Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Tool Box

This morning while showering, I reached for the razor and became annoyed that although new, it wasn't doing the job. In fact, it didn't seem to cut anything. That's when I looked at it closely and discovered the plastic guard was still on the blade.

I'm an avid scrapbooker and can remember tracing letters and cutting them out by hand. No matter how slowly I went, holding my breath trying to cut them precisely, they always looked a bit ragged. Then, my thoughtful family bought me an electronic cutting machine for Christmas. Presto - perfect letters in a few seconds! It's all in the the right tools.

I often hear people complain that they don't enjoy reading the Bible. "I know I should, but it's so confusing/boring/out-of-touch. I get more just listening to good sermons instead."I love a good sermon. Many times I'm convinced the speaker has had a hidden camera in my home. They can speak to me with conviction or encouragement. Our minister is excellent and I look forward to hearing him, but...

I'm convinced that reading the Bible is my main "tool" for hearing God. I bet I have 15 Bibles in my house with different translations and commentaries. Some have thought provoking questions tied to verses on the page. Others give me lots of background information about the writer, the places, history and the times when the passage was written. These can all aide me in gaining a different perspective or understanding those confusing stories. Bible scholar books, devotion books and maps. (My husband loves maps. Is this a guy thing?) We have maps of Israel, the Bible lands then and now, the Temple, etc. Since I'm addicted to leading studies, I have whole shelves filled with study books. At some point, I've used them all but in honesty, I have more material than I could possibly cover. And yet, the one that works the best is worn, torn and marked in and the first Bible I bought when I jumped off the fence and surrendered control to Christ.

Can I throw you a challenge? Find a version that reads easily for you and then just open it. That's it. Read. Then, keep reading. He'll meet you there. He promises. You'll hear him if you're heart is listening because... well, it's the only tool you'll need.

 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 
         Jerimiah 29:13

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fit and Feathers

"Sometimes, you just have to do what's good for you."
"Take the good with the bad. "
"A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down."
"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

Don't you just hate these sayings? I know they're supposed to inspire and motivate you, but honestly, who wants to hear this when you're getting ready to do something you'd love to avoid? They make me want to throw a smarmy smile at the encourager along with a bottle of Flintstone vitamins.

I've claimed this year to be my "Get Healthy" year. I've also been talking it up - so others will keep me accountable - and telling myself how great I'm going to feel. A little voice inside I call "The Whiner" tells me to sit down and give it up, but I'm trying to ignore it. I'm desperate to convince myself that this will be fun, great, an adventure and it will have a BIG payoff. I believe in the payoff, but fun? Not so much.

I joined a fitness center. It's really more of a health and wellness center. I can handle that over the spandex clad gyms full of toned and flexing abs. Where I go, walkers are not people on a track as much as metal stabilizers with wheels. There are trainers who smile and look great, but they work alongside people who are aged, recovering from surgeries or are overweight. I fit right in on several levels! I'm not intimidated and so, although this gym is a good drive away, I'll go. Today, I'm suited up in my old workout clothes and comfortable shoes to meet with my trainer.  That cute young thing will nudge me on the machines and cheer when I don't wheeze. I'll go because it's good for me. And I'm telling The Whiner to take a nap.

That's the part of today that fits into the Just Get It Over With section. Later this afternoon, I'll reward myself with a trip to my salon. Not for pampering or nail polish, but for an "out there, go for it, I'm not such an old lady" adventure. I'm meeting my 27 year old daughter and we're getting feathers! If you're thinking Big Bird, you are soooo uncool.  I'm talking about the new fad of putting a thin, discrete, colored feather tucked into your own hair. Right now, I'm going with blue (to match my exercise bruises.)  Hey - they're removable unlike tattoos (which I detest). It's the end of a long hot summer, it's something unexpected on a mom over 50, and it's harmless fun. Why not?  And who knows, when I look in the mirror, The Whiner might even smile!