Sunday, September 30, 2012

What Was I Thinking??





I have been going through "purging" sessions lately.  Sorting through things and getting rid of "stuff".  Oh my.  WHY I have kept some of this junk is beyond me!  I'm sure that at the time, I was convinced that I really needed it.  Like for instance, those handy kitchen gadgets that have been sitting in a drawer for years...rarely used.  Or 592 picture frames of photos.  What was I thinking??

Speaking of photos...  My choice in clothes through the years actually makes me cringe.  I saw a family picture taken less than 10 years ago.  Shoulder pads?  Really?  What was I thinking???

Occasionally, we shake our head and wonder if the discerning center of our brain is fully functional, and we smile.  Other times, we are filled with self-reproach.  We truly wonder what was the reasoning behind our decisions.  WHAT were we thinking?

At times, I find myself wondering the same thing about God.  I ask Him, "WHY?  Why did this situation have to occur?  Why did You allow that to happen?  What were You Thinking, Father?!"

And then, eventually He answers.  

My thoughts are not your thoughts, says the LORD.  And My ways are not your ways.   As far as the heavens are from the earth so far are My ways from your ways and My thoughts from your thoughts.
      Isaiah 55: 6-9

When dreadful events occur, God is very often the first One blamed.  Instead, many times, it is the result of a person's bad decision...sometimes it is us...sometimes it is another person. Other times, it is no one's fault..it is just the result of nature.  Is God in control of all things?  Of course He is.  Yet, He does allow bad things to happen. Whether we understand it or not, there is a reason behind it and God will use it for our good, if we love Him, and are called according to His purpose.  (Romans 8: 28)  We can know that when the bad times come, we are not alone.  He is with us.  He has promised it, and He cannot lie.  We live in an imperfect world. Sin is here...but, hallelujah, so is God!!   

God's thinking patterns can be very different from mine.  In this sinful world, my basic choices can be a sharp contrast to what God would choose for me.  My job is to try and keep my mind as close to God's as I can.  The only way to do that is to keep close to His Word, stay connected to other believers, and try to make the decisions that He would have me make.

So although my choices are definitely flawed...His are not. There is a reason for everything He allows to happen..  We may not see it today...or this week...or this year.  Perhaps we may not understand this side of heaven, but we can know one thing.  He loves us, wants the best for us and will never leave us alone.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Trimming Time

About every six weeks, I see that it's that time again. I try to look the other way, but there's no getting around it.  Despite my putting it off, I eventually have to succumb to it.  Out come the scissors.  It's dog trimming time.

I'm not the only one that dreads the day.  The dogs aren't thrilled either.  Would you be, having a legally blind lady come at you with a pair of shears?

I begin to round them up to take them outside to carry out the deed.  Marley comes willingly, oblivious to what is about to happen to him.  Chloe is much more aware.  Her self-preservation senses are up.  I'm standing by the door with the leash, and call her.  "Chloe, come here!!"  After calling three times and no dog, I find her in Steve's chair, watching tv and completely ignoring me, as if she had no idea her name was Chloe.

I hook her up, and lead them outside.  I do this outside, because there is SO much hair that comes off of them.  On occasion I've done it inside, but then I'm finding baby fine dog hair two rooms over.  It's much better to do it outside.  So far the neighbors haven't complained of tufts of fur growing out of their hybiscus bushes.  Their hair grows almost as fast as our lawn..and I promise you I use no fertilizer!

I start with Chloe, because even though she has selective hearing, she doesn't mind it as much as Marley.  I have to be more careful with her, though.  She is half Yorkie and half Silky Terrier.  The front half of her is Silky, and the back half Yorkie...I'm not kidding! Her front half is long and flowing straight, and the back is curlier...like her bottom has a perm.  With this type of hair, you can really tell if you mess it up, so I have to be more precise.  She'll sit/stand there and let me trim away and takes it like a...dog.  Then it's Marley's turn.

Marley is a Maltipoo and has more Poodle than malt...uh...Maltese.  His hair is really curly, so you can have a little more leeway with him.  Good thing, because giving him a trim is like trying to give a grasshopper a haircut!  He HATES getting a trim.  He will wiggle and try so hard to get away from the scissors.  If I put him on my lap and he's facing away from me, he doesn't mind as much, but as soon as he gets a glimpse of the shears, he tries to get outta there!  I constantly try to talk to him to calm him down and show him it's not painful, but he's so focused on the fact that I'm removing something from him, he doesn't comprehend.

As I was wrestling my four legged garter snake, I began to think about how we are like Marley, in the Hands of the Master Beautician.  He sees how scraggly and unkempt our souls are and knows that it's Trimming Time.

He gets our attention.  Some of us answer willingly, some of us ignore Him, hoping He'll go away. He begins to shear away our pride and stubbornness, our self absorption and denial.  We may choose to submit readily or like most of us....put up a fight.  We don't LIKE to be trimmed.  We don't WANT to be different from how we are.  We kind of enjoy being comfortable and don't mind having a hairy spirit.  But God loves us too much to leave us that way.  So He works away, trimming a little here and there until we are more presentable...more like His Image.  We would do much better if we would just quit fighting Him and go along with the situations and the changes.  Sometimes sitting in His Lap to make us feel more secure.  He tries to calm us and let us know it might not be as awful as we think it's going to be.  At times, if we get a different perspective and not focus on the shears, it's not so bad.  If we don't focus on the fact that the LORD is removing something from us, we can begin to comprehend why the trimming is necessary.

Eventually, we are beautiful and the ordeal is over.  And we go on....until it's Trimming Time again.

Hebrews 12:1 Since we are surrounded by so many examples of faith, we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us. We must run the race that lies ahead of us and never give up.

Chloe


Marley

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