Monday, February 22, 2010

In Need of a Little H2O

A virus--vicious and violent--attacked me with vengeance. Left me feeling lethargic. With a low-grade temperature. Low blood pressure. And lying in an emergency-room hospital bed. Not exactly how you want to spend Valentine's Day with your sweetheart.

But that's where we ended up this year. That ill-bred virus depleted me of fluids in record-breaking time.

Took me totally off of my feet.

Several nurses had attempted to start an IV but couldn't. Then one determined nurse came in, wrapped that rubber band thingy real tight around my arm, and found her mark. Aimed. Stuck me successfully. Fluids flowed into my dehydrated body. Along with some heavy-duty medication.

The fluids and the meds worked a little magic. I started to feel better.

I was really thirsty. So, I asked for a cup of water.

But the nurse said, "I'm sorry. You can't have anything to drink yet. We're not sure what's wrong with you--we're running tests--and until we know, I can't let you drink anything."

Just one sip of H2O?

"No, I'm sorry."

How about some crushed ice?

"No, sorry."

Are you thinking this nurse was so not nice? Well, that's exactly what I was thinking too.

Finally, the doctor reported that the test results had eliminated suspicious stones and other stuff like that.

So that's when the nurse gave me the cup of water that I had been wanting for hours.

Water. Clear. Cool. So good.

Each swallow soothed and strengthened me.

Nothing else rehydrates our bodies like water does. That's how God made us.

He also made us to need water for our heart and our soul. A different kind of water. Living water. He offers this living water to us, but sometimes, we don't accept it.

This is what God said to Jeremiah:

"My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water" (Jer. 2:13).

You know, I've committed both of these sins before. Like, when I go to another source to satisfy my thirst for affirmation and assurance or for any other reason, then I've forsaken Him. My actions say to Him: I don't need You in this area of my life. Someone or something else will do just as well. You alone are not enough to satisfy me.

I break His loving heart when I do this.

I've even attempted to dig a few cisterns of my own. I try to create and control circumstances to bring about selfish satisfaction. My efforts to manipulate others and God don't work at all.

Only living water from God can rehydrate our souls.

I was just wondering if you're in need of a little H2O. Are you feeling a little bit of lethargy when it comes to your relationship with Him? Like things aren't the way you really want them to be. Maybe dehydration is about to get the best of you.

I know what that's like. It takes a long time for our bodies to recover from the effects of dehydration.

Our sweet Savior says that if we come to Him, He will give us living water. He won't withhold from us. We can drink. Again and again.

So what do we do when we're in need of a little H2O? We spend time with Jesus. Reading His word. Talking to Him. Listening to Him. Getting to know Him better and better.

I think that these disciplines help us to acquire a taste for the only One who offers living water.

May I offer you a drink of water?

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Friday, February 12, 2010

A Baby Day

Yesterday, I watched the miracle of morning. The sky contracted. Silent heaving. Pushing. Darkness disappeared. A baby day was born. Fragile. Wrinkly. But pink with promise.

I so needed this reminder of God's promises.

You see, the past few days have been rough for our family.

Tuesday night, my nephew, his wife, and three of their daughters were in a car accident.

Jody had surgery Thursday morning. He faces one more operation and physical therapy. Kim had surgery Thursday afternoon.

Six-year-old Mary Kate is still in the hospital. McKenzie was released Thursday night. Sara, three months old, wasn't injured at all. And four-year-old Grace wasn't in the car when the accident occurred.

We hope that Mary Kate will be released today. But the doctors haven't mentioned a going-home date to Jody or to Kim.

Yeah, these days are tough. Tense. Stressful.

But you know what? It's been amazing to see how our whole family has come together to show their love and their support.

Jessie, my niece, has had Sarah since Wednesday night. Keiva and Trey--my kids--drove to Birmingham to pick up McKenzie from the hospital. So, now Jessie has both babies. Big Sis helped with the babies yesterday. Keiva is helping today. JP (second sis) has been to the hospital several times. And Candace, another niece, helps each day when she gets out of class.

You know how things are today. We all have our own families, jobs, school, and other responsibilities that require our time and attention.

I could go on and on with how each member of my family is helping, but I think you're getting a pretty good picture of their love in action.

Now, please don't think that we're a perfect family. We're not!

At times, we're a faultfinding bunch. Ready to fude. Ready to fight.

One word can light the fuse.

But when days come like the ones we've experienced this week, we lay our arguments down. We reach up. We reach out. We help out.

I'm thankful for my family.

I'm thankful for the special reminder that our loving God gave in yesterday's early morning hours.

That each baby day brings His promises to light.

The promise of hope. The promise of help. The promise of healing.

May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in You (Psalm 33:22).

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p.s. We're trying not to spoil these babies, but it's very hard. They are like so adorable!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Who's Cheatin' Who?

Food is not my friend. Food is fuel. And no carbs at night. That was my strategy last year for losing weight. It worked! I lost ten pounds in five months. Ok, ok. It shouldn't have taken that long. Maybe I cheated once. Or twice.

Nobody's perfect. Right?

So, I was feeling pretty good about myself.

Like my jeans. The ones that I had to lie down on the bed, inhale, and then zip. After losing the big ten, I got 'em on and zipped standing up.

Not bad.

Then summer came along. And I slipped a little bit on my strategy. Made some bad decisions about what to eat. When to eat.

And how much to eat.

I wa cheating a little.

But I thought everything was still cool. No, I didn't weigh or measure. That would have been the smart thing to do.

Of course, I realize that now.

Somehow, I slid back into some old habits. Became a big-time cheater. If the food looks good, eat it.

Don't worry about nutritional value, calories, etc.

Eat and be happy!

So I did. During Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, too. Mercy!

Yeah, you guessed. I gained the ten pounds back.

After I worked so, so hard to lose weight. How could I let that happen?

Well, I made bad decisions. I got careless.

I've done the same thing in relationships. Like with God. When it comes to praying. And reading my Bible.

Other things look more appealing and fulfilling. So, I spend time there instead of with Him. And when I do that, I'm cheating Him.

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16: 11).

When I cheat Him, I miss out on being in His presence. I miss out on the peace and joy and pleasure that He promises us.

When I cheat Him, I cheat myself.

And about those jeans? They got tossed into the bag labeled thrift store.

Now who's cheating who?

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