Stay in your pasture!

Have you ever seen something as you were driving down the road that you wish you could have gotten a picture of?  I didn’t get a picture with a camera, but I have the image burned into my memory.  I was driving home from dropping the girls off at school and noticed a black cow with her head stuck through a barbed wire fence so she could eat the grass on the other side.  She had to turn her head sideways in order to get through it.  She did that to eat the grass and to pull her head back through.  She had obviously done this before.  She had a whole field at her disposal but was willing to be cut by the barbs in order to reach that little bit of grass just on the other side of the fence.  I guess the fence is still serving the purpose it was built for…keeping the cows inside the field…but it sure didn’t stop this one from getting her head on the other side.

It didn’t appear that there was anything wrong with the grass on her side of the fence.  It didn’t appear that she had run out of grass suitable for consumption.   I wonder what made that little patch on the other side so much more appealing?  I wonder if she was just bored with her grass and thought she’d see what the forbidden grass tasted like.  I wonder if her mom warned her against such behavior and she just had to see for herself…not matter the cost.  I wonder how she figured out she could cock her head like that the first time?  I wonder if she had ever tried to break through that fence?

It made me wonder about fences in my own life…parameters.  Those put there by God for my protection and those put there by man.  I think I’d be a lot like that cow…wanting to see what is on the other side of that fence.  I know when I was younger all it took for me to do something was to tell me not to.  I am thinking of one incident that sent a “barb” right into my arm…a cactus thorn.  I was told to stay in the car.  I was told not to get out.  I was told to wait there.  I couldn’t stand it.  I got out.  I ventured away from the car.  I was about to get caught.  What do you do when you are about to get caught?  RUN…unless you are on gravel and there is cactus on the sides of it…then I don’t suggest it.  That was a time I should have stayed inside the fence.

What about God parameters?  He has a plan for each of us.  He has a plan that He designed for each of our lives from the very beginning.  His plan involves freedom of choice, but it is still His plan with the things that He has for each of us to do.  It is a good plan!  It is all we need.  But how many of us start looking around at things on the other side of the fence and imagine it must be better than what we have.  How many of us stick our head thru the fence to taste what someone has in the other field?  It may be a great field, but it isn’t the one God put you in.  It isn’t where He wants you.  He put you in your field for a reason.  He may open the gate and move you to a different field, but if he has put up a fence, he doesn’t intend for you to go sticking your head thru to the other side.

I listened to a podcast yesterday that was centered on doing what God has for you to do in ministry.  The emphasis was on how we sometimes want to do what God has given someone else to do when all He has called us to is our thing…not theirs.  If we were to each do the thing God designed us for and championed others in the things He gave them…all the work would get done.  All the people would be ministered to in a way that met their needs.  Everyone would have enough.  There would be no need to go poking around in someone elses field.

A great question was posed today in a group I am in…Why do you want to do the thing you want to do?  Another way to ask it might be…what is your motivation?  Why do you want that thing that you think is so important?  Then take that to God and ask Him about it.  You may be in the field you are supposed to be in…get your head out of the other person’s field.  He may open the gate and place you in a new field…wait for him to open it…you won’t have to go thru barbs if He opens the gate.  Don’t miss out on the goodness he has in your field.  Don’t miss the things he wants you do to there.

I haven’t seen the cows since that day.  I know they are in that field somewhere, but they haven’t ventured back to this side of it.  Maybe they decided to stick with what they had.  It really is best since a road is just outside the fence on one side and major construction is going on just past the other side.  Only the people who are supposed to be in those areas with the proper equipment need to be there.  God didn’t make the cows for that.

Thankful TODAY!

I sat down to be intentional about being thankful.  I’ve noticed that when I purpose to live a life of thankfulness…I am MUCH happier.  Life is brighter.  The things that weight me down are lighter.  I found myself wishing it was November a few days ago so I could spend a month of thankfulness status updates.  What the HECK?  Why do I have to follow the rules?  I think now is just as good of a time as November to up the thankful quotient in my life.  Why not?  I recognize a need for it.  I know it makes a difference.  It’s better than drugs and alcohol…well…mostly…except for that yummy adult beverage at Blue Goose! 😉  BUT…I can only enjoy those in moderation, so I should probably stick with the thing that lifts my spirits that I can’t over indulge in.  Besides…it’s free and I can do it anywhere…anytime of the day or night.

I actually just realized it is Friday…so I’m about to break another “rule” in order to be thankful on my blog.  I missed Thankful Thursday hanging out in self-pity yesterday.  I had things to be thankful for yesterday but instead I chose to look at life from a perspective that sent my emotions into a tail spin instead of thru the eyes of the many things God is doing in my life.  I chose to look at the negatives and the things I miss instead of positives and what HE is doing TODAY.  I chose to look back and wish my past joys into my present circumstances.  Funny how those things that once brought you joy can bring you down if you long for them in a place where you would be better off to look for PRESENT joy.  I love all the of memories and circumstances in my life that have brought me joy and happiness.  They are a part of me.  They helped make me who I am today.  I will always cherish them.  I will always look back on them with joy in my heart…if I keep the right perspective.

So…I’m going to do today what would have made yesterday a much better day…I’m going to share the things I am thankful for today…from yesterday.  Call it repentance.  Call it making up for lost time.  Call it whatever you want.  Sometimes you just need a do over and sometimes God gives you that chance.

Yesterday I had a whole list of things to be thankful for…

  • Mason got to go home from the hospital and was made completely well by a mighty, loving God (Yesterday I declared he turned the corner and that post disappeared…I think God gave me a chance to declare something greater…COMPLETE healing…that IS what I asked Him for…that IS what I am believing Him for!)
  • I got to eat lunch with one of my best peeps that I don’t get to spend nearly enough time with these days.  I got to listen to her share the things God has been doing in her life.  That is cause for celebration on any level.
  • I watched as God turned a mistake into a blessing and a revelation after I crunched the side mirror on my handsome fella’s car.  God can turn anything around if we are paying attention.  Laughing so hard you are in tears with your fella IS a blessing!
  • I saved $$$…and am thankful I had the money to spend in the first place…and now I have future blessings waiting in my phone to be redeemed.  🙂
  • My youngest got to use her leadership skills to lead a group of peers in a fitness class she and her friends thought up…it was great to see the excitement in her eyes and her voice.
  • My oldest came home safely from an outing with her friend…she was thankful for the freedom!

Today I am thankful because…

  • The handsome fella and the two beautiful girls will be spending time together at a Father/Daughter dinner and dance…I will get some pictures and they will create lasting memories with their dad.
  • The handsome fella did the dishes and my washing machine works
  • I have hit a milestone on this blog and my 500th post is a highlight of things I am thankful for. 🙂
  • It’s only 9:30am and I have a whole day to look for more revelation and more blessings!

What are YOU thankful for today?  Give it a try!

Check the meaning!

wordsI’ve been intrigued by the use of words lately…and misuse.  Yesterday I took the girls to get a haircut.  I didn’t have an appointment anywhere and didn’t have time in the schedule to make one…procrastination does that.  So I had no choice but to choose a “walk-in” place.  I’m sure that not all “walk-in” places are bad.  I should have clued in when the only people getting hair cuts in this place were men and boys.  (No, I’m not saying men and boys only receive bad haircuts.  It just takes something different to cut their hair than it does to cut a girl’s hair so that it can be styled).  It wasn’t advertised as a place just for men.  I didn’t go to one of THOSE places.  I went to a place advertised for families and GREAT haircuts.  Let’s just say they misused that word and I will be finding time in the schedule to get that GREAT haircut fixed.

Have you ever really stopped to listen to people talk?  You can learn a lot about them by the words they use…and misuse.  If you listen really close you might even learn some things about yourself.  The misuse of words is just annoying…as in the case above.  You think you are getting one thing only to find out it wasn’t at all what you were signing up for.  If you just go with the words you can get yourself in some real pickles.  BUT, you don’t have to.  There are always clues surrounding the words that will point to their authenticity.  Yes…there were clues BEFORE the scissors came out yesterday.  I was in too big of a hurry and time crunch to heed them.  My first thought upon entering the establishment…LEAVE.  I chose to ignore that word which was much more authentic than the posted one.

What kinds of words do you use and misuse?  I’m not talking about cuss words here.  I do think those have their proper time and place…come on…you know you agree!  They also tend to be way overused!!  But, I’m not talking about those anyways.  Are your words authentic?  Do they convey what you are really trying to say?  Do they convey the truth of what you are feeling?  Do they accomplish what you meant for them to when you said them?  Are you even that intentional with your words?

I was in a setting recently where lots of words were being said and over the course of a couple of hours lots of those words contradicted themselves.  I don’t know if anyone else picked up on it, but I did.  I picked up on it because I was paying close attention.  I wanted the words spoken to be authentic.  I wanted them to be true.  I wanted to be able to stand on what was being spoken.  I was looking for affirmation of my own thoughts.  It is difficult to affirm something that isn’t authentic.  The clues were not as apparent as they were in the beauty shop, but they were there.

I’ve seen words build up and tear down over the course of the past few months.  Simple words.  Words spoken freely without thought to their power have been spoken in haste and laid important things to waste.  Words spoken carefully and intentionally that have built foundations for others to stand and grow on if the receiver was paying attention.  I’ve seen God place simple words in my path to do a much deeper work than the word would appear capable of on the surface.  I’ve heard the still small voice of God and the loud obnoxious one of the enemy.  Somehow it seems the enemy can use our lack of attention to bring the deepest wounds with the simplest misuse of words.

Be careful with your words.  Be intentional with what you say.  Don’t misuse even the simplest words…they all have power!  Listen carefully!  Pay attention!  Dig deeper!  Those words you hear might be more important than you thought they were.

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit. – Proverbs 18:21

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. – Ephesians 4:29

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. – Proverbs 12:18

Want more verses to ponder?  Just google “scriptures on the power of words”…but be careful…you could be there all day…if you are paying attention.