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Peace, Be Still

Wildfires in Montana, Washington, and California. Floodwaters and wind damage in huge portions of Texas. Entire islands underwater and an historic storm barreling toward the Florida coastline. And those are just the headlines in the United States. It all seems pretty catastrophic, doesn't it? Pretty "Hey, God, wake up!!! We're dying here!!!"  I admit to a recent night of near-terror in my heart regarding the fate of my family if I were to do what I felt He was asking of me (namely intentionally staying in the path of what looks to be a nasty storm that, at that time, was projected to hit us head-on). Why would You ask that of me, God?? 
Do you know that if you listen, you will find that He answers?
Last night, during a time of prayer, this is where He led me:
May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high! May He send you help from the sanctuary and support you from Zion! May He remember all your meal offerings an…

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

A recent statement made by a friend has come back to haunt me today. He said that "Teaching is more often something we are learning than something we have learned." The incredible thing is that, when parenting/teaching your kids, you often find that you are learning something that you didn't realize you didn't know.

Today was one of those days when I found out that something I had been taught - a simple, pithy, taken-for-granted philosophy that is frequently thrown about - was dead wrong. It is one of those many things you repeat without thinking too deeply about it. A belief that seeps into your subconscious without your notice simply because of its pervasiveness. I wonder how many more of those I will have to "teach" my way into seeing for what they are?

Today's lesson: "Respect is earned." 

How many times have we heard that? Said that? Crossed our arms defensively and spat it between clenched teeth as someone demanded respect from us that we…

Of Guns and Governments

I have been hesitant to publicly wade into the whole Gun Control debate. I hold my views. I hold my peace. I have no desire to draw undue attention to myself or my family. I have no interest in inviting argument, defending my stand, or condemning those who may disagree with me. Again, it is one of those things about which I wish there was a more common culture of respectful public discourse because I do believe it is an important issue for our nation.

Today, in following a story link provided by my brother and after browsing through the responses, I found a man who had eloquently shared my thoughts on the subject without venom or defensiveness. He just stated the position and left it at that. I am copying his statement here. In my opinion, it is a well-thought, well-stated position worth considering. And I, too, will leave it at that. Thanks, Finn; your words are fitting and I appreciate being able to share them.

"First let me preface my remarks by stating that I am not a 'gun…

Ponderings

There are so many things I have on my heart that are begging to be written. Our family has been so blessed in the last several weeks.  Our joy in our faith is being renewed as we celebrate Hanukkah, the miracles of God, and the Advent of Emmanuel among us.

In contrast to seeing the Light of the World grow brighter with every candle we light, we have been witness with the rest of our nation as darkness has sought to extinguish the light. Families are in mourning. A horrific act of violence against childhood innocence has sent shockwaves throughout communities around the world. Many are in fear that this darkness has the power to overcome us.  Fingers are being pointed at everything from guns to government conspiracy to mental illness. Action is being desperately called for to give us some sense of security; some feeling - however deceptive - that legislation, societal awareness, *something* can effectively assure that nothing like this will ever happen again.

But the truth is that it c…

Advent: n. onset, beginning, commencement, start

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Sometimes I think the contradictions and paradoxes within us make finding a balance impossible. And yet balance is what I desire. Balance in our approach to homeschooling. Balance in responsibility and utterly abandoned fun. Balance between self-sacrifice and self-respect. Balance between work and home. Balance between family time and alone time. Balance between social interaction and solitude. Balance between introspection and spontaneity. 
Perhaps the biggest personal struggle for balance I have fought of late has been that between the desire to instruct my children in faith, give them meaningful traditions, and yet not bind them in chains of religious obligation. I feel the responsibility so very deeply to teach them the freedom in Christ, the deep love of the Father, the redemption that was paid for, and, yes, the willing and grateful submissive response that should evoke in us. But I am loathe to instill in them any obligatory service, any guilt or manipulation-driven duty, any …

Theft with a Shiny Bow on Top

You know how you think you're totally over something?  It's been worked through, prayed over, forgiven, resolved, and it's in your past... and then something comes along that brings it back up to the surface again and it blindsides you?  Yeah, that's been happening to me this week. And I'm not particularly proud of the range of reactions my thoughts have been serving up.

What's got me all in a dither? The whole health care as a campaign issue thing. I deliberately do not publicly get into political views and debates. Much like in the church, I feel that too much condemnation and judgementalism gets into too many of those conversations. I hold my beliefs. I live by them. I vote by them. And I am content to let you do the same. I will talk with you about them but I am well over trying to prove that I am right, you are wrong, and that if you don't see it my way you deserve a tongue-lashing. Civil exchange of ideas, I'm all for...but that's a rarity in …

The Little Things ARE the Big Things

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Today I had to take a quiet mommy-moment behind closed doors so the kids wouldn't see my tears and ask about them. They would have rolled their eyes and made the crazy-sign with their finger around their head, anyway. As will some of you, maybe. Because I was in tears over this:

Yep. My son standing with a cute look on his face, wearing a pair of jeans did me in. He picked those jeans out on a trip to a thrift store yesterday. Yes, they have a hole in the knee and will probably wear out very quickly. But you don't understand: he was asking to buy a pair of jeans!! 
One of the most pronounced sensitivities Michael has had is a sensitivity to clothing.  Texture, fit, how it feels when he moves - it's a big deal. Very rarely does anyone in the family buy clothing for him because we have learned that if he doesn't choose it, he probably won't wear it. For years, it had to be very tight. As a five-year-old he had to be pressed to purchase clothing that was larger than a…