STIRRING THE POT
I started journaling 19 years ago after my sweet Mama went to be with Jesus. Up until that point, I had only written newsletter updates for our ministry support team. But without any earthly parents, writing became a way for me to express myself to God, my Heavenly Father, as well as chronicling the spiritual lessons I was learning. I was an early riser, everyday, in those days. My norm was 5am. I loved the quiet before our busy days of schooling began.
With the passing of time, I accumulated quite a large collection of journals. In the newness of it all, I had fun choosing designs & receiving these resources as gifts. Over time, I discovered that the traditional spiral notebook still served my purposes the best. As I would share my lessons/writings with Steve, he would repeatedly say that I should write a devotional. My response was always the same. “Devotionals are a dime a dozen. Who would read what I wrote anyway?” With that mindset, I pretty much shelved the idea. I’m thankful for my journals. Rereading them is kind of like looking at photographs. It stimulates memories, both good & bad. But the best thing is, it reminds me of God’s faithfulness. It’s easy to see His plan interwoven in the tapestry of my life and it’s plain to see that He’s literally held me together, through thick & thin.
That being said, to this present day, I’ve asked Steve to destroy my journals, should I die before I have the opportunity to edit them. My heart & soul, my tears & reactions, my joys & misgivings – are laid bare, & raw, on those pages. It’s a working out of my salvation that’s just too personal! And could be misinterpreted. Other people, even family, don’t necessarily need to know the intimate details I experienced to gain understanding of my lessons. So in May, when friends & family suggested I write about my experience after being diagnosed with breast cancer, I initially thought, “Here we go again. Nobody will read my blog.” Somewhere in the process, I lost sight of the focus on people & I just started sharing what God was doing in my heart. It’s my story, my testimony…hopefully for His glory. There is no limit to what He wants to show me. Along the way I started praying, “Lord, just touch one person. Draw someone to Yourself by what You’ve done in my life. That will be enough.” Then I narrowed that prayer down even more specifically. When I am gone from this earth, who do I want to impact, the most, through what I’ve written? Even more than my adult girls (who already know me), I want to leave an honest legacy of personally learned TRUTH, that will be available to my grandchildren. Presently, they range in age from 14 years old to 6 months. This includes Phoebe, Zion, Victoria, Grace, Wyatt, Montana, Logan, Gabriella, & Ezekiel. I want them to continue knowing me, after I’m gone. Maybe my writing will encourage their faith in Jesus Christ, alone, in a generation that looks to be veering, off course, to lesser gods. As I tell them now, I carry them in my heart always. We are united by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus. When I’m in heaven, may that union continue, with all of them.
This week I read through 2 Peter. In two places he says that though he knows death is imminent -- while he’s alive, the Lord Jesus has made it clear that he should “stir you ( that includes us) up by way of reminder.” The first mandate is in chapter 1:13-15. His diligence is for the purpose that when he dies, they will be able to recall the truth in their minds. He establishes his credibility by reminding them that he was an eyewitness to Jesus’ baptism, after which he warns them against false teaching. (1:16- 2:22) Then he restates the purpose of his letter, again, in chapter 3, verses 1&2. “I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken…” Right then & there I said aloud,” This is it, Lord! This is why I write.”
Any of you who have experience in the kitchen know the value of “stirring the pot.” Blending ingredients makes for better flavor in the long run & is necessary for the desired outcome. Under the conditions of sudden heat (trials), stirring keeps food from burning. I think we can all see the spiritual parallels here. Writing is my way of stirring, both now, & after I’m gone from this earth. Perhaps my grands will read & be reminded – of my love for them, of our memories together, & that Jesus Christ wants to be their very Life, if He isn’t already.
Proverbs 17:6 says “grandchildren (literally children, descendants) are the crown of old men…” I believe the main difference between parenting & grandparenting is, in general, parents see the liabilities while grandparents see the potential. Parents are irritated by seeing their own flesh habits/responses in their children. Grandparents see that hearts matter a whole lot more than an outward change of behavior. From where I sit today, not much matters except loving the Lord with everything in you. And loving the people He has put in your life…starting with family. Nothing else matters for eternity. What do you take with you to heaven? Nothing! But WHO you influenced to receive Christ, as their very Life, will make all the difference in their eternity.
I love my grands! I don’t see them as often as I’d like to. Busyness, distance, & sometimes illness, interfere. So I pray for them. And I try to keep in touch in fun, spontaneous ways—as much as possible. But more importantly, I now write, to stir their minds to remember, to call up the truth, to be resolved in their faith, and to truly embrace their spiritual inheritance & legacy in Christ. When they remember/recall the faith of their Opa & Oma, may they be able to say, “The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; Thou dost support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed my heritage is beautiful to me.” (Psalm 16:5&6)