December 5 – Step By Step

The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him. Proverbs 20:7

Perfection is not required. Mistakes make the journey real. But an honest heart to do it right, causes even the stickiest of steps to work out in the long run.

I didn’t set out to make excuses for being late. Nor did I want to be known as argumentative and touchy when things didn’t go my way. That’s the truth. But the fact that I was just that kind of individual once upon a time is also very true.

But one day, the help I needed to “become the me I wanted to be” showed up. It came in the form of a stern word of criticism from a respectable, established man.

“You are often late. I don’t like that about you.” I quickly knee-jerked and responded with, you guessed it, a very reasonable excuse. “Son, turn around and read that sign on the back of the door.”  It read:

Tools of incompetence
that lead to monuments
of nothingness
Those good at excuses
are seldom good
at anything else

I was embarrassed, quite perturbed and shocked. But my deep desire to not be late, full of “excuses” and ill-tempered moved me to accept the correction.

That was one of the highlights of my character-carving days. And now, my children benefit from the integrity of innocent ignorance on a daily basis. Their daddy is not perfect. They know, however, when he misses it, he wants to know and he longs to make it right.

Don’t hide behind the pride of “how dare you talk to me that way” or “that’s none of your business.” If there is any validity to the claim, let it make you a “better you.”

Otherwise, bitterness will set in and one day you will look around and space is all you’ll have to keep you company!

God-loyal people, living honest lives, make it much easier for their children. Proverbs 20:7 MSG

October 6 – The Keeping Quilt

Hatred starts fights, but love pulls a quilt over the bickering.  Proverbs 10:12 MSG

One of my favorite children’s books is entitled “The Keeping Quilt” written by Patricia Polacco. The story centers around a special quilt made by a Russian woman who migrates to America that will help her and her family remember their home country.   Throughout four generations, the quilt is used as a tablecloth, a huppa (a wedding canopy) and welcomes new babies.

The quilt in this story is the perfect picture for our proverb.

Sometimes we don’t see eye to eye. It can be so easy to see someone else’s mistake while our own mistakes are piled to the sky. My latest response to a fuss between some of our children was this: “Would you still care about being right if your sister or brother weren’t here? Would you rather be right, or happy?”

I think this line of thinking could easily sum up Jesus’ whole mission statement while on earth.  If I really dig deep, I know there’s a way to see God’s love covering not only my wrongs, but other’s wrongs, too. Thank God that love can be right, no matter what we’ve done wrong. 

Love is the “keeping quilt.” Keep it close and it can cover any offense!

Jennifer 🙂