You Might Be Over The Hill IF…

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Originally posted here. http://lawana-counterculture.blogspot.com/2012/02/you-might-be-over-hill-if.html

I am 53 years old. Not too long ago I said something about being middle aged. One of my sons said, “Mom how many people do you know who are over 100!” Point taken. I was pondering today and some of the more humorous parts of being on my side of middle age came to mind.

1.You might be over the hill if you have more prescriptions than you have teeth.
2.If all your cosmetics have either wintergreen oil or eucalyptus in them.
3.If you are starting to read those catalogs, you know the ones with the support hose and comfortable shoes.
4.You might be over the hill if you think often of what to do when you can no longer clip your own toenails.
5.You might be over the hill if you wash your hair with a bathcloth.
6.If you could floss with a rope.
7.If you know more about hi fi than wi fi.
8.You might be over the hill if you ever wore and liked Hai Karate or loved someone who did!
9.You might be over the hill if you ever actually did the Loco-motion.
10.If you wore platform shoes and peasant blouses the first time around.
11.If you can’t put on your makeup or shave without your glasses.
12.You might be over the hill if you still miss Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.
13.You might be over the hill if you remember cars without power steering.
14.If you remember “Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific” and “Lemon Up”
15.You might be over the hill if you owned a bike with a banana seat.
16.If you remember when pop cans had to be opened with an opener and when lift tabs were new, they came completely off the can and you made chains out of them!
17.If wax lips and candy cigarettes were a big part of your childhood.
18.If you know what incredible edibles and gobbledygook are.
19.You might be over the hill if you remember when Klackers were still on strings and likely to shatter and cause injury.
20.You couldn’t wait for the hit parade and the new 45s to come out every week at the record store.
I am there. I am old. I am actually a young person trapped in an old person’s body! I hope you can enjoy a stroll down your own memory lane,

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/

Springtime in the Rockies and in My Heart

Spring comes later here in the Northern American Rockies than in most other places. When others in the U.S. are well into the swing of summer weather and activities, we are still getting spotty snows and frequent frosty mornings. Our gardens are mostly growing on sunny window sills or in green houses. We are preparing soil in our flannel shirts and wearing gloves for more than one reason. We are set on the starting line just waiting for the pistol shot of frost free days and the brief race of short season vegetable varieties against a 100 day growing season. We can’t reliably plant anything here on our place before June first, though many years I plant seeds in the garden and in the windowsill at the same time just to see which one survives until after frost.

Like my garden, I have come through a difficult wintery time of the heart. Without assaulting you with details, I have been through a year or so of nearly total broken heartedness. Several people that I love with all my heart have dissappointed me and hurt me by their rejection of our Lord Jesus and his ways. I have fallen into the icy waters of guilt. “What if I had said this.” or “What if I had done more.” Answerless questions that grew like hoarfrost over my heart and mind. I have been less fruitful, with few sprouts penetrating the permafrost of my brokenness.

But then the warmth of my Savior began to penetrate the unproductive soil of my life. A little here and a little there, snowy patches began to melt and my world began to soften. Gradually the plowing of the word of God began to till places and encourage the dormant shoots of my gifts and callings to reappear. The soft showers of Christian fellowship and the love of my brothers and sisters in the Lord began to find fertile ground and coax out the the sprouts and tendrils of what God has called me to do.

Gradually, I have returned to areas of ministry that were neglected while I cried out to God in brokenness. Sweetly, as only my God can do, he has also added new opportunities and provided the energy to begin working on them. It seemed to be a long, cold, winter to me. I sometimes was concerned that it would be permanent and that I wouldn’t be fertile ground again, but God always knew that the frost free days would come. He had built into my life the elements that would bring them about. What a blessed God we have that hovers always near us whether we are in a season of visible growth, a time of harvest or in a season where things appear dormant under the snows of distress. I am so thankful that He has a reason for every season he permits in my life. I am grateful that chooses to bring the spring again.

Psalm 51:17

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Home and Pondering

Pondering...by   http://chasitysherellephotography.blogspot.com/

Pondering…by http://chasitysherellephotography.blogspot.com/

Yesterday began with, “Mom, I feel tippy.” These words came from an uncharacteristically droopy 11 year old son. This young man is autistic and verbal communication is not his strong suit. I was puzzled as to what tippy meant. I knew it wasn’t good! By 9:00 most mornings this guy has gotten up, showered, neatened his room, had his time of personal Bible reading, prayed over a prayer list that convicts his mama every time she sees it and has proceeded to eat breakfast at least twice!

Not so this that morning and before long, “tippy” was defined, a barf bucket and 7-up were assigned and my tippy son was parked on the couch with a blanket. Today we stayed home from church and he has chosen to be in bed. This leaves me 1. home alone 2. missing my church family badly (when you attend a church like ODBC Missoula,http://www.odbcmissoula.com/ you never want to miss a service it is so real and so heart changing, and filled with the people you love most!) and 3. with a moment to myself!

I have been thinking of a few things while I am here by myself. I am so grateful for the fact that I am accepted. First and foremost, I am accepted in the Beloved. Though I was covered in sewer sludge and I stank, he has cleaned me up and brought me to his lap.

Once, long ago, I found a little puppy  who was covered in mange, decay and maggots. I was able to clean him up, make him well and save his life. The whole time I gagged, puked and feared I would catch something, but I got it done. Ultmately that dog did not live forever…that was not within my power to give him.

The condition I was in spiritually when I came to Christ was worse than the one the dog was in. The healer though was more able. Jesus never feared my corruption because he had overcome it once…for all. He could not be contaminated by my sin. He didn’t have to scrub and medicate (and gag and puke), as his death, burial and resurrection had already provided the ability to make me every whit clean the moment I surrendered and asked for his salvation. In addition, I will never die. My spiritual sickness is permanently healed, my soul is saved and sealed that way until the day I meet him in Heaven. Unlike the healing I could bring to the puppy, the salvation the Lord gave me is everlasting. My soul will live with him forever, starting at the moment I was saved and continuing into eternity and forever.

Wow! What a deal! God accepts me. Some of you who know me may question that. The thing is that my flesh has not been saved yet. That will happen when I meet Jesus in the air as he returns for his saints or at the moment of my death. Until then, my flesh wants to behave badly. It is like a depraved, sick and vicious 2 year old. It takes most of all the resources I have at hand to keep it somewhat in line and still, there is the matter of my thoughts. Yuck! When I compare the potential for evil that dwells in the private recesses of my mind to the holiness of Jesus I am so much more grateful for the overreaching, undergirding, all encompassing range of his redemption. He is so good.

I hope you know this Jesus and his life changing, life giving, salvation. If not, please leave a comment and I will show you where to find him!

Oh, Jesus, my savior…you truly are all I need!

God bless you!

Lawana

Mother’s Day 2012

My mom on the front row at Becky and Isaiah McGuffey’s wedding in 2010.

 

When I was growing up we had a tradition. On Mother’s day we wore a flower (from our garden because this time of year in Alabama there are plenty of blooms). Anyway, if your mother was living you wore a red rose and if your mother was not living, you wore a white one. My mom wore a white rose starting when I was 3. She has been without her beloved mother many more years than she was blessed to be with her. Mother’s day was always a little sad around our house. I know my mom was torn between being the wonderful, selfless, mom she was every other day and just needing a little time to grieve her own loss. I am thankful that as in almost every other area of life, my mom was a pinnacle of grace and compassion in her own grief, translating into understandable and gentle terms something that I am sure was agonizing in her heart.

I am so thankful that for 51 years I have been a member of the red rose club! I am certain I have the best mother on the planet.  She parented me well and diligently when I was growing up and has gradually transitioned to the best friend I have ever had other than my sweetheart, Clint.  She has the rare combination of extreme intelligence and godly humility that causes everyone who is blessed to know her to come away encouraged and awed.  I hope some day to develop  the grace and discretion that my mom has.  I have certainly had a good teacher all these years.

I hope that the Lord has put someone like my mom in your life and perhaps He is using you to be that person in someone else’s life. If you are a woman, accept the challenge to be the awesome encourager to someone this year. If you have children, start with them. If you do not have physical children, focus on cultivating spiritual children. Be that Sunday School teacher, aunt, neighbor or grandmother that some child is desperately needing. The world is made a much better place by women who know how to love and nurture properly and there is a scarcity of them in this present day. I hope you will step up to the plate this year. I also hope you have someone in that mothering role toward you.

God bless you!

Lawana

 

Sunrise/Sonrise

I love getting up before the sun and watching it as it rises and brings with it the warmth of color that makes the view come alive. I have been blessed in every home I have ever lived in (remarkable!) to be able to see the sun rise over something scenic. Actually, I don’t remember being interested in the sunrise in the first two houses I lived in, but starting in first grade, in Oxford Alabama, I could see the sun rise over Boozerville lake just to the South of the Ramada Inn. There were often herons and red – winged blackbirds  stitching their way through those sunrises.

The next house I lived in from 5th grade until 10th, had a hilltop and another house due East so sunrise came a while after daylight. I missed the early hues and subtle changes of the sunrise there, but that place carried with it the greatest variety of fragrance and bird song I think I have ever known. Think of the Christy movies and you will have a clue what I experienced every morning, After I grew up, I saw heart-rending sunrises from several locations in Northeast Alabama, all made more poignant and memorable by the enormous variety of animals and flowering plants that join the wake up spectacle.

My husband and I later  explored Southeast Alaska. Some of the most sparkling and majestic sunrises are there. In Ketchikan and on Prince of Wales Island, there is so much rain and so many mornings are veiled in it that when there is a clear morning, everything is so splendidly clean and crisp, perhaps with a mist or fog interwoven that the sunrises you do see are so mind gripping, I cannot forget them. It doesn’t hurt that there is usually a waterfront and occasionally sea mammal play involved.

All across the United states, I have studied the way the Lord paints the mornings and evening. I particularly remember watching a glorious sunrise from my friend’s house through a window screen. With my nose pressed to the screen, the scene was “pixelated”  before digital photography existed. I just love the glory of sunrise. I admire the expression of my Heavenly Father on the canvas of His creation. Of course, I can’t ignore the obvious analogy between the sun rise and the SON rise.

As glorious as the sunrise is, the rising up from the grave of the SON OF GOD was the one time event by which all time and space are tuned. About 2000 years ago, the only begotten Son of God laid down his life and poured out his blood to wash away the sins of all who would believe on him. This was prophesied throughout the old testament and fulfilled to the letter. At this time the host of Hell rejoiced at their supposed victory and a spiritually dark night shadowed humanity. BUT! As the darkest time in the natural world is before the sun breaks the Eastern horizon, also the darkest time for all creation was the time before the LIVING Son of God broke the chains of death and arose from his borrowed tomb to walk again with men on the Earth before taking his place seated at the right hand of his Father in Heaven.

The Light of the World had dawned on a lost and dying humanity! The SONrise that mankind had yearned for had come! Come and bask in the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ! Everyone who confesses their sin and accepts the atoning blood of The Lord Jesus Christ will be saved from eternity in Hell! Thank you, Heavenly Father for the SONrise and for the many sunrises we have had to remind us of the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

God bless you.

Lawana