Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Guilt-Free Moments

Just gonna be real here….

So, I got off work at 3pm. Came home, checked on all the animals because there are eggs to collect, dogs to love on and a semi-sick diamond dove who’s been hanging out at the bottom of the cage since yesterday and I’m a little worried about her.

Then, there’s the “storm”…an afternoon of cold wind and clouds and a brief but powerful downpour…and then it was gone (?)

Then…I’ve had a recipe for Navy beans and ham hocks running through my head all morning, so I diced this and chopped that and tossed it all in the pressure cooker (see the end of this post) and headed out to pick up dear daughter from work (because dear son needed the car and it’s always a game to see who drives what).

Conversation was a little edgier and harder hitting than usual, so I was glad to dump her off at home (lol) and then watch her quickly leave again for concert band practice at the college.

Then…I’ve been in a quiet battle with a low-grade fever and sluggish/sick feeling for the past few days and when dear son headed off to the library to study with his friend who happens to be a girl but not a “girlfriend,” that’s when I heard the almost angelic tones of “The Pioneer Woman” theme song on the TV which told me it was already 5 o’clock. I figured…hmmm…I’m gonna make myself a cup of coffee and…dare I say….SIT DOWN and watch one of my favorite shows!

And you know what???

 I did!

Please understand….I just don’t do that during normal daylight hours.
I feel guilty if my backside lands on the couch before 8pm, ESPECIALLY with a cup of coffee in my hands!

Why is that?

Why is working and accomplishing and doing and checking off all the boxes SO important and SO engrained in my brain to the point that I’m worried to have someone actually walk in and see me “wasting time” during the middle of the day? And if someone actually does happen to walk in, I’m quick to defend myself with many reasons why I’m taking a break and not scrubbing, folding or sweeping something???

Uggh!!! Stop the madness!!!!

April is my birthday month.

 I celebrate ALL month long…especially THIS one. Ummm…I’ll just say it’s a big, ugly number and it’s hitting me kinda hard this time. But really, who’s counting, right?

I’m just happy to be where God has me even if I am a little worn and weary from life’s lessons and experiences. I am His and He is mine – I really couldn’t ask for more.

I think that now (as a birthday present to myself) is a good time to make the decision to allow myself time outs; moments to just stop, sit, maybe enjoy that afternoon cup of coffee or glass of tea or nothing at all and just let my mind…escape for a little while.

Guilt-Free Moments!

I never like saying that I’ve “earned” something or that I “deserve” something because I’m humbled and blessed with ALL the ways God shows Himself to me throughout the day. But when I’m tired, when I’ve worked hard at something, when my feelings are a little shredded and I just don’t have the strength to keep tying up the loose ends of the day and smiling through the process…I’m going to allow myself those guilt-free moments.

I hope you will, too.

And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place
and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had
no leisure even to eat. (Mark 6:31)

Navy Beans and Ham Hocks
Used 1 large ham hock
8 oz. dry Navy beans
1/2 red onion, diced
1 1/2 celery stalks, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. Tony Chachere's seasoning
about 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
Dissolved 3 tsp. Knorr chicken flavored bouillon powder in 6-7 cups warm water.
Poured it all in the pressure cooker and let it go for about an hour and a half.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

He Showed Me Windmills

Maybe you've seen them. They’re the ones who smile through the dry and tired days. They flourish radiant and bright with very little, at least by worldly standards. Their hands are busy and their souls are full. They've weathered storms, gathered up the broken bits of heart and faith and carried on. They emerge victorious from battle and fashion something uniquely wonderful to give back to the world.
They’re the humble ones who live quiet and content in peaceful joy.
Quietly living.
Quietly serving.
They wear the face of freedom and wear it well.
Haven’t we all been freed from one thing or another in this life?
Do we show it?
Do we wear that freedom in our eyes? Our smile? Do we speak that freedom – true, Praise-God-with-all-that-I-am freedom?

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.
But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh;
Rather, serve one another humbly in love. (Galatians 5:13)

Getting from hurt to healed is a process and no one can tell us how long that journey will take. I only know that I spent far too many years bound and oppressed, help captive by my desire and need for “someone’s” approval of my every move. I’d made that someone the very center of my life. All that I did and all that I was branched off of my desire to please them and make them proud of me.

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)

Sometimes it takes hurt of devastating proportions to rock us to the core and completely change our way of thinking. Sometimes we have to find ourselves on our knees to really soar. That’s where we find grace and mercy and the love of a Savior and we realize that we are not defined by our past nor by the people in it. We are who God says we are.

And the journey, for me…all along the way…God showed me windmills. He opened my eyes to the hub in the center and all the blades branching off and how they spun by the very breath of Him. He showed me that over the years, while on that rough and rocky path to freedom, He had become that center hub. That certain “someone” was no longer the center of my life, nor the center of me.

Jesus is! And always will be! Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord for freedom! That true Praise-God-with-all-that-I-am freedom!

Make Jesus the center of your life, my friend, today and forevermore.


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