Friday, August 06, 2010

Reaping Joy From Saying Yes

My longtime readers will remember the little book cabin in the middle of nowhere (Childs, NY) made from a 1909 voting booth. You know, the place Tom and I drive through the countryside to visit sometimes. Well, actually, he sits in the car and reads the local paper from the shop nextdoor while I peruse the shelves. I'm nearly always the only person inside the silent, dusty cabin.

Anyway, on Monday we drove out there again, first time this year perhaps, and my eyes bulged when I beheld the boxes of un-put-away books upon the floor. I dived into them and found five books for myself, smiling like a Cheshire cat. Then when I stepped to the metal can in which to place my quarters--hardback books are 50 cents--suddenly the Holy Spirit whispered, "Put in $5, instead."

I started to argue, "But that's double of what I owe," and then I stopped. When God tells me to do a thing, I know by now that it's useless to give Him excuses. Or to try to change His mind. So I dropped in the $5 bill, stepped outside of the cabin and felt terrific.

Sounds like such a tiny thing, I realize that. But you know? I don't believe obedience to God is ever a small thing. Obedience always matters, that is, if we want to grow.

It's an awful thing to be stuck in--and because of--disobedience. We too often want what we think we want and that is what trips us up and smack dab into dark ditches of sadness.

God says, "Forgive that person for hurting your feelings," and we tell Him ten reasons why we shouldn't have to do that.

God says, "Leave some of your beliefs behind," and we gasp and say, "But I've always believed those things!"

He tells us to stop nagging our husband and we give him twenty reasons why, if we stop nagging him, he will fall apart--and so will the whole world.

He tells us that, until we do or give-up this one thing, He can take us no deeper in faith, in ministry, in peace of mind, and we think, "You certainly can't be serious, can you?"

All those no's to God add up. They add up to no growth, no change and no happiness.

Today, let's all say yes... and see what happens.


Here are the books I found at the cabin:

Just Shy of Harmony by Philip Gulley
Family Ties That Bind and Gag by Erma Bombeck
Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton
I Grew Up Little by Patsy Clairmont
And a book about the Southwest for Tom :)

Those first four books are perfect for this time in my life. Just perfect.


Rita said...

I know I am off topic here but I just wanted to share how much I admire you and your husband for seeing that you need to leave the farm and have a new direction. You will have a much better idea at this time in life of exactly what you are looking for that is easily maintained. You can still keep a pantry, make laundry soap if you choose, clip coupons etc. Believe me I keep plenty busy and I live at the edge inside the city. I have a dog and a cat and spend my days cooking frugal meals, keeping a clean house and a few plants to make the front of my home look nice. I plan for major expenses and do an average of one a year. Read your blog daily and enjoy it so much. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

Name: female, not even with a capital F. I shit you not! said...

Was copying Free patterns a few days ago & for the first time I noticed a sign saying something like; we need your donations to kepp this site going.
I'm sure it's always been there & over the years I keep visiting & copying patterns to knit or crochet.
Let me tell you.I went straight to PayPal & gave a donation.
Like yourself, felt much better afterwards too.

Blue-eyed Blonde said...

Debra: I'm glad I found your blog. You have a way of writing that's more like being there and talking face to face. Thank you for sharing, and being honest, and being committed to God.

Debra said...

Rita--those are my thoughts exactly! In fact, I've been thinking lately (and hadn't mentioned it here) that sometimes I felt more 'countryish' and 'make-do-ish' while we lived in the suburbs. I enjoyed finding ways to make our home and yard feel as though we lived in the country. It was as though I enjoyed that challenge, and well, perhaps I'm missing that. I'm not sure. (Are you the Rita from the Maud Hart Lovelace email group? I always wonder that when you comment and have been meaning to ask for ages.) :)

Female--thanks for sharing such a perfect story! It goes incredibly well with my post. (And good for you for making that decision so quickly.)

Blue-Eyed Blonde-- Thanks so very much for your kind comments. I appreciate that you read here so often and thanks for your other comment to my previous post. My hope is to inspire others to do whatever they must do, with joy.

Thanks again to each of you for taking the time to leave such kind words. Blessings, Debra

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading all the the Phillip Gulley books books about his semi-fictional home town of Harmony. I actually laughed out loud a few times.