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Distractions

18 Apr

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith
Hebrews 12:2

They are everywhere.  I find them lurking around the corner or out in plain view.  Some are quite intentional and are by choice, while others catch me off guard.  Seasons seem to always attract them, as do holidays and special occasions.  I can almost always count on time crunches to reveal them, but then so does a lazy summer afternoon or a cold blustery winter evening.  The sight of something familiar will trigger their appearance, or a glance at the calendar and a specific date or a particular time on the clock will take me to another place and another time.  They can bring a peaceful diversion or a stormy interruption to a calm soul.  They can be quite untimely, causing disappointment to my expectations.  Some lend to our sanity while others seem to steal any good sense we might have left.  They can brighten a dark situation or leave a cloud that hovers over a sunny day.  Sometimes they get very loud and noisy, drawing attention away from the immediate, while other times their silence is so deafening that it pierces the quiet. Some are good.  Some are bad.  Some are a blessing.  Some may lead down the wrong path.  No matter where you and I are, there are distractions.

Cole's haircut

Just recently, Cole was spending the weekend at our house and needed a haircut.  We got out the trimmers, the little stool, a bath towel, and a clothes pin.  Once he was settled and ready to go, Papaw turned on the clippers.   Hair began to fall on the towel that was draped over Cole’s little body, with a few wispy pieces tickling his face along the way.  He started to get antsy, so I grabbed my iPhone for a much-needed distraction.   Knowing that our grandson loves to watch himself on videos, I quickly flipped the switch and began to catch his little antics as he sat there squirming.  Mimi got an idea and asked Cole to sing his ABCs … then to count.  This ploy was a great success as his busy little mind was diverted away from having to sit still and instead to enjoy singing and performing for the video camera.  Needless to say, he has pulled up this clip and sang along with himself many times.  You also can click below and sing and count along with Cole.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QMbQBpbkeI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

An ice-cold can of Cherry Coke instead of a healthy bottle of water.  Family pictures scrolling across the computer’s screen saver.  A text message alert on the cell phone disrupting the present moment.  An afternoon of playing in the crisp fallen autumn leaves instead of raking them up and disposing of them.  Making mental lists of things to do the following day instead of focusing on the disagreeable at hand.  Going to the grocery store when hungry and buying far more than what is on the list.  Santa bringing gifts or an Easter bunny hopping in to leave baskets filled with tasty treats and little trinkets … and absolutely no emphasis on Jesus, His birth, death, and resurrection.  Reciting the alphabet and counting to 20 instead of squirming during a haircut.

We can all come up with our own list of distractions, and that list would not only be endless, but different from person to person.  The one common denominator between your list and mine is our focus.  Our focus determines the level of interruption that is allowed in our thought processes in order to truly define the distraction and its purpose.  Some things we only see out of the corner of our eye so they never become the distraction that is potentially possible … good or bad.  This is because our focus is already set and committed.  Obviously, distractions take place a gazillion times every day … but won’t you join me in keeping focus where focus belongs when it involves the important things of life?  Whether the distraction is a blessing or a hindrance … Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith!!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3

Until next time,
Debbie

For my friends who subscribe to Morsels of Mercy and automatically get a copy sent to your email, check out the blog on my website to see additional photos of my family         https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

**  Blog photo of a spring tree ~ April 2012

 

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Blue Skies and A Hair Cut

25 Jan

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
Psalm 19:1

Escorting me on the way to work yesterday morning was the brightest blue sky I have seen in a while.  As the fog that had kept us company for a few days began to lift, so did my spirits.  Regardless of the temperature outside, if the sun is shining and the sky is blue, it is difficult to keep a smile from my face and my heart from soaring.  Just moments from work, I passed by a meadow of sheep where a few were munching on their breakfast out at the fence row by the road.  They were no doubt excited as they were finding pockets of fresh grass poking through the clumps of melting snow.  I chuckled as I realized that these sheep looked a lot like the side of the road where the snow was once white but is now dirty.  To be expected, I suppose … it is winter.  January is winding down, but there are still several weeks left of the gray, the wet, and the cold.  That’s why I love blue skies and hair cuts!

My new hair cut

Trends, styles, and the impulse to do something different encouraged me over a year ago to begin the process of letting my hair grow out.  The end result was to be an A-line cut, which I was successful in reaching the correct lengths for, but my hair is just not suited for the look.  Thanks to my Mother, I have volumes of hair … and thanks to my Daddy, it’s naturally curly.  Even after using a flat iron to straighten my locks, more times than not they become frizzy and bumpy … and I become very frustrated.  The mirror was often giggling and pointing fingers at me, reminding me that I am no longer 32 years old, but never giving any advice or assistance in slowing down the aging process.  I did, however, catch the hint that I should chop the heaviness from around my face and cheerfully welcome back the curls that smile and dance in the sunshine or rain!   So on Monday, in the midst of the drizzling cold mist of the day, the simple thing like a fresh new hair style was an immediate boost and encouragement!  Rain?  What rain?

I know I’m silly.  I know I’m sappy.  But in the midst of life with its difficult days, we all need an occasional blue sky and a hair cut!  I have a friend who is holding on to a thread of hope and sanity as her husband continues to suffer with the cancer that keeps stealing his very life from him.  Little babies and children have been battling serious illnesses this winter.  Others are in pain and have gone to the doctors time and again trying to find out what the problem is.  Strokes, heart attacks, and diseases are constantly claiming the lives of people we know and love.  Concerned pregnancies, troubled marriages, insufficient funds, and on and on and on.  Even while the unexpected continues to invade our routines of life, time marches on.  It marches on with determination and is very deliberate in its agenda.  All the while I find myself lagging behind and sometimes stopping to catch my breath in the wake of the dust.  It is in those moments that when the dust begins to settle and the clouds clear away, I look up and see blue skies.  Or I call and make a hair appointment … or I decide to do something out of the ordinary that makes my heart happy.  Maybe a quick stop at Starbucks for a white chocolate mocha!  What is it for you?  A night at the gym to work out the stress and tension?  How about a walk along the ditch bank road or wherever your heart finds solace.  For some, it may be a favorite flavor of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, or a ride in the country on a motorcycle.  Whatever the temporary calm to your storm might be, embrace it to the fullest, knowing that it came from God’s hand of mercy and love.  It is in moments like those that He desires us to wait in hope for Him … our Help and our Shield…our Refuge and Strength … an ever-present Help in trouble.

As I catch my breath and once again expect the known and the unknown of life, won’t you join me in anticipation of the next clearing of blue skies and a new hair cut?

We wait in hope for the LORD;
He is our Help and our Shield.

In Him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in His holy name.

May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in You.
Psalm 33:20-22

~~~~

God is our Refuge and Strength,
an ever-present Help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
                                                                                      Selah
Psalm 46:1-3

 

Until next time,
Debbie

For my friends who subscribe to Morsels of Mercy and automatically get a copy sent to your email, check out the blog on my website to see additional photos of my family         https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com

**  Blog photo of the blue sky  ~  tree in our back yard, fall of 2011.