HodgePodge

HodgePodge, Parenthetically Speaking

Enough is enough…

February 9, 2014

enough (1)

Or is it?

You just sneak up on me. Your messages, the whisper of Enough.

You are not…

Cool enough

Smart enough

Thin enough

Pretty enough

Young enough

Eloquent enough

And anything else anyone else is…enough.

I never hear these words alone.

You are not…Cool, Smart, Thin, Pretty, Young, nor Eloquent

They always partner with Enough.

That dreaded Enough.   Enough sends me sailing, flailing into discouragement.

I could handle that voice if it just said, hey you are not cool.  Then I would just resign myself and move forward.  But Enough, gives me a glimmer of hope that if I just work a little harder, diet a little more, work on my vocabulary a little more, then yes, then maybe I could be Enough.

It’s Enough that draws me in to introspection.  Enough pulls me to focus on me. Focus to a point that I lose focus.  I can see nothing else, but the goal of enough.

I begin to strive, position, manipulate, and do whatever it takes to reach the elusive goal of being and doing enough.

Oh you with your silent letters, you haunt me. But I am not alone in my torment.  Oh no, Enough you have many followers.

When asked once, “How much money is enough money?” John D Rockerfeller replied, “Just a little bit more.”

I have company, lots of company.  Enough already enough.  Enough of you Enough!

 

Enough, you are so subjective, hard to describe, fleeting, elusive.  You are supposed to indicate the amount necessary.  But who decides the amount necessary? Oh I know your tricks; you just keep moving the finish line.  Nothing and no one will ever be enough for you, Enough.  You will just keep whispering your name and I will keep racing to hit the enough button, to cross the enough line, to reach the enough nirvana.

But Enough does not exist.  Enough you are impossible.

Many days I can resist your temptation, Enough, but some days I cannot.  My only line of defense, the only weapon I have, the only victory possible is surrender.  And then I will realize that I am not Enough and I will never be Enough.  Complete surrender, reckless abandon to the only one who is enough, who holds all the victory, all the judgment, all that is needed to make not enough, enough.

When I hear the whispers of Enough, I must move my eyes from self to Saviour.  This is my only hope of becoming who He desires me to be, nothing more and nothing less, but just enough!

 

HodgePodge, Parenthetically Speaking

I ruined the green beans…

July 10, 2011

And I did it on purpose.  Every year I ruin perfectly nutritious, fresh picked green beans with loads of brown sugar and ham or bacon (whatever I happen to have).  I am all about eating healthy and I love green beans with onion and garlic, but once a year I must have me some good southern beans-all ruined with bad stuff.  My sweet son-in-law loves them nearly as much as I do, much to the demise of his healthy wife, my daughter.  Why just this very morning in church she leaned over and said, “I can’t believe you are going to ruin those perfectly good green beans!”  She smiled; she loves me in spite of this annual event!  Funny thing is, she is speaking my very words right back to me, I never let them add sugar to anything natural and healthy. 

I think it is perfectly okay to ruin green beans with sugar, once in awhile.  Some of you ruin perfectly good black coffee each and every day with creamer and sugar, some of you ruin perfectly yummy steak with ketchup, some of you ruin fresh strawberries with sugar, movie popcorn with butter topping or that unknown orange substance in the shaker on the counter…its okay, I love you anyways.

All this talk about me ruining green beans did get me to thinking about things, events, relationships that get ruined.  How many times do I ruin a conversation by talking too much, too fast and without thought?  What about marriages that are ruined by adding a little more into them, perhaps another person, pornography, a dose of manipulation, debt…

What about relationships family or friends that are ruined by that evil horrible additive, bitterness?

There is nothing that ruins life like the tongue.  It can ruin events, moments, conversations, and relationships. 

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  Ephesians 4:29

So eat your ruined green beans, movie popcorn, steak, strawberries and drink your ruined coffee, and enjoy.  But may the words of your mouth (and mine) and the meditations of your heart (and mine) be pleasing to Him!

HodgePodge, Parenthetically Speaking

It’s all a matter of perspective!

May 23, 2011

 

I love New York City!  I always discover something new while visiting.  I tend t be drawn to the more unusual sites.  I like to call my trips to NYC, ‘through the lens of the small’.   It’s the largest city in America (over 8 million people) and yet there are many small moments to be discovered.

So for the next few posts I will be sharing some of my small (and sometimes bizarre) discoveries!

Is the city big or small?   It depends on your perspective!

When in the middle of the city it’s loud, busy, and huge.  But as I looked at the city from across a long lake in the middle of Central Park the city seemed small, quiet, and peaceful.

It’s a matter of perspective!

Isn’t everything?!

Perspective it’s so hard to gain, harder to keep and hardest to change.  Perspective is reality (or so we think).

The other day I was thinking about tough moments in my life and I thought back to the day I didn’t make cheerleading.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I had been a cheerleader for 2 years and I joined the mass of girls in the AV room in the basement of my high school to listen for the ‘who made it’ list to be read (quite a cruel way to announce who made the squad).  As the 12th name was read I ran out of the room crying.  I thought my whole world was coming to an end.

My perspective was reality and being a cheerleader was who I was, or so I thought.  But it was just what I did, not who I was.

Now 30 years later I am grateful for that moment, because it was the beginning of my spiritual journey!

I remember being pregnant with our third child and John coming home announcing he would not have a job by the fall.  And then in the fall he announced we would be moving away from all of our family to Arkansas for a job.  We arrived in Arkansas at 2:00 am Christmas Eve (I was 36 weeks along and had a 3 year old and a 19 month old) and I thought I had moved to the end of the earth.

My perspective was reality and living in Kansas City and John working for a family business was who we were, or so I thought.   But it was just what we did, not who we were!

Now 20 years later I am grateful for that move, because it was the beginning of the next leg of my spiritual journey.

I remember moving from Rogers, AR to Springdale, AR.  I was only 15 minutes away from my old town, and yet I felt isolated.  You have to understand if you are not in a metro area the towns function much differently, they each have their own unique personality.  I maintained many friendships but, I really had to start over in a new town.  I thought I would never have community like before.

My perspective was reality and living in Rogers and John working at Wal-Mart was who we were, or so I thought.   But it was just what we did, not who we were!

Now 10 years later I love my town and community.  This is home and another leg of my spiritual journey.

Perspective is not reality.  The problem is that sometimes the truth of a situation only becomes clear years later, when you view it from afar.  The further away the smaller it gets.

So what are you facing today?  What is your perspective?  What feels real?  What hurts, what seems insurmountable?

Take a moment, sink into this promise…

2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

Isaiah 43:2-4

And perhaps what you are facing will look smaller, quieter, and more peaceful with a new perspective.

HodgePodge, Parenthetically Speaking

My new favorite place!

May 6, 2011

 

So here I am today, at my new favorite spot.  A fabulous coffee shop in downtown Siloam Springs

I came to drink a giant cup of coffee and delight in a maple oatmeal scone freshly baked.

I came to smile as I pass through the pseudo English red phone booth to enter the bathroom that is wallpapered in tin foil and comics.

I came to enjoy the graffiti art on the wall.

I came to read the customers messages on the stucco walls.

I came to work-order all the details of a job I love.

I came to sit; to sit still, uninterrupted, to think, to plan, to dream.

I came to pray.  To pray for you.

You, just you.

You who are graduating your first born, your baby, or just one of the bunch.

You who are planning a wedding.

You who are trying to figure out what to do with the kids as summer quickly approaches.

You who are saddened by choices made.  Your choices or the choices of the ones you love.

You who received terrible news this week.

You who received great news this week.

You who are packing to move.

You who are entering a new season, by choice or not.

You who are contemplating a new hairstyle, outfit, sofa…

You who are paying bills and wondering how to make ends meet.

You, who are trying to lose weight, fight an addiction, experience victory.

As I listen to the music overhead, drink my coffee, and look into the faces at the other tables I think of you.  Your uniqueness, your moments, your life.

Maybe you are in your favorite spot or maybe you are in a tight spot…no matter sink into the truth that He will be with you!

Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go!  Joshua 1:8, 9 NIV

 

HodgePodge, Parenthetically Speaking

“You must wave back, even if it’s too much for you.” Prince William to Catherine

April 30, 2011

I have to admit, I got up at 4:30 am to watch the Royal Wedding.  I just had to; I had done the same when Prince Charles married Lady Di, I did the same for the funeral of Princess Dianna.

I am truly fascinated by the Royals.  All the tradition, the stories, the extravagance, it is so intriguing.

In fact I am still watching it!  And even though I have my very favorite moments of the wedding (watching Catherine’s daddy by her side with piles of her train on his lap, seeing Harry turn around to see Catherine walk the aisle and whispering something to William who had been instructed not to turn around so that the dress would be a surprise), I now have a new favorite moment!

As the Royal couple rode the open aired coach back to the Palace, William turned to Catherine and said, “You must wave back, even if it’s too much for you.”

After 25 years of marriage, I can attest that the wedding is just a tiny slice of what’s to come.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love weddings.  In fact I will be attending 2 weddings this very weekend and our son marries our sweet Cassie in less than 2 months from today (this will be our second child to marry in 54 weeks, but who’s counting?).

We have been blessed thus far with children who really are focused on the covenant of marriage and not just the wedding event.  The wedding is after all, only the beginning.   Oh we spend plenty of time and effort on the planning and Khaki’s wedding was beautiful, and I am certain that Michael’s will be also.  But while there was beauty in the flowers, the setting, the cake, and the bride, the true beauty was the love of the two entering a covenant with the One who is Love!

This is not an easy covenant to keep; can I get an Amen from the older women?

After the wedding, the reception, the honeymoon, the moving in to the first home, comes the real thing…

Commitment.  And lots of it.  Sometimes a marriage gets to a point that all that is holding it together is a commitment to commitment, a resolve to the covenant made.

As hard as it may seem to pull off a wedding, the hardest part is marriage; staying the course, staying committed, waving back even if it’s too much for you.

Fight!  Fight for your marriage.  Fight for that covenant.  It won’t be easy.  Nothing worth having is ever easy.   But it is worth it.

There have been many moments that John and I have fought for our marriage (plenty of times we have fought period!).  Now as we approach an empty nest, the legacy of wedded children, the hope of grandchildren, we are more in love than ever before.

Oh we still have to fight for our marriage, but it is a little easier now that we understand and embrace that you are on the same team (think of this the next time you fight with your hubby, it can really help).

You can overcome what seems impossible.  With God all things are possible. If you are facing more serious issues pull in an expert.   Get counseling, find a mentor couple (one that will speak truth in love to both of you), do whatever it takes to preserve that covenant.

Last night I attended a party for a couple celebrating 40 years of marriage.  What an example of keeping a covenant, of being committed to the commitment made with the Creator of marriage.  I can attest that these 2 waved back even when it was too much for them.  Thank you for your example!

So today as I attend to wedding details, I will pray for my sweet Michael and his intended, Cassie.  I will pray for Khaki and Travis as they approach their 1 year anniversary.  I will pray for John and I that we will finish strong.  I will pray for the two couples whose weddings I will attend this weekend.  And I will pray for you.  He knows your needs and your names, so I will ask that He provides whatever is needed for you today.

And if all is well right now for you…celebrate!!

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