When he was born in 1999 I never thought I'd be the one keeping him clean-shaven.
My husband thinks it might be time for an electric razor.
I think he's probably right.
This is my 15 year old son Hawk. Notice the band-aid. The last three baths he's had he's also gotten cut while I shaved under his nose. If he doesn't move we do okay but usually he moves and I'm not quick enough to move with him.
When he was born in 1999 I never thought I'd be the one keeping him clean-shaven.
My husband thinks it might be time for an electric razor.
I think he's probably right.
The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship. 2 Day and night they keep on telling about God. 3-4 Without a sound or word, silent in the skies, their message reaches out to all the world. The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it 5 and moves out across the skies as radiant as a bridegroom going to his wedding,* or as joyous as an athlete looking forward to a race! 6 The sun crosses the heavens from end to end, and nothing can hide from its heat.
7-8 God’s laws are perfect. They protect us, make us wise, and give us joy and light. 9 God’s laws are pure, eternal, just. 10 They are more desirable than gold. They are sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb.11 For they warn us away from harm and give success to those who obey them.
12 But how can I ever know what sins are lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 13 And keep me from deliberate wrongs; help me to stop doing them. Only then can I be free of guilt and innocent of some great crime.
14 May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.
Letting God have His perfect timing in our lives gets down to trusting Him.
Are we trusting that He is working on our behalf?
Are we trusting that He knows what is best for us (and not the kind of best like in yucky-medicine- that-is-good-for-you best but the kind that makes your heart soar).
Are we waiting on God to do His stuff in anticipation or anger?
"Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father" James 1:17a
All that I have just written I would have told you I understood and believed yesterday morning.
And I would have been telling the truth -- I did believe it. I do wait on God with anticipation and trust (most of the time anyway).
But with God there is always room to go deeper in Him, deeper into this walk with Him. Wow -- He is limitless! And I fell into Him yesterday with unexpected weeping (but it was a good thing).
We have too many horses. Yesterday we had seven. Since late summer I've been trying to find homes for three of them -- not that they aren't good horses. In fact two of them have great potential but their potential won't be realized on our place. We don't have the time and I don't have the heart strength to keep so many. Okay, what does that mean? I see my horses as members of the family. Each of them needs a lot of attention. So every time I see them, every time I feed them I realize I am not giving them what they need to be truly happy (horses need to be used to be happy -- they need to have purpose). So, it hurts. I feel pulled to them but I don't have the time...
Anyway, so one of the horses I have been seeking a new place for is Jon, a six year old gelding. He was born on our place and has been with us his entire life. I have spent lots of time with him. One summer he lived in our yard so he could get gentled and touchable. I have brushed him and ridden him and hugged him and on and on and on. Yet, he is too much horse for me now. I am not sure how that happened but he has a spark in him that demands respect and someone who is a much better rider than I am (and probably ever will be -- I like to walk and maybe trot on a horse -- I have dreams of going fast but really I am a chicken). One day about a month ago a neighbor rode Jon for about ten minutes. They looked great together. It made me so happy to watch them.
This is where Jon and one of our other horses went yesterday -- to this neighbor's place. This neighbor and his family I believe will do great things with both Jon and Pancho (who is only 2 and just a big teddy bear).
After I fed the horses last night I called my husband, told him Jon and Pancho had left. And then I started weeping and weeping as I talked about it. I am so glad they went but I didn't realize their parting (especially Jon's) would affect me so much.
And somehow, and I can't explain it, the timing was absolutely perfect. To see the depth in myself that was affected by Jon finding another home was and is precious to me. Even in writing this I cannot quite explain what I felt about God and His perfect timing. But I caught a glimpse of it. I guess I just think trusting God's timing is necessary for us Believers. He really really knows what He is doing. We need not get anxious. We need not get angry. We need to just trust and believe and wait on Him.
We humans like to "fix" things. We like to get things to work. We like to try and shove that "square peg into the round hole."
And when we do take situations into our own hands rather than wait on God to work things out we will temporarily fix them. And we can even find solutions. But when we step in before God plans to act then we miss out on a big blessing. When we get impatient and just get something done rather than keep waiting on God (who seems so slow at times but this is because we can't see all He is doing and why the waiting is absolutely perfect for us and all involved) we lose out and we don't even realize it.
I look back at decisions I've made when I've worried and had to see something fixed because I was panicking rather than waiting in faith and I see how those decisions made the situation worse in the long run.
Learn to wait expectantly. God knows. He isn't too busy for your little problems. He wants to show Himself, but if you do it yourself then you missed out on Him acting.
In those times when we do that, when we come to our rescue (badly usually) I think God might just think,"If they had only waited...."
Give God a chance. Keep holding on. Don't lose hope.
"Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward." Hebrews 10:35
Famous Physicist Marie Curie said, "Life is not easy for any of us. But what of it? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this something, at whatever cost, must be attained."
Jesus said, "the truth shall make you free."
I'm reading a book entitled Bring it On! women embracing midlife written by Christine carter Schaap. I began reading this book because I found myself not quite happy and I didn't know why. I found myself critically looking at my reflection not liking what I saw. I found myself not finding joy in what I typically found joy in. I found myself discouraged but not understanding why. And oh yes, it sounds like a stereotypical thing to say but I was dealing with that midlife point that many call a midlife crisis. Once you know what you are dealing with it can be addressed and changed.
So I am dealing with it and seeking God on the matter and letting Him work through it with me.
I wonder though if many people find themselves in this place no matter their age?
We let so much junk into our lives -- stuff we don't even pursue. Our insides can be just like our homes -- as you live in a home year after year you accumulate stuff you might not have even sought out. People give you stuff. You find stuff. The process of living brings a bunch of stuff to your door. You let it all into your home and try to find places for it. Before you know it your home is stuffed with stuff you don't need.
We do the same with our insides. Maybe we see commercials that tweek that contentment in us, that plant seeds of discontent, seeds we don't even notice. Maybe comments and attitudes and opinions from others start filling up our insides and we forget what we know to be true. Stresses at work, stresses at home, negative thoughts from our own selves; childhood beliefs we've never examined; tangent decisions that sent us in directions that got us off course; trying to live in our own strength without God's; making decisions based on "common-sense" rather than God's wisdom . . .
All of this and more will fill us full of stuff that just needs to be purged. We get so used to being filled with this kind of stuff we can't see our own selves through it. We get lost within and find that our biggest goals is to pay the bills or to watch our favorite TV show. Life is more than this.
Jesus has so much more for us.
He said, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you." John 15:16
And He said, "The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly." John 10:10
Is the thief stealing the space inside you? Have you, have I allowed the thief of this world to fill us with useless stuff that hides who we really are?
JESUS . . . . .
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door," he used to say. "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to. Do you realize that this is the very path that goes through Mirkwood, and that if you let it, it might take you to the Lonely Mountain or even further and to worse places?”
"Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the LORD tested him." Psalm 105:19
Put those two quotes above together and reflect them concerning your own life.
That's what I'm doing right now.
This morning I was looking at the latest Samaritan's Purse Christmas Catalogue. Each entry brought tears to my eyes.
What journey are you on?
Wait for it.
It will arrive.
Hope that is.
When God gives you hope you will see that the impossible is indeed possible with Him.
"I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, and heard my cry . . . And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear, And will trust in the LORD. How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust . .. Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which Thou hast done, And Thy thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with Thee; If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count." Psalm 40:1, 3, 4a, 5
God has given me hope. I'm flying inside. I am thankful. I am thrilled. I am so thrilled to see how God is going to achieve the impossible. And when He does He will be glorified. And if He does it for me He will do it for you.
Believe Him for the impossible.
Believe no matter what.
Sometimes it feels like life will not better. Sometimes it feels like there is only darkness. When life is like this it means God is trusting you that you will keep believing Him and give Him time to work.
Oswald Chambers writes, "When you cannot hear God, you will find that He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible -- with absolute silence, not a silence of despair, but one of pleasure, because He saw that you could withstand an even bigger revelation. If God has given you a silence, then praise Him -- He is bringing you into the mainstream of His purposes."
See this guy?
It's a spider in a jar.
I put him there after finding him wandering around on my carpet.
I wanted to find out what kind of spider he was. He is brown so I was hoping he wasn't poisonous.
I found out he is a grass spider and according to BugGuide.net the male grass spiders "spend most of their adult life wandering in search of a mate. Shortly after mating, the male often dies."
So I am prolonging his life by keeping him in a jar. But since there is no way he will find a mate in there he isn't too happy. He's probably confused.
Grass spiders are really fast and usually live for about a year. The males don't winter well at all.
This guy has been the jar for about 20 minutes and is already depressed. He isn't moving like he was at first. I guess he's waiting for his chance to escape. I'll set him free soon (I think I'll let my youngest daughter see him first).
I don't mind spiders. I usually leave them alone if they appear harmless. In fact I have thought about getting a tarantula for me and Hawk but this idea has never been warmly received by other family members.
I'm not sure what the purpose of this post is. I guess I could talk about the incredible nature of learning. Learning is all around us and it is a good thing to do forever.
Or, I could talk about how prolonging a life isn't always the right thing to do. Oooo, that is a deep subject and I am not sure I want to go there. I will say there is a difference between prolonging and killing (the difference between me putting Spider in the jar or squishing him in the tissue). And I would say hastening goes right along with killing because it is an action.
Or maybe learning is kind of like living in the present. That is how we are supposed to live -- in the present. That is the closest way to live in an eternal way -- right this second. Not in the past (regret or wishing things would happen again), not in the future (worrying or excessive planning). Just right now. God has given us this incredible world that can open our eyes and our hearts to him.
Lest you think I am tough or something because the spider doesn't freak me out, if it had been a rodent of any kind I would have screamed and yelled and then grabbed all three of my cats and attempted to tell them to get the rodent (though this most likely wouldn't have worked).
Time to sign off. Do some research today about something you don't know about. It is a good good thing.
I asked Author and Writer Michael K. Reynolds if I could repost his blog post today. He said yes so it is below. I wanted to repost it because it applies to all of us and it is such an incredible illustration of God's grace and forgiveness, and how sometimes we just have to go back the way we came to experience it. Thank you Michael for letting me repost this. Enjoy!
(Above: the first link is to Michael's author page at Amazon where you can buy one or all of his really good books. And the second link is to his website.)
How An Idiot Almost Died On Mount Whitney
Posted on October 7, 2014 by Michael K. Reynolds
I almost died on Mount Whitney.
It’s the tallest peak in the Continental United States at 14,505 feet and the trail to the summit offers a spectacular ascent through Sierra Nevada grandeur. Majestic granite cathedrals rise to the sky as you traverse through scenery alternating with fern-strewn pathways and monstrous boulders scattered just as marbles shot by God’s fingers.
I was on assignment, working an outdoor story for the newspaper I was writing for at the time. My friends and I woke at 3 a.m. to set out early after only arriving at our motel room the night before at midnight. It didn’t matter. We were all as fit as mountain goats and wanted to throw our youth at the Behemoth that stood in the way of our triumph.
Everything started off so wonderfully. We were merrily set upon our plan and reveling in our own strength, passing others with arrogance as if they were merely broken limbs in the way.
That is, until I started to slowly fall behind the herd, the limping antelope, as a mysterious lion approached in the distance.
It turns out 50 percent of the human race are susceptible to altitude sickness and most don’t discover this until they reach 12,000 feet.
Nearly precisely at this point of the journey I discovered I was part of the unfortunate few. Not only was I among those who suffer from altitude sickness…but I was one of those who get it bad.
Altitude sickness is literally a swelling of the brain…nothing to be taken lightly, and by the time I was 1,000 feet short of the summit, I was reduced to traveling ten feet at time, looking like a drunk sailor after an extended shore leave.
My head pulsed. I was chilled. My breathing was heavy. My vision blurred. But…I pressed on. Because I had something to prove.
By the time I got to the top, I was so nauseous I merely took one look to the left and then one glance to the right…and said, “I’m good.”
Little did I know how close I was to dying on that mountain. It was only later I learned I was perhaps moments away from suffering a fatal high altitude cerebral edema.
But there was one thing I learned right away at the peak. Reversing the errors of my ways was glorious.
Even after only descending 500 feet, I began to feel much better. Then after another 2,000 feet, my headache faded and I was springing back to life. By the time I had descended 4,000 feet below I was born again and was literally RUNNING down the hill.
It was a poor choice. For the mere bragging right of getting what I wanted at the moment, I risked the opportunity to ever have met my eventual wife, to forego the joy brought on by my future children.
Yet, despite my stupidity, the trip down the mountain provided the ultimate example of God’s forgiveness. No matter how idiotic I can be, and how stubbornly I press onward along the wrong path, healing is just a matter of admitting my mistake, and changing my course.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve got lost in the weeds of many poor choices in my life. Yet through it all, the exhilaration of God’s incredible, inexplicable forgiveness was always there for me.
Are you in a place you shouldn’t be, heading on a course you know isn’t for you?
It’s never too late to make things right. To feel the revitalizing power of reconciliation with God. It is like being born again. Feeling whole, clean and healthy.
There is no mountain He can’t bring you safely down from, there is no healing beyond the strength of His hands.
Forgiveness and a new, life-filled trail awaits you. Are you ready to ask for it?
(Mount Whitney Photo by Zeimusu)
"Cry baby Cry.
Put your finger in your eye,
And tell your mother it wasn't I!"
That Mother Goose had a wicked sense of humor! Maybe just a bit mean....
Sorry. Got distracted this morning from what I meant to write about. Do you have a problem? Is there something dragging you down? Do you feel discontent with life and you don't know why?
I have the solution for you (or at least the beginning of the solution). Here it is:
"'and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.'" John 8:32
I kind of took this verse out of context but the truth of it still applies. When we don't know what is going on within we need to ask God to reveal to us what the problem is -- what is causing our discontent, what is dragging us down.
When we know the know the why of the problem, the problem can start being dealt with. And God will give you wisdom on how to deal with the problem. Just ask Him for it (James 1:5-6).
Don't be a victim. I think back on my life and know that when I have believed myself to be without help, felt like a victim, believed myself to be a leaf blowing in the wind without anyway to stop that wind, life pretty much sucks. And it can get scary. Very Scary.
But God is bigger than anything and everything. It doesn't matter if you've messed up a zillion times. He will come alongside you and get you through whatever needs to be gotten through and somehow redeem it so that mess-up will be used for great good. And if whatever you're dealing with is horrendous tragedy that too can be used by God. He is the Great Healer. Let Him heal you.
Yesterday afternoon I was standing on the side of a road in a local town waiting for the Homcoming Parade to begin. I found myself standing with young students -- kindergarten and first graders. I enjoy talking with young students so we started chatting.
Suddenly a blond boy shouted, "There's a frog in the street!"
I looked and he was right. The boy looked worried. He wanted to save the frog from the parade.
My heart warmed to this boy's compassion. I said to him, "Don't worry. When the parade starts moving this way the frog will hop away."
And so we watched. And what I said to him would happen did. The frog hopped to the side of the road. The frog was safe. The story had a happy ending!
A few minutes later I hear this boy say to his friend, "Hey come look at this dead frog!"
I immediately turned around.
What happened?" I said. I was sad. I thought the frog had made it.
The boy said, "I killed it."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because I hate frogs," he said. "One gave me a wart."
And that was it.
I opened up my Bible and this is what I read:
"Then I will make up to you for the years That the swarming locust has eaten, The creeping locust, the stripping locust, and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you. And you shall have plenty to eat and be satisfied, And praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame." Joel 2:25-26
I immediately thought I needed to share those verses. I then went searching for an image to go with the verse. And I found the one on the left. The caption to this picture is: "little boy catching locusts roasting locusts yum."
(If you click on the picture you will go to the website where this picture was posted.)
The thing that got me was the caption. This kid is being surrounded by locusts and he decides to roast them. And he finds out they are tasty.
I wouldn't have done that. I probably would have gone into my house and hid. Or maybe I would have ran to my car, slid inside and slammed the door. I would never have thought about eating the things coming at me.
Can we do that?
Can we overcome and eat the things that are hitting us hard? Invading our space? Changing our landscape?
I don't think I've ever been a locust-eater by nature....
I wish I was.
Who is Jane Hinrichs?
Jane is a wife, a mom, a writer, an artist, a lover of the Word of God. She has been studying the Bible since 1987 and has been writing about it almost since then. She loves to hear from her readers. Email her at: