DISAPPOINTING THE HOMELESS

I had to go that way anyhow. I might as well call my homeless friend and ask her if she needed some food.

She did. She said she was starving. So I started to prepare a lunch for her.

Then my phone rang. My son needed some information to apply for financial aid.

He said he needed it immediately. So I scurried to my bedroom, got the information, packaged it quickly and took it to my nearby post office.

I called my friend and told her I was sorry but I was gonna be late with lunch. I apologized profusely to her because I thought this poor lady has probably not eaten much all day long.

She said, “It is ok.”

I said, “I am so sorry, I don’t want to disappoint you.”

She said, “You could NEVER disappoint me. I love you.”

That statement dropped like a bomb into my consciousness.

Here is a woman who lives out of a tent in the woods. She has such a dynamic personality that people are drawn to her. She uses her vivacious personality to minister to others and her church building is the neighborhood Starbucks.

She has absolutely nothing but yet she has absolutely everything.  She has to live every moment relying on the kindness of others and having faith that God will sustain her and those who minister to her.

Every time I provide something for her she prays over me, and each time she prays for my prosperity.

I have never mentioned to her that I was having difficulty financially. She sensed that from God. Yet my financial difficulty is a joke compared to where this woman is at. She is at the bare necessity level and I am at a level which is nowhere near that. Yet she is full of God and can not be disappointed when my chaotic life delays her lunch.

After having this conversation with this awesome woman of God I realized how many times I have thought I disappointed God. But how could I? I have accepted Jesus into my heart as my savior. When God looks upon me he doesn’t see my sin but instead the perfection of His love through the transforming power of his Son, Jesus Christ. That is a pretty awesome lesson to learn from a daughter of God who is currently without a home.

So thankful for her.

My mother’s gift of gardening

My mother has spent countless hours in her garden. She used to have our house littered with house plants. Many times she would not go on trips because she did not want to leave her plants. I frankly thought she was a little nuts in the gardening department.

She encouraged me to start gardening when I moved down to Texas. I told her “Absolutely not! I was not going to get my fingers that dirty. After all, I was a nurse and hygiene is important to a nurse.”

Then I got a divorce.

After my divorce I redecorated my son’s bedroom. I used to change the decor in my house for every season. It was such a fun house to decorate but it needed more. I needed to do something in the back yard…. So I started planting flowers. A patient of mine had given me a beautiful plum-tree and my husband had planted a live oak in the back yard, so I had to learn how to work with shade loving plants and work it I did.

My backyard was amazing at my old house. I didn’t garden just for the aesthetic effect though. One of the main reasons why I gardened was to have a common connection with my mother. Something which she could take credit for and be proud of me for doing.

I have texted her numerous pictures of my beautiful flowers and have spent long, hot, sweaty days baking in the sun tending the “connection to my mother”.

As I have gardened I have gained knowledge. There have been plenty of plants that have died from my lack of knowledge so I try my hardest to learn about a plant before I take the step of putting it into soil. Many times I throw out my nuggets of wisdom to other unsuspecting gardeners at Lowe’s or Calloway’s. The other gardeners are always thankful for the knowledge that I have gained.

There has been an unsuspecting benefit of my work to find a common thread with my mother. I now have learned that the same thread that binds me to my mother, can also bind me to other women who love to garden. All of my close confidants love to garden. We are not yet at the point where we are sharing roots but I can feel that is coming soon in some of my friendships.

As a writer it is at times difficult for me to spend days on end pulling weeds. I would rather write. I remember reading an interview about Nora Roberts and they asked her how she could write so many books. Her answer was,”Well, I don’t garden.” How funny!

So my solution to that predicament is to hire out some of the weeding. That way I can have both my writing and my gardening but more importantly I have a connection to other women. That connection brings me so much joy because it has paved the road for a friendship with my mother as well as other women.

What a gift my mother has given me…

THE LITTLE GIRL INSIDE OF ME

I saw her on a walk to begin with. She had the excitement that I used to contain as a little girl. She thought she had known me from before. I did not recognize her because I had said “goodbye” to my little girl years ago. I could see she was still in touch with her inner child and I became intrigued.

The next time we met was under the Mulberry tree in the meadows. We picked a few Mulberries and I warned her that another neighbor friend had told me that there was little bugs on the mulberries. She mentioned that would just be a bit of added protein and popped the mulberry right into her mouth. I immediately loved her when she said that because I knew her little girl had grown up in the country just as mine had.

The ability to choose between what was important and what was petty was a lesson I learned while growing up in the country. The beauty of growing up on a farm reinforced the belief that joy was found in simplicity, not perfection.

I used to wake up overflowing with joy. I walked around with a smile glued to my lips. This was not because I lived in a perfect home. This was just because that was the Spirit that God had given me as a child.

Where had that joy gone? I thought back to my life as a child and realized that I was super creative and quite the entrepreneur.  I had a play house out in the garage. The basement was transformed into a restaurant complete with a menu when my friends came over. My dolls all got taught about Jesus when I had church in the living room of my house. I was always up to something and many times it was things I did by myself because I was the youngest and no one had time, or wanted to play with me. So I would play with myself and I don’t remember regretting a minute of the time I spent playing.

I began to wonder where has the joy of my childhood gone to? Is it necessary to be so serious about this “adulting” thing we all have to do?

I eat food to feed my body. I read the Bible and go to Church to feed my Spirit but what am I doing to nurture the inner child which so bubbled over with joy?

In the Bible it says the Joy of the Lord is my strength. So how do I connect to that to draw from that fountain of life?

I think that my new friend and I may be trying to find the same source of joy. In other talks with her I have found that we are both trying to cipher through the pain of childhood to rescue that little girl who somehow got lost along the way.

It is like we both decided that the path we were walking on was causing blisters on our heart. I am excited about this journey of friendship.  It is going to be a magnificent adventure, I can feel it in my heart.

PROSPERITY

There are those preachers who preach that prosperity is our right as Christians to lay claim to. The “name it and claim it” bunch. They preach that the promotions are ours to grab. The big houses have our name on the mortgage  and the key to that Corvette should be in our pocket.

I am concerned about this form of gospel preaching. I have no problem with wealth but when it serves only yourself it has the potential to become an idol.

With a God in heaven who has told us to put our treasures where moths and rust do not destroy what good are material possessions?

They do provide comfort and security. I have purchased a home much larger than what I need but I have done so to provide a second home for my children or other family members who may be in need.

I have been so blessed to have my sweet daughter move back in with me. I have been blessed by God for four years to have had the privilege of being able to share my home with her.

The Lord has been so gracious as to heal many hurts in our relationship and I miss her when she is not home. Alas, though, she has found the love of her life and is getting married next summer.

I am going to miss her so much it is unreal and I am praying that she does not move to anywhere else than a house next door to me. Just kidding, but I really don’t want her more than a stone’s throw from my house.

Although I do not make much money in my chosen career I have had the opportunity to sew seeds of God into people’s lives. At times I have prayed with my patients. At other times I have asked them if I could pray for them on my own.

The other day a sweet patient of mine said that she had started praying more since I had become her nurse. She has become one of my dearest friends and to know that I, in some small way, helped her to connect to God was such a blessing to me.

I think that it may be more important to sew God’s word and pray for others than it is to have material possessions. Although, I think if you are doing both to provide nurturing and comfort to another it may be all good.

To God be the glory for all of the blessings he has bestowed on us.