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Monday, August 27, 2012

blemishes or marks of love?

Today I am going to share something a bit unconventional- I may even seem a little off my nut but please, just bear with me...

  The other day as I was vacuuming and mopping our engineered hardwood floors, I allowed a small sigh to escape my lips and a few grumbling thoughts loose in my mind.  I was looking at the terrible scratches on the floor beneath our dining room table.  We had tried so hard to take as many precautions against such scratches when we first put the flooring down.  We were diligent to put "sliders" on the feet of every piece of furniture- but unfortunately, as we came to find out, even "sliders" can allow a certain extent of scratches.
  I was beginning to feel ashamed and maybe even a little bitter-  Why can't we just have normal looking floors? "People" are going to judge me on these floors- thinking that I don't take care of them because they are so scratched up! (Anyone who knows me knows that I am generally what you would call a "neat freak"- therefore, if there is ever any implication of neglect I am usually horrified...)
As my mop glided over the blemished wood the Lord took my thoughts captive- and He dawned a revelation on me.  

"Amy, how did those floors get so scratched up?"

  It wasn't because we didn't take the necessary precautions against the scratches (sliders) or had not
kept them clean- here I was mopping them- they hadn't been neglected! 

  I looked at the floor. Each of the scratches under the table outlined the path of the chair above it- where the chair had been slid out to be sat upon, then slid in again.  The scratches were there because the chairs had been pulled in and out so often!

  Visions permeated my mind... "Everybody come sit down for family worship!" my dad's voice ringing out in the dining room calling everyone to the table. The scuffle and scampering of little feet rushing to the dining room, pulling out the chairs and hopping onto the seats Bibles in hand...  "Time for dinner, guys!" my own voice rang out as that lively "stampede" rushed in and grabbed their chairs in ready expectation of the promised meal...  Daddy reading "Bible Trivia" cards- faces lighting up, chairs squeaking, as hands were excitedly raised when they knew the answer...  Breakfast at the table- whether it was just everyday cereal or oatmeal- or something special like Belgium waffles with soft-boiled eggs on top- and coffee, everyone together...  

My lips quickly turned upwards into a smile as I understood what the Lord was teaching me.

   Those chairs hold treasures everyday.  
 My brothers and sisters sit in those chairs to do their schoolwork, to eat a meal, to read the Bible.  Those chairs have scarred the floor because of the diligence of my mom and dad to fulfill the great commission to "be fruitful and multiply".  Our floors bear the marks of the love that is poured out- by my dad to read the Bible to us in the morning, my mom doing school with the children, when we all sit together to have a meal, when we play games together...
 It is evidence of life.  

 I have begun to smile over those blemishes on our floor- I have learned not to scorn them.  Can you think of anything more beautiful to evidence "olive plants around your table" (Psalm 128:3)?  

  One day, my brothers and sisters will all be grown with families of their own.  God alone knows the plans that He has for each of their lives.  Because of the faithfulness and diligence that my parents have shown, the love which they have poured out upon myself and my siblings, I pray that we will prove ourselves to be worthy warriors and arrows (Psalm 127:4) for the Kingdom of God.  Those chairs and those floors were a tool that God used to grow His children. He gave us those chairs, so that we might sit and listen to His Word being read.  He gave us those floors upon which to walk during these tender years of childhood.

"Where no oxen are, the manger is clean,
But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox."

~Proverbs 14:4

As much as I enjoy things looking nice, clean, and like new, I know that there is sacrifice involved in following God's commandments.  If one of the prices that I have to pay for the Kingdom of God to be furthered for His glory is that I "endure" the scratches on the floor in the dining room- bring it on.  Is that all?  So many people have it so much worse off!  

I hope that this made sense :-)


  1. Ah yes.... I just need to keep that in mind when baby peter puts the milk from his cereal allover my shirt! :)

  2. I love you, sweet friend. And I count it a joy to be amazed at the wisdom Christ is giving you at such a young age. LOVE, Love, love...CSLewis

  3. That made beautiful sense, Amy. Thank you for sharing about how something as simple as scratches on the floor turned into gratefulness to God - for your siblings, for fruitfulness, for God's Word, for family life, for mealtime, and for God's faithfulness. A wonderful reminder to see the beauty, to refocus our attitudes from complaining spirits to hearts of thankfulness.

  4. I just found your blog and I want to say, Thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for sharing the love of Christ!