Friday, August 31, 2018

What Exactly is Concrete?

what exactly is concrete

This may sound like a repeat from last week but no, because this week has been rougher than last! . So many downs. Very few ups. I'm writing these words from the confines of my mom's hospital room. She continues to struggle for breath due to multiple blood clots in both lungs. You know the dread you feel when a close family member has a serious illness. I'm give thanks to our gracious God she is improving slowly. 

I have a couple of thoughts to share this week. Mom was visited by a hospital chaplain this morning. He asked "Can you have fun in a hospital?".  He shared some anecdotal stories with us that were somewhat fun, but not as funny to me as the stories I want to retell on my parents:
  • My dad was hospitalized in March after his fourth stroke. A couple of days had passed when he requested to shower. "I can do it myself" he said. I insisted we call a nurse to help him. His face lit up when a young beautiful blonde-haired nurse walked in. He quickly agreed with her help! She went to gather some bathing supplies. I asked him, "Have you ever showered with a blonde?" He giggled and said "No! But I'm about to!"  His bathing experience is a standing joke at our house.
  • My mom's doctor came to explain about placing her on blood thinners. He said "I want you to take Coumadin because it's tried and true." He waited for her approval. She answered him saying "That sounds good to me. I like spices!" Although she wasn't joking because she was thinking of Cumin, her reply has become a standing joke as well. The doctor was gracious and asked if he could use that one. 
  • Here's a couple more funny stories that are medical jokes at our house. Just click the link to read them. Sloane's kidney stone experience entitled "We had our very own Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"  and Tammy's kidney stone experience entitled "Pande-"monday"-ium of Laughter"
Yes! We do believe you can have fun in a hospital. We do admit, however, we'd rather have fun almost any place else. 

My second thought this week involves the concrete picture. What exactly is concrete? Concrete is such an everyday term; yet do we really know what it is made of? As I was thinking about how rocky my path has been for the past couple of weeks, God caused me to visual concrete. I immediately thought Ah! yes! Concrete. I love concrete. Concrete hurts most folks' feet but it is absolutely the easiest surface for me to stand on. It is firm and solid. The non-rigid surface of concrete makes my feet and gait so happy. After a moment of sheer joy thinking about concrete, I asked why the image of concrete Lord? I looked up this explanation of concrete at Concrete consists of Portland cement, sand, gravel or aggregate, small rocks, and varying amounts of water. These ingredients are blended together to generate a paste, which is then poured into a frame, and dries hard with time. A chemical reaction occurs between the water and the cement to create a solid foundation.

I began to ponder how you can take jagged rocks and create a smooth, solid foundation. I recalled many of my struggles during the past weeks. I felt every single problem or "rock" my feet had walked over the past two weeks. I remembered the way my feet turned over when they encountered the rocks. The twisting of my feet made my back hurt. Then God whispered, "Tammy, for every rock you walk over and get tossed here and yonder, you're making concrete. I am your solid foundation. You may have to walk over a few rocks but trust me, you'll always find your footing on my concrete." Praise Jesus! I said "God, you have the biggest concrete trucks because you're pouring it out for me all the time!"

Just like the chemical reaction with concrete, a spiritual reaction occurs between my Savior and me. He takes all the rocks, gravel and sand of my life and puts them in my frame to mold me. He smooths them all out so I can walk firmly on his foundation. The process takes a while but the end result is smooth and pretty.  How firm a foundation ye Saints of Lord, is laid for your faith in his excellent word....That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I'll never, no never, no never forsake.

Standing firmly 365,

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