The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

A Week of Answers – Counting Blessings

Dear Katharine,

I have such a problem with my goals wandering, and with thinking that others have it easier than I do. When I look around me, I see all sorts of boosters–IN OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES! Mine, though, looks jumbled and behind schedule and difficult, to me. How can I be sure or even know if I need to make some changes?  –Alissa

Dear Alissa,

It is easy.

First, make a list of everything that is going well, going okay, going not too bad, not as bad as it used to be, or not as bad as it could be, for you, lately.

I mean, look at your house: are the floors easy to clean? List that. Then look at your car: are the brakes decent for a change? List that, too. How about clothing: do all your boys have jeans that are long enough? List it. Try curriculum: is yours making school easier? List it. Go on to list one good thing about your schedule, your meals, your field trips, your P.E., your quiet time, and your day.

Then imagine that these things were actually happening to others, around you.

Imagine that Sue has easy clean floors, Sally has a car in good repair, Sylvia has decent jeans for all her kids, Sarah has a great curriculum, Sandy has begun having quiet time, and so forth. Wouldn’t that make you feel like they had some sort of better home school?

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.What you will see is plenty of reasons to think that the grass in greener on YOUR side of the fence, too., and that others could easily fall down the same slippery slope that you have, if they were looking at you and doubting themselves.

Whatever is going right, look to the Lord, not others, and count your blessings! Do this exercise every time you feel inadequate and it should help.

Then remember this little true story: A mom used to feel guilty about seeming to get the ironing done just at the last moment for someone to wear it, barely squeaking it in at the nick of time. However, one day her son had to write, in one sentence, a definition of happiness and he answered: “Happiness is a warm shirt in the morning.”

You see, children naturally love their own home, whatever that means, so smile and RELAX!

The important thing is fulfilling the command to teach your children, right? God will bless that. And if something is truly missing from your life, the above exercise will probably bring it to light.

Katharine

What Entraps You?

What do you like more than you like your family? That’s it.

What do you think of when your mind is on auto-pilot? That’s it.

Whatever you do that divides you from any member of your family. That’s it.

  • Making a grocery list during the sermon? Entrapped by productivity?
  • Emailing while husband talks to you? Entrapped by social media?
  • Bending the truth? Entrapped by making a good appearance?
  • Ruining your health for no good reason? Entrapped by sugar or leisure?
  • Zoning out when others are talking? Entrapped by vain imaginations?
Truth

Truth (Photo credit: 22nyharborparks)

Okay, sometimes we find the truth divides. It’s okay to do the truth and cause division, when you cannot avoid division because of the truth.

It is not okay to:

  • beat people with the truth for no reason
  • redefine the truth for false motives
  • lie and pretend it is truth
  • tell yourself there is no hope
  • enjoy the division

We have so many reasons to prefer division, it’s a wonder anyone still has a family!

The best definer I ever heard of Christianity is: relationship.

Every relationship has the potential to be a picture of Christianity; every broken relationship is a tragedy.

Breaking the family is the greatest tragedy.

Why do we go there so willingly?

  • Family (katharinetrauger.wordpress.com)

Family

God put people in families.

Those who are not in families might disagree, but the facts are, those without families are out of place and feel out of place, often, because of it. Young women who feel out of place in their own families often marry early in life, in an attempt to find the feeling of being in a family.

We get a family by being born into a family. Those who were not born to a family may not agree, but the facts are, those not born into a family often are also feeling out of place and have great difficulty, often, in making wise social decisions.

Family should be the foundation of every life, whether the sad facts of our existence allow that it actually is, or not. It should be.

The orphan, widow, or divorcee is never the goal. Parents and spouses make family. Good parents and good spouses make good family.

And family should be the foundation, and not just a very fine thread that barely holds its members together.

And the one thing that separates families probably as much as, or more than, any other one thing is: entrapment.

Entrapment? What?

Yeah.

You’re not entrapped?

Think again.

We are entrapped by the TV, by games, by workaholism, by imagined standards, by debt, by promises, and by many other controlling factors.

Some entrapments, we never meant to get into, but they slowly encircled us.

Others we judged necessary and entered cautiously.

Family watching television, c. 1958

Family watching television, c. 1958 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And some, we flew into, headlong, with great delight. And if we notice the entrapment in them, and the way they divide our family, we scratch our heads or shrug, but make no effort to escape. Oh, we do many of them, each at the same time, so we call it family time . . .

Those last ones, the ones we love and shrug about, are the ones I want us to consider.

You see, the word entertain actually mean entrap. Yes, entertainment is entrapment.

Games, movies, music, fantasy, novels–they trap us like sticky traps and we wallow in them as if they were the most important things of life, until we are totally bound up and unable to escape.

If you cannot go 21 days without some entertainment, I’d say your are entrapped.

And your family is divided.

family trip to Oregon

family trip to Oregon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And you don’t have to wallow; there is a way out.

Overheard: Fighting Folly

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable– if anything is excellent or praiseworthy– think about such things. (NIV)“We are tempted constantly to surf the net or flip through hundreds of TV channels.”Almost none of it is noble, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy.”Turn those things off.”The glory of God’s creation is all around us. Enjoy it.”People need our time and the hope of the Gospel. Spend time with them.”Focusing on Jesus Christ and these activities will help guard our hearts.”

We are tempted constantly to surf the net or flip through hundreds of TV channels. Almost none of it is noble, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy.

Turn those things off.

The glory of God’s creation is all around us. Enjoy it.

Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to everyone” Mark 16:15 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People need our time and the hope of the Gospel. Spend time with them.

Focusing on Jesus Christ and these activities will help guard our hearts.”

 

Oh, I so agree! The games we play! We cannot see. We do not know what we are doing.

English: 4 days of Evangelism Training in Sout...

“Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to everyone” Mark 16:15 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We waste time. We waste our health. We waste opportunities.

We throw our lives away on folly.

Let’s get back to business!

Enhanced by Zemanta

 

Where Is Your Heart?

Still sort of thinking about the heart, although March is here.

A friend reminded me, today, to think of what I treasure. I treasure a lot of things. Some are good to treasure and some, because they are so temporary, are not wise things to invest much time in, or to treasure.

I remembered a Bible verse that lends some guidance, here. It’s found in the book written by Matthew, one of Jesus’ first 12 followers, and here, he quotes Jesus: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

He makes this connection directly after stating we should not treasure things that can ruin, and He follows it almost immediately with the warning not to try collecting both earthly and Spiritual hoards, because it can’t be done.

Wise Man, right?.

Birdhouse 030

Love this birdhouse. Not that kind of love . . .  Photo credit: Wikipedia

So, my fun collection of bird houses, which do not house birds, but only collect dust in my sunroom, are not wise things to treasure. I already knew that. I view them like wallpaper or rugs, just decor. Only I bought them at garage sales for pennies, so they cost less. Although I like them a lot, I don’t treasure them.

When it comes to my grandkids’ souls, though, wow. Those I treasure, and my heart is full of them, often. If I even think I see a sign of a troubled soul, I have to remember I’m not the mom, and certainly not God. I have to work hard not to say anything outside of encouragement, except when speaking to the Savior of souls. I earnestly seek protection for their souls. Different from birdhouses, which I only dust.

The Test of Fire!

Our house caught fire, one time.

If there were a fire, I would rescue the grandkids and let the birdhouses burn. Easy to choose.

I remember reading a story about a wise woman in Little Rock whose house had burned. When interviewed, she thought of all the kind folk who were returning to her the gifts and photos she had given them, just so she would have SOMETHING.

She said, “After a fire, the only thing you have left is what you gave away.” That quote riveted me like little I’ve ever heard before. What wisdom!

And the Bible tells us our God is a consuming fire. Only what cannot be consumed remains after He is done with us.

And some resent that. They want to live down here, in this messed up world, instead of zooming on up to pure delight. Where is their treasure? Where is their heart?

The Test of the Two-Year-Old!

Some of us go too far with treasuring our people, though, and take it to the point of worshiping.

I knew a lady who complained that she never had time to pray or read the Bible because her granddaughter just took up all her time. She further explained that the child was in a demanding stage and it often took all day to satisfy her every whim, whether it be for food, entertainment, or even the simple need for sleep. They were often up until 10:30 or later, just fighting sleep, after which point the lady was exhausted, as we all would be, in that situation.

But where was her treasure ? Where was her heart?

I once read that wherever your mind goes, on autopilot, when you are not directing your thoughts, is where your heart is, is your treasure, is your god.

Don’t let it be some kind of idol.

Toward Normalizing Pedophilia.

I do not often just paste something for you to follow, but here is a real shocker:

“If a small group of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have their way at a conference this week, pedophiles themselves could play a role in removing pedophilia from the American Psychiatric Association’s bible of mental illnesses — the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), set to undergo a significant revision by 2013.  Critics warn that their success could lead to the decriminalization of pedophilia.

“The August 17 Baltimore conference is sponsored by B4U-ACT, a group of pro-pedophile mental health professionals and sympathetic activists.  According to the conference brochure, the event will examine ‘ways in which minor-attracted persons [pedophiles] can be involved in the DSM 5 revision process’ and how the popular perceptions of pedophiles can be reframed to encourage tolerance.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/08/15/conference-aims-to-normalize-pedophilia/#ixzz1VCp7chKM

I think it is important to realize that if we normalize pedophilia, it will then be illegal for public schools to discriminate against it in their hiring. We need to wake up. If they meet their goal date of 2013, then we are nearly there . . .

State Senators Seek A.G. Opinion on Marijuana Vending Machines

English: Snack Machine

Snack Machine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Friends,

Today The Arkansas Family Council held a press conference announcing they are working with State Senators Jeremy Hutchinson and Johnny Key, who are seeking an opinion from Attorney General McDaniel on whether or not the proposed Issue 5 would open Arkansas up to marijuana vending machines.

Marijuana is dispensed through vending machines in California. Some people are trying to get Connecticut to permit vending machines under its marijuana program. Vending machines seem to be the future of the ‘medical’ marijuana industry.

These machines are basically high-tech snack machines that sell marijuana and marijuana-infused food instead of potato chips.

Having read the measure, I don’t think there’s anything in Issue 5 that would prohibit vending machines. Hopefully Attorney General McDaniel’s office can shed some light on how widespread vending machines might become if Issue 5 passes, next week.

For instance, if Issue 5 passes, can a marijuana dispensary put a vending machine offsite somewhere? Can a dispensary in Magnolia or Jonesboro contract to put a vending machine at a convenience store across town? Can a dispensary put a vending machine out front for people to use in the middle of the night, when the dispensary is closed?

We don’t sell beer out of vending machines. We don’t sell cigarettes out of vending machines. I don’t know why anyone would be comfortable selling marijuana out of vending machines.

You can see the website for the marijuana vending machine (“Med Box”) popular in California here: http://www.thedispensingsolution.com/