Questionables


For the last year my husband and I have been subjected to watching a constant flow of a multitude of questionable people go in and out of a house across the street from ours.  Not too long ago my son and I had a brief conversation on the term,  ” You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.”  I told him I didn’t completely agree with that statement, though I understand the meaning behind it.  Part of the reason why is because some “covers” don’t simply only expose what’s on the outside, but what’s going on inside, even though you are seeing their cover for the first time.  It’s the inside of the cover that is helping to tell the story of the cover; the artwork on it, the sad, dark eyes, the extra wrinkles on a young face (causing it to look several years older), the unusual amount of sores on the face and body, the pin holes on the inside of the arms, the filthy, negative words regularly coming out of the mouth, and the amount of similar people the cover regularly hangs around with, etc.  Sometimes such things say a lot about the “cover”.  They may not reveal the actual intelligence within, but they say a lot about the heart and the consistent bad decisions of the one within the cover.  The cover advertises what’s inside.

I often think, “if you want to be taken seriously, dress accordingly”.  When a lawyer walks into a courtroom dressed like a low-grade prostitute, she won’t be taken seriously.  Her intelligence will be overlooked and considered untrustworthy.   Yet, when a recovered drug-addict, cleans himself up, changes his clothes, his speech, his friends, and his employment status and record, his cover changes.  Genuine smiles, energy, zest for life, productivity, responsibility, and positive friends and family return; life for the cover is brighter, more reliable and believable, no matter how many tats or old piercing holes remain.The spirits of lies, deceit, and manipulation have less and less of a hold, and eventually go away completely in some cases.

Our hearts are revealed on our faces and out of our mouths, no matter how beautiful or how ugly our hearts are.  So the old saying, “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover” needs more thought or reconsideration.  I simply want my cover to reveal that though the story within it tells of trials and tribulations,  my relationship with Jesus and the positive decisions He has helped me make have overcome the trials and will continue to be.

Instead of “questionable”,  be known as trustworthy.

 

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Sometimes


Sometimes it’s just time to make a change.  To move on.  To learn something new, get over a fear.  To see and do something different.

People die all around.  Young and old.  It doesn’t matter what age.  We will die.  We will.  Are we living our lives doing and being how the Lord wants us too? Can we say that when our loved ones die we will be satisfied with how we treated them or how we did for them in a way we could have helped them be who and where they wanted to be?  Or did we hold them back because of our own fears?  Or hold ourselves back, restricting them also.  I fear that the most.  Not dying.  I will have a horse someday and other things I’ve dreamed of, no matter if it’s here or There.  I will live on a beautiful piece of property full of lush greenery and mountainous sights, whether it’s here or there.  Yet, I believe that the Lord has had so much more living for me to do here than I’ve done.  I’m currently in a holding pattern, for at least 4 years, no doubt, since our daughter graduated from high school.  I had been in one for several years before that, but it only intensified when she left the nest.  God is waiting on us now.  Yes, he has us busy where we have decided to be, but He had us gone from here a long time ago.  He is simply waiting on us to trust Him with HIS provision and plan, not ours.  I’m waiting now and it’s been frustrating.

So live!  Be all God has created you to be.  Don’t wait.  Don’t make excuses.  Don’t fear.  Don’t listen to others who believe they know what’s best for you, when they actually don’t.  Only God does!  Go!

Don’t look back.

I Appreciate


I want to say “thank you” to all of you who have a job and do it well.  I have come to really appreciate people who work now that I have lived on a street with many 30-something year olds who do nothing all day but sit and smoke, do drugs, plan out their next robbery or conniving move and who somehow weasel their way into government welfare time after time.  It’s so frustrating!  What have we allowed?!

And so when I see young men and women working, I applaud and thank them.  They are refreshing to see and say hello to.

Keep working, people!  It’s admirable.  I appreciate you, and so do all of the other hardworking people in the world who are having to pay for those who sit and suck up our very broken welfare system.

Why?


I am trying hard to stay positive today.  There are so many different things I have been dreaming about and praying about.  There are so many different people in the world and so many different beliefs.  I am trying to notice the happy people.  The truly joyful ones   and what makes them experience joy.  Jesus is who causes me to experience it.  He created joy.

When I said dreaming I actually meant dreams while I sleep.  I’ve had several lately that have brought up some feelings that I want to deal with.  And thinking about my angry sister with her negative opinions is frustrating.  She easily expresses her opinions without regard for other’s feelings, but if you express yours that are different from hers, even in the calmest manner, she easily gets offended and causes tension.  Makes me not want to be around her, and yet I want to see her joyful someday so I’m trying not to give up on her like I have in the past (without her knowing it).

Along with these things, I have been thinking a lot about my relationship with each of our grown children.  We are in the transition phases of going from parenting them to friending them.  I have no control over their lives any longer.  Our daughter, being the younger one, still needs our “say” a little bit, but not for long, I can tell.  She recently graduated from college, has a part-time job, and handles most of her expenses.  As soon as her job goes full time and she starts to take-on the last two financial monthly responsibilities, we will no longer have much “say” in her decisions.  Our son is sweet about asking our opinions now and then, but he has completely  broken away from the need of our parenting.  We are so proud of both of them, their love for the Lord, decisions, lifestyles, friendships, employment, and kindness toward others.

The dreams I’ve had are about old friendships that I have missed.  I have reached-out once again, though I stopped long ago because the attempts to stay connected were not being reciprocated.  I have always been one not to be somewhere I could tell that I wasn’t welcome.  Though I am a people-person, I don’t need people for confidence.  I am fine with myself and life.  Yet, there are a few close, God-given friendships that I find encouraging and necessary.  One of those is worth reaching-out for again.  There seems to be something that has tried to keep us apart and neither one us (at least not me) know for sure what it is.  But our friendship is worth staying connected for.  So she and I and our husbands will be having dinner together again here at our home after several years.  I look forward to seeing what the Lord has planned.  I know that it will involve joyfully catching up and praying together, reconnecting and trying a little harder to stay that way.

Besides that, I learned yesterday that a very dear friend has 4 masses in her stomach that the doctors are still researching.  That simple knowledge has struck me hard.  It’s not okay with me, though I trust the Lord for her complete healing.  My initial mental reaction, of course, is “why?”  She eats so healthy, lives life in such a wholesome, sweet, thoughtful way.  She loves people and enjoys helping them.  Why in the world would she be elected to go through such excruciating circumstances?  And yet, she is peaceful.  Talking to her on the phone, I could actually hear the joy in her voice.  And so I’m finding myself talking to God on and off about her.  This world needs so many more people like her in it.  So I’m not okay with Him taking her just yet, if that is what He is planning to do.  I am asking Him not to, but to be glorified through her healing.  I’m sure so many other people have felt the same way when learning of the same sort of thing of one of their loved ones.

Closing with this:  I want to live the rest of my life loving people, all different types of people, whether I agree with them or not.  I want to find out why they are the way they are.  Why they are happy or why they are angry.  Jesus loves them and I want to love them the way He does.  Asking Him to help me.

Come back Lord, come back now!  Please.

Obvious Thing


Lust is deceiving.  It disguises itself as love, when the two are actually complete opposites.

We’ve been watching a young couple in their 30s who live across the street from our house.  She has lived there about 7 years with her now 3 children, ages 1 to 10 years.  Two husbands have come and gone and a multitude of other men, from what I understand and have witnessed.  Now this new, young fellow has flown in on his magic carpet with a cape flapping in the wind behind him, finding a place to satisfy his sexual urges, and having no idea that she recently got out of jail for burglary (one of many) only a week before he arrived on the scene.  The last three weeks for them have obviously been of several sexcapades, playing house together by day, him working during the night and her doing drug deals and hanging out with her friends throughout the dark hours.  It’s fairly obvious, thought we are not certain, that he is still oblivious to her extra-curricular activities (besides the many she has with him).  He thinks that he has arrived to “save the day”, becoming instant bread-winner and step-dad figure of the year.  The rest of us around them are forced to watch their tongue-twisting kisses, knowing full well, like many times before, that it’s only a matter of time before she gets mad about something and the verbal outrages in the same front yard they currently kiss in will become a show for the whole neighborhood to see.

This all sounds perhaps more than it actually is.  I wish it was, but it’s not.  Since there has been no real change of heart from her last two month retreat at the local detention center, there will certainly be another downward spiral into the never ending abyss of deception.

The only one Who can do anything about this is Jesus Himself.  Though she has had years of opportunity to turn to Him, she hasn’t.  She’s afraid.  Afraid of the revealing truth.  She can’t imagine life cleaner than she is or more fun and happy than she has decided her life to be.  One day there will be time when she will hit a brick wall of hopelessness and reality that reveals to her her own misery.  The misery that has been disguising itself as happiness.  Who will be there for her when she needs to be picked up out of that pit?  We will.  Her family and those around her who know the Lord.  We’ve been waiting.  Some many more years than others.  But because we know what true joy and peace are, we look forward to her knowing them for herself so that she will choose to never return to the black hole of drugs, cigarettes, lies, illicit sex, manipulation and deception.

9-11


Where were you on 9-11?  If you were older than 12 most likely you remember exactly where you were when you heard the news of the attack.  It’s a day that has caused us all to look at the word “peaceful” more closely.  To understand what it really means.  Are we a peaceful people?  Are you a peaceful person?  What does that word mean to you?  Peaceful people don’t kill others because they disagree with them.  Peaceful people don’t kill others because they don’t agree with their religious beliefs.

Let’s really look at the word “peaceful” and realize the truth.  Let’s call things what they really are; either peaceful or not.  Let’s truly look at what we believe and make a brave decision to admit whether or not we are truly a “peaceful people”.

Snow


Woke up this morning to a kid-like hubby, telling me that it has snowed.  Here in South Texas we so rarely see snow that seeing it compares to the excitement a child experiences on Christmas morning.  The wonder of it stays with you year after year.  It’s been thirteen years since we had our last one and no-one who lived here to see it has forgotten.  In fact I have heard people talk about it every Winter since.  It happened on Christmas Eve,  a miracle to us all, a special blessing from God that let us all know that He was present, gifting us with evidence of it.

This morning feels the same way.  Every household is in awe of it right now.  Kids were up just before dawn ,out playing in their yards trying to make snowmen before they had to go off to school.  The joyful sounds of their voices has taken me back to my young years of enjoying Winter snows in Kansas where we lived for a short time and the rare trips to Colorado for a week of skiing.

It somehow brings hearts together in a neighborhood that hardly know each other.  The joy of it changes an atmosphere that usually doesn’t seem so joyful.  It causes us to feel childlike again, to think about happier times in our lives, to try to look forward to some positive changes we know we need to make and perhaps will now.  The wonder of snow so rarely experienced is worth capturing to reflect on later when we need to remember the blessings we have.