Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hey Jude

Remember that song?

I bet you are humming it now.

I think of it every time I go to the book of Jude in the Bible, which is the Jude I really want to talk about.  A couple of weeks ago, my pastor referred to a verse out of Jude in his sermon. It spoke to me. So much so, that I thought I'd need to read a little more about it later...

That  same afternoon, my family and I packed up and left for our week at Kids Across America. On the way down, as I was thinking about our time there, I realized I had nothing particular lined up to read during my quiet time. The next thing I knew "Jude!" popped into my mind. It's a one chapter book... we'll be at camp a week...perfect! That one verse near the end of those 25 verses had so spoken to my heart, I was pumped to see what the rest of Jude said.

I opened my Bible the next morning and started reading. I hadn't read too far when I began semi regretting that I had chosen that book.

The heading in the ESV before verses 3-16 is "Judgment on False Teachers."

O good. Just what I wanted to spend a week reading about.

Like I said, Jude is only 25 verses long, so while that's not what the entire book is about, it's what a good chunk of the book is about.

My next thoughts went like this: "Ok. I haven't told anybody that I was going to spend a week reading this book, so I'm not really committed to doing it. I'll find something else in the morning."

But the next morning I opened it up again and read, asking God to show me something - any kind of take away from this book.

God more than answered that prayer.

Every morning when I spent time reading those words, God showed me something that fed my soul. I don't know about you, but when that happens to me, I want to share it with someone.

Which is where you come in. Maybe you're at a place this summer where you're at a bit of a loss as to what to read next in the Bible. I've got a thought for you!

 I'd like to invite you to take this next week and read through the book of Jude at least once a day, asking God to show you himself in it - asking God to teach you from it. Then next Monday, July 1, 2013, I'd like to invite you to my house from 7:00-8:30 pm to talk about what God taught us.

It will be low key and low pressure, and I'm pretty sure some kind of snack will be involved. (I'm kind of loving Biscoff cookies right now, so they might make an appearance:)

Even though I'm leading this, I'm not officially teaching on this book. I do not understand all that's going on in it at all. But after I spent a week in it, I loved God more and was encouraged in my faith. I think you will be too. At this little get-together, we can encourage one another!

I know that this is an invitation to the ladies near Bolivar, MO. But it's also an invitation (an idea) for anybody to spend the next week asking God to reveal Himself to you in the book of Jude. It will be time well spent.

If you're going show up at my place next week, can you let me know? I know some of my readers connect with me here through fb...if you don't know where I live, just private message me there and I'll help you out!

Many blessings to you this week as you Hey Jude it...reading and humming.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Blister

You never know where or when you'll find inspiration.

I was in the middle of my quiet time on the porch here at KAA, when I glanced down to check on a blister I discovered last night. The first line of my little attempt at rhyming popped into my head almost immediately. The next few lines took a little more work, but messing with words, a theme, and rhyming, is really more fun than work for me.

If you've ever had a blister, maybe you can relate.

Hope it makes you smile.


I've got a blister, mister,
And that makes this clown frown.
It messes with my run, son,
So here I sit, unfit.

I see it on my toe, Joe.
It's puffy as can be. Gee!
Is to poke it with a pin sin?
What should I really do, Lou?

I am to touch it not? Boycott!
Give it time to heal? Surreal!
No promises from me, see.
It's so begging me to pop. Stop!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Little Lesson from Lou

I've been spending a little extra time with my man the past couple of days. We are at KAA for his week of volunteering as camp doctor. Thankfully, it's been less eventful than last year.

But what is the same as last year, and what occurs many days of my married life is this: Lou B. Harris has taught me something.

I've learned a lot from him over the years. I won't list for you the "a lot" because, well, because I'd like you to come back and visit my blog sometime. But I do remember one of the first things he tried to teach me about.  How to cook hash browns. I'd like to say that moment in time was a rip roaring success, but the attempt at conveying culinary information from him to me in our garage apartment at 2101½ S. Madison, Tulsa, OK, that day culminated in another first for us - our first fight as a married couple.

Of course, we laugh about it now. I'm smiling as I type. Hash browns. Really? So silly. So young. So real. And so not about hash browns at the core.

After almost 26 years of marriage, we've become better at conveying and hearing what at least one of us feels needs to be said to the other. I won't say mastered, because we haven't mastered that skill. At least I haven't mastered that skill.  Sometimes, even when we are both trying to maturely discuss an issue, words twist, feelings get hurt and I end up wanting to knock him into next week.

Also after 26 years of marriage, we've learned to let some things go. We've learned what's worth discussing and what's not. Lou used to try to encourage me to exercise when we first got married.

"You should go for a run now. The weather's perfect."

"It's amazing outside today! You gonna exercise??"

Even though I've been fairly athletic my whole life, I was not a regular exerciser at the time he made those sweet little suggestions. We discussed I told him that I really need to come to the whole exercise conviction on my own. While he thought he was looking out for my health, I took his nudging as, "Get off your duff, you slug." Once he realized that's what his words said to me, he honored my request, stopped the nudging, and modeled good exercising behavior.  I was eventually won over to his way of good thinking and started exercising regularly.

Another area that he's been wise to not nudge is in the neatness/orderly category. I might as well just confess it now. He's neater than me. I'm not a complete slob, mind you. It just comes more naturally to him than it does to me, darn it.

Which brings me to the Lou de jour lesson. When I returned to our room here at KAA today after exercising (had to throw that in there), I threw off my shoes and jumped in the shower. When I was ready to put my shoes back on, I looked on the floor and saw something I hadn't noticed until just then:

Those shoes (and socks) in the floor that everybody has to walk around and trip over? They are mine.

Those shoes that are easily found and neatly put where nobody has to walk around them or trip over them? Those are Lou's.

Lou, wisely, I might add, has not and does not say anything to me about any of my untidy little habits. He typically just does his orderly thing. If there's one thing I've learned after living with him for these 26 years, it's he has a reason for everything he does. He's the son of an engineer and it shows. It's one of the things that used to drive me crazy, but now one of the things I like most about him. He's purposeful.

Even down to how to store his shoes in our very beautiful, comfortable, but closetless room here at KAA.

So, there it is. A little wordless lesson from Lou that he was completely clueless about until now.

Wordless are pretty much the best kind of lessons, aren't they?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Clutter Count Catch Up

Talk about being behind.

Talk about the subject that cannot be named.

Talk about something that hasn't been talked about since...March!!!

Yes, it's Clutter Count 2,013 in 2013. And if you've even forgotten what I'm talking about, you can read about it here. In a nutshell, our house has become too cluttered - too hard to clean - and I'm determined to get rid of a bunch of stuff.

Up until a big trip to New York in mid-March, I was very consistent and excited about the whole purging process. After that trip, I was still excited, but not consistent. I could produce some pretty legitimate sounding reasons why I've become so consistently inconsistent, but blah, blah, blah. We're all busy, and except for rare, completely unforeseen circumstances, I'm convinced we make time for what we really want to do. This little project was easy to push to the back burner.

However, it's not like I completely forsook it during that time, either. If you check my Clutter Count page, you'll see listed the 139 items that did vamoose during that almost 3 month time span. Every little bit helps. I was actually encouraged when I crunched the numbers to see how my hiatus was going to affect realistically meeting my goal. Originally, I was to rid the house of about 40 items per week to meet my 2,013 goal. Because I was extra ambitious some weeks and went over 40, my decluttering hiccup has only upped that original number by 6. Now, 46 items need to vacate the premises weekly.

That's doable. (Those are two nice words, aren't they?)

So, here I sit, refocused, recommitted and about to reset the "Clutter Count Due" alarm on my phone. It'll go off this Saturday to remind me to get with the program. Not going to moan about the past. Going to start where I am. It's a very good place to be. (do-re-mi)
Speaking of good places to be, I want to end here with a link to a real expert in the world of decluttering/simplifying. It was recommended to me by a friend's daughter. Lacy Clark Ellman said this was her favorite blog to visit for inspiration in the area of simplifying and decluterring. Check it out: Be More With Less.

I hope your June is off to a summery good start.

Many, many blessings to you!