Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Reminder from a Clever Mama


     A man came home from work and found his 5 children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn around the garden. The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Walking in the door, he found ...an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over & the throw rug was against one wall.  In the front room the TV was on loudly with the cartoon channel. The family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

    He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel...

     She looked up at him, smiled and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, 'What happened here today?'

     She again smiled and answered, 'You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world do I do all day?...
     ''Yes," was his incredulous reply..
      She answered, 'Well, today I didn't do it.


     Just as this husband didn’t appreciate his wife’s hard work until she stopped doing it, I wonder if we sometimes forget to thank God for holding our worlds together...and how loud we would cry if He let go just for one day!! Today, instead of looking at all the things that are wrong, Thank God for each and every blessing in your life whether it’s big or small. He deserves our grateful praise, rather than always just hearing our list of complaints, needs, and wants!!



**Thanks, Marsha, for sharing this story. I don't know where you got it but it sure makes the point!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hope That Should "Spring Eternal"

            Webster’s Dictionary defines hope as  “a feeling that what is wanted will happen; a desire accompanied by expectation”.  Feelings are emotions that we have when we analyze our circumstances. They change as our situation changes or as our perspective alters. Desires also change because of many different factors. So even though we have expectation that they will come to pass, we are still left to wrestle with which desires we really want and how best to make them a reality. I have lots of desires…for myself, my family, my friends, …but there is very little expectation that they will all be fulfilled. When I cling to Webster’s definitions,  “hope” seems pretty variable & inconsistent. That doesn’t sound like a characteristic God would want to develop in us.
            The world would tell us that hope is like positive thinking…you wish and speak and act as if something is going to come to be & then it will!  You just have to deter negative emotional reactions & anxious thoughts.  Look on the positive…reach for the stars…your dreams are out there – go get them (as a local insurance company encourages us to do).  In fact, I read a very popular book a few years ago that promised me that the universe is just waiting for me to get the right frame of mind so that it can grant all of my desires! Sounds amazing but in the midst of a struggle, positive thinking is hard to do & results are rarely instantaneous, universe at my service or not!  Sure, I’d like to have a magic lamp to rub in a hardship so that my problems would instantly be solved as my wishes are granted, but in spite of the way many Christians pray, God is not our genie and He doesn’t live to grant out petty desires. He has such greater, more intricate plans than we do!
            God does tell us to hope in Him. What does that mean? It means that we lay our lives at His feet, struggles & victories, and we surrender to His plan. We have to realize that the outcome that He is working toward is not our comfort or convenience but our maturity & obedience. Our hope is not in our gifts or even our manipulations but in Him – His abilities, characteristics, & attributes. He is not dependent on anyone or anything other than Himself, & He has it all figured out. We can HOPE in the fact that victory, rather than just success, will come & He is powerful enough to even incorporate my failures into the plan so that there’s never a need for Plan B.
            No matter what your circumstances or situation, HOPE in God. Believe that He has your best interest foremost in His heart. Surrender to His will, knowing that He has ordained only that which leads to Your best, whether you see it or not. Refuse to allow negative energy, emotions, or thoughts to drag your spirit into a state of fear, doubt, anger or unbelief. Wait, watch, & anticipate with expectation of Victory!! He really can do more than we could ever ask or think (Eph. 3:20!)
            Faith, HOPE, & love – the triad of God’s desire for us! That kind of hope is the only kind that should & will “spring eternal”. The question is just whether you will allow it to spring eternal in you!