Emoji’s, “Cool”, and Hallelujah

Have you ever scrolled back through your messages with a ‘friend’ and discovered that the majority of your conversation was quite lopsided – you did a lot more talking while they gave you an occasional “Cool”, “Yep”, or applicable emoji?

convo

My son was recently sharing with me his discovery that his ‘great friend’ that he has considered his best friend since high school had been quite delayed in his responses lately. Where my son looked forward to his conversations with this friend, we’ll call him Jack, Jack was barely responding within a week.

Now, if they were seeing each other every day or even once a week, sure this would be a ridiculous observation because text messages, e-mails, and Messenger aren’t a good substitute for face-to-face interaction and, truth be told, not everyone is on social media as much as everyone else. However, these boys are separated by thousands of miles and have been since my son moved away right after high school. So their entire relationship is now dependent on these mediums. For the first year, their conversations were that of best friends – sharing important events with one another shortly after they happened with a close-to-immediate response from the other; messaging each other daily just to keep the convo going; and the obligatory “Happy” this or “Merry” that on special days.

Those interactions grew fewer over the years, though, and mainly on Jack’s side. My son said he began to scroll up on his message feed with Jack and noticed something. For the past couple of months, there was only the occasional “Cool” or “Ok” responses to his 3-4 sentences of sharing. Once every couple of days, it was just an emoji response.

I asked him, “How does that make you feel?”

He responded, “Unimportant in [Jack’s] life.”

sad face

Yeah, I think I’d probably feel the same way. You see, we give attention to what is important in our lives. I’ve heard it said that you can tell where your heart is by looking at your calendar and your bank statement. I can’t say for certain, but I am pretty sure Jack has deemed something or someone else more important that his relationship with my son.

So, here’s my question for you – Does God only get an occasional “Yes, Lord”, “Ok”, “Please help [enter family or friend’s name and their need here]” from you these days? During church do you only quietly offer an “Hallelujah” or “Amen” when everyone else does?

Where is your relationship with God? Does He only get emoji responses or prayer requests or do you share your day with Him (and let Him share His with you)? Prayer is a two-way conversation, but many Christians are like Jack – giving God 5 minutes of their day to keep the conversation going, but their hearts are clearly focused on something else.

Make a new habit (one that is life changing) this week and decide to put down the phone or laptop, turn off the TV or game console, or even stop for at least an hour every day from accomplishing your reading list for the year, and invest in the greatest relationship you have- the one where the Creator of the universe and Savior of your soul is emphatically in love with you. Or will you continue to just shoot off your smiley faces at Him and give more attention to something else until a crisis arises and you need Him?

praying

Resurrecting the Wrong Life

 

Well, it is here – my book is available for purchase and I feel like I just gave birth! This has been almost 18 years in the making and I give God all the glory for the journey.

You can get a copy HERE and thank you in advance to those who will read, review, and share this book. It has been  quite the journey and I know God has more to come.

RTWL 1

Blessings and shalom,

Yvy

Going into Battle

You know that part in the Bible where God tells us to acknowledge Him in all our ways and He will direct our paths?  Do you do that?

I was thinking about that this morning when I was reading through Exodus 13-15, the passage about Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egypt and through the Red Sea. What stood out to me in Chapter 14 was that Pharaoh followed after them in chariots.

Assyrian_war_chariot

This work was published before January 1, 1923 and it is anonymous or pseudonymous due to unknown authorship. It is in the public domain in the United States as well as countries and areas where the copyright terms of anonymous or pseudonymous works are 94 years or less since publication.

Now, you need to understand that these chariots gave them major advantage. Not only did it speed up their pursuit, but it allowed them to save their energy to fight, put them in a guarded platform above their opponents, and often times had weapons attached. So this seemed like the best plan at the time. (I’m sure he looked pretty sweet riding in with such an army, as well.)

However, if you read chapter 14:23-25 you’ll see that those very vehicles of choice were what caused them to get stuck and, ultimately, die.

Now, Pharaoh obviously wouldn’t have acknowledged God when preparing for this chase because he was god to himself. What about you, though? Do you stop and ask God what you should do before you pursue something?

Maybe it’s a job, a boyfriend/girlfriend, a business idea, or adopting a new pet. Whatever we have before us, if we just stop and ask Him what we should do (and listen), He will direct our path. And when that happens, you can’t compare the peace you have with your decision. (I always say, let Peace be your Umpire.)

So instead of getting trapped in mud, stuck in a bad decision, or ruined by a wrong assumption – acknowledge that God is right there, waiting and ready to provide you the direction you need. When you allow Him to be God and you to be the follower, you won’t get swept under the crashing waves of the world’s chaos.

 

Tomorrow???

Think about this: Your President makes a decision that, not only affects your life greatly but, keeps the entire nation in a horrible position and painful living conditions.

I think sometimes we say (verbally, tweet, post, snap-chat, and e-mail) things without must thought given first. Our emotions get the best of us and we react instead of respond; our feelings get hurt and we voice our pain; or anger rises up and we burp up the nastiness from our rage. Weren’t we told to be slow to speak?

I was thinking about this when I read this account of a leader who responded too quickly, obviously without thought.

The entire nation, his people, are crying out because of the hard conditions on their lives (that, by the way, he brought upon them) and he is given an opportunity to bring the turmoil to an end. He is literally told, ‘You tell me when you want this life-disrupting, home-evading, nuisance and distracting disgust to be taken away from your people, and it will happen.’  Do you know what his response was?

“Tomorrow.”

Have you ever done that? Answered too quickly and before you knew it, you sentenced yourself to a longer plight than planned or circumstance of chaos? This guy did, and I can’t imagine he had the backing of his people with his answer.

We need to practice the art of contemplation any time our conversations have opportunities for consequences. I’m sure the Egyptians wished Pharaoh had before he subjected them to another day with the frogs.

Exodus 8:1-10

Getting Through Deployments

Month one- get something done

     Whatever is on your to-do list that you have been putting off, get it done. = great distraction
 
Month two- something for you
     Do something special for your deployed spouse. A special care package, a photo session and send a framed photo, etcetera. 
 
Month three- something for me
     You deserve it, go pamper yourself or buy something you want. Reward yourself for getting this far. 
 
Month four- get out the door
     Plan a trip- it doesn’t have to be far away or expensive, but plan an outing to do this month or when your spouse returns 
 
Month five- come alive
     Do something that makes you come alive. What is your passion? Dancing, painting, hiking, karaoke, etc. Plan and do something that excites you!
 
Month six- weekly mix
     Every week of this month, pick one thing to do from below:
          A) Make a playlist of music that represents your relationship
          B) Bake something and take it to another spouse of a deployed Soldier
          C) volunteer- give of your time and talents somewhere in your community (or your FRG!)
          D) get organized- go through your closets, cabinets, desks, and nooks and crannies and clean out the old (don’t be a hoarder- get rid if anything you haven’t used in a year or documents over 7 years old)
 
Month seven – just like heaven
     Make a list of all the things you miss about your spouse that makes your marriage heaven. One another piece of paper, write down anything that you don’t miss that YOU do when they are home. Now, take the two lists and make a goal to do more of list one and less of list two upon their return. (Each deployment / separation is an opportunity to see the good and the bad we are cultivating in our marriage. Take the time to take stock in what you have and where YOU can change *this is not about changing THEM)
 
Month eight- can’t wait
     Make a list of all of the things you can’t wait to do with your spouse. This can be a running list that you add to everyday. Keep a copy for yourself and send them one so you both can anticipate the reunion. 
 
Month nine- it is time. 
     This will be the longest month and the shortest. So much to do. Get involved with the FRG, if you haven’t already, and plan the reunion. Volunteer to help with the single Soldiers’ barracks, the welcome home decorating, and the reunion events. The more involved you are the faster this month will go!