Things I’ve Overheard

It’s amazing what people say, if you really listen. Here are a few of my favorites.

Shopping with your husband is like hunting with the game warden.

How pregnant are you?

My character’s special effects are better than your character.

That guy draws the most realistic and life like zombies I’ve ever seen.

I ain’t going to take you to the emergency room today. So watch your step.

If he was half as clever as he thought he was, that would be something, wouldn’t it?

You say, DRAMA QUEEN like it’s a bad thing.”

Remember, someone is always listening.

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Thankful

I am thankful for some strange things this year:

That I am not a turkey. (Although my son and daughter will dispute that claim).

That I’m not working Black Friday.

That I do not work for the post office.

That my house is bigger than a cardboard box.

That God’s love is limitedless and given without merit.

That I have never met Goldilocks or the three bears. 

That there are still a few barbecue restaurants in Dallas, Texas that I have yet to try.

That I love the people who I work with. They are just as crazy and emotionally challenged as I am.

That I still have a full head of hair (although I miss the auburn color it used to be).

That my wife has still not figured out that I got the better of the deal in marriage.

And don’t forget bacon. I am really grateful for bacon.

Not Feeling Spiritual?

Some days I don’t feel very spiritual.

I don’t want to read the bible or pray. I don’t want to to church. I don’t want to be around people.

My focus is on difficult circumstances and my own failures. I want God and people to leave me alone. 

But God graciously will not allow me to do this. 

God relentlessly and loving pursues me.  He forces me to confront my own sinfulness and utter dependence on him.

He brings people into my life that force me to look outside myself to him .

He reminds me,  that no matter how I feel, that I am his child.

Remember

When today is over,  what will I remember?

Will it be the people who made the day difficult for me,  or the ones who were gracious and easy going toward me?

Will it be the obstacles that were in my way,  or the destination that I reached?

Will it be my sin and shame, or His forgiveness and grace toward me?  

Will it be an awareness of what I  lack in material things,  or an awareness of His physical,  emotional, and spiritual generousity to me?

As I list the wrongs done to me today,  do I really believe that I will remember it next week?  Next month? Really?

I need to choose what I am going to remember at the end of today. God,  help me choose well. 

Bridges

I have always been uncomfortable crossing over bridges. My discomfort grows even worse if the bridge is over water or elevates over and above other traffic. 

Perhaps,  this irrational feeling goes back to my childhood and the rickety bridges that my Father would drive over that could become impassable due to high water.

But bridges are absolutely necessary when you travel.  You can save enormous blocks of time by going over rather than around an obstacle.

The world is filled with impressive bridges that transverse mountain ranges and large bodies of water. We see bridges so often that we take them for granted.  We don’t think about the work it took to establish them or maintain them. 

But people can be bridges also.

Some people are the bridge that joins two separate  and divergent cultures. Marriage is a bridge that joins two families and creates something new.

Bridges are meant to be walked on.

When you act as the bridge between communities and cultures you will be at risk. You will be walked on. 

You will be taken for granted.  You will be misunderstood by those you chose to serve.  

Will you be a bridge?

Terms of Endearment

Many married men have terms of endearment for their wife. For example, I will occasionally call my wife by a pet name like ‘honey’ or ‘babe’. But there are some terms I refuse to use.

I will not call her:
1. The Boss Of Me. We are not in a business  relationship that will cease if I fail to receive some form of compensation. We are in a covenant partnership with each other and God.

2. The Old Lady. My wife is not a nagging woman who is past her prime and is incapable of still having fun. And if she is ‘the old lady’ that makes me ‘the old man’.

3. My Hot Smoking Wife. My wife is beautiful. She is in great shape and looks ten years younger than her actual age. But it is not just her physical  beauty that attracts me to her. I am grateful for the opportunity to fully know her and be known by her. I never want to communicate to her, in any way, that my love is dependent on her outward appearance.

I love being able to brag about my wife’s talents, wisdom, and personality. I want her, and everyone else, to know that I chose well in picking a mate.

I believe that our choice of words to describe our spouse can have great power.

Death and the Holiday Season

Today, I am again reminded that the holiday season can be especially painful  as we reflect on those we have lost.

Two years ago today, earth was diminished and heaven was enriched, in the passing of my mother in law.

So many of my memories of her are tied into family events during the holidays.
These memories and sense of loss are easily triggered by Thanksgiving and Christmas calebrations.

Some days I handle the loss well. I recognize what day it is but swiftly move forward. I’m okay being around people and talking about it.

Some days I want to stay in my room and avoid people at all costs. They want to help. They want to issue words of comfort. But it just doesn’t work.

Unfortunately, I don’t know how I’m going to handle the day or react to it in advance. And my reaction may change as the day progresses.

To make matters even worse, the people who love me and want to comfort me don’t know which mood I’m in either.

So how do you approach someone like me, on a day that is a anniversary of a significant loss?

Be a good listener and take cues from what I say. If I want to discuss it, I will probably bring up the subject.

Be willing to give a hug and let that be enough.

Don’t rationalize or try to explain why God allowed it to happen.

Don’t address my loss with trite clichés. The only one that feels better hearing these tired clichés is the one saying them. 

Be patient with me. I am hurting and hurting people can hurt others.