That Sparkle and Shine

These past weeks have been busy and my bathroom has reaped the consequences. Oh, I’ve kept it from the grungies, by a quick spot clean here and there, but spot cleaning only does so much. It needed a thorough scrubbing today. Instead of grumbling and complaining, I talked with God and it was time well spent.

My life is like my bathroom—quick spot cleanings will keep the grungies out, but will also keep the sparkles out. Only a good scrubbing with scouring powder or cleanser will make that tub really shine and sparkle, and only a cleansing time with God will make my life shine and sparkle. Using God’s scrub brushes and scouring powder on my life will hurt, there’s no denying that, but they are the only way to do a good cleaning job and to get the full effects of cleaning.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me… Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:10, 12

Lord, scrub my life, inside and out, so that I can shine and sparkle for You. I know the scrubbing will hurt at times, but I also know it will be worth the hurt so that I can feel that good, clean feeling that only comes from a thorough cleansing. I want to shine and sparkle for You, so wash me, scrub me, and cleanse me. Restore my joy in You.

The Small Things

2 a.m. and my eyes popped open. I knew immediately I was sunk. Being wide awake at that hour always makes me think.

“Ok, Lord, here I am. You have my attention, what is it I’m missing? Is it someone I need to pray for, or something in my life I’ve missed? Open the eyes of my heart so I can see what it is, so I can follow after You.”

I slipped from bed and wandered the house, praying for my family and my friends, then moving on to examine my life. I knew there was something, I could feel the quiet calling to me as I prowled from window to window. The yard light illumined the yard, but nothing was moving out there. It was as if the quiet had permeated everything, even the wind. I switched to examining my home, touching things as I passed by them. The sigh came from deep within, I’d found what I was missing and I wanted to take care of it right away, but I couldn’t.

There were things my husband had mentioned as needing care, and I had passed over them. I was too busy. I was tired. I forgot. But those things were still there, and still needing to be taken care of, and I was the one to see to it.

I had been ignoring the things my husband requested of me. Those small things were eroding away my relationship with the man God gave me, and in turn, eroding away my relationship with God.

I had been searching for a person in great need of prayer, or a great revelation to my life, but had found something so simple that I almost passed over it, again. Sometimes the simplest and smallest things in life are the most important.

I slipped back in beside my husband, thanking God for him and resolved to do those small things. Sleep came quickly--I had found what I was searching.

A Praying Mom

"Momma prayed, momma cried,
momma laid awake at night.
She would fight my battles while I slept away
Cause momma knew life is hardwithout somebody on your side
I don't know how, but there is power in the way,
The way my momma prayed."
words and music by Jeremiah Olson of 40milesNorth

One of the snapshot memories I have is of my mom sitting in the morning sunshine at the dining room table with her Bible, a cup of coffee and her nail file. Why her nail file? That's what she did while she prayed—and I know she prays for me even now. I rely on Mom's prayers, knowing they've helped pull me through many sticky situations.

When my husband and I moved from Illinois to Pennsylvania, Mom prayed. Our pick-ups and an open trailer were loaded and there was no way to secure them while we slept, so Jim determined it'd be best if we drove straight through. He could've done it, but I couldn't—I was still recovering from Mono and Candida so endurance was not my strong point. It was in the middle of the night when the tail lights on the trailer quit working and we had just entered Western Pennsylvania's mountains.

I was instructed to stay right behind Jim so the semi's would see my tail lights and pass us as they picked up speed for the long hills--and I tried. At one point I realized Jim was no longer in front of me. When I looked at my speedometer I saw I was barely going fast enough for a side road, let alone an interstate highway. As I stepped on the gas I was praying Jim was safe—I was also asking God to wake up my mom so she could pray for me. I was terrified a semi would run into Jim and that I would fall completely asleep and run off the road.

Many twists and turns, and long hills later I caught up to Jim, but several other times, in my exhaustion, I lost sight of him--yet throughout that long night God kept me safely on the road. I remember the panic of coming to and realizing I couldn't see Jim's tail lights and that I'd been dozing, followed by the frenzy of praying.

The next morning, after arriving at my sister's house, Mom called. Once she knew we were safe and there hadn't been any problems, she told me she hadn't sleep well—she kept waking up, thinking about me, so she'd pray.

Mom prayed me safely through the Western Pennsylvania mountains as well as through many other mountains in my life—Mom is still praying me through. What an example she's set for me, an example I endeavor to follow.
This week's "In 'Other' Words" is being hosted by
Heather at Titus 2 Woman.
Be sure to stop by her blog and check out the other posts.

Security Failure?

Not too long ago we woke up to trouble. Big trouble. My husband's computer, the important one with all our pictures and other crucial information, could no longer go on-line. After some investigating he found that the security system was compromised (dissolved?) and something disabled our internet capability. This problem is way beyond me and my puny abilities.

As I put his lunch together I was thinking about this new problem. His computer being down at this point affects me because he has work online that must be done ASAP, which means he'll be using my computer—and I'm a computer hog I am at heart. LoL. So I was doing some prior attitude adjusting and day shuffling to get my 'work' done before he needed my toy, er, make that tool, when God dropped an orange on me.

As in, “Orange ya' glad your security system can never fail!” And He wasn't referring to my computer.

God is my security system. He can never fail like Windows firewall and Norton's can. Nothing can get to me—no viruses, worms, trojan horses, or any other fatal thing without going through HIM first. And I have His promise that He will never leave me nor forsake me. I'm truly safe and secure. What a truth and promise to hold on to!

So, although our computer's security system was dissolved, my Security can never, ever be dissolved.

(What a Savior!)

Gourmet People

In today's instant society there are mixes and powders for everything, but the one that makes me snicker most is baby powder. I can just see a little girl stirring water into baby powder and expecting a baby.

Life isn't always instant though. In fact, none of the great men of God were instant men—they were gourmet. It was years after being anointed king that David finally took the position God told him he would have. During those years he was basically made an outlaw by his father-in-law, yet he never became angry nor bitter about the amount of time that passed. He did what God put before him, and he sought God's leading constantly. God used those years to better prepare David for the purpose He called him to.

There have been many times in my life that I felt I was going nowhere—simply treading water, and killing time. But that's not how it was. God was using those times to prepare me, and He's still preparing me. Am I following David's example of not becoming impatient or angry? Am I seeking God's next step for me and making myself available for His use?

Gourmet cooking is not a 'just add water' affair. It takes time and energy and even special ingredients...I'd rather be God's gourmet dish than my own instant generic-box-blahness.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 (NAS)

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