The Finished Product

I was following a crafting group. It took over my Facebook feed and threw up at least 50 posts a day. That was okay, but what really helped me decide to stop following them is this comment on almost every single post: “I made this; I know it’s not perfect; what do you think? positive comments only.” I don’t know why, but something about seeing that insecurity over and over just finally got to me.

We crafters truly are an insecure bunch. Honestly, there’s not a piece of work I do that ever completely satisfies me. I may be happy with the design and the size, but as the creator of the article, I see the flaws and mistakes I made. I see where I missed that stitch. I see that uneven corner. I see it all. I’ve gotten into a project by dozens of rows and completely ripped the whole thing out and started over, sometimes with a totally different pattern in mind. You see the finished project; I see the finished project with the flaws. And I ALWAYS hope that it is liked by the person to whom it is gifted, because it’s made it with good intentions, patience, and much love.

Thankfully, God is not insecure about His finished product (and He doesn’t make mistakes). He sees our lives from beginning to end. He sees our flaws borne from a sinful nature, and sometimes He rips into our lives to change the pattern (or allows it to happen), to make a “purer” person. It hurts, and changes can be time-consuming. But ultimately, God knows what the final “product” will look like. If we allow our Father, who works His will in our lives with patience and perfect love, to make the adjustments needed, one day we will stand before Him a perfect, finished life. And we will get to hear Him say, “Well, done.”

It’s all about Him, y’all. May the work He does in my life cause me to show the world HIS workmanship.

4am Thoughts

In the early morning hours, my mind flips the wake-up switch and is immediately flooded with all sorts of random thought and concerns. At the top of the chain most mornings are thoughts of my family and the things that concern them. How will those bills get paid? Are they living wisely and carefully? Are they doing things the way “I” feel they should be done?

I mull these thoughts around for a while, considering solutions to their problems and how I must address the situations. Sounds self-centered, doesn’t it? I mean, after all, who do I think I am? I certainly don’t have all the answers. And as I’ve learned from experience, I am by no means their savior.

Their Savior. Ah, that’s where this all needs to be headed. Push my ego, my “wisdom,”–my way– to the side and give it to the Savior, the One who can truly guide them through their situations.

See, my problem is that I want to see immediate results for my family members. I want them to have what they need when they need it. As I’ve learned in my own life, that doesn’t always happen. So, I just have to leave it with Father God. He always knows best and always does best, even when the results are slower in coming than I’d desire.

The family depends on Dave and me for many things. We provide for some of them a stability that they don’t always experience in extended family circumstances. In some instances, we are the only real family some of them have, due to losses and estrangements. So, we help with daily routine events, we babysit, we provide shelter, we provide funds when absolutely needed. We’ve always been available to all our family; I believe they assume we always will be. Often Dave and I look at each other and ask the question, “What will they do if something happens to us?”

God gave me a clear thought this morning, and I want Him to get the glory for the message.

Our goal must be to teach them how to go on.

We must not always be available–though that sounds selfish to me, somehow. I mean, who doesn’t want to be needed? Who doesn’t want to feel necessary to someone? There’s a fine line that must be drawn between meeting needs and co-dependence, and if I’m honest, I’m still looking for it.

The answer is to help them know they are strong enough and independent enough to move forward and make decisions that don’t have to involve us. (They may think that now and are just too kind to say so.)

The answer is to point them to the God who loves them and will help them make those important decisions for their lives.

The answer is to tell them about the Savior so that their lives will be full of meaning, to know that whatever they do with their lives it must bring glory to Him. We must not take away from the glory they give to God by always being the answer to their every need.

They must learn to go on without us someday, and we must teach them now how to do that. Of course, in some instances, it may be that Dave and I are the answer God gives them to meet an immediate need. But we can’t be their every answer. Our responsibility is to point them to God, who is always the answer.

Ramblings. What do you expect at 4am?

Busy, Busy Life

Life has been moving fast and forward for the Wood family.

  • In July, Dave and I were gifted with our first great-grandchild, by our first-born grandchild.
  • Dave got a great report from his doctor; his PSA levels were super low, indicating that the cancer is still gone. To God be the glory!!
  • Our church is back in full swing now, and I’m back to teaching a weekly adult class (I love it!).
  • Our women’s ministry is planning for a fall women’s retreat (y’all come!); I am preparing my thoughts, as I will be one of the speakers at the event.
  • I’m trying to work on my book–some parts of the story are harder to write than others. The goal is to tell the story truthfully, and with balance. Pray for me. Honesty, for sure; God’s presence, always; bitterness, no.
  • Projects around the house; getting accomplished slowly. We retired folks don’t rush much these days.
  • Lots of crafting/sewing projects in process. Christmas is coming,  you know. And this is so much more fun than the house projects, so . . .
  • I am now the proud owner of hearing aids, mostly to address the hearing challenges that come from really loud tinnitus. They are helping a bit, but nothing totally gets rid of the ringing. *sigh*
  • I will soon be having cataract surgery on BOTH eyes. (Heavens! When did I get so old?)

Other stuff added to the mix makes for a full life. How about  you? How is God filling your life these days?

Bible verse for the day: “So then, while we have opportunity, let’s do good to all people, especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” -Galatians 6:10

Let’s do good to all people. Have a good day, folks!