I am writing by candle light this morning.
Sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Or, like the electricity is down. I guess the assumption depends on your life experience, right? Anyway, its neither. I came upstairs to drink some tea, eat some watermelon for breakfast, and to do some writing. I hate to stir downstairs when Co is sleeping so soundly. But this morning, Mom is asleep on the couch upstairs. I didn’t want to turn on the lights and wake her. And probably the light from my computer is sufficient, but the candles were just calling to me….
Lighting can set a whole new mood. And can I just tell you how much I love the flicker of the tiny wispy flames and the glow from the ones that have burned down such that their flames are closed up in the belly of their body? Love it.
This is a morning where I wish I video blogged…. because I really think you guys would get a kick out of the combo of this amazing candlelight and me (old nightgown, yesterday’s makeup, cave woman morning face) and the whole watermelon sitting beside me on the next seat because its:
a) too big to be on the table and
b) I am too tired to cut it.
Can’t you just imagine me just trying to talk to you about Jesus in that scenario.. in a video?
And that, my friends, is the amazing thing about blogging. I write to you from strange, oddly funny situations all of the time and you don’t even know it. It is kind of like talking on the phone… you can be in your underwear, mopping the floor, and the person on the other line doesn’t even know it. You could even be going to the bathroom if you’re really good. Someone (cough, cough sister Beth, not to name names) used to do that to me all the time.
…Wow. I just went from the ambiance of candlelight to peeing while on the phone. I think that says more about me than I’d care to admit. 🙂
This weekend seemed to disappear into a vapor of frenzied work. The flooring and base cabinets for
my our house came in on Friday and David picked it all up in Marysville on his way from work to Bellefontaine. We brought things into the house. Cohen insisted on working hard too so we let him carry the small rolls of padding down the ramp and then it became a play thing for his train and cars. We set the cabinets in place. He tried out the drawers and doors, after getting a quick demonstration from David on how hard you can close said drawers and doors without being in trouble with Mama. We went to Lowes to pick out accent tile and bedroom paint and then closed up shop early to spend some time playing together.
And its a good thing too because Saturday morning began at 5:30 when David and I met at the house. He started cutting the vents in the subfloor and I finished second coats of paint in the entryway, stair well, and living room. When that was done, David moved on to fitting the vents underneath the cabinets (quite the project) and with the help of my dad, I started laying the engineered flooring. Several friends along the way, including David’s dad Paul who was an incredible help all day. I laid flooring from noon until midnight. Sometimes cutting around corners or in closets proved to be a little tricky, but all in all, the floors went down very fast. By midnight, David and Paul and my brother Ben had brought the appliances in. I went home soon after, realizing why it is that my cousin AJ uses knee pads when working on floors! I found out at church Sunday morning that David and Ben had worked until 5...in the morning. After a few more hours of work from David and I yesterday afternoon the downstairs is 99.9% finished and I cannot keep thinking about how much it looks like a real house with flooring and appliances and cabinets…. almost there! (pic coming later today or tomorrow)
To celebrate we went to a movie (whose title is not worth mentioning) and then to get some pizza with
my our friends, Nick and Bethny. We worked right up until the movie started, so we pulled up in my grandpa’s pick up truck full of scrap wood to be burned and in our work clothes. On the short drive from my our house to the theater, I was lamenting that we hadn’t thought to grab a change of clothes. David smiled at me and said, “I’ve been waiting my whole life to have someone to do these kinds of things with.” So I decided to love our work clothes and the pick up truck and especially the fact that we have couple friends that would still claim us. Having couple friends is tricky, since everyone has to like each other or it just doesn’t work. The two ladies have to like each other. The guys have to both be able to hang and talk. And the lady from this couple has to like the guy from that couple, etc. I feel thankful to have such good couple friends already. I was also glad Nick and Bethny just wanted to walk over to the pizza place adjacent to the theater. I mean if you’re going to eat in sweaty work clothes, what better place to do it than a place called “Tubbys”- right? 😉
Even with the busyness of the day, something I read yesterday morning has been running like a news ticker through my mind. I went to my church for worship and then scooted across town to another church to be introduced and then back to hear the tail end of the sermon at my church. I am hanging out with the teen girls from the church across town and the pastors wanted for the rest of the smaller congregation to say hello to me and visa versa. Deb, one of the pastors of the church, delivered the message and she spoke up not focusing on the past. In her closing she mentioned one verse at the end of the book of Malachi. Something about it grabbed me, the way verses do when the Lord breathes into them for a particular time and space and person.
So this morning, by candlelight, I read the book of Malachi. Though, arguably the most well known verse is about how God promises to bless the tither, the rest of the book to that point is about how faithless the people are… about how the groan and complain, point their fingers at God, and are wearied over the opportunities to serve Him. In short, they’re a good bit like an unruly teenager, never knowing how worthy their parent is of respect or how good they really have it.
Then at the end of chapter three the book takes an unexpected and short lived turn as the Lord, speaking through the prophet Malachi, lets us in on some valuable information:
“Then those who feared the Lord talked often to one another; and the Lord listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who reverenced and worshipfully feared the Lord and who thought on His Name.
And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be my jewels (My special possession, My peculiar treasure) And I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him.
Then shall you return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God and the him who does not serve Him.” [Malachi 3:16-18]
Do you see what I saw? Did you catch the precious insight? In the midst of the Lord’s righteous anger being kindled and His direct statements about how He will judge and cleanse and distinguish between the sheep and the goats, He paused just long enough to remind us of His heart. Can’t you just see Him, roused and speaking with Might, voice sounding like the rush of waters… and then His thoughts turn from all that is wrong to remember those who are right…
…those who loved and feared the Lord were speaking to one another and the Lord “listened and heard it“. It makes me think of Psalm 145, where David describes what should be,
“One generation shall laud Your woks to another and shall declare Your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wondrous works I will meditate. Men shall speak of the might of Your tremendous and terrible acts, and I will declare Your greatness. They shall pour forth [like a fountain] the fame of Your great and abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of Your righteousness and justice….” [Psalm 145: 4-7]
In the midst of all of the sin and unfaithfulness and deceit and pride, the Lord took notice of those who were extolling together His goodness and might. While a larger crowd was throwing up their hands and shaking their fists at Him, He paused to notice those who were encouraging one another with the truth; those who loved Him more than the present circumstances. Not only did He listen and give heed to their words, but He wrote down the names of the faithful in a book of remembrance. I don’t think it is that the Lord was concerned He’d forget (though that’s the reason we keep lists!). I think He wants to someday open that book one day and remind us just what it means when He says to us, “well done, good and faithful servant”.
So the Lord wrote down the names of those who…. reverenced Him, who worshipfully feared Him and who thought on His Name.
Can’t you just see the Lord pausing to be blessed by the fragrance and aroma of that righteousness and then His chest puffing out a He proclaims that those who are His? He refers to Himself there as the Lord of hosts, aka the God with an angel army. So, in essence He’s stating the depth and breath of His sovereign reign and then right behind it publicly announcing His intent to lay hold of those who are His…His jewels, His special possession, His peculiar treasure.
I love the imagery of Christ coming back for His Church- His bride. My favorite moment in every wedding is that second right after the groom catches his first glimpse of the bride walking toward him. In a ceremony of intent and purpose and in the seriousness of covenant making, there is that one particularly vulnerable second… that one second you cannot rehearse or prepare for. You can rehearse the vows and the speed at which to walk, but no amount of practice can prepare you for that moment.
I see the Lord in this passage, tears caught in His throat, a little taken aback and in awe of the beauty and blessing from those faithful lips. To me its not unlike a groom who finds that the air is suddenly sucked from his lungs with one look at his beloved. Then just as a groom publicly and openly claims as his own the bride, the Lord boldly and ashamedly states His intent to possess the righteous ones who really love and serve Him.
So this morning I am basking in the love of my Heavenly Groom, who claims me as His own, though sometimes I am admittedly a very peculiar treasure 🙂 Be encouraged this morning to know, friends, that the Lord is blessed by the fragrance of your praise and that He remembers those who reverence Him and worshipfully fear Him and who think on His Name.