Sunday, March 30, 2014

Shifting Me

I have seen this work so many times in my life.

The shift that takes place.

When I get intentional about changing my own bad attitude.

I'm sure you've never have a bad attitude.

When you've had several tough days at work.

Or maybe things just don't seem to be going.......right.

When you hear yourself say more times than not.

That's not fair.

Why did that happen?

When will I just catch a break!

I wish "I" could do that.

Seriously!?   they want it THIS week?

Why did....that....have to happen?

I don't understand why everything has to be so hard!

If I find myself on that path.

No, joke.

It's usually a dark path.

And, I generally know when I'm on it.

I try to call it out for what it is.

It's my own terrible attitude.


I won't choose to waller in it.

Because I know what can shift it.

What can shift me.


It works.

Sometimes I get in my car at the end of the day.

Nobody but me.

And if I'm feeling that the world is against me.

Oh, Lord.

Slightly dramatic, I know.

But, we all feel that way sometimes.

I start saying out loud.

One after another.

What I'm thankful for.

Other times.

When I don't have the privacy to talk out loud.

And I know I have to change my mind set.

I pull out my journal.

Go sit in my room.

And write them down.

One after another.

What I'm thankful for.

It's amazing.

I start listing.

What may seem very ordinary.

And insignificant.

Those are all things.

I have to be thankful for.

For heat in my house on a cold morning.

And for the bird that's singing at the top of his lungs.

Just outside my window.

For my keurig.

And fresh coffee in the morning.

For clean water that comes out of the faucet.

( Africa obsession is showing.)

And the fact I can walk into a grocery store and buy what I need.

For my job.

And the people I get to work with everyday.

For my car.

That gets me to where I need to go.

For my neighbor.

That bakes wonderful pound cake and shares it with me.

For my mama.

Who's always in my corner.

For garlic and onion cream cheese.

And "Flea Market Flip."

For my husband.

And his love for me.

For skyping with my girl across the country.

Or getting a hug from the one that's still at home.


But  even more importantly.

I get intentional about my thanks to Jesus.

And it looks like this.

Thank you for being a refuge to me when life is hard.

Thank you for never changing.

When everything around me is.

Thank you for always hearing me.

When I pour out what's on my mind.

Thank you for your patience.

When I screw up.

Thank you for your grace.

When I fail to show it to others.

Whether I speak it out loud.

Or journal it down.

When I get intention about "thanks."

My bad attitude shifts.

I shift.

Gratitude......shifting me.

"But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me."  Psalm 50: 23

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Breath

When I was a kid.

The hardest thing for me to wrap my mind around.

Was this thought.

What happens to me when I'm dead and gone?

Does the world keep going on?


How could it...........if I'm not here?

As a kid.

I hadn't seen much death.

My grandpa Wister was the first person close to me to die.

But, even then.

I noticed.

Things did seem to go on...... just like they always had.

After he was gone.

The sun came up every day.

I still went to school.

Christmases came and went.

Life went on.

And I began to understand a little.

Of this world.

And my place in it.


I don't think so much about that early question.

In the years that have passed in my life.

I've seen people live out their lives.

And pass away.

Some from old age.

Some from illness.

Some from tragic circumstances.


It's still interesting to me.

That for all of us to have that fate.

The very same outcome.

There's very little talking about it.

I do think about my time here, though.

Mostly, I think about how really quick it seems to go!

Oh my gosh!

Time for me is FLYING.

With no sign of slowing down.

And what I know is this.

I want to be about living.

Living  out my purpose for being here.

And do the thing.

And live well.

Live on purpose.

Without fear.

I want to love well.

And be of some use to people.

And be of some use in this world.

But especially.

Be of some use to Him.

"Lord, remind me of how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered -
how fleeting my life is.

You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
at best, each of us is but a breath.

For I am your guest -
a traveler passing through,
as my ancestors were before me."

Psalm 39:  4-5; 12.

A traveler doesn't stop and settle down.

We keep moving.

We keep traveling.

If I'm a guest.

This is not my permanent home.

I am just passing through.

Wanting very much.

To do it well.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

What I'll Hold Onto

Have you ever been through an experience.

And not been sure.

Exactly what to do with it?

That's how I'm feeling this week.

Last Sunday I came home from Kenya.

It was my first time serving with a medical team from NewSpring.

In the very remote village of Ereri.

And I was deeply marked by what I saw.

Hardship and suffering.

The likes of which.

I've rarely seen with my own eyes.

I'm not a medical person.

So, my experience with suffering has been pretty shallow.

And limited to what I've seen in my own family......or myself.


Very little.


This trip.

I had a front row seat.

To people in the village coming through our clinic.

Many with colds and coughing.

Some with rashes and fevers.

A few with full blown infections and swelling.

Dental trouble.

And some that required way more care.

Than we could ever provide.

We dispensed medicine.

We freely gave them what we could.

Medical attention.




And despite the hardships and the needless suffering that I witnessed.

It was still there.

I still saw it.


On the faces of the children.

And I still saw hope and peace in the faces of the people.

I saw the beauty of the land.

And the biggest sky I've ever stood under.

I held hands and linked arms.

I whispered and sang and laughed.

And witnessed a rain fall.

The first one in the village.

 After months and months of drought.

I saw animals in the wild.

That few people ever get to see.

I touched the face of a blind rhino.

And slept in a tent by a watering hole.

I said goodbye to friends there.

Many I won't ever see again.

This side of heaven.

Crispoh.     Joseph.     Paul.   Susan.     And  many others.

I saw my teammates.

Growing in their view of the world.

And their place in it.

Growing in what God was showing them.

Because He showed it to me as well.

His power.

His love.

His provision.


I saw suffering and hardship this trip.

And it will stay with me.

For a very long time.

But,  I will also remember.

The joy.

I saw it too.

And that's what I'll hold onto.

When I'm not sure.

What to do with the rest.