Tuesday With Teri

Devotions from lessons I'm learning from God

A Giant Spider Teaches a Lesson June 30, 2010

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 12:18 am

          A few nights ago, we received a frantic phone call from our daughter Ashley.   She is currently a student at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.  What kind of crisis would cause a 21 yr old to call her daddy after 10 o’clock at night?  A bug.  Yep…seems she had her first encounter with a uniquely southern critter known by most folks as a “Palmetto Bug”, but that is just a nice way of saying SUPER BIG FLYING COCKROACH.

         She ranted and wailed about the despicable intruder.  We tried to reason with her, “just kill it”, “put a book on it”, “it won’t bite”, “calm down”….but she was not to be consoled.   She was almost to tears, actually tears may have been shed, and more than a bit freaked out.  She was being unreasonable…refusing to kill it, refusing to be in the room with it, wanting to move home, insisting a friend come over after he got off work to kill it for her…we chastised her for be so ridiculous and even made fun of her crazy antics regarding this pesky creature.  She just needed to get over it, kill the bug, and move on with her life…at least that is how I felt prior to last night.

          I was doing laundry and talking with my mom on the phone when I saw it….THE BIGGEST SPIDER I have ever seen outside of the entomology exhibit at the Smithsonian!   Now, keep in mind that I am not squeamish.  I have dealt with many a yucky bug or creature in my lifetime.  I do not relish squashing “crunchy” bugs, but in general, I am ready to kill or remove any creepy crawly thing that invades my home.  So when I tell you this spider was HUGE and menacing I am not exaggerating.  I was more than a little “freaked out”, as my poor mom can attest to since I spent a lot of time ranting and wailing over the phone to her about my unwelcome guest.  I wanted to cry, it was so scary and startled me so much.  I soon became unreasonable….I considered leaving the house until my husband got home, but he was out of town, I thought about calling a neighbor over, but it was late and by now, I had visions of spiders everywhere outside, “would police come if I called them?” I wondered for a brief moment.

A half of can of spider spray: $2.50

  Calories burned by aerobic cardio activity while “dealing with spider”: 300 

 New perspective on my daughters palmetto bug distress: PRICELESS

          After last night I could not help but think of how much her heart pounded, how she wanted to cry and how unnerved she had been the night of her bug encounter…I now had a much better understanding for what she was feeling .  Now I “get” just how she felt that night.  If I had had, my GIANT SPIDER experience prior to her call there is no doubt I would have handled her crisis with more understanding and grace.  I would have empathy.

         Empathy, being able to share another’s feelings…that is just what our Christ has for us.  He knew suffering, frustration, exhaustion, disappointment, loss of loved ones, discouragement, and grief.  When I call on Him in the midst of a crisis…suffering, frustration, exhaustion, disappointment, loss of loved ones, discouragement and grief…He “gets” it, He understands how I feel.  He responds with understanding and grace.

 

Rain June 22, 2010

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 9:18 pm

          It was 95 degrees today…not bad for summertime I suppose…but it was a VERY humid 95 degrees.   I was not prepared for the wetness of the warmth that smacked me in the face when I walked outside.   After taking only a few breathes, I felt like I was drowning.  I did not stay outside for long.  My plans for walking the dogs melted away with the stifling heat.

          I assume the heat continued to be oppressively intense, I would not know for sure, as I elected to stay in my air conditioned home for the better part of the afternoon.   By evening, the atmosphere began to release its heavy burden of moisture resulting in a glorious summer thunderstorm.

          When the drops finally stopped, the dogs and I ventured outside once more.   I was astonished at the difference the rain had made.  The air, once suffocating and heavy, now seemed intoxicating.  I inhaled intentionally.  The air was cool, almost crisp like fall.  It was a great relief! 

         When I think of rain, or “gully washers” as my dad used to call them, I think of the inconvenience.  Rain ruins plans and causes floods.  Sure, like everyone else, I appreciate the life that rain brings to God’s creation as well…but I must admit, I have never thought much about the RELIEF rain brings.

          I stood outside a bit longer, the wet tree leaves glistening in the bright moon light, the wet grass clinging to my shoes, and soaked in the sweet relief.   I have felt this relief before…it is found in the burden lifting grace of our God.

 

Dwelling on Dung June 15, 2010

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 8:04 pm

           A young mother shared a funny story with me concerning a recent conversation she had with her young son.   He had been attending a summer science day camp and they wondered if he was actually learning anything worth the extra dollars the camp was costing them.  Their concerns were laid to rest somewhat when the young man pointed to a small brown pile in a yard and proclaimed, “Look, its scat!”  He went on to explain to his parents that “scat” was just another word for poop.  Thinking maybe that they had been learning about forest animals in science camp, his mom encouraged the conversation with, “I wonder if it is from a fox or a squirrel.”    “No mom”, came his reply, “it’s just from a dog”. Sigh…

          This conversation brought back memories of a gift my clever mother got her grandson one year, a book containing everything you would ever need to know about animal scat.  Did you know you could discover what kinds of animals inhabit an area just by observing various types of scat?

         I do not think I would care to spend much time observing or contemplating scat, or as the Apostle Paul calls it, “DUNG,” but I think I may have a tendency to do just that, dwell on the dung. 

“…. I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness…but that which is through the faith of Christ.”            (Phil. 3:8-9 )KJV

          I don’t want to “dwell on the dung.”  I want to be found in Him, grasp knowledge of Him, conform to Him, and grow in my relationship with Him…everything else is dung.

 

Lessons from mermaids June 8, 2010

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 6:06 pm

           Tuesday with Teri, the event from which this blog received its name, has begun.  Each Tuesday during the summer, we welcome moms and kids to our pool from 10am to 2pm.  It is always such a blessing.   I absolutely love being with these moms and their precious little ones.  My own kids are young adults now and they no longer squeal with delight as they jump in the pool, giggle at my antics or enjoy a good neon colored pop ice the way these kids do.  It is refreshing to be with them.

          The mermaid attacks were to be expected.  Two of my young pool guests declared sometime last year that they were “mermaid detectives”.  This designation required them to swim in a small formation and hunt down unsuspecting adults for splash attacks.  This year my little mermaids embarked on a new method of attack.

          The sweet innocent voices would call out, “its okay Miss Teri, we won’t splash you….you should just come stand right over here.”  They would encourage me to position myself a few feet from the side of the pool, then, with a giggle and a squeal, they launched out over the water and landed two perfect cannon ball splashes on either side of me.  We played this scene out over and over …each time I would pretend to be unaware of the impending attack, each time they would promise not to splash me. 

          My favorite pitch went like this, “We love you Miss Teri, we would NEVER splash you…go ahead and just lay back and float right there…”  Of course I would do just as told….and SPLASH, they were laughing so hard they were sputtering pool water trying to swim back to the poolside for the next attack.   It was not long before a few of the young ones noticed the fun they were having and wanted to join in the jumping. 

         It never got old.  It was funny every single time.  I am pretty sure that if their moms did not require them to get out of the pool so they could go home, I would be standing in the middle of my pool surrounded by loud, laughing, splashing mermaids until midnight! 

These young ones taught me some very good lessons today:

  • *When you laugh, laugh loud and with abandon…just make sure you close you mouth if you are underwater.   I never realize how little I actually laugh aloud until I do, then it sometimes seems like a foreign language…I want to laugh more and louder in life.

 

  • When you jump, jump as far and high as you can.  Little jumps might be easier, but you miss the fun of the “splash.”  Big jumps impact others!  I am not a big risk taker…I like my life journey to come in baby steps, but sometimes God calls us to JUMP in with all of our being.   Maybe I should be making a bigger splash for Him and impacting others.

 

  • When you find something that brings you joy, embrace it, do it, share it….until it is time to go home.    Truly, the joy of the Lord is my strength, and yet at times I allow the world to steal my joy.   God’s blessings are abundant.  I want to be constantly mindful and quick to share the JOY of  His truth, grace, and love…until He calls me home.

 Restore to me the joy of my salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit.  Then I will teach transgressors Thy ways, and sinners will be converted to Thee. ( Psalm 51:12-13)

 

 

Still Thirsty June 1, 2010

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 11:00 pm

          I should know better by now, it is not as if this is the first time, but I went to the store thirsty.   I have heard people say that when they go to the grocery store hungry they tend buy more junk food.  I think this is true concerning thirst.  It triggers a shopper to purchase items they would not have bought otherwise.

          Today my “quick trip” to pick up a few things at the grocery store turned into an impulse purchase extravaganza.  I was extremely thirsty.  It was a hot day and I had a very busy morning.  The only beverage I consumed was a cup of coffee much earlier in the day.   Thirst soon took control of my shopping cart.  By the time I was in aisle 4 of the 13 aisle grocery store my cart contained three different kinds of juice and ice tea mix, none of which was on my initial shopping list.

          Anything fruit flavored was especially enticing.  Popsicles and fruit flavored gummy worms seemed oddly refreshing.  Eventually I checked out and loaded my bags into the car for the short 3 min. ride home.  Before leaving the parking lot, I opened the bag of gummy worms.  I am not sure how my mind transitioned from being thirsty to desiring juice then fruit then gummy worms, but it did.  I popped the chewy treat in my mouth and headed for home.

          At first the fruity flavored excited my taste buds and seemed to moisten my mouth.  The refreshed feeling was fleeting and I tried another worm.   The drive home seemed to last forever as the sweet candy only increased my desire for refreshment.  I did not even wait until all the groceries were unloaded before filling my glass with an ice-cold juice.   Once my glass was empty, I felt compelled to drink more of the thick, sweet juice.  I regretted drinking so much.  I felt full, but still thirsty.

          Once the groceries were put away, I fixed myself a big glass of ice water.  I sat for a moment and slowly drank in the simple, yet satisfying refreshment.   I felt my entire being relax as I set the empty glass on the counter.  That was all I needed.   Water had quenched my thirst without leaving wanting more or regretting my choice to drink. 

          As I thought of all the senseless things I purchased I almost laughed aloud.   Thirst is a very powerful motivator.  Lately I have been challenged to examine my own motivation in my relationship with God.

          How much do I thirst after Him?  What draws me to Him?  Will anything else fill that thirst?  How can I seek refreshment in Him each day?  He is the water that stops my thirst and does not leave me needing more or feeling regret.

          Am I drawn to Him like I was to the juice section of the store or the bag of fruit chewy worms?  This week I will seek Him with a thirst that can only be met by His sufficient grace.

“As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for Thee, O God.  My soul thirst for God, the living God…”( Psalm 42:1-2)