Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One of a Thousand

One of the joys of having Mike work out of the house is that we have the opportunity to communicate with each other throughout the day.  Sometimes it is about work, he unloading the latest with his employees or what new adventure he is embarking on or that he'll be working late to get a project done and could I, please, take boy number three to football practice, please?!?

Other times we talk about family issues:  the state of the budget or Nickel's latest grade on a test or where we will take our next monthly weekend trip.

Sometimes, just for grins, I sit in Mike's office for a few minutes without saying a word, looking at what I sent to the printer or playing him back on Words With Friends or getting a feel for how his day is going.

But, maybe the funnest thing we do almost daily is what I like to call the spelling game.  It has become art with a script around here.  And it goes like this:

Mike:  "Spell preemptive"  (It comes across as a plea crossed with a demand for information every.single.time., as if he will absolutely die a slow, tortured death if I don't meet his demands immediately.)

Me:  "p-r-e-e-m-p-t-i-v-e" 

Then I wait for it, it being the end of the script.  The time when he will utter the words that allow him to rely on me without giving up his sense that he actually DOES know something about spelling but simply needs to bounce it off someone else, to be doubly sure:

Mike:  "That's what I thought."

This little spelling game of cat and mouse, with a completely predictable, comforting ending is high on my list of things I love about spending all my days with my husband.  It isn't fancy, it doesn't cost anything, but it makes both of our days better.  And, by golly by gosh, it keeps me on my spelling toes!

In our lives together, this is just one of a thousand things that I dearly love about my husband.

The longer we are married (15 years in just over a week!), the more I realize it is the simple things that make us work.  It doesn't take extravagant gifts or long vacations alone or restaurant dates with linen-covered tables to make me appreciate what we have.  It's the simple, day-in and day-out living that make me, and us, tick.  Quite simply, when we focus our attention on those facts, we have a blessed, happy home.

Thank you, Lord, for my loving, amazing husband.  He is a treasure to me and to our children.  Your plan to bring us together was perfect.  Let me never lose sight of what a gift you've given me.  Amen.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Children's Sermon Funny

Part of what I do, week-in and week-out at our church, is make sure that Children's Chapel runs smoothly.  Children's Chapel is the equivalent of church for the under-tween set, designed to allow parents to actually listen to the sermon in big church after volunteers escort their children to another location and bring the message "down" to a monosyllabic level.

This job entails a bit of upfront work at the start of the new school year and minor management from then on.  Needless to say, it isn't a chore that sits high on my mind, 24/7, the way parenting and budgeting and finding my next chocolate/caffeine fix do.  But, back there somewhere, is the realization that I have a bit of maintenance to attend to if everyone is going to be happy and prepared.

One of the ongoing jobs is to create a very short blurb for inclusion in the weekly bulletin.  Short generally means about three sentences that encapsulate the scripture we will teach and a couple of talking points for parents to use, post-Sunday-morning, to open discussion about the latest Children's Chapel sermon.

This week we are playing around in Philippians 1, studying prayer.  The sermon I chose for this week is called "The Five Finger Prayer".  When I originally spotted this lesson, I realized the prep to teach was low and the tactile way of teaching would be easy for the kids to remember, both hallmarks of a good children's talk.  Condensing it wasn't going to be simple, though.  There was a lot going on on that half page of words.

So, the following is my brain working through the process of writing the bulletin piece:
OK.  Short intro.  Very short.  Got to get all those fingers in there, too.

Thumb.  Close to you.  Pray for family and friends.  Check.

Index (or is it pointer?  i never got that straight.) for those who point you in the right direction.  Pastors.  Teachers.  Cool.

Middle finger.  Uh.  They are saying "Tallest" finger.  Uh.  I CAN'T DO THIS.  How in Sam Hill am I going to do this?  Really?  This is going to end up in one of those books about crazy bulletin announcements like "Mrs. Johnson is entering the hospital this week for testes" or "Weight Watchers participants please enter through the double doors" and it will be titled "Woman gives Washington the finger".

Why all this consternation?

The middle finger is reserved for those in power in government.

I kid you not.  I laughed out loud.  God's sense of humor the Sunday right before the election?  YOU BETCHA.

Here is my politically correct, sanitized, hopefully-no-one-will-catch-the-burning-irony-and-start-laughing-in-the-middle-of-the-service result of my efforts:

Don’t forget the five finger prayer! Thumb for those closest to you (family/friends), index for those who point you in the right direction (teachers and church leaders), tall man for government leaders, ring for the sick, and pinkie for yourself!

Pretty slick, huh???  Kind of like some of the politicians running this time around.  

I just wonder if shooting the middle finger at the government the week of the election is asking for trouble?  Or if I am just doing my civic duty in educating the kids to pray, even if it is praying with their middle finger.

Just know that the weather is forecast to be clear next Sunday, so if a lightning bolt is going to strike me, it should be a clean hit with no collateral damage.

In other words, as usual, you are safe with me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2016 (the movie, not the year)

Since I know that some of you who read this blog are squarely in favor of four more years of the Big O, I am going to reserve the right NOT to explain my opinion of the movie 2016 (though I am pretty sure you can guess what I thought if you've seen it.)

From what I've observed this election cycle, there are precious few on either side of the fence that can manage to make their opinion heard above the hatred of the other side.  So, out of deference for our differences, a desire not to start trouble where it isn't necessary, and a true understanding that nothing I can say will sway what the other side believes, I am going to keep my big trap shut.

Now mind you, this is not out of lack of a strong opinion of the current state of our country.  A country I love and would fight to defend, if that was ever necessary.

I am choosing not to use my blog to start a flurry of back and forth comments about politics.  I would prefer to do that with you personally, over a bottle of wine.  That way you can also be party to the look on my face when you say something that I think is beyond ridiculous.

Instead, I am going to gently encourage you to rent the movie, watch it, and decide for yourself if this could possibly be the state of the union. 

Do the ideas of the movie maker match what we are seeing happen in our government?

Where will four more years take us?

Here's the only commentary you are going to get out of me:  if you were even paying remote attention to what was promised during the last campaign cycle, you understood, peripherally, what this movie said explicitly.  And I say that to give credit to President Obama.  I don't think he tried to dupe us;  he told us what he was going to do, be it from speeches or debates or books he's written.  You just had to pay a little attention, draw conclusions from inferences, and connect the dots.

The question then remains, for you to answer at the polls in November, do you like what Obama has done and where he is taking us with healthcare, taxes, and such?  If you can answer that question, you already know how to vote.

Regardless of how you decide to answer, get your butt to the polls!  Someday you will want to be able to tell your Grandchildren that you voted in this election and be able to explain the state of the country to them in terms of your decision, whether your candidate wins or loses.

In the end, after this election, we have this assurance, that " us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

I, for one, vote for that.

Monday, October 22, 2012


I think sometimes I set my expectations too low when it comes to people.  I guess years of not expecting much leads you to be that way at times.  So, it is really nice when not only one person, but an entire group of them, actually not only comes through, but manages to make you cry with joy.  That's what happened when we met with Nickels' teachers this past week.

It came as no surprise to any of them that our boy has ADHD.
They pronounced him capable and smart and kind.
In a word, they understood.  And the knowledge that they get him is priceless to me.

I know, when I send him off in the morning, that he is going to be treated with the same kid gloves he is at home.  Those same gloves sometimes hide brass knuckles.  But we all agreed that Nickels is the kind of kid that needs some tough love to keep him from erring off track at times.

I know, when I receive the ding-a-ling, that no one at the school is judging me for my parenting.  They understand, if only from 45 minute, weekday snippets, that leading a horse to water is only half the battle.  They understand that my job ends with the backpack containing the completed work, not the next step of properly turning things over to the teacher.  Or not eating or talking in class.  Or deciding to tell a lie to get out of doing work.

I know, when the principal see Nickels, that her radar will be on high.  She will be looking to praise him for doing good but prepared to dole out that extra measure of love that gives him detention if he doesn't walk the straight and narrow.

This knowledge is priceless.
This knowledge is a balm to my soul.
This knowledge is the assurance I have from God that all is well.

And this knowledge reflects God's love for me.

I am not assured an easy walk.  In fact, I am guaranteed that my actions will have consequences.

I try to remember that I am only being expected to do the jobs that are assigned directly to me.  What other people do, even people I love, is not a reflection of my worth or abilities.  I can only rescue myself, with help from God.

I know that God whispers sweet nothings in my ear and, if I listen, will make sure that the road I take is the one He wants me on.  If I step off the path, He will correct me, out of love for my well-being.

And, these aren't just promises for me, they are promises for all of us who walk in Christ, including my teenage boy.

So, it is with an immense amount of respect that I thank the Covenant School for recognizing who my son is, loving him where he is at the moment, and giving me (and Mike) a great deal of peace of mind.

And, it is with even more love that I thank our Savior for allowing such an amazing school to exist, for allowing our boy to be admitted, and for allowing our son a place to thrive.

Now, it is time to let Nickels do his thing.  We survived the first nine weeks with all passing grades.  Time to repeat, hopefully with gained knowledge of how to make this school thing work easier and better for all involved.

With a ton of prayer uplifting him, a God who loves him cheering him on, teachers and administrators who have his back, and with parents who will do their part, I don't see how Nickels could possibly feel anything but love, hope, and encouragement surrounding him.

So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.  May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
2 Thessalonians 2:15-17

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sunday Morning Sprint

I don't know how in Sam Hill someone got into our house, videotaped us, then inserted actors in our place!  But, they did.  And I have the video to prove it.

Seriously, this was funny in such a sad way to me.  This is what Sunday mornings, in Christian homes across America, look like.  I know for sure our house looks like this at least half the time.  And from what friends have revealed, when I came in looking frazzled and it showed, most of your houses have this same problem.

The Devil has our number, folks.  He wants to prevent us from getting to church.  He wants our minds so blurred on Sunday morning that we feel exhausted by the time we get to the good stuff!  He wants us to feel stressed and angry at one another and just flat in a bad mood.

If Satan can accomplish that, he has control of your mind.  And that mind, clouded with stress and anger and regret, simply has a hard time processing much of anything, much less the Good News.

We have to be smarter than that.  We have to outwit the cunning one.

And I wish I had a sure fire plan, but I only have ideas.  Some may work for you, some may not.

1.  Watch this video.  Pay close attention to the last two sentences on the screen.  Don't, for one second believe the lie that YOUR FAMILY IS ALONE, ISOLATED, or WEIRD because Sundays look like this.

2.  Pray for God to reveal anything causing anxiety and stress.  Is it clothing that needs ironing?  Would breakfast bars and boiled eggs be better than homemade waffles?  Do you desire sleeping in vs. allowing enough time to properly get ready?  Is the TV/social media distracting?  Are you allowing enough time to get to church?  Is your attitude about going to church in the wrong place?  Are the chores unequally divided?  Pinpoint the issues that need addressing for your house.

3.  Address the issues from Point 2 with your spouse, then conduct a FAMILY MEETING.  Be sure you start in prayer and ask God to the table.  Explain that Sunday mornings should start the most pleasant day of the week but that, historically, they haven't.  Let your kids have a say in what THEY can do differently to help.  You might be surprised that little Johnny would like to tie his own Sunday shoes or clip on his own tie or put on his favorite belt.

4.  Implement your plan this coming Sunday.  If there are more than three changes, consider just tackling one or two this week, then add a third next week, and so on.

5.  Immediately dump any plan that seems to be causing more friction than good.  For example, if your family has been stopping by the donut store for breakfast before church but decides that you'll try breakfast at home and that change takes 20 minutes more and makes you late, then opt for donuts once a week.  OR plan to start getting up earlier.  It's YOUR choice for YOUR family! 

6.  On occasion you are going to revert to being the family in this video.  Don't sweat it.  Pray that God will show you where the backsliding started and take two steps back and start again.

7.  When in doubt, pray.  Talk it out with your spouse.  Consult your best friends (without condemning the "cause", if s/he is a family member, of the problem).

There is little doubt in my mind that you will find that the Nowell family is one of many families who will stand beside you and say "Yes.  We struggle with that."

You are not alone.  You are never alone.  Don't buy that lie.

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Hebrews 13:20-21

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I had one of those twilight moments of clarity this morning.  A surreal awakening.  A "God moment" if you will.

See, late last week we were summoned to see all of Nickel's teachers.  And the principal.  That meeting is to take place tomorrow morning.  And we have oscillated from "I'm glad we can get together and talk about our son" to "Why HIM?" back to "Maybe this is for the best".

Honestly, this has plagued Mike so much more than it has me.  Because Nickels, from all of my in-laws accounts, is his Daddy's mini me.  A snapshot of what Mike used to be like in seventh grade.  And the journey from "Good gravy, Hell hath descended on earth" to "WE MADE IT THROUGH!" for his parents was long and hard and left battle scars.

There was a moment on that path through adolescence when my father-in-law looked at Mike and frankly told him "I love you but I don't LIKE you right now".  We have been able to relate to that phrase on a very frequent basis lately though we have yet to put voice to it.

So, knowing that our son is going to be stubborn, forgetful, and irresponsible, on top of having some wicked good attention problems, didn't come as a surprise to us.  He is just reliving the path his father took.  And, projecting Nickels into the future, should he continue his mini me ways, he is going to turn out better than fine.  He is going to shine.

All that meant we weren't worried about the future.  But, clearly, there was enough worry coming from the school that they felt the need to share.

And that is where I admit that my attitude about Nickels and school has been this.  But, letting go and letting mistakes happen is so much easier when you aren't having to actually PRACTICE it.  The attitude of letting the school of hard knocks deal out its blows still resides in me;  the need to show the world that my kid CAN do all that is being asked of him just keeps kicking me in the groin.  And, still, I haven't learned.

This morning brought the drawing of a line in the sand by God to me.  He very clearly, calmly and succinctly let me know that Nickels is who he is.  That isn't going to change but my heart and my head need to.

All these years, I have been working on the assumption that I had two children with learning disabilities.  That Nickels, somehow, managed to dodge the bullet.  This morning I woke to the realization that I have  THREE children with learning disabilities.  Two who attended Shelton and one who took a path into classical Christian education starting in second grade. A son who has struggled in that environment almost since the beginning.

I'm coming to the realization that there is a place that will gladly accept a squirmy, forgetful, charming, loving, slightly immature boy.  I'm hopeful that his current school is the place.  But, for the first time, my heart is prepared to make a change if needs be because I now understand, to the marrow of my bones, that God created a needy child and blessed us with him.  And God is prepared to take us, and him, to a place of acceptance and love and learning that will FIT.  I just have to be open to change if change is the answer.

And I am so there.  I wish you could see me now, because I am crying because I'm THERE.  These aren't tears of regret, these are tears of hope and understanding and anticipation.  I FINALLY GET IT.

It's time to let the square peg find the square hole, not try to shove it through a round hole, screaming the entire time.  It is time to recognize that our oldest is incredibly gifted and incredibly plagued by attention issues all at the same time.  Socially, he is stunted.  He has been labeled with a nickname that hurts his feelings yet he doesn't fight back because of who his is.  Physically he is growing taller but not showing signs of becoming a man or maturing the way the other boys are.

But, it is time to stop hammering him for who his is and love him for the Pig-Pen* like qualities that he brings to the table, dirty cloud, greasy hair and unbrushed teeth included.  He is who he is, right in this moment, at this age, with these issues, and with parents who will love him to the depths of the sea and the height of the sky and right back.  And we are not willing to give up on him, even when others try to tell us we should because he doesn't fit their mold.

Folks, our son is freakin' going to crack that mold into ten-thousand pieces and glue it painstakingly back together to fit him.  And we, his parents, are going to help.

So, pray that tomorrow we come to a place of understanding with the school.  Pray that we are all respectful about who Nickels is and who he can be and not try to place labels on him that hold him back or throw him away.  Pray that judgment about Nickels is left at the door and that honest conversation about what can be expected, and NOT expected, would clarify if we are in the right place for him.

And please pray for that one special friend to come along.  Someone who GETS Nickels.  Who understands that he isn't chatty, unless it is about video games or movies.  Who knows that he may be impulsive and scattered but who loves him anyway.  Someone who like Nickels just for who he is.  

Above all, join me in thanking God that we were blessed with our sweet, kind, loving boy Nickels.  When I think about how close we were to losing him in those first, tender moments of his life, it crushes me;  I can't imagine our family or my life without him.

"Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him."  Psalm 127:3
(Notice, there are no caveats....)

*Pig-Pen "retired" from the Peanuts comics three days after Nickels was born.  Do you think Charles Schulz KNEW?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I received a birthday card with the following quote on it: Happiness is always an inside job.

This just rings true to my heart.  Considering I worked for a couple of bad decades on trying to get other people to make me happy and content (with no results), I can speak to finding the source of happiness inside yourself.

Of course, that isn't to discount God, who is the ultimate source of happiness and well-being.  But, somehow, I see this quote as inclusive of Him;  our relationship with God is something that begins inside of us, dwells in us, and overflows into the lives of others.  

I recently heard a pastor speaking on this issue of happiness and he quoted a recent study that concluded that the happiest people on earth share the following characteristics:  faith, family, community and work.

Most of us can accept the first three as gospel truth.  It is necessary to have a family and community around us to "complete" us, as we are social creatures and crave people and acceptance.  Faith is equally as understandable;  without it, most of us are lost, like a compass with no true North.

But work?  Really?  That one slightly surprised me.  But then, the longer it rolled around in my brain, the less it confused me.  See, God gave us work.

Sure, it may seem He was a wee bit teed at Adam when he declared that Adam would be "working the ground" as a result of his actions "cursing" the ground.  In fact, I think God was madder than a hornet, whatever that looks like, that He had to declare a judgment against Adam and Eve.  But, just like in parenting, when you draw a line and one of your little ones chooses willfully to step across it (even if their eyes are blinded by the evil one), you have no choice but to take action.

When Christ came, the word "work" took an interesting turn.  Work also meant proclaiming the gospel of Christ, speaking of His salvation, doing good works in His name, working out our own salvation.  But, lest the need for work on earth be forgotten, the gospels include the admonition that we are avoid idleness (2 Thessalonians 3:6-15), up to and including the statement "IF a man will not work, he shall not eat".

Thinking a bit further about work, though, I realize that it gives you purpose.  It keeps you from being idle and getting into trouble.  It causes your brain to engage and your muscles to function and fills your desire for social engagement.  Work underpins life.  Especially bringing a new life into this world!

So, we have reason to equate work with happiness.  When we are working "for the Lord", we are fulfilling His desire that we should know Him better.  When we are working for people, we are fulfilling His desire that we witness in His name.  The fruit of our work is providing for ourselves and our families and being proud of what we accomplished.

I, for one, can think of no better way to be happy than to know that the work I am doing here on earth is pleasing to God above.

What do workers gain from their toil?  I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.  That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.  I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.
God does it so that people will fear him.
 Ecclesiastes 3: 9-14

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Wordly Wise

In a recent column on relationships in All You magazine (What do you mean you haven't subscribed yet?!  I've only been screaming about how this is my favorite magazine for what, a thousand years or so?!), there was a portion of the page devoted to choosing words wisely.  I thought there was so much wisdom in the article that I clipped it and put it on my desk.

Today, that same article caught my eye as I finished up a sentence that sounded something like this:

"You HAVE TO finish this work because you ALWAYS lose something you are working on and we SHOULDn't have to stand over you like a third grader who NEVER keeps up with his note cards BUT we do!"

Broke every.cardinal.rule.people.

For your enlightenment, here is how the regular Joe interprets the following words and why the words are considered so negative (and to recap, the words are from ALL YOU magazine;  some of the descriptions have been altered to match MommaJ's spin on life.  As I always say:  credit where credit is due):

BUT negates everything that came before it ("I like you BUT I think we should just be friends.")  Replacing but with AND creates a more honest perception of what you are saying;  it tells the listener you aren't trying to sugarcoat the issue.

SHOULD creates the perception of an impending lecture.  I still like the 90's saying "Don't should all over me."

HAVE TO is a command that sounds bossy and presumptuous.  My all-time favorite response to this question (and the most annoying if you are a parent):  "What if I don't WANT TO?"

ALWAYS is generally an exaggeration and is mostly a way of telling someone they did not do something, instead of just telling them directly ("You always leave your dirty socks in the bathroom.")  Better to just say "Please pick up your socks" and can the absolutes.

NEVER is the wicked step-child of always, generally used as a hostile way of communicating.  Unless you are writing songs and making millions, like Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber, never should be struck from your vocabulary.

Now I HAVE TO apologize to my son because I NEVER give him credit for ALWAYS being my sunshine, even when he SHOULD be more organized, BUT that really isn't the point, is it?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Way to Speak Up!

I couldn't help but tear up when I watched this.  Sorry for the poor buffering, but stick with it because the message is powerful.

Social media is informing a complete generation on how to behave badly.  Behind a computer or phone screen, hurtful words are easy to type and easy to send.  Children who would NEVER, in a million years, say what they are sending directly to the face of the person who is receiving them are spouting hateful, mean-spirited words every day.  But, somehow, it is "acceptable" when a screen stands between the writer and receiver.

To the person on the receiving end, negative words are daggers.  And when those daggers are received, day after day, month over month, year over year, there is hurt beyond words to be dealt with. Most kids aren't equipped to deal with this kind of ugliness.  Frankly, most adults aren't either.  God bless Jennifer Livingston for having the nerve to call a spade a spade!

I think one of the best thing parents can do is closely monitor their own children's online social activity.  Know their passwords, explain you will be randomly checking their correspondence and then, follow through.  Because, as Voltaire said eons ago:  with great power comes great responsibility.  In parenting, the quote can be modified to say:  bestowing great power requires great oversight.

No doubt, if these weren't the rules when you began allowing your child online, you will likely be accused of "spying" or "violating privacy" or some such other emotional junk.  But, don't allow that to stop you!  Your child has the ability to be online courtesy of you and your pocketbook. Your child is living in your house and the rules you set, no matter when you set them, are the rules they will follow.  Period.

And don't forget that your child may not want you to access his/her online activities because they are trying to "protect" themselves because THEY are the target.  How will you know this if you don't do a bit of checking up on them?  What we don't know CAN hurt our children!

And while I should probably be looking around their Itouches more often, I can attest that random checks equaled finding things that weren't savory being sent from my own house.  I was amazed to find that one of my boys had typed "LMFAO" to an acquaintance at his school.

To be sure my son understood how completely unacceptable this was, I had him apologize online to the person who received the text.  Though the receiver thought the apology was "funny" and said it was "OK", I felt this step hit its intended target.  I don't want my son, who cringes when I use any off-color word, to be labeled as a kid who curses online, because that really isn't who he is...that is some "cool" persona he thinks he can take on to be accepted.  The acceptance he is craving will never come from other tweens and will come from knowing he is loved unconditionally at home and unconditionally by Christ!

Acting appropriately by choosing our online words carefully is another example of being sure we watch  what we say and do.

I end with Psalm 64, verses 1-9, a reminder that we can be the wicked or the innocent on any given day, in any given text or message, depending on how we choose to use social media.

God help us all to choose the righteous path!

1 Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;
    protect my life from the threat of the enemy.
Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
    from the plots of evildoers.
They sharpen their tongues like swords
    and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.
They shoot from ambush at the innocent;
    they shoot suddenly, without fear.
They encourage each other in evil plans,
    they talk about hiding their snares;
    they say, “Who will see it[b]?”
They plot injustice and say,
    “We have devised a perfect plan!”
    Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.
But God will shoot them with his arrows;
    they will suddenly be struck down.
He will turn their own tongues against them
    and bring them to ruin;
    all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
All people will fear;
    they will proclaim the works of God
    and ponder what he has done.