All posts by dscales24

I am a wife, mother, and grandmother who enjoys sharing life experiences through writing short, lighthearted articles. These are intended to entertain, inspire, motivate, and inform my readers. I hope to receive responses in which readers tell me if they relate to the articles and share with me ideas that my writings generated in them.

I WANT EDEN

 

I want Eden.

 

A place where no one ever gets sick,

Where fragrant flowers grow lush and thick,

Where birds soar freely, and mountains loom high,

Where only white clouds float in the sky.

 

A place where babies arrive without pain,

Where dew wets the ground, so there’s no need for rain,

Where bear cubs and kittens and baby lambs play,

Where a spouse fully trusts that the other won’t stray.

 

A place where no weeds grow up through the ground,

Where sadness and heartache and grief are not found,

Where words like goodbye never have to be heard,

Where hatred or injustice isn’t even a word.

 

A place where families live and love all day long,

Where sunrise and sunset are accompanied by song,

Where no one gets injured or lonely or lost,

Where good food and clean water come at no cost.

 

A place where sweet children can play without fear,

Where grownups and babies shed never a tear,

Where you share with me, and I share with you,

Where everything heard is one hundred percent true.

 

We had it but lost it, this Eden of ours.

Now everything rusts or grows old or sours,

And despite all our effort, we can’t get it back.

All this the result of Satan’s attack.

 

Eve and Adam succumbed to the tempter’s big lie,

And as a result, we all now must die.

But I can’t be too angry. I’m no better than they.

I bite at the bait Satan throws out today.

 

But God in His mercy will make all things new.

He has a new Eden for me and for you.

And we don’t have to fear. This one Satan can’t touch.

How blessed we all are that God loves us so much.

THE POINT

A minister cautioned his listeners to look for the point of each of Jesus’ parables.

To read a parable and ask, “What is the point?”

Notice he did not urge his listeners to ask, “What are the points?”

Most parables were spoken and written to make a point.

Sometimes we try to force a parable to make more points than it is intended to make.

Luke 15:11-22: 11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

(Thank you, www.biblegateway.com, for making it easy for me to insert this passage into this post.)

If I chose to do so, I might read this parable and force it to make these points:

  • A parent should give his children their inheritances when they ask for them.
  • Since the father put a gold ring on his son’s finger, this parable teaches that it is not wrong to wear jewelry.
  • This parable endorses the eating of meat.
  • The father in this parable held a celebration, so the parable encourages us to party.

I am being ridiculous.

LIES, ALL LIES

I am efficient. 

I am inefficient.

 

I am successful.

I am a failure.

 

I am a generous giver.

I am a thankless taker.

 

I am 100% honest.

I am a complete hypocrite.

Every one of those statements, when taken as an absolute, is a lie.

Each lie could be turned into a truth by the addition of the word sometimes.

Sometimes I am an efficient, successful, generous, and honest person.

But sometimes I am an inefficient, failing, thankless, and hypocritical person.

My adversary wants me to define myself by my performance.

If he convinces me I am always an efficient, successful, generous, and honest person, I will become prideful.

A prideful Christian is not an effective Christian and not a threat to this adversary.

If he convinces me I am always an inefficient, failing, thankless, and hypocritical person, I will become defeated.

A defeated Christian is not an effective Christian and not a threat to this adversary.

This adversary’s goal is to disable Christians.

He accomplishes his goal by telling us lies.

He is wily, this adversary.

Sly as a fox.

A roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

I’m guessing he whispers lies to you, as he does to me.

Fortunately, we have an effective weapon in our arsenal.

That weapon is the Truth.

The Truth is this:

  • Sometimes we succeed. Sometimes we fail.
  • God loves us all the time.
  • God loves us because He is love.
  • God forgives us based on Christ’s performance, not on our own.

When Satan whispers lies to you, shout the Truth to him.

VORTEX

Yesterday, I was having a vortex kind of day.

You know the sort of day I mean. I felt caught in a force that was sucking me downward.

I wanted/needed to do many things.

I have obsessive compulsive disorder, as well as attention deficit disorder.

These conditions make time management difficult.

But I work hard at it.

I plan. I make lists. I use sticky notes.

I  anticipate, contemplate, create, and recreate, but mostly I agitate.

Yesterday I was going nowhere but crazy.

On such days, I seek out Dan.

In tears, I try to tell him how I feel.

But I can’t find the words to express the desperation in my soul.

Dan holds me. I cry.

He says, “Deb, it’ll be okay. Calm down. You’re trying to do too many things. Let some of them go.”

He is right. I am always trying to do too many things. I can’t let even one of them go.

After talking to Dan yesterday, I sat down to pray.

Sentence after sentence poured out of me.

“God, I’m so tired. I’m pedaling as fast as I can but getting nowhere.

I’m aiming to earn an A in life but getting a C-.

I can’t finish one project because another one calls louder to me.

I want to use my gifts to bring glory to You.

But I’m just spinning my wheels.

I’ve got lessons to prepare, articles to write, emails to answer, cards to send.

I want to finish my Bible study on the book of Matthew, but I can’t get past chapter two.

The scrapbooks I’m making for my grandchildren are barely started.

I’ve got books to read, online courses to complete.

My website needs to be updated.

I can’t get my online newsletter off the ground.

I have things to say, Lord. Things to write. Things to share.

But today I wonder if any of them are worth saying, worth writing, worth sharing.

I’m not getting any younger, Lord, and ‘I’ve got miles to go before I sleep.’

I’ve got to work harder, move faster.

I’m caving in upon myself.

I’m splintered.

Failing.

Going down for the third time.

What is wrong with me?

You didn’t create me to live a life of chaos and frustration.

Where is the peace I am supposed to find in You?

Where is it?

Where?”

And then, perhaps from God, came an answer.

“You’re not trying to find peace in Me. You’re trying to find peace in yourself, in your accomplishments.

Look at how many of your sentences begin with the word ‘I.’

When will you learn, Child, that peace will never be found in you? It’s found only in Me.”

My tears flowed harder, and I answered, “I don’t know, Lord. When will I learn that?”

 

CANDY

Our two-year-old granddaughter, whom I call Glitter, sparkles.

Hers is a world of Lift-the-Flap books, bubbles, and baby dolls she covers with Band-Aids.

(Her grandmother is one of her chief suppliers.)

Glitter enjoys good health and a keen intelligence that are gifts from God.

Her parents love her unconditionally and provide for her everything she needs.

They give her many things, but not everything, she wants.

I was at her house the other day when she said, “Grandma, I want some of the c-word.”

“What?” I said.

“She wants candy,” her older brother said.

“We didn’t want her to know when we were talking about candy, so we started calling it the c-word. Now she calls candy the c-word too.”

The candy in their house is on a high shelf, out of Glitter’s reach.

Sometimes her parents give her candy, but sometimes they say no.

A parent who never says no is not a good parent.

As Glitter grows, her parents will continue saying no to many of her c-word requests:

No, you can’t . . .

  • Color on the living room wall.
  • Cross the street by yourself.
  • Cut your own hair.

 Later they will say, No, you can’t . . .

  • Cook on the stove when you’re home alone.
  • Copy your term paper from the Internet.
  • Consume alcohol when you’re in middle school.

After that they will say, No, you can’t . . .

  • Consume alcohol when you’re in high school.
  • Cheat on your SAT.
  • Continue living in our basement until you’re 35.

They will say no to many other things.

But one day, Glitter will decide for herself what she can do.

Her parents pray she will say no to herself, when no is the appropriate response.

Some adults never develop an inner voice that tells them no.

With no outer voice telling them no, they become self-indulgent junkies, living for the next fix.

Junkies abuse, steal, and even kill to get what they crave.

And they crave the very things that made them the sick people they are.

God anticipated this tendency in people.

That is why His Word emphasizes the importance of developing and practicing self-control.

Consider the pain suffered by these self-indulgent Bible characters, and the pain they inflicted upon other people in their lives.

  • Adam and Eve
  • Cain
  • Esau
  • Jacob
  • Moses
  • Samson
  • King David

With that epic last example, I will stop, though more names could be added.

I confess to having damaged myself and others through a lack of self-control.

You probably have too.

Don’t succumb to Satan’s temptation to be self-indulgent.

Learn to tell yourself no.

 

 

 

BLONDE LEADING THE BLIND

Hawaii is beautiful.

Gorgeous when explored by land, sea, or air, it is one of God’s many masterpieces.

Wealthy people have homes (estates) here. Yesterday we saw a house owned by Julia Roberts.

Hawaiian sites were used in the filming of many well-known movies: Pirates of the Caribbean; Six Days, Seven Nights; Donovan’s Reef; Jurassic Park; The Descendants, and too many more to name. 

Things are expensive here. A glass of iced tea, had I chosen to drink one at a restaurant tonight, would have cost us $4.50.

Dan’s mediocre side salad cost $12.99.

Soft drinks and snack foods are about twice the price of the same items at home.

Gas prices hover around $4 a gallon.

All those things you probably already knew.

But you may be blind to lesser known facts about Hawaii. Allow this blonde to lead you through some of these.

  • You will need only casual clothes unless you’re going to a formal ceremony.
  • Leave early for every destination. Parking spaces (narrow) are hard to find.
  • Expect restaurants to offer outdoor seating only. Don’t count on air conditioning.
  • Wear “reef-safe, coral-friendly” sunscreen if you plan to swim in the ocean.
  • Don’t be surprised if events you booked months ago are cancelled after you arrive.
  • Keep your phones charged. Internet signal comes and goes as you drive.
  • Plan on getting wet. It once rained 59 inches in three hours here on Kauai.
  • Island stores offer few items. You may search for Crest but settle for Colgate.
  • Speed bumps abound.
  • Chickens roam everywhere, giving “free range” a whole new meaning.
  • It’s all about ecology here. Walmart provides no “free” bags. Think Aldi.

Visitors tend to be treated well because tourism drives Hawaii’s economy.

But there are exceptions to every rule.

Our restaurant hostess tonight had the personality of a Styrofoam cup.

Aloha

SAY IT ISN’T SO!

Lean in closely while I whisper something in your ear.

Please don’t overreact, and don’t SAY anything.

Wait for it.

Here it is.

“I don’t like to travel.”

WHAT?? YOU DON’T LIKE TO TRAVEL?!!!”

Go ahead. Grab your phone and fire up your computer. Broadcast that blasphemous statement, and be sure to credit it to me.

To some people, my saying, “I don’t like to travel” is equivalent to saying:

  • “I’m glad Bambi’s mother got shot.”
  • “I dump my trash in the Ohio River, and I’m proud of it.”
  • “Bring on higher taxes and fewer benefits.”

In her wonderful piece at https://www.huffpost.com/entry/i-dont-want-to-travel, Jenna Woginrich writes:

Somehow getting on a plane and going far away became the highest form of purchasable enlightenment. To experience real life is to experience it somewhere else.

If travel is being recreationally uncomfortable in a controlled environment ― I chose the opposite.

(Jenna lives as a homesteader and hasn’t left her farm for a single night in over five years.)

I’m with Jenna.

Leave me at home. Go. Have fun. Bring back pretty photos and funny stories.

I’ll look. I’ll listen. I’ll be pleasant, but I won’t envy you the trip.

Maybe I will receive less condemnation if I say, “I like being at home.”

At home I take comfort in knowing:

  1. Where my nail clippers are.
  2. Which restaurants I like.
  3. Where I can park.
  4. That I can savor a beautiful garden tomorrow if I skip it today.
  5. That I’m not interfering with other people’s plans if I decide to take a nap.
  6. That I can lay my book down and pick it up from the same place tomorrow.

My husband would travel 26 weeks of the year if he could. And, he could, with some limitations.

But he likes to travel with me. And I like to make him happy.

There, as the British say, is the rub.

The rub can chafe. The chafe can fester into a wound. The wound can become infected and kill the relationship.

Neither of us wants that.

So, sometimes I travel with him.

Here are my suggestions for non-travelers who vacation with avid travelers.

  • Be honest: Say, “I don’t want to make that two-mile hike to the waterfall.”
  • Compromise: “If I rest in the condo today, I’ll enjoy the luau tonight.”
  • Ask questions: “How disappointed will you be if I don’t go on the boat ride?”
  • Volunteer your preferences: “I would rather not attend the lecture on lava types.”

Dan and I are two different people. We are glad we are.

He will not convince me to enjoy war movies. I will not persuade him to read The Woman in White.

But I will not tell him that watching war movies is wrong, ignorant, stupid or a waste of time.

He will not tell me that reading The Woman in White is a moronic indulgence and I should be doing something else.

If I harp on Dan about watching war movies, I diminish his enjoyment of them. I take from him something that is not mine to take.

If he ridicules my enjoyment of British literature, he belittles my choice of reading material. He robs me of some of the pleasure that reading gives me.

He likes to travel. I like to be at home.

We live and let live.

That is because more than liking things, we love each other.

Win-Win arrows concept handwritten on yellow sticky note pinned on bulletin cork board.