"Only one life, 'twill soon be past
Only what's done for Christ will last."

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Toxic

I am seeing all kinds of things about eliminating toxic things from life.

Toxins, toxic environment, toxic situations, toxic people.

It's a good idea, overall, but we all come in contact with toxins at some time or another, by choice, or by accident.

How many of us can truly control our entire lives?


None of us.


First of all, we should ask ourselves, "Am I toxic?"

"Who am I a toxin to?"
"How am I toxic to this person?"
"What is the antidote?"

I think, as Christ instructs, we need to pull the proverbial log out of our own eye before we extricate someone else's.

So, we establish that certain people may think we are toxic to them. It is a big clue to recognize who is toxic to you. You probably have found the ones that think YOU are toxic!

Let's look at the antidotes.

Avoidance

Wouldn't it be nice just to avoid these toxins in your life? To an extent you may, but perhaps this person is related to you. You see them every day? You may want to gently confront the person about the toxic behavior. They will hear you, though they may not listen. That is their choice.

If they don't listen, it's time to put up boundaries.

Boundaries are good. They are protection. They are definitive of rights and rules. We all need them, because humans function with rules and rights better than without them.

Boundaries are God-given. Elemental. We are separated from God by our sin. That's a big boundary. God kindly and lovingly saves us from that separation through Christ Jesus. Only Christ. That's a boundary.

When we translate boundaries to our mundane lives they may look a little different. If there is a breach of human love in the form of abuse of any kind there are grounds to separation and legalize a boundary.

But perhaps this toxicity isn't quite so dramatic. Perhaps you are bound by a family tie, or a child. Maybe you are a sibling, or even a son or daughter, mother, father, husband, or wife. Toxic abuse requires a severing of even those ties.

But maybe it isn't quite abuse. Maybe it's just personality. Maybe it's a huge difference of opinion. Maybe it's misunderstandings that have accumulated over the years, never clearing up. Maybe it is a lack of Christian love and brotherhood, or just plain sin.

So many things can draw wedges between people. People can try to overcome the division, but it always takes both sides to meet in the center, and that isn't possible for those who adhere to strict lifestyles, especially for those who cling to a faith that defines them more than anything else.

Everything is relative---except the black and white of a faith founded on an unchanging creed.

It's true.

There are lots of people out there claiming to be Christian, or Muslim, or Jewish, perhaps Buddhist or New Age, and these terms have little to do with their own personal definition of those terms. It's all relative to them.

We cannot define God. We must let Him define himself. If we let ourselves define Him we will always have division. When we accept Him as he defines Himself we have unity.


Back away from those that seek to define God in their own way. Back away from toxic people who insist on a  prideful and selfish definition of god. It isn't worth arguing with such folk. They will never see the true God. Their toxicity will only poison you and your peace in Christ!

Back away from the ones that hurt you, use you, wound your spirit. Place that boundary carefully, and give it to the Lord. He alone can nurture you and comfort you. He alone can heal the pain of poison in your heart.  You must turn to Him to enforce that boundary and that healing. It's truly the only way.

He may protect you from the toxin. He may heal the breach. He may even help you love and understand the one who has so hurt you. Why do you think He says, Love your enemies? It's the first step in applying the antidote to toxins.

Start by praying for them, and asking the Lord to give you love. Boundaries are fully enforced, yet there is a supernatural option for breaching the situation. It's the most exciting option, and it takes courage to trust in it. Sometimes the solution is very long in coming, and we like our quick fixes. Be assured that God is working things out in you, too. Your toxicity is also under treatment.

God is good. Always. He's the omnipotent Ruler of Creation. He can do anything. He chooses to define Himself in the Bible, and we need to trust Him in that. We need to humble ourselves and put our faith in Him, as He defines Himself, in His word.

That's so hard for people. So get those boundaries up!
The Lord has all the answers.


Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. All these things will be added unto you.
Peace of heart, mind and soul, the greatest treasures that exist.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Deep Down

Deep down we all know truth. It's at our core. Sadly our nature is sinful, and that sullies our ability to recognize it, even to fight against it.

We all need to stop inventing lies that muddy the truth.

Satan is a liar.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Spring, Finally

It's a strong finish I'm expecting over these last few weeks of school before the summer break begins.

I have my month already mostly filled. I think I have about 3 days still open for someone to nab my services as a teacher.

It's been a really good year for me.

The students all know my name. The teachers are texting me in advance to plan their absences. I can pretty much pick and choose the most advantageous jobs---kids I enjoy especially, teachers who are really well prepared for their absence, or subject matter I feel extra confident in. It's all been very good.

I have no complaints.

I'm tired at the end of the days. Working the two jobs has me questioning my sanity, but for now I'll try to make it work.

I've made a rule to try to paint or draw a picture each day, knit at least two rows, and read four chapters in the Bible.

It's amazing what little bits and pieces add up to in several months' time.

I have a good-sized following on Pinterest, and when I have moments at school that are not filled I pin a few pins to keep my followers---and inspire myself!

The first wood ticks have appeared on canines and humans. The yard's been cleaned up, with a few spots needing extra attention.

The Oriels and the hummingbirds have their feeders out, as do the Goldfinches and the Rose Breasted Grosbeaks. Our usual entourage of Cardinals, Blue Jays, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Woodpeckers and other common feathered friends who stay all winter are well provided for. Our Sandhill Cranes have been unembarrassed to share their courting with us.

Predicate escaped and was found.

Corwyn was spayed. Yesterday.

The scar is incredibly tiny! They use lasers now to help cauterize the wound. I think it really helps. She has been wearing the Cone of Shame some, but generally she's pretty good at leaving it alone.

Everyone has been called in to babysit her, a job that will last about 10 days. She is not allowed to do stairs, so we have to put up a gate and watch carefully as the cats, while jumping over it, sometimes manage to knock it down.

It's really easier to keep her on a leash or in the crate.

And the next patient will be Ed. His knee replacement surgery, (second one, right knee this time) is coming up quickly. He and Margaret finished their finals last week.

Ed is an official High School Graduate now. Margaret pursues her nursing aspirations after having achieved her Bachelors' Degree in French a couple of years ago.

Ed will continue at the community college where he's been studying for two years in the fall, then he hopes to transfer to our University.

This was a challenging spring. Differential Equations anyone? Margaret had microbiology and anatomy. I'm really proud (in a good way) of those two. They have had unbelievable challenges and they persevered. Success is best in small doses, I think. We're celebrating Ed's graduation with a family brunch in a couple of weeks, just as we have celebrated all of our high school graduates.

We haven't had an open house for these things, so please don't wonder about not receiving an invitation! It's what we chose to do when our oldest son graduated years ago.

Cherie has been steeped in track and field events.

Those track meets are tough to parent through! On Tuesday we arrived at Howard Lake-Winstead-Waverly High School around 11:30 AM. We left the school around 7 that night!

Cheri ran two events, the 100 and the 200. There is always a set order of these running events, so we know that if she is in the 4 x 400 we'll be sitting in the bleachers until the (bitter) end. Just kidding. It is very exciting to see the kids running and competing. It's definitely a time commitment.

I did bring knitting on Tuesday...

Our choir concert was really special. Beautiful music, beautiful sound. My husband's choir had its two concerts and he wrapped up his time with them. He will not return to be a member next fall. We are now both officially in the Minnetonka Chorale Society. Now that the spring concert is over one more thing is wrapped up. Next fall we perform "The Messiah" and I really cannot wait. Handel's work is truly my all-time favorite work of music.

Meanwhile we will all recuperate from the busy school and choral season.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there, especially my daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, and me own special mum.

She's out on her John Deere mower as I write, mowing the front lawn, doing her favorite thing! She loves to make her yard look like a park, and we all enjoy the result of her lawn care and frequent mowing.

I better fire up the Walker and get our own lawn under control.

Spring is the time of PROJECTS.

Margaret and A, her friend, and another of my "adopted" daughters, washed all of the windows on Tuesday. Bless their hearts! I'm a blessed mama.

It's so fun to see the sun stream through clear glass.

There is so much beauty in the world.

I'd love to share it with you.