If You Go Fishing, Then Fish The Best You Can!!

Just thinking….


Things had been strange for the past three years, and the last few days were very tense. The world as they knew it turned upside down and inside out. What they had thought were priorities turned out to be last on the list. What they thought could never happen, never ever, had happened. Even the laws of the universe seemed to be invalid, and at this point, they wouldn’t be surprised if the law of gravity would be repealed.

They had come from diverse backgrounds, but all had a similar quest and calling. A man had asked them to leave what they were doing for a living, and doing in life…. give it all up, and come with him. If it had been any other man, they would have laughed in his face. But this man was different; they knew it from the moment they met.

So…. with families wondering and friends doubting, they left it all and followed. There had been some exciting moments, some scary moments, some moments of being bone tired and of being confused. There were the moments that they had glimpses of understanding, and then those moments passed. Overall the journey was quite the adventure, but the last year had been rough.

Some of the public had started to make things uneasy for the group. The group was committed to doing good, so the negative reactions stunned them. Hate stares, the whispered innuendo, the attempts to trip them up and shame them, and even death threats had become part of life. The situation accelerated to the point that the leader was arrested and condemned to death.

The little group looked around at each other. Now what? Three years for nothing. Now to go back and face the scoffing family and friends, to piece together the interrupted career, to hear the “I told you so’s”….. But more than that, the incredible dream that they had all bought into seemed shattered. How had they been so easily duped?

At this point, the truly incredible happened. Their leader, whom they had seen die and be put into the grave, became alive again. It was beyond anything they had ever seen and gave new vigor and determination to the group. The last three years were NOT a mistake, and they could continue in the ways to which they had become accustomed.

Not so fast. The journey had just begun, and the route was going to be different. The leader announced that he would be going away, and that a new leader would be taking over. Huh?

One man, who had run a fishing business before all this began, announced that he was going back to fishing. Charismatic and impulsive, he headed for the lake, and others followed. But the fishing was terrible that night and once again the group was discouraged. Fishing was all he had known…. and now it seemed to be falling apart.

empty net

A man on the beach called out to them and asked if they had caught anything for breakfast. No, they had caught nothing.

The man on the beach suggested that they change tactics and lower the net on the other side of the boat. The men rolled their eyes, but had nothing to lose. The net went down…. and came up filled with fish…. 153 BIG fish!!! And suddenly they recognized the man on the beach; he was their leader. They headed for shore. This was only the third time that they had seen him since the miracles of his death and life had happened.

filled net

The man had breakfast cooking over a camp fire when they arrived: bread and fish. And they ate.

Today I was reading this story again, in John 21 and I zeroed in in Peter, the fisherman. Fishing was what Peter did for a living and fishing was what he went back to. I began to think about when Jesus first called Peter to come follow him.

Matthew 4:19 says: “Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.”

Yes, Peter went back to fishing, but it was a whole new kind of fishing. His fishing skills were used in a new direction. Did he possibly think, “All I know is fishing. How do I go around fishing for people?” Did he have an image in his head of a big net with arms and legs sticking out of it? Did he understand immediately what Jesus was asking of him?

And the question that started forming in my mind was: Does God ever take what we do as a career or skill or hobby and then use it for His glory?

I was trained to be a teacher and I taught school for many years. Does that mean that I will teach in the church? A friend is a nurse as a secular job. Is she to somehow use that skill to be a nurse in the church? And the list could continue.

The case of Peter seems to confirm that God can take our abilities and training and then use them for His glory. He can take those skills and change them to a more useful form. In my career, I taught language arts in high school and on the university level. But I was also called to teach groups of women in a Bible study. God took what I did for a living, and tweaked it to equip me for teaching a different audience and in a different way.

But can He, does He, take a person who has never taught anything ever, and use that person as a teacher? Based on my experience, I would have to say yes. Kathy worked in real estate. Never in her life did she think she could be a teacher. But she now teaches children each week about the Lord, and has found an uncommon success in doing so. God took her willingness to serve, and tweaked it to equip her for something altogether different.

So if you go fishing, FISH!!! Fish your heart out! Fish to the best of your ability! And then when you are unexpectedly asked to be a public speaker, do so knowing that you will be equipped.

Keep in mind that I’m not a theologian. But it just seems to me that I sometimes put God in a box and try to limit Him on what He can do with people. My dad was a farmer; could he be a farmer for God’s glory and use his farming skills in the church? What about an accountant? Or a beautician? Can God use those skills for His glory? Or can He take that accountant, farmer and beautician and give them entirely new skills in order to equip them to serve? Is “church” only about preachers, teachers and song directors? Or can God use other skills and training to glorify Himself? I have to say yes; God can use us in unexpected ways. God uses our ability, but He also uses our willingness.

What do you think?

Father, take me and any abilities that I have and use me. I want to serve, even though I sometimes have fear about how to do what I am called to do. When everything seems upside down and I ask “Now what?”, please, Father, calm me. Forgive my fear and equip me to serve in any way that You deem worthy.

To God Be The Glory…..

Published in: on August 30, 2013 at 12:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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Travel Lightly….. And Carry On….

Just Thinking…

It’s not that I don’t get out much. I’ve been half way around the world and back, and have travel blood racing in my veins. It’s that I still don’t know how to pack.


This is what I want my luggage to look like.


This is how much I actually end up with.


And this is what I do.

Pathetic, isn’t it. Too much stuff. Why is it that when I see this sign:

baggage sign

that I immediately also see this tag:



I know what happens to luggage at the airport; I’ve watched the guys throw them onto the little carts and then toss them on the conveyor to the plane. I’ve seen how they come slamming down into the baggage area carousel.

airport stacks

And I know how luggage all looks alike, and I know how people personalize their luggage. Mine is black with red and yellow sparkly yarn tied to all the handles. My parents used to put duct tape initials on the sides of their luggage. I know folks who deliberately buy the rattiest most beat up luggage they can find at yard sales, on the presumption that no one will bother to steal it at the airpot.


You can make it yourself, or buy it at:

ugly lug sign

Sigh. I don’t want ugly luggage. I don’t want luggage that is busting out the seams. I don’t want luggage that makes me pay extra for excess weight or pieces. I just want to travel with a nice piece that is easily organized, easily totable, and fits all the regulations. Is that too much to ask? I want something like this:


So what’s the problem, you ask? The problem is that I want to carry too much stuff. If I’m gone for a week, do I really need 7 tees? Do I really need 5 pairs of shoes? You get the idea. The sad part is that I end up actually not using all this stuff that I so frantically packed. So I just tote it around….. for nothing.

The rule about carry-on’s actually helped me. It made me think a little more carefully about what I choose to take with me. And I have now reached the point that I can travel with a carry-on bag and a purse and it covers just about any need that I may have. Maybe less really is more?

And the same rule is true in most of life. I can go to one extreme and be a hoarder, piling up “stuff” to the ceiling in every room of the house. Or the other extreme is being exceptionally austere with barely anything to sit on in the room. I prefer a balance, and try to get a balance that’s more to the austere end.

Or how about my closet. I have three sizes of clothes in there: too big, too small, and just right. I call it my “Three Bears” closet. Yes, I know that I’ll probably never wear the too small clothes again; yes, I hold on to them.

My hall closet is stuffed with toilet paper and kleenex. I have this fear of running out of either at midnight during a snow storm. The fact that this has never actually happened to me doesn’t matter. I just want this stuff…. this sense of security, know what I mean?

My pantry is full. I expect to feed an army of starved teenage boys at any moment…. or at least, it looks that way.

Now none of these examples are actually wrong, or a moral failing. But there are other areas in which I carry too much baggage that can be problematic. I carry too much weight, and should ideally lose 10-20 pounds. Sometimes I carry worry or grudges. Sometimes I carry fears. Sometimes I carry the weight of the world. Sometimes I carry bad memories of bad choices. And those start to look like overstuffed ugly luggage.

So I keep telling myself to let it go, travel lightly, stay sensible. Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

The Message puts it this way: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

That’s what I need to do: learn to live freely and lightly as I walk with Jesus. He won’t give me too much to carry because He helps me carry it.

I like this from Matthew 11:30: “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” If I am to be like Jesus, then I need to travel with a lighter burden. And I have to do that by turning it all over to Him.


Yep. In the travels of life, it’s nice to only go with carry on luggage. I really don’t want the burden of excess baggage, and I REALLY don’t want the burden of ugly excess baggage.

Father, Help me get rid of all that excess baggage that I seem to insist on carrying around with me. Help me carry on…. with Jesus. Amen.

To God Be The Glory….

Published in: on August 25, 2013 at 4:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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I Don’t Make Many Messes….. But….

Just Thinking…..

I’m a neat person. I’m organized, clean. I put things away when I’m finished with them. I wipe up spills, file papers, and put dishes into either the dishwasher or cabinet, as the situation warrants. We empty the trash on a regular basis. I clean my closets, scrub the toilets, wash windows. Like I said, neat.

But when I make a mess, I make it big. Good and big. Huge, actually. My messes are different from this picture. This is more like a habitual mess….. a hoarding mess. That’s not me.


Even this next picture is not my kind of mess. This is an uncontrolled mess of a shorter duration than the hoarding kind of mess. My big messes are more of a very short term kind of thing, a sudden burst of a mess sort of thing.

Unknown copy

Take for example, the time I tried to cook rhubarb.

Growing up, I helped Mom with the rhubarb. I cut it out of the patch. I chopped off the big leaf at the top. I cut the stalk into inch lengths. I washed it. But I realized when I was married and in my own home, faced with a stack of rhubarb, that I had never actually cooked it.

Those rock hard little nubbins would surely take all day to simmer and soften. I didn’t have that sort of time, so out came my trusty pressure cooker. I packed in the rhubarb and water and fired up the stove. The little jiggler thing on the top began to dance and make a noise. So far, so good.

But suddenly the jiggler thing flew straight up into the air, followed by a pink stream of steaming goo. The pink mucus hit the ceiling and then began to drip and form pink stalactites. I knew I had to get the pressure cooker off the burner, or at least turn off the burner, but it was dangerous navigating the hot dripping glop. I searched for an umbrella, but alas…. So I ran about, calling out the Hub’s name, hoping that he could hear me and rescue me.

Brave man. He dodged the “stuff” and turned off the stove. I was left with a very pink kitchen to clean, and I ended up with a permanently pink stained ceiling. The sweet stickiness covered every surface in the room; my feet stuck to the floor with every step. It took several days to completely clean the mess. Big mess….

After that, I tried to be careful. But I recently had another disaster. A friend gave me some lovely beets. I put water into a large pot and heated it on the stove. I cleaned the beets, carefully leaving on the stems and roots (so that all the color doesn’t bleed out during cooking). I gently placed the beets into the boiling water.

And then I got busy with something else and forgot them. The smell of charred veggies and the wafting smoke reminded me of my transgression. I yelled at the Hubs to OPEN THE GARAGE DOOR, and I grabbed the pot with pot holders and bee lined it outside. I opened windows, fanned, and prayed that the smoke detector would not start to blare. And even a can of Oust could not remove the odor….

The next morning, I surveyed the damage. The pot was charred inside, but I had heard that boiling a little water and baking soda could clean messes like this. So I added water and baking soda to the pot and put it back onto the stove. For good measure, I added a squirt of dish soap. Couldn’t hurt, right? I turned up the heat.

Then the phone rang. And then, some time later, I heard a strange hiss.

images copy

Now this picture is not my pot or stove. I was too embarrassed to take a picture of the mess I had made. My mess was about 4 times worse than what you see in this pic. White billowy foam covered the stove top, the burner cavities, had run down the oven door, was in the little storage drawer under the oven, had dripped onto the floor, and was on the counter tops. I grabbed a roll of paper towels and began to sop up the mess.

What I learned was that boiling baking soda in water can leave a fine white powder on any surface, and that it mocks my cleaning. Paper towels, wet dishcloths, dry cloth towels, rinse and repeat, and rinse and repeat finally did the trick. I had to lift the stove top, take out all the burners and burner shields and wash them repeatedly. I had to clean the oven and the drawer. The floor was wet….. and I slipped. I had soda powder all over my clothes and it was in my hair and under my finger nails. What a mess….

The good news was the pot really did come clean of the charred beets. But getting the white film off it was not so easy.

I was reflecting on this latest mess while changing my clothes.

The kitchen was clean again. I brushed the dry soda out of my hair. All the soppy wet towels could be washed. Everything looked as if nothing had happened. But I knew the hard work that went into the clean up.

I’ve made some other messes in life that weren’t so easy to clean up. Ever have a financial mess that took a while to clean? Ever have a professional or personal mess that you had to struggle to clean? I’ve been blessed that I’ve been protected from the worst messes that I could have slipped in, but like most folks, I’ve had my share of situations that were my fault. And it took time to clean it up.

And then there’s that whole sin-mess. So grateful that Jesus helped me clean that up, and I can’t possibly know or understand the hard work that went into the cross….. just to clean up my mess. And like the rhubarb fiasco, I find myself calling for help when I’m deep into my mess. So grateful that God hears me call….

Oh, did I mention that I cooked the next batch of beets with no incident? Whew…..

Father, I confess. I have sinned. Sometimes I didn’t even realize what I was doing, but most of the time, I just walked straight and deliberately into the messes. Forgive me. When I think of what You went through just to pull me out of my mess and clean it all up, I am ashamed. And I am grateful that You loved me enough to do this for me. I’m grateful that You heard me when I called out Your name.

To God Be The Glory…..


Published in: on August 21, 2013 at 3:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Insomnia Club Is In Session. All Rise!!!!!

Just Thinking….


It’s 6:18 AM, light enough outside now that I can see the leaves on the trees. This was not so at 5:18 AM, nor at 4:18 AM, nor at….. you get the idea.


Yep. Insomnia strikes again. And last night made 4 nights in a row. A girl has got to get her sleep, and it’s not just for beauty! Insomnia makes me bleary eyed, slumped, and dismal. But it also makes me slow thinking and grumpy. Not a pretty picture…..


I’ve tried various measures: the warm milk (yuck) or cheese for tryptophan. Read that turkey is a good source of tryptophan. Note to self: get some turkey…. Massage. Warm bath. Soothing music. Night before last I sat in the hot tub, searching the skies for a Perseid meteor. Took a supplement called CLA. Took melatoin. Took potassium. Each of these items works…. for a very short time. And then PING!! I’m awake again. And don’t even mention counting sheep. Whose bright idea was that? Maybe turkey and cheese while sitting in the tub? Bad idea….


A cramp hits my big toe; I’m awake. Nature calls; I’m awake. Weird dream; I’m awake. The Hubs snores, yawns, rolls over, breathes; I’m awake. A car light filters through the blinds; I’m awake. I get hot; I’m awake. I start thinking or remembering or pondering; I’m awake. I feel hungry; turkey and cheese anyone?


Then it’s what to do. Do I just force myself to lay and not move a muscle? Do I try to find a more comfy position? Do I get up and have more cheese? Do I adjust the thermostat? Turn on the fan? Turn off the fan? Pray?


So what I do… finally…. is get up. I read, play a game, lean back in my recliner and try to relax.


Impossible. Thoughts of the past few days begin to twist my gut and make me cry. All of the “what-if” scenarios go crashing through my head. My schedule for the day keeps popping up in my mind. Worries are crowding my brain. And it’s all covered with thoughts of “I’ve got to get some sleep.”


Right. That’s why I’m sitting here in the recliner tapping away on my blog…. right? Sheesh…… all these little pictures are keeping me awake…..


The good news is that I am retired and don’t have to be alert for a job and up at the crack of dawn. The bad news is that I will get draggy tired and fall asleep in the middle of the day. I’m like a baby with my nights and days all mixed up. But it’s 7:08 right now, and time to make coffee. Lots of coffee. Strong coffee……


Father! Soothe my troubled mind and spirit. Help me find the refreshing sleep that I so desperately crave. Amen

To God Be The Glory…..


Published in: on August 14, 2013 at 1:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Tale of Piggies and Builders (sad subtitle: I Never Knew You)

Just Thinking…….





“Little pig, little pig, let me come in.”
“No, no, not by the hair on my chinny chin chin.”
“Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in”

Remember?  The three little pigs went out into the world and each built a house.  The first  built one of straw and the wolf blew it in.  The second pig built one of sticks, and it was the same scene.  But the third pig….. now that was an entirely different story.  The  house  was built of bricks, and try as he might, the big bad wolf could not  blow it in.

Today in church, we read a similar story, but this time it was two builders.  The first man, a foolish man, built his house on sand.  The storms destroyed it.  The second builder was wise and built his house on a firm foundation: rock.  The storms could not blow it over.

I’ve often wondered about this. The piggies all seemed to have access to the same building materials. Yet two of them chose fragile materials and only one choose the more permanent brick. The builders were working on a similar structure: a house. Yet one chose a foundation that was open to shifting and blowing, while the other secured the home to a rock.


I remember singing a little song when I was a kid; it went like this:

The Wise Man Built His House

The wise man built his house upon the rock
The wise man built his house upon the rock
The wise man built his house upon the rock
And the rain came tumbling down
Oh, the rain came down
And the floods came up
The rain came down
And the floods came up
The rain came down
And the floods came up
And the wise man’s house stood firm.
The foolish man built his house upon the sand
The foolish man built his house upon the sand
The foolish man built his house upon the sand
And the rain came tumbling down
Oh, the rain came down
And the floods came up
The rain came down
And the floods came up
The rain came down
And the floods came up
And the foolish man’s house went “splat!”

We had all the vigorous hand motions to go with the song, and every movement just helped to engrave the song into my mind.  But the real message of the song didn’t become clear to me until much later.

The Hubs and I built a house, and oh! what a house!  It was a passive solar home, and we custom designed it and built it.  It looked solid and substantial.  But a few years after we built it, a crack developed in the foundation.  We paid engineers to analyze and correct the problem.  The soil had compacted during a drought and that allowed the foundation to sink.  It didn’t sink much, but even a little led to the crack.    The foundation held, the house still stood, and we continued to enjoy many good years there.

It could have been worse.  When we were in Fairbanks, Alaska, we saw a home that had been built on permafrost.  When the family moved in, the activities of daily living, such as laundry, cooking, showering, breathing, had started the permafrost meltdown.  The entire home imploded as the foundation turned to water.  It was a beautiful home, but built on the wrong foundation.  (Disclaimer:  this photo is not the house we saw, which was owned by the University of Alaska, but shows a similar sinking home.)


Our pastor today led us in studying Matthew 7: 24-27 a little more closely as we considered the importance of foundation in our beliefs.  Here are the probing questions he asked us:

1.  Is Jesus one of many,  or the one and only?

2.  Have I decided for Jesus, or committed to Jesus?

3.  Do I know about Jesus, or do I really know Him?

4.  Am I more focused on the outside,  or on the inside?

5.  Am I a self empowered fan, or a spirit filled follower?

These are some of the foundational questions that I must ask myself if I believe myself to be Christian.  The Matthew passage is the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus was instructing the crowds in this new way of kingdom living.  But it had to be based on something solid and true.

Here’s the passage:

Matthew 7:24-27

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”


And here  some observations:

1.  Verse 25 does not say on “A” rock.  It says on “The” rock.  Big difference!  “The” points out one particular rock, not just one of many rocks.  And remember, Jesus calls Himself the rock.

Matthew 21:42                                                                                                                                                                             42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes?

1 Corinthians 3:11
11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

2.  The storm assaulting the house came from all directions: from above, from below and from direct hits.  The rains came DOWN; the floods came UP, and the winds BLEW and BEAT.  I’ve been there.  I’ve experienced those days when I felt as if I was being attacked from every possible direction.  Those were the days that I just wanted to cover my eyes with my hands and then run and hide under my blankets.  Ever go through a tornado or hurricane or monsoon?  Even hiding under the blankets is no good if the house careens off the foundation.  There’s very little comfort in knowing that everything could topple in a moment.

3.  Matt. 7:24 starts with the word “therefore”.  A pastor once told me that when I see the word “therefore,” I should ask myself what it is there  for.  Well,  in this case, I look back to verse 21.  It is chilling. Some folks are being turned away from eternity with Jesus because they never knew Him as Lord.  They called Him “Lord”, but the words made no difference if the relationship was not there.  Did they think that they had secured the relationship and secured eternity?  This is when I reflect again on the builders.  Why would a builder waste money and time and energy building a house on shifting sand?  Why deliberately set himself up for failure?  Is it possible that the builder saw the firm, packed sand and thought that it would work?  Is it possible that those in the last days desperately crying out “Lord!” thought that certain rituals or observances would work?  And then when the storms come, the truth is revealed.

4.  What is sand?  Each grain of sand is a tiny miniature rock, and is a particle of an original rock, but it is NOT the rock.  The sand in one way looks like rock, but it can never in and of itself be the original rock.   It’s a fragment.   Perhaps this is where the deception lies.  We build faith on something that looks somewhat like Jesus, but it’s not Jesus.  That is faith based on a fragment and not on the whole.

5.  So…… the foolish piggies built houses of straw and sticks and they came tumbling down in the bad breath of the bad wolf.   The foolish builder built his house upon the the sand foundation, and it came tumbling down in the winds and storms.  What was the foolishness of the people that Jesus was talking to in the Sermon on the Mount?  Well, in chapter 7 of Matthew alone, they were judging others without looking at their own situation.  They were not asking and seeking in the right places.  They were streaming toward and through the wide popular gate and ignoring the narrow more difficult gate.   And they were not recognizing deception from those that they wanted to trust.  Foolish….. foolish….  And then they cry out “Lord, Lord!”  and with sadness, the Father has to say, “I never knew you.”

Oh Father!  Clear the foolishness out of my life!  I want to be firmly bound to the Rock; I want to withstand the storms that life throws around me.  Help me to be not so judgmental.  Help me to seek You in the right place: Your Word.  Help me to journey though the narrow gate.  Help me trust in You only, and be aware of deception.  Father, forgive me.”  Amen

To God Be The Glory……..





Permanent….. Uh huh…….

Just thinking……..

When I was a kid, Mom used to give me home perms.  I’ll never forget Toni and Lilt.  I hated them.  First, they stunk.  Second,  the rollers pulled on my hair.  Third,  I had to sit still for a long long time.  And fourth, it was ugly.  My hair never came out in Shirley Temple curls.  It just stuck out in 90 degree angled tufts with a spiral here and there.  I cried all the way through the ordeal.  I cried when Mom went shopping and came home with the dreaded perm box. I cried when she dug out the box of pink rollers and those flimsy little papers.

The weird thing is that they were called “permanents”.   But they didn’t last forever (which is a good thing, considering the angular bent my hair took).  Nope.  A few months later, the box and rollers and papers appeared all over again.

Despite the hate-relationship with Toni and Lilt, I really am a permanent kind of girl.  I like for things to last forever.  I’m known for wearing awful shoes, because I fall in love with a pair and wear them until they are tilted over, scuffed up, and unstitched.  If I had my way, I’d still be wearing that gray pair…..

My clothes are decidedly out of date.  This is partly because I’m cheap, but mostly because I find something that I like and it takes up residence in my closet forever.

I drive a little red Tracker.  A what?  You heard me: a Tracker.  My grand kids call it The Buggy.  They told me to never sell it.  I’m obeying.  I like that little car, and I hope it lasts another 20 years….. or more.  It’s comfy and just the right fit for me.

As soon as I could afford it, I bought some Calphaln cookware.  I had gone through the cheap thin tin pots and had to keep buying a replacement.  That offended my permanent soul!   This Calphalon should last the rest of my life, and my granddaughter’s life, too.

The Hubs and I designed and built a passive solar home of our dreams about 35 years ago.  And it worked like a dream.  And it made our energy costs a dream.  We built that home to last.  Only thing is that we no longer live there.

My swimsuit is from the last century.  Really.  The hot tub has faded it and stretched it, but it’s still my fav suit.  And when I put it on, I pretend like it still fits.  If I squint just right, it looks good.  But good or not, I’m sticking by it.  We have a relationship……

And that reminds me of people.  Relationships are a BIG deal to me.   If you are my cousin or niece or nephew or sib or kid or grandkid, then you will always always always be family. I don’t care if we are third cousins twice removed (whatever that means).  As far as I am concerned we are family.  And if you were my friend in grade school and we now reconnect, you are still just my friend.  If you are my friend, and you move away or change churches  or change jobs….. big deal….. you are still my friend.

The Hubs is my best friend.  I want him to be in my life forever.  Right now I am sitting with my feet up in my comfy recliner.  He is in another recliner reading the newspaper.  I look over at him and think, “Wow.  What a guy.  To think that he loves me.”   And I want that to last forever and ever.  I want us to grow old together (so far, we’re doing a pretty good job of it).

And I don’t want to even think of a time when I might be alone with out him.  I don’t want to be without my home, my Tracker, my cooking pots, my worn out shoes and out of date clothes.  But mostly, I don’t want to be alone.  I’d just like for this relationship to to be permanent.  A forever thing.

The rational side of me says “Sweetheart.  It’s not going to happen.”  I know that.  My grandparents, who I cherished, are gone.  My dad died last month.  Things happen; death is a given.  And yet my soul keeps reaching out for the permanent.  How very sweet and reassuring to know that the Hubs is a believer, just as I am, and that in some form or another, eternity is ours!  We don’t know exactly what it will be like or what our relationship will be like, but I know that it will not be a permanent separation.

I think of foster children, shuttled from home to home, with no bedroom to cal their own, let alone a mommy and daddy to call their own.  Oh how they must crave some sort of permanence.  How they must just want to be able to come to the same address every day after school and lay down in their own bed.  It’s that forever feeling.

I think of some of the novels set during the Civil War (by Lynn Austin) and how the slaves had no sense of permanence.  They had no guarantee that they could keep a child or a husband.  They had no place to call their own, no sense of the four walls around them of ever being secure.

I think of my son.  When he was little, he announced that he was never going to leave home.  When we asked why, he replied, “Food’s good.”   Obviously that changed:  both the food and the leaving home.  He has his own home now, his own children, and he’s a mighty fine cook.  Nope, that was just a passing fancy, not a permanent arrangement.

The rational side of me knows that the only permanence I’ll ever really know is eternity and Heaven.  Maybe when I’m struggling with losing people and seeing material things rust and decay, it’s just that eternal part of me biding time.

So Toni and Lilt aside, I’m a permanent girl living in a decidedly un-permanent world.  Ay, there’s the rub…

Father, I ask for a glimpse of eternity, that fleeting vision of what is to come, that hope that someday we will all be gathered before You in eternity.  Fill my heart with appreciation for what I have now, and with anticipation for what lies ahead.  Thank You for all those You have put into my path, even though it is not forever.

To God Be The Glory…..