Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wood, Hay, and Stubble

This is a picture taken this past December (2008) of a home swept away by Hurricane Katrina. Thankfully, my family, my childhood home, and my extended family's homes were safe , but, we all learned valuable lessons about wood, hay, and stubble.

"Wood, Hay, and Stubble" the title of one of the many conversations that I have with my wonderful father-in-law that usually begins or ends with him saying, "This is not a lecture."

This is a picture of my huge, HUGE gas logs. I think they were the biggest they made in 1971. I am talking about things that burn in this post. As you can see from this photo--these do not burn. I am going to go ahead and classify my HUGE gas logs as "wood, hay, and stubble"(triple violation) as they are USELESS, dangerous ,and UGLY!

What he is calling "wood, hay, and stubble" are things that burn.The things that you think or do that do not really matter...Things that take up your time, energy, resources, but aren't eternal...Things that add up and cause you to be and feel so busy, that you don't have time for the things that matter. My father-in-law would say the wood, hay, and stubble tends to "choke-out" the important things. Because wood, hay, and stubble demand your attention NOW, you put off the important things. Because wood, hay, and stubble promise that if you just take a few more minutes concentrating on them, you will be able to focus better on more important things/produce the desired result/have them out of the way. Actually, now that I think about it, wood, hay, and stubble promises a whole host of things. But, the promises burn right along with the wood, the hay, and the stubble.

This is a picture of the playhouse that Al built. Certainly, I am not suggesting that we burn the playhouse down, however, it is wood, and I realized earlier that I have never put these pictures up!

When he begins his "wood, hay and stubble lecture," my father-in-law is usually insightfully referencing something that I have said "Yes" to doing that I later have regretted. The "good" things that take up my time and take the place of the BEST things.

Moving the playhouse out of the shop, and to it's current location. Did I mention that Al built this out of lumber that he milled himself out of a log he bought from a timber yard? I probably didn't because that would be bragging on my husband, and his multi-talented & genius self, and that would definitely be wood, hay, and stubble!
(Do as I say, not as I do...just kidding)

Here are some thoughts, and things I am learning about wood, hay, and stubble.
I have been deeply encouraged by Shelli's New years list, and have referenced it time and again.

After Seleta's post about purpose and simplicity, she and I exchanged a series of encouraging emails. At the conclusion of these, I was encouraged to try to notice my kiddos throughout the day, REALLY learn where they are at right now, and not just pacify them with more wood, hay, and stubble.

My friend Hope, who lost a child this summer, has been a wealth of encouragement for me on this. She has taught me so much about living life, raising these kiddies, and just BEING right now.

I have a host of real life friends from whom I have learned a ton over the past few weeks. My friend that encouraged me to pray diligently for forty days that I might gain deeper insight into the death and Resurrection of the Savior. My friend that reminded me that quality time is the most important time I can give my children. And, my friend that has been so deeply moved to encourage my family over these last few weeks, that she has left her comfort zone offering advise and scripture in a host of encouraging emails and phone calls.

If I knew how to create one of those "Best of the Week" pages, I totally would include some cool picture to represent these things in a visually pleasing manner. These are the things that I hope will take the place of some of my wood, hay, and stubble.

Of course, I have lots of things that I want to take the place of the wood, hay and stubble. These are just in my "Best of the Week" category.

On Sunday, my pastor said something at the end of his sermon that reminded me of the truths of Wood, Hay, and Stubble. He said, "Are you looking around you, are you looking to other's examples to follow and not the Lord?" I do this all of the time without even realizing it, for the most part. I think about how organized I used to be before I had children, and this is what my playroom looks like. Isn't that looking around me instead of looking to Him?
Just Kidding, this isn't my playroom, just a corner of it. I am having to use filed pictures and not current photos as a result of the fact that the playroom is so messy, I can't find the camera cord!!!!
Or, I think about the friends that I have who's jobs have been unaffected by pro ration/the recession. (YIKES!) I won' t even begin to list the ongoing projects that I am doing or re-doing in my mind, and in real life! These are just a few of the million thoughts that keep my mind busy, and off of the things that matter. Any thoughts on this?

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Carrie said...

Rob and I were talking about this last night. About it being more important to have "success" as a child of God than it is to have success in the "wood, hay, and stubble".

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth or rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21

Amy said...

Great Post!!! Last week at church our pastor reminded us that there are 2 things that will last forever - God's word and the souls of men. It is so easy to get wrapped up in "life", even the good things of life. But to shuck it down, these are the basics. Lord, help us love God more and love people more and help us center our lives around this.
I love you my friend!!!

paula said...

Oh yes, I do agree. All of "this" will go away soon enough. For me, my main concern is to make sure my children grow up with knowing Jesus. It's never too early. Also to take care of my husband, sometimes that's really hard when I am exhausted by the time he gets home. Sometimes I wish I did more, but then I always have to remember that I am doing exactly where Jesus put me for right now. Again I sometimes forget this. It's all a process not an event.

Carrie said...

I'm reading a book right now that is kind of along these lines. You might like it. It's called Worldliness and it's by C.J. Mahaney.

Amy said...

I wanted you to take time to find the lyrics of Nicole Nordeman's song Gratitude. Or wait till tonight cause I am gonna post it on my blog. This song is AMAZING!!! I have prayed for you all day and thought of you with lots of funny memories. I am baking the boys birthday cakes - 7 of them and I can't get a picture of you in my kitchen with your UGS and you know what else baking Jake's 1st birthday cake (do you remember?) Oh I love you sweet friend and God will get you through this. And you will give him glory on the other side!!!

nick, robyn and taylor said...

Hey Laura. Thanks for sharing those truths about wood, hay, and stubble. There seems to be alot of that in my life lately. I am left challenged by your post. Thanks again!


Katie said...

Wow! Its been forever! I'm so glad I found your blog! It's adorable- and I love seeing pics ofyour family. I was especially encouraged by this post. As I prepare to have twins in early May, there can be much wood, hay, and stubble that seeks to prevent me from resting in the Lord and His plan/sovreinty/protection. Thanks for sharing!

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