I've Got a Sinking Feeling About the Titanic (Redemption)

(Picture courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org)

Ever since I was a young girl and watched "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" at my Grandma's house, I've had a fascination with the Titanic.   When the James Cameron movie came out in 1997, I watched the movie 3 times in theaters.  (I was in college and poor at the time, so that was a LOT).   I've also seen the movie on TV numerous times since.   Last night, my husband, Marvelous Matthew, and I caught the last half of the movie.  I have to admit, after watching the movie for 13 years, it's starting to get a bit predictable.  The ship sinks at the end.  Shocking, I know.  Anyway...we watched the movie and went straight to bed.  I had a dream last night about the Titanic.  You need to understand, I frequently have crazy, vivid dreams.  (Marvelous Matthew has gotten in trouble many times because of something I dreamed he did.  He told me just the other day that he gets in more trouble from my dreams than he does in real life!)

In my dream last night, my mom invited my children and I to a vacation on the Titanic.  We were all excited to go!  We got on the boat, looked around at all its glories and were having an immensely fun time.  Then, the boat hit the iceberg and panic ensued.  I was frantic to get off the ship.  I figured out a way off, but suddenly realized that my mom and son were not with us.  Running crazy, I found them at the end of a corridor.  I told them I found a way off and that we could all be safe if they just hurried.  My mom told me, "Lynnae, take your kids and get off.  I need to stay to help as many people as I can to safety."  I plead, cried, and screamed at her to come with me.  She was very calm, and told me again she had to stay so others could be safe, but I had to make sure my children were safe.  It was heart wrenching.  I had to leave my mom to save my children.  The kids and I safely left the boat.  My mom helped many live, but did not survive the sinking herself.  Just after watching the boat sink, I woke up with hot tears streaming fast and furious down my face.  The realization quickly settled on me that it was only a dream, but that my mother's death 2 months ago was very, painfully real.

As the tears began to cool and slow, the first thing I did was inform Marvelous Matthew that we were never, EVER watching that movie right before bed again!  Then, I reflected more on the dream.  I came to realize that there was more significance to it if I looked a bit deeper.  This old world we live on could actually have been just like the Titanic without the Savior.  It could have sunk and been worthless.  Although a few people survived the shipwreck, no one would have survived eternally without Christ.  He, like my mom in my dream, said, "I need to help as many as I can to safety!"  Because of His sacrifice, the world and our lives have meaning.  He gave each of us the ability to live eternally.  In John 3:16 we are told, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." 

With the Christmas season upon us, I hope we all remember the true reason we celebrate the birth of Christ.  It's not for the presents. Santa isn't real, but our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is.   The true celebration is that we can have everlasting life because of a Savior who loves us.  Merry Christmas!!

How Do I Measure Up? (Spiritual Guidance)

What do a measuring tape, Christmas lights, and cars have in common? You don't know?! Well, I'm about to tell you.

Over Thanksgiving, my family and one of my friends have a tradition of going to the Bristol Motor Speedway In Lights (Bristol, TN). We went on Black Friday, which we have never done before and will NEVER do again! The line to get in to the lights was outrageously long. You stay in your car throughout the visit. We were, however, immensely enjoying each others company as we waited. Then, we noticed the car behind us inching closer and closer. As we moved with the stop and go traffic, he was getting so close we worried he was going to hit us if we rolled back at all. My husband was sitting in the back seat and couldn't even see the guy's headlights he was so close! We were starting to discuss options for what to do, and hadn't come up with anything good. Then, my friend said, "I wish I had a measuring tape to see just how close he is!"

I asked if she by some very strange chance might actually have a measuring tape in her car. We searched and searched. By some miracle she had a seamstress tape! I grabbed it, hopped out of the car, raced to the back, and wedged myself between the two cars. I put the measuring tape on our bumper and pulled it to his bumper in order to measure the distance. NINETEEN INCHES! I held up the measuring tape and with a broad grin on my face said, "Nineteen inches. You're a little close!" Then, I raced back into the car, just cackling. We all laughed until we were breathless. I don't think the guy realized he was so close. He got the message and backed off. He stayed mostly off our bumper until we were done with the light show.

There have been times in my life I've inched too close to sin and away from God, many times not even realizing it. In 1 John 1:8 it says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves...." Well, it's nice to know I'm in good company! At times when I'm inching too close, the Spirit tells me to start measuring my spirituality. God has given us guides to measure how close we are to sin, and how we can get back up to Him. We just need to use them to get us away from sin and closer to Him.

How My Dragon Trained Me (Spiritual Preparation)

I’m not bragging here, or anything, but for the past 4 years it’s been an annual tradition in my family each December to do the Savannah Enmark Bridge Run 5k. The first year I did it with a friend. My daughter, who was 3 at the time, told me that she wanted to do the race with me the next year. I thought she’d lose interest considering that it was a whole year away, and she was three for goodness sake. Not so much! She informed, harassed, cajoled, and bribed me for the ENTIRE next year. September rolled around and I realized she truly was going to do the race with me. We figured out a training regimen so she could do the race without killing herself! She worked hard, and the training wasn’t easy. There were several times she informed me, “Mommy, I’m boring! Do we have to do this?!” (Yes, she said “boring” rather than bored. It made me giggle). I acted as her trainer and helped her through difficult times. She persevered! We even did a practice 5k to ensure she could finish, and she did! The first Saturday in December came around. We were prepped and ready to go. I should probably have mentioned that there is costume contest connected with the race. We were the tortoise and the hare. She made it up and over the bridge without complaint. We may not have been first, but she finished having taken every step to get there! We have done it every year since then, dressing in costume each time and having a blast.

This year we dressed up as the characters from “How To Train Your Dragon”. My son, who is 3, also joined us for the race. He was Hiccup. I fashioned a dragon out of foam around a jogging stroller to make it appear as though he was riding on the dragon. He “rode the dragon” the whole time. My daughter was Astrid and I was just a generic Viking. I haven’t pushed my son in a stroller for a long time, so I actually had to borrow the stroller from a friend. I didn’t do much training for the 5k since I knew my daughter could do the course without too much difficulty. I did complete a 5k two weeks prior with my son riding on my shoulders about half the race and made it through just fine. We certainly aren’t winning any races by our speed, just doing them with determination to finish. I figured if there were going to be any issues, it would be from my daughter since she did less training than I. As I started pushing that stroller up the steep hill, I realized I made a mistake. I hadn’t properly prepared my body to push about 45 lbs of weight up the 5.5% grade on that bridge when it was bound and determined to go down. My arms strained from the weight. I thought my shoulders were going to detach from my body. I began to think that someone had set fire to my calves (I just about went after that someone to do them bodily harm…until I realized I was already doing bodily harm to myself!) About half way up the incline, I was debating whether or not to give up. I stared at the top and felt like the little train, “I think I can, I think I can…..” My daughter was trying to talk to me, but I have no idea what she said. It took all my strength to make it to the top. Panting, sweating, and feeling pain in parts of my body that I never knew existed, I finally made it to the top. Shoo-whee! I began to enjoy the race again on the decline, and when my daughter asked me to run, I felt up to the challenge again. I finished the race, but I was more worn out than I had EVER felt.

Now, let’s compare and contrast for a minute, shall we? My daughter prepared, worked and came through with ease. I, on the other hand, thought I didn’t need to prepare and certainly paid the consequences.

We are told many times in the scriptures that we are to be spiritually prepared. Jesus told of 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom, five were prepared and five were not. The prepared five met Him joyfully. What does it mean to you to be spiritually prepared? For me, it means a constant, daily “training schedule” with my “trainer” encouraging me to keep going when I just don’t “feel it”. I’ll admit to many times thinking, “I’m tired. Why should I read my scriptures? I have a lot going on in my own life! Why do I need to help someone else?” During those times, my trainer says, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these… ye have done it unto me.” He loves me and encourages me to continue flexing my spiritual muscles, not so that He becomes stronger, but because I become stronger and more able to run the race back to Him.

Noise (Tuning in to the Spirit)

There was an….incident…this past week. (Does that word make you nervous? Well, it should!) My 6 ½ year old (and that ½ is VERY important to her) is old enough that when we go for a walk, I’ll let her go ahead of me. (As I told you in my last post, she likes to be the leader). She enjoys running. Sometimes there gets to be some distance between us, but she knows her boundaries. Generally, she stops when I ask her to.

We were out for a walk this past week. My daughter put a bit of distance between her and me. I held my son’s hand because he is too young to run ahead. Then, a few things happened simultaneously which could have been disastrous (possibly even deadly if you want to go for the dramatic). My daughter passed a driveway, and a car began backing out after she passed. A few seconds later, she turned around to come back to me, passing the driveway as the car was rolling backward. A UPS truck rumbled passed just as I was screaming at the top of my lungs for her to stop because I was afraid that the person backing the car couldn’t see her. Uncharacteristically, she didn’t stop, but kept coming. The car continued backing out, and I continued hollering as loud as I could. Helpless, I realized I was unable to get her to stop. Terror set in quickly. I was screaming, and scared stiff that my child would be hurt. All of this happened in probably less than a minute, but it felt like a lifetime. She ran past the driveway, and luckily the car didn’t hit her. She ran to my side, grabbing for my hand. The UPS truck and the car went on their merry way, and we were safe. The terror passed, but I asked very sternly why she hadn’t stopped when I was yelling at her to stop. She told me she couldn’t hear my voice over the noise of the truck.

After this incident was over (and I could breathe again) I started pondering…how often do I allow the “noise” in the world to over power the whisperings of the spirit? I like to run through life. There are so many things to do, and so much stuff to buy. Running, running, running, noise, noise, noise. There have been times when I run blindly, not really seeing where I’m going. During those times I feel like I want guidance from the Lord, yet I think He isn’t talking to me. Then, as the noise clears and I focus on what’s important, I can hear Him and his guidance again. The scriptures state that the Holy Spirit whispers in a “still, small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-12). So the next time I feel like I can’t hear the Spirit, hopefully I’ll remember to slow down, listen closely, and know He is always there.

Following the Leader (Following the Lord)

Each time my children and I go to a store, I can’t help but get the following song from Peter Pan stuck in my head:

Following the leader, the leader, the leader
We're following the leader wherever he may go

If you are unfamiliar with this song, you can click here to watch it.

Why do I have this song on constant replay in my head while we’re shopping? Because my children love to holler out, “I’M THE LEADER!”
“NO, I AM!”

Being the “leader” involves walking ahead of the rest of us “lowly” people to show us the way. It doesn’t matter which of the two children is actually the “leader”, but without fail I end up saying, “Hey, Leader! Yes, I’m talking to you. You are going the wrong direction. Turn the other way!” They turn, and not a moment later I’m saying again, “Hey, Leader! Go the other way.” They shift course yet again. This pattern continues until we are in the parking lot, where they know they need to hold my hand firmly until I safely guide them to the car.
There are times when I too, like to pretend like I’m the leader. I have to admit something…there have been many times when I’ve thought, “If I could just run the world, everything would be perfect!” There!! I said it out loud! Have you ever had these same types of thoughts? Now, those are my thoughts on global affairs, but let’s bring it closer to home. There are many times I try to tell the Lord exactly how my life should be run.
What was it He said that one time? Something about “Thy will be done”?? But, but, BUT don’t You understand?!?! I have a simply marvelous idea, if you’ll let me do it! Everything will turn out PERFECTLY! In effect, I like to holler out, “I’m the leader!”
I envision the Lord chuckling at me as I try to be the leader and trying to tell me, “Hey, Leader! Yes, I’m talking to you. I promise you’re heading in the wrong direction, and if you will but follow me, you will find a much better path.” In Proverbs 3:5-6 we’re told, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” When I remember this, I try to shift course and accept His will. Sometimes that’s really, really difficult as I’m fairly certain that my plan is definitely the best. However, I find that as I put my will firmly into His hands, the course of my life begins to have more meaning and I gain understanding. When I do take His hand, He guides me safely through this slalom course of life, keeping me on the path that leads back to Him.

The Race (Gratitude)

Since Thanksgiving is approaching, I felt like sharing this one. I hope you enjoy!

My father started running competitively at the age of 65. (Yes, I find that utterly amazing myself!) My family had the opportunity to watch one of his races several month ago, when he was 67. It was a 10-mile race and there were 125 racers. We watched the racers from a water station at the 6-mile marker. It was fun to see the racers come around the bend, grab their water from a volunteer, and zoom past us. As my dad came through, my kids and I cheered him on. He was so happy to see us there! I noticed that my dad thanked the people who gave him water. I realized very few racers had done that, in fact, I totaled up how many racers thanked the volunteers giving them life-sustaining water. The total count…four out of 125 racers. I noted this to my mom and she said, “Oh, most racers are running too hard to say thank you”.

That statement got me thinking, “how many times in my life do I start running too hard to thank God for the many life-sustaining blessings?” It’s so important to continually notice what blessings the Lord has given to me. In Luke 17 we read that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem when he came on 10 lepers. They stirred his heart with their cries of, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” He told them each to go to the priest because they were healed. Only one turned to give thanks to Jesus and to glorify God. Jesus sadly said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger….Arise, go they way: thy faith hath made thee whole.” He gave them the precious gift of health, and they didn’t even turn to Him with a small amount of gratitude. I don’t know what their circumstances were. I imagine they had families they ran back to as fast as they could, which wasn’t a bad desire, but they forgot, in their haste, to give thanks to their Lord. I’m trying to be mindful as I run through this race of life that I take the time to thank God along the way, for without Him, this life would be like an unsharpened pencil--pointless.


I've never blogged before. I've tried (and failed miserably) a few times. This time is a bit different. This is more about the parables I see in every day life. Since I was a child, I've seen parables all around me. I've had several friends tell me I should write a book. I got about 15 pages done and haven't touched it since. Sigh. I'm going to try to write one parable a week. Once a week...that's not so hard, right? So, without further ado, my next post will be my first parable. I hope you enjoy!

Athletic?! Me?! (Seeing ourselves as God sees us)

Have you seen the movie “Enchanted”? I personally love it! It’s one of my favorites. There’s a scene when Prince Edward’s servant, Nathaniel, asks him, “Sire, do you like yourself?” Prince Edward responds, “What’s not to like?” and then gives Nathaniel a big, cheesy grin for a few seconds.

There are times in all our lives when we start feeling a bit unlikable. The reasons for this happening are many. However, when we feel like this, God looks at us and thinks, “What’s not to like? You're perspective on yourself is not what I see.” We are his children and He loves us. He sees us as we truly are.

I had a friend tell me the other day that she saw me as “very athletic”. My perspective on myself was very different, and I very nearly laughed my head off. In elementary school, I was always the last one picked for just about any team, but kickball was the worst. Without fail, I ran as hard as I could, and kicked. The next thing I knew, the ball was rolling behind me, or if I actually managed to kick the darn thing, it would land squarely in the arms of the other team causing me to get an out. In middle school, trying to play volleyball created an equation for me that I still live by today: Lynnae + ball = harm or humiliation. It’s not pretty. Graciously, in high school they allowed you the option of walking around the top of the gym rather than playing the sports. That was the best part of my high school P.E. experience! Obviously, hearing that someone thought of me as “very athletic” just didn’t fit with my perspective of myself. I started to think about her statement and realized as an adult I enjoy running in a few 5k races per year, swim laps, and take a few dance classes. I still don’t see myself as athletic, but I began to realize why she would have a very different perspective than the teammates from my youth.

If we are unable to see ourselves as others see us in this life, how much further off would our perspective be from how our Heavenly Father sees us! He looks at us, and loves us. In Malachi 1:2 He says, “I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us?....” We make mistakes. We are imperfect. However, He continually reaches for us and thinks “what’s not to like?”