Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Gown

Yesterday I woke up with so much energy that before I even brushed my teeth I attacked my closets.  About twice a year I go through the house and gather things that I have not used or worn in 2 years or less and I pack them up and off they go to a charitable organization.
I pounced on my closet and though some things were hard to let go, I knew that if I had not worn it in a while I probably would not do so in the future so out it went.  As I was re-checking, my eye caught something sparkling way back in the recesses of the closet.  In all honesty I knew what it was; it was a sequined formal gown.  I removed the clear plastic covering and saw that it was still beautiful, dark periwinkle blue with silver sequins…lovely.  I calculated that it had been hanging there for over 15 years unused. It was outdated of course with the shoulder pads, but still lovely.

Of course I tried to reason keeping it; after all, I paid good money for it and who knows I could have the shoulder pads removed  and it will be good as new, because you never know when I may need a blue and silver sequined gown at the last moment to wear…WHERE?  WAKE UP Sweet pea you’re dreamin’ !
When I finally settled down and allowed God to speak to my heart, I began to see what that gown “represented” to me.  Years ago I was a part of the cast of a musical play that is very well known in this area. I was soloist for a couple of the songs in this play.  I wore this gown for the finale solo, it was a dynamic scene, with special props and lighting. The gown sparkled under the lighting as the glorious Heaven scene was being portrayed on stage.  What a great season in my life to be a part of that.  But just as seasons change, it was time to let go.

The gown represented a very good time in my life.  It was a time of recognition, accolades, compliments and of gratitude that I was a part of something where God was touching the lives of many people. It represented something good, but it was time to move on to the next season.
Through my life’s journey it has been a monumental time of growing up!  I often chuckle how sometimes God uses things that we think are negatives to motivate a positive outcome.  For instance gone are the accolades, compliments and recognition, but in its place are confidence, character and assurance in God and of who He is. I admit it, I had a lot of growing up to do and in the process I have lost some things and especially some people very precious to me, but through it all I have a clearer image of Jesus and His precious love for me. I am no longer in the limelight, but I desire to continually be in His light, the Son’s light. I am like my dog Bruno who is always looking for a sunny spot on the carpet so that he can bathe in its warmth.  I pray that I always search and yearn for His light, so that I can bathe in His Truth, Love and yes warmth.
So…letting go…even it is was a good thing, even if it represents a great time, when it’s time to move on, you gotta let go.  I’m sure we have all heard the analogy of a person holding something so tightly in their hand until God Himself cannot open it to pour in something fantastic!  We cannot fully experience and enjoy what He has for us until we let go and trust Him to fill that spot with what He wants for us…now.

Well, after I admired the gown for a few more minutes, inspecting the sequins and even smiling to myself as I remembered the good times…I covered it back up and placed it with the other things to be taken away. No tears, no regrets, just thankfulness for a faithful God who directs our paths that takes us from season to season.

“Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”  Isaiah 43:19



Sunday, August 11, 2013

Victory! My right to "Bare" Arms!

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
 I Corinthian 15:57

 Well the summer season is winding down.  Even though the temperature outside is still hot, I can feel it in the early morning.  Feels like autumn is just around the corner…

As I look back over the summer, there were three major things that I accomplished.  I had the house painted outside: you cannot imagine the relief I felt when I finally was able to find, with the help of my neighbors, a house painter that not only was a good professional but he had a wonderful
attitude (those 2 things don’t usually come together).  He did a fantastic job!  Secondly, I had some major tree removal and trimming done in the backyard.  Last fall’s Hurricane Sandy that swept through my area did damage to a lot of trees. One very tall Pine tree that was leaning at a 90 degree angle had to come down and several other smaller trees were removed.  When the Tree guy was done, it looked like the sunshine had come back in.  Just a side note:  It is hard when you are a widow or single sometimes to find good reliable people to do projects around the house. My advice is to ask your neighbors or co-workers for references, if the workers are referred by someone you both know or who has utilized them, they most likely will do a better and reliable job.

And thirdly (drum roll please), I got the victory over my reluctance to wear sleeveless tops!  Yep you heard it correctly!  I got the victory over my “Right to BARE Arms!”  My UPPER arms that is.  I’m sure that to a lot of you reading this it may seem absurd, but I was not blessed with trim, firm upper arms and as the years have gone by they seem to want to migrate south…and in a hurry!  So my cure for all of my adult life has been to never wear sleeveless tops.  Not even a cap sleeve, it had to be at least a ¾ sleeve.

My arms and I were fine with that arrangement until the soaring, relentless heat wave that hit us this summer.  Honey it was HOT!  and for a very long time.  I wish that I could tell you that I was awakened by the voices of a band of angels singing “It is well for you to bareth  your uppereth  arms”.  But no! I was so hot one day and I looked down and saw that I had on a long sleeved top with the sleeves pushed up mind you, but it hit me! “You are nuts!  GOD gave you your arms and if they are working properly, you ought to be thankful!”   I couldn’t get to the store fast enough!  I bought the cutest really short sleeve tops and when I tried them on, yes my upper arms sagged and swaggered to the occasion but I rejoiced because I no longer felt that worry of what folks will think! I was FREEEEEEE  and  Cooool!  Hallelujah!  And I looked cute too!  LOL.

 So Thanks be to God who gives us the Victory!  Does God care about the little things in our lives? You bet He does.  He wants us to be victorious in every area of our lives,  even if it’s the victory over exposing your upper arms.   So thankful that I can laugh over my sweet victories! Thank God for having a sense of humor and helping me to laugh loudly through this journey of life!
On another note:  Check out the  full size Tea set I found at the local GW for $3.99


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Looks like somebody needs a haircut!  Back from vacation, and looks like the plants are trying to take over!  No, no for real I knew this one needed a trim before I left and now that I see how over grown it is I need to get to work!

Speaking of “trimming" I've got to get back into my exercise regime.  It has been 2 weeks since I've been to the gym! Shame on me! I missed the week before vacation and during vacation of course. My gym offers free passes to their network gyms in the area where you may be vacationing, but I conveniently forgot to get a pass!  heh heh heh  But you know what? With all that fancy eating I did I better seriously get back to my work out starting Monday!


Whenever I go away, I usually get a fresh word from the Lord.  Maybe it's because I'm in a different place and seek Him more or maybe I've slowed down long enough to "hear" what He has to say to me. This is the scripture that comes to mind "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..." Hebrews 12:1. There’s that word “weight” alright, alright I overate while on vacation!  But putting my guilt to the side and understanding the true meaning of what this scripture means, yes!  I do sometimes carry unnecessary baggage, baggage that is not only bad for me, but impedes my progress to becoming what God wants me to be. So I need to take inventory: am I holding on to something that I should have let go long ago? Am I allowing old feelings of insecurity, rejection or low self-esteem to creep back in? Am I dependent on what people think of me rather than pleasing God?  Yep, I took some self-inventory and I came up looking not so good. So I had a little talk with God, my Father, and I’m so thankful He is long suffering and patient. I believe I’m on the right track now and back to running that “race” that Apostle Paul talks about in the book of Hebrews.

I learn so much through the simple things in life, like pruning back that plant. It’s going to be very good for it. It will produce healthier leaves and spread in all the right places.  My Sansevieria or Snake plant which is a plant not known for it “prettiness” yet when pruned properly and given correct sunlight it produces beautiful flowers (see mine). 

  The pruning process may be painful sometimes, especially when we get a good look at ourselves through the eyes of God. As women we are “fixers” and are experts at putting on facades that everything is okay, even when our hearts may be breaking. But as God speaks to us to take a self-inventory, it may hurt, but it is soooo very good for us.  He wants us to spread His love in all the right places and produce beautiful flowers for the world to see so that He may be glorified.

So I say BRING IT ‘cause I want to please my Daddy God, I want Him to say to me one day “Well done thou good and faithful servant!
Here are some plants around the house:
Snake Plant (Flowering)

Philodendron (Flowering)

Variegated Philodendron

Spider Plant