Don’t Give Up


Hello friends– We are on a continuing journey here.  Working through a daunting situation.  Just wishing it were finished.  And these words are just what I needed to hear. There’s Hope in the middle of it all.  I thought maybe they would encourage you too.

“Our job is to be obedient to God.  God’s job is everything else.  Don’t give up dear friend. Don’t give up.”   –Lysa TerKeurst  (author, speaker)

“So let’s not get tired of doing good. At the right time we will reap a harvest blessing if we don’t give up.”    Galatians 6:9 (NLT)

P.S. Photo from last summer’s walk in the Iowa woods.

Setting My Table Longer

“To be part of a family is to be known within this blistering world, carried closely in each other’s thoughts even when distance separates us. I guess I’m shamelessly begging all of us to set longer tables and reimagine who belongs. We are all brothers and sisters just trying to make our way home.”  –Shannan Martin (author and heart changing Instagramer)

Hi friends– I read this quote on Shannan Martin’s Instagram and truly am taking it to heart. How do I love my family and the bigger family of God that goes beyond??  Set my table longer?  Walk those people home… ?

I think this is a quote from Shannan’s book, The Ministry of Ordinary Places, due out October 9th (I can’t wait to get my hands on it).  You can find her on Instagram at shannanwrites .

P.S. Photo above is of our family– 3 spunky grand-girls.

True Home

Hi Friends– This is a little article I wrote for our the Women’s Blog at our church.  And the subject is dear to my heart– so I thought I would share it with you here…

TRUE HOME

Not too long ago I was mixing up muffins in the kitchen with our small grand daughter when she asked, “Grandma, what happens when you die?” I smiled, glad to tell her about my hope of a home in heaven and the joy forever there. She thought for a moment and responded, “When I die, I think I’ll be a mermaid!” (We need to continue our conversation on this topic).

And it set me to thinking. I tend to love making my home here in this world, our small house, meals with friends, calls from our kids, our tidy little retirement savings—trying to find security and rest in the things I gather around me.

But C.S. Lewis’ words bring me up short.
“The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and pose an obstacle to our return to God; a few moments of happiness, of love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bathe, or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.”

Home. I love the idea of heaven as my true home, a place where tears are no more and God’s glorious presence is our light.

After a long battle with cancer, my father was in his last days at the hospital. The family would circle around him and talk and sing to him. One of his old favorites was:
The world is not my home. I’m just a passin’ through.
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door.
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

“Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set you mind on things above, not on earthly things.”
— Colossians 3:1-2

Heaven, my heart’s true home.  Sometimes I scarcely think of heaven, but truly that’s where I want to set my heart and mind.  It’s a comfort to know it’s ahead for us—with dear ones we love who’ve gone there before us, with people at peace from every corner of this world, with the joy of unending days before our Lord.  My true and glorious home.

.

P.S. thanks Jodi for the photo of your home in Ojai Valley

This Day

“One life on this earth is all we get, whether it is enough or not enough, and the obvious conclusion would seem to be that at the very least we are fools if we do not live it as fully and beautifully as we can.”
— Frederick Buechner  (born 1926 NYC, American writer and theologian)

Love this thought.  And carrying it further, this one life is made of single days.  Like today.  I only get this one once.  So I’m starting it with this in mind, to live it fully and beautifully.”

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  — Psalm 118:24

P.S.  photo from our Wisconsin travels last summer

A Day Worth Living

Hi friends– I don’t know about you, but I live by check lists.  Errands to run, emails to send, house chores to do, people to talk with…  The list doesn’t always add up to the best kind of day. So I’m thinking of a new check list– here it is:

A DAY WORTH LIVING
#1.  Get up early.
#2.  Sit quietly before God- reading, praying, thinking.
#3.  Spend the morning doing something productive.
#4.  Get some sunshine.
#5.  And a little exercise.
#6.  Do something fun.
#7.  Make someone feel loved.
#8.  Learn something new.
#9.  Pull together a meal to share.
#10. Find a good book and read yourself to sleep.

I wonder what your list would include.  Is there something I’ve forgotten??  What would make a truly worthwhile day??

P.S. Photo is coming in from playing in the yard with little Lois– that always improves the day!

Kindnesses

Hello all– The flu bug has finally hit here at our house.  How about with you??  (hope not!)  But one benefit of being down is all the kindnesses the come.  Larry making mugs of tea, inquiring phone calls, get well texts…   It’s reminding me of the importance of small kindnesses.

Here’s a few thoughts about kindness I came across:

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” – Mother Teresa

“Kind words produce their own image in men’s souls; and a beautiful image it is. They soothe and quiet and comfort the hearer. They shame him out of his sour, morose, unkind feelings. We have not yet begun to use kind words in such abundance as they ought to be used.” Blaise Pascal

“Nothing,” wrote Tolstoy, “can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.”

“Always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.”
1 Thessalonians 5:15

So true.

P.S.  The photo is of our grand-guy Eero helping his newly walking cousin make her way through the arboretum.

Extraordinary Love

“We are not called by God to do extraordinary things, but to do ordinary things with extraordinary love.”     —Jean Vanier   (founder of L’Ache)

Hi friends– In these full days of Christmas there are so many ordinary ways to love– preparing a warm breakfast or taking an extra loaf of cranberry bread to a neighbor, reading a Christmas story with a grand-girl at the end of the day or calling a friend who needs to talk about now.  Not grand acts of love, but simple everyday kind of loving.  It’s what we’re here for– ordinary acts of extraordinary love.

“Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love.”  —  Ephesians 4:2

P.S.  Thanks to blogjadore..tumblr for the photo.