Significant to me are the milestones in my life that were either turning points or celebrations or decisions. Some of the turning points were simply changes in a direction of thought or action—simple things like: from this day forward, I will________. I have marked many of the “I will’s” in my Bible and/or on stones in my garden outside or in journals I’ve kept over the years. Sometimes I didn’t realize that specific decisions would have such strong or lasting implications—nor, did I realize that God would use decisions as springboards for others. But I do now. Only looking back do I see how some of the actions or decisions were used; decisions that were really insignificant at the time were used as the basis for some great changes or great work.
I recall the day I decided to always—everyday—without fail: make my bed the very first thing in the morning. Insignificant, maybe, but the LORD used a woman (when our first two babies were very small) to help me through a difficult time. It was that help that would lead to countless other personal disciplines and/or decisions. I felt overwhelmed. Yes ! only two children at the time! Phew! But in my state at that time, I was overwhelmed and under-inspired. I had no real “keeper at home” training. There were very few “hands-on” helpers / encouragers in my life at that time bcz of where we lived and bcz of my mindset, I suppose. But then the LORD began to show me that there *were* helpers, there *were* encouragers, and He was walking with me—I just needed to open my eyes to those facts and I needed take what was being offered to me — whether it be advice, actual physical help or simply to watch what they were doing and *emulate* it in my own life. It was a tremendous period of time—it was a turning point in my life.
Another turning point was when I realized that God had a marvelous plan for my life and that He was and had already been working everything together for good (Romans 8.28) and that no matter what things looked like or how they seemed, He was in control and all those things mattered to Him and would be for my good. I couldn’t always see it. I didn’t have faith to believe it—but then I began to pray for faith—faith to believe what I couldn’t see and faith to trust what I couldn’t understand. It was in those days that God would begin to show me a glimpse of His purpose for my life as a wife and mother. I knew at that time that He was truly LORD of my life, LORD of my marriage, LORD of my home and LORD of my womb. Even if I wavered in faith, God never changed—He was and has been utterly faithful. (Romans 3.3 “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?”)
Then, another stone was set in place… the stone of faith. There was another turning point time when I knew that the LORD has His hand on me—on my life—on our family. I don’t mean that in a particular sense of a mark or a calling or whatever. I simply mean that it was a definite time: a demonstration of His “ownership,” if you will, of all that we were or would ever be. He called us to faith.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him:
for he that cometh to God must believe that He is,
and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
It became apparent that He would continue to work in many similar ways through the years. He would bring about circumstances that would both challenge and inspire our faith—circumstances that would set us in awe of His magnificent glory as He demonstrated His “watch-care” or provision in our lives. “Last-minute” provisions became or are so “normal” or frequent, that I feel like I practically stand at the window watching for His provision. I know my help/our help only is of His Hand. All the weights of the bag are His work—He only is the balance. He is utterly faithful and the pile of stones marking His faithfulness is becoming as a mountain at the gate of my heart.
He taught us to walk and work in a manner as to totally yield our hearts to Him—trusting for every day, every provision, every child, every need, every dollar, every sunrise, every sunset. In our marriage, He’s brought to our remembrance our commitment of trust—trust in God and trust in each other. The stones in my rings are as stones of a monument of trust—no matter how things look, seem or feel at the time. God has worked and reworked our hearts to be to each other what God has designed. It is in faith that we demonstrate this toward one another—love followed, emotion followed, romance followed and faith is strengthened by years. Reading through the Word and coming to the book of the Song of Solomon, I was reminded over and over again that married love is timeless; the wonder of it being old is that it can yet feel fresh and new as Spring and yet as solid and secure as an old oak. The diamond in my ring reminds me of the strength of God and the gold: His refining power.
I also wear a “mother’s ring” and it contains the stones that represent the birth months of each of our children. It was a gift from my husband – a gift I so treasure. I see the stones and marvel at the blessing of the LORD -His provision through the years, His protection and care for each precious child, their particular place and unique contribution to our lives and our family. I will never be able to thank the LORD enough nor adequately convey my gratitude for each one of these gifts which the eleven stones in my ring represent.
I have large stones or rocks in different gardens around our home. Now, rarely does a child come to me and say: what mean ye by these stones, mama? But every once in awhile one of the children asks the significance of a particular quote or the meaning of a few words printed on stones or rocks in the garden. The children love seeing their names and birthdates on stones. They love seeing dates on stones—anniversaries of significant dates and events. I do this so that they won’t forget. I do this so *I* won’t forget.
More later on the significance of stones.