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Showing posts from December, 2011

new year's plans

Today is Wednesday - that means it is Compelled. I am happy about that - it is always a highlight of my week. But it also means this week is going too fast! I am really enjoying Christmas break - no school, lots of parties and friends, seeing people we haven't seen in ages! We get back to the normal on Monday, so I am already getting lesson plans done, meals planned, and the next few weeks mapped out. I am also planning some longer-term things. We have a list (and yes, your name is probably on that list) of people to send all our info about South Sudan to. We are trying to get that list in order, figuring out the trips we need to make (Georgia, Ohio/PA, Ithaca, etc.), and getting a strategy in place for the support raising we still need to do. As you plan out this new year for you and your family, be praying about how that fits into your life.

There have been many people asking why. Why would we leave this country? Why would we got to a brand new country that is just de…

a gift

One of the benefits of doing all the counseling for World Harvest this summer was the friendship we formed with our counselor. This morning we took the hour long trek to Lee, Massachusetts to spend a couple of hours hashing through things with her and taking in her wisdom. It wasn't so much that we had big issues, but more that she is a person who has "been there, done that" when it comes to living in Africa, raising funds, being in the pastorate, and just the life that we lead in general!

She reminded me that I am not a complete failure in every aspect of life, and that some of these emotional swings I have are normal. (You hear that? I AM normal!) ;)

It comes from a snowball effect with emotions. I have a bad day with the kids and I must be a horrible parent. The next day school doesn't go as well as I wanted it to, so my teaching abilities are in question. Then someone decides to leave the church, so I must be the worst pastor's wife on the planet. …

a new song

"Parenting is the composing, the performing, of music, song upon song. Musicians play one right note after the next right note after the next right note. It’s not an erratic splattering of sound, a fickle, helter-skelter banging of random notes. Music has order. It is composed. Notes are intentional, considered, deliberate.

As music has rhythm, recurring refrains, order, so does peaceful parenting. One action thoughtfully follows the next action that wisely follows the next. Days of habits, fluid and lyrical, create pleasing harmony. Lives with known rhythms, thoughtful arrangements, sing.

I have flailed and I have failed.

But there is hope. Listen. Can you hear the serenade of His Kingdom? “Behold I make all things new (Rev 21:5). I am about to do something new (Isa 43:19).” We with shapeless, jarring songs may, thankfully, choose new songs."
Ann Voskamp

I am reading her book, One thousand Gifts right now, thanks to a recommendation from my friend, Jennifer. It is kicking…

Home!

This weekend I am going home. Well, at least to the home where I grew up. In all our moving around, I am not sure where real "home" is anymore. Maybe it really is where you hang your heart, and that is not just a cheesy hallmark expression? I think perhaps I am just longing for Heaven one day when I think of home. But that's not what this post is about...

I am going to see my sisters!!! If you have a sister, you probably know that there is no other bond quite like it in this world. We have been best friends and worst enemies at times in life (More the former than the latter in these "adult" years of life!) But no matter what, I always have loved them with an intensity that is real and steady. And I know they love me the same way. And I don't get to see them nearly enough, so I am so excited that all of us (including my sister from marriage, Gina) will be there this weekend - with all our families! (well, minus Shawn, who has to stay here alone - …

back to basics

This year has been a year of God stripping me down to my core at times. It has not always been a fun year - in fact many times it was down right rough. Between some intense counseling that was required to go the next step in getting to S. Sudan, the death of a young friend, the moving of our family (again), the adjusting to not one, not two, but three jobs (counting fund raising), and the re-entrance of an old relationship that was not always healthy and easy into my life recently, I feel like I am stretched to my limit. Yet in it all I see God's fingerprints.
The counseling that felt like another hoop to jump through was a time of acquiring real health and wholeness again. I gained not only a clearer view of myself and God, but I also developed a new friendship with a Godly woman whom I trust and who "gets me." (That feels hard to come by, sometimes!) The death of one young man lead to the eternal salvation of another and the chance to tell of what the amazing c…

Creative waiting

I feel like I should be posting in something profound in this blog, because it has been a while (it's been a LONG while since I've actually posted something profound! LOL!) But the truth is, my mind is not working in that mode these days! I am simply trying to focus on the every day, each moment, and trust and enjoy. (I guess if I could actually do that it would be considered pretty profound, no?)
Today is the beginning of December so the kids and I are doing a count down to Christmas like we do every year. A couple if years ago my sister in law sent us a long string of pretty envelopes to open each day with fun activities to do. Unfortunately those envelopes were destroyed in storage (I was so sad!) so I had to come up with my own ideas this year. I wanted them to be fun things to do together, but also to have much of the focus on being generous.
Last night at Compelled we talked about being generous financially. As we are in the process of raising support to go to…