• Joellen Kemper

An Altar of Remembrance



Sitting at my dining room table after a late night spent in the ER (I'm okay), I get to watch the fresh snow plummet in big clusters to the ground. I adore the snow for its quiet strength and how it has the remarkable ability to light up the darkest season of the year. This moment is giving me a chance to fully reflect on my sinful nature.


You see, I'm addicted to achievement and accolades. I let it define me and distract me from the truly important.


Since I was 23 and took my first quilting class, I have felt a stirring in me to be some sort of artist. And of course, with my sinful nature, it can't just be about pursuing beauty, it has to be an obsessive search to fill my aching soul.


This past weekend I read a book (The Next Right Thing by Emily Freeman) and it led to some breakthrough revelations about where I wanted to go with my love for art in the coming new year. It was wonderful. I felt like God had given me revelations I have been praying about and had no peace over for years. But, at the same moment, I heard a very insistent voice of don't let this destroy what is important. I felt like the vision that I have been seeking had been laid open before me but I also know myself and the fact that I can let it become my only vision at the cost of other, more important things. Like the wife, mother, friend to others, health seeker, and home maker that I wish to be.


And as I was sitting in the ER last night, after the fear of possibly having a blood clot was broken by all clean scans and the doctor's approval for me to be released, the first thing I could do was go back to obsessing over my new art plan. How dumb.


Why is it when things go right, we don't worship God the way He deserves? We don't pull our loved ones closer in celebration of another day?


Instead, we go about with our little idols, clutching them, petting them, fixating on them in wicked delight.


Far too many times, the Bible talks about the Israelites, God's chosen people, experiencing abundant harvest, peace, and blessings only for them to slowly slip into forgetting about God and choosing their own way.


No, that's not who I want to become. So here is the altar that I build to my God for all that He is and all that He has done. I pray to never lose sight of that Beautiful Image.

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