Day 20…if I showed you the little Advent board that these tins start out on and you saw all the empty space around the last few, you would have a panic attack. I would love to have you join me, but I just can’t do that to you.
Today I am featuring a “guest post” written by our first born, Rachel. She is amazing, as you will find when you read. But I must tell you, that there is a great refining when two baby-of-the-family’s come together and try to raise a first-born.
I used her writing for my weekly email that goes out to 100 plus people yesterday. I heard from a good portion of them. Being raised to respond to every comment made in my general direction, I responded to each plus forwarded to Rachel. All of this on my breaks at work and on an iPhone without the use of my cheaters. At some point in the thread, I get a response from her regarding my website tag at the end of my emails. I somehow have used a colon instead of a period between the www and the laurareimer.net. I hope to someday grow up and be like her….in the mean time, enjoy the words of this wise young woman who is still trying to get her mother in line….. you can find more of her writings at http://ourmaxewellmoments.blogspot.com
Shaping by Rachel Maxwell
My mom has graciously allowed me to guest-post on her blog. I am not a writer by trade and truth be told, I adore the thesaurus feature on Microsoft Word. I am humbled she would ask me to share some of my thoughts and His word with you!
Let me introduce myself. I’m the eldest daughter, Rachel. I would be the one with the two young boys that provide much of her material or humorous anecdotes. (And, all of her stories are true.) Graham (our 2 1/2 year old) keeps us on toes, wears us out, and loves us unconditionally. It’s a beautiful combination I pray he never loses. Emmett (our 6 month old) is following right in big bro’s footsteps – absolutely delighting us, already moving everywhere, and just enjoying watching his hero brother at play!
A couple weeks ago as the boys napped and my husband was at work, I decided to tackle the basement tree. A 6.5 foot, artificial, pre-lit, three-piece tree seemed pretty simple to me, so I went for it. Don’t worry, the tree is up and I am unharmed! But it’s in the process, the ‘simple steps’ is where Christ likes to speak to me the loudest.
You may have your qualms about an artificial tree, and I would have whole-heartedly agreed as I pulled these three pieces out of the box and set them on top of each other. The branches are all twisted and bound close together making it painfully obvious this tree is fake. It’s just ugly coming out of the box. There are gaping holes where branches aren’t there and you can see the plastic ‘trunk’ that the makers have twisted a fake piece of garland around trying their best to conceal the plastic, the fake-ness of this tree. Being the mature mother of two, I rolled my eyes and got to work.
I went through each branch and started shaping and spreading out each one. After an hour of labor, I had cuts on my hands to prove I had done my best to shape the tree. I turned on the lights, backed away, and admired my work. That tree had gone from an eye-sore to a delight.
And then I cried.
You see, I am that tree.
I am ugly out of the box and I need lots of work.
Every sin like a branch where you can see straight to the trunk of my heart. Every argument, every quick tempered response, every muttered word, every part of my sinful nature is a branch on my tree. But thankfully, my tree doesn’t stop there and it is not finished.
Christ works on me shaping each branch with His scarred hands, removing the ugliness and creating me into something beautiful – His image. His work in me doesn’t stop with one branch, He continues to shape and reshape me until I’m closer to perfect than I was before.
And then when His light shines in me…I am now beautiful.
2 Samuel 22:29 – You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.
Job 33:28 – He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.