…”Speak Lord for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:9
When I was growing up, if I would misplace something and say, “I can’t find it!” my dad would always say, “I’m sure it will be in the last place you look.” He was right…it always was but as a kid that line really bugged me! I
think it probably bugged me because what I would have rather heard him say was, “I’ll help you find it.” That simple statement of the obvious and the reality that I was on my own was his very simple way of letting me know I was responsible. If I wanted that missing object badly enough I had to invest the thought, energy and action into finding what I was looking for.
I heard someone say a couple weeks ago, “God just never listens to me!” I’m sure we’ve all felt that way a time or two when things got bumpy but the question that should always follow that statement is , “How well do I listen to God?” As Christians we can be assured of God’s presence in our lives but sometimes we have to do what my dad always pushed me to do and take responsibility for finding His loving presence in our lives. God speaks to us, but it’s not a bold, booming deep voice from the clouds. God speaks to us daily if we’re seeking and listening. There are four ways He makes us aware of his presence, His voice, and His will.
The first place God speaks to us is through Scripture. Once while I was in the middle of a struggle, I tried a dozen things on my own to make it better and finally after no improvement I did what I should have done first and gone to God’s word for strength, comfort and counsel. When I did finally ask God to speak to my heart, I landed in James and these were the words I read; Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. I heard that loud and clear!
The second way God speaks to us is through circumstances. Sometimes we call them coincidences, but God deserves the credit for those things, not fate. God so loves each of us, He arranges and organizes events and circumstances all the time just to show us how much He loves us and cares for us. Keep your eye out for them!
The third way is through people. Sometimes the right person with just the right word comes along at just right time and it seems to change everything. That’s God, speaking through others. A lady shared a story just recently about being in the hospital and as she was being prepped for surgery a nurse walked in to assist and they just “out of nowhere” started talking about trusting God and feeling His peace. She said it completely removed her fear and she rolled down the hall with an amazing sense of calmness and confidence.
The fourth way God speaks to us is through prayer. My husband and I can’t raise our children together if we don’t talk. I can’t teach a room full of little lovelies to read or do math if we don’t talk. I think we understand that we would stumble around in such chaos and frustration if we didn’t communicate with each other. Prayer is our communication with God. It’s the most important conversation we have each day but yet it’s the one that sometimes gets pushed to the side when we get busy or frazzled. The biggest mistake we make is to think we don’t have time to pray. That would be like trying to drive somewhere and being too busy to put gas in the car.
If you feel like something’s missing in your life seek the giver of all good
things. He will be the last place you look and now you have four choices.
A Seed To Plant: Pick one of the four and start seeking Him. I’m willing to bet the more you seek Him in these four places, the more you’ll find Him.
Blessings on your day!
Wait for the Lord, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14
Waiting is something we aren’t so good at. We live in a society of “drive through”, “instant” and “express” everything. We still have to wait
9 months for babies but it seems like practically everything else can be rush
ordered. How did we get so wound up? I think all of the “speedy deliveries” we’ve become accustomed to have made us short on patience. Patience is such an important virtue it is mentioned more than 30 times in Scripture. I guess the big question is what are we supposed to do while we wait on things to happen? We don’t want to waste time or miss out on anything so what is the solution?
I’m famous for giving God a time frame. I say things like, ok God, I will be patient and wait for you to show me the way; but I need to know by the end of June because I have to plan for this or that. I’m not sure that truly
qualifies as patience. I have to share a struggle with you because it lead to a great message. I love teaching, I love writing, I love speaking…it’s all so different and exciting and sometimes it gets a little crazy doing all three as well as being a wife and mom but I told God I would do whatever He asks me as long as He gives me the energy and the words. Let’s face it, I’m way too old to get by on 5 hours of sleep a night so He’s got to intercede…and He always does. But lately I’ve been getting a little sassy in my prayer. I went so far a couple weeks ago as to tell God I needed Him to choose. Do you want me to be a writer and speaker because I’d love to write a book and I’d love to travel all over the country spreading Your message but I just don’t have enough minutes in a week to do everything? Oddly enough in that two week time frame, three people I am acquainted with got book deals or cool writing assignments AND I saw Facebook posts from several speakers who were doing TV and radio shows and speaking to great audiences in exciting places…I was overwhelmed by the number of these events that just flooded my newsfeed! I was pretty frustrated and more than once felt like throwing my own little pity party. I was so frustrated with myself…I prayed over and over those couple weeks for God to take away those sassy thoughts and feelings because I knew they were not His thoughts or His ways.
After wrestling with this, I was standing in the kitchen doing dishes yesterday and I turned on the radio and the song that came on dropped me to my knees! A song began that I had heard dozens of times before but I guess I had never really listened. It was as though the whole world went silent and I heard the artist sing the words, “While I’m waiting I will serve You, while I’m waiting, I will worship.” His message to me that moment was as clear and profound as the burning bush He put before Moses. That was it…I need to serve and worship while I wait. I was lovingly reminded that I don’t get to pick the when, and the where, and the what. I get to pick the HIM and
that is enough. I can’t wish for someone else’s journey, it isn’t mine.
It’s my great pleasure to write here twice every week, it’s a joy to speak to crowds of 10 or 1,000 in church basements or school gyms or wherever He sends me. Maybe someday I’ll get to write a book or speak in Hawaii or appear on a Christian TV or radio program, but that isn’t for me to decide.
It is my humble privilege to serve and worship when, where and with whom
He chooses to put in my path. I realized as I listened to that song how blessed I am to be able to do all the things He allows me to do. I don’t
want to miss out of one minute of service because I’m waiting for something
“big”. Waking up every morning in a country where I am free to love and serve and spread the Gospel is huge…better than a book deal, better than a five star hotel and conference center and certainly better than money! It’s
better because He chose it exactly for me…that’s a perfect gift. So while I’m waiting for whatever it is He might need or want me to do with my time and talents, I will serve and I will worship and I can happily do those two things forever because they are pleasing to my Father.
A Seed To Plant: Make a list of the things you find yourself waiting for, then next to it make a list of the ways you can serve and worship while you’re waiting.
Blessings on your day!
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways,
says the Lord. Isaiah 55:8
How about that for a Monday kick in the pants! As I think about the Prophet Isaiah’s words, they have a more truthful application to my life than I’d like to
admit! My thoughts ramble off into the back 40 during prayer and the things I’m thinking are definitely not His thoughts and sometimes, my ways are so NOT His ways! Why do we do that…when we know we shouldn’t speak words to others we wouldn’t speak directly to Him and we know His way and His plan trump ours EVERY time? Yet we keep runnin around sayin stuff we shouldn’t say and doin stuff that our stubborn nature tells us is easier!
I guess it all leads me back to the truth…I’m just a big ole sinner who needs the love and mercy of a Gracious God because I sure can’t get it right
without Him! Maybe that’s the whole point!
Yesterday at Mass Fr. Gordon (Jason and Shannon call him Fr. Smiley because he is the most contagiously joyful and happy man ever!) taught us a prayer. Here it is, “Thank You God, Your will be done!” Even I can remember that one! Seems simple and easy and makes sense...until you begin to think about when you should say it! It’s going to be easy to say that little prayer when I get a good parking spot, or when something good happens. The tricky part is when the yucky stuff happens. Fr. Gordon used the examples, when you loose your keys in the snow, “Thank you God, Your will be done.” Or when you loose your cell phone, “Thank you God, Your will be done…now I have more time to talk to You.” Seven little words that can change everything! I think we can get so busy we forget to have that ongoing dialogue with Our Father, maybe lost keys and slow traffic and broken mower belts really are a tiny nudge inviting us to speak with Him.
Disappointments are a great place to plug in this prayer! When things don’t go the way we plan, we can get pretty down. I remember not getting a teaching job I wanted so badly! I prayed, I researched, I practiced interviewing I did everything to prepare yet despite my best efforts, the interview committee picked someone else! I was so disappointed! I called my mom in tears and she listened to me blubber on and on and when I was finished, she softly said, “It wasn’t your job to get!” I remembered that conversation clear as a bell in church yesterday as Fr. Gordon was talking about that very simple little prayer and on the drive home, Isaiah’s words chimed in and I was overwhelmed with the power of God’s plan. It hit me that if I had gotten that teaching job, I would not have gone to K-State, I would not have found out about the job opening with the State Department of Education in Michigan, I would not have moved here, met and married Dave Wohlfert, had three wonderful children and my life would NOT be any
of the terrific things it is right now! Thank you God, Your will be done! And it was done…with amazing attention to detail I might add! It’s surprising what seven little words can stir up!
God always knows what He’s doing. We have to thank Him especially when things don’t go our way. I don’t know about you but sometimes I forget that part. The harder something is, the bigger our thank you should be! He blesses us through good and happy things and He blesses us BIGGER
through the difficult, disappointing and heartbreaking! We tend to see what’s good for us; He sees what’s good for ALL of His children. We have to remember we aren’t the only ones He has to care for. Our disappointment is most likely someone else’s blessing…we can stamp
our feet like a spoiled impatient toddler or we can use that time for some of
the greatest prayer and fortifying ever. He doesn’t withhold things to make us squirm, He waits for the perfect time and the perfect place and the perfect peace…all He asks is that we thank Him and ask Him to show us His way while we wait on His perfect timing. His ways, His words…yeah, it makes sense since we are His children!
A seed to plant: Write this
little prayer down and stick it somewhere so you’ll remember to pray it
often. Thank you God, Your will be
on your day!
Continue in what you have learned. 2 Timothy 3:14
The first time I remember hearing someone say, “The older you get the faster time goes by” I thought that it was ridiculous. I guess I must be really old because this school year flew by so fast I hardly saw it pass by!
Yesterday was the last day of school and as my little lovelies gave me a
hug and left the building as first graders one last time, my mind was flooded
with the things they taught me this year.
*I learned that even on the longest, hardest day, the sound of someone’s laughter can totally change your attitude. Thank you to my “laughers”.
*I learned that even in the middle of important things like a math lesson, it’s ok to drop everything and pray about something that just pops into your head…God will make sure you find your way back to what you were doing. Thank you to my “prayers.”
*I learned that speaking and playing like Saints is harder than you think but when you get it right, life is way more fun and it’s easier to look people in the
eye. “Thank you to my future Saints.”
*I learned that we should remember to pray for the President every day because he has a really hard job and he could use God’s help to make him do it better. Thank you to those who were either “politically aware” or “listening carefully to Mom and Dad at the dinner table.”
*I learned that we weren’t all given the same gifts and talents but that’s one of God’s great ideas because we aren’t all put here to do the same job so we have to be different. Thank you to my “great thinkers”.
*I learned that 6th grade buddies are like superheroes! They look out for you, speak kindly to you and help you when you can’t figure something out.
I guess we should all try to be like 6th grade buddies. Thank you to the
*I learned it was good to be born in “these days” instead of “back then” because your mom and dad might have named you something like Belshazzar or Abednego or Naboth. Thank you to good parents who picked names we could spell.
*I learned it’s really important to try and not be like the Israelites in the Old
Testament because story after story is just about them “forgetting God, begging to God, being rescued by God and then forgetting about Him again.” We should try to be like the “remember God” parts of the stories. Thank you to my “budding Bible Scholars”.
*Most of all I learned that when you pray and laugh often, try hard, take care of each other and take turns with the best stuff like the longest pencil
with the biggest eraser, you’re going to have a good day and time will fly!
I learned a lot this year; not because of what people told me or because of what I read, but because of what my room full of little lovelies showed me.
We all learn best by example! School may be out for the summer, but we can all keep teaching and learning by example…God’s example brought to life through our words and actions. Oh, and one more thought; the Bible is one textbook that never has to be checked in and shut in the cupboard so today would be an excellent day to begin your summer reading!
A Seed To Plant: Pick a chapter in the Bible and begin your summer reading this week.
Blessings on your day!
Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world ablaze. St. Catherine of Sienna
Last week my daughter asked me to help her with an extra credit paper for her History class. She had all the ideas trapped in her head, and some scribbled on paper but in the interest of time, she wanted me to type what she was thinking and saying. Her History teacher puts a quote of the
week on the board in the classroom so the assignment was to choose three from throughout the year and write about the personal significance of each one. They were to identify from among the three which one was their favorite and explain how it had impacted them. The above quote from Catherine of Sienna was her favorite quote of the year. I enjoyed listening to her talk about all the possibilities as she read quote after quote from her planner. I thought it was a cool assignment!
It was funny that she picked the one she did because it has been a favorite of mine for a long time but I had never mentioned that to her. I was very curious to see why she had picked that one as her favorite. From her sixteen year old point of view, it meant worrying more about what was right instead of what was popular. To her it meant trying to work past the distractions in her teenage world that might lead her away from what was pleasing to God. In her words it was about trying to figure out who God meant for her to be rather than who the world thought she should be. The whole “set the world ablaze” part baffled her so she decided at this point she was just hoping to be a spark working her way toward a blaze.
We live in a pretty self-serving society. The notion of self-sacrifice has gotten a little lost and it’s our job to reclaim it. All too often, we make decisions based on what’s best for me…what fits best in my plan and my
schedule. The problem with that is we only know a small slice of the whole big picture. God is the one who holds the blueprint to our life. He’s the one we should be seeking and His plan is the one we should be consulting. Dave and I have been invited to more than 20 Graduation Open Houses this spring and it’s an honor to be invited and to go help all these great young adults ring in the next phase of their journey through life. My advice to each of them is the same; ask God what the plan is…ask Him often if you are doing what He put you here to do. We are very good at asking kids what they want to be when they grow up, what we don’t always ask them if they have invited God into that decision. We need to do that if we want the young adults we love to set the world ablaze.
While we’re busy encouraging these young believers to be what GOD wants them to be rather than what the WORLD says they should be, we would
probably do well to ask ourselves how we’re doing in that department. Do we slug through each day doing what is required to make it to the days end, or do we wake up each day ready to see Christ in others and be Christ to others? We might be tempted to believe we work in a job that doesn’t pay enough or appreciate us or we may have to work with people who are lazy, difficult or negative. If that’s the case, how are we supposed to believe that’s what God meant for us? Here’s a thought…Blessed Mother Teresa did the most difficult work I can imagine for no pay, serving people who had no means to do anything for her, yet she did it with unbelievable joy. Now I’m not suggesting that in order to live up to St. Catherine’s challenge we have to start rescuing the destitute and bringing them into the living room, I’m saying we need to begin each day asking God to show us exactly what He would have us do THIS day. Don’t worry about tonight or tomorrow or next week…start with today and ask Him to take up residence in your heart and show you what He wants from you. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the right words for each person you meet. Ask Him to give you the graces of humility and joy. Ask Him to help you swallow the words you shouldn’t speak and serve others more than you think you can. Ask Him to help you see Him in everyone you meet today. That’s what St. Catherine meant when she described being what God meant you to be. You can be sure that if that’s the way you live your day, it doesn’t matter if you are a janitor, lawyer, doctor, teacher , secretary or the CEO of a fortune 500 company, you will start a blaze and I’d be willing to bet it’s gonna spread!
A Seed To Plant: Begin each day this week with the words; “Lord, show me who You want me to be, may I go through this day seeking more of YOU and less of me.”
Blessings on your day!
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…Ecclesiastes 3:1
Did you hear that? It was a gigantic sigh; it was the universal “May is almost over” sigh. Tomorrow marks the end of the year’s busiest month…May! It’s
been one of the greatest May’s ever in the history of May’s but I’m out of
juice! In fact I fondly remember a story that illustrates exactly how I feel right about now.
One Christmas, I got a shiny new slinky. It was the greatest invention ever and I loved playing with that silly thing. I was very careful not to let it get tangled or pinched and it looked good as new for months. I always kept it in the orange box on my dresser when I wasn’t playing with it. I got my slinky the same Christmas my younger brother Joe got a stick horse named “Bucko”. One summer day I was helping my mom with the dishes and when we were finished, I went to my room to get my slinky to play with on the front porch steps. I remember the blood curdling scream I let out when I found my prized possession all bent and tangled and mangled and connected like a spider web. When the story finally boiled down to the bottom of the pot, it seems Joe’s stick horse was about to be trampled by a stampede of wild Texas long horn cattle raging through the back yard near the apple tree and the only way to ensure Bucko’s safety was to tie him securely to the apple tree with my slinky. Apparently it took several wraps around the tree trunk to do the job and needless to say the slinky was never the same. When I think of that bent, twisted, frazzled toy, that’s exactly how I’m feeling as the month comes to a close. Just like that slinky I’ve been tugged and pulled and twisted in a hundred directions and I haven’t quite bounced back yet.
So what’s the answer? The answer is…there isn’t one! May is one month, one action packed, and fun-filled, over-flowing month and to be quite honest, I probably wouldn’t have it any other way! If I were to declare war on the month and put a cease fire to half the “stuff” scheduled in the month I’d have a hard time figuring out which half to erase. Humm…let’s see…as Christians we are called to use the gifts and talents He’s given us for His glory, my kids probably get really tired of hearing me say that! So if I practice what I preach how can I decide which talents and gifts I should put a basket over? Should I squash the concerts and band banquet with the French horn player? Maybe the softball team could have done without a catcher and the girl who hit a couple triples and always made her teammates laugh. What about the Prom, or graduation and the open house that took so much time to plan and organize? What if we had erased baseball season and we would have missed Jason’s three run over the fence homer or the no-hitter he pitched? I sure wouldn’t have had as much laundry to do that’s for sure. But what would we have gained and what would we have lost? Maybe awards night, that took a long time…or maybe I could have skipped the games where my kids took their turn sitting on the bench. But then I would have missed seeing them grow in humility and compassion while they were supporting their teammates from inside the dugout and practiced focusing on others.
God promised there is a purpose for every season. I knew this May was going to be a doozy so I prayed that God would help me soak it all in and enjoy every second of it. My prayerful request was that He remind me to pray for a suffering or lonely soul each time I felt the stress of the schedule start to bear down. (I’m not gonna lie…I prayed for lots of souls the
past 30 days!)
It’s one month…31 crazy days! We don’t need to re-vamp our life because one month gets nutty; we need to enjoy the gifts and talents that we’re
called to share with others during this hectic month. Nothing lasts forever…good OR bad. I’d do well to remind myself of that fact a little more often! I don’t think there is any permanent harm done because the Wohlfert’s didn’t eat 5 servings of fresh fruits and veggies every day in May and like any good mom who forgot to wash the Under Armor in the uniform load, I just rinsed it in the sink with some Downey and didn’t tell anybody and it all turned out ok. Our family has grown to include some new dust bunnies and cob webs this month and yes, I’ll admit it, I shoved some laundry and ironing into a basket and hid it in my closet before my Dad came to visit. (And just because God has a sense of humor it fell off the closet shelf and landed on my head one morning.) Guess what…it’s all ok! We are called to be FAITHFUL not called to be PERFECT.
Months like May are full of lessons. Lessons in patience, laughter, trust and faithful endurance! How’d you do? One more thought…if you are a mother of young ones, treasure your May’s! Truly BE at each event no matter how the 5th grade band sounds or how many strikes the little batter has because you’re going to wake up one morning and realize two of your children have graduated from high school and the cleats are about to be laced up for one last game. Quiet May’s will come…and they will come more quickly than you can imagine so just take God’s hand and BE PRESENT for life, let it flow by
you. After all, our life on earth is a dress rehearsal for heaven!
A Seed To Plant:
Make a list of the best things that happened in May, then make a list of 5 things that didn’t get done in May…now compare the list and say a prayer of thanksgiving.
Blessings on your day!
I give thanks to God at every remembrance of you Philippians 1:3
Memorial day holds special memories for me. I remember each year gathering at Grandma Thelma's and loading up in cars with aunts, uncles and cousins to begin our journey to different cemeteries. Each of us had a job, the little ones carried flowers, older ones the water jug or the spade but we each had a part to play in honoring the memory of loved ones. I remember listening to the stories and looking with respect at the flags and military markers that signified those who had served our country. I also remember praying together before we left each cemetery to make our way to the next one.
I come from a family with a long and proud record of service in the US Navy. The service began before WWII and ended with my little brothers retirement just a couple of years ago. Someone from my family proudly served our country for over 60 years with only a few months of interrupted service throughout the decades. Today I pause to pray, honor and remember them and the thousands just like them from all over the United States.
My daughter and the other members of the PW Pirate Marching Band will travel to several cemeteries and take part in the honoring of veterans. They will also march in a Memorial Day parade later this afternoon. As I watch them, I realize they don't completely understand why they are giving up a day off school, but someday they will. Last year while traveling with the band I visited with a veteran and told him thank you. He said, "If you really want to thank me then every time you hear the National Anthem played, sing it, don't just stand there, but sing it our of respect for veterans, freedom and these great United States." I'd like to pass on that old veterans request and challenge you to thank him and all the others like him in the same way. In order for our young people to understand the significance of this day, we need to show them.
A Seed To Plant: Stop to say a prayer today for the safety of our active military and a prayer of thanksgiving for those who have graciously served and defended our freedom.
Blessings on your day!
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Matthew 6:25
Have you ever noticed how something really terrific can come from a disaster? Sunday, our second son graduated from high school and we hosted his open house that same day because my dad was here
with us for the weekend. Mexican was his menu choice and I had it planned down to the last detail plus a generous padding of “extra food” because nobody wants to be the party host who runs short on food. Well…it happened…I started to run low on food and my heart sank somewhere down into my shoes.
It would have been a disaster if it hadn’t been for the awesome crew of friends that flocked into my kitchen and saved the day. We cooked some more…we emptied the fridge and a couple of them went home and brought back the contents of their own fridge and pantry. At one point some dads were chopping up watermelon and they chased me out of my own kitchen
telling me to leave and enjoy the guests. They took over and amazed me with their friendship, generosity and helpfulness. What a blessing.
When I first started to realize the food was flying off the serving table so quickly I slipped into the office for a minute to pray. The verse from Matthew's Gospel came to mind and I said, “Jesus I trust you!” I chose not to panic. I chose to believe if He could feed 5,000 He could feed a couple hundred and I chose to believe the words of t and not worry. Within minutes the unsolicited help started filing into the kitchen. God paints the dots on a ladybug and He provided me with friends who knew how to save the day…how lucky am I! No detail is too large or too small for such a loving Father.
I’m still scratching my head at the events of the day, but mostly I’m thanking the Good Lord for the blessing of friends and the grace of generous hearts. I will be the first to admit I am a MARTHA right to my core, so the day was a lesson in humility. I was reminded to be more like MARY and enjoy the “better part”. Sunday the “better part” was friendship and the surprising way God hears and answers when we trust. The other part of the blessing that day was enjoying the wonderful people who came to help us celebrate Jason’s special day. Martha here, would have missed that if it hadn’t been for the friends who chased me out of the kitchen.
Today it doesn’t matter that I would have done exactly the same thing for any one of those friends…what mattered is that they did it for me and I’m grateful and blessed. I’ve re-calculated my food list and I’m still baffled, but I finally wadded up the paper work and threw it in the trash because it doesn’t matter. If everything would have worked out according to “my plan” I would have missed the beauty of “His plan”…and as usual…He’s a much better planner than me! I thank God for those good friends. As one of them said to me years ago, "You know someone is a good friend when they can walk into your kitchen and wash your dishes.” I’m thrilled to report I had LOTS of those kind of good friends on Sunday. May God smile sweetly on each of them!
A Seed To Plant: As you plod through this day, stop and ask God where this verse might fit.
Blessings on your day!
Good morning! The past eight days have been packed full of ballgames, my favorite Kansas guest; Dad, family and everything that goes with having a graduate in the house...including a couple hundred for dinner yesterday. It has been a week of great joy but unfortunately no time for writing. I have stories to tell and things to share so please stay tuned and I'll be back with joy AND words on Thursday!
Blessings on your day!
*Editors note...My son Jason will graduate from High School Sunday and as I was scrubbing the porch getting ready for his open house, I remembered this post...hope you don't mind reading it again.
If we acknowledge our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. 1 John 1:
Last week my oldest son helped me power wash the front porch...a job the kids don’t usually line up and beg to help with! The combination of dust from our gravel road and lots of fly’s attracted by the cattle make it a necessary but undesirable task. As I was swirling my scrub brush along the siding and porch rail I figured I should pray for people who were knee-deep in things a whole lot worse than fly specks and road dust! Not long into the
scrubbing and praying I started thinking about how small dust and fly specks
really are when you isolate just one. The problem is when they glob together…that’s when true scrubbing is required! Our porch is pretty good sized so I had lots of time to think about how something that started out so tiny could cause such a big mess.
About a third of the way through the project, I looked down at my fingers that were getting shriveled from the scrub water and that’s when it hit me…the mess on my porch was kinda like sin. I realized through this humbling episode of porch scrubbing that I’m nothing but a big ‘ole sinner! Each little sin like impatience or judgmental thinking that plagues my days is like a speck on my porch…one at a time they may not seem like much, but when several glob together, I wind up with a mess that requires scrubbing! We only scrub the porch once a year, not because it isn’t needed more often, but because it’s the minimum requirement…something we do only when we simply can’t stand it any longer. I began to wonder if there was any correlation between the frequency with which I scrubbed my porch and how
often I sought a good “soul scrubbing” from my Heavenly Father.
I sweep the porch often, and I began to realize that was much like my nightly
examination of conscience. I quickly ask God for forgiveness before I fall asleep but that’s like a quick sweep…it’s not a true scrubbing. I came to the conclusion that sunny afternoon last week that I needed to make some
adjustments in my “soul scrubbing” schedule. We are so lucky to be the children of such a loving and mighty God. He knows keeping us from sin completely is as impossible as keeping the dust and fly specks off my porch, but that’s what keeps us running to His loving arms as we beg forgiveness for the mess all our tiny little sins make when they glob together. His forgiveness is there for us. All He asks is that we come to Him with a spirit of repentance and a desire to change. If I approached Him with a TRUE repentant heart and worked harder at avoiding those small sins maybe He wouldn’t have to scrub so hard when I got there!
My ambition was to have a clean porch; the outcome was a reminder of God’s great love and my ever-growing need for Him. Our God is the God of surprises and the God of the ordinary. I am continually amazed at the ways He sends me His messages when I approach things with prayer…He can even turn scrubbing the porch into a lesson!
A seed to plant: Sit down with a pencil and a piece of paper.
Make a list of all the tiny little sins that plague your day and glob up
to make a mess on your soul. Lift that list up to the Father with a repentant heart asking for His loving forgiveness. Don’t forget to ask for His guidance on how to “keep your porch clean.”
Blessings on your day!