aRRoGANt eNouGh to hUmBLe

Crazy title-but I struggled with how to tag this post so when this came to mind, I knew the Holy Spirit came to my rescue. A few months ago, my Chipper and I headed to Planet Fitness one Saturday morning to get our workout done so we could catch the matinee at Regal Cinemas. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I opt for the matinee because the cheaper ticket price helps justify forking out $13.oo for a small popcorn and a coke. I’m sorry but, Orville’s bags don’t compare to those at the theatre. Anyways, when we arrived, I spotted a treadmill directly beneath a ceiling fan and hurried to claim it because the ones underneath the fans are definitely the coolest.

Once upon a time, I’d outrun you. Granted, it might kill me but, I’d die being the best. I had to be the BEST. Then came a point in my life that erased my chances of ever being the best at many things I had once excelled in-circumstances that GOD allowed to retrain my mind and teach me that being the best and GIVING my best are very different things. I don’t need to be better than everyone else, I just need to be MY best. This day, GOD would use two polar opposites to add a precept to my growing stack of precepts.

untitledTo my right was a man, sweating profusely. His waist extended the width of the treadmill, his ginormous body squished between the rails. I do a brief warm up before hitting my pace for a 5 mile run but, I was honestly so overcome with sympathy for the dude, who at 20 minutes hadn’t made the one mile mark; I didn’t want to make him feel bad & decided to take it easy for the day and jog. I’d keep the speed at my warm up setting and jog….

imagesthen who to my wondering eyes should appear, but the gym hottie with killer abs that shouted-look everybody, I’m here! Suddenly, things changed & I couldn’t bear Ms. THANG thinking that the lady beside her was your average granny. Me being me, I groaned when she started warming up 2 speeds above my endurance pace & then added an insane incline. Really GOD? Is this your idea of funny?  Sandwiching me between FAT ALBERT & JILLIAN MICHAELS and expecting me to choose?  I’ve told you before. GOD must use creativity when getting my attention.  I’ll give you the end of the story before I explain why I left that day feeling ALL THAT.

.imagesCAOYB1H7On first impression, the obese man beside me was another couch slob, who did nothing but gorge all day and collect disability. Then my IGNORANCE hit me like a needle of lightning. What if he had a medical condition that had caused this tremendous weight?  Was he on prednisone or an anti-depressant or suffering with a thyroid problem? My heart ached with the notion that he may have eaten all the way to this size. Had his child died or his wife left him? Had he lost his job? We DON’T know why people are the way they are if we haven’t run in their shoes.  WE JUDGE without having a shred of evidence. PERIOD.

Ms. Fitness. Initial guess? She was training for another marathon so she could hang a shiny gold medal with the rest in her parents’ mansion. Probably a track star at the prestigious university in town since she was pretty enough and running a 7 minute mile. But, as my eyes darted over again, the intense concentration on her face made me wonder if this chick was running to run-or RUNNING from someone or something? Was this her realm of escape? I questioned if she had an eating disorder but then scolded myself for making a premature assumption. Some people are predisposed to be thin no matter how they eat. Was she training for a race to honor a cancer survivor-her mom, sister or friend? For all I knew, she could have been the survivor. I pegged her as a southern belle but, if I’d said hi, she could’ve responded in Russian or German. Instead of Miss Congeniality or prom queen, she may have been in America alone. RUNNING.

IMG_5027I experienced another monumental moment. As I judged them, my guess was they had done the same of me; if that was the case, they’d gotten me ALL wrong! That’s how the title comes in; I’m arrogant enough to admit to you that over the years, GOD has radically refined my LET ME PROVE MYSELF trait. I remain competitive, opinionated, prone to do it my way or bust-but what I’ve learned is; I’m not qualified to criticize or judge another person’s way, especially if I have NO experience doing what they’re doing and no idea what it takes for them to do what they do. Been there, done that. MUCH to MY shame, I regret it. To some, I was able to apologize. But many will never know that I wronged them and that I’m deeply sorry for it.

People think that because I’ve stayed thin all of my life, it’s based on appearance sake. They assume that since I was in pageants, I’m a chicky-chic bling queen. They look at Mom & my sisters and assume that I’m just lucky to have great genes since the women in my family are attractive and youthful. When we’re out to eat and I order salad, NO CROUTONS, NO DRESSING, NO THIS, NO THAT, they presume I obsess over calories-when the truth is, I’m deathly allergic to gluten or wheat-even small amounts make me violently ill, so much so that I only have 6 inches of my large intestine. They don’t know that I was born with a defect in my hips and pelvis that as I age, becomes more debilitating and painful. They don’t know that I’ve had 15 major surgeries in my lifetime or that I was diagnosed with COPD in my mid 40’s, even though I never smoked. Exercise is extremely hard for me but, I push myself to work out because it’s helping me maintain my mobility. I hide my disabilities well just like most people hide theirs.
imagesCA87T247From that day on, I pledged to pray this daily. May I never think so highly of myself to assume that I know everything there is to know about everything or everybody.  Let me live my life everyday more like Jesus.  As long as I do that, I can run MY race at my own pace and enjoy the freedom of allowing others the same privilege.

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quizZ mE eNoUgH

I recently found myself taking those silly quizzes on facebook. Oh, PULEASE don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about people! I got hooked-clicking after YOU! So anyways. I found out a lot about myself. Firstly, I spent too much time taking quizzes when I could be doing something more productive like PINNING. bwahahaha
Hershel WDI AM Hershal of Walking Dead (old dude got his head whacked off by a machete because he believed chit chat was his most powerful weapon). Me in a nutshell. I’ve always believed that if I talk long enough, I’ll convince my listeners OTHERWISE. I don’t know how to type ANNKKK..but-I mean-the opposite of ding, ding, ding. LOL

I amIRon Man

I am CORA FUNNY

I am Disney mice

I am mulan

I amRACHEL revolution

I am BELLA

I amGERMAN SHEPHERD

I amKATE LOST

These quizzes are often accurate because the questions appeal to an individual’s natural tendencies. I could’ve LIED my way through and gotten a different outcome. For instance, instead of saying I like my tea with honey & lemon, I could’ve ticked extra sugar & cream. Instead of words as my weapon of choice, I could’ve ticked bow & arrow. Rather than admitting that I’m tenderhearted about social injustices, I could’ve claimed to be guarded and able to walk away. But, even if I wanted to be Katniss Everdeen and answered the questions to give me a heroine result-at the heart, I’m still PEETA MELLARK.Peeta Mellark

Type A-NEVER satisfied with my performance prevents me from ever completely relaxing. I’ve gotten better with age and lessons, but-it’s an ongoing discipline to be PLEASED with me. I’m grateful that when I berate myself for failing to be THE best, Jesus whispers-Lis, you have potential. You have purpose.  Daughter, who I love more than you can possibly fathom, I made you–ENOUGH. Hebrews 12:1-2 reminds-leave the past behind, keep my eyes focused on the prize & that if I do, I will do great things for God. NOT because of who I am-but because of who HE is.  I yearn to be bigger-greater-than me. I want to make my parents more proud, make my husband more proud, my kids more proud, my church more proud, my friends more proud. On and on it goes. It’s difficult to be content just knowing that GOD-who knows my worth greater than anyone, LOVES ME ENOUGH.

HE wants me to grow greater in HIM, but warns that gaining supernatural power requires life changing encounters that involve pain & hardships. The cold, hard, truth? COURAGE is achieved by conquering crazy scary stuff. I pray for those encounters & have a willing spirit to say-I’ll do whatever it takes to be more like YOU. But, LETTING HIM DOWN or NOT FIGHTING hard enough makes my blood run cold.  IMG_4959

Another struggle? Rising above critical naysayers or the merely religious-because when I don’t lift myself above them, I’m overcome by their negativity and my inferiority.  Philippians 3:12 Not that I’ve already obtained all this or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus. When will I fully grasp the brevity of this verse?

May I strive to be known for what I STAND for, not what I STAND against.  May I strive to be the chick who through her own triumphs and failures, understands the endless grace and unwavering mercies of my HEALER.  May I shine the light of HOPE! May I gladly pour out who and what I am in order to offer HIS restoration to the broken ones.  I desperately yearn to be a godly woman who shouts FREEDOM-not just another church lady jumping at the chance to pile on more guilt and shame.  Let me one who declares what somebody CAN do- not what they CAN’T-when they enter into a REAL relationship with CHRIST.

My dude has been preaching a month long series called EXPOSING the PHARISEES and I’ve been woefully challenged to turn my focus INWARD, not outward. May I never be like the Pharisees of Jesus’ era, puffed up in my arrogance, forehead adorned by an impressive phylactery, but with eyes & heart obliviously blind to the putrid stink of my own sins.

About those quizzes–I can keep ticking the boxes that concoct a fake ME or I can embrace the me who GOD created, trust the promises that HE made that

I am 1654269_10201587504311485_2070905376_n

ENOUGH.

grOuP hUg fOr miSs gRuMp

I’m usually a nice person but, since I brand myself as REAL, I say usually to be true.  Self centered people, young or old, who think that the world revolves around what they want-really IRK me sometimes. Therefore, Proverbs 26:17 is a mandatory memory verse for-fix it or I’ll do it for you-personalities like mine. A person who is passing by & meddles in a quarrel that’s not his is like one who grabs a dog by the ears. 

Yesterday, my Chipper & I headed to the bargain barn for a veggie steamer. Few patrons were shopping so the queues were minimal. Steamer and a bathmat in hand, we took a spot behind an elderly farmer buying a cart load of garden soil.  He was about to share the secret to growing perfect tomatoes when Old Lady Grump had to go and spoil it for us all with one gruff hiss. Sir. She sounded like the gangster in the video Kevin used to fend off Harry & Marv, in Home Alone. Yeah, you! Ya filthy animal!  I glanced to the next checkout & watched the blood rush up through the target’s neck, blistering his cheeks. She practically rammed her nearly full cart into his side to push her point. I’m in line here.439247-Royalty-Free-RF-Clip-Art-Illustration-Of-A-Cartoon-Black-And-White-Outline-Design-Of-A-Grumpy-Woman-Grocery-Shopping

Poor guy. He was wearing a generic uniform, perhaps an electrician or plumber; from the dirt on his shirt, he’d already put in a few hours & it was only 1:30. ALL he had was a diet coke. I’m sure he wheeled in for a drink before heading to his next job & didn’t intentionally break in front of Miss GRUMP. In times like these,  I try to heed the wisdom of the Proverbs . Sometimes I’m successful. Other times…not so much.

BON QUI QUI My Bon Qui Qui took over suddenly. If you don’t know BON QUi Qui, by all means when you read the post, give the girl a holla!    http://youtu.be/jZkdcYlOn5M

My tongue was fired up, but seeing as how she’d ripped his man card to shreds, my rushing to defend would’ve only added insult to injury. For whatever reason, he decided to just let it go. Timely Ecclesiastes 3 verses surfaced as I watched him mutter, I’m sorry.

MADEAOh my. Now, my inner Madea wanted in on a piece of this action. You sorry? What in the @#$*% are you saying sorry for, fool? Halleluyer! 

I imagined that this man may have listened to his wife read some posters on Pinterest while they drank their morning coffee. Perhaps BE KIND TO ALL YOU MEET, YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT KIND OF BATTLE THEY MAY BE FIGHTING.

Albeit reluctantly, I managed to keep my hands off of the dog’s ears this time.

As I made eye contact with the guy standing quietly behind Miss Grump, another scripture crossed my mind.  Proverbs 25:21-22 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat, if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for you will heap burning coals on his head & the LORD will reward you. I’m not making this tale up. booski shopFrom that moment on, it unfolded like a comedy. Mister Green Jeans puttered on his way as we put our 2 items on the counter. *wink*

Guess who was NOW stuck behind the retired parents of a daughter who’d gone up North to visit someone’s sister? They’d driven from a neighboring town to house sit and take care of the cats and they were shocked that daughter still uses a can opener she took from their house when she moved out! It wasn’t any good back then & how did she expect them to stay a week & feed the cats using a rusty manual can opener? Dad has arthritis in his fingers & Mom’s in a sling because of carpel tunnel. According to them, it’s a painful surgery & the hospital food in their town tastes like it’s dumped from a can.  There wasn’t a soul back there to assist customers and this can opener didn’t have a price on it. With nothing in their cart but a broom, Pine Sol & a can opener, Miss Grump’s call between line #1 and #2 had suddenly taken a turn for the worse!  All I’ll say is; there was no casual conversation with our clerk but-How fast can we make this happen so the man with the diet coke can change lanes? 🙂

CARTOON GOLDEN RULEApparently, GOD chose to refresh Miss Grump’s memory about the GOLDEN rule, which applies to everything from parenting to shopping. But, I won’t judge her too harshly since at one time or another everyone, including ME-forgets the most basic rule of getting along with each other. Matthew 7:12 DO unto others as you would have them do UNTO you.

GOLD STAR material, indeed.

i aM tHe mOtHer oF a 30 year old!

Today’s Joshua’s 30th birthday. I would try to say that my Chipper and I adopted him when we were sixteen, since we’re NOT old enough to have a MIDDLE aged man as a kid but, he looks like me and he acts like me too, so that won’t work! I’m so proud of my son, who I often call Peter Pan. He’s a nurse, who cares for critically ill children everyday; Pediatric Intensive Care isn’t an ideal place for most people to work and I admire those who can do it. Kids die in there a lot and it’s his call in life to comfort frightened, pain ridden children and their parents during an unimaginable tragedy. But, kids are brought back to healthy & Joshua celebrates those miracles, too. He is a wonderful son, a great husband, caring grandson, devoted brother, doting uncle to his first niece/goddaughter and dedicated to his patients. Happy Birthday my precious baby boy! I love you to infinity and beyond!! ❤

Dangerously Transparent

When we married, we knew that if I had a chance of becoming pregnant, it had to happen quickly. Joshua was born 17 months later. A difficult nine months; I developed gestational diabetes & severe edema. I gained just 23 lbs., but at five feet & normally 110 pounds, by all appearance, I was carrying multi-uplets! I’m not the least bit tempted to get BOTOX lips. I’ve got pictures that prove-an over inflated mouth-doesn’t suit my facial structure. 😀

On a snow forecasted March Thursday night, I’d been in labor all day so Mama decided it would be best to go to the hospital rather than get snowed in. When I got there-the nurse did the standard exam & determined that it was false labor. Come back when the pain’s REALLY significant & contractions are regular. I was only 22, but, I’d been sick most of my…

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“dUm sPiRo SpErO”

LYing awake worryingWhich do you ponder most when your head hits the pillow-a day’s successes or failures? I’d rather dwell on the positive, but my personality doesn’t lean that way; most nights I count my mistakes and begin an agonizing routine of punishing myself.  Guilt is an emotional mind bender that manipulates me easily. Loser. Why do you torture yourself with ridiculous goals? No matter how many times you try, you CAN’T. You’re just a dressed up failure. Why should GOD use you? He’s Wiser. She’s Prettier. They have more talent. More charismatic. Not impulsive. Not unsure. Comparison eats away at my identity until it reduces me to less than zero.
Brothers, I don’t consider myself to have taken hold of it, but one thing I do; forgetting what is  BEHIND & reaching FORWARD to what’s ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by GOD’S heavenly call in CHRIST JESUS. Phillipians 3:13-14
WEIGHTED WITH GUILT fear worryWe’re commanded to share GOD by showering hope, goodness, love & compassion. This ginormous responsibility guarantees that we will fail at times but, we can’t be afraid to go hard in all we do, without fear of not receiving HIS forgiveness when we falter. Yes, we can expect to be chastised, but only because HE uses mistakes to help us grow stronger. Difficulties aren’t maliciously or deliberately allowed to thwart progress. HE won’t hold us back, beat us down or purposely prevent us from celebrating victory over the things HE willed for us to conquer. HE doesn’t set us up to fail! I hope that makes your heart do the happy dance!  How delightful the trip would be if I’d fully grasp that GOD has every aspect under control. Guilt will keep us from slaying our giants, take away our happy & leave us empty and hopeless. Don’t give in to guilt!!
STATE MOTTO with treeWhen I’m brave enough for ink, I want the motto of my state, South Carolina, placed on my left foot. I want it on my left foot because I stepped in a hole a few years ago and snapped both bones in my lower leg. A freak accident that required a trauma surgeon and a whole bunch of metal to put my leg back together again.  I was non weight bearing for over three months and did I ever learn how to be humble through that experience. Suddenly, I needed help for the most simple of tasks like putting on underwear.  Nowadays, when I finish a 4 mile run or walk up several flights of stairs, I think back to that time when I could not and it makes me appreciate my bum leg far more.
“Dum Spiro Spero” (Latin) means while I breathe, I hope. May I always strive to find that place of peaceful nights when I fall asleep guilt free, not because I lived perfectly, but because I took each step with FULL confidence of  WHO was LEADING my way .FOOT TATTOO DUM

Aside

wHo’s wRiTing tHe cOmMaNdMenTs wHere yOu wOrsHip?

Rabid dogWe’re proactive if a rabid animal is on the loose in the neighborhood, but if a potentially deadly poison threatens to infect our congregation, we hesitate to put up a defense, let alone launch an attack. Churches teeter on collapse weekly and though it may appear to stem from financial woes, music styles, race, abortion, homosexuality or one of the other controversial subjects we debate, most travesties happen when EVIL sprouts in the hearts of those we consider brothers and sisters. When it’s not eradicated, it spreads and when it spreads, it destroys.  JESUS had the utmost tolerance for the lost, but HE quickly rebuked hypocrites in the church-having no patience with those using HIS FATHER’S NAME for their own propaganda.

Playing church posterWe quote verses on judging to justify an unwillingness to combat uncomfortable situations. Well, we’re also told to use spiritual DISCERNMENT. It’s heartbreaking to realize how many of GOD’S children aren’t consistent students of the BIBLE, so they rely on self serving interpretations from others. Often, the same ones secretly devising wicked plans are the same ones being depended on to provide holy guidance.

James 3:8-10 no human can tame the tongue. It’s restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord & Father & with it we curse people made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth comes blessings & cursings. Brothers, these things ought not be so.

OVOLTAIRE criticizebserve those who worship with you. Who prays more for your church and leaders than talks about it or them? Who shows respect for all members, regardless of social status or political views? Who frequents hallways complaining and campaigning? Who uses social media to conspire or backbite? IDENTIFY them and RUN away just as you’d flee from a RABID dog!

I don’t usually choose this translation (THE MESSAGE), but in the case of Romans 16:17-18 I think it’s one of the best. 17-18 One final word of counsel, my friends. Keep a sharp eye out for those who take bits and pieces of the teaching that you learned and then use them to make trouble. Give these people a wide berth. They have no intention of living for our Master Christ. They’re only in this for what they can get out of it, and aren’t above using pious sweet talk to dupe unsuspecting innocents.

Brave & trustworthy Spirit Warriors are the backbone of your church, so strive to be one who serves on the front line, unified with those who genuinely want ONLY GOD’S plans to succeed for your church.

2nd Timothy 3:1-17  1But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. 2For people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, 4traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people!

6For among them are those who worm their way into households & capture idle women burdened down with sins, led along by a variety of passions, 7 always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes & Jambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men who are corrupt in mind, worthless in regard to the faith. 9 But they will not make further progress, for their lack of understanding will be clear to all, as theirs was also.

10But you’ve followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love & endurance, 11 along with the persecutions & sufferings that came to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from them all. 12In fact, all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13Evil people & impostors will become worse, deceiving & being deceived. 14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you 15and you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.proverbs10_9

tIme fOr a sPriNg sTrip! :D

closet clean stripYesterday I did my bi-annual closet strip. A rather strange ritual since my closet is the size of a hobbit’s. I don’t fancy shopping unless, of course, it’s for The Ladybug. In my younger days I felt compelled to keep up with trends, but now that I’m in my fifties, my clothes qualify as retro/vintage-which is great since I buy most at Goodwill or recycle shops. I wear them for a season, then wash and return the lot so that someone else can enjoy them, too.  The mainstays of my closet are things with sentimental value like the black floral dress Mama sent to New Zealand for my 40th birthday. When I put it on all these years later, I still remember how special it was to receive that beautiful dress in the mail. I look forward to sliding into my army khakis each spring. 1999. VINTAGE indeed.

May I recommend a book by Jen Hatmaker? If you lean to the excessive, it may put perspective on what you need & what you don’t. If you lean to the lean, it will help to reinforce a decision to simplify.

Cartoon accessoriesBy my thirties, I considered myself non materialistic despite a large home, Suburban, dogs, cats, bunnies, fish, pool, two refrigerators & extra freezer. Running shoes, walking shoes, open toe sandals, closed toe sandals, flat flip flops, wedged heel flip flops, 3″ heels, 5″  heels, black boots, brown boots, cowboy boots, snow boots, light jackets, heavy coats, vests, sweaters, pencil skirts, peasant skirts, church dresses, casual dresses,  3/4 sleeve blouses, long sleeved blouses, scoop neck tees, round neck tees, v neck tees, stonewashed jeans, black jeans, mom jeans, sexy jeans, colored hair shampoo, swimmers’ shampoo, everyday shampoo, wake up facial wash, bedtime calming cleanser, nighttime moisturizer, daytime sunscreen, am eye cream, pm eye gel, heavy foundation, light foundation, pink powder blush, coral gel blush, lipgloss, lipstick, lipbalm, lipstain. Shall I itemize every nook & cranny? Non materialistic alright.

THEN the CALL came to MOVE to the OTHER SIDE of the WORLD.

New Zealand certainly isn’t a poor country, but according to the standards I was accustomed to, stuff was sparse. People rarely used clothes dryers-why pay for something the SUN & a washing line did free? 2 refrigerators? Ha! We searched to find one taller & wider than me. We couldn’t store enough food for more than a few days in these over-sized coolers, how we’d survive the apocalypse was troubling. *wink*  ONE car per family? Ya kidding? Back home, the hubby had a truck, me an SUV, kids had their wheels. It wasn’t a luxury; our hectic lifestyle demanded everyone have their own transportation. But, only rich kids got new ones, regular folks could only afford used.

House hunting. A three bedroom house & 1 bath? Is this a joke? Setting up the house. 6 cabinets in an entire kitchen? Closets? YES! I am SO excited about the DOUBLE Barbie townhouse closet in the master bedroom. 🙂  Mail is delivered to the letterbox at the house, but I must take a single piece of mail to the local post shop to send?  But, we only have one car over here.  No worries, the bus stop’s around the corner. Me? Ride a bus? UGH! We aren’t poor! I was so FULL of myself; it’s a wonder I made any friends at all. I had MUCH to learn about being materialistically minded.

So, I began my journey to minimalism out of necessity when we rented our first home. It was a lovely cottage overlooking a pasture. We had lemon trees & mandarin orange trees outside-but no dishwasher inside. I didn’t buy everyday dishes and Sunday dishes but we were troopers & somehow suffered through it now that we were roughing it. 😀

In Jen’s book I found a defining confession-Getting rid of clutter is an amazing way to simplify, but how pious was I to be so incredibly proud of myself for being so “sacrificial”?  That was me.  I relished the attention from friends and family when I moaned about the conditions we were having to adapt to. I welcomed the praises about all I was giving up in order to serve the LORD. *sigh*

I’m ashamed that I was so spiritually immature to believe-I deserved credit for washing dishes & using the same glasses to drink out of on Sunday that we did on Tuesday. As if having to wait an extra 5 minutes to brush my teeth was something to merit a high five for enduring. I was embarrassed to be seen getting on the bus or hanging out clothes.  I was materialistic; I’d just been too wrapped up in my stuff to realize it.  I’d been filled with pride about what I had, what I drove, what I wore and what I gave.

Giving something to someone because I no longer WANT it-is hardly a sacrificial offering so why do we think that? I’ve confessed so many of my faults, it’s easier to spill my guts than it used to be. Prior to moving to New Zealand, money wasn’t as tight as it had been. After ten years of making do with a second hand bedroom set, we purchased a new one. We put an ad in the paper to sell our old one for $175. We’d already bought the new furniture, but weren’t spiritually mature enough to discern that it made more sense to GIVE away the one we no longer wanted-as opposed to charging a little something because it was too good to GIVE IT AWAY. What kind of self centered, crazy nonsense have we talked ourselves into believing? We gave ourselves credit for being overly generous when a family came & we LET THEM HAVE it for $125 because it appeared from the jalopy truck and worn out shoes they needed a break.  We weren’t kind and we weren’t a blessing. We were selfish. S.E.L.F.I.S.H.

Hindsight is a great teacher. I thought I NEEDED that beautiful comforter set that I’d seen at Belk while we were bedroom shopping. That’s how I priced the used set-just enough to cover what I needed. But you know, something? I really didn’t NEED new bed linens, I simply wanted them. Not only that, but when we later fell on hard times, I realized what that family likely SACRIFICED in order for me to have an expensive set and it broke my heart.Cartoon family

I can’t undo that foolish decision, but because of it I genuinely see needs more readily. I pray GOD repaid them for me.

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