The Message

 

Last Friday I had to wait for the water meter man to come.  I had found a note on my door saying they needed access to our home but no one was available.

Call this number to arrange an appointment, the card said.

So Friday I arranged to be home to meet the water meter man.  When I opened the door, I said, “You’re the water guy, right?”  He confirmed that he was.  I asked, because earlier that week there had been a confrontation at a home in the general area, and as it turns out the man doing the confronting had left the house with a shotgun only to be located by the police the next morning hiding in our neighborhood.

It pays to be safe rather than sorry I thought, although as I opened the door, the guy had full access to barge right in anyway if he so desired.

I showed him where the indoor meter was located and he looked perplexed.  The previous owners had finished the basement and so the meter was boxed into a wall.  There was still access to the water valve but apparent there was another valve that needed to be turned off which was located further up the wall.

I expected this water guy would have come with tools, presupposing this kind of thing.  He didn’t.  He just looked at me and said, “I might get some water on your floor.”  The floor was carpeted so I decided I should go retrieve some tools and help this guy along.

I returned with a hammer, and a putty knife.  He just looked at me.  “I don’t want to damage anything.” He said.

So, I took the tools and got to work.  Too bad, I was thinking that my husband was at a doctor’s appointment that morning.  Slowly I worked the putty knife along the edge of the molding and pried the panel loose, next the baseboard, so that the water man could access the panel.

“I’m better at this than I thought.”  I said.  To which the water man said, “Yeah, actually you’re better than most of the guys at the garage.”  That was cute.

“Well, I’ll have my husband put it back together later.”  I said.

When my husband came home I showed him what needed to be taken care of.

Two days later when I went down the basement, the panel was still off and everything was in disarray.

Since I use the basement for meeting with my evening clients I knew I needed to do something.

So, I went to the garage and retrieved a hammer, and nails, and proceeded to reassemble.

My husband heard me and came downstairs.

He watched.

Yep, he watched.  I fumed a little, but not so as he would notice, as I tried to adjust the wood and slide it back into place under the molding.

A little hit there, and another hit on the side, and then the nails.

I pounded, and, you guessed it; he watched.

The bottom molding was bouncing a bit off the carpet so he lent a hand to hold it in place as I pounded.

Then my husband said, “You can tell you’re a carpenter’s daughter.”

I didn’t respond, I just kept pounding until the nail which had bent twice, and needed straightening, finally went into the word securely.

In my mind I thought.  “Yes, I’m a carpenter’s daughter, twice over.”

My earthly father was a carpenter and he had taught me basic carpentry skills.

And my heavenly father came in the form of a carpenter to teach me spiritual skills.

Earthly skills to do the task at hand that day.

Spiritual skills to not open my mouth that day.

Yes, I’m the daughter of a carpenter, with the skill set to match.

I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—Exodus 31:3

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The Simmering Pot

 

I watched as the pot on the stove simmered.  The higher the heat got the more the steam rose from the pot as I heard the eggs inside the pot rumbling from side to side.

I felt just like that pot.   It was the middle of a new semester and I was frustrated by my student’s inability to follow directions.   You might be thinking that a teacher should have patience with their students.  After all they are young and need time to learn.

But, I’m not that kind of teacher, and these are not young students.

No, there are graduate students in college and I am their clinical instructor.

The frustration was boiling up because these students had been presented with the same information on multiple occasions, across settings of group meetings, being provided with written handouts and verbally reinforced, however to no avail.

As I stood staring at the boiling pot I had decided that at today’s meeting these students were going to be given a dressing down.

Yes, I was going to call them out for their lack of attention to instruction and application with their clients.

But then I turned off the heat below the pot, and I watched.   As the heat diminished the steam relented.  Slowly the rumbling in the pot became quieter until there was no rumbling at all.

It was the heat that caused the pot to boil, the steam to emerge and the contents to be battered in that pot.

Was this how I wanted to reflect myself to my students, I thought?

I had prayed the evening before for God to give me the words to say at my meeting.   I had practiced my dialogue the day before in my car while driving to work and I truly thought it was a pretty good speech.

But today was the day that I would really present it.

As I removed the eggs from the pot I could feel the heat.  Yes, they had stopped boiling and rumbling but the heat still made the eggs hot to the touch.

No, I decided, I would not be like the pot.  I would turn off the heat of my expectations, and I would also not turn the heat up on these students.

Instead I would present for the umpteenth time, the same information but in a different way.

So I created another handout and headed off to work.

When the time for the meeting came, I had each student read one of the words on the page:

Assessment, Analysis, Synthesis, Inference, Reasoning and Organization, and I had them read the definition of each, and then I explained in detail why each of these steps was important in the clinical process.

And you know what, I think they finally began to understand.

It’s a good application for anyone and can be applied to anything.

Assessment:  the evaluation or estimation of the nature, quality or ability of someone or something.

Analysis: Detailed examination of the elements or structure of something, typically a basis for interpretation.

Synthesis: Simply a matter of making connections and putting things together.  We synthesis information naturally to help others see the connections between things. The ability to synthesis is based on inference.

Inference: A conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning.

Reasoning: The action of thinking about something in a logical and sensible way.

Organization:  Arranged into a structured whole, logical order and plan.

 

God organized his story into a structured whole with a plan.

God reasoned that man alone could never achieve his own salvation because of man’s sinful nature.

God inferred that based on the evidence of man’s actions a savior would be needed.

God showed us his love for us by sending his son to die for us on the cross.  Through synthesis God showed us how to make the connection, by visually seeing the divide between God and man and seeing the cross as the only bridge to span that divide and bring us to a right relationship with Him.

God analyzed our behavior and showed us that none of us, not one of us is good enough to be in His presence due to our sinful nature and desires.

So, God’s assessment was that someone would need to bridge that divide for us.  Someone that was perfect in word and deed, and in fact that someone was God himself.

God himself, made himself a little lower than the angels, taking the form of a man by sending Jesus the second part of the trinity that was dwelling with him in the heavens to walk among us and teach us God’s law and show us that in our disobedience no one was able to fully obey it.

So Jesus placed a new law in our hearts,

“Love the Lord your God with all you heart, mind, and soul and love your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus loved us by making himself a sin offering for us.

So we accept his gift of grace and offer grace to others so that we reflect his light before all people.

God offered me grace, could I do less for my students?

In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16 (The complete Jewish Bible)

 

Going where the Path Leads

Several weeks ago, I wrote about a trip our family had taken to the mountains of Washington state and how we had inadvertently gotten on the wrong path.

I was thinking about how this occurred, and I realized that it was through our visual field of perception that we chose the wrong path.

You see it seemed reasonable given the path we had already walked than turning toward the left would return us to our point of departure because the path gave the illusion of looping back.  However, the path that appeared to take us further away looped back in the distance which we could not see resulting in a shorter and less strenuous trail.

Why am I thinking about this again?  It’s because I know that even though I took the wrong path I was still exactly on the path that was determined for me that day.

I had come to address my concern about heights, and that is exactly what happened.

Sometimes life gives us twists and turns and we choose the path.  Other times the path is chosen for us.

It’s wonderful to be in an open meadow being able to see off into the distance and knowing what lies ahead.

Actually; that is the path we were meant to take that day.

But there are other times that we are called to walk the rocky path with all its pitfalls and uncertainties.

That’s the path we were on that day.

But if we hadn’t walked the rocky path we would have missed the forest path.

You know the kind of path I am referring to, the path with the soft dirt that gains its softness from the lovely pine needles that fall to the ground.

We would have missed the smell.  Oh, how I love the smell of evergreen.  The freshness, the greenery and not knowing what’s around the bend.

When you walk in a forest, you only see what’s directly in front of you as you wind your way down a path.  But it doesn’t matter because you are surrounded by such beauty that every turn reveals something new.

I’m not sure which path you are on right now.

You may be on the rocky path wondering if you will make it through.

You may be in a meadow, enjoying the view.

You may be in a forest where every step is soft, refreshing and a surprise may be waiting for you just around the bend.

Wherever you are my friend remember you do not walk alone or without purpose.

His presence is there to guide you to the other side, where his purpose will be revealed to you.

Each rock; stone, and pebble has a place in the path of life to mature us and secure us.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  Proverbs 3:5

 

 

 

 

 

Why do I do what I do?

Yesterday I did something that I’ve done before, but not for a very long time.  I don’t know why I did it.  My only defense is that I was annoyed with people who don’t follow road signs, and believe their needs supersede that of others.

Oh wait, I guess that describes me too.

It’s been a stressful couple of weeks since I’ve returned to work for another school year.  Working in a university requires that your schedule work around the schedule of others often resulting in 10 hours day.  My time is not my own anymore and won’t be until next May!

Yep.  I enjoyed my summer of part time work of only 4-6 hours days, but now I’m back to 10 hours days, and it’s exhausting.

So yesterday while I waited at a stoplight I noticed a car pull up next to me.  The road is clearly marked accordingly that the right lane ends.  But routinely folks get in that lane to speed past those of us following the rules and waiting in the correct through lane.

Well yesterday apparently I wasn’t having it.  I was first in line and when the light changed I moved forward quickly.

I’ve done this before and usually the person in the other lane relents and gets behind me, because I’m fast!

But not yesterday.  Nope this guy was determined to be first.

I should have let him go, I should have backed off, but I didn’t.  I kept outpacing him.  I can do that because I have a fast car.

At the last minute though I relented and he sprinted ahead, darting into my lane.  I relented because we were going way to fast.

And then I felt a little embarrassed not letting this guy in, even though I had the right of way.

And then I felt very thankful that there wasn’t a police officer around at the time of our little standoff.

But mostly I wonder today.  Why did I do that?   Why was I so annoyed?  And I realize it’s because I like for people to follow the rules because I am a rule follower, and always have been.

I’m a teacher for Pete’s sake and I teach rules and expect them to be followed.

But the rules of the road seem to be a different thing now a days and I should have known better.

I think this is true of most of us.  There are many things we do which we should not do because we know better.

We may eat too much or we eat the wrong things.  I say this because I do this too.

Why?

Well the truth is I do it because I want to, there I said it.

I do it because it’s in my power to do so and my will often takes control over my senses.

Last night I thought, next time I’ll do better because I was very disappointed in myself.

The other guy was a jerk, it’s true, but I knew better and I could have behaved better.

And in fact that’s just what I did today.

Yep.  Today I sat at the back of the line behind four cars and watched as two other cars went to ending right lane, determined to get an advantage ahead of the other cars.

And of course, they did, because it happens everyday.

But I didn’t let it bother me.  In fact I was just where I was supposed to be, very far back in the pack.

And it was a much calmer ride home.

So what if family is waiting for me to get home to make dinner, really will I save that much time?

Instead, I pledge to behave respectfully by not seeking my own selfish way, but rather seeking the good of others.

Let folks speed past me.  It doesn’t really matter.  Generally we all end up at the same red lights anyway, and there is some sweet satisfaction in that!

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.  Romans 7:15-20

 

 

This entry was posted on September 6, 2018. 6 Comments

The Journey

The Journey

Last week I traveled to Seattle to visit my daughter.  Along with visiting Olympic National Park which is awesome we decided on the spur of the moment to drive up to Mt. Rainer on a Sunday to do some additional hiking.

The cutest dog approached us at our first visitation center with his leash in his mouth, begging for us to take him for a walk.  Boy, was he cute!  After receiving instructions for where to go for some good hiking we headed up the mountain.  When we arrived at the official visitor’s center the lot was almost full, and this was before 10:00 in the morning.  I guess everyone was up for some hiking that day.

We spoke briefly with a ranger about our hiking options.  I told him we were interested in a 3, mile hike.  He pointed my husband toward the information counter to get more information.

Basically, we were instructed to go to the trailhead and keep left for an easy 3, mile hike.  Well, it was a pretty steep beginning climb but after that it leveled out a bit.  There were lots of people on the trail, so we knew we were headed in the right direction, that is until we reached the bottom of a valley with three paths, none of which correctly identified the path we were supposed to be walking.

Folks were going all different directions.  I saw a sign pointing to Sunrise Trail, which is the trail we had started out on, being .07 miles ahead.  My husband said that looked right.  The problem was it was another steep climb.  I mean really, steep, and it seemed that it wasn’t really a moderate trail as the ranger had indicated.  Still we pushed onward finally reaching what I called the summit, but my son said it really wasn’t, it was just a flat resting point.  Still it seemed like a summit to me, and since I have a fear of heights I felt like I had accomplished something by just arriving at this point.

You see several years ago I had been hiking in Zion National Park and my feet were slipping on the sandy rocks.  I had become rather paralyzed and finally had sat down on a rock ledge and told them to continue without me, realizing after they left that I was really perched on a cliff and was not comfortable at all.

So, on this trip I had decided that come what may, I was going to hike the mountains and complete the journey, but I never expected what lay around the bend.

After eating a granola bar, we headed off again, and just around the bend I saw it, ROCKS, shards, and shards of rocks on the path!  No longer were we on a nice dirt path we were on the rocky side of the mountain.  I tried to pick my way through, but, it seems when I walk across rocks my feet always step on the pointed edges and my ankles twist.  I had to hold my husband’s hand for support, but then I noticed in doing this he was walking directly on loose rocks on the edge of the mountain.  I didn’t want him to tumble into the ravine, so I let go.

My second option was to lean toward the inner side of the mountain, and I began guiding myself by holding onto the rocks, but I soon noticed that this was affecting my center of balance and I decided I was making myself less safe this way.

I really wanted to turn back, but we had come such a long way, even though, I knew we were obviously on the wrong path.  No, turning back was not an option.

Finally, I stood up, my daughter called from up ahead that the path looked easier.  I moved forward to find out, it wasn’t.  But I had moved and gotten further down the path.

Eventually the path did become more even, and returned to dirt, but we were all still concerned that we were lost.  There were hardly any people passing us any longer but my husband, looking at the map which had no paths labeled just a red circle we were supposed to follow, insisted we were going the right way.

We walked, and we walked, and we walked and finally we were walking in a forest. We were down.

I inhaled the pine smell and breathed a sigh of relief and said, “We made it!”

But, actually, we hadn’t made it, yet. We still had a lot more walking to do and then we came to a fork in the road AGAIN, with no markings! By this time my husband was sure which way to go and really all we could do was belief him!

We were all getting pretty, darn tired and I knew we had walked more than 3 miles and then finally we began to see people up ahead.  Then slowly a few more people emerged.  My husband said we must be getting closer to the visitor’s center because there were more people around.

We hiked a bit further and finally we emerged at the visitor’s center!  What a relief!

We headed to the café and gift shop, decided against eating once we saw the crowds, but I said, “I’m getting a shirt to remember this trip!”  All total we had hiked 5 miles, and had somehow switched from the moderate trail to the strenuous trail with a 1000 ft. change in elevation!

So, what did I learn from this trip?  Well I learned not all paths are easy but when you’re on a rough patch it’s best to keep your balance and keep moving.  It may get easier around the bend or it may not, but, stopping will only paralyze you and prevent you from working through the hard times.

Oh, how I hated those rocks, but it was worth going across those rocks to get to that beautiful forest.

It’s worth going through the trials God gives us to see the beauty on the other side.

It’s worth trusting that a well, placed hand will guide you across rough terrain.

It’s worth conquering your fears to know that there is God given strength within you.

So, I bought my shirt with the Mt. Rainer logo, and once in the car I then noticed the back of the shirt, it said, “ENJOY THE JOURNEY.”

Yes, enjoy the journey.  Oh, and look on the other side of the map.  When we got home I saw that the trails were listed on the reverse side of the paper!

 

And the priest said to them, “Go in peace. The journey on which you go is under the eye of the Lord.”Judges 18:6

 

 

 

 

Lesson Learned from a Pineapple

I love fresh pineapple.  I never used to buy them fresh as it seemed much easier to buy pineapple in the can, but then one summer my daughter worked in food service at a nearby outdoor pool and she learned the secret of cutting a pineapple. 

After she told me how to cut a pineapple I started buying my pineapples, fresh.  The only problem was that in cutting the pineapple I found that a lot of the good pineapple was cut away in the process.  The process consisted of cutting off the top and bottom of the pineapple and then cutting down across all four sides of the pineapple.  I would try to cut as little as possible, only to find this left some of the pinchers from the skin embedded in the pineapple.  The more you cut off though, the more pineapple you lost.

My goal was to save as much of the pineapple as possible but to avoid the pinchers.  So, I decided to shave the pineapple by cutting the skin off just as you would on any other piece of fruit.  I began cutting as close to the edge of the pineapple as possible while rotating the fruit.  It was tricky because pineapple gets slippery when you cut it.  But I noticed that in doing this I could see when to cut deeper, and when a more, shallow cut was all that was needed.

It really became interesting as I turned the pineapple to see if I could get the skin off in one continuous cut, and I did!  Next would be to cut out the core.  I did this by cutting as closely to the core as possible.  That too was successful.  I had achieved what I wanted, a freshly cut pineapple with very little waste.

Of course, I learned a few things from this process.

I learned that with patience you can remove the entire skin from a pineapple and preserve more of the precious fruit of the pineapple.  I also learned that cutting as close to the core as possible also preserves more of the delicious fruit.  The whole time I was cutting of course, more and more juice came out of the pineapple.

So, my life application is to stay as close to the core as possible.  Stay as close to your source of strength as possible.  My strength being that of my creator, God.  The further away we move the less good fruit we yield.

When we move away from the Father, we lose our connection to the vine,  the core of our being.  When we do this, we are not useful in the hands of the Father.  Likewise, when we speak harshly as in the four cutting blows to the sides of a pineapple we lose our effectiveness in communication with others.

 But if we stay close to our source, cutting away only what is needed, and keeping the fruit as intact as possible, we remove only the barbs and keep the goodness of the fruit.  By staying close to our source we can see as we cut what is being removed, and what is left behind. 

I relate the skin of the pineapple to the Holy Spirit.  For it is only through the Holy Spirit that we take the shape that God has designed for us when we believe and receive his Spirit.  The Hebrews had a name for this Spirit.  In the Old Testament it is called “Ruach HaKodesh”, the Spirit of God which he freely gives to those who receive Him. 

Finally we come to the juice, who doesn’t like a juicy piece of fresh pineapple?  The juice, I relate to the joy of the Lord.  For as we become a vessel for him by sharing his love with others, He provides the juice that keeps us going even in the face of adversity as he releases His power.  For it is only through his power, the juice, that souls are saved.

 

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 

so that you may live a life worthy of the LORD and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 

being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,

and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:9-12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted on July 28, 2018. 1 Comment

Lessons Learned from Stripping

Lesson learned from Stripping

Well, I guess I’ve got your attention now, right?

When I moved into my home over 20 years ago, and the previous owner came to drop off the key on move in day, I noticed something which I hadn’t noticed before when viewing the house.

As I stared at the wall in the foyer I noticed some lines.  Those lines looked like wallpaper, but the walls were painted. I turned and asked the previous owner, “Did you paint the wallpaper?”  “Yes.” Was his reply.  What????   Who the heck paints wallpaper I thought.

Even judge Judy in deciding a case said, “You can’t paint wallpaper.”   Well that’s not entirely true.  You shouldn’t paint wallpaper, but it can be done.   And when painted it presents a real problem.  What I came to find out within the next couple of weeks, over twenty years ago was that not only had the previous owners painted over the wallpaper in the foyer, but also in the bathrooms and hallways and even a bedroom!  It was their way of updating the house for resale.

So, over the years, I have stripped this painted wallpaper, with the exception, of completing the stripping of one of the bathrooms.  This bathroom consists of two rooms.  Back when I started to strip the wallpaper it so adhered to the walls in the main area of the bathroom that I decided at the time to paper over the existing painted wallpaper in the adjoining room and be done with it, until now.

Over this past spring break, I looked in this bathroom and saw how outdated it had become.  I had decorated it with young kids in mind at the time.  But now those kids are grown so I decided to update this bathroom again. I started by repainting the outdated white vanity to a beautiful gray with lighter gray walls. I even convinced my husband to upgrade the tile floor.  It looked great!  But then I peered through the door toward the shower area and saw that those papered walls really looked outdated.  Still, I knew what awaited me if I tackled that room.  The stripping of the wallpaper we had hung along with the painted wallpaper hidden underneath.

Last week I bit the bullet and began stripping.

Really the first layer of wallpaper came off easily because it was strippable wallpaper. It came off so clean in fact that my husband assured me we had reached painted walls, “No more wallpaper.”  He said.  I knew this was not true.  The wallpaper was there, it was just camouflaged by the while paint.  I really did want to believe him, but I knew better.  I started to scrap and revealed paper.

And this wallpaper did not come off easily in one piece as the first layer had.  Nope, it came off in little pieces, leaving the paper backing behind. This was going to a long and arduous task.

I finally developed a strategy.  Slice the paint across the seams of the wallpaper and slide a putty knife underneath and begin to gently separate it from the wall.  The paper backing was still left but that came off easily with a wet sponge.  And so, I was on a roll, a slow roll, but a roll nonetheless.

My husband who was using a steamer on a nearby wall asked me how I was able to get the wallpaper off without the steamer.  “A new strategy.”  I said.  I explained it to him, but he continued to use the steamer.  I must admit my method was more difficult, but it yielded better results.  Because when I looked at his wall there were huge chunks of wallboard missing.  Yet another task I would have to address, wall repair.

So what lessons did I learn from stripping?

First, I learned that as each layer peeled back a new layer was revealed.

It’s like that with us as well.  We have layers that have built up in us over the years.  Some of those layers may be resentment or unforgiveness, or perhaps a callous has so hardened us that layers have built up over top of one specific area of our life. We may have layers of fear or even pride.  Each layer within us tells a story and defines our character.

So, what do we do with these layers?  It’s important first to identify them, and then to determine which layers to keep and which to shed.  Isn’t it fascinating that in nature, species shed at the appropriate time?

Instead of holding on to all these layers, we need to take a clear look at ourselves and choose the character we would like to develop and then layer that into our lives.

The second lesson I learned while stripping was to change my perspective. There was a really, difficult part of wallpaper for which my go to strategy was not working.  I took a step back and looked at it for just a minute and then I thought, well what if, instead of going at that seam from above, what if I approach it by pushing up from the bottom with the knife?  You know what?  It worked!

Lesson two:  We can’t use the same approach for everything, our approach must fit our circumstances.

Once the stripping was done the difficult task of spackling began with yet more lessons to learn.

The thicker you put the spackle on the more sanding you will have to do to smooth and remove a portion of it.

In some places I needed that thick spackle to fix and fill the deeply damaged areas.  In other spots there were just a few indentations where a lighter thinner application was more appropriate and required less sanding. Each type of spackle was unique and served a different purpose.

Lesson learned: Don’t allow thick layers of unresolved feelings to build up inside of you because soon those feelings will begin to bulge and become unsightly.  Until you’ve resolved what’s underneath you can’t put on an appropriate finish layer.  Each if us is created with a specific purpose.  Make sure you are using your God given talents for your purpose.

And then came the sanding.  Sometimes the sanding was too abrasive and removed the work I had done so that I had to spackle again and use a lighter hand.  I soon learned that a slow steady hand in a circular motion produced better results as I saw a gradual disappearance of the thickened lines, yielding a freshly prepared wall ready to have a new finish applied.

Lesson learned:  Sometimes we need to sand away our own rough spots so that we do not judge only according to appearances.  A harshly spoken word may have a lasting impact but a soft response is healing for the soul and the more we polish and refine ourselves the more useful we will be to others.

Next came priming of the walls.  I felt each wall for its smoothness and then applied the primer.  Funny thing about primer, it reveals what lies underneath, so that in some spots the remaining flaws which I hadn’t seen before, immediately appeared.

Lesson learned:  You can’t hide a bad foundation for it will be shown for what it is.  We must start with a firm foundation to produce good and lasting results.  Yes, more sanding, more spackling and then more priming. We do need to prime ourselves before we can be useful.

We need to be primed with God’s word so that we can reflect his truth and goodness to others.  If we’ve primed ourselves with the word of God, good words and actions will follow.This goodness is imparted to us by God when we yield our hearts to Him.

Finally, the day came when I was able to pick out the paint for the walls.  Yeah!

The trick was to pick out the paint that would complement the walls and the fixtures in the bathroom.  Really this ended up being the most difficult task of all!  How did I want this room to look?  What did I want the room to reflect?  It took some time and several trips to the paint store, but I finally found the perfect color to compliment both rooms.

So, I now ask myself, “How to I want to look?”  “What do I want to reflect to others?”

I want to reflect love, kindness, gentleness, goodness and patience to others.  I want to complement God not clash with Him.  I want to reflect humility not pride, joy, not sorrow, and peace, not discord.

I want to grow in the knowledge of God who created me exactly for this purpose.

I want to strip my unproductive layers and lay a firm foundation to develop a character of perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.  I want to be what God wants me to be, a reflection of his goodness by extending grace to others.  Who knew I could learn so many lessons from stripping a couple of walls!

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.  Hebrews 4:12-13

 

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted on July 15, 2018. 3 Comments