Thursday, June 4, 2015

My Blessed Is Not Your Blessed

Girlfriends, growing up, my favorite movie was “Room For One More” starring Cary Grant.  It’s as old as the hills, but if you haven’t seen it…find it…watch it.  It’ll put your priorities in the right order.  I’ve always loved it because it was about a family who had three children of their own, and while not wealthy by any means, they fostered more children.  Thus, the title…”Room For One More.”

I always envisioned this movie family as my “one-day” family.  I would marry my Cary Grant (which I have), I would fall in love with foster children of my own (which I have), and I would have no less than a ton of biological babies to boot (but that’s where my dream changed).  Let me explain.

In my first blog post, I promised the following: And as girlfriends share things that no one else has the privilege of knowing about each other, I plan to share my struggles with you.  Maybe in that way I’ll be an encouragement to you…”  But, Girlfriends, in order to do this, I have to let you into my current struggle or maybe we should call it my dream changer.

Just a week ago, Clay and I sat in a pre-op hospital room signing a few ordinary pre-op papers for a procedure that I was about to undergo.  We read and signed the one asking whether or not you have a power of attorney or living will…slightly alarming…but ok…no big deal.  Then we followed with the one that allows the hospital to give you a blood transfusion should something go horribly wrong…even more alarming…but should the doctor slip and hit a vein…well, yeah…pump me full.  Then we came to a rather simple looking form. 

Suddenly tears stung our eyes and Clay’s arms engulfed me as we read the following words: “I acknowledge that this procedure will terminate the ability to conceive, to bear, or to carry any future children.”  Yes.  We knew a hysterectomy meant this.  But, we didn’t expect to see it in black and white.  And I surely didn’t expect to have to fight through the blinding tears to find the small line and to carefully and painstakingly sign my name.

You see, this was not my dream.  It still isn’t.

I never envisioned large tumors attacking my uterus and then my uterus attacking itself.  I never saw two babies, although precious and perfect, as my houseful.  I never thought of anything but what I had dreamed.

And then I made a fatal error in the days that followed.  I began to compare my life to those around me…to other women I knew…to friends on Facebook…to family members…to anyone who had what I had wanted…more babies.  How do I compare to those who are currently pregnant with their little angels or how do I compare to those who have a house brimming full of little hands and feet?  How?  Why God?  What is wrong with me?

And then, as quickly as I made that stupid mistake, a new thought came to me…and I think it was initiated by my loving Heavenly Father…who truly does love me and makes absolutely no mistakes.

My Blessed is not Your Blessed.  

We, as women and girlfriends, constantly compare ourselves to those about us.  We want what our friends have.  We like a lot of what our friends like.  We try to do or have similar things to our friends.  For whatever purpose, we like to be alike.  Take monogrammed clothing, for example.  Five years ago, no one cared about monogrammed clothing.  But, go count the number of shirts, shorts, hats, etc. you have in your closet now with your beautiful initials on them.  We like to do all the cute things our friends do.  But, that’s where it should end…with monograms. 

You see, I may look at a girlfriend and wish I had the number of babies she has and a womb that can carry that many.  But, there are definitely other girlfriends out there that are looking at me and wishing they had the babies I have and the womb I had for a short time.  My Blessed is not Your Blessed.  What I have is what God blessed me with and I’m grateful.  And whatever you have is what God blessed you with and I’m very grateful for you. 

This goes for everything.  Whether it’s babies or houses or clothes or education or height or weight or whatever…Your Blessed is not My Blessed.  Your Blessed is specific to you and meant especially for you for a special purpose.  Don’t underestimate Your Blessed…there is something God intends to do with Your Blessed if you’ll let Him.  And don’t squander Your Blessed by worrying that it’s not like your girlfriend's.  Her Blessed wouldn’t fit the dream that God has just for His little girl…you.

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

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

Always know, from one girlfriend to another, you are perfect.  You are beautiful.  You are loved.  You are Blessed, my friend.  Don’t let anyone belittle Your Blessed.  Because, you’re amazing!

Quietly Gentled,

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Don't Cut the Tea Bags

Girlfriends, I’m not always as smart as I look.  Ok…a little snickering from the crowd is alright…but whoever is belly laughing in the back of the audience may be going a bit too far…maybe…

I know.  I know.  Sometimes I just don’t have it together…at all.  One time comes to mind.  I remember being a newlywed…keeping house for my hubby…enjoying my domestic duties.  I was slowly and meticulously cutting each tea bag and letting the tea fall into my storage container when I felt a presence over my right shoulder.  Yep…there was Clay.  As newlyweds, this was a welcome presence.  I just knew we were in for some cuddle time…when instead…he just intently watched my activity.  I explained I was cutting the bags and collecting the tea so I could scoop and measure it out later to make sweet tea.  He stood silently looking on as if he had more to say, but wasn’t sure where to begin.  I continued cutting and collecting.  Finally, he put the words together and they came out something like this, “Why in the world wouldn’t you just use the tea bags to make tea?!!”  I rolled my eyes.  Men!  They have no clue.  Of course, I had to have loose tea, silly.  I couldn’t use tea bags.  I had to measure it out.  How else would I know how much to use???!!!  Besides, this is how my mom had done it for years and years and years.  If she did it, it was right.  He snickered and moved on as if to say “whatever”.

Mom came by the house a few days later and I chuckled as I related Clay’s newlywed blunder.  I was surprised when she out and out belly laughed.  Ok…I knew it was funny, but THAT funny?  As we giggled together, she decided to let me in on what made it so terribly, terribly funny to her.  She bought LOOSE LEAF tea...which meant she didn’t cut tea bags…or collect in a container…or anything I had been doing.  It came that way.  Had she bought the little bags…she would have simply used the bags.

Huh.  Well, howdy do.  Use the tea bags.  Hold that thought.  I think I need to go apologize to my hubby.  To which his reply was, “You’re cute.”  Meaning…there’s a cute face hiding that empty space behind it.  And at that moment, I couldn’t have agreed more. 

Girlfriends, instances like that make me wonder…how many things do I do every day just because that’s how I saw it done or said or lived?  What do I totally, whole-heartedly believe in simply because of mama or someone else?  Um…a LOT!  So, is that good or bad?  In the case of the cut tea bags, bad. 

Possibly that’s why the Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:15:

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashasmed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

In matters of the kitchen, it’s funny when I follow someone else down a path and figure out I traveled that road for no apparent purpose.  But, in matters of life, it could mean everything.  So, that means I have to study…the Scriptures…for myself.  I can’t listen to anyone…even those nearest and dearest.  Scriptures have only one meaning.  And I have to find that meaning.  If I don’t do this for myself, I could follow someone else’s interpretation down a road that seems right, but is totally wrong.

I have to figure out how to make tea…and life…correctly.  And I challenge you as well…don’t cut the tea bags…and study your Bible for yourself.

Quietly gentled,


Monday, January 12, 2015

Just Do It

Girlfriends, as I sat in the examination room of a local clinic on a Sunday afternoon, I realized two things: 1) I must be in a good deal of pain to visit a clinic on Sunday and 2) a small part of my body can cause a big girl like me to cry like a baby.  Here’s the scoop…

My toenail had shown signs of…shall we say…unpleasantness…for some time now.  And if you’ve seen my feet (size 10) or my big toenail (huge), you would know that’s a LOT of unpleasantness!  I had tried all the creams, ointments, and salves out there, but hadn’t been really religious in the application of any.  I’d give each medication a good two days before I would promptly forget all about it.  Then, when it worsened, I’d give the next med another two days of my life.  I finally just gave up and painted it.  If I couldn’t see it, it was o.k.  So…believe it or not…it got worse….much worse…until I found myself waiting on a doctor I had never met to look at my ugly, inflamed, throbbing toenail and prescribe something.  At this point, I was willing to see the med through…no matter how long it took.

Girlfriends, the doc walked in and the first words out of her mouth were, “We’re going to have to cut it off.”  Whoa.  Wait.  What???!!!  Uh --- NO!  Where’s my cream?  Where’s my ointment?  Where’s my pill?  I promise to take them all faithfully!  She said, “Yeah…no.  Maybe last week that would’ve worked.  Not today.  Come with me to the Procedure Room.”  Hold it, Lady!  I don’t want to see the inside of ANY room called the Procedure Room!  I want my mommy!!!

I summed all the courage I had left in my body and said with all the dignity I could manage, “I’ve got to pee first.”  My bladder, after two kids, isn’t such that you want me to be on “full” before we start anything painful.  She kindly showed me to the restroom where I took the moment to ponder my predicament.  Should I sneak out?  Should I man up?  Should I fake another more serious illness to get their minds off my toe?  Should I call Clay to come get me?  No, Carrie Elizabeth Turner Thomasson, you got yourself into this mess and you’re going to have to see it through!

So, I grabbed my purse and my big girl panties and exited the restroom to be shown to the Procedure Room.  Let me just say there was a little bit of wailing and gnashing of teeth going on in there.  And as I hobbled to my car, made my way home to Clay and the babies, and then learned that the only pharmacy open wouldn’t have my prescribed pain-killer until the next day, I realized something more…

If I know I should do something (like take care of my toenail) and I don’t, it’s just wrong…and I WILL have to suffer the consequences.

Kinda reminds me of James 4:17.

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

Let me encourage you, Girlfriends.  When you know and see something good to do, just do it.  It’s less sinful and certainly less painful...just ask my toe.

Quietly gentled,

Monday, January 5, 2015

I Saw The Light...Blue Lights

Girlfriends, I saw the light…the blue lights that is. 

Here’s the low-down.  Clay (hubby), Amy (sis), both babies, and I had just eaten supper at the local hamburger place.  Clay was on his work truck and left the parking lot first.  Amy and I were dealing with the sleepy, savage beasts in the carseats behind us.  We were feverishly handing pacis, teddy bears, and blankets from the front seats while we tried intermittently singing to the top our lungs, making faces over our shoulders, and finding lullaby-ish music on the radio.  (You lose all dignity when you have children.)  As I turned my attention to actually driving us home, I turned the keys and realized there was a lady sitting in the storefront windows in front of us eating her supper...and getting a good laugh off of us.  Even though I was in no mood to be entertainment for the evening and could have gone all night without her giggling at us...I mustered the last Christian bone in my crazed body and intentionally decided (this will be important later) to not blind her (although I have to admit it would have felt good) and wait until I had pointed the car away before turning on the lights.  I bet you can guess what happened next.  Yep…between gossiping with Amy and dealing with babies, I forgot to turn the lights on at all.  We left that parking lot (thankfully onto a well-lit, highly traveled avenue) and headed home.  That’s when I saw the blue lights.  I knew immediately.  My lights.  Neither that giggly lady in the storefront window nor anyone else on the road had seen them. 

This is when being gentle and quiet came oh so easily for me.  Something about those blue lights puts the fear of God in me.  And, thankfully, as if on cue, the back seat became quiet!  That’s proof that God has a sense of humor…because as soon as we were headed home…they wailed like crazies again.  Anywho…the policeman was kind enough to realize that I was a frazzled, crazed momma who had made a very stupid mistake and wished us well as he sent us on our way.  As I carefully (with my lights ON) headed home, I thought, “I’m gonna blind the mess out of whoever is in front of me next time I turn on this car!!!”

Girlfriends, that’s a lesson to me!  I intentionally made a decision to try to do the kind, courteous thing.  I deliberately tried to be a kind soul.  I was trying to do what I would want done to me.  But, as you can see, that doesn’t get you peanuts.  The rule of the road is that you have lights on before you move your vehicle at night.  That’s the rule…and there’s a reason for that.

It’s the same for life.  Just because I intentionally live in a manner that seems good or makes sense to me, it doesn’t mean I’m right.  I can be doing all the good in the world and still be dead wrong.  It’s a fact that I can’t let my heart be my guide.  Scripture is very clear on that.

Jeremiah 17:9 (ASV)
The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it?

So, if I can’t go by what’s in my heart, what can I do?  I can follow Scripture.  If I want to be a Christian woman, I have to know what it takes to be obedient to my Father in Heaven.  I have to make sure that I don’t add to or leave out anything He says.  If I do, I’m leaning on my wisdom…and we all know where that gets me.

Quietly Gentled,

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Get Over Yourself...Or At Least the Car Console

Girlfriends, I was in the Goodwill store’s parking lot the day before Thanksgiving.  (Hi. My name is Carrie and I’m a constant thrifter.)  Anyway…Clay had the first rugrat with him at work and I had taken the second to the store with me.  We were about to exit the vehicle when an obnoxious smell assaulted my nostrils from the carseat behind me.  Girlfriends, you know what I’m talking about.  So, here were my options: 1)take her in the store in that state and pray she doesn’t scream bloody murder the whole time while also keeping my distance from all other customers, 2) just take her on home and deal with it there…since the store has no clean changing tables in the restroom, or 3) climb into the back seat and deal with the matter. 

Momma chose the last option.  Since there are carseats blocking each door, I surveyed the surrounding vehicles to make sure I wouldn’t be free entertainment and chose to climb over the console in my skinny jeans and tall boots.  I not so gracefully struggled to get my hips followed by all these legs and boots through that narrow opening between the front seats.  Here’s my PSA for the week…that opening is NOT intended for grown women to pass through…just saying.  Even down from my pregnant weight of 200 lbs to my current weight of…well…there are some things even girlfriends don’t was a snug, snug fit.  But, big girl made it.

I took care of the disastrous diaper as I sat in the tiny space between the two carseats.  Just as I was finishing up, two people got into the minivan in front of me.  No problem.  I’ll just struggle over the empty carseat and get out.  What I had forgotten was that we had child locked the back doors.  So, I waited as they both lit their cigarettes and just sat there…and sat there…and sat there.  Baby Girl was getting restless and I was going to have to make a move soon.  So…my only option was looking the fool as I gave the minivan in front of me a very up-close and personal look at my backside.

So, over and between the seats I went.  And, of course, I got stuck and took twice as long as I did previously to get all those legs and boots and hips back where they were supposed to be.  I had to look up…just to see what their faces looked like.  One was laughing…the other was horrified.  And with that…I got tickled myself.  It had to be funny…besides…I’d given them a good laugh for the day.  I’m not so special that people shouldn’t know how loony I can be from time to time…well…most of the time. 

And so…the Lord helped me to continue to learn to let go…to not take myself so seriously…to realize that it isn’t about me.  It’s about being happy and content (Philippians 4:11) in WHATEVER situation I find myself in…even looking the fool crawling through seats with an up-close audience.

Philippians 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

I used to worry about what everyone thought about me and held their opinion in the highest regard.  It’s amazing how flawed that thinking is.  Sure, I need to be a good example so no one has an occasion to question my love for the Lord (Matthew 5:16).  But, when I worry about their opinion of me to the point that it hinders or adds to who I know I need to be and what I need to do…it just ain’t right…it’s worrisome and pretentious.  And that’s certainly not having a gentle and quiet spirit. 

Matthew 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Quietly Gentled,


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Keeping and Pondering: A Re-Post from an Earlier Blog

Girlfriends, I LOVE to talk!  I love to share what little bit of news is floating around in my head.  Get me on a roll and it’s hard for me to shut up…especially if it’s something important to me or affecting me in some way.  I mean, seriously, I can make a whole novel out of my encounter with a gnat.  Poor Clay just nods and looks lovingly at me as I know his mind must be wandering somewhere…anywhere…else.  And I cannot blame him one bit. 

It’s hard, especially for me, to keep good information to myself.  If I know something, I want to “share” it.  I want to watch the expression on the other person’s face change to utter shock or disgust or exhilaration.  I want to be the one to get the news out first before someone else can tell it.  And I want to be the one credited with having the most knowledge on any juicy subject. 

So, verses like James 1:26 hit me particularly hard.  “If anyone among you seems to be religious and does not bridle his tongue, he deceives his own heart, and this man’s religion is vain.” 

It’s hard to be quiet.  It’s hard to know something…especially when others are talking about it…and not say a blessed word.  So, I am learning to literally bite my tongue…to clamp down on that vicious little muscle and hold it still.  I am learning to be “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” James 1:19. 

You know, there was always a small passage in Luke that amazed me.  Mary had just given birth to her son, Jesus Christ, who was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  She had just had a visit from the shepherds who had miraculously heard the good news from the angels and had found and worshiped the Savior.  She was in a possession of significantly world-changing news.  And you know what she did with it?  “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”  Luke 2:19

She KEPT them???  She PONDERED them???  Why didn’t she TELL somebody??? 

Maybe, just maybe, this is one of the greatest lessons a woman can learn from another woman.  What a tremendous example of a woman truly after God’s own heart.  She knew when to remain silent.  And she left that legacy for you and me.  If she could keep and ponder her priceless news, surely I can do the same with my trivial little news from day to day. 

There are times to speak, but there are certainly times to be silent.  And my job is to follow Mary’s example and learn when each of those times is.  Just because I have news and a willing audience, doesn’t mean it is my place to speak.  And just as Mary is an example to me, perhaps, just perhaps, it is my calling to try to be an example and encourager to the other women around me…an example of a “gentle and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” 1 Peter 3:4.

Quietly Gentled,

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Busting Out of the Closet

Girlfriends, the struggle is real.  My addiction to cute clothes goes way back.  I love shopping and buying the latest fashions.  I have always had multiple closets exploding with clothes as I continually bought more.  I love the thrill of getting a box of new clothes delivered to my door from an online shopping spree or carrying out several bags from the department store!

I see the fashions on TV and, living in a college town, I see the young girls with all the cutest and latest.  And this old gal wants them, too.  I want to be the one that everyone looks at and thinks…“I want to be like her!” or “Isn’t she so stylish in that outfit?!”  It’s a deep, down desire to have really nice, expensive, stylish clothing.

(I say all this while standing here typing in my favorite old sweats…but, nonetheless…)

Until the last few years, this has been my lifestyle.  I still want to look cute (who doesn’t?), but my journey to have a “gentle and quiet spirit” has led me down some crazy paths…some paths I’d rather not have traveled.  This is one of them.

Now when I look in my closet, I wonder what I have that will be pleasing to my Father.  Don’t get me wrong…I still desire to buy beautiful, flashy, fashionable clothes, but now I look for clothes that allow others to focus on my spirit instead of my body.  It’s important for others to notice my countenance, my heart, my characteristics and not my outer beauty.  Sure I want to be pretty.  In fact, if I don’t try to look pretty, I’m letting my husband down…because he married a woman that looked a certain way and to not try to keep up myself for him is just wrong…but that’s a whole new blog in and of itself.

I guess what I’m saying is best summed up in 1 Peter 3: 3-4.

"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

God never says I can’t have pretty clothes, but He does say that those clothes shouldn’t be all others have to focus on.  And, if the clothes that speak the loudest aren’t in my closet, then I can’t wear them and it’s easier for others to hear my heart.  And that’s why it’s important for my heart to be gentle and quiet…so it will speak kindly to others when they hear it.

Quietly Gentled,