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This is a work in progress, just like me. Please feel free to add your thoughts on my posts. Have a blessed day.

February 15, 2010

Feeling the Heart of God

It is not unusual for me to cry in church; to be honest I cry almost every week. No one around me notices except maybe my daughter or husband who may see a few tears running down my cheek, or notice my hurried search for a tissue. Sometimes I shed a few tears during worship as I feel the spirit of God in the room and the lyrics of the music touch my heart. More often it is during the sermon as the pastor's words touch me in a personal way.

Today I started crying after the service was over, as I was exiting the sanctuary. Not only was the timing unusual but this was not just a few tears- this was me fighting back the tears as I walked to our car. My husband noticed and asked me what was wrong. I told him I would explain later. Once I was safely in our car I could not hold back any longer- the tears came, and loudly.

How do I explain? I think by saying that for a brief time, and in a small way, I was feeling the heart of God. I wish I could say this happens to me a lot, but the truth is, as most people, I am more often self-centered and oblivious to the hurts around me. Or sometimes feeling overwhelmed by the sadness and pains people face around the world, I find it easier to shut down and distract myself from feeling their pain.

Today I couldn't shut down. I could start crying right now if I would let myself go back to the scene. You might be surprised by what brought on my tears, not a sad sight, but a beautiful one. It was a pair of bright, beautiful, and full-of-life eyes. I watched them as I was making my way up the aisle. I watched as they looked up at the people walking by them. If eyes can smile, and we all know they can, these eyes were doing just that. They seemed to be trying to reach out with love to all who were passing by. As I observed this I noticed that I seemed to be the only one who saw these beautiful eyes trying to connect with someone. I was determined to strike up a conversation or at least say hello when I reached them. The more I watched the more my heart was broken. When I finally reached the lady these eyes belonged to, someone stepped between us and my opportunity began to slip away. Then the woman who was pushing her wheelchair turned her around and ushered her out of the area. I never did connect with the eyes that moved my heart of compassion.

Where does one go after that? God had a purpose to allow me to feel His pain that profoundly.

1 John Chapter 3 warns us not to close our hearts of compassion to others, or the love of God does not remain in us. John also tells us not to love merely in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth. How easy it is to go rushing by people in our day-to-day haste and be unaware of someone trying to connect with us or be unwilling to take the time to listen to the trials that they may be trying to share with us. As this story illustrates, time is fleeting and our chances to connect with others can be gone in a flash.

Maybe God wanted to remind me to be more aware of the people around me, the people I see in my daily life: family, friends, and even strangers. Daily, I need to ask God to help me remain open to the needs of those around me, and how I might, in some small way, be able to meet them. If I can grow in this area I will not only find myself doing His will more often, but I will also open myself up to being able to feel the heart of God.

February 14, 2010

Women are Like Spaghetti, Men are Like What?!

Like most couples, my husband and I approach the events in day-to-day life very differently.To better explain one of our differences, let me tell you a story.

It is a Sunday morning and I am in the bathroom getting ready to step into the shower. My husband is in the bedroom watching Sports Center. I hear a noise, "beep beep beep", which to me sounds like a construction vehicle backing up. As I know this is not a probable cause of the noise, I look out the window and see a cable truck backing down my neighbor's driveway.

Now I have a new mystery to solve. How do my neighbors manage to get our local cable company to do a service call on a Sunday??? For some reason there must have been some type of sound delay, as I have time to write myself a note, “call neighbors when cable goes out” before I hear my husband outside the bathroom door.

"Beth! Beth! Are you making that noise?"

Now I'd like to mention that I have only two appliances in our bathroom. A hairdryer which does not, as far as I know, have a "beep" setting and a flat iron which is, for the most part, almost always silent.

Now to be fair it was Valentine’s Day. Maybe my husband thought I was getting daring and was surprising him by bringing a “new appliance” into our lives. First of all he should know better after being married to me for 20 plus years! And second, the loud beeping noise doesn't quite fit. Wouldn't I be smart enough to pick a more discreet model; one that doesn't announce its use with a loud beeping noise? After all we do have a teenager in the house!

After I responded that I was not the source of the noise, he continued with his questioning. "Did you hear it? It was really loud! What was it?!" And there you have it, an example of one of the differences in our approach to day to day life; he looks to me to solve the mystery of the beeping noise, whereas I solve the mystery of the beeping noise. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I am the "go to" person to answer all questions, and solve all "mysteries" that occur in our family home.

My husband started working from home about nine months ago. It is interesting to note this change has not affected my status as the "go to" person AT ALL. I am still the one called to help locate the syrup in the pantry, the electric bills for the past year, or the pants he last wore two months ago in Philadelphia. I am also expected to know the exact locations of our many (don't ask me the exact number, it is too embarrassing) cats if one of them goes missing. And I can’t fail to mention the numerous questions surrounding various TV shows. "Do you think that is a toupee?" "Why is he with her?" "Who is she? She was in that movie that came out in the early 80's... what was the name of it?"

One of the many books on marriage is titled, Women are like Spaghetti; Men are like Waffles. I have never read this book so I can't speak to its relevance but one thing I know for sure; in my house, both the spaghetti and the waffles will be found by me!

P.S. This was written all in fun, any semblance to male bashing is purely coincidental. I love my husband VERY much, even with all of his questions.