Treasure in an Old Desk Drawer

Last week I was looking through the drawers of an old desk in our den that has become a catch-all of sorts through the years. Maybe you have one of those, too. It’s where you stick everything you really want to keep but have no time to file. I was searching for a picture of our house the year we bought it so that I could work it into a decoupage of our many years here. Ultimately, I found the picture elsewhere but I stumbled on a treasure while rummaging around in that drawer that sent me into a tailspin of memories.

First, the back-story because I bet some of you can relate.

I well remember being in the throes of family life and wondering from season to season whether or not we’d even make it. Or, if we made it, would we be glad we did?? Life is hard as it is. It’s even harder when two people have as many problems as we did. Both Keith and I brought heaps of issues into our marriage. Some we fell victim to. Some we inherited. Some we created. Some we earned through our own sinfulness and stubbornness. Some we passed right on to our beloved children, God forgive us. Like many of you, the odds were stacked against us and I knew – I’m saying I absolutely KNEW – that Jesus was the only way we were going to make it. Furthermore, He was not likely to do it without us.

The quandary was how we were going to head a certain direction if my man didn’t necessarily want to take the lead. What happens, sisters, when you (who are moms) feel strongly that your children need to be led a certain strong (Biblical) direction but you do not want to usurp your husband? And he’s not feeling so led? Even as I pose that question, I know full well that our simple blog format is not big enough to come up with crystal-clear, no-fail answers to those loaded questions. Yet, it’s part of our family story and a part my man does not mind me sharing. He’s never been much for bull. Or pretense, if you like that word better. Keith walked the aisle as a public profession of faith and was baptized right before we got engaged and, as clearly as I knew, that’s all that mattered. That might explain the timing. Grin. It was real. But it was also a prerequisite.

My man is a believer in Jesus Christ. He bears fruit of the Holy Spirit’s activity. He has often prayed over me and over our family with a power that left me bug-eyed and bereft of natural explanation. But he has still been very much his own man with his own idea of how he wanted to practice his faith. He was a maverick. He’s still a maverick. The harder you push him, the slower he goes. He sets his own pace or he walks alone. He is also God’s chosen man for me…and my chosen man before God. I cannot imagine my life without the likes of Ivan Keith Moore.

Rewind 15 or so years to those days when we had young adolescents under our roof who not only needed human direction (which both parents gave), they needed divine intervention. So did their parents, and in the worst way.

I did lots of reading in those days just like I do now. I’d read about how many godly homes practiced what they called a “family altar time.” They prayed together on a regular basis and maybe the parents even led in a family devotion. We didn’t do anything like that except when we were in a full-on crisis. (I am so thankful that we did it then, needless to say. I don’t want to be harder on us than our history really calls for.) We did a little more moderate version of “the family that prays together stays together.” Keith and I prayed at mealtime with our kids and, then, on numerous other occasions when something called for an extra measure of attention. I guess one of the most spiritual things we did along the way was simply ask for forgiveness when we were idiots to them or in front of them.

I’d long-since been practicing a morning quiet time and certainly prayed for my family members then but I knew that the greater victory in our family was somehow going to involve all of us…some how, on some level. I’d learned through the years that guilt-tripping your husband into spiritual leadership wasn’t going to bear much fruit or last over the long haul. And let me just go ahead and say the embarrassingly obvious. Would the man ever have done it consistently like I thought it should be done???? Could he have lived up to whatever expectation I had? I assure you, this man got more than he bargained for when he married. He had not signed up for all of this.

So, what was a woman to do?

I was stuck on the whole family altar thing. I’d convinced myself that it was the key. (I’m not saying it was. I’m just saying that I believed to the bone that it was.) “Family altar” was the buzz phrase of all the families that seemed to be doing it right. (It’s interesting how spiritual terms have fads, isn’t it?)Β  So I figured out how we could have an adaptable experience without Keith being forced to take charge of it or me taking authority over him in the eyes of my children (or, as importantly, in his own eyes).

I got an idea.

I set up a little altar area on the hearth in our den. It had a journal for recording any prayer requests that members of our family wanted to share. It was solid gold to me. Sometimes they’d write “unspoken” and you know what that does to a nosy mother. What they didn’t realize is that, most of the time, Mom had already figured out that “unspoken” request. I also set out an age-appropriate devotional book on the hearth.Here is a picture of our makeshift “family altar.” The only reason I have this picture is because our dogs loved to lay on the cushion that I’d set out. We used to say they were having their quiet times.

I also got up earlier than the rest of the household in the morning and chose a verse for that day for our family. Most often I’d select it from my own time with God but sometimes circumstances dictated the choice. I’d write the Scripture with a Sharpie on an index card then lay it out on the altar. Everybody in our family was invited to kneel at that altar one at a time when they first got up in the morning. (Well, OK, only Keith was really “invited.” The girls were strongly urged. As their mother, I could full well take that authority over them.) After they read the verse, they were asked to sign the index card.

So, this is what I found the other day in that old desk drawer: Scripture card after Scripture card after Scripture card after Scripture card.

Some of them were signed by all four of us:

It was okay to be a little silly and even throw in an occasional nickname. Keith alone knows why he tagged Amanda as “Rooter” when she was a little kid. Most of our nicknames have morphed into much weirder tags in recent years.

A number of times Keith opted out and that had to be fine, too.We weren’t his boss.

On occasion, it would just be two of us:

Or another two of us:

Sometimes I’d add a little extra encouragement because it would break my heart wide-open with love to see those young teenage girls taking their turns at that altar in their jammies.

One girl obviously didn’t get to see that encouragement that morning.Laughing. I love them both so much.

It was a very imperfect shot at the whole thing. In fact, I can’t convey strongly enough that I hope you’ll receive this only as a simple short story in the lives of God and a family of four Moores. It’s not meant to be an example of a discipline you should take up. It was too messy to turn into a science. It’s just what worked for a season for us. We still made it on the grace of God alone.

I glance back over my shoulder at those turbulent years and recall a home bulging with hormones and woes, fears and foes, maybe too many yeses and not enough nos. Like every woman, I wish I could cut and paste our family story into all that sparkles and nothing that stinks. Like most women, there are a few things I wish I could blot out. Maybe more than most women, I have some sizable regrets. But, that day last week when I went looking for a photograph in that old desk drawer, I found a whole handful of our family life, held it close to my heart, and remembered.

Deuteronomy 4:23 “Be careful not to forget…”

1 Chronicles 16:12 “Remember the wonders He has done…”

 

 

 

 

 

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426 Responses to “Treasure in an Old Desk Drawer”

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Comments:

  1. 201
    Mary says:

    Thanks Beth for sharing this! My husband is a good man, but not a believer yet. I had to take the lead all these years to provide my two kids with a faith-focused life. I’ve often wished that “if only” – my husband was Christian, we’d have that perfect family life, complete with my husband leading us all in prayer and bible study, sharing nuggets of wisdom with our teens. I just figured all these Christian families like yours (and the ones I see at my church) were “perfect.” But none of us are perfect! That One Perfect Man died on a cross for all our sins, past, present, and future! Amen.

  2. 202
    Gayla says:

    What a treasure indeed you found. Anything from those beautiful days of family and our children’s childhood… priceless…. I love the picture of your sweet dog’s quiet time… Was that Beanie?

  3. 203
    Lin Wilson says:

    Thanks for sharing this Beth…it is no mistake that you posted this at this time….I needed this encouragement badly!! It is God speaking right to me and encouraging me. So thankyou!!!

  4. 204
    kay says:

    Thanks for the encouraging words. I needed them today.

  5. 205

    Wow Beth! The Spirit is NOT dead! You have NO IDEA how much I needed this post! I am going to PRINT and duplicate! Continually praising God for you and your ministry! You have changed my life more than you will ever know!

  6. 206
    ginger says:

    God must have been spreading that idea around back in that “family alter” day, to help some of us not beat ourselves up for not fitting the mold. Our family did something very similar for a similar reason. Thanks for sharing.

  7. 207
    Sharla says:

    I was praying this morning on my way to the office that the Lord would help me release bitterness against my husband for not being as far along in his faith as I hoped he’d be by now. It’s true, the Lord revealed that root of bitterness in my quiet time, and my main concern has been that we’re fixin to start trying to get pregnant again after a miscarriage, and I was having all these lies from the enemy saying that we shouldn’t even try because my husband probably isn’t godly enough to lead our family. I cannot tell you how important this blog was this morning. A total confirmation from the Lord that HE is the ONE who does it, and nothing is too hard for Him. I am blessed beyond measure, and may I be merciful as He has been merciful to me!

  8. 208

    I loved this post!! I can so relate to it on so many levels. Growing up, we often started a “new” tradition…whether it was eating every supper at the dinner table, not the couch, or going on a family walk after supper, or reading the Bible after a meal together as a family, there was always something new going on. Suprisingly, or maybe not, they didn’t stick. The things that became a tradition for my family, and things I look back on and miss now, are the ones that we didn’t set out to make a big deal of. Listening to the same radio program on Moody every night while doing the dishes together, watching the same program together every week and being upset if it didn’t happen and other random things like that are the ones that stuck. My parents tried to force the ones they saw as “big deals” but they didn’t happen…it was the little ones that weren’t all that important on the outside that became the big deals to my sister and I.
    Thank you for encouraging us to try and find what works for us by sharing what’s worked for you and your sweet family…you’re the best at doing that.
    Love ya Mama B!
    PS It was great to see/hear you at Deeper Still…the words that you, Priscilla and Miss Kay shared could NOT have been more timely for me if you had planned it out especially for me. God really spoke to me and hit me on the head about a few things…I’m still pondering a lot of them. Thank you for that.

  9. 209
    Kristen Keeling says:

    Beth! I can’t believe you just posted this! God sure does have His funny timing. I read “Feathers From My Nest” around this time last year. My kids were 3 and just a few months old at the time and I would take my active 3-year-old boy to the public library for story and song time. I checked out the book to read during nap times in our afternoons. You shared the story about your family cards in one of those chapters and it’s always stuck in my mind. This summer, we’re striving to have significant time with the Lord. I’m trying to be purposeful with my now 4-year-old and 1 and a half-year-old and start some family routines that will hopefully grow into healthy habits when they’re older and schedules take us every which way. One thing I really wanted to do was have a family worship time but my husband’s work schedule varies from day to day. Sometimes he leaves for work at 4:00 a.m. and other days we get to keep him until 9 or 10 a.m. I would NEVER waken a sleeping baby so it’s hard to get every one together. We started doing cards with Scripture and everyone signs there name. Well, my 4-year-old does. My littlest one just scribbles. πŸ™‚ I draw a picture with the verse to help as a reminder and we stick it up on our fridge. We don’t change out the verses daily because we take our time letting the Word sink in to our minds as well as our actions before moving on. Right now, we have this posted on our fridge….

    Well- I can’t post a picture but it’s Deut. 7:6 with a treasure chest and jewels. We’re learning how to act like God’s treasured possession in our interaction with others. I want to move on to a verse talking about treasuring what God treasures..got any good suggestions? πŸ™‚

    Thanks so much for sharing! It’s like God just gave me a little pat on the back. Love you and your family!

  10. 210
    Melissa says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your sweet family memories. How precious they are not only to you- but to all of your siestas! Family is simply priceless! You’ll have to start scrapbooking all those mementos you find!!! Thanks again for all you do!!!

  11. 211
    heather says:

    Thank you for your sharing your life with us again…to see where God has brought you from. I have been guilty at times of the same thing. We both came from non-christian homes(well mine was a “sunday christian” like someone else stated, love that term)so we pretty much had no example of what anything should look like. We homeschool and I try to have daily Bible time with the kids and am so blessed when it all goes smoothly. We learn so much together and I sometimes try to do memory verses but I am pretty much banking on the grace of God to see us through. We have a hard time with routine and consistancy :)But I know the Lord sees our love for HIm and our children and I am trusting He will see us through to the bitter end. I just have to keep my eyes on Him and not other families who are doing everything “right.”

  12. 212
    Becky says:

    I love this story, Beth. Thank you so much for sharing. I can relate in so many ways, but I’m closer to the beginning to my family story. My husband and I have been married for 5 1/2 years and have a one year old. I’ve been wondering how/if we’ll EVER accomplish family quiet time/prayer time together. What a sweet story.

  13. 213
    janice says:

    after pouring my thoughts out to God this morning I read your blog and could not believe how timely it was in my life!!!
    coincidence? I think not!

  14. 214
    Mia says:

    Wow! How I can relate to this!! I needed to hear this today! Thank you so much for the encouragement. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself for the spiritual encouragement of others!! It brought me to tears because of my own struggles but God is doing a mighty work in my life and my home. I love Him so much and will continue steadfastly in prayer….

  15. 215
    Jan Hixson says:

    My oldest is getting married this Saturday and I have found several “treasures” over the last few weeks as well. I love that Christ never changes. He is the one constant in my life that never disappoints. Thanks for sharing your treasures with us.

    Jan in Arkansas

  16. 216
    Letha says:

    Wonderful story! I have a husband much like yours in that, as he says, “I can be led but I can’t be pushed.” – took me awhile to learn that about him but learn it I did so that July 3rd we’ll celebrate 40 years together. Most never gave us a chance when we married about a month our of high school. ha! ha! GOD proved them wrong! and I’m telling you, it was God alone because I’m not sure I would have given us a chance of making it several times throughout those 40!

  17. 217
    Brenda says:

    Thank you for this blog and sharing your life and family treasures and memories with us! It is such a blessing and encouragement to my life.

    We didn’t have a family altar or family devotions in my family and while both my parents knew the Lord, my Dad was never perceived as the spiritual leader in our family. He too was a bit of a maverick (and so was my Mom) but they both faithfully served the Lord teaching Sunday School and working in the church in other areas too.

    My Mom used to listen to Christian radio programs most evenings and sometimes we made fun of them too but nevertheless the spiritual impact was left. After my Dad died I found stacks of prayer lists he had made, and on a shelf I found a journal my Mom had made before she was married and it is full of Bible verses, hymns and poems that meant a lot to her and they continue to bless me now. And after my younger brother died suddenly of a massive heart attack I found boxes full of Daily Bread in his house.

    We didn’t have a family altar or family devotions but the Lord was working in our lives and there was obviously a lot more going on than we realized.

    Thanks for sharing and for your wonderful encouragement to us!

  18. 218
    Joy Cravens says:

    Thank you for sharing your family with us – and always being transparent. This is precious.

  19. 219
    Julie Hodges says:

    Beth, thanks so much for sharing By His Grace

    “I found a whole handful of our family life, held it close to my heart, and remembered.

    Deuteronomy 4:23 β€œBe careful not to forget…”

    1 Chronicles 16:12 β€œRemember the wonders He has done…””

    AMEN! Thank You Father God for all you have done in and through Beth and her Family In you words Keep them from all harm and watch over their lives Psalm 121:7
    In Christ Julie

  20. 220
    Joy says:

    That was precious. Thank you for sharing.

  21. 221
    Shelly Story says:

    Beth,
    I really hope you are moderating your own comments this morning…I have a comment just for you that is pertinent to LPL this weekend.

    But first, thank you for your honest portrayal of REAL Christian family issues. How we strive to do our best; how we worry we are not doing enough; how we desire to race ahead and lead but know we cannot; and how God is a big enough God to cover it all. As a woman in the throes of raising a large family, I am encouraged.

    Changing the subject now…a while back you were given a red tee shirt that says “God loves me, I accept Christ”, and I assume you also received an explanation of the statement, and why it is printed on a tee. Those words, and the legacy of the girl who penned them, have had a powerful impact on our small Nebraska town. Ann’s death sparked a support network for her mother that has grown in something so beautiful, I cannot imagine my life without it. We have banded together as women of faith and truth and power. We meet together once a week for intentional, honest, and challenging Bible study. We have loving relationships born out of Christ’s mercy. LaNell, myself, and one other gal even started a ministry for women in our small town, and in addition to an annual one-day retreat, we host 2 bible studies every year, typically using one of your studies. We call ourselves the Wausa Women’s Ministry, and our heads spin over the work the Lord has done in our lives and the lives of others through our love for Him and each other. And we LOVE us some Beth Moore! πŸ™‚

    As for this weekend…the gal (LaNell) whose daughter penned those words in her journal will be in the audience in Lincoln. As will myself and another 7 others who have participated in some way with Wausa Women’s Ministry or LaNell’s Heaven ministry, and have been privileged to witness the power of God at work in and through our trust in Him. On Saturday morning we will be wearing our red tee shirts, so please look around for us and smile our way if you see us in the crowd. We will be praying for you and praising God for how He has used you to help a bunch of small-town gals impact the lives of others.

    Can’t wait for the weekend!!
    Shelly

  22. 222
    Elaine says:

    Beth,
    Your post so hit home. I experienced something similar last week. Our pastor asked for examples of “guiding principles” in our homes and how we put those into place. I have to smile when I think about how we tried family devotions. I know there was often some eye-rolling, some yawns, some “can we just get this over with” attitudes. We tried various kinds and formats. I longed for my husband to be the spiritual head of the household especially since we had two sons… like Keith, he did it his own way and he often went along with whatever I suggested. I know I am so blessed that my husband is a Christian, even though he didn’t always step up to the spiritual plate like I thought he should have. God knew that it would all work out. Our sons are grown, they are fine Christian men, and married to wonderful Christian women. We were fortunate to spend Father’s Day with one of my sons and his wife, and we skyped with the other one so we could see our grandson. God gave me those comforting times that day because my own earthly Father had hurt me deeply this past week. I try to honor him but still have to guard my heart. He’s not a Christian, he’s been married several times, and he’s very selfish… so dealing with him and my step-mother is often very much an emotional roller coaster. My son tried to include my dad and his other family on Father’s day, but they had their own plans and said some very ugly things. That’s when I get down on my knees (in my tears) and thank my Father in heaven for being my real Daddy, thank him for sending me a great Christian husband, sons, and daughters-in-law. Like you, Beth, God has gracefully pulled my husband and I out of the muckity muck that we grew up in. Thank you, Beth… I am richly blessed by your studies. Thank you Lord!

  23. 223
    Marcia says:

    As we were packing to move, I came across a journal that I started for our family. I decided that we needed to be more thankful – probably because we were going through some tough financial times and needed to separate “wants” from “needs.” All of us were complaining about not having our “wants.” My kids, who were in elementary school, really got into it. Finding the journal now is almost like therapy because we are going through another difficult time and the kids(now teenagers)love reading the things they wrote and have started to add to the list. Being grateful for all that God has given us really helps to curb the “wants.”

  24. 224
    Laurie says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us! You have no idea how much you encourage us by sharing your family stories.

    I am a single mom. I’ve been trying to figure out how to get my 7 year old daughter more excited about Jesus and I have to say, the altar at the fireplace might just be the key!! Thanks again for sharing πŸ™‚

  25. 225
    Beth says:

    I’m glad you were rummaging through that old desk to remind you of this story! Like Keith, my husband sounds aLOT like him! I had many many days of prayer to ask that our foolishness and sin would not affect our 2 daughters as they were growing up! I am so thankful for His grace and mercy that our house became the home He wanted. I have learned from Paul…Philippians 3:13, Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on… May God continue to bless this ministry, and your obedience to Him!

  26. 226

    I needed this today, Beth. πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing this and for being a Mom who loves our Lord more than anything! Do you know what that means to a young wife who is reading this?! You are a dear blessing and I love how contagious your love for Jesus is!

    Thank you a million gazillion!

    xoxo Soo

  27. 227
    Kim Safina says:

    THE JOURNEY CONTINUES ~ With “Heaven Bound” blessings πŸ™‚
    Beth ~ πŸ™‚ My precious FRIEND/SIESTA in CHRIST,

    I can totally relate to your words & the priceless scripture cards!! Are we related???

    I too, have a Maverick. One day, you and I will talk privately and SMILE with such joy as we PRAISE OUR MEN FOR HELPING TO MAKE US BETTER WIVES,MOTHERS,DAUGHTERS,FRIENDS,etc..

    Thank you for BEING REAL!!!!!
    That is one of my biggest pet peeves!!!
    I WANT REAL FRIENDS!
    I WANT REAL PEOPLE IN MY LIFE!!!!
    MY HUSBAND & SONS ARE R E A L!!!!!!!!!
    THE “4” of us make each other accountable!!!

    Again, Thank you for not only being beautiful on the outside, but the inside! YOU & YOUR FAMILY have a heart that tells TRUTH as GOD continues to guide ya’ll (like my texan drawl:)on this daily journey!!!!!

    I wish I could give you a BIG
    ((((((((((((((((( HUG ))))))))))))))))))) for your heartfelt words !!!

    I THANK GOD DAILY for YOU and THIS AWESOME GROUP OF SIESTAS!!!!!

    In “His” Love,
    Kim Safina
    CaliKim

    • 227.1
      Kim Safina says:

      Quess what??

      I just found paper memories in an old desk after recently moving to our new home.The letters,papers,etc.have been in storage for 4+ years and in an attic before that. I have been reading every single word. The insight of little boys is touching their Momoo’s heart.

  28. 228
    Angela says:

    That is so precious! What a great idea! My husband is not the spiritual leader of our house currently, but he took our children to church when they were little and I took them as adolescents. He did not go then and really doesn’t now unless it’s Mother’s Day. He leads us in prayer before Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. I never bring it up or nag him about it. He knows what I do on Sundays as he sleeps in. I will be forever fervent in prayer for him and our children to renew their relationship with Jesus.

    Angela, Mansfield, TX

  29. 229
    Toni says:

    Beth,
    Thank you so much for sharing! It is amazing how many of us have wonderful Christian husbands who are also mavericks. I can truly relate, I used to fight it so much ask God why God? why? Why can’t my husband be like so and so’s husband? Oh, that brings tears to my eyes, to remember those hard times. Although somedays I fall back into that trap, most days I just focus on loving my husband and enjoying him for who he is and hoping that is what our kids will see and that they will remember the love and laughter in our imperfect home.

  30. 230
    Sharae says:

    I love this section:
    “I well remember being in the throes of family life and wondering from season to season whether or not we’d even make it. Or, if we made it, would we be glad we did?? Life is hard as it is. It’s even harder when two people have as many problems as we did. Both Keith and I brought heaps of issues into our marriage. Some we fell victim to. Some we inherited. Some we created. Some we earned through our own sinfulness and stubbornness. Some we passed right on to our beloved children, God forgive us. Like many of you, the odds were stacked against us…”

    My husband and I also entered into marriage not realizing what all we were bringing into it. 11 years later, after some extremely rough patches of growth, I am SO glad we have made it and choose to make it ever single day. Now being in the middle of raising young children, my obsession is making sure that I am currently as healed and whole before the Lord as possible so that my children get to spend as much of their lives with as Godly of a role model as possible. I feel as though I often fall so short, and yet I trust that God can take my offerings and do a mighty work in my children. Thank you, Beth, for your part in pointing me toward the only true source of healing.

  31. 231
    Amy says:

    What a coincidence…We have a huge desk that my husband made when he was a teenager. It is beautiful and holds so much. On Monday, I found myself looking at the piles of important yet unorganized “stuff” laying on the desk (as well as what is in the drawers) and decided to begin the process of sorting and organizing. However, I as I was sifting through the papers and things I found my own treasures that brought me back in time…elementary age drawings from my children, photos of them, etc. I keep having to remind myself to keep cleaning and organizing instead of walking down memory lane. A one day cleaning project is turning into many more! I am glad you enjoyed your walk, too.

  32. 232
    Becky Boggio says:

    I didn’t think it was possible for you to be more dear to me with your words and teaching…. as always you always make me feel “okay” by the life of Christ I am trying to model. My hubby sounds like a clone of yours…push to hard he will shut down. I struggle with believing we should have a family devotion but we don’t only because I believe hubby would balk. So we fit in family prayers when lead…even hubby having us pray at restaurants etc.. (who would have thunk). And yet we are doing something right too when someone spoke the Lord’s name in vain my seven year old proclaimed “Don’t these people know who God is?” Sadly I told her they may not! She was shocked! I love you Mama Siesta!!

  33. 233
    Colette says:

    I love finding those old treasures and the memories that go with them!! Thanks for sharing yours and reminding me of mine!! I find old drawings from my boys with pictures of God and Jesus!! I just love finding those old special treasures!!! I am sure I still have some hidden treasures from when times were so busy, and they were stashed away for another day to be discovered!! Can’t wait!!! Thanks for giving me a smile!!!

  34. 234
    Earlene says:

    I have 2 old dressers of sort that was my mom’s. I had found paper with her handwriting on them, I miss her beautiful handwriting! It’s bittersweet when you find these items or so I think! blessings!

  35. 235
    Victoria says:

    Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚
    What a beautiful story!

  36. 236
    Ruined 4 Him says:

    Hi Beth,

    Thank you for this post…my last session with my therapist (15 years ago) was around the word “remember”. I had years of repressed memories and when they came back they weren’t good ones. What I love remembering is the MIRACLE God did in my life…He not only healed me of the past, He redeemed my marriage and restored my family. I don’t ever want to forget where I’ve been as I NEVER want to go there again and without remembering, I know I’m capable.

    Thank you for sharing about your man…one of the biggest, hardest lessons for me to learn is that my man’s faith is his and it’s NEVER going to look like mine. I’m very ok with that as he’s an amazing man for God.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us…can’t wait for SSMT in January; have already asked for a plane ticket for Christmas πŸ™‚

    Joni
    Littleton CO

  37. 237
    Melanie says:

    Thank you Beth for sharing this. This gave me hope, knowing that we are not alone in our travels and knowing God is truly on the throne and keeping us through our messes. Thank you again so much it came in time that I needed to hear this for encouragement.

    Blessings,
    Melanie

  38. 238
    Danielle A says:

    This story of your family was absolutely lovely! The idea that family is not perfect ever, and can only make it through the grace of Jesus Christ is a beautiful heart warming reminder! Thank you for your honesty, and direct identity in Christ through the action of you hitting those keys. (I think back your description of your passion for striking keys on the keyboard in your book, “So Long Insecurity” ^_^)

  39. 239
    Julie says:

    I look at my two teenage daughters, soon to be 14 and 16, and pray for their hearts each and everyday to be turned to their God, the maker of Heaven and Earth. I haven’t always been the mom I need to be, but by God’s grace only, can I show them the One who saved their mom not so long ago!

    I see their struggles daily, and I wish I could protect them from it all, but I am unable. Being a fairly new Christian, I love the Lord dearly, and I try to show them that each and every day – along with how much Jesus Christ loves them! He died for them, just like He died for me.

    Thanks for sharing this part of your life – encourages those of us who are still in the teenage years, both boys and girls!

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    Emmy says:

    Such a treasure! Doesn’t it make your heart smile looking at their precious signatures thinking of them kneeling there in their pajamas. I love wondering what was going on in their hearts at the time.

    I’m in the midst of teenagers and I can just imagine mine being heartfelt some mornings and rolling their eyes on others (well yours probably didn’t do that!)

    I can see God smiling at their obedience… it made me smile! πŸ™‚ I may have to try it! Thanks

  41. 241
    Gretchen says:

    Beth , what a great story. Our kids are all adults now qith families of their own but I remember what it was like when they were young. We had 3 kids within 3 years, 1 a year. IT was hard trying to fit everything in including prayer time. That sounds like a wonderful idea. The younger kids would have loved it and it would have been establised by the teen years so a habit. We could have ised that 45 years ago. I guess when you are young the things that seem to “have to be done” like washing, cleaning getting ready for school or work just daily living seem to take up most of the time. You say your prayers at night and at meals and go to church and talk and hope that is enough. We were lucky with our kids kids. Thanks for the great idea with this story.

  42. 242
    Kathy says:

    Beth, I don’t know how you do it, but your sharing of your life makes more of a difference than you’ll ever know. Thank you! I’m 41 and pregnant for the first time! I ask that Jesus helps me remember all that I’ve learned from Him through you over the last years. I can’t stop crying over the feelings coming over me as I read through the verses on those index cards!!! Thank You, Lord, for blessing her as You have.

  43. 243
    Julianne says:

    This was such an encouragement to me today. I follow regularly but don’t often post, but today God in his goodness provided hope through your post and I am compelled to acknowlege Him, his grace and mercy. Your journey has always spurred me on, I can relate to much, but this touched a tender part of my heart today. God is faithful. Blessed through your life and ministry!….and this blog community too πŸ™‚

  44. 244
    Renee says:

    I had to chuckle at the pre-engagement confession. I wrote a letter to my man telling him we could not marry unless he was a Christian. With a story that might read a bit like Psalms, I finally confessed that young man could have looked at my life back then and said “well if that is what being a Christian looks like, then of course I am.” Thankfully that realization came with the understanding only God can judge who is and is not one of His own. I can say with you that it has only been the grace of God that carried us through these 30 years. But something you might not want to hear is that after just about every attempt imaginable at “spurring him on”, I have had to learn to be content in my circumstance. That meant I must stop trying to bridle my man and let Christ bridle me and teach me to walk (or crawl as it sometimes feels) at the pace of the man β€œGod has chosen for me and that I have chosen before God.” I notched back church attendance and other obvious spiritual endeavors, and after more than a year, it is finally his idea to pray at meals. But our children are grown. I could let Satan speak to my guilt and say my relentless pushing of my husband may have become the wedge that pushed my kids away from organized religion, perhaps even Christ. But then I remember how Jesus wept over Israel…and I can trust the God who uses all things for good toward those who love Him. In these past months I have discovered that when I close my big mouth, then I can hear the quiet faith of others. When the shadow of my religion is not looming over them, I can even see the light of Christ in their lives. One day I’ll know what it was all about. Maybe so I wouldn’t think my devotion was the reason God blessed our family in such wondrous ways and accept it is just because He wants to. Maybe so I wouldn’t measure the blessing or difficulties of others as evidence of salvation or faith. And maybe so I can see the treasure in this jar of clay that I am, and know without doubt, that it is Christ alone. He is my reward and the all surpassing power, whether it is just enough to get up every morning and thank Him for fresh mercy or if my feet are like those of a deer and he causes me to stand on the heights, it is from God in perfect measure, to perfect my faith and set me free – even from my own expectations no matter how good I think they may be. Only His way, His works, and His love are perfect. I am asking my perfect Father that rather than just teaching me to accept His will and be broken to it that He will allow His desire to actually becomes my desire. That I not be disappointed with it or resigned to it, but long for it, hope for it, and consider it will perfect. Perfect for Him, perfect for me and for my husband. Perfect in suffering, perfect in sacrifice, perfect in joy. Perfect back then, perfect right now, and forever. I am learning to embrace eternal life, right where I am now, not just deferred gratification while I hold my breath and try to bear my present circumstance until I get to heaven, but abundant life, a sacrificial pouring life with all its messiness and mystery, a vapor that is here today and gone tomorrow, but to God, the fragrant and pleasing aroma of Christ.

  45. 245
    Jill says:

    A couple of observations:

    1. Index card salesmen can rest assured of job security. They will never go out of business as long as Beth is around.

    2. I love that dog hanging out at the alter.

    3. My Maverick guy cannot quote one scripture, but he is the most forgiving, compassionate man. He may not know the difference between Romans and Timothy, but he knows how to live as Christ.

  46. 246
    Carolyn says:

    I am very happy that my mother and daddy chose to have family Bible reading nightly. It is a precious memory, one that I completely failed at as a single mother working 2 jobs to survive. Thank you for sharing.

  47. 247
    Georgia Boone says:

    Thanks Beth for the pic of “real” life!!! It is messy and beautiful at the same time. Praise God!!! With a still unsaved husband but believing HE WILL BE I appreciated that Keith is “his own man”. That is so wonderful. I would probably have my husband be someone he never will be. Did that make sense??? He is a wonderful, hardworking man and I so appreciate that about him. To God be the glory!!!
    Blessings to all for a great week!!!

  48. 248
    Kim says:

    That is so beautiful. I wish I had thought to do that too. Thank you for sharing those sacred index cards with us.
    God bless you and your family.

  49. 249
    Connie Boyd says:

    Thank you for sharing ‘real life’ with us. It’s a great reminder as my husband and I are searching for ‘the thing’ to be our regular family time, as our family has started with our almost 11 month old ;0, that life is full of seasons! And that there isn’t one sure-shot way to do things. I’m reminded over and over again that mostly it’s about the example that we give our children of how we try to live, and how to respond when we don’t do right, and mostly to live it fully and in their presence and be an example to them in all things. Beautiful!

  50. 250
    Laura says:

    Absolutely love & needed to read this post today! It’s nice to know (not sure if that’s the right word) that there is hope for my husband and everything is not perfect for everybody except me! πŸ™‚

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