Archive | February 2014

Tattered and Torn

Do you have little ones under foot? Are you short on nighttime ZZZZZZZZZZZZ? Are you meeting yourself coming and going? Are you stretched to the max trying to meet an important deadline? Are you frazzled, tattered and torn?

As I stretched out on the old iron bed selecting fabrics to begin a scrappy Roman Stripe quilt, I noticed the quilt beneath me was getting quite worn. Fabric colors are fading, and kind of like a comfy pair of old faded blue jeans the quilt has aged to a cozy softness. Here and there little pieces have pulled apart.

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Great Grandma T pieced this “Whirligig Windmill,” and my Grandma hand quilted it nearly 40 years ago. It has donned the bed and kept my son warm for many years. Some people would be ready to replace a quilt in this tattered condition. However, with a little time and some gentle stitches, the frayed edges can be mended.

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It may not be good as new, but it will warm this bed for many more nights.

Now, how are you going to mend your frazzled, tattered, torn day or life? Turn to God; He can help.

When you think you are too tired, Jesus says: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

When you think you can’t go on, Jesus says: “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

When you think you can’t manage: “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Trials

In preparation for a speaking engagement, I found myself revisiting some of the trials that have helped shape the person I am today. The intensity of emotions that resurfaced with these memories surprised me. I had not anticipated this at all!  I took time to allow some of the initial fear and anxiety to resurface in an effort to unmistakably recognize God’s presence throughout the trial. Often when in the midst of a trial, we can’t see the full scope of things. It is as if we are zoomed into the picture rather than viewing through a wide angled lens.

Hindsight can be a great teacher, if we allow it to teach rather than fill us with regrets. Some things that stood out to me are:

  • God may not remove the trial, but He gives peace and courage to face it head-on.
  • God sends the right person at the perfect time to give comfort, support, or encouragement.
  • Dependence on self or dependence on God is evident.
  • Trials can sever or bond relationships.
  • One can grow and mature through trials.

Today, I can honestly thank God for allowing and taking me through some very difficult trials. Why? Because those difficult times caused me to grow in ways that I may never have grown without them.

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.   Romans 5:3-4

SnOw

Many across the nation have been homebound due to snow. After completing my outside chores, I began contemplating what to do on this particular snow day. I thought about making a snowman, like this one found on Pinterest.Will definitely be making this guy this year

However, since my dog loves romping in the snow so much, she would want to be in the middle of my rolling of snow. I am afraid my snowman would end up more like this. Also found on Pinterest.

Fallen Snowman. Fun and whimsical. Would be cute beside Standing on Head Snowman.

The desire to create a snowman continued to tug at me, so I settled on making one near my toasty woodstove. I didn’t get wet or cold, and I don’t have to worry about it melting or being toppled over by my rambunctious dog.

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With frigid temperatures, wind whipping to and fro, snow began swirling in my mind. In this swirl came the curiosity to do a Bible scavenger hunt. Have you ever done a Bible scavenger hunt? This particular hunt was to find all the times “snow” is mentioned in the Bible. As I searched and read, I discovered snow/snows/snowy is used  literally, figuratively and comparatively.

Two identical verses are examples of literal word use. In 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles, I read about a man named Benaiah who was a mighty and powerful man; he was a valiant fighter. Not only did he strike down some of King David’s biggest enemies, “…He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.” (2 Sam 23:20, 1 Chron 11:22)

In the book of Job, snow is mentioned several times. In chapter 6, Job uses “snow” to help describe the lack of devotion from his friends. “But my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams, as the streams that overflow when darkened by thawing ice and swollen with melting snow, but that cease to flow in the dry season and in the heat vanish from their channels.” Job 6:16-17  Later in the book, in describing God’s power and majesty, snow is referenced.

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth.’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour’. Job 37:5-7

This week, God has definitely said to the snow, “Fall on the Earth!”

When used comparatively, the color of snow is mentioned. Last night when the wind was blowing, some areas were reported to have whiteouts. For my readers in the tropics, this is when the snow is blowing and swirling so much that all you can see is white, hence the term whiteout. Today,  the snow is a thick blanket of fluffy white, and the sunlight reflects brightly making my view look blindingly clean and untarnished. I especially like the verses that refer to God cleansing and making one whiter than snow.

Isaiah 1:18 “‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.’

David understood this. When he finally faced and admitted his sin, he poured his heart out to God.

“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow….Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:7,10

Do you have sin muddying up your life? When was the last time you ask God to wash you and make you whiter than snow?  Repent, talk to God about it. He will forgive you, and turn those scarlet sins white as snow.

Leave me a comment; what do you do on a snow day?