Thursday, January 10, 2019

More Than Conquerors


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Image by US Pacific Fleet
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In all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37 NIV

Death crept in, uninvited. He’d invaded my husband’s body without a sound and caught us unaware. 

My husband was familiar to the uncomfortable waves of aching pain across his abdomen, but this newer, unrelenting ache was different than six weeks prior, now accompanied by unshakable malaise.

The CT scan showed an inflamed appendix and surgery ensued. Post-surgery, he felt brand new, like he’d received a fresh release on life. 

And, he had.

The surgeon explained, “In the lottery of life, you won big!” 

Friday, January 4, 2019

More

Farmer's Market Quilt by Bennilover
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CC BY ND 2.0
"...while every branch that does bear fruit he trims clean so that it will be even more fruitful."         John 15:2 NIV

We don't usually ring in the New Year with thoughts of pruning and discipline. No, it's usually rung in with celebration, feasting, dancing and dreams of prosperity. More, if you will, than the previous year.

More. It's my One Word for 2019 that God's given me to focus on. More. "More what?" I asked.

"More 'becoming.' More good fruit," was God's reply.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Why is saying "thank you" so difficult?

Image by petalouda62
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"Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?" Romans 8:32 (NLT)

Her petite frame bent low, worn from nearly a century of living. Small in stature but oh, her heart - full and generous and always giving - barely containable. One could never out-give her, never repay her. "Just say thank-you, that's all," she'd say.

Open hands to receive and a grateful heart is all she asked in return. She gave what we couldn't earn. She gave more than we deserved. All because she loved - delighted in providing for others. And today, nearly 14 years since her passing, my heart spills gratitude; not for the gifts but for the giver.

Sarah Young, in Jesus Calling reminds us, "Sometimes {God's} children hesitate to receive {His} good gifts with open hands.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Rhythm of Transformation: the Art of Waiting

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."
Hebrews 10:23

 It stood up to infant artwork, toddler hand prints, foot scrapes, furniture nicks and vacuum mishaps. Ready and armed with a scraper in one hand and half and half (not the cream but the potent vinegar and water mixture that promises to melt the toughest glue) in the other hand I felt invincible and the rhythm of stripping wallpaper began.

Spritz, spritz, scrape, peel. Spritz, spritz, scrape, peel.

It wasn't quite the waltz I imagined.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Sandwiched

Sad Sandwich www.flickr.com/photos/powellburns/9911704733


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 11:29-10 NIV

The phone rings and I take a deep breath wondering who's on the other end. Is it the insurance company inquiring about our snow damage? Is it my husband asking for help at the office? Is it the nursing home or my mother needing help? Maybe it’s my child needing empathy or advice or simply my grandkids asking for a special outing?

At my weakest moments when the fatigue of caring for everyone else’s needs wreaks havoc with my emotions, I fall into my husband’s arms weeping. "Where do we turn? Who's there to care for us?"

Members of the sandwich generation are everywhere. I see them on Facebook, at the grocery store, in the doctor’s office; adult children with an aging parent on one arm and their grandchildren on the other. Our parents are living longer, thanks to better nutrition and modern medicine—three and four generations needing support simultaneously. So, just when we’re starting to enjoy our empty nests, our parents, children and grandchildren all need us, too. Some days caring for the older and younger generations can leave me feeling like a soggy tuna fish sandwich!

With so many people tugging at our shirtsleeves how do we keep our sanity and build healthy boundaries for our personal lives and marriage?

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Changing Up the Daily Grind

I like coffee. More so in the cooler months of fall and winter than through the warmer spring and summer months. But one thing I've noticed of late, I like to change up my daily grind to coincide with the changing season.

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For instance, in the warmer seasons, I prefer the light, fruity flavor and scent of blueberry coffee. I don't know, maybe it's good marketing or good aroma therapy, but it reminds me of summer as a kid, eating fists full of wild blueberries from my grandfather's farm.

In the fall, of course I've fallen for the ever-popular pumpkin spice or salted caramel flavors. Who doesn't want to be reminded of sitting in a pumpkin patch or biting into a caramel apple at the local fair minus all those sugary calories?

And winter? Well, there's the holiday blends that brew up memories of cinnamon sticks and Christmas sugar cookies that seem to carry you straight through the worst blizzards and comfort your soul.

Well, you get the idea.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

3 Steps to Scheduling a Soul-Cation

Image by Cristian Bortes_Flickr.com
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CC BY-ND 2.0
I anticipate summer all year, yearning for sunny days and warm temps when I can throw off my jacket, fling off my shoes and plant my feet on the cool green grass of my back yard, or bury them under the hot sand of the seashore. or swing them off the side of shade-covered hammock.

Summer's when I reacquaint myself with nature, close up; when I dig in the rich soil of my vegetable garden and smell the sweet scents of the phlox growing by my back deck.

It's when my work seems more like play and the daylight hours linger long enough to make me tired. A good tired. A tired that says, "That was a good days work," or "You played hard today."

Summer rejuvenates and revives me and reminds me I'm part of something bigger.