Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Were you asleep when they handed out the "I love housework" gene?

            Not all women have it. A few of us were still asleep the morning they handed out the I love housework gene.

“Dust bunnies are for wimps” became my motto when I discovered dust kangaroos, with families of dust joeys springing out of their pockets every few days to stir up some fun.

            Because we live in the parsonage and my husband’s desk is a pulpit, I figure I should try to appear neat once or twice a year. So I force myself to clean by inviting guests to dinner.

The only problem with this clever plan is that I wait until the day of the party to start my cleaning mania. I race around the dining table disrobing chair backs of their sweaters, flinging them into shocked closets. The windowsills resent my removal of the dust that’s kept them warm for the last six weeks. My kitchen floor gets tipsy on Spic ‘n’ Span.

            After the guests leave, I flop on the couch and moan. “Why do I torture myself like this? What possessed me to invite seventeen people over? Well, at least the house looks sparkly. Let’s keep it this way forever!” I know I am duping no one but me. It’s as realistic as stating, “I will never overreact again.”

The only time I enjoyed housework was when we were first married, and the pride of reigning as queen over my own domain spurred me to dust, mop and scrub. That cleaning frenzy lasted two whole weeks. After that, I concocted my brilliant invite friends over scheme.


           Once we had kids, I began worrying: what if they asked their Kindergarten teacher what a dustpan was? To avoid this embarrassment, I gave them chores at very early ages. But we had to hold off when our daughter whipped a sewing kit out of her pocket and offered to mend her preschool helper’s ripped jeans.

When the kids were eight and eleven, we took them to a discount store and let them pick out their own laundry baskets. On the way home I casually asked, “Guess what we’re doing today?  I’m going to teach you to wash clothes.”

            From the rear view mirror, I caught our daughter’s eyes roll as he snorted, “I knew there had to be a catch!”

            “Someday you’ll thank me,” I said.

            As teenagers, our kids did all the cleaning except changing the sheets on our bed. It worked beautifully. Until our daughter moved to college, and my son and I divided her chores between us. He got his done all right, since I raised his salary two dollars a week. But mine…well.  I always have had a fondness for baby kangaroos.

 Do you enjoy housework? If not, how do you force yourself to do it? 

The above is an excerpt from my book The Heart of Humor: Sixty Helpings of Hilarity to Nourish Your Soul, in a chapter entitled In This Corner. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

When you don't understand

Do you ever have circumstances in your life that you don't understand? I know, I know, that's a silly question. We all have situations like that.

If you're like me, you find yourself trying to answer questions like these:
  • Why did my child rebel when I was raising them according to God's Word? 
  • Why did I get sick when I was taking good care of myself?
  • Why did my husband lose the best job he's ever had?  

We like to file horrible happenings into neat little cubby holes or tidy file folders in our minds, so we can explain everything. But you and I both know that some things simply can't be categorized. Some things we will never understand.

Can we live with that? Is is okay to say, "I don't understand this, but it's not going to ruin my life or my relationship with God."

Because if we keep trying to figure it out with our limited understanding, we may get stuck in the "bitter and angry" file or the "doubt and despair" file.

Can we create a cubby hole or file folder in our hearts and label it, "Not sure why," then trust the One who gave us life and loves us to die for? Can we tuck those unanswered questions in that file and have the courage and trust to leave them there?

Someday the Lord may reveal to us why Aunt Lois died even though we prayed for her, why our spouse lost his job, or why our best friend deserted us. Or he may not.

But if we refuse to get stuck, if we choose to look to God to take care of us in spite of our unknowns, he will move us forward into the excellent plans he has for us. He will set us free from having to figure everything out. He will give us the grace we need for today.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Why the Love Affair with Water?

Perhaps you've heard discussions on the benefits of drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. In case you're wondering, "Why The Love Affair with Water?" here are ten ways water helps us stay healthy, based on a dandy article I found on Top Ten Home Remedies website:

1. Relieves Fatigue--ever feel like your energy level and your to-do list don't match?

2. Improves Mood--I bet Pollyanna drank gallons a day!

3. Treats Headaches and Migraines--since both are often caused by dehydration, water helps.

4. Helps Digestion and Constipation--Too fast or too slow? Balance your belly with H2O.

5. Aids Weight Loss--Once we hit 50 or so, our metabolism slows down. Help us, water!

6. Flushes out Toxins--that's a fancy word for poison, which none of us need.

7. Regulates Body Temperature--this is important for extra energy while exercising.

8. Promotes Healthy Skin--ladies and men alike need vibrant, elastic skin, especially as we age.

9. Relieves Hangover--hopefully this doesn't apply to you.

10. Beats bad breath--whether on a first date or married for decades, sweet breath gets you points!

Another excellent resource on the Balance Me Beautiful site is an article by Lilly Greene which lists 17 Health Issues Caused by Lack of Water
Based on #s 1, 2 and 5, I'm convinced that our love affair with water should continue. Which items on this list convinced you? 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Are you too busy? Please let me pray for you

A Prayer for When You Are Too Busy

Lord, my friend is choking on responsibilities. She is trying to do too much, to be all things to all people. I know this is not Your plan for her.
Because she loves people and fears disappointing them, she says yes more than she says no. Her schedule is crammed to bursting. Because she accomplishes tasks with excellence, she’s a magnet to people who need things done.
And all this responsibility is causing her light to dim.
She was once so bright and eager to spend time with You, study Your life, tell others about Your love. Then she started working for You. And working. And working. The Devil knew he couldn’t tempt her with robbing jewelry stores or murdering her neighbors, so he dangled the fruit of the business of the Lord in front of her. He convinced her that to be a worthy Christian, she had to stay busy, and that to say no was unholy.
Silence his lies to her, Lord. Woo her back to the place of rest and sweet contentment in Your presence, where the beam of Your smile is enough. Return the light to her eyes and the spring to her step.
Please help her find the balance You lived in when You walked on earth. You knew when to say “Okay, I’ll do that,” and when to say “Not interested,” without worrying what others might think of You. You were secure in the Father’s plan for You, not needing to please others in order to feel that Your light was bright enough.
Teach my friend Your ways, dear Lord. She doesn’t want to burn out; she wants to sparkle and blaze with Your life, to do only those things You’ve called her to do. Then, when You come to take her home, she’ll shine in heaven with You.
In Jesus’ name, so be it.

References to Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11, John 6:38

The above is a sneak peek at my newest book, Touchable God: Finding the Lord's Friendship Through Prayer. It is a combination of personal stories about my prayer journey with Jesus and prayers for friends in crisis. It would make an excellent Christmas gift for someone you are praying for!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Why be thankful you don't have everything you desire?

Be  thankful you don't already have everything you desire. 
If you did, what would there be to look forward to? 

Be thankful when you don't know something, 
for it gives you the opportunity to learn. 

Be thankful for the difficult times. 
During those times you grow. 

Be thankful for your limitations, 
because they give you opportunities for improvement. 

Be thankful for each new challenge, 
because it will build your strength and character. 

Be thankful for your mistakes. 
They will teach you valuable lessons. 

Be thankful when you're tired and weary, 
because it means you've made a difference. 

It's easy to be thankful for the good things. 
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who 
are also thankful for the setbacks. 

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. 
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, 
and they can become your blessings. 

--Author unknown. 

What from the above list are you thankful for today?