Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Give Thanks to the Lord for His Lovingkindness

This morning I was studying in Psalm 107. What a rich, rich passage of scripture! It is one that I will be drawn to time and again, to re-read and to meditate on. There are several recurring themes in this psalm but the one that captivated me each time I read it was "Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness,And for His wonders to the sons of men!". Sometimes we need the reminder about His lovingkindness. When things get rough or dark or hard we have a tendency to wonder where is God and why doesn't He care? Reading those lines over and over (six times!)in this psalm reinforced for me what I knew: that His lovingkindness never fails, never falters, never fades. Many other sweet reminders fill this passage:
1) "For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good."
2) "He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their bands apart." I think I hear a little Mandisa 'Take these shackles off of my feet so I can dance!'
3) "He sent His word and healed them" Never forget the power of His word to soothe and comfort and heal.
4) "So He guided them to their desired haven." He knows the best place for me to rest.

Consider the lovingkindnesses of the Lord. It's a great way to start the day!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

When was the last time you...............

............were bored? Stare at the wall, twiddle your thumbs, mind numbing bored. If you are like me you cannot remember a time like that. I was commenting to Dennis today that I couldn't believe how many people on Facebook post about being bored. They are bored to tears, bored to death, bored out of their skulls, bored as all get out, soooo bored, really bored.............ad nauseam. Seriously, you have been out of school for only five days and you are bored?

Often I get into conversations with other women about whether to work or stay home. I am always surprised when someone says they wouldn't want to stay home because they would be so bored. Who ARE these people? Do they really get everything done every week and have nothing to do? Do they not have any interests? Bored? I just don't understand it.

And, just to make it clear that I am not talking about 210 channels to keep me from being bored. I am not a big television watcher. And, I mainly watch programs that have been recorded so I can skip the commercials, skip to the good parts and get it over. When I am home alone the television doesn't even get turned on.

What would keep me from being bored? Well.....how about EVERYTHING! I could never be done cleaning or organizing or fixing something around the house. (Dennis would say that's because I would never start!) I could sit in my cozy corner in the morning for prayer and study time and not have to watch the clock and cut it off because it's time to go to work. I could research fabulous recipes and cook new things all the time. I would write letters and cards to stay in touch and encourage friends and family. I could volunteer. I could read. And then read. Oh, I could read. I could go sit at the hospital when there is a need. I could watch someone's children so they could go to Bible study. I could go to Bible study. I could lead a Bible study.

I think I have made my point. I just don't see where boredom comes into play for anyone. If you can argue for the other side, please comment.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Was this the little girl I carried?

Or, the little girl Dennis rocked?

All of you young mothers hear us older moms talk about how time flies with your babies. We caution you not to "wish away" each phase of their little lives. Here is why. That picture above? Taken in 1997. I know. That seems like a long, long time ago. Well, what about this one:
This cute little girl in her new bed? Taken just four years ago. Yes, 2006.
Oh, and the one below, with her friend Sheradyn? Are you ready? This one was taken only THREE years ago!
I don't know if you ready for the next two pictures. Go back and look at Katie and Sheradyn again. Remember, that one was THREE years ago. Actually, not quite three. It will be three in July, I think.
Thursday was the last day of school for Katie. She went home with her friend Bri. Sheradyn went along also. She stayed for two days. We finally got her back this afternoon. She grew up while she was gone, people! If you don't believe me, take a look below. And, remember, these were taken less than THREE years after the one of her and Sheradyn at Silver Dollar City!
End of 6th grade fun with Sheradyn and Bri.
HERE is the little girl I carried! Sniff, sniff.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

2/3 of My Life

That's the amount of time I have been married to Dennis now. I was about three months shy of 18 when we got married. On Sunday it will be 36 years for us. Go ahead. Add 18 to 36 and you will get 54, which is how old I will be in August.

It's strange to think about being married twice as long as I wasn't married. Boy, did that 17 year old girl know what she was getting into? Of course not. And, that's a good thing. Would any of us take a step if we knew everything that would unfold on the path? No. We wouldn't want any of the hard times, the pain or the disappointments that would be revealed. One thing I have learned in my life, though, is that some of the best lessons are learned in hard times, some of the greatest peace breaks forth from pain and that the disappointments refine our expectations and our committments to others.

I am glad that I can look back on our life together and see all of those different things. They have shaped who we are. If we started going back trying to twist and turn away from the rough parts of the road, who knows where we would be today? Probably not here. I like where we are, who we are and what all of that means to us. Do we ever say "what if"? All. The. Time. And then, just as quickly, we remember something that might be different if that had changed or not happened. The trade off never seems to measure up to the finished product, warts and all.
I guess where I am going with this is to remember that EVERYTHING that happens to us really does make us who we were meant to be. Don't live regretting what you didn't or couldn't do. Marvel in the wonder that we got to be a part of it at all.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Say what you will.............

..........about technology and all of it's gadgets, I am a fan! Tonight I loved being able to use the latest to keep up with all my friends and family during an evening of crazy weather. In minutes I was able to find out that my sister Rhonda and her husband were safe in their Noble home. Sure, the power was out and the shingles were flying, but I heard her voice and knew she was fine. My friend Erna posted that her son and friends were in a basement in Shawnee waiting out the storm. She asked for us to join her in prayer. Who knows how many people did. Traci in the OKC area kept us informed about things in her area, even while putting the kids in the closet she was concerned about her friends. A call to the mayor of our little town and I got information for a friend about when and if the Dome would open for public shelter. In one quick cell phone call from my sis Debe I found out that my brother-in-law was en route to Oklahoma City this afternoon and was at the scene of the I40 Choctaw tornado that destroyed the Loves station. He was unharmed and made it on to his destination safely. Some texting and emailing to my sister Nora and I was able to reassure her that everyone was safe and all was right with the world. A chat on Facebook in the pop out box let me know that my little niece Sadie was good and so was her family. People updated and twittered and commented and posted pictures and prayers went up from every corner of the state and beyond. And, let's not forget the old standby-the television. It sputtered and stuttered but kept us informed.

We talk alot about the good 'ole days and complain that we can't get away from the ringing phone or chirping pager or the computer or our email. I know. Sometimes it does get old. But, tonight I am glad that I know everyone I love is safe.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

One of a Kind; Never to be Duplicated

That was my mom-one of a kind. One of the best kind, in fact. She has been gone now for a little more than five years. I miss her as much today as ever. She was unselfish, peace loving, kind, generous, gentle and Godly. She gave me the best gifts I ever received - my sisters. It is in them that I get the chance to glimpse pieces of her-a wry comment from Nora that sounds just like Mother; a word of caution from Rhonda that makes me do a double take; or, a quick look at Debe and I'm thinking "that expression looks just like Mother!". How blessed I am to have her still with me when I am with them.

If you are so fortunate to have your Mother today-love her, cherish her, forgive her, make up with her, comfort her, give to her, give in to her, but DO NOT take her for granted-DO NOT let petty things get in the way of your relationship-DO NOT make it about you when it should be about her. A life like that will only bring you regrets at the end of her life.

I am honest when I say that I am jealous of women who still have their moms. And, I am brutally honest when I say that I am incensed when I listen to women who still have their moms and don't realize how lucky they are. How dare you dislike, disown or disavow your committment to a living mother when mine is not with me? Sorry, that's how I feel when I hear you complain about her and talk bad about her.

So, for tomorrow-remember that bitterness about ANYTHING is just your emptiness showing.

Love your Mother. Honor your Mother. It's the law!

I love you Nettie Lou Blair Jernigan!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I am Woman, hear me .....

I'd like to say ROAR but it was more like WHINE. I had a bad day at work. I think it has something to do with having been sick for the past two weeks, taking massive doses of steroids in the hopes that I get well and being under the gun for too many projects at work. But, whatever the reason, I just kind of lost it. I hate when I do that. Not only does it make me look weak in the workplace but it makes me look weak in my faith. I want to live like Jesus every day and I think I failed miserably today. Sheesh. I can only do what He gives me strength to do and today I don't think I even asked Him for strength. I stewed about having to work. I griped about all the deadlines facing me. I took it out on another co-worker. I even did the dreaded-I cried. You know that "you've made me so mad and so out of control that now I will cry like a girl"!

I will go back to work tomorrow to face the same situation. I want to go back, however, with determination and focus and perseverance. I want to do my job as "unto the Lord". I want to remember that I am fortunate to have such a wonderful job so close to my home. I am going to start the day by going to the throne to ask for strength to do my best.

It's okay to be an outspoken woman. Tomorrow I want my life to be outspoken about Him.