A Place for All Women

Archive for July, 2011

Some Smelly Socks

          A silly little saying can sometimes stick in my head longer than the words of wisdom from a deep theological study. 

           When I was a teenager, my friends and I had a catchphrase we would use whenever we were embarrassed.

            “I’m just gonna go crawl into my socks… and peep out.”

            It helps if you imagine it being said with a bit of a Southern drawl. 

           I most often found the saying useful after I had offered up my opinion and unsolicited advice to someone, then later found myself in the very same situation, reacting exactly as they had.  My sisters and sister-in-law can certainly testify here for all the times I questioned or criticized their parenting skills before becoming a mom myself.  And I fully acknowledge after this confession that some of my current friends are about to raise their hands in agreement that I should go get my socks.

           As a full-time mom for the last 13 years, finding time to read my Bible, study, pray and spend quiet time with God, has been a breeze.  The more often I relaxed on the front porch swing, in the big mama chair or in total hammock heaven, the more I thought everyone should be doing the same thing.  My working friends would drop behind in group Bible studies and I would think they were just slacking… succumbing to the pressure of a paycheck and giving God less time than He deserved.  But now, here I am, operating most days on four hours of sleep, praying in the car on the way to work, grabbing a quick verse from my new daily devotional and looking longingly at the Beth Moore study collecting dust on the headboard of my bed. 

           While I miss the time I used to have with my family, I feel far more desperate for my quiet time with God.  But He did try to warn me.

           Before I walked reluctantly back into the working world, I kept seeing and hearing the word “sacrifice” in studies, on signs and in sermons.  Now that I can look back and sort of understand what was about to happen, the words “self righteous” are beginning to appear.  The words came to me again this morning while praying on my way to work.  The Spirit was pretty clear on how little I really comprehend the stress, struggles and tight schedules of other people’s lives.  I felt sad and sorry, though I still felt a little entitled.  That is one of the problems with our flesh… and a good God doesn’t want us to stay that way.

             So, it’s a Saturday and I’m at work.  But when I get home, I’m going to find a pair of socks and, if you look closely my friends, you will be able to see me peeping out.


“Do not judge so that you will not be judged.  For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”

Matthew 7:1 

Yep I see that a bit more clearly now. 

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.  Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Hebrews 4:15-16 

In addition to mercy and grace, what I need is more time to do that study.  But in honor of all working women  I’m going to try to keep quiet about that for a little while.



© Copyright 2011, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Behind the Firewall

Job 29:24

“When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;

the light of my face was precious to them.” 

            When you pray for God’s provision, you can’t always predict how He might provide.  I am partial to those times when money just unexpectedly shows up in the mail.  But as soon as I start counting on that happening again, of course, it doesn’t.  If I am still able to muster up the smallest measure of faith, I eventually find that I am fascinated by God’s plan and so glad He didn’t follow mine.

            Thus, I recently found myself in a situation I had not expected.  Our city was just about to recover from historic flooding when tornadoes, straight-line winds and more flooding hit many of the surrounding areas.  It was one of the largest scale disasters ever recorded here and resulted in multitudes of rescue and recovery missions.  Federal and State disaster officials moved in and set up shop.  It wasn’t like setting up camp, but more like creating a major corporation.  It takes a massive machine to process the paperwork when thousands of people have lost everything they have ever owned. 

            But after several weeks of working it all out, the relief operation begins winding down, and that’s where this part of the story starts: 

            We needed money!  Not your normal bill-paying family financial infusion, but a big chunk of extra cash to pay for a new contractual commitment. 

            So I needed a job…or a check in the mail…and I got the job. 

            As the disaster workers began to wrap up the details in order to leave our area, a few locals were hired to come in and help out during the temporary transition.  What I expected to see inside the secure facility were a few hundred worn out and weary workers limping along until the last leg of their journey.  What I actually saw were some of the happiest people I have ever encountered. 

            “I think it comes from the top,” one employee suggested when asked for an explanation.  She must have been right because it wasn’t long before I witnessed the big boss walking around each room, calling every person by name and, not only allowing them to forgo all the official titles, but letting them use his nickname.  He was smiling, laughing and making sure everyone was having a little fun.

             It seems happiness is contagious and smiles apparently spread.  🙂 

            There is a passion in this place to help those who can’t help themselves.  And it comes with a sacrifice.  In order to assist survivors, the employees have left homes, husbands, wives, children and pets.  Most all of them are from out-of-state and have been on the clock for 12 hours a day… seven days a week… not just for a few weeks, but  for months.  

          They still smile big smiles; happy smiles…the kind where your eyes work into the equation and you can tell a genuine smile from a forced or fake one.   This secret society of public servants comes in all ages, races and religions, and I think they prove that with properly placed priorities there is provision.

            In the natural, their mind-set doesn’t seem to make sense.  How could they really be happy under these conditions?

               But, remember, they believe it comes from the top.

              They all take an oath of office to faithfully uphold the Constitution.  And, regardless of how quickly our country appears to be forgetting, they all still believe in serving “one nation under God.”

          In a world plagued with rising unemployment, they know their jobs are only temporary.  In fact, it is their mission, upon arriving at a disaster site, to work their way out of a job.  It’s how they help.   It’s how they measure success.  When the people no longer need them, they move on.  

          They can’t predict how God will provide for them the next time, but they trust He will have another assignment.  When they get the call, it will likely mean homes have been destroyed and lives have been shattered. They will drop everything they are doing and rush in to an area that everyone else is trying to escape.  

          When I took this job, I thought it was about money. We had prayed for provision and we believe God is answering our prayers.  But, now, I am far more intrigued  by God’s plan to provide a new perspective.

          I have learned that is it is not unusual for these people to be publicly criticized or ridiculed for what doesn’t happen in the recovery of a disaster zone rather than what does happen.  Hurting people sometimes lash out and hurt other people.  But these public servants seem to understand.  And, they keep going from one location… to another… always looking for the next person to help…still smiling…still happy… because it does come from the Top.  God has created us to find joy in giving, to find joy in serving, and to find joy in knowing we have made a difference. 

          At the end of the day, happiness is contagious and smiles spread.  When you pray for God’s provision, you can’t always know how He will provide. But you can always know that He will!   

Proverbs 15:15

“All the days of the oppressed are wretched,

but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.”           

Romans: 12:6-8

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.  If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage then give encouragement; if it is giving then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”   

 “The word joy is sprinkled all over the New Testament, not as something topping the cupcakes of worldly lusts or entertainment, but falling upon the hearts of men and women whose lives are caught up in who God is and what He is doing”  

~Kelly Minter, The Fitting Room


© Copyright 2011, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved


Desperately Seeking Mary

STOP!  Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, please pause to participate in an impromptu and informal survey with me.  It won’t take long. 

Ask yourself… “Who am I most like…Mary or Martha?”

Our pastor asked the same question at a recent Sunday evening service.  In a sanctuary filled with lots of ladies, only two women raised their hands when asked if they identified their lives with Mary.  

Okay.  What about you? Is it Mary? Or Martha?      

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, Martha is our role model for a Type A overachiever.  She likes to be in charge and she likes to get things done.  She has a list and when she finally gets that last item checked off, she will collapse into exhausted satisfaction… temporarily.  Tomorrow she will draft another list and the mode that makes her “all Martha” will return for another refrain.  Sometimes she gets help with her projects.  Other times, not so much.  Flying solo can bring out the best in her as she is tight wired to excel.  It can also bring out her wounded martyr mentality, and she will passively aggressively guilt anyone not able to read her mind and volunteer to help.  She loves to tell anyone who will listen all about the number of things she has accomplished.  In her mind, no one ever seems to be as busy or as booked. 

 Then, there is Mary.

 Although some might describe her as the type to stop and smell the roses, she probably hasn’t taken the time to plant any.  She recognizes that life is short… that “getting it all done” only results in “it all needs to be done again.”  She puts God first and spends quality time with people she loves.  She looks you in the eye, she listens to what you have to say and she lets you know that you matter to her.  She is not immune from stress but ponders its source and takes control of every thought.  She’s aware of all the striving round her and doesn’t mind helping as long as it doesn’t interfere with her time alone with God.  She has found the Source…the Supplier of her peace…the Keeper of her time… the Fountain of her youth.  All other activities are a meaningless chasing after the wind.  Sure, she knows if you don’t work, you don’t eat.  It says so in 2nd Thessalonians 3:10.  But there will be plenty of time to work. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us there is a time for everything under heaven. 

While her sister Martha is on a mission to do many things… Mary knows there is really only one thing.  Her properly placed priority is the Prince of Peace.  He will bless her and reward her for choosing to seek Him first. 

Martha or Mary?

I wasn’t either of the two women who raised their hands at church signifying they most identified with Mary.  I threw my hand up in the air and proudly went with the majority, believing I am more often Martha than Mary.  In fact, most of the women I know claim allegiance with the over-achieving sister. 

Both have their rightful places in our society and there is a great need for go-to girls.  But the older I get and the more I see my accomplishments just need repeating… the more I am DESPERATELY SEEKING MARY! 

 “If God isn’t first, sooner or later He will simply be a nice embellishment to our lives. When we put God first, we are empowered to love each other better, even if our love is not at first understood. The trouble is that too often we ignore things that should be first in our lives and go after secondary things, thereby losing both.”

~Camille Fronk Olson 

Luke 10:38-42

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.  She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?  Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed-or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her 

I did notice for the first time when reading this story again that this all happened at Martha’s house.  So for all of us who identify with Martha, but would like to be more like Mary,  I know this…it’s much easier to relax when the dinner party is at my sister’s house.


© Copyright 2011, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

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