Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Boat Won't Sink and We Won't Perish

One day he got into the boat with his disciples and said to them, "Let us go across to the other side of the lake." So they set out, and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a storm of wind came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in danger. And they went and woke him, saying "Master, Master, we are perishing!" And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; and they ceased, and there was a calm.            Luke 8:22-24

I admit this is a faith lesson. The verses immediately following have Jesus asking his disciples "Where is your faith?"

To my strange sense of humor though, in addition to this being a story of faith, I love its visual nature and how funny it actually is when I picture it.

The scene is set. Here are all these men in a large boat and they're going across the huge lake because Jesus wants to minister to the people on the other side. Many of the disciples are experienced fisherman who are used to navigating this very body of water.

The boat lulls Jesus to sleep. He doesn't have anything to worry about. It's been a long day of walking and now he's settled in for the ride.

But a storm comes up. And not just any storm. A mother of all storms. The wind is howling. The boat is starting to fill with water. Waves are crashing. The boat is being thrown all over the lake. The men are yelling and frightened.

What is Jesus doing? HE'S STILL SLEEPING!! He is oblivious to the whole thing. Lost in slumber.

The disciples have to wake him up! "Hey, Rabbi, could you help us out here before we die? I mean, c'mon, you've got the inside line to God so maybe you could wipe the sleep out of your eyes and do something!"

I envision Jesus being rousted and still not panicking in the slightest. The Bible says he rebuked the wind. It doesn't say he yelled at it. When I've rebuked or admonished my children I don't even raise my voice. I speak quietly, let them know I'm disappointed and tell them to cease what they're doing. That's what Jesus does to the wind. He puts the wind and the waves on a time out.

I'm not sure he ever got to a standing position. He just rolls over, says to the wind and the water, "Knock it off," then turns to the disciples and says, "What's wrong with you? Where's your faith?"

I've always wondered whether or not he just went back to sleep at that point.

One of the most important lessons to me in this story is that the disciples were where Jesus wanted them to be. They're in that boat on the water because JESUS ASKED THEM TO GO.  That's why he questions their faith.  "Do you really think I'd take you somewhere for you to perish?" he practically asks.  "I'm right here with you. Your fate is my fate."  

When God is directing your steps there need be no fear about your journey. There is no storm too big for us to weather because we have Jesus in the boat with us. He just might be taking a nap.

Hugs and blessings,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mission Accomplished!

Behind this seemingly benign skinny door lies a mess.

This is what my linen closet looked like this morning. You can see that there HAD been some semblance of organization. But it hadn't been cleaned out for at least a year.  My goal was to get everything out of there, purge, group and get the vacuum cleaner into it.  Poor Maggie was really confused when she saw the hallway cluttered with stuff. She wanted to taste-test it all, especially the sponges. I rescued her from eating more than one.

All in all, this project only took me 45 minutes from start to finish. If I had kept at it a few minutes here and there all along, I wouldn't have had to do it at all!

I know exactly what is in there now, items are contained and grouped, excess sheets have been donated to charity, I created a grab-and-go cleaning tote, and there's a spot for the vacuum cleaner. That was time well spent!


Do You Fly?

I'm a Flybaby. I've been flying for about six years and love it.  Do you fly, too?

The Flylady is a great Yahoo group, which is also now available on Facebook and Twitter. Her whole philosophy is to break down your home and office needs and projects into doable chunks.  When I first joined I was deluged with emails every 15 minutes telling me to do this or that. I admit, that part I didn't care for.

I have always been highly organized. I was the kid who never had to be told to clean her bedroom. My homework was always done early. When our boys were little my husband and I planned a trip to Disneyworld with them. About a year ahead of time I developed a day-by-day, hour-by-hour itinerary, complete with the order we would go on rides. All of it was put into sleeve protectors and a binder. When I've joked that I'm a bit anal and slightly OCD, it's not far from the truth.

This ability to organize my time and my household led to achievement in the business world. I was able to make the unusual transition in the male-dominated chemical industry from administrative assistant to department manager over three departments (HR, Public Relations, Training) in a matter of four years. Ability to organize, be flexible and break projects down into manageable chunks to meet deadlines all served me, the company and my employees well.

If you visit my cat Piwacket's quilting blog you know that we usually sign off with a reminder to "Create for 15 minutes."  If you do something for just 15 minutes per day you can conquer anything.  And many times you'll get into the groove and go a little further.

However, it's easy to become overwhelmed and off track in certain periods of our lives. For a little over a year I haven't been my organized self. I've lost items throughout the house because I didn't put them in their rightful place. I've paid bills late. The crud on my bathroom tiles has been laughing at me, because it's winning the battle.  Put simply, as my internal world became chaotic my environment became a portrait of that chaos.

Remember though...MY MOJO IS BACK!  So I've been visiting the Flylady again. Today I'll be cleaning the master bedroom and a linen closet. One of the reasons I like this group so much is because of the encouraging and empowering words to "Begin wherever you are."  If you miss a day, or two, or a month, don't look back at "Oh, I should have been doing this or that."  Instead celebrate the fact that you are doing something today, right now, for yourself and your family.

Peace and hugs from a Flybaby,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Mojo is Back, Baby!

My pathetic little goal for the holidays was simply to survive them. And I did! Now it's a new year, a new perspective, and I'm raring to go.

I want to publicly thank my friends (cyber and not) and family for helping lift me when I was down.  I have never felt in such comforting arms before and I'm truly grateful.  Your love, strength and witnessing sustained me.

When Keith moved out most of the artwork went with him.  His dad was an artist and many of the pieces we had were either created by him or were given to us from his gallery.  That left some gaps on the wall to fill, so one of the first things I did was remind myself that I could purchase something that appealed to my own tastes. What a concept!

I looked around for awhile and nothing really struck me for a bit. Until I saw this at a Kirkland's store. I loved it right away and was able to purchase it at a 40% off sale.  It's now graced the wall in the family room for several months and every time I look at it I feel relaxed.

Now obviously, art is subjective. For me, I find the colors very peaceful. There's a nice variety of golds, sage, and burgundy. I want to walk down the street, stop in at the coffee shop to meet a friend and have a croissant, pat the dog on the head.  I've been looking at what I own that brings me great joy and expresses my feelings, so that when it's time to move into a new home I'll already have some sense of how I want to decorate it. What is ME?

This piece is now one of my inspiration pieces. Anyone want to grab a cappuccino with me?

Love and hugs,

Monday, January 4, 2010


I'm excited.  I always get excited about the new year and now it is especially so. 

I had to take care of some very difficult things over the holidays. My goal was simply to survive Christmas. It was different, for sure. My emotions were all over the place, I was hypersensitive, plans I had made went awry, and the ghosts of Christmases past haunted me. However, in the stillness of this year I found I was able to focus much more upon the spiritual joy. No matter what our circumstances or challenges, Christ comes.

Psalm 37:7 has become one of my touchstone verses.

"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him."  This fit in perfectly as an Advent message as well as putting my faith in Him to lead me where He wants me. There is such freedom in knowing that He has a plan for me.

I'm in a much better place now knowing that I did get through Christmas. I attended an absolutely wonderful staff party for the quilt shop. Pat, the lady who hosted the event at her beautiful home, has become a caring friend. She herself is a Christian who went through a very difficult divorce years ago. She's the model of forgiveness. I've already learned so much from her about maintaining my self-worth while forgiving my husband. There's no doubt in my mind that she was brought into my life right now as a teacher. Not to mention how much I covet her comfortable country decorating style! 

I am still. I am rejoicing. I am waiting patiently.

Wishing you love and blessings for this year,