The Life Not My Own

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Bittersweet Thanksgiving


Andy and I have been looking forward to Thanksgiving for a number of reasons.  Number one was a chance to rest and get away from work for a few days.  Number two was it’s my favorite holiday.  And number three was that we were going to see my family in Arizona!

Thanksgiving truly was wonderful.  I can’t tell you how sweet it was to be with my family once again, just enjoying being together.  We had a wonderful time together feasting, going to see Tangled, ice skating, shopping, and just plain “chillaxing” (as one of my 2nd graders puts it).  In some ways, it was just like old times, and in many ways it wasn’t.  I’m married now and my “home” is far away in Arkansas.  When it comes down to it, however, my last name may no longer be Flook, but I will always be one of the Flook girls.  We’re just all grown up now.


Well, almost…:)


Thanksgiving was a bit bittersweet this year too.  On Monday I got a call from Andy saying that his Granny Baker had been taken to the hospital.  I rushed home early from work to be there with them.  We wondered what God’s plan for all this was…were we still supposed to go to Arizona?  By Tuesday morning, however, Granny Baker was doing much better and we felt that we should go.  We were expecting her to be coming home sometime this coming week.  That was not to be.

On Thursday night, we got a call from Andy’s dad saying that Granny had passed away.  While we knew she was weak and were expecting this for a while now, it was fairly sudden and especially startling on Thanksgiving day.  I knew Andy wished he had been there…we all did.  We knew, however, that this was in God’s perfect timing…even if it seemed far from perfect to us.  It was hard to be happy and thankful when we were grieving at the same time.

One thing I am sure of, however.  Granny wouldn’t want us to be sad.  She would want us to be rejoicing that she is now in heaven with her Sweet Jesus, set free from the bonds of her feeble body.  I am sure she is dancing with him right now. :)

So, although Thanksgiving came with sadness this year, it also came with unspeakable joy.  I am thankful for every minute God has given me…even for times of grief.  God has ordained them all for His glory, and what more could I want than that? 


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Prove Them Wrong

Moving to Mountain View, I was warned that I was moving to a town full of gossips. I just laughed that off, thinking that I wouldn’t be bothered by it.  Mountain View is kind of like Mayberry…everybody knows everybody, and everybody is related to everybody.  Therefore, Andy and I were, at first, the “mystery” couple of Mountain View.  Nobody really knew where we came from or what we were doing there.  Oh, I’m sure they gossiped, but we just didn’t hear any of it.
Lately, though, we’ve been becoming a little more “known”.  The other day our neighbor said to me something to the effect of, “We haven’t seen you lately and we were worried about you.”  Then she proceeded to tell me that one day her husband saw Andy driving off in his truck, and me running after it while it was already moving and then jumping in.  “We thought something must be wrong.”  I didn’t ask her what she thought could possibly be wrong, but it did make me laugh.  We are definitely being watched. 
Then the other day someone said to me, “You’re in the young marrieds Sunday school class at ____ church, right?”  It dawned on me that I had never told this person where we went to church, and, therefore, someone else must have told her.  Oh, yes, they are gossiping.
The truth of the matter is, though, that gossip hurts.  It really is upsetting when someone is telling terrible untruths about you to everyone you know. And if you think you are immune because you live in a larger city, then think again.  My hometown of Flagstaff, AZ is rampant with gossip as well. 
We’ve all experienced being gossiped about.  The most disturbing part is that you would hope people would know you well enough to know the rumors are not true. Sometimes it can make you SO angry! Gossip is not fun, people…it really does hurt people, and it tears apart relationships like nothing else can.
Anyone who has had false things said about them, or even truthful things that are embarrassing, knows how hard that pill is to swallow.  Personally, part of me wants to send an email to everyone I know saying “this person is LYING! What they are saying is NOT TRUE!” What good would that do, though? And is that the way God wants us to act?
The answer for us as Christians comes in being above reproach. The best way to prove a rumor wrong is through your actions. If someone thinks you are mean to someone, then be completely nice and friendly to them. Let Christ’s love pour out of your life…through your word and deed. Show the love of Christ to those spreading rumors about you.
Untruths start with a seed of truth. Take away every small seed and the untruths cannot start.
Rumors are like wildfires, spreading quickly to devour a forest. Yet even the largest fire must die without oxygen. Deprive it of oxygen and you stop it in its tracks.
I think of that old Veggie Tales about the Rumor Weed. We’ve all seen a rumor grow just like that terrible weed. Yet we have the power to stop it, just like little Junior.
Gossip hurts like a deep-searing wound. Sometimes, though, there’s no way to avoid it. All I can say is that when it happens, we all we can do is prove them wrong.  Trust me, the truth will be made light someday…and the truth will set you free.