Friday, December 14, 2012

Tears and Prayers for Newtown

'Twas a week before Christmas and all through the school
the children were restless, their wish lists full.
The teachers were teaching up at the board
but the thoughts of the kids to gifts and Santa soared.

The office staff was busy keeping things running
while parents were doing last minute gift-hunting.
A quiet little town doing quiet little things
preparing for the festivities a holiday brings.

When out in the hall there arose such a clatter.
Teachers peeked out to see what was the matter.
In fear they gathered in the corner with their kids.
Praying they didn't hear what they sure they did.

Then there was a silence like never before.
None dared to go near or even crack the door.
Until brave first responders answered the cries
guiding the kids out, telling them to close their eyes.

They told them to run to the firehouse quick.
The kids now knowing that this was no trick.
More rapid than eagles, the parents, they came.
Franticly shouting, calling their children's names.

Falling on their knees and hugging them tight
some parents took their children home for the night.
While others, sadly, will go home with just tears
to begin to heal and recover from their worst fears.

Stockings will be taken down and packed away with care
gifts left unopened, the recipients no longer there.
The nation mourns with those suffering this loss
holding each other in prayer, love, and thought.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Singing By Heart

Once a month, various people from our congregation descend upon an area nursing home/rehabilitation facility.  We roam up and down the halls inviting the residents to join us for a period of singing.  Some accept, while others decline.  We gather in a common area and pass out song books.  Age and time shadow the eyes of many of the residents making it difficult for them to see the pages.  A prayer opens our time together and then the singing starts.  I love to watch the residents as we sing.  On newer, unfamiliar songs, most sway along to the music and move their lips a little.  But when we begin a familiar song from the past, they come alive.  No books needed!  They sing out with heads tilted back, some tapping their hands on the arm of a wheelchair, all with a pleasant, peaceful look on their faces.  Something about a familiar tune seems to take them to another place and time.  Are they imagining they are on hard, wooden pews in a church building from childhood?  Are they picturing a scene from their youth when the family came together after supper and sang spirituals together?  Are they dreaming of a future home where they will sing praises around the feet of Jesus?  We may never know.  But I do know that at these times, they are singing by heart!

“Send Someone to Sing me Home
When my eyes are cloudy and my hair is gray
And I can’t remember the right words to say
When time is confusing and days seem like years
And I don’t know the meaning of my own tears
When youth is a distant memory so far away
And death feels closer with each passing day
When glimpses of Heaven and glory I see
And my heart’s prayers are silent pleas

God, send someone to sing to me
Of Heaven and hope and of Your glory
For it will be precious songs that spark
Sweet memories and restore my heart
Songs have a way of soothing my fears
Bringing me to Your feet where You dry my tears.
When confusion sets in and darkness has come
It will be a song that leads me home.

Sing me home when life gets hard.
Sing me home when days are dark.
Sing me home when life is short.
Sing me home to Heaven’s door.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Lesson from the Kitchen

Some of you may have read my post on Facebook about my most recent kitchen disaster.  If so, bear with me while I give everybody else a recap of what happened.  My husband, Andy, is organizing Friday night supper for a men's retreat this weekend.  He has prepared chili...his famous "Andy's Disgustingly Hot Chili."  Trying to be helpful, I offered to make cornbread muffins for the hungry men to enjoy.  (Really, I was thinking they are going to need something to soak up all that heat!)  I love Jiffy Mix cornbread!  It's sweet tasting and easy to make.  So, I bought 12 boxes of mix (each box only makes six muffins), a dozen egg, and a bottle of oil.  I know, I know (now)...just hang with me here.  In order to speed things along, I quadrupled each recipe and mixed four batches at a time.  This is mainly because I have two muffin pans that each hold 12 muffins.  I stirred up four boxes of mix, four eggs, and 1 1/3 cups of oil.  You know, because each box called for one egg and 1/3 cup of oil.  While the first quadruple batch was baking, I mixed up the second quadruple batch.  I knew immediately when I pulled that first batch out of the oven that we had a problem.  The paper liners were shiny with oil and the tops of the muffins were caved in slightly.  Bravely, Andy sampled one and boldly told me what I already knew...they were nasty.  So, in the trash they went.  But, I already had the second batch mixed, so I stuck it in the oven as if something different would magically happen.  While it was baking, I decided that mixing four batches at a time must have messed up the chemistry of the process.  Determined to succeed, I mixed one box at a time and filled the muffin pans again.  Anxiously I awaited the beeping of the oven timer.  And once again the contents of the pans were dumped directly into the trash.  Distraught, I turned to my Facebook friends with a picture and this story.  I received lots of comfort and encouragement and then a dear friend pointed out the error of my ways.  She said that HER box of Jiffy Mix calls for MILK, not oil!!!!  Really?
Now for the lesson.  Why did I mess up?  Duh!!  I thought I knew what I was doing and that I didn't need to read the directions.  I put the wrong ingredients in my muffins because I thought I remembered from previous makings what they required.  Don't we do that with God's directions?  I do.  Getting up in the morning and charging into the day without refreshing my memory by spending time in God's direction book, I stumble and fumble and mess things up.  When I look back on the day, am I actually surprised that things didn't go well?  Again, duh!!  I always end up filling my day with better ingredients when I stop to read His directions for me first.  But, just like the muffin mess, often I make the same mistakes day after day after day, as if trying it one more time the same way will eventually get different results.  Reading directions is not overrated...especially when the directions are God's.   

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Husband, My Friend

 How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways...

1.  I love to see you laugh.  Like, really laugh, when you are sitting in the recliner watching something funny and you hold your head in your hand and tears come to your eyes, and you hold your side and make the choking noise like you can't even catch your breath kind of laugh!
2.  I love to see you walking and talking with our girls.
3.  I love how you help others...someone with computer problems, a family needing moving help, a young man needing help preparing a lesson, a stranger with a flat tire on a bike ride...they can all count on you!
4.  I love that you start my van on cold mornings!
5.  I love that you do dishes!
6.  I love how the left side of your face wrinkles up when you are teasing!
7.  I love that you turn off talk radio when I get in your truck!
8.  I love walking on the beach with you!
9.  I love hiking a trail with you!
10.  I love the way you encourage me!
11.  I love that our daughters can count on you!
12.  I love that the kids at church have you on speed dial...they know they can count on you!
13.  I love how you got me hooked on Face Book and Duck Dynasty!
14.  I love how you love God!
15.  I love your shiny bald head!
16.  I love how excited you get when you see green in spring!
17.  I love watching you play in the ocean with our kids!
18.  I love that you understand that I don't like playing in the ocean!
19.  I love that you reserve a canopy at the beach so I can spend all day listening to the ocean and reading if that's what I want to do!
20.  I love that you gave my daddy doughnuts at our wedding!
21.  I love that you are friendly!
22.  I love the way you sing goofy songs  (usually because you can't remember the real words)!
23.  I love that you are giving!
24.  I love you until the Spring of Forever!

Stage One Elite 55cm Road Bike - Road & Touring Bikes (Google Affiliate Ad)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Survivor Guilt

Have you ever known someone who survived a life-changing event that took the life of another?  I am learning that many of these people feel guilty for surviving.  But, when you really think about it, none of us would have a chance of surviving our final judgement and enjoying eternity in Heaven had it not been for the life-giving blood that freely flowed on Calvary.  A life was given so we might live.

"Survivor Guilt"

The car was crushed beyond repair
Her family was left in utter despair
But I walked away with hardly a bruise
Why did I win while she had to lose?

First my sister and then my brother
Both taken within a year of each other
Cancer got ahold and wouldn’t let go
Why I’m still here I just don’t know.

Caught in the middle
Is a strange way to feel
Lost somewhere between
Gratefulness and guilt.

Childless months have turned to years
While hopeful anticipation turns to tears
 And here am I with my fourth child due
Living my dream while theirs won’t come true.

He had been with the company eighteen years
Downsizing is what they call his worst fear
But I got a raise and an office with a view
How can I face him…what will he do?

Caught in the middle
Is a strange way to feel
Lost somewhere between
Gratefulness and guilt.

            He was perfect, but died for me.
            And because He did, I can be
            Found, not lost, unchained and set free
            Guiltlessly headed for eternity!

Melissa B. King
October 29, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sharing Hope

Today was an exciting day!  I attended a meeting of the Charlotte affiliate of Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.  Normally, the room is full of people sharing stories of loved ones lost quickly and dramatically to this terrible disease.  While those stories were shared through tears today, something was different.  We had FOUR survivors present with us!!!  My aunt is usually the only survivor to attend regularly.  Today, we had three others!  It was encouraging to hear their stories and see the look of recognition and acknowledgement as each shared their story.  It was the first time for many of them that they had someone say, “I know how you feel” and really mean it.  What a lonely road we travel when we feel we are taking steps nobody else would understand.  How reassuring it is to know that we are not alone on our journeys.  The hope that reflected from survivor to survivor made today really special.   It reminded me of the hope we share with our brothers and sisters in Christ as we help each other along this path.  A hope that says, “I know how you feel and I know who can help!”

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Remembering Grandma

October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is coming to an end.  As it does, I find myself thinking about my grandma.  I remember the scratchy feel of her living room rug on my face when I would play of the floor.  I remember her dining room buffet that had toys in one end.  I remember her kitchen that would be considered very "retro" now.  I remember being scared of the laundry shoot in the upstairs bathroom that would deliver dirty clothes all the way to the basement three floors below.  I remember the white hen candy dish with the pink, powdering candies inside.  I remember her three-wheeled bicycle.  I remember that she was a happy, generous, lovely lady.  And she loved to laugh.  Daddy tells a story of trying to teach her to drive.  I believe they were in a VW Bug.  I know it was a straight drive.  He tells of them jerking and jolting across a field, stalling and restarting, then jerking and jolting some more.  I can picture the scene in my mind...her releasing the clutch too quickly and not giving it quite enough gas.  Then the laughter!  Full and deep and honest, complete with tears streaming down her face!  Fast forward to one her visits from Ohio to my family's home in North Carolina.  Now, my grandma was not a small woman.  She was very fluffy and huggable!  One of my most vivid memories is of her sitting with me at my little table in one of my little matching chairs in the corner of our kitchen sharing breakfast with me.  I wish I could have kept her around longer.  I wish my girls could have known her.  Had cancer attacked her later in life, she may have had more of a chance to fight it.  She was diagnosed at a time when doctors really did not know much about treatments.  Chemo was mixed into orange juice.  Radiation was used to the point that it burnt her up from the inside.  We have come such a long way!  Today, she may have been a survivor.  But, like all loved ones we lose too early, she survives in my heart!  Thank you, God, for sweet memories of special people! 

Nikon D3100 14 Megapixel Digital SLR Camera - 25472 (Google Affiliate Ad) 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

More Than the Leaves are Changing

God gave us a beautiful day for our second campus visit to St. Andrews University!  With a true Carolina Blue sky background, we caught the trees right in the middle of their wardrobe change.  Some had completely redressed in their new golden garb, while others were still wearing a miss-matched outfit of summer greens and fall reds.  As we crossed the bridge from the academic side of campus back to the residential side, I was struck by the way God planned these changes.  We don't go to bed one night with green trees outside and wake up the next morning to vibrant, warm, fall colors and the next day step outside to be greeted by bare limbs.  It is a gradual change.  It is one we expect and prepare for.  Not unlike the changing we watch our children go through.  While I did not sit and contemplate what it would be like for my first child to go off to college when she was toddling around with her pink baby, I guess somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew it would happen.  So, now that I see her dropping her summer leaves of childhood and donning her more mature colors, I am trying to hide my surprise.  As I listened to her converse with professors and future classmates and coaches, I was beaming as bright as the autumn sun!  As the time draws closer for her to walk that campus bridge daily, I want her to grow boldly toward her future stretching her limbs for the blue sky while keeping her roots securely buried in the love and support she will always have in God and family! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Camp Counselors Beach Bound

Wow...what a week!  Last week, my family was at Carolina Bible Camp.  My husband and I served as head counselors for about 220 kids.  While it was a very rewarding week, it was also extremely stressful.  There were several medical emergencies and some other pretty serious matters during the week.  I think I got maybe 15 hours of sleep all week.  However, overall it was a good week.  The highlight was when our youngest daughter put on her Lord in baptism!  That made the whole week worth it! 

After washing and repacking, we are headed to the beach in a few days.  The house is rented, the daily beach canopy is reserved, and the hammock awaits us.  All that's left to do is load a bunch of books on the Nook, well...and load the car. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Our First College Road Trip! YIKES!

We went on our first college tour today with Cassie.  I can't believe it's time to do that!  Shouldn't we be taking her to meet her kindergarten teacher?  Where did the time go?  But, it is exciting!  I cannot wait to see where God will take her on her journey!  Will she become a talented, sought after graphic designer?  Will she become a therapist who helps people deal with and overcome their struggles through the use of horse therapy?  Will she find a way to do both?  Will she end up at a school close by or try international studies?  (Calm down, Maw Maw and Paw's just an option for part of her college time!)  Whatever she does, I know God will lead her and she will follow!  I know that she will find a way to incorporate her compassion and passion into whatever she decides.  Prayers for guidance and wisdom (for all of us) would be greatly appreciated.  We'll keep you posted...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers' Day!!!!  I'm doing laundry today.  Well, that's not all.  I got to attend a wonderful Bible study this morning, followed by a great worship service.  (My daddy surprised me and joined us for church!)  Then, I enjoyed a meal with my fabulous husband, kids, and daddy.  After the meal, we enjoyed the cake my daddy baked for me...Grandma's Secret Recipe!  And now I am safe at home, out of the rain that is quietly falling outside.  Safe with my healthy family...doing a load of laundry.  Some would say, "But, it's your day.  You should not be doing laundry."  But, here's how I look at it.  Yesterday I spent about 3 hours catching up on folding clothes that had been piled in my bedroom for over a week.  See, we have been so busy, just having time to wash and dry the clothes was great.  Forget folding them and putting them away.  But, yesterday I was blessed with a whole day at home!  So, I drug all the clothes to the living room, turned on the TV, and started folding.  I even sat down in the floor and matched up about 50 pairs (not kidding there) of socks that had been stranded in the bottom of a clothes basket without their mates for way too long.  As I was folding I thought of how blessed I am to have all these clothes to deal with.  And how blessed I am to have had the great opportunities that have recently kept us so busy.  And to have had the health to enjoy those opportunities.  So, today as I decide to throw one more load of clothes in the washer, I feel blessed to have that washer right here in my house. 

I guess my point is that sometimes I get overwhelmed with all the things there are to do.  I am learning (oh, so slowly) that it really does not matter whether I get my clothes out of the closet or dig through a pile in a basket for them.  The thing to remember is that I have them and I am blessed!  I may go enjoy that blessing called a dishwasher next!

Counting my blessings on Mothers' Day,

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wow!  I thought my head would explode this past weekend!  I was in Charleston for a training seminar.  Can you say information overload?  I was learning about a wonderful program called Time to Teach.  It is a classroom management program designed to help teachers get just that...more time to teach.  And now I am excited to announce that I am ready to share these wonderful ideas and strategies with other teachers as an independent educational consultant.  Spread the you know a school administrator or teacher?  This is an amazing program that I can't wait to talk to them about. 

MK Consulting
"If it's not fixed, break it!" 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I Worry That I Worry Too Much

At our mid-week Bible study tonight, "Preacherman" gave us all a wonderful (and much needed) reminder that worry is not good for us.  In fact, he said it kills and deforms!  Some days I'm good at remembering this.  I roll with the punches, go with the flow, do my best, let go and let know all the cliches.  However, there are those days when worry sneaks in and begins to eat at me.  It starts by taking little bitty nibbles around the edges of my mind.  Before I know it, I'm being eaten alive in big gulps!  When that nasty little guy called Worry creeps in, I need to pray and watch for God's lead.  He takes care of the flowers and birds and says I am so much more than those!!!  I know He will take care of me.  I just need to get out of the way and let Him! 

In honor of Poetry Month, here's a little something I hope you will like...

Your Ways...Not Mine

Let me not care what I have or will gain.
On the throne of my heart I allow only You to reign.

I boast only in You, my greatest treasure.
I will put You first in my life forever!

When I'm in a hurry, Lord, slow my pace.
When I'm running ragged, gently put me back in place.

Remind me, oh, Lord, when my plans fall apart
Your ways are not mine...control the desires of my heart.

I will only be satisfied in the very end
If I can look back and say, You, God, are my friend!

Melissa B. King
January 2000

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Silence of the Lambs

Yet another kitchen disaster!!!  I'm going to try to post some photos with this blog.  We'll see how that goes.  The story starts with me finding the cutest picture in a magazine while standing in the grocery line.  (Next time I'll just buy some chocolate and eat it while I wait!)  I looked at the picture and thought, "I can do that with the girls."  The picture above is from the magazine.  The first part was easy.  I sliced store bought pound cake and cut a chunk out of the bottom of each slice so "legs" were formed on each end.  Then I dipped the legs into warmed chocolate icing.  The directions said to put them on wax paper-lined cookie sheets and chill them in the fridge for 30 minutes.  So, I did.  While they were chilling, Cassie and I put their little faces together with icing, chocolate chips, jelly beans (for the ears), and little pieces of fruit roll pieces that I hand cut into the shape of tongues and hair bows.  Next, we were to spread white icing all over the chilled "bodies" and stick mini marshmallows on that.  The cookie face was also supposed to be "stuck" to the body with icing.  Here's where the slaughtering started!  When I tried to lift the bodies from the wax paper, they stuck.  So, if the picture posting works, you will see a tray of "leg of lamb" stumps.  I actually managed to complete one lamb according to the directions, although it does not really look like the magazine picture.  For the second one with legs intact, I decided it would be easier to lay it down flat and place the face cookie on in a way to make it look like the lamb is looking back at us.  The other picture is of the lamb parts all piled in the container to take to share tomorrow with family.  Yes!  I am taking them.  Do you know how much I spent on all of those lamb parts???!!  Anyway, some might call it failure.  I, taking after my daddy, call it modifying.

Resurrection Rolls

I have to start by saying that this is not an original idea out of my mind.  I think it came from a magazine or website somewhere.  But, it is a really cool thing to do with kids as a way to talk about the burial and resurrection of Christ.  It requires a can of crescent-style rolls, regular size marshmallows, melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar.  The pure, white marshmallow represents the body of Christ.  As you place one in the middle of the unrolled wedge of dough, read John 19:38-42.  Roll the dough as you normally would, sealing the marshmallow inside.  This represents the wrapped body.  Brush on a mixture of melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar to represent the spices that were used to dress and seal the linens around the body.  Place the rolls in the tomb...the oven.  Bake according to the package directions.  As the rolls bake, read John 20:1-10.  When the rolls come out of the oven, break one open.  The marshmallow is gone!  At least it is no longer visible.  Although you cannot see it, you still experience its sweetness.  Don't we experience the sweetness of Jesus in our lives even though we cannot physically see him? 

I thank God for His plan to save us from our sins!  Had His Son remained wrapped in those linens and sealed in that tomb, I would still be doomed.  But He arose!!!  He is alive!!!  And because of that, I can live eternally in Heaven!!!  So, Happy Easter to everyone...what's not to be happy about???

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Happy Poetry Month!!!

Yes, that's right!  April is National Poetry Month!  So, I thought I would share some of my poetry.  In celebration of the month, why not pick up your pen and give it a try yourself?  No, it does not have to rhyme.  Just put some thoughts on paper.  Enjoy...  

The BIG Boss
Monday through Friday, August through June,
I am working hard to improve and fine tune.

My boss knows she can count on me.
My students know what I expect to see.

When evaluation time rolls around
I don’t worry about what was found.

What would it be like to sit face to face
And be accountable to the Giver of Grace?

If twice each year I had to go before
God’s evaluation, would I do more?

Would I get up earlier for Him each day?
Would I live every minute a different way?

What if God said, “I am firing you!
You are not doing all you can do?”

When I slack off, Lord, please forgive.
My daily job should not be why I live.

My job should allow me to earn a living.
But, real life should be found in the service I am giving!

Melissa B. King
January 27, 2008

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Reconciled Statements

Romans 5: 10 was up for discussion in Sunday school this morning.  It states, "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."  First, we talked about that word enemies.  It means more than kids who can't share the slide on the playground or middle school girls who like the same boy.  So much more!  Being an enemy of someone means working against them.  Working to undo everything they try to do.  Trying to foil their every plan.  Being an enemy of God means being totally against Him! 

But then we hit the word reconcile.  I kept thinking of bank statements.  When you reconcile a bank statement, you make it balance.  If what you have recorded in your register does not match what the bank says you have, you start searching, looking for the error, trying to bring it back into balance.  It is possible at the end of this process to be left with a deficit.  That is not a good feeling!  I got our check register so "out of balance" one time that I could not find the error.  I COULD NOT reconcile it.  I took it to the bank and a kind lady there worked on it for days and got me all straightened out.  (Sorry, Daddy!  I know you tried to teach me better!)  How nice it would have been for her to say, "You know what I'm going to do?  I'm just going to deposit what you need to bring you into balance.  Don't worry about it!"  I assure you that did not happen.  But that is what God did for us.  Seeing all the deficits and wrongs and times we stubbornly worked against Him, He still supplied what we needed to reconcile us.  Even though what we needed to make up the deficit and fill in the gaps was the very life of His Son!  The blood of Jesus blots out the mess we have made of our lives, our check registers if you will.  He reconciles the life, in which we fall so short of His expectations, and makes us perfect or complete.  He balances our books and leaves us with the joy of living an abundant life and hope of living eternally with Him!

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Chameleon and the Crickets

My good friend, Sharon, shared a story from her classroom recently.  An amazing elementary teacher, she had a chameleon in her room for the students to observe and care for.  Well, one day they made quite a memorable observation!  It was feeding day, which meant live crickets were placed in the tank.  The chameleon began enjoying his meal.  He had a cricket partially in his mouth when another cricket took notice.  Well, that chameleon evidently did not know whose friend he was trying to devour.  Apparently, the bystander cricket had a great attachment to the one being consumed.  This cricket grabbed the other one with its mouth and began to pull, trying to pull it from the chameleon's mouth.  He pulled and the cricket gulped harder.  Sharon described it as quite a tug-of-war.  The chameleon would gulp and swallow, but then the cricket warrior would grip and pull even harder.  Finally, the chameleon surrendered his meal and turned to find another victim as the two cricket friends limped the other direction.

As Sharon relayed this story, I began to imagine us as the crickets.  You know...fellow Christians...brothers and sisters in Christ.  In this illustration, Satan is the chameleon.  He is the one trying with all his might to destroy and devour us.  He is as real as the chameleon the kids watched that fateful day.  And left alone, just like that cricket, we are easier to devour.  God is so smart!  He knew we would need each other.  Ecclesiastes 4:9 - 10 says, "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow:  but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up."  In other words, there is no one around to pull him out of the chameleon's mouth!  Satan, the chameleon, enjoys when we are tempted and fall into sin.  Galatians 6:1 - 2 states, "Brethern, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."  Yes, that second cricket could have been dessert for the chameleon.  However, he jumped in to save his friend.  That is what we are called to do.  If a friend is struggling with something...sin, burdens, life...whatever, we are called to help them bear those burdens.

Do you have brother or sister stuck in the chameleon's mouth?  Pull with all your might until, to the glory of God, they are free and walking in His light again!  If you are the one stuck, hang on...your friends are coming!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Lessons from the Playground

Do you remember see-saws?  Little kids today may not.  I'm sure they have been removed from most parks and playgrounds because they pose a safety risk.  They have probably been replaced with something boring and safe like rubber-coated balance beams.  But, anyway...back to see-saws.  Remember the challenge of finding just the right balance with the person on the other end?  Remember being the heavier kid and having your teeth jarred when you crashed to the ground?  Remember being the lighter kid who got stuck in the air with no chance of getting down unless the big kid on the other side jumped off.  And then your teeth got a jarring!  Did you ever try to stand in the middle of a see-saw and balance it yourself?  Now that's tough!  But, that's what Jesus does for us.  If God's mercy and grace are on one end of the see-saw and his wrath and justice are on the other, which end do you think should be weighted down on the ground permanently?  If we got what we deserved, the little kid, Mercy, would be stuck in the air forever.  But, thank God, Jesus is in the middle constantly keeping the balance.  Romans 5:1 says, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."  Did you catch that...justified?  Brought back into balance, perhaps?  Through Jesus I have access to God's grace.  Without him, I would be stuck down in God's wrath and justice.  I am so glad Jesus is with me on the see-saw of life. 

(Enjoy the illustration...just remember there is a reason I like to write and not draw.)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Confessions of a Crazy Lady

Some of you know that this past school year has taken its toll on me.  Soon after school started, I began experiencing some health problems...chest pains, shortness of breath, goofy vision stuff, ringing in my ears...basically feeling like I was falling apart.  In the past three months, I have had a heart catheterization, an MRI of my brain, and an ultrasound of my carotid arteries.  The good news...I have a heart and a brain...and they are both fine!  (And the arteries of a nineteen-year-old, according to my cardiologist.)  The bad news is that the doctors cannot explain the problems, except to say maybe it is stress.  So, what do I do about that???  There is no surgery to fix that problem!!  Or is there?  This is where the confessions start...

...The surgery I need for this problem is an Attitude Transplant.  Yes, my pains and symptoms have been real.  And, yes, the doctors may still decide there is a medical answer for some of it.  However, having these physical ailments should not have caused the mental despair that I have felt.  What happened to my joy and hope?  The devil is real and he has really been working on me!  I am not sure how my family and friends have put up with "Woe-is-Me" over the past few months.  So, I have decided that I am going to get out the scalpel (or maybe the sword of the Word) and cut out the dead, decaying, rotten stuff.  I am removing the negative thoughts and stitching in some positive.  I still want to explore new employment ideas, while operating on my eyes to make them see the job I have as a blessing for now.  But I know I cannot do this surgery.  I am praying that the Great Physician will operate on me and heal my tired and tangled spirit. 

After surgery comes recovery.  For my recovery, I am self-prescribing a huge helping of HOPE!  We had a wonderful Sunday School lesson today on the subject.  First Peter 3:15 says to, "Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and be ready always to give an answer to every man that ask you a reason of the hope that is in you..."  The question was asked in class if we are living out of our faith in a way that even shows others we have hope?  Pay attention here...more confession!  I have certainly not been living in a way that would make someone want to know about my hope.  Rather, most people would ask me why I am so hope-LESS.  So, when the job gets the best of me and there is too much month at the end of the money or the blocks on the calendar are too small to fit in everything I need to do...I am going to stop for some recovery time.  I will remind myself of the what hope really means.  It is the promise that something better is coming after I go through all the stuff this world wants to dish out.  God has my back.  He knows the plans that only He can have for me.  And that plan ends with Heaven!  So, nothing else should really matter.     

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Thanks for stopping by...

Welcome to my blog!  After lots of encouragement and technical support from my wonderful husband, I have decided to give this a try.  As my profile states, I am currently a middle school teacher.  But, deep down in my heart, I think I want to be a writer when I grow up.  Either that or one of those people who get to swim with the whales and dolphins at Sea World.  I guess trying my hand at writing is a more realistic...unless one of you has connections at Sea check back often and see if anything out of my mind hits home with you.  See ya!