Saturday, October 31, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Almost


I chat believe it's already October 31, the 31st day of the write for 5 minutes everyday challenge. I took the write daily in October challenge once before back in 2012 when I did a month of flashbacks but I hadn't written in so long that I was scared to start writing again so I just decided to take it a day at a time, no promises and I did it. Every day. I still can't believe it.

Writing every day has been good for me. It has been healing for me. It has been something I've started to look forward to instead of dread.

I know I won't continue it because I won't have daily prompts and the challenge but I'm hoping that this month will have primed the pump to get me writing more regularly.

My 5 minutes is almost done but I just want to say thanks to whoever started this write every day challenge and to Kate for her list of prompts. I have learned a bit about myself and have grown through it.

PS.... I wrote this earlier today and I almost forgot to post it.

Friday, October 30, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Bacon


So, bacon is the word that gets chosen as favorite when you give a group of women a chance to recommend a one word prompt.


Sometime in the last year or so Glenn shared with me about some article that said you should only eat bacon once a year or something. I'm not sure what it was or where he read it. I'm denying it's existence so I'm not even sure why I'm mentioning it here.

Still he brings home the bacon (literally) sometimes. Sometimes when he has extra money left in his account he'll bring home breakfast from work after a night shift and it often has bacon. Occasionally they'll have some kind of salad at noon conference and a few times he's brought home a partial pan of leftover crumbled bacon and we've stuck it in our freezer to stick in eggs or soup or salad.

I like bacon. Even if you're only supposed to eat it once a year.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Sea


I was struggling with what to write about sea and thought about how our sins are cast into the depths of the sea and had to google the verse. (My concordance doesn't get nearly the workout it used to since google became so helpful at finding the verse I'm looking for though I did pull it out the other day when one of the kids was supposed to find a verse about rest and their little back of the Bible concordance only showed about one verse where Strongs has many more than that.)

I digress. The verse I was looking for was in Micah 7 and I had to include the verse before it:

Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love. He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea. (‭Micah‬ ‭7‬:‭18-19‬)

How grateful I am that He forgives my sins. I don't have to be good enough or try really hard. I am forgiven because of the cross. I watched a great sermon about that this evening. You can check it out here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Hope


I didn't know what to say.

My husband says, "It's in the Lord." Which, of course caused me to start singing:

My hope is in the Lord
Who gave Himself for me
And paid the price for all my sin at Calvary

For me (for me) He died (He died)
For me (for me) He live (He lives)
And everlasting life and light He freely gives.

No merit of my own
His anger to suppress.
My only hope is found in Jesus' righteousness.

And now for me He stands
Before the Father's throne.
He shows His wounded hands and names me as His own.

His grace has planned it all
Tis mine but to believe
And recognize His work of love and Christ receive

Oh, I love that song. It reminds me of singing with my family. You have to sing both parts if the chorus when you sing it, even if it sounds funny. Sometimes it gets really low which makes it sound all growl-ly and fun.

I remembered the first and last verses and the chorus, google helped with the middle 2.

Oh, how grateful I am for that hope that can only be found in Him. It is a sure thing hope not an I sure wish hope. I can trust in that hope in all days and at all times and in all circumstances because He is good.

5 Minutes in October: Perhaps


I recently listened to The Magic Art of Tidying Up and so I am slowly trying to go through my stuff and get rid of things that we don't need. She recommends starting with your clothing so I've done my tops and bottoms and today, because I was frustrated with it I dumped my underwear drawer and sorted through it.

I came across this cute little card (What? Is your underwear drawer not full of sentimental papers??) and it made me smile. I remember loving looking through these little cards when I was a kid at the book store at Word of Life and my mom would often let me buy a few to give to others.
 When I turned it over I saw this and started to cry.
Am I? Am I in their thoughts and prayers? Do people in heaven think and pray about people on earth?


I don't know.

I do know that:

The Holy Spirit prays for me: "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans." Romans 8:26

and so does Jesus: "Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us" Romans 8:34

That. That is enough.

Monday, October 26, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Whisper


The voices in my head when I am asked "Who am I?" they whisper: 'You're distracted, 
you're disorganized, 
you're a disappointment.' 

I am disappointed and discouraged and discontent with those answers. I am a child of God and I am a disciple of Christ and I long to be a discipler for Him. 

Tonight at small group my friend shared this list of who I am based on Truth found in Scriptures telling me who I am in God's eyes: I am valuable, I am made new, I have the Spirit in me, I am being transformed and I represent Him.  As I listened to that sweet whisper I wondered at the fact that He really sees me that way. He sees me as his child. He sees me as sanctified, set apart for his service. I am His. It was a sweet whisper like the ones I scratched down listing all the blessings in Romans 8 that I heard in a podcast the other day (the following is copy and pasted from this transcript)

8:1 In Christ, you are free from eternal condemnation.
8:2 You are free from the damning curse and power of sin.
8:3 I executed the penalty for your sin in the crucified flesh of my Son.
8:4 The Holy Spirit is fulfilling in you the demands of my law summed up in love.
8:6 The power of the Holy Spirit in your soul gives life and peace.
8:7–8 Apart from the Holy Spirit, you are in bondage to the flesh and cannot please me.
8:9 But you are not in the flesh. My Spirit is in you, and you are the possession of my son Jesus Christ.
8:10–11 My Spirit in you will one day give life to your mortal bodies in the resurrection.
8:12 Your only debt in life is to live by the power of the Holy Spirit.
8:13 That power is the only means by which you can kill your sin.
8:14 All who are thus led by my Spirit to kill sin show that they are my sons.
8:15 My indwelling Spirit is the spirit of adoption, wakening the cry from your heart, "Abba Father."
8:16 This is my witness with your spirit that you are my children.
8:17 As my children, you are my heirs and will share my glory after a life of groaning with me in this fallen world.
8:18 But that groaning is not worth comparing to the glory that you will see and share.
8:19 The whole broken creation waits to receive its glorification when you receive your glorification. Yours will be hers, not the other way around.
8:20 I subjected the creation to its present futility with a hope-filled purpose.
8:21 One day, this entire creation will attain its own freedom and glory after and from and for my glorious children.
8:22 It is as if the whole creation were heaving with the labors of immanent birth.
8:23 Even the Spirit-indwelt followers of my Son groan in your aging, disease-ridden bodies with these same hopeful birth pangs, as you await the fullness of the privileges of your adoption, the resurrection of your glorified bodies.
8:24–25 Since you are saved — not fully already but only in hope — you wait with patience through all of your sufferings.
8:26 When you don't know how to pray in your sufferings, my Spirit prays for you through your very groanings.
8:27 I never mistake my Spirit's meaning, but respond always for your good.
8:28 But one thing you do know: I work everything for the good of those who love me and are called according to my purpose.
8:29 From eternity I took note of you, acknowledged you, chose you, and destined you infallibly to magnify my Son by becoming like him as the great firstborn.
8:30 I forged in eternity the unbreakable links of the chain: predestined, called, justified, glorified so that at no point is any of my elect ever lost.
8:31 Manifestly then, I am for you! No one can successfully oppose us.
8:32 I gave my own Son to save you. And so, with the hardest act behind me, nothing can stop me from giving you everything you need to enjoy me forever.
8:33 When I, the judge of the universe, count you righteous, and acquit you in the court of the universe, no charge, from any adversary, can stick.
8:34 To secure this vindication, Christ Jesus died, rose, reigns, and intercedes for you before me.
8:35 Therefore nothing can separate you from the love of Christ — not tribulation or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword.
8:36 You may be slaughtered like sheep — indeed somewhere in this world you are always being killed.
8:37 But no. Even in your slaughter — or any other demise — your loss becomes your gain, and your enemies become your servants.
8:38–39 Therefore you may be sure — you should be sure, how can you not be sure — that "neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate [you] from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Thank you God that You have a plan and a purpose in my life, for my life and you aren't giving up on me. Please help me to be faithful follower you.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Crash


I've been in a few no damage fender benders (usually the other person's fault), bumped into a big white building, had our frame break on the interstate, and had several tire blow outs but I've only been in one major crash. That crash was on an icy road in Virginia between Christmas and New Years when my family was taking me down to start college in Tennessee. It was scary. Cars started fishtailing on a bridge that was just starting to get icy and I was sure we were going to run into the semi in front of us which thankfully, somehow was moved out of the way when we were hit from behind by a semi otherwise the results would have really been not pretty. Thankfully we all walked away with slight whiplash and a totaled minivan but nothing else.

Those signs claiming that bridges ice before roads are true. Other warning signs exist that I should pay attention to to protect me from crashes in other areas of my life. The book of Proverbs is full of them.

5 Minutes in October: Silence


When I first saw the word silence I thought of "the silence" from Dr Who. Too creepy.

Then a DC Talk song started in my head, "Silence is golden but these are the words that the world needs to hear..."

Oh, silence is golden. I love silence. Silence doesn't happen a lot in my home. Right now I hear one of my children ranting silliness in voices from Strong Bad and another child singing "Go Tell it on the Mountain" and another child excitedly sharing something learned in a book we picked up today even though it is after midnight.

Oh, silence. My children used to sleep at night. They used to go to bed earlier and I'd get a few golden moments of silence before I went to bed. Those days are gone. Yes, they're usually in bed before now but usually they still want to chat late into the night. My selfish self wants to tell them to JUST BE QUIET AND GO TO BED and often I do but this late at night time is so important. It's when the important talks happen, when I can barely keep my eyes open.

Those words that the world needs to hear according to DC Talk are "I love you" and that is often interpreted at this stage by focused presence more than just words.

So... that needed golden silence must be found in the morning before they arise.

Friday, October 23, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Joy


Jesus and
Others and
What a wonderful way to spell joy.

I remember it in a song or a poem from my childhood. It is simple but oh, so difficult for this selfish soul to live out. It is amazing the difference it makes when my priorities are in order like that though.

YOJ just doesn't cut it. When I put myself first it is always a mess. So why do I put myself first so often?

The "others" in my life are often squeak-y. They make requests and too often I shoot them down, not because I am focusing on Jesus but because I am focusing on me.

Jesus doesn't squeak for my attention. He just waits patiently, longing for that intimate relationship with me that I too often run from. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross for me. He rewards me with joy when I turn to Him so why don't I do it more often?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Value


Tonight I watched a couple of DVDs that I picked up at the Voice of the Martyrs conference 15 months ago trying to find something to show my GA girls as we pray for persecuted Christians next week for International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Most of them are not very child friendly (my kids have watched them with me but I expose my kids to a lot more than your average parent in regards to persecution).

The thing that stuck out to me the most was how much the persecuted Christians valued their Bibles. They went through so much to get them and they were punished for having them. The only comfort many of them had was scriptures they had memorized.

I am very fortunate to have several copies of the Bible but I do not treasure it as those followers of Christ do.

I want to. I need to memorize it more because then it will always be with me, even if/ when I am no longer allowed to have a copy with me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Wave


A couple of weeks ago we went to the beach. When Glenn put in his requests for PTO he requested a week in October so we could go camping because we figured that, by October, it would probably be cool enough to go camping in Texas. We had done it last year and it was really pretty great so we decided to do it again.

Last year we brought Rahab and went to Padre Island National Seashore and had a great time exploring the TX coast, camping, hanging in hammocks, etc. This year they have a red algae bloom down there so we decided to use our TX State Parks Pass and head to Galveston State Park. We had a good time camping a short walk from the gulf, and playing on the beach which we pretty much had to ourselves. Rahab enjoyed the beach more this year. She swam and didn't fear bite the waves quite so much.

I'm thankful for the time we had to get away and enjoy the waves and be together.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Temporary


On days like today I wish we could travel quicker and cheaper to get to far away places.

My nephew was born this afternoon. He lives 15-ish hours away in Ohio. I can't run up there and see him today but the wait to meet him and cuddle him and kiss his cute little cheeks is temporary, way more temporary than the wait we had to endure to meet his big sister. She was about 14 months when we finally got to meet her face to face. We get to meet him when he is a mere 2 weeks old, Lord willing, and I am so excited!

Monday, October 19, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Honor


Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭3‬:‭9‬)

This is totally not where I wanted to go with honor but God kept bringing this verse to mind.

There are lots of things we are supposed to honor God with and our wealth is one of them.

I've not been doing that very well. We're living pretty much within our means, living similar to how we lived on medical school and before when our income was much smaller but we've not formally set a budget since starting residency and we have not been purposeful with the resources we've been entrusted with. Yes, we've tithed and given extra money here and there and we know everything we have is God's and try to live as stewards but without a budget it is hard to be truly purposeful and intentional with what we have. I have not been honoring God with my wealth.

Not just in finances either... the time, talents and testimony He's given me, I need to start honoring Him with them more as well. I don't always give Him the best part but I should. It's all His and He deserves it.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Worth


I got to teach 4th grade Sunday School today. We were talking about Abram and how he had faith and obeyed God in Genesis 12. I love that story and it encourages me and challenges me. It also makes me think of that morning back in 2007 when we overslept and did church at home (hopefully not permanently scarring our children) that I blogged about here:

The one thing I tried to communicate to the kids today was that following and obeying God is worth it. He may ask you to do some really hard things. You may not understand what He is doing or why He is doing it but you can trust Him. He, most likely, won't tell you to pack up and get in your car and go and He'll tell you when to turn left and right and stop but even if He does you can trust Him and He will work it out for His glory and your good and having faith and obeying God is worth it. Even if it costs you everything.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Offer


As I look to the future often I wonder what on earth I can offer. I feel so ill prepared for so many things. I don't know what I can do to be of use.

But God... My two favorite words.

He has a plan and a purpose for my life. He knows, even if I don't how He will use me. He gave me a smile, two ears to listen, hands to touch. I can offer them back to Him to use as He sees fit.

I'm reminded of that old poem "In the Bleak Midwinter"

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.

I know that if I'm willing to be used and obedient to His call He will take what He's given me that I offer back to Him for His glory.

Friday, October 16, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Green


Green can have so many meanings I'm not even sure where to begin.

You can be green with envy.
You can look green because you're sick.
You can be considered green because you are young or new.
Plants are green. Grass is green (except mine because we don't water).

When Glenn's relatives would visited us one summer when we lived in NY I was confused over why they exclaimed over how green it was. That's because it's not green in AZ or WY in summer. It's not in TX either...

Green often represents life, growth. My spiritual life has been pretty brown lately. I've not been watering myself with the Word like I should but I've recently started again. Faint green shoots are coming out amidst the brown as I seek Jesus more. I long to look more like the beautiful crepe myrtles that line my yard in mid-summer than the crunchy brown grass that covers my lawn.

Right now small purple flowers are creeping out in my yard, their vines casting their beauty about. Signs of life. Hope. Oh, may that be true of my heart and life as well.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Laugh


It made me laugh today when Timehop reminded me it's that Maas holiday that never officially got a name in which I packed up all flip flops, sandals, shorts and tank tops until Flip Flop Day on April 15 when the winter stuff got packed up and the kids were "finally" allowed to wear shorts and flip flops again. We don't celebrate that holiday anymore (not that it was a celebration we particularly looked forward to when we lived in NY). It was a helpful holiday to me as a parent because everyone knew when they could and couldn't wear summer clothing and it removed the option to fight over clothing that wasn't season appropriate.

I kind of miss it. The idea of packing that stuff up today is absurd and I laughed as I sat here and sweating since it's 95 outside and it's 83 inside (because I'm too cheap/ stubborn to turn our air lower unless we have guests). There would be GREAT protest and uncomfortableness if I attempted to remove the summer stuff at this point. Here in TX my kids even wear flip flops when it's freezing outside and people from church mock us but then give us a bye because we're from NY.

Yes, I'm definitely missing fall this year but I'm continuing to learn contentment in living where I am and, on days like today, I even get a chance to laugh at it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Fly


We don't fly very often as a family because when you figure in plane tickets times six plus renting a van wherever we're going it's just so much cheaper to drive.

Glenn has flown to us a couple of times when we've taken the slow route and he's met up with us somewhere far away for the short time he could escape the clutches of the schospitals he has been associated with.

He and I have flown to conferences without the kids a couple times. Often the flights are the calmest times of those trips and the only time we actually get to connect with each other.

We've flown for a couple of funerals when the kids were fewer and smaller and we did all fly when we visited the other side of the world last April. The kids especially enjoyed the endless amounts of in-flight movies they could watch.

In a couple of months Glenn's going to fly without us again. Tickets were purchased last night. This time it's not to come meet up with us in a far away place that we've taken the slow road to but back to the other side of the world. I'm sad we don't all get to join him this time and I'm sure going to miss him but I know our Father is going to teach us all lots during that month as we continue to seek Him in what He has next for us.

5 Minutes in October: Patience


My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. ‭James‬ ‭1‬:‭2-4‬

I am not naturally a very patient person but I have learned patience through some of my life experiences. Verse 3 says the testing of your faith produces patience and it's true, I'm more patient than I once was.

That is part of the reason I don't get as upset as I used to when trials come my way. It's a choice to choose joy in your trials. It's not because your trials are particularly joyful but because you know that God is going to teach you something through them.

What is the result of choosing joy in trials? Faith tested and patience developed in its perfecting work which causes you to mature and be complete and realize you lack nothing because you know He is your supply.

"That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians‬ ‭12‬:‭10‬

Monday, October 12, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Storm


I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

Storms come. Sometimes they are predicted long in advance and we wait and watch them with trepidation wondering when they will hit, where they will hit, how badly we'll be hurt, how much we'll lose, how long it will last. Sometimes they come up suddenly out of no where and seem to destroy everything.

Last month in GAs we read the story of a storm that came up in the middle of the sea and the bunch of experienced fishermen on the ship were afraid. They went and woke Jesus who told the storm to stop and His followers were amazed, "Who is this guy?? Even the wind and waves obey Him!"

Often it's not weather related storms that affect us but storms of trials of various kinds. I've often felt like the writer of that song talks about wondering why God hasn't come through yet. At that point I get to make a choice to get angry and all bent out of shape or to trust Him in my storms knowing that storms are allowed into my life by an all knowing God who loves me, is with me, and knows what is best for me. I'm getting quicker at choosing the later but it's still not easy.

One thing that has helped with my perspective is this quote I first read in a Calm my Anxious Heart.
In time of trouble, say, "First, he brought me here. It is by his will I am in this strait place; in that I will rest." Next, "He will keep me here in his love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as his child." Then say, "He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons he intends me to learn, and working in me the grace he means to bestow." And last, say, "In his good time he can bring me out again. How and when, he knows." Therefore, say, "I am here (1) by God's appointment, (2) in his keeping, (3) under his training, (4) for his time." ~Andrew Murray.

It's my signature line so I get to see it often as a reminder that God is good and He is in control. Even in the storms. For His glory and my good.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Rest


"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (‭Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭28-30‬)

Taking time to rest is not something necessarily looked favorably upon in our culture.

If someone says they are going to take a nap often they are met with a "must be nice" response implying that there is no way for the hearer to conceive of having a nap because they are way too busy. We fill our lives and our schedules to overflowing because that us what is expected of us but is it necessary?

A couple of months ago we had a discussion about this idea of rest and the importance of it at small group. Talking about it was freeing and I've taken more Sunday afternoon naps over the weeks since than I have over many of the previous years combined. I do not need to fill every waking hour. It is good and healthy to stop, take a break, reflect, and rest.

I'm slowly trying to put it into practice. Speaking of which, I should go take a nap. It is Sunday after all. Lesson plans can wait.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Ready


"People, get ready, Jesus is coming, soon we'll be going home."

I'm not ready for Jesus's return. Not because I don't know Him as my personal Savior. I do. It's just that there are so many that don't. 

As I stand in church and sing songs of how wonderful my Jesus is and how thankful I am that my sins are forgiven, that the wrong things I do won't count against me because of Jesus I think of all the people that don't know that truth. I think of all the people who have never experienced His forgiveness, all the people who have never even heard the name of Jesus and who don't even have a word of scripture in their language and the people who live on my street that I haven't taken the chance to get to know and share with them of the Hope I have. 

How can I be so selfish to keep the Good News to myself? Forgive me, Lord.

Friday, October 09, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Trust


"Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness." ‭Psalms‬ ‭37‬:‭3‬

I started reading Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity before we left but I started reading it aloud on our trip to whoever could hear me over the wind blowing through Winnie's a/c (aka our open windows- thank God highs have been under 90 this week). It's been challenging to me reading the Hatmaker's story of how God asked them to trust Him and how He challenged them and changed them and came through in ways only He could.

It made me think of the many times He's left us with lots of questions and no answers but "trust Me" - stepping out in faith like Abraham "not knowing where he was going."

It's amazing when God asks you to step out and trust Him, He always comes through.

We don't know what our future holds but we know He wants us to trust Him and to be faithful to obey Him.

"You've never failed and You won't start now..."

Thursday, October 08, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Purple


Purple always makes me think of Lydia. Our Lydia was named after a lady from the book of Acts who was known as a seller of purple and who hosted a church in her home.

We tried to give all of our kids first and middle names after people from the Bible that we'd like them to emulate their lives after. Well, I guess Eve is most known for being the first sinner. Not a lot of people probably look back at her with fondness but she was the mother of all of us.

Caleb was one of the men who chose to trust God would keep His promise, Hannah was the faithful barren woman who became the mother of Samuel and Abigail was a wise woman who became the wife of King David.

I pray that each of my kids will seek to live their lives for God and that their names will remind them of His faithfulness.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Love


"But God demonstrated His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

That's radical love.

That's love that doesn't make sense to me.

I have a hard time loving my family some days.

I have a hard time stopping for 2 minutes to listen most days.

I do not love like Jesus does...

...but I want to. I want to love sacrificially. I want to love those who are hard to love. I want to love without conditions.

I've noticed that you become like who you hang out with. I guess I need to hang out with Jesus more.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Possible


Romans 12:18 "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men."

Oh, is that hard to live out. It is possible but it involves a lot of hard conversations and confrontation and, mostly, in my case, dying to myself.

My sinful self wants my own way.
My sinful self wants my family to behave in ways that please me.
My sinful self wants life to be easy and comfortable.

Living at peace with others is difficult but it is worth it.

As I write this we are on the road heading south for our next adventure. The worst of it, Lord willing, is over: the packing, the sorting, the organizing. We've all had plenty of opportunities so far today to chose to live at peace with those we live with, those we love. We have made choices to live at peace. We have also made choices to cause conflict. There were some not so pretty or proud moments in our home.

I'm so thankful for God's grace that is the only way we can make the impossible possible and that forgives us when we sin against each other and Him.

Monday, October 05, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Home


You've heard it said, "There's no place like home," or, "Home is where you hang your hat," or, as a towel we got as a wedding gift says, "Home is where your honey is."

Many different things have come to my mind as I've thought of "home" over the years: that big yellow farm house built in the late 1800s where I spent most of my growing up years, various cabins and dorm rooms where I spent summers and semesters, various apartments and houses that we've rented in our 16 years of marriage, the homes of friends who've let us crash at their places for seasons when we had no place of our own to call home, and now this place where we've lived for a Maas record of 29 months (plus a few days).

That line on forms where you're supposed to put your "permanent address" makes me laugh. "Permanent address?" That is a joke and a half . I'm always tempted to put "Heaven."

"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. ((Philippians 3:20-21)

Then. Then I'll truly be home. Until then I will be a wanderer in this world inviting others to join me in my true, permanent, forever home.

5 Minutes in October:Embrace


I don't like change. Well, sometimes I do. Sometimes I long for it and am excited about it, especially when I have chosen it but, when it is forced on me, in my pride I often balk.

While at church God was at work in my heart, pursuing me. We talked about suffering and how God has a purpose in it and God challenged me to embrace Him and embrace my seasons of sufferings as He did.

The songs at the end of the service just tore me up:
-It is Well: "Let go, my soul, and trust in Him, the waves and wind still know His name..."
-Oceans "I will call upon Your Name, keep my eyes above the waves. My soul will rest in Your embrace I am Yours and You are mine"
- Man of Sorrows: "Man of sorrows Lamb of God, by His own betrayed.
The sin of man and wrath of God has been on Jesus laid
"Silent as He stood accused, beaten mocked and scorned. Bowing to the Father's will he took a crown of thorn."
This song really made me think about how greatly He suffered unjustly, on the cross for me.
-Jesus, Only Jesus: "Who has the power to raise the dead? Who can save us from our sin? He is our hope, our righteousness, Jesus, only Jesus
"Who can make the blind to see? Who holds the keys that set us free?He paid it all to bring us peace. Jesus, only Jesus."

This. This is why I don't wear makeup to church. I'm sure my face looks bad enough after crying without mascara running everywhere.

Thanks, God for calling me to embrace You in this season and every season. I love you. Thanks for loving me.

Emailed over this quote from my phone this quote showed up again and, of course, needs to stay.
In time of trouble, say, "First, he brought me here. It is by his will I am in this strait place; in that I will rest." Next, "He will keep me here in his love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as his child." Then say, "He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons he intends me to learn, and working in me the grace he means to bestow." And last, say, "In his good time he can bring me out again. How and when, he knows." Therefore, say, "I am here (1) by God's appointment, (2) in his keeping, (3) under his training, (4) for his time." ~Andrew Murray.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Capture


We have mice in our house. More than one. We have a "tin cat" that I think we bought when we lived above Palermo's. It helped us catch mice there. We haven't used it since.

While I was gone on our OH/NY road trip the tin cat captured a mouse but Glenn didn't have time to deal with it before work so Rahab played with the trap, opened it and set it free while he was gone.

Since then I think our mouse has had babies, which is why I say we have mice. I recently moved the tin cat over beside Rahab's food dish, figuring that is a likely place to catch a mouse and today one of the babies got captured in it which was obvious because Rahab was suddenly very interested in that metal contraption. Thankfully Glenn was home (he was supposed to be sleeping but I digress) and took care of it for us. My hero. Yay. One less mouse.

Which reminds me of the last mouse we captured, under a door in the guesthouse in India. Thanks, dear daughter, for stopping that one in it's tracks!

Friday, October 02, 2015

5 Minutes in October: Family

am often asked, "Is it difficult living so far away from family?"

It is an interesting question. In many senses I don't live far from my family - Glenn usually sleeps in my bedroom (when he's not at work) and my kids live with me just about 24-7 and sleep just a short walk away. They are my family. For the good, the bad, the ugly and all the adventures.

I know what people mean. Living a bazillion miles away from extended family definitely has it's good and bad. I love the time I get to spend with our extended families once-ish a year but, since we weren't really planning on living in the US this long, I just always assumed we'd be far from our families. Maybe that makes it easier though I'm sad my kids don't get to hang out with their cousins or grandparents nearly as often as I did growing up.

5 minutes isn't very long but another post done. 

Thursday, October 01, 2015

5 minutes in October: Calling

I've decided to re-start my too-long silent blog by joining in some 5 minute prompts this month. I may not write every day but I'm writing today on:


As I've thought of this word today I've had several thoughts:

1. Calling others on the phone does not come easy for me. There are so many people from my past and present that I would love to call and connect/ reconnect with but I just don't do it.

2. This verse from 2 Peter 1:10: "Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;" Looking at it and reading the context just makes me want to grow in my relationship with God but too often I run from Him. Why is that?

3. What is my calling? So often I wonder what I should be when I grow up. How I should spend my life? Do I need additional training of some sort to fulfill the role God has for me? My current calling as a full time mom and homeschool teacher will end before I know it. What does God have for me after that? We'll finally be adults in less than 2 years what Glenn is done with training. What's after that? The answer I always hear is, "be faithful today." I guess that is and always will be my calling.

5 minutes is up. That wasn't too bad. Maybe I'll do it again tomorrow.