Wednesday, January 21, 2009


For some reason I have been thinking about words today. I can't really say why. I just like words.

For instance, there are some words that I like to say simply because they make me smile. Like bumble bee. Or noodle.

And some words make me feel smart when I use them like ubiquitous and superfluous (yes, I do know what they mean).

Then there are those words that aren't really words at all but have become a permanent part of my vocabulary because of their history. For instance, I sometimes say "fridgerfrader" instead of refrigerator because that was how my nephew said it when he was small. Or I'll say that something is "shribbled up" because that's what would happen to my daughter's fingers when she played in the bath for too long. ( "Look, Mommy, my fingers are all shribbled up!" ) I realize that when I use these words, I probably cancel out any "smart" credits I might have gained from using ubiquitous and superfluous.

I am also drawn to certain phrases. "A steaming mug of coffee" says caffeine and contentment all in one lovely phrase. Or how about "Take an additional 50% of the already discounted price!" You gotta love that one! On a more serious note, I love the line that my son uses as a closing on his emails. He signs off with "In God's Firm Grip." What a perfect reminder that that is exactly where I am 24 hours a day!

Yes, I do love words. Silly, sassy, inspiring. Why don't you try to find some encouraging ones to put up on your fridgerfrader?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration or Second Coming?

I know that today was an historic day. How can I doubt it since I have been told that over and over again on every television and radio program and newspaper that was produced today. It's historic.

And it's not that I disagree with that assessment, it's just that I'm more inclined to give the credit for this history-making event to the American people rather than to the individual man. I believe that as a nation, we have made progress in opening our hearts and minds to all Americans, regardless of the color of their skin. This has been too long in coming and we're not there yet. But at least it is a start.

But what has bothered me the most about this inauguration is this sense that Barack Obama somehow has all the solutions; that because he is a black man espousing change, he will save our nation from all of its woes. Between the kudos heaped on him by all of Hollywood's celebrities and the liberal press, one would think that "the sun will come out tomorrow," and all will once again be well with the world - at least with our world.

I would like to believe all of this. However, I can't. He is a man - only a man. And regardless of how much he is celebrated and praised, he is mortal like the rest of us. For our nation's sake, I hope that he can make a difference. Our country is flailing in stormy, uncharted waters and we desperately need help.

For me, the question continues to be "Is there help?" Is this just another time of economic turmoil that we can rise above? Or has God begun moving in the direction of His Son's return? Scripture tells us that we will not know the time, but that there will be signs. Are these hard times some of those signs?

If so, Barack Obama is not the man we should be looking to. If so, we should not be celebrating an inauguration as though it were the Second Coming of Christ. Instead, we should be looking - I should be looking - with anticipation to that actual Second Coming and making every effort to share the Gospel with those around us before it is too late.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Once Was Lost But Now It's Found

My lost sock has been found! Monday morning my husband came into the living room where I was having my devotions and laughingly dangled my brown sock in front of me.

"Where was it?" I asked.

"In my shirt. It just fell out when I went to put it on," he replied.

How can that be? Like I said before, I unfolded and checked every piece of laundry that I had washed in the same load as those brown socks and I did NOT see that sock hiding in any shirt.

This little incident got me thinking about how sometimes God seems to hide certain truths from us because there is a larger plan in place. Before we can "find" those truths, we need to pursue some other things, journey to other places.

Kind of like my trip to the mall where I found such a great buy on socks. I never would have ventured out if I had found my missing sock when I first looked for it. I'd have missed that whole deal (by the way, the socks are great!). But when the time was right, my sock showed up and my peace of mind was restored.

I realize that this is a pretty silly example. But it makes me smile to think that God will teach me lessons through some of the trivial, silly things in life. I'm so glad He's willing to come down to my level in order for me know Him better. I love that about Him!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Missing Sock

I'm missing a sock. It's a brown one and it is really driving me crazy because I only have two pairs of brown socks. Besides, I know that I put both of the socks in the laundry room when I sorted my laundry because I took them directly off my feet and put them on the pile so they would be washed for the next day.

The thing that really bugs me is that I know it has to be some place. I even unfolded all of the other pieces of laundry that I washed in that load and shook them out just to find that darn brown sock. It wasn't there. So, where is it?

Losing that sock really put me in a bad mood! Pretty silly isn't it? After all, it is only a sock. But then nobody likes to be outsmarted by a sock, brown or any other color.

Well, I finally headed over to the mall to pick up another pair of socks thinking I might hit an after-Christmas sale. Boy, did I! One of the department stores was having a One-Day-Only sale (can you guess which has a big red star on its bags) and not only were they selling socks at half price, but because of the One-Day-Only sale, it was another 50 percent off that price! So I stocked up...I got myself six pairs of nice socks (two pair of brown) for only $1.50 a pair! I guess, I should be thanking that sneeky little lost brown sock. If I had been able to find it, I wouldn't have scored big on the sock sale!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Who I Am

I had an interesting conversation with my co-workers today. It happened first thing this morning before any of us had really gotten into the work routine. For some reason, several people had gathered around my desk and as we chatted I posed a question to them that had popped into my head recently as I sat waiting in traffic. "If you could have three talents or abilities that you currently do not possess, what would they be?" Since I had already thought about this, they insisted that I share first.

My answer was easy.

1. I'd have a really good singing voice.
2. I'd be great at math.
3. I'd be athletic.

There was a lot of nodding of heads and and "hmming" and "uh-huhing" as they thought about that. And then they began to share the abilities they would choose for themselves. Some were similar; some were very different. And one friend had a very hard time coming up with anything at all.

I thought about this little exercise later in the day. Obviously, the qualities that I wished for where things that I believed to be absent in my life; talents that just might make my life better in one way or another. And then I thought about my friend who was already pretty much content with who she is. I know her answer was sincere and I really admire that about her.

So, to try to balance out my seeming discontent with who I am, I decided to write down three qualities that I do possess that I like about myself. So here they are in no particular order:

1. I have a good sense of humor.
2. I have a heart that is tender toward others and toward God.
3. I have integrity in how I live my life.

These abilitites may not be as flashy as impressing people with my fantastic singing voice or athletic prowess, but they are qualities that God chose to gift me with. So I'm choosing to follow my friend's example and focus on being happy with who I am.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I didn't make it to church today. The reasons are familiar: my husband had to work and I didn't want to go alone, I have a headache, and we are in the process of finding a new church home and I wasn't sure where to go. All the reasons are real. But still I felt guilty for not going...that is until God met me in my living room! It was a wonderful time of fellowship, prayer and peace.

Thank you, Lord, for being willing to be here in my living room. No stained glass windows or worship bands. Just nearly packed boxes of Chrismas decorations and dusty furniture and Your wonderful Presence! Amen and amen!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Next 363 Days

It happened again, just as it does every year. Christmas has come and gone and I'm left wondering how it can be over so quickly. Yet even as I write that sentence I feel chastised by the use of the word "over." If I have an understanding of what we have just celebrated, I know that nothing is "over." Rather it continues on as it has since that night so long ago when those shepherds were summoned by angels to witness God's plan unfolding on earth in the form of a tiny baby.

Every year as the day approaches, I make a point of reading Matthew and Luke's accounts of the nativity. This year, however, I fell behind and I didn't get to the part about the shepherds until after Christmas. So, on December 26, I sat on my couch reading about the shepherds' encounter with the angels. I was impressed with how they decided to go check out the news they had been told. Scripture says that "they hurried off" to find this baby and were then so amazed that they spread the word of what they had witnessed to everyone they saw.

However, as I thought about this story the thing that struck me even more than the shepherds' response, was the question, "What did they do after that?" After what they had experienced, how could they go back to just tending sheep out in a field somewhere? They had just witnessed the event that every Jew dreamed about. They had seen the Messiah! How do you make other people understand the enormity of this experience? Suddenly a few sheep on a hillside must seem pretty insignificant. But where exactly do you go from there?

I don't have the answers to these questions. But it stunned me to realize that the lives of these men had to have been changed forever in that one moment. They didn't have the whole story yet... only this one magnificent part. But that alone had to be enough to change them forever.

So now, as I look at my house full of Christmas decorations just waiting to be stuffed back in their boxes for another year, I have to ask myself "What am I going to do after this?" Where exactly am I going to go from here? I have the whole magnificent story! But am I going to let it make a difference this year. Will I allow it to change me day, one trial, one joy, one relationship at a time? I know what I want my answer to be. The next 363 days hold the actual answer.