If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.~James 1:5I don't know about you, but I am sure thankful for that promise right there.Because I lack wisdom.Big time. You see, the thing is, I have never had an 18-year-old son before. I am traveling in uncharted territory. And I have no idea what I'm supposed to do. (This situation feels kinda similar to when I had a new-born. Only this time the circumstances are weightier, and the child has more to say about it all.)Thus, I find myself feeling helpless, but not hopeless. God, in His grace, keeps on reminding me that HE is completely in control. HE sees - not only to the end of this semester - but through every single day of my son's life. God has a perfect plan, and HE reigns.Not only is HE sovereign over all creation, but if I ask Him to give me the wisdom I need for my little space in the history of time? HE will! Generously. And without finding fault.So I ask, and I believe. And I trust God is going to deliver us through this phase, too.Is there a situation in your life for which you need to seek God's wisdom?
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
What?You've never heard of a pin pal before??? Well, neither have I, to be honest. And I am not really sure what a typical pin pal would do. To be honest-er. But my pin pal and I? We write letters to each other.At the beginning of the school year last September, my sister-in-law told me that her daughter's class had an assignment to find "a dependable adult to be their snail mail pen pal" during the school year. And she wondered if I would be willing to fill that role. Which I was happy to do! (In part, because I thought it was really cool to be referred to as a "dependable adult." *ahem*) Only, the entire time we've been writing my niece has been referring to me as her pin pal. And I think it's entirely too cute to correct.Thus, I am - and have - a pin pal.And may I tell you? It has been one of the most delightful experiences I've had as an "aunt." An experience, that is, which we decided to continue beyond the end of last school year. Because it's fun to write letters - and to receive them. Ya know?Our correspondence has helped me better know my niece. I laugh when I read her letters because she has a charming sense of humor. I enjoy hearing about the world from my niece's perspective, and chuckle to myself at the things she notices. And I love having a window into her young heart.More than that, I love having an avenue which allows me to speak into her life. I want to speak, er, write words of faith, encouragement, and hope. I want my letters to be a source of inspiration for that sweet girl. Since we live in different cities and don't see each other often, I see our letter-writing as an opportunity to build into my niece and grow our relationship. And I am praying God will use it as such. Besides, I am aware that letter-writing is a dying art, and I am eager to help keep it alive.So, my take-away challenge for you today:Are you a "dependable adult" with a kiddo somewhere in your life? How about training them up in the fine art of letter-writing, and building into their life in the process?
Monday, August 29, 2016
Friday, August 26, 2016
I poked my head into the Breezeway where my co-worker was playing Bingo with some residents last weekend - to say good-bye as I was heading home. (My co-worker, that is, who I hardly ever see because he works on a very part-time basis on the weekends.) And he said, "I hear you're leaving!?"The look on my face must have told him that piece of information wasn't yet public knowledge, because he quickly
covered it up recovered by saying something like, "You're leaving to go home?"
Thursday, August 25, 2016
So, the other night we had a family meeting of sorts.That is, we got together to explore a possibility. OK. We test-drove a car.Brian is in the driver's seat. I'm riding shot-gun. The boys are in the back.And as soon as we get out on the road it seems the three of them simultaneously exclaim, "Alright. Let's see what she can do!" While I'm all, "Whoa, buddy. Take 'er easy now."From the backseat I hear, "Zero to sixty, Dad. I'll time it. Go!" And I'm saying, "Oh, really? What if there's a policeman ahead of us. You wanna pay the ticket?" Then comes, "Oh, yeah! Take this curve without slowing down!" And I'm all, "What if a deer jumps out in front of us?"Next, someone challenges, "See how fast you can go in reverse!" And I reply, "No you don't. What if..." At which point Josh interrupts with a hint of exasperation in his voice, "Oh, Mom. You're just worrying about every little thing that could possibly go wrong."And I'm all, "Well, yeah. I'm a mom. That's my job!"Can I get an "Amen!" from a sister who knows what I'm talkin' about?
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.~John 10:27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. Seems like a fairly simple statement at first, doesn't it?The sheep listen.The Shepherd knows.The sheep follow. Simple.But what if we dug deeper? What if we studied the implications?If the sheep are listening, the Shepherd must be speaking.If the Shepherd knows, He must be knowledgeable. Furthermore, the sheep must be knowable. That is, they must be submitting to the Shepherd and trusting Him to know them.And if the sheep follow, the Shepherd must be leading.So, perhaps that simple statement could also read: I, the Shepherd, speak. And because I speak good things, My sheep listen to my voice. I have the ability to know all things, thus I know my sheep. They know I am good and they trust me - so they welcome Me into their lives, to know them and care for them. And My sheep - who listen to and trust Me - also follow Me. Because I lead them, and show them where they should go. Oh, what if we took time to dig deeper into the Word of God and seek His voice? If we got quiet and listened? Really listened - with the intent of letting Him shape us?What would HE do in our lives, if we let Him have free reign?I would love for you to join me at the Women's Listening Retreat on October 7 & 8, as we embark on this journey to seek His voice.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Three weeks.That's how much time we got to have with our girl before she went away again. Yeah. Sunday, Brian drove Elizabeth back to Wheaton. Cuz it's time for her to start a new school year. *sigh*And she doesn't have plans to come home again until Christmas break.And if she gets accepted for a project for which she's applying (Which I'm sure she will. Because she's such an amazing young woman. And I am not biased in the least. *ahem*) she says we probably ought not come out for Family Weekend in November - because she'll be busy with preparatory activities for the project all weekend. So we really wouldn't get to see her, anyway.And I'm going to miss her sweet presence around here.But this is good and right and the way it's supposed to be. My baby girl - growing into a beautiful woman. Following the path set before her by God. Who loves her even more than I do.Ahhhhh. So thankful I can trust HIM to watch over her every minute of every day - with love and wisdom and power and grace.
Friday, August 12, 2016
Several weeks ago I shared a story here about playing Uno with a few friends - two of whom I labeled "All There" and "Hanging on by a Thread." Remember them? If you don't have time to go back and read that post, I'll remind you: In addition to having most of her mental faculties intact, All There also has a tendency toward impatience and being easily agitated. So, for today's post, let's call her: Easily Agitated. And now, if you will, imagine playing a round of Euchre with Easily Agitated, Wouldn't Hurt a Fly, and Mr. Nice. I thought I was being smart - and ending problems before they began - by partnering myself up with Easily Agitated. I mean, I can handle her scowls and jabs when I make stupid plays. Would rather they come my way than be sent to Wouldn't Hurt a Fly.So we set on to playing cards, and I had the false sense of security that we could play together nicely. Oh, Karen. When will you learn???? Before we got too far into the first round, Easily Agitated became agitated with Wouldn't Hurt a Fly for playing an incorrect card by mistake. And when Easily thought Wouldn't had repeated the same mistake a few minutes later? She actually picked up the card and threw it back at Wouldn't. Uh, Easily humbled herself quite quickly when she realized her own mistake. And, thankfully, Wouldn't seemed oblivious to Easily's antics.Of course, through the entire game with all of its drama, Mr. Nice was being just that. He's such a nice guy!I think it was his kind demeanor which helped me to not get upset with Easily. I was reminded of a conversation I'd had with another staff member about Easily. She had commented that Easily was probably a really sweet lady in days gone by. Before dementia started setting in and changing her personality. Thus, I kept telling myself the behavior I was seeing probably wasn't coming from her true self. And by the grace of God I was able to extend kindness to her - even when she seemed not to have any for anyone else. And so I learned another method of covering a person with TLC. You've gotta give them the benefit of the doubt.Is there someone in your world who needs you to assume the best of them, even though they may be showing the worst?
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Oh, how I love Jesus!Oh, how I love His tender mercies and faithfulness. Oh, how thankful I am! If you've been hanging out with me this summer, you probably know that I've been wrestling. It has felt like a very long time of praying, and waiting, and wondering, and longing for answers, and thinking I know what to do, and doubting, and praying, and waiting, and... I have finally made the decision to which I believe God has led me.So, yesterday morning I was sitting in the living room having my quiet time and I was thanking God for leading me. I thanked Him for His faithful and perfect provision, and the peace which is resting in my heart. I thanked Him for knowing what I need, and for the memories He was bringing to me about His faithfulness in the past.I spent time praying - thanking and praising God. And petitioning Him to continue leading me. Because I only want to go where HE wants me to go!And then I read the verse for the day:
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.~Psalm 32:8And my heart nearly burst.Could He have spoken any more clearly???In that moment it was as if God were sitting right there next to me, holding my hand and looking into my eyes, saying, Dear one, just as I have been faithful to you in the past, I will continue to be. You have been seeking My hand and I know your desire is to follow My lead. And now, I give you My Word - I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. And I? Am listening for His instruction and counsel!
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Imagine, going to the doctor and having him give you a GOOD prescription!I mean, I'm not talking about anything as wonderful as a script for a cruise - paid for by your insurance. I've long thought something like that would cure all my ills. And would certainly be a worthy investment on their part. But, to no avail. Anyway, my doctor's recent orders weren't that good. But they were good! The thing is, I have mild scoliosis and am seeing a doctor to try to "straighten up". At my first visit he found that I have one leg shorter than the other - which is the cause of the whole problem. He instructed me to get some lifts to wear in my right shoe, and gave me some stretches to do. Which I have been doing. At my second visit I was happy to hear his report that it looks like we're heading in the right direction. But the best part was when he added to my list of daily exercises. He pointed out a spot on my back where the apex of the curve is located. And he told me to fold a wash cloth/small towel, place it under my side relative to that spot, and lay down on it. Just lay down.No stretching, tensing, turning, or anything else.Just lay still.Had me start off once a day for five minutes, and told me to "work my way up" to 15. (As if he knew how hard it is for a mom to sit still in one place for that long! *wink*)And that was the first time I have really been super excited about Doctor's Orders.Because my doc told me to lay down and do nothing else for 15 minutes.Yes, sir!