Impromptu Moments

dtr 1.26.19

Mark 6:31

Live your life in a way that allows for moments of reflection, rest and being fully present. Simplify your schedule to create margin for impromptu shopping trips and lazy Saturdays.

When was the last time you decided, on a whim, to do something alone, with a friend or your spouse?  Has you time become so consumed with things to do that you have no time to add anything spur of the moment to it?

Everyday I wake up to list of MORE than 10 things that need to happen that day.  Some of those things are personal and some of them are business.  I spend all week working on things outside the home and then on the weekends I fill my time with things of the home.  I try my best to SQUEEZE in the grandkids, my kids and my husband.  Sadly, even they seem to get leftover time.

Purposefully plan at least one weekend a month that you have NOTHING planned.  Be sure that the house cleaning, grocery shopping and grass cutting are all done before the weekend or choose to skip it this one time.  That morning when you wake up, decide last minute on what your day will consist of.  Go hiking, ride a horse, catch a train, take a bus to a big city, ride a motorcycle, you choose.  Your body, mind and family will thank you and you will be surprised at how excited you will actually be as you rest and enjoy this unscheduled time.

 

Coke and Peanuts

Proverbs 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

I was born and raised in the south. I love the South, Southern traditions and Southerners. I love our lingo, how we talk slow, how we wave at people we see on the road, even if we don’t know them. I love how we say yes salty and no sir, no matter if they are older or younger than us. I love iced tea, pecan pie and fresh squeezed lemonade.

Small country stores were a Southern thing I remember too. As kids, we would ride our bikes to Greene’s Country Store. On our way to the store we would check the ditches for glass Coke bottles. Mr. Greene would give you .05 for every bottle we turned in. By the time we got to Greene’s Country Store we would have enough money to buy a Coke and a pack of peanuts or a candy bar. My favorite candy bar was Zero!!

country store

We would pull a glass bottle of Coke from the chest-style vending machine that’d wouldn’t accept change anymore and grab a pack of Lance’s Spanish-Roasted Peanuts from the rack on the wall. The ritual, a sweet Southern tradition, was simple: Open the bottle of Coke and take a couple of swigs. Tear off the corner of the cellophane sleeve–one of those single serving-size packages that contain no more than a handful of peanuts, the ones with the rusty skins still attached–and shake some nuts into the bottle. Then drink. The first few sips were the best, when the Coke was at its coldest and the peanuts at their salty crunchiest. If you lingered, the Coke got warm, the peanuts turned soggy, and the whole thing was about as appealing as drinking from an old bottle that’s been dredged from the bottom of a pond. Sweet and salty. That’s what made the drink so good.

Coke

In the South, best friends were siblings, cousins and your closet neighbors. We learned everything together, including how to fight, love and forgive. After I married, my husband joined the navy and we moved from SC to Florida, which was the beginning of our travels. I missed the Southern traditions, my family and my friends. Through the years, I had a lot of friends, but none that compared to what I had left behind.

I met some amazing women. Grew up with them, cried with them and did life with them. BUT, through all those years and all the traveling, I did not find that Southern kind of friend that I missed so much from my childhood. UNTIL about 12 years ago.

My husband became a pastor after leaving the military. We were back to moving around. People would come and go in our lives, so it made it difficult to become close to anyone.

About 14 years ago we moved to a small town about 45 minutes away from family. I really did not want to go, but knew we had to go where God led us. For the first few years, I meet a lot of people who were nice and kind but not my childhood type of friend that I wanted and missed so much.  God was about to bless me with two of those kind of friends.  Today, I want to honor one of those friends.

Best Friends

One day, I met a neighbor, Sheila. She would bring her children and drop them off at our church then go home so she could get a break from her kids. Her husband was an over the road truck driver, so she was kind of like a single mom. She was not interested in church and definitely not interested in being friends with the pastor’s wife. Before long, I forced my way into her life and literally into her house. I guess since she couldn’t get rid of me, she gave in and decided to become friends.

In the last 12 years, we have lived life together. She and her entire family got saved and baptized. We have celebrated the birth of new grandkids, mourned death together, her husband and my dad, we have fought and made up, we have started businesses together and closed businesses together. She has been my best friend in the best of times and in the worst of times. She has told me to pull up my big girl panties more times than I can count, yet she has stood on the fighting line with me when I was wronged. I like to think we work because I am the sweet and she is the salty in our relationship. I am the Coke and she is the peanuts.  She might disagree. Whatever we are, we work!

This week, one of my best friends moved to another city for a fresh start. I am so happy for her! Of all the people in the world she deserves happiness. She says she will visit because her kids are in the area, and I know she will. Like memories from my childhood, I will miss her very much, but she will never be forgotten. If you don’t have this kind of friend in your life, you are missing out on a lot. Proverbs 18:24 says, one who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. I am here to tell you that this kind of friend is rare, but they do exist. I am fortunate enough to have another best friend here in the town where I live, Kelly.  She and I have been friends as long as Sheila and I been friends and our friendship is just as special but different.  She is the sweet and I am the salty in that relationship.  Pray that God will send this type of friend into your life and when he does cherish your friendship with them forever.

Besties

This blog is dedicated to my sweet and salty friends who make life more interesting and fun. May you find your sweet to your salty or vice versa, at least one or twice in your lifetime.  I will miss you my friend!

 

 

 

A Ruth Kind of Loyalty

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Ruth 1:16-17 ESV But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”

Webster Dictionary Defines loyal as:
1 : unswerving in allegiance: such as
a : faithful in allegiance to one’s lawful sovereign or government were loyal to the king
b : faithful to a private person to whom faithfulness is due a loyal husband
c : faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product a loyal churchgoer

I wonder how many of us can say we are a loyal person. How do we determine what or to whom we are loyal? Are we loyal to the USA? Are we loyal to our president? Are we loyal to our families; spouses, children, grandchildren, sisters and brothers? Are we loyal to our churches and pastors? Are we loyal to our friends, co-workers and bosses? Some of you are answering the questions, yes, yes, no, maybe, or sometimes to the above questions.

Why is it so hard to be loyal? I mean Ruth kind of loyal? In this scripture Naomi falls on hard times, really hard times. She encourages both of her daughter-n-laws to return home to their family, where life will be easier for them. Ruth 1:14 says Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her. One left and one stayed. Why?

I love this 60 second video about loyalty. This is another example of how being loyal is hard and leaving is easy. https://www.passiton.com/loyalty A loyal person is there when times are good and times are bad. A loyal friend is there even when you tell them to go away. A loyal friend is the one who sticks around when everyone else leaves you hanging because it easier to run away.

Loyalty is one of the most powerful forces within the human heart. The truth is, every human being has loyalties. Our highest loyalties are revealed when we are squeezed into a decision that favors one loyalty and harms another.

Our main loyalty should be to Christ, but we are to also be loyal to others. It is great to know that we can always count on God. He is always loyal to us. But it is also wonderful to be around people that you can count on too. God wants us to be people that others can count on. He wants us to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God by putting God first and being someone that others can count on.

Maybe you have been left high and dry by family, co-workers or friends when tough times came. Maybe you are in the mist of the hurt that came from a betrayal, or disloyalty by someone you trusted to always be there. If you are, remember that you can count on God to always be there even when others leave you. Forgive that person and ask God to help you to move on. Maybe you are in a situation right now where you are trying to decide to run or stay…with your spouse, your family, your church, your job or your friends. Stop and pray. Running is easy, just like in the video, staying can be hard BUT God promises to bless us when we do what is right.

Evaluate your loyalty to God and others today. If you are not one to stand firm in times of trouble and you are a runner, ask God to help you to become a trustworthy and loyal person. If you are not loyal to God by reading his word, attending church, praying, or fellowshipping with other believers then ask God to work on your heart and help you to become more loyal to Him today. I believe if you can be loyal to God whom you can not see then you can be loyal to those whom you can see.

I will end with the quote from Ellen J. Barrier: Loyalty is a characteristic trait. Those who have it, give it free of charge. Go and be loyal to God and others today.