Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hill vs. Mountain

I was thinking about hills this morning. I live in middle Tennessee where there are many lovely rolling hills ... green pastures, trees, an occasional red barn. As you go east in our wonderful state, you see the Smoky Mountains in the distance. The Smokies are a favorite destination in our state. From the top of Clingmans Dome, you can see for 100 miles on a clear day. Of course, that is after quite a stenuous hike.

I have heard "You have to know which hill is worth dying on." This is really good advice in relationships and wars. Is is really worth the drama and ruckus to fight about which direction the toilet paper comes off the holder? To some people that is a hill. Some true hills that need to be explored early in a relationship are money and parenting. Each person needs to define their position on the hill before continuing the hike. You have to know where you stand. And hopefully, being rolling hills, you will win some and lose some and compromise some. That is knowing which hill is worth dying on. That is the give and take of relationships.

What if, after a long, long hike, climbing many hills, you reach the top to find the whole journey has been a terraced mountain after all? Sadly, you find that you didn't understand the hill or the destination. First, do what any good general would do...fall back and regroup. Pray for divine intervention. Rest and then journey forth with new definition.


Friday, May 14, 2010


Finally, the last of the Fruits of the Spirit, is Self-Control. How many times have I started a diet, doing all the things I am supposed to, including exercise, only to be de-railed by an argument? How many times have I prayed that I would guard my tongue, only to cut someone off at the knees without meaning to? Oh, my, self-control is a desirable fruit.

Thankfully, self-control is about more than my own will-power. Each person has, relationship, influence, emotions. By defining and protecting these boundaries, you are exercising self-control. When there is a hole in this wall, we react. A healthy person will monitor these walls and evaluate those reactions. This is healthy thinking. First, patch one hole at a time. Second, cultivate relationships with those who have the discipline you want. "It's hard to soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys." Finally, reward yourself with good things. My husband says I need to pay attention to what is really good for maybe the pound size bag of M&Ms would not be really good for me.

Again, we have to remember and believe, that these fruits are grown in us by God. An apple doesn't choose to be red or sweet. It is by being connected to the tree that nutrients reach the apple to make it the fruit we all love. It is by being in relationship with our Creator that He can grow these fruits in us.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Nope, this is not a post about the Clampetts. It seems appropriate to come to this Fruit of the Spirit near Mother's Day. I am talking about gentleness. I have heard it said that "gentleness is great strength under great control". Moms can probably identify with that as the little ones are circling while you are on the phone or asking for something while you need a moment in the bathroom or when your child survives a potentially tragic bike accident. I can say it doesn't change as they get older and leave the nest.

Elisa Morgan, in Naked Fruit, describes it this way: "Being yielded to God's desires means letting go of mine. When we admit that we don't really get to choose what will happen or not happen to our children or who they will or won't become, we recognize that what we're investing in their young days has an ending point. Eventually they will gather up the heap of stuff we've offered over the years, throw it into the trunks of their cars, and head off on their own. They might purpose to grow a life that matters-themselves-or they might not. And we don't get to choose. They do."

God has that great strength and we have to rest in the trust that He loves us. We can know that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him." We can yield.


Friday, May 7, 2010


This is Polka. She got her name at the rescue shelter where my daughter found her. At 10 weeks she was just 3 1/2 pounds and today she is more like 33 pounds. She has grown in size and in our hearts. These days she is my shadow. When I put something in the sink, she follows me. When I put something in the hamper, she follows me to my closet. While I make my bed, she stands there waiting for me to get finished. And yes, when I go to the bathroom, she is waiting for me to get out. To me, Polka is the picture of faithfulness in body.

This seventh Fruit of the Spirit is faithfulness. It speaks to our faithfulness to God and to each other. He grows this fruit in us when we are in relationship with Him. How do you do that? You seek Him sooner rather than later when you are facing a crisis; you give thanks to Him when you see how blessed you are; you talk to Him about all the little and big concerns on your heart.
In our everyday dealings, we need to be faithful to our values and to our commitments. Let your "yes" be your "yes" and your "no", your "no". Be a person of integrity. This is faithfulness to each other.
Faithfulness is a core characteristic of God. He will never leave or forsake His children. He wants a relationship.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tweaking a common bedspread

We have a king size bed with a pillow top mattress. This has always posed a challenge for me when it comes to a comforter that would cover the sheets. I know many tuck their comforters but that is just more trouble than I am willing to commit to on a daily basis. Finally, I settled on this relatively common mattelaise (sp?) spread. I wasn't thrilled with the scalloped edging.
So here is what I did about it: I added a neutral border. It is a tan basket weave print that will do for now.Moral of the story: Be willing to look beyond the obvious that is in front of you. You probably could put your personal stamp on it and it would be special.