Trust Me, You Have A Lint Trap

One day I was at my dad’s house discussing the lint trap on his dryer. I said to him, “My dryer doesn’t have a lint trap.” Bragging that my dryer was obviously far more advanced and sophisticated then his. He very confidently tells me it does but I continue to assure him it didn’t and it was just a fancy one that must vaporize the lint itself. He told me to go home and look on the top of the dryer and find it. He even bet me money it was there.

I went home totally pumped to prove him wrong and to congratulate my dryer for being superior to all the other dryers. I go to the laundry room and investigate my dryer and then cringe at the sight of this little handle looking thing on top. I give it a tug and it wiggles a bit but is kind of stuck. So I give it a yank and out comes this full sized, neatly woven, shag carpet.

Okay let’s pause here and look at the situation… I’ve been married a couple of years by now and have had a couple children. The dryers we had growing up ALWAYS had the lint trap in the door of the dryer. Never on top!!! So who’s to blame here? My parents for assuming I had common sense? Or the dryer manufacturers for changing things up???

Once the lint was removed from my dryer it started to dry my clothes in a much shorter cycle. I hadn’t even realized the drying cycle had gotten longer, little by little but it definitely had.

Un-confessed sin is like a stuffed lint trap. If you aren’t regularly cleaning out the “lint trap” gradually you stop working at full capacity. It’s easy to deny you have any sin in your life. Or maybe you think sin looks one way so you assume you don’t have any. But trust me, you have a lint trap!

Psalms 139:23-24 “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

God wants us to confess our sins so we can work the way He designed us to work.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

My poor little dryer was working harder then it needed to. It was still managing to dry my clothes but if I would have just searched harder for a lint trap, I could have had dry clothes in a more efficient time frame.

God is merciful and patient but I want to work better! I don’t want to wait until a giant carpet of tightly woven sin is stifling my effectiveness for the kingdom of God. So today right here, I confess all my sins to you…

Ha! You wish! But I do want to make a new commitment of asking God to search my heart and revealing any offensive way in me more regularly. I know I have a lint trap and am vulnerable to build up if I don’t. It’s hard to believe that I’m not a fancier model that just automatically vaporizes sin but it’s true.

“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28:13

I’m Sorry, But…

Has anyone ever came to you to apologize for something and then adds a but? All those warm gooey feelings you were having six seconds ago are gone! Just like that. If a sorry has a but attached to it you know something smelly is coming.

A sorry has to be just that. A sorry. A humble, tail between the legs, sorry. It can’t bring along a justification companion. It must stand on it’s own and face the music.

Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the alter and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the alter. First go and be reconciled to them; Then come and offer your gift.”

If you’re about to add a but to your sorry, you probably aren’t really sorry.

I remember one time me and my son were playing laser tag at this fun center. The game was getting very intense and I was about to destroy all my opponents. (That’s not totally how my son remembers the story but it’s the truth.) My son and I were on a team, along with several others. There was this punk kid, maybe 13ish, on the other team. He had a fowl mouth and was a bit obnoxious. At one point he was right up on my son and my son, without thinking, smacked the kids gun away. I didn’t see this, so when I heard him yelling at my son,”Hey! You can’t do that!” I went to see what the problem was. The kid told me what my son had done and my son stood there denying it. I, of course, looked over at my sweet little baby (12 years old) with his twinkling blue eyes and said, “I’m sure he didn’t do that.” The young tyrant assured me he did and then we all moved on to world domination!!! After the game ended my son came to me and said, “Mom, I did it. I don’t know what happened but I just reacted and did it!” I was shocked, embarrassed and a teeny, tiny impressed. Don’t judge! I said teeny tiny but my son is very small for his age so any parent would be! I explained to my son that he had to apologize to the boy. But then I realized I really needed to apologize to him too. I didn’t believe him and I didn’t resolve it correctly.

Do you have any idea what it’s like to be humble to a little punk 13 year old boy??? Probably not because you guys are all nice civilized grown ups but let me tell you… It was so hard. I so desperately wanted to say, “I’m really sorry my son smacked your gun away BUT you were all up in his grill. Oh and I’m sorry I basically called you a liar BUT let’s face it kid, you probably do lie with that fowl mouth.” But then I realized I really was sorry. I felt bad for assuming my boy could do no wrong. This kid had been offended and he did deserve an apology. So, I walked my practically 40 self to the 13 year old boy and said, “I’m really sorry I didn’t believe you and I’m sorry my son smacked your gun.” I was kind of hoping that the kid would say something rude and disrespectful so that I could walk away with a little dignity and justification but instead the little hoodlum looked up at me and said, “Hey, no problem!”

So there you have it… Always apologize when you have done wrong. Even if you end up looking like a total lunatic who gets in fights with small children.

And keep your buts to yourself. That is not an apology!

No Fear Here, Well… Maybe A Little

My family loves to scare each other. We will go through great lengths in order to make one of us scream! It’s not totally fair that I’m one of the targets because you can be standing right next to me and say, “boo” and I’ll jump, scream and usually hit. The hitting thing is out of my control. It’s my natural reaction to danger!

My husband, on the other hand, is so obnoxious! I will squeeze my giant adult body into a tiny space and stay there, pushing past the cramping that’s building up in my legs, just so I can jump out at the perfect moment and scare him. But he NEVER gets scared. NEVER!!! One time I jumped out and he was a little closer then I thought and it scared me. I literally screamed in fear, trying to scare him. You can imagine the good laugh he got out of that. (insert eye roll)

My husbands annoying refusal to humor me with fear and trembling gives me such a tangible picture of God telling me, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine!” (Isaiah 43:1)

When the enemy is crouching around the corner waiting for that perfect moment to jump out and say, “Gottcha!” I can just keep walking, not giving any sort of reaction to his schemes. In fact, I can be closer to God then he had originally thought and scare him instead!

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Rest in the hands of your Abba Father. He loves you dearly. He’s making you lie in green pastures. He is leading you beside still waters. He restore your soul. He leads you in the paths of righteousness. Even though you are walking through this trial, you need not to fear evil because God is with you! His rod and His staff are there to comfort you. He is preparing a table before you in the presence of your enemies. He anoints your head with oil. Your cup overflows!!! Goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life. And you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!!!

Below is a cover of the song “I will fear no more” by The Afters. Sung by my unscareable husband. It’s a beautiful song that reminds us to not give into fear. Which I personally need reminded of often!

Whoopsie-Daisy

It’s a beautiful day outside. The weather is perfect so the kids are out back playing basketball. I LOVE the warmer weather!

I forgot though, that every spring I struggle with depression. Spring time sparks that funny ambition to clean out the house. Spring time motivates you in a fierce way to do those yard projects that have been brewing all winter. You also want to get everything done before the desert heat comes and you can only function if your half naked and eating ice chips.

So why in the world does this glorious season bring on depression??? Well, because of pesky ol’ illness. I’m slapped in the face with my limitations. My brain is never on the same page as my body. It drives me bonkers to be doing a project and then have to quit, after just a few minutes. A project that should only take me a few hours, might take me days or weeks to finish. It’s so aggravating!!!

Okay, so that’s my sob story. Now moving on to the hope….

Psalm 139:16 “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.”

It brings me comfort knowing God has never said “whoopsie-daisy.” Nothing that I have gone through or am going through came as a shock to God. He knew what I would face and He drew out the path to get me through it. The problem is already solved. I just have to trust Him and follow His leading to get to the solution.

It’s funny how I try and take control of my life. I carry things that God never intended me to carry. I do things in my own strength or I guess I should say, I TRY to do things in my own strength. Which is just crazy talk because I say “whoopsie-daisy” all the time. I also say, “oh golly” but the old man makes fun of that one, so I try and limit it. I’d much rather my struggles be in the hands of someone who has never had to say such things! Instead, like a total weirdo, I take back control and then mess up and say, “Whoopsie-daisy! God, can you fix this?”

I’m going to try and rest in the fact that God has written out all my days. He is trustworthy and good. The beautiful weather is still enjoyable, even if I can’t do what I want to do. I need to remember to praise God for springtime to help fight the depression. So, ready, set, PRAISE…

How Romantic

Genesis 2:18-20 “And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.”

There are so much to these verses that I love. It blows my mind that Adam had this perfect union with God and yet God still didn’t want Adam to feel lonely! Was that even possible? Obviously yes, but still mind blowing.

God brings Adam all the animals to name and go through. God of course knew none of them would be comparable to Adam so it makes me wonder what this time was used for. Was it for Adam to grow a deep desire for a mate and sexual partner? Did he go through the animals and think, “Awe, that frog has a little frog buddy. Oh and that lion has that beautiful lioness!” Going through each animal one by one, did he grow to be lonely? Did the desire for sexual intimacy develop during this time?

Genesis 2:21-25 “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

Adam had gone through all the animals and found none to be comparable to him. He needed a helper and our gracious Father made him one! How Romantic! I interpret Adam’s response in scripture as, “Dang girl, you’s fine!!!” And then maybe music, sounding very similar to Marvin Gaye’s Lets get it on, played throughout the sky and it was good.

I’m so grateful God created marriage. I can’t imagine doing life without my husband. He’s the closest picture of Christ I think I’ll ever see. He leads this family with integrity and love. And, I’m not gonna lie, when he comes out of the shower, in all his glory, I too have said, “Dang boy, you’s fine!!!”

Christmas Tradition is Getting Tricky

In 2013 I decided it would be fun to take a silly Christmas picture. I came up with a pose and forced the children and husband to participate. It only took 438 takes but in the end I was pretty happy with it. The picture was loved by all and that’s how the tradition got started.

2014… You wouldn’t know it, but flooding your kitchen with bubbles isn’t easy. Also not easy, finding my fourth child in this picture.

2015… Tragically I had my date set wrong on my camera, so ignore that little detail. Oh and a little advice to anyone wanting to duct tape their faces… it hurts to remove but great for unwanted hair!

2016… I totally nailed making a fake, lower half Santa! Look at the perfectly bent knee! Can I also get a high five for fixing the date on my camera?

2017… Don’t worry, the mess was worth the picture. I added a bonus picture because the kids look so cute and delicious! Looking back at all these pictures I’m starting to realize my husband deserves an award for being such a good sport.

2018… This one is my favorite. It was alot of work and preparation but it’s just so fun! I love a good dinner party. Oh and once again, finding four children in this picture is a tiny challenging. Bummer!

Now here we are , 2019. I was feeling nostalgic this year. Seriously though, my brown dog is so hilarious in this picture. His name is Archibald, so his name is as sophisticated as his pose. My other dog, Stewart, just looks terrified. I had so much fun making my daughters hair, Texas big.

And now you see why my Christmas tradition has gotten tricky. Coming up with new ideas is a challenge but it sure is fun to look back at our insanity. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas season. God is mighty and merciful. God Bless!

Not Really Waiting On God

Life has been quite tricky these days. I don’t feel good and have been in terrible pain. I quit eating 15 days ago because eating causes too much pain. Instead, I’ve been drinking bone broth, which settles fine and doesn’t hurt! I’m anxiously waiting for an appointment with a gi doc to try and figure out why I can’t eat. In the meantime, my gracious God has faithfully given me new insights and a new strength!

I’m kind of an emotional eater and so the fact that I’m starving 24/7 gives me plenty of opportunity to fall on my knees and beg God for strength and will power. Let me paint you a picture of what this might look like…

I’m cooking dinner for my four children and my hard working man. I stir the pot of the buttery, fluffy quinoa, that’s been soaking up the broth juices. I then turn my attention to the herb roasted chicken in the oven. It’s looking beautiful and crispy and smelling delicious. I add a pinch of salt to the green beans that are also generously covered in butter. My stomach growls, being sure to remind me that it’s starving to death. I look down and say, “hush you! This food isn’t for you! You get that large jar over there filled with bone broth.” That’s when it happens… That’s when the crying out to Jesus starts. “God! give me strength! Turn this hunger off and trick my brain to believe this broth is a giant cheese burger filled with mushrooms, bacon, and green chili!” It has yet to happen BUT God has done something else in my life to satisfy my hunger. He’s given me a new hope and reminded me of the work being done.

A few Sunday’s ago my pastor gave a sermon about Paul and his journey to Rome. I’m not going to try and say what he said because I’ll totally butcher it and leave you all confused but it really got me thinking. Paul’s circumstances appeared pretty awful. He was arrested and constantly being denied his freedom. He traveled place to place pleading his case only to be turned down, over and over again.

I thought about Paul waiting on God. I thought about my own circumstances and my prayer to be patient and wait on God’s timing. Waiting isn’t my strength. My husband says I live my life as if it’s an emergency situation. Which is a bit dramatic but probably close to the truth. I’ve been praying and reminding myself that God is always on time and His timing is perfect.

I was feeling particularly discouraged one evening, while driving my son to basketball practice. Probably because I just passed a Whataburger and shamelessly fantasized about a monterey melt, delighting my deprived taste buds. But I digress. I was worshiping God and thanking Him for this trial and for the work I know He is doing in my life. And that’s when I started thinking about Paul again. Thinking about him waiting on God to deliver him. I thought about the people around him, who loved him, who were also waiting on God to free him.

That whole time that Paul was “waiting,” God was working. When I think of Paul waiting, I think of this stationary time. A time of nothingness, until somethingness (it’s not a word but felt right) But Paul was preaching to people he would never have the opportunity to preach to. He was sharing the gospel to people in the “security” of imprisonment. He made his way to Rome, glorifying God the whole way! There was never a time of nothingness. God was moving and shaking things. There was constant action and movement forward towards the goal!

This encourages me so much! I’m not really just waiting on God. I’ve got a front row seat to His awesome work in my life. It would be like going to a movie and during the main scene saying, “I’m just waiting for this part to end.”

God is at work! He is changing me to be more like Him. He’s working in lives around me and moving me forward towards my goal.

Thank you God for your work in my life.

P.S. I wouldn’t say no to your prayers! I’ll take prayers for healing or cheeseburgers… however you feel lead.