Thursday, June 3, 2010


E has a wonderful CD of music called To Be Like Jesus that is all about the fruits of the spirit.  I confess I like listening to it as much as she does, and there is a song on it all about self control.  If there is a fruit of the spirit that I need to focus on its self control.  Tonight something happened that made me angry.  Really angry.  Venting didn’t help.  Screaming in a pillow didn’t help.  If it weren’t raining I would’ve run around the block, but I don’t think it would have helped, either. 
As I was sitting, wading in my angry little puddle, I thought of chocolate.
A few weeks back, for Mother’s Day, my sister-in-law Wendy, and I made a massive chocolate cake.  It used 3 pounds of brown sugar.  4 sticks of butter.  1 bag of chocolate chips.  It was four layers of chocolate goodness, and the icing, called for 2 pounds of baking chocolate.  While I minced the baking chocolate, the temptation proved too much for Wendy.  It looked delicious.  Now, Wendy knew that bakers chocolate is completely unsweetened, but how could something that looks so good not TASTE so good?  She reached out, grabbed a couple of chunks, and took a bite.  Looks, as it turns out, can be deceiving.  Gasping for water Wendy wanted anything to get that bitter taste out of her mouth.  Turns out that bakers chocolate was only good when we added something sweet to it. 

Anger, I believe is a little bit like bakers chocolate.  Its so appealing.  At first glance it seems like it will be so good to divulge in just a little bit of it, but like bakers chocolate, its bitter to the taste.  The only thing sweet enough to get the taste of anger out of our mouths is to feast on self control.  There is a reason its called “fruit” of the spirit: its sweet to the taste.  Isn’t it just like a woman to find her comfort in chocolate? 


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Word-Filled Wednesday: Dragonflies

image This weekend, to celebrate the beginning of summer, and a lapse in our rational thought, we went camping. It turns out that three days in oppressive heat, and very little sleep, can have a very negative effect on the best of us. 

One morning I was out walking with my husband and  I was complaining about something.   Who am I kidding, I was complaining about EVERYTHING, and my husband, who I swear is fascinated by just about anything, interrupted my rant and pointed out a dragonfly. 

“Look at that,” he said.  “Its wings are colored in the middle, but clear on the sides.  I bet he blends in perfectly with everything when he’s in the woods!” 

I rolled my eyes at Jeff, and kept complaining.  Being a good husband, he politely let me vent so I didn’t take off someone’s head, namely his.  Later that night though, as I struggled to find sleep in the middle of dew drenched tent, I thought about the dragonfly, and his camouflage. 

I thought about my faith, and about how sometimes, whether I want to or not, I blend right in.  I’m hard to spot.  Its almost like my faith is like a stripe on clear wings.   If I’m in the right place, my faith is visible, but otherwise, I blend right in.  Put me out there in the world and I’m afraid I look too much like it.  I’m inconsiderate, hypocritical, and selfish.  I don’t look much different than the other dragonflies out there.
I don’t believe though that Christ would want us to live a dragonfly kind of life.  He has no desire to have us blend into a world he died to save.  Instead I think he would have us shed any comfort we might draw from our camouflage, and confront the fear that makes us want to blend in.  As believers in Christ, we aren’t meant to blend into the world.  We are meant to be visible, and to point to the one who saved this world we’re in, but not of.