Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 HCSB
For me, it was like nails on a chalkboard to walk into the bathroom and see that tiny tail at the very end of the roll of toilet paper just hanging there. There were at least a half dozen rolls, mere inches away, under the sink, but the PEOPLE living in my house were preoccupied with other things. We had had polite chats about being thoughtful to others by replacing the roll, but my repeated lectures had fallen on deaf ears.
Then there were the dirty shirts that would land just outside the laundry basket, shoes strewn on the rug and the backpacks that mysteriously landed in the middle of the entry hall floor. My favorite was the dirty glass that made it all the way to the dishwasher — except the last five inches, of course! Does anyone else feel my pain?
These things bugged the living daylights out of me. They still do to a certain extent, but much less so. I remember a day that I had just cleaned up several messes that I had found around the house. I walked in to the bathroom to find the dreaded empty roll of toilet paper sitting in the holder with another full roll balancing on top. I just about popped my cork when the Lord spoke to my heart and said, “You won’t always have these messes to clean up.”
I just about popped my cork when the Lord spoke to my heart and said,
“You won’t always have these messes to clean up.”
It’s been ten years. It wasn’t long after that whisper from the Lord that my first husband, Jim, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He passed away at only 59. Since then, our children have grown up, moved out and taken their messes with them. It’s interesting that they are better at tidying up their homes than they were ours. Imagine that!
There hasn’t been a backpack in the middle of the entry hall floor for years now. The mess makers have left the building. But along with their messes, they took the giggles from upstairs, the goodnight kisses, proud report cards displayed on the fridge and their beautiful, bliss-covered faces as they took a bite out of a warm, chocolate chip cookie. Children are a gift from God.
Children are a gift from the Lord. They are a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3 NLT
The things that were once so irritating are now bittersweet. It wasn’t until they were taken away that I realized how many beautiful blessings went with them.
Kids and spouses make messes, beloved. They do things that get under our skin, give us sleepless nights and add grey hairs to our heads. There is a cost to love, but I think the vast majority of the time it’s a bargain for what we receive in return. Children grow up and leave the nest. Parents and grandparents pass away. So do spouses, and even children, sometimes.
Enjoy your family while you have them. Some day you will look back on the frustrations of today and see them through distinctly different lenses. Time has a way of softening the sharp edges— it puts a filter on our thoughts that allows the sweet cream of our memories to rise to the top. Look for the cream now!
The things that were once so irritating are now bittersweet.
It wasn’t until they were taken away
that I realized how many beautiful blessings went with them.
Don’t feel sorry for this old woman. “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21 God, in His infinite mercy, has blessed me with another wonderful husband. And wouldn’t you just know it? He does the exact same stuff! I took this photograph this morning and I had to laugh. The annoyance of yesterday has been tempered by hard lessons learned from grief. Count it all joy when there are messes in your house, beloved, It means there are mess makers living there!
Heavenly Father, I lift the dear one reading this. Give us a revelation about the other side of our situational coins. Help us to focus our attention on the joy and not the irritation—on the blessings that share our lives, not just the dirty laundry they create. Help us to live in the moment so the busyness of the day does not steal our treasure. Help us to appreciate what, and even more, WHO, we have in our lives—annoyances and all, because this, too, shall pass. Help us to enjoy them now, lest they pass us by and we are left to enjoy them only from the vantage point of our rear view mirror. We ask that with a shift of focus that we might be able to look back on today with a deep and abiding satisfaction instead of regret. Father, we thank You for our imperfect families and for loving us in our imperfections. And thank you that even the messes in our lives come with gifts from You. In Jesus Name ❤️
Dear friend, we all get buried by the cares of life sometimes. Often the best way to pull out of that pit is by shifting our focus away from projects and back to people; turn our focus away from troubles and back to our treasures. There is an old hymn that says, *”Count your blessings. Name them one by one. Count your many blessings. See what God has done!” 💡
*Hymn by Johnson Oatman, Jr.
Count your blessings.
Name them one by one.
Count your many blessings.
See what God has done!
©️2019 Author Julie Souza Bradley Lilly. The End of the Roll. All rights reserved. https://vinewords.net/contributor-julie-souza-bradley-lilly-the-end-of-the-roll/
Meet Our Contributor
JULIE SOUZA BRADLEY LILLY
Hi! I’m Julie Lilly. I am the writer of Prayers of a Ragamuffin Warrior and one of the chief cooks and bottle washers at Gift of Thorns on Facebook.
When asked about who I am, I am quick to tell you that I am a worshipper, a servant, blessed wife, step-mom of four adult children, caregiver, retired chiropractor, writer and most-importantly, a forgiven daughter of God.
With thirty-plus years in healthcare, I am passionate about seeing the broken come to receive healing and find wholeness in right-relationship with the creator. Through my own multiple injuries, PTSD, a traumatic brain injury and other health concerns, I have found the generosity of God to be true to His Word, in turning all things together for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
For those entrusted with a thorn in the flesh, it is one of my greatest joys to see the discovery of the treasure the Father hides tucked in among the thorns. God is good and His mercies endure forever!
I pray that we will come together as a body of believers who will honor the Lord and encourage one another toward wholeness, spiritual growth and mountain-moving faith. Thank you for allowing me the honor and privilege of being one of your servant leaders here at VineWords. I pray that you will come, be refreshed, be encouraged in your faith, be an encourager to others and grow in your faith and love for God! My husband, Bryan, and I will be praying for you! God bless you! ❤️
For more encouragement visit my websites. At Prayers of a Ragamuffin Warrior, you will find encouraging articles with prayers. And check out Gift of Thorns, where you will find powerful and life-changing input from great teachers and writers who are passionate about pursuing God.