Reminders

Years ago I purchased this sign at a Cracker Barrel store, and subsequently placed it next to the kitchen door leading to the garage as a daily reminder of some of our family values. I think it is not an exaggeration to write that our family has walked past this sign thousands of times over quite a number of years.

Initially, this prompt was quite effective. Our household of four mostly grown up people was a buzz of activity. We all repeatedly traversed the pathway in and out of that door. And during those few remaining parenting years, the sentiments were referenced and heeded regularly.

So, why did I take a picture of this sign today?

Well a funny thing happened as I assumed my new self-appointed role as daily dog feeding monitor. All three bowls of dog food went down and I took my neutral, but watchful position amongst the pack. Once lunch was served each dog moved to their respective bowl and began to eat. As long as I stay present, the dogs will eat without incident.

Thus, once a day I am stationed in this neutral location, and just today I found myself staring at this sign on the wall. Then I realized I was reading the words. Smiling, I remembered why I purchased the sign in the first place.

Suddenly, I was reminded of our goal to live these values out within and outside our family circle. We don’t get it right all the time, but we value these qualities. And we need to be reminded of all we value.

The act of remembering is something very important to God. As the best good Father, He has always given His children values on which to build their lives. Beyond simply stating His commandments through Moses, however, God Himself wrote them on stone tablets. Furthermore, God charged His children with posting these commandments in their homes and regularly teaching them to their children.

It’s tempting to think that these scriptures are out-dated and irrelevant. Yet all these years later people are still marking significant words on wood, t-shirts, and even skin. It’s normal, we realize, to want to remember words and sentiments that have impacted us in deep ways.

I still believe this sign serves a positive purpose in our home and for our family. The words displayed have not grown old or irrelevant. They accurately describe many of our family goals and values.

But just like the people of old, it’s not enough to read or hear the words once. Our time and effort are required to remind ourselves, to teach them and to put these values into action on a daily basis.

And again just like the people of old, sometimes we need a reason to stop, be still, look around and really see the truths we value. I’m grateful for this recent opportunity to be reminded of these wise words. I’m grateful too that I had this opportunity to be still and look around and see what I had been ignoring for quite some time.

Eyes on Jesus… you’re shining,

~Lisa

Scripture references:

Deuteronomy 4, 5 & 6

Exodus 32:16

Joshua 1:7-9

1 Timothy 4:11-13

Purchase my book by clicking here: 31 Days of Gleaning with Ruth by Lisa Brittain

Only the One and Only, Jesus, is able

“…know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.” Deuteronomy 4:39 ESV

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 NIV

Wow, what a week!  I’ve been “doing the thang” (read in Beth Moore’s lovely Texas drawl) for several days.  You know, the decorating, handing out candy canes at work, and I’ve even gone so far as to wear reindeer antlers on my head in an attempt to ‘feel festive’.

The smiles on children’s faces have brought a smile to my own.  The antlers are truly a conversation piece.  The other day I heard a middle schooler call out, “It’s a reindeer on the loose!” He caused a chuckle to bubble up from the inside out.Psalm 114.7.8

And then again, the holidays can be overwhelmingly hard for so many people.  Their rock-hard walls are cracking and all the awful is leaking out – at times spewing.  It’s my job.  I must uphold the standards, the policies and guidelines I’ve been given to successfully fulfill my duties.  Lately, it seems compliance with rules is rubbing against the grain of people already stretched and overwhelmed beyond their capacity to comply.

I sat at my post yesterday and took it all.  After so many arrows of accusation landed on my brain and my heart, a tear began to trickle down the side of my nose.  Soon others dripped off my chin.  She, several she’s and he’s, just wouldn’t stop.  Finally, I pulled antlers off because there’s just no point to silliness in the midst of the battle for peace.

And I thought about Jesus.  The One and Only Son of God, Who took it all.  He stood silently as all the sin and hatred and ugly flew in His face, assaulted His senses, and broke His heart.  Yet, He spoke only words of forgiveness.  Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.

Father, write Jesus’ prayer in my heart today.  And when my heart cracks may the only trickle be of Living Water.  May I stay silent except to speak life and love and hope in the One and Only, Jesus, Who is able.

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This post is written in participation with the Five-minute Friday community of beautiful faith writers.  The idea behind Five-minute Friday is this:

I set my timer for 5 minutes and then write prayerfully as Holy Spirit leads me regarding the particular word prompt.  Today’s word prompt from Kate Motaung is {only}.