A few weeks ago, Glory and I took a trip to south Georgia to pick up her new car. We stayed in Cairo with heirloom friends. Della has been one of my best friends since we were first introduced by another heart-song, high school soul mate, Kenneth. I fell for her husband, Jeff, as she did.
Jeff has an offbeat sense of humor. He has a quirky view of the world, looking underneath …. investigating texture, smell and content …. questioning motive and perspective …. and making observations all along the way. There is no untouchable topic. He happily discusses Rush Limbaugh, sex, plastic cups, drumsticks or recycling. He isn’t afraid of confrontation or a deep discussion. He makes me think and challenges my perspective. He aches my abs from belly laughs. He hears a different tune and is perfectly happy to march to it’s beat alone, if no one is within arms reach. He digs deep within and gives graciously from that cavernous depth. He thoroughly cherishes his wife. And he loves her and God fully, deeply, richly, opulently.
After a weekend of fellowship, Della and Jeff and I stood outside in their drive discussing the weekend and bidding our good-byes. Jeff stood there with his arm around his wife and reached out to “family hug” me goodbye.
he bowed his head to pray.
I stood there
petitioning the Father
with this man
and his wife ….
my friend who has been a friend
for a greater portion of my life
than I spent without her sweet presence.
I stood and listened to his baritone words
reverberate within his barrel chest,
pour from his heart
and lilt upward.
And I was thankful.
…. thankful for a man not apprehensive to pray for a friend…
…….. grateful for a brother who has an appetite for holy ….
.. appreciative for someone who would do more than just pray for me,
but would pray for me,
and with me.
He prayed for me.
He blessed me.
He made me happy.
And so I share with you this Monday morning
that prayers make me happy.
Friends that pray make me smile.
And I ask you to pray for me, my children and my husband.
I’ve mentioned before that Comedy does not read my blog.
A friend, who has read, suggested that he read my words.
Over the weekend, he did. I’m thankful for that,
but not surprised by his response.
He and I have always had a different perspective on
… just about everything.
It was a good thing,
because together it gave us balance.
But, it also created struggle.
That struggle continues.
I write here
about the spiritual world seen on this physical planet.
….. about my Heavenly Father that teaches me,
…… about my decision to love that which is unlovely
and embrace the difficult that I might be more Christlike.
I write with gratitude, gratefulness and a happy heart.
He hears me say “woe is me.”
I have tried my best to be honest
while still speaking the truth … from my perspective.
While he does not like
or agree with
many of the things I have written,
they are the things that I have seen and experienced …
from my perspective.
I have tried to be respectful and gracious.
We, he and I, are reading the same page
from the same book
but read with different eyes
and certainly interpret things differently.
And so he has asked me to quit blogging.
Comedy chose to walk away and not be my leader, my husband.
But, I made a vow to be his wife
and accept his leadership
for better or worse.
I have not always agreed with his decisions,
but have learned that “agreement” with the boss
is not a prerequisite to obedience of the order.
My immediate reaction to Comedy’s request was two-fold:
“NO! I love writing and showcasing my photos” (my flesh talks)
“Lord, you’ve already told me this!!” (my spirit talks)
So, I began to ask….
should I quit?
I wrote here
“I guess what it boils down to for me is
if I have to ask the question,
“Is it okay?”
then it probably isn’t.”
In this case:
If I have to ask,
“Do I really have to quit, Lord?”
Then, I probably do.
In this case, I have felt the Lord telling me I needed to change my energy targets.
I stopped blogging on weekends several months ago, saving myself two posts a week.
Typically, a post takes me at least an hour to create.
It involves sitting down to write and re-write,
taking photos and editing them,
creating headers and studying the wordpress site.
I would estimate that I spend at least ten hours a week
with my laptop in my lap
for the blog.
At one time, I had ten hours to share.
At this point in my life,
I no longer have that.
I have one more year to dedicate to school. I really need to focus on learning everything that I can so that I can be as creatively successful as possible. And there is so much to learn. I want to master many programs and learn all sorts of new tricks,
but I cannot create more time.
I must shift my focus to use my time differently.
This prompting from the Lord
has been echoed in the voice of my husband,
which is a voice that God has used often.
Though my pride wants to continue to show my photos
so that I can have your positive feedback…..
and my spirit wants your encouragement as I share my soul
and walk through this place in my life ….
and my soul needs your accountability …
a place to share how I feel and what I’m doing
and be open to be called out when rebuke is in order….
I must walk away.
It is time for a more private growth,
and focus on God.
I have fairly recently begun my personal list of 1,000 Gifts.
I’ve questioned God how I should continue this. Though I would love to continue my list on-line with photos to tell the story,
even this should become a private documentary.
Which is wonderful….
Because it is truly
His list anyway.
And, as hard as it is to step out,
I look for the place God wants me next.
I would love for my photography to grow.
I want to sell my work
in some fashion.
I will search for the next phase,
the next step.
And so, I thank you for your sweet on-line fellowship,
your kind friendship
and your encouraging support.
Prayers make me happy this marvelous Monday morning.
May I ask for your prayers in the weeks and months ahead
as I petition the Father on your behalf as well.