... Even the worst heartaches can become heartstrings to God's hope, comfort, encouragement, joy, peace and love...

Welcome! As a fan of the cartoon character Maxine, I enjoy her witty remarks. But when I
read my blogs & other writing to her, she's not very responsive- even when I'm wearing my bunny slippers like hers! She just doesn't get it!
Although she's funnier than I am, I do pray that this site will bring encouragement to your day! I'd love to hear from you! Unlike Maxine, you can leave me a message via the Comments. Shalom, Connie


Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dirty Clothes

There they were again- my son's dirty clothes in front of the hamper. Well, I lost it and started screaming. Hearing my voice echoing, I realized that I was the only one home. What a waste of energy; but I was irritated and non-forgiving.
I paused and decided to calm down so I could determine an effective solution.
I sat on the edge of the bathtub looking at the dirty clothes; I thought about my son's behavior.
He was a right-brained child whose creativity was a constant adventure. He was not leaving the clothes on the floor in disobedience- his mind was probably in the middle of some seaside adventure as the bathwater filled the tub.
Finally, I decided to choose my battles and this wasn't high on the list. So why did it upset me? It was because the dirty clothes were touching the hamper and not in it... any logical... oops!
That was it, it wasn't logical. I'm an analitical personality and my son is a creative, free thinking personality. The solution: no hamper!
Now, I'm not impulsive; I had to do it quickly or I would sit and think it through.
I picked up the hamper, emptied it and took it to the dumpster.
Now, I could gather the dirty clothes from the floor, which I was doing anyway, and not get upset.

How often do we get upset over the small stuff? It just distracts us from the important things we ought to be doing and usually doesn't solve anything.

But my hamper incident didn't end there.
That evening, with bathwater running, my son called out, "Where's the hamper?"
"I threw it away."
"But I don't have anywhere to throw my dirty clothes!"
"Yes, you do- on the floor where you always throw them."
I heard him get into the tub and went back to reading my mystery. Next I knew, he walked by me in his pj's and headed down to the basement. He brought up a laundry basket "for my clothes." When he became a teen and earned his first paycheck, he bought himself a clothes hamper. He took it with him when he moved into his own place.
I never expected throwing the hamper away would fix his problem.
Years later, I realize it did because I acted outside of my "norm." That's what got his attention.

This is not child rearing advice. This Child of God advice. Is it any wonder that God uses things out the ordinary to gain our attention? How about turning water into wine or feeding thousands with only five fish? How about riding into Jerusalem on a donkey? How about being born in a stable?

Let us be watchful. Let us see the extraordinary in the ordinary things of life.


Shalom, Connie


My posting from yesterday isn't here???
I gotta get a better handle on this blogging stuff.

I talked with a friend last evening; as always I left feeling more peaceful than I've felt in days.
She has a quiet, gentle spirit and she listens. "Tell me..." means I want to hear what you have to say. She does and she listens without being judgemental, without giving advice unless I ask for it.
Somehow, she always says something to encourage me or to give me a new slant to consider. Mostly, she accepts me as me.

I am blessed to call her my friend. How about you? I pray that God will send you such a friend, if you don't have someone that genuinely accepts you as you are.

I'll be back later to rewrite yesterday's thought about dirty clothes.

Shalom, Connie

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cows, Bears and Elephants

Several of us were deciding what we wanted to be when we retired- something with no stress, of course. My boss wanted to be the car with flashing yellow lights that goes before and after a wide load on the highway.
At first, I wanted to be a cow- too dumb to worry about things and with seven stomachs they can eat all day. I changed it to a teddy bear- they are expected to be hairy and have excess body fat, nobody cares if they growl, they are worth more as they age, and everyone loves them.
Today, I want to be an elephant!
These huge and powerful creations of God ... God must have a sense of humor... are very tender-hearted and family oriented. If an elephant is sick or injured, the others draw near and caress the hurting one with their trunks. As the family moves, they walk slowly so the injured one can keep up. If it cannot walk, they use their trunks to help it back up. At the first sign of attack, the strong surround the weak and protect them. No one will mess with me, if I am an elephant! And I will be comforted, encouraged, and protected.

* * *

No, I don't need to put on tons of weight or grow a tail and a trunk- neither do you! For God has promised to be our comforter, the one who comes along side of us to encourage, comfort, and protect. Our God is mighty- much bigger than any elephant.

Today, I am going to be content being me! How about you?

Selah ...

Shalom, Connie

P.S. "The Blind Men and the Elephant" a poem by John Godfrey Saxe has a fun message.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Replace them

My grandson was resting on the sofa while I put the lunch plates in the dishwasher. "Gramma,"
he called, "I'm having bad words words in my head and God doesn't like them."
Not quite sure what bad words meant to a four-year-old, I replied, "Replace them."
"How do you do that, Gramma?"
"Sing! Sing 'Jesus Loves Me.'"
As he sang, his frown turned upside down. "It works!" Then he began a rambucious rendition, complete with motions, of "My God Is So Big." That solved, he was his bubbly, energetic self the remainder of the afternoon.

* * *

Most of today I have been having a Pitiful Pearl Party. My problems have overwhelmed me and I can't stay focused on anything. My brain has been over-ridden by my emotions ... again ...giving me more reasons to feel sorry for myself.
Then my own words came back at me. Replace them! Sing!
Well, you know what? I was a pretty smart Gramma that day, so I better put my own advice to good use.

You'll have to pardon me, I can't type, sing, and do the motions all at the same time. So this lonely little petunia is leaving the onion patch 'cause "my God is so big, there's nothing my God can't do!"

Selah ...

Talk with you tomorrow.

Shalom, Connie

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sparrows & Other Wire Sitters

I was nine-years-old as I walked down the street tripping over my own feet. I was wearing my first pair of glasses and I was seeing things I had never seen before: wires on the telephone poles, birds sitting on those wires, clouds in the sky! I can see it right now as if it was yesterday. I was overwhelmed with all the things I knew about in my mind, but never really saw. Little brown sparrows were as grand to me as a peacock- I could even see their beaks move as they sang. Their tiny feet wrapped around the wire were awesome as they maintained their balance. Wow, what a marvelous part of the world came into view that day.

I have never minded wearing glasses and never cared about having contact lens until I developed a cataract. The world dimmed, but since surgery I see even better WITH my glasses and my implanted lens.

As wonderful as physical sight is, I have learned the lesson of the sparrows:

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God... Don't
be afraid, you are worth far more than many sparrows. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! (Luke 12:6-7, 24 NIV)

Whatever you are facing today, God is still in the caring business- He needs nothing from you except an invitation to be part of your life. So let's curl our toes around the wire of life, let's get our balance, and sing praises to God. For He created us, and loves us far more than those little brown birds.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Only One of You in All Time

"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, the expression is unique."
Martha Graham, American Dancer (1894-1991)

At the very moment of your conception, God implanted a life design within you. All the experiences of your life were meant to prepare you for the fulfillment of His plan- one only you can complete.
Whether you are aware of it or not, your relationship with God began in that moment of time.
Since then He has been waiting to work through you!

Today I want to assure that God loves you AND God likes you just as you are- from the inside out! He doesn't see what the rest of the world sees when they look at you; He sees the promises of what you were meant to be. He sees the attitudes of your heart.

Each day I want to share with you a truth that I have experienced or learned. Tomorrow, I'll risk removing my "how others see me mask."