Thoughts

Blue Donkeys and Being Stubborn

I sat in the car, watching the rain pour down on the windows faster than the wiper blades could dare to keep up with. It was a 2 second dash into the house, but I couldn’t move. I was stuck. Thinking. In a car that smelled oddly of dog. I had just finished teaching my Sunday school class, the lesson, as usual -I think impacted me, more than it did the kids.

They enjoy the snacks and the fun pictures -I know this because they told me so. They ‘suffer through’ the lessons, more or less to humor me I think, but the main event is when they get to do their workbooks. It usually takes less than five minutes before the innocent picture has taken a turn. Today it was a donkey. A donkey -to remind us not to be stubborn -a donkey that quickly turned. One had a light saber. Another machine gone. One donkey was in an especially rogue mood -with about ten little stick people hanging off it and fire coming from his eyes. If I’m being honest, I enjoy the pictures too.

But I digress.

The lesson, most timely planned -was on the promise that the Lord will direct your paths. We looked over a handful of examples -familiar ones, Jonah, Noah and the story of Jerico. We talked about the struggles these people might have faced -when doing the right thing, and of course -how doing the wrong thing, how doing OUR idea doesn’t usually end up well. We talked about it practically, we got off on a few rabbit trails and talked a lot about direction…

But then one-story example came up. The story of Uzzah. It has been years since I read that story, and to be honest -it stumped me today as much as it did back when I first heard it. Why, I asked myself, did God take such DRASTIC measures to kill someone who was keeping the ark from falling?! He was, after all, helping, wasn’t he? I considered leaving the example out -but something kept drawing me back.

I read up on the story last night, looking at the history, surrounding verses, giving myself a little insight to the story and then presented it to my wonderful group of all boys between the sweet ages of seven and nine.

And they had questions. Because of course they did.

“But why did God kill him?” “He was just helping” “He technically wasn’t touching the ark itself -he was touching the blanket. That’s the same as touching the pole. Because the pole was touching the ark too!” We talked about the importance of following God’s instructions -even if they don’t make sense at the time. How when God says not to touch the ark -he means the blanket that might have been touching the ark too. How we need to take God’s directions seriously -and not try and justify our actions that we think might have been right when really, we know they are wrong.

We spent a long time on that story, and then it went off on a rabbit trail about donkeys and carts -because of course it did.

We ended the lesson talking about how we should be quick to ask for God’s direction -the first time, and not after we have made our decision and messed things up…and then we started drawing light-sabers and whatnot’s on our donkeys. Because hard as I try, if you give them a pencil -that picture will end up with a story. A story that has nothing to do with our lesson. Except they will try to make it relate. Because of course they will.

The original idea of the picture was to remind us not to be stubborn, like a mule. Drawing from the illustration that mules get stubborn and need to be guided with a “bit and bridle.” But somehow, I think they will remember it just a bit differently.

I stared at the rain.

Questions I have asked over the past few weeks running through my mind -wondering if I was doing something wrong, or something right, or something at all. Wondering if I am on the right path. I’ve been feeling all the big feelings lately -of guilt, and sorrow. Of sadness and frustration. And happiness. Because there is always some happiness.

But tonight, as I stared out the window -it was as if my weeks problems and questions collided with my lesson: God’s way is always right. Sometimes God’s answer isn’t my answer. But that doesn’t mean God doesn’t hear me. It might just mean He said no. And if He said no, I shouldn’t turn the other way and say yes. I should accept His no. I should accept His answer. Why? Because His way is ALWAYS right. No matter if I understand it or not.

At the end of our lesson, a few moments before they are sent back to their parents -I always ask them to tell me what they learned. They usually add in a little bit of serious with a whole lot of silly. Today their answers were mostly donkey related. Because, donkeys are cool, or something like that.

The answers varied but they all answered, in their own words -what I have been struggling to grasp for years: God knows the plan. There is no need to be stubborn (like a donkey). Ask God for direction, trust His plans, accept His answers -and don’t be a donkey. With striped blue pjs, red light-sabers, machine guns and chain link vests.

These kids might only look back and remember striped donkeys with light sabers and machine guns -but I will remember more. So much more.

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Humor Section

So, This Happened

 

So yesterday. I got off work early, and headed to the gym. No big deal.

Just a casual run to get back into the swing of things.

The only problem was I couldn’t find my regular headphones, so I was forced to use a pair that kept falling out, but again -no big deal, right? We will make it work.

The other problem happened to be that I have the wrong case f or my phone. Remember when my phone took an unexpected vacation just, well, a month ago? Well, apparently -Samsung decided to upgrade the type of phone I have and while it fit in the case? The holes were in the wrong place. In order to use said headphones, I had to take the case off. But hey -no big deal, right?

So there we were, running it out on the treadmill, with my naked phone and crummy headphones. I had a good pace going, was feeling good and nearing the one mile mark when it all came crashing down. Quite literally.

In one swift move -my headphones popped out, I reached to put them back in and yanked my phone off its ledge…

I’m sure you can all see where I am heading with this one.

What followed was a loud crash, crack and thud.

I hit the emergency stop button (which, btw, doesn’t stop suddenly) and watched as my phone was sucked under the belt. Another crunch and it was gone. I jumped off and attempted to play it off as casual as I could, because of course it was busy in there, but hey -no big deal, don’t you lose your phone under the treadmill daily, too?

Except I couldn’t find it. My phone was simply gone.

What followed was perhaps the most embarrassing ten minutes of my life as I called in maintenance and stood by as they took the poor treadmill apart to rescue my phone.

It took longer than they were expecting so took my number (ironic, that my phone was under the treadmill -but hey, they’d call when they got it out!) and an hour later I retrieved this fine piece of work.

I call it the post-workout look (which, btw, is not a look I recommend!):

IMG_20171128_151528_161.jpg

It sort of looks like the new curved phone, doesn’t it?

Also? I really like the note: Treadmill phone.

I then made the walk of shame into the cell phone store to purchase what is hopefully, the last phone I will have to purchase. Three for three, right?

The cellphone guy found it equally hilarious when I asked if they offered insurance for things like this: Ha! We do, but it wouldn’t cover that!

So there you have it.

*No treadmills were hurt in this testing of this phone.

Thoughts

It Is Enough

I have never been what one would call, a patient person. In fact -I am probably the definition of an UNpatient person. I often pray for patience -only to quickly realize my mistake. If anyone has doubts that God doesn’t answer prayers -just as for patience. He might not give you patience, but He will give you plenty of opportunities to work on building it up. But I digress.

Patience is not a virtue I yet to possess, and as a result, I am constantly being given opportunities to Stop. Trust. Wait. Believe.

I am ashamed to admit that I tend to operate on the terms of -praying, praying very hard for direction and answers, seeking His will, asking for His guidance -and then when I see what I assume is the opening in the clouds, I jump off my knees and run full tilt towards whatever shadow of hope I thought I saw. Most times, that ends about as well as it sounds it would.

I end up making a big mess of things and come crawling back -learning once again that life spent continually seeking HIS will and not mine -is the only way to live. You’d think by now, that 27 years into things -I would have this down. I have seen -over and over and over and over -countless times, Him providing, preparing, giving -in His time. Not mine. His will and His timing is not something I can rush or change. Nor should I. He doesn’t operate on a clock -He is not held down to time. He is not limited to my world. He holds the ENTIRE world (and universe) in His hands.

Which is where I get boggled.

See, I have no problem believing that He has this. This world, this universe, the entire plan -everything. Those big things. The things I cannot see or understand -sure, He’s got it. But these smaller things? My life? My wants and needs and desires and hopes and dreams and struggles? Why would He bother this those? After all, if I were God -I wouldn’t have time for those piddly things. After all -Can’t I see already: He’s got it all. Why do I worry anyways?

Oh, the simple mind of myself.

When things happen (as they often do), in a way that I wasn’t expecting (as they often do), I am tempted to think that He dropped the ball. He is too busy keeping all those stars in order -that He doesn’t really have time for me. He forgot about me. He doesn’t remember that -Hello? I’m down here. Making a giant mess of my life. But in truth -He hasn’t. He hasn’t forgotten anything. Or anyone. In fact, the things that have happened in my life -be it a direct result of my simply screw up -or an ordained moment that stopped me from messing things up even MORE -are all in His plan.

He’s god this.

In a week when my life seems like it is in shambles -like I have really, really, really messed it up good this time, that there is nothing good left here for me, that I am simply drowning (in self-pity?) He is there. He knows my heartache and my pain. He knows that I am struggling. But it isn’t for nothing. Because even thought I can’t see the purpose for all this pain (Which in the whole scheme of things -is really, nothing. In the light of the worlds events -my problems don’t even begin to register as problems), He is still there. He is still in charge. He hasn’t forgotten me -although perhaps, I have forgotten Him.

His plans are just that -His. Who am I to try and direct them?

While it certainly is true -life hurts, instead of viewing these troubles and trials as personal digs at me, as a reminder that He has, in fact, forgotten me -why can’t I choose to view them as Him perfecting His work in me? He said no. That should be enough for me.

He said wait.

He said not yet.

He said no.

I can choose to throw myself on the ground and throw a fit (I am good at that) or I can say “Yes Lord.” And be content -knowing that while I may not get the answer I thought I wanted -perhaps He said no because He knows that wasn’t right for me. It wasn’t in His plans for my life -and His answer -should be more than enough.

He’s got this. No doesn’t mean He has forgotten me. It means He cares enough to say no. TO deny what I think I want, because His plans are much bigger than mind.

I don’t know what He’s got in store for me -I don’t know if He will ever say “yes” to my pleading, but I do know this: He’s got this. I can rest in that. I don’t need to know why. I don’t need to seek answers. I don’t need to be upset. This is the path He has for me -and that?

Is enough.

Life, Uncategorized

Who Needs Sleep?

I tend to do weird things in my sleep -some people sleep walk, some sleep talk -others simply sleep. Me? I don’t even know what I’d call it -the closest I can come to explaining it is “Sleep interacting.” Basically, I will have a dream -and at some point in that dream, I will wake up and start to interact with it. Anything from thinking there are people/spiders/aliens in my room -to strangling my alarm to kicking over the heater because I thought the little red light was an alarm for a bomb.

One time there were even sheep on my bed. I kicked those sheep trying to get them to leave -they never did leave. Spoiler alert: It was Yoshi. Not sheep.

I used to share a bedroom with my sister -and would randomly wake her up saying there was someone in the room. Thankfully all it generally takes is for someone to say “No there’s not” for me to realize I was just dreaming -but since she has moved away, it’s just me in the room -and no one to tell me other. Which means that I can go on for quite some time.

All that is to say -I do weird stuff in my sleep. From talking to yelling to interacting -you name it, I do it. I make for an interesting roommate. Ahem.

The other night however, I took things to a new level.

After a long, busy day -I came home and headed for my laptop…but it wasn’t where I last remembered having it.

I checked under the bed, I checked my bag, the table -but it was gone. I started to wonder if maybe we had been robbed -because who doesn’t want an ancient laptop that doesn’t work? But nothing else was gone -so I ruled that out. Except there was a nagging feeling in the back of my mind.

Which is when it hit me: We HAD been robbed!

At some point in the night, in my dreams, we were being robbed. There was also a fire. But it didn’t seem to be that big of a deal -considering there was a robbery in progress!

I remember this because I woke up -and in a groggy, sleep induced state -rounded up a few of my favorite belongings and put them in a safe place, which just so happened to be the closet. With my plastic tote of “Keepsakes.” I closed the door, stumbled back to bed and went back to sleep -because that is what you do when you a robbery is in progress. And there is a fire.

I ran to the closet -and sure enough: there was my laptop. Along with my journals. And two pairs of socks. Because I’m nothing without socks.

It’s no wonder I’m always tired in the morning!

Animals, Life

Round Three!

I guess it’s safe to say I enjoy a challenge. After successfully completing round one and round two of dog sitting multiple dogs -or, you know, more than a handful of dogs at a time -I upped my game a bit and took on seven dogs. Plus three houses. At one time.

The climax of the whole event went down on Thursday night. Where I had an overlap of everyone at the same time. A little bit of background to make this next story make sense:

1. Two of the owners didn’t know when, exactly, they planned to return and had promised to text Tuesday night.

2. The one house I was staying at didn’t have internet. But it was going to be fine because I had my phone and some extra data -I was going to make my own little WI-FI hub.

All was going well until I went to pack up for the night -and my phone wouldn’t turn on. All attempts turned up void. It was after hours, all the stores were closed and the bottom line was I would be internet-less and phone-less for the night. This might not have been such a big deal -except that I was waiting on some important information from the afore mentioned people and um, don’t mess with my internet connection. Take what you must -but leave the internet.

It was a long night.

I’m pretty sure I have been scarred for life.

But all that aside -and all things considering -it has been going fairly well. That is, if you consider having panic, stress and headaches for two weeks -fairly well. Then yes. Fairly well, indeed. I have, however, come to the conclusion that I am, in fact, more of a six-dog person. Seven is a whole new level of crazy.

Everyone survived and as the last of the dogs head off to their respective homes this week, I am already charting out my next round!

Without further ado, I present to you: Round Three!

Stella:


I’m pretty sure I was told this is an American Lab -whatever she is, she is such a cutie!

Brody:

A newer addition to his family but as sweet as can be! He hates to be left behind -but is a terrible car rider. He doesn’t understand the concept of sitting in his own seat and would prefer to sit on your lap. He loves company.

Lola:

Miss Lola (and Nina) came as a set from the same house. She is a happy dog who never seems to have a bad day.

Nina:

Nina is a bit on the shy side around new people and while she loves to go with you -she hates the car ride part. She prefers to sit under your feet while driving -which makes for an interesting car ride. I had to stop a few times and pull her out because she dove under while I was driving.

Eva:

This one is known as “boss lady” or “queen” at her house -and I suppose it should be easy to see why! She is quite the boss! She is also a show dog -which means she can’t get into any fights while here! She is constantly stealing Hunter’s blankets and pulling them into her crate. Silly thing.

Hunter:

Hunter and Eva also came as a package deal. He always has such a sad look -even when (what’s left of) his tail is wagging! He is a sweet boy. I’m pretty sure he appreciated that Brody came to stay and help balance out the boy/girl ration that is going on here.

…Yoshi!

…and finally, my princess! I haven’t seen much of her lately -with all the house sitting and job bouncing I have been doing! Whenever I dog sit so many dogs, I am always thankful that Yoshi is the one that stays behind. I love the other dogs -but my girl is something special -quirks and all!