For several months I’ve been pondering a reinstatement of my seemingly defunct blog. I’ve had many fleeting ideas that I dare not mention aloud and several that I deemed good enough to share with others, but none that have actually made it to the interwebs for publication. Well, friends, I can say that no more! As of this very moment, my blog has been resuscitated back to life (I mean, I even downloaded an app for my phone, so I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious)!
I have been toying with the idea of writing an on-going Tara-shares-her-Christian-insight blog series for, oh, 4ish years. I’m the Queen of Excuses, though! (I mean, really! If you need an excuse for anything, come to me. I’m your girl!)
For instance, some of the bigger contenders have included:
“What if I offend someone?”
“What if someone disagrees with me?”
“What if I am wrong in something I say and I become a ‘stumbling block’ in someone’s faith journey?”
“What if someone thinks this is my attempt to tout my own self-righteousness?”
They’re all valid concerns, right? Sure. But, they’re stupid excuses, no less.
If you’ve stumbled across my humble blog and you’ve taken the time to actually read my musings, PLEASE know this: I am a human. Inasmuch, I have feelings and I tend to be overly emotional at times (read: all of the time). Also, I am far from perfect and will admit that I have sinful thoughts and desires daily. I firmly believe that I am saved by grace through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and not by any work or deed that I have done. I do not believe that I am infallible or am in any way better than anyone else. Please, I beg you, do not substitute anything that I espouse herein for your own study of the Word of God. And, finally, if you find fault with anything I say here, please consider how you can kindly show me the error of my ways.
Lessons from the porch swing
After twelve years of marriage, my husband and I just recently moved into our first single-family home! We never could have imagined all of the many blessings (and challenges!) that come along with being in this new setting.
My favorite thing about this house: the porch swing!
This swing is the epitome of peace and tranquility. Tucked away from direct public view, but open enough to see the majesty of the open skies and enjoy the sweet-smelling breeze, all while being serenaded by a chorus of singing birds and humming cicadas. It’s my little corner of Heaven on Earth.
It’s here, on this swing, that I’m able to get away from the floors that need to be mopped, the sink full of dishes, the walls that need to be painted and the pile of fabric that is just waiting to be transformed into curtains. I can sit on this swing and, if only for a moment, forget the stresses of life. It’s here that I can most loudly hear the voice of God.
This series is called Lessons From the Porch Swing because, in the short two months we’ve lived here, I’ve already learned so much on this humble wooden swing, by simply resting in His presence while swaying in the breeze. I’m sharing the things I learn, likely often in the form of allegory, with the world via this series.
Here’s today’s lesson.
Our cat, Maggie, loves the idea of going outside at our new home. We have lots of doors that lead out and anytime someone jiggles the doorknob, Maggie is there. I’m pretty sure she thinks every door in our house is intended solely for the purpose of preventing her personal escape, so when she hears the knob rattle, she barrels through the house and with reckless abandon makes her attempt to escape captivity from this horrible dungeon of doom. (I feel like she must be in her teenager stage of life.)
Little does Maggie know, we are on a corner lot flanked by two well-traveled streets. She also doesn’t know that the two neighboring lots are home to several dogs. She knows nothing of fleas or ticks that await her soft kitty skin and is ignorant to the fact that there has been a skunk roaming our yard for the past week. All she cares about is getting outside and being free.
Sweet Maggie, we are not holding you hostage. We are protecting you! We love you and don’t want you to get hurt or lost or stolen.
If I’m honest, I have to admit that I’m just like Maggie. I want to do things my own way. I want to venture out on my own. I like to be in control and handle my own business instead of having to trust someone else to help me through. I know there are risks, but I can hold my own, right?
Sometimes, I will succeed for a short time and other times I will fail miserably. I get hurt. I get lost. Sometimes I even feel like I’m all alone with nowhere else to go.
It’s times like these that I need to consider my position in life. Where am I in my walk with God? Am I spending time in His Word or am I letting other things take priority? Am I serving others or am I stuck on my own selfish desires?
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'”(Psalm 91:1-2 NIV)
God is my protector. He is my shelter and my refuge from the trials and torments of this life. Instead of trying to find the answers on my own, I need to find solace in knowing that my Refuge is sufficient and my Fortress will keep me safe.
Lord, forgive me for the times when I wander from your presence. Forgive me for the times I’ve been lured away by my own selfish ambitions. Draw me near to you. Help me to trust in you and to embrace your love and protection for me as I strive to abide in the safety of your shadow.
(For the record, I think we will try a kitty harness with Maggie so that she can enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors without having to worry about her becoming a kitty pancake in the middle of the road.)