Monthly Archives: March 2014

Scrapping the Shoulds

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Little people streamed into the lower elementary school, bunching up to giggle, chat, and await the morning’s first bell. Office staff bustled about, answering phones, greeting parents, trouble-shooting things I could only guess at.

Moms and dad alike ushered their children into the lobby: sporty mom with her toned legs and bright smile, fashionista mom with her cute skinny jeans, ballet flats, curled hair, and sparkly accessories, stylish dad holding backpacks and snow gear, coach-dad high-fiving the boys…

Teachers walked by briskly, attending to last-minute details, flashing big smiles to adoring pupils.

Waiting beside my six year old for the bell to ring, I sported a messy bun and zero make-up.

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A Lesson from Children

jesusThis past Sunday during our church’s little children’s moment, where the kids are invited to come up to the front to hear a word of encouragement from the speaker, my husband turned and whispered to me, “Isn’t it funny how their answer to every question is Jesus.” We both smiled.

Have you ever noticed that?

As a parent it can become frustrating as they get older. You hope that with time and maturity their answers will become a little deeper theologically, but as I get older I am returning to the foundation of my faith. To this one deep theological truth.

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God is Always Near

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God is always near.

Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. Judges 6:17

Sometimes I feel like Gideon. Hiding out from enemies, staying on the down low. The quiet. The ‘don’t stir things up’.

And I feel alone. This season of doing hard things, life changing things has felt rather lonely. Of course our son is here, and my husband is still my best friend. But when I sing hymns it isn’t “One Day At A Time, Sweet Jesus”, it is “One minute at a time.”

I am a visual person.

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The Only (Real) Happy Ending

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 For we walk by faith, not by sight. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:7

Recently, I listened to a friend share with me about an ongoing series of trials that seemed to have the family under siege. She could not  perceive the good that God might be working in the very painful, not so pretty realities surrounding her life in the current season. I get it. I’m still getting it. How often do circumstances arise with a fairy Godmother in tow, ready to make everything perfect for us in every way?

We are Princesses, but the Prince has a very specific agenda in mind with regard to our own fairy tale endings.

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Life in His Word

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I recently had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of Jennifer Hand’s 31 Days to Coming Alive. Written as a daily devotional, her words captured my attention, and really got me thinking…and going deeper.

God could have made one common animal, but Genesis describes how He made varieties of animals, plants, ecosystems, environments, even the land and the sea. The powerful part of God? He spoke all of creation into being with His words. Jennifer Hand, 31 Days to Coming Alive (bold mine)

I couldn’t help but stop here and ponder. God spoke all of creation into being—with His words.

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To sing in the suffering

I love music. From Bach to Boston to bluegrass, I love how it evokes emotion and stirs the soul. I especially love the story-telling that distinguishes country music.

I’m a big fan of Jennifer Nettles, lead singer of the band SugarLand. I recently watched part of a program chronicling the August 2011 concert tragedy at the Indiana State Fair. Minutes before the band took the stage, a fierce storm ripped through the fairgrounds. Stage rigging twisted and collapsed into the crowd, killing five and injuring 40.

I’ve been to many such concerts. Never once did I fear for my life or expect my evening to take a disastrous turn.

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Deep Reflection

1368433_68468380We easily notice our reflections when we see them, don’t we? Mirrors. Windows. Water. For some reason, We automatically take notice when we see our own reflections. But how often do we consider the depth of what our reflections mean?

We see a physical body when we look at our reflections, but let’s go beyond that. They say “the eyes are the window to the soul,” but have you ever tried to look through your own window?

Genesis 1:26 gets at this depth too.

“Then God said, ‘Let Us make make in Our image, according to Our likeness…”

1399686_21236547While “image” and “likeness” mean basically the same in the Hebrew, Medieval theologians believed “image” referred to “natural reason” and “likeness” to “original righteousness given before the fall.” In essence, the idea of having the “likeness” and “image” of God gives mankind the ability to think & reason, a quality no other creature possesses.

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Get Ready for Spring: Fertilizer for the Soul

Faith grows through seasons;  just as nature’s rhythm marches through winter, spring, summer, and fall.

 

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We are right in that transition from winter to spring that is marked by the season of lent on our spiritual calendars. The first day of spring is coming right up on March 20.

Ready for spring.

Let me tell you, I am ready for spring. It has been a winter filled with snow and cold weather, with spring’s blooms dead to my eyes. I have trimmed the summer-beautiful rose bushes down to nubs of prickly branches, seemingly barren of the blaze of life and color that the coming season will bring.

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