Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Who's Your Leader?

Whenever we’re outside, we have to lead our dog around the obstacles or he’ll wrap himself around the boulders or chairs and get hung up. See, we connect him to the 40-food lead and let him roam, within reason. But I’m also an amateur gardener and with all the time and TLC I’ve invested in these lilies, if his lead saws them off at the stem before they bloom, I will not be a happy woman. :) So, I’ve put up chairs to protect my small flower bed. Guess where Jack (our mini-dachsie) always gets himself wrapped up?? Right there, around those prized lilies.

You see, there’s a right way to maneuver in our yard, and a wrong way. Now, adults figure it out right away. Children do, too. But our dog . . . ? Not so much. So, Jack needs a leader, someone who shows him where to go and where not to go. Someone who can get him unstuck if he doesn’t follow. Someone with a big picture point of view.

Sounds like life to me. We need God’s help, because from His perspective, He can help us navigate life’s obstacles.

Which leads me to point number two: Our dog has a choice whether or not to follow. If he decides he knows better—spies a “shortcut” and takes it—he’ll end up snagged or stuck. Or worse, he’ll decapitate those lilies I mentioned earlier and then, watch out pooch! ;D

God is a loving leader. He can see the obstacles so much better than we can. He knows there are no shortcuts to good character (drat!) and that there’s a right way and a wrong way to get places. Wisdom urges us to follow.

And point number three: sometimes, when our dog gets himself tangled up, he still has some lead, but it’s shorter than before because he didn’t follow the leader (us).

When we decide we know better than God and trust ourselves, our freedom becomes progressively limited. Areas we were once free to roam and explore are no longer open to us. God puts us where we’ve proven ourselves trustworthy—when we’re faithful with little, we’ll be given much. When we go off on our own, neglecting dependence, (without Him we can do nothing), our freedom is restricted. We basically get ourselves in a knot and our lives will need some unraveling.

I’m glad God’s there to take care of us then. But, again, wisdom beckons us to follow from the beginning.

So, who’s your leader? Through our pup, I’m learning the folly of thinking I know the best route. Better to let God show me, and then follow His lead.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Singing in the Rain

It’s raining again. Our region gets lots of rain. And June is normally a gray month. So, the birds who had been frequenting the yard take to hiding in the Laurel hedge during the storms.

Funny, it rains so often here, we don’t call it a rain storm. Just another shower.

On those rare June days when the skies actually clear, the sun blazes down and you can tuck your sweatshirt away—for the moment.

Some days the finches and nuthatches don’t mind (or get desperate enough to disregard) the rain. They’ll brave the wash in order to swing on the birdfeeder and pinch at the seeds.

But most wet days they fall quiet. Rain makes them fly into the trees and duck under fat leaves for protection. I imagine them shivering in our 50-degree temps and waiting it out. No singing. No chirping. Just hoping.

I get like that. Circumstances are my rain. They pour seemingly down upon me, and I grow silent, watchful, thoughtful. Sometimes fearful. My song dries up as the “rain” pours down.

The other day, though, drippy as it was outside, I heard a bird chirruping away. She (I like to think the bird was a she—go with me here) didn’t care that it was “stormy.” After days of gray and rain, she let loose her song anyway.

That’s how I want to be. Sing anyway. Let loose the worries and trust God in His faithfulness no matter how hard it rains. Here’s to singing in the rain.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

God's Personal Gifts

Our God is so personal.

Did you ever dream of going somewhere when you were a small child? I did. Growing up in the Midwest, my idea of warm temps and beautiful waters was Florida. Our family took plenty of vacations, but never to Florida. As an adult, I put that dream aside.

Until this year.

My husband recently needed to attend a conference out of state. The option came up for me to accompany him. We'd cover my half of the expenses, and we'd have evenings free. And during the day, I could do my own thing. Guess where the conference was being held? Florida.

As we prayed about me tagging along, God reminded me of my little-girl dream. I'd seen the Atlantic ocean from farther north. But I wanted to see the ocean from the tropical locale of Florida, so during one of the days, I rented a car and God made that dream happen, too.

The weather was perfect. The temps bearable. *grin* And everyday I was so grateful to be there. To enjoy the pristine setting with my husband. What a gift!

God is so great about:

1) remembering our dreams

2) honoring our dreams

3) fulfilling even the ones we've laid aside

4) personally seeing to our heart's desire

I love Him for that! It's another way He woos us to Himself.