Change-up!

I’m one of those people who when my head hits the pillow, I start thinking.  As I lay there not sleeping, I think of the weirdest things!  I wondered about Adam and Eve and what they slept on.  I’ve got to assume they slept on the ground.  Obviously there were no beds, there were no blankets for a while, and certainly not a “sleep number!”  How do you sleep face down when you’re on the ground?  Was there a sweet soft grass field that they slept on?  Now Eve might have had it better than Adam.  When Dale and I curl up in bed, I sleep with my head on his chest/shoulder.  So I’ve got a nice place to lay my head.  So maybe Eve slept like that on Adam.  If Adam laid on his back, then did his hair get all dirty?  Maybe that didn’t bother them.  I can’t imagine a garden without dirt.  Certainly bugs from ants to spiders must have been in the garden. 

Do you all think like this when you lay down to rest?  I think almost constantly.  So these things become analytical thought processes in my mind.   The garden itself was idyllic.  And Adam and Eve were created without clothing.  So apparently any  of the things that bother me outdoors must not have bothered them.  Perhaps they were so busy communicating with God that those things just didn’t matter.  Maybe we’d do well to follow that example/idea!  If our focus is entirely on our relationship with God, we might not be so focused on our surroundings either!

That’s my exercise for today.  Whenever a grumble begins to come out of my mouth, or swirl in my mind,  I’ll plan to switch it up quick to focus on my relationship with Jesus Christ.  I bet I could get into a much better habit of praising Him in all things if I make a conscious effort to replace one behavior with another! NOTHING HINDERS MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD LIKE I DO.  Instead, I want to build that relationship. 

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in thee.”  Isaiah 26:3  My mind needs to be diverted from my surroundings to my Savior! Oh how often we get caught in the frustrations of our situation, or the uncomfortable-ness of our surroundings.  Instead, if we capture those thoughts, and keep our mind and focus on Him, peace abounds.  That’s my aim today!  What’s yours?  I’d love to hear from you

The Marriage

It was late, really late.  Or maybe you’d say it was early, it wasw 3:33 am.  One of the little ones was coughing a bit and it woke me up about an hour ago.  But there’s something about mid-life really that doesn’t allow you to go back to sleep when you wake up in the middle of the night. It only takes the slightest thing to wake me, but hours to get back to sleep.  I can see from the light of my laptop screen the inhabitants of my bed.   Snuggled between my husband and I is Lexie.  Lexie has made a habit of climbing in our bed recently.  And next to her, is my strong husband.  I notice him turning a bit and finally I whisper, “Are you just turning or are you awake too?”  He, who never seems to wake during the night, leaned up toward me and said, “I knew you needed a kiss so I woke up just for you.”  He kissed me and laid back down.

When he did, I had to laugh.  He took the lion’s share of the blankets and wrapped up to his neck.  Oh how times have changed!  It used to be I was the one wrapped in all the blankets, constantly moving close to him to stay warm. He was the one who used no blankets and slept like a man in the wilderness with his own fantastic metabolism to keep him warm. Now, he gets cozy in the blankets and I am the one throwing them off all night for the sudden feelings of tropical heat, the kind that bakes you from the inside out.  I said, “Look at you, the blanket hog!  My oh my have times changed! .”  His groggy humor rose to the occasion, “It’s insulation against all the heat you throw.” He chuckled and rolled over, back to sleep, as if our sweet exchange never happened.

I look at him with a blessed heart. It’s years of living and loving and growing that brings us to our life of today.  It’s age and understanding, it’s trials and guesswork, sometimes even fiery tempers, it’s wisdom and laughter, it’s a blessed love and tenderness that has grown us, together, tightly as one. The thought came to mind, “Is it any wonder that Christ used the marriage relationship as an example of His relationship with us? “   He knew it was an example we would understand.   Just as in the marriage relationship, a wife desires to grow closer to her husband.  She begins to become one with him in thought, she desires to please him, she doesn’t always understand him…but she wants to.  As they grow in years, she finds herself reacting in a way that would make him happy and he is a husband who is proud of her.  She is loyal, and he is strong.  He guides and directs firmly but with tenderness and she is eager to follow. Ah…yes…this is the relationship Christ wants of us. It’s continual, it’s sacrificial, it’s based on a commitment in spite of circumstances…yes, one day we will become that bride He has planned us to be. And it will be a great day!  …..Rev. 21:2!

Exposed

Fall is in the air.  The cooler nights and mornings leave no doubt that summer is quickly coming to an end.  While I mourn summer’s passing, fall seems to be everyone else’s favorite time of year.  I’m not going to lie, fall is not my favorite.  Summer is.  Summer sun and ninety degrees would suit me all year long!  Fall means winter is coming.  As I ran out with a hoodie on this morning to feed the chickens, I realized the grass is greening back up again and will probably grow at a faster rate again than the hot days of summer.  That lush green grass is deceiving though.

When we first planted our grass seed almost 20 years ago, we worked hard at having a nice lawn.  We fertilized it and filled in areas that suffered.  We added seed and my husband took much pride in it.  As the years have gone on, we fought the urge because of both the cost and no longer wanting to corrupt our land with chemicals.  So from the window, it looks great.  But as you walk farther from the house, you can see the weeds much more clearly than the actual grass.  The weeds grow prolifically where the grass fills only the places the weeds haven’t.  In the daylight, looking straight down, we definitely have a country lawn!

Later in the evening, as I made my way out in the dark to lock the chickens back up, my flashlight shined a good sized round circle of light on the ground.  I specifically noticed that in the diffuse light, the grass looked pretty good.  The weeds weren’t nearly as noticeable in the artificial light as they were in the bright daylight.  It almost made me feel better about our sorry looking lawn!

I couldn’t help but think of that flashlight circle for a while.  I had just reminded my Tuesday morning Bible Study group that light and dark can not co-exist.  But the lawn kind of threw me here.  Even though my flashlight penetrated the darkness, it didn’t reveal what the daylight did.  It may have been some light in the darkness, which then means it’s no longer completely dark, but it wasn’t a revealing light like the daylight.

I wonder what would happen if we examined every area of our lives with the bright daylight, the true light of God’s word, versus the soft artificial light that we’ve become accustomed to calling “light”.   It’s a harsher light, no doubt.  It’s a serious light, for sure.  True light cannot co-exist with darkness.  Holy can never co-exist with un-holy.  Putting everything through the daylight test can truly show us how weedy and deceiving the lawn of our lives really is.  Are you up for the exposition?  The only way to truly examine our lives is to expose it to the light of God’s word, and the only way to experience that light, get in the Word.  The weeds will be a lot more noticeable!