It's a winter storm, and my kids are rejoicing at the thought of no school tomorrow if things keep up the way they are. Saturday was the calm before the storm, literally. I ran around all day yesterday, shopping for gifts, getting gas, grocery shopping, coming home, finally, at supper time. Bill wound up having to work all day Saturday. A client wants their remodeling project done before Christmas guests arrive. Bill came home just as I did, feeling exhausted and un-party-like, so we sent our regrets to the Open House we had been invited to. Then we all holed up at home. Let the storm come, we thought.
We couldn't get out of the driveway to make it to church this morning, and wound up having our own service at home. Alex brought up his guitars and amp, Abby took out sheet music, and Bill led worship. We sang some of my favorite songs that we had not sung in a long time. We were loud, slightly off-key, and passionate about what we sang. Then I read a passage from My Utmost for His Highest, December 15th's devotion. The text was about diligently customizing your message of your experience of the truth of God's Word so that people can learn from you when you share. It was an interesting way of looking at 2 Timothy 2:15.
"But you must be willing to go through God's winepress where the grapes are crushed. You must struggle, experiment, and rehearse your words to express God's truth clearly. Then the time will come when that expression will become God's wine of strength to someone else."
Unless, of course, "that expression" of truth gets lost in your story line. I got home from all my running around Saturday, and checked the answering machine to find a strange message from my older sister, Kris.
"Laur, I need to talk to you," she says in a quiet, serious voice. "I have a question I need to ask you."
I felt concerned at her sober tone of voice. Kris is not exactly "chatty cathy", and rarely calls me to just chat about nothing in particular. So I called her back, feeling a bit worried about her message.
"Oh, I just wanted to ask you about something you wrote on your blog post, "Now You're Getting Somewhere," she said calmly as I took a deep breath and exhaled in relief.
"I wanted to know who was it that visited you in the hospital. I'm trying to remember the guys you dated, and I can't think of who it was," she said in a concerned voice.
"That's what you needed to talk to me about?!" I yelled at her with a smile on my face. "Oh, alright. By the way, I never said I was in the hospital. But you're right. It was when I had that minor operation on my tail bone," I said, and then proceeded to tell her the old boyfriend's name.
"But you weren't supposed to be focused on the visiting ex-boyfriend," I said indignantly. "You were supposed to be getting the important message that sometimes we need feedback, even if it's negative feedback."
"Yea, I know. But I was too curious about who you were talking about to concentrate on your message," she said and then we laughed.
So much for my serious expression of truth becoming "God's wine of strength" to her!