Belief Systems

>> Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I am not a morning person. Left to my own devices I would stay up until midnight and sleep in until 9:00.  But life happens.  Especially now that I have a neighbor who comes by and picks up the dog to take him for a walk a little after 7:00 each morning. So my plan is to already be through at the gym by the time the dog walker arrives.

I set my alarm for 5:45.  That’s AM!  It’s still dark outside.  That’s just wrong.

The other morning, I swung my feet off the side of the bed, searched for my house shoes and turned on the lamp on the nightstand. All the activity roused the dog, so I let him out the back door to take care of his business. By the time he returned, I had donned my exercise clothes, complete with baseball cap so as not to scare anyone, and was ready to leave.

I walked through the kitchen and happened to notice the time on the clock on the stove. 12:24. When did our electricity go off? I looked up at the clock on the microwave. 12:24  What is going on? So I pulled my iPhone from my pocket. It would tell me the truth.

12:24  I have no idea what woke me. 

I checked my alarm on the phone. It was still set for 5:45.  The confused dog watched me walk back in the bedroom, take off my shoes and climb back into bed. When the alarm went off, I would already be dressed.

But sometimes life is just like that.

We think something is an absolute. We go through the motions, based on our belief system. And then something a friend says makes us wonder about our belief. But we dismiss it. We find something unusual in a drawer. Again, our belief system kicks in and we choose to ignore that sign.

Eventually, the truth is discovered. The result of that discovery is up to us.

“Don’t be nitpickers; use your head—and heart!—to discern what is right, to test what is authentically right.” John 7:24 (MSG) 



>> Saturday, September 19, 2015

I succumbed to the pressure.  All around me I heard comments about the FitBit and its ability to keep track of how many steps I had taken in a day. I wasn’t sure I cared about that, but I was a little curious, since I walk on the treadmill every morning. Apparently, 10,000 steps a day was the goal.

The promo was outstanding regarding what it would do for me. It could help turn my life into a fun path to fitness.  I would now know the distance I walked each day and the calories I burned.

Any day, I would be skinny. 

But the FitBit affected me in a different way. If I cared so much about how many steps I took each day, how many miles I walked and how many calories I consumed to ensure my physical health…then shouldn’t I care about my Christian fitness the same way? Where, exactly, was the device that would keep me on track regarding how much I prayed, read my Bible or just enjoyed quiet time with God?

I still go to the gym first thing in the morning; my FitBit hooked to my clothes so I can track my movements. But as I get dressed and reach for it, my mind turns to God…to my blessings…to people who need prayer.

That little device is a constant reminder to me that more than just my physical health is at stake.

“His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.” Ephesians 4:16 (MSG)


No Regrets

>> Saturday, September 5, 2015

When John and I travelled, I always gave him the top drawer in the dresser. He was not very limber and it was easy for me to bend down. I did it willingly. The other day someone mentioned to me how I had catered to him in the last few years. My answer was quick and sure.

"I know I did...and I'm glad".

I've been in relationships where I had no value and the other person expected me to acquiesce. But in this situation I gave up nothing of me. I felt good about my decision to honour him.

And now he's gone. I can have whatever drawer I want. And I have no regrets.

I knew my husband's days were numbered. But so are yours and mine. We have no idea when that limb might fall across our house or the car coming toward us might change lanes and hit us head on. You could possibly kiss your spouse goodbye in the morning and never see them alive again.

Believe me, when you look at their dead body, you don't want to be filled with regrets.

John and I held hands. In public. At restaurants. A few years ago a waitress asked us if we were newlyweds. He squeezed my hand and smiled at me as he told her “yes”. We told each other "I love you" every day. Our usual response to each other was "more". But in his last days, John's response was "I know".

Just writing that made me cry. It filled me with warm fuzzies to hear that he knew.

In the scheme of life, some things just aren't worth squabbling over. Live so you can be guilt free and have no regrets.

“Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self.” I Corinthians 13:4 (MSG)


One Step at a Time

>> Saturday, August 29, 2015

As I reached for the t-shirt I planned to wear, memories washed over me. John stood beside me when I purchased this shirt. We were standing in front of the booth…sunny skies…gentle breeze…music seeping into the air from all around us. We deliberated over our choices and decided to not get the same one. That way we could advertise our adventure in two different ways.

I hold the shirt in my hand and think, “How am I supposed to do this…keep going on without him?”

It seems I am slowly erasing him.

His iPad and iPhone lay on the kitchen counter for weeks. On a regular basis I would charge them. Why? And then a friend offered to help me transfer all of his memories from those two devices to his computer.

See?  It’s still his computer.

The building that housed our business is now for sale. I remember how we stretched our faith to buy that land and build on it. We did it together. It’s just one more thing for me to get rid of.

Each day I’m given a choice. Do I wallow in grief and pity? Or do I bravely face the future…without him? As I sit here typing these words, I look to the left where I have a plaque hanging on the wall…one he gave me before he died. Good words. 

I am taking this one step at a time. And when I falter, I have my relationship with Jesus to turn to…and many friends to help hold me up. 

“Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
 Jesus wept.
 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” John 11:34-36 (NIV) – at the death of Lazarus


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