Weekend Walk: 02/18/2012, Waiting for Domestic Inspiration

Hiding the Word:

I have this bad habit, a deep dark secret of my house-cleaning ways.

I wash the clothes, fold the clothes, put the clothes away.  The laundry is almost done.  All that remains are the persistently unmatched socks (how can all the clothes be clean and yet somehow there are solo socks?).  I also have a pile of clothes that need ironing (correction, clothes that need a tumble in the fluff cycle on my dryer).

About once a week, I push myself to actually complete this laundry mission.  Match the socks.  Fluff the wrinkly pile and hang the clothes up in the closet.

Other days, back into the dryer they go, waiting for when I have more time, more motivation, more self-discipline, more domestic inspiration, more . . . . something.

There are pieces of my life that sometimes seem stuffed in a dryer somewhere waiting for some attention.

I know that God doesn’t ignore me.  I know that I haven’t lost His attention or that He’s arbitrarily or lazily stashed me away for a day when He has more time, creativity, or inspiration.

Still, some days I feel impatient with the unfinished product and the incomplete picture.

So, my verse to meditate on and memorize this week is:

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”
(Philippians 1:6).

I hope you’ll join me in meditating on this verse all week, posting it up at your stove, your desk, your car, and/or your bathroom mirror.  It’s a reminder that God’s work in us is a “good work” and He’s perpetually carrying it out in our lives.  He won’t leave us unfinished.

Weekend Rerun:


Strings Tied Around My Finger
Originally posted March 8, 2011


I had a crisis moment the other night.  When I was reading the Bible, it reminded me of something I had read and copied into my journal a few years ago.  So, I pulled out my recent journals and the one I needed was missing.

This might not seem huge to you, but it was sad and frustrating and a little worrying to me.  My journals aren’t personal diaries of my experiences and feelings.  They are records of the verses, quotes, prayers and thoughts I’ve had as God interacts with my life.  Oftentimes, I can vividly remember exactly where I was and what was happening in my life when I wrote an entry in my prayer journal.

The entry I was looking for that night was written while sitting at the Ben & Jerry’s in Yorktown, Virginia, eating a scoop of chocolate peanut butter ice cream on an incredibly sunny day.  I was struggling with some ministry issues and I copied down a quote from David Crowder’s book, Praise Habit, that encouraged me.  Of course, what really helps me remember this particular entry is the ice cream!

Losing my journal is like losing some of my testimony, the written record I keep of God at work in my life.   In the Bible, many of God’s people created monuments or kept mementos of times when God rescued them.  It was their way of remembering that God saved us then and He can save us again.

Samuel the prophet did this in 1 Samuel 7:12:  “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”  We often sing the hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing without realizing that when it says, “Here I raise my Ebenezer,” it’s referring to this monument Samuel created.  Literally, it means “a stone of help.”

Samuel’s stone reminded Israel of how God delivered them when they repented and returned to Him.  After rebelling against God and being punished as a result, “then all the people of Israel turned back to the LORD” (1 Samuel 7:2, NIV).  Following this new beginning, this repentance and restoration, God routed the enemy Philistines in a mighty and miraculous way.  All of Israel could see that God was faithful to save them as long as they walked in obedience.

But Samuel didn’t want the people to forget what God did in that place.  We humans are forgetful creatures.  God saves us.  We praise Him.  Things are good for a while.  Then a crisis occurs and we fret, we worry, we wonder, “Is God going to let me down this time?”

We need a string around our finger to help us remember who God is.  We need an Ebenezer, a record of what God has done, so when life is hard and we need healing and provision and intervention, we can look at the monuments of the past and say, “Look what God did for me.  He saved me here, and here, and here—-and He’ll do it again.”

That’s one reason our testimonies are so important.  It’s our way of reminding ourselves and encouraging others that God is still at work in people’s lives.  Every once in a while, our pastor takes the microphone around the church and we listen to others share, at first a little hesitantly, and then with great emotion and boldness, about how God has been real to them.   I love those Sundays because the testimony of others–their Ebenezer–reveals God to me.

The Bible is like “testimony” time to me also.  God passes the microphone around and different people share how God changed them.  Jonah gets up and says, “See, I’ve been struggling with obedience lately, but God . . .”  Sarah says, “I have something to confess.  Sometimes I like to ‘help’ God out with His plans, but God . . . “  Mary says, “I was just a really simple, God-fearing girl, but God . . . “

All these people in the Bible are broken, sinful, and imperfect, just like me, and yet they encountered God.  Their testimonies help me remember not just what God has done in my life, but what He has done in others’ lives throughout history.

Eugene Peterson wrote:

With a biblical memory, we have two thousand years of experience from which to make the off-the-cuff responses that are required each day in the life of faith.  If we are going to live adequately and maturely as the people of God, we need more data to work from than our own experience can give us.

Our lives are short.  Our experience with God is just a fraction of His activity here on earth.  So, when we look at life through the filter of our personal experiences alone, we miss out on what the Bible offers us.  By reading Scripture, we tap into 2000 years of people experiencing God.  We read the testimonies of people who lived a long time ago and find out they needed God as much as we do and He loved them and cared for them just as He loves and cares for us.

Thankfully, I found my missing journal the next day and—amazingly, if not miraculously—it was flipped open to the exact page I was looking for.

I hope you find ways this week to create Ebenezers in your life–a prayer journal,  testimony book or verse cards.  Don’t stop there, though.  Connect with other Christians who can share their testimonies, through church, small groups, community Bible studies, and by reading Christian books.  Then, dig deep into God’s Word and read it as if it were a testimony time of the saints written just for you.  All of these things will serve as strings tied around your finger, physical reminders of what God has done and what He will continue to do.


Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King

Quiet Time With a Mop and a Bucket, Lesson 2

“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”
Philippians 1:6

For Lesson 1: You Are Not the Only One, click here

Lesson 2: There’s Always More to Do

Hours after I toted all of the cleaning bottles and paraphernalia to the back of the house, I had now systematically worked through each room, accomplishing the “Big Clean.”  Not the everyday wipe-down.  Not the daily decluttering.  The kind of clean you build up to over time, where you flip  over sofa cushions and apply toothbrush to grout.

I emptied the bucket of soapy water, hung up my dish rag, placed the broom in the closet and sat down to write.  I was finished cleaning.  The house was spotless.


Except for the fact that as I sat at the kitchen table, I now saw the clear handprints left by my daughters on the window next to me.  I just washed that window two days ago.  Now there were handprints.  Up I hopped, grabbed the Windex and a paper towel.  Spritzed.  Wiped down.  Put cleaning supplies away.  Sitting down again, I thought, “yes, now I am truly done.”


Except now I could clearly see a splotch on one wall that I must have missed earlier.  No problem.  One quick wipe-down and I am done.

Except . . .

The reality of cleaning is that there will always be more mess, if not now than later.

And so it is with us.  We allow God to clean us out, scrubbing out the hidden corners of sin, bad attitudes and rotten motives.  We are purified, refined, and made new.  Yet, no matter how far we have progressed on this road to Christ-likeness, we will not attain perfection on this planet.   “We know that when Christ appears,we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2b).  But, until Christ appears, we’re not going to be His perfect likeness and we’re going to have more messes to clean up.

We could take that as permission to stop cleaning all together.  Why make the bed, if you’ll sleep it in that night?  Why wash the dishes if they are just going to be dirtied again?  Why keep trying to be more like Christ when I can’t possibly be perfect?

And yet, Paul wrote:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)

In her book One in a Million, Priscilla Shirer writes, “You might be in the oasis of complacency if you’ve started thinking you’ve arrived and that nothing more is really required of you at this point in life.  You’ve basically stopped hungering for anything new, concluding that your present experience with God is probably as good as it’s going to get.”

Sometimes the most dangerous place for a Christian to be is immediately following a “Big Clean.”  We feel excited about the work God has done in us, the place He’s brought us to, the revolutionary way He has stirred up our hearts.  Then we begin to think we’ve made it.  We’re so close to God right now; there just couldn’t be anything closer.  We’re so much farther than where we were before, so taking  a moment to enjoy the new and improved location seems like a good idea.  Then we settle in and stop moving forward.

It’s just like the two-and-a-half tribes of Israel that chose to settle down east of the Jordan river rather than taking the land God promised them in Canaan.  They stopped just short of God’s fullest blessing.  They settled for less all because they thought what they had was good enough.

But, I want God’s very best for me, the fullness of His plan, even if that means moving out of what is comfortable, even if that means letting the Holy Spirit take a mop and bucket to my heart day after day.

The solution for continual mess isn’t hopelessly shrugging our shoulders about sin or complacently allowing Satan to clutter our lives with trash and dirt.  Instead, we clean and clean and clean, everyday scrubbing out the fingerprints of Satan and our flesh and the world.  We Windex the windows of our hearts so that Christ can shine through us.  And we do it day after day after day until Christ whisks us away to the glory of heaven and the spotless purity of His presence, because even though we can’t be perfect this side of heaven, the progress we make on this journey, the miraculously transformative work that God does in us, points others to Christ.  Others look at us and see God’s handiwork, testimony that the grace that is at work in us can be at work in them, too.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King