This past week I have been busy doing what I call a “moving drill.” No, we don’t actually move but we clean out like we would if we were moving. Growing up in a minister’s home who moved every four to five years, you learn to not accumulate so much “stuff.” The motto I have for our home is if you haven’t used or worn it in six months to a year, you are probably not going to wear or use it so send it on out the door.
Along with this “moving drill” comes organization. Yes, I am a person that is particular of where things go and belong. My rule is everything has a place and it is important to put that item back into the right place once you are done using it. Yes, I must confess that there are times when life gets busy and things become in some disarray thus the need for the bi-yearly “moving drill.” When things are in the right place, it usually decreases the amount of the question; “where’s my….?” being asked.
The other day I came across a sign that said; “It is not lost until Mom cannot find it.” This is so true for this household. There have been countless times while my son was growing up where I had to hunt down that notebook, running shoes or house key because these items were not put in the place that had been designated. My son is now 25 and married and you would think that the days of “where’s my….?” were over! This is far from the truth. You see, I still live with my loving husband whom I have known for 29 years and have been married to for 27 years. More than once during the week, I will get the question; “where’s my…..?” As this question is being asked, I begin to ask my series of Sherlock Holmes questions and begin the search. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time I will find the misplaced item. Thus, gaining the nickname from my husband; “google Peanut.” (Peanut has been my nickname since childhood).
Before I began to clean out these last couple of weeks, Jim and I enjoyed a trip to the Smoky Mountains. We consider the Smokey Mountains as our second home because that is the area were our lives met. On this trip, we did a first. We took a pet with us. Yes, my one-year old Smokey went with us. Jim, Smokey and I all learned something new about each other and about God’s plan for our family.
Within the first few days of arriving in the Smoky Mountains, people would see us out and about with Smokey and would ask if they could touch him, pat him or scratch his belly. As they would pat and/or rub Smokey, tears would begin to stream down their faces. Then, they would begin to share their story with us. Their story was a story of grief and/or deep pain from within. After they would share their story, they would thank us for letting them pat Smokey and for listening to their story.
Mid-week of this trip, Jim and I took turns just sitting on a park bench in one of the courtyard areas next to a fountain. Jim would sit with Smokey for a while so I could shop and look around. Then, we would switch up. As the both of us took turns sitting on this bench with Smokey, different people would come up and sit down and just begin talking to us. At first, they would be at the other end then before the conversation was over, they would be right next to Smokey rubbing him and sharing their story. After a couple of hours, Jim, Smokey and I moved on with our day. Later that day, Jim and I begin to share the stories we had heard. As we reminisced, we both realized that we had been ‘at the right place at the right time.’ I truly believe that God placed Smokey in my life and then placed us in those strategic places and moments of time to be His earthly messengers of His unconditional love and grace.
I don’t believe in coincidence, but I believe in God’s timing and His putting all things and people in ‘right place at the right time.’ Every day God places each person in our path for a reason. Sometimes these people need us. Other times, we may need those people. Then, there are those times when people in our path make us understand ourselves better and God’s plan for our life. They make us evaluate if our heart is in the ‘right place’ for the day.
During this trip, I learned about myself. God showed me where I need to put things that had gotten cluttered or in disarray back into order. In other words, He put me in check of my having my heart in ‘the right place.’ You see, when our heart is not in the right place, we become out of tuned of God’s voice and His plan for our lives.
Since our return home, not only have I gotten rid of clutter in my home, I have gotten rid of clutter in my heart. In that cleaning out, I hear the voice of God calling. Once the summer winds down, it is my plan to talk with volunteer services at our local hospital and a couple of nursing homes about bringing Smokey to minister to those who are hurting and who may feel alone in life. In the meantime, I continue to allow God to lead because I know each and every day He puts me in the ‘right place at the right time.’
“Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until He comes and showers righteousness on you.” Hosea 10:12
“It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. I lead them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.” Hosea 11:3-4
“God’s work includes training you in love to be what He has created you to be.” (Experiencing God Bible)
Be in tuned to God’s voice and know that He will always put you in the ‘right place.’
(By the way, we still have the attic to sort through but will have to wait until the heat of summer is over to tackle that one! )
- I Asked For A Pig but Got A Dog (aprilhawk.wordpress.com)
- Backpacking in the Smokey Mountains (ireport.cnn.com)
- Let’s Talk (aprilhawk.wordpress.com)
- Peace Be Still (sabbathsermons.com)
- Just checking in…if you read nothing else today, read this and prepare for a heart change. (pastormikesays.wordpress.com)