Monday, January 31, 2011

Iced, But Not Out

Patty Wysong Finding the extraordinary God in our ordinary lives.


I'm posting today at The Barn Door about something this little peppermint sprig taught me about persistence. I hope you can join me there!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Betty Bee and the Long Tongue

It's Friday! So I thought I'd do something I haven't done in ages. I'm participating in Fiction Friday--a meme I started back in early summer of 2008 so we'd have an excuse reason to pull some of our fiction out and post it. =) I handed the reigns over to Karlene quite awhile ago and I'm excited to see it's still going. Today Lynn is hosting it her site, Faith, Fiction, Fun and Fanciful. Be sure to go there for more links to Fiction Friday. And better yet, join us by posting some of your fiction and linking up with us!



~*~*~*~

Betty Bee and the Long Tongue

Betty Bumble Bee settled onto a clover blossom and dropped her head onto her front legs. As she watched the honey bees scurry from flower to flower she became sadder and sadder. Oh, how she wanted to be like them: so slim and trim and so useful. Everyone loved the honey bees because they made honey. They could zip through tight spaces and always had such fun. Betty Bee wanted very much to be a honey bee instead of the bumble bee she was.

Josie Butterfly swooped in for a fast landing. “Hiya, Betty Bee. Why are you just laying here and not gathering pollen?”

“Because I’m sad.” Betty Bee turned her head away so she wouldn’t have to see a honey bee working on a nearby dandelion. “Besides, why should I worry about it when the honey bees are on the job? They can do a much better job of it than I can. I wish I were a honey bee instead of a big, bumbling, bumble bee!”

Josie slowly fanned her wings as she thought. “Betty Bee, don’t you know that honey bees are picky? They need nectar to make honey.”

Betty Bee stroked her antenna. “So?”

“So they won’t go to a flower that only has pollen and no nectar, which means that some flowers would never get pollinated if it weren’t for you bumble bees because bumble bees need both pollen and nectar to feed their babies.”

“They still make honey and look at them, they’re so cute.”

Josie shook her head. “There’s more to life than being cute.”

Betty Bee flicked a leg and sent an aphid flying off the clover blossom.

“Betty Bee, stick out your tongue,” Josie said, her middle legs propped on her abdomen.

“What? Are you crazy?” Betty Bee asked.

“Just stick out your tongue, Betty Bee.” Josie insisted.

Betty Bee rolled her eyes, but stuck it out. It was long!

“God gave you a special tongue so you could reach into flowers that honey bees can’t.” Josie thought that was so neat she did a loop-de-loop right over Betty Bee’s head.

Betty Bee stuck out her tongue again and studied it with her many eyes. “Yeah, I guess that is pretty special.” She said, sounding a little happier.

“It sure is!” Josie said as she settled back onto a nearby flower. “But there’s something else that’s special about you.

“Really?” Betty Bee asked.

“Really.” Josie replied. “When it’s too cold for honey bees, guess who’s out here pollinating flowers?”

Betty Bee hesitated and thought back to the last cold day they’d had. The only other bees she’d seen that day were fellow bumble bees. “Um, bumble bees?” she asked uncertainly.

Josie clapped her hands. “Right! You bumble bees don’t mind the cold but honey bees can’t stand it. If it weren’t for you bumble bees some flowers wouldn’t get pollinated and that would be really sad.”

Betty Bee stood up and bumbled about a little, buzzing in her happiness.

“Oh, and that reminds me of something really, really special about you, Betty Bee!” Josie danced around on her clover top. “You know how so many people like tomatoes?”

Betty Bee stood real still, listening closely. The family that lived nearby loved tomatoes, so this was really important to her. “Yeah?”

“Guess who needs to pollinate tomato blossoms so they grow the tomatoes?” Josie asked, so excited she fluttered above her flower.

As Betty Bee thought hard she buzzed… and buzzed some more. Soon her clover blossom was vibrating. “I don’t know, Josie. Who?”

Josie giggled. “Bumble bees do! God made them so they can buzz enough to get the tomato pollen to drop down to where it can be reached. Isn’t that wonderful?”

That made Betty Bee so excited she flew off her flower and did a double loop around Josie. “God made me special so I could do a special job!” she shouted to all the other bees, who stopped their gathering and cheered for her.

“I’m Betty Bumble Bee and I love being me!” she sang as she zoomed into a tomato blossom and began her happy buzzing. “Just don’t forget the ‘Bumble’ part,” she giggled, “that’s the most important part.”


“And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;” Ephessians 4:11-12 (NAS)



~*~*~*~


This is definitely something I needed today.
And God made you special to do the job He has for you to do, too!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's a Choice

As you might have guessed from my last post about Cave Dwelling, I've been discouraged lately. I don't know why and I don't know what caused it. But I DID realize I was in my cave and that I needed to get out. Fast.

So I tried. I made sure the Light was on. I spent extra time in God's Word reading, studying and really digging. Morning, noon and night often found me with time in the Bible. But I was still in my cave.

I have to tell you, I was baffled. I was hunting for sin, for poor decisions, anything that I could go back to and take care of. I even knew that this discouragement might be a mind game.

Finally one morning after my Bible reading I was going over my Sunday School lesson and the words were just bouncing off my eyeballs and I knew it was a great lesson because I had already gone over it once. So I closed the book and just sat. I told God where I was: in a world that had turned gray (and I hate gray!). I told Him how confused I was, and that's when I realized something.

During the day I'm discouraged and frustrated with my discouragement. Yet every morning I wake up singing praise to God. In those moments before being fully awake I was worshiping God. How could that be? It made me realize that even though God was seemingly being silent, I was still connecting with Him enough that I woke singing praise. My intentional immersion in God's Word was having an effect, even if I couldn't see it or even really feel it.

I knew God was guiding me, He promised He would, but I couldn't see His direction. I felt as though I was trudging through a bleak, gray world and that my ankles and feet were shrouded in the fog that hid God's directional arrow. How was I to know where God wanted me to step?

And that's when I stumbled on something I want to remember even though it's nothing new.

I know God is guiding me and when I can't see God's direction, I can step in faith. I don't need to see God's directional arrows or even the next step of the path. I don't need know where to turn. I just need to step and trust God. Yes, my world is gray right now. Yes, I hate gray. But I won't notice the gray so much if my eyes are fixed on the Light.

He is the Light at the end of this tunnel I'm in.

For me, right now, discouragement is a choice of where I choose to look. Do I look at the gray I'm in or at the Light at the end of the tunnel? Do I just sit and wait it out or do I focus on the Light and just keep putting one foot in front of the other and trust?

What about you?
Are you wrapped in gray too?

Let's focus on Christ, 
the Light
at the end of our tunnel.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cave Dwelling

...stinks! It truly does. So why do we I insist on crawling into that smelly cave of me and then stay there as long as I do? It really baffles me. It's one of the last places I want to be, yet there I sit.

Discouragement happens to all of us. We can be cruising along doing fantastic and suddenly we're body slammed with discouragement. We didn't see it coming and we don't even know where it came from. So what are we to do? Sit there? I sure hope not. It's miserable in that cave and it just keeps getting darker and darker in there.

Well, when it gets dark what do you do? Do you just sit in your chair and think “Poor me. It's getting darker. I wish it wouldn't be so dark.”? No, of course you don't. You turn on a light, even if it means having to get up out of your chair to do it. So why are we so content to sit in our little dark cave and think “Poor me. It's getting darker. I wish it wouldn't be so dark.”?

Sometimes I think it's a ploy of Satan's. If he can immobilize us, he neutralizes us, which is what he wants.

Sometimes I think it's a test to see what we'll do. Will we sit in the dark waiting and wishing or will we get up off our duffs and do something—like turn on the light or go outside?

Sometimes I think it's a reminder of how dark the cave and discouragement is.

And sometimes I think it might be so we can turn on the light for someone else and help them get out of the cave.

Whatever the reason for it, staying is not an option for me.

I don't normally post youtubes (because I don't usually delve into youtube or music videos) but this isn't exactly a normal post for me and I didn't know how else to post a couple of songs that's helping keep the Light on for me...






Let's live in the Light!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lately

Photobucket


One of my favorite memes is As of Late, but I almost always miss it. I would've missed it this week too except I'm sneaking in late. ;-)


Lately I haven't been blogging much.
Sometimes the things in the heart need to be held close a little longer.

Lately I've learned you can worship God through the night
yet feel like you're walking alone during the day.

Lately immersing myself in God's Word
has been one of the few things that brings me peace.

Lately learning the Name of God has become a deep desire.


Lately I've refused distractions so I can get a manuscript off my plate.


Lately I've rediscovered that I can learn as I simply read (and relax while doing it).


Lately I've felt disconnected and disjointed.
But God has been holding me together as only He can.


Lately I've been thinking it's high time I came out of my cave.


So tell me,

What's been going on in your life?

I've missed you, my friends.

And be sure to join us at Critty Joy's for more As of Late links.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

If Silence is Golden

Then I must be gold.
Or something. *eye roll*

Or maybe the silence is evidence that the skid marks on my tongue are not in vain.
That's probably closer to the truth. It's that old adage "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." All I've wanted to do is either rant or whine, and neither one is good so I've kept silent.

Do you ever have times like that?

I could easily head to Arizona for a long vacation, but running away from things doesn't cure them. (Believe me, I've tried.) So here I am, muddling through the joys of (older) teens in the house. Some days I'd like to shake a couple of them and ask who they are and what they've done with my child. Other days I think I'll just be mute until they're ready to do more than be a bobble-head and disregard what I said as soon as they're out of sight, and then wonder why I'm a raving lunatic sometimes.

Devotionals from our ordinary lives.

Ah. Such sweet moments in parenthood.

Not.

But to be painfully honest with you, those crazy kids come by it honestly. How many times have I done something similar to God? How many times have I been a bobble-head only to walk away and completely disregard what I read in His Word or His whisper in my spirit? Far more times than my children have bobble-headed me.
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. ~James 1:22-25 NAS

Let's be doers of God's Word, 
not just bobble heads.


And if you'd like to join me At the Well, I'm posting there today about what love and motivation have to do with each other. :-) It's another reminder that I desperately needed this week: The Missing Ingredient.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cross with Me

The other day something happened that instantly made me queasy with fear. My stomach started rolling and I couldn't sit still. I had to be moving so I paced. From the front door to the kitchen sink, the kitchen sink to my computer in the corner of the living room and back to the front door. My mind was going in similar circles and it was just getting worse. I finally saw what I was doing and God reminded me of what I needed: an extra dose of Him and His Word.

Soon after I was settled in my chair with my Bible and I turned to the next chapter in my cover-to-cover read through. Is it any coincidence that it was Exodus 14 where Israel crossed the Red Sea? No. It wasn't.

In front of them was the Red Sea, behind them was the Egyptian army, complete with horses and chariots—the most modern and high tech weaponry of the day. And Israel panicked and fear ran rampant in their midst.

That's how I was feeling—without even knowing if what happened was friend or foe!

The people saw an obstacle but Moses saw an opportunity. Look what he says:
Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today... The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent. ~Exodus 14:13-14

It was enough to stop the frenzied mental pacing that was still going on inside. It was enough to stop the feverish rolling my stomach was doing. It was enough to take my eyes off what happened and fix them on my Heavenly Father.

But the passage doesn't end there.
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward.” ~Exodus 14:15

Go forward.
But the Red Sea... ?
Go forward.

We know the story. God parted that Red Sea and Israel went through on dry land, and when Egypt and all their high tech equipment was crossing, the Red Sea returned to normal and the strength of Egypt, and all they intended to do to Israel, was crushed. But if Israel had not obeyed, if they had stood there wringing their hands or if they had been frozen with fear, they wouldn't have crossed the Red Sea. They wouldn't have been delivered. They wouldn't have seen God fight for them.

Their obedience let them see God's hand working for them.

How about you? Do you feel your enemies are right behind you? Has fear threatened to enslave you yet again? Remember what we're told to do: Do not fear! Watch as God fights for you. Keep silent. (Don't let those voices of fear keep screaming in your ear!) Go forward.

Won't you join me crossing the Red Sea?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dropping In

Life has been going at warp speed and I am sooooo glad school started today! I was truly about to go crazy! Well, I am crazy, but I was about to move into my special, personalized room at the funny farm. Truly, I was. It'll take me a few days to get caught up, but wanted to stop by here real quick to let you know I'm posting today at The Internet Cafe about a lesson I learned in the dentist chair (and no, it's not about the need for brushing and flossing LoL).

Did you know there are some similarities between teeth and hearts? There are! Visit me at The Cafe where I'm talking about Deep Spots.

It's winter, right? Well that must explain the blizzards that have been going on inside my head! Lemme tell ya, it's been kinda scary! Here's the latest:


The Barn Door Book Loft. Free Books! Book Giveaways.


Spot on PEAs.
This week Jeff Gerke is at The Book Loft all week and there will be information galore about writing and Marcher Lord Press--one of the publishers that publishes Christian fiction, sci fi and speculative fiction. If you're a writer, you do NOT want to miss Jeff's visit! He'll be at The Book Loft every day this week and he's giving away a copy of Plot Versus Character.

Hope to see you tomorrow!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

What's New?

I redecorated but I just couldn't part with my stripes. Sorry.
Kinda.
Well...
maybe?

Okay, so I'm not sorry about keeping my stripes. I just love them so I built around them. :-)

I've been toying with thinking and praying about moving to a new site, with a new domain, but until I come to a decision, I'll be staying here at PattyWysong.com. I don't want to be jumping around and more than that, I want God's best for my life, not second best. So, I went ahead and put my new layout  and new header in here. What'cha think?

Here's my new button... Feel free to help yourself to one! ;-)

Ordinary Lives


Here's the button code:




There will be more physical changes around here as I incorporate things. Things like the blog designing I've been doing, my blog class, Clearing the Blog Fog (I'll be announcing a class date soon and it will be out in ebook format too!), and the book and ebook formatting I've started doing.

That's what I've been doing.
What's new with you?

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Marching Orders: by My Spirit

Not too long ago I felt God leading me to something I've failed at more times than I like to remember and my response was “Lord, I can't.” As soon as those words flashed through my mind there was a response. “It's not in me but in God.” (a Patty paraphrase of Gen. 41:16)I wanted to both cry and dance at the same time.

A few days after that, if even that long, I was studying Joseph in my daily Bible reading and as I cross-referenced some verses from that passage I came to Zechariah 4:6. I read the verse and thought “Oh yeah, that verse.” And I was appalled when I realized it. I stopped and made myself go back and carefully read the familiar verse. I'm so glad I did. It was exactly what I needed.

Finding the Extraordinary God in our Ordinary Lives
God has put a few things on my heart for this upcoming year—things I've failed at in the past. As I say “It's not in me, Lord,” He says to me “You're right, it's not. It's in Me and it's by My Spirit. If you even try it without Me, you'll fail. Again.”

So this year my theme is 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts. I honestly feel like I've just read my marching orders and they're to climb the highest mountain I've ever encountered—like I'm standing at the base of Mt. Chimborazo and discovered that the mountains I've already climbed are just the foothills and the real thing is towering above me now. I'm thousands of feet from the summit but in my pack is the flag God has given me to plant in the highest peak. And lemme tell ya, it's not in me. But that's okay. My might and my power might get me a few steps, before I fall on my face (again) but God's Spirit is able to get me there.

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