Stripping Away The Dirt

Stripping away the dirt.When things get stressful I head to my workroom and start refurbishing something. The piece of furniture that diverted my attention this time was an antique table that was in my grandparents house when I was growing up.

If only the table could talk. It would tell of family dinners, and weekly card games with the neighbors. It served as a solid surface to write letters to family members spread across the country. When us kids were visiting, the table would be a work surface for cookie baking, holiday crafts and any number of other things my grandparents could think of to keep us kids busy.

I cleaned decades of caked on dirt off that table. I sanded layers and layers of built up varnish and polyurethane coating that was applied to protect the table from us kids. At long last the table stood naked and completely void of any covering. It stood in the middle of the room looking just as it had when the carpenter built it all those years ago.

I then started with bare wood to make the old table something new and beautiful.

Isn’t that what God does for us. He strips off the built up gunk we have covered ourselves with over the years. He sands and chisels the stuff that has grown hard and is hidden in hard to reach places.He works slowly and methodically until we stand before Him as He created us.

He makes us new, whole and spotless.

I don’t know about you but I am thankful that God loves me enough to refurbish me and bring me back to perfection!

Dottie

…………and so I ride

The Old China Hutch

My Fathers Hands

The China Hutch in the closet

My Father’s Hands

There was an old china hutch in my closet. My Dad made it for me many years ago.

I dragged that hutch with me through many moves over many years. It grew ragged over time but I could not bear to part with it.

The door was broken, the back was no longer attached and the once beautiful finish was marked with scratches and grooves. It had definitely seen better days.

I could never bring myself to get the old hutch out of the closet and bring it back to life. Somehow it was easier to close the closet door and let it rest along with my memories of Dad.

But one day the hutch beckoned me. I opened the closet door, dragged the hutch to my workroom and started to work on it. I don’t know why, I just knew I had to do it.

That first swipe of the sandpaper was the most difficult, what if, as I sanded the old finish off my memories disappeared also?

It was after that first difficult step that the magic started happening. I sanded off layers of paint and with each layer that was sanded I was given the most precious gifts I have ever received.

I remember thinking to myself through the tears, my hands are working the same wood that you did Dad. I learned much about my Dad as I worked on the old hutch. Memories that had faded to dull gray were suddenly alive in vibrant hues.

I could see on the inside of the hutch where my Dad had experimented with the stain. There was dark stain, light natural stain and everything in between. In the end he went with something in the middle. That was just like I remember him, not to flashy but not content to fade into the woodwork either.

There was plenty of wood glue on the old hutch. He wanted it to be solid and to hold up to whatever it was called upon to hold. That was so like my Dad. Strong, steady and able to handle whatever was called for.

The hutch was of a plain design, there was only one thing he added that could be called a decoration. There again, that was my Dad, nothing fancy, but strong, steady and very functional.

I found funny little modifications where he had rigged unconventional fixes when the door wouldn’t shut right or the hinge wouldn’t work like he wanted. He was an old farmer after all, if it took wire and twine to get it to work, well so be it.

I learned that he didn’t care much for the prep work like sanding, he wanted to get right to the nuts and bolts of building it and fitting it together in just the right way. There were drops of wayward stain and dollops of wood glue that went unnoticed. It reminded me that what is on the outside is not the most important, it is what is inside that matters. That was my Dad, work clothes, not always pretty work clothes but he had the heart to do what he needed to do in those work clothes. Rough around the edges but a heart that loved to please his family.

I remember when he broke the glass in the door of the hutch when he was putting it together. He would be proud to know that the door of the old hutch continued to be a problem. I asked my husband Earl to help me put new glass in the top of the door and some fancy tin in the bottom. It was beautiful, just like I had envisioned. It was going so well right up to the time I tried to attach the door to the hutch and the only way it would fit was upside down. I don’t know how I did it but we put the glass where the tin went and the tin where the glass went. It looked great but it was upside down and opened on the wrong side! In honor of Dad, I am leaving it that way. So Dad, the door got me too! Like Father, like Daughter. I can just hear him chuckling up in heaven and saying Oh Sis…..you never could tell directions.

I always worried that if I altered the looks of the old hutch my memories would disappear or somehow be altered also, so I just put it in the closet and shut the door.

I was wrong.

As I finish breathing new life into the old hutch I am refilled and refreshed with precious memories and with the values, love and morals my Dad instilled in his children. I am putting the newly redone old hutch in a place of honor in the living room. It is coming out of the closet for good. Every time I see it I think of all he taught me as we worked on the old hutch together. Thanks Dad!

Dottie

…………and so I ride

Does God Love Me?

How can God love me? I don’t love myself sometimes, how can I know that even when I am at my worst, God still loves me?There is no such thing as a person God no longer wants.

You are loved in a unique way, God’s way because you were created in a unique way. God loves you because you, are you. There is not one thing about you that is an accident. He knew you intimately before you were born because He was responsible for creating you. He carefully and intentionally wrote your life story and knit you in your mother’s womb.

I love the quote in one of my favorite books from Lysa Terkeurst, “Live from the abundant place that you are loved. “

This is not a call to action to change one single thing about you. This is a call to rest in the knowledge that you are loved for being uniquely and wonderfully you. It is as simple as that.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God”…..1 John 3:1

Faithful

God is faithful, this is a wonderful thought and one we should take great comfort in. However, in a sick and twisted way, Satan is faithful also. This is something we should remain in high alert against because Satan is faithful in his desire to seek ways to gain access to our lives and destroy what God has done.

Satan is a master at playing your trusted friend. The minute things go wrong he is right there. He is asking, “where is God now?” He has deserted you and left you to figure this out on your own. You can look for him but you will not find him. I told you, God won’t help you.

We must stand ready to fight Satan when he tries to infiltrate our lives because I can guarantee you, he will try.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. — 1 Peter 5:8

Be on guard, be watchful and attentive. Be the person who maintains the attitude that the enemy will never gain entry into your life. Be vigilant and committed to stand against Satan over and over. Be aware and working against sneak attacks.


Pay attention because Satan is sneaky and he is faithful to his cause. He will set friends and family against you. He will slander you and use deception to draw you to those things that will destroy you. He will use you, against you.

Don’t listen to the lies flowing forth from the tongue of Satan. He is at war with anyone that believes and loves God.

 Rest in the fact that we serve a redeeming God. Don’t fight Satan alone, it is impossible, rather set your eyes on God and don’t take them off. Be obedient to God, be diligent and aware that Satan will try to outwit you. The stronger your faith, the greater the battle he will wage. Satan might be faithful but God is more faithful to you and He loves you. That is the fact that makes all the difference in the world. Stop believing Satan, don’t stop believing God.

Be a freedom fighter.

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31–

Dottie

…………..and so I ride

Drowning in simplicity

“The unfolding of your words gives light, it gives understanding to the simple.” Psalm 119:130“The unfolding of your word gives light….”

God desires to give us light and to have us live in His light. He wants to illuminate to us, who He really is and where He wants to send us.

Meditate on the light of God. Psalms also tells us that “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

It might be just enough light to illuminate one single step but rest assured, if you take one step in God’s light, He will provide the light for the next step, and the next and the next.

….”it gives understanding to the simple.”

This ending to the sentence gives such great hope. Opening the Bible is a daunting thing. This is a vast text of 66 books, with 1,189 chapters in those books, all perfectly inspired and guided entirely by God through approximately 40 men of diverse backgrounds over approximately 1500 years.

You don’t know where to start reading the Bible and some of the text is so deep it is confusing. It didn’t take long for me to decide that I was one of the “simple” that God was talking about.

The wonderful thing about God is, although we may be uneducated on things of the Bible, if we are willing to learn, He is willing to teach.

Psalm 119:105 says “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Don’t worry, God has the perfect plan to illuminate us and make us wise. He gives us the capacity to learn His word, the tools to learn His words and the drive to not just gather information but to gather the information with revelation and live that knowledge we have gathered.

One simple step on our part, opening the Bible, that is all it takes, God does the rest!

Dottie

…………..and so I ride

You Have The Power to Create Change, do you have the wisdom to know when it is needed?

YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE CHANGE
, do you have the wisdom to know when it is needed? 

You feel like everyone does life better than you.

You feel like the deck is stacked against you.

You feel like you are not enough, and inconsequential, irrelevant, not important, trivial and inadequate.

You feel like you need to change.

You know where you want your destination to be, you have envisioned it many times.

Yet, here you are. There seems to be many miles between where you are and where you feel you are destined to end up.

You do have the power to create change in your life, however, it also takes wisdom, patience and courage to ensure that the change you want to create, is what God has destined for you.

Maybe change is not happening right this second because there is growth and learning that need to happen in your life.

Maybe change is not happening right this second because other circumstances or situations need to come into line before you receive a greater reward than you ever imagined.

Maybe change is not happening because the change is your plan………and not God’s.

You do have the power to create change in your life but the wisdom comes from trusting God with the timing. The patience comes from waiting for the change that God wants to see in you in exactly the time that God wants to see it. The courage comes from learning to quit trying to control things and letting God do what He does so well. Finally do you have the wisdom and courage to accept whatever God determines?

You do have the power to create change in your life, do you have the courage to ask God if it is a change He wants to see in your life and the patience to wait for His answer?

Dottie

………….and so I ride

WHAT YOU THINK, YOU BECOME

Be careful how you think, your life is shaped by your thoughts. Proverbs 4:23

Free will, God gave it to us. There is power in positive thinking.. It takes effort to train your mind to lean towards the positive. We have the power of God to help us discipline and bring our thinking into line.

 To change your attitude you must change your inner dialog.

Change your inner dialog and you change you.

Change you and you find the beautiful person God created you to be. .

The apostle Paul said, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8).Feb 10, 2014

What you think you become. Think on those things that are wonderful, those things that are beautiful. You are beautiful.

You are altogether beautiful, my love: there is no flaw in you. Song of Solomon 4:7

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you………Isaiah 43:4