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Archive for October, 2012

Okay, I must admit I was ‘that’ driver last Friday. Sorry, I just had to.  We were up in the mountains of GA last weekend and the weather was perfect for a drive.  Even though three of us had gotten sick, my husband was wise enough to not let the opportunity pass us by.  We loaded up the van after breakfast and began our scenic drive.  We had nowhere to go, no destination before us.  We were not late for anything and no one was expecting us.  The only reason we had made the trip was to take in God’s creation as we drove through the canopy of colors of the changing of the leaves.  I had talked about it for so many years that my husband finally decided we were going to see it this year.

I had grown up in the midwest, the heartland of America.  My parents used to take my brothers and I to a lake in the fall.  My dad always seemed to pick the right weekend.  The leaves would be radiant in their color and their reflection upon the lake was just as breath-taking as the trees themselves.  After 15 years of being away from the heartland, I was getting to see it again.  Sickness would just have to be put on hold.  We were going to walk through the open door and take in the glory of fall.

As a Sunday driver on Friday, I honored other drivers.  I pulled to the side of the road whenever a vehicle came up behind us.  There was something about the day that I wasn’t going to let anything steal from what grandeur of seeing stunning scenery at every curve.  I had been without for 15 years and it was time to take it slow and take it in.  We soaked up every rainbow of fall colors.  There were at least 4 different shades of brilliant purples, glistening golds, plush pinks, assorted green, glowing orange, and smatterings of electric yellow.  The sun was perfect as it brought to life all the colors the trees displayed.  I can’t help but to think how we could have missed all of this because of sickness.  But God provided a way and my husband made sure we walked through the open door.  As if that wasn’t enough, we wandered the mountain roads in amazement and then were blessed when we came upon a lake. Ah, the memories of the canopy of colors of the leaves in the fall are now with my family.

It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is, go ahead and take a ‘Sunday drive” and enjoy the canopy of colors.

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It was an honor to be a part of the Cravaeble Woman’s track at the Stick’s conference. The team of ladies sharing their testimonies, experiences, and exhortations were truly extraordinary.  One of the reasons I like to share is because it reminds me how far God has brought me.  During the preparation I reflect on of God’s goodness and how He has always provided a way out.  I remember the situations and when God revealed the door.  I had to learn to walk through the open door.

Secondly, I like the fact that my testimony stomps all over the devil’s plans to keep people in bondage through his lies.  There is power in the testimony of believers through the blood of Jesus that conquers our enemy (Revelation 12:11). When others listen to the work of God in my life they position themselves to that same power in their life.  My testimony of God’s love demonstrated in my life points to the open door they can walk through to walk away from their prison.

The difficulty in believing someone’s testimony is that we have bought and paid for the lie that God does not love us like He loves them.  We also believe that they didn’t have to do anything to position themselves for their open door.  However, in Romans 12:1 it says that we are a living sacrifice.  This means while we are in the situation, we have to put ourselves up on the altar and allow God to cut out those things that we have allowed to be embedded into our thinking and become a natural way to live, not a God-way to live.  We have to allow God to do surgery in our life beginning with our mind.  He cuts the lies out by replacing them with the truth.  His love is the anesthesia that keeps us from being overcome with the pain of the surgery.  Recovery time is dependent upon us because this is the time we build trust in the truth of who God is.  Once we see how good God has been to us and that He didn’t take anything from us but gave us more life to live, we learn that His ways are always good, perfect and we choose to accept them (Romans 12:2).

Your choice, remain where you are or walk through the open door.

 

Our testimony of what God has done is powerful in the lives of others.

 

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When the train won’t go

My 10-year-old son got invited to stay over night at someone’s house  tonight.  They called this afternoon after 2 p.m..  We told them we had to leave to a previous engagement but would be back by 6 p.m. and they could pick him up then.  Enthusiastically agreed.  So we had our son back his Superman backpack with everything he would need and I checked it to make sure.  He did a great job packing.  He even packed back ups just in case things got dirty.

We had a wonderful time at our engagement.  A soon as we left we called to let the inviter that they could come pick up our son.  They proceeded to tell us that they thought we could get done by 3 p.m. or at the very latest 4 p.m.  Astonishment bewildered us.  So what do you do when the train won’t go?

Sometimes you wonder if people are listening when you are talking, especially when they are making arrangements. Too many people are poor listeners.  They haven’t learned to control their own thoughts or thinking process when another person is speaking.  I used to be one of these.  I had to practice keep my mind focused on what someone was saying so I could make sure that I had given them appropriate feedback and helpful solutions.  When I didn’t listen they didn’t get helpful solutions.  I wish the person who had asked would have listened to what we said.  We could meet them at 6 p.m.  It was a little absurd for them to think we would be back 2 or 3 hours earlier.  So we had to break the news to our son.  He was devastated.   Later he came down and asked if they said he had done something wrong.  It nearly broke my heart as he fought to hold back tears.  I told him, “No, son, they clearly had their own ideas in their head and did not listen to when we said we would be back for you to go.”  Since this train wasn’t going anywhere I tried to help him walk through the door that was open.  “Looking back over your day, you had a really good day up until you got this news.  Forgive this person for their ability to plan poorly and let’s rejoice in the fun time you had this morning by getting to play with your cousin from out-of-town, getting out of the house cleaning,  and the celebration we were just a part of. ”

Too many times we face these same situations.  We are on the train, in our seat with our seatbelts on and…nothing.  The train won’t go.  When you are in these situations do you look for the door or just keep staring at the closed-door in front of you while frustration mounts?

Walking through the open door

Veridee J. Hand

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Last night, around 2 a.m., I was finished for the evening in my work on a writing project my husband and I are doing.  I was thinking, ‘Wahoo, this will be the earliest to bed I have been in a week.’  I can see the docking bay for the end of the rollercoaster ride.  I can breathe easy and think about what rollercoaster I will ride tomorrow.  Then I hear the baby start whimpering.  It wasn’t a full cry so I figured it was gas and she will go back to sleep but before she does her brother comes down stairs with a tummy ache, “Mom, will you rub my tummy.”  Oh know, the brakes have gone out!  Instead of slowing down we are picking up speed as the rollercoaster is breezeing through the docking bay.  Who knows when I will get off of the rollercoaster ride.  I could see my celebration of a few more hours of sleep slipping away.  By the time I tend to my son, the baby is in a full cry.  I found myself back and forth from one to the other tending their needs.  Two hours later after being thrown from one side of the rollercoaster car to the other, we took one turn after another in steady progression I fell asleep on the couch waiting to see if all was finally well.

Sometimes in life we have no control over the brakes.  there are several doors we can walk through but which one truly is the way out, giving us the best solution to our situation.  Sometimes we are in a rollercoaster car with no hope of getting out unless the brakes work and the attendant running the brakes is alert to our arrival and our plans to get off and move on.  Today, well today I am tired.  I knew I would not be of any benefit to my children for school so I prayed.  “In my weakness You are strong.  Today, Father, show Yourself strong in me, in my weakness.”  My God has given me an unbelievable amount of sustaining strength to home school and get a household project done.  Thank God for being with me in the night-time and strengthening me during my day when the brakes go out.

Walking through the open door of compassion and sustaining strength.

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