I Thought You Were Cleaning Today?

Colossians 3:23, (NKJV), “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the LORD and not to men,” is my focus this week.

 

I’ve come to realize something that I didn’t easily embrace today. When you schedule cleaning and tell your spouse, when he needs to shop near the mall and that entails a nice long drive together and usually lunch at a restaurant, the cleaning overrides the outing.

 

When I asked if he could wait for me after Bible study and a quick oil change, his response-“I thought you were cleaning today.”

 

“Yes, I am.”

Image result for lady cleaning house pictureshttp://www.dreamhomecleaners.info/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Cleaning-Lady.png

 

I remember meeting people for a meal after a meeting and one of the attendees, an organized gal, didn’t show up. I kept watching the door for her and finally she arrived just in time to place her order before the waitress left. “Where were you?” I asked.

 

“My car got filthy so I ran it through the car wash.”

 

I remember being surprised. She lives in a rural area with the nearest car wash twenty minutes away. Her house sets back from an unfinished road that gets stones applied when the town gets around to it. So, I understood but at the time it wouldn’t have occurred to me to take advantage of the gap in time.

 

Other times, I’ve invited her to go places with only a little forewarning and she sticks to her agenda no matter how enticing the opportunity. She keeps the results of her plans in mind and carries through.

 

When my youngest sister asked me to go to a play with her, years ago, her treat, I’d hesitate. She’d get frustrated when I’d say, “I’m not sure if I can make it.
Back then, I didn’t have a planner. I was aware of responsibilities hanging over my head that she didn’t understand. She was single. I needed to consider my husband’s and my kids’ schedules as well as my own.

 

“Just make a decision!”

 

So, with no chance to check with others, I missed more than one off-Broadway plays with her.

 

I like getting more organized, but it’s a shift in thoughts and actions. I watch YouTube videos with organizing tips on them and one night I said, “Enough!”

 

I looked over at my husband and his eyes were glazed over, poor guy.

 

Monday morning, I asked him a question about one of the organizers’ suggestions and he said, “I don’t want to talk about it, just do what you’re going to do.”

 

Later, I gave him more details and he said, “Don’t paint during the cold weather season, you hate the smell of paint.”

 

I know that about paint fumes, I just thought if we closed the door and avoided the room for a while, it wouldn’t be too bad.

 

Timing in communication in marriage is everything some days. Proverbs 25:11, (KJV), says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”

 

I’m spending 15 minutes or more this week on one room that got messy and the organizer said to do it up nice as you de-clutter. That’s what got me thinking of painting one of the next rooms on my list. Every room has some clutter, but the one I’m working on got away from me. I plan to finish it by Saturday and the finishing touch will be to make curtains from fabric I bought in the past.

 

May God bless you!

Dining with Friends

Once a month my husband and I dine with friends and catch up on what’s been happening in their lives and sometimes in the political arena. So we did that tonight. I brought the main meal this month. We switch off. I told them I’d bring the devotional in February. I don’t do that very often. It’s nice to talk to Christians from all different churches and some varying kind of worship services. We differ, yet we’re in solid agreement on the basics of belief. One is a retired pharmacist married to a retired nurse, another couple is a retired art teacher married to a retired nurse, and my husband and I are not retired. We have fun together and sing to guitar music and then delve into the Word of God.

Yesterday after our morning service, a lady from church and I decorated the Christmas tree after some others helped by setting it up and a young couple got the supplies up and down a bunch of stairs. Her grandson held the string of lights for me as I placed them around the tree and her son-in-law’s parents gave us the tree from their tree farm, freshly cut that morning.

Afterwards, we were tired and hungry, and she offered to treat me. We chose an out of the way seat by the restaurant’s brightly decorated artificial tree and got to know each other better. I’ve always thought she might make a good friend. We chose that seat because that’s where she sits when she comes in alone to eat. She said it was nice to have someone to eat with for a change.

I live in my own world, as we all do. She’s got a large loving family; she works a few different jobs. She has grown children living with her and other family members living nearby. I had never thought about her eating in a restaurant alone as a widow.

I think because our good friend died this week and I’m very aware that his wife, my friend is now a widow, it has opened my eyes to the world of a widow more lately.

I take dining with my children or my husband for granted. Very rarely do I eat by myself in a restaurant. It says in James_1:27, (KJV): “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, ‘To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.’ ”

I’m asking God to help me to be a better friend to the widows God places in my path.

May God bless you this week.

God’s Love

My husband and I met friends for lunch today. Both men rushed to pay the bill, but our friend spoke seconds sooner to the waitress, so she called it. We got treated again. The last time we met them for lunch, I asked the man, “Will you ever let us pick up the tab?”

He smiled and said, “No.”

My husband was asking me to hurry so we could beat them to the restaurant, but I was mopping the kitchen floor. I forgot that he intended to get there before them to alert the waitress that we would be buying. We got there before the intended time, but she had written the wrong time in her planner because they tend to run late. She forgot she put in the reservation as half an hour earlier, and they did run late, but they were seated a few minutes before we arrived.

Part of the pleasure of seeing our friends is that we have a lot in common. Yet, we’ve known them long enough to discuss things we don’t agree upon and listen to each other and think it through. If we still have differing opinions, we don’t care. It’s not going to rock our world.

The man began talking about the love of God. He had planted some rose bushes together at his home. One was dwindling to a small root and not much above it. His wife was ready to dig it up and throw it away. He wanted to give it another chance. So, he dug it up after he’d made a huge hole in the ground away from the other rose bushes. He placed rich soil in the hole first, added some peat moss, if I remember correctly, added the half dead plant into the ground, covered it gently and then fertilized it and watered it. It began to prosper, to quote the fellow. His wife said, “You should see those roses now. They put the other ones to shame. Of course, he’s out there babying it all the time. Aphids better not come near.”

“That’s right,” he said. “If aphids attack the other roses, I’ll say, oh, they’ll be okay. But let an aphid land on this plant, I’ll pick off the ones I can see and then I’m out there spraying the bush to kill the bugs.”

To my amazement, he said, “That rose bush withered and dying reminds me of me before I found Christ. I didn’t even know I was miserable and hungry for God before I found Him. Then He led me to Him, dusted me off and started prospering me. I’d never be where I am today if it weren’t for Christ. I’d be nothing without him.”

He said it so humbly and so sincerely, it brought a tear to my eye. This man is a business man. I’ve only known him as prosperous and caring. One time we were eating a meal in a nice restaurant and a young couple came in. They sat in the table next to ours and when they went to leave, none of their credit cards worked. When he became aware, he paid for their meal. After they left, he said whether they pulled a scam on him or not, it didn’t matter, because he paid for the meal with money that God allowed him to earn. He counts his possessions as belonging to God and on loan to him and his family. Obviously his wife agrees. They are wonderful partners.

My husband said, “God is jealous for us. I understand that because of being married. It’s a good jealous, wanting us for Himself and protecting us and keeping us on the narrow path away from the harm of the evil one.”

“That’s how God is with us. He watches over us. He’s there for us,” our friend said.

We all agreed with him because we’ve seen God care for us in many circumstances. We’re all getting older. We’ve lived through some difficult times and that is when we appreciate God the most, when we’re at the end of ourselves, we decided.

My husband’s mom’s favorite Scripture was Psalm 91, which is all about God watching over us and caring about us! I love that.

Whenever we see our friends, we talk of so many things – the state of the business world as he sees it – he travels extensively, the state of the Union – the United States of America, whatever insights he’s discovered in the Word lately. His wife blesses us big time, too, although she’s the quietest of the four of us. They care about God, they care about us, they care about others and they keep up with the times. It makes for fascinating discussions. Lord willing, we’ll see them again in the winter months.

It’s always iffy when the snow flies, but NYS is prepared for winter weather and we drive through most of it. The only time our counties close down for snow days is when the wind and snow are so bad it’s impossible to see, or if the snow has gotten so high quickly that cars and trucks get buried in it before the snow plows can clear the roads. That’s pretty rare.

May God bless you and keep you, no matter what is going on in your life.