Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Menu

The Menu
Carol Condon

For some reason every time we walked in we were escorted to the back and seated at the secluded table along the wall away from everyone. At first we thought we were getting preferential treatment; however, we soon realized that when they saw the six of us walking in they didn’t want to take a risk and seat us among the many guests already dining in case we were too much of a distraction.

The first thing needing to be settled was who gets to sit where. That was a job all in itself. Once that was finalized we all became engrossed in reading the menu. The entrées were listed along with the sides that could be chosen to accompany the main dish. Mentally we made our selections according to each one of our preferences. As our waiter listened patiently to each one of us he recorded our choices.

Mark didn’t just want a side salad. He wanted a side salad without tomatoes and cucumbers. Jared wanted to make sure his side salad had cheese added. Chase requested that his grilled chicken sandwich was plain and without mayonnaise. Miquel wanted to substitute rice in place of the refried beans and Bryce and I added our own touches to the meals that we ordered. I was sighing in relief that I didn’t have to make all these substitutions in my own kitchen. As long as the chef followed the order correctly we would soon be enjoying our meal that we directed according to our own personal tastes.

How often to we come to the Lord holding our menu and stating our personalized order. We enter the prayer closet all ready for Him to record our preferences. We would like a new home, but not just any home in any neighborhood. Our budget needs assistance, Lord, but we need it to be like this, and we go on to explain just how we would like it done. The lonely single is now ready to place an order. “Lord, I have done most of my single wish list and now I am ready for marriage. I prefer someone in the 6 figures, tall, never forgets to put the lid on the toothpaste…..” We then begin looking for “our order.” Do we actually miss what He has for us because we only have our eyes searching for what we want? Let’s set the menu aside and allow him to order our steps.

Psalm 37:23 KJV
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What's Under Your Bed

Carol Condon

I was rinsing our dinner dishes when I heard the washer finish its cycle. On my way to the laundry room I remembered that tomorrow was trash pick up so I detoured to the garage to run the trash containers to the curb. As I headed back into the house I realized that I needed to put the laundry into the dryer before finishing up the dishes. Going from one room to another I was suddenly aware that I had a little shadow directly beside my own.

Chase was only about four years old at the time and he loved to be my helper, but tonight he was just sticking close to me not saying a word. I noticed that he had left the light on in his room so I asked him if he would run in and turn it off. He reluctantly walked to his room and as he turned off the light he bolted right back to me in a very quick manner. I told him that we needed to go downstairs and tidy up before I tucked him into bed for the night and he gladly walked with me. Once downstairs I asked him to go into the playroom and turn off the light. He did so but this time as he ran back he made it no secret that he was afraid.

As I tucked him into bed, I questioned him about his fear. He admitted that he was afraid of the monsters that were under his bed. These “monsters” supposedly came in when we weren’t looking and they would hide out until bedtime. I began to explain how that was not possible because each night we prayed for Jesus to watch over him and keep evil far from him. I stopped then and said our nightly prayer together. I then asked him to climb out of bed and peek under the bed with me. He joined me and we took a look. I pointed out his racecar track that filled one half of the space. Then we looked at the long storage boxes that held all his “happy meal” toys. I asked him where the “monsters” were supposed to hide. He smiled up at me as he said, “Mommy, there is no room for monsters.”

How many times have we allowed fear to inhibit us from being what God has called us to be? Maybe we need to take a peek at what is under our bed. Do we have the space filled with “things that are true, honest, just, pure, and lovely” leaving no room for the “monsters” to hide out waiting to rob us of the things that God has for us? He has plans for us. Let us not miss out on them!

Philippians 4:8 NIV
8. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Marigold

The Marigold
Carol Condon

The ground was extremely hardened as the blades dug deep cultivating the earth. Clumps of thick clay were being turned over in preparation for new life. It was a strenuous task as the sun seemingly aimed its rays towards the little patch of land. With a tenacious grip he guided the plow up and down every row in anticipation for the vegetation that would soon begin its life in the very place he now walked. Year after year he perfected his gardening abilities eventually focusing exclusively on the tomato plant.

My Dad could harvest a tomato that would be a meal in itself. My Mom and Dad were quite a team. However, they worked year round in order to provide this delicacy each summer. The seeds were saved from only the best specimen. They were then dried and eventually planted in little soil pockets under lights where they would germinate throughout the winter months readying themselves for spring. It was quite an art.

My Dad passed away on December 14, 2008. His seeds were already preparing themselves for the spring planting. Mom’s heart was broken but she carried on where my Dad had left off. She saved two of the plants for me. I was nervous as I planted them in my yard, a yard that had never felt a gardeners touch. I watched the two plants stretch high as small circles of green dotted along the stems. The green was slowly replaced by orange and eventually red. However, each tomato was been destroyed right on the stems. Even though my plants looked healthy the tomatoes were ruined. I called my Mom and she told me that there is a worm that seeks out the tomato and that I need a marigold.

Depending on the species, marigold foliage has a musky, pungent scent that is said to deter some common insect pests as well as the little culprit that had eaten through my two precious tomato plants. This year my Mom gave me two more tomato plants but before I prepared my ground for planting I bought a tray of marigolds.

So many times we have cultivated the plans for our lives and all seems to be going according to our plans, but then the worm appears, leaving destruction in its path. We need a “marigold”.

Our Lord wants to be the Master of our “garden”. If we delight ourselves in Him, day and night, we have a promise. We will flourish under His authority!

Psalm 1:3
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.