Saturday, October 22, 2011

Oh, You're One of Those

     Many moons ago, as a newbie to the wife and mother lifestyle, in between teaching dance and choreographing, I thought it would be advantageous to supplement our family's income by selling Mary Kay Cosmetics. Yes, I was a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant.

     You know how it order the kit, you get bookings, a friend tells a friend, you try to conform all you meet to the awesomeness of the products (because the secret of Mary Kay is she bought the recipes/ ingredients list from a tanner that used these ingredients in tanning his hides). But most of all, you absolutely must have stock on hand so you can immediately make an instant trade, cash for product. It is so uncool to get an order and have to wait for it to come in.

     This is why I end up at my bank. I'm young, I've never gotten a loan by myself before. I'm nervous. I sit down at the loan officer's desk, I'll call him Mr. Curmudgeon (if you don't know what that means, please Google it before you read on). I hand him my application, he looks at it and says, "Oh, you're one of those."
I was crushed! Why, you ask? Because I thought the same thing he did about salesmen. In reality, I was a salesman.

     One of my best customer's husband called me "The Pusher". You see, there is an unspoken language that comes with unspoken implications when your occupation is salesman. Salesman, of course, is not the only word with which we do stereotypical deciphering.
                stay at home mom
                oh, here's a good one...stepparent.

     I've seen the look on people's faces, you can almost hear their thoughts out loud when I say I homeschool my grandkids. Ohhh, poor child, won't they be behind? Disadvantaged? They won't know how to be social. These things have been said to me. A stay at home mom?...gee, how fulfilling is that? As if staying home to rear your children is a death sentence. Being unemployed, as I see it, does not make me an undesirable...I'm gainfully employed and the benefits are stupendous!

    The one that gripes my butt, though, is the stepparent one. Every time, through my career as a stepmother to Tangae and Stacey, because someone would say "you don't look old enough to be their mother" many times I would just let it ride. Many times people would go on and on and I would tell them that they were my stepdaughters. Here would come the dismissal. It would be as if you just said, "I am their step (not-valid-not-a-part-of-not-viable-not-necessary-not-a-real-parent) mother."

     I cannot count the hundreds of times I would say, "And these are my stepdaughters" and I am not joking, people would say out loud, "Oh." Like, it does not matter that you've helped raise them since they were 2 and 3 years of age and they are now 41 (almost) and 42. Or that you were there for every event in their lives except their births or loved them like a mama would through every situation. It has always been, except for a few exceptions, just like when I was seated in the bank at Mr. Curmudgeon's desk. "Oh, your one of those." A step mother. Not a real mother, you just play one on T.V.

     That same feeling that I felt at Mr. Curmudgeon's desk would hover over me. It would crush me. In reality, I AM a step mother. I must accept that stigmas come attached to this word. I remember once when Stacey had spend the night company over, I heard the little girl say to Stacey, "She's not mean at all" with which Stacey replied, "I never said she was." It was just implied, stepmother = wicked/evil. Thanks to all the fairy tales!

     I have looked at my being selected to be their stepmother as being hand-picked by God, Himself. For me to "step" in and fill a space that was presented to me upon the marriage to their father. I took the position  knowing that I was called from the foundation of time to be their stepmother. God specifically told me that from all the women on the face of the earth, He had chosen me to be their stepmother. I have always considered it a privilege and a great honor to hold that title. Even without the kudos.

     I gladly step back and let the real parents have their roles, their names, Daddy, Momma, I'm happy to be called Jeanna, Tangae and Stacey's stepmother. I don't take it as a slam or a demotion to be listed as one, even when our culture negates any positive meaning to the name stepmother, 'cause God and I both know that I relish and revel in the fact that...yeah...stepmother, I'm one of those.


Friday, September 23, 2011

The Twinkle Poof Theory

     I live in the Bible Belt. Living in such a responsible-sounding titled region, however, does not make one  automatically Bible savvy. No, farrrr from it. You see, as I live and go about my life here, what I observe my fellow Bible Belt homies (that would be my brothers and sisters in the Lord) doing is the mixing of their personal beliefs together with what the Bible declares as It's own beliefs. Here is a lighthearted example:

     There's a group of good ole boys standing around at a good ole Southern social. They begin to get into topics of the Bible-kind like sin, saints, and salvation (in the South, the weather, politics, and Jesus are popular topics). Upon further discussion of what it takes to get 'saved' and into Heaven, one pipes up and declares that if you're good enough then that's all that matters. One states that they've rededicated their life, again, and does that off and on to keep the slate clean, that should do it. Another blurts out, "Naw, naw here's the God' have to believe that Jesus is the Son of God...and that He died...and was buried in a tomb...and three days later He rose from the dead...and if He sees His shadow there will be six more weeks of basketball!" Righttttttt......

  There is one unspoken belief I encounter over-n-over-n-over-n-over, e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y. I call it The Twinkle Poof Theory. Again, remember, this is ALWAYS unspoken, NEVER voiced out loud. We, (as in the consensus) believe that God is a fairy godmother. Yes, with wand and everything. Now, with that belief comes all kind of notions like He comes at our beck-and-call, He's obligated to furnish our every whim, He must overlook any and all actions that resemble disobedience, rebellion, and lack of sensitivity to moral uprightness, aaaaand He is only to remember when we got saved, and use the 'Grace Clause' whenever we have a flesh-out party (which I call sin, but shhhhh...that's a taboo word around these parts). Yep, just like the good ole fairy godmothers in fairy tales. Notice that fairy godmothers are written as fable characters, God does not operate on the belief system of a fable. But, people like the idea of the fairy...she never requires you to change to get the benefits of..."The Wand".

     Ahhh, the Wand. God does not do Bibbidy-Bobbidy-Boo y'all. He does not wave His wand at your special requests that do NOT line up with what HIS belief system states.This is where it gets tricky for us that try to mix God's oil thoughts and our vinegar thoughts. We pull out the 'Grace Clause' and abuse it to death. Here is our interpretation of the Bible Belt-ers 'Grace Clause' :

     "I, as a saved individual, can and will continue to do what I want, when I want, like I want, and when my dumb decisions get me stuck with consequences with no regard to what God has documented in His covenant, I will holler...'graceeeeeeee!', and I will fully expect for everyone that is my friend on Facebook to pray me through my situation by asking God to look over why I am in this situation in the first place and wave His Mighty Wand in my direction and it will be all over, and all better, and that nasty ole thing that has disrupted my life will depart from me and I will continue forth with my same ways as before, thus saith I, the saved individual." (I, the saved individual, will determine the usage of the 'Grace Clause' as deemed necessary.)

     This path of thinking is like trying to fit God into our fairy godmother make-believe wand-waving ideas instead of us fitting into His Kingdom reality. Our hope is that God will go ahead and co-depend with us as we continue to just 'be who we are and we can't help our flaws' instead of calling out to Him and asking Him to be loving and kind and forgiving and help us to change our belief system and help us to stop mixing our concocted confused beliefs with His. He would be overjoyed to aid you and grant you that prayer...without even the use of a wand! He's seems to be very cool like that.

     I have a tendency to haul people unceremoniously into the reality of the way God's does things and the way He thinks, to get them to face their denial and self-deceit. There are just SO MANY theories that have to be addressed and proven out, like the one I like to call the Be-ings to W-ings Theory. This is the theory where my Bible Belt homies believe that when they die and go to Heaven, they will turn into angels. I will unceremoniously take that one on, too. But that is for another day, for my work seems to never be done, and shall never be as long as there are saved individuals around who believe that our future generations will have larger thumbs because of texting so much. Um...that would be the Theory of Evolution... 





Monday, August 22, 2011

Jesus On My Tee

     There was a day that I used to think that the whole Jesus thing was corny, hokey even. Those are the only words that I can think of to describe how I viewed watching people be all spiritual. The Bible covers, the bumper stickers, the t-shirts, the conferences, the pens/pictures/paper weights/posters, etc. with printing on them with quips about Jesus. I don't know, but I truly think it was my aversion to mass marketing Jesus. I just thought it was totally unnecessary. Now, understand that I'm totally aware that no one can hear the Gospel unless someone preaches it. I just had my O on how I thought it should be done.

     I suppose my concept was a more simple approach...just live Him in front of everybody and use words if they were needed. I still can't get a picture in my mind of Paul wearing a "I Saw Jesus and it was a Blinding Sight to Behold" t-shirt, or the disciples handing out "Bray if you Love Jesus" bumper stickers to put on your donkey's rear, or coffee mugs with "He's Stronger Than Your Coffee and He's Stronger Than Your Caffeine Addiction" printed on them. It was a major turn-off for me. Not because focus was being put on Jesus, not at all, it just seemed like the merchandisers were hawking their wares in the temple for a buck. I certainly didn't want to be a part of an embarrassing situation where Jesus would have to show up in here and turn over the marketplace tables and call us all thieves! Using His image but not living His image.

     I knew from my early childhood and from being raised in Church, all the Bible stories. I distinctly understood that Jesus was not happy with the buying and selling aspects. I guess I just gleaned from that, that Jesus did not have a problem with the product itself, but the heart of the people selling it. It was just mindless everyday in and out business to them. They didn't leave their tables to go inside where Jesus was, they waited outside and sold a "form of godliness".

    Okay, so I don't even own a product with a single scripture stamped on it at that point in my life. But I had Bibles galore, and Concordances, and stacks of teaching cassettes (CD's later), books on numerous topics, and confession sheets for faith building. I am a hardcore Word junkie. My Bibles are heavily marked, dozens of notebooks filled with thoughts and prayers, worship music in every CD player that I own, TV channels that preach the Word whenever I'm ready. I have stacks and stacks of these things, bookshelves filled to capacity! Here's the one-two essence, there is absolutely no difference between my past disagreements with everything printed on something and buying the notebooks, CD's, and books. It's still a heart thing.

      Jesus does not care if you read the entire Bible through every year and study His Word 5 hours a day and pray for three and wear your W.W.J.D. bracelet and quote Psalms 91 daily and then never do a thing to give Him away! He does not take joy in Jesus hoarding, Jesus buying, Jesus selling, or Jesus business. He wants us to have a Jesus relationship...with Him...personally...everyday. When I do that very thing I won't want to hoard Him, I will want EVERYONE to have Him! I will want to give Him away, not sell Him to someone for a dollar.

     Again, I have an understanding that it cost money to get the word out about Him. That's why I don't really have the ickiness I used to have when it comes to putting His name out to the public anyway the public will see it or hear it. It is a form of giving Him away, so to speak, "...freely you have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8). Boiling it down, having a merchants heart vs. having a ministry heart is THE difference between me having my tables flipped over and attention called to the intents of my heart and Jesus walking up to my table and asking for Himself an "I AM" t-shirt. That would definitely ROCK! He IS THE Rock! But that's for another t-shirt.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Grass is Always Greener in a Magazine

     I must confess, I have gotten involved with something that I can't seem to stop. Just like any one else, I didn't see it to be a problem. It wasn't a danger or any thing like that. It was not hurting anyone, I would think. I just knew I wanted to do it more and more and it always left me feeling that I wasn't satisfied or the next time would make me feel better or exhilarated even. But it never did. After participating with my behavior I would feel unfulfilled, frustrated even.

     I suffer from, Perfect Home and Garden envy. It does not help that I subscribe to magazines that constantly reiterate to me of my imperfect surroundings. They taunt me in the same 'nanah-nanah-boo-boo' fashion as the playground bully would do. Nanah-nanah-boo-boo is a melodious song that's interpreted as 'look-at-what-you-ain't got'. It's a harsh house, my yard, my table, even the food in my refrigerator does not look like a photo shoot in a magazine.

     Look at all those photos of shiny happy people standing in their newly built or upgraded pristine kitchens with their 5.2 children all gathered around the island and the size 4 mother is in the process of making freshly squeezed lemonade from the trees she grows out back in her luscious fruit and vegetable garden where she bottles and sells her very own unique lemonade that paid for her mansion on the 25 acre farm where her husband is a lawyer and on weekends he hobby's as a cattleman and they breed and sell blue ribbon cows that sell for $10,000.00 a head and he is known by all of his colleagues as "Marlboro Man" as he is quite handsome and tough and gritty and very hands on with the children and is supportive of his wife's business adventure. Whew! I'm tired. I do not measure up!

    I look around my home and see crooked books on my bookshelves, things stacked in the floor, and dog hair rolling down the hall like tumbling tumbleweeds. What a big letdown. If I could somehow take photos of my house, photoshop them to perfection, blow them up and we could just step in and out of the still shots like Bert, the children, and Mary Poppins did with the sidewalk chalk 'drawerings' (what the British call art). I don't know, but that seems almost as obtainable as a house and yard that is in a state of immaculate perfection at all times.

     When I review my symptoms after exposure to the greener grass on the other side of magazine & TV's fence, I know that I know that I know that I've been had...I have fallen for the old "comparing myself amongst others" routine which I know is not wise to do. It's like the bug that can't help's drawn into the light that zaps it. I shut a magazine feeling the zap of 'you madam are not one of the elite'.

     Understand that it's not the magazines fault, the feelings I have when I close it's brightly colored of the current season's delicious eye candy and meticulously staged covers. is is mine. To allow what I see to cause me to feel out of league with the rest of the homeowners of the world whom I know, ALL have magazine worthy homes and gardens. Don't you?

     This dream to have a picture-perfection home has caused me to stand still and make note that there will ALWAYS be someone else out there smarter, richer, thinner, more educated, more gifted, more organized, and seemingly to have it all. But when the photo shoot is over and the camera crews and stagers go home, what is real life really like for the flavor of the month? The beaming smiles dim, dust floats through the air and settles on the coffee table and the kids put their dirty hands on the freshly painted door trim that they had painted just for the photo shoot. Yeah...I know life is real and it rots.

     So why stand stand here and look at someone else's greener grass when I have my own green grass to tend to...even if it is over the septic tank. Immaculate perfection is so overrated.

"We're not putting ourselves in a league with those who boast that they're our superiors. We shouldn't dare do that. But in all this comparing and grading and competing, they quite miss the point." II Corinthians 10:12 MB

Monday, July 18, 2011

Susan's Books Went Up Like That!

     My sisters proclaim that I am the official storyteller of our family, or story re-teller I should say, I am not telling fibs but recounting our family history. I guess I have the ability to remember the details that they don't. When we get together for holidays, and the likes, we usually end up reliving one more time, a memory from our childhood. We loved our childhood.

     What's really weird is I can remember as far back as being in my baby bed and reaching through the slats to play with the phone beside my parents bed (my bed was in their room). I also remember having my diaper changed on the bed in one of my sister's rooms and I vividly remember the reason I was crying was because I didn't like the dirty diaper and it made me mad to have it on. So yeah, I remember details.

     One such detail was the day I saw my sister, Susan, get hit by a car. She was eight years old at that time so that meant that I was four years old. I remember watching her out the window of our home, going down our driveway on Colon Road. The house is no longer there, it was moved to another location because progress and Highway 280 was coming through where it stood. She was walking her way to school at Pinecrest Elementary when out of nowhere comes a car and hits her right in front of our house and right in front of my four year old eyes! Do you know what I did? I ran myself to my babysitter/housekeeper and declared to her, "Susan's books went up, like that!" as I did arm motions to reenact the upward explosion of her books. Not once did I mention her being hit by the car. In fact, my babysitter went back to scrubbing the bathtub, counting it as 4-year-old babble. It wasn't until a policeman knocked on the door was she made aware of Susan's accident. She was put into the hospital with a brain concussion, nothing else major. Wow! Her life had been spared. It has been torn down since, but the crosswalk that went over Highway 280 for walkers and cyclist to cross the highway in safety was built because of that very accident. FYI!

     Have you ever been caught up in life where you see what's happening, but when it's processed, your focus seems to be on the 'leaves on the tree' instead of the 'root of the tree'? In other words, you saw only the result of a situation and not what caused the thing to happen in the first place? Over and over you look at the things that keep messing your life up or throws you off your groove or keep getting you down, whatever you want to call it, it's nothing but a diversion. Life says...Hey look this, look at that, look at them, look at get you distracted from the REAL bare truth.

     Let me ask you something? If I had marched into the bathroom where my babysitter was and said, "Susan has been hit by a car!" Would I have been judging her? Well of course not! I would have been simply stating an observation. If I had declared, "Susan is going to die because she has been hit by a car!" That would have been a judgment call because I didn't have the right to say that, that would have been my opinion. Later, while Susan was in the hospital mending...if I said to others, "Susan just did all of that for attention, she wants everyone to feel sorry for her and bring her gifts." Would I have been judging her? Yes, I would have because I was stating my opinion on her motive for getting hit by the car.

      In the day we live, the decree "don't judge me!" pops off lips everywhere. It's a warning from those who spout it to those who are onlookers to "back off and zip your lips". What most don't quite see is the huge difference between making a true observation and slamming the judges gavel down when it comes to situations that play out in people's lives.

     In my time, I have stood in life's windows and have observed people get hit by cars OVER AND OVER again and say to them, "you have been hit by a car" and they turn and walk right out into another street and it happens again. Things are said by them's my's my's my's that's that person, in reality they are's THAT leaf and THAT leaf and THAT leaf...never looking at the root, never looking at what hit them or why they were hit in the first place.

    So that is what people are calling judging, when a person makes an observation. I'm observing many getting hit by cars and they don't want me to state the obvious! They don't want anyone to say, "your sin has hit you and here is the results...your sin has repayed has dealt you a great blow and your books are going up, like that!" Those are simple observations, not judging your motive for being hit. I don't pretend to know why you do what you, when you do it, or how you do it, that would be speculation. Speculation IS for me to zip my lip and keep my thoughts to myself.

     Why do you keep getting hit again and again and again? That's keep doing the deed. Your refusal to stop yourself will keep giving you the same blow time and again. Leaves on the tree tell you what kind of tree it is so if you'd accumulate some leaves you'll be able to identify what principle you keep violating, because you see, the judgment you keep getting is actually been activated by you. You are the one that keeps indictments coming after you. The gavel keeps coming down and only you can stop any and all of it.

     Here's a litmus test: A situation happens to you and you think or say...Why does this keep happening to me? it's time to look at the obvious and get out of the road so you won't get hit anymore! Paul of the Bible knows this for sure, he's even quoted as saying "Wretched man that I am!" He got hit, too.

   So...from this point forward...if I simply state that your books went up like that, remember, I'm just stating what I see, not slamming a gavel down and declaring what you'll reap, that's for the REAL Judge. Honorable Jesus Christ the Righteous, Judge of the living and of the dead.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pardon Me, Would You Give Me Six Weeks of Your Life?

     I've just spent six weeks in the hospital. Not as a patient, but, along with my family and I, providing around the clock care for my mother, who by the way, only went in for a cracked wrist.

     We have experienced what I would call a 'tragedy of errors' cause it sho wern't a comedy. The unnamed hospital did their utmost to aid her in every way but could not stop the onset of double pneumonia, a staff infection, blood clots passing through her heart and ending in her lungs on two separate occasions, at which she had no pulse or blood pressure which resulted in a stint in ICU for a week. Those were very close calls. But the medicating that they WERE in charge of was the thing that really almost did her in.

     We had absolutely no idea how sensitive to medication/drugs/narcotics/chemicals that she actually was until she was administered the first dose of anything. I won't use the names of any of the meds. but I will say they swung from pain killers to anti-anxiety medicine to sleep aids to OTC's that are quite common to use for allergic reactions. She had catatonic reactions to each and everything they gave her. Who knew?

     Our days melted into nights that were long and sleepless. And when I say sleepless that means without any sleep of any kind and no shutting of the eyes, at all. The first pill that was given her to help her to rest, sent her into a 3-1/2  day, non-stop, hallucination trip where we tended to children that weren't in the corner, hung invisible things up, and squished bugs on the ceiling with our feet. She insisted that I help her do these things with her. No one could leave her side for a moment, she snatched her splint off along with everything else she was attached to, repeatedly. Because of her strength and flexibility, she would swing her legs over the bed rails and try to get out of bed. She would bolt straight up in bed and say, "Help me". This plea was repeated every few minutes throughout the entire hospital stay. Her pleading haunted me.

     During this time we let her doctor go and brought another on board. His new meds. sent her into a 2 1/2 day of the same thing. We went days on end with no sleep, staying on watch, all for one purpose and one purpose only. To keep our mother alive. We stood in the gap for her.

     We wrote everything in a notebook, we logged anything and everything that was done to her or needed to be done for her. We asked questions, insisted on action to be taken in certain areas, we made request upon requests and demands upon demands. We had our sights on getting her out alive AND have her comfortable while she was having to be there.

     We went to extremely great lengths to save our mother. I have shared only a smidgen of what actually took place over the six weeks she was there. During that time I truly began to understand and ponder on what being an advocate truly meant. We were her advocates. We fought for her very life. And then I saw it...I remembered that WE also had an advocate. It was not the hospital administration, the nurses or the doctors. It was Jesus.

     When we were spiritually sick and dying from the cause and effects of sin, Jesus, with everything He had inside of Him, fought for us. He went through severe deprivation and sacrifice to see to it that we were cared for and comforted. That everything that we would need would be provided. He fought for our very lives. He stood by us never to walk away and leave us unprotected. We were worth it to Him. He gave His very life to save our lives. It was an exchange that only an advocate could make.

     Upon emerging from this unforgettable experience, I now truly appreciate this aspect of my Savior's willingness to rescue me from death. While I was dying, He sought me out and became my go-between Man. I never knew the depths of this mighty act until I became an advocate myself. I guess that's where the saying comes from, '"Oh....I see!", said the blind man.' 

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any one sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous." I John 2:1

Thursday, May 19, 2011

An Arrow in God's Hand

     Yes, that's what you are. You have been in His quiver, His holding place, for this time of releasing. You've waited for this moment to arrive. It is now here.

     God is The Master Archer. This day, He has selected you and has said, "It's your time, are you ready?" Slow and steady He places you on the string of the bow.

     Your parents are the bow. He has used them to prepare you for life and here it is, this very moment. He  holds the bow in His hands, with a strong, powerful grip, preparing them too...for letting go of you is just as hard for them even though they've known this day was coming.

     The Archer raises His arms with bow and arrow firmly in place, squints one eye to zone in on the target for a precise and calculated shot. He's focused totally on the target with accuracy as His goal.

     The target is your destiny. With steady aim, The Archer releases you full speed through space and time and to a place that seems so far away, yet so close. But it's yours to hit. It's your mark. With no one else's name upon it, your purpose will come closer and reveal itself as the target looms large in front of you.

      And there you are, dead center of the bullseye. Your intended place. Archer and bow afar watching you be what you were created to be, an arrow in the Hand of God.
   My prayer is that you don't stray to the right or the left but straight on to the center of your purpose.
     "He hath bent His bow and set me as a mark for the arrow. He hath caused the arrows of His quiver to enter into my reins." Lamentations 3:12-13    

Saturday, May 7, 2011

This Is Going To Hurt Me More Than It Does You

     That's a big, fat, hairy lie....was the thought I'd have every time my mother said this to me right before she spanked me. How could she even possibly think that this is hurting her worse? 

      My mother and I had the usual mother/child rituals. Punishment was one of them. After I had tempted, tested, and tried my mother to the nth degree. And after she had told my sister and I for the 100th time to stop torturing one another, she would then head out the back door. When we heard the screen door slam shut, we knew it was all over but the crying. Sitting right beside our back porch was a switch bush. How convenient.

      I have since, as a mother, come to understand the statement, "this is going to hurt me more than it does you." How many times my heart has ached because I had to enforce a punishment. As mothers, we pour our entire lives into our children only to watch them ebb and flow from brilliancy to stupidity in the same hour. Which in turn causes me to ask, "Where did you come from?" Even though I know, I still need to helps me to decipher whether they are animal, vegetable, or mineral.

     Then I am prompted to ask questions like, "Who raised you?" and ultimately, "Where have the aliens taken my real children?" Then out of exasperation, I concede that I am terrible at this 'mother' thing and if it hadn't been for me, my kids might have been more perfect. Epic fail.

      Yes, all mommies question themselves and their abilities to guide their children from babyhood to independencehood. To prepare our kids for Decision Making 101 and Real Life Sciences is very unnerving and tedious. Do we even know what we are doing?

     I have since learned a long time ago, that, no, on my own, I have absolutely no idea how to get dressed in the morning much less prepare and launch a child into their future. But I know the One that came up with all this novel idea of child-rearing and such.

     Think of God as an archer. In His quiver are many arrows, which are your children. In His hand is a bow, which is the mother and father. He draws an arrow from His quiver, He brings His arms up, bow in one hand, arrow in the other. He places the arrow with the bow, aims the arrow at the target and using the assistance of the bow (parents) He shoots the arrow (child) into their future as they hit their mark, their target, their destiny, they are firmly in their place that they were sent.

     I know my random stupidity has hurt God. And though I believe that God does NOT give you cancer and causes you to have car wrecks to teach you something, no more than I would stand my child out in a busy highway to teach them that traffic is dangerous, I know that my dimwittedness has caused the pendulum of repercussions to swing my way. You see, He has law and He has an order and divine physics are in motion for us all to hit our marks. As precise as the Archer is, we, His children can completely and stupidly get in the way for Him to stand and shoot us to our destiny. Thus, hurting Him more than it hurts us.

       Wouldn't it hurt you, mother, to stand and watch your own child do the same? Because you know the pendulum is swinging and you'll have to stand there and let the cause take effect. God loves you so much that He will stand there and let you do what you've made up in your mind to do and will also love you through the direct hit you take because of the results of your decision. Isn't that what we have to do as mommies?

     Moms, take a lesson from your own children. Remember and recount how it feels when your baby rejects your aiming and direction, and all you're trying to do is be the bow in the Archer's mighty hand. It feels the same to God when we reject His aiming and purpose for our lives. This Mother's Day why not take a little target practice with your kids.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Space

     Do you remember the scene in Dirty Dancing where Johnny tells Baby, "This is my dance space. This is your dance space. I don't go into yours, you don't go into mine.", as he forms the boundaries of space between their frames for her first dance lesson? Dancers are a group of individuals that are very territorial when it comes to our "space". Whether it's a vast space or a tight one, we all mark ours on stage or in classroom.

     Space is a valuable possession to a dancer, it's in our space that we take lines and angles and call them moves, and we permeate through our spaces to express the moves. Silently. It's our place. Our realm. Our space.

     This notion is not just practiced by dancers, I've seen this in church pew all the way to friendships. We all know somebody that got ruffled because someone sat in their pew or someone horned in and took a friend away. I think we all have infringement issues. I think we all have it branded in our genetic codes to be mindful of our spaces.

     Two-year-olds know the word "mine" fairly early in their learning to communicate stage. The deed to my house is very specific as to where my property starts and stops. God even zoned off areas for the Twelve Tribes of Israel to live to be their inheritance. Allotted space is clearly understood between humans as well as the animal kingdom.

     I know which is my house, my car, my clothes, my children, my husband, my money. You know yours. I don't dance in your space and you don't dance in my space. Simply understood, right? Yet, we as Christians are very ignorant of our spaces and the immense deception when it comes to the enemy of our territory. He is a 'space invader' in the truest sense of the word.

     Adam and Eve had their space invaded. We're talking authority here. Their realm of authority. Eden was their given realm of authority. When Sly Snake slithered into their space they had complete rights to say, "This is my dance space, and not yours. Out!" But they didn't do it, they got caught up in thoughts thinking God was withholding them from being like Him. This was majorly not even so. So began the plan to get our space back to us, legally. Enter Jesus.

     Easter is the hallmark celebration for those of us that call ourselves Christ-i-ans. If not for Easter, there is no need for our faith at all. Easter was the complete fulfillment of the plan to get our space back. Eden was supposed to expand to cover the earth (read The Eden Atmosphere, July 26, 2010). Because of the completed work of Jesus, Eden has now been placed inside of us instead of being a physical location.

     That's MY space. Mr. Slick is not welcome into it. He usually does not try the garden gate, he creatively camouflages himself in my realm and tries to make me think it's me thinking those thoughts. That it's me that wants to be angry or resentful. That it is my personality to get aggravated or frustrated. Or that it's just natural for me to get into fear and worry, anxiety and stress. After all, all of that is just common to humans. The only thing that we should be having in common is we should all stand squarely in our space and tell the snake in camo that he is to exit our jurisdiction. There is no...mi casa su casa.

     Anything that pertains to you, is your jurisdiction. Think of it. Name it. It's your arena. This is the birthright you've had purchased for you, thanks to the event of Easter. Signed. Sealed. Delivered. As Jesus was about to ascend into Heaven, He very clearly gave us back our rightful ownership. The devil may be the ruler of this world's system, but the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. My space is the fullness thereof.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Peeves That I Pet

     Don't get me started...don't even get me started. Okay...I've started. I have the peeves. As I have gotten older they have become more overt. This is a polite way to say I am more articulate in expressing my deep dislike of certain situations and happenings that grate me like 40-60 grit sandpaper.
     Well? Doesn't it bother you when someone sits on your made-up bed? Or how about when someone knows how to drive but doesn't understand how blinkers work or what a turning lane is for...or Mr. Impatient pulls out in front of you to only then drive like a fossil-head (my pet name for this style of driving).

     Here's another...using your stuff and then not return it to where they borrowed it from. Someone tells you what time to meet them and they are later than late with no explanation or invites you to dinner at their house at 6:00 and they haven't pulled any food out to cook...aaaaahhhhh!!!!! Or people that, the only thing you can depend on is their undependable- ness.

     Here's the monumental one for this peever: having things that serve a purpose and it does not work, function, or provide its service. Nothing can cause me to orbit the earth's atmosphere any more than this! When I get a product out to use it, I want it to do what is was designed to do, right at that very moment. I do not want it to stop up, freeze up, blow up, choke up, or give up. Is having the vacuum cleaner do its job 10 minutes before the guy comes to look at your ceiling because it leaked just after a new roof had just been installed too much to ask? Is it? Is it too much to ask that the new roof work? The garage door remote work, even with new batteries? The copier work, even with new ink cartridges? People work, even with strong bodies and bright minds?

     Please don't misinterpret my peeves for being hard to please, picky, and expect perfection from everyone. I think I am more frustrated because I'm not. I take and flow and give and for-give and take some more and flow some more and give some more and for-give some more and then....then...the Queen is no longer amused.

     There are days that I totally feel God's pain when He has able-bodied children that offer no help to further His cause one iota. Look how strong and brilliant we are, made like Him and yet don't function in the capacity we were created to. The depth of our ability to love, the length of our need to serve, the height of our special gifts and talents...all used for our own daily needs and for our own gratification.

     Just like my vacuum cleaner...created to suck up and remove all the debris, filth, undesirable, unneeded, useless junk from the places we live and walk in, we have like purposes to do the same for others, provide a service that benefits and enhances their lives.

     Jesus rebuked a fig tree for not fulfilling its call to produce fruit, food, nourishment to Him and his travelers. It was posing as a place to be fed but offered nothing to eat. It was not living its reason for being. I can't hide behind grace and say, "Jesus knows my heart" or "God understands how uncomfortable I get doing things I don't like". Grace is given to me so I CAN DO the thing He wants from me. Jesus noted that it would be by our fruit that we will be known. He recognized it to be a fig tree I'm sure because of its shape, size, and leaves but the thing that was important enough to document was the fact that it did not serve its purpose. It was taking up space and gave nothing in return (except for a small amount of oxygen).

     Don't ever be caught living, breathing, taking up space and offer nothing to the world around you. To feed, to nourish, to love, encourage, to give, to offer and provide THAT is our purpose. The scriptures say that David "served his generation and then slept with his fathers". Don't be like an empty building on the street corner that looks like a business is there, even has a sign out front but when you try to go in and use their service you find it is out of business and no longer provides what you needed. If you go to the cleaners, you expect cleaned clothes, when at the the gas pumps you expect gas, when at school you expect a place to learn. The same is true for God's created children, He expects us to function in the perfection that we were created to function and does not desire any malfunction in us whatsoever. I would suppose if God had a peeve this would be it, too. Like Father, like daughter!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Oops, I Did It Again

     Why do I do the things I hate and don't do the things I should stop myself? Argh! How can toilet paper make me act so unbecomingly? A simple observation of '12 rolls are now down to 2 in five days time' and before I know it, oops, Miss Petty appears.

     I hate it when she shows up. I don't like her. She'll take a simple statement that could address the problem like, "Hey everybody, slow down on the T.P. usage, k?" and turn it into a detailed dissertation of facts, statistics, and evidence.

     "Large amounts of this stuff will stop up the septic tank. Remember the septic tank? The one we just had to have cleaned and new field lines put in last year? Did  I mention stopping up the septic tank? Twelve rolls minus 10 rolls in five days equals 2 rolls a day! No behind needs this much paper!! Are you making turbans with it? Is someone playing "mummy"? Does someone have a toilet paper eating disorder we should know about?"

     She digs the cardboard tubes from the bathroom wastebasket and puts them on all her fingers to emphasize the amount used, AGAIN, and then away she goes with, "Will I have be the toilet paper monitor? We might have to have a library check-out system for this paper! Seriously, really, 6 squares for number one and, maybe...possibly, 18 squares for number two."

     Ole' Petty probably would be finished at this point but members of the defense actually deny using the paper which makes her all the more accusatory. "You people" is a favorite term she uses to call the defense when their make-believe statement and their common sense run away with dish and the spoon. "Well, somebody has used it! The cats? The dog? Did they roll the 'Bama Wear' in Childersburg?"

     Abruptly, I gain control and tell Pettypooper to "zippeth thy lippeth". "This is getting nowhere and accomplishing nothing." She was wanting repentant confessions that simply were not going to come. Her cry of "Repent, all ye who wasteth the paper uselessly!" was met with, "We shant".

     I'm the one left with the twangs of why do I do that? How does it slip out like that? When are you going to learn to handle things differently? Don't you see her coming? Dang. The thing I hate, I do. From what I've heard, there are others that suffer from 'wretched man' disease where the symptoms are easy to see. The symptoms are: you do the opposite of what you should do and then guilt comes, like coffee with your dessert.

     Who is able to deliver me from Miss Petty and her sidekick, Guilt? Well, since it's the Inventor of toilet paper and septic tanks Himself, I figure He can. He's the One that's even made me aware of her showing up and that she is not like His personality or His character, at all. And He's the One that forgives me when I let her rip and then let guilt rip me. He's also the One that shows me that there is a way to completely stop them from having it their way. 'I' repent for participating with them and show them the bathroom door! Out!

     As long as I live and breathe, there will be different kinds of "oops, I did it again" situations. Just like the other day, when Princess Short and Snippy showed up.....

Friday, January 7, 2011

This Year I Will Get Back in Whack

     You know it when you're out of whack. Everything is out of order from your laundry to your spine. It's not obvious to others, but you see the lack of whack literally in every part of your life. Right?! No? .....I keep forgetting that I am the only whacked species of my kind. I have to remind myself that everyone else on this planets' lives and homes look like magazine covers.

     I could be on the cover of Disorder Weekly or Fashionably Disarrayed. But there are no such magazines, are there? "Why is that?", I ask...I answer myself..."Because no one wants to see my chaos". If I were a hoarder, somebody would want to see that, but I'm not a hoarder, or a piler, or a stacker, or a collector of stuff. I'm actually a minimalist. Less is quite more, to me.

     So what's all this talk about a disheveled life? It's my perception. It's how I view my surroundings. Here is the best comparison I can use: it's like the anorexic saying they are fat and obviously they are not. So it is with me, no one can convince me that the contents of my house is not growing in shape and size exponentially right now even as I blog.

     Okay! I put a lot of emphasis on neatness. But if you looked closely you would not see neatness AT ALL. There are unpainted shutters and unpainted toenails. There are unassigned items that need an assignment. There are socks without their mates, drawers with useless doodads. Videos not put on DVD's, undeveloped disposable cameras waiting at least 4 years to be developed because we've had our digital camera for 4 years. I agonize because I am not organized!!

     Who told me I needed to agonize? Right Jeanna, ME! Me told me that I needed to agonize over my lack of whack. Eureka! I've discovered something very crucial. I listen to me way to much. I put a lot of undue pressure on me. Unnecessary laws...this has to be this way...I need this done by...I don't feel I've accomplished a lot today...the garage needs an intervention. 

     My goal for 2011 is simple and minimal, like me. Find the whack, lure it to my house and put it to work. By the end of this year you just might see me on the cover of  In Whack...And Loving It!
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