The Joy of Obedience

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I like the word joy.  It brings a smile to my face just saying it…go ahead and try …”JOY”…aahhh, sweetness.  Wouldn’t you know it though, obedience doesn’t roll off the tongue quite so smoothly.  I don’t feel like partying when I hear that one!  Who wants more joy in their life?  We all raise our hands.  Who’s interested in becoming more obedient?  Cue the crickets.

When I say obedience, it conjures up the same feelings I tend to get when I hear words like, selflessness, humility, sacrifice or surrender.  No smile appears on my face, rather I often feel a sense of dread, like I need to brace myself, or even fear, wondering what’s this going to cost me?  My self centeredness is showing again.  Anyone out there know what I’m saying? Continue reading “The Joy of Obedience”

He Gets It

Do you ever feel like no one understands what you are going through?  I do!  Like your friends or even your family just don’t get it?  Me, again!

The other morning heading to work I was feeling a little weary, a little hurt, a little angry a little a lot of things, I guess.  I was thinking about someone who I am frustrated with.  I guess I felt let down by this individual and I felt justified in my feelings.  The fact that this individual had not met what I feel are reasonable expectations left me feeling, hurt and a bit rejected during an already difficult period.  I was struggling in that moment to let it go, to forgive, especially absent an apology or acknowledgment of any wrong doing, which I wasn’t holding my breath for. Continue reading “He Gets It”

The Love Of God

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I’ve been spending a few days away at the ocean and as I sit here looking out at this breathtaking creation, I am reminded of a beautiful old hymn that remains in my mind from somewhere in the recesses of my childhood memory.  You know there is usually a story behind every good lyric and I love the story behind this timeless hymn. Continue reading “The Love Of God”

First Responder OR Nuclear Reactor?

Several weeks ago now, I was running late getting out the door for work. It was extra cold that morning and the zipper on my coat was stuck, so I had been wrestling with it for about 10 minutes with my frustration level growing as the clock ticked. I finally gave up and decided, I’d have to just slip the coat over my head and try to wrestle with it some more later. I then went to finish getting ready and my 350 degree flat iron started to fall off the counter. I reacted quickly and grabbed for it! Only problem is, I missed the handle and grabbed the actual iron! Owww!!  The pain caused me to drop it and it fell to the floor where I was then able to pick it up by the handle.

In the following moments while digging through the closet to find some burn cream, God dropped a pretty clear thought into my heart and mind. I don’t know that I appreciated it all that much in the moment, but it would be futile to argue with the truth or God for that matter! Continue reading “First Responder OR Nuclear Reactor?”

Turtle Like Tendencies

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the old adage, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  I get the heart of this message and agree with it, truly this world does not need another voice joining the chorus of negativity, whining, complaining or insult throwing.  Beyond that, I try to be a person that if I am speaking I am hoping it is to add to the equation and not subtract.

A couple of months of dealing with serious family health struggles left me physically and emotionally tired, dealing with my own feelings of shame for failing at making desired progress in my life, for not being able to do everything well, add in my own physical crisis and all the issues that can make one consider left me in a place that I’d been before, back in my shell.  It’s dark and lonely there and deceptively “safe”. Continue reading “Turtle Like Tendencies”

Bonus Time

June 27th I was sitting in the hospital with my dad who had been admitted days before, while my sister was taking my mom to the emergency room as she was not feeling right.  What we assumed would be a quick trip turned into a wild & scary ride! Hold onto your seats.

I will never forget entering her room in the critical care unit for the first time and seeing her hooked up to all these wires and monitors with a tube down her throat.  I don’t do hospital’s well to begin with so seeing my mom like this was rough.  I observed from a few feet away at first, I had been told she could likely hear us and know we were there and I wanted to get myself together so I didn’t reveal to her how I was feeling inside at that moment.  It took me a bit to compose myself, I approached the bed, rubbed her hand and said, “Hi Mama”.  That was all I could do before my throat started to constrict and tears came.  In another 10 minutes, I tried again, “Hey Mama, it’s me Denise, I’m here” and I was done again.  A few more deep breaths and I made another approach, “Hey Mama, it’s Denise, you’re in the hospital and they’re taking really good care of you, all of your family has been here, Dad’s feeling better and we all sure love you.”  That was all I could do before my voice starting to give me away again.  I worked my way up to scooting a chair by her bedside, holding her hand and singing some of her favorites to her.  Cherished time with my mom. Continue reading “Bonus Time”

Girls, It May Sound Nice, But It’s Hogwash!

I think my southern roots may be coming out in this blog post title 🙂  This post has probably been inside me for quite some time, but to be honest, I didn’t want to write it.  I guess I didn’t want to write it for a few reasons…1.)  I really don’t want to be the poster girl for Christian Single Women in America  2.)  I think most people that read my blog are NOT Christian singles.  3.)  It is such a personal area for me to write about that it takes a certain amount of courage to hit “publish” on this one.

If you are a Christian single woman, this blog post is definitely for you, but if you are a parent, a pastor, a ministry leader, a friend or a family member that has influence in the life of the next generation of females, then I would appreciate a couple minutes of your time as well. Continue reading “Girls, It May Sound Nice, But It’s Hogwash!”

The Way He Came

Growing up, we always had beautiful packages under the tree.  My dad would spend hours, usually on Christmas Eve into the wee hours of Christmas morning, wrapping every gift, making the bows look just so.  I don’t think the man believes in gift bags!

While I enjoyed the beautiful wrapping and the effort my dad put into the pretty packages, the greatest gift I’ve ever received did not come in ornate wrapping.  The hands down, greatest gift I’ve ever received, was delivered in a dirty manger wrapped in rags.  The greatest gift of all time, in the plainest of wrapping. Continue reading “The Way He Came”

Are We There Yet?

As a child growing up my family would make an annual road trip to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins. I always looked forward to our visits and time with them was the highlight of many of my summers.  Although, I loved being there and spending time together, I did not enjoy the 9 hour road trip! I was ready to be there before the family car left the driveway!  If teleportation was possible, I would’ve preferred that route. Continue reading “Are We There Yet?”

A Small Piece of Yarn

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I am thrilled to have a guess blogger on neeserisms, my very own AMAZING niece and her great insights…

I learned to knit when I was living in the orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  It took me about one month to learn.  One teacher taught me the basics and I remember offering my food to friends in exchange for their help teaching me.  I have been knitting now for over 6 years. One thing I have learned through this skill is that one small piece of yarn, when put in the right person’s hands, can be transformed into something useful and beautiful.  This illustrates what it is like if I put my life in God’s hands.  No matter how small I may feel, He can use me to do great things. Continue reading “A Small Piece of Yarn”