My Sentimental Journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God


The Broken Buddha

My dad was famous for bringing things home when he was a traveling salesman. Sometimes this just meant he traveled back and forth to a local auto parts store where he worked. No matter, he always seemed to find treasures to cart home. As I’m typing this, it dawned on me that I’m a lot like him. What an epiphany… it only took 61 years for this realization. Better late than never I always say.

When dad brought home fake decorative trees adorned with pink plastic flowers or burnt orange Fall leaves. It was my mom’s job was to try to work my Dad’s purchases into their home design while trying to maintain her own aesthetic style. At times this task proved to be a challenging endeavor.

However, hands down the one item that was the most difficult and loathsome, for my mother to incorporate let alone even bring into the house, was a gargantuan sized ceramic statue of Buddha; sporting both of His arms lifted up high while His rotund belly protruded out unashamedly.

That newly acquired find not only did not fit my mom’s décor, it did not fit her Christian beliefs. So with these two blaring conflicts, she quickly had my father usher it downstairs and placed it in the farthest corner of the rec room… a time out of sorts for Mr. Buddha perhaps chalking it up to his bad behavior. My mom was always good with a “work around” solution when It came to making a home for my dad’s finds.

And while my dad’s crazy Buddha statue had his perpetual time out in the basement. There came a day when that find met his match with two young girls that had far to much energy and way to much time on their hands. My dear childhood friend Janet and I were quite the pair, to be honest I don’t remember what our reasons were to go downstairs and engage with the statue on that fateful day. I have no doubt we were caught up in the midst of some heightened wackiness for sure. It all that mayhem and merriment all of the sudden Mr. Buddha fell over as those arms once raised high, were now completely and cleanly sheared off from the impact while miraculously the arms remained totally intact. Unbelievable!

This smoothest break from his tubby torso, no one could have made happen even if they tried. Believe you me we did not try at all. Truth be told, I’m now 100 % convinced my mom’s prayers for its demise were the culprit. That woman knew how to pray.

Janet and I were horrified at this mishap. I quickly sprang into action darting upstairs for glue to apply a 911 emergency adhesive on the severed arms. Carefully gluing the ends we attached his broken limbs to his body while propping them up with our hands. However, the moment we let go gravity took over causing them to slide down. We repeated this several times with the same end result. It was a dizzying and rather exhausting experience, as if the glue smell was not dizzying enough. In our desperate attempt to keep Buddha’s arms on, the strong smell of glue wafted up the stairs grabbing my mom’s attention, kicking into high gear as any loving mother would do ,she quickly walked down the stairs to investigate the cause of these intense fumes. Even though I was initially afraid of what her reaction would be, I was greatly relieved to see that for the very first time my mom was actually happy that I had broke something.

This funny memory came to mind the other day and as I reminisced this event I also pondered it.

I had just finished my last blog post about Hidden Idols and how God brought about a Holy Spirit course correction into my life… a path of learning to trust Him more. And here I was again pondering idols with a new revelation I felt the Lord say, “Lisa, what idols are you trying to prop up and save in your life. I thought of one unhealthy relationship He had lovingly removed from my life or severed, but I was having a hard time letting go of it, for one I thought I had broken it so therefore I needed to fix it, wanting so badly to mend it when I was not called to do that anymore.

Truth is it was just not meant to be. Sometimes in our lives that will happen, and no amount glue or human effort can prop that up. I’m reminded of Romans 12:18 NIV

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” We need to do our best and leave the rest to God.

The other arm if you will ,was revealed days later when I thought how at times I can let my mind go idle, though its spelled differently it was still an effective way to get my attention.

The dictionary describes idle thoughts as frivolous, trivial, minor, meaningless and purposeless to name a few.

I don’t want to focus my energy’s on unnecessary or valueless thoughts that have no purpose instead I choose to do what Philippians 4:8 encourages us to do.

Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.

As I looked at what could be an another idol in my life, I repented of what I believed God was wanting to address at those moment and asked the Holy Spirit to keep me alert to any other idols in my life.

Because truthfully there can be a lot of areas in our lives where idols can find their way into so many of life’s situations.

So, today I’m putting down the tube of glue of my own understanding and efforts that try to keep unhealthy or broken things together… when all along these were actually God’s “divine” and “clean” breaks.

A clean cut from an idol that is not suppose to be there in the first place.

Lord today I pray Psalms 139:23-24 KJV

Search me, O God, and know my heart :Try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Thank you Lord Jesus for breaking off any idols that have found a home in my heart.

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Hidden Idols

Running late for church one Sunday I grabbed my crumpled clothes from the bench where I tossed them after coming home late from a Her Voice Rally in Corbett Or. The weekend event was a barn burner and healing flowed throughout the gathering of over 800 women were I got gloriously touched by God. As wonderful as that was, I felt in my spirit that there were more areas that He wanted to bring healing and wholeness to.

Feeling beyond determined to go to church that following Sunday morning, I left my tired husband in bed and drove my disheveled weepy self 30 minutes to our new home church The Collective in Tigard, Oregon.

While driving there I also felt driven to get to a place where I could connect intimately with a God who loved me and I loved back. Surrounded with like minded people that hungered for the same experience is indeed powerful.

I cried through worship, heck, I probably cried through the announcements and the drive home was no exception. God was busy collecting my tears in His bottle and recording everyone in His book as King David penned so beautifully in Psalms 56:8. He was rather busy that day, and I know as my loving Heavenly Father He did not mind one bit.

I can certainly understand why King David also wrote in Psalms 121:4

“Behold, He who watches over Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep “

God watches over us 24 /7 and He never grows weary doing it.

What a comfort.

As God lovingly collected my tears while I drove the long stretch of the freeway home, He showed me an image of Jacobs wife Rachel stashing her fathers household idol in a camel’s saddle. You can the read this whole great story in Genesis 31, when I got home I sure did. It had been a while since I read that story.

Upon seeing that image I asked the Lord what are you telling me? Do I have an idol I’m not aware of?

I had an inkling I already knew what He was going to share.

You see, at this time in my life I just lost my business a few months prior due to the business closing where I rented a couple of spaces to sell home décor. With this new turn of events I decided to open up my little backyard She Shed… and call it “The Wildflower Cottage”. Filling my tiny space with cute decorative treasures. A place I could still decorate, visit with people, while generating a little income from the whole gig, it felt not only divine but a match made in heaven.

That shed was so delightful, why not make our other shed a clothing boutique? Since losing my spaces I also no longer had my clothing merchandising position as well. Hence the name change to “Wildflowers & Lilies” a nod to the scripture verse in Matthew 6:25-34 where Jesus told His disciples to not be anxious and to consider how He clothes the lilies.

Funny how as I look back I did not catch the signs along the way. The neon sign,

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow “…

is more then just a charming quote but the word of God (Logo) to implement in my life, not just stick on my business cards.

The Lord is so patience His loving response to my inkling about it being my business was “you never asked me.”

Right then and there the realization hit me, I went in all guns a blazing. Though talking to my husband about it we really did not commit it more fully in prayer. It sounded good so it must be God. Right?

It seemed like a great idea, I even placed a scripture verse on my business card, prayed for people who came to visit. The thing is …

We can do good things…

With good intentions …

And still miss the mark.

God always goes to the root, the core belief or reasoning for our actions, He’s all about healing us, while helping us trust Him. His desire is for us to keep the main thing the main thing, which should always be Him. Walking in complete trust and surrender to His will and way. Especially when it is difficult to do so.

When I dug deeper reading Genesis 31 with all its robbery and intrigue the plot thickened with handy commentaries peering into the possible reasons Rachel took the household god in the first place.

One article suggested she knew her father’s Laban’s god growing up and she learned of Jacobs God. Yet perhaps leaving her childhood home to go with her husband caused her trust meter to dip. Surely a small inconspicuous back up plan of the household idol just in case Jacob’s God would not come through.

Hello plan A meet plan B.

Right then and there I saw how losing my business needed a remedy and waiting on God for an antidote seemed to me that it needed a little help. My inability to trust in my Father’s provision in a season of uncertainty put me in a position of restlessness. Thankfully He always has a bigger and better plan; inviting us to embrace Him, relinquishing our restless churning and turning, so in turn we live in restful trust and stillness.

When I surrendered my plan and received His plan for me, I slowly moved to undo what I had done. Standing face to the face with another season of change that would ultimately allow me to…

Joyfully Trust Him.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV says it so powerfully:

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord, will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.

Finally, with God’s help I brought myself to a place where I could box up my stuff to donate my inventory to Echo Ranch. This lovely non profit was founded by my friend Dorine and her husband Jake, a place where they rescue people and horses and so much more. They truly Echo the love of Jesus with every selfless act in a posture of total servanthood. The icing on the cake was to be able to decorate a quaint horse trailer with some of my donated gifts and Lynda’s gorgeous Floral bouquets. Mostly, these lovely flowers come straight from Echo Ranch’s garden that she and other volunteers tends with such love, commitment and creativity.

This beautiful transition opened God’s redemptive doorway of easing my sorrows of saying goodbye to a new glorious hello.

Now walking in God’s plan not mine… which is always the best plan ever!

And now a year later the Lord is opening more doors that not only include my writing but also revisiting my home decor business… Which is now His planning not mine.

The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purpose of His heart through all generations. Psalms 33:11

It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him. Daniel 2:22