After school today, I stayed for a few hours to begin packing up and cleaning up my classroom in anticipation of summer vacation. But tonight while working, I found myself glued to the news coverage. This simple yearly chore, which had begun as the usual task of throwing away broken crayons and old glue bottles, became almost overwhelming as the news began to pour in.
As I listened to CNN, I could only imagine the terror that the children and teachers in Moore, OK felt as they prayed and awaited the terrible storm that headed towards them. I heard an aunt interviewed who--while waiting for news about the fate of her sister and niece--reminded everyone that in these darkest times, we cannot let go of our faith. I was amazed both by this lady's wisdom and by her testimony as she shared about her hope, even in the face of insurmountable tragedy.
Won't you join me in continuing to pray for these precious families and this community??? So thankful that His strength is perfect when our strength is gone! Hope you find encouragement in Mimi's inspirational post for this week! Shannon
The Anchor That Holds
I dearly love spring and all its various colors! Have you noticed even the greens of the trees and grasses are various shades when they have received enough watering?
Several years ago in my front yard, we planted evergreen shrubs to the left of our walkway. These shrubs grew very quickly to a size I did not anticipate! In fact, it became a very tight squeeze trying to walk along the sidewalk next to my brick house, a house that had once been my parent’s home as well.
The growth pattern of these shrubs far surpassed my expectations of height and width within this small space. I thought at one time these shrubs were a miniature version of boxwoods, but not so!!! Even the roots seemed to be spreading aggressively under my sidewalk.
A few weeks ago it seemed like a viable plan to just pull them up and start again with a smaller, simpler flower or a flowering bush. This may have been a workable plan, but it was not an easy task. After lots of effort, I replanted my flower bed, complete with a beautiful row of Tiger Lilies and some garden lights.
Last week, while I was watering the new growth, I found a bent nail still in the brick, that served as somewhat of an anchor for me. This nail served as both a sweet remembrance and stark reminder--let me explain...
Probably some 40 years ago--when my dad worked in this same, small flowerbed--I recalled his beautiful, tall Dahlias growing in this very spot. They too had grown past his expectations and were falling over this same sidewalk. My mom insisted that they be held up neatly as they grew or at least staked up in order to prevent them from leaning over onto the front sidewalk (Honestly, I think she actually preferred that they be pulled up and taken out altogether.)
My mom suggested that my dad instead build a container garden or plant something long and narrow in the area instead. My dad was not a handyman, nor was he a resourceful guy, able to quickly build and/or design a planter. He clearly and emphatically wanted the Dahlias left there, leaning in their same spot.
What I can remember most is the Saturday morning that I pulled into their driveway and found him beating 2 nails into the mortar of the bricks, the nails about 6 feet apart from each other. He bent each of the nails in order to form them into somewhat of an anchor or hook. He planned to run a string through the hooked nails so as to prop up his row of precious Dahlias.
Last week as I worked in this flower bed, I found a nail, still in the mortar, rusted and bent, but without the string. Funny enough, as I reached to pull it out, I realized that it really was still “stuck” firmly in. I am not sure I remember him drilling out the mortar—just beating the nail in. What I do know is that the strands of cotton fiber he used to hold his precious Dahlias up did not last, but his nail anchors did. He and I both knew that the cotton line we used would not endure the entire season with the weight of the leaning Dahlias pressing down on it, but for the moment it was all he had and for the moment it seemed to work. As I stayed to help him, we doubled the line around the anchor nails and smiled at our accomplishment.
Years later, I have come to realize that my sweet remembrance is not about the beauty of the Dahlias or the frailty of the double string, but rather the longevity of the bent, rusty nail. The anchor holds. Our own precious little ones will have their leaning seasons as well. There will be days that they will desire “propping up.” As they grow, they too will turn and look for hope from things of life that are fragile and will not last. My stark reminder is while in their proverbial leaning season, let us always be the anchor that holds and the anchor that brings them hope.
Hebrews 6:19-20, “This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us…”