Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
i have been tossing around the idea that God is not too concerned about what will happen in the next few months. we chatted about it in bible study last night. when i said 'i don't think God really cares if i live here or there', i think one of the ladies disagreed. i did not mean that in the sense that God doesn't care, but i think i was pointing to the fact that my stress has to do with whether or not i may have made a HUGE mistake in following God by buying this house so quickly. trying to go back now, after the fact, and figure out how to get peace.
God is faithful, friends. he doesn't leave us hanging in our situations. He is reminding me today that today is what matters to Him. that peace is available, NOW. and each moment that we turn our 'stuff' to Him. so, with a huge exhale, i'm off for the day on a good foot.
oh. and if you feel like reading what He spoke to me to realign me to Him today, here it is. happy thursday!!
We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success. We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not. The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way. What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.
What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish— His purpose is the process itself. What He desires for me is that I see “Him walking on the sea” with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see “Him walking on the sea” (Mark 6:49). It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.
God’s training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not for sometime in the future. We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself.
God’s purpose is to enable me to see that He can walk on the storms of my life right now. If we have a further goal in mind, we are not paying enough attention to the present time. However, if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
i've shared this story with a couple of friends already, but i find that since it is still on my mind, it must bear repeating.
i have a junk hauler whose name is jim. lou referred him to me, from when she had some garbage from her garage renovation hauled away last spring.
he came over a week ago, and to be honest, my assessment of him (made quite quickly) was that he was fairly 'rough around the edges.' it was about 117 degrees then, and i unfortunately decided to leave my entire load of junk in the basement. jim was not super happy to have to haul it all upstairs, but he had a younger, toothless helper who was quite strong and who made quick work of things.
all in all, it was an okay encounter, nothing to write home (or blog) about.
yesterday, i was ready with load #2. this time, i had the foresight to do the hauling up the stairs (except for the extinct dryer still in the basement). so, things went much more smoothly. jim brought a different guy this time, named bob, who was also rather quiet, but seemingly a bit younger and quite a bit stronger than jim.
made me think jim is a pretty smart guy.
anywhoo, we finished loading up his truck in no time. i was looking around the garage, making sure that i did not forget any random junk that i wanted him to also take. when i came to some decorated bricks from VBS, he asked, and i told him i would just keep the stones the kids had painted in church ....
to which he quickly responded with the question "where do you go to church?"
and from that SIMPLE question, the next 20 minutes were a whirlwind of evangelism from jim the junkman that would have rivaled anybody i've seen at the pulpit in awhile. simply put, jim was on fire. he loves the Lord. he knows He exists because He lives in his heart. he thinks we all get stuck on religion, and forget it's about relationship. he says you gotta call on the name of JESUS. he says he knows that he's goin' to Heaven, and gosh darn it, it's gonna be quite a transformation when he gets there.
what was extraordinarily cool about this, was that bob (quiet guy) was not so sure about all this christian stuff, especially not about Jesus. so, in a way, the 2 of us - jim and i - talking about the great things we know to be true about Christ - seemed to have started some wheels turning. you could literally SEE him thinking about it! it was neat. he asked some questions that he'd been wondering about...and we were glad to put our thoughts in on the God we know.
and i was not too surprised at all when jim followed up with 'well, bob, i can see we're probably gonna have to talk about this some more' - and i paid him, shook both their hands and told them it was a pleasure, and they hopped in the junk haulin' pickup and drove down the street.
that, my friends, was a very good thing to experience. and jim the junkman taught me (again) a very important lesson about things not always looking like they seem on the surface....! thank God!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
let's take a break from our regularly scheduled photos of pretty things on this blog, and look at my garage...pre junk-man coming over.
sigh. i know. those water-stained 1970s albums might be treasures to someone. alas, in a sea of urgency, i choose to bury them in a landfill instead. this kind of photo makes my head hurt.
the good news is that the basement is significantly less 'yucky' than it was a week ago.
Monday, July 25, 2011
woo hoo! i woke up to these lovelies in my garden this morning...first tomatoes of the season. yum-o. tomato sandwich for lunch :)
also woke up to this devotional for today (message bible translation). sounds like the makings of a blessed week!
You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.
You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.
You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.
You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.
You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.
Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
have a blessed day, my friends :)
Saturday, July 23, 2011
well, dern, the deal went thru yesterday without a glitch. i will be closing on my new home on august 15th, and packing/cleaning/fixing on mabel both before and after.
i'm not sure i was quite ready for this, now that i think about it. but then, i'm not sure i ever would have been.
i am happy, however! i have been thinking about a move to somewhere a bit more peaceful, with more room to garden, for a couple of years now! as for the house, no, it does not replace mabel. she will always be special to me, and i will miss her very much.
i guess i need to name the new house, but i'm not sure if it's a boy or a girl yet. i suppose i need to get to know him/her better! ha.
anyway. look for lots of 'moving' posts for me in the next few months! now. guess i better get to more cleaning of the lower level. sigh. happy saturday, all :)
Thursday, July 21, 2011
transform it into something yummy.
so. still waiting on the house deal to go thru. i really am not a big fan of 'negotiations' but it seems that in today's world, that's the way you do it. i kind of like conversation and a handshake. wonder if there is any place in the world that you can buy a house on those terms?
anyway. one good side effect of this whole past week, is that the wheels start clicking to design a new space. i have friends sending me ideas, me sending me ideas, and the brain just running full time. i love that part.
one of my fave blogs for this kind of dreaming is young house love. these crazy kids do a wonderful blog, i esp. love their 'house crashers' segment.
if you are in the mood for remodeling, you might want to give it a go and go there ...!
Monday, July 18, 2011
whew! monday morning again. i am pretty sure i need about a week to catch up on sleep, although i have found that my afternoon naps are absolute necessity, and helping me as i go thru the next change of season.
i got the house on wood drive friday. it's funny that last week at this time, i really had no intention of moving anywhere soon. i do find that when making major decisions, i am quick to act, and then think about it later. i do the same thing with buying cars and adopting cats. i'm not much for test driving, i JUST DO IT.
i spent much of saturday in the basement, cleaning out yucky mildewey clothing (from the water heater explosion of 2010! yikes. that is a mess. i am going to see about getting some stuff hauled away this week, in hopes of not continuing the hoard habit after the move.
so much to do. i remember last year at this time, as i was gearing up for a career change that did not ultimately pan out. i guess july is a good time for transition ;)
my main prayer right now, if you are wondering, is for the perfect person to take over and love mabel as much as i have. and possibly that person could love loco and the squirrels and the snakes and birds, and one or two of the neighbors, also :)
happy week all!
Friday, July 15, 2011
happy friday, peeps. i'm running on low....low....low today, as things wind down for the week.
i will find out today whether i bought a house or not. trying not to think about it for now ;)
sigh. i know it might seem to some of you in blogland that i am making a rush decision. those who know me a little more personally, however, know that i am not. although i have felt very, very blessed to reside on the back forty for 8 years (this month!), i have also felt a restlessness the last couple of years.
i affectionately call my neighborhood 'the hood.' at first, it was light-hearted. lately, it seems heavy-hearted. you see, there are a ton of desperate people here. a ton. and desperation sometimes breeds some not-so-nice behavior. i have seen people staggering down the alley yelling obscenities to each other. i have had teenage girls shout and stalk around my yard at 10am. i have had neighbors that let their dogs bark non-stop from 11am - 2pm, with no interest whatsoever in whom they were bothering (me). i have had a roaring harley 15 ft from my bedroom window while i was trying to fall asleep.
i am tired of the hood.
i also have too many wonderful memories to count. like the young native american woman with twins in a stroller who knocked on my door to tell me how beautiful my flowers were. i gave her some spare planters, and a few tips on gardening.
i have had countless backyard conversations with my older neighbor, who suffers from a life of less-than-clean living and loneliness...i will miss him so much, even though i was afraid of him when i first moved here.
i have watched the neighbor who routinely yelled at me 'what the h*** you up to?' pass away after 84 years, and his kids clear the house of a lifetime of stuff.
i have watched a little girl, who has mental disabilities, go from not having eye contact with me to asking me if i will stay outside awhile, so we can 'talk.'
i have lived a lot here. we'll see if the Lord is ready for me to take my memories and move on, but either way, it's been a good season.
yesterday, i was reading my bible, in 1 chronicles, which is not always a page turner. king david was telling nathan the prophet about how unlikely it seemed that he should deserve to live in a palace, while the Lord resided outside in a tent (the ark of the covenant).
here is what the Lord said back to him:
I took you away from the grasslands. That is where you were taking care of your father's sheep and goats. I made you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you everywhere you have gone. I cut off all of your enemies when you were attacking them. Now I will make you famous. Your name will be just as respected as the names of the most important people on earth.
I will provide a place where my people Israel can live. I will plant them in the land. Then they will have a home of their own. They will not be bothered anymore. Sinful people will no longer crush them, as they did at first. That is what your enemies have done ever since I appointed leaders over my people Israel. But I will bring all of them under your control.
i'm pretty sure that these verses hold true, no matter what street i will live on, or where. i'm trying to keep that in the forefront of my mind today as my restless heart waits. He is good, and He is with me, and He will plant me where He wishes - and that is in the end the most important thing.
happy friday all :)
Thursday, July 14, 2011
you shouldn't pick a grey, cloudy day to listen to elvis singing 'kentucky rain' which always makes you cry in a loud and super sniffly, messy way.
esp. you shouldn't do it when you forgot that you told a client (that you barely KNOW) to stop over for a quick minute to chat.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
hey - funny story!
i had the good fortune to meet my loco's owner tonite. well, his 'other' owner, that is. i was out in the alley pulling some weeds, and i noticed in the adjoining alley, some people also pulling weeds....and loco. sitting in the middle of the alley. i waited for a sec, then decided to go over (i have never ever seen these particular people before).
i walked up to a middle-aged chubby guy and a matching lady, and a younger boy, probably college-age. they looked at me quizzically when i said 'can i ask you'all a question?'
i asked them if THAT cat was theirs, and the man said 'that depends.' i said, 'well, i seriously need to know his name, since he and i have been friends for over 7 years now.'
he laughed and said 'oh, you mean MANGO?'
he he. i guess my loco is a mango. i am not disappointed in this news! it's kind of a funky cat name, don't you think?
so, while i was standing there and explaining that he is sort of kind of ALSO MY CAT, he came over and rolled on my foot and looked at me like 'hey, watcha doin' over HERE?'
the woman looked seriously shocked and said 'he NEVER DOES THAT.'
ha. i laughed and said it took several years of wooing for him to do that ;))
anyway, it was great. he lives in the house down the street, with 3 humans (one of whom is a baptist pastor) and 2 other cats. and he gets one, and sometimes two cans of fancy feast a day. one time, he was gone for 5 days, and they found him under a car way far away from here after a huge winter blizzard (kind of glad i did NOT know that).
but secretly, i know he loves me best :)
Monday, July 11, 2011
what a glorious morning! i got to shut the a/c off after a few nonstop days, which always makes me feel better...i did finally have to break down and water the garden yesterday, i cannot believe i'm saying this, but i really think we need a bit of rain. in any case, things look pretty fab, garden-wise, except for the various pests and diseases that seem to be attaching themselves to my plants: blossom end rot, powdery mildew and squash borers, so far. :(
i went shopping in my usual whirlwind style on friday. got some new curtains for the living room, 'cause the old orange ones were faded and falling apart. these are kinda grandma (even for me) but were new in the package from pier one, lined, and were going for $3 a panel. they were marked $45 per panel, and they match the couch that i kind of don't like, either :) ha. good enough for now. ps. see that little chair in the corner? that is my next little 'project'...
then, i got a wild hair and went to world market (actually went there for coffee to make rani's 'concoction' and saw a cute little bistro table that i had admired in the spring for $99. i decided to totally overfill my back patio and get it for half that price. now, i can drink my morning coffee in a more civilized way, i guess. to be honest, i'll probably never use it, but i will admire the pretty :) oh. i have to restain the chairs, which i have had for awhile. more for the to-do list....
here is my favorite new plant of the season. it's called a hyacinth bean, and apparently grows huge. the flowers are an insanely beautiful sweet-pea like blossom. supposedly, it gets big purple pods on it at the end of the season, and is a self-sowing annual (a favorite thing). i am thinking of covering the back side of my new fence with it, if it holds up to all i have read about it.
then, spent part of saturday with carey. we realized we are bad shoppers, but that we really don't care. i did run into a cute bird for my long-empty bird cage ;) he makes me happy.
schwew. ready to have a great week! be blessed everyone!
Friday, July 08, 2011
wow. i actually woke up late this morning, and thought it was the weekend...he he. i guess 4-day weeks are not as good as 3-day weeks!
well, i do have a to-do list for today. but in my head, i'm going to be gardening and possibly going to brookings for the weekend. and maybe making a cake. that would be smart, right?
i am very happy to be back in 'summer foods' land, however. last night, i stir-fried up some goodness, from leftover stuff in the fridge and garden yummies. today, i have a cucumber chillin' for lunch. man. growin' your own is the way to go! look how pretty my food is now!
have a good one, friends :)
Thursday, July 07, 2011
wow. this week is flying by :)
i also got my first zuke out of the garden...although you guys would have laughed at me if you saw me chasing the dreaded squash borers around (man, they are the lepers of the back forty), trying to catch them with my bare hands. i actually caught one for a sec, then he got away when i tried to 'squash' him.
i did resort to poison chemicals. either they won't work, or maybe i'll grow a couple of heads sometime in the future.