What is it that I really want people to know about God by what they see in me?

I'm a regular reader of a particular blog - where once the gal writer wrote a super serious post about something Christian oriented and her take on it all.  Then she watched her readership fall off into a great mudslide.  A bottomless pit of offended readers.  So this may or may not be the jumping off point for some of y'all that regularly read my stuff.  Triple hoping not, though. 

We're gonna talk God stuff.  Actually, the question I left off with at the end  of the last post.

What is it that I really want people to know about God by what they see in me?

  
And here it is.  For today.  For now.  Because things change...circumstances, situations and mostly, my mind.  (But my heart stays pretty much the same.)

And for the record, I am a Christian.  As we baptists say, a born again Christian - because we see it as a choice.  Been that way most of my life.  At one point I just plain decided that life is better with God than without.  Not a mountain top praise singing moment, or a continued nonstop scripture quoting life.  Which totally reminds me to remind you that I am NOT biblically or otherwise trained nor do I pretend to be.  In fact I'm one of those people that really like the happy portions of the Bible that make me feel like life isn't so sucky at times. 

I believe that the Bible is a book of truth on many different levels.  Factual as a history book; and accurate and life lending as a book of stories to get us to place ourselves in like situations and interpret the scriptures through those eyes.  Much like the lessons that come from fairy tales and Disney movies.  I'm particularly fond of Toy Story.  

I believe the Bible to be true as much in fact as it is true in many instances through interpretation - though that can be super dangerous in the wrong hands.  Because who wouldn't want to have a book written specifically for them that says exactly what we want it to say?  I'll take 10 copies please. 

(And on that note,.... if you know me personally, you know I will never get into conversation, debate or discussion over religion, politics, or basically much of anything other than my kids or what happened on Mad Men.  So this post is all me and all mine but not up for discussion or debate if you don't agree.  Link me to your blog and you can slam me on your own page.)   



So this morning the boys and I went to church and I fielded the weekly question by each and every one of them, of whyFor the love of God WHY do you make us go to church every week?  And during worship, kid 1 took kid 2's shoe and hid it under the pew cushion.  They wrestled a bit over that one till I moved kid 2 on the other side of me and then he used me as a pillow the rest of the service.  Kid 3 played with his eyes and told me that he can make everyone look two-headed.  That was when he was not also using me as a pillow.  Kid 1 finished out the service about 4 feet away from us and acted like he didn't know us.  Then he came home and impaled 2 fingers with our new apple slicer.  (Which was an awesome $2 buy at the thrift store last week.  So for the low low price of $2 we got a fancy Pampered Chef apple contraption and possibly a case of tetanus.)   

- - - - -  But the answer I give the boys about why we go to church every week?  Because it's God's day.  And he gives us limitless amounts of his time every day, .. it's our turn to give some back to him.  Lesson here?  God is ever present.  But sometimes we have to slow down and maybe even force ourselves to sit still and notice. 

So all that being said.... here's what I think I would want people to know about God from getting to know me.  

I would want people to know that God is real.  I believe in a God that shows himself in ways that sometimes I actually have to look for.  And for that, I have to have a heart willing to hear and see.  I've heard my fair share of reasons people say they do or don't believe in God.  And maybe you did for a while and then you changed your mind.  It happens.  And I think God is A-OK with that, too.  Because he is a God of finding and seeking.  Seeking a relationship with his people and finding and surprising you right where you are.  Just wait for it. 

I was watching the explosion and multi-car wreck filled Captain America movie with the boys last week.  And kid 3 reviewed it as better than the last one because.... this one is more interesting and more surprising.  SURPRISING.  Some people love surprises. Me, not so much.  But I hope you get surprised one day in a good, God given way.  



I would also want people to know that there is relationship with God.   Not just A RELATIONSHIP with God.  Not limited to a certain type or form or way. Or even right or wrong or good or better or best.  No one is the winner in this one, but we all win.  Because we all change and learn and come in and out of periods and stages of life.  But having relationship with God means that we can commune and participate to our heart's content.  And God will receive what you have to offer  - today - and say a big ol' hello, or welcome back or whatever.  

I have a relationship with God because I want to and need to.   A life fully lived to this point full of a mixed up mix of good and bad has brought me to today - where I truly have to believe that someone has a greater interest in me -  and all of us - and our place in this big world than I do.  Because I can be giant sized selfish and totally forget about you and your needs in a flash.  I'm that kind of girl. 

But I would want people to see that we have a god of bigger and better things.  Bigger things than myself and all my littleness that I try to super size and take out a paid ad campaign to make sure you know all about it.    

I think I would also want people to know that the aforementioned relationship with God is on a conversational level.  I speak through prayer and then I have to listen and watch and wait for a response. But the conversation works the opposite way, too.  If I don't speak and discuss and ask and question - through prayer... I'll get exactly that in return.  Nothing.  It's not magic. 

Is my relationship with God on a deep and philosophical level?  Do I sing praise songs all day as I teach my 4th class and am filthy and exhausted?  Nope.  And that probably shows.   Because sometimes I totally have to pray for a quick change attitude adjustment.   

For me, it is, if nothing else, a personal and private relationship...that for the most part, I choose to keep that way.  Other than the periodic blog thought I mention around here.  But I liken those to food for the soul far more than religion or faith. Food for my soul. 

But I will say that my belief in God is what has allowed me a fuller life and higher hope and expectation for myself.  And that without believing that I was made for more than working and cleaning and cooking, I would spend my days totally pondering the why of it all.  And then maybe quit working and cleaning and cooking.  And then the whole Walters house would go completely to hell.   

I would want people to see that God is a god of hope.  Even at times when you think you've run completely out.   I could write volumes on that one, but I won't.  I'll leave you to write your own.   

I think mostly I would want people to see in me a God of endless chances.  That he is a God of opportunity.  Opportunity to want more and expect more and need more.  Opportunity to achieve more for his glory.  Meaning that when I achieve and accomplish, it's not because I have the talent to do it.  It is wholly because I was given the talent and skill to do it.  For his glory.  Allowing people who see me - to look right past me - and to the God who is the giver of all good and perfect gifts.  

What do you think?  That's a whole lotta God and entirely too much me.  

What is it that you would want people to know about God by what they see in you?


A mid summer's list

1.  I cut my hair really short and I'm about two weeks into my newly shorn commitment and still trying to decide if I like it.  And/or if I look like a boy.  Or my grandmother.  Really and strongly hoping I don't look like a boy.  Or my grandmother.   Husband says I don't but he totally knows better than to say much of anything else.  


So during the adjustment period I've pulled out the big earrings and the lower cut dresses to make sure that my girlishness is in full view of anyone and everyone at the grocery store and other places I frequent about town.  Because I lead such a full grocery store and public library filled social life.  

I did see a lady downtown yesterday in some rather come hither shoes and think maybe I should get me some of those to make me feel a little more come hither throughout my adjustment phase.  

But I'm growing into the hair and it's growing on me.  And maybe I should write a song or a poem to women everywhere about finding and feeling confidence in our own hair and skin.  And to build us all up during the month of July - national water retention month.  



2.  I came home from work about one o'clock-ish Friday afternoon and found kid 2 still sitting around in his underpants.  It's summer time at the Walters house.

It's been such a few lazy rainy days around here that currently on our TV is a documentary about someone or something that eats a steady diet of corn, squash, beans and giant spiders for protein.  And I'm 99% sure I'd have to be starving to make the spider part happen.  Come on over and watch the show and join our summer fun.  



3.  We saw this giant eyeball in downtown on a together day with the boys.  We found it fascinating. 

4.  Had a lengthy discussion with a man in the grocery check out line about how he thinks there's no chivalry left in America.  I didn't fully delve into the topic with him but smiled at his friendliness at the grocery rush hour.  

5.  Further grocery store fun.... saw the apprehension of some failed shoplifters.  It took 3 Dallas police officers to swarm the Kroger parking lot to handle the situation.  But while they were there I never felt safer doing my shopping.  



6.  And the reason I am forever at the grocery store.... we have found that summer brings out the hungriest behavior in our children and never till this point have we loved our public school district more.  Because around here it's free lunch for each and every student in the district - which saves all of us time, money, and the grief of making a million sandwiches each year.  But school's out and we have no lunch ladies here serving up lunch fare for our boys  So... I shop A LOT.

7.  Fireman Dave a I had a little argument discussion over my ultra sensitivity on certain topics he thinks not such a big deal.  Today... the size of the curds of cottage cheese. I say he looked into the carton to question the freshness and thereby the quality of my house and refrigerator food upkeep.  He says he was just checking to make sure the curds actually matched what it said on the label.  I say liar liar pants on fire.  I cant believe he thinks I'm too sensitive.  

And..... finally, because there's only so much time you have to hang out with the angels, pirates and thieves....


Today in church I'm not sure I got much out of it.  Or maybe I got nothing. But I can at least prove I was there.  People saw me and I came out with this question....

What is it that I really want people to know about God by what they see in me? 

I'm gonna give that some thought. 

Just catching up

The interesting thing is that just days ago in a sleepy state of mind or mindlessness, husband and I discussed if we thought we would have all our own teeth when we get older.  We both hoped for good in that one.  But the dentist vote is in... that he and all our boys will and I will obviously be looking into a low cost replacement option.   Or something.  
 
Because the boys and I went to the dentist the other day for our 6 month cleanings - and turns out I have another cavity.  And my boys who have not brushed their teeth since 2010 didn't have any.  Apparently I come from poor dental genes and I have large grooves.  Such freakishly large tooth grooves that I can't help but have a cavity every single time I go to the dentist.   That and having 3 kids so close together has some long term effect on the calcium in a mom's body.  So one day when I'm all bent over the table gumming my soft white bread like my grandfather used to do, I'll think of my three sweeties and smile a beautiful toothless smile. 

And what makes me the maddest is that I am the world's most compulsive tooth brusher and flosser.  And if there was an award for that, it would already be on my wall.  I'm the one you drove past the other day brushing her teeth in the car.  I'm the one that small children stare and point at in public bathrooms and ask, Mommy what's that lady doing?  Well, she's brushing her teeth in the gas station bathroom, sweetheart.  Because she's the winner of the  most compulsive tooth brusher award.  

Anyway, I'm just mad and maddened by the whole thing.   And I think I need to lie down to rest from the stress of it all.     

And I always think I'm gonna die or come just short of it every time I have to have something fixed.  Blame it on past bad experiences.  So I texted a few people on the way to the appointment to say my last words.  And I kissed the boys as they stared right past my fear and into the zombie game they were playing.

And I took fireman Dave with me to the appointment just in case.  Because the local anesthetic shot that they give makes my heart run a race, and with my history of panic attacks, it just isn't a good mix.  So he was there to save me in the event I needed saving.  But it turns out there's a special kind of anesthesia they give to people with heart conditions and nervous disorders, such as myself.  Medicine without epinephrine - so know that you can ask for that the next time you need dental work.  In case you and I are somehow genetically linked by poor teeth.  Or you also have Grand Canyon size tooth grooves.

But I lived to tell another story or two, and my back is even better so all's well that ends well.  And husband's back is recovering and he's back at work for the first time today hoping for no heavy people to carry down stairs.   

Along about day 3 of his recovery - a.k.a, the moaning and couch sitting days, I sent him off for his first ever massage.  And he wasn't nearly as concerned about if it might be the magic cure as he was about what or what not to wear for a massage.  I recommended, as I would to anyone, that underwear is a must and should always stay on in a massaging place of business. 

Anyway, he feels better and it was worth it.  He may even want to do it again some day.  But apparently he went in and asked the young massage girl, How do you want me? - his words exactly.  And they may or may not accept him back as a return client.

And our power went out on a 102,000 degree Saturday afternoon when I was trying to make homemade bread.  The bread cooked for an hour and still turned out looking like this...


Then the lights went out a few at a time, and the air conditioner slowly rose to all new heights.  And then the house screamed and squealed a long painful sound like on the show, LOST, when the survivors of crashed Oceanic flight 815 would forget to press the island's crazy button.  



So the boys sprayed each other with the water hose to cool off.



And David heavy breathed a whole lot and stomped around a whole lot more, and then we called in reinforcements - our neighbor and friend who is a house contractor and can fix anything and everything.  And then terrific things happened when he discovered and fixed a 50 year old fuse that had blown.  Simple as that when you know what the heck you're doing.

And then all was right with the world.   

Which is as it should be.    



 

Today would have been my sister's birthday

Already with back pain and a hitch in my step as my grandmother would've said, I slid along the kitchen floor today wondering the cost of knee surgery - and cursing my kids the entire way for leaving ice on the floor.  And they sat in the next room playing a new video game while Mom almost died.  And maybe they would find me laying all out in the floor, bone sticking out of flesh and crying sobbing cries - the next time they came to the fridge for more ice.  

And they're eating faster than I can cook and more than I can afford.  And they're kinda naughty at least 5 times a day... but usually all in a contained time frame and sometimes all at once.  The rest  of the day you can completely be around them.   

AND...  I found out kid 1 spent his week at camp with a hole the size of Texas in the rear of his swim suit.  So he just marveled at the coolness of the spring fed pool on his backside and swam in it all joyful and free like.  Till the last day when a friend finally loaned him a spare suit.  Not all boys are born animals, I guess.    And even bigger news is that another of my lovelies claims he hasn't washed his bottom parts in the shower - in about FOREVER - because he didn't know he was supposed to.  Proof, again, of how many ways and times I have failed as a mom.   

Anyway,  here's a new picture of each of them.... thinking of loaning one or two out for the summer.... tell me which one you may want.  I can come get them from you .... say,....mid August?    



So after my near fall today I started pondering .... and then went rug shopping for a fluffy cute one to put in front of my fridge.  


The fluffier the better as to soak up water and more quickly melt the killer ice.  Prolonging my life and livelihood all at the same time as being adorable in there.   

But the pondering and thinking....pondering the irony of it all.  How I can work such an active and physical job, and all that usually works out just fine.... but then I reach for the soap in the shower and my back goes out.  This time it was a home decorating back injury.  I think I forgot to tell y'all that part.  An ice pack right about now on either achy part of me would be nice.  None of it makes sense. Not sure at all if it's even supposed to. 

And husband was sitting at the desk this morning, reached down for the printer -   and the boys said he cried like a girl.  Not really, they didn't say that.  But I totally imagined it like that after I saw how he was walking.  Similar back pain to mine, contagious apparently.  So limping along he still insisted on meeting a guy about selling our old car.  I warned him that criminals prey on the weak and the guy might hit him over the head and steal our beautiful 14 year old Honda CRV.  You might see that story in the news.  

Husband also says my posts have become quite philosophical..... or philosical as one of our kids called it.  Only philosical if you consider talk of daytime TV and slip and fall injuries to be deep thought.  

But I've been reading a book lately called Startled by God.  A little thought filled book of everyday events and stories - the kind I most like to share on here - about how God makes himself known to us in the most unexpected ways.   With no plan and no reason, just because he can.  And because that's just what he does.  And because he kinda' likes us, and wants us to keep him present even in the smallest details of our days. 

And telling the complete truth.... I'm always looking.  Because I need to.  But sometimes I see nothing.  And sometimes I see unexplainable, surprising, amazing things.  I like those times best.  

But it's the times that I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude and joy just being in a moment that I know without a thought and without a doubt that it has to be a God given moment.  A God gifted moment.  

The other day at the pool, ....3 boys, a diving board and an all you can eat OREO afternoon.  A God gifted moment.  True words of joy spoken to me that required no real words at all.  

And I know I saw God the night before kid 1 left for camp last week - knowing in advance that all parents would be publicly shunned at the dropoff the next day, I sat completely still on the couch, watching TV with my fellas.  As Kid 1 rested his head on my arm.  And I tried to memorize every second of it - the feel of being loved by someone that I love more than there are stars in the sky.  And right then, on our couch, I saw God.  Again.  

And I continue to watch.  And I continue to be caught off guard by the surprise moments of God-like love that just come pouring out of nowhere right into my day.  Right when I didn't even know I needed it.  But I guess maybe he did. 


Today would have been my sister's birthday.  And I miss her and I miss, for her, all the opportunities that she never got to have.  Making my opportunities even more of a big and beautiful thing.  And I'm proud and surprised and altogether amazed at the gifts that I've been given in this life that would have made her so happy to see.

So here's to a would be birthday of a summer day at the pool, and very possibly another all you can eat OREO cookie afternoon. 

filled with joy... Psalm 126:3


For the weekend....

May we find his gifts everywhere we look.  May we be filled with thankfulness and the fullness of his love in all we do.  And may we be blessed with time together, times of rest and more joy than a heart can hold.  

Happy 4th of July.  Love to you.  

Kristi

photo courtesy of art by erin leigh. pinterest.com     


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