Who will do it?

“We have so much to tend to, don’t we?  Children and spouses and projects and endeavors fill our hours and our brain space.  Somebody has to do them.  Somebody has to fill in the gap of effort required to get from the beginning to the end.  Most of the time, we assume that the individual responsible for it all should be us.  It has to be us.  Who else is going to do it?”  ~ P.S

 Thought to Ponder

Everything does not have to be done and you do not have to do everything.

Obey ……….God will take care of the rest.

H.O.T.

She stood before the congregation as the minority, with her blond hair, brown eyes and pale skin.  She was the daughter of a Pastor, mom of three, married to an Italian man whose cultural history was different than her own. Her message was titled Serving without Sinking, but as she shared tidbits of her own story, I could hear commonalities.  She compassionately stated how embarrassed she was of her history and how the blatant unrest in our nation stirred-up very meaningful conversation between her, her family, friends and colleagues.  During these newly addressed conversations, she realized – we (people in general) often only give out as much information as we believe necessary. That is when I found myself reflecting. It was not long after, that I also found myself in agreement. It is true; we seldom go beyond the surface in our sharing.  We are very careful of only letting people know what we desire them to know. We usually – more often than not- give just enough. We rarely give our listener the true depth of who we are, the details of how we became the person we have become, or the density of what we believe.

Sadly, no one is exempt of this type of half-handed disclosure. We cover all our relationships with the same carefulness. We delegate according to what is the most safe and self-preserving. We shuffle out specifics with ourselves in mind. Sharing what we deem glorious, yet, holding on to our deepest disappointments, far-flung failures, and despairing downpours. Our walls of protection are usually far above our heads; limiting our view of others, as well as, limiting others view of us.

One of the things I like most about the Bible is that it is unedited.  God did us a great justice by allowing us to know the heart stones of many we would consider as heroes. We get to see David in every hue possible. God shares with us David’s bad choices and bad behaviors, as well as, his rightful remorse and deep pleas for forgiveness. We are privy to David’s life: good and bad.  From the days of David’s youth, until his death; the life of David is HOT – Honest for critique, Open for assessment and Transparent to all willing to live and learn from it.

As I climb over the walls in my own life, I look out and I can see beyond the surface. I see cracks and crevices where meaningful conversations can and should be had. Conversations no longer sealed for dread of criticism or guarded for protection. No holding on for safety or fear of falling, and no fear of hitting bottom.

I wonder? …What better our relationships would be if they were all gently laid on the principles of HOT.HOT

 

“TimeOut”

Time is a recorder of events

Time is a collection of every moment

Time is only before us

Time is intended only for us

Time is not always well spent

Time is designed to do what is meant

Time is a beginning – Time is an end

Time is a foe – Time is a friend

Time is always a balancing oppressor

Time is without a forerunner or successor

Time is without an equal

Time is inevitably without a sequel

Time provides, Time to engage,

In life…In others…In mistakes that were made.

Time is a procurer of many things

But there is a component of life that Time cannot bring

Time moves forward and never back peddles

Yesterday, can never return, even when today is unsettled

Time is not an opportunity to redo or undo

Time is the AUTHOR of opportunities to make ALL things new

So, there are these moments in Time that we beg to rewind

For in that instance we were spiritually blind

Whether, ignorance, arrogance, or self-indulgence

Time provides for spiritual-adjustment

In our mind, In our heart, In the way we live

And because God knows – This is what His Time gives

“TimeOut”…

TimeOut to reflect

TimeOut to accept

TimeOut to be what others reject

TimeOut to hear

TimeOut to fear

TimeOut to be what others revere

TimeOut to repent

TimeOut to relent

TimeOut to be in moments well spent

TimeOut to labor

TimeOut to savor

TimeOut to be who my Husband Favors

In Word, In Deed

I will be what he needs

For Him, For Us

I will trust

For Family, For Friends

I will mend

For Strangers, For the Lost

I will toss

Evil, Hypocrisy,

Gossip, Foolishness,

Lying, Discord,

and the look of the Proud

I will learn how, in my

                                                                                                      “TimeOut”

 

Author: Karla Y. Sutton-McKinney

A “Back to the Beginning” original *Kansas, City, Missouri* 2015

 

Next TO Gathering “Words Are Not Enough” ….

It is no surprise to call a customer service line and talk with someone who speaks a language different than your own. What begins as a simple discrepancy of an unknown over charge, can easily turn into forty minutes of ‘going nowhere’.

After nineteen years of marriage, there have been countless conversations between my husband and I that definitely resembled a conversation with customer service. Me thinking we’re talking about the overcharge, while my husband is thinking we’re talking about getting a new device. Before you know it, we have spent forty minutes ‘going nowhere’. The whole idea of interchanging thoughts, opinions or information through speech has brought many marriages to therapy, counseling and/or ruins.

Poor communication has also brought many wives to tears, while walking away feeling totally misunderstood, mistaken and misheard.  (Okay, maybe not many wives – maybe just me.)

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place” ~ GBS

 During our next “TimeOut” gathering, we will talk more about Words Are Not Enough.

 We will discuss ……

  • Speaking Correctly – <Ephesians 4:15>
  • Careful Listening – <Proverbs 18:13>
  • Clear Understanding – <Proverbs 24:3>

 Our aim: For us (the wife) to begin to purposefully attune our ears to the words of our own mouth.

 See you Friday – June 26th!

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RUN – BOLT – ESCAPE!

In 2002 news headlines across the U.S. read “Mercedes Madness: Woman Repeatedly Runs over Cheating Husband with her Car”.  I can only imagine the comments of wives who experienced similar scandal by their own husbands.  Some declared the act understandably despicable, while others stated it was totally ‘out of mind’. There was a limited measure of sorrow for the husband; yet, many were logically sympathetic to the matters that would cause a wife to do such a thing.  After 11 years of a presumed blissful marriage, this wife found herself standing in front of a jury recounting every step that lead her to that dreadful place of hysteria on that particular morning.  The outcome of that day’s events were appalling.  Even sadder, was that this wife’s few moments of “insanity” – that destroyed every possibility of resolve – was experienced with her teenage step-daughter in the front seat of her car.

In short: Adultery is dangerous!

 Danger

King Solomon wrote strongly about adultery in Proverbs chapter 5. The King’s words warn against marital infidelity and boldly tell the reader, “If you want to preserve discretion, heed these words…

The lips of an immoral woman drip honey and her mouth is smoother than oil; But, in the end …… “

It is with compassionate persuasion Paul instructs us to flee – bolt, runaway, escape – lusts. (2 Tim 2:22) But, we all are tempted when we are drawn away by our own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (James 1:14-15) 

It is no small number of those who have been fooled to believe their marital circumstances warrant marital disloyalty. I speak with women often whose lists have been made, all-encompassing of the inadequacies of their husband, in their self-permission to justify their betrayal. Little do they know – or care- that their “involvement with such sin dishonors and consumes all who fall into it”.

“The Bible teaches that temptation in general is avoidable, but some temptations should be avoided at all cost.” ~ Nelson Study Bible NKJV

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Have you dealt with adultery in your own marriage? What are your thoughts on adultery and its dangers? From one wife to another; what words of wisdom would you share with the wife who has chosen an extramarital relationship?

Tank Life ….

On our second round of pet ownership, we decided a fish aquarium would be the best choice. Taking care of fish would undoubtedly be much easier than taking care of a puppy. There will be no scratches on the door to come in or go out, no daily walks with the infamous plastic bag, no need to remove hair off my favorite rug, and even better – no quarrels of whose turn it is to pick-up the “left behinds” in the back yard.

The trip to the pet store was exciting. Each new occupant of the freshly filled tank was given a name similar to their physical appearance along with being assigned to a family member.  One of the most beautiful fish in the tank received the name Night. Its coat was the deepest, darkest, black and its fins flowed through the water like long flowing locks blowing in the wind. It swam with the grace of an experienced ballerina and could hover in one spot like a star.

black fish 3

Soon we began to notice Night spending most of its time under the artificial greenery and peeking from behind the oxygen tube. We would sometimes tap on the glass in hope of luring Night back into general population. During feeding time, Night would allow the food to slowly float to the bottom of the tank directly in front of the bush before coming out of hiding to quickly grab a morsel to eat.

Little did we know; that Night’s desire to not mingle with the other fish was legitimate. We had no idea the other fish did not take well to the natural beauty Night brought to the tank.  Instead of idol swimming – as I assume all fish spend their time doing – the other fish used their swim time to pick away at Night’s flowing fins. The once stunningly flowing fins, soon became short prickly attachments. A sad eye sore. Night was trapped in an environment that brought continuous bouts of attack. And, what better way to defend itself; than to retreat and hide.

Thought to Ponder

Many of us wonder why our relationships with our husbands are not much of what we expect them to be. We blame our husband as we notice him using his surplus time and energy in activities that seldom include us. He may be hanging out with his friends, spending countless hours in his favorite recliner, refurbishing that old 67 Chevy, or simply watching endless episodes of ESPN. As much as we would like to believe we have nothing in common with the fish in the tank, many of us have taken on the offensive habit of picking at our husband’s fins and making tank life practically unbearable. Yet, we are frustrated and disgruntled – questioning why our husband has retreated behind the artificial greenery?

 Numbers 35:34 ~ “ Do not defile the land where you live ….”

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Relationships Change

Even at 81 years old, he can count backwards by threes, give snippets of his tour of the Korean War that ended in 1953, and tell all about how he ran his grandfather’s neighborhood corner store every summer from the time he was six years old. At the age of 10, he was supervising his grandfather’s workers from the back of a watermelon truck, doing their daily weigh-ins and paying them their wages for their day’s work.  He tells of times seeing his grandmother in the kitchen cooking and thinking to himself how his mom does those very same things. When he talks, he tells of his love for his grandmother indirectly through the stories that spill out due to my inundating questions. It soon becomes evident why his children are her name sakes.

My parents divorced when I was around 5 years old. It was from that day forward I was self-proclaimed the most important girl in my dad’s life. On Saturday mornings my Dad and I would spend our time together at the A&W restaurant. I would have my usual: pancakes, sausage and a root-beer float, while my dad would quietly enjoy a cup of coffee and read the morning paper. Between his coffee sips, latest news updates and small talk with the waitress, I would go on and on about anything I thought was important. My dad always seemed to be listening and would respond to my gibber with a resounding, “Oh yeah?”.

Today, dads and my relationship has changed just a bit. I no longer eagerly wait for my dad to pick me up on our designated weekend. Nor do my dad and I use our Saturday mornings for eating pancakes, drinking coffee and root-beer floats. Because today, our roles have reversed and I’m not sure there is anything that can totally prepare one to parent a parent that has Alzheimer’s.

These days I talk a lot to my heavenly Father about the earthly father he gave me. I tell him about the stress I feel as a caregiver, the pressure of always wanting to do the best-right thing, all awhile hoping to have the strength to love on my dad for another 20 years if he needs me. I’m often looking for audible direction from God. Sometimes I eventually end up flooded with tears when I cannot seem to hear Him telling me what to do.  

It is in these times that I tell myself, … The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion…<Psalm 145:8>  For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our (my) guide even to death.  <Psalm 48:14> And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.  <Gal 6:9>

Thought to Ponder

When we start the beginning of any relationship journey (marriage included) we are never foreknowing of how it will end up. There will be peaks and valleys of different multitudes and degrees. Yet, what we do know is that God is full of concern over the matter, that He will be our guide through every uncertainty and that no matter what appears to be the opposing force to our progress – with God, we win.

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