This child….

My youngest daughter is the life of our family. Like most babies of the family, she is a tad dramatic. And most certainly always gets her way. (Though I’m sure she’d disagree. In a very dramatic fashion.)

And she’s smart. Boy, is she smart. I’m not just saying that because I’m her mom. I was also her junior high English teacher so I know how bright she is.

Conversations with her have always been fun and engaging. We took a couple of trips to Houston together last year and I thoroughly enjoyed her company. We bonded, not just as mother and daughter, but as two adults enjoying spending time with each other.

We saw the world differently, but with more of a generalized generational divide than anything. 

But then again, it was 2019.

2020 was a whole new ballgame.

Almost everyone has that one event in their life, where time shifts to before and after. For me, that divide was on January 6, 1994 when I laid my daughter to rest. My life was irrevocably changed after that, a mother who would never again take for granted a second in a child’s life.

For our nation, I think Covid-19 will be that separation point. Just looking at life before, and then after, leaves my head spinning. Sometimes I wonder if Uncle Sam is going to jump out and say APRIL FOOLS! Or if my hearing loss, undoubtedly caused by all that blasting rock music just like my parents warned, has caused me to miss Rod Serling’s narration of what definitely feels like The Twilight Zone.

Unfortunately, though, it’s all too real. 

We might as well just call ourselves States of America because there’s no UNITED in our country anymore. We are divided over issues, over thoughts, over actions. We are divided in our homes, in our streets, and even in our hearts.

My family is no exception and my youngest daughter loves a good debate. She’s as left-leaning as I am right; she’s revolutionary to my staid; she’s freethinking to my conformity.

Together, we look like a weebil….

weebil

Weebils wobble but they don’t fall down! 

I try not to engage with her in political rhetoric, as it never ends well, but I made an exception the other day. She was waxing poetic about what an archaic system we had and how it was a good thing lawmakers were trying to change the status quo.

I admired her idealism. I really did. Life turned me from an idealist to a pragmatist, but there’s something deep in my core that really wants to believe the best in everyone and everything. But like I said, this is 2020 and we have some armageddon-type stuff happening in the world right now.

“They don’t want to change everything,” I told her. “They just want to change ONE thing.”

“What’s that?” she asked. I’m sure she was expecting a hot topic response.

“They want to remove UNDER GOD from our nation.” Not only do I firmly believe this, scripture after scripture warns us that this will happen. We shouldn’t even be surprised, though we should be saddened to see it happening in our lifetime.

“Oh, Mother,” she rolled her eyes. “You are being so dramatic! No one wants that.”

I wanted to kiss her sweet little innocent face. Oh to have such faith in mankind again! Sadly, though, I don’t have that luxury. I’ve read the back of the book. I know how the story ends. I’d like to think we were in the denouement, but I don’t think we’ve even hit the climax. That’s scary. 

Have you ever manipulated someone to get what you want? Used such clever disguises or beguilement that they handed you your wish on a silver platter? Wake up, America. Satan is doing this to you right now. Your eyes are looking in one place as he uses trickery in another. He’s dressing up hatred with garments of righteousness and serving a side of contention at every family meal. He’s manipulating your friends, your family, and your minds.

This isn’t about a virus, or a protest, or socialism. It doesn’t matter where you stand on any of the issues to him. He’s that friend who tells Person A that Person B is talking about him, and then tells B that A is doing the same. Then he sits back and laughs as the two fight. That’s no friend of mine.

And he’s no friend of Jesus.

You have to choose. Are you going to be friends with Satan? Or Christ?

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The Last Place I Looked…

I looked everywhere for that silly spatula last night.

I’d been gone for a week so I wasn’t surprised that the forks were in the knife slot and the spoons were in the fork slots. He could’ve hung them from the ceiling fan…I was just glad that I hadn’t come home to a week’s worth of dirty dishes!

So I assumed he just put it in the wrong drawer.

I looked everywhere!! Sink, utensil drawer, tupperware drawer, pot holder drawer….I even looked in the drawer where I keep the mandolin slicer (we don’t even OPEN that drawer anymore after it nearly took his finger off)…not there either!

I was frustrated. I used another spatula and flipped the bacon. Grease went everywhere. This was NOT a bacon-flipping spatula! My husband took over with yet another spatula. But they weren’t what I was looking for.

I started over again. This time I broadened my search. Laundry room, dining room, cabinets, drawers…he must have accidentally thrown it away, I decided.

In a fit of desperation (I really do love that spatula), I opened up the utensil drawer once more and pulled out the three trays nestled inside. In the back, behind where the tray  sat and pushed into the wood backing, was my spatula.

I told my friend the story later that evening. “It was in the last place you looked, wasn’t it?” she laughed.

I’ve heard that expression my whole life but I don’t think I ever fully got the joke before! Of course you find stuff in the last place you look because you stop looking after that!

That’s how it is with Jesus.

We spend our whole lives looking to fill that emptiness. Money, relationships, prestige… We fill that hole with anything and everything. They work for a little bit but then we start searching again.

Once we find Jesus, though, we stop looking.

Because in Him, we find what we were looking for all along.

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