Even From A Hospital Bed

 

January ended the way it began – with a reappearance of the elephant.

If you read my post Well Hello, 2015! you know this year started off with a bang for my family. The month of January ended the same way. Tuesday my husband had an MRI on his back, Wednesday my daddy had knee replacement surgergy (doing very well, praise God) and then Thursday my husband had an epidural for what we now know is a herniated disc in his back. Yesterday I felt like a doctor making my rounds as I left my husband on floor 2, went up to floor 5 to assess daddy’s progress and then back to floor 2 to check on my husband.

(Hey at least they were considerate of my needs and were there at the same time, right?)

And while I was there walking the halls I just started prayed for all the hospital staff – from the sweet older volunteers who man the phones and escort you here and there, to the nurses and the doctors who perform miraculous surgeries every day, to the nurses who look after a patient after surgery, to the people who cook and bring food to patients (which Daddy said is actually pretty good) and the housekeeping staff who clean up messes I can’t even imagine.

A lot of people come in contact with one patient in a hospital. A lot of people have the chance to bring a patient joy and hope while they are recovering. A lot of people are put in the path of one person…

So flip that around and you’ll see one person has the chance to influence a lot of people. One patient can either be grumpy and ornery to the hospital staff or one patient can be a light shining in a place that sees so much pain and suffering.

One patient – one person. Applied to our daily lives, each of us has the opportunity every day to be a light to the people we come in contact with – and that can be a lot of people in 1 day. And people are hurting all over the place, not just in hospitals. People in this world need Christians to bring light and hope and the message of Jesus to them when all hope may seem lost.

So no matter what you are doing today – going to work, picking up Super Bowl snacks at Target (yep, that’s a definite on my to-do list for today) or even laying in a hospital bed – you can be that light.

hospital

 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

Go be a light. The world needs you!

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

 

Off The Grid

Every January my church embarks on 21 days of prayer and fasting. We have corporate prayer at 6:00 a.m. each day, and we are to fast something during that time. Our pastor believes in honoring God with “firsts,” and since January is the first of the year we honor God by devoting 21 days to saying no to what our flesh wants and yes to drawing closer to Jesus.

I’ll just say I’m very impressed with the people who REALLY fast. I mean those who do the serious water & supplements fast and the ones who do the Daniel (fruits, veggies & nuts only) version. I know through the power of Jesus I could do it too, but quite frankly I worry about all the people around me who would have to deal with one cranky, sugar-starved maniac for 21 solid days. I mean hey, I’d like to stay married to the same guy another year…

One of the things I fasted for 21 days was social media. “DO WHAAAATTTT????” you say? Yep – no Instagram, FB or Twitter for 21 solid days. And yep there were a few times I felt totally out of the loop because “Didn’t you see that picture on Instagram?” or “She posted it on FaceBook.” has become common lingo in today’s world.

But by gosh through the power of Jesus I did it.  I accomplished the goal of not looking at social media for 21 days.  Then yesterday was the end of the fast, so last night like any good addict I got out my computer and started surfing my social media sites  to see what I had missed over these last 3 weeks, like a junkie running back to her crack.

 social media

I really wish I hadn’t.

Most of the FB posts were fine, but then I landed on several revolving around a federal judge’s ruling to strike down Alabama’s law defining marriage between a man and a woman.

Geez, Louise – I hope the people posting their words on FB don’t kiss their mommas with those mouths.

I used to be appalled at the posts and comments kids put on FB, but honey those are mild compared to what adults feel empowered to post.

And the whole time I’m reading these jabs, I’m thinking, “What is wrong with these people? Who says that? Who posts that????”

Venom was spewing from Christians and I’m guessing some non-Christians alike.

Scanning back through FaceBook last night was enough to confirm my decision to fast social media for 21 days. I haven’t thought about where anyone else is vacationing, felt envy over anybody’s new car or wondered why in the world a parent would let their child act a certain way, and I haven’t read the hatred some people feel inclined to unleash on others.

In short, I like being off the grid.

So, fair warning. I’m going to post my blog and I might occasionally look at social media, but I’m over it. I’m going to spend my time reading more (I read 2 whole Wall Street Journals over the weekend which is unheard of for me) and scanning less. So if I don’t “like” your post or comment on how beautiful your picture is or wish you a happy birthday on FB, don’t get offended. It’s a goal of mine in 2015 to spend my time very intentionally, and Jesus just proved to me social media ain’t on my agenda.

“I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” (Psalm 40:8)

Oh, and before any of you post comments about my judging you for loving your social media, please save your keystrokes. I’m not judging YOU, I’m doing what I think God wants ME to do.

And everyone should think that way before putting thoughts into words displayed for all the world to see, don’t ya’ think?

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

The Positive… And The Positive

We hear statements such as, “There’s a positive and a negative to this situation,” or “There’s an upside and a downside.” People often ask the question, “Do you want the good news or the bad news first?” when getting ready to give someone news they just don’t want to deliver.

What if we refused to go there? And by there, I mean the negative.

What if every situation, every incident, every moment was viewed in the positive?

I started thinking about that last night before I fell asleep. Specifically, I was rehashing the Lee-Scott/Glenwood boys’ basketball game in my head, lamenting over the fact that we lost to Glenwood – again.

I know in the sports world a loss is a negative. No one wins a championship by having more losses than wins. Got it. But last night laying in my bed I realized the more I focused on the missed shots, the inability to stop that team from scoring and the loss itself all I was doing was giving the enemy a foothold into my thoughts, into my world.

And that ain’t gonna cut it, because satan doesn’t need any help.

So I started thinking about all the positives I saw last night:

Our team never quit. Not when we were down by 16, not when we were down by 5, not at the very end when it was obvious we were running out of time. Our boys never stopped giving every ounce of physical strength they had in them.

Our student section was full and they screamed and yelled the entire game, supporting their friends on the court.

Our boys are learning an important lesson on how to lose. They are learning how to lose with dignity, how to persevere through adversity and how to fight for themselves and their team. Most importantly, they are learning their identities are in Jesus, not in what they do on a basketball court.

Oh and for me personally – only because I’ve been in constant prayer for 2 solid days about this – I remained calm and fairly quiet last night. I promise – you can ask my friend sitting next to me. Nothing like Tuesday night’s performance on my part, for sure. The refs and policemen didn’t look my way at all – not even once!

So I refuse to focus on the loss today. Rather, I’m going to recognize all the good that came from a night such as that and thank God for all the lessons we are learning and blessings He is providing, because the positive is always available – we just have to train ourselves to jump on that side of the fence.

The ultimate story of snatching victory out of the jaws of defeat is Jesus’ victory over death when He was crucified, buried and then rose from the grave. If people ever experienced a time in history to be negative, it would be when the disciples watched Jesus be beaten, tortured and crucified on the cross. Can you even imagine the defeated, fearful thoughts running through their minds?

cross

Only 3 days after what seemed to be the worst most negative day ever, Jesus proved that good things – positive things – can come from any situation if you believe in Him and trust in God’s plan for your life.

“When he (Jesus) had led them (the disciples) out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.” (Luke 24:50-53)

Let’s look around our world today with great joy. Let’s spend our time continually praising God. Let’s snatch victory from defeat.

Let’s look for and find both the positive… and the positive.

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

Not Quite There Yet

Nothing quite like thinking you’ve conquered that problem area in your life, only to figure out – OH NO, NOPE, NO WAY – you’re just not quite there yet.

I pray frequently to remain calm in stressful situations. I know I have an issue with that, and so I pray about it – A LOT.

And I’ll say through the power of Jesus I’m better, but I ain’t cured yet.

I really thought I was in control of it. Really thought Jesus and I had a handle on it. I mistakenly thought I could remain calm, not verbally whip the first person I came in contact with, remain in control of my thoughts and the words that inevitably come spewing out of my mouth when I’m stressed.

If you ever want to find out if you’ve conquered a problem area, just go plop yourself down in the middle of that situation and see how you do. In my case, this all revolves around the Lee-Scott/Glenwood basketball game last Thursday night. Now for those of you who aren’t up on your AISA schools (and I mean I can’t blame you if you’re not), it’s our high school version of Auburn/Alabama, Ohio State/Michigan, UNC/Duke, etc. You get the picture – it’s a 3-alarm burning blazing heated rivalry.

 basketball

Sooooo, being the sin-slayer I am (as if), I didn’t pray about my attitude and loud mouth for several days leading up to the game. I have in the past, and although I haven’t always been all zenned-out during the game I have had moments of sanity.

Not so Thursday night.

If I had GoPro’d myself I think I would have thrown up watching the replay. My constant jumping up and down, slamming my head in my lap and constant arm flailing would make an astronaut sick. And I’m sure I’d be deaf after listing to my “WOOOOOOO HOOOOO” after every 3 pointer we made and my slightly overly loud objections I let loose to the refs whenever they were within earshot.

In short, I think I may have embarrassed myself.

But cut me a little slack – I always tell people I don’t go to football or basketball games to socialize, I go to cheer for my team. And when I have a child cheering for or playing on a team (my son plays on the basketball team this year), well you better give me a WIDE perimeter or be up for the challenge of sitting next to me. (And yes, I do have one parent who told me years ago he would NEVER EVER sit next to me again. And that was when our sons were merely playing pee wee football…)

So yes, I’m openly admitting I still have a problem with being OVERLY loud and boisterous and eh, well, yeah, maybe slightly obnoxious at certain games…

Our team played hard – really, really hard but we lost the game. And unfortunately for one of the sweetest friends I have, she came up to me after the game to compliment me on how hard our boys played.

I let loose on her. Not AT her, but ON her because she just happened to be the first person I came into contact with after the buzzer sounded. And I know Jesus put her there for a reason, because she was just as sweet and as calm and as patient as she could be.

And I didn’t really deserve that.

And now that a few days have gone by, I realize how much she reflected Jesus Thursday night. She was there when I needed someone to unload on. She cared, sympathized and gently talked with me. She didn’t care how much I fussed or if it even made sense – she was just there, listening, loving on me. How thankful I am for her, especially at that moment

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

So this week we will play that same team on their court Thursday night. I’m already in prayer over – yep – my attitude and my mouth. I’m gonna try to possibly be the friend some other momma might need Thursday night, and not to be the momma that gets kicked out of the gym.

But I ain’t making any promises…

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

Take Me Home

Last weekend was quite the weekend of car travel for my husband and me. We left Auburn on Friday afternoon and drove 3 hours to Tuscaloosa to watch my son play basketball. Spent the night there, got up the next morning and drove an hour to Birmingham to pick him up and take him to Alabaster to play. Sent him home with a friend’s family, got in the car do drive 3 hours to Oxford, Mississippi to see our daughter who just returned home safely from a mission trip in Oxford. Spent 2 nights there, drove 3 hours back to Birmingham for a meeting Monday morning then 2 hours to Auburn. Oh and then we got back in the car 2 hours later and drove 45 minutes to Columbus, Georgia and back for more basketball.

915 miles in 4 days. The Tahoe is tired.

Then we got to laughing recounting all the restaurants we went to over 4 days: Jason’s Deli, Another Broken Egg, Newk’s, Chick-Fil-A, McEwen’s, some steak house I can’t even remember the name of, McDonald’s, Jason’s Deli (again) and Chick-Fil-A (we’ll tear up some Chick-Fil-A during basketball season – just sayin’).

 CFA

And hey, no rest for the weary – Tuesday was jammed pack of serving at church, working, meetings and more basketball. When I got home last night I was seriously over being in a car – I just wanted to be home.

And days come – hard, difficult days – when we long to be in our heavenly home. Maybe your father has passed away. Or your child is suffering with cancer. It could be that you have no job and don’t know how you are going to pay the mortgage or feed your family next month. Some days life is so hard, so painful, so difficult that we pray for Jesus to come back to earth, and let it be TODAY.

On those days we need a reminder that this earth is only a brief stop in the life of our spirits, for our true home is in heaven with Jesus. Somewhere in the middle of our travels over the weekend I knew I would eventually make it home to Auburn. And our road here on earth can be long and hard at times, but we all have a road to travel to get home to Jesus one day.

If you are struggling today, take comfort in these words found in the book of John: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In m Father’s house are many rooms, if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I go. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)

I knew how to get to my home in Auburn – it just felt like I was never going to make it there. And we know how to get home to heaven, no matter how bumpy and treacherous the road on earth may be. And you know what the great thing about the journey is? Not only are we traveling TO Jesus we are traveling WITH Jesus. We are never alone on our journey – never.

So let our hearts not be troubled, but let us be filled with the knowledge and the peace and the faith that we will one day make it home – to our true home in heaven with Jesus.

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

I’m A Servant (Repeat)

I try to serve others every day. I know it’s what Jesus would want me to do, so I really, really try to put others before myself. It doesn’t always happen, but at least I have that as a goal.

Christmas week was pretty hectic – I’m sure it was for you too. Running around picking up last minute gifts, grocery shopping, cooking, attending church, etc… Christmas week is fun and exciting but can wear out even the most physically and mentally stout adult I know.

So after the hectic but fun days leading to and through Christmas Day I was looking forward to Friday. Ahhhhh, nothing on the agenda but a little R&R, no taking down decorations, no cooking, just staying in my pajamas and laying on the sofa watching reruns of Say Yes to the Dress on TLC.

Not so fast, my friend.

My dad gave my mother a new iPhone 6 for Christmas. Yep, The Nana now has enough cell phone power to tweet, FB like and comment like a ‘tween-aged girl and she can now take and save about a gazillion pictures on that thing.

iphone6

If we could only get it to work.

The day after Christmas my dad went to play golf. I scrapped plans to do nothing and decided I would get The Nana’s phone up and running as a way of serving them – I mean, they did give birth to me and support me for 20 some-odd years.

So what I thought would be a fairly easy task (it was for me and my husband when we got our new phones) turned into something that could only be described as the 7th level of you-know-where. And as I was driving to the AT&T store I’ll be honest – I had a meltdown of sorts. WHAT HAPPENED TO MY DAY OF NOTHING???

I won’t go into the details – that would take up waaayyy too much time and typing space, but after I spent an hour at the AT&T store we got it to work.

So Friday night I think, “Ahhhhh, Saturday. This I the day I will hang out and do nothing. No taking down decorations, etc, etc…”

And then my husband decided he was going to Atlanta to see his parents. Our whole family was supposed to have gone the Sunday before Christmas, but they were sick with flu-like symptoms and hey, ain’t nobody got time for that.

And I realized Saturday morning as I debated about whether to go with him or not that it was time to walk the walk. We preach to our kids all the time that it’s not about them, and we all need to go out of our way and forfeit our plans for others. No meltdown, no pouting here – I apologized to Jesus for being so dense as I realized He was trying to get me to see in myself what I preach to my kids.

“Do everything without complaining or arguing.” (Philippians 2:14)
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (1 Peter 4:9)
“Serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13)

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

So this year I will once again try to think less of ME and more of HIM – specifically, how I can best serve Him every day.

Just please, Lord, do NOT let it involve setting up any more electronic devices…

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

Dear Apple…

Dear Apple (and FitBit),

I understand that we are raising a generation of Generation Z-ers who are growing up with a cell phone in one hand and streaming Netflixx in the other. I know you think that Generation Z-ers and Millenials are the target audiences for the majority of your products. Therefore I can understand the lack of instructions you include in your products, because you are (wrongly) assuming everyone who buys your products is tech savvy and doesn’t need the white paper that unfolds like an ‘ol timey map with enough instructions on it to build an atomic weapon.

Well, you’d be wrong.

You’ve missed the whole Silent Generation, those who are age 72 – 89 and some of the older Baby Boomers. You see, they didn’t grow up with a third hand – a cell phone – but many are trying desperately to fit in with the fast paced world of technology, only you are making it really, REALLY difficult.

My husband and I spent what felt like 2 solid days over the Christmas holidays setting up iPhones, FitBits and AppleTVs. It’s not that we mind doing it, it’s that my parents and my in-laws shouldn’t need a staff to set up and get their Christmas gifts up and running.

Here are just a couple of ideas I’d like to see in your NEW multi-page book of instructions directed at the above mentioned generations:

1) Set up an iTunes account for each person. Yes, that includes you two. Do not hand-me-down an old phone or iPad to your wife and assume it will work correctly if you never back it up. Sure, you can do it your way but we here at Apple are warning you of the self-destruction that will occur on that piece of equipment should you choose to ignore us. Here are easy step by step instructions to setting up and iTunes account….

2) No, you will not “kill” your TV or your cable subscription if you hook up AppleTV. Yes you can watch some things for free, and yes you will have to pay to watch other things. The remote control will not bite or hurt you – you do need to play around with it and just remember the Menu button will always lead you home…

appletv

3) Yes, the FitBit will track your exercise and your movements. We must keep you older people up and at ‘em – don’t you want to know how hard you are working out? No, sweat and an elevated heart rate are not an indication of your progress – you MUST see it on your computer screen! Please have every password you’ve ever created since the beginning of time because you will have to enter every single one of them to make this easy to use FitBit come to life. Now simply plug that sucker into your computer to get up and get fit…

Those are just a few suggestions. I have more, but in the interest of time I’ll just say you can make an appointment with my cell phone should you want to hear more.

Sincerely,
Daughter of the Silent, Mother of the Millenial

 

Isn’t it great that life comes with an instruction manual? No, seriously – it does. Sadly we all too often don’t consult the manual but God has given us the Bible to help us through every situation we face.

“Listen to my instruction and be wise, do not ignore it.” (Proverbs 8:33)

Seems easy enough.

We don’t have to go through each day trying to figure out how to make life work. We have an instruction manual to read in the form of the living Word of God. Are you worried? Stressed? Scared? Lonely? God has given us verse after verse to help us along the road of life if we will only take the time to read His Word.

Apple and FitBit may be lacking in their instruction, but God never is. It’s a new year – why not download one of the many free Bible apps on your cell phone and read a little bit every day? It’s the best way to start every day and to get God’s instructions on how to live your life.

Blessings!
Leigh