Thursday, August 23, 2012

When shalt nots... still do!


Okay. So I've blogged about it before. It's not new. But, on some days, the line looms over me. And though it doesn't laugh, nor does it mock or make fun, it doesn't beat over the head or badger, it doesn't reprimand or yell in frustration...  No! Instead, it whispers, it reminds, it tries to convict and convince!

The line?

"The Lord is my Shepherd I shall NOT  w.a.n.t...." (emphasis mine!!!!)

The LORD is my Shepherd...... 





Ugh! I might have a problem! Because right now, my wanter's wanting!

It wanted a month ago. It wanted again a couple of weeks after. And it's wanting again for tomorrow and this weekend.

It wanted in Illinois. Then it wanted in Tennessee. Now it's wanting in South Carolina. In about two weeks, it'll be wanting in Pennsylvania! 


I ache with want-itis! And then, I'm horrified and overcome with the guilt for wanting... when we are NOT to! My 'shalt not' shalts when it's told that it shouldn't!

What do you do then... when your wanter wants? You try to stifle it. You whine about it. You complain about it. You pity yourself. You wrap yourself in sorrow. You sulk. Your brows furrow. Your mouth frowns. Your whole demeanor becomes downcasted. You grab your laptop and start typing. In your despair, you blog about it.

"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want." 

What is it I'm wanting, you wonder?

Short and simple: Him! The Lord! My Shepherd!!! The Great I Am! His word! His voice! His wonder! What He says! A message from the Great God Almighty! My Father in Heaven! The overwhelming feeling / knowing / filling / wrapping / wearing of His Presence!

There's a Living Proof Live with Beth Moore tomorrow in Charleston, South Carolina! There was one in Moline, Illinois that I had tickets to back at the end of July that I missed due to other circumstances. There was one in Knoxville, Tennessee two weeks after that. There will be one in Reading, Pennsylvania on September 15th.................... I so wanted to be there! I so want to go! To experience the wonder! To share in the worship! To praise Him with the multitude! To break the Bread with a whole host of sisters! To bask in His pleasure with synced awe in our hearts and our voices with so many soaring the same soar all around me! To...................................

Oh Lord, see me long and desire and seek to see You! Show up and show me all that You want me to hear and to see all alone here in the quiet and the loneness all by myself here in my room! It's You I want.. and You I crave to hear... You can speak with Your voice.. in Your Word... without using the mouth of one of Your teachers. That's what I'm seeking. That's what I'm craving. That's what I'm wanting... not her, not them, not all of that, not what they can give, but YOU!

So, yes, indeed, it truly is true! "The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want" ... because You alone (as my Shepherd) knows and can satisfy all of my need! For it's not the other sheep that I'm longing for. It is the Shepherd Himself that my heart hungers after!

And the best part of it is, even more than I want to see and hear You, no doubt, You want me to hear and to see You even more than I do! Come Lord Jesus, Your servant is here... Your servant is looking, Your servant is listening! This sheep baaas and cries out in need and in want to her Shepherd that longs for Him to draw her near, to hear His whispered words, and for Him to hold her......

Friday, August 10, 2012

Oh my goodness! He's so cute!!!


Oh my goodness, I mean, I've recently had the sweetest encounter with a bullfrog! A "first" encounter that has quickly turned into a nightly one!

It was a week ago. I was outside with my dogs (all three of them!). Every night for the previous several I had seen a huge bullfrog sitting on the sidewalk right next to my front door. That particular night I was trying to make one of my dogs see him, but the dog was blind to the frog because of his color and his stillness (without any movement, he carried a close resemblance to a rock). So (in my effort to help my dog see) I got a small stick in order to poke him and to force from him some movement. Only the poke didn't do that. The poke failed its purpose. The poke evoked a whole different reaction than the one that I was expecting. The nudge from the stick didn't budge him! Instead, he just leaned into it as if he invited it! He leaned in such a way that it lead me to believe that he wanted me to continue! 

And so, that's just what a did! I didn't necessarily poke anymore, I rubbed. I scratched. He squinted his eyes like it felt so good! He leaned to whichever side I scratched him on. When I went to scratch him under his neck, he closed his eyes and literally LAID on the sidewalk so that he could rub into the stick all that much harder! It was priceless! Adorable! I thought he was going to turn upside down! I stayed out there talking to that silly thing forever. I came back in and texted my kids, letting them know of my new-found wonder! I immediately named him! I didn't ponder but a minute before I dubbed him "Jeremiah"! Surely (though my kids don't!) you remember the song and can sing the line with me: "Jeremiah was a bullfrog, a good good friend of mine...."

I am astounded at his seeming this-feels-so-good-oh-please-don't stopness...I told one of my kids, "Maybe it's Prince Charming coming on a mission to look for one of my daughters???" I've warned Mr. Charming that I'm already married! And yet, with his sleepy squinting eyes, he already appears to be smitten. Entranced. In-love forever!

After massaging the critter that first night, I came in boasting about him to my husband. I went back after a little bit to look for him again, but upon not finding him, I guessed he'd gone back into the bushes for the night. That didn't stop me from squatting down to look for him. It didn't stop me from calling him. "Jeremiah! Jeremiah! Hey you, where'd you go?" I whistled. I clicked-clicked (that thing that you do when you're calling an animal with your tongue). He didn't answer. Didn't appear. Didn't come back. But hey, I tried again the next night. And I'll be, I found him almost instantly! I had my stick ready... and he was ready for it! He was there to enjoy the moment again! It was a Kodak moment!

So cute!! I told God that, "I am so impressed with all that You've made!" I told Him, "I love Your creation! I love Your creatures! I love their uniqueness! I love their surprises! I love their differences!"

I've seen him every night since! I go out multiple times just to scratch and massage on him a minute. And to think... it all started with a poke! That poke that soon developed into a friendship!

You know... we can learn some deep lessons from that small thing. Our reactions to a poke doesn't always have to be what the norm is. A poke (even if done in meanness or madness or aggravatedness or provokeness), if reacted abnormally, it might could actually turn into something beautiful!

My girls in prison get "poked" a lot in order to provoke a negative reaction! To start a fight. To prove a point. To show seniority. But woe, what if we did what the frog did?!! What if we leaned in toward the person that poked us? What if we didn't get so defensive? What if we didn't get so mad? What if we attempted instead to start a friendship? What if we stunned the person with our sweetness despite the poke? Despite the hit? Despite the harsh words meant to start a fight?

Don't you just love what God will use to teach us? I think He sent him to me! I think He smiles at us (me and Jeremiah) when we sit outside for a few minutes each night and play with each other! I think that He likes that we enjoy each other! :) Can you only imagine even more what He'd think if we did the same toward a pokey-person!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I didn't swoon!

 I went to my ex-boyfriend's (like... a zillion years ago's ex) dad's funeral's visitation with a high school friend a couple of weeks ago... AND... I... didn't... even.... swoon! 

I didn't get butterflies! I didn't ache! Didn't yearn! Didn't hurt! Didn't wallow. Didn't waver. Didn't lose my head and get all caught up in a yesterday's year. I didn't lose myself. Or get weirded out or nervous. I didn't miss what we had and thus mourn for it. Our no-longer-"us" didn't sadden me sorrowfully as it so often used to... Seriously, I barely even thought about it! 

I thanked God a thousand times over for healing what I (at one time) thought would never stop bleeding! I LOVED seeing his mom!!!! She grabbed me tight and hugged me twice!!! She said she had just been talking about me to somebody the other day and wondering whatever had happened to me. It was exciting, too, to see his brothers! It was a sweet time. I loved seeing them all again! I noted his wife was beautiful! In a different season (had I first known her without him), I'm sure, I would have automatically liked her. It was a sad occasion (I LOVED his daddy!!!!!!), but he'd been sick for 16 years, so in reality, it was truly considered by all (for him) to be a blessing!! I was so glad I went.

In my excitement to my failed "swoon" reaction, I texted a friend (who just might be as surprised as I was that I didn't!) to tell her. She texted me back. "I'm glad that God "made all things new" at the funeral for you!!! How good! how God!!!".

And yes, indeed, it was! It was good! It was God! I was glad! It WAS "all made new"! It was incredible! I really (as I've earlier said) couldn't thank God enough!

I. Didn't. Swoon! 

Did you get that?! 

I didn't swoon!!! 

I (ME!!!)... 




That, my friend, was a biggie! A miracle! A phenomenon! A gift of the sweetest kind from my Savior!

And then...

I still was not swooning, but (after a whole week and a half had gone by) my mind was still thinking about it! I kept picturing the moment. Kept seeing us standing there. Kept visualizing it. Kept reliving it. Kept playing it back. He wasn't who he used to be, but he was still so him! I couldn't help but hope that he thought that I looked pretty (exceptionally so!). My mind kept wondering what he must have been thinking? My mind kept wondering what his mind still thinks? My mind kept wondering if his mind kept wondering? My mind kept wondering if he had wished he could have talked more to me?

Is that silly or what?! Stupid! Crazy! Irrelevant! Ridiculous! Embarrassing! Why did I wonder really? What does it matter? What difference does it make? 

I can't tell you how much that I had hoped that he'd call me, text me, email me, FB message me.  I didn't really, yet kind of did(!), think he'd do something! Say something! Find me! Make his presence known! Speak some sort of way! Acknowledge the happening. Thank me for coming. Not just leave it there, do some kind of thing! 


He didn't!

And I wasn't surprised...but I WAS! In reality, I really was! Not knowing I'd expect it, I expected something!

But he didn't!

Crazily, I wasn't sad. It didn't hurt me that he didn't. And though I wanted to hear from him, I didn't at all want it to get something started. Just a quick "hi, glad you came" and "you're welcome, how could I not?" would have sufficed. OR, at least my mind told me it would! But with all the obsessing, wondering, thinking.... I realize now that it wouldn't have. I'm afraid that after he'd spoken that just a quick speak wouldn't be enough. I probably would have expected him to say something again after I responded to what he said.

And now? Realizing all of that. I'm so glad that he didn't! I'm so glad that he didn't open a door that would have been havoc and so hard and so painful again to close! I can't tell you how much I have thanked God for that door not being opened! I went through that several years back... and it took a fierce fight to shut that once-opened-again door back again!

You are my Shield, Oh Lord! My Provider! My Protector! My Very Great Reward! Thank You for Your love! Thank You much for protecting me! Thank You for knowing what I need! And thank You especially, Lord, for knowing what I do not! And too, as silly as it sounds, thank You, Lord, for times when old girls after a whole lot of years don't swoon anymore over very old yesterday's boys.....