Treasure In Earthen Vessels

Discovering the Indwelling Holy Spirit

Reflections ~ The Race Called Motherhood May 18, 2012

Filed under: Reflections — Janie Kellogg @ 1:30 pm

We just celebrated Mother’s Day, and I like to think that we genuinely celebrated Mothers—young and old alike. During a beautiful day spent with my children and grandchildren, I had some time to reflect on this incredible journey of motherhood that I’ve been on for over 40 years. In some strange way, it feels like I’ve been running a race—with all the components that a race entails.

 

The young woman who thinks motherhood ends after nine months of pregnancy and a traumatic trip to the hospital is in for a big surprise. That is only the beginning. Actually, it could be considered the starting gate for the horse race of her life.  It is a race that lasts for many years, and around each turn lays yet another stretch of track with totally new challenges. And I think she probably won’t cross the finish line until she says her final good-byes to her offspring here on earth.

 

This is a race in which she will not compete against other runners—she simply strives to run the best race she can. There will be many winners standing in the winner’s circle, holding the winner’s trophy, and wearing the winner’s wreathe. Like all races, this one also requires strength and endurance, the desire to win, and the willingness to pay the price for preparation and readiness. She needs to know in advance that the condition of her heart is highly important, as a weak heart will never do. Only a strong heart can endure the stress, the work, the sweat and the tears that motherhood demands.

 

The prize in this race of motherhood is neither money nor fame, but it is more akin to a deep sense of accomplishment—although the benefits and the glory will go to someone else.  A successful race may even go unnoticed by many; her hard work passed off as expected, or simply, as her duty. But she will know when she has run a good race. No one will have to tell her anything. It’s a calling fulfilled and an assignment completed. And when at last she reaches the end of her race, the next step will be to hear her Lord say those most desired words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” ~Janie Kellogg

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Mothers May 11, 2012

Filed under: Poetry — Janie Kellogg @ 12:52 pm

In the beginning God made the world, and said that it was good.

All things worked in perfect order, just as He knew it would.

To be sure His creation was complete, God looked all around.

But in all that He had made for man, a helper was not found.

 

 

God decides to make a helpmate, who’ll be the Mother of mankind.

He’ll create her with rare qualities, like jewels hard to find.

Loving-kindness will crown this woman, which so carefully He will make.

He knows that He must make her strong, for the times her heart will break.

 

 

This woman will wear many different hats; be everything to everyone.

She’ll tenderly care for her family, from the time her day’s begun.

Her role will be an unselfish one, as she gives herself to others.

But then that is what God expects, of those He will call Mothers.

 

 

Bearing children will be her greatest task—carry a body inside her own.

Yet God will give her sacrificial love, which comes from Him alone.

She will rock a crying child to sleep, and dry each tiny tear.

She’ll know how to comfort a little one, whose heart is filled with fear.

 

 

Her gentle kiss will soothe the hurts, and help to make them well.

She’ll bake them homemade cookies, and bedtime stories tell.

At night she’ll tuck each child in bed, and teach them how to pray.

And tell them of God’s perfect love, so they will never stray.

 

 

The family chauffeur she will become; between siblings, a referee.

She’ll be asked to help with homework, when she is too tired to see.

With nightlight on she’ll be waiting up, as her teenagers start to date.

And prayer will become her closest friend, when they stay out too late.

 

 

She will help her children to succeed, as she gives to them her best.

With pride she’ll stand to cheer them on, as each one leaves the nest.

They’ll grow up and call her blessed, and this will be rightly so.

She’ll have given them great values; taught them most all they know.

 

 

This special creation that God did make, has blessed the entire earth.

For nothing else that He created, compares to a Mother’s worth.

Her qualities are unsurpassed—her patience, her love, her smile.

So in His vast eternal wisdom, God gives a Mother to every child.  ~Janie Kellogg

 

Who Said Whitney Houston Couldn’t Sing? May 2, 2012

Filed under: Faith — Janie Kellogg @ 3:16 pm

I was recently shocked and saddened by the death of Whitney Houston, perhaps the greatest female vocalist of our time. I was even more shocked to learn that for much of Whitney’s career she struggled with thoughts of inadequacy, such as “I can’t sing good enough,” or “I’m not pretty enough.” Someone tell me how that happened.

 

As a singer and choir director who barely makes the grade—that would be me—I can’t even go there. Those thoughts are absurd. Whitney Houston had a voice to die for! You know what I mean. It’s the same thing those of us who are cheesecake lovers say about cheesecake—cheesecake is to die for! We say that about something we really desire. I can’t help but wonder how many young girls around the world would give their two front teeth to sing just half as good as Whitney Houston, me included.

 

A Whitney-Houston-kind-of-voice will come along perhaps only once or twice in our lifetime. Her perfect pitch, sharpness of tone, incredible range, and the soothing melodious sounds that came from her voice were unmatched. It was angelic in many ways—perhaps the greatest vocal gift God ever bestowed on a human being. And it was truly that—a gift from God.

 

Why then did Whitney think she couldn’t sing good enough? Good enough for what? When you are the best, who is there to compare yourself to? Would you like to know who told her she couldn’t sing? There is simply one answer to my question:  a gross lie of that magnitude could only have come from the father of lies—Satan himself. Yet, it seems impossible that someone as talented and beautiful as Whitney Houston could have doubted her amazing gifts. If we do not yet grasp the power of Satan’s lies, we need only to look at the tragedy of Whitney Houston’s life.

 

Remember that we are in a war—a war of words. God speaks words of love and life to His created sons and daughters, and Satan comes along and announces that God is not believable. As it was with Eve, the resulting outcome of our lives depends on who we choose to believe: God or Satan. When we choose to believe God, we can have the abundant life Jesus promised to believers. When we choose to believe Satan, our lives can be difficult, troubled, and eventually taken from us. The Bible says that Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). His tactic to take us down always begins with a lie.

 

Please don’t miss my point:  It is critical that we know which voice to believe, because that is the voice we will act on. The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:12, “I know whom I have believed.”  Do you know who you believe? As our beliefs and values are currently being shaken to the core, it is essential that our lives are built on a solid foundation—a foundation of truth. A life built on sinking sand has only one destiny—destruction. Whether we realize it or not, every life is built either on truth or on a lie. There is no neutral ground. If you do not know God’s voice today, you have a great deal of homework to do. The day of testing is upon us, and we must clearly know WHO to believe.  ~Janie Kellogg

 

Note: If you have questions or desire help in knowing God’s voice, please feel free to contact me through the comment feature on my website. Your comments can remain confidential.