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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Check Engine Light

I have become high maintenance.  Mid life has brought me to this place.  Supplements, juices, hormones and points (that’s for another time) have taken over my life!    

A few nights ago, after finally settling in for sweet slumber, I realized I had forgotten one of my maintenance items.  My dear husband suggested a check list.  A check list!!!  Now don’t misunderstand, I wasn’t upset at my honey, he was just trying to help. How would mine look?

Mid Life Check List
Hormones (NEVER forget these!)
Hair Color
Moisturizer
Supplements/Vitamins - so many they must be put in a pill box (I can’t believe “pill box” is in my vocabulary)
Moisturizer
Reading glasses
Did I say moisturizer?

Where is our spiritual lesson in this?  We brainstormed together looking for spiritual meaning, some way to encourage my readers.  None seemed plausible.  As Michael Corleone said in “The Godfather III” about his nephew, Vinnie, “You are what you are.”  It is what it is. 
I have changed.  My body has changed.  It seems possible that the one I’m occupying today may not really be mine.  If I had put more thought in this, I could have been more prepared.  Not so surprised.  I will be 51 on Saturday.  Reality is setting in. 

Are there any positives in all of this?  Absolutely!  I am healthier, physically, mentally and spiritually than I have ever been.  My faith muscles have been stretched and have become more developed.  I am still growing in the Lord.  Learning more and more about what’s really most important in life.  I judge less, extend grace more and know because I know that Jesus Christ is the love of my life. 

The Bible tells me in Proverbs 20:29 “…the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.”  (NLT)  I do enjoy the benefits of some hard earned experience even if I do cover up the splendor of my gray hair! 

Until we visit again…

Live blessed,
Carmen 
    
    




Saturday, June 25, 2011

On our Side

Country music is alive and well in our home.  From the early songs that some call true country to the newest that attract a huge base of young fans.  Country music videos are T.V. of choice for my dear husband.  Myself, I like a variety of music.  My IPOD contains Mandisa, Travis Cottrell, Michael Buble, Harry Connick, Jr. among other things.   While in my car, pondering my thoughts (I get that from my mom) is how you would usually find me.  Although I must confess, sometimes I just feel the need to pop in Lynyrd Skynyrd and belt out "Sweet Home Alabama" with Ronnie Van Zant. 

The other night, my honey and I were relaxing and, you guessed it, watching country music videos.  On came Rascal Flatts' video "I Won't Let Go."  As I began to take in those words, my heart stirred.  So many of the lyrics remind me of Jesus.

"It hurts my heart to see you cry"  Psalm 56:8 records one of the sweetest verses, "You keep track of all my tears in Your bottle.  You have recorded each one in Your book".
"I will fight your fight" Are you in a hard fight?  God will fight for you.  Joshua 23:10 says, "Each one of you will put to flight a thousand of the enemy, for the Lord your God fights for you, just as He promised."

Can't you just hear our sweet Jesus saying those words?  Sometimes it's hard to understand the depths of God's love.  Paul talks of that in Ephesians 3:18-19.  It can be especially hard if you have struggled with feeling the love of your earthly father as I have.  Jesus understood.  He left us many verses to assure us of His love.  Matthew 10:-29-31 tells us that nothing happens to us that He doesn't know and that even the hairs on our head are numbered. 

Have you cried buckets of tears?   Do you feel unloved and unnoticed?  Are you in the fight of your life?  Jesus really does care.  How do I know?  From experience!!!  The more I get to know Him, the more I see and feel His love.  Start asking God to let you "see" Him at work in your life.  Beth Moore, my favorite Bible teacher, calls these "God stops".  Begin looking back on your day and recording one "stop" from that day.  Don't get discouraged if all you can think of in the beginning is "a good parking space" like I did!  Keep at it and you will begin to become more and more aware of His presence.  Growing in your relationship with God is a process.  Why not get started today?  He's waiting.

Well, I've talked your eyes off today.  Until we visit again...

Live blessed,
Carmen

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thirsty

It's raining today in the land of pine trees and lakes.  We are in a drought of sorts so the very faint rumble of thunder early this morning was thrilling.  We (my dear husband and I) have been working diligently to keep our new sod alive.  The prospect of help from above fills me with thankfulness.  What I really wanted to do was stand in our front yard in my pj's and do a little happy dance:)! 

This feeling was a great reminder that my soul will always thirst for God.  In Psalms 143:6 (NLT) David says, "I reach out for You.  I thirst for You as parched land thirst for rain."  Sometimes my soul is thirsty and sometimes I'm parched.  All pale and crunchy, like our lawn.  An amazing transformation happens when that same lawn receives a little water, it brightens up.  Let it have a steady rain and it becomes lush.  My soul is like that.  My recognition of the Holy Spirit's presence and my willingness to let Him "rain" on my soul is thirst quenching.  John 4:13-14 (NLT) quotes Jesus reminding us of this very thing.  "Jesus replied, "People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water(from the well).  But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether.  It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life."

In Oswald Chamber's beloved classic "My Utmost For His Highest", he talks about our depending on God's presence.  "Having the reality of God's presence is not dependent on our being in a particular circumstance or place, but only is dependent on our determination to keep the Lord before us continually."  I like the secure feeling we are promised that God's presence is not dependent on our circumstances.  This becomes very important when we are in a "tight spot" as George Clooney's character says in"O Brother Where Art Thou", (don't watch this unless it's been edited - way too much cursing!)  I've been in a few "tight spots" over the last couple of years and I bet I'll be in a few more before I leave this world.  I've learned some great lessons and I hope to share some of those along the way.  Until we visit again...

Drink up from that perpetual spring!

Live Blessed,
Carmen

Sunday, June 19, 2011

In the beginning...

A dear elderly pastor has encouraged me through the years by calling me the "great communicator".  I don't think he dared compare me to Ronald Reagan but it was his way of pushing me to use a gift that I do have, talking.  My hope is that through these posts, I will encourage you, make you chuckle, and stir your heart.  I am not a gifted writer.  What I am is a woman wandering through the middle of her life with all the changes and wisdom that brings. 

Thanks Dianne for encouraging me to blog.  I hope I don't embarress either one of us!