Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Crazy Story!

Ok, in my last post, I told you how much I missed my darlin' husband. But that he was coming home. He did. Sort of. So, how do you sort of come home? Yeah, I know. It's a crazy story.

Thursday morning he was almost home--about 80 more miles to go. He got a phone call from work. Heartbreaking news. Said he had to go back to Houston. Had to be there early the next day.

So, you know what I did, don't you? Oh, yeah!

I took off from work so that I could go with him. Not what we had planned, but definately better than not seeing him at all.

A short weekend, but really sweet.

A long drive back home Sunday for my daughter-in-law and me. But worth it.

And there's more. I've got dinner ready. Well, except for baking the rolls. I'm waiting for the oven to preheat.

And guess who's coming to dinner?

Sweet girl, you are so right!

My man and I are dining at home tonight!

And I may cook every night this week just because he's here.

That would add even more craziness to this little love story!

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Not Good at Pretending

Loneliness and depression. Not typical topics for me. Not the usual, sweet story either. But it's where I am right now. And ignoring how I feel seems to be a little bit dishonest.

You know, like when someone asks how you're doing and you answer that you're fine, but you're really not. Because you don't want to admit that there's a problem.

I'm not that good at pretending that nothing is wrong when something is wrong.

Does that make sense?

Thanks, sweet girl, I knew that you would understand.

Uh, I know that you didn't actually ask me how I'm doing or why I'm sad. But I'll explain everything anyway. Just in case you're wondering.

I'm depressed because my darlin' husband is working in Houston, Texas, and I'm in Alabama.

We haven't seen each other since the first of March. He always travels, but he's never had to be away from home for almost two months.

And I'm not handling the separation very well either. I miss him so, so much.

Yes, I know that there are military wives whose husbands are gone for way longer than six weeks. More like six months to a year or longer. What a sacrifice! I couldn't do that.

I'm having all kinds of problems with my man's short-term absence. Have to make myself push the trash cart to the street. Or get the mail out of the box.

And other such simple, routine tasks.

Who could imagine how much emotional energy is required to perform them?

Do I sound like a selfish, spoiled brat?


Well, sorry.

It's just that I feel lost and lonely when my sweetheart has to be gone for so long. He's my best friend. He makes everything fun and fulfilling.

He loves me. Protects me. Provides for me.

And the most amazing thing is that he understands the little girl in me. The one who grew up afraid of her daddy. Of not being good enough. The one who always loved words but was too insecure to put hers on paper. The one who desperately wanted to be loved and affirmed.

You can't help but miss a man like that.

And feel lonely and depressed when you're not with him.

I hope that I haven't caused you to feel depressed with my sad story. You've heard the old adage: Misery loves company or misery loves to make others miserable. Something like that.

Well, I have good news. When we do feel alone and depressed, we don't have to deny or ignore those emotions. We don't have to feel guilty that we're not deliriously happy at the moment.

Jesus experienced loneliness and depression too.

You have taken my companions and loved ones from me; the darkness is my closest friend (Psalm 88: 18).

The psalmist writes about his own battle with loneliness, but his words also refer to Christ and how all of Christ's disciples--His friends--abandoned Him when He needed them the most.

The image portrayed in this verse is so sad to me. That our Savior felt so alone that He counted the darkness as His close friend.

You know what? I've never been that alone before.

You know why? Because Jesus promised that He would never, ever leave me. Or you.

I'm glad Jesus made that promise.

I'm glad that He understands loneliness and depression.

I'm glad that when we're lonely or sad or depressed, we don't have to be good at pretending that everything is cool.

And I'm glad that my darlin' husband is coming home this weekend.

And did I mention that he's way handsome?

Oh, sweet girl. He is!

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Hollywood, Swing the Bat!

Anxiously, the coach watches his batter. Full count. And a pitcher who can throw a strike when it matters most. Coach shouts, "Hollywood! Hollywood, swing the bat! If it's close, swing at it. You can do it."

Hollywood looks in his direction and nods nonchalantly.

She waits for the pitch.

Standing in the circle like she's posing for a photographer. Cleats dug down into the red dirt. Knees slightly bent. Her bat in position. Perfectly poised to get a hit. Wants it real bad.

But inside she feels the pressure to perform. Very scary.

Especially for a ten-year-old.

Especially one who got nicknamed Hollywood when she wore her mama's razzle dazzle sunglasses to practice one afternoon and adamantly refused to remove them.

Cause you know how bad the glare is when you're playing leftfield. Right?

Besides, I'm thinking that all girls need a little glamour every now and then.

So, Hollywood sure can look the part, but can she hit the ball? Well, uh, that depends. Are you talking about at practice or at a real game?

She's got plenty of potential.

But honestly, she struggles some at games.

Maybe tonight will be different...maybe she'll knock a homerun...or at least get a base hit...here comes the pitch...it's smokin'... Hollywood stands ready....

The umpire kicks one leg forward. Foot flexed. Right arm goes into an upper cut. All in one merciless, melodramatic motion.

"She's Oouuutt!" he shouts.

And my sweet, little Hollywood never swung the bat.

I really didn't care if she hit the ball or not, but I so wanted to see her take a swing.

But sweet girl, you and I understand, don't we? Swinging can be scary. And pressure to perform according to some self-imposed standard or one set by others can paralyze us.

And sometimes we think of God like He's an umpire. Calling strikes. Just waiting to strike us out. Willing us to go back to the dugout and stay there and feel like a loser.

How sad when we think like that.

That's just so not our loving God.

He's cares about us. Although we may not see our potential, God sees it. He doesn't demand a perfect performance.

Our participation and our obedience bring Him joy.

"...For the LORD delights in you...(from Isaiah 62:4).

Even when we strike out. He's ok with that.

But He does want us and Hollywood to swing the bat.

Batter up, sweet girl!

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter's Choice

He lived. A sinless life. Son of Man. Son of God. He chose to give Himself, the only acceptable sacrifice. For me and for you. His death gave to us the way to God. No other way. No other choice.

His resurrection. Our hope. Not just ours, but hope for the whole world. Because He loves the whole world.

Atheists. Agnostics. Buddhists. Hindus. Muslims. Jews. All who are lost.

God loves.

Gave His precious Son. His One and Only.

He loves.

You and me.

He forgives.

You and me.

He gives power.

To you and to me.

He gives hope.

To you and to me. To the world.

Jesus Christ. Yeshua. Messiah. Anointed One. Promised One. Living Hope. Hope of the world.

Easter's choice.

He chose us, sweet girl. He chose us.

Are we choosing Him?

I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death (Philippians 3: 10).

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Recipient or Reject?

Approximately three hundred women entered the writing conference contest. But only four scholarships were awarded. So which one am I, recipient or reject?

Are you thinking about those numbers? Me too.

And of course the enemy of my soul is capitalizing on that way, way upsidedown ratio.

Messing with my mind. Mocking me.

You know what I'm talking about. Like this:

Why did you enter that contest in the first place? You're not good enough. You don't have what it takes to be a writer. God's holding out on you.

And I've been grappling with these questions for the past few days. Trying to reconcile myself to the very real possibility. Okay, probability of rejection here.

So, what answers have I derived?

Well, let's see. I wrote a post for the contest because my loving God led me to take a step of faith. He led me to put myself out on a limb for Him.

To risk a little rejection. A little humiliation.

Applying for the scholarship wasn't totally about the money; for me, it was more about obedience, and, if I'm honest, seeking acceptance of and affirmation for my writing.

I don't know what the She Speaks scholarship judges thought about my entry, but I believe that God is pleased with my effort.

And as far as God withholding something from me, that's just another one of satan's lies.

I chose to believe what God has spoken to me through His holy word:

Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me! (Psalm 66:20).

If I receive a scholarship, great. If I don't, the rejection will hurt. But I'll survive this sting because I am confident that my loving God, my sweet Savior has not rejected my prayers. He hasn't rejected me.

Sweet girl, He hasn't rejected your prayers or you either. He will never, ever reject us!

He will never withhold His amazing love from us either.

No matter what happens, let's don't listen to the liar who wants to steal God's promises from our hearts. That liar wants more than anything else to destroy the dreams that God Himself has lovingly, graciously placed within us.

No matter what happens, we are the recipients of God's love. His compassion and mercy. His great grace. His strength. His power. His resurrection power.

No matter what happens, we are not rejects in God's eyes.

May we see ourselves through His eyes and through His heart!

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