So, I had a weird dream last night!

I was shopping for furniture in a red nightgown that was ripped under both arms.

In the dream, I’m walking through this long, long store full of showrooms while holding my arms straight at my side, hoping against all hope to hide the fact that my clothing is ripped.  It’s not working very well.

At some point I decide this shopping trip is too much for me.

I’m not clothed appropriately, and there is no furniture in here, although I keep walking and walking and see lots of sales people on the “sales” floors that flow from one to another in rapid succession. There is something I’m able to see, not sure its furniture but it could be, behind thick meant-to-be-transparent plastic sheets that go floor to ceiling in each room.  It’s like the place is a warehouse, but the entrance is like a Costco, and there are salespeople everywhere, all professionally dressed, all eager to sell, but what?

Anyway, I decide at some point I need to leave. I’m self-conscious, and maybe because of that, but maybe not, I decide to put my clear plastic hair barrettes in my mouth.

Why?

Who knows.

I’m now headed out of the store, through voluminous showrooms, trying to keep my ripped armpits from being seen by others…my arms straight down at my sides.  I’m  hustling through salespeople with barrettes in my mouth, when I think of the large piece of pineapple I left at the door when I came into the store. The guy outside said I couldn’t bring it in with me. It was a big slab, so I didn’t want to leave it behind.  I’m worried it will be covered with dust and debris by the time I get back to it.  The door man had said, “Just leave it on the ledge over there. You can pick it up when you come out.” So I did!!!

What??!

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As I’m running with my arms straight down at my sides, monster-like, and thinking of the pineapple slab and what condition it will be in when I retrieve it, I swallow one of my barrettes.

Swallow it!! But just one…and it’s stuck! In my throat.  At the base of my throat; inside, where my throat meets my neck. Stuck! I can feel it there. It hurts.

I try to swallow hard to get it down.
Then I try to cough it up.
Nuts!  It won’t budge!

I can’t get it to go either way.

And then the horrid thought hits me that there will be a surgery in my future, and I decide to leave the pineapple slab and just go home.
Finally, I find the exit.

The dream ends…

I blame the Tylenol PM I took last night for this wacky, crazy dream, but it could be something else going on. Maybe…

All I know is that that big ole juicy pineapple slab was lost to me, and for that reason, I’m sad. LOL

Do you ever have weird dreams? What do you make of them?

BTW: it was the best sleep I’ve had in weeks! Go Figure!!

Bad Fig!

I will give them a heart to know me… Jeremiah 24:7a NIV

Figs1_0In the 24th chapter of The Bible, in Jeremiah’s prophecy to God’s people, there’s talk of figs; good figs and bad figs.

“So what?!” you might say, “the Bible talks about a lot of things.” It does. But these figs are figs of significance, because they’re figs that represent two people groups.

Fig-uratively speaking, these figs talked about in Jeremiah 24 presents a conundrum. “Why a conundrum?” you ask. Because the good figs are representative of people who were about to face hard times. They’re about to go through very hard territory, a part of their life that will be filled with disruptions and unimaginable pain.

HOW IT’S GOOD TO BE A GOOD FIG, IF IT MEANS HARDSHIP AND PAIN?

Let’s see if we can fig-ure out why it’s good to be a good fig, even if it means you’ll have to face imaginable pain.

In God’s Word it says these good figs represent the exiles during Jeremiah’s time.

Those taken away.

Those forced into Babylonian captivity.

Those robbed of their dreams and hopes.

The future for these folks doesn’t seem all that rosy at first blush, but…these people are labeled “good figs” because they have God’s attention. Their “good” status comes from being blessed by the Lord. Grace, upon grace, upon grace, upon grace is going to be given to these figs during their painful transplant, which is why they are categorized as good figs.

God sees these folks pain coming–it has to come, can’t be avoided–and in it He will be there, experiencing it with them. By His own word he promises to:

Watch over and care for them.
Bring them back to their homeland.
Build them up, not tear them down.
Plant them, and not uproot them.
Give them hearts that recognize him as the Lord.
Make them His people; a special, blessed, and mighty people.

Conversely, the bad figs…well, they’re on their own.

DON’T FEEL BAD FOR BAD FIGS

Some of you reading this today might want to feel sorry for the bad figs in this story. Don’t! They don’t deserve your pity. They are rotten, no good, very bad figs. They’ve been given countless opportunities to be good figs, but they’ve squandered those opportunities, even as they made conscious decisions to run opposite of God’s will. The bad figs in this story chose to exercise their free will to disobey their master, and they did it again and again, and again, and again, until the results they got were exactly what they hoped for—to be left alone by God.

A UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLE

Reliance on God causes grace and blessings to flow into our lives.

Ignoring God means we get to do life alone, on our own, calling the shots for ourselves but at the same time pushing away grace.

The moral to this story is this: Be a good fig, no matter the cost, because good figs find grace in their time of need.

Would you classify yourself as a good fig or a bad fig right now?  When have you let bad figs suffer their consequences for the decisions they’ve made?

3 Habits to Practice when traveling with family

Mister and I had a chance to travel to Western PA last weekend. We’d been planning the trip for a while, so we were excited to get the show on the road early Friday morning. We were going to see family–family we had not seen in a long, long time.  My sister-in-law and brother-in-law were traveling with us, but in another vehicle.  We decided to create a mini caravan for the travel, with me and hubs following her and him.

As often happens when you’re traveling, there were challenges from the get-go.

First, the rental place didn’t reserve the right car for us, so we got stuck in a mid-size SUV.  I am not a mid-sized girl, so that was hard.

Then, we discovered that the cruise control on my car didn’t sync with the cruise control on their car.  Not fun. No matter what we did, we couldn’t figure out a way to stay on track with their speed. I’m sure it was frustrating for them too, as I sped up, then slowed down for three and a half hours.

We also discovered that the gas mileage on our car was not good!  Boo.

I don’t have to tell you that traveling with others is a challenge.   There are differences to consider, and getting the right rhythm so that everyone is happy with how it’s going can be tough, but it’s doable.

Since we still have a few weeks of summer left, I thought I would pop in here today and share with you my three habits for successfully traveling with family.

3 HABITS TO PRACTICE WHEN TRAVELING WITH FAMILY

1.  The first habit I would share for successfully traveling with anyone is this:  Expect the unexpected and be prayed up!  Prayer is a part of my every day life, but when I’m traveling, I need more prayer, more often, and it needs to be more need-centric.  Prayer is the one habit I have that brings almost instant relief under any kind of circumstance, and it’s not hard to do.  I just excuse myself from the table, or room, or conversation (if I’m in the car, that means closing my eyes), and depending on the sitch and the need, I either scream or whisper to God under my breath, saying a halting AMEN at the end.  It works every time to calm and redirect me, and it lets me know that God has heard the need of my heart. His answer is on the way!  If you are traveling with family or friends this summer, remember to pray, and remember, everyone in your group has different expectations for what this trip is meant to be.  Juggling things so that everyone feels they got at least part of what they bargained for is time well spent in the car.

2.  Silence is another habit I practice when traveling with anyone, including family.  That’s right, I said silence.  As in “zip the lip!”  Sometimes when I’m traveling with others the best I can muster is mental and verbal silence.  Truth be told, when I’m quiet, I’m most likely doing one of three things: Trying to figure out what my next move should be,  trying to form a sentence that will come out coherently, or wondering what goodie I can eat next.  I might also be doing advanced calculus in my head, but honestly, that’s a long shot for me. One thing to note here is this:  silence and sullenness are not the same thing. While its okay to be silent while traveling with others, it is not okay to be sullen.  When you feel a case of the grumps coming on, and you’re traveling with others, refer back to habit No. 1.

3.  Laughter is good medicine, whether you’re on home turf, or traveling with your family. The more humor you can find in a situation, the better everybody will be.  No one wants a nag riding with them on a long road trip, so don’t be one.  Try to find the humor in the things that happen along the way, especially if you’re lost, if you’re “hangry,” or if you’ve really, really, really gotta pee.  Laugh together and you’ll have great memories to bring home after your travels. Laugh together and remarks that probably shouldn’t have been shared won’t be remembered. Laugh together and everyone will have a good time.

That’s it, my three habits to practice while traveling with family.  I bet you have a few of your own you could share.  Why not do that today, in the comments section below.  Tell us what your secrets are for traveling contentedly.

When was the last time you traveled with family?  What is the most notable thing that ever happened while you were on a family vacation?

 

You’re Not Listening!

We all yearn for that day when our wee ones will be able to speak to us in full sentences, but moms/dads, do we know what we’re asking for when we ask for speech?

Listen to this clip and the hustle this lil guy has learned to use to defend his actions.

Reminds me of me, trying to argue my case with God.  Hilarious!

When has your kiddo done something hilarious and you caught it all on tape?  How good are your listening skills?

 

coffee and JesusI’ll admit it, this morning I’m running on coffee fumes and Jesus, and that’s about it.

I woke up at 3:00am again today, and other than a few minutes of snooze that was not all that satisfying, I’m been up and going ever since.

I hate it when I have days like today.

I hurt all over.

I have a lunch date with someone I haven’t seen in a long time, and I’m tired.

I’d like to complain and whine about my lot in life, and go on and on, and on with that sort of thing, but buggers, I have so much to be thankful for that I can’t. I just can’t!

THING I’M GRATEFUL FOR

I’m blessed with good family, a good job, and a weekly paycheck.

I have a husband who adores me and backs my play, every time.

I just completed a 29-week intensive Bible study that was the bomb!  It’s called The Healing Journey, by Cyndy Sherwood.  If you haven’t heard of it, check it out here.

I live in a country that is still free.

I have a Savior looking down on me.

I have a car that runs, a computer with which I can reach out to the world, and high-speed internet to make sure my communications go where they need to go, fast.

I have a church I love, and a Pastor and Mrs. that are love-gifted. Seriously, I think this couple has a spiritual gift for love, and boy, do they share it freely.  I love that!

I have children who are saved, grands who are adorable, and a piece of land under heaven that includes a view that could take your breath away.

No, my life is not all rosy.

I’m wider than I’d like to be.  I don’t sleep on a regular basis. I’m not the healthiest person in the world, and there are times when I can be a little cranky, but overall, I suffer from nothing that the world around me doesn’t also deal with on a daily basis.

I’m blessed, and here’s some of the evidence:

AAron and his hat

and his big brother…Jessup

I wanted to write an Easter post in a timely fashion, but I didn’t.  I probably wasn’t sleeping then either. But I’ve got these pictures to share. Aren’t they cute?  Those hats–yeah, those hats!  I just love ’em!  (The boys first, then the hats).

Do you ever suffer with insomnia?  What do you have to be grateful for today?  

 

 

Annie's Party Planning _ partiesbyannieToday’s list includes three important truths I learned about adults by being a kid.

1-Lots of adults are just super-sized kids; impetuous, stubborn, and rude.

2-Adults lie when they say you can have it all, or be whatever you want, but there are still tons of options available to kids.

3-Adults don’t mean to lie about things like the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and SAT scores; they just want to shield kids from disappointment as long as they can.

What three things did you learn about adults when you were a kid? What one thing do you think is most important for kids to know about the adults in their lives?

Consider the Other boats

There were also other boats with them.  Mark 4:36

The story of the stormy sea is recorded in Mark’s gospel. You know it, right?  That time when Jesus was dog tired after performing miracles all day long, and he asked his crew to push-off in a boat and take him to other side of the lake?  It was the dusk of the day, and the Lord had been healing people since sun up.  He’d been listening to them, interceding for them, touching them and taking away their pain.  I bet his back ached and his feet hurt.  He had earned some much-needed rest for his all too human body about the time the wind came up.

Bolder and bolder the wind became, until the guys in the boat grew pale.  The gale force knew the Savior was in the boat, but it didn’t care.  Instead, it chose that moment to do what wind does: blow.

As I read the account of the storm that woke the Lord that day, I was impressed with the fact that “there were also other boats with them.”

Some have suggested that Jesus got in the boat that night to escape further ministry.  I’m not sure I “buy” that.  Others say he hopped in the boat and asked the guys to take him to the other side of the lake because he had work to do over there the next day. Maybe.  Still others say the Savior did what he did, when he did it, so that He might impress his disciples or maybe be alone with them.  I think we can pull from the narrative recorded in Mark’s gospel and put some of it in Column A and other parts of it in Column B, and we’d be okay doing that, but what drew me in today was the miracle that happened in those boats that Jesus was not safely sleeping inside.

They took on water, too.

They were shrouded in darkness, too.

The men inside them had their hair soaked by the briny waves, too.

They feared for their lives, too!

When the storm was silenced and the waves made to quit their threats, Jesus had accomplished many things.  He’d scolded his followers, he’d saved their fishy hides, he’d given them a lesson on faith versus fear to ponder, and he’d saved the lives of those others in the other boats.

Can you imagine what the crowds looked like when the rooster crowed the next day?  I’m guessing the word quickly got around that Jesus had saved them all–not just his fearful, faithful fellows in the ministry, but also those of the fringe.

What a great reminder to hide in my heart as I fight back against nausea in my own half-sunk boat.

Jesus: In the stormy forecasts of life, He is salvation for us all!