A Place for All Women

Posts tagged ‘Spirituality’

Freshly Pressed

         Audio and Music version

          When I was growing up, my mother and grandmother ironed everything.  They would take their ironing board to the living room, change the setting on the flimsy metal legs so the board was waist-high, then sit down while they ironed, so they could watch their “stories.”  Ironing was a thankless hot job, but at least they got to see who had checked into General Hospital or who was following the Guiding Light.

          I swore off of soap operas years ago when my son told his teacher I watched them “all day long!”  The only one I really kept up with was The Young and the Restless, and I only watched it because it came on at lunchtime.  But if my child thought it was excessive, it was time to stop.  So I stopped watching, but I kept ironing.

          I also iron everything.  Most of my friends think I’m crazy, but it hasn’t kept me from creasing my son’s school khakis or pressing my husband’s pants.  I even iron t-shirts, shorts and blue jeans.

          Wrinkle free clothing just looks nice.  It makes you feel good.  It’s attention to detail in a ratty old world.

          It would be nice if we could just iron out all the wrinkles in our relationships. I’m a fan of acting like nothing ever happened when it comes to mending the messes that I make and it works really well if the other person also prefers that plan.  But sometimes we have to put more effort into it, make up for what we did or said, and then try to move on.  Sometimes we have to push past our own prejudices and refuse to fall into that old trap of thinking someone else’s sin is worse than our own.

          When Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  He didn’t say some of the law and the prophets hang on those two commandments, he said ALL of them do.

          What if we could iron out the differences between Republicans and Democrats, men and women, heterosexuals and homosexuals, Apple and Dell? 🙂 What if, as women, we were the first to quit pointing fingers at each other, to quit judging each other by some sin scale we were taught as children, to open our hearts and minds and really believe that ALL the commandments hang on the two Jesus cited?  We can’t condemn, we can’t judge, we can’t hate the other woman’s hair, dress or make-up if we are loving others as we do ourselves.  It doesn’t matter what we think of abortion, gay rights, paper or plastic.  Love is the bottom line.  We can love someone solely because they were made in God’s image or, better yet, because He told us to.  It doesn’t mean we have to invite them over for Sunday brunch. 🙂

          We’re all in this together.  Even in the Garden of Eden where Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the Serpent and everybody was judging everybody else for what each one had done wrong, they were still in it together.  They had to learn to live together.  They had to overcome the blame game and who did what to whom or whose sin was worse than the other and they had to learn to love again.  As the World Turns wouldn’t have worked any other way.  They just had to iron it out. 🙂

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© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Life on a Leash

          There are two types of people on the rural road where we live.  There are those who keep their dogs on a tight leash, and those who don’t. I have to admit our two canines are free runners.  It’s one of the reasons we like living outside of the city. While an unleashed life comes with great risk, it also comes with incredible reward.

          Our dogs love to chase squirrels, romp through the woods, go creek walking or doggie paddle across the pool.  They have known and experienced the dangers of getting too close to the cars and have come running back home for help.

          God gives us complete freedom…so much freedom, in fact, we are free to walk away from Him…free to go it alone…free to find what is out there in the world that might bring us more happiness than Him.

          When our three-legged white terrier Zadie is headed up to the neighbor’s house for a little extra loving, or our black and white Border collie, Liberty, is bounding across the road after a squirrel, all our attempts to call them back fall on deaf ears.

          We’re more like them than we might care to comprehend.  How many times does the Spirit of God call us back?  How long does He wait for us to decide, even without a leash, that we would rather return to his presence than ever go it alone?

          Robert Robinson knew what it was like to be alone.  He lost his father when he was only five years old and was later disinherited by his wealthy grandfather.  Robert desperately desired to find his peace in the presence of Almighty God.  But in 1757, at 22-years-old, he penned the words,“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.” It’s true, even the mighty men and women of God, down through the ages, have been prone to wander.

           I wandered away for a while, just a couple of weeks ago.  I was distracted by something that held worldly promise.  I tossed up a prayer, but when God didn’t respond on my timetable, I took my eyes off Him, and looked around me.  There’s always another way if you look for one.  And there’s always a way out if you change your mind.  I turned back.  It wasn’t really because I necessarily wanted to; our minds and bodies rarely want to do what is good for us.  I turned back because I had to…I needed to…I would have been crazy not to.

          And just as I open the front and back doors a dozen times every day to let the dogs back in, God was there waiting for me to return to Him.  Sometimes Zadie and Liberty are wet and muddy or covered in cockleburs but I let them back in anyway.  We clean them up and allow them to climb in our laps, on the couch or even on the beds.  We do it because we love them.  We can’t make them love us in return and we wouldn’t want to, but they do.  They love us.  They trust us. They need us.

          God knows we need our freedom.  He knows we are going to go out and get dirty.  He loves us anyway.  He’s not going to force us to love Him in return. What kind of love would that be? But when we do discover that we can’t do life without Him, He is always there waiting when we turn back and head home.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.

And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.

But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out

so that you can endure it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13  


          My father-in-law spent almost all his life in service to the Lord. He used to tell the story of watching 4-H animal competitions.  He said the kids would bring their prized pigs to the fairgrounds, bathe them to perfection, and adorn them with ribbons.  But if one of the pigs got away, even for a moment, it would head straight to the nearest mud hole and roll in it.  He said they did it because it was their nature…just as it is in our human nature to sin.  But God is a God of forgiveness and He will always take us in and clean us up again.

Are you prone to wander?

What are the things that cause you to take your eyes off God?

How long will you wait on God before you look for your own solution?

Would you rather do life on a leash or have a life of freedom?

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.

Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Galatians 5:1

“Therefore if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.”

John 8:36


© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

A Message in the Mailbox

     On our first official weekend away from the rest of the world, I noticed my husband favoring his left knee.  It was early fall, the leaves were just beginning to turn, the sun was shining and it was warm.  He’s a basketball fanatic, and so early in our relationship, I was more than willing to play along.  So was our dog.

     We had discovered a quiet outdoor basketball court near a lake and we were just shooting some hoops.  Each time he would run toward the basket, I saw him give a little to the left, before he went up for the shot.  He told me it wasn’t a big deal, just an old basketball injury and that he was fine.

     Over the next 17 years, it became progressively worse.  The first surgeon we saw said a knee replacement would only last him ten years.  We walked out.  The second surgeon said he should start thinking about living the life of a much older man.  We walked out.  The third surgeon, a young, healthy, active, energetic, top-of-his-field kind of guy, said he saw no reason my husband wouldn’t be able to play basketball again with our teenage son.  He da man!

     So we went forward to schedule the surgery.  A problem with insurance put it on hold.  A new policy with a larger deductible made us hesitant.  Time off work was a fear factor.  And another two years went by.  The favoring of his left knee became a noticeable limp, and then an obvious limp and finally strangers were walking up to ask about it.  We ganged up on him…his family, and friends…then his co-workers, and finally his boss.  If he wasn’t already convinced, the pain became so intense, money and time no longer mattered.

      But my husband’s knee surgery is not what this is about, not really.

      As I write this post, it is March 2012.  In September 2011 my husband attended a men’s retreat organized by our church.  It’s not the sort of thing that is in his comfort zone, but he felt like he should be there.  During the weekend, the men were asked to write letters about what God had impressed upon their hearts.   They were told the letter would be mailed to them later as a reminder and a means of encouragement.  (I can sort of see my husband rolling his eyes at the very idea, but he complied.)

      The knee was replaced on Monday morning March 5th and he was walking Monday afternoon.  We came home from the hospital two days later and stopped at the mailbox.

      The letter had arrived. 

      As I opened the letter and prepared to read it, I asked him what he had written. 

      He didn’t remember. 

      But God did.

“It’s time to stay on my knees more than I complain about them.  I feel physically spent…painful to walk…and I must dig deeper into my faith as well as my resolve for recovery…leaving fear of knee surgery and it’s cost behind me.

     Call it coincidence, good timing or just a chance occurrence.  But what are the odds of that letter being delivered on the very day he returned home from doing what he was so afraid to do for 17 years?

     Prayers answered.  Fears gone.  Bills paid.  And in the mailbox, a reminder, a means of encouragement, a simple little message.

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6

 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10


 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 12:12


God knows your needs.

He hears your prayers.

Trust Him.

Lay it down.

Let it go.

And wait!

(I know, easy to say, hard to do.  But try it.  It’s not your only option.  But it’s your best!)

© Copyright 2012, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

A New Beginning

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

          He does that, you know, He makes all things new.  He gives us endless second chances.  He gives us new weeks, new months, new moons, new years.  He removes our sins, “As far as the east is from the west.”  He is patient and kind, “not willing that any should perish.”  He is our Shepherd.  And when we get loaded down, messed up and stressed out, He “makes” us “lie down in green pastures.”

          All around us are the expectations of a New Year peppered with promises to do better, live healthier, and try harder.  But we’ll fail, not at all of it, but probably at some of it.  We’ll find a good excuse to gossip… a logical reason to overreact…another celebration that will invite us to overeat…and then we’ll wake up one day feeling less motivated than we thought we would feel back on January 1.

          He will still be there making all things new.

          Some of us will venture into new opportunities. There will be new relationships, new houses, new cars, new furniture and new families. 

          He’ll bless us and favor us and wait patiently for us to see Him.  That’s who He is.  It’s what He does.  He provides for us “out of his glorious riches.”

          And even though our New Year will eventually be old, He’ll not change.  He’ll be there to see us through, “a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

 Jehovah-jireh, our Provider.

 (Bible references: Revelation 21: 5, Psalm 103:12 NAS, 2 Peter 3:9 NKJ, Psalm 23 NIV, Ephesians 3:16 NIV, Proverbs 18:24 NIV)

© Copyright 2011, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

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