Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Spray paint, chocolate sauce and silly string

The parts of my hair that were not covered in pink, green and blue spray paint were caked with ketchup and chocolate sauce, my arsenal of Redi-whip securely hung in my tool belt, my tomb raider size water guns were snug in my grasp as I snuck around the side of the house hunting down my pint size adversary who was ready to launch anything sticky and sweet in my direction.  Then I felt it hit me on the back of my head, its liquid slithering its way down my back.

A tomato…

It was war, flipping the safety on my squirt guns that were no match for the rapid fire water balloons that were being launched from the sniper fire behind the bushes.

And then
The ground began to rumble, the thunder grew closer, peeling the silly string away that was obscuring my vision

It was something big
It was something purple

It looked like Barney, but it had four legs
Headed straight for me

I dove for cover
And then it was on top of me

Drool dripping down my face
You painted the dog purple!!?

Your mother is never going to let me babysit again.
Laughter erupting from his little belly as he lay on the ground in a heap of giggles while I surveyed the pool of rubble that surrounded us on the front lawn.

How did these moments become so few and far between?
When did I lose sight of these simple things?  Did I ever have sight of them to begin with?  

These simple moments when nothing else mattered than how much chocolate sauce, whip cream and silly string we could fire off at one another.  When my to do list sat unattended on the counter, when I rejoiced and was glad in the moment God had given me, when I was fully present in the moment.
It will not be the clean closet or perfectly vacuumed carpet that will be remembered.

Whatever it was that I was sitting at my computer working on that was a really big deal to me at the time will long be forgotten. 
It will be those moments of spray paint, chocolate sauce and silly string that will be locked away in our memories that will be reminisced and laughed about over family dinners.

Matthew 18:3
And I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

This doesn’t mean I should to shirk my responsibilities; working is good, the Bible tells us we must work and we must work like we are working for Jesus, but the song Cats in the Cradle is ringing through my head right now.

I have not fully taken hold of this yet, but I don’t want to take this life or myself too seriously that there aren’t enough of these moments or that I let them so carelessly slip from my grasp when they are given to me. 
I let my mind wander to when he is a grown man and he will say to me

Auntie Kandi remember the time of spray paint, chocolate sauce and silly string…
And I reply, “Yes baby I do”

It is those moments that will be remembered.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

faith, hope and a plan

Why didn’t I come to Him sooner?

That question knocks on the door of my thoughts from time to time.
I would be so much further along.

I have often thought about what my life would be like today had I come to Him 10 years ago instead of 4. 
I had sporadic attempts at it, but nothing really stuck, I had a few storms blow through my life that should have brought me to my knees before Jesus, but they never did, instead I plodded along frustrating myself by trying to fix it on my own.

He knew I would come Him one day
He knew He had a plan

And maybe part of that plan was giving me a healthy dose of the world had to offer, only to realize how short it fell in comparison to Him
He knew the incredibly bad choices I would make, and He let me make them, because ultimately it would bring me to this point

Where all I have left is my faith in Jesus.
There have been two times in my life when I felt God speak to me, I am not talking about when I read His Word, or I feel the tugging on the inside, I am talking about those moments when it felt as if He were reaching inside my chest and grabbing hold of my heart and stopping it for just a few moments because He needed my full attention.

The first was last summer when He asked me if I would follow Him
The second was on a very cold wintery day as I was tucked under a mountain of blankets trying to keep warm.  My heart caught my chest; I lost my breath for a moment.

I have something for you.

That is it, nothing else, and I haven’t heard anything about it since, no further instructions, no hint of what was about come, but I needed to know more.
But nothing since that day.

No instructions for the next step, no hint of what was to come

Our faith is incredibly important to Him, so much that He will take everything away so the only thing we have left to stand on is our faith in Him to show us that is all we need.   
Faith that He will keep His word even when it looks like nothing is happening

Faith that He has a plan even when your life goes completely off the rails
Faith when you thought you hit a homerun only to discover you were out before even making it to first base.

It is hard, incredibly hard to keep the faith when the silence is so loud; I get that, oh my goodness do I get that.
But what He is doing now is preparation for what He has up ahead, preparation for your protection, preparation for what He is going to ask of you, it is for His glory.

We learn what faith really is when the only thing we have left is Jesus, when we are stripped bare of everything and realize how little we have to offer, and the only thing we have left is to hold onto to is our faith that our God bigger than anything this world can muster up.

Monday, July 11, 2011

to whom it may concern

An epic storm raged through my tiny town this morning, leaving me without power all day, seriously I just got it back a few hours ago, so I apologize I did not have computer access today, I don't have a laptop so when when my power went out so did my computer.  The day before I locked my keys in my car at church, and those are just a few of the minor irritants that have plagued me in recent days, so in celebration of my frustrations as of late I am reposting something I wrote back in December, when the enemy done worked my last nerve and I felt it only neccesary to write him a letter, I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it.

To Whom It May Concern In The Underworld:

I am writing to you today after my repeated verbal requests, that I am currently not in need of your services, have apparently fallen in deaf ears. Please remove my name, phone number and address from your call list as I am very happy with my current provider Jesus Christ.

While I appreciate your attempts in recent weeks, trying to prove to me that my current provider is unreliable, you have failed to convince me. I know you were behind the broken patio door, broken garage door, broken coffee pot, favorite broken coffee mug, clogged drain resulting in a river on my basement floor, lost drivers license and walking into a door resulting in a goose egg and cut on my forehead while looking for said lost drivers license, expired library card and standing in line for fifteen minutes to renew it only to find out I could not check out my selection of Christian literature because of unknown library fines. I am happy to report that after much ado all overdue fees have been paid and said reading material was able to follow me home. I also feel I must thank you for the opportunity to stand in line for an entire morning at the DMV, the owner and CEO of my current provider, Jesus himself kept me company and we enjoyed a very pleasant morning together, I also met a new Jesus lovin friend, the goose egg has reduced in swelling and my cut is healing quite nicely, thank you for asking.

While I further appreciate your efforts to woo my business away from your competitor with your promises of worldly wealth and material goods, I feel I must direct your attention to your proven track record of lies and deceit, your reputation of destruction starting with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden precedes you. May I also point out that at one time you held quite the coveted primo position within the company of my current provider and now your competitor, that is until your selfish pride got the best of you, I wouldn’t exactly advertise that on your flyers and business cards. May I also say that I heard you were really quite beautiful back in the day, what happened? If you don’t mind me making a suggestion perhaps a facial and a little waxing, it only hurts for a moment, but that should be no problem for you, as pain and destruction are your specialty.

In regards to my repeated requests for an instructional manual, apparently the postal service needs some restructuring as I keep hearing the promise that it is in the mail however it never arrives, do you even have an instruction manual? If you don’t mind me saying so my current provider has had the same one for over 2000 years and every promise in it has been kept, it can be found in just about any bookstore and there is no other book in print that has come close to rivaling its best seller status, not to mention that the mere sight of it warms my heart. References of proven customer satisfaction on your behalf have also become a little sketchy, apparently those customers have become unavoidably detained, which makes me wonder what they have been unavoidably detained doing.

You have taken enough of my time today and in recent weeks, it is a little chilly on the outdoors today, however, the sun is shining and I plan to take a spin through the woods and get my praise on. If you insist on following me you will only be hurting yourself as I have been told by many that my singing can wake the bears from hibernation, however since it fills my heart with gladness and joy and I am told that it is music to my Fathers ears I am plan to do it loud, proud and for a very long time. So I ask that you pack your truck with your baggage of lies and deceit, put this girl in your rearview mirror and drive away, I will not be moved and you are not welcome here. It is In Him I serve.


A Daughter of the King

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

thursday thought

I wondered what they thought of me, the men and women holding up their cups or pounding them on the table as I made my way around the room filling them with juice, actually that is what the shelter called it, it was really just sugar water with a little powdered drink mix added in for flavor.  Was I just someone who gave up her lunch hour once every few weeks to serve them meals to make herself feel better to think that she was actually doing something for the plight of less advantaged, a girl who walked over from her air conditioned office building in her fancy work clothes, a girl who was freshly showered just that morning,  someone who is able to put on clean clothes everyday while most of them having been wearing the same clothes for weeks or even months and who have probably not seen soap and water in just as long, I would leave the shelter and go back to my comfortable life where I get three meals a day when many of them were lucky to get one.

There is something sobering about seeing the dirty and nasty parts of the world, and it is even more sobering to know that what I saw in that shelter was hardly the tip of the dirtiness of the world we live in. I wondered how did they get there and how did I get where I was, why were our lives so different?  Were they even thinking anything at all about me or were they just happy to be putting food in their belly that they couldn’t have cared less about who was serving it to them, and I wondered were many of them thinking the same thing I was, how did they get to this place? Or were they too far gone to even care anymore?
Have we become numb to it? We walk down the street and hardly notice them, sometimes we move a little to left as to not walk to close.  Have they become numb to it too?  Used to being invisible to the world in which they live, have the tears long dried up or have they ever shed a tear?  Tears show emotion and feeling, tears show vulnerability something that will get you hurt their hardened world.  

Speaking of the love of God and the power of Jesus seem like trite words to speak to the woman who is prostituting herself to feed the drug and alcohol addiction she picked up to numb the pain of when her father, uncle, brother whomever it was treated her as a commodity for their pleasure, empty words to speak to the child whose abusive parent would burn them with cigarettes or hold their hand over a hot burner or beat them in a drunken rage, trite words to speak to the woman whose husband abuses her, or the barely teenage girl taking care of her brothers and sisters because her father ran off and her mother is a drug addict or the young person who has lost count of their many  suicide attempts.  There is a story behind every sunken face and hollow eyes, vile stories that make us want to vomit, stories that make our hearts race so fast they feel as if they are going to beat out of chest, stories that keep us up at night making us afraid to close our eyes for fear they will haunt us in our dreams. 

Speaking of the love of God and power of Jesus just seems empty, trite and a little dangerous because the questions come and they will come, they always come, we have asked them ourselves, where was the love of God and if Jesus is so powerful why didn’t He use His power to stop was happening? There are no human words plausible enough to explain the questions away.  We can hug them tight hoping that our touch will somehow heal the darkness and make way for the light, we shed our tears and we can love them we can speak of the love of God and the power of Jesus and pray they have enough fight left in them to want to turn towards the light.

What is that we say and that we do, when the questions come that make us stir in our seats, when saying that God loves you, He was with you and He wept for you sounds like we are on loop recording, what is that we say when we have the same questions with no answers, why did the drunk driver have to kill the young mother and her children why couldn’t it have been drug dealer who is selling his venom on the schoolyard or the pimp who stole the girl to make money for himself by selling her body,  why is it that the crafty and wicked of the world get chance after chance after chance but the one who wants to do nothing more than to spread of the love Jesus keeps knocked down, their plans thwarted and doors slammed in their face.  We know we will never escape sin as long as we walk this earth but couldn’t He just put an end to worst of it? 

We know how this all ends, judgment day will come and everything will be reconciled, evil will be defeated.  One day we will live in a place where there is no evil or wickedness, a place where we will never be hurt again, there will no more darkness only light, we will live in paradise one day the place where we will see Jesus.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

little miss independence

I started delivering newspapers when I was 11 years old, and I have been working and earning my own money ever since, I have always taken a certain amount of pride in this little factoid.  I fancied myself as an independent type gal who worked and earned her own money.  I looked on for years as my mother suffered her way through the abuse from my father, and as a stay at home mom raising two young daughters my mother was completely dependent on my father, she had nowhere to go, so she stayed and I learned at a very early age to never become dependent on man for anything. Not the food I put on my table, the shelter over my head, the clothes on my back or anything of the like and for the last 22 years I have been doing this solo gig I have gotten pretty good at it.  I have always supported myself, I was doing life on my terms and depended on no one and therefore no one controlled me, I could leave whenever I wanted, and I did it often.  In and of itself having a little independence is not a bad thing, but when you take it to the extreme that I did, you start to walk on soft ground.

So when I started writing this blog I had a very clear vision of what direction I wanted it to go in, blogging about navigating this life as a single person under my skewed set of assumptions, it didn’t work out that way, because while I knew plenty about being and staying single, I knew absolutely nothing about being single in a healthy functional relationship.   Don’t get me wrong I love my single status, I really do, but enjoying my life only began a few years ago, before that I was working overtime in self-preservation mode and I was exhausted, and I didn’t even know how exhausted I was until I wasn’t anymore. 
So when I entered this season I asked the why questions so many times, Father why would you allow this to happen,  I am single girl, I am my only means of support why would take that away from me?

Do you see it?

Little miss independence is learning how to be dependent, dependent on a God that I cannot physically see or touch, a God whose presence I can’t always feel, I am learning to be independent of my own self and what I think I can provide for me.  My pride has been beaten down, my weaknesses exposed, and my strength dissolved, I am weak in and of myself,  everything  I have is from the Father and not by anything I can or ever will be able to do on my own, and let me tell you something, it hurts a bit.
My greatest fear, my greatest uncomfortable place is to need and accept help from other people, I can do it myself thank you very much.   So what does God do?  He rains down His help through other people, one way or another or He is going to break this girl’s fiery independent streak.