When Did You Last Act Like A Kid?

During a recent rain shower I saw a child playing in a water-filled ditch. As a mom I first checked, and no, there had not been thunder or lightning that day. My second thought was how delighted I was to see her and how she reminded me of myself at that age. Once I found a crawfish in a puddle and brought it home as a pet. It was about 3/4″ long. I put it in the bathroom sink with a little water while I tried to find a container for its home. My sister unstopped the drain, not noticing my pet and all was lost. I was sad and mad. Fast forward to today!

“Maybe what God really wants are grown-up kids who dance in the puddles, who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, who dare to ask why a whole lot. Maybe we are far too proper. Maybe it’s time to take a page from Dainty doodlebug’s story and give in to the way we’re created to live—for our sake and for the gospel. Little else is as compelling and glorious as a giddy child, mud-covered and grinning, because they know how loved and safe they are even while thunder sounds in the distance.”

Embraced by Lysa TerKeurst

Giddy child of God, relax and enjoy creation again! Don’t those boots just remind one of Mike Powell?

“You were made from dust and to dust you shall return.”

Genesis 3:19

“Dance in the puddles, get your hands dirty, ask why a whole lot more.” Recently I had the opportunity twice in one week to counsel two different women on the fact that we are allowed to get angry with God. He can take it! He would much prefer we be genuine with Him than pretend some sort of proper piety. After all, He reads our hearts and knows our thoughts and our words before they cross our lips.

 You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.

Psalm 139:104 NIV 2011

Why not make an effort this week to get real with God? And if you have the opportunity, try jumping in a puddle, just for fun!!

More Humor From a Friend!

For me, it would be much more than 20 seconds!!
That is Hilarious!!
Made me laugh out loud!!

Hope you are staying in and staying well! PLEASE wear a mask. Please. Just spoke with a neighbor whose wife has MS. She gets an infusion twice a year that basically kills her immune system. If you passed her on the way to or from the infusion you would not know. If you sneezed on her before her white cells grew back, you could kill her. They have two young boys. Please, wear your mask!

I like the nurses who remind people “If you think a mask is an inconvenience, you should try a ventilator!” My husband was on a ventilator once. It is frightening and more than uncomfortable. In fact, it is so bad they have to put you in a medically induced coma to tolerate it.

Complaining

While riding a bus I once asked a man how he was doing. He responded, ” Can’t complain. Complaining don’t do no good anyways.” I recently heard another person state, “I can’t complain. But I do!”

You might have read my blog entitled “1983 and 2020.” I was complaining about my frustrations during this pandemic. I recently read an article in Time magazine, dated June 15, 2020, entitled “The Guilt of Complaining About Anything Right Now” by Susanna Schrobsdorff. I want to link you to her article, https://time.com/author/susanna-schrobsdorff/ Definitely worth the read.

She notes, “Helplessness, the feeling of being stuck and anxiety about the future are textbook harbingers of mental distress. And there are no rules about who gets to acknowledge that distress. We have to find enough compassion for ourselves that we can admit it if we’re not really O.K. and recognize that, even if we have our basic needs met, this can still be awful. It’s not indulgent to mention it; it’s smart to ask for help. This is as important as avoiding the virus because we’ll need mind and body and soul to help each other through this marathon.”

Yes, it is a marathon. We got my new car. It smells that lovely chemical mixture that says new. It came with 33 miles on the odometer. I took a long drive with a friend on Thursday. Averaged 38.2 mph. Have been deciding what goes into it and what does not need to be in it. Bought a basket to organize the back seat. Bought a windshield sun screen that will be easier to find than the all black one I already own.

Awoke today after a fitful nap. Grouchy and knew this was pandemic blues marching around in my head. Yes, we need to be kind to ourselves. We each need to know when to ask for help and how to get that help. And we need each other to get through this. I was NEVER good at running. Dreaded that 20 yard dash in school (years ago when gym class was ugh). Not what you would call a physically coordinated being. A marathon never ever crossed my mind. But as a metaphor for long distance endurance being needed, I get that!

So, never an athlete, but I did admire these guys! Maybe we can adopt this attitude and help each other along.

Susanna is right: “we’ll need mind and body and soul to help each other through this marathon.”

Find the Focus

Some days as a writer and one who journals it is difficult to get my footing and direction as evidenced in Find the Focus© 2014 Molly Lin Dutina


Cannot find the clipboard
poems in process of revising.
Cannot find the journal
life in process of being noted.
Where is my concordance
trying to find that verse
never finished notes in my Bible
negligence has made this worse.
 
Too often cover important
With mundane and lowly
Help me find the focus
to tell forth the eternal and holy.
 
Fighting back the darkness
bearing forth the Light
partake in eternal struggle
get any pen, any paper
note on computer
the calling compels you to
herald the glad tidings:
God wins.

1983 and 2020

Reading Facebook the other day I came across this quote.

How, then, shall we live the life of prayer without ceasing? By quiet, persistent practice in turning all of our being, day and night, in prayer and inward worship and surrender, toward him who calls in the deeps of our souls.

Thomas Kelly

Inward surrender. Yes. I need me more of that. So frustrated. Tried to buy a car. Since it is likely the last new car I will ever purchase we decided to go for the interior I wanted. They told us, “No problem. We can get that brought in from another dealer.” Well, big problem. No one else had one. So, “No problem! We can order that from the factory.” So whenever the factory reopens and is able to make that on the line, we will eventually have a new car. Thought for certain I could use up at least a week or two learning the electronics of a new car. Grateful we have the means, but no distraction from a new car any time soon.

Oh yes! Bob agreed that I could get a dog if I wanted. We had to put our aged beagle down a few years ago. I miss her to this day. So I began looking on line for a dog. The tiny one I was most interested in is oh, 2-3,000 dollars. Nope. Can’t see that happening and there were none available now. Could send a deposit and wait on a litter. Have never spent that much money on an animal companion. Surely there are some dogs in shelters waiting for our home.

Guess again! Shelters closed because of pandemic. The one I am most drawn to came from a hoarding situation and they have no idea when she might be ready to adopt out. There are plenty of big (40 lbs. plus) pit bull mixes. No thanks. Bob doesn’t want a tiny dog that yaps all the time. A new dog to nurture, to cuddle with, to train.

So our daughter met a dog that seemed perfect. He was being fostered at the same home where her new adopted dog came from. The foster mom thought we would be a great match. We applied. Very excited. Within a few hours we were denied the dog. Never saw that coming!! We do not have a fenced yard. It is VERY hilly and would be next to impossible to fence. His bio said he would need another dog to live with. No other dog here.

Inward surrender. Yes. I need me more of that. Surrender to WHAT IS, rather than hanging my hopes on what could be. Once I was directed to a powerful book entitled Radical Acceptance. Yes, I need to go to that place again. That motivated me to try to remember a quote I used for many years to remind myself to surrender to the Lord.

William Law wrote a book entitled A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life. I first read it in 1983. I found the title from a journal entry I wrote when our daughter was 7 and our son was 4. ANCIENT history!


Stand turned to a patient, meek, humble, resignation to God when your own impatience, wrath, pride and irresignation attacks yourself. This is a higher and more beneficial performance of duty than when you stand turned when attacked by the passions of other people. Wholly give yourself to be helped by the mercy of God. Patience to expect it all from God.
Nothing brings you so near to divine relief as the extremity of distress.

Give myself to be helped by the mercy of God. Especially when my own impatience, wrath, pride and irresignation attacks ME. I did not remember the quote in that context. Still earning, thirty-seven years later.

Radical acceptance.

Patient, meek, humble resignation to God. Higher and more beneficial performance of my duty.

“Nothing brings you so near to divine relief as the extremity of distress.”

Okay. I am at that extremity. Come, Lord.

Have You Hit the Blah-blah Stage?

Okay, we went out to one store with masks and our list. Then another day another store with our masks. Early hours reserved for seniors. Then one other day, another store with our masks. In fact, we are not going any place without our masks. It seems as if only 50% of the people out there are wearing masks. Shopping was missed for two months, but it is not all it was cracked up to be.

Boring is an understatement. I miss our church life. I miss my friends at Senior Center crochet and knit group. I miss my friends from the Convent. Heard yesterday via Facebook that one person there tested positive. That is terrible news as most of the sisters are older than me and I feel old as dirt at 69.

Are you fed up with Zoom meetings? That is all we have had here for Bible study group and weekly prayer group. I am grateful we have that, rather than nothing. Compared to real life meetings, it just doesn’t make a very palatable substitute.

I, personally, found last weekend very disturbing. Videos on every channel of people crowding each other at resorts and beaches and boardwalks. It made we wonder “What are they thinking? Do they not believe that over 90,000 people have died of Covid-19?”

So I am going to stick with Dr. Fauci. Let’s wait 10 days and see where infection rates stand. Betting there is a rise in many, many places after this que será, será attitude.

So what did I buy? Probably the best find was iron on interfacing. I used up most of what I had purchased for a project using old t-shirts to make a quilt. The interfacing went into masks to provide another layer of filtration. If we decide to isolate totally again, I will need that interfacing to work on that project. Read, keep from losing my mind!

So this afternoon America topped over 100,000 dead from Corona virus. We are due to watch a space launch in a couple hours. This is a weird time we are living in.

Please wear a mask and stay well. And yes, the bulk of our shopping is still done with curbside pick up.

LET Us Lay Aside and Run

Hebrews 12:1 reads

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us

When was the last time you threw something off? Like the covers in bed, or your coat when you entered a warm room? The author of Hebrews gives us a graphic picture of how we are to respond to hindrances in our walk with God. “Let us throw off everything that hinders!”(NIV) If you haven’t thrown off a sweater or sweatshirt lately, go do it now. Do it again thinking of all the things that keep you from your relationship with God. Throw it off!

“And the sin that so easily entangles.” Have you ever taken a walk through a field that was overgrown with shrubs and vines and plants with thorns? That’s what I think of when I read “the sin which so easily entangles.” You start off thinking “this will lead me to what I want” and soon you are up to your lower leg in tangles and sin is tripping you and tears your pants legs, sending stickers and burrs into your socks. How do you get out of the mess? Throw it off! Get back to the path trod by the great cloud of witnesses. Back to where you can run the race with perseverance. Remove yourself from the sin that so easily entangles. get prayer from your part of the Body of Christ, and refuse to go that way of entanglement again. Millions of people who lived before you chose Christ as their Way, their Truth, their Life. You can do this!

Jesus, lead me in Your paths. Help me run the race with perseverance and joy. Amen.

Ankle Monitoring

I heard a radio program a while ago about prisoners and release and ankle monitoring. The comment that struck me was the decision about electronic monitoring is based upon the “readiness to change level” of the prisoner. I have no idea what the criteria is for that, but it struck a chord in me.

This pandemic has changed our lives. I think many aspects have been changed forever. What is YOUR readiness to change level?

There are so many things that we in America CAN live without. Are we ready to release those things? Think about it! If your gateway to peace and freedom was based on what you were ready to let go of, what would you be willing to do differently?

Yes, I miss wandering through a grocery store and hitting the mark down bins for deals. I miss going into a grocery store period. But could I live without that experience? Yes, perhaps not happily, but yes. Not even mentioning other shopping.

Then the hot topics of social distancing and wearing masks. I heard about a woman who threw a sheet over her daughter so she could hug her safely. Yes, I am about ready to do that, especially with those Grandgirls!

April 3, 2020; Blue Ash, OH, USA; Cheryl Norton, of Blue Ash, hugs her daughter, who is an ICU nurse working the front lines during the new coronavirus pandemic, Friday, April 3, 2020. Norton so much wanted to hug her, so she put a covering over her so she could hold her tight, just for a moment. After this hug, Cheryl dropped the covering in the garage. It will lie there for three days before she washes it in hot soapy water. And she, of course, washed her hands. An involved process for a hug. Mandatory Credit: Liz Dufour/The Enquirer via USA TODAY Network

“An involved process for a hug.” Not too hard for me! I get it. Yes, I am thinking I need to wash the sheets I used to cover the plants when killer frost came through and keep them folded on the porch for when I CANNOT stand it any longer and need to hug!! Are you with me?

I miss our church family. When I recently heard one of our Pastors on our church YouTube Sunday broadcast pray, “Dear Gracious and Heavenly Father,” I nearly burst into tears. Just miss our family so much. My husband and I are both older and both have health risk factors. We may very well be the LAST ones to attend church when it reopens. I do know, I will spend eternity with these folks. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV2011)  Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Stay calm as we all discover just how very much we need to change!