"We should all live a life worthy of our calling, purpose" by: Betsy Monico

   We planned the precise location of our home with three things in mind: the lake in front, the open field in back, and the canopy of shade trees. 
   Fast forward…the deer feeders in the back are constantly full and keep the deer happy. 
   The lake provides us with fishing, swimming, and gives our dogs a much needed cool off. 
   Our trees are where we gather to cut watermelon, eat crawfish, and even roast s’mores. 
   Being the thrifty one of the family too, I often thank the Lord for our shade when our summer electric bills arrive. 
   Jeremiah 29 comes to mind: “For I know the plans I have for you…” I believe this even includes the trees around us! 
   Last Wednesday, we all laid down peacefully about 10 p.m.
   A few minutes after most of the Monicos began snoring or got too engrossed in Netflix to care, a storm hit. 
   It was not the usual thunder, lightning, and vicious downpour that we are accustomed to, but a wind storm. 
   It was loud! I recall jumping, but forgot about it until the next morning. 
   My husband informed me that he knew what startled me…the wind snapped one of our big trees. It was struck by lightning a month ago and already fragile. 
   The wind took about half of it down for good. 
   I immediately noticed the next morning that our backyard looked strange. The tree limbs laying down were huge. 
   As a result, my husband took off Friday and we began the process of cleaning up, cutting up, raking up, splitting up, and stacking up. 
   I am a good limb dragger; however, I am not allowed to use the chain saw or log splitter. 
   My real claim to fame is stacking firewood and organizing the multiple racks we store, with absolute perfection for when the cold weather appears. 
   I believe stacking firewood is an art. You have to start at the bottom and get a strong base. 
   My first attempt many years ago began to leaned. I remember knowing what I had to do to correct the issue - focus on the bottom, the core, the foundation. Since then, I spend most of my time doing just that. 
   I thought about one of my favorite childhood songs today “The Wiseman built his house upon the rock” as I built my base, making sure it was as strong and secure as possible. 
   What a wise lesson for us all to keep in mind this week. 
   Jesus Christ is our only Rock!
   Our recent fiasco also made me think. Our loss this summer will be our gain next winter. Frequently that is a true phenomenon in life. Challenges become blessings in time! 
   I especially will be thankful when the cold weather hits, since I am the only cold natured one in the family and love our fireplace. 
   We are told in Nehemiah 8:10, not to grieve because the joy of the Lord is our strength. How true! Often a loss is a gain, and a test is a testimony! 
   Lastly, stacking wood correlates with putting jigsaw puzzles together. 
   Every piece of wood has its place, just like pieces in a puzzle do. 
   In life, we all have our place too, our own purpose and our own gifts. 
   Only when we work together and are willing to fit together, will we be complete.  
   If not, we are just pieces of the riddle with no connections. Paul’s words in Ephesians 4 are worth reading this week! 
   We should all aim to live the life worthy of our calling. 
   With that, we will all live with purpose. 

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