Thursday, October 28, 2010

Laundry Day

In my house, every day is laundry day. Although the people who live here are all capable of managing their own laundry, I don’t mind keeping up with it provided they sort it in the proper bins. Let me add, if the clothes are not sorted properly, I’ll make the necessary corrections. However, I do not, and will not, go into bedrooms or bathrooms in search of items to wash. If someone decides to pile dirty clothes in the corner of their room, then they have to do their own laundry. I believe those rules are more than fair, and since I’m the only person writing the laundry rules around here, there won’t be any amendments in the near future.
Although laundry is a daily chore for me, I don’t think about it much, yet this morning, my laundry basket was one of the first images my mind produced. As soon as the alarm jolted me out of sleep, there were two thoughts waiting for me. They were the same two thoughts which circled my mind only a few hours before, when sleep was no where to be found. Both involved struggles with situations outside of my control, and perhaps that’s the reason for the mental battle: I want to fix everything. Oh, and I want everyone to be happy.
That’s when I remembered my laundry basket, and my rule about only taking care of what’s in the basket. I thought about how freeing it would be if I would just place all of the troubling thoughts into God’s basket, and let Him handle them. For too long, I’ve mulled over the situations stacked in the corners of my mind. So I did it. I gathered the thoughts, every one, and before sorting them I whispered Reinhold Niebuhr’s prayer, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Things I need to accomplish today were placed on a list, and a prayer for improved time management skills were put in God’s basket. I wrapped the decisions I need to make in a prayer for wisdom and courage, and placed them, too, in God’s basket. Finally I threw in the situations over which I have no control. I thanked God for His constant love, protection, and presence in my life. My trust in Him is truly greater than any disappointment I’ve experienced.
As soon as I finished, I remembered Philippians 4:6,7, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
The process of sorting out my thoughts, then praying over them as I released them to God brought the peace I sought. In my life, every day needs to be this type of laundry day.
Ronny may be reached at

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Where's the Funeral?

“Who died?” Lauren asked as she walked through the kitchen.
“Is it that obvious?” I answered with a question of my own.
“You wear the same outfit every time you go to a funeral,” she informed me, unnecessarily.
What can I say? My wardrobe has become dull and predictable. When I was her age, I had stylish clothes, although my closet currently has no evidence to support that statement.
I left the house, and drove for only a minute before my husband called. “Where are you?” Michael asked.
“On my way. I’ll be there in ten minutes,” I assured him.
“Why did you tell me it was at St. Peter Church? No one’s there. Didn’t you read the newspaper? Where’s the funeral?” So many questions!
“Well, go to the…”
“No, they’re not at the funeral home, either. Didn’t you read the newspaper? Where’s the funeral?”
“No, I did not read the paper. My parents told me the time of the services and I just guessed the rest.” I guess I was wrong. “It’s not like they’re on the move.” I added. “We’ll find them. Give me a minute.”
I called my Mom and my Aunt Judy. No one answered. Great, I thought, they must have read the paper and they’re already at the wake. My next call was to my sister. Kay and I rarely bother with pleasantries, but rather go straight to the point of the call. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, but it’s the nature of our relationship. Our conversations begin with sentences such as, “I’m hungry; what did you cook?” “Is your dryer empty, mine broke.” “Victoria needs to borrow a pair of school socks.” Or, in this case, “Google an obituary for me.”
I soon had the answer, and called Michael. “St. Joan of Arc,” I announced, triumphantly.
My husband was unimpressed. His only response was, “I can’t believe you didn’t read the paper. Who guesses about funerals?”
We all know the answer to that question. I do.
Michael and I made it to the church on time, and I titled our morning, “The Amazing Race.”
Occasionally, I have days like this. Thankfully, those days are minor parts, and not the sum of my life. While I may drop the ball with daily details, I’m not guessing about my final destination. One of the many verses circled in my Bible is I John 5:13. “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.”
I’ve titled that verse, “The Amazing Grace.”
Ronny may be reached at

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mirror, Mirror

Of the many mirrors on my wall, which one do I like best of all?
Well, that’s easy: it’s the full length mirror Monique brought home after one college semester. In the absence of space elsewhere, I placed it against a wall in my bedroom. I should have also placed a sticker on it: “Warning: Objects in mirror are larger than they appear.” A slight bow in the center of the mirror caused me to look slimmer. Oh, how I loved the lie Monique’s mirror told.
Looking in that mirror has not been the only time I’ve had a distorted view of myself. I’ve sometimes defined myself by the mistakes I’ve made in the past. Or I’ve looked to others whom I’ve thought of as more successful, and walked away with a very dim view of my life. Equally as deceptive is to compare myself to those who choices have been less than stellar, then suffer from an inflated ego. When I want to get an accurate view of myself, I don’t look to the world, but to the Word to determine who I am.
According to God’s Word, I am His workmanship, created in His own image, fearfully and wonderfully made. That’s just the beginning. As a Christian, I am a member of His household, a fellow citizen with God’s people, an heir of God, and His treasured possession. He orders my steps, makes me more than a conqueror, gives me hope for the future, and has promised to never leave or forsake me.
Maybe I should put these Scripture verses around my bathroom mirror so that I can always be reminded of who I am in Christ. I’m probably not the only person to suffer from mistaken identity. Should you find someone searching for answers, or even using you as their mirror, cast a gentle, true reflection as you point them to Jesus.

Ronny may be reached at

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wedding Dress Music

“I think I’ve found my wedding dress,” Monique said as soon as I answered her call. “Want to come with me to try it on?”
I would not have answered more quickly or enthusiastically if she had asked me to go to the beach, hire a chef, or have liposuction. (Although hiring a chef would have been close.) “Of course I’ll be there! When are we leaving?” I asked. Shortly after, my Mom, Aunt Judy, Lauren, and I arranged our schedules for the big day.
In addition to the dress she found on the internet, Monique selected a few others. When she walked out in the first one, we all gasped and commented, over and over again, on the beautiful dress. She finally said, “Stop. Other people aren’t talking. We need to be quiet.” She was right. Girls were walking around in beautiful wedding gowns, and no one else was oohhing or aahhing. We all just looked at each other, and assured her we would try to be quiet.
We got better and better with each dress. We smiled, nodded, and every time Monique disappeared into the fitting room to put on a new gown, we complimented each other’s behavior. It was during one of these intervals that Lauren said, “I can’t believe the music that’s playing here.” The rest of us were busy burying our emotions, and had no time to analyze the lyrics of the songs being piped in. Turning to the salesperson, Lauren said, “Why would you play such depressing music on one of the happiest days of my sister’s life?” The surprised employee said something about being tired of other music when Lauren added, “These songs are bringing back memories of all my failed relationships. I just want you to know when I try on wedding gowns, I’m bringing my own soundtrack.”
Once I started listening to the words, I had to agree with Lauren. There were songs with lyrics such as, “I’m not a princess, this ain’t a fairy tale, I’m not the one you’ll sweep off her feet…” Or “I’ll never get over you getting over me.” And how about, “Remember all the things we wanted. Now our memories, they’re haunted. We were always meant to say goodbye.”
Lauren was right. Although the tunes are melodic, many of the lyrics are just sad. I’m not an expert on psychology or the effect of music. Actually, I’m not an expert on anything; however, I believe songs can find a home in our minds, and dwelling upon thoughts of heartbreak, sorrow, and regret will produce sadness. In Philippians 4:8, Paul instructed us to think on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. Since thoughts become words, and words become actions, I want my mind to be filled with life-giving thoughts.
No song could have dampened the mood when Monique walked out of the dressing room the final time. She was wearing THE dress. “She’s glowing,” Aunt Judy said, and we all added our own exclamations of approval, regardless of the other solemn shoppers. Monique would not buy the dress until her Dad and her other two sisters saw it. A few hours later, we returned for the purchase.
Now my daughters are worried because I haven’t bought my dress. At least there are no music issues when I shop. Regardless of the store’s song selections, the only lyrics I hear in my mind are from U2, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” But when I do find it, I’d like there to be lots of oohhing and aahhing.
Ronny may be reached at