Tuesday With Teri

Devotions from lessons I'm learning from God

Yellow Showed Up October 26, 2010

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 6:40 pm

         It finally happened.  The yellow showed up!  There have been past years when I have attempted to have my mom come visit us in Virginia in time to see the full effect of our fall foliage.  Most years she saw only the beginning, or end, of what I assured her where brilliant hues and stunning views.  This year we hosted my mom for the entire month of October.  “Surely she will see our fall in full splendor this time” I thought to myself.

          Three weeks into our time together I began to wonder if once again she would head home to north Florida with a less than stellar impression of fall in Virginia.  The leaves had indeed begun to turn.  Each day shades of dark red, purple and sigh…even brown, began to peek out from amid branches still vibrant green.    It was pretty.  It was “fall”, but it was NOT as spectacular as I had hoped.

          This last week we ventured down the Potomac River, walked the historic streets of Fredericksburg, and took every “long” way to any place we were going to increase the likelihood we would see the beauty of this wonderful season.  It was as if each day we witnessed a type of time-lapse photography as the tree lined streets began to blush pale oranges, bright greens and dark reds.  …and yet, I still was looking for something more, something vibrant, and something radiant…something YELLOW.  For some reason there is nothing more majestic than the glimmer of the sun’s rays off  bright yellow leaves blowing in the breeze among the other noble colors of fall.

          This week the yellow showed up to play!  Golden gleaming branches stretched toward the sky flanked by bright reds, brilliant oranges, and steadfast evergreens.  Every turn in the road evoked awe, every walk down the street seemed too beautiful to be real…at last, I could share with my mom  the full beauty of “Fall in Virginia.”

          That’s one of the reasons I love living in Northern Virginia….seasons.  I love that the seasons here are distinct and defining.  When the SUMMER days are unbearably hot and humid, I know the crisp days of FALL will push them away.  When the Autunm sits around me with its layers of rain soaked leaves, I know they soon will be covered up by WINTER’S magical snow-white blanket.  Muddy yards with dead grass will, for a while, look pristine.  When the biting sting of WINTER”S harsh winds and darkened skies begin to overwhelm my spirit, I know SPRING is going to burst forth with frost defying buds and blooms.  When pollen and busy schedules seem to attack me on every front, I know the long, slow days of SUMMER are waiting to lull me into a sense of relaxation and play.

             We cannot always see the changing of life’s seasons the way we do the seasons of our earth, but life does have seasons.    We may find ourselves looking forward to the next season while simultaneously wishing things could remain the same.   

          As I survey the beauty of His handiwork this season I am reminded that God’s plans are best and they include change.  Events, trials, triumphs are all divinely appointed.  He has given us the ability to look to our future, beyond the routine of life and have the hope found in an eternal perspective…and yet, He has not revealed ALL of life’s mysteries to us.

<<<<<<<<Things change, yellow shows up, God is sovereign!>>>>>>>>

There is an appointed time for everything.  And there is a time for every event under heaven- …..He has made everything appropriate in its time.  He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so man will not find out the work which Gid has done from the beginning even unto the end. ( Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 11)

 

Power of a Praying Mother October 19, 2010

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 8:54 pm

          My mother is in town visiting this month.  I love this lady.   Sure there have been some adjustments that have come as a result of her visit…preparing foods that are best for her health, slowing my pace on some days and struggling to keep up with her on other days…but I am really enjoying our time together. 

          Of course there are moments…like when we happened across a television station featuring what seemed to be a marathon of Bill Gaither’s Gospel Hour.   Do not get me wrong, I like good gospel music and I loved how much she was enjoying it, but I think I discovered my gospel intake limit.

          Best of all are moments like the one I experienced yesterday afternoon.  I was reminded of a vital part of parenting when my mother and I both responded to a crisis in two different ways.

          My daughter Ashley called from South Carolina where she is attending school.  She was distraught.  She was calling from her dentist, where she had just realized she had lost her wallet when she stopped to get gas earlier in the day.  To say she was upset would be a severe understatement.  The enormity of such a loss, while not on par with loss of life, quickly overtook her as she contemplated the insane complications of replacing I.D.s , driver license and bank cards.

          Through her tears, she told me she was sure she had set her wallet on her car while fueling up and possibly drove off with it there.  She was sure it was strewn somewhere along the road and gone for good.  She’d even had a friend drive back there to look and it was not found.  I tried to calm her down and assure her we would be able to remedy the situation.

          As soon as I was off the phone with her I shared the dilemma with my mom.  Then I began the task of contacting our bank to insure we protected her account.  While going through the phone prompts to speak to a bank representative, I simultaneously searched online for DMV information to secure a new license.  I was writing notes to myself fast and furious, hoping to give Ashley all the information she would need in the coming days and help relieve her distress.  My reactive endeavor seemed like the best thing to do…but it was MY MOM who had the best reaction of all.

          While I was busy trying to handle the situation, my mom was quietly in the next room in prayer.  Her FIRST instinct was to pray.  She specifically asked God to keep her wallet safe and enable her to find it. 

          Soon Ashley called back, her voice filled with relief.  She had driven back to the gas station one more time and found her wallet sitting safely, untouched, atop the gas pump.  Praise God!

          I was going to pray, I’m sure of it…just as soon as I was done making the phone calls and checking online for information…okay, I’ll admit it…it is easy to slip out of the habit of praying continually.  I trust God in all things and for all things because my mom did a good job of teaching me of His faithfulness…yet in the midst of a small crisis it was the internet and phone book I went to first. 

… Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God.  Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him.  Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you.”  (Mark 11:22-24)

Still learning and relearning from my mom!

 

 

Don’t Forget Your Pina Colada! October 12, 2010

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 8:27 pm

          “Miss, Miss!  You forgot your Pina Colada!”   Yes, those were the words I heard being shouted to me as I headed to my car in the crowded parking lot of the dentist.  Heads turned to see who would be the recipient of a “Pina Colada” mid morning in a non-restaurant area.  Embarrassed, I tried to wave the eager Pina Colada bearer away, “That’s okay” I shouted back, “Never mind!”  Too late, the young lady had already closed the 20ft. gap between us.  With a smile on her face and respiratory distress she breathlessly said, “Hear you go, I just had to get it form the back of the office.”  With those words, she placed the small tube of lip balm in my palm and hurried back to our dentist’s office.

          I noted at least 6 pairs of eyes fixated my direction with quizzical expressions.  I tucked the small tube into my pocket and ducked in to the anonymity of my car.  It is not like I forgot my keys, or left a cell phone on the counter…there was no real need to insure I take this small token of their appreciation home with me.  It was not likely I would be half way home and realize I forgot to get the lip balm they were giving away and turn back to acquire it.  I should not have been embarrassed, but you must admit having someone running after you and shouting about an alcoholic beverage is a bit on the awkward side.

         Once in my car I looked down at the Pina Colada flavored lip balm in my hand.  One side had the name and number for our dentist’s office, the other side had an image of a grinning mouth underscored by the word “SMILE.”  I did.

         That young lady made sure I did not miss out on even the smallest of blessing, a free gift, a tube of Pina Colada lip balm.  I was only there to pick something up for my daughter.  I had not even endured a dental  visit this day.  I did nothing to warrant being given anything.  I was not going to regret not getting free lip balm…and yet…as I looked at the tube in the sanctuary of my car it made me smile.  In the midst of running mundane errands, it put a smile on my face…even if it was a tad embarrassing.

          Sometimes God’s blessings are huge and we are quick to recognize them and be thankful.  Sometimes God’s blessings are simple yet touching.  A parking space, extra time on a deadline, forgiveness from a friend or coworker you may have caused hurt, a busy friend spending precious time with you, a right word spoken at a right time, a look of encouragement in the midst of a crowd, and yes a free tube of Pina Colada lip balm.

 

Sassiness Just Happens October 5, 2010

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 3:26 pm

          Sassiness just happens.  I often INTEND to say something of value in the presence of others, yet find my comments are sometimes just plain sassy or snide, neither of which are helpful to the hearer.  Case in point, I have no problem reminding my friends who are 50 they are not just 50, they are over half a century.  To my friends who are transplants to this area and often miss their home states, I find  much delight in noting how Virginiaifed they have become, especially when their kids are born and they soon have more Virginians in their home than not.  Of course all my “comments” are tended to be good natured fun…but the other night someone shared with me something that has me thinking quite a bit about my words these days.

          We were at church when a friend told me a story about a person who was very sarcastic in his humor.  Seems this guy was at church one day when following one of his comments, the gentleman he spoke to turned to him and said something like, “I don’t like how you always say things that put me down, it really discourages me.”  Now, I may have mangled the quote a bit because I don’t recall it all word for word…but two things struck me; First, was my friend telling me this story because “I” am often heard giving others a hard time? Second, could someone I know possibly be feeling as the gentleman in this story did?

          It was just a quick story and my friend did not intend to teach me a lesson in the sharing, but I did take home a lesson none the less.  It is possible that for the sake of being funny, I say things that are less than uplifting.  I try to be smart or spiritual…but sassiness just spills from my lips.  I want my words to be welcome to the hearer.  I do not want others to feel the need to brace for my comments or hurtful wit.  Sassiness just happens.

          I don’t mean to make myself sound like I am verbally abusive or insensitive.  On the contrary, I think I am close to normal in the amount of verbal volleying that takes place within my circle of friends and family.  I think good natured ribbing among friends and family is not so bad.  I have just been feeling lead to be a better steward of the resources of my words.  This task is best compared to trying to stop Niagara from falling….good thing “ALL things are possible through God..”

How precious a gift we have in our relationships with others.  It is worth our effort to curb our comments and allow our words to be helpful and not hurtful. 

Ephesians 4:29 is worth looking at from two different translations:

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification,

that it may impart grace to the hearers. (NKJ)

 

 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,

but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs,

hat it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

 

Lord help us to be mindful of the impact of our words. 

Allow us to bring blessings to others when we give our speech over to You.

Let our words  “give grace to the hearers”.