Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign . . ."

Matthew 16:2-3
He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.'  You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times."


This past week has the perfect weather for hanging clothes on the line.  Hot, breezy, and dry.  Very dry!

Wednesday, I wash two loads of clothes.  Thursday, I opt for sheets and towels.  Friday, I scan what I can of the sky through our canopy of leaves.  Blue sky.  A puff of white here and there.  Looks good!  And, knowing I won't have time on Saturday for wash, I go for a single load and hang it on the line.





I head out just after lunch to run an errand.  As my car emerges from the shade into the blinding sunlight at the top of our driveway, I see the clouds, mostly white above, but thicker on the horizon.  Unmistakable tinges of gray appear like threatening shadows on the distant cloud mountains.

No doubt about it.  Those hit-or-miss, summer pop-up showers are in the offing.

Rats!  What about the clothes?  Should I turn around now, or take a chance they'll be okay?

I decide to keep going and complete my errand as quickly as possible so I can get back home and guard the drying laundry.

When more of the horizon appear, I begin to regret my decision.  But, now I'm halfway to my destination and don't want to waste gas.  Above me hovers a particularly ominous cloud.




But, no rain.  Yet . . .

I reach the store, make my purchases hastily, and am back on the road to home in no time flat.  That's when the bottom drops out.  On come the headlights.  The wiper blades whirr furiously.  And, I'm praying this shower is only local and my clothes are still safe.

Whew!  Within minutes, my car outruns the shower, and things are beginning to look up.  I am so relieved when at last I turn into our neighborhood, and all is dry as a bone.

But, I hear thunder in the distance.  I must be prepared.  Watch for signs in the sky.

I leave the laundry hanging, hoping we're a miss, not a . . . Oh, no!!!  Here it comes!  It's a race against the raindrops!  I'm in such a frenzy to rescue the almost-dry clothes, I don't even take the time to put away the clothespins.  That can wait!



 


The damp laundry is resigned to a spin in the dryer.  Weather: 1, Me: 0.

And, I think to myself, I need to get better at heeding the signs . . .
~
Have there been signs in your life that you heeded (or didn't) which have made all the difference in where you are today?

Will you join me in prayer?
Keep us awake and aware, Father, of the many signs You give us.  Let us heed Your call to us in faith and trust, knowing that You will keep us on the right paths for Your Name's sake.  Amen.

40 comments:

  1. I remember the pre-dryer days -- and handing clothes to my mother as she pinned them on the clothesline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Glynn!
      Oh, that's a great memory you shared here. There is nothing better than the smell of clean clothes dried outdoors and I love saving the energy, too.
      Blessings!

      Delete
  2. Oh there is definitely signs in my past I should have heeded a lot more than I did...contributing towards me going in an unfavorable trajectory.

    I love hanging my clothes out too. Your yard sounds like such an oasis every time you describe it. Thank goodness for dryers in circumstances like these! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Jessica!
      Yes, I, too, have missed many signs along my journey in life. Hope I'm getting better at seeing them.
      Glad to know someone else who hangs clothes out. :) But, in this case, the dryer was a life-saver.
      Blessings!

      Delete
  3. Hi Martha...

    I am a very acute person when it comes to signs. Sometimes I feel things in the put of my stomach, but at times I say naw, let me think more positive as if to ward away the trouble. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Thanks for this gentle reminder to trust my instincts and also to reflect on the fact that God's instincts in the end are way better than mine! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming by, Tameka!
      It's great that you are so sensitive to signs in your life. They can either guide us on our way or keep us out of trouble when we see them for what they are. And, going to God in prayer when we're confused always helps.
      Blessings!

      Delete
  4. We still hang clothes outside and during rains, it becomes difficult to dry them as the previous days' clothes haven't dried enough and you don't have enough place to dry the fresh load and the pile keeps growing. And, the damp clothes smell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for dropping in today, Janu!
      Yes, that sounds like quite the unwanted mess. I hardly ever use my dryer, but I'm glad to have one for the very reason you describe here.
      Blessings!

      Delete
  5. I hated hanging clothes, I was so thrilled when my mother got with the times and purchased a dryer. Everywhere I've lived we have not been allowed to, and I'm fine with that,lol. We need some rain to cool off this disgusting weather! Hugs :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting, Roseann!
      Yes, there are so many places these days that don't allow people to hang their clothes outdoors. I just love the way they smell and love saving energy. :)
      Hope you get some rain soon!
      Blessings!

      Delete
  6. Great reminder today Martha... God places signs in our path each and every day, and it's very easy for us to misinterpret them or miss them entirely. The more we're able to bring God's presence into our daily lives, the more those messages seem to "pop" out all around us.

    Have a Blessed Day my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by today, Phather Phil!
      You are so right. When we center ourselves in God, those signs do become much more clear and easier to discern. I find I'm always praying to Him when I think I've gotten a sign, but, for whatever reason, I'm not sure what to do.
      Blessings!

      Delete
  7. Oh Martha, I would have done the exact same thing! And it is not that I ignore the signs so much as I don't always take them very seriously. A perpetual optimist, I always overestimate myself and think I'll be faster and more efficient than I really am. What a good way to introduce this topic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for coming by today, Maureen!
      Being optimistic is a good thing; I believe, too that the glass is always half full, not half empty. I think that's the only way to go through life. :)
      Blessings!

      Delete
  8. Those simple signs which seem to tell us so many things...wish we could understand them at the right time and act accordingly.

    Loved post Martha, enjoyed reading it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Me!
      I know . . . we sometimes "see" without really "seeing" with hindsight always being 20/20.
      Glad you enjoyed the post. :)
      Blessings!

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. Thanks for dropping by, Adriana!
      That's great that you are seeing the signs in your life that are meant to guide you in the right direction. Keep it up! :)
      Blessings!

      Delete
  10. We always hang our clothes on the line to dry because it is sunny nearly all year round. But the weather has been so unpredictable lately that a heavy downpour would suddenly follow an hour of glorious sunshine. And I can totally relate to that feeling of panic when the sky turns to gray and running to save those nearly-dry clothes from getting wet because of the rain.

    Regarding signs... I've been really praying more that I won't misread them, Martha. Many times I missed them perhaps because the sign didn't turn out the way I expected it to be. Doing my best to be wiser this time.

    Thank you so much for this enlightening post, Martha! God bless <3 :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for coming by today, Irene!
      I'm glad to know you hang out clothes when you can. The rainy seasons are an inconvenience for this, but a necessity for the vegetation.
      I still don't see all the signs, but prayer and reflection helps so much. I took some great advice from my pastor today to make a move, feeling I had received a sign through her, and it worked out! Going to God in prayer is the way to go when the signs appear.
      Blessings!

      Delete
  11. I think I have heard Him speak to me more in dreams and these are also actual signs of His presence. We were taught as kids not ask for any signs just so God will reveal His power ~ but He does when He wills without us even asking for them.

    Many would say that His signs come in the form of calamity ~ and for a while, people would repent and change ways but go back to being their old selves after recuperating... some says it comes in the form of illness. I took that as a sign that I needed to change my career and environment.

    Other signs would be the birth of my nieces and Sam's loss.

    I pray with you as I open myself to God's voice through the different signs He places in our midst.May God find us vigilant and audacious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, friend Melissa, for visiting with me. Let's pull up the armchairs, shall we? :)
      Jesus does state in the Gospels that it is a wicked generation that asks for a sign, but I believe that's because He does expect us to see them without His help. They don't need to be there just in trouble or pain, they can be there in joy and lead to more joy as we seek to follow His wishes for us. I am honored and humbled to be on one of these paths right now.
      Thank you for praying with me. May we always be open to the voice of the Lord in all we think, say, and do.
      And, dear one, keep on dreaming . . .
      Blessings!

      Delete
  12. So many times we don't listen to our God given 6th sense and we ignore those signs... GREAT BLOG!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by today!
      Sixth sense . . . I'm reminded of the quote of C. S. Lewis which I paraphrase here: You are not a body, you are a soul; you have a body.
      We do need to read those signs.
      Blessings!

      Delete
  13. Hi Martha, I wrote a post about the weather this morning :) I know exactly what you feel like! On a more serious note. Yes definitely!Sometimes the voice inside me speaks loud and clear..I have learnt not to ignore it. Have a blessed day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming by, Nelieta!
      What a coincidence that we both wrote about the weather. Lol!
      Yes! Once we learn to hear that voice, we definitely need to follow its directive. Never something to ignore, you are so right!
      Blessings!

      Delete
  14. It is so easy to ignore the signs and assume that it's "just me." This has happened more times than I care to admit. Fortunately, I can learn from my errors and watch the signs more closely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting today, Jennifer!
      It definitely is a learning process and we all make mistakes - those "woulda, coulda, shoulda" moments are big in my life, too. But, we strive to watch and listen better each day and we move forward in God's grace.
      Blessings!

      Delete
  15. It has always happened to me. Whenever I have hung clothes outside it will invariably rain!!! And I agree with you that we so often tend to ignore the signs. Have you ever had the experience while boiling milk? You are vigilant most of the time but you just turn away from it for a second it spills over.
    God bless you my friend

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Rimly!
      That rain factor is something else, isn't it? I've not had that experience in boiling milk, but have had plenty of other things, like rice or pasta, to boil over in the seeming split second I turn my back. Got to watch for those signs! :)
      Blessings!

      Delete
  16. I LOVED this story! Yes, I think often times we think we can out wit the rain and we end up in a thunderstorm!!! haha This is definitely a great reminder to lean more on the Holy Spirit, than our own understanding! Thank you for sharing this!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming by, Lisa Marie, and so glad you enjoyed this story.
      Yes! It is all about leaning upon God and not trusting in our own understanding. Many of the storms we find ourselves in are, indeed, because we failed to see the signs along the way.
      Blessings!

      Delete
  17. Great story, Martha. And yes, of course, how can we not. One only has to be open and take the step forward and trust. Always scary, but always worth it, yes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Brenda!
      Oh, yes, it can be a very scary thing to be willing to take those steps in faith and trust. But, that's exactly what God wants us to do. He is holding out His hand. He won't let us fall. :)
      Blessings!

      Delete
  18. great post, you are such a wonderful story teller. As to signs, how 'bout banners and huge red flags? I have missed so many of these, but I like who I am and learned a lot on the way here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Jan!
      We do learn so much along the way, and, sometimes, those red flags are necessary. I've had plenty in my past, believe me!
      So glad you are liking yourself for you. Know that God loves you immeasurably just as you are! And, He always will.
      Blessings!

      Delete
  19. Yes, many times we are given signs and still, we don't listen. I try to be more aware of them knowing that these signs are God's whispers, reminding me that He loves me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Anne!
      Oh, yes, in the signs, He is definitely reminding us at every turn of His steadfast love for us. May you feel His love today. :)
      Blessings!

      Delete
  20. love the example! once we open our eyes and our hearts we see so much!! and it was there the whole time...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Annmarie!
      Yes, sometimes the signs are as plain as the nose on our face, but we don't see them until we let God open our eyes to them.
      Blessings!

      Delete

"Only to Find Gideon's Bible . . ."

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. This post continues our recent misadventures in Asheville.  If you ...