Left Hand! Best Hand!

 left-hand

I watched my mother as she sat crossed legged on her bed with a stenographer pad on her lap. Her hand moved smoothly across the paper; intermittently stopping to dot an “I” or cross a “T”.  She was writing a letter to her mother who lived in North Carolina. Letters to her mom were usually long since this was her way of sharing all the happenings of our family. In the sixties, long distance calls were saved for urgent messages and special occasions; so my mom wrote often.  As I observed her writing, I marveled as she filled page after page in her fluid cursive script before signing off with a flourish: Greeba D Foster.

In my 7-year-old mind, this was the most magical and amazing thing in the world. Cursive writing!  I tried to imagine the day I’d be able to  not only duplicate all those swirls and curly “Q’s”  but read it as well.  I fretted over ever learning this delightful ability since I was struggling in school to hold the pencil the “right” way in my left hand just to make regular letters. I did manage to pass first grade with an “A” in penmanship but cursive writing was still a long ways off.  By third grade I still was not able to read or write the hieroglyphics of cursive writing.  I remember thinking: “There’s no way they’re going to let me pass to 4th grade if I don’t know how to cursive write.”  In the meantime I was still facing some challenges in my left-handed world from sitting in desks that were designed for right-handed students.  What I ultimately learned about cursive writing in a left-hand word was this:

The thrill of finally mastering this art form (With a BIC pen!) was not the way I held the writing tool nor the kind of desk I sat in; it was the way I slanted the paper!

Here’s to left-handed cursive writers everywhere!

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No More Guilt!

eraseworkingmomguiltI had coffee with the Lord this morning. As I sipped mine, I reflected on the choices I had made the day before and my biggest regret was that I hadn’t spent any time with Him. I thought about it, but got distracted and did something different. Which made my time with the Lord this morning a little less joyful because I spent a lot of that time apologizing. Is this what God wants?  I don’t think so, do you?

Guilt becomes a barrier that prevents warm interaction between your Creator and you.

God is light. When I spend time with Him, I am in the light also. His light is warming and comforting like a big bowl of mashed potatoes swimming in butter! His light heals like a soft blanket. Spending quality time with my Lord gives me direction for the day and guidance for my life. Why would I want to miss the best part of my day?

Because we don’t want to feel guilty or ashamed.

We usually shy away from things that don’t make us feel good. We count up our poor choices and assume that God gets some kind of a crazy pleasure in telling us how bad we are.

He doesn’t.

What our Father God does is open our eyes to help us see ourselves as He sees us and the first thing He sees is love and love, the bible says, makes us not ashamed.

Think about it. When we embrace God’s love and forgiveness, instead of shame and guilt, we’re more likely to go out and make better choices. Guilt and shame leads us to sabotaging our efforts and making the same poor choices again. It becomes a very discouraging cycle.

Here’s some good news…

We can change the cycle! Today, make a different choice. It doesn’t have to be something spectacular.

As you think about the changes you’d like to see in your life, what’s some small thing you can do that points you in the right direction?

Don’t measure this “small something” by how far it gets you down the road. Feel good that you’ve done something that gets you on the right road, going in the right direction! Ultimately, you will get where you need to go.

Here’s something else you need to know…

You’re not alone on that road! God is there with you. Walk with the Lord today. Do you need forgiveness for something you’ve done? OK, let’s fix that now….

Father we come before you now thanking you that when we ask for forgiveness, you give it… Every time!   Here’s what I’m asking you to forgive me of __________________

Lord thank you for forgiving me and I’m especially grateful that you’re not going to give this another thought so why should I? I am forgiven! Amen!

Alright! Are you smiling? Are you feeling better? You should be. You just touched the Father’s heart. He loves it when His kids come to Him.

Today is the day that the Lord has made… I’m going to rejoice and be glad in it. Join me!

An Eternal Transaction!

Recently, I swiped my red Target card to pay for a purchase so that I could get my 5% discount. Surprisingly, the POS terminal stated my purchase could not be completed . For the moment, the sales transaction was suspended. What?!  Was my first reaction but immediately on the heels of that I remembered the debit card attached to my Target card had not been updated. The Sales Associate was awesome and took the extra time to get me squared away AND  still get my discount!  This morning’s Jesus Calling devotion, brought that memory to mind. The Lord says that His love is an eternal transaction; nothing and no one can reverse it!  I don’t get to enjoy his love today and have to wonder about it tomorrow.  His love doesn’t expire nor is it attached to anything that will cause it not to work (like my debit card). Most of all, it’s not connected to performance. Crossing T’s and dotting I’s don’t win any brownie points with the Lord. Instead of that, God encourages us to bring our performance anxiety to Him and receive in its place His Unfailing Love!

I heard that! Somebody just said, “Why would God love me?”

Simply answer.  You belong to Him! He loves you because you are His. Period.  That love is what invites you to come to Him and have relationship. Not based on what you’ve done or can do but based purely on what He has already done to secure the relationship. He sent His son to die so that we could LIVE!  We get to have life with Him now AND when our time on earth is done. It’s an ETERNAL TRANSACTION and that’s better than any discount! Take time today to get “squared away” with the Lord. You don’t have to be in suspended animation mode trying to figure things out alone.

Here’s the Reality Check:  He’s waiting on you.

For  more encouragement check out the story link below

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“Who Am I? A Story of Self Discovery”

 

CHOICES!

Good Housekeeping Quote

Good Housekeeping Quote

There was a time I thought I was a person who didn’t like choices. I didn’t like having too many things to choose from. Simple options were all I needed: Vanilla or chocolate? The white or the black? Peanut butter and Jelly or Baloney?

Simple.

But life offers so much more than a few selections or possibilities. What to choose becomes more challenging and the outcomes more diverse. I wish I knew what the “Right” answer or choice should be but the “Right” answer seems multi-faceted and potentially there could be more than one “Right” choice.

How do I get back to simple?

I turn to God and His Word. The choices become easier to make in the light of His Word. I may not know what the 800th step will reveal but I know the step right in front of me has been ordered by God and it’s mine to take… if I choose to do so.

So…. How do I make that choice?

I first ask myself: “Why do I really want to make this choice? What do I stand to gain or lose? I consider that.

Next, If the Lord gave me a “do over” would I make this choice again or would I hesitate? Why or why not?”

At this point, I might be tempted to “go with the flow” it’s just easier. But I’ve been given a choice and a chance to make a decision that will impact the rest of my life. I’m going to think about this some more.

Finally, I, on purpose, make a decision that is not based on anyone else’s emotions, beliefs or attitudes but my own (Cause I have to live with this choice) and I make the best decision I can with God’s help. I know He won’t twist my arm but He will put His “two cents worth” in if I’m willing to hear it.

Then the choice is up to me.

9/11 – When Words Are Not Enough

Scott Willens, who joined the United States Army three days after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, pauses while reflecting by the South Pool on friends he has lost while on deployment during anniversary ceremonies at the site of the World Trade Center on 11 September 2012 in New York, New York, USA. POOL/Justin Lane/EPA

Scott Willens, who joined the United States Army three days after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, pauses while reflecting by the South Pool on friends he has lost while on deployment during anniversary ceremonies at the site of the World Trade Center on 11 September 2012 in New York, New York, USA. POOL/Justin Lane/EPA

My fingers are poised over my computer keyboard, eyes closed, head bowed and I wait. Taking a deep breath, I slowly exhale as I open my eyes and stare at the blank page in front of me and try to wrap my mind around what could I possibly say about this day that would make a difference?

So much has already been said. News reports, articles, books, documentaries, and pictures, pictures, pictures… visual imagery that rock you to the core and tear at your soul as you consider the lives that were impacted on that day.

I Googled 9/11 and discovered that as horrific as the day itself was, the aftermath of the impact of this day stretched years beyond the actual event. Health challenges, for examples, of survivors who inhaled the toxic fumes and airborne debris from the collapse of the buildings are ongoing and even affected the health of babies who were in their mother’s wombs.

So, what can I say?

As a child and on into young adulthood, I always felt that there was a reason or explanation that could be shared that would explain most things. If someone was confused about something, that simply meant they hadn’t heard the right explanation yet. That naïve thought was shattered on 9/11. There is no explanation or reasoning that will soothe away the anguish of this day. No matter how long you sit and try to make sense of it all, no light bulbs come on, no revelatory sparks of insight prevail, just a numbness that remains after the initial emotions of anger have been spent.

I take another deep breath and pray.

I pray that the peace that passes all understanding will cover the hearts and minds of those who have struggled with the impact of this day.

I pray for comfort for those who lost loved ones and struggle with “Why?”

I pray that emotions that have been scrubbed raw and abraded by this day will be healed.

I pray that we as a nation will not neglect to “close the barn doors before the cow gets out” and that whatever national security measures are needed to protect the citizens of this country will be enforced. And although we take great care now to ensure that another 9/11 would never happen again, at the end of the day, Psalm 127:1 speaks loud and clear…

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain

Therefore, my greatest prayer is for the Lord to do exceeding, abundant above all that I could ever ask or think for the United States of America; that we will truly be one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.

Excerpt from “Reality Checks” by Edwina Frazier (c) 2015

Follow me on Twitter @Realchecks

Let it go….

Baloney Sandwich

One of the highlights of my childrearing days was being able to take all six of my kids on a church sponsored bus trip to Disneyland. I didn’t have a job at the time. I was still in college working towards my degree, living in public housing and receiving welfare.  In the natural, things weren’t shaping up for me to provide my kids with the opportunity to go. I made up my mind though, I would raise the money!

With the help of my sister, we sold chicken “snack packs” from the house. For $2 you got 4 chicken wings, a slice of bread, a soda and a slice of cake! At that price we racked up and the money came in not only to pay for the bus tickets but the hotel and entrance into the park. However, I didn’t have enough money to carry with me for food for the entire trip.  I figured we could get by if I took some boloney sandwiches with us to eat on the bus.  When it was time to come home, I planned to find a store and buy some more baloney.  The small amount of money I had would be to purchase food at the park and the hotel.

We were off!  Whenever the bus stopped for folks to get off to buy food, my kids and I stayed on the bus and enjoyed our baloney sandwiches. They were so excited about going to Disneyland, they didn’t care about what they were eating. Things were going well until dinner time. The bus stopped at a restaurant and everybody was getting off. As my Aunt Janie passed by me and  my crew she said, “Come on baby! We’re all going to have dinner together.”  I shook my head. “We’re good,” I assured her. “We’ll wait until you guys come back.”  She eyed me sternly, “I don’t want you to stay on the bus.”   One of the deacons came up behind her and picked up my youngest child. I felt myself begin to panic. I reached out and nearly snatched my daughter from the deacon’s arms.  “We’re good!” I said a little more firmly. “We’ll eat on the bus!” My aunt bent and whispered in my ear. “Don’t worry! We’ll pay for dinner.”  Hot tears were threatening to fall. Why couldn’t they just leave us alone on the bus? We were fine with our sandwiches and we weren’t complaining. Heaving a deep sigh, my aunt left the bus along with the others.

I watched from the window as my aunt spoke with her son-in-law, Oliver, who helped to organize the trip. She seemed a little upset.  After a few moments of heated discussion, Oliver started walking back towards the bus. “Great!” I groaned. “Now what was he going to say?”  Oliver boarded the bus with a grin. I eyed him with suspicion. What had Aunt Janie said to him?  Stooping near me, he spoke softly,

We’re going in here to enjoy some steak. The kids can get some burgers. Do you really want to hold on to that baloney sandwich?” 

I wanted to fuss, but instead I laughed at the craziness of it all!

Why was I so intent on  following my plan to eat baloney when a steak opportunity was being opened up for me?  Pride? Stubbornness? Control?  I guess all 3 were playing a role at that moment but I decided not let them keep me and  my kids from enjoying a good meal.

I hope you got a chuckle from that but more importantly, I hope you recognized yourself, if like me, you’re putting yourself in a position to potentially miss out on a blessing God has prepared just for you!  Remember, your BEST plans can’t beat what the Lord has in store for you.  Can I Get An Amen?!

From the “Can I Get An Amen?!” Story Collection by Edwina Frazier (c) 2016

 

I Got Your Back!

i-have-your-back-at-mama

Graphic by MaMaPhotography

Today while pondering some things, I thought about the expression, “Lost in translation” and I begin to wonder what sentence in English would be challenging to explain to someone from another culture and language. The statement that came to mind was:

I got your back.

You’d might think, “Oh, that’s easy! Everybody knows what that means!” But imagine you’re talking to someone who has never heard that expression before and is really clueless to the meaning that it implies, how would you break it down to help them truly understand? Here are my four attempts:

First thought: It means you’re willing to support someone through something. Hmmm… that seemed a little weak.

Second thought: Willing to stand with someone through a fight or tough ordeal without regard to your own safety. Much better, but something was still missing.

Third Thought: Being willing to cover someone in situations when they are taking care of or are distracted by something else and could be taken off guard.

Final thought:  A commitment to protect someone from things they can’t see coming

I decided to look up the expression in the Urban Dictionary to see what it said:

GOT YOUR BACK An expression assuring someone that you are watching out for them. Comes from making sure you are safe by watching what’s behind you when you’re busy looking ahead.

I felt revelation sparking in my soul!

When I read the last portion of the definition, “….making sure you are safe by watching what’s behind you…” I immediately thought of this scripture:

Isaiah 30:21 – You will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way. Follow it, whether it turns to the right or to the left.” GOD’S WORD® Translation

God is speaking this through the prophet Isaiah to Israel. The Lord’s people have turned away from Him and were running after the so-called gods of the nations around them. In spite of that, God basically was saying,

“I got your back! I KNOW you don’t see what’s coming. You’ve been distracted by the people and things around you and you’ve been taken off guard by your fierce enemies who seek to destroy you. But I am willing to stand with you and fight the fight that you can’t fight on your own… I’ve got your back! I will be a voice behind you saying, this is the way, walk in it!”

There’s something VERY comforting in the words, “I got your back.” And when they are spoken to you by someone you trust, it puts you at ease. If you’ve been feeling alone in the midst of some challenges you’re facing right now, this post is for you! Claim the following portion of Psalm 27 for yourself with the tweak of “He’s got my back!” added in:

1The Lord is my light and my salvation so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? He’s got my back!

2When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. He’s got my back!

3Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident. He’s got my back!

4The one thing I ask of the Lord, the thing I seek most is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. He’s got my back!

5For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. He’s got my back!

6Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music. Cause what?   He’s got my back!

(c) 2015 by Edwina Frazier / www.everythingedwina.net