Tuesday With Teri

Devotions from lessons I'm learning from God

Reality Check July 27, 2010

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 5:43 pm

          I have come to appreciate that certain things are relative.  Age for example.  When I was a teenager I recall thinking anyone over 30 was old.  By the time I was in my twenties, I considered 40 old.  I distinctly remember the day I turned thirty and thinking how young I still felt; at that time, 50 became the benchmark for old age.  Now that I am well, WELL, into my forties, I am very clearly convinced that 50-80 are grand years and nowhere near “old!”  Those over 80 are “ageless” and to be honored and admired.  As my father-in law is fond of reminding me, “Getting old sure beats the alternative!”

          I share this to remind myself of this concept.  You see, the other day  Steven, my 23yr old son, presented me with a rather large check, a reality check that is.  He had invited me to go to with him to a local estate sale.  It was my first time to attend one.  Estate sales are homes opened to the public and all items within it are up for sale.  People need to liquidate their assets for various reasons, sadly, often it is because the home’s owners either have passed away, or have moved into nursing homes.  It is a great place to find antiques or unique items at low cost.

          As we passed through the dimly lit rooms, packed with all sorts of knick-knacks and collectables, it was easy to imagine the previous owners of these possessions.  I was admiring a tin purse, set among a collection of fashionable hats, and picturing a woman who once went out to the local clubs with her husband and danced the night away.  My imaginative reverie was broke by my son’s insistent nudge.

          “Hey mom, look at this!”, He was proudly holding his intended purchase….a faded tootsie roll bank.  Yep, some of you know just what I am talking about…a simple, cylindrical, giant tootsie roll with a slot in the top for coins.   “You don’t want that,” I reprimanded him, “it’s not even OLD, I had one of those when I was young.”…..there was a slightly uncomfortable pause as everyone in the room with us overheard our conversation…”uh, mom,” said my son “you’re old.”  He said it somewhat carefully at first, as if he realized he may actually be the first to break this news to me, but that was soon followed by his laughter as well as a few chuckles from nearby shoppers.  He returned the item to its perch on a display shelf.

          I’m not saying I am antique material exactly, but I am more keenly aware of the distance I have come from being the little girl who once owned a Tootsie roll piggy bank.  I have been thinking about that a bit.  Even coming as far as I have, I know there is farther to go.

          Sometimes I wonder what God could be thinking as He sets me on my life path.  I most certainly do not always agree with how I have been made or understand His ways, but I do know I am His and even as I grow older, He is still perfecting me through His love and grace.

           I like this quote by J.C. Macauly, “God made you as you are in order to use you as He planned.”

I have not reached my goal, and I am not perfect.  But Christ has taken hold of me.  So I keep running and struggling to take hold of the prize.  (Phil.3:12)CEV


A Wet Nose Wake Up Call July 20, 2010

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 10:28 pm

          Normally Hughie, our porky little Yorkie, sleeps in his kennel, a nice sized cage with his favorite doggie bed in it.   Scott has been on travel for a few days, so in a moment of weakness I succumbed to Hughie’s pitiful eyes and allowed him to stay in bed with me.

          He snuggled up against my legs and curled into a ball of contentment.   His sweet presence was welcome and comforting….that is until 4am, which is precisely the time I remembered WHY we never let Hughie sleep in the bed with us.

          It started as a slight disturbance as he worked his way up to the top of my head.  I tried to lie really still hoping he would think I was asleep still, hoping he would curl back into a ball of slumber.  It was not to be…soon his wet nose nudged under my hands as they attempted to cover my face, his tongue began to lash out at my eyes and his tail wagging energy was propelling him all over my head.  He was up, and ready to play!

          When he sleeps in his kennel, it is easy to make him wait until “I” am ready to get up.  No matter how much he fusses, if I want to sleep in, he is stuck in the kennel.   Sure, the kennel is a good, safe place for him to be when not being attended to….Sure, he likes sleeping in the kennel….but, to be honest, I have come to realize its effect on our relationship.

          When he is “in the box”, I control his proximity to me, his impact on me, I can even ignore him, if so inclined, and there is little he can do about it, except of course whine and bark.  When he is “free” and allowed to be beside me, he can communicate his desires MUCH more effectively, to the point of being impossible to ignore.

          I’ve come to the realization that I tend to trat my God in a similar fashion.  Sometimes I “allow” Him to be close to me.  I read His word, spend time in prayer, and take comfort in His presence in my life.  I know this is where He desires to be, snuggled up close, leading me through life. 

          Sometimes I relegate God to a “box.”  I can see Him, acknowledge His existence, say, He is my God….but because I keep Him far from my daily walk, I can be pretty good at ignoring Him.

          Having God close by may bring comfort, or, as was the case with Hughie, it may bring discomfort until I respond appropriately…but I know I’d rather experience God’s gentle nudges, insistent messages, and warm grace, than to spend any time away from His presence. 

          Tonight Hughie will sleep in his kennel, but I am moving God out of the “box” and bringing Him closer to my side.

Because Thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips will praise Thee.  Psalm 63:3




Hughie’s Sunday Adventure July 13, 2010

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 12:00 pm

          Ever wonder what it would be like if we could see thought bubbles above people’s heads, like in the cartoon strips?  WELL…IF you could read thought bubbles above our heads, here is what you would have seen this last Sunday afternoon.

Me: Hmmmm, I have the afternoon to myself, the sun is shining, the wind is calm…I think I’ll go kayaking!

Hughie(my porky little Yorkshire terrier):  She is packing up stuff in the car, I don’t like the look of this, I’m getting left again…

Me: I’m gonna bring Hughie today…he did okay last time we went, except for when he jumped in the river trying to get to a turtle on a log, but that’s what life vests are for right?

Hughie: goody goody goody, she’s got my leash!  I’m going on a ride!

Me: guess what Hughie, we’re going kayaking today!

Hughie: not sure what she is saying, but she’s using the happy tone so it must be good!

(upon arrival at the boat dock)

Hughie:NOOOOOOOOOOO not the kayak!  Is this lady nuts?!  What does she think I am, a water loving Labrador?

Me:  Wow, you’ve put on a few pounds since our last kayak adventure…let me adjust the doggie life vest for you

Hughie:  I’d ask if this life vest makes me look fat, but I think the answer is obvious

(once safely in kayak and paddling underway)

Me: see Hughie, isn’t this fun?

Hughie: Pant, pant, pant,pant….I think I’m dying!  It’s hot, the big boats are going to run over us, “water water everywhere and not a drop to drink”…

Me: Hughie, quit being so pitiful, here is a cup of water…ooooh, sorry about that,  didn’t mean to hit you in the head with the paddle…of course that would not happen IF you would stay at your end of the kayak

Hughie: Land, I see land!  If only she’d get a little closer…I think I can jump for it and make my escape

Me: Hughie, don’t lean so far out of the boat…you’re going to fall in!  Hey look, Geese…!

Hughie:  Drats, foiled again…wait, is she seriously paddling us into that flock of floating birds?!

Me: Look at all those geese Hughie, aren’t they amazing

Hughie: I’m gonna die!  Those birds are HUGE and we’re headed right for them…!

Me: oh, Hughie, don’t worry, you don’t look anything like Goose food…see they all just flew away

Hughie: pant pant pantpant, that was a close one!  Hey, I think I see  land again…

Me: Hughie, I know what you’re thinking…that is NOT land, it is a bunch of floating river plants…get off the edge of the boat.

Hughie: drat and double drat

Me: well we should head back, seriously, this would be sooooo much easier if you would get off my lap while I paddled…

Hughie: Finally, she is turning us back to the dock…I can smell land already..

Me: Hughie, get back, your leaning too far over the edge…Hughie, you might fall, Hughie, we’re almost home,   (SPLASH) Hughie?

Hughie: (after being pulled up from the river by the handle of his doggie life vest, with river palnts dangling from his laid back ears and his little fur coat soaking wet)  I am SO NOT A FAN of the river!  This is very undignified…

            Later, safely on land and in the comfort of  dry clothes, I thought about the day…..

          I can only imagine what “thought bubbles” would be visible if one could see the interaction between God and me on the life adventure He has put me on.  

          I wonder how often I tend to get in God’s way.  How often do I look for ways to escape His plans for my journey?  Do I allow fear to rule when I think He is taking me a direction I don’t understand or agree with? Do I lean too far out of His will?  How often does my God have to reach down and pluck me from the chaos of my own choices, burdensome remnants from life dangling from me like river plants off Hughie. 

Time to adjust our “Life Vests”,( our relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ), and TRUST God in all things!


Found a FORTUNE at my Reunion! July 6, 2010

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 7:38 pm

          My memories of our family’s reunions are numerous and vivid. The Bloodworth family has been participating in reunions for as long as I can remember.  Many moons ago periodically  we gathered from the far ends of the US to the Illinois/Missouri region to visit with relatives we seldom saw and meet new ones.  I must admit those early reunions are only memorable because of the discomfort that accompanied them.   It was ALWAYS hot, outdoors, and chock full of folks I did not know too well.  But, being one of Harvey and Mabel Bloodworth’s  grand kids meant being a part of a something larger than myself and although I was too young to know it then, these reunions would come to mean the world to me and my family. 

         Like the snapshots that preserve them, I can see past reunions in clear snippets of time; Old-fashioned folding lawn chairs, cans of Shasta soda, homemade ice cream, great food, hot days, late nights, lots of talking and laughing, stories being told and history being shared.

         This last 4th of July weekend we gathered once again…

         These precious reunions are striking reminders of how special family is to us all.  Over the years, I witnessed this family’s care for each other in all things.  I have experienced their care for me.

         When my father was sent overseas, my Uncle John and Aunt Wilma watched over us and came along side my mother as she parented us in his absence.  They filled my life with wonderful memories of camping, cool spring water from a tin cup, backyard Easter egg hunts and crab apple trees.

          I remember my Uncle Otto and Aunt Willidene helping to take care of us.  I remember peanut butter and honey toast, footy pajamas, rose scented soaps and a rocking chair.

          Uncle Luther and Aunt Jenna always had room for us in their tiny house when we came to town.  We’d pack their basement like a circus clown car, but we’d always fit and felt welcomed. 

          Aunt Mig never minded when we raided her fridge for olives, or used her phone to call boys. 

         When Uncle Jack would visit my husband and I in the early days of our marriage, he was always an encouraging and supportive mentor for my husband and his fledgling career. 

Family makes us feel loved and treasured.

          This family has seen its share of heartache and hardship.  Health issues, financial  crisis, difficult relationships, diversity, distances and the passing of loved ones have all been a part of our family’s journey.  Through it all I have witnessed our family walk in faith and grace.   We have greived together and celebrated life together.  We may not all be like minded, but thanks to the legacy of Harvey and Mabel Bloodworth, we are like hearted.

         My cousin Don said it best when he shared a devotional at this year’s reunion.  He reminded us all of the great FORTUNE we have in our family, one I hope my children have inherited and will one day pass on to their children….

F aith