by Phyllis Ducey

Starfish by NewCreatioNZ

I’m just a blip in eternity. I will not end up on any major (or minor for that matter) notes in history nor will I be quoted by thousands. I doubt if I will be remembered by more than my grandchildren’s generation. I make mistakes, periodically say the wrong things, and often omit important actions. I am absolutely horrible at acknowledging birthdays, anniversaries or any important occasion for that matter.

In the sands of time; I barely have earned the right to be a grain.

Some people would tell you I am a very sweet, thoughtful person. But if someone took time to look deep into my flaws through critical eyes they could say I am thoughtless, absentminded (possibly purposely), and selfish. They would be right. If it counts for anything, I have improved! Not by my own ability though, but by God’s grace. Only through God’s grace.

He asked me to draw near to Him… to follow Him.
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” James 4:8
After some struggling with my natural instincts to be completely selfish, I was able to begin moving towards Him. I felt Him knocking but was unsure if I truly wanted to open the door.

For a while it was a daily inner battle. Just finding a place to pray was difficult. I finally went into a closet. And one day while in my closet God made it very clear that if I was to choose Him obedience would be necessary. I needed to be honest with my husband. My theory at that time was “what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him”.

It was like being submerged into one of those old cartoons where the devil sat on my left shoulder telling me one thing: “why does he have to know that? It’s over.” And the angel on the right shoulder saying: “Tell him. Do it out of obedience to the Lord.” I was in the middle crying, mostly because I agreed with what was being said on the left shoulder and I did not want to deal with telling my husband.

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you"
James 4:7
Finally, I stepped out of the closet, sobbing as I reluctantly trudged down the stairs to talk with my husband. He looked at me with incredibly concerned eyes because I don’t usually walk out of closets, let alone crying. At that point I was sobbing so hard I could barely get the words out that I had something to tell him. Soon there was panic in his eyes. I blurted it out. I had screwed up the check book by $600 and borrowed the money from my boss to cover our bills. Normally, that would really irritate my hubby but I think he was so taken aback by my sobbing and so relieved that I wasn’t asking for a divorce or telling him I was cheating on him that he took it with gentleness and love! Or more likely, God went ahead of me and softened his heart.

I am sure we could have lived our whole lives together without me sharing that tidbit of my poor accounting (something I hate to do anyway) with my hubby but for some reason, God used it as a test of my obedience. I honestly think it turned out to be a giant step for me.

"Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."
Luke 11:38
Since then God has repeatedly reminded me that:

• I am a sinner. (The dictionary states that a sinner is one who sins (duh?). And sin is: transgression of divine law; a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle: any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse, etc.; great fault or offense.)

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Rom 3:23

• by my nature I am selfish/self-centered
"You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence." James 5:5
• No matter how nice I try to be, I am a failure without Him
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" Eph 2:8
• I have no right to judge, only He does
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:2-4

And so much, much more! The amazing thing is that He cared about me when I was sinning (for some reason I am not fond of that word... sounds so archaic). His grace was showered on me and through His son Jesus He made it possible for me to draw near to Him.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:8
So though I am just a blip in time, a grain of sand…

I am incredibly valued by my God.
He died for me!
He loves me.
He has blessed me richly!

How awesome is that?

Sandy California by ElegantlySimple

Below are some great Etsy shops... some may be new to you so take some time to check them out.

Comments (15)

On June 14, 2010 at 2:15 AM , Deb - Two Cheeky Monkeys said...

Oh Phyllis, thank you for sharing so honestly with us once again. It is truly encouraging to read about how God works in people's lives. And it was good to be reminded that being "nice" doesn't mean that I am not a sinner in need of forgiveness.

On June 14, 2010 at 4:36 AM , new creationz said...

Phyllis - thank you for your 'realness'. Thank you Lord for giving us life. For making it possible for our sins to be covered so that we may be as righteousness in your sight.
Incredible that, as small as we are, we are loved so much!

On June 14, 2010 at 9:00 AM , MYSAVIOR said...

I am nothing without the Lord.


On June 14, 2010 at 9:15 AM , Mary said...

The Lord guides us in our daily walk. This is a wonderful testimony.

On June 14, 2010 at 10:23 AM , ZudaGay said...

Lovely devotion, thank you so much!

On June 14, 2010 at 10:31 AM , Our Family said...

Needed to hear this today. Thank you for your candid post.


On June 14, 2010 at 10:51 AM , sweetybird09 said...

Thank you for that story about what happened with you and your husband it helped to illustrate the message you were trying to convey...

I read and heard somewhere that its the dash that matters,what do I mean, on your grave there is the date you were born and the date you died, and then there is the - so the DASH matters...

Love Joyce

On June 14, 2010 at 11:58 AM , sammysgrammy said...

He is amazing. Always, He brings us to this place of deeper revelation of Who He is..............and then the test. Will you obey? Did we really get it?

You betcha. I actually love those tests. They make God so REAL to me. Had one yesterday......

On June 14, 2010 at 12:12 PM , Hillcrest Cottage said...

Wow...I pray all my very serious and scary prayers in a closet, too. In fact, I just remodeled a space in our house for a prayer closet. I have also made banking mistakes like these as well and understand the fear of facing my husband...yikes.

Thanks for sharing how you allowed this mistake to be used by Christ in your life!

Thanks also for featuring my summer-lovin' wallets here on your blog!!!!

On June 14, 2010 at 12:13 PM , MimiRob said...

Thanks for the reminder of just how small, but just how special we are because of Him!

On June 14, 2010 at 1:37 PM , cksilver said...

Thank you for your honesty and for a glimpse into what God is doing in your life. It is so beautiful!

Someone once told me they believe that God's love language is obedience. A very interesting point, and something so difficult for us and our pride.

Thank you for your obedience to God and for sharing it with us. May you (and me and all of us) continue to be faithful as He calls us to do or say things.

On June 14, 2010 at 9:22 PM , Jewels by Trish- Handmade Jewelry- Artisan: Trish said...

This writing is amazing & hot straight to my heart! I was crying with you! By the way, I find the bathroom, yes the bathroom b/c no one will bother you there, the best place to pray! God is good!!

On June 14, 2010 at 10:41 PM , KippysSoMature said...

Awesome is correct Phyllis. My how He speaks through you - because He chose you to be His chosen vessel.
It isn't easy is it? But it is worth it - I know you agree :D
I love you Sis!

On June 15, 2010 at 12:16 AM , Art and Sew Forth said...

Your posts are always so meaty, Phyllis. So much to think about. I love your honesty and sincerity. You are real...I like that!

On June 17, 2010 at 9:59 AM , Julie Riisnaes said...

Thank you so much for this heart to heart post!