Finding God Outside the Box (Oops!)

By Martha Bolton: [HUMOR]

Sometimes thinking outside the box is hard to do when you are actually IN it.

Image: DigitalArt / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: DigitalArt / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Who doesn’t want to look stylish? I try. But I’m usually about a decade or so behind the times. My husband is not any better.

I remember the weekend years ago when I finally talked him into buying a leisure suit. All the fashionable men had been wearing them, but he had been holding out. On this particular weekend, though, he was finally going to get one. I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

We went to a local department store and shopped a bit, but couldn’t find exactly what he was looking for. So he asked a clerk, “Where can I find your leisure suits?”

The clerk replied, “Back in the 70’s, sir.”

I had my own experience when I went looking for a pair of stylish sheepskin boots. I thought they were cute whenever I saw someone wearing them, so I figured it’d be fun to at least try on a pair.

I walked into one of those big warehouse shoe stores and went up and down the aisles until I spotted them. After finding my size, I looked around for one of those shoestore stools to sit on while I tried them on. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one in that particular aisle, but there did happen to be a giant box full of smaller shoeboxes nearby, just waiting for a clerk to unpack. Perfect, I thought, and sat down on it.

The only problem was, it was empty! I sank all the way down to the bottom of the box and then realized to my horror that I was stuck. No matter how hard I tried to get out, I couldn’t budge. I felt like a human taco.

I had to rock the box back and forth until I knocked it over on its side and climbed out. (They’re probably still passing around the security video.)

Have you ever had a situation turn out nothing like you expected it would? Have you had your good intentions turn you upside down, leaving you stuck, embarrassed, laughed at?

The Bible is full of stories where you can find God outside the box working to prove His love to us. But sometimes he works inside the boxes, too. He can turn our most embarrassing moments into moments where He reminds us that He’s still our friend. He loves us even in our weakest, most awkward moments, like when we’re stuck in a giant shoe box and trying to look cool.

 ©Martha Bolton. Martha has written for many well-known comedians including Bob Hope and Phyllis Diller and is also a novelist. She was nominated for both an Emmy and Dove Award for lyrics and scriptwriting and has written award-winning parodies.  Find out more about Martha at marthabolton.com.

And for a bit more humor, enjoy these church bulletin bloopers. Sometimes an effort to think outside the box to be creative doesn’t come out quite right . . .

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Finding God: Missing Mom on Mother’s Day

By Martha Bolton:

I love my Mom, image used at Finding God Daily -- Finding God: Missing Mom on Mother's Day

Image by Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

To the children of my dear sister Melva and other children who are missing mom on Mother’s Day since my sister’s death:  It’s tough. I think about her constantly. Probably at the same times you do.

And to grieving readers missing mom on Mother’s Day, and every other day:

I know how it feels when you have good news and you want to call Mom and tell her all about it. When you have bad news and you want to call her and tell her about it.  You want to call when you’re:

worried,

fearful,

frustrated,

wondering what the future holds,

wondering what today holds,

wondering where you’re ever going to get the strength to do all you need to do,

need courage to do what you have to do, and

need wisdom to do what you need to do . . .  when you’re not even sure what that is.

If your mom was like my sister Melva, she was an ever ready listening ear, a deep well of advice (some instinctual, some garnered from a vast library of self-help books), and she was a ready hug whenever you needed it. You didn’t even have to ask for it. She was there and ready to give it.

I miss my sister, but ever since her death, I’ve had more courage. I’m certainly not there yet, but at least I reach down and pull it out from some place–all I have to do is remember how she faced her challenges in the end, how she rose to the occasion, how she pulled strength from God and just did it. What an amazing woman! If she could face everything she went through in life, then we can face what we go through.

She proved that life is really a matter of accepting the things we cannot change, having the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

This Mother’s Day I know my sister’s kids were blessed with an incredible mother. Were you also? Sing your mother’s praises every chance you get. The world didn’t give my sister enough praise. She deserved so much more. She may have been afraid of steep roads, but she was courageous and kept on going in spite of her fear. She may have been weak in defending herself, but she was one of the strongest women I know. She may not have had a lot, but she gave what she had, mainly her time to listen to someone else’s pain.

I wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day of Remembering an Awesome Woman. May you feel your own mother’s presence through every photo you see, every memory you savor, and every laugh you remember. She’s with God, telling him all about each one of you. He already knows it all, but she’s saying it anyway. That’s how proud she is of you.

©Martha Bolton. Martha has written for many well-known comedians including Bob Hope and Phyllis Diller and is also a novelist. She was nominated for both an Emmy and Dove Award for lyrics and scriptwriting and has written award-winning parodies.  Find out more about Martha at marthabolton.com.

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Finding God in a Memory Book

By Martha Bolton:

Honor someone you love: listen to their stories as you look at old photos together.

 

You’re likely to end up finding God in a memory book, as you hear about ways He has touched that person’s life.

 

looking at a memory book, by imagerymagestic used at Finding God Daily

Image Courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It doesn’t take much to make someone feel special. Sometimes all it takes is simply listening to their story or going through the pages of a memory book with them.

Memory books are a journey through someone’s life. They give us a glimpse of what mattered to them most, and how they’ve become the person they are today.

Memory books can be a lot of work to put together, but they’re well worth the effort. They can validate someone’s existence and remind them that they’ve lived. That they’ve made a difference. That they’ve mattered.

That’s why an unopened memory book gathering dust on someone’s shelf can be the saddest book of all.

Do you know God can be found in someone’s memory book?

Right there on each page, He can be found standing with them through every baby’s birth, graduation, marriage, and even through all those vacation memories and mishaps.  If they invited Him to be part of their life, He walked with them through it all.

And when  someone you love’s life draws to a close, He will be there, too.  In the heart of a friend or relative who relives those precious memories with him or her all over again, turning page after page after memory-filled page.

So give the gift of allowing someone to share their life’s journey with you. Don’t wait until you can do that “grand gesture” you’ve been thinking about doing for them. That grand moment may never come. Don’t waste any more time. Do something now that doesn’t require any planning. It won’t cost you a cent. And yet it’s meaningful, loving, and can make a person feel like their life is worth remembering.

Spot that dusty memory book on someone’s shelf and ask if you can look through it. Look over every page, taking it all in—every Christmas morning hug, every family portrait, every belly laugh. Let them tell you about the challenges they’ve faced in life and what they’ve learned from them. Give them room to share their fulfilled dreams, as well as the ones that got lost by the wayside. Let them share any doubts they had along the way, and the hope that got them through it all.

Relive someone’s finest moments with them, and find God in their memories.

 

A psalm of David.

Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.

Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me.

Psalm 103: 1-2  New Living Translation

The next time you visit someone you love, ask to see their memory books. Ask if they can share  stories with you about ways God has impacted their life, and praise God together for those things!

©Martha Bolton. Martha has written for many well-known comedians including Bob Hope and Phyllis Diller and is also a novelist. She was nominated for both an Emmy and Dove Award for lyrics and scriptwriting and has written award-winning parodies.  Find out more about Martha at marthabolton.com.

Enjoy this video with a story of an answered prayer about a different kind of memory book, posted by Susan, one of her WELCOME INTO “MY LIFE” STORIES:

The Memory Book – Coincidence? Not!! God Answered the Desire of My Heart

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