Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dreams, Dreams & More Dreams

I've gotten some nice feedback on my blogs via email lately. That's really nice. I like that. I know people don't leave comments on my blogsite because they make you establish a google account to leave a comment. (Really a dumb way to run things, I'd say!) But I love the feedback, so keep it coming via email, msn, personal contact, or at the blogsite! I would probably continue to blog even if I knew no one was reading it because it's a great outlet for me but it makes it so much more fun when I hear that someone really liked something I wrote or they have a criticism (constructive or destructive, it doesn't matter). I got some this morning and it was great. I have fun writing my blogs and if anyone gets any thing out of them, then I was successful. If not, well, I got to talk anyway. So please, continue your feedback. I really appreciate it.

My baby is 41 today! I can't believe it! You know what that makes me, don'tcha? Old, is what it makes me. How could this have happened? Where did all the years go? He's probably wondering the same thing. Last year was the big 4-0 for him but I think 41 hit me harder than 40 did. I just laughed off 40. [I don't laugh them off anymore.] I think it's 38 for her??? He has to work today so I'll go over this evening and wish both of them a happy birthday. Happy Birthday, You Two!!! I couldn't resist!

Yesterday afternoon I spent cleaning. Yea!! I did my laundry while I was at it. So now our clothes are clean and our house is presentable (but barely). I need to dust really righteously in here. But I keep putting it off because it's just going to get dusty again. (That's no excuse I know but it's the only one I can think of right now. LOL) Maybe I'll tackle that this afternoon. But I even mopped all my floors yesterday. All of them! As well as scouring the baths and vacuuming the carpets. I just worked my little heart out. And I got so hot and sweat so profusely I thought I was going to die. But I didn't. I do need to dust though and get rid of some of the long standing clutter I've collected around the house. Last time I did that Michael was gone and when he got home he said, "Am I in the right house?" I felt like slugging him but said thank you instead. At least he noticed. And who says nagging doesn't work? I've complained about him getting his toothpaste spattered all over the bathroom for years and when I cleaned his bath yesterday there was no toothpaste spatter. I couldn't believe it; my nagging finally paid off. I thanked him profusely for not getting toothpaste all over everything and he came back with, "Yeah, I just don't wash 'em anymore." LOL

I dreamt about Richie last night for the first time in years and years. He was still 22. And he hadn't changed. I don't remember what the dream was about, I just remember he was in it.

Well, Mario has now jumped up on my desk. He's sitting by my keyboard, staring at me with his face about 6 inches from my face. He probably wants canned food but I'm not going to give him any. If he had his way he'd be eating canned food all day long and would weigh 75 pounds. He already eats about twice as much as all the other cats put together. But he doesn't particularly like dry food. He's a very "sturdy" cat. He's solid. You pick him up and you know you've picked up something so he's not being neglected. He's just a glutton. Yeah, he's definitely wanting canned cat food ... or my chair. He's acting more like he thinks I'm sitting in his place right now. If I got up for any reason he'd be in this chair in a heartbeat, believe me!

We got up to 104.4 yesterday on the deck. But we're supposed to be going into a cooling trend. Sacramento has already cooled down but we're still cooking. Although I just checked and it's only 80 degrees right now so that's pretty good. Maybe we won't get as hot today after all. I probably should have saved my housecleaning for today to take advantage of the cooler temps. Oh well, there's still plenty to do. It'll be time to change my bedding again in a day or two. [Mario just left. Thank goodness. I was really beginning to feel like my space had been infringed upon.]

I have the cutest picture of my cousin's children on my desk. I have it positioned on the left and every time I look over there I see these two precious angels standing with their backs to me, "wearing" their mama's jeans. The waistbands are up around their shoulders. Just a really, really cute picture. Wish I did pictures in my blog. I'd go ahead and try to post it, but I'm not ready to take that step yet. I'm going to stay "text only" for awhile yet. Don't know why, it's just the way I feel.

I washed my hair this morning, gooped it up, finger styled it and let it dry. Then I combed it out and it looks really good. I'm so glad I had her cut it this short. It's a little boyish so I'll blow dry it come Sundays to give it a little more of a feminine flair. But during the week, this is fine for me. And I don't even have to put hairspray on it. Yea!! I can let it blow in the breeze and then comb it back in place with my fingers. I love it. I love it . I love it!!

Today's Bible verse is Matthew 10:29-30: "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered." I've read these verses so many times and something new jumped out at me this morning when I read them. [Isn't it amazing the way Scripture comes to life sometimes, taking a whole new direction?!!] What jumped out was the fact that I'd always taken it to mean that God even cares when a sparrow "falls" so obviously He's going to care when one of His children falls. Is that how you've always understood this to be? Wow! I've always thought of it as how much the Father cares for us and that's true, He does care. But this verse says something new to me this morning. It says that a sparrow doesn't fall apart from the Father's will. It's the Father's will that the sparrow falls. Then to make this applicable to me, I'd have to say that I don't fall apart (except) for when the Father wills it. Does that mean the Father wills me to fall sometimes? I think so. I think that's why we're told to praise God and give Him thanks even when bad things happen to us. But if that's true then why would a loving God will bad things for His children? Why would God will for me to get ill or hurt or go through difficult and trying times? That doesn't make sense to my way of thinking. Or does it?

Remember the story of Joseph? How his brothers sold him into slavery and he spent all those years as a slave. Then when things were going a little better for him and He was put in charge of the household, Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him and he ended up being thrown in prison under Pharaoh's house where he languished for years? Then he translated Pharaoh's dream and was made ruler (subject only to Pharaoh) of Egypt and the signet ring was put on Joseph's finger? At the end of the story, what does Joseph say? What does he tell his brothers who had sold him into slavery all those years before? "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good." (Gen. 50:20)

God "intended it for good." God intended for Joseph's brothers to sell him into slavery? God intended for Potiphar's wife to lie about Joseph? God intended all those years in prison? God intended this? Yes, God intended it. That's a hard truth to swallow. So now we have to ask, Why would God intend all this hardship on Joseph? Why does God intend or "will" for us, hardships and trials? Because we are agents of free will and God will never violate our free will. He would not make Joseph into the man he became through all his trials. God had the power to immediately change Joseph into the kind of man He wanted him to be, but He chose instead to not violate Joseph's free will and allowed Joseph to grow into the kind of man God could use in a mighty way.

Something happens when we go through tough times. It changes us. I don't know how to explain it but we become better people when we go through difficulties. We gain insight and patience and endurance. We become solid. Built up. Long suffering. We become Christlike in times of trials and tribulations in a way that we never would if we didn't go through them. Somehow we become better people in suffering. When we suffer or go through tough times we enter into Christ's suffering and become more like Him. We grow in a way that we can only grow through suffering. But how does our suffering enter us into Christ's suffering? I'm not sure, but I think it has to do with our willingness to go through it with Him. Look at it this way. Say your sister is diagnosed with ovarian cancer and has to go through chemotherapy and her hair falls out. So to show her how much you care you shave your head to enter into her situation, to go through it with her. This is a poor way to explain what happens but it's the best I can do at the moment. [I am not really a writer. I find words fail me sometimes when I most need them.] But I think that's why we're supposed to be thankful when we go through trials. Because we somehow grow more Christlike in the process. We're sharing His pain the way we'd be sharing our sister's pain if we were to shave our heads for her.

I'm so sorry I can't explain this any better. I want to but the words just won't come. But it's why I believe we go through suffering, because we grow in ways that we could never grow otherwise and because we enter into Christ's suffering. It's not that it's through faith that I can endure suffering. It's that in my suffering my faith endures and I grow more Christlike. That's why I can be thankful in my suffering. I hope I haven't completely confused you, that was not my purpose. And I hope in some small way something may have clicked and you may have gained a little insight into why God would will you to fall. Why God wills suffering and why we're told to be thankful during difficult times. It's discipline. Discipline means merely to teach someone. When we discipline our children we are teaching them correct behavior. Why? To make them better people. They grow in ways that they can only grow when disciplined. And I think that's why God wills suffering for us, for the same reason, so we will grow in ways we can't otherwise.

I hadn't intended on writing this until I read my daily Bible verse and the fact that God wills us to fall jumped out at me the way it did. I hope I've helped if this is something that you've always struggled with. And I sincerely hope I haven't confused you. If I have, just mull it over in your heart and mind for a few days and let the Spirit teach you if He chooses to. If you get nothing out of this then you weren't meant to. The Spirit is our teacher. Until tomorrow ...

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