Tuesday, 28 February 2017

I AM SEEN


I am busy and tired. I pray every day; I ask God to lead me in His favor. I don't have time to read my Bible and journal ... maybe later.

I am interrupted and startled. I am stopped in my tracks. I can't breathe. I need wisdom. Anxiety creeps in, and so does shame. I am on a roller coaster of emotions; I want off.

I am busy. I am trying to stay busy so I don't have time to think. I am hurt. A coworker hugs me and I begin to sob. I am a mess. I am hurting and afraid and ashamed and excited and ... I feel alone.

I deactivate my main social media account. I log into an old account. There it is: a rference to El Roi - the God who sees me. I must make time to hear His voice. 

I reach for my journal. I search today's Bible reading online.  

 "Then Balaam gave this message:
“This is the message of Balaam son of Beor,
    the message of a man who sees clearly;
16 this is the message of a man who hears the words of God.
    I know well the Most High God.
I see a vision from the Almighty,
    and my eyes are open as I fall before him." (Numbers 24:15 NCV)

Switch to 1 Corinthians 13; wait ... isn't this "the love chapter"? Yes, but look - right at the end. Verse 12 says, "...Now we see a dim reflection, as if we were looking into a mirror, but then we shall see clearly. Now I know only a part, but then I will know fully, as God has known me."

There it is. Balaam hears God, and sees Him clearly. God sees ME ... but am I seeing Him? Oh that my heart would learn to run to Him instead of running from life! That I may know Him!

No God, no peace; know God, know peace. 

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for the reminder. Anxieties melt and shame is covered and peace descends like a serene fog. You see me. You are with me. El Roi.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

What's Challenging Me


 
I am currently reading "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis. I ordered it after seeing a post on social media regarding the use of politics to distract people from the truly important things in life. I am a bit blown away by the fact that something written so long ago is so relevant to today's society.
 
The photos above are taken from the third letter in the book. It struck me that if the patient and his mother were replaced by a husband and wife, it could easily resemble my home on many occasions. It seems that we know how to push each other's buttons, and too often we resemble the remark, "Some people create their own storm, then complain when it rains."
 
I am taking this as a wake-up call. I will be more careful with words and hearts. I will be conscious of the fact that there are spirits at work that would destroy us all by creating conflict where there really isn't any. There are tired bodies and exhausted voices more often than there are mean-spirited, anger-inducing bullies. Choosing to respond, rather than react, can make all the difference.
 
Let's change our domestic worlds. One conversation at a time.
 
Cheers,
Vicki

99 Things No One Needs To Know (About Me)

new
1:Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? Either/or
2:Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel? Yes - they're perfect when camping!
3:Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out? Out, so they can wrap my frozen feet
4:Have you ever stolen a street sign before? No ... but I know people who have. 😐
5:Do you like to use post-it notes? Like water!

6:Do you cut out coupons but then never use them? Rarely. I enjoy being thrifty. 😉
7:Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees? Neither? But bees are better than bears when forced to choose.
8:Do you have freckles? Yes. More as I age.
9:Do you always smile for pictures? No. I focus on getting only one chin in the picture. 😂
10:What is your biggest pet peeve? Rudeness
11:Do you ever count your steps when you walk? No. But I know people who do ... 😉
12:Have you ever peed in the woods? Yes - only city slickers haven't. 
13:What about pooped in the woods? More than once. Don't judge me. 
14:Do you ever dance even if there's no music playing? Yes - but only when nobody's watching. 😁
15:Do you chew your pens and pencils? Yes. 
17:What size is your bed? Not big enough for two parents, a kid and a dog! 😁 Queen size. 
18:What is your Song of the week? Over the mountains and the seas, Your river runs with love for me...
19:Is it okay for guys to wear pink? Always.
20:Do you still watch cartoons? As often as possible 
21:What's your least favorite movie? Bridge over the River Kwai
22:Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some? In my bra - nobody ever looks there! 😂 Or in the compost heap with worms and spiders.
23:What do you drink with dinner? Water
24:What do you dip a chicken nugget in? Sweet & sour sauce or mayo
25:What is your favorite food? French fries and/or ice cream
26:What movies could you watch over and over and still love? Stepmom, Fiddler On The Roof, Steel Magnolias, The Titanic
27:Last person you kissed/kissed you? My 5 yr old 😍
28:Were you ever a boy/girl scout? No.
29:Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine? Not enough money in the world!
30:When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? A week or two ago - part of my efforts to be more connected.
31:Can you change the oil on a car? You bet I can! Courtesy of my college boyfriend, who was a (very patient) mechanic. 😀
32:Ever gotten a speeding ticket? Several. NOTE: Never try to outrun the police, and NEVER respond to "Do you know how fast youbwere going?" with "Obviously too fast if you're here." 
33:Ever ran out of gas? I am anal about not letting the needle dip below half, so ... no.
34:Favorite kind of sandwich? Bologna, cucumber and bacon bits. Stop judging!
35:Best thing to eat for breakfast? Eggs (over easy) with hashbrowns, cheese and apple juice
36:What is your usual bedtime? Any time after 8 p.m.
37:Are you lazy? Yes, but I'm working on it. 
38:When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween? We didn't participate in Halloween.
39:What is your Chinese astrological sign? 
40:How many languages can you speak? I speak English and sarcasm. 
41:Do you have any magazine subscriptions? Yes. I'm a sucker for magazine fundraisers.
42:Which are better legos or lincoln logs? Equally delightful! But Legos are slightly more encouraging of imagination.
43:Are you stubborn? Yes. Otherwise I might have stopped with 20 questions. 😉
44:Who is better…Leno or Letterman? No idea
45:Ever watch soap operas? No - I couldn't watch hem and be a good mom.
46:Are you afraid of heights? On a bridge or balcony, yes. In a glass elevator, no. 
47:Do you sing in the car? Yes. I prefer this over conversation 95% of the time.
48:Do you sing in the shower? Yes. It helps me stay positive.
49:Do you dance in the car? Yes. Which may be what hppened to our suspension. 😂
50:Ever used a gun? I have zero trust in myself with a gun, so ... no.
51:Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer? 8 months ago
52:Do you think musicals are cheesy? I love musicals!
53:Is Christmas stressful? Yes
54:Ever eat a pierogi? Too many!
55:Favorite type of fruit pie? Coconut cream
56:Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid? Nurse, preacher's wife, concert pianist
57:Do you believe in ghosts? Yes
58:Ever have a Deja-vu feeling? Yes
59:Take a vitamin daily? No
60:Wear slippers? Yes - with orthotics inside 😕
61:Wear a bath robe? Nope
62:What do you wear to bed? Depends on the night 
64:Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart? Giant Tiger 
65:Nike or Adidas? Neither
66:Cheetos Or Fritos? Cheetos
67:Peanuts or Sunflower seeds? Peanuts.
68:Ever hear of the group Tres Bien? Non C'est bien?
69:Ever take dance lessons? No. It's why I dance alone.
70:Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing? I have no future spouses, haha
71:Can you curl your tongue? No. 
72:Ever won a spelling bee? Never had the opportunity - but I would definitely win.
73:Have you ever cried because you were so happy? Yes. Right now, because we are nearing the end of these questions.
74:Own any record albums? Several - none of which my friends are familiar with. 😂
75:Own a record player? Yes - and it works!
76:Regularly burn incense? No - allergies and asthma limit the usage of these
77:Ever been in love? A few times. One was forbidden, one married me on a bet, one wasn't ready, and one has managed to love me for 16 years now. :-)
80:Hot tea or cold tea? Either/or
81:Tea or coffee? Coffee, green tea, mocha or London Fog - all winners :-)
82:Sugar or snickerdoodles? What is a snickerdoodle?
83:Can you swim well? Yes, and I float even better! 😂
84:Can you hold your breath without holding your nose? Yes.
85:Are you patient? NO! Which is why it's amazing I'm still answering these questions.
87:Ever won a contest? Yes. Also, currently winning the popular parent contest at daycare. #WhatRealWinningLooksLike
88:Ever have plastic surgery? No, but I'd make a great candidate. 😉
89:Which are better black or green olives? Black
90:Can you knit or crochet? I can do both. #BecauseImCoolLikeThat
91:Best room for a fireplace? Tossup between living room and bedroom
92:Do you want to get married? Never again. Unless it's Russ Taff.
93:If married, how long have you been married? Almost 12 years on paper; 16 at heart.
94:Who was your HS crush? David Leblanc
95:Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way? No - I find the silent treatment more effective. 😁
96:Do you have kids? Yes. 
97:Do you want kids? I would love to foster, but my husband disagrees. So we're waiting on grandkids. 😍
98:Whats your favorite color? Yellow or peach for decorating, blue or black for wearing
99:Do you miss anyone right now? So many people! Especially my adopted mom. 😇

Sunday, 5 February 2017

RESCUED BY A LIFE GROUP

It has only been about 2 weeks since I shared about feeling disconnected. How good God is to hear my heart's cry! His answer came in the form of Life Groups; let me explain.

Our precious pastors have felt impressed to start Life Groups within our church. This involves a daily Bible reading, and a bi-weekly meeting to talk about what you're learning. Although this sounds boring to some, it is actually very cool to hear a variety of interpretations based on the same reading! Our group started off with a potluck evening, where kids were welcome to attend; my little guy had a great time!

I am thrilled about this because it accomplishes a number of things for me. First, it inspires me to read my Bible in a dedicated manner. (I confess I have been terrible at this on my own! I started a one-year reading plan almost 3 years ago; I am only a little more than half done!) Second, this group allows me to connect regularly with people outside of my home. It is a way of getting to know people I would otherwise see only once a week or in passing on the highway. Connecting on a regular basis ensures none of us feel alone, and all are encouraged.

I wish I had been introduced to this concept in my younger years! I have placed a number of complaints over cliques in the church community, but I see now that is not entirely accurate. It is my hope that our group becomes tightly knit; that does not mean we will ignore or mistreat other congregation members each Sunday! It simply means we will form safe places for each other, and make sure nobody is left behind.

By the way ... you do not need to be a member of our church to attend the groups. So if any of my local friends are reading this and would like to hang out with a group of crazy people for coffee on a Friday night ... I know a few. ;-)