Funerals

Today I went to a funeral. It was not someone I knew, but the mother of one of my husband’s closest friends.  When her son got up to speak he read a poem that is apparently popular, but not one I had heard.   Here it is, with the credit to the author who has a book out by the same name.

The Dash Poem
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end

He noted that first came her date of  birth
And spoke of the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

Lately I have been thinking about dying. I am not sure why, but I have been. I guess because I am getting up there in years, even though I do not want to admit it.

I have thought about my family and wonder. I wonder if they all know how much I love them. That I love them all equally, want the best for them all and pray blessings on their lives.  I wonder a lot about a lot of things.

When this poem was read I wondered some more. Wondered if my life has made the difference that God wanted me to make when He made me. The circumstances HE allowed in my life, did I respond as HE wanted? The students I taught ESL to, did I make a difference in their lives, not just with English.

How have I impacted my world for HIM?

If My dash ends tomorrow, will my family remember me as this family remembered their mom? Will my kids all get along and work out things together, or will they be at odds like some there today?

Will others remember me in a positive way?

It hit me today more than before since this has been on my mind lately. Will my “dash” be worthwhile to be on my tombstone? or should it just be left off?

Will yours?

We have one life to live, we have no idea how long or short it will be. As the old verse goes:

Only one life will soon be past
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Let’s make our dash count for HIM.

A Promise Made is…

broken. I know I was going to post about my vacation with my family. I promised in my other blog. I will, soon.  I always believed “A promise made is a debt unpaid” so it will happen.

There has been much going on inside me that I still can’t put into words. I am thinking much, discouraged about things in the world, in churches and in my own life. As I read and learn more and more of what God says I see how much I lack in my life and see how much the churches today are pulling away from Doctrine and what God’s word teaches and going the way of the world, but with a tone that sounds like it is right.

The Bible talks of the last days and what will happen to churches, pastor’s and people. Folks we are there! Frankly, it is both scary and exciting! Do you realize our Savior could call us from the clouds and we could be on our way up to meet Him in the air? This is next on the agenda!

Today I was reading in Colossians and came to this verse:

Colossians 3:17  “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

The bold is mine. Think about your day, your thoughts, your words and your deeds. What have you done in His name? Everything we do should be done in His Name. EVERYTHING! We so often categorize things. Some we just do not think about doing for the Lord. When we clean, who are we doing it for? Should be done to please HIM.

This chapter is interesting as from here it goes on to talk about family relations as well and then says:

Whatever you do, do your work heartily as for the Lord rather than men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.  (verse 23-24).

Read the verses in between as well, but I want to hit on what we do, all we do, whether it be cleaning the toilet, making dinner or teaching Sunday School. Who are you doing it for?

We represent the Lord in all we do if we are saved. He is coming again, and the way the world is setting up it will be soon. Are you ready? IS what you are doing today something you will be pleased to be doing when HE comes? Will the things on your computer please HIM?  Or the things under your mattress? Hiding in your garage?  Or the attitude when you obey your husband? Or your lack of respect for your husband?

Remember: All we do is for Him, and we will face HIM for all we do. Let’s do all to please Him!

The Proverbs Woman

The Perfect Wife and Mother from Proverbs 31:10 to 31:

10An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
14She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
15She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.
16She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
18She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.
20She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and )purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
25Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
26She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29“Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
30Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.

Do you notice anything? I do. I am not her.  When I work on sewing, my house falls apart. A 2 year old makes sure of it, as do the dishes from the last meal (or 2 or 3).

I can’t get my money to stretch to buy supplies.

My creativity gets lost somewhere at times.

When things get to me I want to just sit. I am tired. My brain gets fried. I get to missing my family that is not in Texas.

More creativity leaves.

I am a naturally creative person. I have made things work by using what I have. Sometimes I fill this way more than others. Right now, I feel like a failure.

Do you notice that it says in verse 30 that a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised? It is the most important thing. Even through the slow times, the trying times, the stress times, if we fear the Lord we will come through it.

Stress! Yes, that is it. Stress hinders creativity. Stress tires. Stress short circuits the brain. When stress is allowed it smothers out trusting and fearing the Lord.

Maybe my husband’s hours at work have been cut. Maybe vacation to see my family is not looking possible. Maybe things at the house are falling apart. Maybe the sewing is not getting done or the business not going anywhere right now. Maybe ….  BUT am I trusting the Lord? Is my faith and fear in Him? My dependency for all of this?  How about my creativity itself? Maybe a test? Am I failing?

We women think we are super women, and when we read Proverbs we think we should be. However, read that verse 30 again… and again. It is by fearing the Lord that we can be that super woman. It is HIm in us. It is His guidence, doing things His way and trusting. We get burned out on our own.

Read Proverbs. Start with the beginning and read a chapter or less a day. You will find so much for us women. Do we build our home or tear it down? How does God expect us to be in the home?  Are we a dripping faucet? A control freak? A boss? hmmmmmmmmmm ?  If so, we are not fearing the Lord.

Where is your beauty?

Today I was reading some in the Proverbs. I find so much for life in there and every so often take a month and just read a Proverb a day. There are reminders, promises, admonitions as well as life lessons and humor.

While reading today I came across this verse:

As a gold ring in a swine’s snout, so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion. Proverbs 11:22

Now, imagine a gold ring in a pigs nose. Think about it. A wallowing in the mud, snorting pig. Does it make that mud caked smelly pig look any better? Does it hide all the dirt?

Now, think of a beautiful woman. We all know many of them, or have known of them. How many of them are so beautiful outside, but what are they inside?

Many of us grew up trying to make the outside better and found we could only go so far. The world has made us feel like we are lesser, unwanted, lower than the pretty ones out there. So many of us believed what was said, believed we were inferior and even as adults and out of that teen age we still have that stuck in our heads somewhere.

While it is not wrong to work on looking out best, we need to worry more about our inside beauty. I have met some very beautiful woman who were the nastiest  people inside. I have met some very beautiful woman who used that beauty to lure men into wrong relationships.

Are you working on your discretion?  Do you know right from wrong? How to manage your home? How to bite your tongue? Use your words wisely? Love your husband? Your children? What kind of mommy do you become when your kids disobey? Or what kind of wife when you and your hubby disagree?  Are you controlling or can you compromise, work thing out and keep calm?

Let’s work on our inner beauty and discretion. Do what we can, within reason, on the outside, but make that inside  beautiful. Proverbs 31:30 says

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

Do we want the praise of our Lord as well as our husband and children or the oogling of the men out there and the jealousy of other women?