Sunday, August 29, 2010

Such Wise Words!

I don't know about you, but I struggle when I know someone doesn't like me. I don't like to be misunderstood or disliked, especially if I think I haven't really done anything to deserve it. Reality is, though, at any given moment, I run the risk of saying or doing something that doesn't sit well with someone else. It's the nature of relationships.

I remember Tim telling me about a conversation he had with Bobby Cox, the manager of the Atlanta Braves, and I have been mulling it over in my mind lately. Tim asked Bobby one day how he handles the bad press he sometimes gets and the criticism that reporters love to dish out based on how well (or rather how badly) the Braves may have done the night before. His response was so profound...

"I don't read the papers and I don't listen to the radio. That way when I see ______ (fill in the blank with a local reporter) I can greet him with friendliness because I don't know whether he has praised me or dogged me. They're all the same to me!"

Being in ministry can be almost as thankless a job as managing a major league baseball team and I hope I can always keep these wise words of a seasoned veteran tucked into my heart because they are words to live by. You know what strikes me most about his words? Bobby Cox is confident in his abilities to carry out the assignment he has been given. He may make mistakes, but he knows the next day is a new opportunity to do it over with the hope of a better outcome.

I wonder how differently I might do things if I was always truly confident in the assignment the Lord has given me AND was confident in His ability to work in me and through me to accomplish it? If this were the case, the criticism of others could not deflate me any more than the praise of others could inflate me! Think of the implications...I would be free to walk out my assignment without the expectations of others weighing me down!!

This is Bobby Cox's last year as the Braves' manager and I sure am sad to imagine the Braves' bench without him on the end of it. I am so thankful for the influence he has had over the years on my husband, the baseball men we minister to ~ and even me!!

We're going to miss you, Bobby!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Do you ever find yourself saying things to yourself that you would never say to anyone else? Accusing yourself of weaknesses or flaws that you would most likely never notice in someone else much less actually sit down and itemize? I must admit I have been a partaker in this highly destructive female ritual, although I truly have tried to break the cycle of self-destruction over the last few years!

My most recent personal attack has come as the result of a workout regime called P90X. It is an intense 90 day program that will make you realize you have muscles in places you didn't even know muscles could exist. There have been days when I get done and attempt to mount the stairs from the basement that the handrail is my very best friend! I have hoisted myself to daylight on more than one occasion, only to descend those very stairs the next day, submitting myself willfully to Tony Horton and his torturous ways.

Tim and I started this journey together along with Benji and I clearly laid out my conditions of participation before the first DVD had begun to play. My familial caution went something like this...

If I even sense that you are making fun of me or mocking my abilities...I will not be responsible for my response!

I am pretty certain I made myself clear and my men have been only too kind to abide my request (threat?)! Unfortunately the one I am having trouble with is myself! I have been keeping a journal since beginning and this is an excerpt from it...

I am finding my self-speak has taken a hit some days and I must make a conscious effort to speak words of life and encouragement to myself instead of condemnation. Why is that so hard? Why is it so much easier to encourage others and see their progress while privately mocking one’s own?

The very work I am trying to be successful in is the one I stand to single-handedly sabotage by my own negative thoughts and self-doubt. My inability to lose weight may yet become a reality once again because of my lack of ability to corral my thoughts and steer them down the path of life!

Just as I choose to go down and punch play on that DVD, I must choose to look myself in the mirror and breathe life on myself! I must choose to focus on the positives and the progress I have made so far. I must choose to be the very best cheerleader for myself that I would be for anyone else who might show up in my basement to huff and puff along with me.

I am strong in ways I never thought I would be. I can perform push-ups in spite of never really having done them previously in any of my 46 years. I have endurance that has surprised me and sheer grit and determination that I didn't know I had. Now if I can just translate that as easily into my mental state of being as I have my physical state of being, I just may surprise myself one day when I look into the mirror!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Jesus Loves Me!

Do you ever feel like, when you least expect it, Jesus just reaches down and gives you a great big hug? Today was one of those days for me!

Some of you who have read my blog before know my affinity for lilacs. Living in the South has deepened my appreciation for them because so much patience is required to briefly enjoy a few small blooms. I have mothered the one lilac I have for many years and finally have enjoyed a little fruit of my labour.

Recently I noticed the leaves on my lilac bush were starting to brown and fall off. I was distraught at the thought that it may not be long for this world. After all my tender loving care, surely I wasn't going to lose it now. I have stared longingly at it numerous times, willing it to fight and survive, but to no avail.

Today I was driving in the driveway and spotted something that almost made me miss my turn and drive up on the lawn! My treasured lilac bush, the one I thought I was dying a slow death, had one tiny little bloom perched at the top of a leaf-bare branch! In August!!!

Wanna see it?

Isn't she pretty?

My lilac blooms in April and is long done blooming by the time the dog days of summer are in full force, never mind as August gets ready to fade into fall. Instantly I felt like Jesus had just given me a big hug and whispered that He loved me! I threw the car in park and ran over to see if a lilac bloom in August would have any kind of smell did!! That sweet lilac fragrance met me as I bent down and I smiled knowing I was special!

I know, I know...we're all special to Jesus, but I am special enough that He gave me a gift He knew I would recognize as coming only from Him! That's pretty special!!

Jesus loves me this I know...

And He knows my love language is lilacs!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Signs I Need to Get Out More!

Okay, you all know I am a SAH home-schooling mama, right? I had a very vivid reminder tonight that I really do need to get out more. What happened you may ask?

I had the best time at Publix tonight!!!

Isn't that weird to say that one of the highlights of your week was the time you had at a grocery store on a Wednesday night? I mean really! I really did have a blast, though.

I met a new friend in the deli dept. and we bonded over the heat because we are both northern girls. She is from Montana and I am from Toronto. She has only been here for a year and I am not sure I encouraged her that it gets much better. I am looking 17 years of GA residency in the face and I still melt and get a tad grouchy this time of year. At any rate, before I knew it she was high-fiving me and we were laughing like schoolgirls.

Then I spotted a man in a Toronto t-shirt and made a bee-line for him to see if he was a fellow Torontonian. He actually had never even visited the city, but had a friend who brought him a t-shirt. I assured him if he ever got to go he would love it!

I bumped into my new friend, Erica, again in the dairy section and we talked for another 15 minutes. We found out about each other's families, what brought them to this area and laughed about the propensity of people in the south to clean out whole sections of the grocery when the "s" word (SNOW) is mentioned. We parted ways with promises to be on the lookout for each other from now on on our future trips to Publix.

I moved about 6 buggy lengths from the dairy and bumped into a friend whose son is KK's "best friend". We chatted for a while and laughed and laughed. Then I bumped into a friend I hadn't seen in a couple of years and he and I spent about 30 minutes catching up and sharing what the Lord has been doing in each of our lives. What a treat it was to reconnect!

I had such a good time that I almost hated to leave. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if Mr. Hugh, the bagger, was there! Mr. Hugh is my buddy and we love to talk and laugh whenever we see each other ~ after he gives me a big hug, of course!!

Tim always love to joke with me that Jesus had a "public" ministry and I have a "Publix" ministry! I think he just may be onto something!! ;O)


One of the hardest things for a Mama is to be tired when she has a lot on her plate ~ and what Mama doesn't have a lot on her plate? I am tired and attribute it to the fact that I have not been sleeping very well lately. I normally don't have trouble falling asleep at night because I am so exhausted by the end of the day, but the last few nights I have tossed and turned before I fall asleep, only to find myself tossing and turning during the night, too, and waking long before the sun is up.

It would appear there is a restlessness about me, but I can't quite put my finger on the cause. There are various situations that are on my heart, but no one thing just has me feeling weighed down by the burden of it all. I do feel like I am trying to keep a lot of plates spinning all at the same time, but I am not sure if that is the reason either.

I wonder sometimes if the Lord is trying to get my attention. Just as Samuel did in 1 Samuel 3 when he heard the Lord calling his name, I shall say, "Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening." Not sure what I am listening for, but I am listening, none-the-less! Listening for His voice, His instruction, His insight and His peace that I have heard and acted so I can again resume laying down and experiencing sleep that is sweet!

Lord, I desire to hear Your voice and understand Your instructions for me. I am listening for You and desiring for You to speak to me the treasures You have for me and me alone! Maybe tonight's the night...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

It's His Day!

Today we are celebrating Jesse Thomas Cash and the 11 years we have been able to do life with him!! Jesse is an amazing boy with a penchant to eke out every last drop of fun and enjoyment from life! He is smart, extremely cute ;O) , athletic, a history buff and has been dubbed the "family comedian" because of his love of all things nonsense related! ;O)

We love you, Jesse, and are so thankful the Lord saw fit to let us share life with you! Thanks for being a great boy and a wonderful son!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

They Do Declare...

Isaiah 40:28Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD,
the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
29He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
30Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
31Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
Psalm 97:6 (New International Version)
6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all the peoples see his glory.

Psalm 148:13 (The Message)

13-14 Let them praise the name of God—it's the only Name worth praising.His radiance exceeds anything in earth and sky;

Jeremiah 32:17 (New International Version)

17 "Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

Genesis 9:16 (The Message)

12-16 God continued, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and everything living around you and everyone living after you. I'm putting my rainbow in the clouds, a sign of the covenant between me and the Earth. From now on, when I form a cloud over the Earth and the rainbow appears in the cloud, I'll remember my covenant between me and you and everything living, that never again will floodwaters destroy all life. When the rainbow appears in the cloud, I'll see it and remember the eternal covenant between God and everything living, every last living creature on Earth."