The Slow Burn

His pinched lips and jerky movements caught her eye. Her brother struggled. With forced restraint, he bemoaned the impossibility of his task.

She gently opened his clenched fist and removed the pieces of his project. Then, she slowly and methodically began the job of piecing it back together.

He left the project in her more capable hands and skipped away with an upturned face. He hummed a happy a tune.

She worked away. Her face reddened. She avoided my gaze, looking intently at the object of her frustration.

I frowned. She appeared to be successful in her task. Why the excessive throat clearing and narrowed eyes? I slipped down beside her. What’s wrong?

“It’s like I’m invisible. I’m working hard at doing something nice and he doesn’t appreciate it. Why doesn’t he appreciate me?”

Every person longs for appreciation. We long to be noticed. We want our good deeds recognized and praised. I nod as she speaks because I’ve felt that same slow burn. I want my family to notice and admire the small sacrifices that I make for them. I want to hear more thank yous, more compliments, more acknowledgments.

But like motherhood, life is full of opportunities to selflessly give yourself to others, and many of those actions will not be recognized or praised. Certain circumstances burn that reality deeper into our souls. My toddlers never thanked me for a diaper change. Our youngster never thanked the doctor for the needle that will make him feel better. Perhaps we need to rephrase the question. Instead of, “Why am I not appreciated?” ask, “Can I do this for the Lord knowing His pleasure is thanks enough?”

I lean in closer to her. “If God asked you to do this for your brother, would you?”

Of course! Her head nods emphatically.

“If God is the only one who ever notices this kind act, is his pleasure enough?”

Yes!

“Then do it for the Lord. He sees. He knows. And he is pleased.”

A tiny smile tugs the corner of her lips upward. She bends over the project and begins again in earnest.

How to make an easy burlap wreath

First, gather your supplies. For my project, I used a square wreath frame, thin wire, and two burlap bags found at a surplus store.

Next, cut the burlap bags into strips. I used both bags, but only one is shown in the picture.

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Then, fold one end over the wreath frame and tie with the thin wire. Next, weave the burlap over and under the frame. Make sure to leave a few inches of burlap loose.

Twist the burlap two to three times and weave it back. Continue this pattern until the frame is covered. When you reach the end of your burlap, use the wire to tie it to the frame. Repeat the process with a new strip. Scrunch the loops together.

Once you are finished, use the wire to create a loop from which to hang your wreath.

Come back on the 25th and see how I chose to display this wreath!

You’re gonna love it ❤

 

What we need to remember when our foundation is shaken

 

With words, God created the world. Then the Living Word became flesh.

Through inspired words, God promised protection. Not protection from all hurt or heartbreak, but protection from His justifiable wrath through Jesus for all who believe.

He promises to work out all things for the good of His children. Not always the way that I want, but He will take what the enemy meant to destroy me and redeem it for my good. He’ll finish what he started.

He provides comfort in our trials when we seek Him, which is not a promise to remove the trial, but a promise of His presence through it.

He will supply all our needs, and we need saving faith in Christ most of all.

He will return for us. It is the hope that we cling to. He is coming back. His Word is true.

The Survivor, the Sufferer, Guilt, and the Gospel

Ministry opportunities have carried me from tragic circumstances to tragedy. I’ve walked alongside desperate parents and grieving hearts. I’ve watched the healthy fall ill, and I’ve seen the worst of humanity and the horror of accidents. I’ve returned to my family to battle confusing feelings of guilt and shame. Some call it survivor’s guilt. It’s when a person feels guilty for surviving a tragic event. I believe it is present in the less recognized setting of ministry.

Thankfulness and guilt collide
Survivors have questions: Why has the Lord blessed/protected/healed them but not others? The survivor knows they are no better than the sufferer. Why did God, in His wisdom, decide for today that the survivor’s health would be intact or their family would be whole? Survivors are not afflicted in the same way or to the same capacity as the sufferer, but they nonetheless stagger under the weight of their questions. READ MORE