4 Things to Learn When Your Tools Are Rusty {Renewal Through Christ Series}

renewal series

Today I am excited to welcome my friend, Carmen Horne, to the blog. Carmen’s writing draws you in and makes you feel as though you are sitting on the couch with her, enjoying a hot cup of coffee or tea. She invites you to not only take part in the conversation, but to ask questions and deepen your faith. After reading one of Carmen’s pieces I always feel like I’ve gained a new nugget of truth to carry with me through my day and share with others who may be dealing with a similar experience.

Carmen Horne bio pic

Wife, mom and Jesus girl best describes Carmen. She loves family and friends mixed with laughter, hugs, dark chocolate and the beach! Carmen’s writing comes from a heart that God is mending. She invites you to stop by for a visit and talk about life together.

Carmen would love to connect with you on her blog, Facebook, or on Twitter.

Today Carmen will be talking about the fifth and last aspect of renewal we will be exploring together: the renewal of Spirit.

When Your Tools Are Rusty

I had awakened not feeling myself. I just felt bad. Something wasn’t right. This cannot be happening. Today is party day. Our daughter’s kindergarten class would be at our house in a few hours.

Those beginning weeks of school had been difficult. She and I struggled to adjust to her being away and her immature immune system was assaulted with unfamiliar germs. Doctor and hospital visits had filled us all with dread. Our girl had been the picture of health. Can you see where this school thing wasn’t our favorite?

Winter had been a struggle. Along with school distress, my grandfather who I adored was diagnosed with lung cancer in October and died in February. I was ready for spring. I needed spring.

The tide had changed. School was no longer the enemy camp and we were all looking forward to fun. A piñata stuffed with candy, goodie bags lined up like little soldiers, colored eggs galore and, I could hardly move.

What was wrong with me? We partied but, I awoke in the wee hours of the following morning with my heartbeat out of rhythm. I knew it. I could feel it. This time I was the one in the hospital and for the next 6 months my body just took a break from life.

As Christians, when our bodies grow weary, we hope our faith will rise to see us through. But, what if our faith is weak too? Mine was.

As I fought the discouragement and depression that came with my health issues, I felt so unprepared for this battle Satan was waging against me. I had no idea how to fight back.

How do you live most of your life as a Christian and have no tools (weapons) “to stand against the schemes of the devil”? Or, the weapons you do have are so uncared for they are rusty.

Abby McDonald Guest Post

A few things became apparent as I limped along.

  • When we are weak and weary, it is not the best time to sharpen our weapons. It sure would have been comforting to have them ready. Bible reading and prayer today helps me be ready for tomorrow.
  • We are not indispensable. Life goes on. Easter happened. My duties at church were fulfilled by others. So why do we fill our plate so full? Do we think we are the only ones that can do a certain task? Sounds like pride doesn’t it?
  • Difficult times don’t last forever. Lary hired someone to help clean our home. This dear lady once told me, “In six months, you will look back on this time and realize this is not as big as you think it is.” She was right. Seasons change. People change. Life is not always good or bad.
  • Growth happens in ground watered with tears. Although to me it seemed I was doing nothing useful, I was actually in a growth spurt. That spring in 1991 when I found myself in the worst crisis of my life, also found me in a spring that became an amazing spiritual renewal.

I hungered for God and wanted to hear His voice. Although numb in many ways, I did remember that God promised His word always produces fruit (Isaiah 55:11). So, I read and searched for a Bible translation that was easy to comprehend. My love for the New Living Translation was born. When my memory failed me, I trusted God to hide His word in my heart. Psalm 91 and James 5:16 consoled me – “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.”

Boxes and bookshelves of books never opened were mined for something to encourage and grow me. I listened to message after message on television. God was pouring into me what I needed and for once, I was still and hungry enough to dine at the table He set.

I had contracted a virus that physically changed my heart and along the way, my heart had been changed spiritually as well. The cry of my heart was heal me. God allowed me to see that my heart needing healing in many ways. My prayers were answered.

*Linking up with Susan B. Mead and Barbie Swihart.

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38 thoughts on “4 Things to Learn When Your Tools Are Rusty {Renewal Through Christ Series}

  1. Carmen, your words are encouraging, they draw me to Jesus. Dining at His table? Yes! Let’s do it. I desire to devour every morsel. Have a beautiful day, Carmen and Abby. 🙂

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  2. That Jesus prepares some wonderful meals doesn’t He Kristi? I’m working to be conscious of His wonderful offerings. We must be intentional. Thank you for visiting me over here at Abby’s place! xxoo

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  3. Wow, Carmen! I like those four lessons to learn, especially number one about how our weak times are not when it’s time to sharpen our weapons! “Bible reading and prayer today helps me be ready for tomorrow.” Your words encourage me to go after more of God, more growth. (Interesting that I had major health issue, 6 months as an invalid with an ACUTE onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis, at about the same time…God is my Healer, though!)

    Abby, this has been a great series. I hope you got some extra writing and research in. (Although sick kids may have kept you busy too…)

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  4. I enjoyed this post. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I especially liked this: “Growth happens in ground watered with tears” I have found that to be true.
    Beautiful words, Carmen. Just beautiful.

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  5. Love this! Beautiful message. I experienced this too last year during a rough season. It turned into a growth spurt for me too. It’s not fun to go through, but you know, it’s all how we respond. When you rest in the Potters hand, wow…what beautiful work He makes of us.

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  6. What an encouraging post this is, Carmen! All the points that you made are so, so true — especially preparing for tomorrow by reading my Bible and praying today. But also your point about growth happening in ground watered by tears, that was such an encouragement to me. Thank you so much for sharing this!

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  7. Carmen, your words are an encouragement to me and a wise lesson in my own difficult circumstances. Thank you. I print this blogpost and hang it on my fridge.

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    • Ariella you have encouraged me today! Lord, help my friend feel your presence today. Remind her that nothing bad or hard happens in Your kids life without an eternal purpose. Thank you for taking our tears and using it to grow us and those around us. In the mighty name of Jesus, amen!
      Blessings on you!

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  8. Thanks Carmen for a touching post. There is a lot of value in your experience in rekindling your relationship with God. It’s so easy for me to get side tracked and get lost in life’s terms. I have had my own re-awakening and the same has held true for me. God always takes care of us, but we have to be active in our faith.

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  9. “Bible reading and prayer today helps me be ready for tomorrow.” Carmen, I love how God allowed you to see the blessing in being still at His feet and being hungry for His Word. Though it is usually after we see the blessings in the hard seasons.

    Sweet blessing to you both, Carmen & Abby, from #DancingWithJesus

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  10. This is why Solomon said that it is better to go to the house of mourning than the house of feasting. It is at a house or season of mourning that our eyes and souls are more fixed on eternal and precious things.

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  11. Carmen,
    Thank you for sharing here today. It’s amazing how God can and does use our times of brokenness for spiritual renewal…just another example of how He brings beauty from ashes. I’m taking a wonderful study called “Grasping God’s Word” that is helping me delve into God’s word like never before. I see it as “sharpening my rusty tools”…wish I had taken it years ago!!
    Blessings,
    Bev

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  12. Mercy, I love this quote: “Growth happens in ground watered with tears.” I was sorry to read your struggles, but it’s all part of what’s grown you into the amazing, inspirational woman you are today. Your lessons resonated with what I have learned through our family’s struggle with childhood cancer. So grateful for your words today!

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  13. I love the way you did not try to present yourself as perfect. That you already knew what to do and had it all together. Thank you letting us know that you are human like all of us and that in our humanness God can grow our faith.

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  14. Your post is such soul-healthy nutrient! Your scripture especially went to my heart: “Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy – Psalm 126:5″ – I understand that by planting in prayers for others – but I needed to learn that, too!

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  15. Thank you so much Abby for sharing your web home with me. I have had such a good time visiting with all of your readers! Lord, bless each word Abby pens for you. Let her “teaching fall like rain and her words descend on new grass like abundant rain on tender plants” (Duet. 32:2) Blessings to you and yours friend!

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  16. Carmen, thank you for sharing some of your story here. Beautiful words of transparency and hope for many! Abby, great series. I look forward to reading the rest of the posts. You both are loved and appreciated! God bless you!

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  17. Beautiful, Carmen. Thinking I’m the only one who can do the job right? Guilty girl, right here. At the end of last year, I had to let go of something in life to make room to breathe. It was so very difficult, but now I’m blessed with time for the little blessings I was missing. Thank you for sharing!

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    • Kristine I tend to feel that way too. I’m learning, as you are, to be careful what I put on my plate. I must make sure God has placed it there for me to partake. Blessings to you friend!

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