I am on vacation.
No husband. No kids. No grandkids.
Superman thought it would be a great idea for me to get to spend some time with my sisters and my parents.
For those of you who know me, or think you know me, or just WANT to know me…;) You know that my life is very full of little people with lots of “learning experiences” and “opportunities for growth”…
All of those opportunities tend to crowd out quiet time and time to write…I almost gave up blogging. It became so hard to find time to write, and I felt so guilty NOT writing, and the internal struggle was more than I had time to deal with…
So…I write infrequently. And it frustrates me.
Superman knew that I needed some true R & R, and off I went…to SUNNY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!
One of my sisters lives near San Diego, the other lives in tornado alley near Oklahoma City…fortunately, my parents live just ten minutes from my house.
But THIS week, we are all together…under one roof. The nephews tease about our cackling laughter when we get to be together. There is a lot of cackling.
We also have very serious conversations, though. We have each gone through some very hard times with some of our children. We cry together and encourage each other and share the joys and sorrows and glimmers of hope that God allows to foster hope in our lives.
I love rocks, and usually collect rocks wherever I travel to display in dishes around my house. The rocks are not special. They are just rocks. But I love them and can almost always remember where each rock came from and what I was doing when I found them.
My daughter, whose children are Froglegs, Dancing Eyes and Curly Top, doesn’t share my love of rocks. They are merely part of what she would call my hoarding disease.
But I love my rocks.
Yesterday, I had a call from my daughter. She sounded very animated and tense.
“Mom! Where is that verse about the husband cherishing his wife like a jewel???”
“ummm, do you mean Ephesians 5?”
I read her the verses.
(English Standard Version)
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.
“Nooooo. That’s not the right one,” she sighed. Clearly frustrated.
“Well, what about this, in I Peter?” And I read her the verses.
1 Peter 3:7-8
(English Standard Version)
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
“No. That’s not it either. On Sunday, the pastor preached about this and read these verses about how the husband should love and care for his wife like she is a precious jewel…”
“Well, Proverbs 31 refers to the virtuous woman being worth more than rubies…”
She looked it up and read it…
“Yes!! That’s it. Oh wait…” pausing as she read more…”No, that’s not it either.”
I suggested she call the pastor and ask him what it was. Oh no, she could NEVER do that. Of course, I told her she could, but she refused. Or his wife. Oh no. You just can’t do that. (Can someone please explain to me WHY one cannot do this???)
We talked a little more. She said she was so stressed trying to find it. I asked why it would be so stressful? And she informed me that she had been up until the wee hours of the previous night trying to find it, and her DAD didn’t know and if I didn’t know…well, she was stressed.
So, I suggested maybe Song of Solomon had something like that…She looked it up. Apparently for the first time. She started reading…
“Oh my goodness! That man’s a pervert!”
I started laughing. She continued to exclaim about the details she read. She was clearly SHOCKED that those verses could even BE in the Bible. She did not want to read any further.
“Well, in the context of marriage, it is beautiful,” I said.
I shared that maybe the preacher had used several different passages and created a composite of them with an explanation that she THOUGHT were actual verses, but were really his words.
Then I had an idea.
“Why don’t you check to see if the message was recorded and listen to it again? Then you will hear it again.”
“Oh, mom. You are so SMART!”
I almost fainted. How many years had I waited to hear those words! And NOT said dripping with sarcasm!
We got off the phone, and I started thinking about the conversation.
Superman and I have traveled a very painful road with our daughter. She has learned many lessons through a lot of pain that left a lot of scars. We have learned more about ourselves, and about God, as we have been on this journey. But mostly, we have learned how very much God loves His children, and works in our lives for His glory.
That God even loves us at all is such a gift.
That He is patient and long-suffering, well, that is just His grace and mercy.
That He doesn’t leave us is a promise I know I can believe.
So when my daughter was stressing over finding some verses, I could see how much God had done in her heart.
Kind of like rocks.
Diamonds and rubies and other precious jewels are not mined out of the ground in a condition to wear and show how valuable they really are.
The rocks ARE valuable because of what can happen when a master stone cutter takes that raw stone and chisels away those things that detract from its value and beauty. As the stone is hammered and polished, it is transformed into something so beautiful.
That is what God does to a hard heart when it is yielded to Him. He loves that heart. He molds it. He creates a thing of beauty out of something that wasn’t before.
And only a Master can do that.
And I am so, so, so thankful that He chooses to transform us, day by day, moment by moment.
God is so good.