Allison’s Closet

Allison stood in front of her closet, french doors wide open, contemplating what to wear to the party.

Nervous excitement buzzed through her as she thought of the people she’d meet and the short speech she would deliver. Allison thought to herself, “Lord, all eyes will be on me. Let me keep my eyes on you.”

Thumbing through the rack, there were so many choices. She selected a lavender dress so new, the price tag hadn’t been cut off yet. A mid-length column dress adorned with iridescent pearls cascading down the center, from the neck line and stopping a little above the waist. It was perfect; elegant and contemporary, but not uptight. Now for the accessories!

“How should I wear my hair?” Allison thought. A quick decision made with little consideration could be dangerous. Haste worn as an accessory, even worse. Allison decided on an updo; a slightly messy low chignon, secured with a silver clip.

High heels worn in judgement can lead to a tumble when trying to teeter on their heights. Shoes with a platform base are just as cute and provide a firm and wide base on which to stand. If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it. If it’s snug, try a larger size. There’s nothing worse than walking around in tight shoes!   Allison checked her progress in the mirror. “All eyes will be on me. Let me keep my eyes on you.”

“It’ll be chilly tonight. I’ll need a coat.” Again, Allison goes to her closet. Faux fur is politically correct, but a faux attitude is always a “don’t”.

The cloak of criticalness is heavy and cumbersome, making the wearer hot and unbearable. Throw it off! Instead, put on the coat of grace, whose value is immeasurable. In this case, one size truly does fit all! Allow the warmth of grace and mercy to thaw the chill to your bones, so you can extend your hands to those stung by the bitter cold.

Dressed and ready to go, Allison passed by the looking glass one more time, pleased with her ensemble. “All eyes will be on me. Let me keep my eyes on you.” she said aloud as she closed the door behind her.

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Delays of the Day

What a day. Getting ready for a client visit, there was so much to do and I had my agenda set. That was until traffic was so thick that I was late to my first store call.  As I straightened, filled and tweaked product sets, all the while trying to dodge shopping carts driven by customers on a mission to pick up food for Easter Sunday and being stopped by people looking for Velveeta and milk with the green lid, my time seemed to be swallowed by the busyness of the day. Between crowds and the work, I was late to almost every call I scheduled, which caused me to freak out internally.

Finally, the end of the day. I treated myself to well- deserved Mexican wedding cookies and a Cherry Coke. As I stood in line waiting to pay for my treats, I watched men lift hams out of their carts and moms chatting with their kids about coloring eggs. All I could think of was being smack dab in the middle of rush hour traffic. My cookies and Cherry Coke would get me through!

Well into my ride and with treats devoured, I was about 20 minutes from home, singing and unwinding from the day. Cars in front of me were slowing and switching to the farthest left lane. Only as I approached did I see a four car accident; a pick-up truck t-boned a little Honda, leaving the other two cars flung to the side of the road. At that moment, the light turned red. I saw crash survivors out of their cars, on the phone to police, family and friends, no doubt. A woman staggered out of the driver’s side of her car in disbelief.

I had a close-up view of the Honda; driver’s side airbag deployed, the side and front end destroyed. The former insurance professional in me couldn’t figure out how it happened, based on the position of the cars. I said a prayer for everyone involved, especially whoever was in the Honda.

Then I thought, “What if my day had gone smooth, according to my plan?” What if the line at the grocery store had been a littler shorter, moved a little faster? Could that have been me on the side of the road or could my Mitsubishi have been in the Honda’s position? At that moment, when the light turned green, I was thankful for the delays of the day.  

More

Waking in the morning, before the crush and cares of the day rush in, I need more of you

When I’m tired and don’t understand, I need more of you

In times of joy and contentment, I need more of you

Whether my mind is racing and I’m unclear or when I think I know the way, I need more of you

For I’ve made decisions and moves that, at the time, seemed right, only to regret them later

In all things, in all ways, I need more of you because it’s in you I can’t go wrong

Your love brings me to tears, brings me to my knees and lifts me up

I need more of you

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Proverbs 3:5-6

 

Nadia

My dog is a rescue dog. Nadia, a yorkie with big, brown eyes and a sweet disposition.  Stealing looks when she thought no one was looking at the rescue shelter, there was something special about her. So we brought her home. She shook like a leaf when I held her, but there was no squirming in my arms like she wanted to get down. Nadia was scared, but allowed herself to be held.

As expected, she stayed in her crate at first, venturing out to eat, drink, go potty and explore her new surroundings a bit. As she saw that we love and wouldn’t hurt her, her trust began to grow. In two months’ time, Nadia was like a different dog. The scared, withdrawn dog seemed light years away.

Nadia has always been afraid of men, but recently, she went through a period where she was afraid of everyone! One morning, when I attempted to pet her good morning, she shook and tried to hide. I’m not going to lie, it was hard not to take it personal (had I done something to upset her, unbeknownst to me?), but I remembered something a guy at the rescue shelter said. He said that we had to be prepared (and patient) because while Nadia may make progress, she may also revert back to old behavior. I had to remain the same in showing her that I love and would protect her no matter what.

One morning, as she was trying to take one of her toys out of her shoebox, Nadia would gingerly try to grab the toy and jump back when she was unable to pick it up. I decided to help her. As I walked towards her, she froze, looking at me with wide eyes. I took the toy out of the box and placed it in front of her. Nadia looked at the toy, looked up at me and came towards me so I could pet her. I rubbed behind her ears and stopped. Nadia came closer and put her head down for more. My little Nadia was back; nosy, inquisitive, world class beggar and lover of treats. She was back!

I finished breakfast, Nadia played with her toy and then she looked up at me. I held out my hand to her and called her name. At first, she started to run towards me, but stopped and turned around. This went on for the next five minutes or so; Nadia coming forward, then getting distracted by a coat sleeve or whatever else, retreating back to the living room in uncertainty. When Nadia turned around to look at me, she saw that I was still standing there, my hand stretched towards her, waiting for her. That’s when she came, half-run and half-walk, allowing me to pet her. This went on for the next few minutes; Nadia running from the living room back into the kitchen so that I could pet her.

It made me think about how my relationship with God has been from time to time. Basking in His presence without a care in the world, only to withdraw in apprehension because I was remembering past hurts and paralyzed by present insecurities. Through it all, God doesn’t move. He stands with hand outstretched, calling my name, so that He can gather me to Himself and love me. Through all my distraction, hard-headed stubbornness and insecurity, He’s always there, reassuring me that His love is everlasting, unfailing and never changing. His love so great for me that He’ll never let me go. All I have to do is come.

 

Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”

Jeremiah 31:3 (New Living translation)