If I Could Put it in a Pill

scan0001

I am re-posting this just because I enjoyed writing it. Maybe you have read it before but this time you will read it with different eyes.

 

I admire my mom so much! She has bathed her kids and grandkids in a gentle shower of wisdom from the moment we were born. When I made a goal in my late 20’s to learn all the skills that my grandmother and great-grandmother had for health care, homemaking and survival, I didn’t quite realize how much of it my mother had already inserted into my heart and mind. You see, my mom is the world’s best teacher.

Moment by moment she taught me. How many times did she unwrap a bar of soap, bring to my attention the pleasant scent and then proceed to take my hand and walk down the lush paths of her memory? Perhaps she would share about my brother who was allergic to Ivory Soap, and then turn down the lane of soap making, including how to leach a passable lye from wood ashes and even how to prepare a stump or a chunk of wood to drip the lye water out. Here, memories were not just how-to facts, they were unhurried visits with the people who had gone on before us. I could see the crepe-like and calloused hands of my great grandmother scooping the soft gel soap from the gourd soap holder into the tub of hot water. I could see her swishing it counter clockwise to make suds and adding in the dishes, glasses first then the dirtier dishes after to be followed later by the cooking vessels. Did she shift about on arthritic legs? Was she gray already? Who were the children at this time? I could see those hands, smell the hot soapy water and hear the sound of a few fingers full of salt being scrubbed around in the cast iron skillet. This would remove anything stuck on before the skillet was rinsed and dried on the back of the wood fired cook stove. After it was thoroughly dry, a bit of lard would be whisked around with those same gnarled fingers. Perhaps a pot of chicory and coffee mixed would be set to cook on the last heat of the cook stove or a pan of water for washing hands and feet before bed. Then on the vine-sheltered porch of my mother’s memory I would settle into an imaginary straight chair leaned against the wall and listen to the after supper “visiting” until the house cooled enough for sleeping. All of this is tied to the scent of soap.

If only my mom could put it all in a pill! I would buy those pills if it took everything I own and I would give one to everyone I love as well as to every kindly stranger I met. I would give one to all the teachers in the schools and pastors behind the pulpits. I would offer this pill to the politicians and pray they would be wise enough to take one. There might

also be the occasional fool-with-potential whose coffee would get spiked unbeknownst to him.

The reality is that the pill doesn’t exist. All I can do is try to follow those old paths that my family has walked and try to connect them to the world that my children and grandchildren live in. Even when they seem too busy, too sophisticated, too prosperous or prideful, who knows what they will remember when they unwrap a bar of soap?

Me Offended? (repost)

I spent a lot of my youth being offended about something.  Much of my early married years I walked in a cloud of hurt feelings and resentment. Thanks to a faithful pastor who wasn’t afraid to speak the truth to me, I began to understand the underlying reason why I was so easily offended.

The present day church is plagued by many problems…as many problems as individual people can have. Of all the sin issues that tarnish and hurt the church today, I believe that being easily offended is one of the most dangerous.

Often people have changed churches frequently looking for a soft spot where there will be nothing hurtful or offensive. Sometimes people leave church altogether because someone hurt them with their words or their actions. Churches are split, pastors are discouraged, marriages are dulled, children are spiritually stunted because people like you and me are too easily offended.

It is clear in scripture that one of the purposes of the church and Christian fellowship is to sharpen the believer. Sometimes this sharpening is painful. Always, as in sharpening a physical knife, material has to be removed in order for the sharpening to occur. We all want to attain spiritual sharpness but few of us want to hold still while the sharpening stone does its work.

What I am trying to teach myself to remember is that the Lord sends abrasive situations ino my life. The brothers or sisters who just seem to be difficult and in need of change may be just the right grit to put the edge back on my life where I have allowed it to go dull. Whoever it is that I most want God to change is probably the person that the Lord has sent my way to sharpen me up.

Why is it that we are so easily offended by people and processes that God intends for our good? There is a simple scriptural reason. We do not love God’s law enough.

Psalm 119:165

165Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

God has given us his law, not just the 10 commandments or the old testament, but the entire Word of God. If we love the boundaries the Lord has given us for our thoughts and behaviors as we should, we will be hard to offend when God uses another person in the church, in the pulpit, or in our family to bring correction or exhortation into our lives. People have left churches over carpet color, over what someone said about their child, because the pastor preached about something they were sensitive about or because their church had standards of behavior or dress that they were unwilling to submit to. What if these people loved God’s law enough to seek it out and find a scriptural solution to their hurt feelings or resistance to change? What if I love his Law enough? I hope to find out.

God bless you!

Lawana

 

New Mercies (Re-Post from http://lawana-counterculture.blogspot.com/)

Sunrise

LAMENTATIONS 3:19-23

19 Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.

20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.

21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.

22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Sometimes by bedtime, I feel that I have nothing left. I am sure I am not alone in this. We live in a world that seems to drain us of energy, creativity and strength.For many of us, being in life transitions, starting a new career, managing the schedules of several children, homeschooling, and working hard to provide nutritious, healthy foods for our family require that we stay at the summit of creativity. Sometimes it seems that I need to spin gold from flax. I am sure many of you are in that same situation. However, there is no magic spinning wheel. We can spin diligently and we will only have flax when we are done.

For all our diligence and good intentions, there will always be things that are undone at the end of the day. There will be things that can’t ever be finished and things that are broken that can’t be fixed. If we allow it, our pillows can cradle a mind filled with despair and defeat. At best, some of us will go to bed just not having a plan sufficient to accomplish what needs to be done and wondering how we will approach the new challenges of tomorrow.

That is where God’s mercy comes in. If we are in right standing with our Heavenly Father, we have been bathed in his grace and mercy all day. Through all our challenges a stream of beneficial love bouys us along. It is sufficient and it is specific. We can trust in this love to get us where we need to be and to keep our heads above water. I believe it is when we try to do things in our own strength, paddling with all our might or abandoning ship to take our own direction, that we become fatigued and defeated, at risk of being consumed by life’s difficulties.

I praise God this morning, as the sun rises in the East, there also rises a new tide of mercies and compassion for me. My Father loves me! What a thought. While I was sleeping, He was spinning. He is able to spin the flax of my good intentions to make golden thread. He also can weave from this thread a beautiful fabric. From the plain material that is my dreams, aspirations, and abilities, He makes a thing of comfort and beauty. While I sleep, he wraps me in a garment of new mercies and unfailing compassion. He has spun gold from my flax.

God bless you!
Lawana

New Mercies (Re-Post from http://lawana-counterculture.blogspot.com/)

Sunrise

LAMENTATIONS 3:19-23

19 Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.

20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.

21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.

22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Sometimes by bedtime, I feel that I have nothing left. I am sure I am not alone in this. We live in a world that seems to drain us of energy, creativity and strength.For many of us, being in life transitions, starting a new career, managing the schedules of several children, homeschooling, and working hard to provide nutritious, healthy foods for our family require that we stay at the summit of creativity. Sometimes it seems that I need to spin gold from flax. I am sure many of you are in that same situation. However, there is no magic spinning wheel. We can spin diligently and we will only have flax when we are done.

For all our diligence and good intentions, there will always be things that are undone at the end of the day. There will be things that can’t ever be finished and things that are broken that can’t be fixed. If we allow it, our pillows can cradle a mind filled with despair and defeat. At best, some of us will go to bed just not having a plan sufficient to accomplish what needs to be done and wondering how we will approach the new challenges of tomorrow.

That is where God’s mercy comes in. If we are in right standing with our Heavenly Father, we have been bathed in his grace and mercy all day. Through all our challenges a stream of beneficial love bouys us along. It is sufficient and it is specific. We can trust in this love to get us where we need to be and to keep our heads above water. I believe it is when we try to do things in our own strength, paddling with all our might or abandoning ship to take our own direction, that we become fatigued and defeated, at risk of being consumed by life’s difficulties.

I praise God this morning, as the sun rises in the East, there also rises a new tide of mercies and compassion for me. My Father loves me! What a thought. While I was sleeping, He was spinning. He is able to spin the flax of my good intentions to make golden thread. He also can weave from this thread a beautiful fabric. From the plain material that is my dreams, aspirations, and abilities, He makes a thing of comfort and beauty. While I sleep, he wraps me in a garment of new mercies and unfailing compassion. He has spun gold from my flax.

God bless you!
Lawana

God Put a Bow in the Sky (For Me)

Rainbows are such a beautiful gift! Specifically, they are a reminder from our ageless, timeless Father in Heaven that he will never destroy the entire earth again with a flood. That is really all they signify, scripturally. I never see one though without remembering what the Lord Jesus Christ said in the Gospel of John. chapter 14, verses 18 through 20.

18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more;
but ye see me: because I live , ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father,
and ye in me, and I in you.

I am so thankful to the Lord. I pray to be busy doing the will of the Father until The Lord Jesus returns for me. I pray that I won’t be weary, selfish, preoccupied or sidetracked…except for the occasional moment of rainbow gazing with a thankful and expectant heart.

God bless you big!

If I Could Put it in a Pill

scan0001

I am re-posting this just because I enjoyed writing it. Maybe you have read it before but this time you will read it with different eyes.

 

I admire my mom so much! She has bathed her kids and grandkids in a gentle shower of wisdom from the moment we were born. When I made a goal in my late 20’s to learn all the skills that my grandmother and great-grandmother had for health care, homemaking and survival, I didn’t quite realize how much of it my mother had already inserted into my heart and mind. You see, my mom is the world’s best teacher.

Moment by moment she taught me. How many times did she unwrap a bar of soap, bring to my attention the pleasant scent and then proceed to take my hand and walk down the lush paths of her memory? Perhaps she would share about my brother who was allergic to Ivory Soap, and then turn down the lane of soap making, including how to leach a passable lye from wood ashes and even how to prepare a stump or a chunk of wood to drip the lye water out. Here, memories were not just how-to facts, they were unhurried visits with the people who had gone on before us. I could see the crepe-like and calloused hands of my great grandmother scooping the soft gel soap from the gourd soap holder into the tub of hot water. I could see her swishing it counter clockwise to make suds and adding in the dishes, glasses first then the dirtier dishes after to be followed later by the cooking vessels. Did she shift about on arthritic legs? Was she gray already? Who were the children at this time? I could see those hands, smell the hot soapy water and hear the sound of a few fingers full of salt being scrubbed around in the cast iron skillet. This would remove anything stuck on before the skillet was rinsed and dried on the back of the wood fired cook stove. After it was thoroughly dry, a bit of lard would be whisked around with those same gnarled fingers. Perhaps a pot of chicory and coffee mixed would be set to cook on the last heat of the cook stove or a pan of water for washing hands and feet before bed. Then on the vine-sheltered porch of my mother’s memory I would settle into an imaginary straight chair leaned against the wall and listen to the after supper “visiting” until the house cooled enough for sleeping. All of this is tied to the scent of soap.

If only my mom could put it all in a pill! I would buy those pills if it took everything I own and I would give one to everyone I love as well as to every kindly stranger I met. I would give one to all the teachers in the schools and pastors behind the pulpits. I would offer this pill to the politicians and pray they would be wise enough to take one. There might
also be the occasional fool-with-potential whose coffee would get spiked unbeknownst to him.

The reality is that the pill doesn’t exist. All I can do is try to follow those old paths that my family has walked and try to connect them to the world that my children and grandchildren live in. Even when they seem too busy, too sophisticated, too prosperous or prideful, who knows what they will remember when they unwrap a bar of soap?

May I Have a Redo?

 

 

How many times have we each said, “If I could go back knowing what I know now.” ? Of course, that is not possible. In general, I have few regrets and I am tempted to be prideful and say, “If I changed any decisions I wouldn’t be who I am now.” While that is true, and according to Romans 8:28 all of these things work together for my good. There are definitely things I wish I had a redo on.

 

One thing I would have done differently is that I would have honored my father and mother better than I did. Though, I have tried to be very honoring in my adult years, I see the years that I allowed the moths to eat. I regret the times I was sneaky and deceitful and justified it in my mind that I wasn’t hurting anyone but myself. I would redo that.

 

I would have been kinder and gentler with my children. Oh! How I would like to retract angry words and actions. I believe all my children are walking in forgiveness toward me, but it is to their credit, not mine. If I could redo this one so that they never had a memory of my unrighteous anger I would be so grateful for that opportunity. I would love it if my children never had a single memory of my angry countenance.

 

I would redo allowing my peer group to replace the group of amazing old people I had the privelege to know in my youth. Not that my peers were less valuable than the elders, both were precious to God, but I have this feeling that I blinked and lost the old folks. I regret the times I drove past and planned to stop on the next trip. There were questions they have taken to their graves that I wish I had asked…and written the answers  down. I would take a redo on this one too.

 

I wish I hadn’t cared about being cool. I wasted a lot of time on cool. Wish I had a redo.

 

I would redo wasting my time in general. I allowed the three p’s of pride, procrastination and perfectionism to keep me stalled so often. What might I have accomplished in my youth, with comparatively more strength and energy if I hadn’t allowed my time to be wasted? I wish I would have risked doing more things poorly instead of waiting until I was certain to be able to succeed before I attempted things.

 

I would redo the way I took care of my body.

 

I would have saved my heart for Mr. Right (known to my friends as Clint). I could have spent my time more wisely than in learning how to survive a bad first marriage. All the lessons I learned in that marriage, I could have learned proactively from reading and heeding God’s word. Definite redo there.

 

I would have said “Thank You!” much more often.

 

I would have kept my 67 Volkswagen…no explanation needed. I would also have bought that navy blue Mustang with the butterscotch leather interior.

 

I would have walked more steadfastly for my Lord. I would have been more honorable. I would have sought first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness. Like Samuel, I would have said as a child, “Speak; for thy servant heareth.” and I would have meant it.

 

 

Make today a great day for someone!

Lawana

This post was first published on LAWANA-COUNTERCULTURE  http://lawana-counterculture.blogspot.com/