It’s a Matter of Perspective…

     One thing I recall about springtime while growing up in Montana is the abundance of dandelions. I doubt I knew the cheery yellow flower was a weed. They made marvelous decorations for a mud cake and pretty, petite bouquets to take home to Mama.

     I believed the myth if you rub a dandelion under your chin and its yellow pollen stuck, you were in love. My playmates and I teased each other, trying to figure out who we loved.

     My very favorite thing about dandelions, though, was to blow on a flower which had gone to seed and make a wish.

When some see a dandelion, they see a weed.
When others see a dandelion, they see a wish.

     It’s all a matter of perspective.

     The other day while we walked around the University of Idaho Arboretum, I asked my husband to take a photo of a scene I thought was lovely. Finally, Ron said, “Okay, NOW I see what you see.” Because Ron stood a few steps away, and because I am 5’4” tall, and he is 6’4,” it took a while before he saw the scene from my vantage point.

     A matter of perspective.

The Arboretum is divided into four geographical regions. This view is from the entrance to the Asian region. The flowering bush in the foreground is a Korean lilac. Stunning!!

Perspective is a particular way of looking at something—one’s point of view. The reason for many misunderstandings boils down to difference in perspective.

     Perspective matters in cultural issues. Take the current Covid-19 pandemic. If you are a well-paid employee, not losing income while working from home, your position about quarantine is probably quite different from the small business owner who lies awake at night worrying about a dream which day by day seems to be disintegrating.

     Perspective carries over into matters of faith. A woman teaching the Bible study group I attended was discussing the story of David and Bathsheba (See 2 Samuel 11). She made a statement, “Of course, Bathsheba was__________________.”

     Her comment shocked me because I would have finished the sentence in a completely different way. In discussion afterward, we agreed neither knew the correct completion because it was never conveyed in the biblical account. Either may have been correct. Or, perhaps we both were incorrect.

     A matter of perspective.

One passage of scripture has helped me enormously deal with the challenge of perspective, especially where faith and politics are concerned:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.

As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8 & 9 (NIV)

     When it comes to perspective, I believe it’s important to be well-informed and stand resolute in my convictions. In the final analysis, however, I imagine God ‘s perspective is all that truly matters!

Prayer

God who Sees,
Thank You that You know what I do not.
You see clearly when my perspective is blurred.
Help me focus on what really, truly matters.
Loving God, loving others and loving myself.
Amen

From my perspective, you are a very special blessing…

Sue Reeve

dandelion

Remembering a Day Full of Joy…

     Last Saturday my husband and I left home early in the morning, stopped at Starbucks, and then headed out of town for a day trip to the farmlands of the Palouse. As Ron drove down country roads, looking for the “just right” photo opportunity, we had some great discussions.

     Between our jaunts down dusty roads, we spent a couple hours walking well-groomed pathways in the 45-acre University of Idaho Arboretum outside Moscow. If you live anywhere nearby, you may want to check out this botanical gem. Several photos from the Arboretum are in today’s post.

     After a nice long walk, we found a restaurant in Moscow, and for the first time in over two months—because of the Covid-19 shutdown—we were able to dine inside.

     I cherish days like this!

          Simple pleasures,

               The beauty of nature,

                    Rich conversation,

                         Time alone with ‘my man,’ my best friend,

                              No need to cook,

                              A day full of joy!

One of many beautiful granite benches in the Arboretum, all with different inscriptions.

 

The fragrance from a wide variety of lilacs was intoxicating!

   … Let the hills sing out their songs of joy.

Psalm 98:8 (NLT)

Prayer:
God of Wonder,
Thank you for expressing
Your love through
The joy of creation.
Amen

Asking God to give you days filled with joy…

Sue Reeve

Belated Mother’s Day Message: Lean into Truth…

To each Listening on the Journey…reader who is a mother, who has longed to be a mother, or who is a mother-of-the-heart, today’s post is for you!

     Mother’s Day snuck up on me this year—partially, because my sense of time and scheduling has been turned upside down by the Covid-19 quarantine and partly because of a spiritual struggle.

     Around the first of May, my soul seemed to engage in a wrestling match. The opponent was a skillful wrestler named REGRET.

     At times, my opponent pinned me down, nasty voice taunting, “Hah! you blew it! You know mothering do-overs don’t exist!”

     Then, I’d manage to pin down REGRET, reminding my bullying foe, “God’s grace is bigger than my mothering mistakes!”

     Several days passed before I recognized what was happening.

     First, cultural upheaval had upset my routine equilibrium. On top of that, raw emotional motherhood regrets, which surface easily for women this time of year, emerged.

     The enemy of my soul recognized my vulnerability and snuck up on me!

     While I don’t give a lot of attention to the work of the enemy, I have experienced and believe theologically that a very real spiritual enemy exists.

     During my struggle, I was reminded of important truths, two of which I’ll discuss today:

First, any message delivered by my soul’s enemy will always be untrue, and when I realize I’m in a spiritual wrestling match, my first strategy must be to lean into what I know is true!

     Of the devil, Jesus said, “He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character….” (John 8:44 NLT)

     Adjusting to quarantine has been unsettling. Recognizing and coming to grips with the emotion of regret also felt confusing since this is not something I struggle with typically.

     Even though I know full well I made my fair share of mothering blunders, I also know I did the best with the knowledge I had at the time, and with subsequent realizations, I’ve sought and accepted forgiveness. Being a good mom will always be a top priority for me, even as I realize it is for most reading these words.

     Even though it can be difficult to lean into uncomfortable emotional issues, this step is important. The enemy’s preference will prod me to overly dissect, deny, or discount what is taking place in my heart.

The second thing I realized is the enemy of my soul is cunning and always on the lookout for weaknesses in my character or vulnerability created by difficult or unexpected circumstances.

     Peter, who knew a thing or two about the devil’s tactics, warned: Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NLT)

     Several years ago, Ron and I went on a night safari in South Africa and came upon a lair of lions. One big fellow lay lazily a few feet from the open seat where I sat. The guide promised we had nothing to worry about as long as we stayed in the vehicle. He also warned if we were to exit, that lion, who appeared benign, would in a split-second pounce on us. Just in case anything unexpected happened, the guide assured us he carried a high-powered rifle!

     When we refuse to lean into lies that sabotage our ‘story,’ we give our enemy an opportunity to ‘pounce.’ But we need not fear because the ‘high-powered’ spirit of Jesus is a whole lot greater than the tactics of any enemy. (See 1 John 4:4)

     In my next post, I’ll expose some of the enemy’s common tactical lies as well as ways we can fight them.

Prayer:

Giver of Every Good Gift,

Thank you, God, that Your very character is Truth,
And that You desire to lead us into messages that are true.

Give us insight to recognize lies perpetrated
The enemy of our souls.

Give us strength to lean into every lie and
Turn quickly to the truth of Who You are and Whose we are.

Amen

Blessings to all…

Sue Reeve