Here's the thing, I've been reading the bible a long, long time.
I was raised from the time I was an infant in a Catholic home so I had the essentials down by age, oh I dunno 8 or so. I heard the commandments and prayed the Our Father even earlier than that, really since I was a wee-tid bit of a thing.
(say that with the best Irish accent you can muster up)
And then somewhere around 13 or 14 I picked up this beloved book in a whole different way.
The Lover of my Soul became Alive to me and the words in that book were no longer just words, they were life, and breath, and nourishment to a very hungry soul.
Ask my fellow class mates in Jr. High where Noël could be found at lunch time, but keep in mind before I disclose this embarrassing secret that this was before I discovered the Christian club...
On a regular basis, at lunch time, you could find me off in the bathroom reading the Bible. I still kinda chuckle at that. Poor girls in Jr. High coming in to relieve themselves and there I was with my bible on the bathroom floor no less.
I don't recommend the bathroom floor as the best place to read, but I mention that true part of my history to reveal that I didn't care where I was reading it, I just had to be, wanted to be, needed to be reading that book.
And still... STILL 38 almost 39 years later I am captivated, surprised, shocked, and in awe of how truly amazing the bible is.
There is a reason it is the number one best seller book of all time, and I would bet my life it will stay that way because here's the other thing...
It is ALIVE, because God's Spirit uses it to be poignant and relative to our individual lives.
It would be like if you were reading a novel and all of a sudden the main character meets someone else that is exactly like you. The new character has your name, your personality, your habits. And then you read that the new character does something that you JUST did the other day.
It would be so crazy, kinda creepy, but mostly SO, SO COOL!!
That's the bible.
This is something that I sometimes forget and then I'm reminded when I sit down and pick up that book only to find the very words that are LIFE to my very dry, empty soul.
I'm humbled and blessed by this book on the regular.
Now that I have gotten off on a rampage on something most of you already know, let me tell you what words in that book are changing me right now.
It's a portion of scripture that I have probably read a thousand times. For real. NO joke I've read this scripture A LOT especially because it is one that I have framed and it sits right in front of my kitchen sink.
How many of you know I spend A LOT of time in front of the kitchen sink?
Momma of 4 = A LOT of Dishes.
I have this scripture in that appropriate place because of what it says.
Do you want to know what it says?
Ok, I'll tell you, and thanks for asking.
The portion of scripture that once again is blowing me away, comes from Matthew 11:28-30.
I'm going to kinda stop and go with this portion of scripture to talk about the new life it's taken on in my heart recently, so if you want to skip ahead and just go read it yourself, I won't hold it against you.
"Come to Me, all who labor and heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to to rest. I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls."
Let's just stop - Selah - right here.
The first thing I know about what Jesus is saying here is that I need to come to Him.
If you wanna know how I come to Him on a daily basis read the story above. Only now I no longer sit on a bathroom floor ;)
The second thing that comforts me beyond belief is that HE knows that my life can become over-burdened, heavy, and full of work.
Are sensing WHY I have this scripture in front of my kitchen sink?
Because often times when I'm standing there doing the dishes for the ump-teenth time I feel heavy-ladened. Ya know what I'm saying? Do you ever get that heavy-ladened feeling?
Would if we went around asking each other "Are you feeling heavy-ladened today sister?"
That makes me giggle, ok moving on.
Let me tell you what heavy ladened translates to me;
I feel like the work of this world will never end sometimes and without a purpose I will be found until my dying day in front of that damn kitchen sink doing all the worlds dishes!!
Ya know what I'm saying?
But, wait... then I read this...
Come to me
Take From me.
What other person in your life do you know that says,
"Come on over here to my house and take whatever you want, whatever you need. Take it all!!"
I know, NO ONE like that.
I am in a relationship with a man who I have loved and he has loved me for 19+ years and never, never in all our years together has he said, just keep taking from me, I ask nothing in return.
Relationships on earth require a Give and Take.
Now, you might find that in some Godly relationships there is a self-less attribute that we try to attain, but that is only achieved by God's grace and love that's been given to each person.
But Jesus says,
"Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls."
- Selah -
What does he want us to take from him?
Like an egg yoke?
No, but for real what is this yoke business you're talking about Jesus??
Well, that's a yoke up there.
A cow and a donkey yoked together to plow a field, go on a leisurely walk, umm... I dunno?
All I know is that they are yoked together to do what ever it is the humans who yoked them, want them TO DO.
Maybe just to take this picture?
Now, in a yoked type situation like this I picture myself of course as the Jack Ass because... well compared to Jesus that's exactly what I am.
I jack things up ALL the time and because He's yoked to me, he gets my mess.
But ya know what ?
He doesn't mind.
In fact He tells me to take these things instead of the Shi%$# I hand him.
I don't know about you all but I need, desperately need rest, relief, ease, refreshment, recreation, and blessed quiet.
Listen to those words.
Aren't those words that you wish you could have an endless supply of?
Also if I trip and fall He is the strong one that carries on.
When I fall down, HE stands up.
The weight of the yoke falls on him.
Those yokes are heavy man.
That picture of Him being strong and me being weak, that's what I love about this relationship. I'm so thankful I'm yoked to someone so much stronger, because I feel weak and tired on a daily basis, but being yoked to him is like being yoked to a HUGE muscle man.
I wish I had the computer graphic skills to make a picture like that for you, but just imagine my tiny little head yoked to this guy.
(Don't those muscles look painful? )
Ok moving on....
"For my yoke is wholesome (useful, good-not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and MY burden is light and easy to be borne."
I think that there are so many other things in this life that I yoke myself to without realizing how heavy, and hard they become until my back is broken and I'm crying out to God. Asking Him for help is where I stop, pause, and Come to him. And then I take on that useful, good, comfortable, gracious, pleasant yoke of His and all is well again.
If you are feeling tired, burdened, and heavy ladened today I pray you will find rest and comfort by these words and from the Lover of YOUR soul.
Tonight I made a great spontaneous memory with my family.
One of things that I absolutely, unaquivaclay, LOVE about my family is that we are a spontaneous bunch, and I'm so glad to be back in Nevada to get in on all that spontaneity.
My brother Greg called me up yesterday to say that he wanted to take Mom and Dad out for a surprise. Ricci Martin, Dean Martin's son was in concert at the Nugget in Sparks and he thought my Ma who is a HUGE fan of Dean Martin, would really enjoy if we all went to see him together.
I will admit when he first said Ricci Martin I was thinking of another Ricci Martin and I was thinking ya know I don't really want to go see him or pay money to see him, but for Ma I would do anything.
Much to my surprise we weren't thinking of the same Ricci.
We had no idea what to expect and to be quite honest I had no idea Deano had so many children.
Did you know he had 8 children all together?
4 from his first marriage that lasted 8 years, and 3 from his second that lasted the longest 24 years, and 1 that he adopted from his third and final marriage that only lasted 3 years.
Ricci said that he and his mom Jeanne later reconciled and would come together for dinners and holidays.
It was really, really interesting to hear his son talk about this legend that we all know from the Rat Pack.
He had a little Q&A time and of course my Ma shared the story of when she actually met his father, Deano. It was really, truly awesome to see the smile on his face when hearing something good about his dad. I mean here is a man who is 60 years old now and still the memories of his dad are even precious to him.
My mom is a third generation fan of Deano.
I guess that makes me the fourth generation, and you better believe I have trained my young to be the fifth generation of Dean Martin fans.
I remember from a very young age my mom singing his songs and even my grandma enjoying his music.
But, tonight was a real treat because it was proof that music with stands the test of time.
Good music that is.
And it weaves itself into our stories.
So the story goes in my family that my Great Grandfather Farina was a wee bit jealous of that guy up there because my Great Grandma said he was a looker with the voice of an angel.
I'm thinking me and Great Gram have ALOT in common !!
You know the kind that everyday life is made up of. I find myself wanting this day to be over, but for no particular reason. It hasn't been a bad day as days tend to be rated.
Or at least as I tend to rate days. I tend to think there are many ratings for any given day.
I also tend to say tend quite a bit, especially in those last few sentences.
In an effort to make this day not so Ho Hum I'm going to share with you beloved reader one of my favorite books and then of course we are going to talk about why I have given this day the rating of being HO HUM.
Being that I am ex-early childhood educator, and the fact that I have 4 grown children, it goes without saying that I have read many children's books in my day, but one of my all time favorites is;
Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
This book is a favorite because right from the start you just know it's going to go from bad to worse for poor Alexander and we can all relate to that kind of day.
You know the kind of day that starts with the moment some well meaning person says,
" Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed today."
WE are doomed!
Doomed I tell ya!!
I strongly dislike that saying, because every morning I get up, being that I'm not a morning person you might think I got up on the wrong side. But who died and made YOU the boss of my bed?!!
As though if I would have only chosen the other side of the bed my whole face, attitude, day would have been better.
But no, when I hear that it's like ... Oh well, I started out wrong and God Please help me because I can't even help myself, I am gonna end up WRONG!!
Maybe now is a good time to tell you the real reason for my rating today Ho Hum?
Nah... I think I'll keep you wondering until the end.
Let's have some ratings and their definitions, shall we?
Come on... work with me it's going to be fun... help me out here people!
HO HUM- nothing all day. It's like you could go around saying , "I got nothin!" Nothing to give, nothing to take, a whole lotta nothingness. I mean this day can blend into the back round of days and you would never mention it again.
GOOD- means nothing eventful either bad or good has really happened today. It was just a GOOD day because nothing really bad happened. A good day is a cut above a Ho Hum day only because, you don't want to say every day is a Ho Hum day. I mean if you did say every day was Ho Hum you might begin to sound like a certain Donkey, and not the one on Shrek.
GREAT- means the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and all the traffic lights were green. Your kids were all getting along, the baby took an extra long nap so you were able to get a lot of stuff done, your honey kissed you like he meant it when he came home, and the stars all lined up just to twinkle for you. Oh and every song on the radio was a favorite. That's crucial to a GREAT day.
FANTASTIC- means something really amazing happened. Something like a baby was born, a marriage took place, or you got a check in the mail saying that your house is paid off ! Or your on vacation with your whole family in a place like Hawaii.
Wouldn't it be nice to have Fantastic days everyday?
BAD- means some things didn't really go your way today. You got a ticket on your way to work. You forgot to eat breakfast and were starving until dinner because you didn't get a lunch break. You didn't sleep very well the night before. Or if you are a stay at home working momma the baby didn't take a good nap and cried all through what was supposed to be your masterpiece meal.
Ya know, a BAD day.
HORRIBLE- means you found out someone you love is very sick or worse you are very sick, you not only got a ticket but found out there is a warrant for your arrest. You ate breakfast but it landed all over your brand new suit and it had some form of chocolate in it so it's not coming out. You tripped and fell at some point through out this day. You got a bloody nose, the coffee pot exploded because somebody forgot to turn it off. And they just shut off your power because you forgot to pay the bill.
Ok, now that I have given you my ratings, let me tell you why this day was Ho Hum.
The real reason for this Ho Hum day is that I just tend to like to say Ho Hum, because I tend to think of Eeyore when I say it.
Anyone else think of that cute donkey when you say Ho Hum?