Before retiring to my bed tonight, I felt like just writing one more item today, which makes up the three that I am allowed to submit.
The difference in this one is that I am writing it in the here and now; it hasn't been planned by me, anyway. But I expect God has a hand in it!
Today is Tuesday. It was on Sunday that I noticed that our front door didn't lock anymore. With the key in either side of the door, in or out, it didn't make any difference. The key only turned to 2 'o' clock on the inside, or 10 'o' clock on the outside.
We have a handle on both sides of the door which helps us gain access easily, especially for our children. With the handle raised into the 'up' position, it would normally be ready to lock with a key.
But this wasn't going to happen!
On Sunday evening, before retiring to bed, my husband put the chain across to 'secure the door'; and later, when I was ready to climb our stairs - post a stint on FW, having done the washing up and wrestled with all the damp clothes from the washing machine into a neat pile, ready for the line in the morning - I decided just to add a little extra measure of security.
A pile of children's books, recently discarded from our bookcase for the good use of others, was heaped in an open ended grocery box, with another stash in a plastic bag on top. These were what was left from our new neighbour (Year 6 primary school teacher) down the road, who had plucked out what she thought might be suitable for her two year old son. When she returned the 'not yet wanted' pile she had also brought with her a tin of chocolates, much to the delight of my three daughters and husband!
So these books had caught my eye, and there I was, placing them in front of my front door for additional security; at the same time knowing, that if there was an emergency, they would be in the way. The keys we had were rendered 'useless'.
Fortunately, on waking Monday morning, there had been no attempt to get in or out of our house during the night so we were OK for another day.
Unfortunately, due to feeling not 100% on Sunday, (I even missed church), I hadn't got round to calling the company who'd fitted our door a couple of years ago, to let them know there was a problem with securing our house.
Fortunately, on Monday afternoon (before going on the school run to collect the girls), I did manage to phone the company and talk through our situation with 'Lorna', only to find out that I would have to re-phone on my return from school, so that the company's engineering department could phone me back at a suitable time to them, to go through a spoken/audible locking procedure.
Unfortunately, the problem was going to have to be sorted out by an engineer who would phone Tuesday morning, to indicate what time he would be turning up at our house.
So another night, with the chain across the door; but this time with no additional security in the form of a stash of books. I had given them away to a childminding friend, who had recently expressed an interest in gaining more books for her charges. I had loaded them into the car on Monday morning, to get them out of my husband's sight. He likes to get rid of things, so we usually pile them in the vicinity of the porch area, ready to be distributed to whoever, and by being 'super efficient' in my tidying, had off loaded them into her front garden, next to the wheelie bins, waiting for her return. When I drove past later, she had returned home and taken them in.
So the chain and a promise of an 8-9am visit by the engineer, via text to my mobile, was the only hope of security for my front door last night.
Today: Tuesday. I'd had a shower, come downstairs, tweaked the venetian blind, and spied the engineer waiting in his van outside. It was 7.50am. I undid the chain, cast open the door, shot through the house to the back door, scuttled down the garden in the crisp morning September air, and wheeled the recycling wheelie bin behind our row of terraced houses, down the footpath, and back up the pavement (sidewalk for those of you in the US : ) ) towards the front of our house.
As I neared his van, I realised he had got out and was standing on the step in front of our open front door. I cheerily waved the empty brown paper bag (which we use as the receptacle for recycled items in the kitchen by the back door) in his direction, to indicate that I was the house owner he was looking for.
I passed him by on the step, entered the house, exchanged greetings, and politely asked him if he'd like a cup of tea or coffee, which he declined indicating that he'd not long had one.
My youngest daughter who has an imminent birthday on Friday, asked me whether I knew his name. She always asks anyone - visiting or passing by our home - what their name is. So she did. The reply came back, "Gavin". So he had the same name as one of my daughters' friend's father.
This established, Gavin set to work to renew the key barrel, which is what he deduced to be the problem, having pulled the handle up and down and attempted to turn the obtuse key in the lock, from both sides of the door!
A new set of three keys - for my husband, myself and grown son - later, I was off to school with the girls on Tuesday's school run.
How lovely it was to know that the front door was properly secured, with a new and working key, and on my return from school, I was actually turning the key in the lock - not acting the action for passers by (just in case).
A new sense of peace reigned in my heart today. Security of being in my own home. Funnily enough, we are actually - normally - quite an open house for friends and the neighbours children. But when the house has been virtually accessible to the 'joe-public', for the last two nights, I felt relief.
So here I am: Tuesday evening (actually 01.15hrs Wednesday morning), writing this article, and probably about to get to the 'key' point.
I had looked in my 'job' book earlier, before commencing this writing, and saw a possible title I had written down: "Key to my heart'. How can I apply that to God, before I go to bed. I had quickly seen a 'short' devotional piece in my mind, but one story later, I come to the point I will try to make.
Forget life's struggles, insecurities and 'mistrust' of fellow human beings!
'JESUS IS THE KEY TO MY HEART'.
There! I didn't know that was coming or quite how I was going to end my writing; or what message to leave for those of you who decide to click on this title, listed in the '200 newest articles' - or at a later date - in my profile list.
How complicated life can be!
All we need to feel secure is to give Jesus the keys to our hearts. He is the key to ours. If we believe and trust in Him, we can have faith and feel completely secure in the knowledge that he will fulfil our needs, and keep us safe in all our experiences of life. It's really that simple.
Through the test of time, centuries have passed, and many people have placed their trust in Jesus.
Keys unlock doors. Jesus can unlock doors of many kinds, and leave them ajar - ready for us to push open wide - either to relinquish our sins, burdens and troubled hearts, or even to make that step of faith to Him and giving Him our lives (in their entirety) at the point of becoming a new Christian, or as a not-so-new one; gradually allowing Him to work in our hearts in an on-going process.
Give Jesus the 'Key to your Heart' today. Let Him in, and let yourself get out; beyond the boundaries you feel safe in. Let Him be your security.
BE SECURE IN HIM. TRUST IN HIM.
Jesus knows what is good for you. He is in control.
Let Him have 'The Key to your Heart'.
He has mine!
Philippians 4; 6-7 NIV
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made to God.
And the peace of God which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Copyright Phoebe Carter 20th Sept.2011
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