Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Curing the Straighten-It-Out-Aholic in Me

Hello. My name is Dawn and I’m a straighten-it-out-aholic.  

Wherever I go—a doctor’s waiting room, a church pew or a restaurant—I fight the urge to straighten out the piles of magazines, tithing envelopes and menus like it’s a disease. It’s not OCD because I can successfully leave those skewed piles alone, but I don’t like it.  

Ask my daughter who noticed my madness in her preteen years and challenged me while in the pediatrician’s office, whose end tables had lost the fight with toddlers all day long. “Don’t touch them, Mom,” she chided. “You can do it. Leave (those magazines) alone.” I ignored them, but my heart raced until the nurse called us into the examining room. 

(Pssst! Leave your messy piles for just a minute and click HERE for the rest of the story...and maybe a cure?)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Now what, God?

Mary awakens. Her newborn, wrapped in rags and lying in a crude straw filled bed, beckons her. Tired from traveling and birthing she had little time to ponder the night’s events—the angelic fanfare and surprise visits from burly shepherds. Busy with all the mundane tasks like feedings and swaddling changes, Mary might have thought, “Now what, God?”
Not the life you’d imagine for the mother of God’s son, but just as she was chosen for her faithfulness and servant heart, Mary remained loyal to God’s teaching, even in the midst of the everyday.

After eight day, she and Joseph, took [Jesus] up to Jerusalem to offer him to God as commanded in God’s Law: ‘Every male who opens the womb shall be a holy offering to God,’ and also to sacrifice the ‘pair of doves or two young pigeons’ prescribed in God’s Law,” (Luke 2: 22-24 The Message).

This imagery of Mary’s obedience, offering and sacrifice sets and example for our own lives as we ponder all God may have prophesied over our lives.  

Each January 1st we awaken to a new birth of sorts that holds endless possibilities, but soon enough, we get stuck in all the striving and the failures that we lose sight of what God’s trying to accomplish. We might even catch ourselves asking, “Now what, God?”**
**Wondering how this all ends up? Hop over to {re}fresh and find out.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Unintentional Ministry: Becoming the home where kids gather

Between Christmas and New Years Eve our home rarely sat quiet. Around noon the day after Christmas, my kids' friends trickled into our house one-by-one with their newest video game or movie under their arms until our house looked like NASA and Best Buys combined.

While the boys set up Command Central on the dining room table and fought virtual enemies, shoulder-to-shoulder, through various computer controls, the girls clumped together, dreamy-eyed, watching their newest chick flicks on the living room floor.

My husband directed Command Central and kept the boys at bay, while I gladly placed the pizza orders and collected delivery money, stocked the 'frig with soft drinks, and strategically placed platters of leftover Christmas cookies within their reach.

As the hours wore on and the all-nighter gang gained parental permission to stay and clear pick up times were agreed upon, we'd slip upstairs with our own new movies and keep our ears to the ground through the night.

It wasn’t always pleasant or easy hosting these all-nighters, whether planned or impromptu, but they were worth it...

(There's many benefits I learned as a Christian parent while hosting these parties. Join me at Christian Children's Authors blog for the list of benefits).