A Catty Little Chat

Harboring bitterness in my heart toward a friend, I decided to vent about it with another friend.

I decided.

Because, that always works out so well for me!

And so, God waited.

While my friend and I had a catty little chat, God waited.

And heard every hostile word.

Later on that evening, as I poured a dollop of oil into the bubbling pasta water, I started going over the conversation in my head. As the water boiled, so did my envy.

But, God waited.

As I lay in bed that night, I began to feel restless. I turned my bedside lamp back on and pulled out my journal. I grabbed for my Bible and flipped straight to the back. I was on a mission, as I searched for a specific word.

And still, God waited.

When my eyes lit on the word “jealousy” and all of the verses He gives for dealing with that green monster, God finally chose to tap on my heart.

There are moments when the darkness, that resides within me, makes itself so glaringly evident that I’m left gawking at All The Ugly.

On_The_Rock_Missindeedy

God, Himself, tells me that all of His Words are summed up in one simple command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

One.

Simple.

Command.

That I get so wrong, again and again.

God was done waiting.

Patiently, gently, He drew my eyes here:

“But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.”

Do not deny the truth…

The truth was, the truth is, that I am envious of what comes easier to some than others. I am jealous of the special treatment I think I see some receive over others. It irks me to know that for some, recognition will be quick – and yet never at all for others.

Ultimately, it scares me to think that I might be in with the “others”.

Once again, God’s grace sheds light on my darkness.

You see, He decided a long time ago that He was going to show me special treatment and give me His recognition.

Thankfully, when God decides, it always works out for me.

It became pretty obvious that I needed to call my “other” friend and apologize. For the catty chat, yes.

But more, for not trusting our God enough to remember that there’s room enough for each one of us to stand on The Rock.

Yes indeedy.

How To Chase Your Demons

Chasing_Demons_Missindeedy

I don’t know about you, but I find that anytime I determine to move forward in a positive direction, in any area of my life, pesky little demons come out of the woodwork.  The very act of declaring that I’m going to attempt success seems to be a clarion call for them. I’m becoming wise to their ways, though. 42 years of living and 10 times that number, in failures, will help you do that.

Demons are crafty. They know that the best time to rear their ugly heads are when you are feeling… ugly. And, even though I’m well aware of the times they most like to pop up, they still have the ability to take me completely by surprise.

It’s annoying.

This… human condition thing.

What are your most consistent demons called? I can tell you, right now, that mine are Fear, Envy, and Disappointment.  Those little buggers love to hiss “What makes you think you have what it takes to succeed?”, “You can’t ever be as good at this as so-and-so.”, and “You’ve failed every time you’ve tried this.”.

Lifting my eyes heavenward for help, which is where my Help truly comes from, seems to issue my demons a special kind of challenge.  They are just as determined to keep my eyes downcast as I am to lift them heavenward.

I am happy to report, though,  that Fear hasn’t been getting near as much airtime as usual.  I’m feeling less afraid of its ability to derail me from my goals.  I’m becoming more confident in this truth:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

If…

I keep my eyes firmly attached on Him.

And that little stinker Envy? Well, I’m learning that every time I make the choice spend time desiring what someone else has, it only serves to take my focus off what God has for me. Quite frankly, ain’t nobody got time for that!  I’ve got words to write, and books to read, and letters to send.

As for Disappointment, I think I might actually feel sorry for that one.  I’m  not only a member of The People Pleaser Club of the Western Hemisphere, I’m also The President of it. And I’ve come to realize that the person I most often let down is myself.  Now, I don’t want to dis myself here, but allow me to dis myself here – it doesn’t matter one withered fig whether I let myself down.

Because, seriously… how many times do I state that all is Grace around here.

It’s high time I start living like it.

First order of business?

Chase those demons down and smother them silly.

With grace, of course.

Grace galore.

Yes indeedy.

Want to join me in my chase?  Or, even better, what demons can I help you chase?