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Comfort in the Shaking

Life is like a snow globe.

Sometimes it’s nice just sitting on a shelf feeling pretty…everything’s going A-Okay.

And then somebody comes along and gives you a good shake.

For a moment the whole world seems to be crashing down around you and then you are placed back on the shelf and everyone watches in awe.

It’s even more beautiful than before.

There’s comfort in the shaking…

A few nights ago I lay down in bed and prayed for comfort.

Immediately 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 popped into my mind:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

And then I started pouting like the baby in the family that I am:

“That comfort is just so I can comfort others…I want comfort that’s only for me. My comfort, that I don’t have to share.” Me, my, mine.

So I fell asleep in my self-pity.

Of course, the next morning this same verse came up on the radio. The host followed it with this question as a math problem:

If you have 15 parts of comfort and you give 5 away, how many parts of comfort do you have left?

Answer: 15.

I know this is true but it’s that old battle of flesh against Spirit that takes me back to spoiled brat mode.

This wasn’t the last time I heard that verse that week…it came up in our Life Group lesson at church as well. The Holy Spirit was just hammering it in, and I got the message.

Christ comforts us so we can comfort others, and this in return makes us feel the comfort of Christ all over again.

Shake the snow globe…let the comfort be shared.

The hard part is that the shaking is assured:

The Bible says we WILL have affliction if we’re following Christ.

…In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

And we can be overcomers with Him.

4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith (1 John 5:4).

Faith, tested through trials, leads to completion. It is a beautiful thing, and there’s comfort in that.

2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).

So if you feel your world being shaken and you think it’s all going to smash to the floor in a wet mess of broken glass, and clay, and lackluster sparkles, DO NOT FEAR:

God will not be shaken.

Psalm 62
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
2
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
3
How long will all of you attack a man
to batter him,
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
4
They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,
but inwardly they curse. Selah
5
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
6
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
8
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
9
Those of low estate are but a breath;
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.
10
Put no trust in extortion;
set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
11
Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
12
and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
according to his work.

Grace and peace…even in the shaking.

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Fear Revealed

One day after my last post I read chapter 3 of this book:

And I had a lightbulb moment.

My fear was revealed. I realized immediately why the Lord had me reading this book and exactly what I needed to do.

But I didn’t want to do it.

That’s when the arrows flew.

…a “BUT GOD” moment.

One hard situation was put upon me, but through it I was set free from the other.

Everything crumbled around me for a moment, BUT GOD used it as a key to my release.

I immediately felt lighter.

At this time I was in Canton for a half-marathon I had entered, so I headed out on the trail expecting good things.

It was a disaster:

I underestimated the technicality of the trail, I completely dehydrated, I took a wrong turn, and I finished 32 minutes after my goal time.

As I was chewed up and spit out by these trails this verse from Job came to mind, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.” Humbled.

And then I pitched a big fit.

I grabbed my medal, yanked a couple of chocolate chip cookies off the table, and fled the scene.

I was so mad…at the race, at myself…just mad at life, and I let it shine.

BUT GOD…

He still saw me, still reached out in love and grace to me, He still quieted my soul as only He can, so by the time I got home all was well.

Then I read chapter 4.

That’s when I realized the BUT GOD in my recent history…and I was sorry for my whining.

And then I was convicted and comforted all at once by this line:

…we have a choice. We can wear our hurt or wear our hope.

I had definitely worn my hurt after that race…not just my disappointment in the race but the hurt I felt as the Lord had filleted my heart and in the process cleaned out clots of my own sin.

So now the healing begins…and I’m thankful that it’s underway.

And if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times:

Praise the Lord.

Photos.in.the.shade captured this early morning rainbow…”The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22‭-‬23
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The Final Countdown

This is the last project I completed before I morphed into a grocery shopping, party planning, cupcake baking machine…

I present…the fireplace:

We weren’t sure how to repair that ragged edge where we took the cover off, but Pinterest came to the rescue with a few tutorials on painting the stone.

IV wasn’t sure, and when I put that first brush stroke right in the smack center I may have panicked a little on the inside.

BUT…after brushing on some more, smearing it with a paper towel, and applying some water to dilute it a little more I was relieved…

The kids, of course, pointed it out first thing so I don’t know if he would’ve noticed or not, but he wasn’t mad! He liked it. Phew! I like it too.

Since then, when I haven’t been at the YMCA, I’ve been squeezing in shopping trips and stopping by others’ homes to gather party supplies and such.

Busy bee…buzz.

In the midst of the hustle and bustle I kept noticing how everyone was just being so nice to me. I try to be nice, but there are some gifts in my life that I just can’t repay.

It was just before my last stop that I suddenly became overwhelmed with thankfulness for the Lord’s goodness to me…because I surely don’t deserve it.

This verse came to mind:

I love those moments when the Spirit stirs within me and brings to recognition that I don’t deserve any good things…from the kindness of a stranger giving me a quarter at Aldi to all the ways people have helped us over the past year and beyond. So much love…love that I can never fully return. And then there’s the ultimate love…flowing from Jesus’ veins on the cross and continuing to flow in my every day life.

Grace upon grace.

Check yourself, and notice God. Then sit in the grocery store parking lot for a minute and cry to yourself before going in again.

And give thanks…always give thanks.

Praise the Lord…and get ready to party!!!

If you’ve read this blog til the end I would like to cordially invite you to our low county boil as a thanks for your support…just bring a pound of shrimp with ya! 😄

Can’t wait!!!

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This wasn’t on the list…

IV played in the dirt all Father’s Day weekend. He’s trying to dig out a pond and make a place for my mom and dad’s RV. In the process he uncovered almost a hundred of these patio stones:

They’re nothing fancy but they’re something we’ve been needing for our back entrance into the mudroom:

This was not on the to-do list but the time was right and the materials were at hand so Lottie and I set to work.

IV helped level it, Crockett helped break up some dirt clumps, and King painted the door, and…

SO much better! It looks happy now. 🙂

Lottie even got to put her little fairy garden in the new flower bed by the door.

Thankful for a productive weekend!

Praise the Lord!