What You Don’t Know Can Save Your Life

by | Nov 26, 2012 | Uncategorized

As I navigate back into some normalcy after a few days of company and sick kids, I’m re-posting one of my favorite stories. At least that’s what the stats tell me. Hope this Monday on the heels of holiday finds you well.

We have a nightly dinner ritual that makes me feel insecure on most days. No one is aware of it, except for me.  Because admitting it, that would be embarrassing.

My husband was born with an uncanny ability to remember facts. A plethora of facts on just about any subject.  After twenty-two years, I am still in awe, acutely aware of the fact that it is a gift. Even more grateful for the money he saves us because of all the things he knows how to do.

Most evenings, while I scoop food on plates, our kids engage him in conversation. Last night my daughter asked him to do a WWII alphabet list. I have to admit that if she would have asked me, I’m not even sure I would have made it to letter D.

My silence probably clues my kids in to the reality that their mom doesn’t remember most of what she learned in school after fourth grade. Because when you are in charge of your own life, play the role of parent before you know how to drive a car, food and security take priority over the leadership of Hitler and mathematical equations.

What I remember most about school is how safe I felt in the classroom.  That the stiffness of worry I held at home, fell off during those hours seated at a desk among my friends. Truthfully, I didn’t care as much about what the textbook said, than the assurance of a safe place,  just in case I found myself alone or in danger. The fact that I made good grades, that is grace I don’t take for granted.

And after school, it wasn’t milk and cookies, and doing homework around the kitchen table with some help. I walked home to an empty house. Sometimes my mother met me inebriated on the front lawn, to greet my friends.

I can’t remember how to do geometry and I don’t quote facts about history. I would be one of those people we laugh about on Jay Leno, if he met me on the street and asked a random question.

But I can tell you how to hear God in your room at midnight when your house is full of strangers and smells of marijuana and beer.  How to hear him when you need to choose which school to attend, whether you should marry the man who asked you, and how to make a decision when it involves moving across the country to live in a place you have never seen before – three times.

I can help you to identify that still small voice of the One who created you, knew how your life would turn out even through the hardship. That voice wants to tell you how much He loves you now.

I can assure you that you most certainly are not your circumstances; that the power of God who raised Christ from the dead lives in you if you asked Him to.  And that nothing you face today is too difficult for Him.

And when I listen to the conversations about wars, cars and debates over historical facts, I sit with embarrassment about my lack of contribution . . .  with gratitude. Because those three people seated around my kitchen table, they are teaching this Mom and Wife all the things I missed.

They are the beauty of my redemption.

There is no end of the road, closed door, or circumstance too difficult for redemption to do its work. That fact, I know it well.

Linking with Ann today and counting thanks in my girl who continues to recover from a horrible accident less than two weeks ago. The way God is using it to reveal himself to us and to others. For our family who flew in from Ohio on a clear day and sat around a full table of food to give thanks. I’m thankful for antibiotics that make my girl with strep feel better in 24 hours and for my son who makes me laugh on a regular basis. For warm showers, heat in the car on a frosty day and for the way none of us seem to take anything for granted, and find gratitude in the simple things of life.

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  1. Jillie

    Excellent Shelly. Simply excellent! Again, I so relate to the instability and uncertainty of growing up in such ‘a home’. And enjoying school so much, because of the friends there. The laughter with them and the loss of fears for a few hours each day, experienced when I returned to that kind of home at schoolday’s end. Wishing I lived in anybody else’s home rather than my own.
    And, today, the faces of my family gathered round my table…trophies of His amazing grace. “They [too] are the beauty of my redemption.”

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yes, you know this well Jillie, the importance our friends played in providing joy and stability.

  2. Lynn Morrissey

    I really relate, Shelly. I’m married to a walking encyclopedia like H. Mike is so knowledgeable, and he can do *anything*! I call him my Renaissance Man. Like you, God blessed me with good grades in school, but my recurring nightmare is taking an exam and being unprepared–probably, because were I to take tests now, I would do poorly. Facts elude me now like vapors and mists. But what I *do* know is how God took a broken mess of a woman who, unlike you, brought upon herself so many ills and sins. God took the mess and redeemed it, and He had a purpose for my life, which would embrace redemption–of turning all things together for good, including sin in my life–to glorify Him and to give others hope: If He could change me, He can change *anybody*! Keep posting your life, from the present and the archives, to give others hope, Shelly. God does it so well through you!
    Love, Lynn

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I think we are quite blessed Lynn, beyond our comprehension.

  3. Colline

    Beautifully written – I am not surprised it is one of your popular posts.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Well, that is kind of you Colline. Thank you.

  4. Megan Willome

    So beautiful, Shelly. What you missed and what you have that others don’t.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      It’s all part of the big story that is mine. I’ll take it.

  5. Amanda B. Hill

    I don’t know what to say except that you are a blessing. God blesses those to be a blessing, and you can’t shy away from your role in that. I think back to where we would all be in the loaves and fishes story. I imagined myself walking around the circles of men, dusty and dirty, with no place of leadership but simply in awe of what circumstances had befallen me. I waited for the Lord to pass, and with my head bowed. I could hardly stand to look at his radiance. You imagined yourself at the right hand of Jesus passing out the fish because you are destined to be a leader, and a guide, and the one who knows truth. Embrace it, and give thanks! 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Well, I’m a bit undone by your comment. Sort of makes me teary and humbled and thankful all at the same time. I’m so glad God had it in mind for our paths to cross Amanda. You are such an inspiration. Praying for you daily and taking your words here to heart.

  6. Ells....ro elliott

    Oh this resonates…I hid for a long time from my kids…my gaps in my learning…..me a homeschooling mom…my husband is like yours…smart in every way…me…home life…clear learning difficulties left me deficient in so many ways…or at least the ways of the world…and I have a daughter who got my “gift” …the one that leave one out of may conversations…the one that can have you say “foolish “ things… also the one that may interfere with the ability to read books…but doesn’t hinder the ability to ‘read’ God…to read people….one that has a “special ability” to hear…and remember His voice… now I can encourage my daughter…God has many ways of handing out gifts…He truly is the great redeemer~ so glad to hear all are healing well~

    • Redemption's Beauty

      It’s the glory of creation. All different, no two alike and equal in contribution. I’m so thankful for the way He made you Ro. Just perfect.

  7. Sherri

    I’ve said it before – the rainy days make us appreciate the sunny ones all the more! However, it sounds like you had more than your share of rainy days growing up – I’m sorry for that. But, as you have pointed out so eloquently in this post, these rainy days helped make you the person you are, and that is an amazing mother, wife and friend. Thanks for the post – as usual, your words have provoked a grateful and reverent state of mind!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I like your saying Sherri, its so true. That if we didn’t have adversity, we wouldn’t embrace the grace as hard as we do.

  8. Gerald Van Dielen

    Wow, that’s a beautiful post. Glad to read your testimony.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thank you Gerald. It’s a pleasure to meet you.

  9. Stefanie

    IN the midst of it all, give thanks!
    Thank you for being a living example of 1 Thessalonians 5:18, my friend.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Not sure if I can live up to that Stefanie, you humble me. Thank you.

  10. LuAnn

    I love this. I am thanking God for making all things new-for beautiful redemption and for you. You have helped me hear and recogonize that still small voice.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I miss you my friend. Thankful for the gift of your friendship, even over the miles that separate us these many years.

  11. Sylvia R

    “There is no end of the road, closed door, or circumstance too difficult for redemption to do its work.” That fact, *I* know it well, too!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Glad to know I’m in good company. Got your email Sylvia and will respond before the setting of the sun. 🙂

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