Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Candace Bushnell, Part 2

Looking back at my last post, it seems I sort of went on and on. I do that sometimes.

So a briefer review of another point from the book.
"They considered me a little farm girl who didn't know her place," she'd tell Billy on the long afternoons they used to spend together. "And they were right. I didn't know my place. As long as one refuses to know one's place, there's no telling what one can do in this world."

This really struck me. I came from the farm life. Was I a little farm girl? Absolutely. I rode horses, raked and baled hay, gathered eggs, burned brush, sprigged coastal fields. I did it all. Did I want to? No, but that is another story.

I went to Texas A&M because I visited the campus while on a livestock judging team with FFA (Future Farmers of America). That was all it took. I became a computer programmer (yuck!!!) because my high school counselor said I could make a lot of money. That ended up being true.

Bu all of that is ancient history now. In the 1990's I searched for more meaning to my life. Oh sure, I made a lot of money, drove a Cadillac, had a great house, great family, but none of it seemed to mean much.

Enter a sewing machine as a Christmas present and waalaa, life is changed. I wonder now how God manages to hang in there when we take so long to figure things out. I had always been around quilts and loved quilts, but had never made a quilt. Once I made that first quilt, life would never be the same. Now 14 years later, I have a quilt ministry. I did not know my place, but God did. I did not know what I was capable of, but God did.

Now I am making quilts and spreading God's love in a world full of hurt. Thank you God for the gift and the guidance to figure out how to use it!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell - Part 1

Most of you know that I am an avid reader. Well I watch "Sex and the City" with my daughters, horrifying, I know!! So I thought I should check out a book written by Candace Bushnell and see what I thought. I am still reading the book, but she has some interesting statements that I want to take a closer look at.

From the book:
"I can count the days I've been truly content on one hand," Mindy wrote now. "Those are bad numbers in a country where pursuing happiness is a right so important, it's in our Constitution. But maybe that's the key. It's the pursuit of happiness, not the actual acquisition that matters."

I loved this thought. You have this high powered woman, with a large townhouse on Fifth Avenue. She is married to a Pulitzer prize winning author.  She has a computer genius kid and she is still not happy. It begs the question, is she not happy because she cannot see what she has, because she continues to pursue material things in order to get happy, or some other reason?

I see this all the time, even in my small town of 9,000.
Big house - not happy.
Fancy car - not happy.
Smart kids - not happy.
Money to spend - not happy.
Loving spouse - not happy.  

Nothing is ever enough to make us happy. I think we have lost our way. Shouldn't we be thankful for all we have? Shouldn't we be glad we can pursue?

"Happy" is a state of mind. We have gotten so caught up in the acquisition that we have lost the joy of everyday. If I only had.... has replaced I am so lucky. Our focus should be on God and not on things.

 I think Psalm 144:9-15 speaks to this issue.
9 I will sing a new song to you, my God;
on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,
10 to the One who gives victory to kings,
who delivers his servant David.
From the deadly sword 11 deliver me;
rescue me from the hands of foreigners
whose mouths are full of lies,
whose right hands are deceitful.
12 Then our sons in their youth
will be like well-nurtured plants,
and our daughters will be like pillars
carved to adorn a palace.
13 Our barns will be filled
with every kind of provision.
Our sheep will increase by thousands,
by tens of thousands in our fields;
14 our oxen will draw heavy loads.[b]
There will be no breaching of walls,
no going into captivity,
no cry of distress in our streets.
15 Blessed is the people of whom this is true;
blessed is the people whose God is the LORD.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary explains the meaning of the scripture.

Commentary on Psalm 144:9-15

Fresh favours call for fresh returns of thanks; we must praise God for the mercies we hope for by his promise, as well as those we have received by his providence. To be saved from the hurtful sword, or from wasting sickness, without deliverance from the dominion of sin and the wrath to come, is but a small advantage. The public prosperity David desired for his people, is stated.

It adds much to the comfort and happiness of parents in this world, to see their children likely to do well. To see them as plants, not as weeds, not as thorns; to see them as plants growing, not withered and blasted; to see them likely to bring forth fruit unto God in their day; to see them in their youth growing strong in the Spirit.

Plenty is to be desired, that we may be thankful to God, generous to our friends, and charitable to the poor; otherwise, what profit is it to have our garners full? Also, uninterrupted peace. War brings abundance of mischiefs, whether it be to attack others or to defend ourselves. And in proportion as we do not adhere to the worship and service of God, we cease to be a happy people. The subjects of the Saviour, the Son of David, share the blessings of his authority and victories, and are happy because they have the Lord for their God.