Monday, August 31, 2009

Carrying My Blue Bag

“Get ready; be prepared!…A long time from now you will be called into action.” Ezekiel 38:7,8

When I was in Public School, my mom encouraged my sister and I to study every night. We would complain and argue. We weren’t having a test the next day, probably not even the next week, but that never detoured her demand. We would study. We would be prepared. When the test was announced, and it inevitably would be, we would have already started to commit the work to memory.

Although this concept of being ready in advance was drilled into me as a young person, it’s still not something I embrace in every area of my life. I can’t say that about my mom. In a moment’s notice she could be prepared to host anyone for a visit or go anywhere because she lives in a state of “just in case”.

“Just in case” the doorbell rings and someone stops by for tea, her fridge is holding cookies, pies and sweets. Her dining room table is always set with cups, saucers and pretty serviettes. “Just in case” a call comes inviting her out, she has already cleaned her house, allowing her to get away without feeling guilty about jobs needing to be accomplished at home. “Just in case” an opportunity is offered to minister to someone, she is ready, having daily spent time in God’s Word and prayer. Even though her husband has now been in the hospital for six months, she has visited him every single day. Each day she carries a blue, canvas bag, which my sisters and I lovingly call her “hope bag”. “Just in case” a bed should become available at a long term care facility, mom is prepared for that move with extra clean clothes for dad and the supplies he would need. She is a woman prepared.

Maybe you feel that way about a dream right now. God has put a desire in your heart, but without the certainty of knowing it’s fulfillment you think, why bother? What if I put all my time and effort into following it and in the end I fail? If God has placed a longing so great in your heart, that has continued over time, pursue it. Be prepared. When you are called into action you’ll be ready.

I remember sharing with a speaker friend of mine about a three-part message God had planted inside me years ago. She encouraged me to work at it and write it down. Even though I’ve only ever spoken at events where I have shared in one session, she told me to be prepared. If I wrote it in obedience to God calling, some day that opportunity would come.

God’s Word commands us to be ready in any season to tell of the hope within us. Should the door open for you to witness for Him today, could you share your testimony freely?

Let’s be ready to be used by God at a moment’s notice. I'm carrying my "blue bag".

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Sharon@JoyInTheTruth said...

Oh I love your mom's way. I am a "be prepared" kind of gal. Spent all day today getting the kids supplies ready for school to begin next week. Summer work packets done.

I underlined this verse in my Bible. :) I think it is wise to be prepared.

You, my dear, are very wise.

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

I so enjoy reading about someone who stays prepared! As well as I remember, my Mama was like that,too. (She passed away when I was 16) But I sure didn't take after her! I am probably one of the most UN-prepared people you will ever know! I take that back. On some things I AM prepared. I always have my Sunday school lesson ready to teach and other things like that. But as far as my house is never ready for company. And the thing is....I want to be an organized person and be able to have company at the drop of a hat! Just has not worked out like that for me.

I always enjoy reading your blog posts Joy!

God bless you, Mississippi

On Purpose said... come here and clearly hear the voice of my tears fill my eyes...I am 'gripping' my blue bag even tighter...for today He has refilled my 'bag' with hope in Him and His purpose...thank you Joy for this beautiful post!

Deb said...


I've got some work to do in that area.

Especially, what you said about the dream thing.

And being prepared.

Just in case.

Looks like I've got some studying to do.

Sweet dreams.

Lori said...

Oh Joy, The "organized" person inside of me loves your mom! What a mom, you have!

Oh, to be ready to share Jesus at the drop of a hat! To have the words on the tip of my tongue, and to be anticipating, the exchange of words with an unsaved person!

Love this post! Blessings, Lori -AZ

Zoe Elmore said...

What a wonderful example your mom is in SO many areas! God has blessed you above and beyond friend. The organized Zoe is slowly emerging. Maybe I'll have it all together before I dance with Jesus. Happy days friend!

~Grace and Peace said...

Your Mom is great! I wish I could be like her. I'm more of a last-minute person. (Maybe I'm juggling too many plates? Poor time management skills? Procrastination?)

You're so blessed with godly parents, Joy. And you are bearing much, much fruit. Thank them for me, will you? You have been an encouragement to me eversince I stumbled upon your blog.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

First of all, I coming to your mom's house; sweet and pies? Are you kidding me? If you were to show up at my house tonight, you'd get a store bought Hershey bar if you're lucky. But never fear; chocolate is always on hand ... just in case ... I NEED SOME!!!

But I think your parallel is full of rich wisdom. Scripture admonishes us to be prepared with an answer should anyone ask as to the hope we carry within. I'm taking your friend's advice from long ago ... writing some stuff down should I ever be called upon to give a talk or two down the road.

Love you friend, and love your mom even more tonight!

sweet and pies; now that'll preach...