Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy Birthday to Bud

I'm reposting this one today to help celebrate Bud's birthday. I'm blessed everyday to have him in my life.

"This week we’re at letter “I” and our mentor/blogger, Patty Wysong, suggested that we use this week to introduce ourselves. Okay, Patty (“Peej”). This one’s for you.

To keep my personal introduction from sounding like a confessional, allow me to present my amazing husband. He’s much more interesting. Then, just know that I possess the flip side of his attributes. If it's true that opposites attract, then our marriage was absolutely made in Heaven (Is this where I apologize for using two cliches in one sentence?).

Bud loves to mingle, has a smile bigger than Dallas, and never meets a stranger.

He can work outside in a blinding blizzard or record-breaking heat – without complaining.

He never takes things personally.

He enjoys – I repeat, “enjoys” – spending some of his Saturdays driving a church bus full of rowdy charges from one of the most underprivileged areas in our city to church for their special time of Bible study and worship.

My heroic rescuer used to joke that his career(s) meant waiting for someone’s house to burn down (retired firefighter) or roof to cave in (owner of a small roofing/structural maintenance company). I’m fortunate to have been one of many damsels in distress he encounters on a regular basis, but that’s a story for another day.

Bud is the consummate optimist. Whatever the project, once the first nail is driven he smiles and says, “All I like is finishing up!”

His motto could be “Go big or go home.” Our newlywed dream of having a home and five acres on the outskirts of Oklahoma City morphed into 80 acres an hour away. And we were sixty miles from his daily work, our families and friends and almost fifteen miles from the nearest dry cleaners, the bank and our church. We lived there for 15 years before moving back to our roots. All things considered --- even the inconvenience --- that experience is one we will always treasure.

It's been said that marriage is made in Heaven. Someone added "So are thunder and lightning." The balance of similarities and differences in our personalities keep our relationship more to the heavenly side. We both love the Lord. Our imperfect lives are centered on Him, the family He gave us, and enjoying the beauty of His creation.

We are thankful for the two different worlds that collided when we met. His background included horses and cattle –from a family of rodeo enthusiasts. My family’s activities were, shall we say, sedentary: Dad was always playing the guitar while my mother listened and kept time with her crochet needles.

As a child, I had always dreamed of owning a horse and a piano. Bud made both of those dreams come true.

I was terrified of heights. He taught me to snow ski. I couldn’t swim and still had memories of almost drowning --- three times. He taught me to water ski.

My husband's ridin’ and ropin’ days are over, but he’ll always be at home outside or creating things in his shop filled with mammoth tools and his imagination. Yet for eighteen years he willingly took time to come to concerts by the Singing Church Women of Oklahoma, even though I was but a speck among 400 women in a sea of sequins and long, black dresses. (Need a little updating here: I thought his rodeo days were over, but I should have consulted Bud before making such a naive observation. My forever-young husband is actually celebrating his 68th birthday by bringing "Rowdy" home from being "broken" and will be riding him for the first time today.)

We’ve come back to our original plan and now live on those five acres near Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City. It’s good to be back “home” close to our two daughters and their families.

Most of my goals have been achieved: I’m married, have two beautiful daughters, three grandsons and their terrific dads – and don’t forget the horse and piano. I’m still working on becoming the person God had in mind when He formed me. I do love people, but in a more shy way. Hopefully, my desire to write comes from the Lord and He will able to use that for His glory, not mine. And ... I want to be more like my husband.

He makes me better.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Son of God

We saw Son of God last night. Some of the images are still with me today. Some were difficult to see. It felt awkward to watch images of the suffering that Jesus endured. Awkward because the pain was His and the grief belonged to his earthly mother and His Heavenly Father.

It was intense. And personal. And I didn't want to be in that crowd gawking at a painful dying process. But God didn't hide the suffering or the shame of the crucifixion of His only beloved Son. His redemptive plan was meant to draw us in - to show us the cost of our sin. A price He charged to His only Son. For me. And for you.

We have a choice. We can remain ghoulish and watch while we keep our distance. Or we can own what is ours. Our sins - every one of them, and our sin - our nature that makes it impossible to live a pure enough life to meet God's standards of holiness.

Jesus gave Himself up to hands that would beat him mercilessly, mouths that would spew hatred and spittle, and arms that would raise a sledge hammer to drive spikes into hands that were used to bless and to heal others and into feet that carried Him to the lost and the dying. And to the cross.

All He asks in return is a heart full of repentance and faith. A heart willing to be open to His unspeakable gift of forgiveness and love. Unconditional love. If there had been only one person in need of a Savior, He would have endured the cross for that one soul.

Pride would cause us to close our eyes and walk away from accepting our part in Jesus' death. Pride is deadly. And a pride that refuses to believe in God's redemptive plan and be humbled enough to receive it leads to the second death from which there is no return.

My prayer for anyone reading these words is for your eyes to be open to a love only God could bestow. And for your heart to be willing to simply acknowledge Jesus as God's only Son, recognize that we are all sinners, ask for forgiveness of your sins and invite Jesus into your heart.

The Son of God will return. This time in glory.

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