It’s Tuesday And…

photo of christmas balls

A new day, a new month and only twenty-four days until Christmas. This year we’re looking forward to the holidays.

A few weeks ago we needed to replace the window in our living room. It has needed to be replaced for some time but often it’s easier to pretend we don’t see things.

Several years ago there was a breakdown in the way that particular window worked and moisture began leaking down the wall and around the window. We could see the damage on the wall, but since we had a large piece of cardboard we situated that up under the window, and voila! Behind a large magazine rack, we couldn’t see it. Problem out of sight out of mind.

There could be a laughing face there, but only because of the stupidity of human nature.

Holding things together following last year when I had real-time health issues, and then the stressful times here throughout this year is a challenge.

There are things that inspire people and help us pick up our burdens and continue along life’s pathway. I watched a video a week ago now.

In the video, the speaker said ‘There is an amount of suffering in this life for everyone. Yet when I see people I know who are suffering beyond the normal range, and they get up daily and carry on lovingly with kindness and with patience that inspires me.”

There is a Christmas song that says something like, “We need a little Christmas, right this very minute…”

Many films that appear around Christmas time show the magic of the season. These shows have a way of laying out the narrative of good triumphing over bad circumstances and in some cases over evil people.

And I love the magic of this time of year. Whether it’s the actual birth of Christ or just a wonderful time to think and remember our savior, it’s still a time of peace and joy.

I love to think about the angels singing and welcoming the babe in the manger, and the shepherds, and who knows what else as the fullness of time was being fulfilled.

I don’t know what exactly that has to do with my front window being replaced. I have wanted to put my decorations up and now I have a window…

We can put some of Old Fuzzy’s porcelain houses up and maybe even my sons’ electric train set up. The possibilities are endless, and that’s what’s magic about this time of year. Endless possibilities.

Galatians 4:

1  But I say that so long as the heir is a child, he differeth nothing from a bondservant though he is lord of all;

2  but is under guardians and stewards until the day appointed of the father.

3  So we also, when we were children, were held in bondage under the rudiments of the world:

4  but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

5  that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

6  And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

7  So that thou art no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

8  Howbeit at that time, not knowing God, ye were in bondage to them that by nature are no gods:

9  but now that ye have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how turn ye back again to the weak and beggarly rudiments, whereunto ye desire to be in bondage over again?

Leading vs. Following

ocean water wave photo

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

From time to time it is a good thing to take oneself aside and have a heart to heart conversation. Having the right conversation is necessary for moving forward. However, it is not always apparent as to what the right conversation is.

This conversation can be with yourself or because (as it has been stated) ‘No man is an island.” It may involve others.

In other words, it can be either a self-check or a selves check.

A self-check can help us make sure we are on the right path. We know as it says in Proverbs 16:9  “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” That doesn’t mean that every step I take is directed by the Lord. They should be directed by the Lord if we’re Christians, but…

As I’ve shared before, back in the day I had MY life planned out. After marriage, I was going to wait two years before we began our family. I would then have two children first a boy, then a girl…

There wasn’t anything wrong with those plans. We got married and began on the right foot and.

In a world of ‘Well, that didn’t work out,” that didn’t work out. The first child was a boy—born nine and a half /ten months after we were married. The second child (girl) turned out to be a boy. Well, life is what it is, and that is what it was. Three years later we decided to have a third child, which turned out to be a boy as well.

The point is in Proverbs 16:9 Are we more interested in the course we’ve charted (A man’s heart deviseth his way:) or in following in the steps God has planned for us? (but the LORD directeth his steps.)

I’m using these scriptures in the writer’s vernacular of writing, outline, critiques, and editing. God’s plan is his outline.

I read a woman’s story of how ‘she rose above the mean-spiritedness of some other women’ who told her she should not wear short shorts when she came in to worship. Those women were mean and hurt her feelings…

Maybe the woman who was unkind in telling her to wear something more modest should have been more tactful and kind. I don’t know, but there was a day when people could figure out for themselves that a woman wearing two pasty spots on their bosom and a tutu for the bottom wasn’t enough outside of their home.

Critique, we all need to endure critiques. Sometimes the criticism is valid, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it does hurt our feelings but weigh the advice. As a writer/critiquer, the advice goes: if one person questions a passage (in your writing), think it over. If two critique partners question it— seriously reconsider what you’ve written, but if there are three or more, just throw it out.

There are many people who want to give you free advice. Weigh it carefully. Free advice can be worth exactly what it costs.

 Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

If you’re a follower of Christ, God wants the best for your life. He wants to transform you to be more like Jesus. But that requires each one of us to let him lead. Back when I had my life all figured out, I didn’t have anything figured out.

I had become a Christian, yes, but I thought I was still in control. Our fourth child (unplanned, but very much loved) was a girl, but by then I could see how my prayers for ‘wisdom and patience’ were being answered. I knew I had enough wisdom and patience.

God added two more children for good measure, and then we asked for one more.

Psalms 139:

1  …O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2  Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3  Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4  For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

5  Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

7  Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

8  If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

10  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

Good Advice

flower tree park landscape

You can find good advice almost everywhere. You can find bad advice almost everywhere. And…

You can find situations that good advice becomes bad advice and situations where bad advice becomes good advice.

If that seems a bunch of gobble-de- gook, it can be that as well. A few months ago I was congratulated by someone I didn’t give advice to because I didn’t give them advice against marrying the person they wanted to marry.

I did feel grateful that they felt grateful, but I had a nagging question. Will they still feel that way if it goes sideways? Like a young man wrote oodles of years ago when he was looking at his picture in his high school yearbook when he said, “Look at how long my hair was, and no one warned me I would look back at this picture thinking how dumb I looked.”

Someone may have reminded the boy with the graduation picture/long hair that he had been warned, but… So, I was feeling accomplished, not because I didn’t agree with some of the naysayers, or could have agreed with them. I felt accomplished because after seven kids I absolutely knew that nothing I said would make a difference.

And the second thing I know is even if the odds of naysayers and/ or me being right were on one side, only God knows how things will really turn out. How many times do old people witness that—Everyone told us it wouldn’t work, but here we are fifty years later.

And there we must leave it in the end, at the foot of the throne.

Philippians 1:

20  According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

21  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

22  But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

23  For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

24  Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

25  And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;

26  That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

27  Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

28  And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

29  For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

30  Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

Better to Slow Down a Little

small airplane on airfield in countryside against sundown sky

Okay, so we need to stop flying as we go down life’s road.

We’ve had to have our front window replaced and a bit of cosmetic work done on it due to leaking windows and moisture. It is about 95% done but still requires inside work.

“I think we’ll probably need to repaint the living room.”

“Our new window curtains will need to allow the light we get from that new window in,” Old Fuzzy says. We’re admiring how much more sunshine is streaming into the room.

Fast forward a day, and on my computer, I’m getting ads for…curtains! Wow, I’m thinking how come I’m getting ads for…?

“How you doing mom?” Young Fuzzy and I are having a conversation a week later. “Not too bad. My hair is looking better since I’m having it washed at the salon,” I tell him. And it really has helped it look healthier…

This last week I have been receiving on my computer lots and lots of ads for—“You can have longer, thicker, healthier hair. Try our new—”

Hmm, well, I don’t know, but I’m thinking. I’ve been told you can’t escape big brether’s, and that’s the only explanation for several things such as this that have happened lately.

Although I did kind of put it to a test and I may have to reword or retry it again. “Well, Buddy,” says I to Young Fuzzy, “I’m thinking you and I need to start looking into getting our pilot’s licenses. I’ve always wanted to fly my own plane…”

As they say, Laughing Out Loud—I’m still waiting on that one.

1 Corinthians 3:

19  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

20  And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.

21  Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

22  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

23  And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.