The Dirty Word

I am going to say a dirty word.

 I am going to say it very loudly.

 I am going to say it, and it is going to make some of you cringe away in terror.

 As you cringe you will click away as fast as you can, muttering under your breath about self righteousness, legalism, and culture.

Are you ready?

Here Goes.

SUBMISSION

Ack!  Oh no!  She did it!  She really said it, typed it, right there for all of the world to see!!!!!  What, is she NUTS?

 This is a topic that has been beaten to death.  It really has.  If you believe you are already submissive, then no matter what I say (almost), you’ll be nodding along.  If you think submission is for the birds, a cultural concept that was only for the Greeks and the Jews, then no matter what I say, you’ll be shaking your head “No.”

I want to talk about submission.  I want to get honest about submission.  Let’s be real, OK?

Most people that talk about submission talk about Ephesians 5:21 – 33.  So let’s go there.  Go ahead.  Go get your bible.  Turn to it.  Ephesians.  It’s in the New Testament.  Closer to the back of the book.  Got it?  Good.  Now read it aloud to yourself.  If you are one of those “submission is for the birds” people, well then, you stopped at verse 22 and went no further.  I challenge you to read further, please.

As we read Ephesians 5:21 – 33, we see that the wife is supposed to submit to her husband as she does to God.  And the husband is supposed to love his wife as Christ loved the Church.  Pretty simple, right?  Wife = submit, Hubby = love.  But it really isn’t that simple.  It really isn’t.  Whenever I mention to someone (usually in a bible study) that a wife is to submit to her husband, their response is “Not a doormat!”  No.  I am NOT a doormat.  Anyone who has seen me with Papi for more than an hour realizes I’m not a doormat….but they just can’t get the stereotype out of their mind.

When I read that, I see a subtle balance….like a teeter totter.  Come back with me…all the way back….join the time machine….come back to the land of bell bottom jeans and disco….journey back with me to 1970 something.  (teehee)  My most traumatic incident ever on a teeter totter.  That wonderful toy of playgrounds everywhere.  Mom and Dad had somehow scraped up enough money to send me and the Little Bro to Christian Summer Camp.  This would not have been a problem at all for the social butterfly Little Bro, for me it was slightly traumatic, and I wouldn’t let him go anywhere without me!  So the first, maybe the second, day, we were on the playground of the Camp….all alone.  And we decided to get on the teeter totter – even though he was several pounds lighter than me.  So we got on, and delicately were balancing, up and down.  Then we tried to make it even.  (Have you ever done that – it’s not easy when you don’t weigh the same!)  We had actually done it somehow.  We made it even.  I was further out, closer to the end of the thing, and he was inside (I think, it was a LONG time ago).  And then he, in all of his tiny Little Bro wisdom, got bored.  He wanted to get off, and before telling me he was getting off, he JUMPED!  Down I went, with my knee tucked conveniently under me.  Enter an ambulance, a sprained knee, and a trip (early and with my head hanging in shame) home.

Submission is like that.  It is supposed to be a mutual submission.  We women “obey” like we obey God (with joy), and those handsome hubby’s love us so much they would literally lay down their lives for us, in every way shape or form.  We should be fighting over who gets control….and we should always want it to be the other person!!!!!  We should always be the person on the lower end of the teeter totter….fighting to stay there, as they are fighting to push us up!!!  And it stays even.  And no one gets hurt.  But too many times we see that teeter totter with one party always up, and the other down.  And sometimes someone just jumps completely off – no warning – and we get seriously hurt.

That’s my view of marital submission.  Pretty radical, huh?  If you stuck around, are you still thinking doormat?  No?  Yes???  Let me know!

Keeping on the same topic, hopefully this doesn’t go too long, I wanted to talk about heart submission versus head submission.

Say what?????

For the longest time, I lived as a submissive wife.  Told everyone I was a submissive wife.  Had no problem sharing my views on submissiveness.  And they were pretty much the view I shared above.  And then I read a book called “Created to be His Help Meet”.

 ****NB:  Yes, I know of all of the Pearl issues.  Seriously.  I bought the book partially because I wanted to see if they were really as bad as everyone says they were.  No, I don’t think that if your hubby is beating you it is your fault.*****

So, I read the book, and wow!  I was convicted.  See – all these years of being submissive, I was HEAD SUBMISSIVE.  I was submissive to Papi, told everyone I was submissive, did all the things I was supposed to do as a submissive wife.  But……… I wasn’t HEART SUBMISSIVE.  Everything was fine if Papi was doing it my way, my timing.  In essence, everything was fine if he was laying down his life for ME.  But man, oh man…if he told me “No” on anything I thought was best….Honey, Look out!!!!!  I would Nag.  And then I realized that wasn’t getting me anywhere.  So I conquered the nagging habit.  And then I would get angry.  And I would get depressed.  That’s the major things.  The life changing decisions.  If I didn’t get my way, he paid!  On the little things, the day to day things.  If he disagreed with me, well I would just go do what I wanted while he wasn’t home.  And I would vent…to everyone….about what a lousy husband HE was.

It wasn’t him.  It was me.  I thought I was being submissive, because I was doing what he said.  But he had to drag me kicking and screaming everywhere I didn’t want to go.  I wasn’t submissive in my heart and soul.  I wanted him to love me and lay down his life for me…..but I certainly didn’t want to do what he wanted (unless he happened to agree with me).

Let me give you an example of the “little things”.  Papi doesn’t like trees.  No.  Let me clarify.  Papi doesn’t want trees on our property.  He doesn’t want to clean up leaves.  He doesn’t want to try and mow around them and weed eat around them.  He wants the kids to have a clear, clean space to play any sport they want on the side yard, and he thinks trees would get in the way.  He, like many, has seen trees take out roofs and destroy the base of houses.  He made that perfectly clear when I asked if I could plant a tree.

Here comes the not being submissive part.  He told me “No.”  Straight up.  No equivocation.  And I went around him.  I decided that my desire to have tropical fruit trees was more important than his desire NOT to have them.  I made a plan.  Got a library book and literally drew out the yard and what trees I wanted where.  I almost bought them.  Until one of the kids let it slip that we were going to go buy some sea grape trees.  Enter firestorm.

I’m here.  I escaped the wrath of Papi (just kidding).  But that is EXACTLY what I mean about not being heart submissive.  And I’m still struggling with it.  Habits formed over 15 years of marriage don’t go away in 4 months, I tell you.  But I’m trying.  Because I want to please my God.  And I want to love my Papi like I love and please my God.

 

Why would I NOT love this guy?
Why would I NOT love this guy?

 

If you want to watch a really good sermon on Submission and Biblical Headship, I recommend Voddie Baucham.  He is an amazing preacher, and can say it so much better than I can!  Here is a good place to start Love and Marriage .

If you want to purchase the book Created to Be His Help Meet , you can purchase it here ….I do recommend reading this book with eyes wide open.  I don’t agree with EVERYTHING she says.

Be blessed.  Please.  Like.  Comment.  Share. 🙂  I want to hear others views on this!!!!!!

The Capable Wife Part 6

Ah, the trophy wife.  The subject of numerous movies, videos, songs, and television shows.   There are entire television series based on this concept of the trophy wife, unbeknownst to me…there is actually a SHOW called Trophy Wife.  Real Housewives of EVERYWHERE, anyone?  When you picture a trophy wife, who do you see?  Do you see a beautiful statuesque blonde with flawless skin, a chest out to here, and a butt that could crack almonds?  You know the one who is wearing Dolce & Gabanna – OFF the RUNWAY!!!!  The kind of woman that simpers lovingly up to her man while hooking her arm through his, and he can’t help but swell with pride as they walk into the room.  That’s what I see when I picture a “trophy wife.”

Think Real Housewives meets my very fertile imagination, and yeah, you know, you get something like this:

 

courtesy of just jared.com
courtesy of just jared.com

Or kind of more like Jessica Rabbit, more like this:

courtesy of cartoonstock
courtesy of cartoonstock

 

So what is this all about?  Did you know that the Proverbs 31 woman is a trophy wife?  She IS!  Look at Proverbs 31:23.

 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

How is that a trophy wife, you say?  It’s simple.  This man has the wife behind him.  He is proud of her, loves her, brags on how amazing she is.  And the city knows that what he is saying is simple truth.  He’s not making her what she is not.  He is incredibly blessed to have her, and he and all of his friends know it.

When I think of this verse, I really think of an old familiar scene in Little Women.  It’s when Meg is first married.  She decides that no matter what, hubby will come home to a clean house, a calm wife, and a warm meal.  She even insists that he never call before inviting coworkers home for dinner.  Imagine her mortification when he decides to bring a coworker home on the very day that she has been canning and it’s a disaster!  The house is filthy, she is harried, and dinner hasn’t even been thought about, let alone started!  Hubby shrugs it off and takes his guest out to dinner.  Meg cries her way to sleep.  The next day she decides (if memory serves me correctly) that the guest will come back for dinner and he will see her at her best.  Plans are made, he comes for dinner, and leaves thinking how amazingly blessed Megs’ husband is.  THAT is what this verse is talking about.

It’s not about being perfect all of the time.  But it is about increasing your husbands reputation by being the best wife for him you are able.  Your hubby’s friends should shake their heads in wonder at how blessed he is!

What a wonderful thing marriage can be!  What a blessing you can be to him.  Decide today to never talk bad about your hubby in public, to anyone.  Increase his reputation by being his blessing!!! 😉

Nick & Jesi

The Capable Wife Part 5

 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.  Proverbs 31: 21-22

Our Capable Wife does everything she can to take care of her family.  Not just her family, her entire house (in that day it would include slaves and servants as well).  She has worked for so long so hard, that when rough times come, she knows they are taken care of.

In biblical times, Scarlet was a color of power, wealth, luxury.  Scarlet dye in that time came from a tiny little bug, so small that it is like a grain of sand.  So it took time and money to make and entire robe of scarlet. Our Capable Wife knows that her family and her servants are clothed to the very best of her ability.  They are warm and secure.  Are they in Polo?  No, not necessarily.  But they are dressed in well made clothing and appropriately for the weather.

She made herself clothing…clothing of silk (more bugs, ugh) and purple.  Purple came from a small sea snail and took a very long time to get it right!  So we see she is dressed also in well made clothing.

Now, in no way shape or form am I suggesting that you need to go and spend a ton of money on clothing.  I’m not saying you need to take up sewing either.  Here’s a small hint:  I have a monthly budget for the family for clothing, and to get the best bang for my buck, I usually hit the local second hand stores.  I have found name brand, new with tags, clothing for bargain basement prices.  And that is saying a lot…especially when you are dressing 3 picky teenage girls and 3 rough and tumble destructicon boys.  Remember the name of my blog???

I also have a rule, if we are leaving the house, no holey, torn, ripped, or stained clothing.  (Beach or hiking is different)  When we leave the house, hairs must be brushed, faces washed, teeth brushed, and clean neat clothing must be put on.  All my household is clothed appropriately – weather included.  On my FAQ board I list the weather of the day, and how that will feel in our hot Florida Sun.  That way they are dressed appropriately for the weather as well!!!

164 The boys even come shopping with us…even though they hate it! 😉

The Capable Wife Part 4

 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:20

Yes.  One verse.  Mainly because I think that the Church as a whole has failed at this miserably. We just don’t reach out our hands to help people.  Do we help those who come to us, yes.  But we don’t really reach out to help people much.

Politically, I am not a Democrat, nor am I a Republican.  I am an Independent.   Why am I telling this to you?  Because it will help you to understand where I am coming from.

I think that (in some ways) the Democrats have their hearts in the right place.  They want people to be treated better.  They want families to be fed, and have housing, and health care, and clothing.  I think they are right.  People SHOULD be treated better.  Families should have food, and housing, clothes, and health care, clothing, and job opportunities.  Here is where I disagree.  I don’t think that the Government should be providing those things.  The Government of the United States was not set up to provide those things. But I know an entity that was.  The Church.  It was set up back in the day to provide all of those things.  The body of believers would get together and share everything.  We are to take care of widows and orphans.  I’m not suggesting that we sell all we have…but this is what our OFFERING is supposed to be for.  Not our tithe, that’s something totally different.

I think that (in some ways) the Republicans are right.  Giving hand outs doesn’t help people.  Not really.  Give a man a fish and he eats for the day, teach a man to fish and he eats for the rest of his life.  I don’t think the Government should be giving permanent hand outs.  Help people.  Really help people.  Teach them marketable skills.  I believe that if someone is getting WIC or Food Stamps, then they should be required to take classes in job or life skills.  When you give a hand up instead of a hand out, you will also give self esteem.  I also think that the churches should be doing this…not the Government.

Pretty Radical, huh?

For our household, we do several things.  We are constantly donating to our church food pantry.  We provide food for people in the community who need it, anytime word gets to us.  And starting in a month or so, we will be doing service projects IN the community to help people.

Do you have any Helping Hands ideas we can use?  We’ll be happy to use them…and report back to you how it went!!!!

Helping Hands

The Capable Wife Part 3

Proverbs 31: 16 – 19 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

So, if you read these 3 verses it sounds strangely as if the perfect woman works outside of the home. Which doubly sounds strange coming from me!! But lets go a little deeper. She checks out some property and buys it, then with her wages, she plants it. She probably sells the grapes or wine, earning a profit, which she then uses to buy more property. The woman was an entrepeneur!!! She works very hard, does all of her research, and works until late at night. And she does most of the work herself!!!!

Now, I am not a huge fan of women, especially women with children, working out of their home. I think that our primary purpose as a wife and mother is to BE a wife and mother. Not a business woman. Not someone who is so tired at the end of the workday, that she can’t think, let alone help her children with her homework. But this woman DOES work out of her home. She just does a job that she can do when her children are otherwise occupied. She’s smart. She doesn’t just willynilly fall into whatever job is out there. She uses what she knows to make money for her and her family. What does she know??? She knows produce, we saw this in verses 14 and 15. She knows flax, which is made into linen. She buys property and sets up her own vineyard – wine sells!!!! Remember, she sees that her trading is profitable. She doesn’t work at a dead end job that only pays for childcare! She makes sure that if something is taking her away from her family, even if it’s just a little, it better be making money.  And she’s not worried that she might get bored!  Have you ever watched someone spin wool (grasping the spindle with her fingers)?  It is tiring monotonous work.

Are you still with me?  Haven’t thrown down your phone in disgust, or switched blogs quick so you don’t have to listen to some wackadoodle woman telling you her opinion on  your work???

Come on, I know that there are women that read this that work, and there are those who stay home. And I have a challenge for both of you…

Those of you that work: Are you working a job because you THINK you have to? Do you really? Sit down with your hubby one night and add it up. That’s what I did when we first made the decision for me not to work, and when we made the decision for me to go back to work. Don’t just look at your salary. Start with what you bring home. Now subtract childcare, clothes for work, dining out, fuel for your car, and anything else you spend because you go to work (Like those lean cuisines you take to work because you need something to nuke). So after all that – how much are you REALLY making a week? $50? $40? Is $40 (or whatever) worth having someone else take care of your children after school??? Or during, if you have little ones? (I know some are single moms.  I know you have to work.  I’m talking to those ladies who may not have to work)

Those of you that are at home: I won’t say don’t work, because I KNOW how much you work. Do you have a passion for something? Do you sew? Love to watch houses being decorated (i.e. Trading Spaces)? Do you love animals? What is your passion? Maybe your passion is your children? Is there room to take care of one or two more during the day for the woman above who CAN’T stop working??? You can make your passion an at home business. You just have to make it happen. God wants you to be a fulfilled and wonderful human being. He gave you talent and passion for something…just trust Him and DO IT! To the woman who has more than one talent and passion, try focusing on one for a while. See what you can do with it, and go from there.

There is room at the table for all of us, those that have to work and those that don’t.  But I will be honest….if you have children and you are working out of the home because you are afraid that you’ll be bored….well, I just don’t agree with you…and I have to call you out on that.  Children are an amazing blessing!  Being a housewife is an honorable profession, no matter what the world says.  Trust me – i am NEVER bored.

Good luck to all of you, and God Bless.

The Capable Wife Part 2

Proverbs 31:14 – 15 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.
Only 2 verses!!!! Okay, I know it’s not a lot of words, but to me these two verses are extremely important in describing the capable wife and how she cares for her family.

When I lived in North Miami Beach, I worked very hard at planting a garden in my back yard. I planted flowers of all kinds, cucumbers, green peppers, and tomatoes. The cucumbers came up, looked at the Florida sun, chuckled weakly, and died. The green peppers would grow to a little bigger than golf ball size and that was all. The tomatoes flourished, at first growing 8 feet tall, and then, once my Aunt Nones told me to cut them back, producing fruit like wildfire. Then I got aphids on my tomatoes and was constantly trying to battle the little suckers. It was a lot of hard work. I had to work at least an hour a day at first on my little victory garden, only to have it not turn out the way I planned.
When I moved up to the Treasure Coast, I started thinking about doing another little garden in my yard here. I had everything planned out, even more ambitious than the first. I was gonna have strawberries, tomatoes, cabbage, peppers, corn, spinach, etc. And then I planted the strawberries, and they never came up. I quit. I gave up. I chose the easy way to bring my children and husband food. I went to Walmart and Sams, like everybody else.

And then a friend of mine introduced me to an organic buying club.  Now this was pure genius.  I was spending the same amount of money on produce, but getting more variety and it was ORGANIC!!!!  I was with the organic club for several years, even hosting for a while, and personalities and life just got in the way.  So guess what, I started going to Walmart and Sams again.

I have the kids with their pallet gardens (see, my secret is out), and I have my herbs and my tomatoes, and I still dream of a real victory garden.  But I just can’t put in the energy or time it takes to do so.  One day….
Now, I am not saying that everyone needs to go out into their yards and plant a garden. Some of us just don’t have the time or even the inclination. Some of us look at plants and the plants immediately die!   What I’m saying is that you need to get the best food possible for your family while staying in your budget. If that means Walmart, than that’s what you do. If it means you coupon, then that’s what you do. But is there a farmer’s market near you, or an organic coop? Is a small mom and pop store that you’ve never been in offering fresher meats and vegetables at a slightly higher price? Can you work that into your groceries and not break the bank? The Capable Wife searches out the best things possible for her family.

OK, the getting up before dark thing.  ugh.  I HATE mornings.  Seriously.  Can’t stand them.  It takes my brain at least a half hour to catch up to the fact that my body is up and out of bed.  But it really doesn’t matter if I hate mornings.  I have to provide for my family.  And in this respect, I am completely blessed.  Nana lives with us and that woman gets up early!!!!  She is awake, gone for a walk with her friends, and done her morning devotion before I have stumbled for my first cup of coffee.  I am really thankful that she takes it upon herself to make breakfast for the family every morning.  I don’t know what I would do without her.  Oh wait, yes I do, have to get up a half hour earlier (oh ugh, can you hear me whining?)

But the Proverbs 31 doesn’t have a Nana in the wings.  She does this on her own for her family.  And she doesn’t just do this for her family, but for her servant girls as well!!! Now, not many of us have servant girls (ha ha, don’t I wish), but do we have someone who does something for us? Maybe the guy at the gas station who actually PUMPS your gas? The lady across the street who watches your kids? Can you do something for them when they are in need?  Maybe take them over some of those fresh baked cookies.  Or some of your home canned chili.
Guess what guys? I really like that Victory garden idea. I’m drawn to it like a moth to a flame.  If I did all the prep work during the summer, I bet I could have a pretty decent garden started this fall. (You plant differently here in zone 10). What do you think???

Victory Garden

The Capable Wife Part 1

CapableWife1

 

Proverbs 31:10 – 13 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
A woman of noble character is a woman who is strong, honest, able, efficient, wealthy (not necessarily with money), and courageous. She is in every way, as Bob and Ted would phrase it “Excellent”. Her husband doesn’t doubt her in anyway (because she gives him no reason to) and he doesn’t search elsewhere for affection, again because she gives him no reason to look anywhere but at her.

A woman of noble character is hard to find.  Some may say even impossible.  In fact, I’ve heard good Christian women say that it is impossible.  I’ve heard them say that this woman, this Proverbs 31 woman, is not a guideline or a goal…but a composite of an unattainable woman.  And if she is unattainable, I won’t try.  I’m going to challenge that.  As a Christ follower, I do my very best to follow in the footsteps of Christ.  I fail every day. Every day, I keep trying.  For me, the Proverbs 31 woman is my second goal.  I want to be like her.  God gave us a step by step description of the woman who is of noble character, and yet, we don’t want to even attempt it because it’s too hard.  Oh poppycock!

So who is this woman?  She is valuable.  More valuable than rubies. Did you know that rubies are harder than every other natural gem except for diamonds and moissanite??? So rubies are strong.  So is this woman.  Rubies can be red, brownish, purplish, or even pinkish.  So, this woman can be different colors…different races….beautiful is beautiful, no matter what color it is. Rubies are transparent.  hmmmmm….. transparent.  Not transparent like our President’s administration.  Truly transparent.  When someone looks at you they should see who you are….whose you are.  God, your husband, your family.  Others should see what you value!

She’s not one of those women who take pleasure in seeing her husband fail, and he knows it! She doesn’t nag or berate him. She will definitely not throw all of his clothes into a bathtub and set them on fire. (One of the pro football players wives did this about 20 years ago, and it always stuck in my head, as she ended up burning the house down) She knows what makes her husband tick and she helps him to feel respected and loved. *NB – Just this is hard for most of us to achieve. I mean, let’s be real, who hasn’t nagged at her husband, or been angry at him and wished he would just SHUT UP!

She works hard at making her house a home, at making her husband feel like a King, and at loving God with all of her heart.

I love Proverbs 31.  She is an ideal woman, just as Christ is an ideal of how all of us should live.  I want to be like her, and I want my girls to know how to be like her.  I want her to be their goal too!!!!
God bless everyone!

Sticks and Stones

Psalm 56: 1 – 8
Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me; all day long they press their attack.
My slanderers pursue me all day long; many are attacking me in their pride.
When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?
All day long they twist my words; they are always plotting to harm me.
They conspire, they lurk, and they watch my steps, eager to take my life.
On no account let them escape; in your anger, O God, bring down the nations.
Record my lament; put my tears in your wineskin – are they not in your record?

 
Papi and Barbie used to take karate classes. They both had a wonderful passion for the discipline of karate. Unfortunately, sometimes when they were practicing, and even now when they are just playing around,Papi forgets how much bigger and stronger he is than Barbie.  He will do some form of kick and actually bring her to tears. It isn’t intentional; he just forgets his own strength. He is immediately remorseful and lifting her up to check for bruises.

Quite some time ago, when my Barbie, BAM! and I were studying this passage, Barbie immediately came out with “Stick and Stones”. I’m sure you all know the old saying, but I’ll reiterate it in here just in case.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

That’s a nice sentiment, but oh, how untrue. The truth is that words HURT! Whether intentionally or not, they can cause lasting damage, affecting our lives and the lives of those around us. Other people’s words have driven people into depression and even suicide. I can’t help but think how bruised and broken people are because of others words.  We kick, whether playing or seriously, and it hurts!!!!  We quickly forget that words matter.  Especially in this day and age of social media and texting.

I am horrible at this.  I know I am horrible at this.  I feel like my words never come out the right way.  I mean them one way, and somehow the other person hears something totally different.  They “hit” back and I’m left reeling on the floor wondering what ever happened!  And don’t we do that with our words? We will say something small and casual and someone gets hurt. Or maybe we speak with a passion on a topic, and someone else believes we are condemning them. Or sometimes when we try to hold another believer accountable, we don’t do it in a loving way and they get hurt.

Growing up, I was the new kid.  I was ALWAYS the new kid.  And a police officers kid.  And incredibly naive.  I couldn’t have had a bigger target on my forehead if Nana had tattooed it there.  Sometimes the bullying would become physical, but mostly the bullying I received was through words.  People were mean and nasty….and their words hurt, very much.  I still hear those whispers in my head sometimes, the ones that say that I’m not good enough.  I’m not pretty enough.  I’m not rich enough.  I’m not smart enough.  I’m not cool enough.  I’m not enough.  I have to fight them.  Because I know that in God, I am enough…but some days, oh, some days.

But God holds the tears of those wounded in vases, He holds all of the tears I have cried in a vase, and on Judgment Day He will hold those that made us cry those tears accountable.  On the flip side of that, he will also hold us accountable for the vases of tears we have caused.  That slip of the word, that cut with the tongue, the ones where we walked away, not caring to see if the other person was bruised and broken.  Not caring to see if we’ve stripped their branches bare of leaves and left them exposed to the elements.

How many vases is God holding that are full of your tears? How many vases is He holding full of tears that you’ve caused others? As I still struggle with this, I pray for God to put His hand over my mouth. I pray, dear sisters and brothers, that you will pray the same.

desolation

Hoarders….Buried Alive or Dead?

I’ll admit it….I’m addicted.  I’m addicted to the tlc show Hoarders Buried Alive.  Most of the time I just watch it because, to be perfectly honest, it makes me feel better about the condition of my house. My messiness doesn’t look near as bad compared to some of the houses they show on there.  However, after seeing several episodes, I’ve noticed a recurring theme.  The people featured on the show have made a choice.  They’ve chosen things over their family, their friends, even themselves.

As I watch, I am particularly saddened.  Yes, because of the destruction the hoard has caused in the families and lives of these people, but I am saddened even more by the fact that we are ALL guilty of this in some form or another. I know for sure that I have been guilty of it.  Papi pointed it out to me a couple of days ago.  When we first got married I had a little side table.  It had a faux gold base that was angels holding their hands up, and on their hands was a faux marble topper.  It was cracked and broken in pieces but I refused to get rid of it for any reason.  Even though it caused arguments between Papi and I on a regular basis (He hated it!).  So why keep a piece of broken furniture if it was causing discord in my marriage?  Because it belonged to my Grandmother.  I lived in Montana as a young child, and my Florida Gramma lived in ….well, Florida! When we moved to Florida, we lived in her house for a couple of months until we could find a place to live.  This tiny little side table sat at the entrance of her porch in between the porch door and the living room door. I LIVED on the porch.  There was a swing there.  I would set a soda on this little table, grab a good book and sit on the porch and while the steamy hot afternoon away.

Regardless of WHY I wanted to keep the thing, it was a THING.  It wasn’t a friend.  It wasn’t a family member.  And the memories of my Florida Grammy and her amazing porch swing were and are not in the side table.  They are in my heart and mind.  They are in the heart and mind of my father and all of his siblings (theirs was a large family as well).  They are in the hearts and minds of all of my cousins, and my brother.

I looked up a well known bible verse on this topic.  Do you know which one it is?  If you’ve been in church for a little bit, you know it.  I was surprised to find a song with the title Where Moth and Rust Destroy by a band named Tourniquet.  Never heard of them?  Me neither.  I’m definitely going to let Barbie know about it though!  She loves Thrash Metal and they are definitely it!!!  (one of the featured soloist is former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman.

Check out the lyrics:

The world is quick to tell us
The media compels us
For me to have and you to not
Is the difference in our lot
If you must compound your joy
Then you must acquire this toy
Just remember this – a kiss is just a kiss
A smile is just a smile
The things you own will not atone
Or spare you from the life you’ve sown

Where moth and rust destroy
A land of tears and sadness
When those who put their faith in things
Find out it’s only madness

Enjoy all that He gives you
But make sure you can see through
The haze that blocks the clarity
Of seeing the eternity
Of things that last and things that don’t
Of choices we should make, but won’t
If you will just incline your ear
There is something you must hear
Heed his words and you’ll be free
From loving more than Me

Where moth and rust destroy
A land of tears and sadness
When those who put their faith in things
Find out it’s only madness

Choose – you must choose
You must choose
Who you serve

Just waiting in the darkened wings
The voice that says to trust in things
Aspire to acquire – aspire to acquire
Light the sacrificial fire
Death to things

Don’t let the treasures you store up here on earth replace the people in your lives.  Invest your time and money in THEM, not the latest toy!

Aramaic Bible in plain English says: Do not place treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moths and corrosion disfigure and where thieves break in and steal.

To purchase the CD – check here….   http://www.amazon.com/Where-Moth-Rust-Destroy-Tourniquet/dp/B00008IAI2