Saturday, August 29, 2009

Martyr Mode

Mood swings. Menopause. Manic Mama. Have mercy! Add a few hot flashes. And that would be me. Are you scared yet? Well, there's more! For the past two weeks, I've been masquerading around with my martyr's mask on. I want to ditch it, but I keep picking it up again. For example, I just got back home from having a marvelous time at a Beth Moore simulcast. Felt convicted about being so mean. Mainly to my man. Then I heard him and my son downstairs. "Where have y'all been?" I ask. My sweet son answers, "The Mexican restaurant." You went where? Without me. You didn't wait for me. You know that Mexican is my favorite. And I'm starving! And there's nothing in the house to eat. Because no one has gone to the grocery store yet. Yes, this whole scenario sounds so silly. Makes me look shallow. But one little situation like this is all it takes; and once more, I morph into my martyr role. Somebody has done me wrong. I'll do whatever it takes to ensure that he knows it. So that he, too, feels miserable. And the martyr mentality. Justifiable. Right? Wrong. Because our emotions vascillate. They can confuse us and cause us to make costly mistakes. Like with God. When we feel that He's not listening. That He doesn't care. That He isn't doing anything to help us. If we allow them to do so, our moods will rule. And will mask His truth. The truth is that our moods cannot change God. Who He is. What He does. Our moods cannot change who we are in Him. His child. His beloved. His joy. Maybe you're not wearing a martyr's mask. Maybe you're wearing some other kind. The type of mask that we wear isn't important. It's important for us to put them away. If we'll remove our masks, our loving God will transform us. Make us more like Him. "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3: 18). Let's ask Him for mercy. For this promised transformation. For His glory. Let's refuse to rely on malfunctioning feelings. Or on moodiness. Or on martyr mode. Lord, show us your glory. In us. Through us. So that others may know. You. And Your glory. Sweet dreams, Deb

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Another Second Chance

Yesterday, he hooked the trailer to the truck. Drove to the building supply store. Came home with a load of 2 x 6's, 2 x 4's, plywood, and concrete blocks. He spent all afternoon digging footers. My darlin' husband has begun construction of his storage shed. Yes, that shed. The one that I didn't really want him to build. At least not right now. Because I have a list. An infernal list that still looms large in my mind. Of the myriad projects that I want him to do for me. First. And building a storage shed is not at the top of my list. In fact, it didn't even make my list. But remember, last time, I wrote that I will not try to control my man. I will not manipulate. Whine. Or pout. Just to get my way. Somebody re-read that post. Did I really say all of that? What was I thinking? Yes, I did say that. And now I have a second chance with my sweetheart. To support and encourage him. He came inside a little earlier this morning from working on his project. Dirty. Sweaty. Bleeding. The nail gun had grazed his finger. Could have been much worse. He asked if I would go to Redland Market to buy a two-liter Sprite. I was in the middle of writing this post. But I clicked Save Now. Grabbed my purse. Got back in less than ten minutes. Took a large, plastic glass of ice-cold Sprite to him. A second chance. I sure needed one, didn't I? What about you? Do wish that you could have a do-over? One more opportunity to get it right? Well, I've got good news! God gives us second chances. And third chances. Even more than that if we need them. He gave second chances to Abraham. Moses. Jonah. Peter. And tons of others. Including me. You, too, if you ask Him. Why is God so generous to give us more opportunities when we've already missed and/or made mistakes with the first one? I love what King David writes in Psalm 103: 13 -14. "As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear [reverence] Him: for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust." Our loving God showers us. His children. With compassion. With love. With patience. And I love, love the next part. God knows how we're formed. He knows us completely. Our insecurities. Our idiosyncracies. Our inadequacies. He knows everything about us. He formed us. And He still loves us! That's why He gives us so many second chances. In the minor things. In the major things. He loves us. Do you need another second chance to get things right? I sure do. Let's ask Him. He's listening. He knows us. He's willing. Sweet dreams, Deb

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Out of Control

August 5, 2009. Our thirty-first wedding anniversary. One week later, we had a big, big conversation. Aka argument. And of course it was his fault. Well, no. Actually, it was mine. Everything was going along all anniversary lovey-dovey when my darling husband told me that he was going to build a storage shed. You're probably thinking that this is a great idea and that I should encourage him to go for it. And you are so right. That's what I should have done. That's what I wish that I had done. But, that's not what I did. Instead, I responded to this news flash by providing him with a very specific, verbal list of around-the-house projects that I wanted him to do. For me. First. You know that kind of list. You may have one of your own. Just a few littlebitty things. No big deal. Right? To me, no. To you, no. To him. A real big deal. He said, "Why do you want to control me? Do I do that to you? When you started running and blogging, did I give you a list of things that you needed to do first?" Ouchie. Ouch. Ouch. That word. Control. That's the one that hurts. Because I have a tendency to get out of control when it comes to control. If I begin a new endeavor, he encourages me. He doesn't interrogate me: When are you going to this or that for me? But for some reason, I think that he should live and work according to my definition of how, when, and where. By imposing my agenda on him. My time frame. My perceived needs. I trivialized his proposed plan. I want my way. Even if I must manipulate or maneuver. And the truth is that, occasionally, I'm like that with God. I disregard God's plans for both my family and me. Plans that He ordained before I was ever born. Plans that promise a future and hope. Plans that come straight from His heart. God has wonderful plans like these for you too. And He desires to accomplish them in our lives. But we need to give Him control. "Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you" (Psalm 32: 10). God doesn't force us to let Him take control. He wants us to willingly give Him control. By nature, I like organization and order. That's a good thing. But when I find myself controlling others and trying to orchestrate the outcome of situations based on my finite--and usually inaccurate--knowledge, then I've crossed the line into God's business. I can't do God's job. He's in charge. He's in control. And because He's got everything under control. It's ok for me to be out of control. Sweet dreams, Deb p.s. We made up! We always do. And he's going to build that shed. Whenever. He wants to!

Monday, August 10, 2009

What's the Most Portant Thing?

"Nonnie, what's the most portant thing to you?" "You're the most important," I replied to my granddaughter. She wasn't convinced. She said, "No, what's the most portant thing?" I repeated my answer. With a perplexed look on her face, she asked, "Is it your clock?" Clock? I thought. More valuable than my darling girl. My life. My heart. No way! Then she said, "The clock that I broke. Is that the most portant?" Oh! That clock. Suddenly, I remembered. Several weeks ago, she took the face off of a small clock that was on the coffee table and proudly showed me what she had done. I scolded her. Harshly. Over a cheap clock. I had forgotten the incident. But she. Had not. Obviously, I had to explain. Apologize. Reassure her. With love. And lots and lots of hugs. That nothing. No one. Would ever or could ever be more portant than she. Well, my darling girl wasn't the only one who questioned me about my priorities last week. God had a little chat with me as well. He talked to me so softly. So sweetly. I'd like to share with you the verse that He used to get my attention. It's from Colossians 3:16. "Let the message about Christ in all its richness, fill your lives." Mmm. I began to think about the things that I've been filling my life with lately. Have I filled my life with Christ's message? And the richness of His message. Or, something else? Oops! The answer is something else. I've been filling my life with blogging. Too much blogging. Too much visiting other blogs. Commenting. Trying to build my blog. And way, way too much preoccupation with my blog during my time with Him. When I should have been focusing on Him. And listening to His voice. Reading His word. Instead, all I could hear was my own voice saying things like: Give me something to write about. I can't concentrate on You right now. I need. Want. To go work on my blog. I don't have time to write in my journal. Not a pretty picture, is it? Are you disappointed in me? It's ok if you are. You know, blogging isn't a bad thing. In fact, it's a good thing when we keep the right perspective about it. I just got mixed up about what's really important. But our loving God. So gently. So tenderly. Spoke to my heart. He showed me that I had put something above Him. And putting something. Anything at all above God is sin. I knew that I had sinned. And because He loves me--and you--with an everlasting love, He led me to repent of my sin. To turn away from this sin. And to turn toward His loving arms. He didn't kick me out of the family because I sinned. He just wants to be where He belongs. In my heart. The most portant in my heart. So that He can fill my heart. My life. With the message about His Son. Jesus Christ. The One and Only. Who died for me. And for you. I'm so glad that He loves us like that. Aren't you? Sweet dreams, Deb

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Summer. The show-stopper season. My favorite of all. Officially ended. Because school started today. And my first morning back at work went something like this.... "I'm sorry we don't have a folder for you at this table. Are you a facilitator?" "Yes," I replied. "Well, you're in the wrong place. You need to go over there." Confidently, the lady directed me to a different area. I went to the room that she indicated. A sign over the door said: FACILITATOR. Wow! I thought. The Student Service Facilitators (SSF's) in the county school system get to go to their own private room to pick up their workshop information for opening day. All six of us. And the remaining 1, 494 certified personnel are standing in two tremendously long lines. Waiting. To get theirs. Do you see anything wrong with this picture? I thought so. It took about fifteen minutes for me to figure out that this room had been designated for employees who were going to facilitate at these workshops. Not for the SSF's. I was in the wrong place. Again. So, then, I went to the line on the left. The longest. Slowest-moving line. Only to discover that because I failed to register on-line before school ended last year--what was I thinking?--I was still in the wrong line. And I still didn't know where to go. When I found the right line. The Registration Line. I did what I should have done three months ago. I registered. Then I got what I needed: Where to go. When. And what to do. And directions to get there. Have you ever had a morning like that? Or a day like that? You didn't know where you should go. When to be there. Or what to do. Sometimes, we get confused about the direction that we need to take because we don't accept the responsibility of following through on a project or an endeavor. At times, people who think that they know us and think that they know where we should go send us off in the wrong direction. God doesn't want us to be misdirected. He doesn't want us to feel like we're in the slow lane, going nowhere. He wants us to be like the psalmist and ask for direction. Show me Your ways, O LORD, teach me Your paths (Psalm 25). When we ask Him to show us His ways. His paths. The plans that He has for us. He does. He's faithful to direct us. Each step that we take. No matter how far away you are from where you really want to be. Is too far away for Him to bring you back. To bring you closer. His ways. His paths. His direction. Always take us to Him. Sweet dreams, Deb

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Some Blog Love

A blog award. My first! I want to thank Maryleigh at for sharing some blog love with me. Thank you, Maryleigh. I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Please stop by her place. She's the mother of five. Five! Boys. She has some stories worthy of sharing. In addition to receiving this award, I have the privilege of awarding it to fifteen other bloggers. Cool! But because I've just started blogging, I'm going to award five blogs today. And I'll award the remaining ten in the near future. So, here are the first five blogs to receive the "One Lovely Blog Award": - Imperfection. Parenting mistakes. Humor. Melinda tells it all. Like when her son was late for school. Twenty-two times in one year! So, what's funny about that? Well, you'll have to listen to Melinda explain that one. -See Jane. See Jane paint. See what Jane can do with a can of black spray paint! You're gonna love it. - God. The Bible. Faith. Love. Lyla writes about these topics in ways that we can understand. She makes us want more. Of Him. - Everybody loves Whimzie. Have you met her yet? If you haven't, visit her soon. Then you'll know why we keep going back. - Oh! Rhoda's place. Y'all, I've got to issue a caveat here: If you stop by her place, you aren't going to want to leave. Ever. And if you don't already live in the South. You may begin to think about relocating. And Maryleigh, thank you so much for allowing me to share a little blog love too. Sweet dreams, Deb

Just in Time

I waited for the telephone to ring. Wanted desperately to get that call. To hear the voice on the other line say, "We've considered all of the other candidates, and we've come to the conclusion that you're the best qualified." Well, I waited expectantly for two weeks after the job interview. The telephone did ring of course. But I didn't receive the one call that I desired most. So I lost hope. Disappointment grabbed my heart and wouldn't let go. And discouragement. And despair. You see, after fifteen years of teaching, I was ready to get out of the classroom. Just burnt out. Nothing left to offer my students. Two years prior to this interview, I had begun to apply for other education-related positions within my school system. Nothing materialized. Psalm 25: 15 became my daily prayer: My eyes are ever upon the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare. My job was the snare. I saw no way out. Unless God helped me and released me. I knew that He could. That He possessed the power and the resources. But would He? Apparently, not. The call didn't come. So, I got gut-level honest with God. I told Him, "Lord, You've been so good to me. You've blessed me with an incredible husband. A great family. Good health. Friends. I can't even count all of the ways that You've blessed me. But You're just not getting it. About my job. I really, really need You to get it." God did get it. But I didn't think that He did. He knew what I needed. And when. Because you know God has this thing about time. He likes to wait for just the right time. Sometimes, He seems to wait so long that when He does something for us we say to ourselves, "Well, it's about time!" Anyway, I gave up on getting out. Stopped pouting. And pitying. And began to prepare for the upcoming school year. Back in the classroom. Asked Him to help me make it through one more year. Still in the snare, though. Maybe you've felt that way. Trapped. No way to change the circumstances. No way to get through. Around. Or out. No hope. Maybe it looks like God doesn't care about you. And what you're going through now. God does see us. He knows that we're struggling. And hurting. And waiting. For Him to change something. Us. Or our circumstances. I don't know when or how God plans to help you. I can't predict His timing. But I do know that when we keep our eyes on Him, God will do what only He can. He will give us strength and stamina to stay in the snare for a while longer. Or He will release us from the snare. He always acts on our behalf. Just in time. Sweet dreams, Deb