Manic Monday

I think I just dated myself back to the 1980s with the title, as I hear The Bangles rhyme that song into oblivion, but it seems Mondays are crazy, and the to do list is so long. Weekends were made for fun with a little church thrown in, catching up with family and friends, and maybe a light project, but nothing like the big brick of “to dos” that hits you in the head Monday morning. Makes a girl want to go shop, but not for groceries. I bargain with myself –if I get the top five things done, I can go play. The top five. . .hmmm, maybe the top three as two require hours of my time.

The other day, my sister said, “Can you believe 1990 was seventeen years ago?” At first, I let it go by me without much reflection, then I later thought how recent 1990 sounded in my head. Time has a (not so) funny way of slipping by us, and often I am sorry I don’t have more progress to account for each day. God wants more of me when I feel this way.

What would a day that counted look like? What would make each day feel indispensable, priceless, vital to making a difference in the world? For me, the answer is held in my faith. Others desperately need it, and I would be remiss not to share the real Secret (unlike the popular book with the same title) of my peace, my joy, my love, and my compassion to feel others’ joys and sorrows. It all is found in Christ Jesus. He is the One that makes a day meaningful, makes it count, and shows me what matters. It doesn’t take long to toss the list concept in favor of the prayer concept. When God orders the day, He reveals a (super)natural rhythm and focus to each day to give it meaning and make me more effective, solely with His power, not my own. It’s harder to ruffle my feathers. It’s easier to relax. The day is full and satisfying. When I don’t spend that morning time reading the Bible and praying and reflecting on what God would have me do, I run myself crazy and am terribly ineffective. Time marches on for this world, but “He has set eternity in the hearts of men” (Ecclesiastes 3:11a) so why do we run so fast on the treadmill?

a fish story

All I can say, is if I were stranded on a deserted island or on Survivor 22(and I had a fishing rod and reel, some minnows from the corner store, a pair of pliers, a stringer, a good fishing knife, a bait bucket and a few cold drinks, a lawn chair, some Off, great tunes on the radio, and snacks), I could have made a decent fish dinner for everybody on the island, had I kept them.

I think one was one of the biggest bass I’ve pulled out of the little pond—probably about three pounds. All by myself, I might add. I put them (all three) on the stringer so when my sister, Jen and her friend, Renae, showed up, they could believe I had actually been so bold.

Jen said that she was really proud of me, knowing the wimp background I have. Well, that isn’t altogether true. I come from a line of very strong women starting with my own sister, who can be a wimp about some little things, but not about the big stuff, surviving the death of my mother and a divorce at the same time, and thriving past breast cancer. My mother and her mother both were widowed young and raised their kids alone, but with much wisdom and grace. Strong and smart, we’re talking.

My sister and I often will say that we know why God made us specifically for this generation, since there are hot showers and central air and heat. As I like to remind myself, “for such a time as this.” (–Esther 4:14)

Wimpy I am to the core, but just about everyday things like being very helpful on campouts, steep hikes, or anything remotely dangerous. Several years ago, I rode a 4-wheeler down into a volcano in Kauai and kept up with the family pretty well, but it was a stretch, I’m telling you. I passed on the ski trip the year after, not on purpose, since I had to recover from some surgery. To tell the truth, I wasn’t too disappointed.

But today, nobody would have voted me off the island. I’ll post the picture I made my sister’s friend take of the fish as soon as I get it, so you and others like you won’t think of me as wimpy anymore. Now I have to go redo my manicure. Fish do bad numbers on nails.

It’s a Heart Thing

“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Matthew 15:8-9).

Well, here we are at a crossroad. Technology has finally matched a vehicle for my thoughts and heartbeats. So, I start with something pretty heavy, but promise to be lighter on most occasions, remembering “a merry heart is good medicine,” as the proverbs writer advised. However, today, we’ll deal with the topic of the day for me. My devotional this morning read:

A heart warped with envy, jealousy, selfish ambition, impure motives, and deceit delivers malice, not compassion; extends hatred, not love; practices greed, not charity. God can only be known by the pure of heart. A corrupt heart either denies or distorts God until He is reduced, minimized, and stripped of His awesome power and incomparable majesty.

Create a clean heart in me O Lord, and renew a steadfast spirit within me…

Not sure what all God needs to do, but I realize I have a mess to clean up and I can’t do it. I have a heart that is disobedient, harbors unforgiveness, and cheapens Grace by not receiving the purification of the Blood of the Lamb. Not that I intentionally deny it, but every time I go back to old habits, I find that sin infiltrating my heart again, and it doesn’t belong in a heart that is tabernacle to the Lord Christ. In fact it distances me from relationship, hardens the heart, and hinders my prayers.

Let me just start with a thankful heart Lord, counting it all joy.

James 1:2-8
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”

A thankful heart is a good start. Now come and take over Lord Jesus, and let Your sweet, loving Spirit infiltrate me.

“Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.” Ps. 84