Monday, February 23, 2015

A Clingy, Controlling Life

I SO know what its like.

To be afraid.

To have genuine fear.

Fear of failure.

Fear of letting people down.

Fear of not meeting a goal or falling short.

Fear of disappointment.

Just fill in the blank.

There's no end to what we can fear.

It kept me from sticking my neck out too far for many years.

I kept a tight reign on my life.

And part of that was fear.

But mostly,  it was a desire to control.

It came down to risk in my mind.

And risk made me afraid.

So I stayed clear of it whenever possible.

But, instead of safety.


And security.

The lack of risk made life predictable.

And dull.

And normal, in the least appealing sense of the word.

I learned.

The hard way.

That by never stepping out to take a risk.

By only doing what I thought I could manage on my own.

I denied myself the chance.

To see God demonstrate His power.

In my puny life.

It did take a hard lesson.

But I learned.

If I never put myself in a situation.

Where He had room.

Had the opportunity.

Because I willingly let him.

Do something BIG and incredible in my life.

Then I would always take credit for what I accomplished.

Under my own ability.

Under my own strength.


When I'm willing to say......."the only way this will happen is if You show up!"


The only explanation is "It had to be God!

Then.......things change.

And life begins to be more of the adventure.

He always wanted for me.


I'm consistently living and working outside what is comfortable for me.

So consistently, in fact.

That it can be overwhelming.

And many times.

Its all I can do to trust Him with the outcome.

But I'll take this any day.

The risk.

The uneasiness.

The uncertainty.

Over the dull.

The normal.

And the predictable.

Because He's the one I'm counting on.

And He gets all the credit from me when He provides the outcome.

That only He can provide.

What BIG need do you have today?

Are you evaluating your ability to make it happen?


Are you sticking out your neck a little?

Taking a risk.

Allowing Him to show up.

And get in your business.

And prove Himself trustworthy in your situation.

No amount of a clingy, controlling, normal existence will ever measure up.

Its a lesson I hope to have finally learned.

And once learned.

There really is.

No going back.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

10 Signs of "Old House Fixation"

I clearly am.

Obsessed with old houses.

If there was such a thing.

As old house fixation.

I would have it.

Mine would be a text book case.


By anyone's standards.

My symptoms?

1)   I've started to feel sorry for people that decide to buy or build -- new construction.

It absolutely makes no sense.
To me.
I can't understand why reasonable people would intentionally choose.
New over old.

2)  I've seriously considered breaking and entering when I spot an abandoned or empty
old property.  

The desire to explore is sometimes more than I can resist.  

3)  I'd pass up shopping at World Market or Pier One.
For a good vintage, antique or consignment shop.
Any day.
Hands down.

Just like old houses.
The old things that go in old houses are way more interesting.
And appealing to me.

4)   I see potential in just about any fixer upper.

When I'm out and about.
My eyes are constantly scanning the horizon.
For old houses.
That need my help!

5)   I've visited the grave sites of the family that built and lived in our 1915 house.
In fact, I see nothing  unusual or creepy about that.
(although my children would strongly disagree.)

Grave of the man who built our house in 1915 Rev. Robert Milton Stevenson
at the Due West Presbyterian Church.

Grave of Milton's wife, Emma.

Photo found behind one of the mantels in our house; subject unknown
- possibly one of the Stevenson children.

It's so interesting to me.
That they lived in my house.
Or more accurately.
That I live in their house.
Milton & Emma & their six children.

They celebrated Christmas' here.
Their hands held the same banister on the stairway.
They laughed in this house.
Enjoyed meals around a table here.
They sat by the same fireplaces.
Walked over the same wood floors.
They lived life under this roof.
I've always felt a bond with them.

6)   I've picked up on interesting old house facts.
For example.
I learned that four spindles to a step is a very unusual staircase.
Our house has four to a step.

And now.
Whenever I go into an old house.
I can't help but count the spindles on each step.
To see if its more or less than four.

7)   I've actually thought through the renovation projects I would take on.
If I won the lottery.

That never used to happen.

8)  I'll take a detour.
In any town I visit.
Just to see the historic district.

I don't covet new cars or expensive clothes.
Give me a Sears & Roebuck House.
Or a Craftsman Bungalow.

And transom windows.
Give me pocket doors.

9)   I've become down right "haughty" when it comes to judging people that cover
old houses with vinyl siding.

It's wrong  - I know.
But I judge you a little if you do it.

10)  The number of fireplaces in a house is more important to me.
Than the size of the closets.

Give me an old fireplace and a mantel.
Any day.
Over a walk in closet!

Old house fixation.
Incurable I'm afraid.
Happily so.