Are You a Morton’s Girl (or Guy)?

Am I the only one who has taken the salt shaker for granted? I mean did you ever stop to think about the source of those tiny grains of salt which put pizzazz in your food? Over the last few weeks, cities have been clamoring to find salt to prevent dangerous ice-covered roads. After hearing about millions of dollars spent on salt, I’m beginning to think I should invest in the stuff. And to think I have a couple of boxes in my pantry. I don’t even remember when I bought them. Watching the CBS news this morning, I was amazed to see a story about a salt mining company churning out tons of salt around the clock. This has been the best year ever for that company! Talk about the law of supply and demand!

If you look at the news or read the paper or check out the internet, you might come away with a complete sense of hopelessness. You hear about murders, abuse, hunger, political corruption, cheating on standardized tests, and the like. Sounds pretty bad, right? Definitely not a pretty picture. But wait! Don’t be discouraged! There’s good news! Jesus Christ is Lord and He says, in Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth.” That means you and I can make a difference in all of those situations I named earlier. You might ask, “What can I do?” Glad you asked.

Consider these steps:

1. Go to the source. Just as the miners had to go deep to find the salt, you and I are called to dig deeper. No more shallow mining. Tough times demand digging in the Word and spending time with the One who is our Source. We complain a lot but are we willing to spend time with the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We can’t do it on our own.

2. Determine what God is calling you to do. Is He calling you to teach a children’s class? To volunteer at a women’s shelter? To go out and feed the hungry? To write to your senator? To go back to school and get that degree? To start a business? To go on a mission’s trip? To write a book?

3. Take action. Once you know what to do, do it! It’s as simple as that. You’ve heard the expression: “God doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the call.” Believe me, I have days when I don’t think I can take this novel to completion. Yes, I get discouraged. But then I realize He called me and I fall down on my knees and give it to Him over and over again. I just finished one intense writing course and will start another next week. Oh, I forgot to tell you I taught language arts for 21 years. But that was not enough for me to write a book destined to impact the world. I had to come out of my comfort zone and face the reality that I needed help.

4. Ask others to hold you accountable. If you’re like me, you tend to get distracted. Find one or two people who will partner with you in “walking on water.” That’s what starting something new feels like. I joined a writers group four years ago and I owe any success I’ve had to taking that step. I also have two people who check on my progress weekly.

5. Remember your friends and have fun.  As an introvert and writer, I can easily become a hermit. When I get out of balanced, as I have recently, I begin to struggle with insecurities. Know when to stop and smell the roses, call a friend, make dates. This week Willie and I went for a pedicure and had lunch together.

I am reminded that salt can lose its savor. Stay close to the Source. Rest when needed and take deep breaths. Good advice for us all. Today, I’m taking deep breaths, pausing for refreshment. Got to get ready to be poured out. I want to be a Morton’s girl. Take a look at your salt-box. Think about it. More than that, I’m thankful for being God’s girl!

 

Have You Seen My New Look?

“Mom, where are you? We’re in the area and thought we’d stop by?” The voice on the other end of the line was my son-in-law Dameion. He and Christine were twenty minutes from my house. I was stuck under the dryer an.  knew I’d be at the shop for another hour.

“Why don’t you guys go visit your dad. He’d love to see you. I’ll try to get there as soon as possible.” I glanced at my watch and sighed. Okay, they’ll wait for you. Relax.

An hour later I pulled up in the driveway and hurried opened the garage door. Much to my surprise, Dameion and Christine met me at the door and almost blew me away. “Mom, look at you! You look ten years younger! Wow!”

I continued into the kitchen where my husband Willie was sitting in his favorite kitchen chair. “Turn around. Let me see what you look like,” he said, looking me over from head to toe (still got it going on).”You look great, honey. I might keep you a while longer,” he teased.

I felt like the queen of the Nile. I stood taller, walked with a bounce, raised my head higher and grinned from ear to ear. I was on top of the world with my new look. In case you’re wondering what made the difference, it’s very simple.  My hair dresser relaxed my hair and trimmed my edges. Oh, I had also put on make-up and dressed in one of my favorite colors, purple, before I left the house. That’ll do it every time.

Isn’t it amazing how a new look draws attention. Hmm….Imagine how God sees us when we put on a new look for him. My church is doing a new series called “A Lifestyle of Praise”. To remind me of the theme, I decorated my house with balloons–balloons on my fireplace mantle, balloons on my dining room and kitchen tables and balloons on the mirrors in our bathroom. I wanted a balloon explosion. Yes, I wanted to dress our house as a symbol of our commitment to praise God in everything.  Every time I went past a balloon, it would be a reminder to thank and praise God for something that very moment. That was a Monday morning. On that very evening, our brand new car, which we had for only three weeks, was broadsided by a woman making a U-turn. Before you get too excited, nobody was injured and the car will be repaired. We sat in disbelief initially but soon thanked God that all was well. The devil had seen me put up those balloons, but God was in control and had gone before us!

I wish I could say that I’m in continuous praise, but I have to be honest. Sometimes my attitude stinks. But the good news is I’m catching myself. You see, I have a choice. Praise is a choice. It’s not based upon my feelings. God reminds us throughout scripture to maintain an attitude of praise.

Psalms 100:4 reads “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name (ESV)!”

What do you look like today? Put a smile on God’s face with your praise. Wear your new look and spread joy! It’s contagious! By the way, I’ve refreshed my blog with a new look as well. Hey, it’s a new season!