Friday, August 17, 2018

tight rolled jeans with a side of teenage angst


New Living Translation
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart's desires
Psalm 37:4

                I found my middle school diary…..so, yeah. As it is quite obvious, I am a big fan of writing and expressing your ideas down on paper. Nevertheless, this is a skill I wish wouldn’t have evolved until high school at least. Also, after reading, I have discovered that perhaps Rachel has gotten her flair for the dramatic from her mom.

                My childhood crush. His jeans tight rolled, hair geled expertly off to the side, and denim jacket cuffed up. *13 year old girl swoon* He was perfect. He was gorgeous, funny, and if he didn’t ask me to be his girlfriend soon I might drown in a sea of depression. (I told you dramatic) The dance was this evening. Enter my best friend who was my partner in crime. I went to her house, got dressed up in her clothes because they were way cooler than mine. Anyone remember “Co-ed naked” shirts. I didn’t get innuendos back then any better than I get them now- but my dad sure did when I got home. I hair sprayed my hair as stiff as it could possibly go, put on some cherry lip smacker, and we were ready to do the electric slide  and Cold November Rain all night long. PS- If you didn’t grow up in the 80’s and 90’s you may have to google some of these references
                I won’t hold you in suspense. He didn’t like me. Although at one point he did talk to me. To see if I could give him my best friends phone number. Broken hearted, I cried into my pillow that night. But it wasn’t over yet. I would convince him that I was the girl for him. Enter the bible.

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart's desires
          WHA?!?!?!?!  So if I go to church every week (check), pray every day (mostly check), try to be a good person (check), God will give me the desire of my heart. I HAD found the Holy Grail. The solution to my middle school boy- who in my opinion was hotter than Jordan on New Kids on The Block- dilemma. I would ask God. Well, first I would “delight myself in Him” AKA church, pray, be good, and then he would give me the biggest desire of my heart. Tight rolled jeans boy. If I do this, then God will grant me that. Like the ultimate genie in a lamp. I just had to figure out the right way to rub it. One week went by… nothing. Surely soon. I prayed. I prayed/begged God that if he would only give me this one thing, let this one boy ask me to be his girlfriend, then I would go to church every Sunday for the rest of my life. Because that is what He wants right?


          Spoiler* I never got the boy. Looking back on the two and some decades (wow…I am old) since then, I can clearly see how that would not have been the best thing for me. The last thing I needed at that age was a pretend adult relationship. Let’s face it. Two weeks after girls met their dream come true guy they were sitting on the bleachers the next dance sobbing due to him now “going out” with someone else. Maybe someone who would go under the bleachers for him.

                As I look back now, with wider and more sober eyes and without a pre-teen heart washed in faux emotions, I can pin point all the garbage that God has kept me from by saying no. He had perspective. I did not. He wanted what was best for me ultimately. I wanted the quick pleasing moment. He lovingly told me no, and I stomped off into my room to sulk.

                Only in the Last couple of years has this verse and others been revealed so clearly to me that I wonder how I couldn’t have seen it before. I do realize actually. I used to read the Bible wondering about what it could do FOR me. Not TO me. I want the quick fixes. Motivational scriptures on my cups and walls. Recently I have found my Jesus is messy.

                Another version of this scripture is the contemporary English version that says
“Do what the LORD wants, and he will give you your heart's desire.” I truly wanted to do what the Lord wanted at this point. I loved Him and realized the undeniable grace and sacrifice it took to save me from myself. But I still had the second part of that scripture wrong. I couldn’t understand how if I was doing the good things, delighting and all that, why was I still not getting the desires of my heart. Why did I still not have this or that? Why did she get that instead and she doesn’t even know you?

                Then one day, The Holy Spirit whispered to my heart, and my entire perspective changed. This wasn’t an IF- THEN relationship. Not a direct cause and effect. It was a change in my heart perspective. IF I was delighting myself in the Lord, he would place NEW desires, HIS desires in my heart. This makes sense for a couple of reasons.

  1. I am a sinful human being. No sugar coating this. In this fallen world, we all fall short of the Glory of God. Whether you think you are missing the mark by a meter or a mile, you are still not enough. And will never be enough without the Son. We cannot redeem or pay the admission required to level the field with God. In comes the Blood of the Savior. My sinful nature cannot and should not be trusted. I want things I shouldn’t want and push things away I need. The book of Jeremiah further confirms the nature of man’s heart: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9
  2. He is better at long range planning. He knows what is coming up and the tools I must have developed in order to survive this mission. He also knows what or who I don’t need. He can see the whole puzzle before I even open the box. He is seated in the best position.
  3. He know what desires would truly captive my heart. The place that only he can fill and only He knows about. I think I know, but really I have no idea. He meets me in a way that I would have never imagined asking for. Something outside of myself and what I would see in the realm of possibilities.

                How amazing is it that God desired to plant His desires in the hearts of men. That He relentlessly pursues and desires a relationship that will not only bring about His glory but will ultimate result in our healing, our passions fulfilled, and our direction determined. When we desire God, and not just desire the gifts He gives us, that is when things get real. We aren’t delighting ourselves in Him to get a set of steak knives (another 80’s reference), but we are delighting in Him because we adore Him. We are asking Him to draw us close enough to Him that we can hear the beating of His own heart. That we find joy and fulfillment in Him, and want to turn around and look for ways to share it with the people God places in our mists for this season.

                I also want to add that looking at how it all turned out, I am so glad I didn’t get what my 13 year old heart thought was essential, and have learned to temper my writing passions a little. Just a little.  

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Is anyone Up **flashback 2012

**A flashback to a writing I did in 2012. Still grateful my heavenly Daddy leaves the light on. 

I am not sure exactly when, but at some point in my young childhood my mom and dad decided that I was moving from my comfortable spot in bed with my two brothers to my very own bed. We were still in the same room. My single bed was turned sideways and against the bottom of their queen. Man, did I hate it. I would wait until my mom would tuck us all in. Wait for night prayers. Wait until she shut the door. Then I might try to fall asleep. But more times than not, I would jump out of my bed and into my brothers' bed. I would snuggle down in between them. I hated to sleep alone.

And when the girls got shipped out into the "hall" which was the room beside our bedroom, I would fall asleep comfortably with the light that shined up the stairs and into the room. That light was the tv that my dad had on nightly. I found such comfort in the fact that although I may be falling asleep, dad was up. I couldn't tell you what I was particularly afraid of. But whatever happened, I knew that dad was up and he would handle it.

I thought of that with my own son. He went through a stage where he would need us to fall asleep with him. He would ask "mom, are you still awake? Don't go to sleep without me." He still has problems falling asleep if his brother and sisters have fallen asleep first. He wants to know that someone is up. Someone is watching.














I thought of this as I read Psalm 121.....


I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,  the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel  will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going  both now and forevermore.

Thoughts of the boogie man don't plague my nights of slumber and worries of what is under the bed don't have me curling into my husband's back. No. But truth be told, I have real worries. How many times I have I wished I could just shut off my mind and drift off? How many times have the worries of the future stolen my peace and caused me many late nights. And truly, if I am being honest, how many times have I whispered in the dark, "Jesus, are you awake? I need you."

Just like when I was a child, I need someone bigger than me being awake when I slumber. I need someone stronger who can handle it, taking care of the boogie mans of the world, while I dream without a care. How reassuring to know that HE who watches over me will not slumber. He is awake! He is watching over my life, watching over me! Now and forevermore. 

This of course does not promise that everything is how I wish it to be. Of course, I can't always see the whole picture. But just the fact that I know my father is up and keeping watch....helps me rest easier.  

Friday, August 10, 2018

knock, knock



Do you know what you get when you mix ham plus pink milk mix and put it in the microwave for a you tube challenge? An angry mommy

It is my own fault. I violated the first rule of parenting. Silence is trouble. I was in my room cleaning when I hear Scott yelling. I run downstairs to see a red faced Scott and two little maniacs otherwise known as Nick and Haivyn. Apparently, the Littles decided they wanted to do their own you tube show on good vs. gross food. My dining room table was covered in egg shells, raw egg, buns, and an assortment of spices. The plan was to dip the buns in the raw egg, and then cook them in the microwaves.
Nick- “We were making egg sandwiches!”
Another clear example of you tube causing direct devastation.


Scott is yelling again. On episode 2 of Nick and Haivyn destroying the kitchen….
The smell of smoke was spreading throughout the house. The little chefs took a toy microwave and mixed chopped ham and pink milk mix together. They then put the toy microwave – with metal- in the real microwave and pushed start. Hence the smoke. 
Haivyn- "We were hungry."
Nick- "We were helping. We could get our own lunch." 

Needless to say, I was a little frustrated. Standing in the kitchen, I dramatically announced that “Mommy is going to take a bath. Leave me alone. Pretend I am at the store. Unless it is an emergency. Then come get me immediately." I went into the bathroom which is on my first floor where the kids were playing. I started the water, and kid you not, as soon as I touched the water, the power goes out. I pounded my head against the wall whispering “well played universe. Well played.” A gang of children come running into the bathroom. Thankfully the blackout lasted about 30 seconds. EMERGENCY! Thankfully, the lights returned in 30 seconds. 

I get into the bathtub and before I can even lean back I hear “Mommy, can I come in?” Bella.  “What do you want?” “I want you to show you this shirt that still fits me.” She comes in modeling a Christmas outfit.  “Looks good Bella.” She smiles big and goes skipping put the bathroom. Apparently "emergency" means different things to different people.

“MOM, want  to hear a joke?” Sigh and rolling my eyes, but because I am a good mom I yell “Sure.”
Nick “Knock, knock”
Me- “Whose there?”
Nick- “Chocolate”
Me- “Chocolate who?”
Nick- “Just chocolate!” hysterical giggling on the other side of the door.


Nick- “Mom, will you tell Haivyn that I can play…
Me- “Stop. Ok. Ok. I am getting out. “

My first baby is a freshman this year *tear* and my last baby *sniff* is in kindergarten. I KNOW that I miss them so very much when they are grown. But at least I will miss them with shaved legs, clean hair, and a functioning microwave.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Can you see me?


         
 The rain pounded on the windshield and lightening flashed through the sky. Although I am a lover of springtime storms and rain is my favorite, I was not such a fan as I was driving back from Pittsburgh after visiting with the Miller family and welcoming baby Natalie into the craziness that is our loving family. Bella, Nick, and I were in the van following the rest of our crew. I had traveled out to Pittsburgh using Google Maps, but I had not turned it on since we were following Scott.
As the storm raged on, Bella begins to sob. If you have ever been a witness to a Bella meltdown, it is not a good time. She is overwhelmed, hard to reason with, and LOUD. Which was not appreciated as I was trying to navigate through the storm.
Me- “Bella, what is the problem?”
Bella- “We are going to die! I can’t see Daddy anymore!”
Which was true. In the driving rain and afternoon traffic, Scott’s car was no longer right in front of us.
Me- “Daddy is still in front of us. We will catch up. We just can’t see him.”
Bella- “But if you can’t see him, how do you know?”
Me- “Because I know Daddy. He would never leave us. Once the rain slows and he sees we are not right behind him he will pull over and wait. He would never leave us behind.”
She seemed to think this through with her little face in a mask of deep concentration. 2 glorious minutes of silence as I watch the back of the headlights and look for the familiar ones. Bella starts to cry again.
Me- with more frustration that I would like to admit- “WHAT NOW?”
Bella- “We are going to die! I don’t see Daddy!”
Me- “Isabella Noel! Do you trust me?
Bella- who paused way longer than I liked- “yes.”
Me- “Would I ever let anything happen to you?”
Bella- “No.”
Me- “Ok then. Trust me now. Daddy is in front of us. We can’t see him but I know he is there. You know I would never let anything happen to you. Now sit there and let me do the job you trust me to do!”
She quiets. I see Scott pulled over at the side of the road.
Bella- “Mommy, you were right! There is Daddy”

I am happy to report that we all made it home safely. However, Bella will be traveling with Daddy next trip….
 Can I be honest with ya’all? Sometimes I have no idea where I am going. Whether it is in the middle of a lecture with my kids, a lesson with my students, or a conversation with my husband, sometimes I don’t know where I am heading. How often have you thought… Now, where was I going with that?
God knows where we are going. Even when I don’t see him, I know his character and I know that he is there. I can say with confidence that He will never leave me. Never expect me to figure it out and for that I am grateful.
Sometimes in the storms of my life I may feel scared. I may not SEE God in front of me. It may even cross my mind to pull over and try and figure this thing out. However, I do know a few things which leads me to continue on.  I trust that my Father loves me and He is in front. He would never send me to a place that he has not secured ahead of time. Just like I knew Scott was there even though I didn’t see” him, I know God is there whether  there I recognize his presence or not. He would never let me go off on my own. He loves me too much.

In this trip I also worked through what I imagine the frustrations of God. I can see me throwing  a temper tantrum like Bella.  But God don’t you know….can’t you see…How can I possibly….. And God shouts out “Theresa Marie! Do you trust me?”

Just like my sweet Bella, my mind flashed through situation after situation where God has been faithful. He picked me up that time. He saved me from my own darkness that time. He was better to me that I deserved after I disappointed him that time. Do I trust Him enough to place my life in his hands and say come what may,  "I trust you God.”

Monday, June 11, 2018

Day 1


Day 1

I am awakened by the shrieking and piercing hounds of hell. Or my alarm clock that I forgot to turn off. Even thought that first shriek was hitting hard….how sweet did it feel to shut off the alarm and lay back down. I don’t go over my strategy for the day or wonder how I am going to fit it all in. I am OFF  **CUES THOSE BABY ANGELS**  Every time a teachers reaches summer break, an angel gets its wings. Wrong movie? Wrong book? I think this makes sense cause these Angels are going to need some serious wings to chase these kids. I know. I chased them for 8 months!

Here in our little world we like to play a game called who can sleep the longest. Here is how it works. You wake up, you go back to sleep. First one out of bed loses, The first day of summer Looser.  Always good to start the first day of summer with extra sleep for us and tears for the little ones who physically must jump up because “THE SUN MOMMY!!!!!”

What did our first day of summer look like? Me sweeping down the steps and Scott making eggs and bacon. Running down to mom’s to hold angel face Wes, and then ordered pizza cause….first day of summer and all. Then we go back down to Grammy’s for the kids to continue to play outside until I have to call it. Street lights are on and time to roll.

I only thought about school 3 times and have ALREADY LOST TRACK OF WHAT DAY OF THE WEEK IT IS.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Nightlight



          My eyes snap open, and I see nothing. I see darkness, a black inky storm. My heart begins to pound, and my shoulders tense up. My eyes dart around the room seeing monsters of shadow sliding across my bedroom floor. Is that my breathing or is there something else in the room? My eyes hunt around, desperate for focus. I look up to the ceiling. There is my savior. All I have to do is reach up and click the little switch over. Deep breath. I stand up quickly, flick the switch, and fall back into bed with my eyes tightly closed.

Slowly, I open one eye and then the other. With the warm glow that now fills my bedroom, the tightness in my chest releases. Gone are the shadow creatures as my dresser returns. Rows of sweaters hang from my closet and are no longer grasping for my soul. Deep breath in and out.
My dad and I did this dance every night.  I refused to even go into my bedroom without my nightlight on. Tiny little plastic covered savior. He did not think the light was necessary. He swore that you would not sleep right if there was light in the room. “Your brain needs to know that it is night, and it is time to sleep.” Maybe his brain needed to know that, but my childhood brain wanted no part of this relaxing darkness he spoke of. My brain needed the light.
            Every night I would go to bed with the light on, and at some point he would come up stairs and quietly click it off. Not long after I would wake up and turn it on. Fall asleep and repeat process until the sun came up. Click- click. Click-click. I got my stubborn streak from my dad. He and I would both hold out until the end of time if we thought we were right about something.
            I thought of that little nightlight as I was reading a scripture in the Bible that stuck out to me. “The light shine in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome (understood) it.”  John 1:5  Another translation says the darkness “could not put it out.”  The light in this case being Jesus, the Savior.

            I feel like as long as the light- Jesus- is on- walking with me- I see things differently. No longer am I scared of the shadows of things that are not really there. No longer can I be tormented by what ifs and things unseen. With the light on, I can see the truth. The truth is, I have nothing to be afraid of in the dark. Greater is He who is in me that he who is in the world.
            As long as my light is on, I see things for how they really are. I have been a public school teachers for over 10 years. One of the main things that I have learned is to not always look into the darkness without your light on. Some children carry a lot of darkness on their little shoulders. Pain, fear, abuse, sickness, confusion, and more. Without the light, I can perceive these situations in very different ways. I can be upset and be drug into the darkness myself, or I can turn on the light and see what is real. The light beats back the darkness so we can see the truth.
            He isn’t really mad at me or his math. He is mad at his situation that has caused a never ending cycle of fear and abandonment. She isn’t sobbing because she doesn’t want to get in line. She cries because she feels something was taken from her that she has no power to bring back. When I see what is really happening, I can respond with compassion, guidance, and hope.
            I also live in an area where drug use is rampant. Here the verse of the enemy wanting to “kill, steal, and destroy” is not metaphorical. I understand the pain and the devastation this causes. Again, if I turn on the light, I see things a little differently. I see people self-medicating for anxiety and depression. I see people trying to numbing the pain of their past and the vision of their desolate future. I see people who have been overrun with a chemical dependency that is causing them to destroy and ostracize the very people who reach out to them. People making devastatingly hurtful decisions for both themselves and those that love them in order to escape the pain.
            Such a fine line to walk. I love you, but I will not let you continue on this way. I see the darkness you are immersed in, but I will not sit there with you. I will turn on the light. I will speak truth. I will love you as the Father loves you, stand with you, but not crawl through the dirt with you. I love you too much to not turn on the light.
            Sometimes we do have to let go. But the light helps. It helps us to see what is real and what is not. It helps to talk it out with our Savior to know when I should step in and when I need to step back or out

            I need the Light. I need to be able to see what is real and what is not. I need the light to release my fear and soften my heart. “4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (the darkest valley), I will fear no evil: for you are with me.” Psalm 23:4 I do not have to fear the terror of night (Psalm 91:5) because the Light is with me.  When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) Never will I fear the darkness.
John 12:35-37 NIV
35 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going.
36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” 
 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

castles and waves


The tears streamed down her round little face with a look of horror behind her eyes. I panicked and even though I knew it was futile, I actually decided to try and stand in the way of the ocean to stop it. You can imagine that went over well as the waves just swept over me. The white foamy water which she had danced in a couple hours and a few feet ago was now a force of destruction instead of the bringer of joy. The mighty and now evil ocean was destroying her castle, her kingdom.
          Bella and daddy had spent the afternoon building a tower of majesty all afternoon. To the average on looker it would have appeared to only be a moderately impressive sand castle, but to Bella it was her kingdom. They had scraped out a moat with their hands and dug windows with their fingers. Tall peaks graced the top, and Scott had used a stick to make fancy designs. She danced around laughing and singing…that was until the ocean came.
          I didn’t realize she didn’t know that eventually the ocean was coming. There was nothing I could do to stop it. Horror alighted in Scott and I’s face as we watched the waves crash over the kingdom, and my little girl’s face crumple into a river of tears. At once, we promised that we would make her a new castle tomorrow. A bigger one. A better one.  As she balled her little fists up she exclaimed, “Why? The ocean is just going to come again to eat it!” Then she stomped off.
          Later that evening we showed her pictures we had taken of her palace and talked about how we couldn’t have taken it with us when we went home anyway. The fun was in making the castle, and we could start over tomorrow. Although she grudgingly agreed, she still didn’t want to build another castle for the rest of that trip. I don’t if any of us had the emotional stamina for another kingdom being overtaken by the evil Ocean Empire.

Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine AND puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the stream rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet, it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock. BUT everyone who hears these words of mine and does NOT put them into practice is like a foolish man who build his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the wind blew and beat against the house, and it fell with a great crash. Matt 7:24-27

          Sand is not a good place for building. Even when the ocean is not attacking, sand grains are irregularly shaped and sharp. When sand is the foundation, the grains sit there loose with voids in between them. Sand cannot compact and will never be a piece of solid earth. Being that a foundations primary function is described as “the natural or prepared ground or base on which some structure rests,” sand does not make the cut as stable. It’s too shifting. Too unstable. Too full of hiding voids.
          The first thing that jumps out in this scripture is that it is directed to “everyone who hears these words of mine.” This is addressed to the church people. The people praising, worshiping, giving the money, teaching the Sunday school classes, and taking notes in their bibles. The church. It’s not like you can claim you never knew. Often….so very often…my second graders and my other children I birthed will say to me “you never told me that. You must be thinking of another kid. If I would have heard you then I would have done it.”
Ahhhh….selective hearing of little blessings. One day I am going to develop some selective hearing. “Oh I didn’t know that you needed that dress cleaned by today? Oh I am sure that you never told me that. Sorry.” This is one of the moments you are talking to your friends and say “yep, I just told her I didn’t hear her ask for me to wash it just like she didn’t hear me ask her to take care of the dogs.” Friends say “DID you say that?” “No, but I could have!”
          We are planted into one of two survivor camps. We all hear the words, what comes next is what separates us. One had heard the Words of the Lord and put them into practice. He was like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The foolish man, the one who did not put the words of God into practice, was the man with a house built on sand.
          Another commonality in the stories is that both houses are standing in the same storm. The Word says “the rain came down, the streams rose, and the wind blew and beat against the house.” This was a storm from all angles. The rain came from the sky in streaks of torrent hitting the top. The streams rose and began to batter the bottom of the structure. As the top and bottom are fighting their own battles, it says the winds blew and beat against the house.
          Jesus loves to tell stories because he knows we are picture people. We need to see it and figure it out. So he gives us this story.
          I picture the rain coming down is from an unresolved sin in my life. It just keeps pounding and pounding. Keeping me up at night. Almost trying to dig through the roof to meet me. The stream that rose could be none other than the strife of debt. A small trickle at first that is now this mighty river that will sweep you away. Circling around your house in the wind that blew and beat against the house, battering nonstop, is a failing marriage, a job you lost, rebellious children, depression, anxiety. It just keeps hitting.
          Both builders heard “these words of mine” and both are experiencing the same storm. Storms are not the “IFS” in life, they are the “WHENS.” What was the deciding factor? The storm windows, the expensive basement draining system, the strong wood and metal shoring up the skeleton of the house. Nope. None of it. It comes back to the beginning.
A safe house must be built on a secure foundation. The purpose of a foundation is to hold up and hold together for the structure above it.  A foundation of sand can roughly hold 1500-3000 pounds per square feet. Rock can support on average 3000- 12,000 pounds per square feet- 4 times as much. Don’t blame the sand. He never asked the coach to be put in this game! He just wants to chill by the ocean, have kids decorate him with toys, castles, and towels. He knows that this isn’t the place to build. But someone didn’t because they heard the word, BUT didn’t put it into practice.
The others who are yet to hear the word are watching. They see two testimonies. Two houses. After all, both men heard. Both go to church. Both are good people and treat others with respect. One took the Word of God and lived it. He mediated on the Word, he looked for ways to bring the kingdom down to earth, and a way to multiply his talents for his master. He acted upon loving his God and actively looked for ways to join with the work.
The second did not. The word was heard. Probably appreciated. Heads nodded and notes taken. However, he did not put them into practice. He would have had what he considered valid reasons. His debt is too high, and his time is to short. We will grow as a family when we have time. I will serve God and look for my place in His world when I have time. When I have the time and money, I will shore up this foundation.
The sky turns dark. There is a heaviness in the air that tells us something is coming. The wind gentle and refreshing at first and then picks up pace. Soon the drizzle turns into streaks of stinging rain and the wind is throwing things in your face. Water surrounds your ankles. You go into your house. The structure that is supposed to protect you in the storm.
When was the moment they realized the sand was wasn’t going to hold? Was it the cracking of the walls and floors as they shifted with their structural weakness?  Was it the shift they felt under their feet? The foundation won’t hold. It is all coming down, and “it fell with a great crash.”
Jesus wasn’t instructing carpentry 101 even though I am certain he is qualified to do so. He was trying to speak to the people about the foundation of their lives. What they stood on and for. He gave them, all of them listening, the answer for survival. Not just how to survive but how to flourish. Hear my words! Put them into practice. Build on the unshakable foundation of God’s trusted and true words.
Shifting and voids. Conditional truths and illusion of beauty. Feelings not vows. Convenience not sacrifice. My wants, my feelings, my expectations, and eventually my failures.
The storm will come. It will bring a hell fury like none you have seen. When you stand on what you know, what will sustained you? Will it hold against the storm? After the destruction of this storm passes, will you still be standing on the firm rock foundation? Or will the ocean of life swept over you claiming your castles and treasures?

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