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One Step in My Journey of Servant-hood.

I’ve been reading The Purpose Driven Life.  It is designed to be read in 40 days.  I think I’ve been reading it for 5 1/2 years.  I stashed it on the shelf when I didn’t want to read what it had to say.  Didn’t want to listen to truths I knew I needed to hear.  Then I grew some:  spiritually, emotionally, and don’t forget quite a bit physically, (which has nothing to do with this, just had to point that out) and decided to pick it up again.  Maybe I didn’t decide, maybe Someone else decided for me, but nevertheless, I pulled it off the shelf.  I had a bookmark in it, so I just started where I stopped.

This morning I read Day 34, and boy howdy did it ever speak to this un-servant of the Lord.  The section I’m reading now is about how we have been given unique qualities and that we are to use who we are and what we are made of to serve others.  Our lives shouldn’t be stingy and selfish and only concerned with #1, rather should be used for fellow human “beans” out there. 

Day 34 is entitled Thinking Like A Servant.  My pencil underlined lots of thoughts in this chapter, practically the entire pages. 

Some thoughts that screamed at me from the pages of this book:

  • True humility is not thinking less of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less.

  • Servants don’t compare, criticize, or compete with other servants or ministries.  They’re too busy doing the work God has given them.

What’s my work God?  Or like Forrest Gump said, “What’s my destiny Mama?”  Sometimes I feel like a mouse in a maze looking for the cheese, not knowing which way to turn. 

  • Real servants don’t complain of unfairness, don’t have pity-parties, and don’t resent those not serving.  They just trust God and keep serving.

It is difficult for me to look around and see people whom I perceive aren’t working as hard as I perceive myself to be.  Wowzers!  I need to just trust God and do what I need to do.

  • It’s not our job to evaluate the Master’s other servants.

(Hanging head in shame)

  • Servants willingly accept jobs that insecure people would consider beneath them.

  • Only secure people can serve.  Insecure people are always worrying about how they appear to others.  They fear exposure of their weaknesses and hide beneath layers of protective pride and pretensions.

I worry too much about what others think.  When the only one’s approval I need is Jesus.

  • Servants enjoy helping people, meeting needs, and doing ministry.  They “serve the Lord with gladness”  Why do they serve with gladness?  Because they love the Lord, they’re grateful for his grace, they know serving is the hightest use of life, and they know God has promised a reward.

I admit I’m not a servant, and I’m conscious that I should be one.  I use excuses for my lack of service.   I think I’m too much of an introvert, not really a people person, don’t have the talents, or need “me” time.  When I truly look inside myself, I realize that it really all boils down to stinginess and selfishness with my time.  I want to do what I want to do, not what others need me to do.   Let me tell you, it’s not easy for me to admit these things.  But in order to get better, I must deal with it.  I’m going to work on this.  I pray that God will show me needs that I can help meet with others and will remove my selfish ways. 

Be blessed,
Angel

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Of Dying

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length

she hangs like a cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says, “There, she is gone!”

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and spar

as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load

of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone at my side says,

“There, she is gone!” there are eyes watching her coming ,

and other voices ready to take up the glad shout,

“Here she comes!”-

**stolen from a post on Facebook.  Unsure of the author.

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If you see my creative genius wandering aimlessly, point him in my direction PLEASE!!

I don’t think it’s a big secret that I want to be a famous writer and have my books made into movies and make oodles and gobs of money and never leave my house and be a mysterious author who won’t do interviews. 

Then again, I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone that. 
Oh well, the cat’s out of the bag now.
Good authors never use cliches.  I know that, yet I just used one.  Which proves, I have a very, very, very long journey ahead of me.

I heard an excellent quote the other day.  It went like this:  “Fail often, in order to succeed sooner.” 

I love it.  I fits my life of writing.
And it fits my life.

Last year, I began writing a book.  And I’m not going to tell you about it because I read once that if you tell people about your book, then it’s “out there” floating in the world and the more you tell what it’s about, the more you are putting it “out there”, and eventually it is no longer inside you crying to get out and then you lose the desire to write it because it has completely seeped out of you and no longer exists as a story that needs to be told.

But I will tell you that it is filled with passion, murder, mayhem, love, romance, mystery, healing, horses, and perhaps a bit of comedy. 

All of that.
Sort of.

I read books quite a bit, however slowly, to see other’s style of writing.  There is a particular author whom all women on the face of the earth seem to swoon over except me.  Nicholas Sparks.  I watched the Notebook and thought it was a great movie.  So I tried to read the book and I found it sappy and dull and never finished it.  I’ve noticed Dear John is a movie now, so I checked out the book from the library and began reading it.  I perservered through the first 20 pages. 

And then I discovered Nicholas Sparks has stolen my idea!!!! 

Not completely, but partially.

So now, I must continue to read Dear John to see how much of my idea he’s stolen.  So far there has been no murder, mystery, mayhem or comedy.  Just a lot of love, romance, horses and passion.

But the point is, even though I have no idea how much Dear John overlaps my idea, and even though I haven’t written but 17 pages of my own book, it discourages me to know that a book that just might have a similar idea of mine is already a best seller and a movie and that some other famous author is making oodles and gobs of money and it could’ve been me instead!!!! 

So what did I learn from this? 

 GET OFF OF FACEBOOK AND GO WRITE A FRIGGIN BOOK BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE WITH BETTER TIME MANAGEMENT WRITES IT FOR YOU!!!

Time is wasting. 
Gotta go!

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I’d prefer to keep my eyeballs

Summer is in full swing here.  I am trying to keep to a normal life schedule and make it to bed before 11:00 p.m., and wake up before 8 a.m.  The longer into summer I get, the farther from this schedule I drift however. 

Summer means lazy days.  I pretty much do nothing and I only get half finished.  So I have to work on it again the next day.  Don’t judge me.

I spend a lot of time outside in the backyard just sitting and listening.

Last summer, a weak baby cardinal who needed more time in the nest, hopped around my backyard for a week while it’s momma and daddy squawked their encouragement to take to the skies.

This summer, a baby blue jay hung around for about a day.

It’s wings weren’t quite strong enough to fly.  It could flutter up a little ways, but needed a bit more practice.
I tried to get pictures of this little birdie, but SOMEONE had her beady little eyes on me every second.
I’m not mentioning any names, but just look up there.  There.  In that tree.  See her?  Yeah, that’s the someone I’m talking about,  the one who hoped to put her beak in my eyeball.
Everytime I stepped out on my porch to try to get a picture………
……I was nearly assaulted by this overprotective flying creature.  Pardon the blurry picture, but it’s hard to take a picture when you’re screaming and running scared.
I think there was a male bird present as well.
They hung around and ensured me they weren’t happy, not one iota, with me nosing around their baby.

The swooped and sailed and flew and dove at me.  Squawking and squawking some more.

I flapped and swatted and cried for my mom.  Then ran in the house and watched from behind the window glass.

Finally, the little feathered fellow triumphed and took flight into distant skies.

The End.

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Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend………..

……….inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. Groucho Marx

I love books.
I have recently finished Eat, Pray, Love which totally changed my life. 
I had to buy a copy so I could re-read it and then read it again, mark in it, and dog ear it.

I’m currently reading The Time Traveler’s Wife, and it’s taking me a long time.  We just seem to be stuck in time. 

The Pioneer Woman posted a poll about favorite books.  Here is the list and the number of people who said that book was their favorite.  I’ve read quite a few of these.  My goal is to read the ones I haven’t.  If I can stand it.  I’m not really sure I can stomach any more Harry Potters or Twilights.  And there is a couple that I have extreme little interest in reading.  This feat may take the rest of my life considering I am an extremely slow reader and I fall asleep after 6 minutes.  

 I’ve highlighted the ones I’ve read in green.

Title [Count}

To Kill a Mockingbird [2222]

The Bible [2017]

Pride and Prejudice [1508]

Gone with the Wind [1268]

Harry Potter (series) [1110]  I’ve only read the first four.

Anne of Green Gables [1009]

Little Women [916]

Redeeming Love [633]

Jane Eyre [598]

Twilight (series) [560] I’ve only read the first one.

Outlander (series) [477]

Little House on the Prairie (series) [454]

The Lord of the Rings (series) [376]

The Catcher in the Rye [363]

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn [349]

The Great Gatsby [334]

Where the Red Fern Grows [343]

Secret Garden [318]

The Stand [285]

Giving Tree [277]

East of Eden [275]

Poisonwood Bible [266]

The Notebook [258]

Charlotte’s Web [243]

Red Tent [218]

Time Traveler’s Wife [215]

Pillars of the Earth [203]

Wrinkle in Time [202]

A Prayer For Owen Meany [211]

Atlas Shrugged [193]

Count of Monte Cristo [190]

The Grapes of Wrath [183]

The Little Prince [173]

My Childhood [164]

Wuthering Heights [160]

The Hobbit [149]

Lonesome Dove [141]  I started this, I don’t remember finishing, but I know the movie by heart so that should count for something.

Love You Forever [135]

Kite Runner [131]

Outsiders [129]

Rebecca [128]

Ender’s Game [128]

The Outsider [128]

Les Miserables [128]

Secret Life [127]

Goodnight Moon [122]

My Sister’s Keeper [119]

Secret Life of Bees [119]

Eat, Pray, Love [118]

Persuasion [117]

Any thoughts?
Which of these is your favorite, if any? 
Which one should I tackle first?

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. ~Mark Twain

Happy Reading,
Angel

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Look for God in the little things. You’ll find Him.

I delivered Meals on Wheels today.  It’s one of my absolute favorite things to do.  It really is.  No joshing.  It’s not required community service or anything, it’s completely voluntary.   Today they had meatloaf, scalloped potatoes, and green beans with some pineapple chunks for dessert.  It made a well rounded meal. 

I met an 88 year old man who sure did like my yellow car, especially the rack on top because it could haul lots of stuff, he said.  He tried to kiss me right on the lips, but I ducked my head in time and so we just put our foreheads together for a nice, awkward moment.  Now tell me, who wouldn’t love this?

A few years back, it could’ve been five but it might’ve just been four, my niece Ashlynn and I delivered during the summer.  I thought it was important that she see and understand how fortunate we are and that we should help others.  We both loved it.   We had a regular route and went once a week.  Ash was about 6 or 7 years old and some of the elderly people really enjoyed her.  So of course, she enjoyed them.  They would offer her candy and cookies.  There was a little lady who’d let her pet her cat and one small tidy man would give her a dollar bill everytime.   His house quickly became her favorite. 

Each summer I have had the best of intentions to deliver Meals on Wheels, but since my life motto is “Seize Tomorrow”, I never did.  Until this summer.

Yesterday morning I was out walking.  I try to spend that 30 minutes in prayer.  It’s a good, quiet time and I tend to focus more.  Just a couple houses from home, I thought of calling Meals on Wheels to sign up again.  But by the time I made it in the house, I had other thoughts bombarding me, the phone was ringing, and the devil distracted me. 

Later that day I was reading some of The Purpose Driven Life.  I was reading how we should be servants and serve others through our SHAPE.
S—spiritual gifts
H—heart
A—abilities
P—personality
E—experiences

During this reading, Meals on Wheels popped into my head again.  I don’t have a lot of abilities, but I can drive, that’s one.  I know this town like the back of my hand, that’s another.  I have free time.  Plus, I enjoy it.  Later, I’ll call them later, I told myself.   But that little nudging wouldn’t let up.  So I went to the phone.  I told her my name and was wondering if they needed any delivery help this summer.  The lady on the other end said, “That’s strange.  I pulled your card out just this morning.” 

It’s not really strange though is it?  Isn’t it really God?  I mean, both times I was attempting to spend time with Him when I had the Meals on Wheels thoughts.  They weren’t really my thoughts, but more His side of the conversation.

  Sometimes He speaks with a small, still voice.  And sometimes, I have to be still and tarry with Him a bit in order to listen.  He’s always with me that I know for sure.   Sometimes I can see Him in the midst of my life, right there in the middle of everything,  but sometimes I only see His back as He is leaving a situation.  That’s when I stand amazed and say, That was God.  But when I seek Him, He’s there,  just waiting on me, as if I’m the most important person in the world.   I love Him so much. 

He makes my heart sing.

He makes everything
groovy.

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Santa and the Carnival only Come Once a Year (Thank Goodness)

The annual carnival has arrived in my ordinarily sleepy town.  With it comes the sights, lights, smells, and funnel cake.  It’s appealing from a distance.  The Ferris wheel turning, the high pitched shrieks, the smell of fried corndogs.  It beckons you, calls your name, casting a magical cotton candy trance over your entire body.  One giant step across the thick, black cables lying across the parking lot, and there is no turning back.  But be warned:  underneath the canopy of flashing colorful lights walking amongst us you’ll find a smorgasborg of tattoos, facial piercings, colored hair, women in skimpy clothes shaking what they shouldn’t, and fat men in their pajama bottoms.  The carnival is able to bring out a vast number of oddities from the human race.  Really the kind you only find on http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/

It is quite a paradox to me why Hollywood never tells the truth.  Steel Magnolias has a wonderful Christmas carnival scene with a cast of clean people, Southern belles, fresh baked goodies, and carnies with teeth.

Not so much here.

Jason and I sat on a bench, ate carnival fare, were harrassed by the carnies pestering us to throw darts at their balloons for $5 a dart, and people-watched as Ashlynn ran amuck with other preteen girls giggling and gossipping.  Not unlike a lot of adult girls.

Occasionally we took a notion to walk around where we witnessed a grown man holding on to a large gray trashcan barfing.  A little boy tossed his cookies on my nephew’s back as they were getting off  of The Storm.  His momma had to run across the street to the nearest Hastings and buy him a new shirt.

Fun times, folks, fun times.

On our 349th trip around the midway (can I call it that?) we walked upon 4 or 5 cops talking to a couple who were hanging on to each other for stability.  Then the man points to my husband, “Jason!  I know this guy.  Jason!”  The air reeked of alcohol, the couple stumbled around trying to stay upright.  The officer was talking into his little radio on his shoulder.  “Jason, will you give me a ride?  You’ll give me a ride won’t you?”  Of course my husband nods.  He knows this fella.  He knows what its like to be down on your luck, needing a helping hand.  “Talk to this officer, Jason.”   We stood there with the cops and the drunks as the main cop talked into his shoulder.  Then the police said to take them home, and to make sure they don’t get out again. I stayed at the carnival with Ashlynn and hoped that drunk lady didn’t puke in my car while Jason delivered them safely home where they more than likely fell on the bed and watched the room spin.  Kind of like a super hero isn’t he?  Keeping the streets safe, two drunks at a time.

 I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was naked and you clothed me,  I was drunk and you gave me a ride.

Uh, scratch that last part.

The carnival is appealing from a distance.  And if you do venture in, once you get home you might consider bathing in battery acid.