Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Knower Knows

My feeler is still off today, but my knower better. It's funny how you can have feelings that are you know are not in line with God's best for you--non-righteous anger, insecurity, or jealousy. Sometimes feelings are due to the uncontrollable. Hurt from betrayal. Sadness from a loss. We can't always control what we feel, but we can control what we do with those feelings.

I experienced a flash bout of insecurity this week. Massive FOMO which led me to start manipulating for an outcome I thought was best for my kid. An outcome, for the record, I'm pretty sure my kid didn't care about one bit. The Holy Spirit interrupted me mid "problem-solving" text. "Think you could pray about this for one second?" Ugh. Sure.

After a conversation with God about my insecurity, I was challenged to weigh my feelings against what I know about Him, His character, His word, His promises. He reminded me He had a plan and it was good. Also, He wasn't going to share it with me until it was time. And you know what? I did NOT feel better after that convo. I like to know and be assured of future success. He didn't give me that.

I didn't feel better but the prayer allowed the Holy Spirit to kick my knower into high gear. I still don't feel better, but I know better. That is enough for today.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Holy Moly. Do people still "blog" anymore? Do we call it something else? My last post was seven years ago. SEVEN. I had a ten-year-old and a seven-year-old. Bless. (Also, I didn't use the phrase "bless" seven years ago.) Sigh. But here I am again, blogging. Why?

I hate Facebook.

People don't think. It's easy to hit a share button. To not really research what you're sharing. Is it true? Is it the whole picture? Are you griping or helping? I'm over it. Plus, I have stuff to say. That I've thought about...a least a little. =) We will see how this goes.

As an aside: I like Instagram and Pinterest! So it's not all bad.

To be continued...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

How Healthy is Your Family Organization?

This last week I had the opportunity to attend a satellite edition of the Willowcreek Association's Global Leadership Conference. Since I am a stay at home, homeschooling mom, I looked at the "talks" through the lens of family. Family, our family, is my business; the group I help lead. And although I am called to lead in other areas of my life, they are my first responsibility.

One of my favorite talks was from Patrick Lencioni. I've already tossed the brochure for the conference, so I don't have his credentials. Sorry. But he was dynamic, funny and his content was great. Feel free to google him.

His speech was about organizational health. As I listened to him, I started to consider my family in terms of an "organization" and wondered if ours was healthy. He listed four disciplines to a healthy organization. This seemed to be geared toward the leaders, in our case, parents.

1) Build a cohesive leadership team. (Build a strong marriage.)
2) Create Clarity (more on this in a minute)
3) Over-communicate clarity (If your staff/kids can't make a good impression of you when you're not there, you aren't communicating enough)
4) Reinforce clarity through systems

All good stuff to consider. He landed on 2) Create Clarity for a while and this is where I felt like my family would most benefit. He gave six questions to ask that are critical to your family's health.

A) Why do we exist?
B) How do we behave? These would be our core values. He suggested no more than one to three truly endemic behaviors and they needed to be something worth getting punished for.
C) What do we actually do? For me this came down to how do we as a family best exemplify our core values?
D) How will we succeed? What is the strategy our family will use?
E) What is most important in our organization right now?
F) Who must do what?

I love these questions, and by the time he was done talking I had begun planning a series of family nights where our family organization would answer these questions together. My girls are old enough to be a part of this process and I want them to have total buy-in. Terry and I will certainly be leading them through this process, but the girls are old enough to understand what our family is about, and be excited about it! Soon, I hope they will be able to make a good impression of me going on about our core values.

What about you? Do you have a strong family organization? What could you do to make it better?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Garden Of My Heart: Hardened Hearts

"Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed, for they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in." Mark 6:52

Yesterday while in my garden, God really revealed some aspects of hidden sin to me. I decided to go out later and check on my squash plants. I had after all done some major surgery on them. Excising the borers when possible, covering the exposed part with new dirt (and a little prayer), and giving them much needed water love. Unfortunately, when I returned, one of my plants looked like this:

(Again, not my actual plant. I need to figure out how to put my pics in here!)

I sent the pic to my gardening mentor and asked her if there was any hope of it making it. Nope, probably not. But I could try. And the verse at the top of this post came to mind. And I was reminded: sometimes it's too late.

If you ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit or just the good sound advice from Godly friends, you are slowly but surely cementing the damage done in your heart. Even the disciples missed understanding important concepts because their hearts were hardened.

After doing some research (read: asking my friends who know the Bible and using YouVersion) I found that our hearts can be hardened on our own:
"But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go." Exodus 8:32

Or sometimes it's God:
"But the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go." Exodus 10:20

I'm not sure why this happens. Why would God harden our hearts to the point where we can no longer turn to Him? Why do we do that to ourselves? But clearly, it happens. File this under "Trust not in your own understanding..."

I hope I never ignore the voice of God no matter how it shows up, but especially to the point where some part of my heart dies and can't be recovered.

I'm going to lose that plant. It even had some promising looking squash on it. =(

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Garden of My Heart: Hidden Sin

This morning I went out to water my garden and decided to get down to serious business eradicating the squash borer that I was certain had infected my plants. I had been able to ignore the damage at the base of the plants because the tops were lush and beautiful. A sight to behold for my gardener's heart. But when I pulled the leaves back, this is what I saw:

This is not my actual plant, but I can't get my personal image uploaded. This is pretty close. The plant was smelly at the base and just all mushy. Gross.

Big sigh. Then I got to work. Put on long sleeves and long pants with socks and tennis shoes so I could get in there without feeling all the creepy crawlies around me. My tools were straight pins, a bottle of insecticidal soap (home made) and a paring knife. I pulled off the nasty stuff, dug around with the knife and was successful three times getting the borer out. The other times I stabbed around a bunch with the pins and prayed it had helped some. Sometimes, I had to even cut off good stems to see where I was going. Frustrating to say the least.

And then my sweet morning conversations with God. He's so good to me. He gets my frustration. He hates sin as much as I hate those borers. More.

And here's the deal: hidden sin is the worst. Why? Because it's doing damage on the inside while everything looks great on the outside. Until it's too late. Your life and/or relationships are either beyond repair or you have to do some serious amputation for it to even have a chance.

The interesting thing for me is the borers were in my plants last year, but I didn't know to look for them, or rather what I was looking for. The signs were there, but I missed them. This year, I had help. Someone to talk to and tell me the truth. (Of course, even then I waited because it was hot and I was being lazy, or because I had other things to distract me and take up my time. Sound familiar?)

The same is true for us as Christ followers. If we aren't in God's word, we don't know what to look for. If we don't have accountability, some one to be honest with us and that we can be honest with, sin can very easily stay hidden and continue damaging. And even then, getting rid of it can be hard, takes time, and lots of digging. Don't give up.

"And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes and be thrown into hell." Mark 9:47

By the way, my plants look ugly now. I had to push them over and every which way so I could see and I can't get them to stand up straight again. But, I might get some veggies now! Because if there is no fruit, what good is a beautiful plant?

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Garden of My Heart

Some days I walk away from the garden and feel such a sense of accomplishment. It's as if the battle was all mine. I was victorious! I walked in with produce in hand, my plants look amazing and I've won a round with tomato horn worms, squash borer moths and their eggs, and Japanese beetles.

And then there are the rest of the days. I come home to find the yard people have sprayed for weeds. (Hello, my tomato plants are a variety of weeds.) The squash borer moth has re-appeared and laid who knows how many eggs. A cicada killer has apparently alerted the cicada killer media that my garden is a great place to lay their eggs on paralyzed cicadas. And they guard those holes mercilessly keeping the gardener scared to death and at bay. Birds are pecking holes in the veggies. Suddenly, I'm fighting a new battle...and it's not looking good.

I have lots of discussions with God while I'm gardening. It's amazing the spiritual applications that come from planting, tending and harvesting. Today went something like this:

Me: I'm tired of bugs. And looking for their eggs. Didn't I JUST do this?
God: Yes, and those bugs never let up. It's who they are. Keep going.
Me: Can't you just make all the bad bugs go away.
God: I could.
Me: Would you?
God: No.
Me: *sigh*
God: What have you learned today?
Me: A) I cannot control everything that goes on out here. I have to trust that you have a plan that you share with me on an as needed basis. B) Satan, whom I consider the bad bugs to be from, is seeking to destroy all this hard work. So, I can't ever let my guard down. I have to spend time out here every day. Sometimes in the heat of the day, and work my rear off. And even then I might not see the fruit of my labor for a while. Maybe never. (recalling the bitter tomato disaster of last year)
God: See ya out here tomorrow. =)

"Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him!" Psalm 34:8

Friday, June 08, 2012

Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee

Ok, this lovely creature does none of those, but I like the title of the post anyway. =) This is a squash borer moth. We saw one in person for the first time the other day in the heat of the day. Reia thought it looked like a red bee. And it sounds like a bee and flys like a wasp, but is indeed a moth.

After sending a pic of this beauty (ewww) to my gardening mentor, she let me know what it was and I immediately went to google for follow up info. Turns out unlike other moths, this one actually carries on its business during the day. Thank goodness or I would have never know to spend the next two hours in the garden looking for the eggs it laid. Small reddish brown eggs, singly laid along the stems and base of the plants. They hatch in a week and become a big problem. Getting the larvae out of your plants is much more challenging than picking off eggs, so hop to it!

In all seriousness, if you see this bug, catch and kill if you can. And look for the eggs asap and for days after. They're there!

Happy Gardening!