I was reading a book recently and every time I came across a section I wanted to remember, I folded down the pages--thinking that I would copy the quotes into my quote book. By the end of the book, I had so many folded down pages there was no way I was going to be able to write it all down. Looking at all the folded pages made me think about being a "dog-eared mommy." Some people think you shouldn't fold down pages in a book. But I believe books are to be used, read again and again. Folding down a page or underlining something helps us remember something that stood out to us when we read the book.
And sometimes I feel like a mommy who has been dog-eared. Often I feel weary, worn, and tossed around. The pages of my life are folded down to remind me of where I've been and what God has done in my life. God likes to use dog-earred people rather than those who are like coffee table books that are put on a table just for looks. Coffee table books are not used or haven't any life experiences. It's through the challenges in life that God molds us into what He is creating us to be. And like a good book that gets passed around to friends, we share with others what God has been doing in our lives and teach them about the road of faith.
I own many books and when my shelves are overflowing, I have a difficult time getting rid of them. Each one holds a memory of what I was going through when I read it and what I learned. Often when I need a reminder about a particular topic, I know just the book to pull out so I can reread it. And some books on my shelf remind me of such difficult and painful times in my life that I may never pull them out, but they are still on the shelf because they are part of my story. Each of us has a story that God has written and each day we live out one more page. Some of the pages in our life may be more worn than others, some we may want to rip out completely, and others have never been read yet.
But we are not alone. "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to hep us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:14,15. Our Lord is part of this world's story. He knows the challenges and difficult times we go through in this sinful world. He came here knowing how his story would end...and that it would begin again. In the garden, he prayed three times asking God to change the plan but willingly submitted to his Father's will. Jesus, "being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!" Phil 2:6-8
One of the pages in my dog-eared book puts it this way, "Anyone God uses significantly is always deeply wounded...We are, each and every one of us, insignificant people whom God has called and graced to use in a significant way...On the last day, Jesus will look us over not for medals, diplomas, or honors, but for scars." (Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin's Path to God)
So when I look at my life and see the worn pages of past pains, tears, worries, and problems of this life, may I also see the hand of God as he carried me through each page of my history. And may I pass on what I have learned of God and His great love for us by sharing His story.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." 2 Corinthians 4:16, 17.
Author Bio Christina Fox is a licensed psychotherapist, a stay at home mom and a blogger who writes about her dog-eared life, the changes God is making in her heart, and her desire to "show Jesus" to her kids. You can find me on the web at http://www.toshowthemjesus.com