Posted by: mdsump | January 1, 2010

I had a dream…

I had a dream that seemed so real.  It seemed like something that did happen.  I actually had to look around to see if it had happened.  Recently I was reminded about Ebeneezer Scrooge.  What a great story he had.  Basically got to have the ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and future show him what his actions were doing and how he needed to change or else face the consequences.  So, it made me think that if those same ghosts came to visit me what would I change.

I could see lots of problems in the past that I would have changed.  You now what they say about hindsight.  It’s 20/20.  (although this really makes me wonder since I don’t think I have ever had 20/20 vision ….)  I can think of two things right off that I would change.  I think my biggest problem is that the future ghost doesn’t seem to be showing me anything.  It’s like it isn’t there.  However, logic tells me that it is there.  I just can’t see it.  (and this is a big step for me since I don’t really have much logic in me at all…)

All we really want is to be loved and to be valued and possibly to be cherished.  That’s not anything new.  OK … back to my dream.  I could see things happening to the people I love but I wasn’t a part of it.  It was like I could see it, hear it, but not be in it.  So, what does this say?  I believe that we all have a purpose and that God needs each of us. If our lives are movies, they always can’t be happy comedies, or romantic flicks, they might be really sad dramas or horrible dramas where the main characters never get to be happy.  (kind of like reading a Nicholas Sparks book where there seems to always be someone who has died)

ust because life isn’t happy or you feel like you have been praying and God is not wanting you to be loved or valued by others that doesn’t really mean that God doesn’t love you.  I’m reminded of Job.  Yuck.  Why do we have to think about him?  He had everything … and I mean everything … taken from him.  His family, his wealth, etc No matter what was taken from him he still praised and put his faith in God.  Job put his all in God.

I always have people say they are praying to God for patience and I warn them that if you ask God for patience (or help with patience) he’s gonna have to test you on it.  How else will you get good at it?  How will you learn how to use it?  As for me, I try not to ask for it.  Which is exactly what I have not been doing and I think that God is probably thinking he will teach it to me anyway.  Yeah….

So, here’s what I have come up with:  I deserve nothing.  That said, no matter what happened yesterday or today or will happen tomorrow, God will still love me.  His love is eternal and his movies all have a happy ending (at least they do if you choose Jesus)  No matter what I wish would happen, my life is good.  I deserve nothing, but God graciously gives me more than I deserve, even if my life movie right now is not a movie I would watch over and over again.  This time is quite enough!

So, why am I excited about going to bed tonight?  That is obvious.  I am looking forward to learn what the next installment of my dream will bring.

Posted by: mdsump | November 9, 2009

When life happens…

What should we do when life happens?  My first reaction is to wonder why things happen the way they do.  My second reaction is to pretend that something different is happening (ok, maybe this is my real first, but the first one I listed sounds so much better).  Then I wonder if I am supposed to be learning something that God wants to teach me.  I do think that it would be nice if God would just send me a to do list of what he wants me to learn and I can guarantee that I would do everything in my power to learn it without question!  I’m sure it would beat learning it the hard way as is the way I usually have to learn things.

OK, I kind of got off track from my original thought.  The idea that life happens when we are not looking or when we watching other things is kind of a common thing.  It’s kind of like the frog in the boiling water.  You know the frog …. he jumps in water and then slowly someone turns the water on to heat it up.  As it heats it up slowly the frog has no idea that it is in hot water!  Silly frog!  It just thinks that everything is peachy …. or just another day on a lily pad!  (Maybe if the frog looked around and realized that there is not a lilly pad, just a pot of water, it might make sense that this might not be a pond …. but who said the frog was observant?)

Since when did I become that frog?  Am I waiting for some price to kiss me and then I wake up and jump out of the pot?  (OK … now I have combined an illustration with the frog in hot water and a fairy tale.  What is wrong with that?)  Maybe that frog was just taking it easy and life started happening and the frog didn’t realize it was time to jump on to the next thing….. So, when life happens maybe, just maybe, we should open up our eyes and see what has happened to bring us here.  Maybe the water is starting to boil and now is the time for looking around and being an active part of life and not the part that just has things happen to them.

So, maybe, this frog will start to do some jumping!!!!

Posted by: mdsump | August 8, 2009

Success or Failure … take your pick

I spent the day today at a leadership seminar and one of the speakers made the comment that failure is the early warning sign of success.  It really made me think about it and if I am honest, I am still thinking about it.  I mean, who really wants to fail?  What does that say about us and what we are doing?  Does it show that we are not capable of  understanding what needs to be done to make our “idea” a success?  Or does it show that we just don’t have what it takes to make it happen?

Or maybe, just maybe, it might mean that there will be something visible in that failure that will open up a world of possibility for what could be one of the greatest successes you will experience?  Or at least just that it will work and connect you to people in a way you could not imagine?

I wonder if our failures make it possible for us to show others that we are real.  Being real is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and our friends.  When we make a genuine effort to be real and to risk taking a chance, we open ourselves up to failure.  However, if failure is an option then so is success.  I have often heard that you will never succeed if you do not try and if you try you run the risk of failure.  So, if there is even a slim possibility of experiencing a success then I must not be afraid of a failure.

So, the next time I see a failure (which will happen more than I want!!) I am going to remember that if I pay attention to the failure I might just see a success in the horizon.

Posted by: mdsump | August 6, 2009

When is enough enough?

Lately, I have been asking myself the question: when is enough enough?  How do we know when to say when?  You know when you are pouring a glass of juice for a child (or yourself!) you are waiting until they say, that’s enough.  The only question is that they want to make sure that they get the most full glass of juice there is … especially if their brother is also getting a glass.  We want to wait until the last possible moment to say stop.  I wonder why we don’t stop when it would not push it to the rim.

Testing our limits and what we are able to handle is a game.  I know I love games!  If I do not want to do something, I will make it into a game.  If I want to put it off until the last possible minute, I will do it.  Why is it that I do not know when to say that I have had enough?  Have I had enough?  Only time will tell!

Posted by: mdsump | August 2, 2009

No Magic Anymore….

There is not any magic anymore at my house. We just got back from DisneyWorld where magic is everywhere and now the magic is gone. Interesting how in Florida boys listen, desserts appear, fast passes are available, and fun is everywhere. But back in Texas, the magic disappears!

It makes me wonder why we ever left the place of magic! Here’s to hoping that magic will return … even if we are in Texas.

Posted by: mdsump | July 1, 2009

Dear God …

Some of the questions we have are about how to pray.  Is God listening?  If He is listening, how do we know His response?  These are questions that really are big ones.  Having a relationship with God is important and listening to him as He speaks to us is key.  The question is an age old one and it was a big topic at our house the other day.  My six year old was trying to find his goggles to go swimming.  When he asked me where I put them, I responded with my typical response …. are they my goggles?  Do I use them?  Obviously the answer is no and no I do not know where they are.  So, Luke did the logical thing to do in order to find the very important goggles …. he asked God to tell him.

When he did not get an immediate response, he thought that it was his delivery and approach that was lacking so he went to a corner in the room, got on his knees and closed his eyes (obviously this will help right?)  Well, by the time I came in his room, he was crying and getting very upset.  My first reaction was “can he be more dramatic over goggles?”  I asked him what he was doing and he very emotionally told me that he had been praying to God and God was not answering!  He was not speaking!

Luke was wanting God to speak to him audibly about the specific location of his goggles.  When God did not give him the specific location, he was confused because all he knew was that God answers prayers and it wasn’t working for him.  It really hit home for me when I realized that I spend lots of time praying to God and asking him for things and when I do not get the answer I’m looking for (or the specific place where something that will bring me happiness is located) I think that God is not speaking.

I have come to a new realization about prayer.  Just because I am not “getting the answers I want” does not mean that God is not listening and answering my prayers.  I just simply do not have all the information and cannot actually comprehend the big picture.  My prayer now is that God will continue to answer my prayers in the way He sees fit.

I bet you are wondering about the googles ….. well when we went to day camp the following Monday, as I was telling one of the counselors there the story of  how Luke went about trying to look for his googles another day camper (obviously a girl, because boys seem to be hopeless at finding things …) said, ‘you mean those goggles over there?’ and she went and handed them to me.

So, God does answer our prayers.  He uses lots of different means and people to answer them.  Here’s to the next lesson he teaches me. (and when I say he, I mean God and Luke…..)

Posted by: mdsump | January 9, 2009

Happiness vs. Contentment

I have been in a dilemna lately about this very issue.  I have realized something very important about happiness … it is dependent on circumstances and people.  Two things that are never controlled.  Two things that have no motivation to make you happy.  So, when people ask are you happy, are they really asking, “What have your circumstances or the people whom you are around by choice or otherwise done lately to make you happy?”

We talk about love being a choice so is happiness a choice?  Is my happiness going to be determined by people and by circumstances?  If it is, I may be a really long and depressing day!  Can I control the things that happen?  Can I control what other people say or do?  The answer is obvious but for some reason we are always trying to do that very thing.

If happiness is not a given in life (and it rarely is), then we must strive for something.  If we do not have a goal for the day, we probably won’t meet it.  (although I guess not having a goal and then subsequently not meeting that goal would actually be doing exactly what you planned)

But back to the point.  The Bible tells us that we should learn to be content in our circumstances.  Clearly Paul had some “unhappy” things going on and he had to come up with something to make sense of where he was and where God was leading him.  Thus, contentment came up.

Being content … what does it really mean?  Knowing that no matter what the only person who you should be set to please is God.  Seeing that while people and circumstances do not have to go your way there is a peace in knowing that even if your time is up on this earth you have the only thing that truly matters.  I know that no matter what happens or what I mess up God is truly the one person I have in my corner and that is more than enough.

So, happiness or contentment?  Which will it be?  Contentment has to win this round because I haven’t seen where happiness can be counted on at all times.  That doesn’t mean that we can’t be happy or want to be happy, but making your reason for being connected to happiness will most assuredly make you a very unhappy person.

Posted by: mdsump | December 12, 2007

The best gift …

You have to wonder what a six year old wants for Christmas.  Most ask for toys, games, or action figures.  Maybe a remote controlled car.  What about a football?  Maybe a Tony Romo jersey … Of course, the Romo jersey may be more for me!  My six year old is not asking for those things.  At least not at the top of his list.  The top of his list is a binder, folders, and a calendar organizer!  He wants a Daytimer!  Does this make sense to anyone?  It does to him.

He is home sick today and I am working from home and he is happily playing with my Daytimer.  I guess it is good that someone gets some use for it!  He has updated a letter to Santa to ask for a Daytimer!  I hope Santa is reading this because now we desperately need a calendar for him to keep up with his life!

Posted by: mdsump | July 9, 2007

Snakes vs Rats

With all of the water that has been pouring down on North Texas, we have had lots of creatures in our backyard that otherwise would not have been there.  You gotta love it.  Our “fearless” dog Max is determined to protect us at all costs.  Or maybe just make lots of noise and chase them until they go into someone else’s yard.

One of my favorites was the turtle.  If he had any breath in him after I got rid of him, I’m sure he told his other turtle friends to stay away from that yard after Max ate parts of the turtle.  Including part of the shell.  (I would not let him back into the house until I was relatively sure he had thrown up if he was going to throw up!)

My second favorites are the little snakes.  I have never been a big snake fan, but these are harmless enough.  They are more like appetizers for Max.  I figure that the more he eats the less that have the opportunity to come into my house!

The least favorite of them all is … the rat.  Knowing that there was a rat was all it took for me to cringe.  Realizing that Max had eaten part of it made me look at Max in a whole new way.  And not a better way!

I am praying that Max doesn’t find any other creatures in our yard or that his reputation has gotten out in the neighborhood that our dog likes to munch on wandering animals that come through his domain.

Posted by: mdsump | July 3, 2007

Clearing the Air

I have heard that a lot.  Clearing the air.  What does that actually mean?  I think it means that one person gets to clear the air for themselves no matter what others need or understand.  It makes me think of driving through the fog.  You cannot really see, and you are straining to see in front of you.  However, if you would just wait it out maybe you could see.

This last weekend, I had a friend who was in a car accident.  She was hit head on by another car.  She escaped with broken ankles and it was a reminder that life is short and we cannot depend on having another moment.  We have to live our lives knowing that the air is as clear as we leave it.

This does not help in knowing how to clear the air or for what purpose.  I guess we all depend on air to live and the clearer the air the better.  The question is are we around people who are fogging it up or are we the ones doing the fogging?  Which brings me back to my original question…  What does it mean to clear the air?  Am I responsible for the air that other people mess up around me?  I guess if I want to have clear air and they are not doing it then I will have to do it.

And environmentalists are only concerned with the actual air.  No wonder they are not doing anything about the damage that people do with their actions and words.  That would probably be a losing cause!  Or is it?

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