Thursday, February 27, 2014

Touch Me Not

When Bruce was a little boy, his Grandmother had some Touch me Not flowers that grew along her house.  He remembered the pods full of seeds that would explode if you touched them in just the right place. 

Often he will jest and call me a touch me not.  I've never really been a "hands on" person.  I mean, yeah, I hug people.  But a quick hug is about all ya get.  lol  Of course I loved on my babies.  But even my kids thought something was up when I drew them in for a warm, long hug the other night.  They asked, "Are you going to tell us to do something?"  I replied, "No, why?"  One of them answered, "Because you never love on us like this."  It struck me funny at first, but then it made me sad.  I need not be a touch me not when it comes to my family and I intend to work on that.  Just to make something clear, I may not be a "hands on" mommy, but my kids certainly know how much I love them.  Each of them are "my Precious."  haha 

I'm also the person that will open up and tell you pretty much all of my life without a blink of an eye, and I really don't mind you telling me about yours.  Unless you repeat the same story more than three times.  Repeating it more than twice really rocks the boat, if I'm totally honest about it.  After hearing it more than twice, I usually stop listening and can not hear you over the repetitive banging I do in my brain.  I still love you.  Just try to think of something else to talk about.  I'm sure something wonderful...or sad...has happened in your life since the last time we talked.  You know?  I say this, but my best friends are probably reading this thinking, "Can't WAIT 'til our next girl's night to remind her of THIS!"  *sheepish grin*

I do seem to draw people in, of all ages.  Total strangers will open up to me and tell me things they SAY they've never told anyone.  Maybe I should have been a news reporter.  Maybe I could have given Barbara Walters a run for her money.  Truth is, people just genuinely feel comfortable around me.  I guess that's a good thing?  I prefer to tell my life in a blog.  Not actually to your face.  But ok...  if that makes you feel good, I'm all ears. 

Sometimes I am left speechless, however, at what people tell me, if I don't know them. Usually I try to use it as an opportunity for the Lord.  It's difficult to do that sometimes because if you open the door too wide, you may, eventually, have a nut case on your hands.  And trust me, that has happened to me before.  I mean to the point to where I just had to put up a wall and watch them ram into it repeatedly until they finally understood where the boundary was.  I still don't think they really know where the boundary is.  But I'm pretty sure they're aware of the wall.  LOL  If you leave the door too closed, you may be shutting the door on someone that really does need a touch from the Lord.

I'm being totally honest with you here.  I know you probably are not like this.  My husband is the total opposite.  He has a filter when it comes to people.  LOL  I can not tell you how many times I have befriended someone right away and he just says, "They're a flash in the pan."  Sure enough...  FLASH. 

I guess I'm saying all this to say just this:
I like being me.  I like that people feel I am approachable.  I may not hold their hand, and I may not always hear them the first time, but I do try to listen.  And I do try to be friendly.  I've always taught my children that there is a difference in being friendly to someone and being a friend with someone.  Friends are people you do things with.  People, in which, you invest your time.  People that you trust to tell those things you wouldn't even blog about.

The Bible says in Proverbs 18:24, "A man that hath friends, must shew himself friendly:"  It's easy for me to open up to you.  It's difficult for me to open up FULLY sometimes.  But I do with those I trust.  I may be a touch me not, but I do try to be friendly.

How do you relate to people?  Your friends vs strangers or even your family?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Do You Have The Valentine?

This is probably one of the most recognized verses in Scripture:  "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life."  John 3:16

Today, February 14, 2014, we celebrate another Valentine's Day.  A day to express love to our spouses, our children, our parents, our friends, significant others, etc.  It is "the day of love." 

While we share Valentine cards and candy, flowers, along with kisses and hugs, it is humbling to know that there was no greater love shown to us than when Christ willingly lay down His life for ours? 

As I was thinking how wonderful it was and is to know that I've spent twenty-five years celebrating this holiday with the love of my life, I was reminded that life, itself, is not promised another day. 

Brother Troy Tucker, one of the preachers in our church, announced on facebook that his dear mother went home to be with the Lord this morning.

I mourned for that family as soon as I heard.  But then realizing she went HOME, today, of all days, struck a calmness within me. 

Today is a day we celebrate love.  And Mrs. Diane is with the One who loved her the very most.  So much so that He gave His life for her.  Raised up from the dead for her.  And called her UP to be with Him.

It is sad for those left behind, yes.  I've been to the grave of my parent and I know the pain that presses on the heart and mind.  And I do pray for peace and comfort for this family.

I also feel it is a joyous time.  Another reason to celebrate.  For without the greatest love of all, we would have no hope of Heaven.  No hope of eternal life.  It is a choice given to all who will accept and believe through faith.

I am so glad to have known Mrs. Diane and that she is in Heaven with the most precious Valentine of all, Jesus Christ. 

May God bring peace and comfort to His children during this time.  And may His undying love that He showed through His death, shine forth to those who have not accepted Him.  This is our prayer.
I have the greatest Valentine of all.  Do you?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Missing the Key Ingredient For Sweetness

Living here in the Piedmont of the Carolinas we get very little snow.  So when it happens there is a lot of excitement.

When we were told we were going to get three to six inches...which I'm pretty sure we only got one and a half...I had Harrison place a pot in the yard to collect snow for snow cream. 

By the time it had stopped snowing, Harrison ended up having to carefully collect clean snow himself. 

He brings in the pot and I start making the snow cream.  I added milk and a box of vanilla pudding because someone suggested using that instead of vanilla flavoring.  I could taste it, but it still didn't taste as vanilla as I liked.  So I added vanilla flavoring too.  It basically tasted like snow with vanilla flavoring.  Still needed something.  I decided to add a little sweetened condensed milk, hoping it would sweeten up.  It didn't.  So more flavoring I added.  It was ok, but not like mom used to make. 

As we were sitting there "enjoying" our snow cream, Hannah asked, "Did you add sugar?"

We all heard crickets for a second as I realized that, no, I did not add sugar.  What was I thinking?  That's like the first ingredient you should add to snow cream.  I was missing the key ingredient to sweetness. 

Of course we laughed about it and I remedied the situation by adding sugar.  It was so much better that time.  And we all truly enjoyed our treat.

As I thought about this little kerfuffle, I compared it to life with Christ.  He is a key ingredient.... no wait.... He is THE key ingredient to life. 

Without Him added to our lives, each and every day, life can become bitter and blah.  The Bible says in Psalm 34:8 "O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him."

I hope you're not missing THE key ingredient to a sweet life.  If you are, there's a remedy for that.  Romans 10:9 says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that GOD hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

"O taste and see that the LORD is good:"  What a sweetness He adds to our days! 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

He's Still Working On Me

So far this year the Lord has continued to show me things about myself and is changing my heart daily.

The first of January was a very difficult day for me.  As the days progressed they became even more difficult.  But the Lord kept showing me things about my personal situation I've been dealing with and things about myself that needed to change.

Here we are into the month of February and I'm feeling as though the Lord is STILL working on me.  It seems that every quote I read, every verse I read, every sermon I hear is all for me.  I'm glad of that.  I pray that the Lord will continue to show me these things because I feel like things are getting better.  Not just for me.  But for all of us involved.

I'm feeling more secure in Christ.  More secure in my relationship with my husband.  More secure in my place as a wife and mother.  For the most part I have always felt secure in those areas, but last year I felt disconnected from all of it, having being separated from my family most of the year.

2013 was a difficult year.  All the way around.  And 2014 has been difficult, too, but in a different way.  No one likes for the Lord to show them things about themselves that needs changing.  But sometimes it's necessary and there's a healing that happens when we obey.  2014 may be difficult, but it's also been calming and a happier way of living than last year. 

I fought the Lord on a lot of things last year.  It just seemed like God was closing the doors, left and right, on things that seemed to matter to me.  It wasn't until the first of this year that He has showed me just how right He was and the lessons He wanted me to learn by them. 

I am determined to live life according to God's will.  According to His plan.  According to His design.  I am determined to love those who do not love me back.  I am determined to talk less of those that I disagree with and just love them for who they are.  And I am still determined not to allow others to run me over.  I can set boundaries and love people at the same time.  And by doing that, my circumstances will not interfere with my home and what I know God expects of me here and in my Biblical role. 

It's been a lot to absorb and a lot to work on.  Pray for me.  Because it's difficult!  It's not my nature.  But by God's grace, it is HIS nature.  And by God's grace, I can achieve His nature through prayer and staying in His Word. 

I know the devil will fight me on that.  He has already.  But I'm going to continue being what I know the Lord would have me to be.  Pray for those my nature would naturally turn against.  And just " God and ever-body" as Pastor Goodman says.   

I Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Be Careful What You Fall For

"Be bold in what you stand for.  Be careful in what you fall for."

The above quote is from a book I have been reading that belonged to my dad.  And ain't that the TRUTH?! 

It is easy to be bold in things we believe in and stand for.  How often does someone get our back up about a subject because we have different opinions?  I know mine can get up pretty quick, especially when I know my stand is with the Bible and their stand is with the world.

But what about things we fall for?  How do we be careful about that?


The Bible tells us the things we should fall for.  Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

As I examined that verse, I realized that it pretty much sums up everything from inanimate objects, the church we choose, the relationships we share, jobs we accept, even how we do things in the heart of our home.  You name it, it can be compared to this verse and help you not to fall for something that Christ wants to shield you from.

One good way to test the waters of anything is to go through this verse and compare it with these things mentioned.  The truth and honesty are hard to see at first.  But if you can find the just, if you can find the pure and the lovely, if you can find the good report...if there is virtue in it, praise in can know it is true and honest. 

Be careful what you fall for because the devil doesn't use safety nets.