Middle ground

I have been trying to work myself into a place of doubt where I know I can feel comfortable; somewhere familiar, a niche just for me. I have been there before.

I am looking for a place where mediocrity has been validated; an area of solace where I can feel good about thinking perhaps tomorrow.

I have been searching for a shallow place to tread; a small plot of earth to till with maybe one day.
I keep finding these places instead:

You are a daughter of the most-high King.
Why not you?

You are a new creature, sanctified and blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavens.
Why not you?

You are a woman, mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend.
Why not you?

You have asked for wisdom, and you know the words of truth, the gospel of good news, the story of eternal life.
Why not you?

You are charged to serve others as a manager of the varied grace of God.
Why not you?

You have been healed by a miracle.
Why not you?

I have no excuses to continue to look for my middle-ground. I must fulfill my purpose by obeying exactly the commands I have been given, finding the strength beyond my own to commit my life to the cause of Christ. He has put me in this place to move forward, not just to stay afloat. I am meant to show His perfection in my weakness; to show Him worthy of all glory and honor. I am to tell about THE truth, THE one way, and THE life.

Please, Lord, show your Strength beyond my own. You have said, You are the one. Here I am, Father. Let me be worthy.

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When I visit the local produce market, I am overwhelmed by a wave of good feelings. I want some of that corn, these eggplants, and OH!, tomatoes, and a few peppers. I am enveloped in a certain euphoria by the beauty of it all, and I revel in satisfied feelings of bringing all of this good-for-us freshness into the house. These foods are a departure from the normal staples of toaster pastries and cookies, and they are so pretty! I feel like Supermom for a moment, with my hands on my hips and my cape flapping in the wind, but then my cape slaps me in the face and I’m spitting and sputtering it out of my mouth as I am stumbling back a few steps. Not so fast, Fruity Fannie, there are so many things you could do better. This is just a temporary vegetable high. When you get back home, there will be so many other things to remind you of your shortcomings. 

I did not invite him, but there he is, the enemy, trying to bring out bounties of insecurity and baskets of defeat. Ugh. And just when I was flying so high on the wings of nutrition and farm-fresh goodness.

 “But wait,” I am quietly reminded by an even stronger voice, “You are a good tree, and I love you. You will not be robbed of your good fruit. You will continue to live in victory over your struggles, because I will never leave you.”

 “Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? In the same way; every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit.” Mt. 7:16(HCSB)

 Just like that, I am placed back on the mountain and out of the valley. I am reminded by my Helper that I have good fruits because I have good roots, and the bad fruit of the liar has no place in my sanctified life. I will travel back home, where my shortcomings will be no match for Supermom: firmly planted with good roots, wielder of a bushel of pardoned peppers and owner of a basket of righteous rhubarb.  If anyone should happen to need help, just call me on the Broccoli phone….I’m just a Cauliflower away!

 

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It’s Summer….

It’s Summer…..the time when a girl’s thoughts turn to game shows. Wait, what? Yeah, you heard me. I love game shows. There was a secret celebration (complete with fireworks) in my mind when I realized that our satellite package included The Game Show Network.

You mean to tell me that there is an entire network dedicated to my initial loves of television? The media to which I devoted hours of my childhood summers learning just how much fast money could be made in Television City, Hollywood? There are replays of the stages where you could bid on a blender and a hot tub, where Richard Dawson kissed hundreds of women on (gasp!) the mouth, and Betty White always knew the Password? I may need to sit my little southern self down, before I have an attack which will cause me to glisten and need a little fan….

I know many people, who think this is, and was, a colossal waste of time. Not for me, I tell you. While I’m sure the hours I spent in front of the huge piece of furniture that was the television in the 70’s were not exactly the most well-spent time of my youth, I do believe it is where my love for words began. I love words: writing them, reading them, saying them. So when I say in Summer my mind turns to game shows, that’s the weird, awkward, unique me getting to the current road I’m taking. This summer marks the beginning of a journey for me. A journey of words and memories, of sharing thoughts and feelings, joy and lessons learned, battles fought, lost, and won with God as my guide.

So now, as I still misspend some of my time watching Dick Clark give away a new (1982) video cassette recorder, I am transported back in time to that brown upholstered couch where my bare feet barely touched the orange shag carpeting. I feel safe there, and those times allow me to come back to today with the joy of remembrance and the words to tell about it. As Drew Carey, not Bob Barker, is now winding up the showcase showdown and telling me to have something done to my pets, I’m feeling fantastic knowing that I’ll be doing what I love this summer and beyond: indulging in a little guilty game show pleasure time, and following my path of obedience to God through writing. I hope you’ll come along for the ride, and find some fun and remembrance of your own.

I’ll take “Every Day” for $1,000 Alex. 

Answer: Life Salad 

Question: What can you enjoy sprinkled with Christ, friends, laughter, and love, with a generous helping of joy on the side?

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Wilderness Hope

Wilderness Hope.

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