Friday, April 25, 2008

Honesty is the Best Policy

Wednesday I chatted about white lies, or lies to protect. But the truth is honesty is the best policy, and I have a real life experiece that proves just that. About 15 years ago, I talked my then boyfriend (now husband) to go with me to tryout to be extras in a local movie. (Starring non-other than Charlie Sheen). This tryout consisted of filling out our name and address and having a Polaroid headshot taken. Not rocket science this movie business.

Several weeks later they called asking MY MAN to come down to be in the movie. In my usual shy manner I asked “WHAT ABOUT ME??? I want to be in the movie!!!” So the casting agent said that if I could get my fellow to come, I could be in the movie too. Okay, not my finest moment, I admit, but baby, I was going to be in the movie!!

We arrived on the appointed day, me with my camera in hand. So during the off moments another girl and I shot a couple of pictures of “Charlie” from a distance. A few minutes later a giant of a man, who looked a lot like Rocky walks over to the other girl with a camera. They talk a few minutes; he takes her camera, removes the film and exposes it. (I’m obviously dating myself now, in the days before digital cameras).

He comes over to me next and says, “Are yous taking pictures?” (Obviously he meant to say, “are you”, but it came out “yous” instead of “you.” “Yes sir.” I responded. “You are here to work, not to take pictures, do not take anymore pictures.” “Yes sir.” came my reply and you can bet I didn’t. But he didn’t take my film.

At the end of the day, as I’m waiting from my husband-to-be to come back from wardrobe; (yes, he got to go to wardrobe and make-up, I just wore my regular clothes and make up); I see Charlie Sheen’s Rocky-like body guard again. So I walk up to him, in my usual shy manner and say, “Since I can’t take Charlie Sheen’s picture, can I take yours?”

Well, Rocky turns into a teddy bear and says, “Yous wants to take a picture of me?” “Sure!” I responded. Well, he motions for another guy to come over and says “why don’t you take a picture with me instead of of me.” So we took a picture together!

Finally, he says to me “Do you know why I didn’t take your film?” “No.” “Because you told the truth. The other girl lied when I asked if she had been taking pictures, but you told the truth, so I let you keep your film.” And that my friends, is why honesty is the best policy. And, somewhere*, I have the pictures to prove it.

Proverbs 12:22: “The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.”

*I know a picture is worth 1,000 words. But I cannot find the photos of this day. No doubt they are buried under the millions of pictures of my kids, or tucked safely away from little fingers. If I find them one day during a cleaning jag, I'll post them then.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

White Lies

I am a big advocate of the truth. I try to be careful not to lie and rebuke others who do. But Saturday my husband told a lie, for me. And I was so thankful for it! We had a big family dinner to go to. "Christmas in April" my dad called it. So my siblings and I all had things we were supposed to bring. I was in charge of all the paper products, sweet potato casserole and potato salad. There wasn't room for the potato salad in my fridge so I put it in the garage fridge.

I'm sure you can guess what happened. Remember I'm an "out of sight, out of mind" personality. So we got about 1/2 way to my sisters (30 minutes of the 1 hour drive) and I exclaimed "Oh no! I forgot the potato salad." Now, you don't know my dad, but he is stickler for details and relentless. He would have gone on all day about how I forgot the potato salad. And my husband knows I am very sensitive to criticism, so he said "I will tell him I was supposed to bring the potato salad and I forgot it. He won't say anything to me." He justified it by saying that his job is to take care of me, and so if I forgot it, he wasn't doing his job.

Now you'd think when my hubby told my dad he forgot the potato salad, my dad would say something like "don't worry about it, we've plenty to eat." We had turkey, dressing, sweet potato casserole, corn pudding, tomato macaroni, green been casserole and green beans cooked with ham. But not my dad, he got in the car to go buy potato salad. The ironic thing is the grocery store was sold out of it when he got there, so we still didn't get to have it. And you know what? We survived! But because my husband was the one who forgot (supposedly), my dad didn't mention it again.

In the second chapter of the bible book of Joshua, Rahab tells a big lie. When she is asked about the spies that had been at her home in Jericho, she answered "Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, the men left. I don't know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them." She had really hidden the spies on her roof. She lied, but to protect the spies of Joshua's army. And because of her lie, the spies then protected her when they took the land for the Lord. And I can't help but think God quickly forgave her for her lie to save his people.

My husband lied on Saturday to protect me. I know that's a slippery slope to go down, justifying sin. But I just know God will look on my husband as he must have looked on Rahab.

I am so thankful to have a husband to protect my spirit. I shouldn't be so sensitive to my dad's criticism, but I am. I grew up in a dysfunctional home, and often felt unloved. I am so happy to have a husband who meets me where I am and loves me unconditionally.

And I am so thankfully for a heavenly father who loves me unconditionally and who forgives my mistakes and forgets them, as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12)

But on Friday, I'll blog about why honesty is always the best policy.

Monday, April 21, 2008

It's Raining, It's Pouring!

Saturday night we had exceptional thunderstorms! The first "boom" around 1 a.m. brought my 4 year old scampering into the bed between my husband and me. The second "boom" brought in my 8 year old, and her 10 year old cousin who was spending the night, to sleep in the floor of my room the rest of the night. The winds blew. Sometime it felt like the house shuddering when the big thunder bolts hit near by. The weather got worse on Sunday with tornado warnings issued, and they're calling for the rain to continue through Tuesday.

It reminds me of a children's song, you may have heard. It tells how the wise man built his house upon the rock, the foolish man built his house upon the sand, the rains came down and the floods came up, and the house on the rock stood firm, but the house on the sand went CRASH! I’ve heard this song many times, and realized the metaphor.

The house represents your life. The rock is Jesus Christ. The sand is the “world,” or building your life around things such as money, success, status, or even your kids or family. The rains and floods are the problems in life. If you look at the song, you will see both the wise man and the foolish man experience the rains and the floods. Having your house built on the rock, or your life built around Jesus does not mean you won’t have problems and trouble. The difference, simply put, is whether or not you stand firm or go “crash.”

While I always “got” the song as a really cute kids song, I never realized that it is based directly on a bible verse. (And no one ever accused me of being the brightest bulb in the chandelier either!) Jesus says in Matthew 7:24-27, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (NIV)

Knowing that Jesus said it (and not some children's song writer) makes me ask myself: “Is my home built on the Rock?” When the storms of life come in, am I going to be able to stand firm, or will I crash? Whether in the huge struggles of life, such as dealing with my bi-polar mom; or the smaller struggles, like getting my preschooler to let me brush her teeth; I’ve found that a relationship with Jesus can make the difference in every aspect of my life.
So how about you? Are you ready for the rain?