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Friday, April 27, 2012

Chicken yuck


Things in this life sometimes just plain stink. Like chicken fat you've trimmed off and left in the garbage overnight not wrapped up tight. Some of the stench we can control, just like how we dispose of the chicken funk. Other things we can't change, like the chicken scraps will stink wherever you put them. Stink, I tell you, stink!

Thank goodness it's not all chicken yuck!

You've heard from pastors to Oprah what it means to count your blessings, and maybe even keep track of them in a journal. To not just focus on the stink, for we all have things to be thankful for. Over the last few weeks a dear friend has started a "thankful golden nugget" time with me. We use these incredible devices we call cell phones and just send a quick text sometime during our day to give a "shout out" to God, thanking Him for at least one thing. Though faced with some incredible challenges health-wise in our families, both she and I know that God has blessed the both of us tremendously. But how easy is it to get mired down in chicken yuck, missing the golden nuggets of blessing bestowed on us?!? We've made a deal that no matter where we are, we will (mostly) daily send these messages to each other. So on those days when we may be tempted to get the "poor me" syndrome, we can be real and help snap each other out of it. From a dishwasher to chocolate to God's amazing grace, we have so much to thank Him for!

Firm belief that God puts certain people in our lives at just the right time to spur us along in our faith. Not destiny or anything like that...just His timing and perfect plan. Thank you, Lord.

"'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise"---Laura Story

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Flood

Water...what comes to mind? Rain? Fountains? Creeks and Rivers? Cooking? Thirst? Aquafina bottles? Why in the world didn't you think of selling bottled water?!? Sorry if this mention has given anyone the urge to visit the outhouse.

Frightening is something that always comes to mind...not an avid swimmer am I. The confining, claustrophobic feeling when your head goes underwater is not a favorite feeling of mine. How I'd love to be avid swimmer or go on a cruise, but I just simply cannot relax around water.

Now picture this: you are in the middle of a large lake, dog-paddling, and no one is around you. You're working so hard trying to get somewhere and have a respite! But you just continue paddling, keeping your head above water. You slow down for a bit, and your face gets a little covered, so you work harder to stay up and afloat.

That is life right now. Trying to keep my head up out of water, and do it with grace and a smile. (And according to some friends in the social media world, I am not alone)

It's amusing, really, how water frightens me. After all, every living thing on and in the Earth needs water to survive. It makes things grow and flourish. Water is also one of the causes of some of the most horrific and catastrophic disasters. It can ruin something just as much as it can help. God used it to destroy mankind, leaving Noah and his faithful family, and then water particles refracting sunlight to make beautiful rainbows.

Biblically, even floods are used for good. Flooding your engine, "flooded with tears", flooded with emotions...none of those seem that great. But this flood...well, God has to be using it for good. He's what keeps me afloat.

"Downpour on my soul
Splashing in the ocean, I'm losing control
Dark sky all around
I can't feel my feet touching the ground

Lift me up - when I'm falling
Lift me up - I'm weak and I'm dying
Lift me up - I need you to hold me
Lift me up - Keep me from drowning again"
"Flood" by jars of clay