My ideal mate is the man who is willing to let a part of himself go to assume a small part of me. He’s real, down to earth, responsible, gentle, and in charge. He rewards me with a thoughtful glance and a loving embrace, and he often says, “I care about you. You are important to me.”
Every day, every small event in my life is significant enough to warrant recognition. He steals private moments while we’re in public places to let me know he’s with me one hundred percent. He knows that what we do every day is valuable, and he cherishes the moments as though they’ll never happen again.
He offers to massage my feet when I’ve had a long day, or cooks, even though he burns the toast. He’s genuinely interested in what I like. He lets me pamper him and is eager to return the favor. He likes to snuggle. His kisses sear my insides and keep me warm for hours afterwards.
Proud as a peacock, he allows no one to disrespect me. He’s there for me at a moment’s notice and will sail the ocean to protect me. I’ve seen him laugh and I’ve seen him cry. He believes in God, and he does everything humanly possible to honor his word.
From the Fruit Tree “Witty Brown! If you don’t git yo’ narrow tail out of my tree, I’m gonna whip all the black off of yo’ behind!” Ella Joyce yelled across the yard and through a succession of fruit trees lining the beautifully kept lawn.
She gripped the broom handle in her aged brown hands and moved swiftly across the screened porch. Her blue cotton smock-dress rubbed against her hefty hips, making a swishing sound.
“Out, I said!” She pushed opened the screen door with the top of the broom and stopped at the second to last cement step.
Witty scrambled down the pear tree with a golden-ripe pear pinched between her skinny fingers. She’d started climbing these trees when she turned four years old. She especially liked climbing them at this time of year, when the luscious fruit was ripe for picking.
Witty waited until she knew Ella was at the back of the house doing chores before she made her move. She’d planned to drop all the ripe fruit to the ground and then stack them up on the doorstep before Ella returned to take her break in the swing hitched to the top of the back porch. She’d already carefully dropped several pears along the side of the tree.
For some reason, today, Ole Ella had come out much sooner than she’d expected, spoiling her wonderful and well thought-out surprise.
“Shoot!” Witty huffed as she slid down the last branch before leaping to the ground. She allowed her body to drop into a low stoop as soon as her feet touch the feathery grass.
She’d had it all planned. Even Minnie, the family’s pet collie, approved with a loud bark and furiously wagging tail when she told him how she would carry out her plan. She hadn’t anticipated any changes, though. The old neighbor kept a pretty routine schedule, and Witty knew it like a book.
“Ole Woman!” Witty stood once she was safely on the ground.
“What you say?” Ella couldn’t hear worth a darn, but her eyes were as sharp as an arrow. She watched Witty’s lips move and eventually set into a pout. Her eyes settled on her little, tomboyish neighbor, who, when she did wear a dress, always hiked it up and over her head like a hood. Her legs were long and skinny, as were her arms and neck.
“Lawd knows this child is gonna break her neck climbing these dang gon’ trees,” Ella mumbled under her breath -----
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt you had to do everything, because no else would even try. God doesn’t want you busy about everything, but He does want you busy about something. He even knows what it is.
We are sometimes so busy with all the things we think we need to do that our ears are closed to what God is telling us He wants us to do. We get caught up with having to be “Car pool Mom”; working ten hours straight, without a lunch break; getting our doll baby to ballet lessons, our little leaguer to T-ball practice, and dinner on the table by six; reaching the church hall by eight, an executive board meeting by ten, and—Oh! don’t forget to be in bed by twelve, because we have to wake up by five to start all over again with a different but just as busy schedule as the previous day.
What’s the difference between being busy and being stressed? Are we leading our own lives instead of letting God lead us? The story I am about to share comes from Luke 8:40-56 ----
The unmistakable shudder of the floor beneath Sean’s feet alarmed him. It also alarmed the some two hundred other patrons, who were congested in the First Nations Bank, which was housed in the twenty-floor high-rise building on the corner of Raven and Court Avenue.
Above the bank, several corporate business offices were located. The highly polished floors shifted in response to a forceful stroke so fierce that not even a thousand tons of concrete could resist its blow. Feet, hands, and conversations halted immediately. Soon, they were replaced by gasps, murmurs, and alarmed stares.
Concerned eyes searched the confines of the lobby and the eyes of others, pleading for an indication of the cause of the thunderous boom. An echo shrieked off the walls seconds after the initial blast, prompting a frenzy of hysterical screams and movement.
Caught in a cluster of bodies, now forcefully pulling toward a crowded exit, Sean allowed the group to stir him until he was able to break through a hole near a wall. A steady stream of people pushed and shoved their way out of the building. But he attempted to steady his need to get out until he could find an alternate route.
The stream of people did not let up, because more people from the upper levels of the building abruptly rushed through the now open elevator and exit doors.
Unable to rationalize why, he finally opted to go against the flow of traffic. He pushed, squeezed, and snaked passed the sea of bodies. His feet hurriedly stomped down a set of stairs that no one seemed to remember was there. It was practically empty---