Broken Pieces

Dusk pushes ever so gently at the sun until it dips slightly below the curved edge of the land.  A small sweaty being of the male persuasion is coaxed in from the twilight air.  A skateboard is tossed deliberately atop the untidy heap of riding toys and sidewalk chalk.  The helmet and pads are left in Hansel and Gretel fashion as a trail to find said skateboard on the morrow’s adventure.  A tiny girl is perched upon a Ninja Turtle couch, the tilt of her head saying, “I don’t care if it’s a boy couch.  Just dare me not to sit here.”

 

The tiny girl’s present tranquility bursts at the addition of the sweaty male being.  Overtired Mother stands in the midst – a soup stain from today’s lunch on the placket of her faded cotton shirt, her hair long tucked behind the ears, just a smidgen of all-day lipstick is left of the bottom pout of her lip.  Hands on hips, she stands with legs apart in the doorway of the pantry.  

The howling of a girl and cackling of a boy don’t faze her as she collects the trappings of dinner.  Like a circus entertainer she balances each ingredient as she makes her way to the stove. 

 

Once dinner preparations are underway, something catches her attention.  A bright yellow box seems to appear from nowhere, and she takes that as an invitation.  First she handles the box with caution reading the labels and quickly performing tricky arithmetical formulas in her head to arrive at the caloric content for consuming just one of the precious commodity.  

Next, she opens the bounty and peers inside.  Holding the box at a careful angle, she slightly shakes until her eyes widen at the site of the thing for which she searches – a broken one.  Not wishing to consume the aforementioned caloric conclusion, she munches in bliss while tilting and searching for more broken members of the bright yellow box.  Each discovery is better than the one before. 

 

Broken pieces don’t have calories.  Never you mind she packed away fifteen broken delights before scrunching down the wrapper to keep the freshness and closing the box.  She resumed cooking dinner, all the while patting herself on the back for not devouring a single whole treasure. 

 

And in the morning, she didn’t understand why she hadn’t lost any weight.

 

Can you relate to Overtired Mother?  Unfortunately, the miracle of munching and crunching allows the calories of the broken pieces to add together as if eating a whole.  It doesn’t matter how small or how broken the pieces, they still have value. 

 

God performs the same miracle with a shattered individual.  Perhaps you think you have no value because you have been broken into small pieces.  You thought you were too broken to be noticed, not good for anything.  You, my friend, were wrong.  Even small pieces have value.

 

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3 NIV

 

My God can pick up every one of your pieces and make you whole again.  Don’t believe me?  Don’t take my word for it.  Just ask Him.  I’ll be here munching on some broken cookies until you return. 

    

 

Carol

Just Hanging On – Again

**This was originally posted in 10/07.  It’s one of my favorites.  I offer it again for your reading pleasure, because I think some of you out there are just hanging on!

Let me take you back to my post How ‘Bout Them Apples and remind you of my son’s personality. He keeps us on our toes. Now, take a look at the picture above and read my title. Can you figure out what happened? Let me take you there.

I was checking my email and Alan was working at his computer. Colin was finishing up his shower in our bathroom. We had just returned home from Awana at church. We heard a loud THUMP followed by a few seconds of silence and then an even louder THUMP
Alan says, “What was that?” Engrossed in my email, I reply with an “Hmmmmm” (to the tune of I don’t know). Here was our first mistake. You see we are used to loud thumps around here. Usually it’s just someone jumping from couch to chair, jumping off of the bed towards the fan pull, or taking a flying leap off the bottom three stairs – not that we allow that, mind you, but it is something we are used to. All of this to explain why neither of us went running. Loud thump – wait three seconds – if no one screams, it’s usually alright. That’s how things usually run.

Not two minutes later, a little naked Colin comes dripping down the hall holding his towel. He stands at a distance as if afraid to come closer and calls, “Mommy, I need you to come here.” Alan asks what he needs and he replies with, “I need Mommy.” I asked what the problem was and Colin says, “The towel thing fell down.” 
At this point, I get up and quickly walk to my bathroom to find the towel hook for my shower lying by the sink. This is the time to call backup – “Alan!” So Alan comes walking in the bathroom. To make a long story short, Colin felt the call of the towel hook. It called him to grab on and hang his 68 lb, naked, and dripping body from it. Needless to say, even with the two 25 lb sheetrock anchors, the hook fell and with it – Colin.

Now I have sheetrock dust on the floor, a hook on the counter, and two gaping large holes in my sheetrock. But, don’t fret for me. There is something to be learned here. If you are just hanging on, be sure you are hanging from solid rock, not sheet rock. Jesus is the rock.

2 Samuel 22:3 My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior.

Moral of the Story:
If there are times you feel like you are just hanging on, look up and make sure the one you are holding to is a stronghold. Make sure you are holding on to Jesus. If not, what you are holding may not support your weight, and then you will have holes to fix and a mess to clean up!
    

Carol

Opening the Blinds


“BRRR,” my husband shivered as he let down the Roman shades on our den windows, “I can feel air coming through the window.”  He unwound the pull-strings and let the fabric skate down the windows to the sills.  Now insulated from the cold, he nestled back under his fuzzy blanket and finished watching his movie…

Join me at Faith Lifts to read the rest of my devotion.  Click HERE.

     

Carol

The Joyful


I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful. Jeremiah 31:4 NIV

May you find a reason today to dance.

Anticipating Him,

     

Carol

Next

I’ll never forget that day.  My mom and dad had not yet returned from work, so my brother took me.  His silver Thunderbird thumped along to The Cars.  We neither one spoke.  I was too anxious.  He was a man of few words.  I can still feel the velour seats as we pulled up to my Junior High School.  I hopped out and jogged to the gaggle of girls jumping and squealing.  I squeezed my way to the front and scanned down the names neatly penned in bubbly letters on a large white poster board.

 

I was not on it.

 

I read each name again, hoping I had casually glanced over my own name, knowing I hadn’t.  Not me.  I would not be on the B-team cheerleading squad this year.  I pasted a plastic smile on my face to cover the rejection I felt and tried to make myself as small as possible.  I maneuvered my way back out of the crowd eager to make a quick get-away.  I jogged back to the car, pulled open the long heavy door, and slinked into the seat. 

 

“Did you make it?”  Those were the only words my brother uttered the entire trip there and back.  “No.”  My face spoke more than I was willing to say.  He cranked up the music, peeled out of the parking lot and said with his car what his words could not. 

 

I was dejected.  Rejected.  Unwanted.  It wasn’t the first, and it wasn’t the last.  Rejection happens daily.  In the closet of fears, rejection is one of the biggest.  It gives no thought of race, sex, religion, or political affiliation.  We are all rejected at some time or another.  If it is inevitable, why then does it cut us to the bone?  How should Christians feel when rejected?  Is it okay to be sad if what we wished for was not God’s will anyway?

 

How should Christians feel when they are rejected?

 

Let’s start by answering the first question.  How should Christians feel when they are rejected?  However they want.  When rejection of any sort comes my way, I feel sad.  Very sad.  Not everyone handles rejection the same way, so perhaps dismissal elicits another emotion from you. 

 

Is it okay to be sad if what we wished for was not God’s will anyway?  

 

Yes.  Let me explain by telling you a story about my children.  One night my daughter wanted a box of raisins.  I asked her to get her brother one, as well.  A few minutes later she returned with the raisins and tossed a box to her brother – right in his eye.  My son came crying to me, rubbing his now red eye with my daughter trailing behind.  “I didn’t mean to hurt you.  I’m sorry, Colin,” my daughter offered her sheepish apology.  “That’s okay,” my son muttered between snuffles and tears. 

 

You see, he didn’t say he was not in pain.  He was saying it was okay that it happened.  He was acknowledging he knew she didn’t mean to hurt him.  But he was still crying.  He was hurt. When God says no or not this way, and it comes in the form of rejection, it’s okay to feel sad.  Being sad or mad or whatever feeling that comes with rejection doesn’t mean that we are not accepting God’s plan for us.  It just means that, like Colin, we are still hurting a little bit.  We are human.  Hurting when you’ve been rejected or dismissed is natural.  Take some time to be sad, and then move on.

 

My uncle once told me that rejection elicits one four-letter word.  I very carefully asked which one.  “Next” he responded with a smile.  What a great thought.  Next.  After you’ve had some time to accept the news, adopt the “next” attitude and focus on what you’ll do in the time that follows.    

 

The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.  (Psalm 118:11 NIV)

 

Christ was rejected, yet He became the capstone.  One definition of capstone is a building material consisting of a piece of rock hewn in a definite shape for a special purpose.  Perhaps you were rejected as a simple building brick because God was defining you for a special purpose instead. 

 

 

Have you been rejected, discarded, or cast-off?  It’s okay to be a little depressed.  Give yourself permission, but don’t stay there.  Embrace where you are and give a little shout, “Next.”  The next place God takes you might just be beyond anything you could imagine.  

 

     

**Thank you for all of the birthday wishes for my grandmother.  She is loving them.  It’s not too late, if you’d like to send her well wishes scroll down to the next post and leave a comment.  I’ll be sure she hears them.

Carol