Queen of Ordinary – The More I Try, the Behinder I Get – March 30, 2014

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Have you every felt like giving up, crawling in a hole and pulling the hole in after you?  I’m pretty sure everybody feels that way at one time or the other.  Sometimes we just get tired for trying.

The Bible says in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”  It also says in Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”

If the good we do is in hopes of a reward, an acknowledgement, or a certain response from particular people, we are very likely to be disappointed.

Sometimes we try to do good and our good is misinterpreted for some ulterior motive.  The people who most often misinterpret our genuine efforts are those who have ulterior motives operating in their own lives.  It seems like some folks just can’t see any good in anybody.  Maybe it’s because they’ve been hurt so often, disappointed by those closest to them, or even abused.  Whatever motivates another person, we need to be careful not to let it rub off on us.  We don’t need to take on anybody else’s negativity.

When we do our best, that’s all we can do.  If other people misinterpret us, there’s not a lot we can do about it in the moment.  Sometimes, the good that we do has to be a consistent attitude, an on-going behavior, and finally screams the truth to those who doubt us.

Regardless of how others respond to us or if the things we hope for are a long time in coming, we still need to continue trying.  Even if it feels like we are getting further and further behind at times, the steps we continue to take will eventually get us to the place where our steadfastness pays off.

Queen of Ordinary Has Chicken Lips – March 29, 2014

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This picture is not of me.  This little beauty is a granddaughter of one of my friends.  All children are beautiful.  When they are little, they are so uninhibited or unconcerned about what anybody thinks about their looks.  They don’t love according to the other person’s looks or make harsh judgments about anything based on looks.

I wonder at exactly what age I first felt less than perfect?  Now all I have to do is look in the mirror and see that all the cuteness has long worn off.  One day last week while I was brushing my teeth, it dawned on me – I HAVE CHICKEN LIPS!  What in the world happened to the full, cherry red lips I once had?  They’ve vanished!

I’ve been told my ears are too big, my nose is too big, my mouth is too little for my face, I have a big forehead, would be so pretty if I’d just lose enough weight, have burnt brown hair.  All of these compliments have come at different times, but they all stick in the same place – right in the “no confidence zone.”

I wish people could see past our skin and see who dwells in our hearts.  The beautiful might have gargoyles living inside.  And the plane Janes might have a beauty lurking underneath.

Age is a great gift.  I am at peace with my imperfections.  Growing older is a privilege that not all get to experience.  So, if some body parts have begun to head south for the summer, a few gray highlights haves begun to sneak in – and even if I have chicken lips, I’m okay with that.  Who I am is far bigger than the face in the mirror.

The King James version of the Bible says, “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
Another version says, ”
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the LORD sees, for man sees what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart.”

QUOTE (Teresa of Ávila) – Mar. 28

Beautiful words! This is one I had to repost.

A DEVOTED LIFE

Teresa of Ávila

“May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing that you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into our bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and everyone of you.”
~ Teresa of Ávila

In honor of Teresa of Ávila, a Spanish Mystic and Carmelite nun, who was born on this day in 1515.

Resources:
This Day in History 28th March 28
Teresa of Ávila>Quotes

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Queen of Ordinary – Into a Foggy Future March 28, 2014

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I think it is a good thing that we do not know what the future holds.  It would be overwhelming.  We would spend our time trying to avoid the heartaches and rushing headlong into what we perceived as the good things.

Not knowing what a day will bring forth is what keeps us on our toes, sharpens us, shapes us, and develops our character.  We learn to cope with what comes.  We learn to hope in the promises that tomorrow might hold.

Even in the foggy times when the path before us seems so uncertain, we can be sure that we have a loving Father who knows what lies ahead.

A former pastor, after the loss of his dad, delivered a message I will never forget.  When someone we love dies, we must remember that God is not surprised about it.  They don’t leave this world one day too early, or one day too late.  If they are a Christian, their steps are ordered by the Lord.  No matter how much we might love someone, God loves them more.

He loves us just as much.  Our future may seem uncertain to us, but God sees what lies ahead and He will not forsake us  in the foggy times when we are trying to find our way.

Personally, in real life, I love the fog.  It changes everything.  The whole landscape is different.  Birds are quieter, sounds are clearer, and all of my senses seem to be on alert.  Walking in a foggy place is almost like stepping outside of time and being suspended between two worlds where time doesn’t matter.  I love to have my camera with me in the fog.  The things that stand out in a foggy picture are often things we would not notice on a clear day as being special or beautiful.

I’ve been in fog so thick that I couldn’t see a person standing a few feet away.  I once went on an elk tour and we could hear the elk bugling around us, and hear them crunching the rocks as they walked near, without ever seeing the creatures.  It is important to know where you are and what is around you in a fog bank.

In the fog, every step is important.

Queen of Ordinary Thinks There Will Be Porches in Heaven – March 26, 2014

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Both sets of my grandparents resided in the hills of southeastern Kentucky when I was growing up.  Some of the best memories I have of them took place on their porches.  This was the hot spot to gather in the evening after chores were done and family gathered in.

In the summer we watched lightning bugs rising out of the fields like fairy lights and listened to the sound of frog ponds and whip-oor-wills while our elders told stories to entertain or scare the daylights out of us.  We heard tales of their grandparents, panthers, bears, haints, ghosts, and beasties.   We would beg for the same stories over and over again, knowing we would be afraid to go to sleep that night.

It was a place where everyone was welcome.  The cane bottomed chairs and rockers would fill up with adults and children would sit on the floor of the porch, on an empty bucket, or whatever could be found.  It was a family gathering place.  The lucky ones got to pile in the porch swing(s).

When the garden came in, it was a place to string and break beans, shuck corn, or peel peaches.  A smart house had porches positioned to catch the morning and evening light and the coolest breezes in summer.

On rainy days the porch was a place where we played Mother, May I?  Red Light-Green Light, Hully Gully, Rotten Egg, and Bob Jacks.  We could watch the animals in the field and spy cars coming up the road in case we needed to let anyone know that company was coming.  On sunny days, sometimes we would see who could jump the furthest off the end of the porch while we waited for adults to start coming out to the porch.

Porches were also the place where people shared their faith.  They caught up on community news and passed on prayer requests about who was in need of prayer or of help from their neighbors.  People bragged on the Lord and how good He had been to them in their life time.  They talked about the day they got saved, or how the Lord helped them defeat the devil in some way.  It was all as natural and as easy as breathing.

There was usually a metal bucket of fresh spring water and a community dipper.  If you came thirsty, you’d have something to drink.  If you came hungry, someone would go in and fix a plate of food and bring it out to you.  If you were tired, you could rest.  If you were burdened down, you could share those burdens.  If you were weary, you could be strengthened in the presence of loved ones.  Porches were always good in my memories.

I’m pretty sure that when I get to heaven, my mansion will have at least one porch.

Queen of Ordinary – Definition of Insanity

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Let me off this merry-go-round!  I’m getting dizzy!

Albert Einstein is credited with this quote.  “The definition of insanity is to continue doing what you’re doing and expect different results.”

Have you ever kept up the same behavior and hoped that results would change?  Maybe you over spend your budget every month and think that next month you’ll do better, but you never set a budget and stick to it.

Have you ever been in love with someone and thought that if you kept loving them and believing in them they would straighten up and be a better person?

Have you ever tried to diet, but can’t give up the soft drinks or deserts?

Have you been looking for love in all the wrong places?  Tried to get  job after job for which you are not qualified?

I recently heard a message by Joyce Meyers in which she made a similar comparison.  If you use a pattern to cut and sew window drapes, you are not going to end up with a dress.  You get whatever pattern you are following.

I thought of this comparison.  If you refuse to use the right ingredients in a recipe, you are not going to come out with the food you hoped for.  Imagine substituting salt for sugar in a cake… or pickle juice instead of milk to make hot chocolate.

Sometimes we get focused on doing what we think is going to work instead of taking an honest look and saying, I’ve got to do things differently.

Salvation is something we can only get one way.  We acknowledge that we are sinners in need of a savior.  We repent for our sins and ask Christ to come into our lives.  We trust Him and let Him change our hearts- change us from the inside out.  Although I don’t believe we ever reach perfection, take wrong turns, throw in wrong ingredients, chase the wrong dreams – He is a Savior that continues to work in us and His love is the force that changes us continually.

If you don’t like the results you are getting – climb down off that merry-go-round and try a different path!

 

 

Queen of Ordinary Is Shocked! March 24, 2014

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Sometimes we don’t see answers that are right under our noses because we are too busy looking for them to come in a different package or from a different source.

I’ve been praying about making a trip to Scotland for many, many years.  In my Spirit I heard the instructions, “Stop talking about going to Scotland and start behaving as if you are going.”  That was either at the end of December or the first part of January.

I knew it would take a miracle to come up with the cash to make such a trip, but my mindset changed about the whole thing.  It was no longer a dream or a fantasy, but an appointment.  The waiting had been fulfilled, and I believe God was letting me know that the time had come to make solid plans to go.

I’m still working on raising the cost of the whole trip, but people began to come forward and donate money to this trip in my behalf.  I never expected it.  I thought I’d have to be the one to do all the work, sell my clothes on e-bay, or something drastic.  And I was perfectly willing to do that if it was necessary.  I may still have to do some of that, but not at all like I thought it was going to be.

I’ve been praying for years about making this journey, “If this is the year, Lord, please make a way for me to know the timing is right and have the funds to go.”

God has certainly answered this prayer in ways I didn’t expect.  I thought I had to be my own answer in the finance department.  One friend has volunteered to do photo shoots to add to the fund.  Another one offered to help with a yard sale.  That’s besides friends that have come forward with contributions.

I truly believe this journey is more than a tourist’s outing.  I don’t know what God’s purpose is.  Perhaps I will be forever changed by the experience.  Or perhaps I am going to touch one person’s life for good.  Either way – it certainly feels like a divine appointment.  Even though the trip is months away, I am as excited as ever I have been about a journey.

Queen of Ordinary Is Wise… Are You? March 23, 2014

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The more of life I experience, the more I realize that what I have tasted is only one small drop in the vast ocean of experiences that are available for humankind.

Have you ever met a know it all?  They have the answer for everything.  They feel bigger than the rest of us – wiser, more experienced – and feel compelled to remind us of how limited we are compared to their vast world wise background.  The truth is, such people are delusional.  They limit the world to their minute rationale, and their tiny little life.

What you know for yourself is far more valuable to you about you than what someone else thinks about who they are in this world.  We were never meant to know it all.  What there is left to learn and to experience is what makes life exciting.

No matter how large we live, it is still limited.  No matter how much we accumulate, it is little.  No how much we love, we could love more.  And no matter how much we learn, we have only begun…

Queen of Ordinary Looks for Evidence of the Past in Spring Flowers – March 22, 2014

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I took my mom to visit her nephew, my cousin, out of town today.  All along our drive, daffodils, March blooms, and jonquils were popping up in strange places.  Yards were filled with them and hillsides.  These were obviously planted by loving hands and planned for the beauty they bring in Spring.

There were splotches of these wonderful flowers, though, in peculiar places, splattered about in vacant places where no homes stood, nor gardens were tended.  I asked my mom if they grew as wildflowers.  She said that they all come from bulbs and more than likely make that places where houses once stood, or where yards once were.

I thought that was wonderful.  Even though the structures are gone, the yards vanished, these lovely spring flowers are a testimonial to the fact that someone once lived there, loved there, had families there, and maybe even died there.

The bulbs multiply from year to year, so the number of flowers increases annually.  They are markers that stand as evidence of the past.

Queen of Ordinary Welcomes Spring – March 20, 2014

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Most of the country has spent the last weeks wishing winter away and waiting for spring.  With the harsh weather we’ve experienced, it’s no wonder.

Every season in our lives is important.  We learn something in every season that is valuable in the next.  Even though the past winter was a challenge, it has certainly brought an appreciation to spring that we would not be feeling today had we not passed through a tough winter.

Spring is here.  Let us embrace the joys of sunshine, flowers, and the hope of new life and new beginnings!

  Song of Solomon 2:11 – 12    For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.