Archive for June, 2010

God’s Sense of Humor

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

The other morning I was in high gear as usual trying to make the bed, tidy up the house, vacuum the kitchen, put the laundry on and get outside before 8 am to train Whisper, our thoroughbred filly who is getting ready to go back to the track. While in this whirlwind state I picked up a couple of  Benadryl tablets, a tiny magnet stuck to a small band aid and some used tissues off my night table. Then I wandered from place to place doing four things at once until finally getting my first cup of tea, I stopped to take a breath. As I drank the tea I thought to myself  “Now where did I set down that magnet?” The tiny magnet was about the size of a small pea and gold plated. It was given to me by my chiropractor about two weeks  ago to treat my right thyroid. I have been told by at least three doctors that my adrenals were not functioning right and have been taking supplements for that for over a year. But even with all the supplements I have still been feeling tired, not sleeping well and having a foggy brain in the mornings. Until my chiropractor (a wonderful Christian with all kinds of treatment tricks up her sleeve) determined it was not my adrenals but my right thyroid. When she first told me, I informed her that my blood tests had shown normal T3 & T4. Through her simple test she determined my left thyroid was probably working overtime because my right thyroid was not functioning. She told me to put the magnet on my right thyroid at night and see if I felt better over the next few months. I thought it was a waste of time but after using the magnet for two weeks, I finally felt as though I was healing. I haven’t had a morning fog since I first put on the magnet and I’ve been sleeping better. I’ve also had much more energy. And the magnet only cost $6.

So I retraced my steps but couldn’t find the magnet. I looked in every room, on every counter, on every floor and could not see this tiny magnet stuck to the band aid. Well you know how it feels losing something when you know you just had it so I won’t go into all the emotions that I went through. I looked up and said “Lord I really need your eyes right now ’cause I know it’s here but I can’t see it but I know you can. So please show me where the magnet is. Thanks Lord.”  I realized I could go get another one for $6 but I knew it had to be here somewhere and it was a good 30 minute drive to the chiropractor. Finally, it occurred to me it could have ended up in the garbage with the tissues. When I looked in the trash can sure enough I saw the Benadryl and the tissues. But no magnet. So I spent another ten minutes looking everywhere. Finally I realized it must have fallen all the way down into the garbage because I knew it was in my hand at the same time as the Benadryl and the tissues. I got another garbage bag and started picking through the wet tea bags, watermelon rinds, paper, and all sorts of ooey, gooey things. By the time I was almost at the bottom and it was getting really gross, I decided to forget it and just go get another one the next day. I picked the bag up out of the container and set it in the middle of the kitchen floor, then put the second bag inside the first. I tied the top and picked the bag up to leave beside the door so it could be taken to the shed, and there on the floor right beneath where the bag had sat was the magnet on the band aid. I started to laugh. It was so funny. What a sense of humor God has. I checked the bottom of the bag for holes, just to be sure there were none, and of course there weren’t. Knowing He had put it on the floor where I couldn’t miss it, I said “Thank you Lord” and continued on with my morning.

Magnet on the kitchen floor

“And two shall become one”

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

A cedar tree and an oak tree 'grown together'

While Gary and I were picnicking by the pond one afternoon a few Sundays ago, I was lying on a blanket on the freshly mowed grass listening to the music of nature. There was a soft breeze blowing and the sound of water falling from the fountain in the pond echoing the passage of time. The sun was shining on my face and it was a time of reflection and seeking God’s messages. I turned over and my eyes focused on the tree right behind us. I stared at it for a moment and in my heart I heard Him say “And two shall become one”. I knew I was receiving a message. An intimate message from God given to me through His beauty and creation. I stood up and went over to the tree to get a closer look.

When you first glanced at the tree you saw a huge old cedar with a trunk telling a tale that started well over 100 years ago. It’s many arms were reaching out in various directions offering shelter and shade to birds, squirrels and any other critters seeking it’s safety. Then about two feet away from the base of the main trunk of the cedar, an oak tree had grown up. A large and very old branch of the cedar tree and the main trunk of the oak had intersected. They had quite simply bonded and grown together. You could not tell where one tree ended or the other began. They had lovingly and gracefully become intertwined then continued on in their separate directions.

I had mowed under these trees, sat under them and even hung a birdhouse from their branches before, but had never noticed the joined trunks until this moment. “And two shall become one”, I heard the words again. I wondered what God was trying to tell me.I went back to the blanket and opened the Bible we had been reading, looking to Genesis chapter two where I knew I would find those words written by the Lord so many years ago. In verse 21 God had put Adam into a deep sleep and taken one of his ribs to make his helpmate, his woman. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24. Since I had started the programs here at the ranch using experiential learning, I knew He was wanting to teach me something with a visual aid. I started to consider the metaphors of marriage with the vision of these two trees. And I considered some things Gary and I had been struggling with in our union. I immediately saw the parallel’s of us and those trees. Gary and I have only been married four years and starting a relationship in your forties is very different than when you are in your twenties. We have come up against many obstacles that I believe are deeper than with younger couples just starting out in their first marriage. Mostly the difficulty of joining two lives together when we had been individuals and independent for so long. So I studied the trees to find the message that God was trying to give us.

First, the two trees were separate coming out of the ground, as our lives were before we met and married. Each tree had a separate direction and although heading for the sky, they were starting from a different location.  Then the trees intersected and grew around each other and together. You could not tell where one ended and the other began. And while those two trees grew together, they were joined in all things. They were no longer separate but together. When you looked at the combined trunks, they were stronger, straighter and completely united. There were no longer separate needs, only the needs of the union. There was also a sense of peace where they had bonded, as if they were in total agreement with the outcome of their joining.They were complementing each other and there did not seem to be a struggle in their bonding.

The beauty of the two united

I wondered how long it took for that union to be completed? How many years did each tree sacrifice its own needs for the needs of it’s partner? How many years did it take to complete that union? When did the trees decide it was okay to continue on with their separate identities, knowing that their bonding together would always be there and make them stronger together than they could ever be alone? Would they have both grown together so well if they’d been in a different place on the ranch with different soil conditions? Was the environment important to their bonding and flourishing? I looked at those trees and wondered if Gary and I were trying to join two separate trees with glue instead of truly growing together where you couldn’t tell where one of us started and the other ended. Did we need to look harder at strengthening our joining before we tried to spread outwards and upwards into the future? That reminded me of another scripture. Of a parable that Jesus taught about building your foundation on rock instead of sand. So when the rains came and the storms pounded the house would stand the tests of time. I looked at those two trees and knew they had survived the hurricanes of 2004 and all the mighty storms and wind that had prevailed upon them for so many years, standing stronger because of the power of two together. Sometimes we are afraid if we join body, mind and soul with another person we will lose ourselves or it will make us too vulnerable, too exposed to being hurt, so we live only half an existence in our marriage trying to protect ourselves instead of growing deeper in that union. But when couples grow together like the trees, they actually become stronger, so they can carry on with God’s purpose for their lives. Looking at the trees beyond their point of union, they had both grown taller and individually reached separately towards the sky. The oak was tall and straight and was peaking out beyond the tops of the cedar tree and the branch of the cedar had spread far and wide out from the oak. It’s heavy branches a shelter to both the oak and anything underneath it. As the wind blew the tips of the branches of both trees, the trunk where they were joined did not move. And I saw what God was showing me about our marriage. We were not to be two people coming together to share our separate lives; we were to become one, then grow into our individual callings with a foundation rooted deeply with God, so strong it could resist the storms of life.

And there was one more obvious thing to note about the joining of the trees; they could not possibly be separated unless they fell together.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.” Eccesiastes 4:9/10

God’s blessings to all