When I was a little girl we had “polishing day”. Back then when I heard the words calling from my momma’s lips you could see my eyes roll in the back of my head and subsequently hear the heavy sigh or deep scoff slide boldly from my mouth. Guaranteed there was a lot of work planned for those days.

Just the other day I pulled the silverware out and figured it was about that time. It had to be. I couldn’t remember the last time I had cleaned them.

The dread as I experienced as a child turned as an adult to nostalgic, meaningful and loving memories of that special time with my momma. You see, she’s been gone from this world for almost ten years now. Now it continues to be my time to continue with the duties, responsibilities and privileges she modeled for me and instilled in me as a child.

The supplies are few:

  • Tarnished silverware, brass, copper, etc.
  • Cleaning solution
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Polishing cloth

Oh, and I almost forgot …

Elbow grease, and a lot of it!

Let’s get started.


“They don’t look too bad.” I thought to myself and, Maybe I don’t really need to polish them today.?.” Oh, how the old thought patterns like to creep on. “No, today is the day. I am determined to knock this out.” And, so I did.


As I began to load the cleaning solution onto the rag and rub, rub, rub my eyes grew wide in shock. “Oh my gosh!” I gasped. I was alone in our kitchen and was absolutely mortified just how filthy they were. And we’ve been eating off these. Ick, gross.

My favorite part of this process is the polishing. After the cleaning solution has been applied and rubbed in, let it dry. Grab a clean dry cloth and begin to rub some more, buff and polish. The result may look something like this… clean, bright, glimmering …


After I took the photos I will be honest, I was a bit disappointed that the process wasn’t very noticeable at all. How could that be? The polishing cloths prove just how filthy the silver was.

Then it hit me. Polishing day is very much like our sin. Each day we come before our Lord and confess our every sin. In our day-to-day our sin may not be “that bad”, a white lie, an impure thought, losing my temper, withholding the truth or even a part of it, saying a bad word… After all, it’s not like I killed or hurt anyone, right? It’s not like I cheated, lied or stole anything, right?


He who covers his sins will not prosper,

But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV)

We create great distance between our Lord, King Jesus and ourselves when we sin. In the eyes of our Lord, my daily sin, your daily sin is just as great as the sins that make it on the headline news. They are just as great as the sins committed by those who are incarcerated, and those who are on death row.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

Our sin, no matter how big or how small will happily lead us to our very own “death-row” if it’s not dealt with and dealt with swiftly.

So, much like the silver I polished, in our day-to-day we may not even feel like we are that dirty or need cleaning. But the proof on the polishing cloth tells a very different story and paints a very different picture. Others may not visibly see it. We may not even feel it. Jesus, in His omnipotence, He knew of my sin and your sin before we even committed it. He sits not in judgement in a black robe with a heavy wooden gavel in His hand eagerly prepared to crack it in judgement. No, He waits ever so patiently, full of love, mercy and grace to wash us clean.

The blood of Jesus was shed on the hill of Golgotha that day for this very reason. Jesus died for you and for me so that our sins will be forgiven, and we may live with Him for eternity in Heaven.

How do you come clean and ask forgiveness from our King? A very good question indeed. God created you and He knows your heart better than you. Simply and innocently just come to Him. You don’t need fancy words or have graduated from seminary. You don’t need to scream, cry and throw yourself on the floor so sorry for all you’ve done… although God will take you any way you come. He just wants you to come. A simple asking to be forgiven will do. The fact that you lay it ALL at His feet is praise and worship to Him.

I don’t know about you, but for me today and every day I will remember polishing day in a completely fresh and new way. Every day I open the silverware drawer it reminds me. I may not look visibly sinful and dirty, but my heart must repent often so that I am forgiven of my sins.

I don’t want to ignore my sin for months and as a result have a polishing cloth ridiculously soiled and black as night. I want my daily polishing cloth to show only a small and barely traceable hint of tarnish.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,

And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10 (NKJV)

Today is a new day. It can be a day of new habits, disciplines and attitudes. It just so happens to be Father’s Day and while my earthly poppa is in heaven with my Eternal Father, King Jesus I dedicate this piece to Him.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers and to the mothers who are truly single parents because you are called to be the father too.

No matter what you’re facing today please know I am praying for you. I may not know you, your name or the details of your needs, but God does. He hears. He answers. He is faithful. Run to Him. He is waiting.

Love y’all,


Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved

Missy Williams; OneStoneAway.com

Image credit: M. Williams

Elysian Blog Award

118 responses to “Tarnished”

  1. So well spoken … yes indeed I think we all need some polishing time to time . Thank you for reminding us oh I love your silverware it’s beautiful . Hugs 🙂

  2. I love the illustration. It is amazing how God uses the simple normal things to show profound truth from His word. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. This brought back wonderful memories of my sisters and me polishing my mom’s silver when we were growing up. Good memories and a great message and reminder to me. Thanks for posting.

  4. Great illustration comparing our sinful nature with the tarnish build up of silverware
    You are so right daily removal of tarnishing sin is needed, lest we allow in to thicken so much we become insensitive to the damage it’s able to do

    • Awe thank you. I concur. The before photo and black cleaning cloths just shocked me so. It’s exactly what Satan wants us to do is ignore the daily repentance. Not today Satan! 🙏🏻Thank you for sharing your perspective and encouragement. God bless!

    • Oh how I love that “Tarnished” brought memories back of your grandmother. Thank you so much for reading and sharing. Your words blesses me. Have an amazing day and weekend. 🤗

  5. What a beautiful analogy, Missy! It’s perfect! I love the thought that our heavenly Father polishes us when we confess our sin. I’ll always think of your post when I go before Him. Thank you! <3 <3

  6. There is not much I can add to what has already been said other than I was reminiscing about my mom for a different reason today. Now that the hot weather is here and it is humid, as well, my hair is now looking just like my mom’s did. It does not go the way I want it, but the way it wants. I have naturally curly hair like my mom did, and it was just a nice memory today thinking about her.

    I did enjoy reading your post, too, and I concur with what so many of your readers have written here, as well. Yes, we need that daily cleansing via daily repentance so that our lives do not become tarnished with sin. If we let sin build up in our hearts it damages our fellowship with our Lord just like lies and betrayal damage a marriage relationship. We need to remain open and honest with our Lord and by the Spirit be putting to death daily the deeds of our flesh, so that we can walk according to the Spirit, and not fulfill the desires of our flesh. That is when we experience much peace and joy in the Lord.

    • That’s so cool. I know right!? All the years of polishing it never revealed itself. Holy Spirit timing is all I know. Thanks so much for reading and sharing. Have a blessed weekend!🤗

    • I’m so glad. God always knows what we need to hear. I’m honored “Tarnished” spike to you. It warms my heart. Have a blessed weekend! 🤗

  7. Coming clean and asking for forgiveness is something we should do daily. We never go a day without making a mistake, forget to be grateful or think a bad thought. . . I liked this “silverware lesson.” Your title is perfect. 🕊️

  8. We had polishing day too in my house growing up….what a memories you brought to me …..and the shame looking at my silver:I’m afraid I need to established a polishing day too😊

    • That so awesome Ortensia! It makes my heart happy to share memories of our childhood. No judgment girl haha. Your newly established “polishing day” will bring you great joy rather than dread. Thanks a million for reading and sharing. 💙🤗

  9. I must admit we never had polishing day, or cleaning day or any ‘family’ work days in my family growing up, so it has been quite an effort for me to construct them in my own family. But I am encouraged by this post to keep going. Like your mum. I believe they have their worth, if only for the revelations such as yours in the future. Thank you, you’ve helped my faith eyes.

    I really loved this post especially the line “The fact that you lay it ALL at His feet is praise and worship to Him”. I like the reminder that worship and praise begins with confession. Sometimes we try to praise and worship without confessing first and wonder why it is hollow and why our prayer or deed seems to bounce back rather than bringing us connection with the Holy Spirit.

    I also love the title of your blog, I think you may be encouraged by a post I wrote about the white stone. Here is the link http://godhelpmei.com/2018/06/12/i-am-not-to-be-held-lightly
    Thank you for encouraging me today.

    • Oh Lauren, what a blessing it is to read the piece you shared. It provokes in me many areas to reflect and explore. Thank you for your comment and sharing your gift of writing. It’s so nice to meet you and I look forward to reading more of your insight and wisdom. God bless you my friend❣️

      • When I saw the name of your blog I knew you’d like it. How beautiful is victory in Christ. Bless you and I look forward to reading more of your writing as well.

      • And you were correct my friend. 👍🏼 There’s something about stones that I’m drawn to. There are so many different references of stones in the Bible that I would love to sit on the lap of our Lord and have Him tell me they why’s and how’s behind the full meaning. We only think we know all He was thinking. 🙌🏼🙏🏻 Thank you, and to you as well.

    • It may sound silly, but “Tarnished” convicts my heart daily. Thank you for your encouragement. I’m grateful this message spoke to you. I appreciate you sharing. 🤗

      • That is completely true with me as well. It always moves me that God takes a message and drops it into our hearts no matter how vastly different our circumstances may be. He’s so good!😃

  10. Hi Missy, I noted that you stopped by my story collection. WordPress does’t tell how you found me but I’m pleased that you did. I did not find Christ until my young 20s but managed to keep at least one of his Angel’s pretty busy until I did.

    My story collection is not religious by design as I’m going to reach some non believers with them and from there perhaps earn the right to speak to them about God’s love, grace & salvation.

    You reacted to one of my coffee share essays, but the real fun is found over in my 10 minute stories @ https://garyawilsonstories.wordpress.com/ .
    Most are writen for the pure enjoyment of reliving how God entertained and kept me alive in the 1960s & following. I hope you test-read a few and let me know what you think. Some have asked and the answer is “yes. These really happened.”

    Regardless – blessings to you & your family. I agree with your points about our polishing but I’m so glad for his Grace because I still have a great deal of polishing required myself.

    • Thank you so much Gary for your insight and encouragement. I pray the God continue to richly bless you and your family❗️🙏🏻🤗

  11. A nice ritual and spent time with my mother and the activity related to the house, tidying up. How young you could have been upset. Now it is a nice memory. Then you turned your eyes, now you urge your relatives to do the same as your mother. And you run it. Bravo.

  12. Missy thank you so much for this beautiful piece that you wrote. It really hit me hard; right between the eyes. Sometimes I think I’m too far gone for God to forgive me, but you have reminded me that that’s not true. So thank you for that. I love your blog and I really love One Stone Away part. I think that is just awesome. That’s the part that drew me to your blog. I’m looking forward to reading more posts from you. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. I hope to see you soon. Love always, Kathleen

    • Oh no Kathleen, God leaves the 99 to pursue the one. That’s just how important and precious we are to Him. Awe, my heart is so full by your words. God gets all the glory girl! I absolutely will pray for you Kathleen. God knows all the details and all your desires. I will pray a continued covering over you my sister! I can’t tell you just how much your message has blessed me. Love you too❣️Hugs 🤗

  13. Incredible, that’s how God’s message is spread. Through stories and recollections. The more we can see God in our everyday lives, the stronger our faith becomes and the more gratitude and humility we experience. Very touching story, the way you express yourself makes it easier to connect yourself to God.

    • I appreciate your words and encouragement so much. Thank you for reading. I’m grateful you stopped to read “Tarnished”. Blessings to you my friend. 💕🤗

  14. I would like to share a post I wrote last year concerning faith and science. You can find it here.



    I remember attending church and bible school when I was a child. I remember the sermons being long and boring, I hated getting dressed up just to sit in the pews for what seemed like an eternity. We only attended church for a short period of my life. When I was older I asked my father why we stopped going, from what I understood there was a lot of hypocrisy and drama surrounding the flock. When my family stopped attending church, they got together with friends every weekend to participate in a bible study. It was fun for us, since we played outside while our parents discussed God, the bible and how we fit into God’s plan. Back then church was mainstream, almost everyone attended and if you did go to church you made sure that people knew you went to church.

    Church is still big depending on where you are, God, religion and faith are being pushed away though. They are quickly being replaced with science. More and more people are buying into the idea that religion and faith are for the weak minded individual. It’s cool to make fun of God now. It’s cool to promote science as the next coming. In the year 2017, man has accomplished so much, and man’s progress is gaining in momentum at break neck speeds. Everywhere you turn people who are not scientists are quoting science as fact. It seems that to believe in science requires a lot of faith in the scientists and the science that they practice. The theories that they develop, the tests that they run, everything behind closed doors wearing white lab coats.

    The relationship between science and God is close to the same, but very different. People who believe in science and discount God or religion do so with a healthy dose of faith. Faith in man, faith that man controls all, faith that man would never lie. If faith in men has taught us anything over the years, it is that hoping one man or many men will deliver us from the dark ages. This has proven that man will always take and steal power, however and whenever they can. I wonder how science is practiced in North Korea and how they inform their citizens about the science they conduct. Science is important, but total devotion and obedience to science is total obedience to man.

    Hubris is what allows people to believe that they understand and have the ability to know all. Science says we evolved from apes or fish or a single celled organism, but where is the proof. Is the proof merely hubris with an extra dose of peer pressure? There is no solid proof to speak of, nothing. The only proof that is cited is proof that requires explanation, a lot of explanation. Make up your own mind concerning these two matters and their relationship, most have already. Just ask yourself, will you be on the right side of history or not? Do you know the right side of history to be on? Science has changed vastly over the centuries, religion however has basically stayed the same. Ultimately, both have drama and killings in their history and both definitely require faith. Faith in man or faith in God? God allows man to discover science, God gave man free will. Faith in science alone enables man’s hubris. If man is flawed, then so is his science.

  15. When I started reading this, I can really relate to having silver silverware (that I never use), an heirloom I think. But you know it hit me. As a servant of Jesus, I still have those areas that need real elbow grease and polish to get shinier before Christ. I treat some aspects of my walk as “heirlooms” – it’s my navy days, i think. Thanks for sharing this!

    • I so appreciate you sharing how “Tarnished” touched you. I completely relate! Most importantly, thank you for your service and sacrifice to our country!💙

  16. What came to me when reading this was that sometimes we polish the “tarnished silverware” but never see the finished product – similar to the plant the seeds and not seeing them grow. As a teacher at a Christian school, this is usually the case. The harvest is for the Lord, as that is His job. I’m not sure if that is making sense haha. Come check out our blog! We’d love to hear your opinons/feedback 🙂

    • Thank you so much for sharing your insights. I love hearing how God reveals Himself though my writings. I appreciate you sharing! God bless you. 😍💙

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