Month: March 2020

I am the Lord and there is none beside me.

Isaiah 43 is one of the most wonderful chapters in all of scripture. (Of course I say that about a lot of chapters.)

But what draws me to this particular chapter is how many times God draws attention to his own lordship. God is not capable of arrogance as it would sound coming from human lips.

He’s doesn’t repeat this time after time for his own benefit but for ours. He is reminding us that he and he alone deserves to be called the one and only Lord.

He goes on to recount his creation of all living things on this earth, we humans in particular. Paul quotes Isaiah 9b, “Will the clay say to the potter, “What are you doing?” In Romans 9: 20-21, it states that we are his to shape and mold as he sees fit without question.

To give someone else control isn’t easy. Giving our government control over our actions isn’t easy. None of us like being told where we can or cannot go.

But maybe we can use this restriction on our lives as a way to remind us that this is how we are supposed to place ourselves in the Potter’s hands to do with as he wishes.

Think of this portion of scripture the next time you bristle about your restrictions and confinement. Let those feelings of irritation remind you, remind me, that we are usually wrangling with God over these same control issues.

Assuming we are in right relationships with God, his molding of us will only draw us closer to him and his purpose for our lives.

If we are not in right relationship with God, he will have to continue getting us back to that starting point as a lump of clay and start all over again, many times all over again.

Doesn’t it make sense to cooperate with him the first time?

Let’s allow God to really shape us during this shut-down. Let’s think through our reactions about giving up control and try and determine if we treat God this way sometimes. Is there a correlation? Can we learn from this how it feels to give God control?

I wonder why we are all looking for something to do. I’ve even got a post coming soon with some ideas for you. But I wonder, why are we trying to occupy every minute?

I’m guessing it’s because we’re scared and being busy helps. But I’m not sure that’s so good. So while I, too, am getting bored and want to fill every moment, I’m also trying to make sure I have plenty of contemplative time. I want to think about this crisis and how it can make me stronger in my faith walk.

What about you? Are you taking time during this quarantine to simply think?

God bless and stay safe.

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Establishing boundaries is good and why you should.

Establishing Boundaries

Establishing boundaries is good and why you should is worth considering. We scratch our heads in disbelief. Certainly, we understand that people will disappoint us just as we disappoint them. But when you feel like you’ve just been wasting your breath, and they’re never going to listen, what do you do?

You know the kind of person I’m talking about. The one who lets you think they’re listening, but they’re merely playing you. You end up feeling very betrayed.

It’s time to establish some boundaries.

Now just so you know, I don’t expect for one minute that someone who has asked for my help has to do everything I say. Of course not.

Don’t be a garbage can.

black trash bin with full of trash

But when someone takes up significant time and space in our life because they are asking for help and take none of the advice we offer, we have simply become a garbage can for them to dump in. They walk around feeling better while we are worn out. Our time might be better spent concentrating on someone else.

And this comes from someone who gives a very long rope. 

Even Jesus walked away from those who didn’t listen. I guess you could say he established boundaries as well.

Turning the other cheek

Turning the other cheek” doesn’t mean we allow ourselves to get used up.

Remember, we only have two cheeks. Once they’ve both been slapped, we don’t keep whipping our head around for another blow. Talk about whiplash!

When it’s not your circus, not your monkeys, create some boundaries.

“Not my circus, not my monkeys”, is a good approach to take. In other words, there comes a point in some relationships where we’ve done every conceivable thing we can think of to help and to no avail. It then becomes their circus and their drama. We do them and us no good buying a ticket to their performance.

The hard truth is some people have to learn life’s lessons the hard way. And the harder truth is that some people never will.

Aging is not a guarantee of maturity.

And it’s not young people that are immature. I’ve known some incredibly mature young people and some childish old farts. (Sorry about that, but it’s the perfect word.) It should be that way, but sadly, it isn’t. They can disappoint us as well. Some people don’t mature at all, no matter how old they are.

Some people remain immature their entire lives even when their wrinkles and gray hair should suggest otherwise.

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If you have someone like this in your life who is draining you but never filling you, you need to think through the relationship. It doesn’t have to end but it does need to change. At the very least, we need to take a vacation from them for a time.


Hope this helped you today.

But what about us?

Oh, and by the way, we should all remember that when we’re the ones seeking advice, we need to listen and at least take into account what our “counselor-friend” is telling us. We may choose not to follow it but to never even consider it makes us no better than the person who does that to us. They may end up creating boundaries for us!

God bless and I hope you have a really good day.

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twine pumpkin/garage sale finds

A most unusual garage sale find

Table of Contents

  1. 1.The first “find”
  2. 2. Another great “find”.

1.The first “find”

I found the most unusual garage sale item a few weekends ago. As I was leaving I found this in their discarded pile of wood. To say I was thrilled is an understatement.

I love pieces like this. I have no idea what it is but I knew it would look great hanging on my wall. It does. I would post a photo but the WP app on my phone is still acting up. You’ll have to admit it’s a pretty unusual garage sale find.

2. Another great “find”.

Then I found this. It’s adorable. The lights are on it in the picture but it’s hard to see. It’s quite large. Again, I will share pictures when I can.

twine pumpkin/garage sale finds

I think the pumpkin was from Pier One so if you have one near your home, you might be able to find it. Our Pier One went out of business.

We were at our cabin last week. I’ve mentioned before the local rescue mission near our cabin. Their clothes were .25 apiece. I loaded up on sweaters for myself and others. What didn’t fit I donated back to the same store. What I don’t like now that I’m home will be donated as well. That means I have a lot of sweaters to swap out. If I can get my photos to download from my phone, I will show you my great bargains next week.

Be sure to read my posts this week as I share that I’m taking an emotion sabbatical, based on Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart for from it flows the springs of life. “

I know. What is an emotion sabbatical anyway? It means giving my emotions a rest. The phrase “emotion sabbatical” (no, not an emotionAL sabbatical, exactly the opposite in fact) is a direct result of God exposing another layer in my life that needs attention. I love how God does that, especially when I’m totally unaware.

Also, the Digital Resources Library has a lot choose from, even a mini-e-book. When you sign up you will receive the password. If you have any difficulties, please let me know.

Hope you have a blessed day. I plan to.

Take an emotion sabbatical

Table of Contents

I’m taking an emotion sabbatical. Said another way, ” I’m giving my emotions a rest, especially about people or circumstances which I can’t change.

“For how long?”, you ask.

I think for forever.

Don’t need a crisis

It’s not because there’s been an “incident” or anything like that. It’s because I’m taking a page out of my own book.

picture of book/Depression

You know what I mean, don’t you? We’re all better at giving advice than taking it ourselves. Even when you’re the author. I listened to a great sermon today by Andy Stanley and he often used himself as an example. It’s hard to see ourselves sometimes.

Need to let others be responsible

I’m taking an I’m-not-your-Savior-break. To me, that’s the best definition of an emotion sabbatical. I am through being responsible for anyone else’s spiritual, mental. or emotional health. Because I can’t be, number one, and number two, because Jesus never said I should. Jesus himself didn’t. Jesus told others how to be healthy in all areas of their lives but was never responsible for how they used the information. In some ways, I find that disconcerting because I want him to be responsible, in my case anyway.

I mean, don’t you? We all do. Wouldn’t you love it if someone else were responsible for all aspects of your health?

Get permission first

I am NOT suggesting we don’t help people by giving them our best advice. But truly, unless someone asks for your opinion, they are not interested in it anyway. Because if they were, they would ask for it.

Haven’t you ever been on the other side? You might have just been wanting to talk something through and come to your own conclusions, and then someone interrupts to give you their opinion, and your whole thought process gets sidetracked. You feel angry because you just wanted someone to bounce your thoughts off.

BUT, there is also that person who does ask for your opinion and then gets mad when you give it because they don’t like what they’re hearing. That’s why these next two points are important. If we’re engaged in a conversation where there is give and take, it is fine, maybe even necessary, to voice our opinion. But it might not be a bad idea to ask, “Would you like my opinion?” Asking does two things:

  1. Having been given permission, means we can be honest.
  2. Having been given permission means that if the opinion isn’t well-received, we can refer back to the permission we were given.

Because I’ve been the “rescuer” way too many times, I know what I am talking about and I am relieved to say, I think I’ve learned my lesson. It only took me a lifetime, I might add. But before you feel superior, you might want to ask yourself if you’ve learned your own lesson.

Speaking truth is important

And just because you’ve never faced this dilemma, it might be because you’ve always avoided speaking from your heart when someone has asked for your opinion. There are those who have never disagreed or confronted anyone, not because they’re so good at this, but because they’ve never dared speak the truth. That is not a lesson learned; that’s a lesson never learned.

Jesus spoke the truth always, sometimes in direct response to questions, sometimes not. But when he spoke the truth, he simply stated facts and let the proverbial chips fall where they may.

When you ARE truth, it’s easy. When you are human like the rest of us, it’s very hard to speak the truth and let it do what truth does, piercing through our lies and defenses.

But are there times when you have to speak up whether given permission or not? One does NOT take an emotion sabbatical at these times. If someone is about to make a life or death decision, yes. This is Suicide Prevention Week. It is always right to speak up if it means saving a person’s life.

Speaking up isn’t always just words, either. It may mean action. Years ago, I was faced with a dilemma. A young man I knew was threatening suicide. I had no choice but to take action because his parents were living elsewhere and couldn’t do what needed to be done. They approved what I suggested. I have never once regretted my action that day.

Whatever I write about taking this emotional sabbatical, is tempered when someone’s physical safety is jeopardized. Remember, I am referring to everyday living, not the rare circumstance.

Finding your purpose

As I write in my next book, we will never find our more (God’s unique purpose for each individual) when we are always helping others search for theirs. It is good to help people. We are commanded to but we are not commanded to do all the work for them or neglect our own spiritual, mental, and emotional health.

In my first book, I mentioned that anxiety can be a problem for me when I feel overwhelmed. And very often that feeling has been the result of taking on the burdens of others when I shouldn’t have. That burden took different forms. Sometimes it might have been in the “doing” for others, but often it was just the worry. Sometimes I worried for other people about things they didn’t worry about at all!

(Please tell me I’m not the only one.)

So how does taking an emotion sabbatical look like?

I don’t know what one is supposed to look like, or even if there is such a thing. But I’ve decided I’m having one and tomorrow I will share what that is looking like for me. This is new to me as well so if you have suggestions please share them with me.

God bless and have a great day.

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