Snow Day?

A bit of Language we’re working on today..

Well, we’ve made it through two full weeks of school since the New Year. I feel so privileged to be a mom able to stay home with two of our boys to oversee their education. Though, as many teachers could testify, there are days that will test ones ability to remain patient, kind, loving, or for that matter…civil in any sense of the word. Since I endeavor to teach our kids these things as well as hard facts in books having two weeks of trying days has put me to the test. 

After a Christmas break full of activities, sugar in excess, and new things to play with it has been so hard to get back in a routine. I spend at least thirty minutes each morning encouraging the brain activity of a third grader. Its like priming a very slow pump on a cold morning. Not to make it sound like he is not bright, he is just going in every direction except toward his stack of books and pencils. 

Today has begun this way. Again. It is now going on eleven am-with only one subject two pages in length today to show for it. While it sounds like I am complaining I truly am not. It’s just been hard to re-engage. A freedom in homeschooling is that when I see that something isn’t  working we can unplug, breathe, then begin afresh. There aren’t multiple students to keep up with. On days like today I’m thankful that we have the freedom to stop everything for a look at the falling snow. He also doesn’t realize the entire county has a snow day today while he does not. Its too yucky out to play in it anyway so why tell him? I’ll give him a perfectly beautiful day to play instead….because I can. Our year should be finished in May this way- when all of the frogs, birds, and a yard full of muddy grass reappear. These are things an 8 year old boy thrive on. Besides, we are taking Monday for a field trip outing. Henry Ford Museum offers free admission in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day and its a great place to visit. We will wander aisles of history that thoughtful people have preserved for our future. I get to be a parent chaperone and a teacher at the same time. Its a pretty cool thing to be able to show my son the theater seat Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when assassinated. Rather than words in black and white history is alive in full color. I see it in his eyes. 

When brain waves appear to be unmoving on a day like today I have peace knowing God made us each to learn in different ways at different rates. We are not ahead or behind. Hopefully we are learning in ways in which he will remember things far into his future rather than forgetting them the moment they’re scratched on a paper. 

Happy Snow Day everyone. We will be catching up with you later!

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No Resolutions. just purpose.

Sitting here in the quiet (well, as quiet as it ever gets around here) my mind wandered to the New Year only hours away. The guys had set out for the last hunting hurrah before the curtain fell on 2017 yesterday afternoon so I had a few moments on my hands to think.

Ever since I was old enough to ponder time I’ve looked at New Years with a skeptical eye. That fact shows my true colors as I hesitate to look at 365 calendar spaces with peace. They are blanks. Unknown by anyone but God Himself and as I struggle to relinquish control over the year I remind myself He has each one of them filled. Not only filled, but laid out in an orderly organized fashion. Because I don’t know what those spaces are filled with a sense of panic starts to arise until I tell myself the truth: I’m not in control anyway. There will be good as well as bad. There will be things that catch us off guard and still more things that seem to not change.

2017 was a test for me in many ways….especially the last quarter. Yet in retrospect I see Gods hand guiding me all the way. On several occasions He even gave me prior warning for things that were about to happen. That “Still Small Voice” we read of actually exists, but could be easily missed or disregarded. I did that on a few occasions too…realizing too late I’d missed what God had tried to tell me. The yellow flashing light turned brilliant red as I plowed right on through with life.

As I contemplate 2018 my heart cries out for pause….not a pause of rest but a pause of purposeful contemplation not unlike that of a soldier before marching out to battle. The world continues to spin in its perpetual violence but Matthew 11:12 tells me that the Kingdom of Heaven advances forcefully too, and that it will be by pressing in that we know Him better. Only by listening to our marching orders and following them will we know how to proceed through this year.

The word purpose repeats in my head. A year of purpose. As I talked to God I said “every year has purpose…so what does that mean???” I think, for me at least., it means to attack each day (violently- meaning ‘with tenacity’ -if necessary) with purpose… Like that soldier who is thinking strategy. If our adversary, the devil, attacks with specific intent how can I expect to move forward in any way letting his attacks just advance- with me always on the defensive line. This is no New Years resolution..I feel an intensity about it. Like this is vitally important. No more can I, or the church at large, just sit on its hind end thinking its spreading a good word without ever even taking up its swords. Do “Christians” even read their Bibles anymore? Do they know what it says? Or better yet…Do what it says? I say this not in condemnation, but with urgency. The heat is increasing out there and I want to be able to take it.

I learn best by visuals. God made me so He knows this! As we turned that midnight page this morning we wrapped things up to head to bed.  Happy New Year! Upon letting the dogs out for a final time I saw them run and begin to bark. Too late I heard the yips of coyotes too close and panic rose. Thankfully the dogs responded to the sound of a bag of treats and came running back, but not before I saw unfriendly shadows retreating from the corner of our pasture as well. They were only a momentary blip in the bright full moon…but suddenly I was aware we were not alone. We had an enemy who had just moments before been very close to home.  With the dogs safe inside I alerted my husband who went out to take a look. He was met with silence. All was now well. Or was it??? Minutes passed and when our son realized what was going on he went back out for another look. A pair of coyotes had doubled back. They were making their way closer once again…the enemy wasn’t giving up- but we almost had tucked in for the night. Thankfully our son had grabbed his gun so with the snows’ clear reflection of the moon a clean shot shot was made to one of the large approaching males. He received a fatal blow and sent a warning to any others: we mean business. That picture completed my thoughts for this upcoming year. We have to be on alert.  We must mean business. In the spiritual realm the stakes are higher than ever as our enemy senses time drawing shorter and he gets increasingly desperate. This sounds dark and complex…but recall we had a moon to highlight the danger. God doesn’t leave us in the dark. There are hints, signs, warnings we need only to take heed to. On purpose.

Image of the super moon over Detroit

The Gift of Giving-Part 2

Clear back in September our middle son approached me about getting his dad a bow for Christmas. He has wanted a new one for a very long time but cash for expensive extras just doesn’t surface too often. The old bow was neither practical nor safe at its age so this avid hunter just didn’t bow hunt anymore.

Apparently the idea had been talked about amongst the siblings already and they had thought of how to make this happen. Bringing what everyone collectively would spend together, with substantial donations of their own, they knew they could make this happen.

Enter the realist. Mom. Those expectant brown eyes looked at me while I gave him all of the reasons for my hesitation. “I would love for your dad to have a fine new bow but do you know how much that’s going to cost? How are you going to get everyone on board? What about this? What about that?” His face fell and within moments of his walking away the conviction fell on me heavily. By the next day God had dealt with me pretty severely so it was time for a heart to heart. I apologized and told him I’d support the effort 100%  He needed to follow his heart…what God had placed in there wasn’t for me to take away. His desire to surprise dad caught fire.

The next couple of months flew by and so many times we thought the secret would be blown. The money came in and day by day the plan became more concrete. Within the last few days the final pieces fell together like it was meant to be…because it was. 

Yesterday each of us was a bit nervous as the Day had arrived. I had gotten him to agree to buying arrows at their favored hunting store (as a Christmas present) on our way to a family ice cream outing. Our parents were even going to meet us for ice cream to celebrate our Marine sons homecoming.. .’per his request’. Only when we walked into the store they were hiding behind a unit of shelves waiting with cameras….what? He was so confused. As the young man who dreamed of surprising his dad handed over an envelope stuffed with money the realization of what was happening began to dawn. Through misty eyes he said “I was here to buy you arrows!”…”yes, I know” came the reply. “I’ve been blindsided!”…the recipient of a brand new bow was dumbfounded..

A boys smile in the background pretty much says it all…and a downward gaze of awe from the recipient made the rest of us teary eyed.

Success. The carefully plotted surprise fell into place perfectly as a room of spectators got to see how much this man is loved. All thanks to a teenage boy willing to take on a larger than average gift and then proceeding to convince everyone else it was possible. The Gift didn’t just consist of a bow…everyone present got a piece of Christmas joy last night.

The Gift of Giving

As it gently snows outside this morning I sit watching over our boys as they do their schoolwork. My mind is buzzing with all that needs to be accomplished this week. The list seems long but I’m not anxious about it this year. If the cookies don’t get baked we all will survive. I’m sure the guys would like their annual puppy chow mix to munch on but I keep forgetting to buy the Crispix. I shrug my shoulders and breathe an audible “MEH!” 

I’m not depressed, discouraged, or feeling grinchy. Things are just slower paced this year and I’m okay with that. 

This year I’m really enjoying watching our kids more than anything. I’ve heard it said that Christmas is for the children-but what I’m seeing is the fruit of focusing on what Christmas is really about when the kids were younger. Making Jesus the center of our festivities has developed hearts open to giving now that they are older.  Our kids were never deprived of gifts, they just knew that those were bonuses. 

What has tickled my heart this year is watching our kids bubble with excitement over giving gifts. I’ve watched them save their money and slip away to the store together, or hide to view and order from Amazon lists. Having children in a range of ages allows me to sit back now and watch it all go down without my prompting or interference.

In our daughters room sits a pile of neatly stacked wrapped boxes. She’s further ahead of the game than I am and it makes me glow. About a week ago I mentioned to her that I hoped she didn’t feel obligated to purchase gifts because she’s 20 and earns a paycheck. Her response- “I want to! I’ve always wanted to have my own money so I could do this!” The end. No hesitation. Her heart is full of the joy of giving. Our boys are enjoying it too. 
The youngest has taken on extra little chores to earn money so he can get things for his siblings. Even our middle son, who doesn’t tend to get excited about much of anything, has joined the festivities. I can’t divulge his plans, but I’m taken aback by the size of his heart.

This year I’m thankful for the opportunity to sit back and observe. I see the God who gives to us lavishly being reflected in our children. Its not about things….just the willingness to be free with what we’ve been given. I’m looking forward to seeing the smiles on their faces when they get to give their gifts this year knowing the joy they’ve shared planning and concocting together.

An Oversized Christmas

A flurry of holiday activities has begun in our home, as I’m sure they have in yours as well. To hold to tradition we went to get our Christmas tree this last Sunday on the weekend after Thanksgiving. If we’re going to spend good money on a live tree I want to have it around for the whole month of December. 

Because our eldest is enlisted he is away from home, but he still likes to take part in our traditions as much as possible. Thanks to technology we have skyped the tree selection and cutting adventure for the past couple of years. I’m sure the depth/size of the tree is lost in translation judging on this years choice.

We got a later start than normal this time around so the afternoon sun was already casting shadows when we set out for a tree farm. Thankfully it is only about ten miles away. This place was new to us so naturally I wanted to see all they had to offer before making a decision. As my family trudged behind me making suggestions not a single tree grabbed my attention. Too short, too dead, too tall, too thin, too poky… I found one at the back of the lot with a mass of pretty pinecones at the top. No one else was convinced of its beauty. So onward we went. Ahead of me I heard mutual approval of a very large Norwegian spruce. By the time I arrived the phone was being held at different vantage points around the tree for a long distance decision. I was unsure. Out in a field, surrounded by other trees, its easy to lose focus on the size of your living room. If it looked big outside…????? It was as if it had swallowed another tree. Already it had been lovingly named ‘fat boy’ by the family. In my heart I knew that if they had named it, it would be coming home with us. “You guys- its huge!” I protested. Since I’ve been accused of making the annual tree decision on my own despite family input in the past I had to stop. My last question, “how’s that going to fit through the door?” was met with , “that sounds like a challenge!”….coming from our long distance accomplice (who, by the way, would be having no part in its transfer, set up, or decoration process.) Family pictures and its cutting commenced at dusk. The trees former owner took our money, laughed at its newly given name, and gave us a look that hinted toward a ‘good luck with that’.

After a quick bite of supper and the clearing of a corner in the living room the guys trimmed a bit and commenced to bringing the beast inside. Flexible healthy branches were a must in this case because they were pressed almost flat on two sides coming through the doorways. Once erected and smashed into the corner I had visions of the National Lampoons movie. I watched as branches extended farther than any of its predecessors. We had to move the TV….and it still can only be viewed from one side of the room as there is no clear vantage point through the forest of limbs on the other. 
Next task- decorating. My husband, son,  and daughter went on an emergency run for more lights. Truthfully, even with the added extras it’s still dark in spots. There’s no way I could wrap them around. The thing is over 7 feet across at its base and there’s no room to wriggle behind in the corner. I had to go up and down with the lights section by section. Ornaments were another matter. We have 24 years of married accumulation plus some from our childhood. Our children each have their own ornaments. Still not enough. They look dwarfed. Like I need some 12″ globes to hang as well just for comparable dimension. It’s not perfect. It took a lot of effort. It fills about half of our living room with a gentle glow and almost every ornament we’ve been given over the years. It holds a lifetime of pleasant memories. It holds joy- and years of jokes to come. It is perfect for us. When our long distance son gets to be here for Christmas he will see it in person and laugh. He will giggle actually- knowing that it was mostly the comment “challenge accepted” that landed a tree large enough for a town square in our living room. 
Merry Christmas! May your imagination and sense of wonder never be doused by the size of a living room.

Precious Time

…and there she goes: through the large sliding glass doors she walks away without a backward glance as we drive from the busy drop-off lane. A mutual friend and I had taken someone precious to the airport to catch her return flight. We “kicked her to the curb” more to keep from tearful meltdowns than to keep my van running. A warning that my alternator was draining my battery became a secondary, and convincing, reason to follow through on avoiding long drawn out goodbyes.

Goodbyes. They are super hard when the person leaving lives over three thousand miles away, its been over a year and a half since you last saw her, and she holds a great big chunk of your heart. I am ever so grateful to have the opportunity for even five minutes to hug her. 

When I heard that her dad was not doing well I knew that a trip to Michigan would be in the works. She spent the week with her family for much needed time together before my husband and I were able to bring her back to her second family downstate after the memorial service. My heart was heavy for her, but the long awaited embrace was medicine for my soul maybe even more than hers.

A friend you can pray with, laugh with, and share life’s ups and downs with is a rare gem. We love her whole family like our own so the announcement they were moving to Alaska years back was heartwrenching. God knows what He’s doing but its still painful at times none the less. I also have to thank Him for the internet, texting, and good long distance cell service. The miles are at least bareable that way. 

We used to see each other almost every week- and talk more on the phone besides that. Our husbands worked together, children played together, and we share so much in common. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and cherish those evenings playing cards after dinner even more. I was unaware of their expiration date. I can do nothing more than take advantage of the scattered conversations and infrequent visits. That makes her even more precious to my heart. Distance makes the heart grow fonder isn’t just an old saying in this case. God has joined our hearts in such a way that not even 3000 miles can separate them.

When a short visit cannot possibly fit in all you want to say and do (and others are vying for her attention as well) only a few words and some shared laughter span the minutes. Mostly I just wanted to sit across from her and take it all in. Like savoring anything of value I was lost just soaking up all I could. And just like that, she’s slipped away again…until the next time.

Prepping for another goodbye …love you my friend!

Thankful

The last couple of weeks have been a blur-hence no blog post. I’ve been reading Max Lucado’s new book Anxious For Nothing and the timing is perfect. God knows. Being anxious doesn’t just happen when I’m going through a rough time in life, everyday occurrences can create underlying pressures which fly under the radar. Good things can create just as much chaos as bad when focus is on the things.

Daily schoolwork, wonky head squeezing sinus pressure, drivers ed sessions, a dear friend who’s lost her father, and the purchase of a truck are just a few of the stressors that I have given over to someone much larger than I. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in things.

Over the last week I’ve practiced a slowdown. Oh I was still busy, and those things- good and bad- kept rolling over me, but I made myself take the time to look out the window when the sun was shining and thank God for it. Thankfulness isn’t just something we are to practice between halloween and Christmas. It is a lifestyle that first begins with a conscientious choice at times. It is a close friend to peace as well.

Our brains learn some things by repetition. Repetition forms habits.  When a habit of looking for things to be thankful for is formed the storm clouds of life look a little less ominous. They are still there but one can see the sky lightening behind them. 

Anxious thoughts are soon taken captive by ones that line up with Philippians 4:8 (NLT)….”fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Even if circumstances don’t change you’ll see that your whole world doesn’t revolve around them. ….but you’d be surprised how little by little the circumstances actually can change. A mindset aligned with Gods allows Him to do the work in your spirit, soul, and body. An anxious person quite often is a sick person regardless of their spiritual identity. I know so many who profess Christ, but are sick as dogs because they choose to carry their own loads. 1 Peter 5:7 was written not as a mere suggestion but as guidance for followers to be able to endure through tough times. It says to give ALL your worries and cares to God, for He cares for you. Many stop reading here, but the following verses go on to say that we have to be on alert watching for the devil and his tactics. He wants to destroy us. Remember that everyone goes through ‘life’ but God supports, restores, and strengthens us. So what’s the point here? Previous verses tell us to stay humble before God and men. When we follow this plan of humility we give our lives, our worries, to a God who helps lift us and restore us from enemy attack. Holding on to everything screams distrust and pride. One of my main takeaways from this passage is that Satan uses our own lives to destroy us….and sometimes we don’t even make it hard for him. He gets us to focus on ourselves rather than on the One who desires for us to dwell in Him. It sounds so simple- and it is. We make it hard.

I’m guilty. This last Saturday at a local flea market where my mom and I shared a booth my close, (in distance only), neighbor happened by. Barely have we shared words in almost nine years. I knew she had been through a tough year as I’ve seen her in the yard wearing only a scarf on her head instead of her normally stylish hair. The sadness poured over me as she told of the struggle she has faced, without knowledge of Him who was there to help her. Oh she’s made it through but I wasn’t a light in her life, and I have never introduced her to the source of light that would’ve made her journey much easier. I have been too caught up in my own cloud of anxious thoughts to see through to someone else’s.

Not only do our clouds affect us, they affect others. So another thing I’m thankful for today are times of correction.

Keeping Old Things Alive

The smell of coffee floating by in peoples hands as they pick through stacks of cards, books, and household items…

Crisp air breezes in through sliding barn doors erected long ago and catches my breath in wisps…

I haven’t been to a good auction in awhile so I was grateful for an opportunity to do so. For someone like me, who would rather have old things than new, the chance to fight other pickers with a bid re-energizes my lifeblood. I wore double layers and comfy shoes anticipating I’d be in that barn for the better part of the day.

An estate auction is like taking a tour of  someone’s personal museum. Their lives are laid out in neat rows ready to be reincarnated in the homes of countless others. I stared at the generations of family pictures hanging on the walls and wondered whose grandparents would be living in the home of a stranger.

When I win a bid and get to bring new life to someone else’s possessions I have a feeling of respect for them. Things are just things, but the fact that the wool blanket I brought home probably kept someone warm winter after winter brought a little warmth to my heart before I even got a chance to launder it. The wooden ironing board no doubt has kept at least one woman busy for hours, and I intend to use it too. Very seldom do I purchase things to flip them- or keep them just to stare at them. I like to use my old drying racks. If they’ve held some farmers bib overalls for fifty years I’m pretty sure a pair of blue jeans will dry on them just fine too….until my dogs or kids accidentally run into them busting them up forever. That has been the fate of the last five or so that I have bought. Have no fear, I didn’t burn the remnants. I repurposed each for one thing or another. The rack I bought yesterday is a sturdy one so I have high hopes for its continued lifespan. The kids have been warned.

I did make one impulse purchase yesterday. Tucked in between an old dresser mirror and a table sat an iron bed frame. There it leaned in pieces pretty much unnoticed until the auctioneer gave it a nod and a mention. I had seen it in the listing, and as I’ve always liked a pretty cast iron frame, I had taken a look in person earlier that morning. I could only hope I was alone in my pursuit. Usually cast iron pieces of any sort get bid up higher than I’m willing to pay so my hopes were kept on the low end.

As the sing song melody of bidding began no one bit until the opening bid sat a lowly two dollars. Trying not to appear eager or hopeful I jumped in and fought it out with only one or two other people to the twenty dollar mark. They bowed out and I stood in disbelief as the new owner of an iron day bed. All of the bedrooms in this home have beds so….

I understand that when my daughter parked the van here at home it was mentioned “what is she going to do with that?” by my son. I had stayed behind to watch a few other things sell while she came on home with the loaded vehicle. I’m a little glad I didn’t have to answer the initial questoning stares I would’ve received had I gone home with her and the bed. Momma’s no dumby. I used that time to think of ways to use a 70+ year old day bed. Like I said, I rarely buy anything just because I want it, so it sure did feel good. Maybe that’s reason enough this time.

I sat it up in the parlor this afternoon and now I like it even more. I’m getting a few ideas- but even if they don’t pan out I can always save it for a future guest bedroom. Someday maybe I’ll have grandkids who won’t mind sleeping in an old iron bed.

And so it goes. Round and round. One persons heirlooms becoming another’s. Its likely a number of my old things will disappear in the future too. Hopefully someone will value them enough to respect that at one time they were purposed and cherished; and then continue to do the same.

Auction Treasures

Clifford..the big red truck

When looking to replace a longstanding member of the family not just anyone will do. Almost every night my husband sits looking at photo after photo of possibilities. When, at long last, he thinks he finds a suitable candidate, then he makes the appropriate phone calls only to discover said candidate won’t fit the bill. Too many miles, too much rust, too many owners or a shady background….

Let me introduce you to Clifford. This 1997 Dodge truck has been the backbone of my husbands work/hauling needs since about 2006. With 277,000 miles he has begun to show age and disrepair equaling his 20 year lifespan. I’m constantly told that 500,000 miles isn’t unheard of on these engines…”he’s just gotten broken in”….but unfortunately Michigan winters may cause the engine to fall through the frame before we hit that mile marker. 

The search for his replacement has been ongoing but with another winter just over the horizon it has been a bit more serious. 

Not just any truck will do. It’s going to take a 4wd, heavy duty dually diesel to fit the bill. It has to be a Dodge: no ifs, ands, or buts. Given that Clifford has hauled his share for 20 years with almost all of his original parts I can’t fault my husband for wanting another just as good as him.

A few years back he went through a series of problems with fuel lines. Because of his age certain parts are harder to come by. Clifford was down for a few weeks while my husband called in reinforcements to fix the problem.  There have been times he wouldn’t start, times that other lines have broken leaving a trail of various fluids behind (and my husband stranded waiting for me on the side of the road). He never complains…my husband that is. He shrugs his shoulders and climbs wherever he needs to to mend the big red truck. I’ve stood back and cried, been frustrated, and then even gone so far as laying my hands on the hood declaring ‘You’re going to last until we don’t need you anymore!’ So far he has.

Just go buy another one! Easier said than done when the going rate for a new model with the needed specs runs about $50,000 on the low end. Yes, we could buy a small home for how much a new truck costs these days. Honestly- I know people with smaller mortgage payments.

I’m proud of my husband for putting us, our financial well-being, before doing what is “easy”. This summer after working long hot days he drove home with the windows down. 20 year old air conditioning has long since gone by the wayside. I hear him rumbling in from about a mile away ( I’m not even joking) and often whisper a prayer. ‘thank you God for this truck that has lasted so well for us…and thank you for your provision for what we need next…’

Yesterday we took the red beast out to the woods, trailer in tow, to get a load of wood. To reach our destination we have to drive down a fairly steep grade to where the trail leads through a valley. In the back of everyone’s mind is that what has gone down must come back up- only loaded. We filled that ole boy, and the trailer, and then breathed another prayer. I stayed behind to walk the trail back up and watched as my husband took a running start at the hill. Up and Up he roared. I’m curious how many miles away Clifford could be heard this time. I hoped I wouldn’t hear a horrific burst of the engine. Not surprisingly, like the little engine that could, we made it all the way back home without missing a beat. 

I think of the Israelites and how God made their clothing last for 40 years as they wandered. In Deuteronomy it tells us that their clothes didn’t wear out and their feet didn’t blister or swell. I guess this has been the heart of my prayer. Instead of wishing for more and better, can God make what we have last until He provides? I believe the answer is yes. 

Eventually this workhorse of a truck will turn completely to rust and be useful no more, but in the meantime he is a necessary part of my husbands’ livelihood. Clifford has been a member of our family since our children were ages 12, 9, and 5…our fourth wasn’t even thought of yet. They’ve grown up with the big red truck-hence the name Clifford after the big red dog who was a cartoon favorite. He’s the definition of what a hardworking truck is and I imagine that even once a replacement is found, Clifford will still have a home here.

Back to The Sea

Long ago on the Sea of Galilee unfolded a story that impacted my life today.

I found this image in an online gallery and loved it. These men fishing in the early hours of the day…

After many hours of fishing a man named Peter and some other fellow fishermen had come to shore. They had shared a long, tiring night with little to no results. I like the book of Luke’s account the best because it shows Peter’s heart in his response. There stands a man who is telling them to return to the sea and put out the nets again on the other side of the boat. ‘But why? We’ve been out all night. There’s nothing there. Don’t you think we tried that? I’m tired, and I don’t think it’ll work, but okay. Whatever you say.’ Back they go. Reluctantly. Alas, so many fish are caught it could only be a miracle. Suddenly there’s a realization who that man is on the shore.

Good story right. How could that impact my life today? As I listened to this referenced in a message this morning the simple passage hit my heart. 

I’m tired. I’m tired of fishing with what looks like little to no results. Long hours of work, and the fish are out there, but not in my nets. I come to shore, again. It would be so nice to sit here and watch….but then again I see other fisherman dragging in nets full of fish. Its disappointing. I have a pity party. There’s a man whom I recognize pointing back out to sea…”get back out there”, He says. I don’t want to. Been there. Done that. I have no desire to go fishing again right now, but since you seem to think it’ll work if I try again, I guess I need to. 

Tears rolled down my cheeks at the realization I’m living out Peter’s story in my own life. Jesus has told us the rewards are out there…when Peter accepted direction in obedience the results were overwhelming. Remember, these guys weren’t fishing for pleasure. It was their lively hood. They had returned to their boats after the death of Jesus. They were disheartened, felt lost and orphaned. They had money to make. No fish=no income. Seemingly there was no one to guide them anymore. This amazing turn of events gave them stability in many areas. Jesus knew they needed a good catch. He knew their faith needed a reboot too. When they returned to shore about to sink from the weight of such a catch there He was. Waiting. By a fire. Food and rest were waiting there too.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength. Just like the fisherman He sent back to sea. “Don’t give up. I’ll tell you what to do.” He quietly beckons.