Thursday, August 21, 2014

Uh-Oh. August.


"For there is a time and a way for everything, although man's trouble lies heavy on him."   ... Ecclesiastes 8:6

*****


Oh the humidity!

It finally arrived, the pea soup stuff, and as always it reminds me of these lines from Carl Sandburg's poem:

"The fog comes
on little cat feet."


..... because that darn humidity--somehow--sneaks inside my house beneath the doors and windows and does drug-like things to my head. Yes it does, even with the air-conditioner blasting its heart out.

Gah. And to think that some people pray for this! What is wrong with them?

Anyway, yesterday afternoon when I pushed up the garage door for a soon-arriving-home Tom, I paused in our yard, gazed around and thought, "Uh-oh. I've got that August feeling again. I'm tired of my gardens. Tired of watering, fertilizing and babying green things. I've had enough of watching plants grow, fresh air and reading outside." (Blasphemy, I know.)

But there you go. Give me August and humidity and that's where I am. Yet the good thing? I'm always reminded of this post I wrote years ago, the one with the lines from People With Dirty Hands that said it's ok to bale out of your garden in August.

Whew. Now there's good news and just the permission I need to give myself a break and pack away my summer, even while others are still reveling in theirs.

And now I'll move on to other things where Grace awaits.





*****

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart..."   ... Ecclesiastes 3:11




*****

Remember when I made a little beverage center of my own using one of my $1 estate sale shelves?



Well, yesterday I installed the other shelf below our kitchen sink to help store cleaners, etc. proving once again, that you don't need custom-made shelves (or custom-made anything else) or expensive just-for-one-purpose ones from big box stores.




*****



Free Kindle books:

Jane Eyre

Blue Hole Back Home

Thrashing About With God

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

For The Sensitive Folks Amongst Us

(That's only a primer coat of paint on the tea cart. The final one will be lighter)


*****
"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."   ... Galations 6:2


Men...

So as Tom stepped up our kitchen stairs when he first returned home from South Africa, I told him, "Oh! And see? Here's the tea cart that I bought at a yard sale. I'm going to paint it light green, though, because it's too dark."

"Oh, that's a shame," Tom replied.

Ack! His first words to me, nearly, after 7 weeks away.

"Hey!"I said. It's not like it's wood." (I adore painted wood, but it practically brings Tom physical pain.) "It feels too much like I sat a big brown rock in here and I need it to look lighter."

As I said .... Men. :)

But you know? I realized it was a test. Would I allow my feelings to get all hurt? Or would I be able to separate that Tom wasn't rejecting me, but only the idea of a painted, light-green tea cart.

Hmmm...

Have you seen this type of stuff going around online?



And people saying they're thankful that they're overly sensitive? (There are even websites dedicated to them.) 

I believe that being sensitive to how others feel and believe and acting in a concerned, caring manner is a wonderful, even biblical thing. There are lots of verses to back that up, certainly. Sensitivity is given in extra doses to creative people whose art touches the world and to those called to defend the down-trodden and care for those who hurt in myriad ways.

But.

(I believe) sensitive folks must be oh so careful to not turn their sensitivity inward toward themselves. God didn't create the type of sensitivity that gets knocked down for 2 weeks (or 20 years) because cruel words were spoken or kind words were left unspoken, or unfair deeds were done (leading to an unintended form of selfishness, an I've-been-hurt-so-I-can't-help-you-ness). He's also not a fan of the sensitively that comes from immaturity nor from always-bleeding wounds which we never let Him heal, preferring to wear our hurts like an I've-a-right-to-feel-offended badge.

Yet to keep the balance? To use our sensitivity to help others, but not be crushed by personal, undeserved offenses? That is the cross which Sensitive Christians must bear.  

"Take up your cross and follow Me."

But thank-goodness! Jesus can keep us steady and heal our own hurts so that--rather than writhe and hide under our sensitivity, too stricken to aid anyone else--we'll remain free to reach out, lift up, and show others from Whom their healing can come ...

... and thus fulfill the dreams God is dreaming through us. 



*****




"Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves."   ... Philippians 2:3

"To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some."  ... 1 Corinthians 9:22


*****

And this has more to do with yesterday's post, but I didn't think of it until today:

"No time is wasted if it brings any sort of benefit to our mental health."


*****


Free Kindle books:






Monday, August 18, 2014

Why My Silly TV Shows and Books?


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding."   ... Proverbs 3:5

*****

Guess what Tom brought home Friday afternoon after work? Eight pristine 1960's copies of Nancy Drew that he'd bought at an estate sale. Wow (he was rewarded with kisses).  Now,  I did already own two, yet not in terrific condition so I'll let them go. And as I told Tom, no more Nancy Drew. Part of wisdom is knowing when you've collected enough of anything, lest you wander into obsession. And clutter.

Probably some of you wonder about my reading material--and while we're here--my tv viewing habits. It must seem odd that I read very few Christian books yet lots of kids' lit. and vintage biographies and pretty much only watch one Christian teacher (online), yet my blog posts tend to tip a bit heavy along Christian lines.

Well, here's a simple (but kinda weird) way to explain it: Almost constantly it's like there's a Christian audio book playing inside my head. Hour after hour I'm mulling over the way certain Bible verses apply to what I'm doing and how I should record those thoughts here. 

It's like this blog is a living thing inside my head and I'm always feeding it. 

It's also as though, in the very nicest way, I'm surrounded by the crowd that is you and always, I'm meditating about what to teach and what to do next so that I'll faithfully fulfill this calling God handed me.

So. With all that going on? Ol' Debra needs some serious breaks. Her head requires the simplicity (and beauty) of kids' novels, the silliness of shows like The Middle, Let's Make a Deal and the polar-opposite-of-my-life shows like Major Crimes, Castle and Cold Justice. 

With that 'Christian audio book' on a perpetual loop (and the usual 'cares of this world' which we all have), my head does need its recesses so I can go out and play. Then come back inside, refreshed and ready to listen and think some more.

Lots of well-meaning godly folks condemn all secular tv and books and I get it. I do. But for me and a few million other Christians? In order to stay balanced, relevant and just downright sane, we also need the relaxation and getaways our books and tv shows provide us. We need to switch Off, at times, for being constantly On can lead to burn-out, shorting-out, something never intended within God's perfect plans.




*****


"Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established."   ... Proverbs 16:3


No time is wasted if it brings any sort of benefit to our mental health.


*****



In other news...

Our new replacement picture window was installed this morning--hooray! No more sad little crack in the corner.

Also, Sammy The Cat is eating much better! Thanks so much for your prayers. Most likely it is the tuxedo cat thing which we've dealt with before, namely, this. A simple thing like giving him too many of his much adored 'treats' (Iams kibble, supposed to be super healthy) can set this off. Poor baby--he just can't handle more than 2 or 3 tiny pieces of dried food a day. (And poor us who must buy thousands of those littlest cans of moist food.)  heh.

And clearly I have shelves on the brain because I ordered four of these today from Home Depot for the end of the cabinets above our kitchen sink:



I'm unable to arrange buying all the many shelves our office dearly needs, so I'm doing what I can do, instead. 'Pro-activity' I think they call it.  :)


*****