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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What's on Our List?

Photo Credit:  jdurham at

I just love it when people share inspirational stories with me (especially those inspiring moments found amidst our everyday lives).  My Aunt Jeanne shared something with me.  Here goes:

“I have to relate to you a story about Uncle Michael…when we went fishing with his kids last year.  As we were fishing on the pier, he pulled out a note from his front pocket.  I asked him if he had forgotten something on his list.  He said, ‘No,’ and continued to read the note.  I asked him if I could see the fishing list since I never take a fishing list with me.  I had to chuckle.  The first thing on his list was ‘Patience Today,’ along with the rest of his fishing checklist.”

“He said that he always keeps a note in his front pocket to remind him to be patient with his children.  I guess it worked, because about that time his daughter accidentally threw her brand-new rod and reel over the pier during a cast.  Uncle Michael just laughed as we tried to retrieve the fishing pole.  We eventually did and the day was a fun memory.  However, I could definitely tell that he was calling on a higher power for patience that day.” 

How awesome is that?  I don’t carry a list in my pocket, but I love the idea.  And, since we’re talking about my Uncle Michael…I can’t think of a better person to teach a musical instrument than one who has “Patience Today” written at the top of his list.  So, rosin up that bow and head on over to Cuero Fiddle Lessons to sign-up!  OR, if you just want to check out his handy little book called, “10 Fiddle Tips,” that’s great, too!

What can we never have enough of?  Patience.  As parents, what do we pray for each and everyday?  Patience.  And, ironically, what don’t we have enough of while we wait for God to bless us with patience?  Yes…patience.

Of course, patience isn’t just generously handed to us in a golden goblet.  Poo!  It seems that the more we ask for it, the more opportunities we are given to practice it.  (Ugh!  I prefer the golden goblet/silver platter approach, don’t you?)

Where can we go (if just for a short while) to get away from the busyness that surrounds, and many times, overwhelms us?  My Aunt Jeanne goes to the Garden of Gethsemane.  She shared her story with me:

“Almost daily, I go to the Garden of Gethsemane to be with Jesus.  I just ask Him to scoot over.  I say, ‘It’s me again, Lord.’  I find such peace and love there with Him…just the two of us.  It takes me to an indescribable level of closeness with Him.  I can’t explain it.”

“Sometimes, I just kneel with him and wait and wait.  I wait for His message for me.  At times, He tells me things and other times, not.  I just wait and pray and wait and wait some more.  Sometimes, I think, ‘Wait for WHAT, Lord?  For WHAT?!’”

“But, things usually start merging together for me.  I love my time in the Garden.  It is sometimes the only place I can go and know that whatever the issue, He always extends His graces to make it through whatever I am concerned about.  I almost always cry when I leave that rock, for His presence is so strong there.”

Hmmm…that rock is sounding pretty inviting, isn’t it?  After this blog post, there might be so many people wanting to join Jesus that He’ll have to get a bigger rock, huh?  However, I’m sure He’ll be thinking, “What a wonderful problem to have!”

My Aunt Edie also had some inspirational words for me last week.  She said, “We can handle anything and everything that God gives us as long as we use the graces that He always provides.  Sometimes, I picture God tapping His foot, wondering…when will she EVER learn that ALL things are possible with Me.”

“My prayer is then, ‘Please be patient with me…I am still learning.’  I do have my ‘aha’ moments and they come to me when my mind is quiet – while making the bed, washing the dishes, you know, the everyday, seemingly mundane activities.  Could that have been the day that I made a morning offering to do ALL for the glory of God?  Yep…probably!”

I find it amazing what God can and will do if we let Him in…if we sit by Him in the Garden…or if we offer up our entire day for His glory (yes, even housework!).  Of course, we can think that we would never be the ones chosen by Him to do His work.  How could we, with all of our imperfections?  Or could it be that God is attracted to us BECAUSE of our weakness and woundedness?  In that case, there is more room for HIS strength, instead of our own.  Hmmmm…

What if God chooses us BECAUSE of what we’ve been through instead of IN SPITE of it?  I never thought about it that way until Beth Moore introduced the idea in her Esther Bible study.  It’s certainly easier to ponder the “woulda, shoulda, coulda” path instead of just heading down the “what it actually is” path with His graces to lead the way.  I’m sure God will be patient with us, if we will just be patient with Him.  We can be builders, but HE is the Architect.  (Note to self…)  ALL things are possible with God – not just “some” or “a few” or “the easy ones”…He said ALL.  Wow.

So, before I jot down “Patience Today” on my list and head on over to the Garden, I’d love to make you smile.  It takes two seconds – just do it – no one is watching you.  While sitting down, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.  Now, while doing this, draw the number six in the air with your right hand.  Your foot will change direction.  You cannot stop it.  It is out of your control.  Just let it go.  Let.  It.  Go.  (You can try it all day long like my Uncle Erol, but you still can’t make that silly foot work right!)

Before we go, let’s ponder on one last question:  “What’s on OUR list?”  Would it be patience…or making a difference in someone’s life or letting someone catch a glimpse of Christ’s love through us?  For new moms, it might just be to get a shower that day and brush a tooth or two!  Every list is different.  But, the important thing is what we have listed at the top.  Have a great week!


  1. Another WOW "sips"......lots of ponderings here...........but going to the Garden of Gethsemane was not a place of choice or even consideration, but am re-thinking THAT journey and thanks to Michael for a most important #1 on the list of things-to-do.......and just on the "lighter" side....tried the foot thing again, and made sure NO ONE was looking...guess what?!?!?

    1. That right foot is crazy isn't it? Won't listen to a thing we say - hee hee ;-) Yes, I also enjoyed the Garden story. Never thought about going there until now. I love the idea! And, a to-do list with "Patience" at the top is perfect. Have a wonderful day!

  2. Your Aunt Edy is so right,as I have learned these past few weeks. I am using the graces that God has given me to handle the events in my life. He has given me the Grace to accept that my Mama is in a better place. As much as I miss her I know I have been blessed with his Grace.

    Thank you for the Sip of Sunshine.

    Sending Love and Hugs,

    1. Hi Karen - Thank you for sharing your words with us ;-) I love to hear that His Grace is enough to get us through anything! Have a beautiful week ~