Monday, January 30, 2012

A Little Vitamin "D"

The words of David are like health to my soul. On those dark winter mornings, void of chirping birds and a warm breeze, his ability to express the passion, fear and hope of God is rejuvenating.

"Why so downcast, Oh my soul? Put your trust in Him." Psalm 43:5

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

Of all the Patriarchs, David has to be one of my most appreciated...if not THE most. Other than dancing in my underclothes, I can relate to so many of the things he felt and did, both good and bad. Such a passionate guy. Imperfect, lacking the emotional stability earlier in his life, he focused on the heart of God and treasured it more than anything else he desired. Ruggedly handsome, having a "way" with people and driving forward with all that he did, made him a kind of man that really had the world by the tail. Those God given attributes were his triumph and his downfall, at different times. As long as he gave them over to God, he had His blessing and victory.

He loved music, food, battles and women. I'm sure he would have liked painting too, if he tried it :) His psalms reveal the internal battles that he struggled with, daily. How his heart cried out to God in times of anguish and how it bubbled over to the point of dancing in times of joy. They reveal his secret thoughts and fears, and his submission to the sovereignty of God to deal with every situation he faced. Not being the kind of guy to sit back and watch life happen, he had to embrace that four letter word...wait. He had to LEARN to wait upon the Lord and enjoy His presence and provision in the meantime.

God gave him ample opportunity to express his passions on the harp, with the sword of Goliath and with his loyal friendship with Jonathan. There is a time for everything under the sun (quoted by David's son Solomon, ironically). Here is a man who was packed solid with life, energy and zeal, learning how to tame himself, discern the will of God and use his gifts for His glory. I'm sure he had many a dreary "winter" day, stuck in a dark cave, wishing for future glory, but having to embrace that day. His words can be shared by many at this time of year. They can lift the spirit and give hope, for this day as well as the bright and cheery ones.

This is not the season of much fun in the sun, but we can have joy in the Lord any day of the year.
Eat well, exercise and think on good the psalms of David. Take your vitamin "D".

Friday, January 20, 2012

Table Traffic Cop

The supper table is the funniest place.
My two oldest boys dominate the air with their hockey talk, rhyming and under the table antics. My daughter (who take FOREVER to say anything) tries to get a sentence or two in there while she picks fussily away at her meal. My youngest son, the observer, makes hilarious facial expressions while watching the big boys talk. Sometimes, if there is a moment of silence, he surprises all of us with a dry, cleverly thought out comment...those are the best moments. My husband and I just throw coded looks across the table at one another. We don't always have to talk, just looks and smiles that sufficiently communicate over top of the commotion.

One boy is continually guided to chew with his mouth closed. The acoustics of a very large mouth are great for singing...not so great for chewing. Another is encouraged to pick up his plate and eat the meal he has left under and around it and the chipmunck has to be saved from certain death by choking about every 5 minutes as he is commanded to swallow his mouthful before taking another bite. I'm sure when he is old his cheeks will sag to his shoulder blades from the stretching. My little princes likes to PEEL every piece of food presented to her...with her fingers. Maybe she thinks it is a present and something amazing is waiting underneath the wrapping. Or maybe she is just too fussy and scientifically examines every morsel for her own protection. Quite the opposite of the gorger on the other side of the table, who could be eating a shoe and not realize it.

Besides these regular table-keeping jobs of mine, I also have to be a food traffic cop. I must keep the flow of the serving bowls smooth, preventing the inevitable traffic jam at the slowest person's plate, blowing my whistle at the impatient motorist who is trying to shortcut the pickles ACROSS the table, and calming the drooling driver experiencing road rage as he glares at the sibling holding the Ketchup too long. Of course I am always vigilent, ready to give out a ticket to anyone caught plate licking...that's a 3 point loss. All the while, trying to follow the discourses of mumbling adolescents and precious little, struggling word finders.

We have a rule (I don't like rules, but sometimes they are just necessary) that movies or TV shows are NOT allowed to be quoted if they are longer than two sentences...or something like that. It amazes me how an entire scene from a comical show can be memorized in one hearing, and yet "a noun is a person, place or thing" is just too advanced to store and retrieve. They can feel free to relive these scripts to one another, if both are in agreement, but anyone over the age of about 16 must give written consent to endure the proceedure. Especially at the dinner table. The only thing more difficult to give my attention to than this is adding the constant glimpses of digesting mashed potatoe and green beans throughout the whole episode. Lips are for more than kissing. They keep what shouldn't be seen, unseen.

These regular table times are redeemed by constant laughter, the sharing of daily experiences and the amazing joy of good food! It's so true that dining together is a kind of bonding and fellowship. I am doubly blessed to experience this at lunch and supper (yay homeschooling) even if it means double duty as the table traffic cop.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pretty Presents :)

Thank you to Emily Vail of Gourmet Mommy for my snazzy new blog title thingy! See, I don't even know what to call it...that's how techno-savy I am. It scratches the visual itch on my blog that I just couldn't reach :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lost in January

It's cold. It's grey. It's January.
Some snow would be nice. It would actually brighten things up around here a bit, and give us something to do outside. My days during the first weeks of 2012 have been saturated with uplifting music, extra pleasing meals, additional Bible readings and soy protein. Those are just a few of my coping mechanisms. Along with the January greys, come my emotional spikes and dips. Not a good combination. If I didn't know better, I'd be in therapy, on medication and maybe even intoxicated. I'd think that I was not "happy", that life was meaningless and that grass over there is a much nicer shade of green than mine is. But, I do know better. I know the truth and the truth has set me free! It hasn't taken away the greys or the emotional roller coaster, but I am a free mind, managing an enslaved body. As the apostle Paul said in Romans 7:

"So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Two laws at work in me. One must overcome the other. That is exactly why we should NEVER encourage people to "follow your heart" or "do what feels right". Our feelings and desires (heart) are not always in line with what we know to be the truth and pleasing to God. It is so good to be free from the slavery of my emotions. I have to remind myself of this fact often, but the more I do it, the easier it gets...and pampering myself through the trial can be enjoyable too :)

So, I KNOW that I am just fine...the grey will change to a peaceful is good...and I am NOT CRAZY!!!!!!

I get extremely antsy and distracted at this time too. Changing gears on a dime, leaving things unfinished and finding myself walking around the house aimlessly...looking for what to do next. Standing in the middle of my living room looking like a lost child in Grand Central Station. Until one of my sweet children or my husband takes me by the hand, guides me to the coffee pot and sits with me a spell with a funny grin on his face and an arm around my neck. If I'm really sad looking they put on some Il Divo and dance with me around the room. That is guaranteed to put a hopeful smile on my spoiled face.

It's cold. It's grey. It's January...on the outside.

But on the inside, it's a warm August vacation day :)

My next post will likely be very upbeat and exciting... changes on the hour.