I'm Chrissy. Between ministering alongside Rev. Hubby and mothering my three Chickadees, life can get pretty busy. God is faithful to teach me through the everyday things. Nothing complicated. Just finding His treasures in today.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Twilight Ain't Got Nothin' on Jesus

Some months ago, I was meeting periodically with a group of ladies to pray, to encourage one another, and to read God's word together. On one of those days, we continued our reading in John 6. Already had we marveled at the miracles of the feeding of the (more than) 5,000, and of Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee to catch up to his disciples who were on a boat heading to Capernaum.

As I read, starting in verse 22, I watched as those who were fed woke up the next morning wanting their first meal of the day. Since Jesus was gone, they tracked him down in Capernaum and asked for some breakfast, please. Except they didn't say please. When Jesus didn't give them food, instead talking about eternal life given by the Son of Man, they had the audacity to question His authority to say such things by demanding, "Prove it! Perform a miracle so we can believe you!" I'm quite certain Jesus had proven Himself when He fed them just the day before.

In verse 32, I began to marvel at the patience Jesus shows this hungry group as He tells them about the opportunity for true and eternal satisfaction for those who come to Him and believe in Him. Completely unlike the temporary satisfaction of a full belly that will need to be fed in a few hours. To drive home His point, check out this passage starting in verse 48.
"I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” At that, the Jews argued among themselves, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”
So Jesus said to them, "I assure you: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day, because My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood lives in Me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the manna your fathers ate--and they died. The one who eats this bread will live forever." (vv. 48-58 HCSB)
Say what?
Eat flesh and drink blood?!?

It's not surprising that many who had traveled across the Sea of Galilee to find breakfast replied in this way,
Therefore, when many of His disciples heard this, they said, “This teaching is hard! Who can accept it?” (v. 60 HCSB)
I'd say that's putting it mildly.

And this image immediately came to my mind:

Courtesy of TwilightSingapore dot com

Now, I've never read any of the Twilight books or seen any of the movies, but I believe it's a story (correct me if I'm wrong) about a guy who wants to drink the blood of the one he loves to survive. But he doesn't because he doesn't want to turn her into a vampire. Until later, when he does. But it's for her own good, so she wont die.

No, you won't find me standing in line catching the latest movie release, although I know several people who are fanatically devoted to these stories.  

I think about posts I've seen on Facebook about standing in line for a midnight premiere, or watching an hours long Twilight marathon to get ready for the next movie.

What if my devotion to Jesus were as fanatic as others' devotion to Twilight?

Or...college football, Christmas shopping, hunting, our children's activities, work, keeping house...The list could go on. It's so much easier to be fanatic about just about everything except Jesus. It's acceptable.

But be fanatic about Jesus? Then people may look at me and say, "Gah! What a fanatic!" To most, that's unacceptable.

But that's what I want to hear. Knowing that He is the very thing that I need to live and to breathe and to overcome the struggles in this life. 

Him, and Him alone.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Lift With Your Legs

Two boxes. Two boxes are all that I have left to unpack. 

Purging is now my middle name as I not only got rid of a ton of stuff before we moved, but I also have a nice-sized pile of things ready for our church's rummage sale in a couple of weeks. It feels GOOD!

We're getting there. Just a few projects around the house to complete before the Chickadees graduate from high school before we'll feel totally moved in.

I must say, I am quite the mover. Meaning, I don't mind getting in there and picking up boxes, building bed frames, organizing closets, directing mover-helper traffic, arranging furniture. I like to get in the middle of it all.

I'm strong, too. I can hang with the big boys when it comes to carrying dressers up stairs or lifting mattresses on my shoulder.

But I'm careful. I know how to lift correctly. When some ladies and I needed (yes, needed) to rearrange my living room furniture three times in order to determine the most fabulous layout, I made sure my back was straight, tummy tucked in, and I lifted with my legs.

Easy peasy.

In the days following the big move, I was left to unpack dishes and decorations, toys and towels. It took some time, but it was just a bunch of little stuff, so no biggie. Right? 

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up with a little twinge in my back. Just over my...well, let's suffice it to say it resides in the lower right quadrant of my upper posterior area. I shook it off and got my older girls out the door to school. Got home and went back to it.

It still hurts. Two weeks. I kind of complain about it to people and they ask, "How did you hurt it?"  My answer,"I didn't do anything! I was just walking around and getting things out of boxes and putting things on shelves and in closets. Nothing!" 

Obviously, I was doing a lot. A lot of little things. No big deal things. Everyday, automatic pilot things. Bending toward a box. Reaching to a shelf. Stepping on a ladder.

I wasn't careful. No need to be, really. Or so I thought.

Oh, if only I could go back and bend at the waist!

But, alas, I cannot. Now, I am paying for it. The consequences of not being careful with the little things.

I think about when "big" things happen in my life. A loved one is sick. A tsunami hits Japan. An Iranian Christian pastor faces execution. I am careful to ask God for His care and peace and comfort and intervention in the situation. I seek His eternal and omniscient perspective.

But the little things? I've got that part under control. By myself. No need to be careful and ask for God to guide me how to wake the middle Chickadee who loathes getting up early for school. I just rely on my limited patience and eventually the threats come. Exasperation sets in.

"If you don't get up now, I'm leaving this room and you'll miss school! And don't even think you'll be sleeping/playing/watching TV! There are toilets to be cleaned and weeds to be pulled and you'll be the one doing it!" Yes, I am yelling now.

Tears. Angry words in return.

Oh, if only I could go back and speak kindly!

But, alas, I cannot. Now, I am paying for it. The consequences of not being careful with the little things.

I guess the point is: Are there really such things as "little" things? Or aren't the little things just the cells that build the big thing which is...Life.

And God knows I to be very careful with that.

Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk--not as unwise people, but as wise--making the most of the time because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15-16
Holman Christian Standard Bible

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Heart Hurts

Right now, I'm caught in the whirlwind that is packing and moving, saying goobye while savoring last moments all while planning and looking forward.  God has called Rev. Hubby to pastor in a town just about an hour from where we live.  We're moving back to his hometown, to the church where he grew up and served as an associate pastor for 10 years.  We're so excited to join what God is doing there. 

However, being called to a new ministry means being called from another ministry.  And that's the part that is so hard. 

Having lived here for a little over three years means that I, as the kind of woman I am, have just now had enough time to get to know the ladies here and call them good friends.  Two of the three Chickadees have memories from here only.  All they know is the parsonage and the walk up the hill to church.  Our neighbors the cows and going to the hardware store to visit the bunnies and the chicks.  Getting a hotdog and an ice cream cone from the grocery store in town.     

I think I'm getting nostalgic about my life in general.  (Those older than I can chuckle now.)  I am realizing that I've said a lot of goodbyes in my 35 years.  Moving the summer before 7th grade, from high school to college, ministry partners the summer after junior year, from college to the beach, from the beach to Rev. Hubby's hometown when we married, then off to seminary for a year, back to the hometown and finally to where we now live. 

And here we are moving again.  Purging toys and clothes and house decorations that haven't seen the light of day in 3 years.  And my heart hurts.  Particularly for those relationships that are going to have to change and to adapt to distance.  But also for all of the friendships that have already changed and adapted.

So I'm going to make a choice.  A very important choice.  A choice to recognize the huge blessings in my life that each of these friendships represent.  The precious gift from God that He has given me to know so many wonderful people and to be a part of their lives and to have them be a part of mine and my family's. 

This choice doesn't mean I'll ignore the heartache and the grieving that is taking place as I think about not seeing my current (for five more days!) church family on a regular basis.  But rather than thinking about what I seem to be losing, I'll focus on how my life has been forever enriched and shaped by the blessing of true friendship. 

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13
New International Verson 1984

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I will, but...

Not too long ago I asked my five-year-old Chickadee to clean up in her room a bit.

"I will, Mommy, but first can I have a drink?"

"Okay, Mommy, but I need to go potty first."

"Allllright, I'll do it right after I finish playing."

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Luke 9:57-62 
New International Version

"My child, take a moment and invest in that person's life."
"But Lord, I'm late. I've got to get to the school and pick up the kids."

"Go and join in your daughter's tea party."
"God, I will, but have you seen this house? The laundry, the dishes..."

"Come and read the words I have for you today."
"Of course, but I'm just so tired. Let me just sit down for a minute."

I want to do all of those things. I want to obey Him. And spend time with Him.

But so often I want to do it on my terms.

Friday, April 8, 2011

God Thinks You're Beautiful

I was wandering down memory lane and recalled a song I learned in college. It's a simple chorus called "More Precious Than Silver." Here are the words:

Lord, You are more precious than silver.
Lord, You are more costly than gold.
Lord, You are more beautiful than diamonds
And nothing I desire compares to you.

Some years later, at a camp, some friends and I were preparing to lead a group of middle and high school students in a time of worship through song, and we decided to sing this one. Brad, the guitarist, suggested we sing the song a couple of times in worship to God, and then sing it a little differently one last time. 
Rather than tell how we sang it, I want you to experience it for yourself.  Through reading, of course, instead of singing, unless you know the tune. 

Read (sing) along--
Lord, You are more precious than silver.
Lord, You are more costly than gold.
Lord, You are more beautiful than diamonds
And nothing I desire compares to you.

Now, imagine that God Himself, your heavenly Father, is singing to you these words:
Child, you are more precious than silver.
Child, you are more costly than gold.
Child, you are more beautiful than diamonds
And nothing I desire compares to you.

He loves you, thus Easter!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:16-17
New International Version

Monday, March 14, 2011

If Eve Only Knew

I was hanging out with my mom today on the love seat as the youngest Chickadee climbed all over us. I had forgotten she was coming over today. When she called to tell me she was about thirty minutes away, I had been snoozing on the couch as Baby Bird watched Sesame Street. I had been feeling under the weather for a few days, so after a marathon weekend, I was taking in Monday morning slowly. Very slowly. It was 10:30 a.m., and I was still in my p.j.'s. Not just breakfast dishes filled the sink, but also dishes from the day before. To say my kitchen was a disaster would be an understatement. My house was so not ready for my mom's visit. But I chose to get dressed before she arrived instead of pretending to work on the mess in the kitchen. She doesn't care, really, it's just a pride thing on my part.
Anyway, as we were conversing on the love seat, I kind of panned my eyes around the room to take in what other lapses in housekeeping were going on.
Among other things, I saw two laundry baskets full of clean clothes next to the couch. And then I remembered two more waited in the laundry room. Four baskets of clean clothes. And probably about four loads worth of dirty clothes waited in piles in bedrooms because the laundry baskets were taken!
Courtesy of Google Images
Eve, oh, Eve. Many times have I jokingly blamed you for the messes I get into, but this may be the one that takes the cake. And Adam, why, oh, why didn't you stop her?
Read here in Genesis 3 after the serpent tempts Eve to eat from the tree in the middle of the garden. The only tree God said not to eat from.
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.  New International Version 2011
There! Right there! Did you see it? In verse seven it clearly states that, due to Eve's sin, laundry was invented! Forget about increased pains during childbirth as a consequence for sin. I laugh in the face of labor pains! At least you get a baby in the end. But for Adam and Eve to see each other's nakedness and in turn make the first clothes.

They had no idea what they were bringing into the world.

I wonder, if Eve would have had the foresight to know this concept "laundry," if she would have chosen differently. Sigh...we'll never know. She never could have imagined the impact that her sin, her one "little" sin, would have on the generations to come.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

All Together Now..."O-o-o-o-o-o-o-klahoma...."

Would somebody please tell me when I moved to Oklahoma where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain??? I guess it's just that time of year when the weather is trying to decide if Spring's coming and it's time to plant the garden or if we'll have a blizzard in a couple of weeks. That wind blows everything from hay to burger wrappers into our carport. Ah, the perks of living next to a four-way stop.
In order to keep all of that dirt and grime from being tracked into my house, I sweep out the carport. Well, I have to admit, now Rev. Hubby uses the gas-powered blower to blow out the carport, but I used to sweep it out all the time.    
It was such a time-consuming chore! And I'm not one to get only the dirt I can see. I have to move every single bike/big-wheel/scooter/Barbie jeep and rake/fishing pole/baby floatie out of the way to get every bit of dust I possibly can. In fact, I actually use two brooms to sweep. One is a smaller broom that I used to have inside the house. It's for the corners and edges of the carport. And I use the bigger push broom to move it all out.
All that time, I've got my eye on the prize: the line that separates the carport from the driveway. When the dirt's over the line, it is officially OUT of the carport. So I work really hard and get the carport as clean as possible, just to get it barely into the driveway. And then I stop. And look. And realize that if I leave it there, it will blow back into the carport in about two seconds.
So what am I gonna do? Do I rejoice that the job's done and go on about my day, or do I do what it takes to get the dirt as far away from my clean carport as possible? Truth be told, I kind of meet in the middle. I get the big broom and push the dirt to the side, into the yard along the driveway. I figure it will have a harder time blowing back from the grass than if it's just on the concrete. And then I declare victory!
I know in my life, when God has revealed an area of sin to me, I tend to want to do the bare minimum required to declare that the area of sin has been removed from my life.  Usually, it's just across the line, waiting for something to stress me out or to tempt me and it will blow right back in to my cleaned out spirit. What if I took that extra time, made that extra effort to push it far, far away from me, so there isn't even a possibility of it blowing back into my life? Taking it to the Lord everyday, every hour, even every moment if that's what it takes.
Rev. Hubby has used the following illustration many times, and it always speaks to me.

Courtesy of Google Images

Imagine a line. On one side of it is sin and on the other side is, well, not sin. Now, we can be anywhere on the "not sin" side and not be sinning, but should we try to see how close we can get to the line that separates us from sin, or should we try to stay as far away from that line as possible?

I vote for as far away as possible. How about you?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Courtesy of Google Images

The Chickadees and I were out playing in the yard. Riding bikes and scooters, tossing the softball, when I heard Chickadee #2 yell, "No! Don't mess up our flowers!" I turned to find the eldest pulling weeds out of one of our flower beds. Chickadee #2 had, just the day before, presented me with a bouquet of these purple-petaled plants and now I had to break it to her that they were weeds. A nuisance that needed to be removed. We all worked together and got approximately 1/64 of our yard weeded. It's a start, I guess! 
I explained to the girls that you have to grab the weed from the root, removing the whole plant, otherwise it would grow right back. And, even though it's pretty, we have to get rid of it because it will steal the sunlight and water from the plants we're trying to grow. 
Just like my life, when I'm trying to uproot sin, it's easy to clean up the part that everyone can see while ignoring what's below the surface. The real problem that will come back quickly until the root is removed. Continuing to suck the life out of what I want to grow and to flourish.
It had rained the day before, so it was pretty easy work. The ground is so much more willing to give up the weed's root after the rain.
When the day is gray and the rain falls, rather than complain that we have to stay indoors, I thank the Lord for the quenching of the earth's thirst, for this weather is necessary for life.
For me, too, this kind of "weather" is necessary. A heavy rain, maybe even a storm, that at first seems to ruin my plans, comes and nourishes me, makes me more pliable, so that the Lord can more easily remove the weeds in my life.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Routine Maintenance

Courtesy of Google Images
Rev. Hubby took my car to the shop a couple of weeks ago because it needed an oil change. And the tires needed to be rotated. And, it turns out, a lug nut on one of the wheels had to be replaced. Confession: The oil should have been changed about 1,000 miles ago. I knew it was overdue, but I just didn't have the time to be car-less while it was getting worked on. This is not an uncommon practice for me. Pushing the oil change to the limit. I hope in the long run there is no damage done to the engine. Maybe there's just a little. Not enough to make much of a difference now, but, over time, those overdue oil changes can add up to some major problems! 
How many times have I noticed a little "something" going on in my life that needs to be addressed, but I don't take the time to address it? "It's not a big deal," I tell myself.  Maybe it's a call I need to make, a relationship I need to nurture, a sin I need to confess. But I can put it off--just a little longer. I mean, compared to a lot of other things that could be going on, I'm doing pretty good. No damage done. Right?
But then I remember my standard of comparison: God's holiness. The only standard that makes any difference. I can't compare my actions to those of a baby-abandoning mother or a dictator on the other side of the world. My shortcomings are just as ugly as theirs and greive the heart of God just as much.  But I ignore it. I'll deal with it later. I wonder what long-term damage may come because of those times I've chosen to put off being honest with myself and with God.
Don't misunderstand me. I am so thankful that God is a Redeemer! He takes the ugly and hurtful things of the world and makes them beautiful and healing. However, there is a consequence for sin. And that is something that cannot be ignored. And so, I am thankful for being reminded, by my car of all things, to make sure I take care of those little "somethings" before they are left to cause real damage. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snack Time

Yesterday afternoon I called my seven-year-old Chickadee to the kitchen to do her homework. She asked if she could have a snack before she got started. Then she clarified: "Mommy, I haven't had dessert today, so can I have dessert now? ("Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I, Mommy? Pleeeeze?" her eyes asked.) I thought for a second and then told her she needed a more substantial snack if she was going to be able to sit down and focus on her work--for all of the ten minutes it would take. She is only in first grade, after all.

Please excuse the forthcoming, long aside: I don't remember my parents ever having to call me in to do my homework. Well, for one thing, when I was in elementary school, you didn't have homework. Unless it was a book report in fifth grade, or something. But, first grade? No way! Okay, I do remember having homework in the fourth grade--once.  Long division.  It took me a couple of extra days to fully grasp this concept. I just couldn't believe I couldn't find a short cut. That it really would take so long!
I remember sitting at the dining room table with my mom working long division problems until my eyes hurt. I know she was getting tired of it, too. She did have three other children to take care of, you know. I remember it was pretty late at night. She had to leave the room for a few minutes to check on someone and when she came back I was playing opossum with my head on my arms on the table.  I was SO ready to be done! I guess she was, too, because she went along with my little charade and sent me to bed. I guess that let her off the hook a little.
You'd think that maybe my dad would have given me some tips with the math homework. He is, after all, the one in our family with the masters degree from Georgia Tech.  I think it's probably a good thing, though, that he didn't. As a senior in high school, taking calculus, I asked him for some help. He pursed his lips a little and thoughtfully looked at what I had been taught that day. After a few moments he said, "Look. Here's a much easier way to do this problem," and proceeded to write down what I think was the formula for cold fusion on my paper. He really was trying to help, and for that I am thankful. And then I majored in music in college. End of aside. Thanks for reading.

For afternoon snack, we agreed on chips with salsa and sour cream. Health food, no, but substantial and yummy, yes. And we had some left over from the night before.
She was satisfied. Happy, even, with her snack. And no big sugar rush and crash while ordering numbers from greatest to least.

Pretty much immediately, this passage came to mind: Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Matthew 7:9-11
New International Version

My daughter, whom I love very much, didn't get what she wanted. I denied her request. I said, "No." But I gave her something she needed, something better for the situation. And she got dessert after supper.
Sometimes, maybe a lot of times, I ask God for something, and He says, "No." But, as a loving Father, He gives me exactly what I need for the situation because He can see the situation so much better than I can. I'll have just what I need to sustain me and keep me focused. And, I can rest assured, I'll get dessert when it's the right time.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Safety Restraints

Google Images
The Baby Bird, now 21 months old, has never been the best car-rider. I've listened to her fuss and whine much more in the car than the other two combined. But, since she's the third, you kind of learn to tune it out.
A couple of days ago, we were on our way to...well, I have no idea exactly where we were headed, come to think of it...and I put Baby Bird in her car seat. 
If only there had been a ringside wrestling announcer, then the scene would have been complete. I literally had to lay on her hips in order to buckle her in. And she weighs, at most, 22-23 pounds. But she is STRONG and has a bit of a stubborn streak in her. 
You'd think that after hundreds of times being strapped into her seat, she'd get the picture that, no matter what, the buckling was going to occur. And here I am, teeth gritted, trying to literally single-handedly get points 3 and 4 buckled into point 5 of the 5 Point Harness. 
"This. Is. For. Your. Safety!" I told her. I guess she finally got the picture that, yet again, all of her bucking and flailing would not keep her from being safely buckled into her seat. But she didn't go down without a fight, let me tell you!
You know, God has laid out all kinds of rules and guidelines--safety restraints--in the Bible to help us on our way in life. And even though we know what they are, we buck against them, thinking that we know best this time. "This. Is. For. Your. Safety!" He's probably telling us. "I'm telling you this because I love you and want what's best for you," He adds. Just like we do with those we love. He wants to direct us on the path to righteousness which means having to be restrained from unrighteousness, right?  For our safety. Because He loves us.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. I have suffered much; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your word. Accept, O LORD, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws.
Psalm 119:105-108
New International Version 1984


Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Toes Are Froze

Have you ever wondered why people do the things they do? Take me, for instance. For the past several days, I've worn flip-flops while out and about getting the mail, running errands, even going to church. And it's January. I imagine you might be wondering, "Chrissy, why on earth are you wearing flip-flops in the middle of winter?"
I'll get to that in just a second. Promise.
I got quite a few second glances in the Wal-Mart parking lot as I flipped over piles of snow and flopped over icy patches left over from last week's winter storm.

Hmmm...wonder if my feet will make it on People of Wal-Mart?

You see, last summer, Rev. Hubby and I took an incredible 10th wedding anniversary trip to the Grand Canyon. We hiked down to the bottom, spent the night in the bunks at Phantom Ranch, and hiked out the next day. Little did I know that with each step I took, my left big toenail was being injured. And there are a lot of steps in 17 miles of hiking! It didn't fall off overnight. It actually took a few weeks to completely detach. I knew it would take quite some time to regrow, so I didn't think much of it.
Colder weather started to set in, and I needed to trade my flip-flops and sandals for shoes more suitable for cooler temperatures. It didn't take long before I noticed the place on my left big toe where a nail used to be was becoming irritated from having to wear socks and shoes. Not much longer after that, I realized that the nail wasn't growing quite as well. I know that things like hair and nail growth can slow in the winter so I tried not to worry, but as time passed and only half of my nailbed was covered with nail, I thought it might be time to do something, and the easiest thing to do would be to stop wearing shoes.
I'm a stay-at-home-mom, so going shoeless is not really a big deal for me on a day to day basis. Some days I leave the house just a couple of times to pick up the older girls from school. But pulling on shoes for that little time was still hurting my poor toe! So I decided to go back to my flip-flops to let my toe be free. 
I think it's getting better. Obviously, I can't see the nail growing, but it feels much better, so I'm sticking with the flip-flops and I'll just endure the strange looks.
If only the strange look givers knew why I was wearing flip-flops. I'm sure they'd say, "Ohhhhh! That makes perfect sense!"
All they have to do is take a second and ask me. I'd be glad to share. 

So I got to thinking. How often do I judge others on their, at least how I see it, strange behavior when I have absolutely no idea why it is that they are acting that way? Maybe they're healing from an injury, if you will, and all I'm thinking is, "Man, they are WEIRD!" If I stopped and took a moment to ask, I'd find that they need to do some things "differently" in order to make a complete recovery. Sometimes, I need to stop my usual self-serving activity and take a moment to find out what's going on in the life of someone else. To look past what's happening on the outside. Who knows? Maybe God will allow me be a part of their healing. 

...The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7
New International Version 1984
(yes, taken a bit out of context, but I think the idea as a whole is preserved)