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The Master Artist

Recently we had a paint night at our church for the ladies - young and old.It was a simple but beautiful picture of a sunflower with a ladybug crawling on it.People ranged across the board in their confidence about painting something that looked like the one the teacher was doing.When we first started everyone was paying attention and trying to copy every move the artist in front of us was doing.Gradually, as we all got more comfortable, we got more bold in our choices - colors, design, patterns, shades, and textures were all different.By the end of the night we had 12 pieces that you could tell were the same picture, but had very different takes on it.It was beautiful and we all marveled at the way so many different things came from one original idea.


I like to think that this was the idea God had when he created us.As I looked around that roomI knew that I was surrounded by women who were made in the image of Him.Beautiful, creative, unique personalities - starting with a core of him…
Recent posts

Set Free

(This was originally published for theNortheastern District Alliance Women.)  
Corrie Ten Boom, one of my heroes of the faith, once said, "Only to those who have been in prison does freedom have such great meaning." I've only visited jail a couple times, and each time it was not a fun experience. I thought about how I have the ability to travel all over, to sit outside on my porch in the morning, to hop in the car and drive to see a friend for coffee, or to simply make the decision to sleep one hour later. I have the freedom to make choices about the way my day looks. 
I understand that losing those freedoms and being put in prison usually comes as a consequence from an action that a person did. Even in Corrie's case this is true - her family's decision to help save people was honorable and brave, but they understood there would be severe repercussions if they were caught. However, the people being put into the camps were made prisoners simply because of where they…

Google Maps Saves the Day

I have absolutely zero sense of direction.  Ask my husband - or any of my boys.  Unfortunately Anna seems to have inherited this trait, so she can't say anything! ;)



The other I decide to take a walk.  I have been trying to make sure I get all my steps in everyday, and this weather has been so fantastic that I couldn't resist.  So I threw some shopping bags in a backpack, because the plan was to stop at the grocery store on the way home, and headed out.  Shawn and I have done a lot of walking in this area, so I felt pretty confident, but I had my phone on me so if all else failed, I could pull out good old Google maps.  After being here almost three months, though, I felt like I should have a good feel for my neighborhood.

You can probably see where this is going.

I decided to take some streets that I hadn't taken before.  We live in a gorgeous neighborhood with many old houses that have been kept up beautifully.  It's not one of those areas where you have to worry ab…

Clinging to Good

There are some days that will forever be imprinted in our minds.  September 11, 2001 is one of those days for those of us around who were old enough to really remember.  You can probably list exactly where you were, who you were talking to, maybe even what you were doing or eating or drinking.

There are many days where it seems like evil is winning.

You cannot turn on the tv or scroll through any social media site without seeing destruction or hearing about lives being devastated.  Our hearts can only take so much, and often I find myself purposefully skipping over things or avoiding a certain email that I know contains hard news.  Fear starts to grip my heart and mind and I feel overwhelmed by the amount of brokenness in this world.

Romans 12:21 says, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."  This sounds like a fortune cookie saying if you read just the one verse.  A thought that makes you say, "Sure.  That sounds good.  But it's not possible.&qu…

Growth

I jumped out of the way as one of my blue fiesta ware type bowls slid out of the dish drainer and on to the floor right in front of my feet.  Stink!  Not only did I lose one of my favorite bowls, but I also had to immediately do one of my least favorite chores - sweeping.  I grabbed the broom and heard the boys debating in the next room about which bowl I broke.  It was done in a jesting way, and it got me thinking. 



Yesterday was a bad day for me emotionally.  I have found so much freedom from falling into the pit of self pity and despair, but every once in a while it hits me over the head and before I even understand what is happening I am in full-on self deprecation mode.  "I've failed my kids."  "I'm a terrible mom."  "If people knew the real me they would run the other direction."  "What a joke that I am in ministry when I can't even spiritually fight for myself. "  "I thought I was over this - that I had become more stead…

Another in the fire

Maybe you don't know what the process to move overseas is like, but there was a lot of what we thought of as jumping through hoops or checking off boxes.  One of those major hoops came when our mission told us that before we could go any further in the process, we had to have some counseling.  I was super annoyed because we have had regular counseling throughout our adult lives.  I didn't want to have to spill my secrets to yet another person and start from scratch - that gets old after a while.  God knew what he was doing though (duh), and lead us to a woman who really changed my life and brought healing to me in ways that had never happened before. 

One day while talking about a particularly traumatic thing in my past, I started to get frustrated.  I mentioned that this had been talked about over and over again, but here I was still - same place, same feelings, same bondage to shame.  It felt like groundhog day, but it was happening in real life for me with one of the harde…

Pruning

We've been living in DC for four weeks as of today.  While reflecting on this last night as a family, we realize that as far as transitions go, this has been a relatively easy one.  A big part of this is the church we have come to and the fact that my sister lives so close.  These are huge gifts to us.

A couple weeks after moving in we had a neighborhood open house to meet the people who live in this community.  Our wonderful friends and landlords set the whole thing up, so instead of taking months or years to meet the people living on the block, we had many of them in our house less than two weeks after moving.  To prepare for this we decide to do some yard work.  The front of the house has a large porch and a cute little yard, but many of the bushes had become overgrown and you couldn't even see the street when you were sitting on the porch.  Because Shawn is the expert gardener in our family, I listened to him when he said we needed to hack it all back and cut away any ext…