Have you ever noticed how clean and crisp the air feels and smells after a rain storm? It is so refreshing! You just close your eyes and breathe it in. It even has a way of "lifting your spirit" so to speak. For a day or two you feel happy; you're smiling and you sense the same from those around you. In like manner, the storms of life have an impact on our inner being. Recently, one of those storms hit my life out of the blue. I was blind sided. I knew there was an incomprehensible tension I had been experiencing for some time but couldn't put my finger on it. In one moment a very close relative exploded in anger and expressed that they could not deal with my "drama queen" actions any longer and were going home, cutting short a visit that had been intended to last a bit longer. I was crushed at first and burst into tears. I had no idea what was happening. Well, having learned through many years of walking with the Lord that everything happens for the good and being open to growth, I did the only thing I could and cried out to God and said, "What in the world is happening here?" Now, I will digress a little bit. Years ago, I asked the Lord to help me be like Mary, the mother of Jesus. When she was told by the angel what was to happen to her regarding pregnancy, carrying the Savior of the world, etc., she "pondered all these things in her heart". I have the tendency to get excited and blurt out everything the Lord shows me and THAT'S A LOT OF BLURTING! I had made some progress in the "pondering in my heart" part. The part I wasn't doing so well with was harnessing the need to process my thoughts out loud. I had not realized how much I did this until this particular "storm" hit. By processing out loud this way, in other words, expressing what I needed to get done for the day; what was broken and needed fixing; how tired I was; how I had to go to work that day; needed to walk the dog; forgot to call so and so; didn't get the dishes done; needed to help so and so do this or that; had to cook dinner; forgot an item at the store; wish I had more time to..., etc., you get the picture, I was creating an atmosphere of constant turmoil. Wow! I really did not realize what an impact I was having with something that had become shear habit and the pressure I was unwittingly putting on others to deliver me from my "dilema" which was really no "dilema" at all. God is so gracious to give Wisdom if you ask him and you "count it all joy when you encounter trials of many kinds". The Book of James teaches us this and says all these trials will give us patience and "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (Chapter 1 verse 4) My desire is to continually grow in the Lord and mature and have his nature expressed through my life as I walk in relationship with Him. His Word says that he promises to perfect that which concerns us. So, back to my recent storm. All is well, the clouds lifted, restoration reigned, smiles returned. There will be many visits to come. And I am learning that as I ponder things in my heart more and reason together with the Lord regarding my days activities, peace is able to rule in greater proportion in my heart and home. The air is fresh again and the Son is Shining! My resolution for 2010 is to be a "peacemaker" in and out of my home. It brings added meaning to the Scripture that says. "Life and death are in the power of the tongue". "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you my Lord."