My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.


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Happy Feet

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Typically my morning ritual includes checking Facebook scrolling for updates and recent posts. Sparked and awakened more fully by reading witty quotes and glibs, or perhaps deep provoking thoughts to ponder. Since I’m not a coffee drinker this invigorates my senses rather nicely, while also keeping me abreast of joys and possible challenges my family or friends might be encountering. Presented with opportunities to bless and receive blessings… sharing words of encouragement and offered prayers for one another.
 
However, on one particular morning I was not greeted with a warm inviting cup of Joe replacement, but instead quite shaken by a cruel stinging attack which was written with malicious intent.  Even though this relationship had broken down recently, how could this person, someone I’ve loved and supported for many years want to tag me in a photo calling me a “liar, a cheat and a scam”? Reality hit like a  jolt of ice-cold water dousing my tender heart.  From this new vantage point my hope for redeeming love and mending the forlorn fence between us looked like it was the last thing on their mind.

Thankfully, before this rude awaking I spent time in God’s word reading Psalms 35:23-26;  pondering this scripture I decided to call a friend to share these verses… they were simply to good to keep to myself! 

 ”Please get up—wake up! Tend to my case.
    My God, my Lord—my life is on the line.
Do what you think is right, God, my God,
    but don’t make me pay for their good time.
Don’t let them say to themselves,
    “Ha-ha, we got what we wanted.”
Don’t let them say,
    “We’ve chewed him up and spit him out.”
Let those who are being hilarious
    at my expense
Be made to look ridiculous.
    Make them wear donkey’s ears;
Pin them with the donkey’s tail,
    who made themselves so high and mighty!” 

Upon finishing,  we both chuckled at how the Message’s Bible  interpreted  what Kind David wrote. My mind immediately flashed back to the Disney classic Pinocchio with it’s Pleasure Island’s Amusement Park. A place promising fun to young lads, yet unbeknownst to them lay  hidden entrapment … a spell cast on all who dared to partake in this magical land.  This mischievous entertainment would  cost them their true identity, producing donkey ears and tails burgeoning up on naive boys.  Rather fitting for the wrong choices that Lampwick, Pinocchio and all the other boys made landing them in such a foolish predicament.   

David knew first hand what it felt like to be relentlessly pursued by his enemies,  King Saul being his chief nemesis. David wrote throughout the Psalms his laments for God’s justice and deliverance from Saul’s unmerciful attacks. In Psalms 27:12-14 he cries;

“Give me not up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen up against me; they breathe out cruelty and violence.”
going on to make his bold declaration in verse  “I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

We serve a God that sees it all, the cruelty, injustice, false accusations and lies that have been waged against us. His truth will prevail and your character will one day be restored. You might not see it today or the day after, but you will see the goodness of the Lord on your behalf.

Our job in all this is to trust the Lord, ask forgiveness for any wrong doing we may have done and forgive those who have hurt us. I don’t know about you but taking the high road in an offense is never easy. My flesh wenches and craves to retaliate and seek justice…NOW.  Although Jesus tells us to  forgive someone 70X7 it is not a math equation I’m gleeful about. Yet if left unsolved produces far more heartache. The Sermon on the Mount that Jesus  taught His followers  encourages us  to be glad in our persecution, happy even when people revile you and say all kinds of false evil things against you. 

Confessing that as the day lingered I still did not find myself happily jumping up and down over this person’s mean-spirited maneuver. Determined to not let them rob anymore of my joy, choosing to take the high road in goofy merriment. Grabbing my high top purple canvas sneakers with plaid trim…my combat boots of joy. Confident they would surely put a smile on my face as I stepped into all God’s reliable and trustworthy promises.

Are you facing one of life’s zingers? May I encourage you in your movement forward with this hope,* “… shod your feet in preparation to face the enemy with firm footed stability the promptness, and the readiness, produced by the good news of the gospel of peace. Each new step bringing more freedom and victory.” Hey, you can even sport some goofy shoes while doing it… I say if the happy shoes fit… wear them!

*Ephesians 6…AMP version.


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God’s Lemon-Aid Stand

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Rolling up to the stop light, my eyes caught a sign to the left of me which cheerfully read “Lemonade $2 for a 16oz. cup”.followed by “First time stand has opened “. Though shocked by the price it was catchingly  framed with pastel colored balloons, a gentle persuasion, swaying in the breeze, wooing parched folks to acquire some refreshments.

It brought back fond memories from my first childhood entrepreneurial endeavor. Our home was  merely a hop, skip and jump away from the Standard T.V and Appliance store. This store was a virtual treasure trove of discarded refrigerator boxes. Providing unlimited fun for my brother and I to amuse away our summer.  Co laboring to lug their large and cumbersome frames home, which we would  then quickly transform these cardboard canvases  into new creations ignited by our  imagination .

One day while my brother was playing with his friends, I decided to  create a lemonade stand with the recent box we dragged home.  First order of business was to cut out a window to hand out these thirst quenching drinks to eager awaiting customers, not that I had a line of them, but in my minds eye I did; envisioning them clamoring to partake of the concocted nectar. Next, was to determine the selling price… happily deciding to set it at two cents per Dixie cup. Neatly stacking them strategically along side the pitcher of freshly made Kool Aid lemonade.

Words fall flat at how thrilled I was when my first customer, a young gentleman, moseyed down the dusty unpaved road, which upon arriving he ordered a cup and a refill to boot!  A whooping four cents right off the bat.  Even though I was in
a stuffy box and only leaving for short periods of time to cool down from the heat, my thoughts were of shear joy… not a word of complaining… this whole experience  was exhilarating!

Even though I never squeezed an actual zesty lemon in preparation, it  does makes me think of the saying, “When life gives you a lemon make lemonade”. Life can be good at handing us an unexpected lemon from time to time. Presented with these sour orbs we have a choice, to either allow ourselves to become soured and embittered, or to whip up a batch of sweet satisfying lemonade with these disappointments.  At times my attitude  puckers up to a surly disposition worthy of the bitter fruit I had just been served. Repugnant in my spirit, methodically slow to add sweetness in my thoughts that could change the outcome of this tart and testy intrusion.

Jesus shares a powerful truth in Matthew 18:3, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”.

Children are teachable, forgiving, good humored and full of wonder, while modeling Christ like humility.

How fitting that for many children their first entrepreneurial business is making a lemonade stand, turning the bitter into sweet and serving cups of contentment. One of countless lessons that can be learned through the eyes of a child.

Today I can choose to change my unfitting adult perspective that lacks trusting You with childlike faith. Making a stand to enter into your Kingdom promises that declare, ” You came that they would have life and have it in abundance ( to the full, till it overflows) ” John 10:10.  So when the next time life gives me a lemon… I’ll accept God’s transforming promises to turn this lemon into new life… something sweet indeed!

Thank you Lord for the power to make bitter waters sweet, to taste and see that you are good when life has left a bitter taste in our mouth’s….that what has been served to us, past or present, does not need to fuel our future. May today be all about the business of Heaven, where it can be lived out here on earth as it IS in Heaven as your word promises. Guide us to be people of integrity with simple hearts endeavoring  to love you and to love others as ourselves. Calling all those who are thirsty to come and drink from the wells of living water… NO money required!

Lord with your mercy and grace you continually bring to me the aid I need change my lemons into lemonade. Gathering trust and strength in knowing that the lemonade I enjoy today first came to me disguised as a lemon.

“If you can change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.
Wayne Dyer
Pocketful of promises ….
Exodus 15:22-27 , Psalms 19:9-10  , Psalms 119 -103


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Somebunny Loves You

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Growing up, one of my all time favorite places to shop was a bargain department store called Newberry’s.  While with my mom, we would venture to their downtown Portland location, which was always a special treat for me. This particular Easter was no exception. Adding to all the excitement was my newly acquired spending money, which was burning a hole in my pocket rivaling the size of Texas.
Upon arrival, knowing that the toy department was downstairs,off I went nearly flying down the stairs excitement taking wings soaring to complete my high spirited mission! Then in a blink of an eye, there I stood. Ever so slowly  contemplating all the choices my budget would allow. Would it be a new outfit for my Barbie doll or  a playhouse broom? Oh, the possibilities!!   Then I saw them…  third aisle, the lower right hand corner of the shelf,  piled high and overflowing from the wire bins, were amazing stuffed yellow bunnies, fluffy, adorable and cute as a button.
Kneeling down, I gazed upon their faces as if to ask them which one wants to go home with me?.  Then it happened…my first encounter with a jaunty Mr. Bunny, and boy he knew how to work it.  His sweet demure made me 100% convinced he would make a lovely addition to my already charming collection of stuffed animals. Showing my mom this final decision, she looked at Mr. Bunny, an inquisitive look came across her face while asking, “are you sure you want this one, he has a mark between his ears”? Yes!,” I said  with great excitement … I was sure. My decision was a carefully chosen one, Mr. Bunny  was the one, and I loved him marks and all.
This can’t help but remind me of the following precious scripture verse in Ephesians 1:4 ” Even as in His Love He chose us actually picked us out for himself as His own in Christ before the foundation of the world , that we should be holy consecrated and set apart for Him and blameless in His sight even above reproach, before Him in Love.”

God chose you !!! He looked down from his heavenly home and says that’s the one I want, it matters not that it has a stain. I’m purchasing it with my blood that was given willingly when I died on the cross . That sin stain person belongs to me !.” John 15:16 states: We have not chosen Christ, but he has chosen you”. What a comforting thought to be selected by a merciful God  even with all our flaws. Through His gentleness and condescension He has made us great.  There is a part of me that wishes I would have saved Mr. Bunny in the keepsakes of my childhood memorabilia. He would have been a gentle reminder of how God chooses us no matter what. We don’t need to have it all together to be loved by God.
In childhood innocence, I understood that love is not picking the best or the flawless, but purely loving without conditions.  Jesus knows this about children, for He says for such is the Kingdom of God.

May we regain our childlike faith, a faith that is filled with wide eyed wonderment, in a God that has handpicked us, and who bought us with price…a price that only He could pay, to be part of His charming Kingdom.  Now that is a Deal no one can beat !!!

Heavenly Father , Thank you for your unconditional love and forgiveness  that flows freely from your throne room. How can we ever thank you for all you have done for us? Your death on the cross brought us life, your blood flowing from Calvary removed the stain of our sin and guilt.  And we were purchased out of the bargain basement of darkness into the kingdom of your glorious light . Thank you for adopting us and placing us in a body of winsome believers where I feel right at home……. Amen .