"Always- before the King of Kings- Bowing"- Chantel, via the willow


Friday, November 7, 2014

What I learned while vacuuming salt

"Moooommy! Mom!"
I went into mini panic mode. Brace yourself  I thought.
"Mommy, J poured sugar on the floor!"
 My eyebrows furrowed into an  I got this- I will not panic expression and I rushed along behind Z as he led me to the scene of the crime.
Oh!No big deal I thought as I surveyed the damage. Two small mounds of white - not sugar - but salt sat strikingly in the center of the living room carpet. J proudly looked on, pointing.
"J!" I exclaimed in my stern mom voice, and I gave a audible huff and furrowed brow ( yes the furrowed brow comes in handy) for good measure. Meanwhile I am mentally breathing a sigh of relief . Shew! This is as easy as  waltzing with a vacuum to a Frank Sinatra tune.
I grab the vac and notice that as I get closer its a little more than two neat mounds. It's two un-neat mounds that underwent a ripple effect. Two mountains, a couple mole hills, a valley, and a plain of salt. It's saltville in the center of the living room. OK maybe I'm stretching the truth a tad, but it made me laugh. Note: I had no salt to cook with this evening. Thanks J.)

But I digress. Let's just say it was more salt than meets the eye. It took more than a few forward, backward and side-ward strokes to get the  salt up. As I vac'd I realized two things: (1) I must need a new vacuum as it seemed to uncover as much salt as it inhaled and (2) salt really gets in there.

I mean, it's tiny folks. Tiny little crystals that just get in there.

Beautiful, unique, small but mighty crystals that get.in.there.
You shake it and it goes deeper.
It gets in, finds  the holes and, in organic material, changes the makeup.
It preserves. It burns, but heals. It makes the unsavory, savory.
And we all possibly know, by experience from salt over-kill, that a little packs a big punch.

Jesus calls us the salt of the earth.
You, us, beautiful, unique, small and mighty salt crystals that can get in there and stir some things up. We can make a difference with our difference. ( Note the emboldened word to the left there.)

Will you
Be the SALT.

-Chantel

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Life is like a bike ride ( and other great analogies)

Life is like a bike ride.
You get bruised before you cruise. (Most times. )
You have to learn the lean- the just enough but not too much lean.
You have to learn to balance, and go forward AT THE SAME TIME.
You have to learn to trust yourself, plus trust the person that's says they're holding the back of the seat, even when they let go.

Yes life is like that.

And it's said that there are two roads to learning- The easy way or the hard way.

The easy way is, well, you get advice, you listen to that advice. Bam. You skate away without the drama.
The hard way is, well, just the opposite. You get advice, you DON'T listen to that advice. You get the complicated thing going on.

May I propose, however, it's not always that simple. See there are things in life that aren't a matter of wrong or right, just a matter of learning.  You just have to learn, not the easy way, and not quite simply the hard way either. It's called trial and error.

For example, it's not wrong to choose Butter Pecan over Cookies and Cream; it's a matter of what you like or don't like. But- you have to learn that, right? It takes, trial and error.

You learn that you can't function the next day if you stay up too far past nine PM, due to a couple mispronounced words in the AM, your face feeling like a brick hit it, and the not so holy thoughts in your head when some little person manages to pour out all the laundry soap on the carpet and give it a taste test. Trial and error.

There are some things in life that you have to learn all by yourself. The advice of another can help, but they're just there to hold your seat a little bit while you learn to balance and lean. Hopefully they're there to pick you up when you fall off the bike. You-  yes you still have to learn how to brake in time, and apply the different speeds if you have 'em, and learn to coast when you need to.

You have to realize that just because Alice went down the hill on her bike in 15 seconds, that you have a different make and model and year , and different physical proportions than Alice.  The results just wont be the same, no matter how many times she insists you just need to do this and that,  no matter how hard  you grit and roll down that hill , you only make it to the bottom -  without the bike. I'm just saying, I just might have a little bit of experience here. Just might.

The point is this. Be patient with yourself.  Be you and love that. Give yourself some credit for being just who you are in Christ, and don't stress out trying to compete with others. Don't be surprised if someone doesnt like your bike, or can't   get with the way you ride it. Don't beat yourself up over mess ups. Get back up. Learn and move on. Trial and error baby. Trial and error.

Now hey! there are some things cut and dry, now. The Word of God for example- very much set in stone. The red light that means stop- set in stone. But the person you are, your character, your likes and dislikes, requires patient learning of you and those around you.  it also requires surrendering to your Maker, allowing him to restore the original design sin  corrupted. That perfect blend results in  the unique person God intended you to be in him. Learn your bike, your lean, your balance, and then you can enjoy the cruise.... ( at least til you hit a crack or bump in the sidewalk but hey that's life, right ?! ). And those that stick around can enjoy the ride too.

Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

-Chantel

Friday, October 24, 2014

ALL your heart?

It was about 7:30 PM.  Dinner done. Bath time was under way. Whew, I can sit down. I sat on the couch, tea cup in hand.  The plush, firm cushions were beyond inviting to my tired muscles. My back sank into the overstuffed pillows behind me. *Cue long sign of relief, followed by deep inhale, and just as deep exhale. I grabbed my tablet to catch up on my email,  my instagram, and yes, Facebook, and it hit me. I felt unsettled.

I felt a tad lonely.  My sweet hubby was in our room unwinding. Im out here, unwinding. I realized I wanted his company. So I went to search him out.

Well in the room, it was all wrong.  For me that is. It was dark, it was cold (he loves the fan), and it was loud with sports on the TV.  I wanted his company,  but not at the cost of my discomfort or his.  I sauntered back out.

In the warm, lit, semi-quiet living room I sank down into the couch again. But the desire for my husband's company crept up and sat on my head. Aww, come on! I thought. The decision to be cozy versus cold, volleyed like a ping pong ball across a tennis table between my ears.

Then the thoughts ran to deepville. Are you not willing to inconvenience yourself for the pleasure of his presence? [yep, deepville].  Then like  the Central Avenue jumbotron the spiritual parallel scrolled across: how far are you willing to go for the pleasure of HIS presence?  Will comfort stop you from seeking? Will convenience stop you from seeking? And will that seeking be with all of your heart?

OK , you got me, I said back to the "voice" [AKA God] in my head. I walked into our room, threw my robe around me, plopped on the edge of our bed, stretched my legs out, and enjoyed an intriguing sports segment WITH my sweetheart.

Later that night, wrapped in my warm comfy robe, I was intrigued with the treasures I discovered in the Word of God - choosing to seek HIM, against all the excuses.

How about you? What is God calling you to "get beyond" in order to find Him?

-Chantel

Jeremiah 29:12-13 NKJV

Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek me, and find me, when you will search for me with all your heart.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What if we all?

What if we all walked around yelling angrily at others, because, you know, we feel like it, and "It's my raw emotions and I have a right to get it out how I want to", inciting others to angry outbursts, lashing out in retaliation until it escalates into violence and death...



What if we all walked around frowning, getting deeper and deeper into gloom, making it easier and easier to find the negative in everything, causing everyone around us to feel unmotivated to aspire to anything because, what's the point if it's going to just disappoint me anyway...





What if we all walked around  selfishly caring about no one but ourselves, shrugging our shoulders at the plight of others, kicking others down to "make it to the top", and turning a blind eye to the hurting of others-  getting what we want even at other's expense-


 And what if we all FAILED to realize there was someone who could rescue us from that, and transform our corrupt thinking into a right thinking, and provide a miraculous way to start life over and BE DIFFERENT FROM THAT....

Well,
There'd be CHAOS.


Jesus wants to free us from the chaos!

From the clamor 
From the sexual immorality that's painted as freedom
From the violence that's called being in tune with your emotions
From the broken marriages
From the cycle of temporary pleasure to pain to temporary pleasure to when-will-this-all-stop pain...

But What if we all decided to break free from the surreal life and get back to the REAL LIFE? What if we all recognized this temporary existence is , just that, temporary, and we began to focus on our created-for purpose?
no copyright infringement intended

What if We ALL?