Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The Things we forget to do
I walk in and it feels like home. I smell something delicious coming from the kitchen and the tables are set with centerpieces and fine china. As I walk in memories float through my mind of days gone by. I remember going to my Grandmother Dean’s house. It was always filled with those same smells from something she had cooking in the kitchen. As I surveyed the room, the memory of Grandmother’s table surfaced to the top. I could see the table set in the dining room but until I got married I was only allowed to look because only the “adults” sat at the table with the fine china and crystal. I guess the qualifications of an adult you had to be married because I know I was older than some of my other cousins that sat at that table. I was invited to sit at the “kids” table.
As I was invited in, I sat down and looked around. There was laughter and joy filling the room. These ladies were just so happy to be together. I listened and really looked at these precious women. Women comfortable with each other and with themselves. Women, who had lived, loved, lost, and knew the power of being strong by standing on your knees. Each line etched on their face came from the joy of knowing the Lord and living life well.
These precious ladies had invited me to come and speak to them at their monthly luncheon. What an honor. But what could I even begin to say to these ladies. They had more wisdom in their little finger than I did in my whole body. But I pressed on. I felt the one thing that maybe they didn’t hear all the time was exactly how important they were to me and so many others. Not because they showed up to cook all those delicious meals, or when someone needs a hospital visit or even to the nursing home but that their life left bits of wisdom in all of us. I wanted to let them know how much I appreciated the time they spent with the Lord calling my daughter’s name to the one and only one who holds her life in His Hands. How they have loved their families and friends the same way. If you picture the church, these ladies are the ones that bath it in prayer. The mortar that holds it in place.
When I left, I was left with more than I could have ever given to them. The love that you feel from these precious ladies is more than can be put into words. But most of all, more important than the love I felt, I realized we do forget to appreciate those ahead of us. That we forget to tell them how much we love who they are and how much we appreciate what they have done in their lives. Because they help us manage our lives and make better decisions because they have gone before us and know all the pitfalls, the anguish, the laughter and the tears. They see the picture of life so much bigger than we ever could.
Hug your Mom today. I miss mine terribly and wish I could. Call your grandmother today…she has so much to give….hug the older ladies in your church, wealth of wisdom is found in them and your kids, let them know how important it is to honor them. We have all learned lessons we will never forget from these precious ladies.
Friday, February 17, 2012
It never fails, put me in a hospital room and I can write. Put me in my regular routine at home and I am fighting time to get it done, LOL. When God wants you to stop and listen, He will do it and sitting in a 10x 10 room will do it every time.
Remember the first part of the year I was talking about my “word” for this year. The word was to go deeper with God. Wow, have I ever really realized the depth of that. I have been digging in Jeremiah and John, Acts and Romans. Then Dean has been teaching on “hearing God” in our Sunday School class. It seems to be that God is directing my life so I can see things a little clearer. Hearing a little more of his heart beat these days. The things He has been directing my attention to is compassion for those around me. So much so, I have to fight the urge to solve everyone’s problems. I can’t solve them all and sometimes there is another person that needs that blessing. I pray each time and lay it at the Father’s feet . I force myself to stop and listen and allow Him to do what He wants to do but I really have to fight back that urge to help.
God is really talking to me about the importance of listening. Not just to words and not just for a second but pressing in to Hear His voice. Listening takes work. Stopping the list in your head, being ready to comment on a situation when your opinion may not be the important one, just allowing God to talk to your heart without interrupting Him, being quiet and still to listen, I am working on a sweat just trying to get my head to stop long enough to do all of those things. It is not in our nature. We really do have to work at it. But the difference it makes. I “hear” so much more. I don’t always get it right but when I do, God really does some cool things in my heart.
I don’t only listen in my prayer time but also when someone is talking. I start praying right then. This is my prayer: “Lord, what am I supposed to be learning from you?”…not just in Church as my pastor preaches his awesome services, or when Dean is teaching class…but also, when I am just chatting with someone. God wants to talk to me even when chatting about the weather. That sounds strange doesn’t it. But really it’s not! I have heard my own sin in my heart “pop” up before I open my mouth and it has saved me a few times. I didn’t respond to something negative with a negative. Wow, that changed the conversation. Instead of gossip, it turned into a life lesson for my friend and me. God showed up and allowed me to see the ickiness in my heart before I had that chance to step out on that sin.
Then, I also pray, “God, let me hear their heart”…wow, that has helped me so much. I tend to get into deep conversation when I pray this one. The Lord just gives me the right words that allow that person to share, unburden their heart, and even let me know their true need. Sometimes it has been spiritual, sometimes emotional and sometimes meeting a physical need that they have been hesitant to share. What a blessing for me. I so appreciate that God would allow me to hear and then work it out in a way to help. “Bearing one another’s burdens”, what a blessing.
You know why? Because I have been so blessed with friends that have stood by me, have listened to me and have loved me through so many spiritual, emotional and physical needs. A debt I will always be indebted to repay. When you are loved much, love is so easy to give.
So, really this is not much of a “Bible Study” today but hopefully it is a place you heard something God wanted you to hear. Maybe you just need to slow down that list in your head for a minute and just listen. But I know how hard that is because I have a continual list in my head that is always flowing…hence, sometimes the stop at Hotel Egleston…LOL.
Love to you all
In His Grip