Friday Favorites ~ Words, Wit, and Wisdom

I have been reading books or facebook posts or blogs recently that have been full of good words, wit, and wisdom. Today, I am going to share a few with you and I hope you get a laugh out of the funny ones, spend some time contemplating the ones that make you think. If a source is available I will share it otherwise let’s just appreciate that somebody somewhere had something interesting to say 🙂

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You can’t have a filet mignon lifestyle with a hot dog work ethic.

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The limits of our capacity to imagine are not the limits of God’s capacity to work.
~ P. Andrew Sandlin (Can I get a greatful amen?)

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“Never miss a good chance to shut up.”
―Will Rogers

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“Whenever we realize that we have not done that which we had a magnificent opportunity of doing, then we are apt to sink into despair; and Jesus Christ comes and says— “[…] that opportunity is lost forever, you cannot alter it, but arise and go to the next thing.” Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him.”
~Oswald Chambers (This one is especially meaningful to me…if I am not careful I can squander time and do it in such a way as to disguise idleness as busyness.)

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The difference between the right word and a similar word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. –Mark Twain

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To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!
~Proverbs 15:23

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May all your words be wise ones this weekend. Have a good one, y’all!

The Duty Is Ours

Sometimes we want a laundry list of reasons so we can understand why something has happened, why someone is doing what they’re doing. We might want time to plan and prepare for any all spontaneous events that might be disruptive to our prepared thought out plans and agendas. Or we struggle simply because we have our checklist and we’ve marked all of the boxes.

I get it, we do any or all of those at any given time.

We take in and gather information and organize it all in such a way that things make sense to us, so that life makes sense. The reality we construct may not always be exact or completely spot on but it’s how we process and how we’re able to cope. We need information. We want specific times, events, and incident reports. Life is easier if we have naughty and nice lists or a balanced ledger of pros and cons. We want a report card that we are able to point to and show our good behavior and prove we have a reason for life to not be so hard.

We want the inside scoop on what God is doing and we want a say on what He is doing. But how many times in the book of Genesis alone do we see God saying, “Go and I will show you…” and that was it?

Sometimes it is a conglomerate of things that aren’t very specific and well defined yet there you are, standing in your garage sorting ten years worth of life into the throw away pile, the donation pile, the I wanna keep that pile, and a much larger garage sale pile than you expected.

Then one day somebody does something that has a big impact on your life circumstances and you have yo deal with stuff you didn’t even know existed. Or something big is going down at work and there’s nothing you can do to change it or you’re having a conversation with your doctor you never expected to have about yourself, your parent or your child.

Sometimes your peaceful little life is upended by circumstances completely out of your control.

Because God moved. Not in a rush. Not overnight. But all along moving you to a place where what you thought you knew, what you thought you ought to have, the way you thought it would always be, isn’t.

Samuel Rutherford put it this way, “…the duties are ours, events are the Lord’s.”

All events in our lives come from the hand of God. We cannot predict or control them. How we respond to those circumstances is what we are responsible for.

Ours is the work of obedience, of being faithful to His leading, to do His work where we are, where He has brought us to. To respond in faith and trust He is at work for our good.

In all the seemingly sudden upheaval we may face we can trust that His plan really isn’t sudden, that in the same way a farmer plans and prepares long before the first mound of dirt is tilled up, He has been busy sorting and preparing seed and the work He intends for each of us to do.

May we be found faithful and may He bless the works of our hands in what we have done and in what we will do.

Have a great weekend, y’all, no matter what comes your way!

Monday Musings

When were kids my oldest sister was the crafty creative one then as we all became adults I became the one who takes pictures and blogs, plans parties and decorates, etc. (She still gets really great ideas and can find all the parts and pieces to make things happen. It’s her gift, really.)

But recently our little sister has had the opportunity to do some writing for a women’s ministry that she is involved in and one post she shared stayed in my head and kept me thinking so I am going to piggyback on what she was talking about for a few minutes.

In her devotion she was addressing this idea in our culture of female empowerment, the constant bombardment of equality for women that disregards the true power we have in favor of the pseudo power the world would have us believe is more and better. She reminded her readers that we were designed with a purpose, formed by a rib being taken from man’s side to be his helper. She went on to explain the duties and functions of our actual ribs:

Anatomically speaking, ribs are connected to the spine. This gives strength and power to them. They are an essential connection to the very core that holds a person up. They are there to uplift. They come around and protect the heart and lungs, blood and oxygen.

We can’t survive without them. The ribs guard those inmost, core parts and protect them from harm. In this way, we are to guard our loved ones, protect them, and ensure that they have what they need to live. Ribs are small but strong bones, they may bruise but they are not easy to break. 

Toni Marie made a beautiful connection from the physical description to the spiritual. We uplift. We protect.

But did you know that ribs can pop out of place? Two weeks ago I started noticing a discomfort in my back when I moved a certain way or tried to breath too deeply. It was hard to put my finder on and explain what the exact problem was but it just felt off, not right. Turns out one of my ribs had moved out of place. Thankfully I already had an appointment scheduled with the chiropractor who found the problem, popped it back into place, and straightened me out.

Reading my sister’s words on the heels of that experience showed me how easy it is for us as women to become disjointed. We let ungratefulness, a bad attitude, bitterness, selfishness, or unforgiveness push us out of place and instead of uplifting or protecting those around us we become that dull discomfort that they try to live with and around or that sharp pain that becomes a hindrance that keeps them from doing and being what they were made to do and be.

Thankfully, the fix is just as quick as the chiropractor popping my actual rib back into place. When we confess the sinfulness that has us out of place with the body, be it in our marriage or relationships with our children, or at church, wherever it is,  the Great Physician promises to forgive us, to heal and restore us. He puts us back into our place and we are able to do that which we were made for.

That, in and of itself, is reason to rejoice.

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Prayer

I really don’t understand how it works but I know that it does. I know that it is holy communication. I know that He hears us, indeed says we should pray without ceasing. I know it is not a magic lamp we rub and out pops the Holy Spirit to do our bidding but again, He listens to the cries and petitions of His children.

Sometimes, having an adult autistic child has its moments. Things can get edgy and volatile but I have learned that when it seems a storm might be brewing that I can shoot a text to my Mother and sisters asking for prayers on our behalf and Sam’s,  and things will typically settle down. It’s uncanny really, especially because I know that prayer is not some kind of magic trick but rather God hearing His children and granting what they ask in His Son’s name.  Last time this happened I asked them which one was not praying I would loose these last stubborn twenty pounds. (Okay, I know that goes back to treating prayer like the magic rub on the genie lamp but it was good for a laugh.)

But I know that sometimes praying can feel like the God and me version of the child tugging on your shirt who is incessantly asking for something all day every day. Or it just feels less than alive and genuine. Or like I am doing all the talking. Or that my words are thick and clumsy.

A friend recently shared this excerpt from AW Tozer’s sermon Make Time To Pray and I found it helpful:

Am I faithful in prayer?” Ask yourself that. “Well, I’m busy,” you say. Yes, you are busy. So was the Lord Jesus. So was Martin Luther. Luther said, “In the morning I have so much work to do that I am going to have to pray longer today.” Are you faithful in prayer, and do you meditate on the Word? How much of Scripture have you read lately? Have you read it with meditation and tenderness? These are a few questions. You can answer them evasively and the snow lies there. Or you can answer them honestly and see the springtime come to your heart. Put yourself in the hands of the One who loves you infinitely. If you have failed Him, you will have to admit that there is a rut or snow on the meadow. Tell Him so–don’t hide it. He will not turn His back in anger and say, “You disappointed me and betrayed me.” There is a balm in Gilead, plenty of it. The balm and healing in the blood of the Lamb will get you out of the rut.”

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My prayer life is so much fuller when I have been having a steady diet of His word. And honestly, it’s His words that often spark prayers and there is something comforting and powerful at the same time in knowing that I am praying His words back to Him.

What a gift prayer is to us.

 

Be Encouraged

As I am sitting here I have no idea what the final tally will be from today’s primaries.

I have friends who are accepting and dealing with difficult news.

Still other friend’s are grieving the loss of beloved grandparents.

The wife of my parent’s pastor is dealing with aggressive cancer and not for the first time.

There are friends who are dealing everyday with whether or not they can take just one more step…bear one more burden…pay one more bill…face one more crisis…handle one more change.

It’s big things and small things.

It’s life and it gets messy and it can hit hard.

And sometimes we think we can’t really say anything because it seems our struggle isn’t as big as someone else’s.

But be encouraged, friend, right where you are. Right where God has placed you…called you.

“Take heart: your struggle is no less noble simply because no drum beats before you when you go out into your daily battlefields, or because no crowds shout about your coming when you return from your daily victory or defeat.” Robert Lewis Stevenson

Stay faithful, friend. Because He is faithful in both the big and small.