Wow! Today has been a big God day and He has revealed so much to me. It’s probably because I have spent more time with Him in recent days and have contemplated some things that I’ve read about and heard from others. I recently finished reading the book What She Left For Me by Tracie Peterson. It’s a story about a woman who is abandoned by her a husband who is a pastor. I’ve also been reading the book Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul by John and Stasi Eldredge.
Captivating has pulled me into its pages in a way that I have not experienced before. In fact, I started reading it a couple of years ago with a group of women from church and didn’t get very far before I gave up. It just didn’t speak to me at the time but now I can’t put it down. I read and reread each chapter, underlining, marking and highlighting almost every word. I am so excited to meet with a group of young women each week to discuss it. It has already brought me so much understanding into the mind and heart of women in two chapters!
I recently heard a story that reminded me of the events in Tracie Peterson’s book as well as the teaching in Captivating. John and Stasi Eldredge explain that a woman has a God-given desire to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable part in a great adventure and that every woman has a beauty to unveil. In the counterpart book for men, Wild at Heart, John describes a man’s basic needs as wanting a battle to fight, a longing for adventure, and that he longs for a beauty to rescue. Satan wants nothing more than to twist those desires into something perverse and sinful. We have to be vigilant in keeping watch over our marriages to make sure to prevent Satan from gaining a foothold in our lives. It is so easy for satan to take a man’s desire to rescue and twist it so that he believes it’s a husband’s place to rescue a woman besides his wife. It’s equally as easy for a woman to see the wrong man as her rescuer.
Our small group started studying Guardrails by Andy Stanley the last time we met. He talks about the importance of setting up guard rails in our lives so that when we encounter them they are a danger sign that we are close to sinning. If only we were always so careful to do that, but unfortunately we aren’t. We allow ourselves to be put into positions that are potentially dangerous and without that guard rail we can so easily slip into the abyss of sin.
In the book What She Left for Me the Pastor put himself in a situation where he was counseling a woman alone. He should have had a guard rail that he never met or counseled a woman alone. It started innocently but his desire to rescue paired with her desire to be seen and romanced was a lethal mixture in their marriages and soon they were seeking these things from each other instead of from their own spouses as God intended.
As I was riding in my car this afternoon I began to think about these things. A woman’s desire to be pursued is an attribute of God. He wants to be pursued by His children. I thought about how easily it is for us to get that mixed up in our earthly relationships and thought about how devastating it would be to me if my husband sought after another woman more than he does me. I would be crushed. Then I realized that I do that to God everyday. My most important relationship should be with Him! The person I long to spend the most time with should be Jesus, not my husband, my children, or my friends. He desires to be pursued by me! What an awesome thought! The Creator of the universe desires me to seek Him out.
It is my prayer that as I continue in these studies that I am ever mindful of the role I give God in my life. I adore my husband but he cannot hold first place in my life. That place is for a God alone. My children need me and desire my attention but not like that of my Creator. God help me get the right balance in my life. Help me put You in the place of importance You alone deserve. Help me to seek You above ALL things.
Doc by Mary Doria Russell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I found the story of Doc Holliday very interesting. Since he was a native to my home state of Georgia and became a famous man I was interested in learning more about his life. I was surprised by my reaction to John Holliday and often found myself wondering how different his life might have turned out if life had been kinder to him. The hardship of losing his beloved mother at a young age, the dreadful consequences of suffering from tuberculosis, and the political and economic hardships of the country had to have huge impacts on the man he became. I think the author did a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life and helped me see John Holliday as more than a sick, drunken, gambling gunslinger. It was refreshing to read more about his life than the typical focus on his short time in Tombstone, Arizona and the fight at the O. K. Corral.
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Halfway down a dead-end street a tiny two bedroom house sits on its overgrown lot. Hundreds of tiny feet pounded the soil, preventing anything from growing in the red clay that surrounded the small structure, but now grass grows with abandon. Hickory bushes are overgrown where they were once kept well pruned by the many mothers who ripped the tender shoots to discipline their children. Ladderback chairs are missing from the front corner beneath the branches of the Mimosa tree, where mother and daughters once gathered to share the news of the family. The distinct smell of Juicy fruit gum given by Granddaddy no longer floats on the air as it is shared by the grandchildren.
No more cornbread and pinto beans will be cooked or served in the kitchen. The slamming screen door has ceased. Cucumbers and tomatoes that once provided food for many families no longer grow along the railroad tracks. Linoleum worn through to the subfloor no longer feels the many feet that once tramped past Granddaddy’s green recliner in the living room.
An eerie silence has replaced the sound of Braves baseball blaring from a television set. The strum of guitars and harmonious voices of brothers and sisters arbitrarily joining in random songs have evaporated, leaving a void where there once was life and excitement. Baying coonhounds and crowing roosters are a faint memory. Winter’s chill permeates the rooms that were once overheated by a red-hot wood heater crammed into the corner of the living room. There are no more crying babies being passed from aunt to uncle or grandmother to grandfather. No snores will fill the rooms tonight as the moon shines down on the multicolored roof covered by layer upon layer of cheap rolled roofing.
The bent nails on the front porch, a poor mans substitute for a hook, hang empty of the flowers that once decorated the entryway. Windows and doors once stayed propped open. forever closed. A majestic oak tree stands guard over the old house providing the backyard with shade. Children once surrounded its base, escaping imaginary alligators by climbing on gnarly roots. Life and love that once abounded in and around this old house has vanished but the memories that were made and the love shared lives on in my heart forever.
Lately Facebook is often overrun with pictures of dogs and cats needing adoption. Some of those pictures tug at my heart strings making me want to load up and go bring those sweet babies home with me. That is because in that moment I am thinking with my heart and not my head. When I step back and take into consideration how full my life is and how much responsibility pet ownership brings I am able to control my desire to rescue those poor animals.
Recently there was a story in the local news about a dog being dragged behind a truck. People are outraged. Comments have even been made that the man should receive the same fate as the dog. I am in no way an animal hater and do not believe in animal neglect or abuse but from what I’ve read this was just a terrible accident. The dog had gotten loose while the owner was cooking dinner so he tied the dog to the bumper of his truck until he had time to secure the dog in his pen. Becoming distracted by the task of attending the meal he was cooking on his grill he forgot about the dog.
Later, realizing that something was needed to complete the meal he asks his friend to run to the store. The friend gets into the truck and drives the almost 2 mile distance to the store, goes inside and picks up his items and lays them on the counter. An angry crowd gathers outside and someone comes inside the store to find the owner of the truck. A bystander helps load the injured dog into the back of the truck and the man returns to the store to pay for the items he left on the counter.
Now I’m not exactly sure why the man reacted the way he did. Why did he return to pay for his purchase? Why did he quickly load the dog and refuse to turn the dog over to those angry people? Whatever his reasons that is the story. He left the store and drove back to his friend’s house with his friend’s dog badly injured if not already dead.
I have tried to put myself in his place. Maybe he was in total shock. Here he was trying to help his friend out only to discover he’s now killed his friend’s dog. He is surrounded by angry people who are accusing him of animal neglect and abuse. He’s probably thinking about having to break the news that he’s just killed his friend’s dog. I don’t know what was going through his mind but the point is that neither do those people who are calling for the man to be charged with a crime and taken to trial. The police interviewed the man as well as the owner of the truck and dog and deemed it an unfortunate accident. That should be the end of it but no way are those animal rescue fanatics going to let the police tell them it was an accident! They have called big bad PETA and they are conducting their own “investigation”.
According to those nuts it is the responsibility of the driver of a vehicle to:
1. walk around your entire car to ensure nobody has tied an animal to your bumper.
2. get down on hands and knees to confirm there are no animals laying under, around, or near your car that you might possibly run over.
3. As an extra precaution you should probably take a look on all four tires and check under the hood since cats have been known to curl up against car engines. Then about thirty minutes after these security measures you will be free to begin your drive.
4. Now don’t go thinking you are safe yet because I have noticed a few dead squirrels laying in the road lately so you should drive really slow with your head sticking out the window announcing your progress to any unsuspecting wildlife in the area!
And for goodness sake please remember to repeat all the steps listed above at every stop sign, red light, and before beginning your return trip home because it is possible that an animal could approach your car while you are stopped.
Its a sad world we live in when people are more concerned over the well being of an animal than that of a human. I’m not saying animal rescuers are all nuts but if there are any sane ones out there I’d sure like to hear your take on this story. I’m sorry but those loudmouth animal rescuers and PETA people are giving animal lovers a bad reputation.
1. I love the look of love in your eyes when you look at me, really look at me.
2. I love that you have such a strong work ethic. Nobody can ever say you are lazy.
3. I love that you are always there when I need you.
4. I love that you are my biggest fan and supporter. You really think I can do anything.
5. I love your hairy chest and I’m thankful that the testosterone is making you grow more!
6. I love the way you take over G when you are around.
7. I love the deep tone your voice takes when you whisper sweet nothing’s in my ear.
8. I love it that you still love to play and are a kid at heart.
9. I love your ability to problem solve and think outside of the box.
10 I love it when you call me Sweetpea.
11 I love that after 31 years I still get excited when I hear you come in the door.
12 I love that you are my protector.
13 I love that you have loved me so well for 31 years.
14 I love that you bring me Zagnuts just because.
15 I love snuggling up to you in our little bed every night. No king sized beds in this house!
16 I love how devoted you are to God and being faithful in attending church.
17 I love that you make sure G and I eat lunch everyday.
18 I love that you tease me about going to hell hungry.
19 I love your excitement over grilling meat.
20 I love your servants heart and desire to help others.
21 I love it when you tell me you want to squeeze me like a puppy.
22 I love it that you make me snacks and arrange my food in a pleasing presentation.
23 I love it when your cpap blows cool air on me at night.
24 I love every grey hair on your head.
25 I love that you are very social.
26 I love that you and Trey get hung up on different television series.
27 I love to watch you cut the grass with you head phones on.
28 I love the way you smell.
29 I love it that you still love to kiss me.
30 I love that I know almost everything there is to know about you.
31 I love that you will not leave me alone when I’m mad. (I like to be chased)
32 I love that you trust me to cut your hair.
33 I love how observant you are and how you spot construction a mile away.
34 I love that you never complain about honey do projects.
35 I love your passion for spicy foods.
36 I love your construction abilities.
37 I love your devotion to everything you do.
38 I love that you don’t have to tell me you love me because you show me in your actions.
39 I love that you tell me you love me even though you know I already know you do.
40 I love that you have never complained about the problems in my family.
41 I love that you take Papaw his biscuits on Saturdays so my Dad can sleep late.
42 I love it when you go to the store you bring back more than the items on the list.
43 I love going to the Drive In with you.
44 I love that you are the last person I see at night.
45 I love that I am the first person you see every morning.
46 I love it when you call or text me just because.
47 I love it that you still love to ogle me every chance you get.
48 I love to hold your hand.
49 I love hearing you fight and giggle with our boys.
50 I love that of all the women in the world that you picked me to share your life with.
I could keep on going and going but I will let 50 be enough for now. You are my one true love. You captured my heart as a young girl and you have lovingly protected since that day. There is not another man in this world that could even come close to filling your shoes. You are my soulmate and I hope I never have to live one day without you by my side. God must really love me to have blessed me with such a wonderful, devoted man.
My Love Forever,
It’s been a while since I’ve written a post about Sweet G but that does not mean there haven’t been stories to tell. For instance, G discovered FaceTime almost a year ago. At first it was another way for him to communicate with me. It didn’t matter if I was away from home or simply sitting on the other end of the sofa, it was his favorite means of communicating with me. When Trey informed him that he could also FaceTime him, he became his new favorite FaceTime friend. Then came Hannah, my nephew’s fiancé. A few weeks ago he found out that Aunt
D-vette (my sister Davette) was available to FaceTime and she is now his favorite contact.
I love to sit and listen to their conversations. Aunt D-vette lives in another state so we don’t see her very often so G’s antics are somewhat new and delightful to her. His FaceTime calls during her nursing classes and during her shift in the CCU have yet to drive her crazy, or at least she isn’t admitting it yet. G calls her from his iPod touch all the time. I regularly get texts from her with messages to G letting him know she is unavailable because anyone who knows kids knows the don’t give up easily and ignoring them does nothing to change their mind.
Last week I overheard him and Aunt D-vette talking and got quite a chuckle out of their interaction. Since we have very limited television selection (basic cable only) G had my sister channel surfing for something good to watch. She found something he wanted to see and pointed her phone toward the television so G could watch the program! I think he was watching SpongeBob which he could watch on Netflix from his iPod, the iPad, or on our television. It was just more fun to watch it on Aunt D-vette’s tv.
He inquires regularly about the viewing choices on Comedy Central when he talks to her because he is positive that some day there will be a program on that he can watch. He’s been praying for Bill Engvall and Ron White on a regular basis for a while now in hopes that they will get saved and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and stop saying cuss words, smoking, and drinking liquor. He’s kinda given up on Jeff Dunham, Walter, and Achmed the Dead Terrorist getting right and stopped praying for them a while back.
So, that’s what we’ve been doing around our house. FaceTiming Aunts and having them show you around their house and watch tv while fake eating eggs she cooks for you. He also attended her fake Thanksgiving celebration a couple of nights ago via FaceTime (nursing school, work, and clinicals interfered with the real Thanksgiving and since it was on a different day G says its fake). I don’t think he ate anything that night. He just visited with the other guests and checked out the tv listings.
Two packages sit in a room. One is plainly wrapped in the editorial pages of the daily paper. The words on the rough paper speak truth, truth that isn’t always accepted. The second package is beautifully wrapped. Paper the perfect shade of blue covers its surface.
People walk into the room and glance at the boxes. All are immediately drawn to the pretty package. They surround it and discuss its beauty. It’s the best gift, it must be. Just look at it. The paper is flawlessly creased and its seems are fastened invisibly. All the while the second package sits unnoticed. “I don’t like the truth staring at me like that.”
Oh, but if they open the packages or examine them closely they will see that things are not as they seem on the surface. The pretty package is wrapped around the gift of deceit and betrayal. They sit in wait of their next victim. The box wrapped in editorials speaking its offensive truths hides a secret as well. Inside it waits faithfulness, love. Wrapped in truth it sits alone.
When will the truth be discovered? Who will be the one who gets too close to the beauty and falls prey to its contents? How many people will be crushed by the pretty package?