First things First, please

watch-your-tongue.jpgZephaniah 1:6 caught my attention this morning:   ….those who have not sought the LORD nor inquired for, inquired of, and required the LORD [as their first necessity].

Ask the LORD first!  Seek the LORD first!  He is the Ultimate Necessity!

A situation came up years and years ago when people did not inquire of the LORD first, but instead, inquired of myself and my brothers.  My parents were divorcing and the dirt mongers were eager for a good story.  The most blatantly annoying comment was, “I just want to know how to pray — can you tell me what happened?”

Gee, how about praying:  Lord, bless this family as it goes through these challenges.  Father, bring healing and restoration into their hearts and minds — may this draw them closer to You!  May Your Name be mighty and powerful all the days of their lives, and may they give You glory for bringing them through, in the Name of Jesus.
That was pretty easy, huh?

I often find myself looking around at other believers who are struggling with the storms of life, and I pray that their ears will be shut to what is truly just gossip cloaked in  false Christianity.  I pray that wagging tongues will not be able to reach in and scar their hearts…that those who have a hunger to hear the “dirt” will suddenly become disgusted by the reality of what they are craving and that they will instead want to rush to Abba to make things right.

I have a handful of very trustworthy prayer warriors that I call upon from time to time.  The best thing about each of them is that they point the way back to Jesus.  With one friend in particular, our goal is to spend at least one day praying about the situation before we bring it to the table for discussion.  Then, once the issue is shared, we pray again and ask for wisdom in how to proceed.   We’ve all seen the damage that gossip causes and we know that it takes wisdom to know when to share and when to shut up.  🙂

Another friend’s motto is, “God is my/your defender!” Which is a good thing to remember when under attack and the desire to set the record straight is especially strong!    And another says, “Okay, let’s just agree to be mad about this for the next half hour or so — and then we’ll pray about it, calm down, and move on.”   That one always makes me smile….I just need a half hour of Epic Volcanic Eruption to blow off all the steam and then I’m ready to clean up the mess for a fresh start.

In whatever way we cope, it needs to start with prayer.  When we see or hear of controversies or challenges in the lives of others, we need to take it to Jesus before we take it anywhere else.  He is the best Filter of what is Truth and what is just malarky and manipulation.  (and No, “malarky” is not a homeschooler word —  I heard it from my kinfolk in Arkansas and liked it.  Sums it up pretty well.)

This entry is kinda heavy  so let me end it with the “happy feet” verses from Zephaniah:
The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who Saves]!  He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exault over you with singing!

Anybody else hear music playing?

Gotta love Him!

Scrapbooking, Interruptions, & Cheap Therapy

Okay, since the latest solar flare in our house, I’ve made a few happy changes:

one thing is that I am giving myself a little time each day (it varies) to work on my scrapbooking.  The first several days it was just the drudgery of sorting through everything & getting it reorganized after taking it all to our friend’s house to work on the birthday album for her husband.  Now that it’s pretty well sorted and I know what I’m missing 😉 I can move ahead to work on actual pages.   **Kinda fun that I found 3 albums (empty) that I didn’t realize I have!  Woo Hoo!  I can get some stuff done with those!***

This morning I saw that I had started 4 pages for the quickie album for 1998.  Yeah, I know…9 years ago.  I’m that far behind.  sigh.

Back to the good news — so I threw them together real quickly and gave myself permission to make them “good enough” rather than Magazine Worthy.   🙂  I ended up having to drive the tool truck to the ranch — which was a pain in a lot of parts of my body because it is so stinkin’ sensitive about the clutch — and I missed a few hours at home.  Bummer.

Once I DID get back, we had lunch and I started the next round of chores.  DaughterNumberTwo left for work, the boys arrived, and after we’d had a bit of a chat, I retreated to my room to put up the scrapbooking stuff that was on my bed.  I realized that I had a handful/stack of photos that were actually sorted into the correct events, so I pulled out my POWER LAYOUT box.

(hear the drumroll?)

It’s basically a pizza box filled with cardstock in the same size as 12X12 pages.  There are probably 50 sheets in there.

So I went through the pictures & took how many ever would fit on a page and placed them atop one sheet of cardstock — then I got the next how many ever pictures and did the same.  I ended up getting the entire stack of photos sorted by page.

Hooray!

I came to the kitchen to rummage through the fridge and see what was growing fur — because what WASN’T growing fur was going to be Leftovers for tonight!  CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES!

After I forewarned the majority of the family that it was Leftovers Night, (and they gagged and left the room) I went back to my little haven of paper!  I thought, “Well, it won’t take too long to take a sheet of printed paper for the background…” (coz these are just “good enough” and not MAGAZINE WORTHY) so I went through the sorted photos once again & put a fairly decently corresponding piece of paper in with it.  That went well — and SonNumberThree:Who-is-in-love took that as the golden opportunity to share from the depths of his soul.  “Isn’t she still supposed to be grounded?”  “Why are you letting her get away with that?”  “Do you think I can go spend the weekend with ***The Sweet One’s Extended Family Who Live In Another State***?”

After that moving discussion I realized I had plenty of time to sort through die-cuts and ribbon to accent each page.  “What do you think about me having my own motorcycle?”  “Do you think my muscles are getting bigger?”  “Don’t you think ***The Sweet One*** is amazing?”  “I promise I won’t run off to marry her unless you guys are really, really bugging me!”

When SonNumberThree’s voice gave out, I quit.  All I have to do now is to adhere everything to the pages…(which can be done when another kid needs to share their life revelations with me)…

but when it comes to journaling, I’m waiting until the house is EMPTY!

Nothin’ like a few good mules in the mornin’

Need some coffee?  Had a nightmare:  I was dreaming that our band concert and two other big events were the same week as VBS.  I was SOOOO stressed as I realized how overbooked we were — and I woke up with this horrible feeling of dread.  (I do have 2 other things scheduled the same week as VBS, but no band concert.  Not sure how that got in my dreams…)

That prompted a trip to the porcelain throne room.  (Thought I’d better clarify which throne room lest you think I was mature enough to take a nightmare to the Throne room of the LORD first.)

As I was arising from my duties, I heard the dogs barking rather strangely.  I pulled back the blinds to yell at them to shut up and I saw a group of long-eared equines in my yard.  I hollered, “Stay right there, little mulies and I’ll be out to get you!”

I guess they were not familiar with being called “little mulies” so they didn’t respond as I instructed.

I alerted the family — pretty much all of whom thought I was needing to have my glasses checked again — but the sounds of car horns honking as they drove by our house made them realize SOMETHING was amiss — so they, too, scampered around to get dressed.  We all hurried outside to introduce ourselves to our bunny-eared guests. 

I sidetracked the dogs with generous helpings of dogfood while the kids opened up fencing to put our guests in a safe place.  Our horses were curious but not very polite about the intrustion.  Once we penned them up, we used our deductive reasoning skills to figure out where they came from.  We knew we’d have to follow the clues.   We found one pile of clues on the road headed east….but no other clue piles could be found….so our guests are still here.

I’m wondering if last night’s storm caused some tree limbs to go down, allowing these mules to escape.  We’ve visited with our neighbors but haven’t come up with anything.  Sadly, they’re not very talkative — and I adore the sound of braying!  It always makes me smile! 

I looked over at hubby and the kids and said, “We always have so much fun, don’t we?”  They all groaned and walked away.  Sheesh….no sense of adventure.