All posts tagged God

27 Years of Maritial Bliss

Yesterday morning, before Tom headed off to work, we leaned against the headboard for a few minutes of communication. (Coffee already consumed) Our conversation consisted of the usual chit-chat about schedules, chores, and other responsibilities.

As we rested before a long day, light sneaked in our windows. Hummingbirds flew past our porch. We giggled. I thought of how comfortable I felt with my husband. I mean, it’s been 27 years of marital bliss. And 27 out of 34 ain’t bad.

I guess when I glanced over at my husband of 34 years, I noticed his gray hair, and how he looks a lot older than when we married. I know I look much older, too. But, I guess what I’m trying to say, is that when I looked at him, I felt not only love but respect that comes from the long, sometimes arduous commitment of marriage.

We moved to North Carolina to farm about three years ago without knowing anything about it. (Except YouTube University) He built an infra structure, and grew plants. He tilled and weeded and fixed and harvested. But it wasn’t enough to support us, so about 6 months ago he got a job. He works between 50-65 hours a week for what he used to make in a day. Yet he completes his work with the same diligence, perfection, and dignity.

That’s commitment. That’s honor. That is dignity. And I respect that. I admire him.

We finished our second cup of coffee and read 1 Peter and then we prayed. About our family, our church, and others. We expressed our gratitude to a God that takes us as we are and loves us enough to keep us when we fail.

And I said a prayer thanking the Lord for Tom.

 

 

 

My Bunny Slope of Faith

 

“Come on, Mrs. Hylton, you can do it!” my friend’s daughter said. I wasn’t sure. We’d joined the class together while my friend, Linda, tackled the grown-up part of the mountain.

Three hours into the ski class I’d fallen a dozen times–only when I tried to move. I was determined.

To graduate, I tackled the mini-mountain and only fell three times. Smiling from ear to ear we found Linda.

“We graduated and I made it down my first slope!”

“Great! How about we try this other slope?” She showed me a placemat-sized-map of the mountains and pointed to a slope halfway up the map. I searched the map trying to find the mini-mountain I’d conquered. I found it–a quarter ¬†of an inch from the bottom.

That’s how I feel about my faith. I’m on the proverbial bunny-slope. The placemat-of-faith looms before me. The multiple falls mock me.

Aren’t you ever going to get this right?

Thinking myself a giant in the faith only to realize I’m a light-weight.

But, it’s a start.

I’ve been praying a three-part prayer this last year: to know God better, for Him to go with me, and to see His glory. I’m beginning to understand my faulty view of both God and me. I made myself big and God small when in truth it’s the other way around. So He’s answering my prayer, just not how I expected.

But that is exactly how He works.

And did I mention grace? I’m just beginning to grasp its meaning.

Grace is helping me conquer the bunny slopes and moving me up the mountain. And it’s all done in love without a single critical word.

Wow.

How’s your faith journey? Be encouraged, we serve a mighty, grace-giving, all-loving God.

Here’s a song I love to sing. Paste it into your browser and meditate on it today my friend.

And keep climbing.

 

 

Have you ever felt as if you were standing at the edge of the Red Sea? Mounds of water ahead of you, mountains surrounding you, and an army at your tail?

That’s how I’ve felt lately. Wet toes.

My heart is weak.

My faith is small.

I haven’t written for a while because I almost drowned in that hypothetical sea. I’ve spent the last four months calling out to God, mostly on my knees. Sometimes several times a day. The weakest I can remember in my life. Desperate for God.

Guess what. I didn’t drown. Not because I held on but because He held on.

He’s like that. Powerful. All-knowing. Full of grace and truth. Generous with it too.

I won’t bore you with the details because they aren’t important. At least for this blog. What’s important is that God is great.

He answered each time I called out either through scripture, music, a text, a person, and especially prayer. Even people who don’t believe ministered to me during this time. If you were one of those people, thanks.

I’m so thankful. And so humbled.

It occurs to me that you may be standing at the edge of your proverbial sea. And you can’t see a way through. Call out to Him. His Word says you don’t have because you don’t ask.

Sometimes we don’t ask because we think we can handle it.

Maybe you’re there. You’re standing at the Red Sea with a teaspoon, shoveling away. And you’re pleased with yourself.

Jesus said in John 15:5, “without me you can do nothing.”

I guess that’s what I’ve learned.

And I just wanted to pass it on.

 

 

Caregiving is Servant Boot Camp

Don’t you just hate the way God answers prayers sometimes?

Just because I’m praying to be more of a servant doesn’t really mean I want to be more of a servant.

At least, that’s what I’m finding out. Praying for holiness isn’t the same as actually being holy. And no, I don’t mean by works, I mean by practice.

You see, my desire is to be more like Christ but my flesh is weak.

Take yesterday for instance. Because in the Tar Heel State when it snows more than an inch, it’s an emergency, I’ve been shut in for almost two weeks. Sure, I’ve been to the store and a few other errands, but our society as we know it took a two week break. Schools included.

Mom’s caregivers have come most of the time, but there’ve been times when it’s been just me. And Mom. And Tom. (Do you feel the tension?)

So yesterday, when Mom called for the fifth time after going in several times, I told her I couldn’t come every time she called.

She cried. So did I.

It spilled over into today. I called my sister. We both cried.

Caring for a parent in your home is tough. Being the one cared for is tougher.

I can see that and sometimes that makes it harder for me when I look at my mother, because I see me in a few decades.

It’s intense.

So after I cried in my room and to my sister, my mom called me in.

“Sorry I called you in and made you,” great sniffling, blowing of nose, wiping of chin, “feel bad.”

“I’m sorry too Mom.” More crying and nose-blowing on my part. “I sometimes just need time to myself so I don’t go crazy.”

“I know.”

There were other words said and tears wiped. Then Tom prayed.

Knowing there is a God Who cares and gives me strength when I need it and joy when there is none is comforting.

Humbling.

Most people would say I’m a servant. I know better. The Lord knows better. Yet, it’s my prayer.

I know my blogs are usually short, but I have to add a few more lines.

I’ve been studying the Exodus. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, God does not take kindly to complaining. And that’s what I’ve been doing and I’m ashamed.

Because God’s Word teaches that He has me right where He wants me and I need to be content.

And really, my deepest heart desire is to want what He wants.

So it’s back to boot camp.

As Gibbs would say–Hoorah!

 

 

Investing in Christmas, Day 2–Faithfulness

My faithful Sam:)

My faithful puppy, Sam.

 

If we’re going to invest in Christmas, we need to understand more about God.

I’ll give you a hint. He is faithful.

Don’t you just love friends who are faithful? They know all your faults, and you sometimes annoy them, and borrow things and don’t give them back, and say stupid things, and they still love you!

How about your dog. (Cats don’t count.) You leave them all day, give them the same thing to eat while you feast on well–stuff other than dog food, and they almost knock everything over when you get home they are so glad to see you. Even when you smell really bad, they want to lick your face.

That’s faithful.

It doesn’t even compare with God.

God gave the first humans a perfect world with total access to Himself. Literally, it couldn’t get any better. Just one rule. But they messed up. Caught up in the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life.

Sure, there were consequences, but God was still faithful to them.

In Genesis 3: 15 we read God’s response to Satan in the Garden of Eden. “And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” NLT

The first mention of hope. A glimpse of the Redeemer. A reference to Jesus.

How’s your faithfulness to Him? Been a bit sluggish in that area? Tell Him. He’s faithful, even when we aren’t.

Try reading Psalm 8, friend. You’ll be glad you did.

Your assignment? Think of a friend who has been faithful to you. Get out a real live piece of paper or a card and drop them a line through the snail mail. Thank them for their faithfulness to you.

Invest in Christmas.

PS-If you make a comment I might send you a set of notecards.