With my apologies

I am topic-less this evening. My mind is a to-do list, a constant running list that keeps growing as quickly as I can check things off. Do you ever feel that way?

Jaxon has a big school project he’s working on. And by he, I mean we. Lynn leaves tomorrow for 10 days in Honduras and Guatemala. That’s another story for another day. I am trying to climb to the pinnacle of the Mount Everest of laundry so that my husband will not be naked while he preaches, and my son will not be naked while he goes to school and learns a two-page speech about Jackie Robinson. And of course, I hope to not be naked tomorrow when I go to work and write very spiritual things.

My poor puppy got into God-knows-what in the backyard yesterday when it was so warm out and has been puking for 24 hours. Why do dogs feel the need to throw up on the rug when there is 10 times more tile floor they could use? No, they choose that little spot of soft carpet. Why? I need to know this.

I got my watch fixed today, and while I was at the jewelry store they offered to clean my wedding ring for free. I said, “Go for it!” I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had it cleaned. So the gal took off with my two rings, my wedding band and my engagement ring. She came back out shortly to notify me that she couldn’t clean the band for me. She said, “Were you aware that you have a chunk out of one of the diamonds in the band?” Uh, no. I had no idea. I looked at it closely, I could not even see it! I laughed out loud when she showed it to me. I told her, 14 years ago, I could see that diamond! Now I need the little magnifying thingy she had hanging around her neck.

So I left my wedding band there to have the setting tightened so that the sad little broken diamond won’t fall out with her promises to have to finished by Thursday, because I’m leaving town Friday to go see my sister in Chattanooga and I don’t want to be ring-less. Or more specifically, wedding ring-less, because I do still have my engagement ring, and it is very clean and shiny, by the way. (Oh, thank you Christi for turning 40 before me, because I’m so not ready.)

It feels weird to just have this engagement ring on. I remember the day Lynn gave it to me. We watched a Chicago Bulls game together and ate Domino’s pizza at his apartment. It was highly romantic. I took pictures of my hand later that evening when I was back at my apartment. My skin was young and tanned. My fingernails were long and polished. (You know, back then you never walked around without a manicure if you were hoping to get proposed to.) And my camera was NOT digital. And I did NOT have a cell phone. And I was neither a Mac nor a PC. And I didn’t know what global warming was, and I didn’t have a child. I had a cat and a tiny one-bedroom apartment with an upside down moving box serving as a coffee table. My, I’ve come a long way.

I have a big house, a big mortgage, a big dog, no manicure, no tan, several cell phones and computers and digital cameras, and I’m still not sure about the global warming thing, because I am currently freezing my tail off. Oh wait, we call it climate change now. I just call it Oklahoma.

Good night, friends. I sure hope you can turn your brain off and rest tonight. That is my goal.

Advertisements

Little women

I have these precious nieces, I have five of them actually. But three live here in Tulsa and I get to see them a lot. They are precious girls and I adore them. I was in the hospital with their Mommas the day each of them was born and now they are big and beautiful. They make me feel old.

I love having a relationship with these little women. I love laughing with them, I love learning from them. I love hearing about the cute boys in their classes, I love watching their little senses of style develop, I love seeing their talents emerge. I love watching them grow into sweet young women that love the Lord and love their family.

I’ll never forget the special relationships I had with my own aunts and my Mom’s girlfriends. They were wonderful to me, they were like a whole pack of Moms and I loved each of them for different things. That’s what I hope these girls grow up thinking about me. I want them to know that I was there for them, that they could always talk to me, that I was a friend, and that I loved them. But most importantly, I want them to see me now and always as a woman of God.

I love you, Kiley, Ashlyn, and Avery, you are very special to me!

I know that I know less now than I knew when I thought I knew it all

I have had over 7000 hits on this blog. What the what? How did that happen? Oh, I know, because I write silly stories about my son and/or dog passing gas.

But seriously folks, I’m glad you keep coming back for more. You guys are so great, you’re patient with me, you’re encouraging to me, and you give me chance after chance to get it right, you’re really kind of like God. Except not in a blasphemous, freaky way, in the sweet, kind, patient way.

The last few days I have had an overwhelming sense of thankfulness for all of God’s blessings in my life, including you! God is so faithful to me, even when I screw up. And trust me, I do that all the time. I mentioned in my last post that I turned 39 this week, and I know that I know less now than I knew when I thought I knew it all.

Uh, what? Is there an editor out there? Anywhere?

When I think of mistakes I’ve made and paths I started down over the years, God’s mercies are so obvious to me. It’s a good thing His mercies are new every morning, (Lamentations 3:23) because I have definitely made good on that promise.

A very wise friend once pointed out to me how important and how powerful it is to thank God for all the blessings in my life. I don’t just mean a little “Thank you, Lord,” but she told me to take time to go through the file cabinet in my mind and thank Him for all the good things in my life. When I started doing this, when I started trying to actually list all the things I’m thankful for, I was truly shocked. The more things I thanked Him for, the more things I realized I should be thankful for. I started practicing this and eventually it has become a habit, a great habit.

I have since gotten a new revelation of God’s goodness and an entirely new perspective on His faithfulness. The Bible tells us to forget not all His benefits, (Psalm 103:2). A great way to do that is to make yourself say them out loud. You may start out by just saying, “I’m thankful for my family.” That’s a good place to start. But then get down to basics and start thanking God for specifics. You’ll find that the more you things you thank Him for, the more you’ll think of. Try it!

I am thankful for you, my faithful readers. I’m so glad you enjoy my writing, I’m so thankful for your comments and support, I’m so thankful to God if He’s allowed me to be a blessing to you in some small way, even if it’s just to make you chuckle. I pray God will continue to give me things to say, and people to listen. And thanks for all your kind birthday wishes. And yes, BJ. I am now officially older than dirt.

A miracle is a miracle

Jaxon goes to a Christian school, and I’m so grateful. And he is being raised in a Christian home, I am grateful for that too. But his little heart for the Lord is what I’m most grateful for.

He came home from school with an English paper last week, and on this paper, he had to write the definition of a miracle. For what purpose, I’m not sure, but he wrote, “A miracle is when God does something that a man could never do.” The teacher wrote on his paper, “Amen, Jaxon!” It was very cute.

But more than cute, it’s a revelation that I wish more adults had. Miracles are real, and they happen all the time. God is a miracle-working God. That’s His business. I read a testimony last week at ORM where the person who had been healed sent in the doctor’s report and it read, “The tumor is vaporized.” I love to hear that. The power of God went in and vaporized it. And my child has a simple acceptance and trust of this fact. God does miracles, period.

Sometimes I think we have a limited view of what a miracle really is. There are miracles all around us that we don’t even see. It is miraculous that someone  is healed on the spot, just as it is miraculous that a third party, such as a doctor can diagnose a problem, give you medicine for it, your body respond exactly the way it’s supposed to, and you recover. Just think of all the things that have to come in line for that to happen. So many things could go wrong!

I think it’s a miracle when prayer and medicine come together to bring healing and restoration. I think we ought to take healing any way it comes to us. I for one go to the doctor, I take medicine when needed, I’ve even had surgery. But I prayed and believed God for everything to go smoothly and for the doctor to be led by the Holy Spirit, and that there would be no complications and that I would recover quickly. And you know what? That all happened and I’m healthy and well. I’ve seen it not go well with surgeries and I’m grateful that I’ve got the inside track to the healer. Just think of what could and does happen in cases where the prayer of faith was not raised. Things can get dicey in a hurry.

And sadly, sometimes all the prayer in the world goes forth and people die. People do die. That’s one of those questions along with about a million others that I’ll be asking the Lord when I get to heaven. Why do people who are praying and believing God not get healed? Why do other people get healed instantaneously such as someone who had hands laid on them at a healing meeting and then, bam! They’re healed. And they hadn’t been in the Word or using their faith or believing God or anything. Just a freebie. Yep, I’ve seen that too. Another question to add to my list.

I could blog for years about all my questions, I’m sure you could too. As I get older, the balance shifts between my questions and my answers. I used to think I had all the answers and now I think I have very few answers and a whole lotta questions. I’ll be 39 next week and I’m quite sure I know more than I did at 29, but I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t know nothin’. I’m just a baby in the things of God. He’s so much bigger than my little mind can grasp. He’s capable of so much more than I can conceive.

I’m so glad I’m on His team; aren’t you?

Fun with my prayer language

Sobrecita basha talonga de sit ova leshioto masheco. So londia sabrecata tera le no vio satamon dego.

Have you ever prayed in your prayer language and tried to type it? It’s wild. Kinda fun, actually. This was a first for me. I don’t know why I’ve never thought about it before. I mean, I’ve been praying in tongues since childhood, I use a computer all day long, I am a writer… why have I never put all three of these together to see what happens?

I tried it by saying some words in the spirit, and then typing them, phrase by phrase. It was hilarious! And I didn’t know where to break up the words so I just kind of hit the space bar every few syllables. I totally think it looks like a real language, like someone could read it and tell me exactly what it means. I’m thinking a mixture of Spanish, Greek, and Sioux. (Although, that might be because I watched a little of Dances With Wolves last night. Ta-tonka!)

I realize I am freaking out about half of my readers with this. Either you think I’m a nut-job for trying to get my prayer language down on paper, or you think I’m a nut-job because you and the Holy Spirit aren’t on speaking terms. Or, you just think I’m a nut-job but you read my blog for laughs anyway. I tend to agree with you, I am a bit of a nut. But my relationship with the Holy Spirit is serious business to me and I pray in my prayer language all the time.

OK, back to my little experiment. Have you ever then taken that sentence you wrote and run it through a translation program? That’s very interesting too. I ran it through a program that detects the language and it came out a lot like Spanish. I actually said the phrase, “So you did not see,” at some point in there.

Now, I am not naïve and silly enough to think I could translate my prayer language though my brain or through a computer program. But I do believe if I want to know what I’m saying, I can ask the Holy Spirit to show me and He will. I can ask Him to reveal the mysteries that my heart is speaking to my natural mind. That fascinates me. I’ve just recently starting asking that question. For many years, I was content to just pray and know that my spirit was saying whatever needed to be said. But now I want to know what I’m talking about. Enquiring minds want to know!

So when (and if) you talk to God in your prayer language, ask Him what you’re saying. I believe He wants to show us.

Don’t stop believin’

Journey… the quintessential rock band of my generation. Oh, how I love them. I don’t even mind the new little Filipino lead singer, I’m just so glad they still have that awesome sound.

My favorite song of theirs, and maybe my favorite song of all time, is “Don’t Stop Believin’.” I mean really, just hold on to that feeln’? How can you not love this?

The actual lyrics are totally wacky and I’m not really sure why he keeps singing about streetlights, but I have found my own meaning and I’m just sure that’s what Steve Perry meant.

To me, this song is a picture of life and faith, and what it takes to keep your head up, your eyes forward, and your feet moving. When your life is crumbling beneath you, don’t stop believin’. When your heart is broken, don’t stop believin’. When you find yourself lost and alone, don’t stop believin’. When something knocks the wind out of you, don’t stop believin’. When someone you trust betrays you, don’t stop believin’. And when it seems all hope is gone, don’t stop believin’.

This is how we get through storms! Just keep going! This life is full of change and growth and forward moves and setbacks. If we stop living every time we have to deal with something awful, none of us would make it through childhood.

The Bible says in Proverbs 13:12 that hope deferred makes the heart sick. When you’ve lost all your hope, you’re really in trouble. This is where I believe people can slip into deep depressions or develop debilitating illness, or can begin to slowly just check out of life and stop moving forward towards the goal of becoming the person God designed them to be.

I wish I knew why awful things happened in life. It’s one of the many questions I plan on asking when I get to Heaven. But I know from experience, that if I keep moving forward, if I don’t stop believin’, I will be all right.

God hasn’t failed me thus far and I know He never will. As for me and my house, we won’t stop believin’.

 

 

A true-blue spectacle

I have been reading through testimonies this week at O.R.M. People call in or write in and testify to a healing in their body or a miracle in their family, or a turnaround in their finances. It is astounding to see what God has done for people. And to think that I sometimes wonder if He’s really going to take care of my issues! Pshaw.

I read about instantaneous miracles and I read about people who combined the prayer of faith with medicine and experienced healing that way. Either way is A-OK by me; as long as the person is healed, that’s all that counts. But it takes more than faith that God can do miracles, it takes faith that He will do them for you. That’s the key.

If faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17), and I’ve read through miracle testimonies all day, every day for a week, then my faith has been built up that God does miracles. Nobody can tell me that God doesn’t do miracles. I’ve seen it… on paper… in black and white…  all week. And even if I hadn’t, I’ve seen it my whole life thanks to growing up in ministry and then marrying into it. I’ve seen all kinds of miracles. I know without a doubt that God does miracles. But my faith for a miracle for myself can only come when I believe that God wants to and will do the same for me. And that’s where the Word comes in. Time spent in the Word of God produces miracles. It just does.

The Bible says that healing is for me. (Matthew 4:23) Jesus went about healing all manner of sickness and disease in all the people He came across. If Jesus did that then and the heart of God hasn’t changed, then I know that healing is for me. And that’s just one of countless scriptures that tell me that God will meet my needs, see me through storms, and walk with me through the valleys.

You know, being a Christian doesn’t mean rosy pathways and bubblegum dreams. This life is hard! The devil is real and he’s looking for how he can steal, kill, and destroy. But God said He would prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. (Psalm 23:5) God said He would not leave me or forsake me. (Psalm 27:9) And God said that He would heal all my diseases. (Psalm 103:3)

God is a miracle-working God. I know it. I live by it. I count on it. His Word is where the miracles are. We just have to get into the Book, find those precious promises, and believe them.

Today’s random thoughts

1.      Have you ever heard the expression, “Were you born in a barn?” Well, Jesus was.

2.      How do you get through a work day when you’re bored? You be thankful that you are not tearing your hair out with stress and begging God to send Jesus back for the rapture ASAP.

3.      I Googled my home address and it showed a two-year-old picture of my house with my car in the driveway. Creepy! (This directly relates to #2)

4.      My hair stylist told me I was approximately 50% gray. I immediately scheduled my next year of coloring appointments. I also asked her to check my ears for errant hairs just in case that has come upon me as well.

5.      I talked about deer in rut on Facebook yesterday and it seemed to strike a nerve.

6.      My husband has to drive to Missouri this evening. I bet he will be thankful for the bun-warmers in his truck.

7.      Jaxon bombed a Math test last week. We both cried.

8.      If you’re going to ask Jesus to take the wheel, you should invite Him to take the gas and brake too.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Sorry I couldn’t make it to 10 random thoughts. But at least it’s an even number. That is very important to some folks, just ask Lynn.

Happy Tuesday!

Change is not a dirty word

It’s easy to write a blog when you’re mad. It’s easy to write a blog when you’re struggling through a storm. It’s harder to write when you are at peace. But at peace, I am. Not that this is an uncommon thing with me, I have peace much of the time. But I did start this blog in a time of growth and change in my life and things were a bit “up in the air.”

Now I’m getting comfortable with my new work environment and schedule. I am getting used to some new dynamics in my family life. I have embraced change is what I’ve done. Not that I really wanted all the changes I got, nor did things work out exactly as I’d hoped, but nonetheless, things have worked out and I have embraced it.

In my situation, I downsized myself after a decade of full-time salaried work for Terry Mize Ministries in an Executive Secretary capacity, to a part-time staff writing position for the Oral Roberts Ministries Editorial Department, giving me more free time for my own personal writing and my own personal child. I also have more freedom to work with Lynn as his ministry is emerging and growing and travel with him as necessary. I’ve tried to create for myself a work situation that is flexible, fun, and puts my particular strengths to use, and rescues me from areas where I most definitely do not excel, i.e., organization.

Change is inevitable, it’s going to happen. It may take a long time for it to happen, but it’s going to happen. Just ask my 38-year-old crow’s-feet. And it doesn’t have to be scary. I was watching “The Wedding Planner” yesterday and do you remember the part where Matthew McConaughey is on the golf course and he’s telling his friend about his feelings after meeting Jennifer Lopez? He asks, “What if what I think is great really is great, but not as great as something greater?”

You see, God is so big, and He sees so much bigger than we ever could. He can see such a beautiful future for all of us, but I think we can get in our own way. I think we can scrutinize the present so much, that we impede the future.

God can show you that there just might be something that’s even better for you, than what you already had. And maybe it’s not that the first thing wasn’t right for you, but it may just be time to move on with what’s next.

I’m so thankful that I am surrounded by a loving and gracious family who is in support of my changes and my growth and my work, and even puts up with my goofy blogs that sometimes tap dance right on the edge of being inappropriate. You know, ministry families are just families. They are made up of flesh and blood human beings, full of flaws and imperfections. (Some of us, downright screwed up.) Growing up around ministry, and then marrying into it, I wouldn’t know what it was like to be in a “regular family.” This is all I have ever known. But I can certainly vouch for our humanness. We love each other, we get mad at each other, we want to kill each other occasionally, but we are a family. And we can roll with the punches.

I am grateful for friends who have stood in my corner and encouraged me and told me I have something valuable to say, and a unique voice to say it in. I am aware that I am truly blessed.

I’ve rambled around a bit on this post, but let me get back to the subject of change. Just as I have been sitting here writing this, it has begun to snow. And what a beautiful change it is. Yes, the roads will get bad, and yes people will mob the grocery stores, and yes it may disrupt the city’s flow for a day or two, but isn’t it beautiful? I think the changing of seasons is glorious. It reminds me that God likes to mix things up too. Summer is wonderful and I love it, but the first thick beautiful snow of winter makes my heart sing and my soup pot beg to be filled.

There is no ending this, so I’m going to go make stew and smile at the windows. I hope whatever you’re doing, you embrace all the possibilities of your future and enjoy the beauties of today.

What happened?

This is my son. To quote a really famous guy, this is my son in whom I am well pleased. However, I’d like to know what happened here. How did I create this little bloodthirsty human?

I played with Barbies and Easy-Bake ovens, and Hollie Hobbie. I watched Bugs Bunny and Roadrunner. He plays with rifles . . . real ones.

When I hurt myself, I scraped up my knee after falling off my bike with the little streamers coming off the handlebars. When he hurts himself, there are thorns involved.

When I had to go to the bathroom during long car trips, we found a gas station. When he has to go, he looks for an empty water bottle.

The only thing I ever killed was a bug. The things he kills have something called a gut sack. (I have pictures, but I will spare you.) Oh, little boys. They are awesome.

My husband Lynn and his Dad took this brood hunting in South Texas. It is the highlight of their year. I’m so glad they get to do it. It builds relationships between the cousins and their Papa and it is a beautiful thing.

It is also a beautiful thing that while they were shooting things and wrestling with cacti, I was here.

Building relationships with these beauties.

So I guess it all worked out just perfectly.