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Frog Blog

Weight Off My Shoulders

A sneak preview from my next book in the FROG Blog series (believing it’ll release early February!). Life on a Frozen Lily Pad

In Numbers, the Lord met Moses at an intersection of famished and fed up.
Moses is in the desert, exhausted from leading an estimated 2.4 million murmuring Israelites filling him with hot air pressure. God extends His mercy and graciously supplies 70 elders and authorities for Moses’ trip to the Promised Land.

Numbers 11:17 displays a trifecta of God’s love. First, He comes from heaven to minister to Moses. I try to picture God stopping by my Martha and Mary Writing Studio. How would I react if He knocked on my office door to help write today’s FROG blog?

Second, the Lord transfers some of Moses’ spirit onto 70 faithful authorities. The text doesn’t specify if this spiritual transaction referred to Moses’ weakened spirit or to his spirit of anointed leadership. The crux is that some pressure was lifted from Moses.

Third, by receiving part of Moses’ spirit, 70 elders were promoted to co-manage a God-ordained task force. The elders’ commissioning package included approximately 2.4 million naysayers who were impatient to reach the Promised Land. The Numbers’ passage doesn’t indicate if those 70 authorities were part of the grumbling crew prior to being called to assist the understaffed Moses.

In my walk toward the eternal Promised Land, I have served on Team Moses through teaching and leading roles. I admit I’ve been involved with Team Israelite and “shared” my prickly witness. Like God did with Moses, He has been faithful to send people who shoulder my burden (and knock the burden chip off my shoulder). God’s physical presence appears through compassionate people sharing His generous love.

Jesus, thank You for showcasing Your presence through others. I’m grateful for wise mentors and elders who guide me toward You. Guard me against murmuring and complaining. Protect me from wilderness wandering so I can finish Your earthly mission with graceful testimony.

From an elevated lily pad,
Christina

I will come down and speak with you there. I will also take some of the spirit that is on you and will bestow it on them, that they may share the burden of the people with you. You will then not have to bear it by yourself (Num 11:17).

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters

ATTENDANCE DOESN’T EQUATE ATTENTION

From my book, “FROG Blog, Learning on a Lily Pad.” Available on Amazon and Kindle.

ATTENDANCE DOESN’T ALWAYS EQUAL ATTENTION

A lady who shares my favorite walking route paused this morning to ask what I do as my profession. She promised herself that the next time she saw me walking, she’d gather the courage to stop wondering and ask me how I used my days. She explained that she was fascinated to hear my answer because she frequently sees me wearing comfortable but stylish dresses walking with a contemplative expression blended with peaceful thoughtfulness.

I thanked her for her detailed observation and caring enough to ask. When I told her I am an author, life coach, and editor, she exclaimed, “I wish I had interesting jobs like that before I retired from 45 years as a machinist.” It was my turn to be intrigued by how she interpreted her career and perceived mine. She said when she was in school, math was her least favorite subject, so she was surprised when she spent her life working in a precision-driven math-related field. She loves to read but all research jobs she wanted required post-high school education and she didn’t want to pursue continuing education.

I anticipated her reasons for not pursuing future certifications could be age or finance related. She explained that she had twelve years of perfect attendance but collectively probably less than a full year of perfect attentiveness. Schools physically housed this lady but mentally she created a homeless shelter for her attention status. She didn’t make excuses or hold regret for her lack of attention in formal classrooms. She simply appreciated how she was able to faithfully work as a machinist while being able to turn her detailed attention toward hands-on learning.

Attendance and attention. How often do I show up for morning quiet time physically attentive but spiritually and mentally absent? My Teacher is present, but His student daughter is lost in thought about what happened yesterday and what may happen today. He is my Lead Machinist and I’m tooling around talking shop in my own mind!

This lady was sensitive to pay attention to her walking route surroundings. Her alertness created accessibility between us that wasn’t originally detected. A familiar faced “stranger” left as a new acquaintance named Janice (and her dog Zoe) because we both paid attention to our surroundings. I was awakened by her inspirational lesson to pay attention to my Professor who is in continual attendance. I need His ongoing education no matter what profession I hold.

Teacher, please unite my attendance to my attention. Align my responsiveness with Your presence. Like Janice’s alertness, give me the courage to act upon my observations.

With heightened awareness, Christina

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters

Update from A Frozen FROG

Last month, I got to meet with part of the team who join me on our next adventure in the FROG Blog series. FROG Blog: Living on a Frozen Lily Pad is preparing to leap into publication early 2020.

The FROG Blog: Learning on a Lily Pad (book #1) is available in print or download through Amazon and Kindle.

If you want a frugal way of reading the first FROG Blog book, please check with your local library. Libraries have been generously willing to order copies if they don’t have it yet.

 

 

Frog Blog, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, New Starts, Troubled Waters

DELIVERY CHARGE

This comes from my double-dare project to publish, “Life’s Too Short for Dull Razors, Cheap Pens, and Worn Out Underwear” (April 1, 2019 on Amazon and Kindle). It’s from a section where I include behind-the-scenes stories from previous jobs. 

Another classic story is delivered from my time working at Pizza Hut. This was during the 80’s when only a few pizza places offered delivery service. It was a stormy Saturday evening and for some reason rain tends to invite more people to order pizza. I’m not sure if rain is to pizza cravings as cold weather is to mashed potato hankerings, but that night we were intensely stretched to stay ahead of all the pizza orders.

The dine-in traffic was heavy, carry out orders were abundant, and the phone was ringing off the hook. We stayed open until 1:00 Friday and Saturday evenings and by the time closing duties were finished, it was always well after 2:00 before employees could go home. We braced ourselves for an even later departure that night. As the orders continued in monsoon proportion, pizza wait time was increasing and patience was decreasing. It rained outside, but a virtual storm brewed inside the restaurant as employees hollered at each other to move faster, pay attention, and get out of each other’s way. The clock finally struck 12:30 and we knew we were on the homeward stretch.

The coworker on phone duty was weary from three lines bombarding him with new orders, checking on existing orders, questions about coupons and meal deals. He fielded complaints in between reassuring customers we were doing the best we could. His temperament was wearing thin so when the phone rang at 12:30, he answered the call with flippant irritability. The person on the other end asked if we still delivered that late at night. My ordinarily professional coworker echoed the pizza customer’s question, “do we deliver?” Sure we’ll deliver! How far apart are your contractions”?

I’m hard-pressed to envision that caller’s facial expression after my coworker’s response. However, I did see our manager’s facial expression which led to intense words of fellowship with my exhausted snappy coworker.

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters

FOUR WORD TRUTH

I sat by a retired Air Force pilot on a return flight from my grandma’s funeral. (I wasn’t his co-pilot. We were both passengers on someone else’s plane). After our initial small talk to determine interaction and space boundaries, the former pilot asked the purpose of my trip. When I said it was related to a funeral, he opened a discussion about faith amid death.

He candidly stated that since he’s never died, he doesn’t have a clue about the after-earth life. He shared that he doesn’t claim a formal religious belief, but he practices a four-word faith: Thank you. I’m sorry. We used those four words to elevate to a higher altitude of conversation as we flew toward our earthly destination.

After our lofty interchange, I got my head out of the clouds to question if my faith leads more when I’m thankful or I’m sorry. I think there is a regular shift between leader and follower. Sometimes I’ve made harsh judgments or poor decisions and my Creator awakens me to see the error. In that case, thank you follows I’m sorry. It’s humbling to apologize first but later, that leads to gratefulness for clarity to prevent, or at least decrease, future missteps.

Other times I quickly recognize my stumbling block (s) and sigh with relief, “Thank you Lord for keeping me from downward spiraling. I’m sorry for missing the mark.” In those cases, my thank you precedes my apology.

Whether I lead with I’m sorry or I’m thankful, that pilot’s four-word faith reminded me of another simple but powerful excerpt: A sin is a mistake, but a mistake isn’t necessarily a sin. These short reminders offer long-term inner growth.

Eph. 3:12 teaches that we can approach God with freedom and confidence so, with gratitude or sorrow, I lead with Him as my Pilot Light. Creator of faith and action, remind me to perpetually look for ways to thank You. Make me quick and eager to say I’m sorry when I have made a wrong turn. Keep my eyes lifted to You with appreciation and plant my feet firmly in Your peace.

Elevating my thoughts and grounding my actions in my Creator’s truth, Christina