Tuesday With Teri

Devotions from lessons I'm learning from God

Sniff and Piddle October 30, 2013

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 3:12 pm

 

     Mailboxes in our neighborhood are located in cluster at the end of our street. I was inspired when I noticed many neighbors taking their dogs to get the mail.  I set out with my porky Yorkie for what should have been a two minute walk…it turned into a twenty minute adventure!  There were several contributing factors.  First, he is challenged with short legs which he moves with very little enthusiasm.  Second, he feels compelled to stop and sniff every single place he detects another dog has piddled…please refer to the aforementioned inspiration for our mailbox walk, there are LOTS of interesting piddle places along the route!

     I have determined to endure our daily mailbox adventure, even though the pace drives me nuts.  I know it is good for him, and I am finding it is even good for me.  His slow pace forces me to relax, if that is possible.  I allow myself to enjoy the stroll.  Since we are en route so long, I have ample time to encounter new neighbors.  I get to greet numerous folks with a smile and a wave as they return to our street following a day’s work.  I think some of them have actually began to look for me on the street each afternoon.

     Since our new home is on the Chesapeake, I have tried to make a habit of taking Hughie, A.K.A. WORLD”S SLOWEST DOG, on a walk along the beach each morning.  I am secretly jealous of the other dog owners on the beach, the ones whose dogs chase sticks into the surf, run up and down the shoreline and come when called.  But, alas, that is not to be my life…my life with Hughie is different.

     Surprisingly, Hughie likes the beach.   Unlike the other pooches, Hughie is content to meander down the shoreline, one clump of seaweed at a time.  Each morning a new deposit of sea life can be found on the sand.  Clumps of seaweed, detached sea anemones, horseshoe crabs, and clams dot the shoreline.  Hughie moves with slow determined steps to each and every one.  Carefully he takes in the aroma, savoring it as if it were a good book or fine wine.  Then he MUST piddle just a tad on it before moving on to his next clump of seaweed.  While he makes his way SLLLOOOOOOOWWWLY along the water’s edge, I am forced, once again, to slow down.  I wait for him. (I choose to do this because I know no matter the speed, the walk is good for us both).  It is in this waiting that I am taught.

     Because I must walk slowly, I see shells I would have otherwise trampled.  As I stand waiting on my porky Yorkie, I see the sky pinking up as the sun ascends.  I get to see every inch of the rising.  First it is a glow, then a bright sliver of light, quickly it is a half cup of brilliance before it seems to literally bonce into a bright orb hovering just above the water and scattering all kinds of pastel colors into the clouds. Yep, would have missed that if not for the world’s slowest dog.

     Today, I am thinking about the people I get to greet, the things I experience, all because Hughie stops to sniff and piddle.  I am thinking that this week and weekend I am going to try to live my life in a “sniff and piddle” pace….taking in all there is, enjoying the very thing that might have frustrated me before, looking around when I get made to stop or slow down, and thanking our God for EVERYTHING He puts in my life. 

My prayer for each of us and our friends and loved ones…Ephsians 3:14-19

“For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from Whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to His riches of His glory, to be strengthened with the power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Pulled Shade, A Quiet Kindness October 22, 2013

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 5:37 pm

          I was on the way to a family wedding in Florida.  As I settled into the very last seat in the back of the small plane, I thought of how wonderful it was going to be to celebrate with everyone.  I was looking forward to the quick trip, but I was also missing my husband.  Scott had been traveling a lot lately and was unable to accompany me.  I like traveling with him.  For some reason whether by car, boat or plane, there is just something comfy about being together on a journey.   

          In the quiet of the early morning flight, I found myself thinking of all the times my hubby, a very seasoned traveler, attempted to teach me his savvy ways.  I smiled to myself while recalling all the ways I challenged his methods.  I touched hand rails.  “They carry germs” he’d warn.  I often ended up in security lines behind families with small children.  “Look ahead, choose wisely, poor line choices slow you down” he’d say.   I engaged with strangers.  “Just bring a book to read.  Whatever you do, don’t make eye contact” he’d tease.   Well, I had my book, and was trying to be a good traveler, but I was lonely.  I was also cold.  My feet and arms were just chilly enough to make me ache, but not enough to keep me from drifting off to sleep.

          When I woke, I discovered why sleep came so easily.  Our flight attendant had pulled down the shade of my window and had placed a warm blanket over me.   The quiet, kind gesture blessed me.   I was not in crisis.  I had no great need.  I was not dealing with any emotional burden or suffering a loss.  I did not deserve his kindness, but his extra effort on my behalf moved me. 

          When I woke, I felt cared for and watched over…the way I always feel when I travel with my husband.  Sure, this was not a life changing event but it was a day changing one.  My trip was made easier, my day better and my heart happier.

          Soooooo, since my hubby was NOT there to discourage my engagement of strangers, I decided to write a thank you note to the kind attendant.  I wanted him to know he was appreciated.  I passed it to him as we deplaned and walked out into the chaos of the Atlanta airport.

         I was about to hurry off to my connecting flight, when I heard a voice behind me.  It was the flight attendant.  He had come all the way off the plane to return my thanks.  He pressed a tiny set of wings into my palm and we hugged before going our separate ways.

        Sometimes in the midst of a regular day, while doing nothing monumental, God shouts His love for us through the actions of others.  There in the middle of a busy airport God reminded me how impactful He allows us to be when we take the time to touch lives…even if it is nothing greater than pulling a shade or writing a note.

       This week let us be challenged to look for the ordinary ways we can show others his care.  Let us also be encouraged to recognize His touch on our lives through the gestures of those he places in our path.

Let us consider how we can spur one another on toward love and good deed.  Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)

 

 

Jello Sand October 8, 2013

Filed under: devotionals — tlmiller82 @ 5:51 pm

        I went for a jog on the beach.  The beach here is usually packed and flat near the waterline and good for running and walking.  But this day was different.  Maybe it was because I was getting a late start, but the water was further up the shoreline than usual.  The normally wet, packed sand area was minimal and the incoming tide threatened my steps.  I found myself navigating the natural curves created by the ebb and flow along the shore. 

 

       I desperately wanted to avoid running in the soft, fluffy sand further from the water’s edge.  Even though it is layered atop sand packed into rock, it is like trudging through snow.  I carefully choose each foot fall, jogging along a very narrow divide between the dry and the wet sand.  I was also trying to avoid a unique problem I call “Jello sand”.  

 

       The sand nearest the water actually looks firm, smooth and packed.  It is not.  It is actually saturated with water from below.  When stepped on, it wiggles below your feet and jiggles like Jello.  Not only is this unstable, but if you do not step quick enough, you will sink into it.  Jello sand coats your shoes making the tread useless and your feet extra heavy with chunks of sand. 

 

       By the time I trudged my way back where I started, I found myself laughing at my previous foot prints.  Each imprint was lined perfectly along the divide between dry sand and Jello sand.  Instead of a neat and shorter path, straight from point to point, my steps had taken me in a zigzag pattern all along the beach.  I had obviously gone out of my way to avoid doing what was difficult.

 

       This could be a good representation of my daily walk in life.  Jello sand is much like the sinful temptations the world offers us each day.  It looks solid and trust worthy, but it is not.  Walking in it leads to destruction and robs us of joy.  It binds to our feet, weighs us down and ultimately can grip and ensnare us.  How often do I let myself walk as close to this line in life because it is easier than choosing what is right?  I know what is right, pure and pleasing to my God.  I know from His Word His desire for me and His call for my obedience, yet I walk just on the edge of righteousness….teetering at times.  I do this because, like trying to trudge through the dry fluffy sand, doing what is right is not always easy.  As one of my friends once noted on a Facebook post, “Right decisions hurt bad sometimes.”  We are called to be obedient to His Word, but it is much easier at times to ignore it. 

 

In Matthew 7:24-26 Jesus told a parable that reminded us of the importance of avoiding “Jello sand”.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and ACTS UPON THEM, shall be like the wise man who builds his house upon the rock.  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on solid rock.  And everyone who hears these Words of Mine, and DOES NOT ACT UPON THEM, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand.  And when the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against the house; it fell, and great was its fall.”

       Obedience to the Word of God does not mean we will not have storms in life, it means that we will come through the storm.  Not obeying His Word sets us up for failure when the storms hit our lives.  Jesus not only said it would lead to failure, He said “great was its fall”!  We will find our steps bound up in Jello sand, stuck, sinking and unable to move forward.

Unlike my jog along the water’s edge, I don’t want to allow myself to step so close to disobedience.  I do not wish to follow along the trail of Jello sand in life.  

I want to choose to do what is right, even when it is difficult.

Lord, help us to see the steps You desire for us.  Help us to be diligently reading Your Word and seeking to be obedient.  Lord, we pray You will continue to keep our feet from sinking sand, even if it demands we walk through difficult times. Amen