Building a House in Vain

Today I woke up with good intentions to spend some “quality time” with the Lord. However, I did not get the opportunity the way I expected to. The kids got up early (or rather I got a later start than I wanted to) and one thing led to another and I was unable to express in writing what has been on my heart.

It has been a really long time since I have had the opportunity to sit down and reflect on what the Lord has been doing in my life. Everything from my graduation, buying and moving into a house, and Scott considering taking a job as a pastor has had me overwhelmed and busy. In fact, it has kept me so busy that I have not spent much quality time in the word or with my friend Jesus Christ. Over the last few weeks as we have been busy painting and moving things into our house, I have been filled with an urgency to get everything situated and have ignored God’s desire to get my spiritual life situated!! What a wake-up call I had through God’s word. Part of my reading included Psalm 127:

“Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward, like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.”

This passage hit me hard, as I have been “building my house in vain.” I have gotten up early and stayed up late trying to get the house “just right.” I have focused so hard on the house and have been so stressed about getting it all done, that I have sacrificed the real gift the Lord has given to my—my family!! Lord, help me to not labor in vain, but to allow you to give to me even in my sleep. Help me to cherish the special gift of my children. Help me to spend quality time with them today so that they will know how special they are to you and to me. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Body Guard

Today in my devotional reading, I stopped and meditated on Psalm 121:

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?

My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand.

The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night.

The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.

The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in

From this time forth and forever.”

After meditating on this passage, it struck me that God is my body guard. I began to think about this image. Body guards protect the people they are responsible for guarding. They go everywhere with them. If one decides to go somewhere that is unsafe or not a wise place to be, the body guard will give a warning and may even try to stop the individual, but ultimately that individual makes their own choices.

God is my body guard and even though I sometimes choose to go places I shouldn’t or refuse to listen to His warnings, He is still protecting me and guarding me as I go out and as I come in. This does not mean that I should take advantage of His protection, for Romans 6:1 clearly states, “Shall we continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be!” What Psalm 121 does show is that we can depend on the Creator of the Heavens and the earth to be our unshakable rock, who never sleeps and is always there to protect us. For even when I make wrong choices, He is loyal and faithful to me. He is my only help in times of need.


Basketball. It has been a part of my life since junior high school. I love it. It is fun, exciting, and at times a tiresome game. Now my children are playing Upwards basketball for the first time and we are halfway through the season. I never could have imagined the emotions and responses that come out of my mouth when watching them play. It is so exhilarating.

Nathan picked up on the game as a natural and has had a great time. Hannah, too, has enjoyed the game and is learning how to guard based on the Heisman pose. (She as well as the boys like to teddy bear hug their opponent when guarding them. In order to make sure they guard correctly I often holler to make them look at me and see me holding one hand closer to my stomach imitating where their hand should be on their opponents back and the other extended as if dancing with a partner. Today, I hollered at Hannah and she stopped mid-court and struck her pose!!) Anyway, I digress.

Dawson has been a little more reserved about the game. He was an “all-star” Upwards football quarter back and was a little intimidated about playing a game he didn’t know anything about. However, after his first practice he was into the game. We have been practicing for the last four weeks on fast break shots since even though he is the shortest on his team, he is the fastest. Today, the practice and coaching came to fruition.

The first time Dawson went down court and was passed the ball and was totally open to take the shot, he passed it off. My heart sank because I know he can do it. But then it came. The next trip down the court on a fast break, Dawson’s teammate passed him the ball again and he took the ball and scored!!! I’ve never hollered so loud or been so proud as I was in that moment. He had worked his heart out all week and when he finally took the courage to implement what he had been practicing all week, the joy and delight that overflowed in my heart was incomparable as I watched the basketball go through the net!

As I finally sat down, stopped hollering and clapping the Lord whispered in my ear, “How much more so I delight and rejoice over you when you take the courage to put into practice the lessons I am teaching you.” Isn’t that just like God? I am His child and He is coaching me. What a delight and a joy He must receive as I finally trust that what He has been training me to do will in fact bring glory and honor to Him!!

“Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it…The steps of man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way.” Psalm 37:5, 23