Friday, April 30, 2010

Shabby Chic

Gracee spends more time at home these days. As a result, Grandma maintains an ever-dwindling supply of clothes.

She slept here several nights this week, though, which presented a school morning challenge.

I usually set out two or three possible outfits for her to choose from.

The other morning, the conversation went something like this.

"I can't wear that butterfly shirt."

"Why not? It's cute."

"It goes with the blue shorts."

"But the shorts are pretty short, maybe too short for school, and it's pretty chilly out. And--wait a minute. You wore this shirt with jeans last week."

"I want to wear the shorts."

"No. How about this outfit?" I point to another pair of jeans and shirt.

"No. I need a different shirt for those jeans, and it's at home."

"Gracee, everything goes with jeans. They are universal pants."

She just looks at me.

"What's wrong with this shirt?" I point to a white shirt pink peppered with the word "Princess."

"Everyone laughed at me the last time I wore it."


"Well, Zander did."

"Zander's a boy. What does he know? Anyway, it's a cute shirt."


"Okay, wear this butterfly shirt with these jeans. You'll look cute, and nobody will laugh."

"No. I already told you. That shirt goes with the blue shorts. I want to wear the blue shorts."

I proceed to give her a lesson in wardrobe planning.

"Look. The fashion police have really good ideas. Pretend this butterfly shirt goes with these jeans, and this princess shirt goes with these jeans. How many outfits do you have?"


"Okay. So what if we switch shirts. How many outfits do we have now?"

She just looks at me.

"Four. We have four outfits. Now if we pull out the blue shorts, we have yet another outfit. See? You can wear a shirt with more than one pair of pants or shorts. You have more outfits with fewer clothes."

"I don't want to wear any of those."

I'm exasperated now. "You're not wearing the blue shorts. Choose something quick and come eat. You're going to be late for school."

She came out wearing a short black dress over a pair of jeans.

Good enough.

The next day she brought clothes from home.

A colorful sundress, a pair of gray leggings, a long-sleeved button top (blue and brown that matches a pair of brown leggings--go figure), and battered black Etnies with no socks.

I took a picture and sent it to Abby. She thought she looked "hideous."

I guess that's another way of saying "shabby."

I thought she looked--creative. And cute.

Maybe even chic.

(Don't look at the weeds. I gotta get out there.)

Besides, I have bigger hills to die on.

And she says nobody at school laughed at her.

We worry too much about externals. 

Clothes. Cars. Houses.

We pant after the newest gadgets and updates. 

We think what our kids wear (or not) and have (or not) is a reflection of our love and care (or not.)

We dress them like little celebrities.

Do they look cute? Do we look stylish? Does everything coordinate? 

We suffer from Coachitis and Jordanitis and all other sorts of fashionitis.

I love the Message translation of Jesus' words in Matthew 6:27-29.

"Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion--do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them."

See all the colors? I think Gracee is a beautiful as a field of wildflowers.

What did your child wear to school today? 
What are you wearing?

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Saw the Light

I remember Judy.

Her eyes especially. They lit up a room. Contagious joy.

I didn't know her when her eyes were dark. When she wandered in darkness.

Social cliff climber. Addicted. Swinger. Adulteress. Occult dabbler.

Traveling the reprobate road.

She sent her children to neighbors, friends, and daycares so she could do her own thing.

Enslaved to sin.


Until she panicked and realized she was no longer in control.

Until she picked up a long-shelved and unopened Bible that fell open to Matthew.

And she fell in love.

She rose before sunrise and read and cried and prayed all day.

One night she woke up feeling as if a power source had entered her body. She looked at her fingertips and saw light radiating from them.  Her husband also woke with a start. "It's only 65 degrees in here, and you're so hot I can't touch you!"

She found her way to our church. And she stayed in the Word.

Her husband was ready to divorce her.

"I could handle your alcoholism. I could even handle the affairs. But I can't handle this affair you're having with this Man, Jesus!"

He tried everything to knock her off her path. While she tried everything to push him onto her path.

Until she sensed that her job was simply to be a light. She maintained a meek and quiet spirit and simply loved and served her husband as she never had before.

One Saturday night they went to a neighborhood party. She retreated with a Coke and watched her husband drink up and toke up and flirt with all the other women. She desperately wanted to go home, but God seemed to tell her to sit still and keep her mouth shut. Later she helped him home. He threw up all night, and she nursed him.

Then she took the children and went to church.

And after the service, she looked up to see her husband "lit up like a candle."

A changed man.

Because she saw the Light.

And she became a light.

The whole family eventually went to the mission field as lights.

And then back home as lights to extended family.

I remember Judy.

And I miss her.

I saw the Light in her.

Who has been a light in your life?

"The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple." Psalm 119:130 (NIV)

"You are the light of the world." Matthew 5:14 (NIV)  

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Monday, April 26, 2010

Whose fault?

Abby and I went to my niece's baby shower yesterday.

We had to go around the circle and introduce ourselves.

When my mom's turn came, she gave her name and said, "This is all MY fault."

At my turn, I said, "I'm her daughter, her mother, her sister, and her aunt. And yeah (pointing to my mom), it's all HER fault."

Cuz kinda sorta it is.

I mean if she hadn't met my dad, and they hadn't--well, you know--this little population explosion would never have happened.

HER fault.

I remember when then little Jeremy tumbled down the stairs.

"It's YOUR fault," he screamed at my husband.

"Really?" Dennis asked. "How so?"

"YOU put these socks on me! YOU called me down here! YOU bought this house! It's YOUR fault!"

Well, kinda sorta correcto.

If Dennis and I never met and if we hadn't adopted him and if we hadn't moved into this house with these stairs, he wouldn't have fallen down them.

Yep. OUR fault.

It overwhelms me, really, when I linger too long in thought. How a choice we make in this moment can affect forever moments.

How if my parents' parents' parents hadn't met and had made different choices and my husband's parents' parents' parents hadn't met and had made different choices, we wouldn't be in this place at this time. How if I/we had made different choices, we would not even know our children or they might be totally different people. How two cousins now share a similar experience. How I might not be in love with a precious 7-year-old granddaughter. How my arms throb to hold the ones soon to come.

We are the fruit of yesterday's choices, and the seeds of tomorrow's fruit.

We follow broken roads of the past that lead us straight to the present.

We don't always recognize the signs that point straight to Him. Even the lost and broken dreams. The twisted expectations. The pain.

That somehow it all fits into a grander plan. Part of a bigger tree.

And that we're not really in control anyway.

God bless the broken road that led me here. And that will ultimately lead me home, into my Lover's arms.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Yep. It's HIS fault!

And it's all good.

Very good.

"The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9 (NASB)

Have you seen signs of Him along your broken paths? 
Where have you seen a sign of Him this week?

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Thursday, April 22, 2010

So Long. Good-bye. Farewell.

Last week Bonnie Gray invited me in a blog comment here to take a "What If" challenge.

Brainstorm five "what if" questions, she said. Fast. Choose one. And then let's jam about it.

Like today. A week later.

Say what?

I've learned not to stew in a pot of "what if's" or swim in an ocean of regrets any more. Too hot. Too deep. But I do sometimes wonder in a curious way how my life might be different. And occasionally I still wince at some of my naive and stupid choices. But only for a moment. Because I can see how God takes my out-of-tune self and orchestrates a moving symphony.

One He continues to write.



So I don't dwell in those shadows. Takes too much energy.

Then I thought about stuff like what if I got to go to somewhere as a Compassion blogger or to Kenya on a sponsor tour? Or what if I got to visit the Holy Land?

Or what if I actually finished and published a novel?

But it needed to be something that I had some control over--now--with results to report on within the week.

So I came up with a list that doesn't touch some of the more noble and deep ones that others posted, but I could focus on one for a week and see where it led.

Maybe an open door of possibility. Maybe a path to what could be.

1. What if I gave up my addiction?
2. What if I walked every day?
3. What if I was in bed by 11 every night?
4. What if I sat and did nothing for at least 15 minutes every day?
5. What if I took that online novel-writing course?

Not very deep. Simple. Maybe even a bit hokey.

But what if I gave up my addiction?

Hi. My name is Snady.

And I am a Bejeweled Blitzaholic.

What if I gave up that time sucker? No more clacking jewels or colorful explosions. No more words of affirmation and encouragement. "AWEsome!" "Spec-TAC-ular!" No more one more game, one more minute turning into one more hour.

Or more.

No more trying to beat my friends with scores over 300,000. No more late nights. No more blurry eyes or cricked neck.

And so I did!

I gave it up.

Deleted the application from Facebook.



For a whole week.

Cold turkey.

So long.




And what have I done with that leftover time?

I've walked. Only twice this week for 45 minutes. Three times if you count today. But that's more than last week. Or the week before, or before, or before.

I watched the dust rise from behind tractors.I marveled at tine-straight furrows and pondered my own life path that looks more like a curly straw.

I inhaled the aroma of fresh-turned earth and listened to frogs plop into puddle-ponds pooled in last year's corn stalks. I patted passing horses. I took pictures as possible illustrations for blog posts.

And I've been to bed before 11. Even before 1 a.m. Every night but one when I got caught up writing.

I sat still once.

I stripped more wallpaper while I watched the History Channel for 6 hours!

I read more.

I don't know if it's all because of giving up a game. Maybe I just want to believe that. But surely I didn't spend THAT many hours playing.

I hope.


I'm still thinking about the class. I have until the end of the month for the specific one I'm thinking about.

And I joined ACFW just this morning. On my to-do list for months.

And so with my new-found time, my new-found health (I'm giving up M&M's too, doncha know--maybe), and even with a soon-to-come new granddaughter to dote on, what new movement might God write next?

Because I said good-bye to an addiction.

What if I finish a novel by the end of the year?

Is it possible?

Could it be?

What if . . . ?

NOTE: To read how others responded to this challenge, head over to the Faith Barista Jam.

Do you live with regrets? Do you wallow in the past?
Do you have any "what ifs" that could open the door to a "what could be?"
What would you throw off, do, change, start if you believed God was in it?

"I run for dear life to God, I'll never live to regret it." Psalm 71:3 (Message)

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Self-Control: A Limerick

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body. 
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (NIV)
There once was a writer from Michigan
Whose mirror revealed the shape she was in.
M&M's in a bowl
And with no self-control
She emptied it faster than any man.

The writer then realized her sin.
The temple the Spirit lived in
Had gone all to pot
And healthy was not
Good-by M&M's, hello thin.

Now the writer was bought at a price.
For honor she'll overcome this vice.
She'll pray ev'ry day
M&M's stay away
And chocolate will no longer entice.

Disclaimer: This limerick is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to an actual person, living or dead, including the author, is entirely coincidental.

NOTE: This post is part of the Blog Carnival on SELF-CONTROL. For more thoughts, visit One Word at a Time.

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thanks--I Needed That!

 Trinity Touch Times.

"Gathering to touch our community in simple ways."

The church flowing out of the church.

Being the church.

Loving and caring and surprising.

With no strings attached.

Just random acts of kindness to "show God's love in a practical way."

Like hanging around a self-service laundry with a handful of quarters.

Like staking out a gas station with a handful of $5 gas cards.

Like hosting a dollar car wash--where instead of charging a dollar, the "washee" receives a dollar for the privilege of washing his or her car.

Like paying for the order behind you in the fast food drive-through line.

For starters.

Ed coordinates this ministry for our church. He has such a tender heart.

He told a story about three weeks ago that still haunts me.

He and a small group of others were spread out on Michigan State's campus passing out goodie bags. I don't know what all they contained. A bottle of water. An energy bar. Other stuff.

I probably don't have the story totally straight, but here's the gist of it.

Ed held one last bag with nobody in sight. He prayed for a recipient and headed down an alley. He saw someone coming toward him.

Only one someone.

The kind of someone you don't want to stare at, but you do want to take it all in.

Or the kind of someone you might just want to ignore. Avert your eyes. Maybe even feel an ounce of fear toward.

Kind of a cross between Goth and punk. Whatever they are.

Dressed all in black. Spiked hair. Chains. Studs. Covered in piercings and tattoos.

All alone.

Even Ed hesitated a second, but then stopped him and said something like, "I just want to give this to you and tell you God loves you."

Silence. For a brief second. And their eyes locked. There might have been a tear in the young man's eye.

"Thanks," he said. "I needed that."

And a tear welled up in Ed's eye. They hugged. And the young man went on his way. He didn't even know what the bag contained.

So what did he need? Someone to look him in the eye and tell him they cared. That God cared. That he mattered.

It's what we all need really.

Someone who will lock eyes with us.

Acknowledge us.

Offer a smile, a touch, a kind word.

Or a glass of water. Or an energy bar. Or even a handful of wilted dandelions.

Regardless of our appearance. Or even our attitude. Or because of.

Because we all hide hurts.

And we all need to know we matter.

And that someone cares.

Thanks. I needed that.

When did someone last perform a random act of kindness for you? How did you feel before and after? When did you last perform a random act for someone else? What resulted?

"My brethren, pay no servile regard to people [show no prejudice, no partiality]. Do not [attempt to] hold and practice the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ [the Lord] of glory [together with snobbery]! James 2:1 (Amplified)

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Friday, April 16, 2010

I Almost Missed It

I almost missed it.

Nose in Bible. Pen in journal.

But I looked up. Out into the field.

And watched a male turkey try to gain the attention of several females.

Who paid him no mind.

He fluffed. He fanned. He followed.

Back and forth. The caboose on the train. The shovel in the parade.

At one point a second male approached the front of the line. But the females just veered to the right leaving both males stranded. I thought there'd be a fight. But no. Both males just looked kind of resigned, and male #2 eventually went his own way while male #1 continued the dance.

In gentleman fashion.

While the females pecked at the ground.

Ignoring him.

I almost missed it.

Just like I often miss the majesty and splendor God parades before me and around me. Or simply ignore it. While I aimlessly peck head down through my day. Or rattle and crash through it like a runaway grocery cart in a parking lot.

While I pay Him no mind.

I almost missed this.

And this.

And this.

And these.

I almost missed the opportunity to marvel at the marvelous.

To wonder at the wonderful.

I need to slow down more. I need to look up more.

I don't want to miss it.

I don't want to miss Him.

Where have you seen God today?

"What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all with wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations." Psalm 104:24 (Message)

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

6 Lessons Learned on a Messy Monday

Weekend messes greeted me Monday morning.

No worries. The day stretched before me like a yawning feline.

Lazy day.

Got my hair cut and colored in the morning. Clogged floor drain so I couldn't do laundry. No Tuesday class to prep for because of a planned testimony and potluck.

I figured I could play a little, write a little, play a little.

And I did.

About 3:00, I decided I'd pay some bills, straighten the house, and start a creative dinner.

But then Abby called and asked if I'd meet her at the store and help pick out thank-you notes. Shouldn't take too long.

On my way, Jeremy called. He blew a tire crossing railroad tracks, but he'd called a tow truck to haul him to Wal-Mart. All cool.

Abby and I picked out cards. We both needed to pick up a few groceries. She complained of feeling very tired. Gracee did wheelies with the cart.

Jeremy called again. Wal-Mart didn't have a tire. They put on the spare, and the spare blew on his way to the only tire store in town. He didn't know what to do. Insurance only allows one tow a day. He didn't even know if the tire store had a tire, and he didn't have a number to call, and he didn't want to call information, and he really wanted to get to basketball, and his dad "wouldn't" answer his phone, and "I'm really starting to freak out, and the tire store closes in 20 minutes."

Jeremy has OCD.

Meanwhile, my phone reception in the back of the store was awful. I ran to the front to hear and to pay for my items (still holding the thank-you notes), remembering that I would need to get gas before I could get to Jeremy. I ran my debit card (as a credit--I always do because I never have enough cash, and I hate to waste checks.)

Not authorized.

I forgot! Happened earlier in the day, and I had meant to call the bank. That was on the list of stuff I planned to do "later." So I wrote my second check of the day with my ear to my phone and ran out the door and over to the gas station to pay for $3 worth of gas in change to get to Jeremy before the tire store closed.

Leaving Abby and Gracee to fend for themselves.

While my own frustration mounted.

Jeremy decided he just wanted to take the bad tire to the tire store and get a new one for $135 (all the money he had just withdrawn to buy some work clothes.) We skidded through the door in the nick of time and left with a new tire. The original plan was for me to take him home to change and then to basketball and then he'd have a friend bring him back to the truck where his dad would meet him and help him change the tire. He decided to change it on his own.
So we returned to the truck--behind which sat a police car with flashing lights. The officer cancelled his tow truck call, and talked Jeremy through changing the tire and even loaned him a sturdier jack.

Crisis resolved.


I stopped at Abby's to drop off the thank-you notes. And she proceeded to tell me about HER afternoon that started downhill when she was late to pick up Gracee from school. Gracee had a wad of dandelions in her hand, and Abby, envisioning "butter and milk" in the car, told her to leave them and realized her mistake as soon as the words left her lips. Gracee threw them on the ground with a "Fine! They were for you." Abby tried to redeem the situation by suggesting to Gracee that perhaps Grandma would help her buy a little flower at the store.

Of course, by the time they got to checkout, Grandma was long gone, which threw Gracee into another tizzy because Abby didn't have the money to buy a flower. In fact, Abby discovered she had NO money and no way to pay for her purchase. At that point, she just wanted to sit down in the aisle and cry. As it turned out, Lee was on his way back from Lansing, so they just waited for him rather than needing my rescue. But at some point, Gracee (yes, sweet Gracee) played the "I just want to die" card, and that turned into an ugly scene--which was resolved by the time I got to their house. Gracee was fine, and Abby had just finished a good cry.


When I got home, I picked a few flowers and took back to Gracee to give to mom.

Dennis had managed to call the bank between Jeremy's calls to discover the bank had put a hold on our card because Dennis had used it the day before to pay for some suits--an unusually large purchase for us with an unfamiliar payee.


Dennis and I ate leftovers in a messy kitchen that night, and I finally paid bills around 9:00--including a credit card, which I paid off--but since it was after 5 on the due date, I can expect to see a late fee.


What did I (and my children) learn on Messy Monday?
  • It never pays to procrastinate.
  • It never pays to freak out.
  • It never pays to speak before you think.
  • It always pays to pray.
  • It always pays to laugh.
  • And it always pays to be prepared.
Because a day can suddenly turn messy.

And stuff can happen.

Are you a procrastinator? How do you cope when life interrupts your plan?

"Watch therefore [give strict attention and be cautious and active], for you know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of Man will come." Matthew 25:13 (Amplified)

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Cannot Do All Things

Do you sail ships you were never meant to sail? Or is it time to dock the ship?

Does your stomach churn through waves of responsibility initiated by the propeller of a poor self-image and the inability to say, "No?"

Have you gotten so busy doing you forgot about being?

Do you spend so much time making Him known that you don't make time to know Him?

Been there. Done that. Repeated that. Several times.

To read more, check out my Godly Girl's guest post over at Mel's World.

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Monday, April 12, 2010

No Regrets

My daughter and my niece. Both due in June.

I'm 61 years old. And almost a half.

You'd think I'd be over it by now.

I am. Mostly.

But sometimes I still sense the faintest twinge of jealousy.

A ripple of regret.

A sliver of sadness.

A pensive moment of wonder.

What would it have been like to see my belly ripple?

To feel an inward wave of movement?

A kick of life?

And yes. Even the nausea and the fatigue and the bloat.

The miracle of creation.

Begetting. Bearing. Birthing.

With one request.

An identical outcome.

Because I can't imagine any other life.

 Abby and Jeremy - ages 6 months and 4 years. (1989)

And so I embrace what is.

Because it was.

Planned and purposed.

Before my time.

A miracle of creation.

From an empty womb.

Pregnant with faith.

Perfused with love.

Heart stretched past capacity.


Blessing begats blessing.

 Granddaughter Gracee - age 5-1/2 (2007)

And life is a kick.

No regrets.

(No stretch marks, either.)

" . . . we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!" Romans 5:5 (The Message)

Can you live a life with no regrets? Can you embrace what is?

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Morning poem

Arise, oh sleeper.
A new day bursts
Wide open with promise.
Behold a robin
Dance of life.
Hark! A feathered melody.
Give thanks.
And sing!

"Surprise us with love at daybreak; then we'll skip and dance all day long. Psalm 90:14 (MSG)

 Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Cups Overflow

Cup. Mug. Glass. 

Do you have one nearby? I do. Almost all the time. And sometimes more than one.

Containers. Vessels.

They hold a lot of symbolism.

Circular rims--no beginning and no end.
Designed for use.
Thirst quenchers and comfort givers.
Sometimes worn and flawed.
Sometimes stained and mold coated.
Different shapes and various sizes.
Fragile and sturdy.
Microwave safe--or not.
Dishwasher safe--or not.
Must be emptied to be filled.
Must be filled to be emptied.

During my declutter frenzy, I pared down my stash. These favorites survived.

The company that takes care of family--employees and policyholders. I so appreciate that my husband's job as an agency standards consultant is secure and allows me to follow my dreams. I love the crackled look of this mug because I so often feel that way. I don't drink from this.

I don't drink from this cup either. But it reminds me of the cup Jesus drank from and that if I am to follow Him, I need to drink from it, too. It reminds me of a young girl in Kenya and of the organization that reaches out in compassion "releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name." On the back it says, "Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate." Good thought.

An often-used mug for coffee or tea or cocoa. I bought it back in the day when I buried myself in quilting to battle the pain of infertility. It encourages me to think of how God takes all the broken pieces and scraps of my life to create a patchwork masterpiece.

I just love Lucy! And I love chocolate. You probably didn't know that, right? My daughter bought this mug for me. It makes me smile, sometimes giggle, and sometimes laugh out loud. I think that's a good thing.

Abby also got this mug for me. It's cracked on the other side but still very useful. I use it a lot. I like to think I'm useful in spite of my cracks.

Company cups. The upper left is from my everyday dishes, but I don't regularly use the cup. The other cups belonged to my mother-in-law (upper right) and her mother (front and center.) I need to use those dishes more. Things of such beauty and sentiment don't belong behind closed doors.

Gift cups. I use these when I want (need) to pamper myself, maybe curl up with a good book and a candle and sip on a unique herb tea. We all need to feel special sometimes.

Vintage Cracker Barrel. I may treat myself to one of these for morning coffee. They might be chickens, but I still hear a cock crow in my head reminding me of Peter's impulsiveness and denial and Jesus' forgiveness and Peter becoming the rock he was meant to be. On the lighter side, they bring back memories of the chickens we raised for a couple of years--but that's another story. These are great, too, for large homemade lattes topped with lots of whipped cream.

These were my mother-in-law's toy dishes. I don't use them, but I enjoy looking at them and thinking of her playing with them as a girl. She would have been 101 years old this year. I'm also reminded that the cups are really small, which means they would brim over really fast. I think our spirit cups have a way of expanding.

I use one of these goblets and sip on ice water throughout the day. I could use a plain old thing, but I love the vine design and the way the glass catches the light and the way it feels when I grasp it. I think I drink more water because of it.

This mug is on order. A treat to myself when I finish my Sweeter Than Chocolate study of Psalm 119--with a hope that I'll grow to love the Word even more than a bag of M&M's.

My cups still overflow. My cup overflows. Oh, to be a useful vessel overflowing for Him.

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves." 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NASB)

What kind of spiritual symbolism can you see in a cup? 
Do you have a special one that you like to use?

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Gentleness--Power Under Control

 My husband's great uncle was killed in World War I. The wheel horses were King horses, and the rest belonged to area farmers.

"Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5 (NIV)

"You hold Turk while I saddle Ike."

Dennis had taken me home to meet his parents. But mostly to gain horse approval. And the approval of saddle club members.

Me nervous?


Kind of.

A lot.

I rode a grade school friend's horse once. Nearly scraped off half my back as it galloped into the barn.

Anyway, I grasped the end of the reins. Turk happily chomped the grass. And when he "reached the end of his rope," he simply gave a mighty tug of the head and jerked me along behind him. Across the friends' backyard. Over and over.

Chomp. Chomp. Jerk.

Chomp. Chomp. Jerk.

Until the saddle horn caught on the clothesline. He jumped. And both posts collapsed inward, upending their cement "roots."

Good first impression.

Uncontrolled strength. Unharnessed power.

Turk knew his master. And he knew not me.

 Dennis and Turk.

Dennis tried me out on Lady. She limped down the road and tried to bite my toes. When we turned back toward the barn, she broke into a run while I, wild-eyed, grabbed the saddle horn as if it were my last bag of M&M's.

Years later, I came across this verse:

"But let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God." 1 Peter 3:4 (NIV)

So I set out to implement those characteristics in my life.

By not talking.

At the time, I transcribed reports for Heidi, a rehabilitation nurse. She would share things that were going on in her life, and I would listen. In silence. Months later she finally asked me what I was hiding. She even said her thoughts turned to the Mafia. I think she was serious.

My efforts did not produce the quality.

Because I couldn't.


And, of course, my self-control only evidenced itself with acquaintances anyway. 

At home? Another story.

Uncontrolled tongue. Unharnessed emotions

I knew my Master. But I took the reins.

The Greek for "gentle" in both verses is prays. Also translated "meek." 

Not weak.

A strong word.

A tamed animal.

A broken colt.

Power under control.

A fruit of the spirit.

Gentleness, or meekness, speaks of training and learning to handle heavy loads in the lightest way. A surrender to the master's control.

And a quiet spirit does not necessarily mean a quiet personality. It does not mean silence.

A gentle and quiet spirit is unruffled. Free from frenzy. But it can be angry at the right time at the right person in the right way for the right length of time.

Stability in stress.

Courage in crisis.

Tranquility in turbulence.

Peace in the preposterous.

Impossible on my own.

A gentle and quiet spirit says, "God, I give you the reins in this situation. I accept this in your sovereignty because you want to make me more like Jesus through it. I willingly accept the yoke. I embrace it. And I embrace you as you embrace me."

Controlled by the Spirit.

Harnessed to Jesus.

 Wendy and me. Dennis' parents bought her for me. After I'd learned a little.

NOTE: This post is part of the Blog Carnival on GENTLENESS . For more thoughts, visit One Word at a Time.

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He's Alive!

 Tu Lips are made to praise!

He's alive, and I'm forgiven. 
Heaven's gates are open wide.


Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Black Saturday - A Meditation

Crushed hopes.
Gut-wrenching grief.
Heart-stopping fear.
Sealed tomb.

Final four.
Spring break.
Easter Bunny.
Egg hunts.
Yard work.
Meal preparations.
Readied finery.

God's appointment.
Fragrant hope.
Unrestrained joy.
Renewed courage.
Empty tomb.

"And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone." 
Matthew 27:66 (NASB)

Will you remember today?

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Friday, April 2, 2010

More Time in the Light

My living room boasts two large windows, one about ten feet wide and the other about eight. Heavy floor-to-ceiling decorator drapes hang from each. I don't know how much they weigh. Heavy. Took forever to find traverse rods long enough and substantial enough to support them.

A few gentle tugs on a cord in the morning part the veil. Darkness flees, and a light flood washes over the room. I stand face to face with the sun. Momentarily blinded, I shade my eyes.

I need more time in the light.

Dust particles dance while smears and smudges clap in time.


The animals saunter in to spy out the land and bask in the warmth.

I think about Moses and how his face glowed after an encounter with the Almighty and how the people could not look at him unless he veiled his face.

My family does not shrink back from me. I don't need a veil.


I need more time in the Light.

My mind wanders to another veil. Purple and blue and scarlet. Thirty feet wide. Sixty feet long. The thickness of a man's palm--about four inches. (Some sources say three.) Tradition says it took 300 priests to hang it, and Josephus says horses hooked to each side could not tear it.

The veil separated the Holy from the Most Holy. Only the high priest could enter once a year on the Day of Atonement. It symbolized sinful man's separation from a holy God.

A division.

A barrier.

Christ's body.

And when Jesus died, the veil split from top to bottom.

A Light flood.


A way.

Directly into His presence.

Face to face.

I need more time in the Light.

"And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom." Matthew 27:50-51 (NIV)

"Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water." Hebrews 10:19-22 (NIV)

Do you need more time in the Light?

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King
Related Posts with Thumbnails