Sunday, June 30, 2013

Free as...

My mother in law had an expression that always brings a mental picture... "I'm as free as a hog on ice".

Can't you see that pig heading onto the ice rink and just flying around as free as can be? Untethered, unencumered... but maybe even unbalanced, unpredictable, and unable to control the inevitable slide.

As free as it sounds, my mental red flag is already waving. That pig might be in real trouble. 

I once got out of my car, during a rare Dallas ice storm, one house away from home. I walked (skated) on thin ice to my own house next door, and told my hubby he had to go get the car and drive it to our driveway, the length of one yard. I could not do it!

So all of a sudden, the pig doesn't really seem free, in fact he is probably on a 'free fall' to who knows where.

Boundaries are good. 

Being tied to something strong and sure is good.

Being held in the hands of our loving Father is good.

While I enjoy the mental image of that pig as he heads out on the ice, I think the pig would be much better off if he were tied to something strong. I think the pig would agree.

It's everything to know that I am tied to the One sure anchor, and that He controls even the slipping and sliding.

Monday, June 24, 2013


"I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy
down in my heart
down in my heart to stay."

Do you ever think of those songs we used to sing growing up? I was humming this one, and to my shock, I realized I didn't feel that joy, not like I used to. I do have joy, and often joy, joy, but I know I don't always have joy, joy, joy,joy!!!

I miss that. I want that joy, joy, joy,joy. Can I still have it? Can I still have that kind of joy in spite of and in the midst of trying circumstances, or when my days are full of dealing with the stuff of this life?

The obvious answer is yes. God, who placed that joy in my heart when I first came to Him, is the same unchanging God who is still the only source of that kind of joy today. He has a way of reeling us in and making us sense a need... again, when our tanks need to be filled back up. 

I am sometimes guilty of listening to the clamor of voices that are loud in this world we live in... circumstances, politics, sinking economy, lack of morality... and on and on. The whole thing can leave me feeling stressed and gloomy.  It's hard not to be affected by the voices of this world.

So what do we do? We go back to where our joy, joy, joy, joy began... back to Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith. The only one who understands where we are and who we are.

I may be speaking to you, but I KNOW I am speaking to myself!! I needed that reminder this morning.

"I've got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart
down in my heart to stay"!!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

On a shoestring...

That was the expression for anything our family did as I was growing up, anything that cost money... a trip, redecorating, clothes, fancy dinner parties, etc.

We did it all on a shoestring.

In looking back, I know that my mother did  shoestring better than anyone I have ever known. She had a way of changing rooms to make them look fresh and different. She would paint the walls in a bathroom, put in a few 'on sale' different colored towels, add fresh flowers, sweet smelling soaps, and the whole room was new. There was never any big money... just a shoestring.

When she and dad gave one of their annual Christmas dinner parties for the not-so-rich, but definitely famous, ministers and evangelists... our friends talked about her parties year after year. She had such a gift of making things so special. To the tiniest decorated detail, served on platters and plates brimming with amazing food from her kitchen, to the little gifts given to each guest, wrapped and boxed in love, she made those nickels,dimes and dollars go the extra mile. 

She made casseroles out of leftovers and made us excited to eat them. I know that one of her tricks was mashed potatoes... it stretched the meat, and with some fresh veggies and a little of her gravy or sauce, and some crunchy goodness on top all browned and sizzling, that leftover meal was out of this world, shoestring or not!

Our clothes were as up to date and cute as anyone's, and I know she scoured those sale racks at W.T.Grant's in Pasadena, and that God gave her bargains 1000 times over.

It was almost a game to live on a shoestring in our home. My mom made it that way. She laughed at life, and knew who she was in the Lord.

I think that my mother's shoestrings were actually strands of gold... woven together with love, creativity, hospitality and laughter.

Shoestring in my dictionary has very special meaning, my heart pictures her example right alongside Proverbs 31.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Norwegian pancakes...

The Swedes always take credit for these, as well as for Norwegian meatballs. I don't really know what the perfect origins were, but in MY home, as I grew up... they were NORWEGIAN.

I wish I could tell you how good these are. Just give it a try sometime...

7 eggs
a smattering of flour to medium consistency
a dab of melted butter
a small amount of milk
a dab of sugar...

That's all I can tell you. There were never any measurements in our house. My mom knew exactly what consistency they should be, and then into the large teflon pan they went... rolled around to the edges like crepes, a little thicker, but a-ma-zing-ly delicous!!

She let them turn into a golden brown and flipped them, then popped them out as they were done, into a half fold and a quarter fold. As we took them from the plate, we opened them, filled them with good stuff and rolled them up like a tube and down they went! In case there were any left overs, my brother came in the next day and ate whatever was left... cold, and quick!

I still make them, but not as often as my mother did. It is a lot of work to stand there and crank them out one at a time. She never complained. I DO! You can't make them en-masse, just one at a time... a loooong time. Still... it's more than worth it. Right Felisol?? (My Norwegian sister)...

We sprinkled sugar or maple syrup or fruit jam onto the pancakes, and ate until we were stuffed. 

I do hope that in a section of heaven, my mom is up there making Norwegian pancakes for all of the 'saints.' It has to be a recipe that God thought up. It's that good!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Too easy, or too hard?...

Sometimes when I 'let go' of things that are weighing my mind and heart down, and give them to God, it seems like I'm not doing enough... that it's a cop out, that I should be trying harder to FIX it! It seems almost too easy to just ... let it go.

Other times, that 'letting it go' is the hardest thing that I do.

It almost seems like a paradox.

Definition of paradox online... "An argument that produces an inconsistency, typically within logic or common sense."

That's it, that's the problem, every time! When my human logic kicks in on a problem, but my heart and faith say 'no... Trust God, let Him have this'... it becomes a paradox.

It was never meant to be a paradox. His word is clear. "Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and lean not to your own understanding". 

My logical common sense desire to fix a problem often IS the problem!

It's me that up-ends God's apple cart, trying to get to the solution... my way.

Sometimes the letting go is harder for me than the holding on...

Why is that?

It's because it's me... learning that it's really Him.

It's because 'His ways are not my ways'. It's because He is God and He said so! The rules that work for my life and yours say that we are to 'let go' and trust Him with all of it. He made the rules and He knows that they work, He also made us, and understands that we need Him. We are so limited in our abilities and our vision, but God isn't. 

Creator and created...