A View From Above

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Jesus (Matt 7:1-2)

One of the main reasons I write is to get things off my chest (insert snarky comment).

I was washing dishes a minute ago and my view from the window is a top down look into my neighbor’s backyard and pool. That’s when I saw “the guy.”

Uh oh.

Because I thought, if the guy is there, that means the girl is somewhere nearby. It looked like he was alone and for that I breathed a sigh of relief. All of a sudden – whoopsie daisy – there she was, bending over to pick something up in front of him – and in front of me. In her red bikini, the bottoms of which happen to be a thong.

bean-312443_1280

It’s 60 degrees outside.

I’m in a sweatshirt and pants, but I think . . . well it is sunny over there. Maybe she’s hot. Oh she’s hot alright. She’s also blond and sports an enormous set of boobs.

And again, I breathed a sigh of relief because my husband’s not around and so far she’s managed to keep her top on. I say so far because that isn’t always the case. Both my hubby and my assistant have gotten a glimpse of her abundant gifts. For some reason the pair now watch my neighbor’s dog on Tuesday mornings.

I admit, my mind races with all sorts of scenarios, seeing as how he’s never needed this before. As the thoughts swirl around my brain the tone with which I process them gets snarkier and my imagination darker.

Then the Holy Spirit rescues me and I step back from the window and let them do their thing, which appears to be heating up by the minute. Do not judge Erika. Also, do not yell any unkind words at them from your window.

Jeff's window

They obviously don’t know (or care) they’re being watched from above, but I’m aware God’s watching me. He’s got a keen eye on my behavior. Will I take his command not to judge into my heart?

Yes. Because I don’t want that measure poured back onto my head. Judgment belongs to Him alone.

So I pray for them and am thankful my son’s eyes are focused on his violent video games.

Your Turn: It’s almost Thanksgiving, so what are you thankful for today?

Taming clutter one day at a time

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary the word clutter means “things lying in heaps or confusion.”

To my mind everything about that definition is well, definitive.

Clutter not only makes a great mess, it also causes confusion in our homes and minds. Since I’ve opened my shop, the clutter creature has once again surfaced . . . all over my home. It sucks. I killed that thing once and here it is again.

I learned long ago that clutter in the home of people with ADHD is a real no-no. It creates a sense of chaos in every area of life and hinders the well-being of my family. I used to be very well organized and stuck to the motto “a place for everything and everything in its place.”

It creeps in slowly like a turtle hiding its head when you notice it. I’ll just plop down right here on the edge of the coffee table for a while. Or on the stairs. Or on (my favorite place) an unused easy chair.

Turtle

Before we know it, we’ve got heaps.

heaps

But I think I’ve captured it in time – before my husband freaks out and I get overwhelmed. Last month I figured out a manageable solution to the problem. Inspired by the tiny house movement and my secret desire to live in one of those adorable mini homes, I tackled the trouble by picking out five things a day to either donate or throw away.

It’s kind of like “nesting” before a new baby comes . . . without the sweaty panic.

By picking just five things each day, I’m ridding myself of 35 items a week. Breaking it out like this makes it manageable and is actually super fun! I’m freeing up space in closets, bookshelves and dresser drawers. Space that will not shelter the clutter creature again! If I happen to miss a day, I pick ten things which is double the fun.

More importantly, I’m also ridding myself of the confusion that comes with clutter.

Your Turn: Do you have a way of keeping the clutter creature at bay?

The key to calm in the storm

By Erika Rizkallah

As I wrote this post, a storm raged outside. It’s name was Joaquin.

Isn’t naming storms strange? I’m not sure why we do this. Why do we try to “humanize” a havoc wreaking force of nature? It’s not as if Joaquin is a friendly visitor popping in for coffee. No . . . Joaquin is no friend of mine. He’s flooding my town and turning my backyard into a swimming pool.

backyard flood

See, there I go using the pronoun “he” for what’s really a large mass of wind and rain. It’s a storm for Pete’s sake! And who is Pete and why is this a phrase?

I guess it’s part of our need to name things and somehow understand them better. It gives us a sense of control over the mysterious. Oh sure, science has it all figured out so we no longer consider them “Acts of God” (until our insurance denies the claim – then it’s God’s fault.) We know what elements cause storms in our earthly environment, but what about the “storms of life?”

Who or what causes them? Do they really strengthen us as people claim or just leave a mess of nasty debris that needs to be cleaned up?

backyard flood 2

Are you experiencing a hurricane of your own? Has a crisis whirled through your life like a tornado?

As my friend Sondra would say, “Rest in Jesus.”

He knows all about storms. Once when he and his disciples were cruising across the Sea of Galilee (actually a large lake), a perilous storm arose. Even today fierce storms suddenly occur on this lake, creating waves as high as twenty feet.

The account is written in the Bible in Luke 8:23: As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” He asked his disciples.

Jesus is almighty and all power in heaven and on earth has been given to him. He will still the storms but we need faith in order to see it played out in our lives.

Let’s pray!: Heavenly Father, you are mighty and rescue us from trouble. Help us navigate through our trials with grace and peace. Help us trust you when it appears you are asleep to our problems. We know you have good plans for us and we ask that your timing and will be done in our lives. Amen.