Thursday, November 29, 2018

'You Don't Miss Your Water...'

Image result for coffee outside
There is an old saying my momma used to say all the time… “You don’t miss your water ‘til your well runs dry.”  I cannot recall if she was quoting lyrics from an old song or if it was just another one of her ‘off the tip of the tongue’ animated expressions she often planted in our heads. Either way, it was repeated enough to embed an everlasting impression. I must admit, I initially did not ‘get it!’ “A well? What is a well?”  I am sure I did one of those ‘eye rolls’ most kids do when they are lectured by their elders. But as time passed, I understood her words clearly.
Too many times we go about our daily duties and onuses without giving a second thought to how we make it from day to day. We go to jobs that we think will always be available; take for granted our good health; give and buy kids things that are well above our means, which they presuppose is a ‘given…’ and the list goes on.
What that expression means is that we cannot appreciate what we have, until we no longer have it. Even the simplest of things, like the air we so freely breathe, is taken for granted. Consider those who no longer have the capability of freely inhaling fresh air, as they become dependent on a breathing apparatus.

As I sit back with my ‘brew’ in one hand and pen in the other, I consider how blessed I really am.  I have had so many ‘water missing’ moments. And now, I think I am ever so grateful for the tiny things because this is my birthday month... A benchmark birthday!  As I embark on a new stage of this wonderful life God has granted me, I seem to have had a huge growth-spurt! Uhhh, mentally and physically! I am not embracing the physical aspect easily, but I am accepting it and claiming good health, Lol. As a whole, I’m enlightened, learned, more vibrant, and comfortable in my own skin. But most importantly, I have grown to REALLY know Jesus. I am Sooo Thankful!  He has and still sustains me. Everything I am and have gracefully endured is because of Him.
Life and those ‘water missing’ moments have taught me so much…
-To be still and listen when I’m anxious- Philippians 4: 6-7
-To take my hands off when I want to fix everything- Exodus 14:14
-When God seemed so far away- Psalm 139
-When I have lost a loved one- John 14:18
-How to let go of pain when I have been wronged- 1 Peter 5:7
-When I realized everyone around me had grown or is gone- Deuteronomy 31:8
-When I put trust in man and not in Him- Psalm 27
-When I have been taken for granted; walked over- 2 Chronicles 15:7
And if I can’t remember anything else but that childhood scripture, encompassing all, I recite- Psalm 23.

So if you are wondering, what will happen next? Why has your well seemingly dried up? How will you make it? Please remember this-

Be grateful. Be thankful
For your now
For whatever situation
That has been bestowed
For He didn’t bring you this far
So that you’d turn around
Be grateful. Be graceful
Start thanking Him.
For He is your


PJ Payne

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Unforeseen Hope

Have you ever had someone in your life that you probably didn’t appreciate at the time? Then you come to realize that it wasn’t so bad after all? I’m sure this has happened to us all at some point and time; be it male or female. See, we learn through ups and downs, trials and tribulations that we were going through, things were not just about you, it was about them too. I definitely had that happen to me and had to figure it out. 
Making this story short, I had a girlfriend in my life for many years.  We had so much in common. We both had wonderful marriages (or so we thought); both had three kids; both were Christians and members of a church community… so everything should have been fine, right? Well, it wasn’t. We were always talking, doing things together, trips with family, singing events etc. As our kids grew up and life happened, her marriage fell apart.  I tried to be there for her but felt as though we didn’t mesh anymore. She stated there was a strain, as she was all of a sudden single and I wasn’t.  It was quite hard for me to accept, and I bucked against it, stating nothing had changed about my adoration for her as a friend. I soon felt as though she threw quite a few insinuations towards me, so I resolved to fold and back away from the friendship.
As a few years, there were other devastating situations we endured… but what I remembered the most was that I felt abandoned. What I didn’t see at the time was how abandoned she must have felt, going through a divorce, feeling unwanted, unloved which may have in a way caused her to harbor ill feelings of jealousy or resentment.
As I stated, there is more to this story, but this was the beginning of understanding that we tend to take too many things personal.  Sometimes things are not what they seem... There's always hope.


I used to gripe about
My very best friend
And didn’t realize
My distinction she depended

Thought she was a mimic
Thought she was a mime
Didn’t put it together, then
What she needed was my time
I was that distinguishing part
Representative of her deficiency
Later I found, I gave hope
Imparting proficiency

She wouldn’t let on
How important to her I was
And wouldn’t give me the benefit
Of bestowing unequivocal love

I began to doubt our friendship
Had qualms about the treatment
I was receiving all but kinship
My importance, I wasn’t believing

So… I became defensive
I began to question commitment
Was what we had all these years
Fake… only a figment?

Finding later, a deeper sense
As we went through some things
Some folks just can’t accept flaws
No matter the pain it brings

See, she was one side of me
And I am who she admired
Didn’t really see the big picture then
Time apart was what was required

Stepping aside
Taking inventory
And in all things, ups or downs

Giving God the Glory

PJ Payne