People Can’t Just Walk In

When I read my Bible yesterday, one phrase stuck out…”People can’t just walk in.”

The temperature was in the 90’s. David went outside early to mow and do some landscaping. I started laundry and writing.

God whispered to me, “You are alone with David on this holiday. Are you going to treat it like every other Monday? Or are you going to spend time with David?”

“I’ve been pretty quiet the last few days on social media. Silent, in fact. That’s because Levon and I went away for the weekend without the kids. Woo-hoo! It was glorious. We ate, we strolled, we swam, we talked, and we enjoyed some much-needed alone time together…” facebook.com/themerrymomma

In her email, The Merry Momma added, “I relished the entire weekend free of refereeing sibling squabbles, cutting up food, constantly using reminders to ‘listen and obey,’ or listening to crying…I made a comment to someone about how much I was looking forward to this weekend, and for a brief moment, I worried that my excitement was a bad sign…But I got over that pretty quickly…It’s good for us as moms and dads to get some time alone together…Don’t listen to the voices of guilt.”

Memorial Day is special to David and I. Our first Memorial Day together was hard. I watched him march in the parade and then he cooked me dinner – pork steak. A day later, he flew off for Advanced Individual Training. I didn’t see him again until September 2nd! There were no cell phones, computers, or internet then. He could only call me once a week on Saturday nights. Worst. Summer. of. My Life.

Every year, we reminisce about the parade, the time apart, the loneliness, and the reunion! That is one of the “Secrets of a Good Marriage” – reminiscing!

“The secret of a good marriage lies in learning how to live and work together.

  1. Agree to pray together daily.
  2. Find something good to say about each other every day.
  3. Don’t forget to snuggle.
  4. Think of yourselves as a team – not just a couple.
  5. Respect your differences.
  6. Eat at least one meal together each day.
  7. Submit your disagreements to God.
  8. Develop a strong sense of humor.
  9. Identify ‘your special place’ and ‘your special song.’
  10. Reminisce together.

“God’s Little Devotional Book,” 214-215.

We can use the tabernacle as a picture of a Godly marriage.

Hebrews 9:2-8, “…(2) a larger outer tent was set up. The lampstand, the table, and ‘the bread of presence’ were placed in it. This was called ‘the Holy Place.’ (3) Then a curtain was stretched, and behind it a smaller, inside tent set up. This was called the ‘Holy of Holies.’ (4) In it were placed the gold incense altar and the gold covered ark of the covenant containing the gold urn of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, the covenant tablets, (5) and the angel-wing-covered mercy seat. …(6) the priests went about their duties in the large tent. (7) Only the high priest entered the smaller, inside tent… (8) …people can’t just walk in…” The Message

Our kitchen, dining room, and living room are the holy place for our family. They are full of light, food, and heavenly smells. (Fresh, homemade bread anyone?) It’s where the family gathers around the table.

But behind the curtain is a smaller tent, a bedroom with a lock. It is our Holy of Holies. A locked door means Dad and Mom need some alone time together.

It’s a perfumed room, full of memories:

  1. Golden urn of manna – reminds us how God met our needs.
  2. Aaron’s rod that budded – reminds us how God leads us to the right decisions.
  3. The Covenant Tablets, (10 Commandments) – reminds us of our wedding vows.
  4. The angel-wing-shadowed mercy seat – reminds us that God is watching over us.

It’s easy to get caught up in duties in the outer rooms. We don’t spend time in our Holy of Holies. We enter and promptly fall asleep! Or we half-listen to our spouse as we scroll social media.

“She couldn’t capture what was happening because her phone was too full of what had happened.” “What Do You Need to Delete” 1 Min Motivation, by Steven Furtick

My holiday was not as glorious as The Merry Momma’s was. I snuggled with David on the couch as he watched “Duck Dynasty” reruns. All. of. them. After a few episodes, I wandered to our second TV and watched a movie. We did spend some alone time together before he turned on the TV.

“A good marriage isn’t something you find, it’s something you make.” Gary Smalley

I did feel guilty for not practicing. Then this morning, I received a message with the songs for Wednesday night. The Worship Pastor gave us a holiday, too!

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

Over Forty Years Old

“I run my hand across the thick of the terry towels. I’m a farmer’s wife. I’m the homeschooling mother of 6 children. There are no fancy degrees, titles, diplomas hanging on these finger-smudged walls. Are there places that must be known, accomplishments that must be had, before one is really ready?” “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp

Ann Voskamp gets me. There are no diplomas on my walls. The artwork in my office is floral, music-related, our wedding picture, and a calendar. (I recently moved the feminine, pink artwork into here.)

And, I don’t feel really ready!

I smiled when I read a post from themerrymomma.com. They celebrated a big birthday.

“…my husband, Levon, turned the big 3-0! …I like to joke that when we met, God turned to Jesus, handed him a bag of popcorn, and said, ‘Watch this, Jesus!’ …maybe…he was exactly what I needed in order to become who God wanted me to be. …we are each sets of puzzle pieces. And we need all the pieces – his and mine – to complete the picture of God’s design for our life together…” “How Marriage is Like a Puzzle” themerrymomma.com

I grinned because I know they don’t have all the pieces yet. I know I don’t! I was sure I had all 4 corners when we started our family:

  1. God
  2. Husband
  3. Church
  4. A job I loved.

Then God yelled, “Plot twist!”

In 3 years, God twisted my puzzle around, leaving the church, friends, and job behind. We started over forming new friendships and doing ministry in a new satellite.

* * * * * * *

Jesus is the most important corner piece – “The Cornerstone.” He is the One that anchors your puzzle, (see Isaiah 28:16; Ephesians 2:19-20). You will deal with several “plot twists” in life, large and small.

A Christian does not fall apart – they pivot.

Sometimes the plot twist is the loss of a spouse through death or divorce. But you get to keep the most important pieces – your children. If God brings a new partner into your puzzle they come as a package. Connected to them are their children.

That corner gets torn apart and everyone gets linked together in a different configuration. There is a lot of turning of each piece. Until you see God’s plan to put your blended family together. Some pieces take longer to attach than others.

The former spouses are still attached to your children. You have to find a way to include them in your puzzle. They are a minor piece and no longer carry the responsibilities of a corner piece.

* * * * * * *

We read of a man whose life didn’t begin until he was in his forties. He was born a cripple. His family set him at The Temple gate to beg. He was not allowed in The Temple.

“Whereas the man’s lameness itself would not necessarily have hindered him, lameness was frowned upon within The Temple courtyards. …Thus the lame beggar remained outside…” Chronological Study Bible Notes.

* * * * * * *

Acts 4:22, “The man who had been miraculously healed was over forty years old.” The Message

The first thing he did after receiving his healing was to go into The Temple. He was walking, dancing and praising God. The lame man had to do something – he looked up, expecting. He didn’t just hope it would get better.

“When he says, ‘I hope,’ instead of saying, ‘I have hope,’ that makes it a verb and not a noun. …It’s something that you do. …You cannot go into another year of your life hoping it gets better…” “Hoping vs. Wishing” Steven Furtick, 1 Min Motivation

My new job is this blog. But it is not like any other blog. I write a devotion 7 days a week. (Sometimes, like today, it doesn’t get published until the next day.)

God made it clear He will pay the expenses. Every year is a miracle. I don’t use ads, affiliate marketing links, or ask for donations. I actually pay to keep the ads off. Crazy!

I pretty much ignore the stats. Recently, I noticed my “follow this blog” button was missing. I went into the settings to get it back. I found over 500 new followers. I decided to hide the number of followers.

That stat didn’t excite me. What did? The 23 people who clicked on the “Save me, Jesus, Prayer.” Those stats are eternal! They now have the pivotal corner piece for their puzzle.

©2009-2018 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.