Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It's Who I Want to Be

The LORD detests men of perverse heart, but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.
Proverbs 11:20

A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but the LORD condemns a crafty man.
Proverbs 12:2

The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.
Proverbs 12:22

He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.
Proverbs 14:26

The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.
Proverbs 15:8

The LORD detests the way of the wicked, but he loves those who pursue righteousness.
Proverbs 15:9

The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
Proverbs 15:29

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart.
Proverbs 17:3

All a man's ways seem right to him, but the LORD weighs the heart.
Proverbs 21:2
As I have been reading the book of Proverbs - besides thinking a lot about my words and seeking wisdom - I have been overwhelmed with a desire to be the woman God has created me to be. I read these verses about what the LORD loves, and what He detests; about what delights Him, and what He condemns, and I just want to live a life which pleases Him.
And those last two verses have really gotten me, too. Being who He wants me to be isn't about what I'm doing on the outside. He knows my heart - and it all has to be right there. So I pray, LORD, change me. Make me into the woman You want me to be. Please work in me that which is pleasing to You today.

How does God speak to you through these words from Proverbs?

Karen

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Sky is Falling

Er, no it isn't. That's my husband and daughter!

That's what I was thinking last Thursday as I stared up into the sky and saw two little dots. Something was definitely falling from the sky. Just moments before, I had seen the airplane in which my husband and daughter were flying. And now there were those two little dots, getting bigger and bigger.
Finally, there was a burst of "big-ness" and that's when I started breathing normally again.
Because that is the moment I knew the parachutes had opened, and two of my greatest loves were going to live to see another day.

The crazy thing is, all this drama was intentional. That is, my husband and daughter jumped out of a perfectly good airplane - on purpose.
In other words, they went skydiving.
The adventure for Elizabeth was a graduation gift from her aunt and uncle, and she has been looking forward to it for years. Brian jumped, too, because he couldn't bear the thought of not getting in on the fun. And I? Was given the option to jump, but I couldn't imagine myself hurling toward the earth at 120 miles per hour spending that much money, so I chose to stay on the ground and observe.
And, honestly, I was super excited for the two of them. I knew how much they were looking forward to the insanity adventure, and I was happy to see it take place. BUT - just as honestly - I did have a feeling of concern which was relieved as soon as I saw that parachute finally open up. Something about knowing two of the dearest people in your life are racing from 10,000 feet above the ground at 120 miles per hour (Don't know why the instructors had to repeat those statistics so many times. If not to make a wife/mother nervous!) does a number on your nerves and imagination.

In the end, both Brian and Elizabeth were ecstatic. And given the chance (and the money!) I know they'd do it again in a heartbeat.

And, maybe I will, too. Maybe. *wink*

Karen

Monday, July 21, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

Lessons From the Edge

Just because something has always been done "this way" doesn't mean you always have to do it "that way".

Seriously.

I do not understand why some things take me so long to learn.

Check that.

What I really do not understand is why I cannot think of some things on my own.
As in, why do I make some things so complicated when the solution appears to other people rather quickly? It's like I'm stuck in this certain way of doing things, and I can't see out. Like I'm blind to the possibilities. Er, my eyes were giving me trouble a couple nights ago when I was trying to read small print. Maybe I really am going blind...
Ahhhh, I digress.

The truth is, I am super excited about a women's group we're going to begin next month at Edgewood. We're going to watch and discuss Forever in Love with Jesus, and I am simply delighted as I think about what a beautiful experience this is going to be. So much so, that I was contemplating going in on my day off to lead the study. Because Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings won't work; we have exercise class. And Tuesday is not a possibility; that's when we have our regular Bible study. So, the only other option I could conceive of was Thursday morning. I wasn't crazy about the idea, but I just couldn't see how we could make it happen any other way without ruining what already works.
So this week as Shelly and I were creating the August calendar I shared my dilemma with her, and she got this kind of Really? You think that's the only solution? look on her face. And I'm all, Yeah. We can't change anything. We've always done things the way we're doing them now.
And then Shelly said this really crazy, out-of-the-box thing. She said, "Why don't we schedule it Friday at 9am? And move exercise back to 10:30, instead of 10:00?" And I'm all, "That is such a good idea. You're brilliant!"
We talked more about the good things this time change will bring to our Friday routines. And I was so, so pleased with the solution Shelly had proposed. (Besides the fact that my Thursdays will remain "mine".)

Actually, it is a little embarrassing to admit that I was so stuck in the box. But now that I've been set free I am happy to share the good lesson with you. *smile*
Just because something has always been done "this way" doesn't mean you always have to do it "that way".

Are you stuck in any boxes today?

Karen
Disclaimer: The ideas and opinions expressed in this post are my own, and may not necessarily reflect those of Vista Springs Living Centers.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

And I Didn't Even Feel Mean

My kids have regular chores around the house.
Even during the summer.
And even after they've been at camp for a week and are sooooooo out of practice. *wink*

So, Tuesday morning when I walked into the kitchen and realized Matthew hadn't taken the trash and recycling to the curb Monday night, I knew what I had to do. I went to his bedroom and opened the door. Seeing him snuggled up cozily in his bed, I walked over and touched him gently. Then I said, "Hey, mister. You didn't take out the trash and recycling last night. You need to get up right now and take care of that, before they come to get it."
Matthew groaned. I took hold of his blankets and pulled them off of his tired little body and said, "Come on!"
And I left his room.

Moments later, Matthew was plodding through the kitchen - eyes still half shut - and he managed to get out of his mouth, "Will someone help me?" When I answered with a 'no', he said very clearly, "This is stupid!" and he slammed the door on the way out to the garage.
Ahhhh, silly kid! I didn't see anything "stupid" about it at all. In fact, I thought it was pretty smart of me to get him out of bed to do the chore he was supposed to do before he got in to bed. Otherwise, in the future he might think he can skip his chores and just know that I'll take care of them. Not.gonna.happen.
Naaahhhh, that wasn't stupid at all. The way I see it, I was helping him get smarter. Remember to plan ahead. Take responsibility. Do the right thing. All that jazz.

Besides, he got to go right back to bed. *grin*

Karen

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Today I'm at: i am servant

Last week the sermon at church was all about our words.

A few days ago someone asked me, The peace that comes over you hearing a graceful melody - is that how you are heard?

And every day since the beginning of the month, I have been reading a chapter of Proverbs.

Words - what I say, how I say it, and the way in which it's heard - have been heavy on my mind. Because I am becoming more and more aware just how powerful our words are. To build up, or to tear down.

To read the rest, please visit me today at i am servant.

Karen

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Profile of a Terrorist?

So, we're in the airport in Cancun, going through security on our way home. And Elizabeth gets "flagged" for a random search.

I know it had to be a random search, because, really. If you looked at my sweet daughter, there is no way you would think she's a terrorist.
First of all, she was carrying a bright pink back pack.
And the back pack had two key chains on it. One was a cute little squirrel in a sleeping bag. The other simply said, "Trust." Not very threatening so far.
The security officer unzipped the back pack, reached in, and produced two stuffed animals. Still not threatening.
Then he reached in and pulled out a rectangular box-y object which was covered in flower-y material and lace. I could see him asking Elizabeth to explain the item. And I wanted to call out, "Careful! It's sharper than a double-edged sword!" (The item in question was her Bible.) The officer unzipped the cover and flipped through it a bit. At that point, I suppose it could have been threatening. In a good way.
When he was convinced the Bible could pass through security, the officer gave a general pat-down over the rest of the back pack. And got very excited when he felt something suspicious at the bottom. He rather frantically searched through the remaining pockets until he located the offending item.
Reaching deep into the back pack, he grabbed it and triumphantly removed a...

...bright purple (empty) water bottle.

I'm not sure if he was shaking his head as he returned the bottle to its location, or if it just looked that way because I was laughing. Either way, the security officer determined that my daughter and her belongings posed no threat to the airline, and she was allowed to proceed.

I could have told that man my girl is not dangerous. The kind of girl who carries a pink bag and a purple water bottle, stuffed animals and a Bible? Her heart is more beautiful than her outsides, and her outsides are lovely.
She isn't going to harm anyone.
She's no terrorist.
BUT, armed with her Sword and empowered by the Spirit, I am praying she'll be a mighty warrior in her Father's army.

Karen