January 29, 2009


As I sat on my sofa in the early morning hours yesterday, I gazed around my living room. It was one of those moments when I just sat quiet and pondered. My eyes bounced from the newly decorated mantel to the whimsical end tables; from the old world prints on the wall into the dining room and kitchen filled with little junkies. During my moment of ponder, it dawned on me that I am a collector. Now those of you who know me well are probably thinking “now come on Elaine, everyone knows that about you.” So true, yes, so true. I guess what I mean is that I had a moment of revelation concerning my collections. I started doing a survey of my goods. I collect birds, bird cages, bird baths, old mirrors, prints of old world women, old pieces of architecture, tea cups, tea pots and everything that goes with tea time, books, quotes, willow tree angels, pictures of my family, frames, soft instrumental music, clear cut glass dishes, and great Hallmark movies. I’m sure if I looked a little closer I would find many more collections but I’ll stop due to space. Anyway, as I sat there and enjoyed my stuff, I considered how temporal it all is. Though finding new additions to my collections is fun and somewhat of an exuberating hobby, it doesn’t bring fulfillment to my soul. Yes, things can add a form of comfort in this temporary life and make our surroundings beautiful but as far as eternity goes, they have no worth. I love the saying; “You’ll never see a hearse with a u-haul behind it.” The American Heritage Dictionary states that to collect means: 1.To bring together in a group or mass; gather. 2. To accumulate as a hobby or for study. In that quiet moment of contemplation, I felt compelled to survey my spiritual life against the backdrop of being a collector. I asked myself some hard questions. If I truly am a collector, how does this play out for me in the spiritual realm? Am I studying God’s Word and accumulating knowledge of Him? Am I gathering truth? Does knowing Him bring me pleasure? Through this intense retrospection I was encouraged to exert more time and energy into gathering for my spiritual life. In doing so, I find my soul is fulfilled and at rest. Hopefully, if I continue on this path I will not only leave a legacy of collectables but also one of spiritual fruitfulness. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33(NKJV)

January 24, 2009

Time Out for Inventory

The new year has brought some opportunities for growth into my life. Once a month I drive to Ballinger and enjoy an evening of fellowship with the women of Grace Fellowship. I call them the Women of Grace and I might add that they are gracious women indeed. We started off the first meeting of the year with the theme “Time Out for Inventory.” As the women arrived, they were greeted at the door and given name tags with little clocks on them made by a crafty lady named Carolyn. We enjoyed a wonderful meal of taco soup, salad, cornbread, and brownies put together by Diana, Carolyn, Mylea, and Me. We had sweet fellowship around a table decorated with many different types of timepieces. When our meal was over we proceeded with the message. It was geared toward encouraging all of us from Galatians 6:3-4 and 2 Corinthians 13:5; to not think we are something when we are nothing, but to examine ourselves. Now I know this passage is talking about spiritual matters but I had to share with the ladies about a mirror my husband gave me for Christmas that magnifies ten times what is normal. I proceeded to tell them how shocked I was when I first looked into the mirror. Prior to this day of revelation, I had no idea of what a bad job time had done on me! Amazingly, after using the mirror every day I found myself gradually getting use to what I saw and becoming convinced I could do nothing to change it. In comparison, I find that I sometimes do the same with my spiritual side. At times I am shocked by what I see in my actions. Again as time passes and I consistently do nothing to change, I become more and more accepting of my sin. I’m afraid the inventory we all did together on Wednesday evening revealed some heart attitudes that needed magnification. One thing I have come to realize since I got that huge magnifying mirror is that if I will deal with the imperfections, while they are little, they won’t get out of hand and cause major ugliness later. So it is with sin in our lives. If we are going to eliminate it, we must deal with it quickly otherwise it will just get uglier. I invite you to get a mirror! And ask yourself, “What’s going on in my life that I’ve been ignoring or making excuses for?” The more we examine ourselves, the more beautiful we become because it is then that we are reflecting the image of our Savior!

January 20, 2009

Soul Rest

I just got back from a weekend getaway with my oldest daughter, Rebekah. Both of us needed a bit of soul rest so we took off on Friday afternoon. Rebekah has been interested for quite some time in the Texas School for the Deaf so we zipped through Austin and toured the school on Friday afternoon and then headed to Salado for a weekend of doing whatever we pleased. It was great! We stayed at Stone Creek Settlement, a Bed and Breakfast that I have enjoyed in the past. We both had some reading goals and of course we spent some time shopping, playing cards, visiting and plenty of laughing. Overall it was refreshing for both of us. On the way to Austin, Rebekah and I spent some time talking about sin and it’s affect on our souls, how to rid ourselves of guilt and shame over those sins. We also opened ourselves up to each other to share what we see as weaknesses in each others lives. It may sound like a really heavy conversation but when the truth is spoken in love it can be quite refreshing. My life is enriched by the things she shared. I realized this weekend how easy it is to take the people in our life for granted. As a mother, I have been guilty of focusing on the areas my children need to improve in and not always giving credit where it is due. Though Rebekah and I live together and talk a little every day, we don’t always have time to sit and share the deep things of our hearts. Our time together was sweet, and I was reminded of what a wonderful woman she is. She has always been characterized in my mind by her ability to persevere through the most difficult circumstances. Her optimism and enthusiasm for life are contagious. In circumstances where most people would quit, wallow in self-pity, or blame someone else for their situation, Rebekah perseveres and refuses to feel sorry for herself. She takes full responsibility for her actions. Our trip brought back a lot of memories from the past. Primarily the visit to the TSFD, as our tour guide shared with us how young children are when they are brought to live there. I was reminded of the decision Tim and I had to make 25 years ago. When Rebekah was diagnosed as deaf/hearing impaired at 18mths old we were advised to send her to the School for the Deaf to live. Rebekah’s prognosis was grim at that time. There have been many difficulties through the years but there is much to be said about investing in the present so that you may reap in the future. I have been refreshed in my role as her cheerleader, though I must say at times her adventurous spirit makes me want to police her and sometime arrest her. She is an amazing woman that I feel very honored to be able to call my daughter.

Soul Rest

January 8, 2009

January 7, 2009

Perfect Day

At the beginning of each year Tim and I try to find a quiet place to spend a couple days setting goals for the year. This year we spent our time at Lake Brownwood in a secluded cabin on a hill overlooking the lake. Tim did some fishing and I did some reading.

Our trip started out on one of the most pleasant days of this year. The weather was perfect! By the following day I noticed the camp ground was clearing out and by that evening we were quite alone with the exception of the campground host. As we settled in for the night we noticed it was getting colder so Tim made a fire in the fireplace. The next morning as Tim was leaving the cabin to go fishing it began to rain. He checked the weather report on his cell phone and found out that there was freezing rain in the forecast, scheduled to arrive at any minute. Unless we wanted to get stuck at the lake we were going to have to leave right away. Needless to say our stay came to an abrupt end as we quickly packed and headed home. We took our time and traveled slowly, stopping occasionally to get the ice off our wiper blades. There was a delay in one city due to an icy bridge. After we arrived home safely, in reflection I thought about how often I make plans and set goals not expecting that they may be thwarted by circumstances beyond my control. It humbles me to think that no matter how well I plan for the coming year I must always have a dependence on my heavenly Father and His promise that He will order my steps (Ps 37:23-The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way). It is quite comforting to know that the outcome of my journey is not dependant on my abilities, but on my dependency upon His abilities (Pro. 19:21-There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand).