You Can’t keep Me Down 2

There’s a gift from The Father
For His people to share
He’s The Spirit, The Comforter
And He’s always there!
He’s whatever I need, and
His fellowship imparts
Words of Truth, Life within,
Conviction of heart!
Speaking out loud, I say
“I’m glad YOU’RE my guide”
“Help me stay close to you”
“Deal with my pride.”
Struggles of life, they come.
The fight takes its toll,
They seek to imprison me
In battles of soul.
My flesh is no match again
For spiritual attack
My Rearguard enables me
He’s got my back!
Trip and fall down, I might
But I won’t be destroyed
My Holy Protector
Has filled in the void!
What a Companion, true
And, I often neglect
His Honor and Wisdom
That graces my neck.
Thank you Father for the Gift of Your Son and
The Precious Holy Spirit!
This post is shared at “Tell Me a True Story.”

Coffee Grounds and Cereal Everywhere 2

These days, it seems that I am called on to be “Instant in season,” more than ever. 

God never lets me get into a rut!

A case in point was the other evening.  While we were out and about,taking of care of some important errands, we noticed a couple of young men from the military heading for a Panda restaurant.  They paused momentarily, obviously checking their financial resources.  We parked quickly and ran inside, but could only see one of them.  He was hesitating at the counter. Perhaps his friend was the one with the money. 

You see, while we were still in the car, God spoke to both Randy and I to cover their meal.   They were extremely grateful and asked if they could sit with us.  We hadn’t expected that, but when all was said and done, they went away filled with encouragement and knowing that they were appreciated.  Such a marvelous opportunity to share God’s love!

We said our goodbyes.  Still wide-eyed, one of them kept shaking his head and said over and over,  “ I can’t believe it, there ought to be more people like you guys…. there ought to be more people like you guys – real patriots….!”    

They couldn’t believe someone would step up just when they needed it.  Tired and hungry, they still had a lengthy drive before they reached their homes. It took a minute for them to understand.  We had let them know that our time and money belong to God.   

Was that effort convenient for us?  Not really, but we managed to deal with the urgent errands while the others were resolved later that evening and scheduled for the next day.  It took some doing, but God helped us work it out. 

The next day, I was in a hurry.  Of course I was.  A prospective student had called for a meeting and I was ecstatic!  Three students for the new dental assisting session had just withdrawn, and I was facing canceling the class. God was sending replacements! 

As I zipped around gathering textbooks, curriculum and so on, I slipped in a puddle, courtesy of a new puppy.  That is another story, but that  little interruption cost me 15 minutes.

Back to work.   My stomach rumbled fiercely, so with  information tripping off my printer, I dashed to the kitchen to grab some food.  Popping the coffee and the oatmeal containers back onto the highest shelf of my cupboard, I noticed that they teetered a bit.   

Oh NO!    Jumping up in the air like an all-star basketball player, I pushed the coffee can back into the cupboard.  Score! 

Oops!  That “push” was apparently just a little too hard!   The coffee can rebounded and toppled the oatmeal container.  Both flew out at me with a vengeance!   With a little aid from my fan, ground coffee and oatmeal filled the air settling on the shelves, over the counter, in cracks, inside my dishwasher and all over the floor.    Ahhhhh!

In my efforts to “save” the falling food, the eggs that had been sitting on the counter also became a part of the war zone casualties! This was horrible! 

When I finished flailing about, I couldn’t believe the mess!   Of course the puppy picked this opportune time, while I was in my stunned-state, to run in and further exacerbated the issues by tracking egg everywhere!

Did I say I was in a hurry?  Yes, and I still was.   

God give me Grace!  Should I just leave it and clean it up later or what?  Time was not on my side.  I felt like calling off my appointment! 

Lisa Bevere once told a story about her heavy conference schedule and a crazy morning at home.  Somehow a box of Cheerios managed to topple from the top of her fridge and landed all over the kitchen floor.  That was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for her that day. She shrieked, began crying, put her pajamas back on, went upstairs to bed, and cancelled the conference. It was one more thing she just couldn’t handle. 

Similar emotions swept over me for a moment.  Nothing, but nothing  has been easy lately!  

 I thank God for His precious Holy Spirit.    

“Go ahead, clean it up” was all I heard.  

Honestly, I didn’t even know where the vacuum or the broom was at that moment.   Eyes closed, I scooped up the soiled pup, breathed in God’s presence and regained my peace.  Of course, I now had to change my clothes too. 

The phone rang as I started my search for the vacuum.  My student was apologizing that she was going to be 30 minutes late.  There was my reprieve. 

No, I never seem to be allowed to get into a rut.  Often, I have longed to have a life where things can be “regular” or “scheduled”.  Working from home while raising five kids, dealing with home schooling, and being available for whatever God brought my way, worked together to train me up for variety and change. 

To a degree, there are some things I can count on to be repetitive, but generally, God has seasoned me to be alert for whatever.  It comes in handy for all those “unplanned interruptions”.   

Where others fall apart, I find that I am a little more hardened to difficulty.  While I am not saying it’s easy, I am saying that I am able to stay the course.  

All in all, it’s with His Peace and in His Strength I can function. 

So how do I roll?   With His Might that gives me inflexibility to temptation!
This post is shared at: Tell Me a Story

Who Is Your Daddy

Who’s Your Daddy?

One day when I was an adult, my biological father tossed an unexpected line my way. I hadn’t seen him in a long time when he showed up at my door.  It was an awkward moment.
He wanted to let me know that he always loved me and was proud of me. In my whole life, I had heard it from other people, but he never actually mentioned it directly to me.
During my childhood, when other people needed help, he managed to show up and to put on a show! As helpful as he appeared, his presence and participation in the lives of his kids was nearly non-existent.  Promises.  So many, many of them were freely made, but never kept.  Such a tutorial in distrust.
So regular were the lessons, we also internalized that lying must be a “normal” behavior. 
On occasion, my father enforced his illusions upon us.  While perusing my report card, he once told me,
“You are NOT my daughter if you don’t get all “A’s”! 
That stung!  My eyes filled with tears, and my ears rang as ran and locked myself in the bathroom.  That was such a low blow!
Maybe he was kidding, but that hurt me! 
It was all the involuntary absences from school that did it.  Those could not be helped, but what did HE know? 
Not only was I busy raising his kids, but I had a two – mile walk to school, no coat in inclement weather, holes in my shoes, no breakfast or lunch, and household responsibilities beyond those of any normal kid.  What did HE know?

Incensed at his irresponsible comment, I felt like a by-product. 

To be fair, he did work more than one job, so was rarely home.  While I can see how rough that must have been for him, surely, there must have been a way to get through everything without sacrificing us.  I know….I have faced that challenge as an adult, myself.  Lots of self-sacrifice is involved.
A deep-seated, unmet need to gain the approval of others plagued my father until he died. He wanted to BE somebody and it was obvious to everyone –  except him. He went out of his way to impress friends, employers, church people…you name it.  But, it seems he forgot about his DUTY as a Father.  That we were left to fend for ourselves, failed to make an impression on him.
In his later years, I overheard my father talking to some people.  It was as if he inhabited some sort of time-warp, cradling the past. He was honestly convinced that HE had done a good job of raising four kids.  He never grasp that there was a difference between actual nurturing as opposed to allowing time to pass until a child grows older. 
In and out of other people’s homes while our mother was in and out of hospital and care facilities fostered little stability or permanence in me.   Stability? Permanence?  Other people had that. For me, it was elusive.
Troubles and more troubles with unexpected outcomes inundated my father when I was small.   But… he never seemed to catch a clue that some of the issues may have been of his own making.  With my two small brothers in tow, he finally deserted when he couldn’t handle any more.   I was 13 and left with a sick mother and a ton of pressure.  What about rent, lights and gas, water, food…?  

So here is the REAL deal…..
I lived.   I lived with a broken heart and insurmountable difficulty, disappointment and a crushed spirit.
Those times were exceedingly hard on a kid.  Time moved on, and I became old before my time.  I couldn’t fathom a day without anxiety or uneasiness. 
That God loved me was a foreign concept, although I had heard it is was so.
Then, one day, with a mighty rush, the Holy Spirit jumped right in the middle of my circumstances. He convinced my heart that I WAS loved – and lovable!   God’s approval bathed my heart and mind.  An inexplicable awareness awakened on my insides.
Overwhelmed with thankfulness and peace, a new reality enveloped my whole being! That GOD was MY FATHER – MY DAD, became perfectly clear.  His Word, certain and true, trumped anything else!
I made the exchange!  Suddenly, the direction of my trust changed. I quit looking for my earthly Father to meet my needs.  I quit holding him and others hostage over their human inabilities. Without hesitation, I transferred my trust to God to be my provider.  From now on, HE would be THE ONE from whom I got my love and acceptance! I could count on HIM!
Approved by God!  What a difference that has made in my life.  I’m surrounded by and infused with His Power, His Life and His Ability! 
With full force, I’ve embraced it and have never looked back!
Back to what? 
He is El Shaddai God.
He’s my Abba – My Daddy.
   This post is shared at “Tell Me a True Story.”