Prepared?

“Shall not the judge of all the earth shall do right?”  Genesis 18:25

Tomorrow is the day. Court.  As much as my husband and I hoped to avoid it, we get to go.

 

What at will happen there?  Will the truth be told?  I believe it will, but that little twinge of doubt causes a ball of stress inside to make its presence known.

 

I know now we have done everything that we know of to get prepared. Documents are ready to hand over to the judge to tell our story.  We spent time outlining the timeline of events and have scrutinized our actions. We wonder what the judge will look for.  Have we done enough?  Did we follow all the rules?  Will our good intentions be understood, or will our motives be misrepresented?

 

With much care, we have analyzed our decisions, and appearing before the judge fills us with seriousness. We carefully consider how we will look when we appear in court, and select clothing that will convey respect and dignity.  We want to look like respectable people, and not call undue attention to ourselves in a showy, distracting way.  We would not show up in a careless dress either, indicating a flippant attitude towards the one who will be deciding our case.

 

We plan to arrive early, with all of our documents, our friend and realtor for moral support.  More importantly, we will show up as three people, but many more will go with us–for we have prayed that God’s holy angels will attend us.  So many good friends and prayer warriors have promised to intercede for us, that God will listen and hear our case, even as the judge locally will hear us.  So, we know that no matter what happens in the court room will be what God has allowed and planned for, whether we enjoy the outcome or not.  We will accept it at His will for us, for we have surrendered this case into His hands.

 

My mind automatically jumped to the connection between our physical preparation to meet the judge and our spiritual preparation to meet a higher Judge.  Do we not believe we are living in the Great Day of Atonement, where our cases are being decided for eternity, even as we go about our daily lives?  Am I as concerned about my preparation for when my case is brought before the Judge who never makes a mistake?    It really is a sobering thought.  Does my life, my attitude, my dress, and my words reflect the same respect that I wish to show to this earthly judge?  I am afraid that I must admit that this does not capture my attention as much as it really aught to.  Would I show up to the all-important court scene with no preparation?  I hope not.  My life and actions will answer that question.

 

Fast forward now…

 

I now have the benefit of retrospect, as I did not finish this post prior to the court date.

 

I have to say that I am amazed at how God gave me peace in spite of my nervousness.  As I drove to the appointment, I literally had a praise service in my car.  Bible promises flooded my mind, and since many of them were in song, I sang them aloud!  And as I did this, God brought more to my mind, one right after another!!

 

“The Lord your God, who goeth before you, He shall fight for you!”  Deuteronomy 1:30

 

“You shall not need to fight in this battle:  set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, Oh, Judah and Jerusalem, fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.

For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”  2 Chronicles 20:17, 15

 

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord, in the land of the living.  Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your hearts.  Wait, I say, on the Lord.”  Psalm 27:13,14. NKJV

 

There were more as I drove along.  I realized that these verses were ones that I had memorized at different times with my boys as songs.  Isn’t God amazing?  He knows we need these verses, and He is faithful to bring them to remembrance.  We need to be more faithful to put them into our brains!!!!

 

The outcome was that The Lord did sustain us.  He went before us, and our case was decided in a just manner.  The judge was a good representative of our Heavenly judge in several ways.  He treated both parties with respect and kindness, even while upholding the law.  Even though the case may have been decided somewhat more in our favor, it was not a biased decision.  He simply looked at what was fair and just, and made his judgement.  We didn’t feel like we received special treatment at the expense of another, but we did feel like he understood our case.  He offered help to the other side as well.  There was some sadness and despair, which, unfortunately, comes many times, with choices made and laws broken.

 

In the end, we will each be able to say that our case was decided in a just manner.  We may have eternal thankfulness at our verdict, or we may experience the grief and despair that comes with persitently choosing to continue in a law-breaking life.  Thankfully, each of us do have a choice, and it can begin today.

 

I want to be prepared.  How about you?

 

 

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Gearing up for the bike-a-thon!

I can’t sleep!

Our family has a big day tomorrow, and instead of sleeping like any normal person, I’m wide awake.  I don’t think that I’ve got the jitters, but here I am, unable to turn off my brain.  I’ll pay for this, I know. But hopefully not tomorrow.

Tomorrow, technically later on today, now, is the Bikeathon.  Why does that matter?

For our boys, it means a chance to do what they love–ride, ride, ride! Two hours of uninterrupted bike riding!  It’s perfect for them!  And the fact that they get to do it with other friends makes it even better!  But its not just about them. And I believe that this is why the anticipation has me sleepless.

Roughly a dozen children–not just ours, have made a choice to work hard so that someone else can get the prize. And the more I’ve thought about this, the more proud I’ve become of these kids. They’ve worked hard calling for pledges. It’s not comfortable to call people when you’re a child, especially to request money. But they braved their fears and conquered them. That’s huge already!  One of our boys initially refused to ride when he found out he’d have to call people–that was just too much!  But, after seeing his brothers’ successes, he tried a phone call, and the person answering was nice!    Now, he is brave enough to call people he doesn’t even know too well, and he and his brothers have all done well!

For every mile, each boy has promised money coming, and so maybe that’s why I as a parent feel nervous. I know they’ll do their very best.  Their hearts are totally into it!  And my heart thrills with the hope that for some of these children, this event could spark a flame inside that never dies out. A flame for choosing to help others, even if it means work. A flame for missionary service. That flame inside could change their whole life direction!

I know that’s grand!  But my God is big!  He can do that!

And so, even though I know this could be just a ride, it could be more. It’s a seed planted. God can make it take root and grow.

When I told my boys the other night that by their work, more than one person, several, in fact,  would get a bike, I could see real satisfaction. Happiness comes when we bless others.

These energetic boys and girls are our future!  They have a lot riding on the choices they’re making. They don’t know it. But we do. And so we pray that this ride starts a little seed growing.

When Mama gets a bit sleep deprived

I wanted to keep this here for my own memory’s sake

It’s just a little song I wrote and sent to my family after a night of a strange sickness that stopped by.

Here’s a little song that HAS BECOME FAMOUS overnight. In our house, anyway.
To the tune of Deck the Halls…

Here we go:

Hark, the sound of children puking
Falalalala lalalala
Just when mommy’s started sleeping
Falalalala lalalala
First the one, and then his brother
Falala lalalalalala
All over the sheets and covers
FALALALALA LALALALA!!!!!!!!

All done now, go back to bed
Falalalala lalalala
Ease your pillow under your head
Falalalala lalalala
Close your eyes, and warm your toesies (skip the next Falalalala….)
What’s that now–it’s a third go-around!!
Jump up quick and pinch your nosies
FALALALALALALALA!!!

Now the worst is surely over.
Falalalalalalalala
Snuggle up, and move the cat over
Falalalalalalalala
Start to dream,
What’s that–more hurling sounds!
One more time, trudge to the bathroom
FALALALALALALALALA

Lest you think that I am joking
Falalalalalalalala
Come on now and do your own poking
Falalalalalalalala
Into my great, big,huge laundry pile
Filled with ducks, and pillows and monkeys
FALALALALALALALALA!!!

😜

More verses could be added, but I’ve already indulged my creative talents enough for today. You should know that everybody’s “fine”. Both boys involved in the aforementioned ditty declared themselves “fine” immediately before and after the said episodes. One boy even looked up from his puking and said, “Mom, I don’t know why I’m doing this–I feel just normal.”
I would have felt just normal too, if I’d have been curled up in my bed sleeping. 😌 But, since I spent my night dashing through the halls (oooh, I think I feel another song coming on), you get to experience the joy of me on sleep deprivation, responding to the songs that pop into my tired little brain. 🎶

Tee hee.
Have a good day. I’m doing laundry.

 

Autumn glory

image

God smiled down on our world…

and the world returned the favor!!!imageimage image

The lesson?

Pull off when beauty captures your eye.  Drink it in, because this rainbow will last only a few moments.

You’ll never regret that dance in the rain with God’s promise above.

Glory!

Mother’s Day, 2015

This Mother’s Day will be the one I remember as the first that my boys really got “into it.”  That is, into the spirit behind Mother’s Day, and took it upon themselves to make it a treat!  I’ve had fun watching and listening to the process progress!

image image image imageFirst of all, the boys declared that they would make breakfast–and pancakes it would be!    “Just write down the recipe and we will take care of the rest!  You just stay in bed and we will cook!” I was told.  That sounded good to me!

So, during my banishment from the kitchen, I took some time to putter around in the dirt and flower pots–a favorite past time of mine, which I don’t get to participate in nearly enough!  I replanted my herb plant and some Gerbera daisies that I’m attempting to rehabilitate from the bargain shelf at Wal-mart.  Watered my flowers.  Weeded my roses.  Picked some strawberries. Checked Facebook.  Twiddled my thumbs and listened to my stomach growl because it was taking a LONG TIME in there!

At one point, my youngest came out to report the first casualty.  Our wedding crystal fruit bowl didn’t make it through its experience of getting heated up on the burner and shattered. First lesson learned–crystal bowls and burners don’t get along!

Before long, as I passed through the kitchen area, I saw a box with shards of broken glass in several different colors.  Uh oh.

Heard while in waiting–“I’ve already eaten so much batter that I’m almost full!”  😆

It it was well worth the wait!  Breakfast was delicious and SWEET.   And served as only growing, energetic boys can come up with!  Sugar sprinkled on everything!  Little notes as place cards.  And I was blessed with beautiful flowers of all colors!

Time to go plant some more flowers!  This fun day is just beginning!  Mother’s Day with boys is the best!

~~~~~~

The rest of the day was just as eventful, but in a different sort of way.  We had to postpone a birthday get-together for Mom in order to go pick up a piece of work equipment for my husband.   Never ones to do things the traditional way, we had to travel several hours to go pick it up.  Hubby thought we should all come along, so we did. The route took us right last our relatives house, so we stopped in for a quick visit.  We should have known better than that, because the quick visit grew into an overnight stay.   It worked out in a fun, unplanned sort of way.  Hubby got the equipment; we all had a nice visit.  The cousins do enjoy playing together.

But I think that after all the excitement, everyone is suffering the effects!  Late to bed has produced some very hilarious boys.  That’s their opinion of themselves.  Their momma, which I happen to be, doesn’t find their endless jokes and goofing around quite so side-splitting.  So…they have banished to bed with lights out in hopes of a more even-keeled day in the morning!

Tend the Garden

I liked this story so well that I wanted to share it.

I guess the reason I like it so much is because I have some little plants that need this kind of tending from me.

Can you relate, parents?

Storyshucker

A longtime friend commented during dinner that her next door neighbor’s son was on the path to nowhere and constantly in trouble. She thought herself clever referring to him as “a weed in the garden of life”. Although an avid fan of barbed words and wit, I found her comment harsh directed at a kid who was barely a teenager. He was dismissed and labeled as worthless. A weed.

“But maybe he’s a pokeweed!” I said in a positive tone.

She rolled her eyes. I recognized the look of resignation on her face. The look many of my friends have when I spit out a puzzling one-liner and they know a story is coming. She sipped her drink and grinned, arms crossed in silent permission for me to proceed.

Years ago I had a yard packed with plants. It was full of boxwoods, azaleas, and geraniums surrounding a dogwood centerpiece…

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Inch by inch

No, this isn’t an advertisement for a weight loss program.  Or is it?

“Little by little, inch by inch.”

Those words have been pulsating through my brain lately, and I’ve found myself humming them often, too.

The song’s chorus goes, “Little by little, inch by inch.  By the yard it’s hard; by the inch, what a cinch.  Don’t stare up the stairs, just step up the steps.  Little by little, inch by inch. ”

🐛

This has has proven to be a good motivator for me as we plod through trying to organize and sort through our belongings after our return home.   The magnitude of our “stuff” overwhelmed me as I looked around and saw stuff that we’ve lived for five months without, and most of it, never missed!  It was kind of eye-opening, as well as sobering.   We Americans like to collect stuff!  Ugh!  I resolved to begin a major whole-house sort-through before I stopped seeing all of the stuff and became comfortable with it again.

My my plans were a little ambitious, and the work is not going as quickly as I’d like it to go, but progress is being made, thankfully.   It’s hard to go through everything while living in it at the same time.  And I don’t get huge blocks of time everyday.   Some days nothing gets done, because life is more than sorting.   But we are working toward a goal.  As a newly favorite inspirational motivator says often, “Progress, not perfection”. Sounds like little by little, inch by inch, doesn’t it?

So far, we’ve sorted through the boys’ closets and clothes, cleaning out old stuff from their rooms that have collected.  Kids are barraged with lots of material stuff just like adults are, and they don’t know what to do with it either!  It’s almost paralyzing to have too much stuff, because if you have to move things to get to what’s stored behind, you are either going to skip it, or make a big mess trying to get to it.  Not a good option in either case.  Our kids need help sorting.  But we did all determine that papers that have collected and then sat for  more than a year aren’t going to get done (like coloring pages and paper puzzles from vbs) and don’t need to be kept. Too many clothes is a burden too, since they have to find a way to cram them into their drawers.  And you actually can’t find anything to wear with too many clothes, because, well, they’re all crammed in there!    I’m learning…I don’t have to keep everything passed along to my kids, even though it might be useful.  If it’s useful, but we have enough, it’s not useful to me.  So, I can without guilt pass it along, so someone else can use it!  But, many, many times, I have done that.  I’ve kept too much stuff, because, well, it was “free”.  Free, but certainly not freeing. Freeing is having enough, and a place to put it. Still working on that.

So, as our family slowly sorts, we are learning something about priorities. Not everything can be the most cherished possessions. We have to make choices.  No need to keep all of our college papers if no one’s even looking at them.  Probably, the wedding cards can go, after fourteen years!   And, we can learn to live a little freer if we actually find a place for what we have.

Yet it is literally inch by inch.   If you come to my house today, you’ll see bins lining the hallway, which have been sorted, but have to be delivered “somewhere else”.

With life rushing by at full steam, some days we even lose a few inches in progress.  But, then we have to pick back up the next opportunity and keep chugging along towards the goal.   Remember–progress, not perfection!

Little by little, we will get there!

🐛