My Most Favorite Post I Think Ever...

...is right here

It contains the best sentence I've seen written in a very long time.  "I pray that every year I grow I will find Him bigger."

It was like reading so many thoughts that swirl around in my head all laid out so nice and neat...and I caught my breath when I read her closing.  That verse has been swirling in my head for a few weeks now.  I've been reading it or seeing it everywhere. 




My heart is heavy with the pictures that come out of Japan.  I look at the total devastation brought by the earthquake and tsumani and I can't imagine the horror of experiencing it, living through it, dealing with it.  Everything gone in an instant and worse, families gone. 

I look around my house, my neighborhood, my town and know how blessed I am but how often I slip into forgetfulness and take it for granted. 

There aren't words yet there is a need to acknowledge the disaster, pray for those who have survived, remember those who died and honor those who are stepping in to do the difficult work of cleaning up, those who continue to put themselves in harm's way to help others.

I read Japan moved 13 feet closer to the United States with this earthquake.  What incredible power.  I can't fathom what it felt like to be in the midst of a 9.0 quake and pray no one ever has to experience it again...


Sunday Strength

A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

~John 16:32-33

Daily Drop Cap provided by Jessica Hische


Costco and a Birthday

Last night while my son was at his sleepover, Aaron and I decided to head out to do some comparison shopping.  See, our Monstrosity (my name for our TV) has been misbehaving lately and it's about time for a replacement.  We've decided to go for it but whew boy...what a decision!  Thank God for husbands who understand electronics because I'd be lost.

While we were out, we stopped by Costco to see what they had and what their prices looked like.  Unfortunately, in getting out of the car, I tripped on...something.  I really have no idea how it happened but I lost my balance and started to fall but also did that fun, very fast, dance-type stuff when you try to catch yourself.  I had parked next to one of those median things, full of trees & bushes, cut back and leafless for the winter but still - a hazardous place.  I almost caught myself, too but then my knee buckled and I went down. 

Of the different ways I could have fallen, I fell the best way.  Fortunately I walked away with nothing more than a few scrapes and bruises.  Big bruises, mind you but just bruises nonetheless.

I am oh so graceful these days.  Not quite sure what my issue is - shoes?  age?  just plain rushing? I'm not sure but I don't think it's medical although if I have another unexplained fall I may have to rule that out for sure.

Today I sit in pain.  My shoulders and neck feel like I've been in a car accident.  I'm on ibuprofen and hot showers.  Right about now I'm wishing our hot tub still worked...

Praying it's only a few days and I go back to normal...

On a much happier note, today is my father's birthday.  I wish him a happy day and wishing we could do something together but that didn't work out this year.  He should, I hope be celebrated in wonderful style, surrounded by people who love him.  I know my hugs and birthday wishes have been sent.  He's 66 today.  Hard to believe, really.  Funny, isn't it?  How people always look to us - he's coming up to 70 but in my mind's eye I still see him in his 30's.

Happy Birthday, Dad.  May there be many more.

With love,


Granting Grace

My son is one of the sweetest children I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  That's not a biased statement, either.  He is genuinely a child of my heart, not of my blood because his nature is completely opposite mine - he's a quiet, laid back, go with the flow and oh so sensitive.  His sense of humor has had to be developed and coaxed.  Oh, he's funny but there is such an intensity about him he takes everything seriously and would often struggle, thinking we were being straight with him when we were, indeed, teasing.

As beautiful his strengths, his weaknesses about drive me to distraction.  He cannot bring himself to say "I'm sorry" unless prompted.  We have gone around and around trying to get him to understand the necessity of admitting his mistakes, especially when he hurts or disrespects someone and how important it is to acknowledge those mistakes by a simple apology. 

Other weaknesses are kid oriented and I'm praying they don't haunt him into adulthood.  Of those, his biggest is he is always moving on to the next task or event and he rarely wraps up what he's currently doing.  My biggest pet peeve in that regard is our garage door/light.

The one chore he loves, doesn't consider a chore and his eyes actually light up when he's asked to do it is light a fire in the woodstove.  His father so patiently taught him how to build and maintain a good fire, a fire to warm our home.  The wood for said fire is kept in the garage.  When it's time to build a fire, off to the garage he goes to gather kindling and wood.  When he comes back in the house, of course his hands are full.  He is full of good intentions - he's going to go back and close/lock the door and turn off the light.  The problem is he rarely remembers.  It can be as much as an hour before anyone notices because we haven't gone to that part of the house and in that time a lot of heat can leak out.  He forgets, too, when he's feeding the dog (dog food is also kept in the garage).  Best intentions...but poor follow-through.

After many, many times of finding the door open and the light on and reminding him, I finally had to come down to warnings.  He received three warnings and knew that if it happened a fourth time, he was grounded for a week.  I told him a week because I wanted him to take it seriously.  And he actually did, for several weeks.  Then it happened.  Tuesday.  Light on, door open when I got home at lunch and then I found it again later, about an hour after I'd asked him to build a fire...

Grounded.  The heartwrenching part of that?  He and a friend of his had JUST made plans to have their first sleepover together, scheduled for tonight.  I had to crush him, void his plans and endure watching his face just crumble as he fought back the tears.  It broke my heart, especially since this is a very social little boy whose life just doesn't involve much in the way of opportunity to play with his friends after school.

Then Wednesday was the first day of Lent and as I was praying through the day (my last post explains this), it went through me like a lightening bolt (gotta love the jolt of simplicity...).  When I got home, Christopher and I sat down on the couch and we chatted.  For quite a while.  The best part?  He asked questions, too - it wasn't just my talking. 

The end result?  He now has a pretty thorough understanding of Lent and also, grace.  Grace I granted, ending his grounding after just 24 hours.  Free to make plans with his friend for the weekend, free to go to church last night and enjoy the SonLife program.  Free...  with grace from Bonnie. 

When I saw his face when I told him what I was going to do (mind you, up until I said the words, he thought I was teaching him about Lent), I knew God had pointed me in the right direction.  I don't know if it'll be something he remembers forever, or even if he'll remember next week but for that briefest of moments, I'd given him one of the greatest gifts he'd ever received and it shone on his face.

I have to wonder...does my realizing the value of the grace offered on the cross shine on my face like that?  Do I focus enough on Christ so that I ALWAYS shine that way?  I bet not...but my purpose is to glorify God.  Do I do that?  Do I give Him "and then some?"  Do I give?  I pray through these next several weeks I do...and I pray I carry it past Easter as well.  May I please not get wrapped up in myself as I am so very prone to do. 

On to whatever comes next...


Season of Lent

From the time I was little, Lent has always been about giving up something for those forty days before Easter.  I never considered it as something good - something to focus my heart and mind on just Easter means.  It was always a hassle.  What was I going to give up?  What could I realistically give up that I wouldn't really miss...

After years of that, I became an adult.  "Ahhhh....  no one telling me I have to give something up."  So I didn't.  It's interesting that I never sat and thought about it or prayed about it because if you ask me what my most favorite day of the year is, I will unequivocably state Easter.  Easter...that beautiful day when God completely conquered death, Jesus arose and all could be right with God again.  A gift beyond explanation or exclamation.  Exquisite.  The most beautiful thing ever done.

But Lent...

This year, though, that has changed.  On the radio last week, the morning question was "what do you give up for Lent?" and one of the women who called in talked about how several years ago she decided instead of giving up something, she was going to give away something every day for Lent.  Even if it was just a few minutes of her time, she was going to spend forty days doing something kind, giving something away, instead of the meaningless giving up diet soda, sugar, tv, etc..

She's done it every year since.  I'm not going to judge whether or not her heart is completely changed or just toward Lent & Easter but what she said struck me (why it's just Lent).  She said, in those first forty days of giving something away, she realized she WAS giving something up.  Herself.  What she did every day was no longer about what she was doing but about what God wanted her to do.

When I heard that I was hit again but how something so simple, something that should come naturally to my brain, can turn me upside down.  What a way to honor Jesus.  It became my plan for this Lenten season. 

Then, this afternoon, I was reading through a few blogs and stumbled across this post.  And again...it hit me.  I am not looking for kudos from heaven.  That isn't my goal.  I am, however, looking to be intentional about what I am doing in my life.  See...in the last several months, I've ended up feeling so low I didn't really want to climb out of bed.  Oh, I'd get up every morning and go to work and come home and do...life but...I didn't really want to.  I avoided talking to anyone about it because I knew I'd hear the word "depressed."  Every time I hear that word I think of my grandmother but...that's another post. 

Anyhow.  Off the rabbit trail.  A few weeks ago I had an amazing dream (also another post) and when I woke up from it, because of my alarm, all I could do was crawl out of bed, into the shower and pray.  And pray.  And pray.  I'm still not sure I'm done feeling "low" but I do know God has my attention and I'm done fighting with Him about it.  My prayers have been fervent yet so very often, I am silent since then and I feel like I've been blindfolded and God has my hand.  It's as if I thought I had my eyes only on Him and He showed me just how incorrect in that belief I was and now I don't want to look at anything else.

It's the "and then some" He's after, I think (read that post).  I was - and still am - willing to do whatever God asks of me.  I was not, however, willing to give it anymore than what I had to.  Going above and beyond was out.  I was too tired, too warn down, too wrapped up with myself to offer Him anything more than a few moments in a day and those moments were usually filled with promises of "Let me know what you want, Lord.  I'm here for you."  If He didn't respond immediately, I was off the hook - free to live life as I'd done the day before. 

I am curious now.  What does He want to show me?  What will it mean to give Him the "and then some" after I give something away every day?  What will those something's be?  Where will this lead me?  I'm still not sure what my "giveaway" for today is and today is the first day of Lent...  Maybe it's something as simple as the link to Lysa's post?  Ah, a girl could get so lucky.  We'll see what happens.  Hopefully I have a few good stories to share here...


Sunday Strength

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

~1 John 3:1-3

Daily Drop Cap provided by Jessica Hische