28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11: 28 – 30
Our daughter received a small rocking chair for her first birthday. Subsequent children used it, but it’s always been “Mary’s rocker”. Our granddaughter, Annalyn, used it for a couple of years, until she figured out she was a "big girl".
Like most educators, the day school gets out for winter break is like a opening a seemingly endless gift. The days of sleeping in, eating out, and not grading papers roll out like a red carpet.
And then I got home.
In October, Tom and I adopted a petite, but older playmate for Maisie from a friend. Maisie and Prissy got off to a rocky start, probably because Prissy was absolutely the sweetest cat we'd ever had. Maisie is more spoiled than sweet.
Sadly, Prissy began losing weight almost immediately after we adopted her. She was showing the same diabetic symptoms our cat, Magellan, had.
The afternoon school got out, Prissy could barely drag herself to the door to greet me like she usually did. The food the vet had prescribed a few days earlier was too late. The follow up appointment was coming too late.
Sweet, sweet Prissy died in my arms later that evening.
Flashback to last summer: I decided it would be a good idea to get a betta fish for two of my special friends at school to take care of. And so I did. His name is Bob.
Back to winter break. Bob's journey home for winter break started off rocky when his travel carton sprung a leak. So instead I used a coffee mug with a small ziploc over it to take Bob home. Unfortunately, Bob managed to leap out of the mug on the way, but did manage to stay in the box with my other treasures.
We got Bob into his tank in Tom's bathroom. So far, so good. Then it was Christmas and life got hectic. I thought Tom was feeding Bob. Tom didn't tell me that he hadn't seen Bob for several days.
Are you kidding me? Had we managed to lose not one, but two pets in less than a week? Where was Bob?
I may not be a card carrying member of PETA, but I really do care about our pets. Bob couldn't be seen in his tank, or lying prostrate on the vanity. Where was Bob?
Somehow in the craziness of holidays, pet casualties, and being MIA, the Lord spoke a gentle reminder to me.
7 Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?
I briefly thought about times in my life when I'd felt lost. Times I'd strayed from my Heavenly Father's side. Times of grief for those I loved. Times of shame, and disappointment.
Dear Reader, have you ever felt lost? The Good Shepherd has encouragement, just for you.
3 So he told them this parable: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
When I finally made myself clean out Bob's tank, guess what I found? Yep! Bob had gotten himself stuck in the plastic grass he loved so much at the bottom of the tank.
As soon as the artificial turf was removed, Bob alive and swimming. He was a little weak and a lot hungry, but already on his way to a full recovery.
Maybe Bob isn't a talking donkey or a heavenly host, but the Lord used that little fish to remind me of a big lesson: we can never get lost from the Savior's love and grace.
Maybe it's the shorter days. Perhaps it's all the rainy days we've had lately. Or one more birthday without Mama a couple of weeks ago, or Granddaddy's birthday coming up this weekend. Maybe it's the upcoming season of family gatherings.
When I landed on "Boondocks" by Little Big Town on the car radio, I could hear the rain.
In a flash,lyrics about rain and a tin roof immediately put me back on the front porch of a sharecropper's house one Sunday afternoon. I could feel the breeze on my cheek, barely cooling us off in the Georgia heat.
The wooden floor creaked in rhythm to rocking chairs while squeaking overhead beams harmonized with the swaying of the front porch swing. I could feel the damp slats on the backs of my legs.
And I could hear the rain on the tin roof. What a soothing backdrop to the rustle of newspapers, the chuckles of brothers and cousins, and the sing-song of mothers and aunts in the kitchen!
Psychologists and positive thinking gurus call it our "happy place". I call it home. Home, a place where I know I'm loved and safe.
Where is that place for you? Dear Reader, I fervently pray you are as blessed as me to have known/know a place of safety and love. Whether you have or haven't, you can take comfort in knowing Jesus has promised such a home for you:
Jesus said, “Don’t be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. 2 There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back. Then I will take you with me, so that you can be where I am.
Hi, my name is Alice. A Way with Words is about sharing faith,
fun, & encouragement. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you find a little something to take
Please consider helping
EVERY KID COUNT by donating to:
FREE reading and writing tips shared each month.