The Potter Would Simply Start Over

May 24, 2019: Jeremiah 18-20.

I read another post of the steps to start blogging. The secret, each one says, is to set up a blog with them!

It’s not true. I now have 5 blogs and the last one was just $300.00 down the drain.

And successful blogs? They had sufficient funds to pay for everything needed. Those making 6 figures use a team of professionals.

I’m over here posting every day, (unless I’m sick), and praying in the money for blog fees each year.

I keep thinking I’m doing something wrong. Did I mess up 10 years ago? Did I choose the wrong platform? Should I have done more research?

Who am I kidding? There was nothing to research! There was “WordPress for Dummies” but you had to take an HTML class to understand it!

Sorry, I’m whining.

The point I’m trying to make is – I think what God tried to make out of my life is cracked. It doesn’t look like everyone else’s.

But There’s Good News!

It just doesn’t matter.

If I messed up, God can still use me. Even if I blow the blogs to bits – He will start over and make something else!

Jeremiah 18:4, “Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot.” The Message

* * * * * * *

  • God is always working on us, v. 3.
  • We never turn out badly; God starts over, v. 4.
  • We are not cast into our former mistakes, v. 4.
  • God can always make something new, v. 4.
  • God may pull us up, but if we repent, He will replant us, v. 7, 8.
  • If we don’t cooperate, God will give up the plans he has for us, v. 9, 10.
  • But God can always make something new, v. 4.

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From the Famous to the Unknown

May 18, 2019: Jeremiah 6; Nahum 1-3.

Am I at a crossroads? Where is the tried and true road?

Jeremiah 6:16, “God’s message yet again: ‘Go stand at the crossroads and look around. Ask for directions to the old road, the tried-and-true road. Then take it. Discover the right route for your souls. …’ ” The Message

* * * * * * * * *

May 19, 2019: Jeremiah 8-10.

Am I on the wrong road?

Jeremiah 8:4, “Tell them this, God’s message: ‘Do people fall down and not get up? Or take the wrong road and then just keep going?’ ” The Message

* * * * * * *

May 20, 2019: Jeremiah 11-13.

Exactly what am I to do, Lord?

Jeremiah 11:4, “…Obey what I tell you. Do exactly what I command you. Your obedience will close the deal.” The Message

* * * * * * *

May 21, 2019: Jeremiah 14-16.

It’s still raining. The farmers can’t get in the fields. It’s time for the first cutting of hay and the fields aren’t even planted.

Jeremiah 14:4, “All the farm work has stopped. …The farmers don’t know what to do.” The Message

The basement leaked again. David picked up a new product yesterday. The fumes from that sealant when through the house. David opened one window and turned on fans.

The register was closed in the guest room. I read in there for a few hours.

* * * * * * *

May 22, 2019: Jeremiah 17; 2 Chronicles 35.

Under the weather. That’s what they used to call it. The doctor would say, “It’s just allergies.” It’s not even worth checking.

Obviously, I didn’t practice over the last few days. I worried I would play badly. I considered staying home from church.

2 Chronicles 35:16, “Everything went without a hitch in the worship of God…” The Message

I left it up to God and went to church anyway. Worship went without a hitch!

* * * * * * *

May 23, 2019: 2 Kings 23; Jeremiah 47, 22.

I’m reading, “Girl, Stop Apologizing” by Rachel Hollis. I asked myself the all-important question – “What if…”

  • What if I spent more time decorating, decluttering, and organizing my home?
  • What if I posted more on Instagram than on my blog?
  • What if I stopped posting daily posts?
  • What if I only posted the monthly chapter assignments?

I wondered, “Am I just chewing up portions of scripture and spitting it out as baby food for those who won’t read it themselves?”

2 Kings 23:2, “…people ranging from the famous to the unknown. Then he read out publicly everything written in the Book of the Covenant…” The Message

I am unknown, not famous. But the Bible is for everyone! The “Christian Standard Version” said, “…all the people from the youngest to the oldest.” I guess we still need people to supply baby food.

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I Ordered This Wind

May 17, 2019: Jeremiah 4, 5.

My sister Cheryl had the day off and asked if I could go shopping with her. We like the same stuff and food: the same appetizer, “Deep-Fried Mushrooms” and pizza, “Hawaiian.” I looked forward to the day – until I saw the weather report.

A thunderstorm greeted me when I woke up. I debated canceling and then started my devotions.

Jeremiah 4:12, “A wind that’s up to no good, a gale-force wind. I ordered this wind. I’m pronouncing my hurricane judgment on my people.” The Message

God orders the wind around. I do not need to fear. The storm is north of the town where we planned to go. But my city was in its path.

Jeremiah 4:27, “Yes, this is God’s Word on the matter: ‘The whole country will be laid waste – still it won’t be the end of the world.’ ” The Message

Even if the storm hits my town, God promises to take care of me. I ran to the car when she pulled up. It was only sprinkling by that time. When we reached our destination, the sun came out!

We shopped, ate, and caught up on each other’s lives. I took the leftover pizza home to David. The house was still standing.

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Take a Deep Breath

May 16, 2019: Jeremiah 2, 3.

I went with Mom to an insurance appointment today. We are also having a late “Mother’s Day” lunch.

I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and started writing. (I write 3-4 hours each day.) Concerned I wouldn’t finish my post before leaving, I kept checking the clock.

Jeremiah 2:25, “Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? …” The Message

I took a deep breath and hit “Publish.” When the semi wouldn’t get over to let me merge onto the four-lane, I took a deep breath. When the appointment was over, I took another deep breath.

I took Mom to the restaurant that ran out of food on Sunday. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch.

I took my time going home. I even drove through McDonald’s for a small chocolate shake!

I picked David up from work, and when we pulled into the garage, a tire went flat! I took a deep breath and went into the house. David had the tire repaired.

It was over 90° today. It was not a day to hurry and wear myself out!

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A Quiet and Disciplined Life

May 15, 2019: Zephaniah 1-3; Jeremiah 1.

I washed the bedding, darks, and whites. I won’t have a chance to do laundry again until Saturday.

The laundry room is still in disarray. We will wait at least 2 weeks for the Dry-Lok we painted on the walls to cure. The metal shelf used to store cleaning and houseplant supplies is in the middle of the room. I covered the bottom 2 shelves with contact paper a few years ago. The top 2 shelves had towels on them where I stored cleaning supplies.

I found the remnants of that contact paper. There was enough to piece together for the top shelves. I swept the area where the shelves go. David moved it back on his lunch hour.

* *

After lunch, I tackled my “zone” – the girl’s bathroom. I ran a feather duster along the ceiling edges, down the corners, and over the baseboards. I cleaned the glass in the window, pictures, and mirrors.

Using a damp cloth, I dusted the frames, towel racks, light fixtures, and medicine cabinet shelves. I wiped down the front and sides of the vanity.

I scrubbed the sink, tile, and tub. Then using an old battery-operated toothbrush, I scrubbed the hinges, anchors, and base of the toilet. I wiped down the toilet from top to bottom and behind.

After moving everything off of the floor, I swept and mopped it.

It was a quiet day of cleaning. I enjoy decorating, decluttering, and cleaning the home God gave us. I’m content being a blogging housewife living on a quiet street.

Zephaniah 2:3, “Seek God, all you quietly disciplined people who live by God’s justice. Seek God’s right ways. Seek a quiet and disciplined life. Perhaps you’ll be hidden on the Day of God’s anger.” The Message

* * * * * * *

Zephaniah 3:13, “This core of holy people will not do wrong. They won’t lie, won’t use words to flatter or seduce. Content with who they are and where they are, unanxious, they’ll live at peace.” The Message

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Responded in Humble Repentance

May 14, 2019: 2 Chronicles 33; 2 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 34.

Our nephew, Cameron, is graduating from High School. I clipped his announcement to the refrigerator.

I have a frame with school pictures of him, his brothers, and sister. I took it down to replace his picture with his senior picture. The mat was faded. I guess I will need to move these pictures, too.

Each of my children has a wall in the hall covered with senior pictures, wedding pictures, and graduation photos. I noticed 2 photos were in the sun. I decided to switch Laura’s wall with Derek’s. I need to make room for a wedding photo.

I measured the available space that the sun does not reach. Then I measured Laura’s senior picture. There’s room for it and another 8″ X 10″. I printed off a recent photo to frame.

I looked at my granddaughter’s first-grade picture. She’s growing up too fast. I wonder what the world will be like when she’s a senior?

Today’s verses showed me what I need to do.

2 Kings 22:18-20, “And also tell the king of Judah, since he sent you to ask God for direction; tell him this, God’s comment on what he read in the book: ‘Because you took seriously the doom of judgment I spoke against this place and people,

(19) and because you responded in humble repentance, tearing your robe in dismay and weeping before me, I’m taking you seriously.’ God’s word: ‘I’ll take care of you.’

(20) You’ll have a quiet death and be buried in peace. You won’t be around to see the doom that I’m going to bring upon this place. …” The Message

I need to:

  • Ask God for direction.
  • Read God’s book – the Bible.
  • Take God’s judgment seriously.
  • Humble myself.
  • Repent for my sins and the sins of our nation.
  • Grieve over sin.
  • Cry before God.

Proverbs 14:26, “The Fear-of-God builds up confidence, and makes a world safe for your children.” The Message

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Enjoy a Full Lifetime

May 13, 2019: Isaiah 65, 66; 2 Kings 21.

I opened the patio door wide enough to grab the Conica Spruce. I carefully carried it to the front of the house. I didn’t want dried needles all over the floor. I opened the front door and set it in the corner.

The spruce was a gift from my brother at Christmas. It was dormant but budded after a few weeks. Then the needles started falling off. I gave it extra water. I’m sure it is root bound.

I asked my friends for advice. They suggested it needed more light. I moved it in front of the biggest window. More needles fell. David took it out back near the patio door.

I kept the basket that came with it inside. There were two inches of water in it. I over-watered it. I decided it was safer outside.

It rained for four days straight!

I moved it near the front door because it faces south. It is my last hope.

It poured the day David planned to plant it. Then our attention was on the water pouring in the basement.

It had such a short life. Sigh.

Isaiah 65:20, “No more babies dying in the cradle, or old people who don’t enjoy a full lifetime; one-hundred birthdays will be considered normal – anything less will seem like a cheat.” The Message

I live my life as if I will live to be one hundred!

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What You Made Us

May 12, 2019: Isaiah 61-64.

Our oldest son, Luke, is a soldier. He had drill this weekend. He called to wish me “Happy Mother’s Day” while driving home. I chided him for talking while he was driving.

“Don’t worry, Mom,” he said, “When I hang up, I will push auto-pilot and watch a video.”

My first gray hair had his name on it.

* *

Our daughter, Laura, knows the way to my heart. She baked me a strawberry pie – which I promptly hid in the refrigerator. She brought me an insulated mug and a bowl that says, “My soul has had enough chicken soup, I want chocolate.” In the bowl was chocolate with a note, “This is the chocolate in my budget according to Dave Ramsey.”

It was taped to a package of chocolate chips.

* *

Our youngest, Derek, was a sweetheart. The church had roses for each mother. He picked one out for me and we took a selfie with props the church provided. He and his wife, Rachel, gave me a mushy card and Hershey’s kisses. “This card truly doesn’t even come close to describing how great of a mom you really are…”

* *

Luke hurried home to celebrate with his wife, Bethany, and daughter, Olivia. Laura, Derek, and Rachel took us out for supper.

Everyone chose the restaurant I chose! When we arrived, they told us they ran out of food. We drove to my second choice. They were closed.

I was texting my sister, Cheryl. She said they were going to order a pizza from “Happy Joe’s” but they could meet us there. I told them they had to buy me ice cream if we ate there! My “pizza-loving” family agreed.

* *

Cheryl told stories about my pregnancies with Laura and Derek. Then David commented something about a football coach.

I protested, “It’s Mother’s Day, no sports!”

My daughter quietly quipped, “Birth coach.”

* *

Each child is different. They each are special and unique. Just like God made them.

Isaiah 64:8, “Still, God, You are our Father. We’re the clay and You’re our potter. All of us are what You made us.” The Message

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A Full Life in the Emptiest of Places

May 11, 2019: Isaiah 58-60.

As I look out my window, I see big leaves on the trees. They are shading the windows. The grass is thick and green and the lilacs bloomed. The crocus and irises are budding and ready to bloom. The Lilly of the valley is releasing its fragrant perfume.

But there are no tulips.

David dug the tulips up last fall to move them. Winter came early and they are still in the garage.

* * * * * * *

Our lives are seasons. In winter we are children – unproductive and waiting. Spring comes as teenagers. We are bursting with possibilities. We hate it when our parents advise us to save a few of the funds we are earning, or worse, give some away. We don’t realize that each dollar is a seed.

Summer comes and we blossom. Then we are productive. We start full-time jobs and a family. Our parents are still giving the same advice – give some, save some. We think “I’ll do that when I’m making more money.”

Autumn comes before we know it. Our children grow and leave the nest. Our bodies slow down. We can’t do everything we used to. We look at our savings and wonder – will it be enough? Will it last during the years I can no longer work? Will there be anything left to give to my children?

We look back over our lives. We see the seeds we planted as teens and young adults. Their multiplication amazes us. We want our children to enjoy those blessings. So, we advise – give some, save some. Why? Because, if they don’t, there will be nothing for their children.

I see couples in larger homes, driving newer cars. I’m seeing their harvest. I’m not seeing their seeds, sacrifices, sweat, and struggles.

Rich or poor, parents everywhere say:

  • Give some – to honor God.
  • Save some – to harvest later.

Why give first? Because God determines the harvest. Isaac planted during a famine and reaped a hundredfold. He got back 100 times the amount of seeds he planted, (see Genesis 26:12-23).

God promises to take care of us no matter what the circumstances. Our job is to plant seeds – don’t leave them in the garage!

Isaiah 58:9-12, “Then when you pray, God will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am. If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins.

(10) If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down and out, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.

(11) I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places – firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry.

(12) You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.’ ” The Message

* * * * * * *

Proverbs 13:1, “Intelligent children listen to their parents; foolish children do their own thing.” The Message

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Permanent Honors

May 10, 2019: Isaiah 54-57.

I threw in a load of laundry as soon as I dressed. The dryer was disconnected all week to repair the wall. I have 7 loads to wash.

I got breakfast and sat down to read emails. I shared the devotion, “When Mother’s Day is Tough” from, on Facebook.

I thought of four friends:

  1. The heaviest on my heart is M. She recently announced her pregnancy but the baby went to heaven a couple weeks later.
  2. Then there’s E. She would be the best mother but after a decade of marriage had to undergo a hysterectomy.
  3. And B. In her twenties, the doctors informed her she was no longer ovulating. But there is always hope!
  4. I still pray for these three women because of the fourth, J. She became a wife, mother, and grandmother, on her wedding day. Her children and grandchildren still seek her out even though her husband passed away a few years ago.

Isaiah 56:3-5,”Make sure no outsider who now follows God ever has occasion to say, ‘God put me in second-class. I don’t really belong.’ And make sure no physically mutilated person [a eunuch] is ever made to think, ‘I’m damaged goods. I don’t really belong.’

(4) For God says: ‘To the mutilated who keep my Sabbath and choose what delights Me and keep a firm grip on my covenant,

(5) I’ll provide them an honored place in my family and within my city, even more honored than that of sons and daughters. I’ll confer permanent honors on them that will never be revoked.’ ” The Message

* * * * * * * *

  • You are an insider.
  • You are first-class.
  • You are perfect.
  • You belong.

Keep your faith, cling to God, and hold on to His promises. He has an honored place in the family for you.

Remember Sarah – she was 90 and Abraham was 100. Remember Rebecca, Rachel, Hannah, and Elizabeth who waited for years – decades.

  • Sarah had Isaac.
  • Rebecca had Esau and Jacob.
  • Rachel had Joseph and Benjamin.
  • Hannah had Samuel and several others.
  • Elizabeth had John the Baptist.

Remember your mother! Mother’s Day is not about what my kids do for me; but what I do for Mom.

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