purging…

Y’all….

i’m not gonna lie to you, yesterday threw me for some loop.  My beloved County and State went whole hog for THE DONALD and Hillary and I am, effectively, in mourning.

thankfully late last night and this morning my best friend who wisely moved to Arkansas where people have more sense    (I DID NOT JUST SAY THAT) texted to commiserate and console me.  The two of us know each other as well as two unmarried people can, i guess, we parented our babies together and kept each other reasonably sane.  She is my rock who i love even though we vehemently disagree on LOTS of issues…and she loves me even though she knows most of my yucky stuff. We are THE CHURCH for one another, and i’m so thankful for her. She didn’t change anything, but just hearing from her made me feel somewhat better.  

anyhoo, i decided this morning that POLITICS IS HELL ON EARTH and i’m not gonna let it get me down.  i will not dwell in hell.  i decided to purge closets instead.  So far i’ve gone through HG’s closet and my closet and whilst purging too small shirts and sweaters and pants and stuff i haven’t worn in ages and will never wear again i found i was also purging my mind.  Purging your closets is a good thing, but purging your mind is THE BOSS.  

i have decided that, at least for today, i’m done with trying to figure anything out.  We are living in a foolish world full of fools, so let’s just be ourselves and enjoy the foolishness.  The absolute only person we can count on anyway is Jesus, and since i’m pretty sure He isn’t worried about any of this tom-foolery there’s no need for me to worry about it, either.

there’s too many people to love and too much purging to do.  It would be awesome if we could start by purging the government, but i’ll leave that one up to the Almighty.

for me, it’s back to the closets….

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why we choose evil…

Hey y’all…Are you as heartsick as I am? I’m one of the least political people I know, but there’s no escaping the sludge that keeps rolling through my social media and news feeds and though I do my best to avoid reading it, there seems to be no place to hide from the vitriol that has become the new norm of the 2016 GOP presidential campaign. The fact that Donald Trump has actually taken the Republican Party hostage would be funny if it wasn’t so terrifyingly tragic.   
What’s even more frightening and confusing to me is when I see photos of leaders in the Christian faith surrounding this man in prayer….giving their support to his campaign of hatred and deceit. I ask myself why aren’t these people condemning his words and actions instead of asking God to give him favor? Have we all lost our minds?

And then I read posts and comments from people I know and love who seem to be saying they would actually give him their vote…and I wonder that sane, intelligent, God-loving people could willingly choose someone who is the embodiment of evil…who shows no signs of kindness, humility, or even decency or regard for others.   

How can people who claim to know and love and FOLLOW Jesus Christ willingly and with open eyes choose evil?   

Adam and Eve must have been closer to God than any other human beings since the dawn of time. Scripture says they actually walked and talked with God in the garden. These folks lived in paradise…they didn’t need to have faith in God because they KNEW him personally…they lived in his very presence with everything they could want at their disposal. And still they sided with evil and chose the one solitary forbidden thing they weren’t supposed to touch.  

I guess if the very people who lived and communed with God couldn’t make wise choices it shouldn’t be such a surprise when members of the evangelical community fall in with a snake like Donald Trump.  

But….Jesus. That’s what’s making all this so difficult for me to understand. 

We have this beautiful example of God’s character to follow in the person of Jesus Christ. We get angry when someone says we’re not a Christian nation and then we throw our support behind a man who is the very antithesis of everything Jesus stood for.

Of course we obviously don’t want a leader who is like Jesus. Because that guy would lead us right into certain destruction. He would want to feed the poor, house the homeless, take care of the sick and give refuge to those fleeing war, rape, and torture. He wouldn’t protect our paychecks that we’ve worked so hard for…he might even suggest that we give whatever we had to anyone who asked for it. No, Jesus wouldn’t make a good President at all.   

So why do good Christians choose evil?   We do it every day while we kid ourselves that we’re “following Jesus,” because really following Jesus is hard.  

Because in its deception evil makes us feel safe…it tells us what we want to hear and soothes our fear because it connects with that part of us that really isn’t sure whether our Friend in the garden is telling us the truth. Evil lies to us and tells us we should and can be winners and have it all…when Jesus tells us to give it all away and follow him.

And evidently, in 2016, evil dressed up like a successful business man makes a darn good presidential candidate. 

joy and pain

why do doctors tell you to begin timing contractions when they’re regular and then to come to the hospital when they’ve been regular and ten minutes apart for an hour???

they make us believe the birth process is an orderly, predictable event that will follow established protocols and all we have to do is calmly time the agony and breathe….and there’s an app for that, except for the breathing part…and the agony

everyone who’s ever had a baby knows there is no predictability in the timing of a birth…you may have no contractions at all, then suddenly, BAM, there they are, six minutes apart and it’s baby number three and you’re rushing fast as you can to keep from having him in the kitchen

that’s what happened this evening with our sweet Grace, who gave birth at just after eleven p.m. (safely at the hospital) to our grandbaby, little Clayton Edward.  I managed to get there myself just after he had popped out and was wrapped all snug in his blanket…the wonder of holding a new life, fresh and full of possibility…a new person that you get to share and watch grow, is an indescribable blessing

baby Clayton doesn’t know it yet, but he has the distinction of being a Friday the 13th baby…and his birth comes amidst headlines of tragedy as terrorists struck six locations in Paris earlier this evening

back home in my safe, warm house, I look at these headlines rolling up my Facebook feed interspersed with photos and posts from our children and other grands…happy, playing, joyful, unaware of the evil and chaos around them and I’ve stopped even trying to make any sense of it all, because there is no sense in a world where depravity and hate can flourish on the same page as innocent children romping through the grass and climbing over their daddies

we live amongst joy and pain…and though we tend to think our times are worse than any that have come before us,  maybe we believe that because we never lived in the other times…and  we, unlike any others before, are accosted with information, photos of fresh death at our fingertips..no safe haven, no blissful ignorance 

let’s hold our babies and each other extra tight in these days….the joy is every bit as real as the pain and the power of love, though it may not seem so today, has truly won already…we’re being born into something eternal…all we have to do is time the agony, and breathe

Distractions and the Blood Moon

I woke up at 5am on a recent morning and walked up Smalley’s Hill looking for the moon. I was about to decide our neighborhood had too many trees, but just as I crested the hill at the ‘TOY POODLES’ house, I saw it. Off to the left of center…surrounded by a tuft of silvery clouds…a huge harvest moon near half eclipse.

I looked around for a safe place to sit and watch the big event – a total lunar eclipse, the Blood Moon – but before I could move the clouds rolled over the entire face of the moon and then out of nowhere the morning traffic started. In just a few seconds my peaceful solitude and the moon had disappeared. And I turned around and headed home…

Walking back down the hill in the still dark morning, musing over my failed mission, God seemed to say, “Just a glimpse, Sandi – I gave you just a peek of that beautiful moon because a glimpse is enough to keep you going, to keep you moving in the right direction.”

God sees the big picture and He was in control of the sky that morning. He’s in charge of events large (the total lunar eclipse) and small (a puff of clouds moved by a breeze) and yet He gives me the freedom to move in whatever direction I choose. To fulfill my purpose I need to be willing to GET UP, BE PRESENT, and MOVE in the direction of the glimpses He gives me. But lots of things can get in the way. There were several things getting between me and the moon that morning…

The trees. Trees are beautiful and necessary to our existence. They provide shade and shelter, clean the air we breathe, provide habitats for birds and animals, give us so many things we need. Good things. But even good things, grown up too many and tall around us can stand in the way of our seeing the “God thing” we’re seeking. Sometimes we have to move away from even the good things to seek out what He has in store for us.

The clouds. Clouds are beyond our control…unlike trees that we can trim back or leave behind us, they’re things we can’t influence. But God can. When it seems as if something beyond our control is blocking our view, maybe it’s His way of narrowing our focus…showing us only as much as we need to make the next step. We want the whole picture, but sometimes we have to take a step and then wait…be still until the time is right for the big reveal.

The traffic. So early in the morning and seemingly out of nowhere, in the midst of a beautiful solitude, the cars started coming. Their glaring red and yellow and halogen white lights cut through the silky indigo and took my attention from the thing that I was seeking. They made me feel exposed – and ultimately turned me away from my mission. Like the world’s distractions, I couldn’t control the movement around me. And instead of staying my course and finding a place to be still and wait for the clouds to move on, I let the traffic distract me and win out.

I was satisfied with my peek of the eclipsing moon…but I’ll never know what would have resulted that morning had I just moved forward, found a quiet spot and kept my focus on that cloudy patch of sky. I knew something spectacular was taking place even though I couldn’t see it. Maybe the clouds would have stayed and I would have treasured my fleeting glimpse knowing that I had waited it out and been faithful to my mission. But perhaps…just maybe in the darkness under a lone tree away from the busy street there at the top of Smalley’s Hill, the clouds would have rolled back and I would have witnessed something glorious.

Best Conversation Ever

Today I had the most amazing thirty-second conversation with our youngest. She is a precious eight-year old beam of joy and light who we brought home from China six years ago. We were brushing her teeth, and the conversation was one we have nearly every day, up until her very last comment, which blew me away…

Me: “I love you”
H: “I love you more”
Me: ” I love you most”
H: ” I loved you first”
Me: “No, you didn’t”

and then she paused her brushing and looked up at me with the most sincere eyes, and said
“I’ve loved you since before the world was formed.”

That, dear friends, was a God moment that will fuel me for a very, very long time.

Eating Crow on New Years Day

imageLast night,  New Years Eve, I sat up until 5 am working on my first post of 2014.  It was a snarky parody of a current pop song about a wrecking ball. I felt justified in taking liberties with the artist’s work, because I’ve been very frustrated with the way this particular artist, for years a role model to young girls,  has lately been expressing herself. I know a lot of other people are disappointed in her conduct, too.  And of course I told myself, even made a disclaimer on my post, that I wasn’t judging her heart, only sharing my feelings about what she herself had made very public.

I have to say, it was a pretty good remake, and I had more than a few chuckles working on it. I even texted portions of it to my girls, 17 and 20, so they could see how clever mom was.  I was pretty proud of myself… I think I even posted a FB status about successfully completing my first writing assignment of the year, and feeling rather good about it.

After catching a little nap this morning, I spent a big chunk of the day revising my new lyrics, and getting the post up on my shiny new blog.  Thankfully, I’m technically challenged, because I never managed to post the link to Facebook or Twitter where anyone could actually read it.   My seventeen year old, after initially thinking I was nearing genius, became frustrated with me as the day wore on, saying that I wasn’t being very Christian about the whole thing….but, hey, what do seventeen-year-olds know, right? Right.

All I can say is that sweet girl must have been praying for her super genius mom today, because somehow through my really gummy, thick skull, the light came on. Shame on me. Shame on ME for judging the actions of another person without asking myself what kind of pain might have caused the abrupt change in the way she’s behaving. Shame on me for poking fun at her pain. You see, no matter what we self-righteous folks think, people don’t usually do an about face in the character department unless there’s some huge gushing wound that we probably, in spite of all our good intentions, do not see.  And I should know that.  I do know that. I’ve been there.  Done it.  One day maybe I’ll share that story.

For now, I’m just thankful that those hours of work never made it past my trash folder.  Thankful I have daughters who are more clever and sensitive than I am.  And though this isn’t the post I’d planned to kick off my shiny new blog for 2014, I’m thankful for being able to share my wrecked story. Happy New Year, everybody.