Thursday, May 28, 2009

Political Moment

I'm having a political moment. Will you read my blog anyway?

Check out this story. It got me thinking.

I'm sure this issue will die, but like so many issues, it will resurface. Again and again. How do I know? History.

My boys are Boy Scouts. Part of their oath is to keep themselves Morally Straight. Do you know how to explain this principle to your children? Do you even try?

What about truth and truthfulness?

What about ends justifying means?

What about freedom? responsibility? prejudice?

How do you explain these things to your children when we live in a world that lies and deceives? Have you read the magazine covers at the check out stand?

How do you explain a government that thinks we are now out of money when last year when we were in the hole trillions of dollars we were somehow not out of money and had the means to bail out everybody. Did you know they are considering a TOE? A federal tax on everything.

How do you explain freedom and responsibility when you have to pay a fine for not wearing your seatbelt, but if you get pregnant you can have an abortion for practically free.

How do you explain prejudice to kids who can't talk about Jesus in their classroom but have a chapter on Mohammed in their textbooks?

How do you live the Golden Rule?

I'm off my soap box now. Thanks for listening. I needed to have a political moment. I needed to vent. Now, I need to go eat some chocolate.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Making Friends in Oakhurst

I’ve been aghast at the number of new discoveries in Oakhurst. It’s always something. Many friends. Some good. Some not so good. Can you see these friends? Do you know who they are?

They are all over our house this year and I am thankful for them. Do you know why? Because I planted Zephrinine. Almost as soon as I put her in the soil, she began thanking me profusely with blooms to match my lovely hydrangea. Clair Matins has not yet arrived, but when she does, she’ll need friends like these, too. Have you figured out who these little friends are and why I am so happy they live here in Oakhurst?

I must admit, that while I was taking these few snapshots some of my not so good friends showed up. I HATE them. So far this year, I have had too many swollen, itchy, irritating parts to count. So swollen my eye was puffy for 3 days. (That was from a bite on my nose.) So swollen on another few days that I couldn’t wear my wedding ring. That little nip occurred when Zephrinine and I were first getting to know each other. Joe talked to the knows-something-about-everything boy scout troop Doctor Dad who said I have an overreactive immune system. (Whatever!)

I may have to enjoy all this wildlife looking out the window of my air conditioned house or get Joe to move me somewhere where bugs don’t bite me. (Yeah. Right.) The other option is deet poisoning. Dag nab it. I have to stop blogging now to go find the benadryl cream. I’m sure there is another one of those spiritual journey parallels about all this good and evil stuff, but I’m too distracted to care. Someday there will be roses and bugs living in harmony without mosquitoes. It will be Heaven. This life is just a shadow of what is to come. (Colossians 2:17)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Danger: Going the Wrong Way

Oops! We went the wrong way. Ever done that? Had to take a U-turn?

My husband insists we went the right direction. In a way, he is correct. We found the flume. A Reliable Friend had told us about the flume a few months ago. After much debate over what we might do on Mother’s Day, we finally, at the last minute, settled on what I wanted to do. A Bike Ride. Joe decided on the location: The Flume.

We started out great. We got there, got the bikes off. Discovered a flat on Joe’s bike but determined it wasn’t all that bad. We’d just tote the pump along. Found the flume trail, but then we discovered we had to cross over the flume itself. At first, no biggie. Just pick up the bikes or carefully side step them over the narrow passageway. Easy. A little time-consuming, but with 3 capable children and a daring mom, we were on our way. Until we got to the next narrow passageway OVER the flume. Finally I said, “Ummmm.... did Reliable Friend say that this was a BIKE trail? Seems to me it’d be great for hiking?”

Plan B. We left our bikes on the side of the flume and started hiking. We walked over a really long narrow passageway and I tried not to watch my children navigate heights.

Then Plan C hit. I really wanted to do some gardening that day, too, and we hadn’t brought along water bottles or hats for hiking. No bug repellent either. We finally said, “It’s time to turn around.”

After returning to the car, we found a bike trail. Aha! This is where we meant to go all along. At least, it’s what I had in mind. Joe reminded me. “No, I wanted to find the flume. It was where I was planning on going all along.” We talked about whether or not Reliable Friend had told us it wasn’t a family friendly bike trail. Did something get lost in the translation? We questioned whether we heard him right. Did we misunderstand his description? Did we just hear what we wanted to hear? Did we simply forget what he had originally said?

Our spiritual journey is like this sometimes. When you go the wrong way, you start questioning yourself: Did I hear God right? Did I miss something in the translation? Did I hear what I what I wanted to hear? But you know, there are times when going the wrong way isn’t really wrong. It IS what God is planning all along and it is RIGHT.

Even on right paths, we occasionally have to pause. Evaluate. Make a U-turn. That’s what we did. That’s what we do. Sometimes, right or wrong it becomes obvious that it’s time to turn around. It’s part of learning how to listen, how to discern and the growing of wisdom. Going the wrong-way is an opportunity, because we know that all things work together for good....

When was the last time you made a U-turn in your life?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gotta Love Chuck

Chuck Swindoll is not among my favorites. His sister Lucy rocks, however. Ever heard her at Women of Faith? Anyway, when I catch Chuck on the radio I pause. I am always compelled to give him a thorough listening ear because he's a solid guy. He's just not one of my favorites.

BUT TODAY, he may become one of my faves. Why? Because his website is awesome. Go to Insight for Living. If you want to listen to a particular passage of scripture and his preaching on it, you simply go to his broadcasts, click on the library and then you can find his sermons by topic, title and YES, SCRIPTURE REFERENCE!

You know his mom was cool. She named her kids Chuck and Lucy. Do you think they might have been like the cartoon strip growing up? Maybe so. Gotta love the humor and the authenticity of that Peanuts inspired relationship. I welcome being served the meat of the Word with truth and laughter. Give the Swindoll Sibs some of your time; add Chuck to your podcast rotation or buy one of Lucy's books for a summer read. I hope you will.

If you know any other websites so well laid out that you can just click on what you are interested in hearing about... let me know. I'm becoming a connoiseur of radio preachers. There's lots of good news out there!

Oh! And does anyone out there know if I spelled "connoiseur" correctly? It's a great word.

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's Important to Me

Today, I read this interesting article on parenting. I realize as I have grown with my kids how much I’ve learned and how little I would have figured out on my own. In fact, the article itself came to my email box by way of a friend whose example and advice have molded my mothering. It is good to be iron sharpening iron. I love that my God chooses to use people in my life to care for me and meet my needs. But, it leaves me with the question, am I caring for others the way Jesus cares for me? Am I the hands and feet of Jesus to, at the very least, my family?

Segue.... Many years ago. Yes, many years ago....maybe 7 or so, my husband came home from work one day. Welcoming him through the door I gave a thorough recitation of my concerns, worries and burdens. I proceeded to inform him of all the things he could do to “help” me, when he cheerfully replied, “If it’s important to you, it’s important to me!” I sarcastically retorted, “Who stole my husband?” Yes, I really said that. Out loud. I proceeded to explain that someone must have body-snatched the real Joe Schneider and replaced him with this man who cheerfully replies, “If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.” I went to the window to look for the alien spaceship that had replaced my husband with this Divine Imitation.

The irony, of course, is that there really was no alien spaceship. This new man really was my husband. I tried to analyze why he would suddenly intentionally begin to make my concerns his own. I even asked him, “Why?” I admit it. I’m pretty stupid. After an embarrassing amount of probing, I chose to take what I was given and enjoy every bit of it.

All these years later, you know what I wonder? I wonder what would happen if I could put that one simple principle of caring into practice?

If it’s important to my kids, it's important to me.
If it’s important to Joe, it's important to me.
If it’s important to God, it's important to me.

I am just one woman and I know I can only do so much. The problem is, I often try to do all the wrong things. Just like I mentioned on my last post, On the Porch, I can barrel through life, trying so hard. That’s not part of God’s plan for me. God says, “Be still.”

In answer to my prayer, “Bless Him, Change Me,” God has replied with the words of my husband, “If it’s important to Joe and the kids, it’s important to Me.”

Could that be the whole of God’s will for me? What if it is?