.

Chic-fil-A restaurant’s foundation is this:

“To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us.
To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

With a mission statement like that, how could they go wrong?

So, what’s happening?  Well, just as in a Christian family, it only takes a generation or two (who drop/discard the mantle) for the heritage to be forgotten and the firm foundation that heritage was built upon to be eroded.  It appears that’s the way of Chic-fil-A and its once principled Christian business structure.  Chic-fil-A, once the bastion of morality is caving to the vociferous left’s social intolerance for all things Christian and appears to be stepping up its effort to appease the offended left by coming alongside with financial support to causes and organizations that are morally compromised or in opposition to the very founding of Chic-fil-A.  Sadly, the casualties are not few, nor are they small.  Consider but a couple of organizations Chic-fil-A has discontinued financially supporting:  The Fellowship of Christian Athletes and, ready? The Salvation Army! The. Salvation. Army!!  You  can read about all this in this PJ Media article.

I’m going to guess that this won’t end well for Chic-fil-A.  O, they’ll continue to serve the uninformed masses, and they’ll continue to upset liberals who don’t know they’re actually caving.  Pitifully, they won’t be traveling the moral high ground on the foundation of feeding the hungry, proclaiming the Gospel and won’t be a beacon of genuine  integrity.

On the US Dollar is imprinted the words: In God We Trust.  Have you considered that when you spend a dollar?  Sadly, it seems that rarely do corporate Directors and Chairmen have the moral compass required to stand on those words and uphold them.

So… pay attention, you can’t afford not to.  ♥ ps

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