Worn But Not Worthless


Wind whipped and snapped the flag this way and that. The pole was tall, but the size of Old Glory was so monumental, it wasn’t hard to see. Each gust that blew snapped the flag to attention, and the rope that held it rattled against the pole. Fifty stars watched from a seat of blue while red and white stripes waved, their ends frayed and worn.

 

This icon flew high over the tops of new and used cars in a lackadaisical way.  But nothing about our flag is casual or easy-going. While bombs burst in air, it reminded troops we were still hanging on. When terrorists attacked our nation, it flew to remind us Americans stick together. And when the first African-American was sworn in to the office of president, it flew to remind us that anything is possible in a nation that is free.

 

So it was no surprise I was insulted when I heard, “They need to throw that flag away and get a new one. It looks awful. That is an embarrassment to our country.” I knew the rules about disposing of old flags. I was aware flags no longer fit to fly were to be burned in a dignified way, but I still bristled at the thought of doing away with the flag just because it was worn a little. Didn’t it earn that right?

 

Thankfully, the rule for flags does not apply to people. We aren’t tossed aside or even respectfully put away when we are worn on the edges.  If so, the only ones not neatly stacked on the shelf would be children. Life has a way of wearing most of us thin around the sides. 

 

Are you feeling like you’ve been whipped and snapped on the pole of daily living?  Are you tattered at the ends?  Good news! We can all be new in Christ. He takes old things and makes them new again.  So stand tall and proud! You may be worn, but you certainly aren’t worthless.

 

 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Cor. 5:17 NIV


 

Carol

Freedom

Happy Memorial Day!
I hope you are all enjoying a day of relaxation and maybe a little cheesecake.  But don’t forget to think about the men and women who gave their lives for us to enjoy this freedom in which we live.  
My friend Amy has a wonderful story to share today. Click HERE to read her inspiring words. 
Happy Grilling!
 

Carol

Hiding God’s Word


I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 NIV


Can I brag for a minute? Colin earned his Sparky Award last night in AWANA. It’s a culmination of three years of work. Over this three years, he has memorized 165 verses from God’s Word. Some he can quote you easily; others he has definitely “hidden” somewhere in his heart. But I’m holding onto this verse and hope that when he needs them, Colin will be able to pull those verses from deep in his heart so they may give him direction. 

Hmmmm…. I don’t think he memorized anything about not taking the wheels off of his skateboard or not holding the Mexican Jumping Beans over an open flame so he could watch them jump.

Do you have a favorite scripture, or perhaps you remember one from childhood you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear it. 

Love you all!

 

Carol

The March of the Pillows


They’re back! They’ve come in droves. One by one they’ve marched back into my bed. It’s the march of the pillows. This event was one that left my husband talking for months after the last two pregnancies. With the increasing size of my belly and the increasing toll on my back, the pillows have made their appearance again.

 

First, I needed one for my knees to align my hips as they prepared to carry the tiny miracle inside of me.  For days, it was just one. Soon, I required another fluffy friend to support my increasing middle as I lie on my side.  Surely, my husband wouldn’t complain about two. Just two extra pillows.

 

Two extra pillows equaled better sleep. But soon, my neck was stiff from sleeping on my side each night. Just one more skinny one to place under my head would be enough. I wouldn’t pull out the “mama of all pillows.” Not yet. I knew it would take up residence like an unwanted guest in the bed. No, not yet. I’m only 5 months along.

 

Each night I’d fall asleep on my side, but in the morning I’d awake staring at the ceiling. I’d open my eyes and could almost see my doctor waggling his finger at me. “You really shouldn’t sleep on your back anymore. It’s not good for you or the baby,” his words would echo in my mind.

 

It wasn’t like I had a choice. There was no other option. Time to bring in the big guns.  I knew it, yet I stood on the side of the bed with trepidation.  What would he say? Would he welcome my guest? I knelt on the floor, but soon I was cheek to cheek with the carpet as I reached into the depths under the bed. It didn’t take long for my hand to reach the object in question. Like reeling in a grand fish, I pulled and I tugged until the treasure was dangling at the end of my arm.

 

And there it was.  The body pillow – as long as the children are tall.  I pulled back the covers and worked on making my nest as my hubby brushed his teeth. I settled myself in about the time he entered the room. One raise of the eyebrows and a grin.  “They’re back,” he said with a chuckle. I breathed a sigh of relief.  Maybe the next four months wouldn’t be so bad after all.

 

Are you aching all over? Do you feel the pain in your knees and the weight on your back? Perhaps you need some supportive pillows, as well. Go to God’s Word and choose just the right verse to cushion your needs. Let one align your knees.  Use another to support your middle. Lay your head on His truth. But most of all, lean back on His promises. You’ll sleep much better. Trust me. I did.

Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees. Job 4:4 NIV

 

Carol

God’s Grace


Indulge me while I pour out my heart. I am a Type 1 diabetic. I was diagnosed at age 12. While some of you who have known me for years know this, other sweet readers do not. It affects my life daily. I am completely dependent on insulin shots –six a day to be exact. For this very reason, my OB/GYN told me last December I needed to decide whether or not to have any more children. I already had two healthy children through two healthy pregnancies.  But in April, I turned 35. It was the cut-off. 

 

Anyone on the birth control pill after the age of 35 has a greater risk of stroke.  Any diabetic on the birth control pill after the age of 35 – well, let’s just say the doctor told me that was not an option. I needed to choose a more permanent form of birth control. For a woman, that is a big decision. My husband and I discussed it at length. In January, we decided we were happy with the two blessings we have and would call it quits. 

 

But because I try – let me emphasize try – to be obedient to God in all areas, I took it to the Lord in prayer.  While standing in the mirror putting on make-up one morning, I said a prayer something like this:

 

Lord, Alan and I have decided we are done having children. You have given us two healthy children. But if YOU want me to have another child, I will.  But it will have to come from you because I’m doing all I can to prevent that from happening. (Translation – I was on the pill.)Amen.

 

Exactly five weeks later, I found out I was pregnant.  I got God’s answer – loud and clear. To the Christian, these events are not mere coincidence. These details were the culmination of the powerful hand of Our God – the God that can do anything. While this was exciting, it was also scary. My blood sugars have to be perfect during pregnancy, or I risk hurting the baby.

 

However, since that time, my diabetic doctor has been calling me asking how I’m keeping my levels so perfect. My answer – when God plans for something, He provides all the details.

 

This past Tuesday, we had a high-level ultrasound to check for any abnormalities in the baby. It will be no surprise to you that this child is perfect.  SHE is a perfect example of God’s handiwork.  Yes, we also found out we are having a girl. 

 

We’ve been struggling with a name. We want one that honors Him. This morning during my quiet time, I was flipping through my journal. I often write down verses that God has given me during our time together and write my thoughts. I’d like to share one I found.

 

 

February 13, 2009

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

 

Lord,

            I’m trusting in your plan. Wednesday, I found out that I’m pregnant. No surprise to you but great surprise to me. Lord, I didn’t think that was the plan, but not my will but Thine. I feel like my writing will suffer with the birth of a child. With Faith headed to Kindergarten, I thought I would be spending my time writing. It looks as if I’ll be taking care of a baby. Lord, a baby is such a blessing, and we are honored you’ve blessed us.  But we are in a little shock.

 

I know you told me to abide in you and this would be a fruitful year. I still feel that you mean that in regards to my writing – especially after reading this verse this morning. Where I think having a baby will make me weaker in the area of writing, Your power will be made perfect.

 

Lord, I commit this pregnancy to you.  Keep this baby safe and healthy. Help me to get my blood sugars under control. Please let this one come on its on and not have to be induced – but not too early. Please give us a name for this blessing. Thank you for increasing us. Continue to use me. Amen.

 

As I finished reading, tears came to my eyes. I knew we had the perfect name – Grace.  And on her wall, I will frame that verse.

 

What a mighty God we serve. Can I humbly ask for your prayers as I continue to carry the Grace God has given me?  I love you all.

 

 

Carol