Sunday, October 30, 2005

Spiritual Termites

Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for Himself;
the LORD will hear when I call to Him.
In your anger do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
(Psalm 4: 3-4)

Termites, those wood-munching midgets, cause most of their damage silently. By the time you see their tunnels, or discover the chewed wood, they are either long-gone (leaving weakened structures behind) or they are in full attack mode.

During my grad. school days, I remember watching houses in the Miami area being "tented" for termites. First, families, pets, plants and food were removed. Then, a whole building was covered in non-gas-permeable tarps, and the structure was flooded with poisons to kill off all of the crawling things. Here in Maryland we have these lovely subterranean termites (the kind that "recycle" downed wood and colonize in the frames of houses.) Our "perimeter defense system" (aka buried poison and baiting stations) have helped keep our home free from termite infestations... I think...

And that's the problem. We THINK that we don't have any termites. But I have this sneaking suspicion that, on any given day, you could find some chomping away less than a meter from our home. We dare not let our termite treatment 'guarantee' lapse. We don't want to be caught off guard.

Ah, that I could only be so diligent in the spiritual realm. But I am not! Over the last several months, I've found 'colonies' of all sorts of "spiritual termites" trying to take up residence in my life. By themselves, they are basically innocuous, or at their worst, distracting others from the Christ-likeness I want to show in my life. It is a bit disquieting to discover this.

The only effective treatments? Prayer. Times of quiet reflection. Scripture. Accountability to friends. Honesty - REAL honesty with God about what I dream of doing for Him, and where I am in the process. It's not that I need to self-flagellate or have a time of morbid self-introspection. Nope. I just need to get "face time" with Jesus. I need to hear His Heart, as He knows mine so well, and respond...

Are we on the same page, Lord?
Is there anything else I should be thinking
...or doing

...or saying
...or not saying?

The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD;
He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases.
All a man's ways seem right to him,
but the LORD weighs the heart.
To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
(Proverbs 21:1-3)

From our home to yours -

Thursday, October 20, 2005


In September of 2003, my husband and I started the application process for his mom to move closer to us. Though she has been living an apartment not too far from us for the last year, she was actually in a 'holding pattern', waiting for her number to come up in a life-care community. Now, 2 years after the process began, we have come to moving day! It will be a day of frustrations, confusion, and unfortunately, rain showers!

All I could think of was what had happened in the process of meeting this much-anticipated mile marker. In the waiting, there has been illness, surgery, grief, vacations, misunderstandings, celebrations, birthdays, Christmas, middle school graduation, concerts, hurricanes, thunderstorms and finally... a move. In the midst of the highs and lows of the last months, inspite of worries and joys, God has been there and has been faithful.

What is hardest to spell out for the cynical and the angry person is how God has helped me cope. He has. I have laughed hard, cried often and loved much. I've had supportive friends at each wobble in my course. I've stayed married - no small feat in today's world. I have read His Word and found encouragement; I have neglected my prayer life and heard His love for me anyway. Obviously, this Love one does not earn!

In a way, my calendar is no more or no less busy than any other woman or mother. I don't have high-flying clients. I don't have a nanny or maid. I don't have a fancy wardrobe or a facelift... but I do have Love in my life. Unending Love. Undeserved Love. Unexpected Love.

I looked at my calendar for next week, trying to gauge what's ahead. A mammogram. Ah, there's pause for thought and a few anxious 'what ifs'??? Yet, in spite of what is or is not going to show up on a piece of film, God will be there. And for all the other milemarkers ahead in my life? Yup. He's there for those, too...

From our home to yours...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Something in the fridge is growing hair!

It never fails. I make a list, go to the grocery, and in a week, something in the fridge is growing "hair". Well - not really hair - I guess it sounds better than wild funky mold spores.

Fact: one mold spore can recolonize a whole fridge. Who knew? I've cleaned and bleached it. Still it grows hair. I've emptied and rinsed it with boiling water. Still it grows hair. Gee, isn't THIS uplifting. And appetizing!

Much like the example of the yeast in I Corinthians 5, I've got an ugly metaphor for the sin in my life. Oh, my tendency to sin will never go away completely. But I am noticing, that, as I grow along with Christ, I'm getting a little better at seeing my sin earlier in the process. I will struggle - - and keep on growing. Just like the hairy vegetables in my fridge, it doesn't get as bad before I notice and work to clean things up...

Here's to a hairy-free fridge! And the promise of an eternal (sin free) life!

From our home to yours...