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Friday, January 27, 2017

Entrusting my heart

Thirty years. That is how long I’ve been married. Hard to believe it’s been that long.  February 14, 1987 was the day I began my journey into marriage. 

Entering my twenties, I just couldn’t see myself getting married. I was carrying around a lot of baggage and deep scars. The Lord had begun a healing process in me at that time, nevertheless I didn’t see myself as good marriage material. 

But also a deeper question lingered. Could I entrust my heart to him? Every man up to that point had hurt me deeply. I had been through abuse. I was taking a big risk giving myself to him. 

So when we starting getting serious, instead of getting giddy with excitement, I guess you could say I was a bit hesitant. I remember one evening standing in the glow of a beautiful sunset praying about my upcoming decision. Just feeling so unsure and scared to take the plunge. 

I will never forget the peace and rest the Lord gave, while I gazed at the sunset. It was one of those turning points in my life. 

I did take the risk to love and to be loved. Did I still get hurt? Did the old scars flare up? Did my husband let me down? I think you know the answers . Yes, yes and yes. 

I had to learn in little and big ways to entrust my heart to him. I had to let him love me. He was a safe place. He saw the good, the bad and the downright ugly. I am a very blessed woman to have him. 

We journeyed together through tough seasons, ups and downs, awesome times...just life. 

I began another journey ten years before my marriage. At that time in my life, I was a mess. The abuse I went through left me shattered. Out of protection, I closed myself in. I was just surviving. 

I entrusted myself to someone then. Someone I had known since I was a toddler. This person took me in and changed my life forever. I gave Him my shattered, torn, scarred heart. I entrusted it to Him. 

He tenderly took it and began to heal the pain, began to show me a better way to live. Really live and not just survive. 

I began to walk with Him, began to trust Him with struggles, doubts, and fears. We walked together through deep valleys, mountaintops, miles and miles of uncertain territory. Sometimes He had to carry me. We did life together. 

He was constant, and trustworthy. He satisfied my hungry, longing soul. He gave me strength, peace, rest, and a inner joy. 

I’m sure by now you probably guess who it is....

Jesus, my wonderful, sweet Jesus. My all in all. What would I be without Him? Where would I be? Scary to think about. 

Kind of like the turtle on a fence post. If you see one, you know someone put it there. It didn’t get there by itself obviously. I would not be where I am or be what I am without Jesus’ touch in my life. 

You see, bottom line, it’s a relationship, not religion. You can entrust your heart your life to Him. 

Human relationships are awesome. I am so blessed to have many wonderful friendships, and family. It’s how we are wired and created to be. 

Yet far above the human ones is the Divine connection. You have a hole, a vacuum in your soul that can only be filled by God. You’ve tried to fill that hole with so many things and people. The yearning doesn’t cease. 

My heart burns, yearns within me and only Jesus can satisfy and fill that emptiness. This is my passion, what drives me. 

Know Jesus, know life.

You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Rambling Thursdays

On today’s Rambling Thursday’s blog, I’m talking hair, yes hair. The fascinating subject of hair perked my interest after I saw a  picture of a sad soul who had a rather awful bad hair day. 

This poor woman apparently mistook building foam for hair gel and ended up in the emergency room. She took helmet hair to a new level. I’ve had my own hair mishaps over the years, but thankfully I’ve never ended up in the emergency room. 

But the lengths we women go through to have good hair! I remember what my mom went through with the hair rollers and hair pins. She had one of those bee hive styles and even had a little wig to cap it off. She spent a lot of time on that hair! 

Sometimes it seems as though things haven’t changed much. If you think about it, we do spend a lot of money and time on our hair. I often thought that if I came into a fortune, I’d hire a hair stylist who would do my hair everyday. No more hair concerns then! 

We spend money on flat irons, curling irons, blow dryers, pastes, gels, shampoos, conditioners, and hairspray. Not to mention carving out valuable time for hair appointments. Of course it’s worth it. I’ll fork out the money. I’ll sacrifice an hour for a highlight. I want to look good. The problem is that my hair doesn’t want to cooperate.  

You see I’m one of those who have very thick, wavy hair. Back in the eighties I permed it. Why, I don’t know. It’s what my friends did and it looked great on them. I looked like a poodle. I’ve tried letting it grow, picturing soft flowing locks. Instead I looked rather wooly. Now I keep it short. 

It has to be thinned out every month. And I do mean every month. I remember fondly a smart aleck kid telling me I had helmet hair after I delayed my next appointment.  Don’t tell me words don’t stick to you. I remember and take them to heart! 

It can take on a life of it’s own, if left to itself. So I keep it trimmed short. I gaze longingly at the short hair styles on Pinterest and wish I could look like that. My beautician can certainly come close. I love going to her, I leave with great hair, but alas after 24 hours it’s back to “blah”. 

I figure that there is a two week span it looks pretty good. It behaves and lays just right. I don’t have to fuss over it much. But then it gets heavy and troublesome. I go back and get a pound trimmed off again. 

The summer months are the worst. Humidity is my nightmare. My hair transforms to fluff and becomes uncontrollable. No amount of flat iron use controls it. I have to resort to blobs of gel and hope for the best. 

Anyway before I leave, I’ll show you what has worked for me. 

Shampoo and Conditioner: L'oreal Power Moisture

The website says, “New & improved Power Moisture Shampoo. Formula powered by Hyaluronic weightlessly quenches and softens dry locks, sealing in a clean feel with no weigh-down.” 

Now I don’t know what Hyalouronic means or what it supposed to do, but I like it. I does quench my dry locks, cleanses, and it doesn’t weigh it down. 

Previously I had used Pantene for years. I had a beautician advise me it was the worst hair product EVER. She recommended L’oreal. I haven’t regretted it. I’ve been very happy with it. 

Hairgel: TRESemme'

The website says, “If you need staying power for that must-have runway look, consider hair gel the answer to your styling needs. Maximum hold, resistance to humidity, and the added benefit of lasting shine: what's not to love?”

Oh yes, what’s not to love! I’m not planning on strutting down any runways soon, but I will say it’s wonderful for muddling through 90% humidity. It works girls. It’s doesn’t have the tenacity of building foam, but it holds! 

Hairpaste: Aquage

The website says, Powerful texturizing product combines the flexibility of a wax with the hold of a hairspray. Non-greasy, tacky formula lets you direct hair with fingers to create lasting texture with a satin finish.

The key word here is fingers. I put a pea size dot on my fingers, style my hair and Boom! No curling iron, flat iron...just my fingers. Well...almost anyway. 

I bought it at the Beauty shop after my lovely beautician recommended it. Yes it does cost more than hair gel. I use it in the cooler months. I found that even hair paste is ineffective against humidity. And probably building foam as well. 

So in your quest for great hair, I wish you soft, flowing locks. Let nothing stop you in your quest! 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Winter of the Soul

I took a walk in the winter woods. The woods have a unique beauty in winter. The branches stripped of leaves, the undergrowth dead and snow coats the ground. You see deeper in the woods. Previously unknown features such as boulders, hills, fallen logs and ramshackle structures dot the landscape. 

The exposed trees are beautiful. Especially the white Sycamores. Ghost trees are what the Indians called them. I so enjoy a walk in the winter woods. It’s quiet and it certainly calms my spirit. 

I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

I’ve been feeling stripped and brittle like a winter tree. Exposed, vulnerable, weak. Life can do that to you sometimes. We can do it to ourselves. Ever feel like you are just a hot mess? Yea, me too. 

Yet even in the dark, bitter winter, there is something stirring. One day in a few months life will begin again. There is hope. And yes there is hope for you and me. I think there is a new beginning, a reset if you will, for us. Stay with me here. 

I’ve been thinking about King Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 29 who opened up the Temple that had been shut up for decades by his father, King Ahaz who was wicked and encouraged the people to turn away from God.

The doors were opened, and the filth cleaned out. Well, I am a temple and I have some “stuff” that needs cleaned out. Bad attitudes, ugly mindsets, laziness, anger... the whole lot of it. I need the fresh breath of the Spirit to blow in me. I need the fruit of the Spirit to grow in me. 

I don’t enjoy feeling weak and vulnerable. I like to feel strong, able and in control. But I wonder if experiencing this winter season might help keep my perspective in the right spot. Eyes off myself, lean on Jesus all the harder. and keep my mind in the truth of God’s word. 

I’m rather weak, but He is strong. He makes up the slack. He blesses what I give. I sit here and offer my words, and it is enough. I know by faith, He will touch you through my words. 

Are you weak and brittle? Are you a hot mess? Don’t check out, my beloved friend. It doesn’t feel good. You want to sit on the sidelines of life. I get it. But. Don’t. 

Allow Him to open your temple doors. Let Him clean out the trash that’s accumulated. The most important thing is that He has our hearts. We have His favor. That our hearts are right. 

In this winter season, let’s dig in deep. Let’s get our hearts right. Be still and know He is God. Growth will come in time and you’ll be thriving once again. 

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