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  • Katie Smith

Roses or thorns-which do you see?


We had finally made the kitchen at our first home the way I would have wanted it all those many meals made during the years prior. But we only enjoyed a few months of that spacious environment before selling it to someone else.


Now, my kitchen quadruples as a school room, living room, bathroom, and a place to make meals. It's not easy. Everything in the Rig requires more effort and creates more room for error because of the lack of room.


I was recently making a sandwich, but my finger slipped and the entire toasted bread fell into a bowl full of water in the sink. My husband was trying to locate a printer under the kitchen table storage, but bumped into the silverware caddy spilling all its contents onto the kitchen floor. My son was trying to eat breakfast, but he nudged the school cart and dumped all the pencil shavings all over the carpet (yes, unfortunately there is carpet under the kitchen table!)


I miss spreading and stretching out. I miss being able to send people to separate rooms when they can't get along. I miss the the conveniences that a large kitchen, bathroom, and play area provide. I miss being able to move around without bumping my arm or head on something else.


On the other hand, as Abe Lincoln poignantly stated, "You can complain that a rose bush has thorns, or you can rejoice that a thorn bush has roses." Looking at all the thorns blurries the beautiful buds. Looking at the roses, alters my vision and my mood.


This is the case for any other uncomfortable part of life. We can focus on the pangs, or we can look at God's goodness through them. If you avoid children coming into your home, you'll probably get more sleep, maintain a cleaner house, and have more money to spend on spontaneity. If you wait to do hard things until they become "easier" you may never get the chance to do them. If you avoid discomfort and inconveniences, you'll miss out on the view from the top of the mountain.


"A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world" (John 16:21).


When you are given a child, it is for your good so that you do not become selfish and judgemental. Likewise thorns keep us from becoming proud, superficial, or pampered. Paul said, "Because of [my] surpassingly great revelations, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me" (1 Corinthians 7-9).


We don't appreciate the tree that gives us shade until it dies and the sun beats down on us. The Israelites cried out to God to deliver them from Egypt, but once He did, they kept looking back at Egypt complaining about the new thorn of hunger and thirst. We need help not to reface Egypt, wishing for something in the past. Turn and face God, the Rose of Sharon, the Lily among thorns (Songs 2:1). Smell His sweet aroma, and you'll stop staring at the thorns. Constant comforts and conveniences weaken our appreciation for the Rose.


Instead of complaining about things I miss, I choose to rejoice in the things I'm thoroughly enjoying about this new lifestyle. It's really very sweet. I pray we are all producing an equally sweet aroma for Christ wherever we go. For now, we are still in Texas, heading to the west end. While it has been a whirlwind, the ups and downs, thorns and roses, have kept us from being too eager for our own comfort or too despondent over our own pain . Instead, God has kept us balanced like everyone with budding thorns.



~Budding Carefully Careless





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Janette Howard
Janette Howard
Mar 06

I am a friend of Marsha's. Plan to follow you on your journey and experience all that God is going to reveal to you! Blessings and Love, Janette Howard

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