Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Women and the S Word

For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands.  1 Peter 3:5
It was interesting to observe the ladies’ reactions to submission in our women’s Bible study class last week.  Whether you just cracked your Bible open for the first time or whether you’ve been a student of  it for years, it seems the lesson of Abraham submitting to God always piques our interest.   What about Sarah?  What a micro manager she turned out to be.  What about submitting to her husband’s fear and pretending to be his sister?  Women get two messages these days.  The world tells us we’re just as capable as men but the Bible tells us our husband is the leader and in the end, he has the final say.  Submission is a great call to trust God and I enjoy listening to the opinionated.  I never met Sarah but I do know Tess.  Her story is heart wrenching, but she did, in the end, obey her husband and I saw God’s grace emerge.

The tragic death of Tess and William's little two-year old threw all of us into a tailspin.  One morning, Tess’s assistant walked over to my office and asked me to visit Tess.  “I can’t bear it anymore,” the assistant lamented.  “All she does is stare at the memorial photo on her computer screen. I’m left to make all the business decisions.”  I went.  I prayed every step of the way. I listened to Tess and held her in my arms.  We cried together, again.  I took her to lunch a few weeks later, choosing the cafĂ© on the golf course with the delicious menu.  She never smiled and only ate one bite.  I listened while my beautiful, young girlfriend slowly formed her words that stemmed from a depressed heart.  Then something changed as I sipped my coffee.  She took me in her confidence.  I saw a half smile.  Leaning into me, Tess told me she just got pregnant.  Her husband had a dream and declared:  “Tonight’s the night.  Change is on its way to us.”  Tess refused his advances at first.  She lost interest in everything, but she did eventually trust her man.

When their little boy was born, everything did change.  And then another little girl arrived shortly thereafter.  Today, Tess is a busy wife, mother, and businesswoman. 

You would think after forty years of marriage, submitting to God’s biblical precepts would be an easy thing for me.  Women, you have to admit our husband’s can come up with some pretty outlandish ideas sometimes that are downright hard to swallow.  In these times, what helps me is to remember that after I’ve had my say, ultimately it is God to whom I am submitting.   And my husband….he will stand before God in all accountability.  (Oh, I had to throw that one in there!)

Today I’m linking to Tell Me A Story, a place where the writers share wonderful true stories!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Write On!

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.”   Erma Bombeck

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” -- Maya Angelou

I’ve been thinking about this for some time.   I need to pause and appreciate what my fellow bloggers do.
Why write?  Some write to instruct us how to cook the best recipe, or re-arrange the furniture for maximum eye appeal.  Some bloggers help us get well with natural remedies.  Some write “how to” tips.  Some bloggers share their faith and inspire us to soar spiritually.  On and on, the variety goes.

Just last summer my husband decided to get his extensive dental work done in Mexico.  Bloggers were my first resource for research and recommendations.  It turned out well.

I remember back when my daughter and I were especially low.  She lived in another state and I visited often to cheer her up and help with her little one.  She was not yet established in a church body and felt isolated in her pain.  God heard our plea for help and loving believers entered our lives via Blogger and Wordpress.  Their prayers and uplifting words of compassion reached into the crevices of our broken spirits helping us put the pieces back together.  Some experienced similar trials and their blog posts of God’s grace and deliverance gave us hope.

I think blogging should be added to the biblical list of spiritual gifts, especially when I read 2 Corinthians 1:4: 
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

Pile of Smiles, my own life’s compilation of events, is forging ahead in 2015 with hopes that any passerby or long-time friend will visit and feel refreshed.  I need to write.  It clarifies everything for me.  It’s my corner where creativity and expression meet.  Also, I cherish the friends I’ve made over the years in this venue and want them to know that. And I look forward to developing new ones.

Thank you, blogging friends, for your compassion, your willingness to help, your delightful humor and your creativity through the gift of writing.  I’m cheering you on this year; you are bright spots in my life.

This post links to Tell Me A True Story

Thursday, January 1, 2015

White New Year!

An end-of-the year storm swept through our state of Arizona leaving five to seven inches of snow yesterday, New Year's Eve.  We get excited when that kind of thing happens because it is rare and all we usually receive is a dusting on the trees making them look refreshed and powdered.  But this white deluge was different!   Huge flakes fell all day and this morning, we woke up to a crisp winter wonderland!  Mother Nature outdid herself with a beautiful entry into 2015!  It brings out the kid in you, and my daughter sent me a photo of the snowman she created for fun!

Here I am by the grapevine wishing you a very prosperous and Happy New Year!  May God’s grace and blessings sweep over you like the freshly fallen snow!

Linking to:  So Much at home

Monday, December 29, 2014

Here Comes Grace

Everybody loves a thankful kid.  To be thankful and have a heart like a child, that’s my desire!  Papa God has blessed me with so much in 2014; I want to pause and mention some of the things that make me smile as I look back over the highlights of the year:

  • Our newest grandbaby’s arrival in the spring.
  • Celebrating our 43rd anniversary in Mexico and enjoying an afternoon sightseeing, stopping for lunch and being serenaded at a Mexican Cantina.
  • It took all summer, but I was able to paint my kitchen cabinets white!  I think I know the words to every Rod Stewart song on my IPod. 
  • Fun days of preparation, cooking, planning and choosing costumes for our daughter’s birthday bash last fall when she turned the big four-o.  It was wonderful to celebrate with family and friends traveling by far to be with us!
  • The beauty of attending a six-week seminar at church with my spouse called “Cleansing Stream.”  The experience was the catalyst to communicate better for us and love more deeply ridding ourselves of soulish patterns that make us stumble.
  • Our neighborhood make-over, not only in maintaining our country road but maintaining friendships as well. 
  • Keeping current with fellow bloggers, interacting, reading and learning from them how to write better!

2014 was a year I learned to rest.  Not in “like a nap” but in letting go when I can’t maneuver  the final outcome.  Often throughout the year, I felt like I was in a hammock with God.  Matthew 11:30 says:  “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

The coming year is ushering in a new understanding of God’s Grace.  I’m seeing it already.  My promise calendar arrived, the one that has a scripture for the start of every day.  The theme this year is no surprise:  “A Year of Grace.”  It confirms what I heard in my spirit. I look forward to all that I am going to learn about God's grace.

I read a beautiful devotional this week about grace.  It ended with this question:  “Name the thing I’m hoping for this coming year that can only be accomplished by God’s grace.”  I’d love to hear your answers!  Think big; we have a big God!  

 My post today connects to Monday Musings
and to Beauty in His Grip
and Three Word Wednesday