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Showing posts from June, 2017

Unexpected Friends

I sat quietly reading the book of James during church one morning.
It's my husband's favorite book of the Bible.
I hadn't read this book lately, but the chapters we had memorized a few year ago merged with the scripture I was reading and I decided to camp out in James for the rest of the month.
Four years ago we had memorized the first two chapters of James. These scriptures all seem to flow seamlessly together and lend themselves to fairly easy memorization.
The student-perfectionistic side of me set a goal to memorize the rest of the book, but a quiet voice told me just to read the book and enjoy it.
So this month I read the chapters on repeat.
Reading the same chapters over and over feels like being washed out.  Like drinking the same glasses of cold water every day. The themes, the verses start coming out in your life, mind, and your imagination even when you aren't trying to think about them.
Several times this month I've been tempted with anger.  I haven&#…

Steady

As the horizon began to break open with fresh morning light, my husband, then boyfriend would roll into my driveway.
I'd climb in the old jeep filled with fishing poles and tackle boxes. Forty five minutes later we would arrive at a secluded forest area on the side of some country road, one steep river bank up from the river.
After making our way down a sharply steep bank of underbrush we would find ourselves at river's edge.
The air would be muggy and damp. Water swirling over thousands of smooth earth colored river stones.
River fishing involves moving down the river.  According to my husband you can't stay in the same place.  You must keep moving. 
Usually at some point in the early morning he would decide we had to cross the river.
I never enjoyed crossing the river.
One humid July morning he walked into the deep water and methodically made his way across step by step.
The river was high due to rain and I didn't feel great about crossing.
He had made it look…

Noticing

Sometimes I wonder if God gets joy in our noticing. When we notice His work in quiet and small ways.
I think to myself that He must like that we noticed.
That the works of His hands, the creative expressions of His mind, His heart, the labors of His passion exist endlessly in our every day lives.  What is begging to be noticed is often right under our own noses.      
In Only Love Today, Rachel Macy Stafford writes these words about 'Noticers',
"Noticers are the thriving blossoms in a concrete world, reminding us to stop and feel our beating hearts every chance we can."
These words captured what I've thought about people who notice or as Stafford calls them, 'noticers'. 
Noticing.  It really is an art.  To take time to notice.  A way of living life with eyes open to what is around us and not merely on ourselves.
Isn't it the people that notice us that become the ones who win our hearts?
Isn't that part of loving? Taking notes on those we love? …

Worth

Soup spoons clink against bowls.  Sandwich crusts and grapes litter plates. It's yesterday's lunch and we end up discussing this word, worth.
The Bible story book reading for the day is about Jacob and how he acquired Esau's birthright.
My oldest girl keeps asking me if she would be the one who would get a birthright.
We read about Jacob recognizing the value of His brother's birth right and doing something to attain it for Himself.
Genesis 25 describes the exchange of a invaluable birthright for a simple bowl of soup.
Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob,“Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”“Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and …

Expect

Expect

I usually try to brace myself for the bad.  It will be easier that way.  My mind expects that things will go awry.  Wrenches will be thrown.  The law of entropy evident. Things won't turn out the way I hoped they would. 
If I am ready and deal ahead of time with the disappointment my hope won't be crushed.  It will somehow be handled.
It's a form of protection. A way to steel oneself against hope deferred. 
Don't expect something and I will not be disappointed by the absence of it.
Recently I had my usual lack of great expectations challenged.
There was a possibility of opportunity.
Months earlier I had made some suggestions about ways to improve a program. I wasn't planning to be part of the solution, but I felt like somethings should change.
A few months later I'm asked to be part of the solution.  I agree, surprised by the invitation.
I wasn't expecting the invitation.
Months pass and I'm unsure of where this will go.
What's next?
I …

Future

http://fiveminutefriday.com/

I see the word future and I think of the words Madelyn and I snuggled under yesterday morning.  She was up early and we shared a few scriptures together before the house turned noisy. The different words in the scripture touching me in different ways.
Words like consumed, wait, hope, and portion. 
Lamentations 3:22-24
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I will hope in Him." (NRSVCE)

I like reading the way these words are expressed in a few translations.
The Living Bible reads, "his compassion never end. It is only the Lord's mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. Great is His faithfulness; his loving-kindness begins afresh each day.  My soul claims the Lord as my inheritance; therefore I will hope in Him."
And finally the NIV says,
" Because of th…

Signs

Earlier in Spring our family was visited by Influenza B.
I don't believe we have ever had the real 'flu'.
I know I haven't had it.
After the worst of it had swept through the family I was left with fatigue that wouldn't lift and a cough that I couldn't shake. 
One of those Thursdays after a coughing fit  my body was aching tired.  I found myself sitting in a pool of warm April afternoon sunshine.  My kids voices floating through the screen door, bicycle wheels spinning across sidewalk cracks. 
The baby was dumping toys in front of me.  And I just leaned back.
I felt so old. Every part of me felt worn.
Like my body and soul were way older than their real age. 
Whenever I find my body really tired, I find that my soul isn't far off.  It seems like everything magnifies under the lens of exhaustion.
My dark thoughts only grow darker under the dim light of fatigue.
I remember I consciously whispered to God.
I asked for some encouragement, some sign of …