Temporary Light Affliction

temporary – not permanent; lasting only a short time; momentary; provisional

Last week, I really understood the saying, “When it rains, it pours.” It was enough to learn on Thursday that my daughter had been diagnosed with tonsillitis and needed to stay home from school the next day due to high fever. This was after an unexpected visit to the neighborhood urgent care facility (which I’d visited last month for my son’s strep throat diagnosis). One emergency averted, right? Good. After delivering her home to my hubby with antibiotics from the pharmacy in tow, I found myself whizzing back to the office in the dark that evening to retrieve my laptop so I could work from home the next day while caring for my sick child.

After saying a prayer for mercy and leaving my car (and keys) with the valet at the hotel adjacent to my office building, I dashed through the lobby and into my building, past the security guard, up the elevator shaft, and to my cube on the eerily empty sixth floor. As I unlocked my laptop, an unknown number was calling my cell phone. I almost ignored it, but I answered it while trying to shut down my computer. “This is the Cabarrus County Health Department; if you ate food from this particular Papa John’s restaurant between these dates…you may have been exposed to the Hepatitis A virus and need to get vaccinated at tomorrow’s clinic from 4:00-8:00 p.m.” Seriously? Like, right now, is this really happening and we’re among the potential 3,000 people affected?! Alas, it seemed that our pre-weekend 3/28/14 fun night at home with pizza had taken an unpleasant turn for the worse.

After a call to the pediatrician’s office the next morning, I was relieved to find out that both children’s shots were up-to-date, so they were not at risk – hallelujah! However, two more calls revealed that both my husband and I would need to get vaccinated. Ugh – I really don’t like getting shots, but that prospect outweighed a desire to be impacted by the disease’s symptoms, so up the road to the clinic we went, and into line I went to go under the needle and get my “bravery badge” that most folks call a Band-Aid. And so, another short-lived drama played itself out in our household. It came to pass…granted, I’m still waiting to see the “eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” that is yet to be revealed from this one. But I’m truly grateful that we were notified in time for the vaccine to be effective (one day later and we would’ve been outside the window); temporary light affliction indeed…God remains evermore faithful.

“For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,”
(II Corinthians 4:17, NASB)

© Copyright 2014 by Kayren J. Cathcart

Circumspect Speech

circumspect – cautious, prudent, careful, guarded, wary, judicious, vigilant

I recently met someone who talked more than me – a lot more. And I was pretty amazed. Because when two talkers get together, somebody’s gotta yield. Well, that day, I had to give the right-of-way, because this person could ROLL! I wasn’t being judgmental; conversely, it was almost like looking at a mirror as I wondered to myself, “Hmmm…so is this how I sound to other people when they’re trying to get a word in edgewise during a conversation with me?”

That moment of reflection gave me pause, because my husband declares that when you’re talking, it’s impossible to listen at the same time. For years, I had disagreed with him because I come from a family of talkers and anyway, I have a degree in Speech Communication, right? However, since that (one-sided) conversation, I’ve been weighing my words much more carefully, desiring that they add value and bring life instead of being idle.

Perhaps you’ve seen a thing in someone else that God’s been nudging you to get rid of. Don’t hesitate or procrastinate any longer – just let it go so you can walk circumspectly according to His will for your life.

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
(Ephesians 5:15-16)

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak,
they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
(Matthew 12:36-37)

“Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt,
that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
(Colossians 4:6)

“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
(Proverbs 16:24)

© Copyright 2014 by Kayren J. Cathcart

Boogers, Warts, and Ashy Skin

Hey, are you still blogging?
I haven’t seen you post anything new in a while…

For anyone who happened to wonder where I was, I chalk it up to being “under construction” – literally and figuratively.  We recently had a new home built, which was a 6-month process – relatively swift and painless (actually, a JOY with our builder). But add to that preparing for the process of moving (in both the natural the spiritual realm), ensuring a smooth change of my children’s school districts, my own outside-the-home job role evolution, and endeavoring to maintain family and ministry commitments with godly excellence, and you see an equation in which I found myself under a lot of pressure.  It wasn’t necessarily negative pressure, but I had to adjust to the quantity of pressure coming from different directions – all at the same time. And of course, a lot of the pressure was self-induced by a recovering unrealistic perfectionist.

So about the glamorous title of today’s post – you know how we all have ‘em, but nobody wants to admit it or talk about it – let alone highlight it?  Well, I’d kinda backed away from blogging during this latest season of transition because a lot of undesirable “yuckies” were unearthed.  Not only was I purging old, nearly forgotten about stuff from the back of the closet, attic, and garage, but I was doing the same thing with the clutter in my soul. And because I’m pretty transparent when I write, I didn’t want anybody to see my boogers, warts, and ashy skin.  Sure, I could admit they were present, but I didn’t want to shine a huge spotlight on them while I was in the midst of the purge – it was too fresh, too new.  But I encountered all three along my journey to this “new place.”

Nevertheless, I can look back with 20/20 hindsight and thank God for bringing me through the press He designed expressly for me.  Pressure causes one to change, transform, and conform to the image of what’s wielding the pressure.  So I continue to yield my will to His will for my life.  Perhaps in subsequent posts, I’ll be sharing lessons learned and insights illuminated.  Or just reflecting on the process.  Whatever unfolds, it’s not predetermined by me – I am an instrument in the hands of the Master Potter, desiring to be hidden behind the Cross for HIS ultimate glory.

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing…”
(Romans 7:18a)
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
(Romans 8:1-2)

© Copyright 2014 by Kayren J. Cathcart