Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken -Ecclesiastes 4:12

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Broken Glass

Ok, I admit it...Today isn't one of my best days, but it's not my worst. This morning I woke up to a screaming baby with a dirtier than normal diaper and a crib sheet that matched it. After cleaning and laundry, our day was going great until...I proceeded to leave Weston alone for a few moments to attached his crib sheet cover onto his bed (after washing it). All of a sudden, I heard a crash. I walked into the kitchen to find Weston surrounded by glass shards from a wine glass he knocked off the wine rack. Now, of course, I take all the blame for this. When Brent and I were baby proofing, I should have gone ahead and removed all the glasses from the rack. But, I've been lazy about it and Weston showed no interest in the rack...until today. After making sure Weston was okay and giving him hugs, I put him down for a nap and proceeded to clean up the mess. It was no big deal, I did the usual sweep and then vacuum. But then, as I was arranging the wine rack again with pictures and non breakable objects, I knocked over a wine glass. Aghhhhhh....I could have screamed. Really? I just did all of that work and now I have to do it again????? So, of course, I repeated the steps of cleaning up glass on tile floor with some extra care since there's a crawling baby around.

When I finally had a chance to sit down, I began to think about how broken glass is such a metaphor in our lives. While most of our days are filled with happiness, joy, and triumph (and we're blessed to say most of them are), a few of our days are filled with a broken glass or maybe even two, three, or four. At that moment, I knew Weston and I broke the glass because God had scripture in mind for me today. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Broken glass can be as small as a flat tire or being late to an appointment or it could be as tragic as an accident that changes your life forever or the loss of a loved one. As I realized this lesson God had for me today, I began to pray for two families I know are dealing with their own "broken glass" at this moment. The words "pick up the pieces" came to mind as I prayed.  

At first, I focused on the tragedy of breaking the glass. Then, quickly, I started picking up the pieces. That's what we do, isn't it? We pick up the pieces of our hearts when they've been broken. They may never be the same, but we do our best to pick them up, dust them off, and let God help us put them back together. 

Today, I am praying for those who are picking up the pieces today in circumstances they may not understand, probably didn't ask for, and may be having trouble "giving thanks" in. I thank God for this reminder. I rejoice today, when I want to complain, I rejoice! That baby who gave me loads of extra cleaning duties today...Yes, I rejoice and I give thanks for Him!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Judgement and Grace

Judgement and Grace is the theme of Genesis beginning in chapter 3. We've all read Genesis many times. I've always seen the sin of Adam and Eve to be the eating of the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, or the decision to do so. In my recent rereading of Genesis and study, I had an aha moment. The true sin of humankind in the Garden of Eden is their decision to "be like God"and to not trust Him. This was a choice to self-determine life's limits. Wow! Does this sound familiar? When questioned, Adam blamed Eve telling God, "the woman whom you gave to be with me". He then further blames God for giving him the woman. God's judgement was the loss of Eden and they also had to wear animal skins (along with other "human" qualities).

We are closer to the sin of our earliest ancestors than we think.

The judgement of God was swift and notable. The most painful of them must have been their removal from the presence of God. We have to remember, though, that these punishments didn't mean humankind was without His grace and mercy. God could have ended their lives, but he showed mercy by allowing them to live with the covering of animal skins and laborious work. How often do we allow ourselves to self-determine our limits? Or how often do we try to be like God by not trusting Him?

I've been known to say "I don't have time to read the Bible" or "I will pray later". Both of these are self-determining life's limits. It is saying to God, "I don't trust in You enough to read the Bible now and pray fervently". I know some of you are with me on this experience. We always think we have tomorrow. Plan to trust God today!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Sisters in Battle

From time to time, I turn to a wonderful book of poetry (Sitting by My Laughing Fire) by a true woman of God, Ruth Graham, for a pick-me-up! Tonight, I turned to one of my favorites...

"Dear God, I prayed, all unafraid 
(as we're inclined to do), 
I do not need a handsome man 
but let him be like You; 
I do not need one big and strong 
nor yet so very tall, 
nor need he be some genius, 
or wealthy, Lord, at all; 
but let his head be high, dear God, 
and let his eye be clear, 
his shoulders straight, whate'er his state, 
whate'er his earthly sphere; 
and let his face have character, 
a ruggedness of soul, 
and let his whole life show, dear God, 
a singleness of goal; 
then when he comes 
(as he will come) 
with quiet eyes aglow, 
I'll understand that he's the man 
I prayed for long ago." 
 Ruth Bell Graham

This got me thinking about how thankful I am for a husband who loves Jesus with a fervent passion. I can't imagine a marriage any other way. But I know women who do more than imagine this marriage, they live it. Now, I'm not saying my marriage is perfect. Honey, the devil does his best to get inside the Smith household (as he does any Christian family)! Can you say impatient? Or self-protective? Because these describe me. Just ask my husband! 

Yesterday, I was writing a note to a precious young lady I've know for years who is in a hurting marriage. So many times I feel so inadequate when trying to give advice. Who am I to say what anyone should do or say? I just feel that I don't qualify or have the spiritual knowledge (working on this!). But, I remember what I have read in 1 Peter, chapter 3...

"Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,  when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.  Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear."

What I take from these verses is that our lives should be an example. Our words, actions, clothing, attitude, etc. should radiate the love of God. This will do more than trying to push Christianity on him. We can't force our husbands or anyone else to do anything, but we can pray for their hearts! We can pray that a door will open. 

Join me in praying for our sisters who are in relationships without Christ at the center! 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Jeff Markin: Back from the Dead, Reborn Into the Light

An Amazing Story...check it out:)

Jeff Markin: Back from the Dead, Reborn Into the Light

My First Blog

I am very excited about starting a new blog. I keep going back and forth trying to decide if I should or not. I guess I've never felt like others would want to read what I have to say. However, I had been so touched by other's pages I've read. So my goal is to touch someone's life in some way. You might ask what the title of the blog is all about. I chose this with scripture in mind. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken". This scripture has special meaning not only because it comes from the Father, but because it's what my husband and I live by. We know the foundation of our marriage is Jesus. We can't and our marriage will not make it without Him. He is our rock, our provider, our redeemer, our comforter, our salvation, our God! What a wonderful feeling knowing all of this. In this blog, I will mostly discuss the most important things in life: God, family, friends, work (or my 60 children, as I like to say).

So without further ado, here we go...

I just celebrated my 27th birthday last Friday, the 18th of February. Words can't describe how wonderful that day was. I don't think I have ever felt so loved on my birthday as I did this year. Wherever I went throughout the day, there seemed to be a surprise. The 5:45am spin class I attend celebrated with me. My hubby took me to breakfast where I canceled out all of those caloriers I had just burned. My precious students were so sweet. I even received a dozen roses from one of them. My two sweet friends Mallory and Joanna and their children surprised me at school for a visit. My colleagues had a lunch for me. We ended the day with a great dinner at Kobe with family to celebrate all the family's February birthdays. 

The day felt like a new beginning for me. The past year has been marked with blessings, no doubt. But my family and I have also dealt with great loss this year. My daddy, or Ed, as some knew him, passed away March 29, 2010.  

This loss was truly difficult for all of us, as you can imagine. The assurance that he's with Jesus is enough to give me peace and also added excitement to get there one day. We haven't told many people this, but my husband and I have also lost two pregnancies in the last seven months. The burden of my heart is great, while my desire to be a mommy is great as well. Brent and I have realized that we have to trust God's perfect timing and His plan for us. This experience gives new meaning to "having faith". These trials I've had aren't uncommon. I know everyone deals with sadness and loss. But, I do have a new perspective when praying for the people who don't know Jesus, as all of us are called to do. I realize that getting through a difficult season in life is impossible without Him. 

Something inside my soul felt different on Friday. It was like I could see a light at the end of the tunnel. Even if a baby isn't in our near future, I know God had great things in store for us this year!