Posts Tagged ‘God’

I Have Made Some Crappy Choices

It’s morning.

Driving to work.

Should I listen to the radio, Lord, or shall we talk on the way to work today?

I hit the radio button.

“It’s a good morning!”

It’s also a beautiful day.


Clear skies and sunshiney rays of hello lend to poor reception.

Too many different sound waves happily traverse the space around my car.

Sorry, Mandesa, I have to turn you off this morning.

So, I guess it’s a talky-kind-of-morning.

I’m no different from the next guy.

Really, I’m not.

I sin.

I have a hard time learning a lesson.

Gosh, I’ve made a bad choice and decided against making the same bad choice, only to do it again.

And again.

And again.

Lord,  I’m so glad You love me and You forgive my shortcomings.

I’m so glad you’re patient.

I have made some really crappy choices.

Yes, but you’ve made some really good choices, too.

Thank, you, Lord, for pointing that out.

I have made some really good choices.

I HAVE made some really good choices.

I get it.

Thank you!

My Basket

It’s a big one.
Made out of some type of weave material native to the plantation area in the south.
And it’s elastic, of this I am sure, because it can stretch to hold a lot of junk.

It used to be really heavy when I first got it.  Sometimes, debilitatingly so.
Often times, it would slow my pace, or be so cumbersome, that it distracted me from other things.
And it used to be very important to me, too.
I would never leave home without it.
For that matter, I would never be home without it, either.
It used to hold a pretty prominent position, always close by my side, or in my lap.

I know this basket well – would recognize it anywhere.
Because it’s familiar, I sometimes feel comfort at the sheer recognition of it.
It’s no more than the comfort of habit, though, and it is only temporary.
I have spent a majority of my life toting it around.
It has been with me through so many turns.
For a long while, it seemed to be my only constant.
Through high school, college, broken relationships.
Through health issues.
Through the birth of three children, parenting.
Through all sorts of highs and lows, I’ve held onto it.

Now, it’s not nearly as heavy, although it hasn’t changed in shape or size.
I just don’t put that much junk in it anymore.
It doesn’t really slow my pace anymore, or distract me too often.
Sometimes, I don’t even notice it.
At home, I forget sometimes that I still have it.
When I leave, I forget sometimes to take it with me.

This is what happens when I let God have what’s inside the basket.
He takes that burden from me.
He eliminates the distraction of it’s contents.
He carries anything that is too much for me to handle.
He replaces it with peace, comfort and hope.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”   Philippians 4:6-7.

My basket is much less important to me than it used to be 20 years ago.
To be honest, it’s much less important to me than it was a year ago!
As my relationship with Christ grows stronger, my dependency on my basket diminishes.
Moving my focus toward faith, takes it away from things that are out of my control.

One of my favorite hymns is “Turn  Your Eyes Upon Jesus”.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in his wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim.
In the light of his glory and grace.

I’m so thankful for the understanding and comfort that only my Savior can provide.
And thankful that he so willingly and lovingly takes my worries from me & empties my basket.

1 Peter 5:7

Stop, Drop and Pray

You’ve heard that saying before…”Stop, Drop and Roll”.  You may have learned it when you were very young, like I did in elementary school when the local firemen visited our classroom to teach us the importance of remembering this life saving phrase.  I didn’t really understand the importance of those words when I was younger, but the phrase was so catchy that I held on to it and gained a better knowledge of what it meant as I grew older.  Thankfully, I’ve never had to put the phrase into action, but I think I could if I was ever in a situation where it was needed.  Those firemen taught a fundamental lesson and did so very well.

God has been moving in my life, and things that I’ve been taught or heard over the years are coming to life left and right.  Praise God!  It’s like a light switch being turned on!  That’s how I woke this morning.  In the pitch dark of my bedroom, before I even opened my eyes, I was reflecting on and thanking God for all of the opportunities He’s given me recently, and that’s when it came to me – Stop, Drop and Pray.

Just yesterday, while standing in the parking lot of WalMart, I met a man.  I’m going to call him Mr. Calvary Baptist Church, because I can remember that instead of his name (I’m terrible with names, and I’m not in denial, but chances are if I’ve met you, you hold a special moniker, too).  I really thought, upon hearing this man’s voice across the way, that I knew him.  I really thought, upon seeing his profile, that I knew him.  Excited to share with him some good news, I grabbed a flyer to an upcoming event and called to him.  As he  came closer, I realized that I didn’t know him at all!  Wow!  That was a hearing AND sight blooper, but that’s another blog for another time.  Moving on.   This normally would have embarrassed me, but now, so many things that would have done that before just remind me it’s an opportunity.  Within moments of our introduction, I had made that statement we all hear so many times, “Will you pray for _________”.  You fill in the blank.  I’ve asked people to pray for my mother, our President, a stressful situation I was facing, a friend’s sick husband, for clarity…….and so on.  And without batting an eye, this man who I had only known for seconds, put his arm around my shoulder, and right there in the parking lot of WalMart, in the middle of the day, front and center to the entrance doors, he began to pray.

Stop, Drop and Pray.  STOP DROP AND PRAY!  I get it, Lord.  I hear you!  Why has it taken me so long to understand this?  I’ve been doing this recently, and didn’t even know I was doing what has been taught to me all these years – what I’ve seen around me.  Other people have prayed on the spot when I’ve asked for prayer, but yesterday’s opportunity connected the dots for me.  Instead of agreeing to pray for someone when they ask me to, at a later time, I am going to pray right away, with them, if I can.  There are so many needs, and so many things that need to be prayed over.  I’ve tried to put them aside oftentimes until they accumulate and I, within a structured timeframe, pause to remember the list and pray at a “more convenient time”, or a “more private time”.  There’s nothing wrong with that – God wants our prayer and our conversation always, in all ways.  But today, I wake with a desire to address prayer immediately…to slow down and bring things to God in real time…to stop putting prayer time in a box and keeping it closed….

Thank you, Mr. Calvary Baptist Church.  I wish I could tell you how much the opportunity to meet you yesterday has meant to me!  “Stop, Drop and Roll” may be a life-saving phrase, but “Stop, Drop and Pray” is a saved-life phrase.  Now I have to go put it into action!