Sunday, August 26, 2007

Whatever It Takes

by Lanny Wolfe

verse 1
There’s a voice calling me
From an old rugged tree
And He whispers draw closer to me
Leave this world far behind
There are new heights to climb
And a new place in me you will find

For whatever it takes to draw closer to you Lord
That’s what I’ll be willing to do
For whatever it takes to be more like you
That’s what I’ll be willing to do

verse 2
Take the dearest things to me
If that’s how it must be
To draw me closer to thee
Let the disappointments come
Lonely days without the sun
If through sorrow more like you I become

(repeat chorus)

I’ll trade sunshine for rain
Comfort for pain
That’s what I’ll be willing to do
For whatever it takes for my will to break
That’s what I’ll be willing to do

That’s what I’ll be willing to do

I have sung this song many times since my youth without really considering the weight of the lyrics. As I've matured, they've come to mean more to me than I could have ever imagined. Very often now, more than any other song, this one comes to mind when I'm alone with God. It has become my earnest prayer. A prayer that He has been faithful to answer.

Join me in praising Him for keeping His promises. Give thanks to Him and praise His name!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Teenagers and Other Unpleasant Parasites

Tomorrow (Sunday) marks one week since I have spoken to Sarah. I would almost bet money that she won't call.

Lindsey is working two jobs and learning the art of money management. It's funny how much less stuff she needs now that she has her own money to spend.

One of our dogs has heartworms. Sarah has asked me a couple of times if we're going to get her treated, but I really don't know what to tell her. It seems that I have to choose between going to visit my daughter and going to visit the vet. Tough call.

I've been without a washer and dryer for a few weeks now, which means multiple trips to the laundromat. Thankfully, the one near my job is air-conditioned. I'm actually not minding hanging out there, as it keeps me mindful of things I've taken for granted.

I realized on one such trip that I often forget to praise God when times are tough. An old Imperials song started playing in my head, and I began to sing the chorus.

"Praise the Lord
He can work through those who praise Him
Praise the Lord
For our God inhabits praise
Praise the Lord
For the chains that seem to bind you
Serve only to remind you
That they drop powerless behind you
When you praise Him

I then made a mental list of things I'm thankful for, like having a roof over our head. . . and one in the yard. (I had to laugh at that thought and planned to take a picture of each one so I could post it here, but that didn't happen.) At one time, we were waiting for a sunny weekend, but now I think we're waiting for cooler weather since my husband and his brothers will be putting on the new roof.

Speaking of songs, here's one we used to sing when we were kids:

Oh you can't get to heaven (Oh you can't get to heaven)
In a rockin' chair (In a rockin' chair)
'Cause the Lord don't want ('Cause the Lord don't want)
No lazy folks there (No lazy folks there)

Oh you can't get to heaven in a rockin' chair
'cause the Lord don't want no lazy folks there.
Don't grieve my Lord no more.

I shared that with you as a segue into my next thought, which is "I'm thinking of changing my blog name." Not because I'm afraid I can't get to heaven if I don't, but because it's such a long name, and the URL is a pain to type.

The new name I'm contemplating is from a song we sang once shortly after I joined the choir at my previous church. (Click to listen to "Then Will the Very Rocks Cry Out.") They had sung it before and couldn't get through the song without laughing. It seems that several folks in the congregation had misunderstood the lyrics. They thought the choir was singing "then will the very crops dry out!"

Anyway, I want to turn the focus of this blog around. I want to spend more time praising my Savior and less time pouting because of my circumstances.

I love this passage in Luke 19, which reads:

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38 "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
40 "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."

You may have noticed the name change in your bloglines. I'm trying it on for size, and unless I get a better suggestion from one of you, I'll be making the change official (changing the URL as well) in a few weeks. I'll give you a heads up before that happens.

Have a glorious day!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Tale of Two Sisters

At 22 months apart, they are as different as night and day, save their mutual dislike of one another. I find it interesting that the resentment seems more pronounced when they are separated than when they are together (unless they're with their dad). Sadly, I understand the frustration that Lindsey must feel when she is constantly being compared to Sarah and found lacking. My heart aches for her, though I can only imagine the pain of being rejected by one's own father. I'm not making excuses for her behavior, mind you, but I believe she's due some compassion. Her dad and her sisters seem to disagree. I'm too lenient with her, in their opinion, which is likely the source of Sarah's resentment.

The child who can do no wrong in her dad's eyes doesn't understand why I don't show her the same favoritism. My insistence that they both need guidance, direction, and discipline seems unfair to her (and her dad) because she's not as "bad" as Lindsey. By worldly standards, perhaps. However, I choose to live and to parent by higher standards. I will be held accountable for what I teach them, and for what I fail to teach them. I answer to the Highest Authority, and it is HIS approval I seek.

They are more alike than they realize, these 2 sisters, more than either of them or their dad would care to admit. They are so very like their parents and their parents' parents and every other human individual who has walked the face of the earth since the beginning of time. They, like us, are sinners by nature. There is no good in any of us apart from God's grace.

The world would have us believe otherwise. I cannot tell you how often I've found myself thinking that I am somehow more (or less) deserving of God's favor because of anything I have or have not done, and I know better. It shouldn't surprise me that my child would fall into the same trap, especially since the lie is being reinforced by people she trusts.

My prayer is that my daughters, my sisters in Christ, will soon realize their desperate need for the Savior whose name they claim and that their indifference will turn to indescribable joy.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Late Sunday night, Lindsey was on the phone with a friend who told her Sarah was there and they were going to watch a movie. For some reason they wouldn't let Lindsey talk to her, so I called their home number. No one answered the phone. After several more attempts to reach Sarah on her cell phone, I finally called the friend's cell. Still no answer. Eventually, Sarah did call from their home phone. What a relief to finally hear from her! (I'm sure your prayers had everything to do with that. THANK YOU!!) We talked briefly, then she promised to call me the next day while she was out shopping. It didn't happen. She is now back with her dad, as far as I know. I'm still waiting for her to call.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

At Least She Left a Note

Friday morning, Lindsey took me to work so she could take the car in for an oil change and run some errands. She had asked Sarah the night before to go with her, but Sarah told her to wake her up in the morning and ask her then. As we were getting ready to leave, I noticed that Sarah was up and out of bed, which was very unusual for that time of morning. She came in from the garage with her cell phone in hand, and I asked her why she was up so early. She told me her friend had called. It did seem odd, but I didn't think anything of it. Girls and their cell phones, you know.

So there I was at work without my car and cell phone because I had given it to Lindsey to use in case she needed to reach me. She called around 11 a.m. to tell me that Sarah was gone, and she read me the following note:


Dad & Robin surprised me. . . they pulled in the driveway around 8:45. I went with them. Sorry it had to happen this way (says dad). I love ya'll and I will call ya'll later. again sorry.


I haven't heard from her since. She isn't answering my calls, nor is her dad. Lindsey hasn't been able to reach them either.

I'm having a hard time putting a positive spin on this one. Anybody got any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Gullible's Travels

If you've never spent countless hours in a car with 2 teenagers and a 7-yr-old, you don't know what you're missing. It's a lot like a regular road trip, but with triple the potty stops. And double the decibels. At least. Oh, and the bickering.

And oh, the blog fodder.

Like the time we saw a tractor trailer rig with the company logo on the side of the trailer. "Aunt Brenda, what does that say? I can't read Spanish." (It was cursive.)

Or, after several attempts to get Sarah's attention, when my niece said "Jesus told me he doesn't want you to ignore me."

Or last Saturday, on the way to meet my sister and her husband halfway to return the child to them, when she announced that she was starving. "Can we stop at McDonald's before we get there?" I reminded her that we had stopped for breakfast just a few hours earlier and that we were going to be meeting somewhere for lunch. "We're all going to eat together? Oh yaaay! Can I ride with you?"

I'll be back soon.