The Tool of Drool—And Thirsting Well

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

No kidding, I had this very conversation with my daughter the other day:

Kaley:  Know what I found just now on Pinterest? Peanut butter cup gooey butter cake.

Me:  I just gained three pounds hearing you speak those words.

Kaley:  I just lost three pounds in drool.

After I thought about it—well, after I laughed, and then after I thought about it—I decided she might actually have something there. The next diet craze? How about “Slobber Yourself Thin!”

I don’t know why that shouldn’t work for me. Show me an even half-decent fudge cake and suddenly I’m a St. Bernard.

On the new diet plan, it wouldn’t even matter that I’m not the greatest cook in town. Nothing would depend on my baking. Just other people’s pictures of theirs. Seems to me as long as there is social media, food snapshots won’t be a problem. Log on any medium and there’s a virtual slobber-azzi.

I’m intrigued by the exercise implications here too. Instead of the tying on the tennies for running, I could just tie on the drool bib. Ready, set, salivate!

Who knew drool could be a strategic tool in the arsenal of weight loss weapons? I think I’ll start a board on Pintrest for all my spittle-inducing photos. Kaley said I should call it “Pavlov’s Pics.” … That does ring a bell.

But you know what rings truer? The reality of our spiritual appetites. I have to ask myself regularly what my soul might be drooling after. In this fallen world, the temptation is always there: hunger for possessions or pleasure, thirst for enjoyment or ease. Our enemy whispers in our ear, enticing our focus away from things eternal to everything temporary and ultimately unsatisfying.

Our souls are created to be thirsty. The problem is that we so often go after all the wrong things to quench that thirst. We head for the temporary substitutes that leave us more spiritually dehydrated than ever.

It’s funny how as we stay hungry and thirsty for the Lord, we’re satisfied. Hungry and thirsty. Yet at the same time, completely satisfied.  Our thirst—our longing for Him—can be a tool in the hand of God, shaping us into the image of Christ by His Holy Spirit. As we’re reminded of our desperate need for Him and as we ask Him to fill us, any other thing we ever craved make so much less sense. He is absolutely all we need.

David “prayed thirsty” in Psalm 63:l: “God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You. I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water” (HCSB).

Just a few verses later, we’re given a delicious description of what happens after a hungry/thirsty prayer: “You satisfy me as with rich food; my mouth will praise You with joyful lips” (Psalm 63:5 HCSB).

That leaves me feeling wonderfully full, in the most real, to-the-soul way. Jesus said in John 7:37-38, “If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him,” (HCSB).

Father, Son and Holy Spirit—we are complete in our triune God who meets our every need.

No fooling. And no drooling.

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rhonda rheaAbout the author: Rhonda Rhea is a TV personality for Christian Television Network and a humor columnist for great magazines such as HomeLife, Leading Hearts, The Pathway and many more. She is the author of 12 books, including Fix-Her-Upperco-authored with Beth Duewel, and a hilarious novel, Turtles in the Roadco-authored with her daughter, Kaley Rhea.

Rhonda and Kaley are also excited to be teaming up with Bridges TV host, Monica Schmelter, for a new book and TV series titled, Messy to Meaningful—Lessons from the Junk Drawer. Rhonda enjoys speaking at conferences and events from coast to coast and serves as a consultant for Bold Vision Books. She lives near St. Louis with her pastor/hubs and has five grown, mostly-coffee-drinking children. You can read more from Rhonda on her website or Facebook page.

Join the conversation: How do you differentiate between good and bad things to drool over?

Losing Them Before They’re Gone

by Kathy Howard

My mother was witty, fun, and smart. She danced in the kitchen, talked her way out of every traffic ticket, and ran her own business. She read constantly, created intricate cross-stitched pieces, and could quote baseball statistics like a pro. She loved Jesus and adored my dad.

Mom may still be living, but years ago, dementia took the person she was. The disease slowly changed her personality and tore down her ability to effectively relate to other people. Although it happened over time, the reality hit me one day. “Mom” was gone; just a shadow remained. And I’ve been feeling the loss ever since.

We were always close. Even after I married and we moved hundreds of miles away, Mom and I stayed connected with regular, long phone calls. I went to her with parenting questions and friendship issues. She always cared, always listened, and always had some words of wisdom.

I never realized how much I had depended on Mom until I couldn’t. But then I discovered that in some ways, our relationship had hindered my dependence on God. When something happened, instead of turning to Him, I called Mom. When she lost the ability to listen and understand, I began to learn how to take those things to the One who would always listen. Always understand.

The psalmist David knew about personal loss and painful relationships. Yet David learned to cultivate a deep, satisfying relationship with God that brought him comfort in the midst of grief, security in tumultuous circumstances, and joy that surpassed any loss.

In the sixty-third psalm, David emphasized God’s presence with His people. Whether through death, betrayal, or simple change, human relationships will always fail us. But God will never fail us. Our earthly relationships can never meet all our needs, but God can meet every need. He can quench our thirst and satisfy our hunger. His love is better than life itself. (See Psalm 63:1-8.)

When you feel alone, when a sense of loss overwhelms you, turn to the Truth. You are not alone. God is with you. Remember the times He has made His presence known to you in the past. Reflect on those moments you’ve experienced His loving care. Whisper His name and turn to Him. Depend on His strength and sustenance.

Yes, our relationship with our parents is different than it once was. Now they depend on us. Now they need our help. Our guidance. In many ways, we are the parent and they are the child. We grieve the people they were and the relationship we had with them. But, in our grief, let’s not miss what we still have. Who they are now.

Today, my relationship with my mother is drastically different than it was. Yet I’m seeking new ways to find joy in the relationship we do have and to help her enjoy the life she still has. Mom can no longer read, stitch, or dance. But she does like watching planes take off and land. So recently, we drove out and parked next to the airport. And we sat and together we watched the planes.

“You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:7-8

Kathy HowardAbout the author: Struggling to navigate the parent/child role reversal? Kathy Howard’s new book, 30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents, explores God’s Word to find hope and encouragement for the wide range of physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual challenges the adult child caregiver may experience. Each of the 30 devotions – which can also serve as a guide for a daily quiet time – includes a Scripture passage, a real-life illustration, biblical commentary/application, and questions for reflection.

Join the conversation: How has the relationship with your parents changed in recent years? What are some practical ways you can enjoy the relationship you have with them now.

 Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash