About Me

My photo
Blue Ridge Area of Virginia
Alicha McHugh is author of "Daughter of the Promise" first in her: Numbered Among the Stars series (available on Amazon.com). She is a homemaker to her husband of 15 years, homeschooler to their children. Writing, enjoying tea and creaming Raw Honey are three of her current pursuits. Grabbing time to read is always high on her list of priorities! If you'd like to contact her, she'd love to hear from you! Just email: alichamchugh@gmail.com

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Living in the Kingdom of Heaven

About two weeks ago I went to meet my friend down the street for a walk with our girls, when I saw what I assumed were hired help by our side hedge with tools and such, looking oddly guilty and hurried. I figured they were going to do some trimming (it's the start of the growing season~ HOW MUCH trimming does it need! And it's on the side of their house, NO WINDOWS/ DOORS or anything to merit such actions!!)

But the extent of my thought was: oh good, now Rick doesn't have to do that side this weekend. I actually waved to them as a sign of goodwill and still they waved nervously back to me. When I (and my 'posse' as my friend Beth called our group of three moms and a six little girls) walked back from their house to mine, we came upon the now non-existant hedge they said they were 'prunning'...TO THE GROUND with a CHAINSAW! (Like Rick says, "Don't pee on me and tell me it's raining!")

"Where are our bushes!"

Gone was our lovely hedge in our front side yard. We could see everyone's yard down the street and everyone could see into our yard too. Gone was our privacy! I stood there as the girl said they were actually doing us a favor because it was a tangled mess in the bushes. The...guy....who actually lives there said, "What can I say...'I apologize'." Do I really need to put in here how not 'sorry' he sounded. He also said he'd been looking at it for 5 years...we haven't even been there two years yet and Rick is fastidious about our yard.

Now, last summer the man "trimmed" a different part of our hedge, again without discussion...it died and left a hole but since it was on the very side of his home with just brick to look at and away from the street, it didn't bother Rick as much as it bothered me. So, we didn't say anything and I decided if he was going to feel free to do that, I was going to put the trash can there so he can look at that...that only lasted a while as I haven't been able to move the trash can for the past 6 months. I think...THAT little bush we didn't challenge him on was Hitler's Poland.

BUT, GOD is so kind to me...had my saved friend not been with me...I know I would have gone off...I mean Jersey style of going off on someone. Then, when in the house, I started fuming and praying because I knew it was mounting and I was just hormonal enough to want a fight, but then my older brother called and we talked and I remembered what Jesus said about doing only those things which please His Father. I'm not nearly as ashamed as I ought to be that if there was a balance scale measuring my desire to please my Father and the importance of my bushes...it would have been pretty dead even.

Well since then Rick tracked down the owner of the home. (Yes the...guy...living there is a renter.) Rick has lost two weekends digging and planting and putting up a front fence. But something Rick did last Saturday made me so angry I couldn't even talk about it. After he was done with the fence, he mowed the...guy's...front yard for him. How weak, how disdainful, how low...why don't you just lay down in his front yard and let him jump on you! Thus were my thoughts which only the verse which had been playing over in my mind since moments after I came upon the bushes gone, "The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God" kept me from uttering. Then David's first wife came to mind...Michel. I knew I had the same attitude. Do you remember her punishment?

Then yesterday I was thinking about the Sermon on the Mount and the Kingdom of Heaven. I had understood the point behind the sermon for the first time at North Hills Community Church. It NOT a pattern for living, a list of rules to follow and then you get to 'inherit the earth' or are 'blessed' or whatever else. It's what NATURALLY happens to you by the working of the Holy Spirit inside you when you are a member of his kingdom, living under his authority. I've found it's rarely a question of not knowing what to do in His Kingdom, but doing what the Holy Spirit prompts you to do and then has promised to give you the strength to do.

But what if you allow yourself to forget where you're from? Jesus said, "I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly!" If I, an eternal member of his body, chose to live outside his kingdom, it's worse for me than moving from America to China. It's like willingly becoming comatose. Even though alive, I cease to 'live'. That is the reality of having become a Christ follower. It really does HAVE to be HIS way. My first reaction to realizing this was, "Well, I didn't sign up for this way of 'rolling over'!" Then I was reminded of the alternative, of what I was REALLY saying I wanted...the dead way, the way of wrath, the way of destruction, my way.

Maybe that's what I'm really afraid of...by allowing God's way to reign...it will become my way too. And then, anyone can do, or say anything. And I won't be able to 'set them straight' 'put them in their place' or even talk about them with Rick and vent my ugliness with him. I guess it boils down to: What do I really believe? Do I believe His way is best? I say I do...But more times than not, my attitude says about my Lord, My Creator, My Savior...you don't have a clue. How wrong...

If Jesus is our example...is that what I think he did? Rolled over? Well, I started wrestling it out with God~ My "But"s were plenty and after a pause in my rant he silenced them with one reminder. When Jesus went to wash Peter's feet, Peter pulled back, acting on the belief that he's understanding was better. Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me." It's like the Lord was telling me, "My way...it must be my way."

My anger is vanquished and instead of feeling ashamed at Rick for 'rolling over' I am proud of him and not a little in awe, for acting against his nature and choosing ON PURPOSE to live in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I think I'll camp out on Matt. 5-7 for a while...along with Hebrews 11-13

Monday, April 12, 2010

Do you ever feel like Winnie the Pooh?

"Oh Bother!"
Well, I finally did what my husband has been saying to do and that is reload Word onto my computer. I swore up and down to him that Word wasn't going to let me reload because I've done that 3 times and I thought there was a three time limit...Plus, I didn't want the hassel of reloading everything I've worked on so far from email back into Word. He was right, of course, and I didn't have to reload everything. Apparently the Word disk fixed the access issue and didn't have to actually "reload". (I really have no idea what I'm talking about.) Thus editing has commenced. I do have a bit more pruning to do than I thought in the second part...but not terribly much. It's distractingly readable!

Anyway, I want my blog back, so if you'd still like to read the rest, I can email you what you missed. Otherwise, I'd really like to blog about the homebirth and somethings I've been mulling over (Jersey summers, my Aunt Catherine and songs like "Fields of Gold"). For closure, I'll blog when I finally send Dawn the info she requested.