Monday, April 28, 2008

Stinky feet

After today’s blog, people might begin to understand why my blog is entitled Random Thoughts….

The other day as I was heading to school, my mind wandered to the thought of feet. Now this might have been in response to the fact that my feet hurt a lot now, or the fact that my daughter needed new shoes, or any number of reasons. Whatever the reason, I was thinking of feet. I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks about feet; just think of all the sayings we have about them: feet first, one foot in front of another, put your best foot forward, and – my favorite – put your foot in your mouth. I do that one a lot. Since this was so capturing my attention, I immediately started wondering where these thoughts were leading. I had the distinct feeling that there was more to this line of thinking than was originally apparent.

About two days later, while doing my Bible study about the tabernacle, I came upon the most interesting passage. It was about the priests washing their hands and feet before entering the holy of holies. There was that part about feet again. I immediately perked up. Where was this going? As I continued to research, I was of course led to the passage in John 13 where Jesus washed the disciples’ feet on the night of his betrayal. I knew I was on to something.

Now many of you may have already known this, but somehow it became new and clear to me that day. Through salvation we are washed in the blood of Jesus and we become children of God – so what was the foot washing about? It has to do not with relationship, but with fellowship.

The following story is what made it all make sense to me. It involves my daughter. Now, I love my daughter. We were blessed to be able to adopt her 13 years ago and there hasn’t been a dull moment since! She and her brother are the love of my life. I feel myself beaming every time I say, “That’s my baby.” Having said all that, I have to confess that my daughter has stinky feet. Not just a little odiferous – we’re talking real stink! Remember Kimmy Gibbler in the old Full House episodes? Yes, my daughter has Kimmy Gibbler stinky feet. She can clear a room with the odor! No matter how many times I’ve tried to make her wear socks, scrub her feet, use odor eaters, do SOMETHING – the odor remains.

One night it occurred to me that perhaps she didn’t know how to really clean her feet. Like most kids, she was probably just sticking them in the water and thinking they were clean. Now if I’d told her I wanted to wash her feet, I’d have gotten a real argument. On this night however, I think the smell was even getting to her so when I asked if I could give her a “pedicure” she said yes!

Hooray! I was finally going to be able to get rid of that smell! I prepared the water and washed her feet, then scrubbed them and got rid of any rough places, then I dried them and rubbed them with good smelling lotion and finally painted those cute little toenails. Now before you think I am some wonderful or crazy mother, let me explain. I love my daughter more than she can possibly imagine. Nothing she could do would change that. Her feet however, were keeping us apart! I couldn’t stand the smell and I was willing to do whatever it took to change that – including wash her feet.

We’re like that with our Father God. He loves us. We have been bathed in salvation and made his children….but life has a way of getting between our toes and leaving a stench. That stench of sin separates us from fellowship with God. The only way to get rid of it is to go to Him and let Him wash us with the water of His Word. Then in love, He anoints our feet with sweet smelling oil. That oil smooths away the rough places and soothes our pain. Best of all, we have fellowship with Him.

So there are the random thoughts on feet. I’ve tried to come up with a great ending, but for now I think I’ll just have to be satisfied with soaking my aching feet in some warm water….and encouraging my daughter to do the same!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thank you

Today, as I was on my break (those who are teachers will find that term laughable), I came upon one of our special needs students who was outside enjoying the beautiful sunshine with his teacher. As soon as he saw me, he called out "Thank you" and held out what could best be described as a broken weed. Of course, I went over to him to say good morning and he called out again, "Thank you." I reached to take the weed he offered and he gave it, then reached for it again all the while saying "Thank you." The smile on this child's face was so peaceful, I was quite captivated. His teacher smiled that loving smile I see so often on her face as she works with these little ones and she said, "That's all he knows how to say."

I watched as this angel dressed in everyday clothes walked back and forth between his teacher and me saying "thank you" and alternating between giving and receiving that broken weed. His teacher and I talked for a moment and he smiled and toddled tirelessly between the two of us. His teacher said, "He could do that all day." I'm sure he had no idea how much joy he was sharing with each "thank you."

As we ended our conversation, I laughingly commented that perhaps he could come and teach my 5th graders a thing or two...but as I turned to continue on my way to the office I thought perhaps it was ME that needed to be taught.

How often do I complain when life hands me less than what I think I deserve? How often have I grumbled to God and all those around me when life wasn't "fair"? How often have I spewed negative words into my situations because I had to wait longer than I wanted for my turn? And let's be honest...most of my grumbling and complaining isn't because of some great trial; it's because I've been inconvenienced in some way. When traffic doesn't go fast enough for me, (usually cause I'm running late), or someone does things differently than I think they should be done, or - let's be truthful - someone gets the credit for something that I feel like I should be noticed for....I go and throw myself a two year old fit! How dare life not go my way! How many times have I been unhappy with the broken weed I've been given... and how many times has the peace that this child had escaped me?

We all know that the Bible tells us to give thanks in all things - not for them mind you, but in them. We can do this because we know that God works all things for our good and His glory in those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. I know there will be times when I need to cry out to the Lord or to my brothers and sisters in Christ....there is no shame in being honest about our feelings, but I don't need to set up camp there. I need to take my broken weed, look up, and move on.

Lord, help me remember this child's face and the peace and joy he expressed each time he said "thank you." Help me to remember that life will hand me broken weeds at times, but I don't have to be bitter or grumble and complain. Help me to live each day able only to say two words....thank you.

Thank you, Lord....thank you.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Okay, this is my first attempt at a blog, but there are things I want to share - so here goes.

Recently I was doing a Bible study and was looking at how God took our sin. Now, I know you've probably already heard that, but hold on. I saw something new this time. In this study, we saw that God is clothed in majesty - that I think I knew. Yet He chose to trade with us and put on our sin and give us His majesty. Let me try and paint a picture of what I saw.
Earlier that day, I had stepped in some dog poop in our yard (we've all done it). Everywhere I went, that smell seemed to drift upward and spoil my day. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from and then realized it was on my shoe. Somewhere in all this, I got a picture of my sin being like clothes that had been rolled in poop. The stench of sin permeated everything I tried to do....but God in His mercy took on my sin, smell and all, and instead gave me His majesty. But it gets even better.
I remembered when my daughter was very young and we'd buy her "twirl" dresses. These were the dresses that would twirl when she would spin around. I got such joy out of watching her spin around and twirl with joy. That's where the rest of the picture comes in. God not only took our sin and gave us His majesty, but He doesn't constantly remind us of what He did (as many of us would do). Instead, with the joy of a father, he simply says "Twirl little one, twirl". He loves us so much that it is His joy to bless us. For if we who are evil know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more does our Heavenly Father know how to bless us.
So there is the first of what may be many random thoughts.
May your day be filled with moments when you hear our Father God say, "Twirl, little one. Twirl."