Yesterday we visited an old friend who has a gem rated seashell collection – over 8,000 pieces.
We held a worm tube from two miles down in the ocean, a sperm whale eardrum, and the most bizarre shrimp basket made of silica where a certain type of shrimp mate for life and live their entire lives stuck in the lacy basket, while their kids escape when they’re tiny, one “litter” after the other. Needless to say, the variety of the collection was amazing. All these things God made for the sheer joy of creation. Mountain ranges painted on the sides of shells that live on the floor of the ocean.
Why? For the fun of it.
Tell me again why people try to convince Christians that they don’t know what fun is? Hellooooo, with a Daddy as wild as ours? Who can know God? As His children, we actually can. What fun can top that?
“How countless are Your works, LORD!
In wisdom You have made them all;
the earth is full of Your creatures.
Here is the sea, vast and wide,
teeming with creatures beyond number —
living things both large and small.
There the ships move about,
and Leviathan, which You formed to play there.”
Psalms 104:24-26 ( Holman Christian Standard)
Sometimes a play break sounds sooo tempting! I don’t mean the kind where you enjoy playing a video game or crafting, but really playing. As in, run around in the woods, climb a tree, explore a playhouse. Be a kid. Again.
I understand wanting to escape work. I really do. Especially on days like today when the technology wasn’t working, and going to help sites didn’t help. Running into the woods would have been wonderful. Except it was cold and snowing, and I had a deadline.
In the midst of my work, I came across this photo of the playhouse at our campground. Ah, instant peace! Almost as good as actually being there.
Sometimes the playing simply needs to take place in our minds. Just as an aroma can take us straight back through the decades to a favorite memory of a meal, a picture can take us to a place of respite.
Thank you, Lord, for the beauty of green woods, memories made sharp with sounds and smells and sensations. Just looking at this photo brings the buzzing of insects, the chirping of birds, the rustle of leaves, the itch of . . . oh, nevermind. Let’s leave the mosquitos for summer, when it’s not snowing.
Isn’t it awesome how that we can read a verse, a phrase, in God’s word, and instantly our minds can go to a future we don’t yet know, a perfection we can’t comprehend, and yet . . . we’re there.
Ya gotta love PA. They keep snaping driver’s license photos until we have one we like – no kidding. It changed from the normal mug shots to this kind of treatment maybe ten years ago. Apparently they find it easier to identify people when they’re pulled over if that actually look like themselves. Also they get to tell people to smile, which makes the whole ticketing process humorous.
Remembering this little fact about our state made me smile. It’s a little like reading Proverbs, which is constantly reminding us that people will generally treat us the same way that we treat them.
In the old days we’d stand in a long line of grumbling people, and walk out a couple of hours later with a mug shot only fit for a police file. Now the whole process lasts a few minutes, most of which is spent taking several pictures and showing the results for approval amidst smiles and laughter.
Once again, God’s way wins. Smile!
Day 31 – Woohoo! . . . and it happened on the first day of Spring. One month ago I determined to beat this lifelong habit of complaining negativity. Sarcasm is fun, but I’d taken it too far. Oh, sure, a quick wit can be quite entertaining, but biting sarcasm has another name–bitterness. I’d crossed the line.
I could give you my line of excuses, but that would defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it? The purpose was to stop having excuses. I have way too much to be grateful for to let this continue.
I’ve heard it said that a habit can be beaten in twenty-one days, or a month–depends on where you read it–the point is, if you can do something for X number of days in a row, you’ll form a new habit.
That’s where God Glimpses was born. In the land of discontent. I was sick of living there. Inside I was happy. Inside I was grateful. I believed that. There was only one problem. The verse that kept popping into my mind, “Out of the heart the mouth speaks.” Ouch! You know how it is when you’re trying to break a bad habit; you see it everywhere . . . and it’s ugly. I was getting tired of seeing myself as ugly.
I want the best that God has for me, and I really want to be the kind of person who shows other people the best that God sees in them. Complaining and negativity have no place in that life. It’s not who I want to be.
The God Glimpses are working. Instead of seeing the negative, I’m actively seeking the gifts of God’s awesome provision. It’s become a habit–and more than a habit, a glorious addiction.
It snowed most of the day today, on this early first day of Spring, right down on the crocuses and daffodils. I shivered most of the day, wearing a turtleneck, my thickest hoodie and a bulky work shirt, two pair of socks and fleece-lined slippers. I guess it was the missing corduroys, apparently jeans aren’t warm enough for the first day of Spring.
Did I complain? Yep, you bet. I’m not cured.
But I am more submitted. More willing to embrace those things I don’t enjoy, to look for good in every situation.
So I dug up this watercolor I painted for a snowman series of greeting cards. Inside this one I inscribed the verse, “Every good gift and every perfect gift comes down from the Father of Lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17 KJV
My name is Joy. I’m going to die trying to live up to that name. What most people don’t realize is that to understand joy, you have to experience the opposite. I’ve been through a lot, and I’m still recovering, as I’m sure you are too. Won’t you join me in looking for those glimpses of the goodness of our God who never changes and gives Light and Joy?
The great thing about a long cold winter? I haven’t seen a spider in months.
After nearly putting my hand on this guy last spring, I was ready for a spider break. They’ve been creeping me out ever since.
I know spiders have their place, and even kings have them. I know the world would be overrun with insects if we weren’t blessed with their presence.
I’m fine with them outdoors.
Thank you Lord, for frozen spiders. Even if it is only half the year. Half is good.
A certain child I know was ecstatic when she was able to install this shelf in a catawampus closet so that the level read level. That bubble was dead center. It took grit, determination, and more than one attempt. I was so proud of her.
I was not so proud a few months later when she was caught in a lie.
“Are you on the level?” She swore she was. A little fact-checking proved she wasn’t.
Level is level. There is no wiggle-room. It’s like that math at issue. The answer is the answer. Truth is truth–or it isn’t.
Lord, help me to keep my bubble dead-center when your Spirit asks for my answers.
Purple crocuses in a sea of brown. Royalty amongst peasants. The world around them long dead, while they wear king’s colors.
Boldly pressing skyward, blessing us with promise.
Hope is possible!
Did you put on your purple robe today?
If you’re going to break and enter, it’s best not to leave your business card.
Yep, this is it. The black bag from yesterday’s God Glimpse. It contains our intruder’s cell phone, prescription medicine with his name, even Chapstick with his DNA.
Hey, I’m just saying, if you want to break into someone’s house, it might be wise not to leave your personal belongings behind.
You can’t fix stupid.
God Glimpse – bone up on the book of Proverbs. It will save you a world of stupid.
Let’s just say that when I crawled out of bed the other morning, dreading a stressful day, calling 911 wasn’t even a blip on my radar.
But calling 911 turned out to be one of the highlights of my day. As my daughter said after I hung up, “Mom, you really called 911? This is so exciting!” She was positively giddy when she learned that they were on their way, and I have to admit, it was an adrenaline high for this adventure girl, too. The policeman’s grin throughout the process made it clear that we were the highlight of his day, as well.
We had heard that someone broke into our summer cottage earlier in the week, so we stopped by to check it out. Since no damage was done earlier, I wasn’t too concerned, other than to make sure the place was locked up so it wouldn’t happen again. As soon as we pulled up, we saw that the door curtains were missing. We followed the trail of evidence to the front door, where the coffee table was wedged against the double doors to hold them shut, and noticed that the doors weren’t locked. Obviously, he’d been back since earlier in the week. The bags of food on the floor and the cigarettes spread all over the place were a dead giveaway.
We moved the coffee table back, and noticed torn screens on the front porch, and the glass of the storm door was down. After sliding the storm door glass up, I turned around and noticed a black fabric bag leaning against one of the inside doors. Since the texture was rough, I knew it couldn’t hold fingerprints, so I opened it gingerly and peeked inside to see a half dozen more cigarette packs and a cell phone.
That was enough evidence for me; it was time to get the police in on this. I hoped the cell phone would be enough. I’ve been in a friend’s house that was fingerprinted and it took us both hours to clean. I didn’t ever want to repeat that.
Several hours later, the end result was that the policeman found a medicine container in the bag with the perp’s name on it. Turns out he’s a drug addict whose family dropped him off on the grounds knowing there were empty cottages where he could hide out, because they were sick of him.
While we waited for forensics, we got an education on which surfaces show fingerprints and which don’t. That’s when the title statement came in to play, “We’re not NCIS, Ma’am. We all love Abby, but she’s not dealing in the real world. Forensics isn’t that good.”
The thought crossed my mind that in so many cases, only God knows “who done it.”
Ironic thought. The perps know “who done it,” and they’re hiding out, hoping no one finds out, always on their guard, waiting for the day when a cop shows up on their doorstep.
How many of us have a perp mentality when it comes to God? There’s something in our life we’re ashamed of, and we’re on guard, waiting for the “gotcha” that we know we deserve, even though we know in our heads that he promised forgiveness.
Isn’t it time we stopped hiding out, stopped letting our shortcomings and sins alienate us from church, friends, and family–and simply confess? After all, only God knows. Only he has the answer, and only he can promise healing.