A Handful of Corn Chips

I am a fragile human, and I hate that. I hate it even as I say it, but it’s true.

Recently, I found myself in a deep, low place–physically, mentally, spiritually. If I don’t pay attention to routines I follow, I get there before I know I’m in trouble.

This won’t make sense, but I always thank God later for knocking me down. I don’t even know if He did it, but I thank Him anyway, because I usually learn some truth I desperately need from the low place. To quote C.S. Lewis:

“If our religion is something objective, then we must never avert our eyes from those elements in it which seem puzzling or repellent; for it will be precisely the puzzling or the repellent which conceals what we do not yet know and need to know.”

From my dark hole, I was crying out to God, because I’d tried all sorts of things to no avail. And one of the symptoms of those lows is a brain fog from which I cannot see much of anything.

“God,” I said. “You created this body and everything connected to it. You know what’s wrong. Spirit, please tell me what to do.”

And unmistakably, through the mist came this odd thought, as clear as a bell ringing on a moonless night:

“Go eat some corn chips.”

(I am not joking.)

“WHAT?” I snapped, shaking my head, and squinting upward.

“Go eat some corn chips.” (It came again.)

After a momentary ponder, I did just that. Somehow, I got down the stairs and dropped onto the bottom stair in the mudroom, which is near my pantry shelves. I had a bag of corn chips in my lap, and I munched until I was full.

And then, I trudged back upstairs to get ready for bed. By the time I’d taken my bath, to my utter surprise, I felt better. And by morning, to my complete amazement, I was back to normal, just in time for an important appointment I would have had to miss in my former state.

You see, what I forget in my hurry is my very real problem with low blood sugar. This issue has plagued me since I gave up sugar (for the most part) in 2011, and further since I gave up gluten (for the most part) in 2013. Those are stories for another day, but suffice it to say they were accidental discoveries that help me stay healthy and functional most of the time, which is a small miracle for someone who, as a young mom with three children, had a near miss with an MS diagnosis.

If I don’t eat for a certain period of time, and if I tax my body while hungry, both of which I’d done for three days, like heat exhaustion, the low blood sugar issue creeps up on me before I know what hit me. And then, the lack of energy, despair and brain fog all contribute to confusion in which I forget what to do. Fortunately, these incidents are rare.

The sure solution is to eat some good, old-fashioned carbs, which is usually a lot of fun, I might add.

To me, the moral of this story is that God cared enough about such a small detail. He cared about a handful of corn chips.

I certainly don’t deserve that kind of love.

And to quote Jill Briscoe, “Such grace.”

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NOTE: If you’re wondering where my husby was in my hour of need, he was away on a three-day business trip to Arkansas. ūüėĀ

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The Nearness of You

(God) is my only good.

I’ve been taking comfort from that phrase lately via this song:

 

 

After telling some friends about the song, one of them pointed out this scripture to me:

28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

Psalm 73:28, NASB

Thank you, friend.

‚̧ԳŹ

 

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Hard Things

Today, I’m thankful for hard things. From my knocked-down position, I’m learning some things I needed to know. And I’m seeing things I need to see.

Face down, where mercy finds me first…

And sometimes, I need to be able to become broken bread and poured out wine to be exactly where God wants me.

Looking down.

 

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Looking down today, I saw an artful sculpture created by a child on a playground. And it made me smile.

 

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When I Lost My Heart to You

I became completely God’s in one moment in time…in one heartbeat, when I uttered the following sentence:

“Something has to change, and it might just have to be me, because I’m miserable.”

I didn’t know then that the first step is “agree that you’re willing to change,” but I know that now.

Changing isn’t easy, and I often (often) fail. But at least now I’ve got my heart in the right box.

 

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Good After the No Good

Once upon a time, a kid named Alexander had a bad day. I had one of those yesterday, but I’m praying for all involved, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Today, I was back with my church family, and it was so, so good.

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We sang a song that says, in part, “There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning…”

It also says that when the oceans rage, I don’t have to be afraid, because I know that He loves me. And that when the wind is strong and the waters deep, I’m not alone here in the open seas. It’s an older Jesus Culture song:

 

I’m continually undone at how the God of the universe picks me up after something¬†hard and restores His joy to me. Sometimes, it’s just Him loving me. Oh, how can that be?¬†I can’t even accept it without breaking down.

And I’m thankful to the point of being overwhelmed.

He’s a good, good Father.

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Out of Order

Lesson two in the Year of Order is that sometimes, a key to success is doing things out of.

(Order, that is.)

In the Year of Priorities (2016), I discovered that spending time with God is my ¬†One Thing. To help me focus, and be well-rounded during that time, I came up with acronyms to help me. One of those acronyms is “By Power The Lord Helps Me.” I follow that acronym during my prayer time. For example, “B” stands for “Bow the knee.”

Last year, I followed that acronym to the letter, or else. And sometimes, I bogged down and didn’t finish. Doing the Christmas season, I particularly struggled.

This year, thanks to some inspiration from Brother Lawrence¬†and the Holy Spirit, I stumbled upon the practice of¬†following my¬†acronym while I’m doing household tasks, and out of order, if necessary. I am lighter and freer, and I finish better each day.

But not only that, and this the strangest thing: When I focus while doing otherwise menial tasks, and mix it all up, it works more seamlessly and almost simultaneously. And it is deeper, it seems. It’s like I’m integrating Him into life.¬†Again, I’m struggling to explain…

Which brings me to scripture memory for 2017. This year, I’m again following a plan by Beth Moore. I make a small booklet and learn two scriptures a month. It’s that simple.

Last year, I leaned heavily toward two, back-to-back¬†scriptures each month. And so far this year, in the Year of Order, I’m doing them¬†all over the place.

I’ve said it before, but I love it when God surprises me like that.

Here are my two scriptures for January:

First:

1 Corinthians 14:40

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And second:

1 Corinthians 14:33

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Yep. They’re all backwards and out of order…

ūüėÜ

 

 

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Three Things

In¬†the little,¬†orange box, I put three things to give to Jesus in 2017. It’s my way of treasuring Him. It won’t be easy.

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Here are the three things I put in the box this year:

Yellow

This word won’t make any sense to most people. But Yellow is something I’ve thought of for years. I’m not sure if it’s God’s idea, or mine. So, I put the Yellow idea in the box. I’m giving it to Him. It might be so He can make it happen. Or, it might be so He can help me let go of it. It might need to die. Either way, it’s in His hands. It’s in the box.

Gaming

My college son invited me to play Pokemon Go last July. We started playing together, and I’ve continued after he left for college. I’m at a high level in the game. I play too much.

My beautiful, hipster granddaughter introduced me to Animal Jam, an online animal adventure by National Geographic. I started by just getting my daily spin each day. Then, the allure of the game called me in, and the social interaction with my granddaughter and her little sister was just a bonus.

As 2016 ended, I knew, in my heart-of-hearts, that gaming was stealing hours from me. And with dread, I knew it had to go in the box.

There’s nothing wrong with either of these games. It’s just a matter (for me) of choosing the better thing.

I’m not sure what this will look like, but I’ve already put fences around myself, and I trust God to lead me from here.

My Heart

As much Christmas music as I’ve listened to, I can’t believe that I’m about to say that I heard “Last Christmas” for the first time in 2016. I guess it’s because George Michael died, and his music enjoyed a revitalization. Here’s how the song starts:

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next day, you gave it away
This year, to save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special…

Also, like the old-school song, “The Little Drummer Boy,” I really have no gift to bring that’s fit for a King.

I’m struggling to explain this, but for some reason, I just felt I needed to symbolically put my heart in the box. So, it’s there. I gave it to someone special…the most special person who’s ever lived.

But why are you revealing on the front end?

This blog exists for several reasons, and one is just as a writing exercise for myself. Another  reason is for me to work things out in black and white. And in this blog, I practice one of my greatest assignments and struggles:  to be real.

When I finally, truly¬†met Jesus face-to-face (in a manner of speaking), in a strange experience I can’t really explain, the first thing He wanted me to do was cut the crap. I don’t know how else to say that, so I just said it. Jesus demanded that I be real, since He’s the Truth anyway. I certainly wasn’t fooling Him, or for that matter, many other people, as it turns out. The very first step between us had to be me being real.

This is  also one of my most important life lessons, and the reason John 8:32 is my life verse. Learning this lesson was truly the first step to freedom, for me.

But pulling it off was another thing entirely. As the Queen of Pride, and as a person adept at faking it, this was an impossible request. In fact, faking it was one of my best coping mechanisms, or so I thought. I still struggle with it to this day. But thankfully, Jesus is the God of miracles. He’s the only Way I’ll ever do anything.

So, there you have it. Me being real.

So, how’s it going?

I’ve already slipped and fallen in each area multiple times. But I’m not giving up. And He is always there with His hand out to help me up. No, to lift me up.

Jesus said to him,¬†‚ÄúI am¬†the way, and¬†the truth, and¬†the life. No one comes to the Father except through me…”¬†

John 14:6, ESV

‚ÄúLet not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me…”¬†

John 14:1, NKJV

“…And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

John 8:32, NKJV

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