Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rule Followers

Nay and I are a lot alike. We like routine and rules and yet we are both extremely stubborn. NayNay does not like wet grass. I can't really tell but I think she tip toes through it. She always cleans her paws before she eats her peanut butter kong. She requires cheese with her kibble. In fact, she will lay there all prissy like until she gets it.  She is predictable. I know what to expect from her. After you've lived with a dog for 8 years it really is like they can talk to you. I know when she needs water by the way she sits in front of me. I know when she needs love by the way she looks at me. I know when she doesn' the way she walks away from me!

I am a "rules" girl. I have lists and I have routine. I drink one diet mountain dew every morning. I won't do a u-turn if it says "no u-turn". Walking on the grass seems illegal. When I drink a red bull (one that happens to be sugar-free) I think I'm being edgy. I like having it all together and letting people think I have it all together.

The truth is....I am not all that I seem....I LOVE to watch television. I have a "People Magazine" app on my iPhone. When you see me you may not realize there is a hole in my sock.  That even though it isn’t Christmas my socks are probably Santa Claus socks.  I am probably wearing what I have on because it was hanging in the closet and not on the floor. You don't realize that halfway between home and destination I worried about whether or not I turned off the iron, that I imagine my house burning down with my dogs in it. I may have even turned around and went home to be sure. Truthfully, I am a complete organized mess.

I recognize other girls who like to have rules. Though I am not a huge Oprah fan, she is clearly a rules girl.  She likes things perfect. She works to perfect that image.  It almost hurts my head just thinking about how much work that must be for her, and yet sometimes I live that way. Striving to an image of perfection.  Following the rules.

I must slow at yellow and stop on red. I must park between the lines. I must color inside the lines. I must read my Bible, pray, and attend church all the time. I must praise God, always in the storm, never complaining. Then.....I remember.....I must live by grace. and when I live by grace pleaseing God follows.

No, I won't always praise Him, walk the line, not complain. At times I will buckle, and whine and cry. I won't be perfect because I can't be perfect. I have to remember that though I am a "rules" girl, I have a God of grace and when I live in that grace there is a real peace and happiness that it isn’t about the rules.  

I have learned over the last couple of years, through very difficult times, that it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks. I don’t live for them. I live for God and at the end of my life it is HIM that I will answer to, and even more inspiring than that….there is no other that loves me the way I am like He does and when I think of How He Loves......then I know grace.


If you are a rules girl too then you should read "Grace for the Good Girl" by Emily Freeman

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Golden Leaves


Peyton, mom and dad's black lab, and Zeke stand on the porch of my parents' house.

I like to believe they are looking at the tree, but probably not. Most likely they are looking at whatever might be moving.  A squirrel, another dog, or possibly a leaf or two being swept across the yard.  Whatever happens to be moving around them is what they are looking at.

Can they see what is changing right before their eyes?  Can they see the golden leaves? Do they see the miracle? 

A tree once bare buds and sprouts green leaves.  As time passes the green leaves turn yellow and fall to the ground.  The wind blows them away and once again the tree is bare.  Bleak.  Brown.  Cold.  Amazingly enough, that bare ugly tree will be green again, and then golden.

Do we see the miracle?  Or is it that life is moving around us and our focus is on the moving parts?  Are we missing the miracle?  And when we look and notice the bleak brown tree, do we see the miracle yet to come?  The golden leaves? 

Our eyes, our hearts are consumed with the "going-ons" of this world.  The day to day duties we must perform. We have to stop and see the  miracle.  Sometimes the miracle isn't seen in today, but it is seen it what today can bring for tomorrow.

God sees all parts.  He sees our future and what is yet to come.  He sees the "golden leaves" in our future, He made the golden leaves in our future.  So when we look around us we have to pause and see HIM.  Not the moving parts but the ONE who makes it all work together for His glory.  We have to see the golden leaves, we have to see the miracle.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rest Unto Your Souls

You ever watch a dog sleep?  NayNay dreams. Her legs move and twitch, once in a while a bark or a yelp.  I imagine she is chasing rabbits in her dreams.  Zeke, he doesn't seem to show any signs of dreaming.  He just lays like a rock.  He will curl up as close as he can possibly get, warm and comforting.  He hardly moves.  He rests.

I like Matthew 11:29 not just because it says "ye shall find rest" but because it says "ye shall find rest unto your souls." When we take His yoke He takes our burden.  He does the work.  We learn of Him.  We learn of Him not just by reading His Word but also by taking His yoke.  By allowing Him to carry our burden.  I often think about that when I'm stressed out. How if it's a bag of weights I could just hand it over, and that's essentially what He wants.  Physically handing something over and emotionally handing something over is two different things.  When we are able to really give to God our heartaches, it is in this process that we learn of Him.  We learn of grace and mercy.  We learn that He is powerful and we lack control.  We learn to let go and usually it is because we just can't do it anymore.

The best part is though, when  you let go...."ye shall find rest unto your souls."  Not just physical rest, but true and whole rest.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Purpose for Every Season

Where's Waldo?  It took me forever to get a good picture of Zeke with the flowers.  I ran all around the flowers while he did too. He usually ended up on the other side of them, looking at me and laughing.  It's odd how when I am still he wants to be right on top of me but when I want him still he runs around like crazy.  So in this picture he hid behind the flowers. 
Finally I got him near me and still, and this is him smiling.  I said "Sit and smile Zeke!" and this is what he did.  Well, that's the story we are going to go with.  I was browsing through these pictures and saw spring.  Why does spring seem like forever ago and forever away?  I have always loved the seasons since much of my teenage years I lived in "seasonless" states.  (Hawaii and California....and yes I made up that word seasonless). When I see spring and fall I am amazed and the exactness of God's creation.  When I see snow I am reminded of pure beauty.   I often wonder how one can look around and not see God.
I looked at this picture below and noticed the flowers but that the trees were bare. Today those trees have green, yellow, orange and red leaves....ready to shed for winter.  And the seasons keep changing and changing and changing.  A cycle that goes on and on. 

Ecclesiastes 3:1 "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:"   One thing I can always depend on and that is the sovereignty of God.  No matter the changes, the patterns, the age....I can depend on Him.  Every season has a purpose.  You can see that our world offers many products but as much as pineapple can grow well in Hawaii it does not do as well in Alaska.  Corn is everywhere in Indiana and potatoes in Idaho.  The farmers wait for seasons because with the seasons come sowing and growing.  Rain and harvest.  Seasons serve purposes for farmers.

God has a purpose for every season in my life.  Whether it is rain or snow, sunshine or clouds...there is purpose for the season I live through.  My job?  To live a life that exemplifies Him and brings Him glory. 


Monday, October 8, 2012


As a kid I always wanted a pet. We had Chibi but the time with her was very short-lived since I was allergic to her. One morning I woke up and she was gone. Dad had taken her to a place where she could live out in the country and run wild and free. If you knew Chibi running wild and free was what she did, even if it was in our subdivision.

Being a military brat, having pets is difficult. If Dad gets orders to go overseas then transporting your pet can be difficult. You have to quarantine for a time and go through paperwork, so after Chibi having a pet was pretty much out of the question. I had gotten it in my mind though that if could find a pet that could be caged my parents would allow it. A mouse was cute but it was still a mouse. A bunny, well that was possible. This began my obsession with getting a bunny rabbit. It never happened but I have a lot of bunny rabbit stuffed animals from those days.

And so when Daffy entered our world everything changed. My brother brought her to my parent’s house (now retired from the Marines) and the family was never the same again. Ten years later our family now has a total of four dogs and two cats and none of us live on a farm. We all fell in love with Daffy, how can you not? She is practically human.

One puppy affected a whole bunch of other puppies. I now have Nay Nay and Zeke. I can’t help but ask myself if I am the kind of Christian that makes other want to be around other Christians. Sure the world isn’t accustomed to the kind of lifestyle we may choose to live, but is it possible that my “cup overflowing” attracts them to the truth of Christ?

It’s hard sometimes…overflowing. It’s hard to reflect the mind of Christ when your co-worker is negative and angry and somehow you get the side effects of it. It’s hard when you are hurt and torn up about a trial in your life and you insist you have joy, but when you lay your head on your pillow at night you think it’s waning away. I can bring on a smart remark if I want to, but do I overflow and display the love of Christ so that those around me would respect Christ that I claim to love? I hope so. I am reminded that as I am loved by Christ, so I must show His love to others.