“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top 10 Reasons for Avoiding The Ugly Cry

I had an ugly cry yesterday.  And let me tell you... it was not pretty (and hence no photo for this post).   It wasn't because Anthony was away... although I am sure that fact doesn't help.  I haven't had an ugly cry in awhile and I want to remember that I really don't like it and don't want to do it, again.  So to remind myself I created a list of the Top 10 Reasons to Avoid The Ugly Cry.

Top 10 Reasons to Avoid The Ugly Cry

#10 Totally defeats any work you have done with overcoming your insecurity.

#9 Your husband isn't home to pick up the pieces.

#8 It's hard to be discreet when out in public.

#7 It can turn into hyperventilating.

#6 It makes your friends ask what is wrong and then you start crying all over, again.

#5 It makes your eyes sink deep inside your head (which is why it is called the "ugly" cry).

#4 You end up sleeping with a stuffed animal like a little girl.

#3 You end up with an ugly cry hangover the next morning.

#2 Your son wants to hug you over and over again to make it all right which makes you want to cry, again.

And the #1 Reason to Avoid the Ugly Cry
You'll always remember the outfit you were wearing and will avoid wearing it in the future as if it holds some key to the Ugly Cry.

Monday, November 7, 2011

"The Leaking Window" Whines About A Blocked Drainspout

Been looking through my Ethiopia posts... I am kinda missing someone.  Came across this post of pictures from Ethiopia... and thought it was worthy of a re-post.  From May 20, 2010.  Praying it ministers to you in your current situation.

Ethiopia, April 2010
photography by Anthony

I was thinking I should sell my house today.  It was raining pretty hard and one of the gutters was overflowing.  It was cold and wet outside and I thought... if only I sold this house and had another... then I wouldn't have this problem.  I wouldn't have to see or deal with this overflowing gutter.

I wasn't positive that was the solution, so I asked Anthony about it... hoping he would fix it for me.  He couldn't take the time to fix it for me because he was working.  He thought perhaps their was a blockage at the drainspout.  He gave me some great advice... find the downspout and clear out the blockage.  But it was cold and wet... and even hailing, so I thought perhaps when it is not so wet... I will go take a look.

Within minutes the clouds parted... the gutters were not overflowing anymore... and I kindof forgot about it... and I was sooo happy that I didn't have to decide whether to sell the house or find the yucky blocked downspout.

But here's the thing... the next time it rains... that blocked downspout is going to cause overflowing gutters, again.  And I will go through the same thinking... should I just get rid of this house or perhaps wish I had cleaned out that drainspout.

And as I begin to think about it... it is really expensive to sell and buy a home... and there is all that packing involved... and Christopher would miss his neighborhood friends... and what about my beautiful garden... and the truth be told... the next house would end up (like every other home in Portland) having blocked drainspouts.  And would I want to sell the next house... no, not really.

However, the idea of cleaning the drainspout sounds yucky and cold.  I sure wish someone else would fix it for me.  But the problem there is... I don't know when that would be.  And I might have to start nagging about someone else fixing a problem that I could fix myself.

So, in the warmth of the sun, I decided to take a stroll in the backyard.  Looked in the gutter.  Yup, it is still blocked.  Looked for the downspout.  It was within easy reach... but I had to steady myself to get to it.  Saw there was a yucky mess... decided to stick my hand in and move the mess... and to my delight... the water started to flow down the downspout.  And flow.  And flow.  And flow.  And it was actually a pretty neat sight to behold... and pleasing to listen to... And the satisfaction... that I did it myself.

I haven't had the chance to tell Anthony yet that I did it.  He's still working.  But I have to tell you that doing it myself gave me a little boost of confidence if something like this happens, again.  I know if it is a downspout I can't reach on my own that I will need to ask someone to help me... but I am relieved to now know that I don't have to sell my house.

Seem like a silly story?  It's true... okay, well... I really wasn't thinking about selling the house.  But it has made me wonder... what trouble or hardship or trial or suffering in my life is causing me to think that I just have to do something more drastic than is warranted so I don't have to deal with it?  What problem have I determined to be one that I wish someone else would fix for me... when I could easily fix it myself... even though I might have to do a little hard work?  What difficulty... if I only might ask for a little expert advice and get a different perspective... might be taken care of within moments of taking that advice?  And I wonder if I had waited until the next time my problem flared up... I would have found that it caused additional damage which could have been averted had I taken care of it sooner?

Often in the midst of our difficulty we lose perspective... and think that the radical answer will solve the problem.  But that is only true for the moment.  Because if we count the entire cost, we will find out we have only delayed solving the problem... and have perhaps added more complications in the long run.

Food being generously poured out into containers for the poorest of poor.

And here is where we turn to the Lord and ask for wisdom and guidance.  Trusting and obeying Him.  In all areas of our lives whether it be a blocked drainspout... or a lousy marriage... or a broken relationship... or... well, fill in the blank.  And God will be there for you...

There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise 
even when we're hemmed in with troubles, 
because we know how troubles can develop
passionate patience in us,
and how that patience in turn forges
the tempered steel of virtue,
keeping us alert
for whatever God will do next.
In alert expectancy such as this, 
we're never left feeling shortchanged.

Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers 
to hold everything God generously pours into our lives 
through the Holy Spirit!

Romans 8:3-5 The Message

I am praying for you, dear sister.  Never forget that... In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I [Jesus] have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

As of Late - November 5th, 2011

Lately, I've been to the apple farm with my favorite son and my hubby.  (Anthony taking a photo of me taking a photo of them... or is he checking Twitter?)

Lately, I helped my son make a white iPhone 4S to wear as he gathered candy from the neighbors.

Lately, I've been knitting washcloths.  (The reason I started knitting at all.)

Lately, I've been killing time as my man has been in Ethiopia.

Lately, I watched Anthony cross the finish line of his 12th marathon.

Lately, I watched Christopher shave his teacher's hair off.

Lately, I've gotten to enjoy the color of fall.

Lately, I've learned about Words With Friends and Scrabble on Facebook.  (Let's play!)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Made To Crave

In the desert they gave in to their craving; 
in the wilderness they put God to the test. 
Psalm 106:14 NIV

I have had friends at my church recommend Made to Crave:  Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food by Lysa TerKeurst.  I purchased the audio book and within a few chapters I decided that the Made to Crave DVD small group would be my Bible Study over the month of December.  

At first I thought I really couldn't call it a "Bible" Study.  Thinking it would just be about dieting.  But after reading it, with all confidence, I can call this a Bible Study.  I'd have to say the book and study somewhat remind me of So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore.  Because it goes in depth as to why we respond in certain ways and brings us back around to who we are in Christ.  It continually points to God's word and who God is and who we are in Him.  Also, having a community to support you as you work your way through.

I am so impressed with the material in this book because it transcends eating issues.  It is useful in other areas of life.  I'll give you a current example.
My husband is in Ethiopia.  When he travels for long periods of time, I miss him greatly. ...Yet your desire and craving will be for your husband....  Genesis 3:1 AMP I disconnect emotionally and go through a bit of a withdrawl.  Since the book had been talking about looking at what I "crave" I decided to apply the material to this situation.  Looking at my craving for my husband and filling that need with God himself.    And it is amazing at the transformation.  When I start to dip into feeling sorry for myself and feeling lonely for him, I focus on the One who conquered loneliness on the cross.
Some people wonder why I do a Bible Study during the holidays.  I have come to know myself and how I need accountability to keep me in the Word of God and in daily relationship with Him.  I admit that I don't have as much time to decorate for the Christmas season, but I know that when the holidays are over I don't have as much of a let down emotionally.  It's my way of keeping Christ in Christmas.

I choose Psalm 106:14 NIV for my Siesta Scripture Memory Verse #21.