Small Beginnings Lead to Big Victories!

 

Yesterday, the bathrooms had to be scrubbed.
Tomorrow is laundry day so tomorrow night is dedicated to ironing.
Mr. 4-Ever wants to eat again today,
which means grocery shopping and more cooking.

Just to be clear,
this is not how I prefer to spend my days.

I want to pray, study, and worship God.
I want to teach Bible study to women who love and/or need Jesus.
I want to write great talks to deliver to women desperate for Good News.
I want to create captivating books for women to read
so they can be inspired and energized and reengage with God.

But here I am …
cooking, cleaning, and ironing.

Doing the ordinary stuff.
Doing the boring stuff.
Doing the familiar stuff.

There’s a little verse in Zechariah 4:10 that says,
“Do not despise these small beginnings,
for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin,
to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”

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When A Playboy Bunny Met God

My blog post this week is featured in Shattered Magazine.

 

Being a Playboy Bunny wasn’t something I aspired to. I didn’t grow up with a burning desire to be walking porn. It happened the way most sinful things happen. Gradually. Insidiously.

Don’t get me wrong; I chose it. I wasn’t destitute or forced into it. I had a great home life. Though not spiritual, my family was responsible and moral. I had the benefit of an excellent education. I was smart and pretty, but I chose to toss brains aside because beauty was easier.

The Perfect Job

I saw the ad for Playboy bunnies when I was looking for work after my first year of college:

“Great pay! No experience required. Apply in person.”

That certainly sounded more interesting than working a tedious clerical job or doing backbreaking factory work. My professional résumé may have been unimpressive, but since the Bunny job was based almost entirely on appearance, my face and figure were the only credentials I needed. I made the cut and started the job a week later.  

Read the rest of the article in 

Shattered Magazine

You Are What You Choose

I don’t know about you, but often,
when I return home from a
retreat, vacation or work related trip, 

my house looks as if the maid was on vacation –

because she was!  

Dishes in the sink, pizza boxes piled on the counter, 
trash overflowing, and stuff everywhere.
And the children?  
Don’t even ask!

Reentry can be tough.

When I go away for a time of refreshment specifically to hear from God, 
I am often convicted inspired to change everything that is wrong with me.

Do you do that?

I crazily believe it’s possible to have a daily hour-long quiet time
in my (as yet to be built) private prayer closet.

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My Hubby’s Response Stopped Me In My Tracks

 

As usual, I was in a rush. 

I seem to have 2 speeds: asleep and hurry.

I was late getting home, and
in my flurry to get into the house to start dinner,
I shoved open my car door with too much enthusiasm.
It clunked into the lawn mower handle.

Thud.

A long, angry, black mark scarred the car door.

CRUD!
How was I going to explain this to Mr. 4-Ever?  

I had already wrecked the car twice since we’d been married. 
Now every time I say, “Honey, I need to talk to you,”
he jokingly responds,
“Robyn, did you wreck the car again?”

 There was no getting around it,
I’d just have to fess up.
 

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What’s in your closet?

I spent a good chunk of yesterday cleaning out the
“toy closet.”

I haven’t had children at home for years.
Deep sigh …
followed by a leap for joy!
(Don’t judge, I am happy to have healthy, thriving, gainfully employed boys who’ve grown into men.)

I’m reclaiming all the real estate in my house previously dedicated to storing their paraphernalia.
I will no longer keep art projects from grade school,
football cleats from high school or dental models of lost retainers.

Yesterday, I cleared the last bastion of their territory … the toy closet.
Toys spanning the decades spilled out to be sorted and bagged up

in preparation of their move to someone else’s home.

Candyland, all the chess boards and the Monopoly game … out.
Beanie Babies, action figures and matchbox cars … out.
Glitter pens, coloring books and the potholder loom …  out.
Puzzles, sidewalk chalk and the abacus no one ever knew how to use … out!

Can I just tell you, it’s liberating.
I am giddy with glee!

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Asking for Help is NOT a Sign of Weakness.

 

My Hot & Hunky Hubz was a gear-head.
Restoring old cars was therapeutic for Jay.

Girls, our garage looked like an auto repair shop!
Big tool chests lined the back wall.
Wrenches and widgets hung on pegboard wall to wall.
Shelves and shelves of solvents and solutions were propped up by
decades worth of car magazines and manuals.
A fat red compressor as tall as me hissed and clicked next to
huge welders accessorized by heavy metal masks and thick gloves.
There was a sandblasting stall that doubled as a painting bay.
Jay reserved one stall inside his precious space to park my car but

the rest of the building was all man cave. 

One day, shortly after Hot & Hunky died,
my car wouldn’t start.

Naturally, I called a tow truck.
After a short wait, a big truck backed up the driveway.

Beep… Beep… Beep… 

Out jumped a Burly Man.
“Thanks for coming so quickly. My car is in the garage and it won’t start.”

“Ok, Lady, let’s have a look,”
said Burly Man as we walked toward the garage.

When I swung open the garage door, Burly Man stopped in his tracks.

“Is this a joke, Lady?” he asked as he looked around.

“No! The car really… won’t … start ….”

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Not Really So Shiny As I’d Like You to Believe

I like blonde jokes as much as the next girl.

My favorite one is how can you tell if a blonde’s been using the computer?
There’s white-out on the screen.

Want one more? What is a blonde’s favorite color?
Diamonds.

Ok, last one, why do blondes always smile during thunderstorms?
They think someone is taking their picture.

These jokes make us chuckle because we can all relate to blonde jokes
Everyone makes mistakes.

But in real life, NOONE wants to look too “blonde”.

When my Grandma was young, she lived on the family farm.
Her mom, sisters, aunts, cousins and grandmother lived on the
same property if not in the same house. The advantage to having such close proximity
to family members of many generations is she was allowed to learn from them.
How to make a house a home.
How to grow and preserve food.
How to raise children.
How to handle husbands with respect.

You know what else you get to see in such close quarters?
Flaws!
Mistakes!

Which in turn gave her permission to be imperfect.

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Say Yes to Less!

You ever eat at one of those swanky fondue restaurants?

Mr. 4-Ever and I got to try one recently.
What a treat!

The hostess led us through a labyrinth of cubbies and cozy booths to our own intimate table.

First, a bowl of melted cheese was placed on the hot plate in the center of our table.
A tray with a variety of bread cubes and small pieces of fruit was delivered
along with those long pronged forks.

Yum.

A salad bursting with flavor appeared next.
You have to eat the greens to offset the barrel of cheese you just ate, right?

Next a pot of hot seasoned oil replaced the empty bowl of melted cheese and
a tray of raw meat and seafood was placed on the table.

One tiny bit at a time, we got full, but we didn’t stop
because the bites were so small, 

we could easily fit one more tidbit in.
And it was all SO GOOD!

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Letting Go Of Perfection … Again

Blog perfectionism

There is something about holidays that brings out my crazy.

Our church has a gathering after the Easter services to greet guests and visit with other members.  We all bring a plate or two of hors d’oeuvres to share and I always bring my
(practically famous in my small church)
deviled eggs. 

However, as fate would have it, my boiled eggs did not want cooperate with me.  The shells stuck to the egg white like they’d been super-glued. Big hunks of egg came off with the shells leaving me with the ugliest looking things I’d seen since I tried to cut my own hair.

I looked at those pitiful eggs and had a decision to make.
Take ugly eggs to church or take nothing.

The voice in my head chided
You can’t take those!
They look awful!
No one will eat them.
They aren’t worth taking.
Maybe you should stay home if that’s the best you can do.

I have learned to recognize the
lies my enemy uses to try to defeat me.

I put on the armor of God because

This. Is. War. 

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Weary Of Rules and Ready For Easter

Easter Sunday is near!
Hallelujah!

Part of me is relieved that Lent is nearly over so
I can resume the consumption of chocolate and binge watch television.

You would think after 46 days the cravings would be gone,
but they taunt me.

I have repeatedly whispered,
“God, I want to long for you like I long for chocolate and Netflix.”

The glorious discipline of Lent has brought me closer to God and
has transformed some of my strongholds into mere indulgences.

I have experienced God in powerful ways over the past 40-plus days.

But Lent isn’t about just overcoming
temptations or even establishing new patterns.

It’s to prepare me for Easter.

To put me in the place where I anticipate the celebration of an an empty tomb.
To synchronize my trust and faith with the RESURRECTION of Jesus.

Jesus’ resurrection has to be more than get-out-of-hell insurance.

Jesus’ resurrection has to be the assurance that
all the things wrong in my life and in yours
can be resurrected.

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