“So what’s your story?” I heard the man ask the girl sitting in the corner booth of the coffee shop. I glanced up from my cinnamon coffee and devotional book to see what she would say.
I was digging through old stuff I had from when I moved to Bradds and I found some old cd’s. I found one I haven’t listened to in forever. “Take me to your leader” by the Newsboys. I loved this cd when I first purchased it in 1996 and I knew I would enjoy it just as much today so I looked it up on Apple Music and began listening to the old familiar songs. I was surprised to discover even after more than 23 years I still have the songs memorized.
A friend gave me CD back in 2003 and one of the songs on it called Ordinary Day had the phrase “Live While You Can”. This really stood out to me. For the next few days I listened to the song over and over and got me to thinking about my life. Even though I have been alive for 48 years, I have never really “lived” before age 36 when I heard these lyrics.
Have you ever had one of those days when you see memories? Old pictures of your life you used to have, you see those photos of the life you imagined you once planned and you just tear up. You don’t miss the old life, its more a sadness for the life you imagined you were going to have, and you feel like a bit of a failure for letting your kids down, and even yourself too because things didn’t go like you thought they would. You feel like so many of your dreams wasted.
We have a family of Canadian geese we have adopted that I named Fred and Ethel. They are just the latest in the stream of wild animals my husband and I feed here in Piedmont on our property. These two are special because I know Ethel is getting ready to lay eggs and have her babies. I have been researching geese and I found out geese mate for life. So naturally I am rooting for this family even stronger because I love the family unit. Now when we are feeding them bread or lettuce, Fred always watches over Ethel while she eats her fill, and then when she is finished, he will eat. I’m thinking, wow, what a sweet loving goose hubby right?
I witnessed a fascinating thing today. Typically if any other geese come around we will hear them make a pretty loud honking indicating their displeasure. Now we have plenty of room for other geese and lots of water for other geese, but right now, because Ethel is going to have babies, Fred is in protector mode. Today he made the honking noise of “Stay in the back yard while I take care of these intruders sound.” Now Ethel, she is a stubborn, pregnant goose wife and she didn’t really listen, so she waddled, and I mean big time waddled her self around our big yard after Fred to the front yard to check on things where these two new geese were checking out the surroundings. I guess perhaps these two, we will call them Lucy and Ricky for the story’s sake, were also looking for a place to have their new babies.
Now as Fred is puffing up to handle Ricky and Lucy, and Ethel is waddling behind slowly, just as I think a goose fight is going to happen, Fred sees that Ethel didn’t listen to him when he told her to stay in the backyard. So he turns around and starts “goose yelling” and she starts “goose yelling” back. Of course I can picture their conversation in my head as it's happening.
“Ethel I told you to stay back there, you need to keep the babies safe!”
“But I was worried about you and I can help, two are better than one.”
“Get back there now.”
“Let me help you.”
“We can talk about this later”
“Let’s talk about it now.”
“Can’t you just listen to me for once.”
"Ethel, those geese are watching us.”
“Fred, just make them leave, I like this lake the best, its where I want to raise our babies.”
“Ethel You are making me crazy.”
“You know I’m right dear.”
"Honk Honk" and Fred then moves in for the attack as he moves swiftly to make Ricky and Lucy fly off.
But the funniest part of the story, was when he flew back down and rushed to Ethel’s side and then marched her waddling behind back to where they were nesting down on the island at the lake. He was “goose yelling” at her the whole way back. I know he was frustrated with her because she didn’t listen to him, she had put their babies in harms way and he was just concerned for the love of his life.
Bradd and I watched this scene and we both were in awe of the way God could design the animal kingdom. In the Bible it talked about how God had Noah take the animals two by two and I am sure there were two Canadian geese on the ark as well. I’m so in love with all of the animals that come to visit. I’m more in wonder of a God that would create such a bond between two animals that would mate and love even like we as humans do. I wonder if Noah had as much fun watching his as I do with ours.
God often uses previously broken people to reach the broken. We just understand what it was like. Why? Because we know how it felt. We have been there. We have scars that mark the pain from battles bravely fought.
We may have it together now, but we will gladly help you fight your battle, because we have felt that same grief and we want to see you on the other side of those tears.
If I were to press towards the goal of my calling as Paul says in Phillippians 3:14 would I even recognize what I'm aiming at. Do I know what my calling is? Have I worked out my salvation with fear and trembling? That sounds like spending time on my knees in front of the only thing we are taught to fear. The Almighty God. How do I know His calling until I ask the one who is the creator of all?
No wonder so many of us fail and give up on the voice speaking softly in our hearts. We often hear the louder voices that surround us shouting out their way to the goal of their prize.
Perhaps this is why it is said death and life are in the power of the tongue. You kill someones vision of their calling to Christ by trying to speak louder and insist they follow you. People are so sure they know the way to God, they tell you, “Follow me, my path is the way to Him.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson is adamant that we listen to ourselves, to what we hear inside. To be true to that voice. He wasn't trying to turn people away from the Almighty in my opinion. He was trying to get them back on track of hearing Gods voice for their direction insisting God speaks to all people about everything.
The louder voices, those who have more bellowing voices say "No! He is wrong. I know the way. Follow me!" So we timidly give up the truth we know and we hang our heads down low in defeat and follow. We lose our way and completely miss the mark. Here is our true sin. This is the sin Jesus wanted us to turn from.
Shakespeare's Hamlet speaks the words "to thine own self be true" another powerful message we should take head to. If we are true to ourself we find our own pathway to Christ. And the joy in traveling on your own discovered path to Christ is in the fact that you actually make it to Him! How freeing is that?
No two people are the same. If God gave us all different finger prints and even tongue prints why would we assume that He would not have different ways of calling people to Him?
When a person commits a crime it leaves their finger prints on the scene and the police are able to stop them. Maybe its time to start looking for the tongue prints of those committing the crime of speaking against "working out your own salvation. They quote the scripture "Gods ways are higher than our ways" but they don't let God be God because they think their way is the only way.
I have talked to my friends who have not found their Mr. Right and I always hear the same echoes of longing in their voices. They want true love, but often they doubt it exists. So many broken hearts a long the way, disappointments shattering their fairy tale image of happy endings have left them jaded. It’s no wonder they doubt it is possible to have happiness one day with the perfect guy.
Ladies there are good guys out there and the good news is, you can stop kissing all the ugly toads. You have to look in the right places for them, you have to set standards for yourself and don’t ever settle for less than the best for yourself. You deserve to be treated like a princess, to be valued and appreciated. So if that is not happening, then perhaps you haven't found the right “Mr. Right” just yet.
On the other hand, when we are asking for our men to treat us like a princess, we have to make sure we are treating them like King’s. They deserve to feel the same royal treatment we are expecting from them. Do you lift up the man in your life? Or speak highly about him when you are with others? That is crucial to how he sees himself and will make a difference in how others see him.
It is so important to make sure while you are waiting for your special someone, you are getting yourself ready for him. Read books about relationships, the things that work, the things that don’t. Learn about communication skills, how to resolve conflicts, learn what makes the male brain tick. Trust me their brain works completely different from yours and it will help you be prepared for the way he thinks.
It’s not just about meeting the right guy, it’s also about keeping him in your life. Love is the most wonderful thing you can experience. There are some amazing guys out there and they would love to find a woman they can share their life with. No one is perfect, I love this line from a song I once heard. She was talking to a guy she liked when he was telling her he wasn’t perfect and he had some baggage she said, “Life’s too short babe, time is a flying, I’m looking for baggage that goes with mine.”
We all have been hurt, we all carry the baggage of life around with us. It doesn't mean you can’t have a wonderful relationship with a special person. Just realize it takes both of you to make it work. It’s not 50/50 its 100/100, you give 100% of yourself all of the time. Even if they aren’t giving it to you that day.
Mr. Right is out there, just around the corner, don’t give up. I found mine and he was so worth the wait.
I want to go back in time
When love was simple
And hearts didn’t lie
Where “I love you” meant it
And people believed
And most of the girls
Wore their heart on their sleeve
Back where daddy’s stayed
And loved the mommy
Not out chasing skirts
To find his next new hottie
Where we sat down at dinner time
We all shared about our day
No one does this anymore
Tradition has gone away
Is it too late to bring it back
Dare we even try
Will the efforts be in vain
Or will we see too much change
Why all the blurred lines
Why can’t we stop
Yes they are making money,
But what have they really got?
All Rights Reserved
©2014 Marsha Wilkerson Brown
The dictionary describes order as the arrangement or disposition of people or things in relation to each other according to a particular sequence, pattern or method. It also says an authoritative command, direction or instruction. This would definitely describe my husband Bradd. He is all about order and having things in their place.
I on the other hand could be described as his exact opposite, Chaos, in the sense of this definition only; the behavior of systems that follow deterministic laws but appear random or unpredictable. I am all about laws and rules but my behavior is anything but predictable and I am so random.
We however fit together perfectly! I guess that old saying about opposites attracting is so true. We complement each other perfectly though. We have even rubbed off on each other in small ways. He more on me than I on him, which is probably the better of the two. We could all use more order in our lives right?
For a marriage to be successful, two people have to have an intense attraction to each other, usually its based on looks, or something you find attractive about the person from the first initial encounter. For me, I had always thought my husband was a hottie, even from high school and it was a picture of him in leather chaps while on a motorcycle ride that rev’d my hormones up first. But I have to admit, the reason I said yes to his date question was a picture of him with two water bottle caps on his eyes to make it look like he had spectacles. I though here is a hot guy in leather chaps who also knows how to have fun. Sign me up!!!
Of course it didn’t hurt on our first date his kiss caused fireworks. The rest is history, well not history because here we are five years later and I still see fireworks and his kisses still affect me the same way.
I got distracted thinking about his kiss.
For a marriage to work, both parties have to be willing to give 100% of themselves all of the time. They have to be willing to give a little of the things that bring pleasure to the other person’s life. I’m a little crazy and he knows it and embraces that. He loves order and things in place and I know that and I work to make sure I put things in place. Even though my ADHA doesn’t get it, I still know its something important to him and it should be important to me.
We have a set of vases on our coffee table, they are really cool and one day I was trying really hard to clean while on a break. I set the vases on the carpet and the taller vase fell over and it broke the top off and shattered. I was devastated because they were the perfect decor to our newly decorated living room. I was so sad and didn’t want to admit to Bradd, so I thought I would just wait and see if he noticed that the taller one was missing the whole top of it. (Keep in mind it was jagged now and no longer as tall as it once was.)
Once he got home, I kept waiting for him to notice and my guilt was killing me. I’m like a kid, I had to admit what happened. Mainly because I had already called around and they no longer sold this vase so I couldn’t secretly replace it like I had tried to do all day.
We keep both vases now on display, its kind of a funny story to tell our guests when they have the guts to ask us why one of the vases is jagged. One represents Bradd, its order; polished and with no cracks or breaks in it. The other one is me, chaos; broken and jagged from falling down, but when you stand it beside the perfect one it is art. They look great together. So do we.
When I first came in this world, I know my mother said a prayer
Please let her have 10 fingers, 10 toes and lots of hair
As I grew, her prayers each day were that God watch over me
Reminding me so sweetly of what I’m supposed to be
There were times I didn’t listen and I’m sure it broke her heart
In spite of everything, that’s when her prayers would start
My mother said a prayer and all of heaven stopped to hear
She poured out her heart to Jesus and shed her precious tears
She had faith that He would answer, with tender loving care
I could see my mother loved me, when I heard her say a prayer
I have a family of my own and something still amazes me
With her children and her home, she still found time on her knees
She gave every care to God and He met her every need
A prayer warrior like my mother is what I really want to be
One thing about my mother is that she was always there
I knew my mother loved me, when I heard her say a prayer
All Rights Reserved
©2004 Marsha Brown