THY WILL BE DONE…

I have wondered at times why some of my prayers go unanswered and others seem to be answered before I even think of praying them. I ran across a bit of wisdom as I was working the other day.

The article was entitled “Thy will be done.” In this article it stated that there had been an experiment regarding some rye seeds that were planted. The experimenters put the rye seeds in a growing medium and then separated them by a string. On one side of the string the seeds were prayed for but on the other side they received no prayer. The side that was prayed for grew, the other side didn’t.

There was more to this experiment though. There was directed prayer which was prayer with a specific goal in mind. There was also non-directed prayer which was praying as if God was in control and asking that His will be done. Although both methods yielded results, the non-directed prayer approach yielded twice the amount than the directed prayer did.

Interestingly enough I tend to always pray for my will to be done. I mean after all, this is my life, I guess I would know what would be best wouldn’t I? Yet, I don’t know the future, God only knows that. Nor do I know what another person may have gone through in their life but God knows everything.

I do think that God loves it when we talk with him. He doesn’t mind us asking Him for things but to humble oneself before God and say that His will be done instead of ours is the closest we can come to the love that Jesus had for His Father. That love was so deep it cost Him His life and in return gave those who believe in Him, eternal life with God.

THE MONSTERS INSIDE MY BRAIN

My son came to visit me from Louisiana last week. It was a blessing to have him visit. I decided to take him to Schlitterbahn before I took him back to Louisiana. We left on a Friday afternoon and got into New Braunfels late in the evening. We found a motel and settled in for the night. Unfortunately our room was right next to the ice machine so we didn’t really get much sleep.

Saturday morning we caught a quick breakfast and drove to the water park. We snagged a good parking spot right near the entrance. We had a wonderful time there and made a good memory. We got home late on Saturday night and I quickly packed a cooler with food that he could take back with him. I also cleaned out the car so that we would have a pleasant drive back to Louisiana. I was exhausted but pleased when I went to bed on Saturday night because I had felt like I was well prepared to leave on Sunday morning and we wanted to leave early.

I woke up early on Sunday and started to pack the car. The morning was going well and I was still proud of myself for organizing everything for our departure the night before. Then something happened that upset my apple cart. I could not find my keys. I looked underneath the cushions on the couch, underneath the couch, in my bedroom, in my bags from the day before. My son unpacked his bags and looked in there. The keys were nowhere.

When I lose my keys, something happens, monsters come into my brain.The monsters inside my brain were taunting me. They were telling me that I was a scatterbrain and I couldn’t do anything right. They effectively wiped out the memory of my organization and efficiency the night before. They ignored the fact that my house was cleaned up and if the keys were in my house I should be able to see them. They told me that I should have an emotional breakdown because that is what I usually did when I lost my keys.

This time I told them to “SHUT UP!” I was not going to dissolve into a bucket of tears because that would not help me find my keys. I was going to go through each and every thing I could until I found them.

I finally found them at the bottom of the trash can which was already on the curb. I had been so tired I did not notice them slip from my hands when I was throwing trash away the night before.

I taunted the monsters in return. I told them it was a wonderful thing that we had to leave on a Sunday instead of a Monday because the trash would be picked up on Monday and my keys would have been gone. I told them I had been exhausted the night before and it was understandable that I did not notice them slip out of my hands. Then I told them it was a good thing I had been so organized the night before because we left just a little bit late instead of a whole lot late. I also told them that there suggestion that I dissolve into tears did nothing to help me find my keys but my peace and concentration succeeded in finding the keys.

Furthermore I told them to get lost, they weren’t any help anyhow.

Autism?

The other day I was at the pool swimming my laps. It was late in the evening but I wanted to get some exercise in before I turned in for the night. I can usually isolate pretty effectively with my goggles and my swim cap on and get my laps done without any interruptions.

This night was different. I swam a couple of laps and then stopped on the edge of the pool. I noticed a little boy two lanes over who was looking at me. “You are first place, my sister is second and I am third. We get a chocolate cake!” He said with excitement.

I giggled because that was just about the cutest thing I had heard in a very long time. He wanted to race again. So I raced him again making sure I kept an eye on him so that he could win. At the end of that lap he said we would get “two chocolate cakes.” We continued to race with him exclaiming that we would get either chocolate cake or ice cream cakes at the end of each lap.

This wonderful child didn’t really care who won. His joy was in the idea that there could possibly be cake involved for all of us, even if it was an imaginary cake.

After a couple of laps I saw his mother walk up to the edge of the pool. “Your son is very engaging.” I said in between giggles. I found him to be most delightful. She thanked me and said he had a form of Autism which caused him not to have appropriate boundaries. I thought if more children were like him, this world would be so much better than it is. As we were talking I felt his little hands encircle my waist and he was giving me the sweetest hug ever.

The mother kept thanking me for being so kind to her son. Believe me it was the easiest thing I have ever done. He was adorable.

I learned something about Autism that night. I learned there are different kinds. Some Autistic children tend to not engage and others tend to engage more than is commonly accepted. I kind of suspect that this little boy may have had a very unique form of autism. I suspect he was more an angel than a little boy and I had just received a hug from an angelic child.

WATERFALL

If someone would have asked me 20 years ago how to replace a pump in a waterfall I would have told them I hadn’t a clue. Being a single mother for a span of years has served me well. I replaced the pump in a waterfall in my backyard a couple of years ago and I had more than a clue, I had a working knowledge of how to replace a water pump and I did an excellent job of it.

If someone would have told me this year I would be redoing the pond that was attached to my waterfall I would have told them to take a flying leap. My ex-husband did things like that, I didn’t. In fact when we were living in our house he built a lovely waterfall in our backyard. It was truly a beautiful addition to our backyard.

A few years ago I hired a company to design and install a flower garden in my backyard. I really liked the guy who ran the company because he had an artistic sense about landscaping. We worked well together. At first I just wanted a flower garden. Then I told him I wanted something which would catch some of the run off of water from my neighbors. The middle of my backyard had a tendency to be a swamp so he said he would put a dry river bed in.

I got to thinking and I thought if we are going to have a dry river bed then I may want a waterfall with a tiny pond in my backyard. So he built me a waterfall also. It was beautiful but the pond of the waterfall just had a liner and some rocks in it. The rocks always fell to the middle of the pond, exposing the black liner.

This week my son is home visiting from college. I needed some help with the backyard. I hadn’t even done anything back there all spring and summer. Some of my flower gardens were overflowing with weeds. So my son and I spent a couple of hours out in the backyard the other day. I couldn’t believe how much we got done. After I cleaned out my flowerbeds I went shopping for flowers and didn’t find a thing I could afford. So I decided to mulch the flower beds until I could afford flowers and instead of spending money on flowers I decided to spend money on mortar to set the rocks in place in the pond. It only cost 15$ for the mortar and the trowel. I already had a couple of bags of mulch so I didn’t even need to buy mulch.

I have never worked with mortar or cement. That was something my ex-husband did well. I haven’t a clue how to work with mortar but I know I can learn and with my son helping me I anticipate that we will complete the project with no difficulty. For like the waterfall that flows water into a pond, some of the good qualities of my ex-husband have flown freely into his children.

THE CASTLE OF MEMORIES?

I read an article recently about a single Dad. When his boy was three years old he told his little boy that he was going to build him a castle to create memories in. I was very touched by that. Then I read that his little boy would ask him to play catch and the Dad was too busy building the castle to play catch with his son.(less touched now) He kept telling his son that he was building the castle for memories. I guess he didn’t realize that little boys make memories just playing catch with their Dad.

The Dad is now putting the castle up for sale to the tune of 14.8 million dollars. If he sells it, at least his son will not have to worry about how to pay for his college, but I am still thinking he totally missed out on the making memories part.

This story reminds me of the craze of scrap booking. When my kids were little Creative Memories was all the rage. I took loads and loads of cute pictures of my little ones. One day I decided I was going to start scrap booking and I really got into it. In fact I was so absorbed I completely forgot that it was my turn to pick up my kids and the neighbor kids from school. (Oops!) That was the last day that I scrap booked. I decided that if anything absorbed me to that extent it was not to be indulged.

I remember a writer’s conference I went to where another writer was writing a book about scrap booking. She asked me if I did that. I told her, “No, I was too busy making memories with my children at the present time to stop and record every memory.”

Scrap booking is a wonderful hobby and it is a very creative way to show your children that you love them and cherish the memories that you have created. However, if it absorbs your time and attention to the point where the scrap booking is more important than making memories that are not photo op presentations, you may be building a castle that doesn’t hold any memories.

FLOODING RAIN

I live in Texas and for awhile this spring I thought we were just going to float downstream into Mexico. It rained and rained and then rained some more. Anytime someone would complain, I would remind them that we had been in a drought for a long time and we really had no right to complain about the rain. At least we had no right to complain until my daughter noticed that my roof was leaking into her attic closet. Then I could have complained but I didn’t, I called my homeowner’s insurance company instead.

They sent an insurance adjuster out to my home and he took a look at my attic and took a bird’s eye view of my roof. He said it was the rain guard around the vents in my roof that were leaking. I had noticed a little bit of blue sky as I looked up at the vents so I figured he was right in the assessment of the situation. We discussed how to get it fixed and agreed that the home builder should have the rain guards covered under their warranty. I put the warranty request in today. I don’t know if they will take care of it or not but if they don’t I know some roofers who can take care of it.

In other words it was no big deal. If all else fails the next time it the skies unload the rain, I will put a bucket in the attic closet and collect the rain water for my plants.

The insurance adjuster said in his assessment of my roof that it looked great. I was so pleased. Every time it storms I pray that God will protect me and my God has not failed even once. When the insurance adjuster told me my roof looked great, I sent a silent praise up to God for his protection, acknowledging that it was Him who protected my home. There was nothing in the world that I could have done to stop the large hail that hit some homes nearby, nor anything to stop the floods seeping through my doors. All I could do was pray and prayer was enough. God is Good!

POSITIVE THINKING

One of my closest friends has told me that I am the most positive person she knows. It is not because I have had an easy life. Nor is it because I have lived a stellar Christian life. There are many times I have strayed from the narrow path. It is merely because I believe in a God who is great enough that he can take even my mistakes and turn them into something good through the redemption born from the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ.

Yesterday I was surfing through the channels on TV. I hardly ever watch TV but I stopped on a Christian channel and watched a well known preacher for a minute. He was saying that we all needed to think positive thoughts. He indicated that we as humans have the power to create good through our thinking pattern. That is a load of hogwash.

This was being preached in a church which attracts a large amount of blind and dumb sheep. I only watched for a minute but within that minute I got the feeling that he was inciting people to have faith in themselves, not God.

It does not matter how positive you think if you have stage four cancer. You are going to die no matter how positive you think. The only thing which can sustain your life is faith in the healing blood of Jesus and if God chooses to heal you, you will be healed.

You will not make a million dollars by thinking positively. Positive thinking can accentuate your potential for success but it takes hard work and determination to become a millionaire.

You will not meet prince charming by thinking he is going to notice you the minute you walk into the room. You meet prince charming by kissing a lot of frogs and one day you realize that one of them has magically turned into a prince.

The whole idea of a church being used to propagate this insanity just blows me away. The fact that this preacher has so many followers makes me wonder about the collective intelligence in the Christian community. The IQ level of these people and their actual knowledge of the Bible is lacking.

It sickens me that a place which is meant for worship of our Almighty God is being used to create a self absorbing, self love atmosphere where the measure of your faith is how many material possessions you can name and claim. Believe me that is NOT where peace and contentment lies.

It is also not where the highest form of positive thinking is found. The most divine place to be in this life can be found in Psalm 91:
PSALM 91
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Hmmm, I don’t see any mention of positive thinking…

IDOLS

In the Word of God idols are defined as an image or phantom. In ancient times idols were an actual physical replica of a god. In the New Testament idolatry is associated with sexual sin, evil desires, and covetousness. I think idols are anything which consumes your life other than God.

I was talking with a dear friend of mine the other day and I was telling him about my novel. I was concerned because in my novel I use a name very similar to his name and I was thinking that the plot line may hit too close to home for him. I do not intend to hurt anyone through my novel, least of all him. I had mentioned to him that the mother of my main character had lost a child to Sudden Infant Death and she had idolized this child in life and also in death.

This friend of mine had also lost a son to death and I was very concerned that the similarity could possibly bring him more pain. He reassured me that he would be honored to have his name mentioned in my book and he would take no offence.

The conversation blossomed from that point on into one of imparting wisdom. This man had been severely depressed when I first met him. I know the demon of depression very well. My mother has been depressed for the majority of her life and depression is an easy default for me to gravitate to. I mentioned to my friend that when he was depressed, his depression had become an idol for him. He had never thought of it like that. I told him, “You woke up with thoughts of depression, you ate with depressive thoughts and you went to bed in tears. That is what an idol does. It completely eclipses the presence of God.”

He is no longer depressed. When I first met him I refused to bow down to his idol. I instead made him laugh. I loved visiting him and enjoyed every moment I spent with him. One day he was talking suicide because of a broken relationship with his daughter. I told him “that he was a good man no matter what his daughter thought.” Somehow God used those words to break the bondage of depression and the Lord set him free.

He is the most wonderful and joy filled person I know today. The idol has been destroyed and he radiates joy. I had no idea that God could do such a work through me. I have tried for many years to help my Mother break free from her idols and have been unsuccessful. This man was begging for God to release Him and God was gracious enough to do so.

We may be deceived for a short time thinking that idols are fulfilling our needs and making our lives complete. It is important that we examine ourselves closely to see which idols are obscuring our vision of God; for the idols which do so have one goal in mind and that is to destroy us.

PREPPERS

I know quite a few people who are preppers. I can see the value of doing that in this day and age but I don’t have enough money for my day to day expenses so to spend money storing up stuff to prepare for a calamity is just not tops on my priority list.

The preppers seem to think that our federal government is not to be trusted. I get that.

Apparently the Texas legislature is suspicious of our federal government also. Recently they decided that they wanted our gold back. We have 5,600 gold bars which are worth $650 million. Yep that is some serious cash and we want it back in the state of Texas. Problem is once it gets here we don’t know were to put it. We do not actually have a Texas Bullion Depository, well, we do,, but it is in name only. This is like putting the cart before the horse and the cart is carrying a lot of gold.

I have two thoughts regarding this. #1. If Texas has that much gold then why in God’s name do they charge such outrageous property taxes? I think I should get at least one of those gold bars just for all of the property taxes I have paid. #2. I could sacrifice some of the space in my home to house a few gold bars if they needed me to. They would have to pay a storage fee and I wouldn’t promise I would be able to find them (I have ADHD remember?) when they needed them back but I could keep them just to help out. (Being the good citizen that I am.)

This story struck me as being absolutely hilarious. It is so like the Texas legislature to do something like this. They are wonderful politicians but they just don’t think straight sometimes.

But that is not the only prepping story to hit the news. Apparently an apartment complex in Dallas had to be evacuated because someone smelled gas. Well wouldn’t you know it a prepper had stored some extra gas in his apartment to use in his car when the Apocalypse happened. Problem was a silly neighbor reported it and the hazardous material guys confiscated it. Dang it!Just when you thought you had everything set up for the end of the world, then someone hits you with reality.

GOD BLESS AMERICA

Today has been a wonderful day for me. I have been in pretty severe pain for the last few months and last night I asked God to give me a day pain free so that I could do some much needed cleaning in my house. I took some herbal medication and some supplements then went to bed last night. This morning I got up and I could actually walk with no pain at all.

My arthritis is like a woman with PMS, it can flare up for no reason at all. Sometimes it goes into remission for months at a time and then comes back with a vengeance. But it was gone today so I did all of my cleaning downstairs and even got a guest bedroom ready for my son who will be staying with me for a bit.

I also took a nap, which was a complete surprise to me. I was sitting on my rocking chair trying to figure out what wound care would be best for one of my patients and about 30 minutes later I woke up. (Wound care manuals are a bit boring to say the least.)

I know July 4th is supposed to be about fireworks and everything but I didn’t really want to get out. My neighborhood was having a pool party so I checked that out but all it was was a few games for the kids so I turned around and went home.

One of my favorite things to do on this day is to go to the pool in the evening. In other years it has been like a ghost town and I can swim my laps with no one bothering me. So this evening I went to the pool and it was still pretty packed. There was a lane open though so I stated swimming.

After I had begun swimming I noticed a little boy who kept yelling “God Bless America” once the fireworks started in the city. I got the giggles. He kept yelling that, interspersed with “Happy Birthday,America.” He had yelled it for awhile and I saw a lifeguard motioning him over to him. I watched closely hoping the lifeguard did not chasten him. He didn’t, he just gave him a high five. Somehow that little boy gave me more joy than most firework displays. He gave me hope that if there are little boys like him in this country we may not be so bad off after all.