It’s a Mad, Mad World

I haven’t posted a blog in a couple of weeks. I’ve actually started some but before I could finish some other crazy thing would happen and I couldn’t get them finished. Just to run down the breaking news stories from the past few weeks:

  • We have a world class male athlete who has decided he wants to be a woman and we are all supposed to accept that as normal and even celebrate it no matter or religious convictions;
  • We watched in horror as a young man sat in church for an hour and then killed 9 people in a house of worship and our answer is to ban some flags instead of dealing with the root of the problem;
  • We wake up to a jail break by 2 murderers with the help of a woman who actually believed one or both loved her;
  • We listen to the Supreme Court make a law what they want it to be instead of adhering to the words that were actually written by Congress;
  • We see ISIS coming up with all sorts of new ways to murder people and we wonder if anyone can stop a purely evil movement that seems to gain momentum every single day.

I could go on and on, but those are the big news items of the last few weeks. It seems that every time I started to write about one of those another one would blast into the news cycle out-sensationalizing the last story.

news

And I have a lot of snippy, snarky, sarcastic comments about every one of those news stories.

Maybe that’s why I haven’t posted anything.

That, and the fact that these stories are just plain depressing. One bad story is enough, but the enemy seems to be running rough shod over the earth right now and piling up death, destruction and chaos one layer at a time. And of course he likes to add to our personal lives some confusion and problems just for fun. The weight of our own issues plus the fear of what is happening in the world can make us feel like we are being smothered under a thousand blankets of confusion that satan is piling on top of us as we try to function each day.

But that’s only if you have a world view. For Christians with a Biblical view, the chaos thrown out by the enemy can be see for what it truly is. Evil. Demonic. Wrong, but confined to this world. I’ve quoted this verse numerous times in my blog, but it’s a truth we need to cling to when we feel like the world is spinning out of control:

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace…” (1 Corinthians 14:33) 

That verse is a standard you can use when the world hurls its craziness in your direction. Does a story or issue cause confusion or peace? Just answer that and you’ll know who’s in the driver’s seat – Jesus or satan.

And so what do we do in this mad, mad world? One option I’ve considered frequently lately is to hide under my covers and pretend that all of this isn’t happening. And sadly, too many Christians have done just that. Another option is to come out swinging (i.e. my snippy and sarcastic responses to today’s top stories) but I’m pretty sure that won’t sway anyone to want to get to know Jesus better. I firmly believe though it is time for Christians to take a stand against the enemy before there’s nothing left to take a stand against. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy… (John 10:10)

And how do we do that? First, we must build a strong, personal relationship with the author of peace, the only One who can heal the hearts of the hurting, the lost, the confused.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)

In other words, love God with everything you’ve got. I’ve learned that when I come to my senses and trade my panic over what is going on in the world for a focus on the Creator of the world my outlook totally changes, and then I’m in a better position to help others through their times of pain and confusion.

Turn your feelings of fear into power. Turn your thoughts of confusion into peace. Turn your outlook of hopelessness into hope with the only One who can do all of that for you – and more.

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

That’s Jesus talking in the rest of John 10:10. What a contrast we find in that one verse. On which side of that verse do you want to be? It’s a choice we make every day, in every situation.

Stop being scared, confused, hopeless. Seek God with everything you’ve got, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

Blessings!
Leigh

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The last booth in the Chick-Fil-A

Last week I had some appointments in Montgomery, about an hour from where I live. In customary fashion, I stopped at the Chick-Fil-A at East Chase for a totally gluten-free meal of grilled nuggets and fruit (I’m not going back to my gluten ways, oh no, no, no – not after that strawberry cake).

Now if you’ve been to the Chick-Fil-A at East Chase around noon – or really, any Chick-Fil-A anywhere around lunch time – you know it’s packed. No parking spaces packed. Double drive through line out the entrance packed. Nowhere to sit packed. But my gluten-free lunch was calling and my tummy was rumbling, so…

CFA

After ordering my #5 combo with fruit instead of fries and a super ginormous Diet Coke I started scanning the overpopulated CFA for somewhere to sit. The fact that school is out down here in the South and mommas need a place to take all these kids to get out of the house just exasperated a highly congested restaurant, so as soon as I spied the one and only open booth I made a b-line for it, running every so gingerly in my 3” work wedges so as not to slip in the sea of mashed French fries and nuggets that currently littered the floor.

Ahhhh, a comfy booth to enjoy my GF meal in peace and……

Wait just a minute. Suddenly I realized why this was the only available booth in the whole restaurant. It’s located at the entrance to the inside playground where I estimated about 33 toddlers to be running, jumping, climbing and – sticking their mouths and tongues on the thin sheet of glass that separated us???? Ew.

I’m a momma. So yes, I had toddlers at one time. And yes, I went to every single stinkin’ fast food restaurant with a playground of any type within a 20 mile radius of my house for years. But I’m 48 now with a 20 and a 16 year old, and just as it happens with childbirth, you forget the pains that go along with certain times in your life. Like having toddlers.

And I know – I know I should have been all, “Oh, aren’t they sweet. Isn’t the way that boy is pulling the little girl’s ponytail simply adorable? Gee I wish that one would run out into the restaurant shrieking 6 or 7 more times instead of the 4 that I just counted! And I really wish all 33 would stick their mouths on that glass – how sanitizing!”

But I wasn’t. Not.Even.Close.

I ate that delicious meal of 8 nuggets sopped in CFA sauce (don’t EVEN tell me if CFA sauce has gluten in it – you’ll total ruin any amount of fun I can ever hope to have in a fast food restaurant) and about choked on the overabundance of apples and 2 mandarin orange slices in my fruit cup (why are there so many apples in a fruit cup and so few other fun fruits???). I’m what you would call an “older momma” and I’ve been there, done that people. Just let me woof down my meal and get outta here.

And then, I spied her. One momma with one baby. Probably her first, the way she was watching her like a momma bear eyes a cub. Protective. Loving. Trying to eat a meal that she didn’t have to prepare or clean up while making sure her new treasure was next to her, sleeping peacefully. She was oblivious to the chaos and the loudness of the CFA at lunchtime. I think firemen with jaws of life could have been dispatched to rescue a pre-teen stuck in the indoor playground and she would have never known it – not as long as her precious new baby was beside her, protected.

And watching her for just a moment gave me time to pause and relive that time in my life – for just a moment. And I was reminded of this simple passage of Scripture:

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.” (Psalm 127:3)

As a mom of young adults I need to remember this verse often – even when little tongues are licking the glass inside the Chick-Fil-A playground.

Blessings!
Leigh

Wait…What time is it?

BEEP…BEEP…BEEP…BEEP…

What IS that noise… wait that’s my alarm… what time is it… FIVE THIRTY TWO??? Why is my alarm going off… what day is it… where am I…

time

Oh, yeah. It’s the first day of my son working at the golf course. My son is still 15 years old, so that means momma has to drive him to work until he gets his driver’s license (Come on, June 5th. You’re killin’ me here.)

I’ve said on numerous occasions I am NOT a morning person. I’m not a super late sleeper – I’ll usually wake up around 7:00 on my own – but I’m not like some of my friends who set their alarms for some ridiculously early time so that they can get up and go run a couple of miles or work out before going to work. (Yes, I’m secretly jealous of these people. How do they do that and function before 2 cups of coffee?)

But when you tell your almost 16 year old son he needs to work for the summer, and after he quits rolling his eyes he gets that job and then announces he has to be at work by 6:00 a.m. you suck it up and get your tired ‘ol momma rear end out of bed and behind the wheel to drive him to that job you told him he had to get.

I’ll give him props – by the time I figured out what was going on in my head he was ready to leave. He got up on his own (at 5:20 – UGH), nuked himself a bacon, egg & cheese biscuit and put his stuff in the car. I was lucky to remember to brush my teeth before we left.

Driving to the golf course, I figured it was so early that once I got back home home I could get back in the bed, turn off the lights and get a little more sleep.

As if.

Once you’re 48 and you get up, drive, drop off and drive home, you’re awake. Trying to get more sleep would just be a waste of daylight.

So I got my Bible and my prayer journal, and I enjoyed what I would call an extra long time with Jesus that morning because I was up earlier than a rooster announcing the arrival of the sun. And I started asking myself, “Why don’t I do this every day?” Good grief. If I got up every day at 5:30 there’s no telling what I might learn from Jesus!

Jesus knew the importance of spending the early, quiet mornings with God. He needed that time alone with His heavenly Father to pray about – well, everything. I think I have a demanding day ahead of me? My day ain’t nothin’ compared to what Jesus would face every day. And He knew the only way to make it through the day doing His Father’s will was to spend the beginning of each day in quiet, in solitude, in prayer.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)

I’m hoping to establish a new pattern for MOST days to set my alarm for an earlier time than “Oh my gosh I have to get up now or I’m gonna be late.” Spending early morning time in worship and reading, praising and learning from my heavenly Father is absolutely, hands down the BEST way to start my day.

Until June 5th honestly I won’t have a choice. But once my son gets his driver’s license the choice to get up will be mine.

And it’s your choice, too.

(Update: I wrote this on day 1. Pretty chipper, got a lot accomplished that day. Day 2 I was still pretty chipper, went on out of town appointments. Day 3 killed me. Got back in the bed at 6:00 a.m. and didn’t come to life until 7:45. But hey, 2 outta 3 ain’t bad!)

Blessings!
Leigh