My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.


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The King and Queen of Everything

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The extended stretch of warm weather was the perfect opportunity to load my husband’s 1990 Chevy truck with an assortment of household discards and yard debris; ready to deliver it to the local dump. Which  now in today’s green terms is called the”Environmentally Conscious Recycling Center”. Stepping into Kevin’s rickety truck I gave the door a necessary forceful close, while semi bemoaning the fact our town no longer supported a yearly Bulky Waste Trash day. Expectations never failed to run high within the Jennings family, waiting for this much anticipated newsletter; generated from our little City Hall. Encouraging the neighborhood to spring clean by placing their unwanted items along their curbside. This event would happen on a scheduled Friday to be picked up Saturday morning .

During our first year in this community, it felt like I died and gone to Heaven. Continuing this sentiment for 18 years as I shopped the neighborhood carting home an assortment of items, whether it be shelves,  cans of paint, a Rubbermaid wheelbarrow’s ( I really hope they wanted to give that away! ) or the wicker chair I’m comfortably sitting on as I write. This family highlight always involved piling the boys and their friends into our van… like circus car overstuffed with clowns. Taking the neighborhood by storm rummaging through all the roadside treasures. With each collected item we found along the way , we collected memories filled with laughter and enough antics to write a book about. Come to think about it, I hope we were not the reason for the complete shutdown of this operation… I shutter to think of it!

Whether we brought the demise of the bulky waste trash day or not, knowing we no longer had a free available resource, Kevin and I counted our losses and headed to the dump.

Inside the recycle center grounds we winded our way around the landscape of twisted metal, mountains of household discards and machinery, finally arriving at our designated unloading site. Hopping out of the truck eager to help my husband unload the contents, we began lifting, raking, and sweeping as we went. As we continued to clean it suddenly donned on me I was wearing a shirt that said, “Somebody has to be queen.” What irony! It made me laugh, and quickly realize how utterly fitting this attire was to wear to the dump after all!

When we think of Jesus who had heard His disciples arguing as to who was the greatest, He sat down and summoned them saying, “So you want to be first place? then take the last place. Be the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35) Jesus is our perfect example, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served , but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark10:45) These poignant truths hit home as we humbly celebrate Christ’s glorious sacrifice on Easter Sunday.

When we personally know the love of God it overflows into serving others which is ultimately serving Him… it goes hand in hand. Christ’s life so beautifully played this out in every life He touched.
So my question is this: if someone has to be the Queen or King why not us? Are we ready to be the least, the last, or like a little child? Please join me as we become “Kings and Queens of Everything” from the messes to the miracles. His kingdom of servant hood come, His will be done.

“Each of you has been blessed with one of Gods wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well.” — 1 Peter 4:10, Bible

“We have all been called to be foot-washers.”   Alan Wood

“But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” Luke 22:26-27

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Dress

During the summer of 1965 my mom came to the realization she needed to overcome her fear of driving more completely. Even though her drivers license found a  secure home in her sleek wallet, anxiety prevented her from getting behind the wheel much. A  stay at home mother of two, her desires to head out on the highway increased, taking us on adventures that went far beyond  public transportation.
mom and Me in t bird
Only a mere four years old at the time the thought of a new escapade was thrilling.  Positively eager to lend mom encouragement, humor or both to enhance her pending endeavors.  I wasted no time fulfilling this assignment the first day she backed out of our driveway and ventured down rutty Tolman street. Rather pleased with herself while rolling up to the first stop sign in downtown Woodstock. Summer’s balmy breeze tousled mom’s brunette curls through the opened window, tickled pink standing behind her, as my small hands wrapped tightly around the warm leather front seat. Peering around completely unencumbered by what is now required seat belts.  Immediately  I noticed  a uniformed sailor stepping off the curb to use the crosswalk.  What a perfect opportunity to showcase my newly acquired skill of wolf whistling. Pursing my lips I gave a hardy whistle, quickly ducking just in time to leave my mom looking like the culprit… blushing profusely when she realized what I had just done.

Mom pressed through her fears and my antic to take the yellow Thunderbird out for more spins. Whether it was driving to Sears to purchase a plastic boat for my brother, cousin and I to float down the stream of Westmoreland park; or a picnic at Eagle Fern, she now had wheels coupled with a new found confidence. One day after a long trek of summer fun, mom was happy to be home and eager to park the sweet chariot in the garage. Lining up the car she carefully began to proceed, when all of the sudden a loud crunch abruptly interrupted her typical  parking protocol. Misjudging the distance and hitting the right side of the house. Visibly shaken, she began to assess the damages while simultaneously fearing what my dad would say when he came home from work. Noticing my mom’s behavior I began to hatch a plan, which went as follows.

Right before my dad would arrive I would,
1st. Position myself in front of the crash site.
2nd. Fan my sundress over the location of the  accident.
3rd. Smile really big.

Nothing unusual about this behavior, right?  No doubt my dad found this extremely suspicious for his active daughter to spend a summer day.

My parents got a big chuckle out of it and I’m guessing my wholehearted attempt to protect my mother defused some heated emotions that day.

God’s word talks about covering one another, in 1 Peter says 4:8 “above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins forgives and disregards the offense of other.”

When I think of “a covering”, I think of the story of Noah in Genesis chpt. 6 through chpt. 9. How thrilled Noah must have been when he finally was able to get off the S.S. Ark, and place his two feet on the terra firma, while breathing in some refreshing air after his extended cruise with some smelly shipmates.

He began to cultivate the ground and planted a vineyard. All those days on the water made him long to get some earthen soil between his fingers.

As a native Oregonian I’ve seen a lot of rain in my lifetime, so in a small way I can relate to that.

Noah vineyard yielded a bumper crop of grapes so he made  some wine and partook of it; to the point of becoming drunk, laying naked and uncovered in his tent.  Shortly after, Ham one of Noah’s sons, glance at his father in his birthday suit and rushes to tell his two brothers outside the tent.  Ham was ready to “Ham it up” about  his dad’s nakedness with his two bro’s, but Shem and Japheth would have no part it, but rather took a garment laid it upon their shoulders and walked backwards so as to not see his nakedness and covered him.

Choosing not to expose his vulnerable state, nor mock it , but out of respect covered it. When Noah awoke from his wine induced sleep and found out his youngest son’s poor behavior, he cursed him; but spoke blessings over Shem and Japheth.

How easy it would have been to guffawed it up with Ham at their father’s expense and weakness at the moment,  instead of extending grace to him.

We all have at one time or another, had someone expose us in our point of personal weaknesses or shame. Cruelty or a need to belittle to be Big can drive some to attempt to capitalize on a weakness.

The Lord longs for us to be, “Love Coverings”, protecting the weak, broken and vulnerable.  God’s word says, “I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me with help and ministering care.”  When we bless others we not only bless the heart of God we are blessed in the process. God is calling us to be a covering of forgiveness and grace. So today may we spread out our SONdress’s or (pants) of love and covering to those around us. In doing so we will experience the SONshine of God’s love and blessings shining down on us.

Thank you Jesus for your tender mercies and loving kindness that blots out my transgressions.  Lord may we forgive others as you have so freely forgiven us. Grant us a blanket of grace to cover those that need it and a voice of truth in love  when we need to confront. Knowing  we all stand naked before you Lord, exposed and broken.  Thank you Lord Jesus for your Heavenly attire of grace, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness that you have clothed us with. May we stand as a people poised and ready to walk side by side draping your children with the same.