Thursday, June 25, 2015

Choosing the Best From So Much Good

“Please confirm that you no longer wish to receive valuable money saving coupons and time saving promotions from our sponsor…”

This was the message I received recently as I sought to unsubscribe to a retailer which had been sending inordinate amounts of email advertisements to my inbox every day. At the end of the school year I had over 3,000 messages piled up from all sorts of good, but unnecessary, places. 

I spent an entire afternoon sorting and deleting, unsubscribing and filtering my email. It was a major task to not only clean it up, but also to change the rules so I can avoid this in the future. 

Yet this message made me sound crazy to want to draw this small boundary to uncomplicate my life.

The message itself belies a problem that lurks deep in the root of our culture today. We do not support and facilitate the setting of healthy boundaries.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

When Doing Everything Right Doesn’t Mean Everything will be All Right

For SW

I am the Queen of doing things Right. Somewhere along the way early in life I adopted the belief that if I did things right, life would turn out all right. A race to that goal ensued; an exhausting race I have been running ever since.

But part of growing up is learning that even when we do everything right, life does not always turn out right.

Job changes, sickness, hopes deferred, all make our best-laid plans seem futile and disappointing. How can we cope when life does not deliver the expected result, although we are trying so very hard?

It has been said that in heaven there will be no more tears and pain simply because everyone will have completely and utterly accepted the will of God in their lives. They will exist in perfect unity with Him, no more resisting and wrestling with His will.

I am wondering this morning if that acceptance is possible this side of heaven. If it is, I want it.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Rock in the Sandstorm

The sandstorms in North Africa arise quickly and dangerously. We learned that when the sky turned yellow, the gritty, blinding cloud would be descending within the next five minutes. Everyone dashed for shelter and covered ears, eyes, noses and mouths.

One such afternoon, my small son was napping while I waddled around doing household tasks, my large, pregnant belly making me clumsy and slow. I was considering a nap myself.

As I stood in our open courtyard and looked up at the sky, I noticed it was that very distinctive yellow color, and the tops of the mulberry and olive trees were swaying. I began quickly closing the shutters of our glass-less windows and securing doors. 

Outside, I could see the garden umbrella whipping around in the wind. I raced out the door to pull down the umbrella when I heard a terrible crash behind me. The door to the walled garden had slammed closed in a gust of high wind, and I was locked out of our house. 

Had I not been pregnant, I would have tried climbing the latticed windows to the roof above and jumping into the courtyard, but that was impossible now. By this time, tree limbs broke free and were catapulting through the air, and visibility was growing worse. I ducked in a corner, tucking myself around my belly, and began to pray.

In the chaos, I heard my little boy’s voice from inside. “Where are you, Mommy? I’m scared.”