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It's Not Your Story to Tell

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A good friend posted an update online and I was able to read between the lines. I sent a quick text to check on her and she replied, "It's not my story to tell..."

Using wisdom, she asked for prayer without giving any details. At all. And that's okay. In fact, it's more than okay. It's a sign of maturity.

It reminded me of a situation I found myself in a few years ago. We had a guest speaker at church who invited everyone to the front for special prayer after he spoke. We lined up, waiting our turn. Some were singing, some were quietly praying, some were worshiping, some were...gossiping? At first I couldn't believe what was happening right next to me. We were at the altar, waiting to receive a blessing or healing from God, and they were gossiping about someone who wasn't there that day.

I didn't want to correct them. I tried to reason myself out of it. I asked God to have someone else do it. But He wouldn't let me go. 

I hate confrontation. Hate.…

The Empty Nest

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I've been avoiding this topic for six months, since my daughter married and moved out. Leaving us with the new normal known as the empty nest. 

The first few weeks were the most difficult and I found myself roaming the house, tears streaming my face. I wailed and screamed one day. I would've torn my clothes if I'd known how (let's be honest, I also didn't want to ruin a perfectly good tee). I found myself in the middle of a grief I wasn't expecting. 

The night sounds were gone. The Bachelor wasn't on my TV screen anymore. Taylor Swift's voice echoing through the house was gone. The fragrance of her perfume evaporated. 

"What's for dinner, mom?"
"Want to go to TJ Maxx?"

The choreography of living together for nearly twenty-one years stretched thin like an old rubber band and now there's silence in this home as she's off learning the dance of life with someone else.

It was hard when our son left for school and then started a life…

Darlene's

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Sometime in between scouting for items to sell on Ebay at yard sales and then switching to auctions I found myself in a local store that was unlike anything I had seen before. 

This story is for posterity, giggles, and a little shock value, nothing more. 

It's a memory of a strange encounter that seemed the norm for the town I live in. 

We'd gone to lunch on what we've dubbed Date Day and were at a restaurant directly across the street from what I could only call a junk shop. After eating I begged my husband to check it out with me, "just for fun," because I'm always up for an odd adventure. 

The store was called Darlene's Kids Shop but I grew to call it Darlene's House of Horrors....

People would take their used items to the shop to sell or trade for items in the store. She'd been in business for over twenty-five years and had so much stuff that she no longer knew what was in there.

Imagine rows and aisles stuffed so full that the store vomited some of…

Not all is of God

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Saying Have a nice day to someone sounds friendly, but saying have a nice next twenty-four hours sounds threatening.

We really need to be careful with what we say. 

Especially if you are sharing a word from the Lord.

Tammy (not her real name) was with someone she respected and received a word from the Lord. Months later she was talking to me about the encounter at a Bible study I was leading.

"She's a very Godly woman and she knows things," Tammy said. "She told me  God said something bad was going to happen to me, something so horrible that she wouldn't even tell me what it was, but it was going to happen and it was going to be in my house."

Tammy was obviously shaken, and with good reason. 

Taken back, I interrupted, "Let's stop for a minute and talk about this because I don't think this was from God."

"But she's a Godly woman, she tells people things all the time. I've been so scared, every day, wondering if this was going to be t…

My Mother-in-Law's Mousse

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We were out of town last week for a few days to attend our annual Ministry Summit (AKA District Council) and, as usual, I ran around the house to pack everything needed to maintain me. 

The list is getting longer with each passing year. Sigh.

Side note: I hate packing for trips. Who knows what I want to wear next Tuesday? Why do I have to decide that now? I might not be in the mood for that outfit then. And I might be bloated. That changes everything. 

It wasn't until we were at my in-law's house that I realized I'd forgotten all of my hair care potions and cremes that provide soft as silk hair. All I had to work with was a travel-size can of hairspray and my mother-in-law's mousse. 

I did my normal routine of shampooing and conditioning. Of blow-drying and using a round brush. Of using the flat iron on the rebellious strands. And was left with straw-like hair. Perfect, I thought, everyone at the conference will be staring at my horse hair. 

But no one noticed. 

I've lea…

Fear:less

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We took a trip to Florida recently and I was amazed at how I felt as I boarded the plane. It was same as when I boarded the shuttle bus that would carry us from long-term parking to the terminal. I kept waiting for the fear to rise but it never did.

Not too long ago I was frozen on the ground. Merely observing a plane overhead caused me to panic. To actually fly made me physically ill and I'd obsess over the trip for months in advance. The night before a return trip home -just four years ago- saw me curled up on the bathroom floor, sobbing. It was irrational and I knew it, but the fear had me gripped in its claws.

It no longer controls me. I still don't like flying. I don't like how it makes me feel; I get the same feeling on an elevator and I don't like that either, yet after years of giving into the fear I decided it needed to end. 

I couldn't allow fear -of any kind- to control me.

Fear is a trick of the enemy, used to keep us in place. I was allowing Satan to manip…

Work Out

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I've regularly exercised for most of my life. Not because I love it, but because it benefits me; it loves me. As a child I spent most of my time on my bike, in a pool, or playing Freeze-Tag or one of its variations, TV Tag anyone? When I grew older I had an indoor exercise bike that I rode to nowhere. I took an aerobics class in college taught by a teacher who was in love with James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac, and Don McLean. 

Somehow jumping around to, "Bye-bye Miss American Pie," didn't get my heart rate up, though it did give me shin splints in both legs. Sigh

After I married I bought a treadmill and continued my quest for fitness. Then came babies and the treadmill was another rack for my clothes. 

I joined some health clubs over the years:

The karate place - smelled like feet, I couldn't get past the stink.

The women's-fitness-in-a-circle place - the small talk was dizzying.

The Judgement-Free-Zone place - too many people, too many machines, too much of other peo…