Thursday, August 18, 2011

Take it to the Lord

243 p.m. Today's project was to teach and learn from the wonderful ladies at our I Samuel Bible study. There's just no experience like sitting with a group of friends who know one another very well, have the Lord and family issues in common, and care deeply about the life issues and trials others are experiencing from week to week.

At 9:40 this morning, I picked up my neighbor Cindy with a sleep deficit due to Steve disconnecting his C-pap hose in his sleep, along with the spasms, large and small, that jar the bed and disrupt my sleep. A few cups of coffee during devotions helped with that, but another trial hit. I heard the lawnmower going while I was upstairs. Even though I had asked Steve to wait for the caregiver Carlos to help him out, I thought, "Well, if he can do it himself, good deal," and got ready to go downstairs, eat my breakfast and prepare to pick up Cindy.

When I came down and found Steve in the front yard, he was putting handfuls of cut grass into the green waste dumpster instead of unhooking the bag from the mower and simply dumping the contents. I directed him that way, and the job was done. A few minutes later, Steve told me, "I can't find the dogs!" The gate was latched, so I thought they might have sneaked into the garage by the back door, but no such luck. (He left the gate open when moving the lawn mower, then with the noise of the mower, didn't know they'd left). It was 9:11, so he took two short leashes and went on their walking path. I ate, then drove out to pick him up and drive the route. No dogs. Since we still owe $255 for the last time they got out, we won't be able to retrieve them from the Animal Shelter again. That's just a fact.

This is the third incident with the dogs this week--Steve fell off the curb while walking them Monday when one crossed in front of him; yesterday, he returned without going anywhere because he couldn't keep them from crossing up their leashes; and now another problem. The dogs are sensing that their "pack leader" has gone missing, I think, and like kids, are taking advantage. simply put, decisions will have to be made.

Our caregiver came over, so I asked him to help Steve go find the dogs. I drove down to pick up Cindy, and saw them walking back with Bailey and Jada just then. Thank you, Lord!

Along with Steve's confusion and the dog issue, my heart has been heavy about my dad, even though he's doing better every day. we won't know until next Friday whether his bladder cancer is back. Then there will be some massive decisions to make. I don't believe he is going to submit to any more invasive treatments, and at his age, he can't be blamed.

On the way to the study, my mood lightened, just to have a girlfriend to unburden with, and she did the same about her uncharacteristically fussy baby grandson she babysits. When we arrived at Malinda's, everyone was there, seated, fellowshiping, and welcomed us in to get our drinks and join the fun. Her living room was full, full of women who love and apply the Word of God to their lives--it's not just a matter of getting their lesson completed. These gals can truly say, with the Psalmist in 119:97,

O, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.

We laughed, we cheered, we mocked the phony histrionics of King Saul, when he was shocked to see David within killing distance, but David didn't kill him. We really got into I Samuel 24, and all of its ramifications for today's Christian: our conscience, our maturity, leadership, obedience, and the deadly effects of resentment, bitterness and obsession over people and events that affected us badly in the past. We also learned not to jump at what appears to be God's providence, and to use Spirit-led discernment at all times.

But the most precious part of our day today was our prayer time, where we share and write down, each one's prayer requests for ourselves, family, neighbors, jobs, and even a possible job action at the grocery stores (a strike). I open in prayer, and then as the Lord leads, each one who cares to, prays for another person's need, and we pray in an unstructured way. I wrap it up and close. The presence of the Lord is palpable--Jesus is definitely in the midst, and listening with full attention as we agree together in prayer for one another.

May our fellowship, study and prayers be a "sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God" (Philippians 4:19).

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