Thursday, June 21, 2018

Let Me at 'em!

I used to take my children to a cheap hair-cut place each month.
Then there came a time when the prospect of saving roughly $30 a month by doing the hair cuts myself motivated me to buy some trimmers and open Karen's Kids' Salon.
And I've been cutting my boys' hair ever since.
Yes, even now at 18 and 20!
In fact, just yesterday Josh asked, "Can you cut my hair tonight?" When Matthew got home from work he asked for a hair cut, too. And for about 15 minutes each, I was living a dream...
One-on-one time with each son, full freedom to run my fingers through their hair to reminisce when they were toddlers and liked me to play with their hair brush out tiny clippings, conversation about whatever, no rush to go somewhere or do something else, time to lay hands on their heads and pray God would fill them with all things lovely, pure, good, and praiseworthy.
Ah, yes. What a delightful time it was. My mother's heart is full.

Honestly, there was a time when I didn't have such fond feelings toward giving my boys a hair-cut. Probably because they didn't like getting them, didn't like sitting still or stopping whatever thing they were doing from which I had interrupted them. Indeed, there was a time when I might have considered letting them grow their hair long. *ahem*
But now?
Now - when time with my boys is so much more limited, when my mother's heart has grown and matured, when I realize the value of having my boys' undivided attention, when they ask me for a hair-cut - rather than wish I could take them to the barber, my heart jumps at the opportunity. Let me at'em!
Unless, of course, they ask after 10:00 at night. Because, hey, my salon? My hours!

Karen

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

My Heart's Cry

Ahhhh, LORD, there's so much!
I know I am asking You for so much. But You are our only hope.

You are THE only hope!

So LORD, I'm asking - because I'm needy.
WE are needy.
We need You.
Your grace. Your intervention. Your mighty hand and outstretched arm.
Please remove that cyst. Remove it completely!
Please heal that infection and restore strength.
Would You bring back life? Would You make new connections in that young brain?
Father, would You be father to the fatherless? Would You capture Your son's heart and make him into the man You want him to be? The father his son needs him to be? Please do whatever he needs You to do in his life to break chains and bring Truth.
Thank You for turning baby around. Please bring her safely into this world when the time is right.
I'm asking You, God, to protect the children. Comfort them, LORD, in the midst of all they do not understand. And please heal their families.
Creator God, Maker of the universe, our nation - our entire world - needs You. Would You lead our leaders? Would You bring peace among powers and in policies?
Ahhhh, Father, would You unite the Church? Please teach Your children how to love one another - by the power of Your Spirit, in spite of our differences.

I know I'm asking for so much, LORD. But I also know nothing is too difficult for You.
You have put these people, these circumstances, these needs on my heart, and I am crying out to You. For mercy.
For grace.
For miracles.
For testimonies.
Please demonstrate Your wisdom and power, for Your glory and praise.


Karen

Friday, June 15, 2018

Right-on-time Inspiration

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

-Ghandi
So says the back of the t-shirt my son got for his senior sevice project.
Which I read as I folded said t-shirt, while doing laundry for the family.
Which I do a couple times a week, in addition to sheets and towels.
And grocery shopping, and meal planning and preparation.
Plus yard work, and pet care, and mess-cleaning-up, and counter-wiping, and bed-making (Mine and Brian's, that is. The kids are on their own!) and event-scheduling and planning, and prescription-getting, and problem-solving, and did I mention laundry?
Sometimes in the midst of all that stuff I do for my family I get lost in feelings of being under appreciated or taken for granted, and my mood gets a bit foul.
Annnnnd sometimes, at just the right time - in the middle of a thankless task - something reminds me that I am right where God wants me to be, doing just what He wants me to do.

Something like a quote on the back of a t-shirt - which I see while I'm folding laundry.

What are some unique ways God speaks to your heart???

Karen

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Reason #7 that I love my son's job.

Josh: I got so annoyed at work yesterday!
Me: Oh, really? What happened.
Josh: Well, I was on boats (Meaning, he was working in the boat rental shed.) and I had to recite the rules to everyone who rented a boat. And, well, maybe I've done this to you before, but it was soooooo annoying!
Me: Go on.
Josh: OK. So, I have said the rules often enough that I don't have to read them. I can just look at the people and tell them the rules. So I can see them not paying attention to me, or even starting to walk away while I'm still talking - as if they're trying to get me to hurry.
Me: Wow. Sounds frustrating. (While I'm chukling inside.)
Josh: And then they say things as if I can't hear them, or as if I've never heard it before. Like, "Ha ha. We can just go to the other side of the island and get out of the boat there. They won't be able to see us!"
Me: They said that??? (While inside I'm thinking, Yeah, I remember you saying similar things when you thought I couldn't hear.)
Josh: Yes. Oh, and then sometimes when I looked out from the boat house I could see them standing up in the boat, jumping, and I wanted to ask, "What did you think I meant when I told you it was against Park rules to stand up in the boats? Or, maybe you didn't hear that part because you had already walked away from me???"
Me: (With a mixture of sympathy and vindication.) I completely understand how you felt. (While also thinking, That "What did you think I meant" phrase, you got that from me, didn't you!!!)

Yeah. I must admit, witnessing my son get annoyed by the same things which bothered me as his mother in years past has a certain level of What-goes-around-comes-around satisfaction. *wink*

Karen

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

What If?

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4

3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Romans 5:3-4

I've been thinking a lot about these verses and their implications this week - since Sunday's sermon and Sunday evening's small group discussion.

Care to join me in my thoughts?

The thing is, as Paul and James were writing those words, they were thinking about the wonderful good God works in the lives of His children as they endure suffering. Paul and James were considering how beautiful a child of God becomes when that child has gone through God's refining fire. These guys had their eyes on the end result of the trial, and because of how glorious that result is, they had confidence to call us to rejoice - to consider it pure joy - while we're on our way.
And all that talk about God's amazing work because of His goodness, which is fueled by His wisdom and grace, though it appears to us as hardship - it all has me wondering, What if?

What if we trusted God so much, and believed so fully in His wisdom and grace, if we were so confident in His mercy and goodness - that we truly did rejoice in our sufferings and consider all our trials as pure joy?

Brothers and sisters, is it possible that Paul and James were inspired to write those words - by a God who desires to conform His children to the image of His Son?
Is it possible that the trials we face really are allowed by God for the purpose of building perseverence in us - to the end that we are mature and complete in character, truly lacking nothing?
What if we sincerely believed it? Could we rejoice in suffering?

Father, please work in me that which is pleasing to You. Please help me trust and believe in You so faithfully that I am able to consider it pure joy whenever I face trials of many kinds.
Jesus, I just want to be like YOU!!!


Karen

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

In the Fridge

With my crew, I do whatever is necessary.


No joke! One of my "crew members" opened the refrigerator last night and said, "Are these rubber bands meant to keep us out of this container, or are they here for another reason?"
Elizabeth replied, "Read the note!"

Karen