Last weekend, I found myself drawing in heavy breaths from the weighty, humid Pennsylvania air, almost fighting against it with every inhale as the mugginess climbed my limbs and threatened to swallow me whole. We arrived at 80-something degrees and were leaving at 90-something. How did I ever live in the South Pacific for two years and bike 80 extra pounds in kids around in the trailer? When did I become so intolerant of the humidity?
These thoughts swirled around in my mind as I watched my 9 year old Little Man, the happiest he’s been in months, darting from one flagstone to another trying to find a bullfrog willing to reveal itself for a moment among the lily pads in the pond at my parents’ retirement community. It’s not for a lack of trying that he did not find an amphibian friend. We heard their throaty cries. I believe our cold-blooded friends didn’t want to raise half an eye above the cool water and shade of the lily pads to greet Little Man. And who could blame them in this heat?
As I let my eyes soak in the serenity of the calm pond water and marveled at the dragonflies dancing freely, living in the moment, I also envied the lily pads—anchored, yet fluid on the surface of the water. While I want to tango with dragonflies on my more adventurous days, as we wait out my father’s prognosis, I think I much prefer the safety of roots in the pond bottom, with only slight, gentle movements away from my anchor in small steps of trust: lily pad living at its finest!
The funny thing is: Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: abide in me, bullfrogs, cancer, dark night of the soul, dragonflies, endurance, eternal peace, faith, faith in Christ, Father's wings, ground yourself, I am the vine, John 15, laughter after pain, lily pads, living out faith, Nothing can separate us, peace of God, Psalm 91:4, Romans 8:38, strength, vine and branches, wisdom
I don’t know about you, but I set many goals for myself this year that were unmet. Partly to blame was the overachiever in me. Also, I have no crystal ball to tell me how my year is going to go, so I wrongly assume I have 18 hours free in every day to accomplish tasks.
I lay my plans out as if I wear a cape and boast superpowers, and then I privately whine to myself (and sometimes to others—okay, often to others) when they don’t happen. Meanwhile, my crazy ambition starts hissing a slow leak all year, and I fold under my unrealistic expectations into a heap of frustration.
If you can relate to this in any way, then this post is for you.
Maybe you don’t feel like you’ve failed work projects, but you regret not having more one-on-one investments in people, especially close loved ones in declining health. Maybe you wish you would have spent more time on home repairs this year, or you wanted to go back to school but didn’t.
At any point in time, whatever we keep busy with, we often feel something else is passing us by: Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: 1 Corinthians 14:33, ambition, calibrate, calibration, confusion, disappointed goals, disappointment, establishes his steps, failed expectations, failure, frustrated goals, goals, God's purposes, heart of man, peace, peace of God, plans, pressure gauge, proverbs 16:9, relationship with God, unrealistic expectations
Since our return to the Boston area in 2009, every other year my family vacations in a different Canadian province. We started off at a KOA cabin near Niagara Falls, then two years later spent a few days in Québec City, and this year we are in a tiny cottage on Covehead Bay, which is fed by the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the beautiful Maritime province of Prince Edward Island. Currently, we are looking for Anne of Green Gables.
Board games, bike rides, drives through potato farmland marveling at old countryside churches, grilling steak tips, and walking long trails with the dogs are how we unwind. Vacations don’t have to be frantic, expensive, or fast-food unhealthy. I’m so glad we made a deliberate choice to get our serenity on and breathe in the salty Atlantic water as we walk around the bay.
This week has been a time of getting reacquainted with the kids, reminding them we are more than just taxi drivers, moneylenders, and activity cheerleaders. The best of ourselves is reinvesting in the best of ourselves. It’s so good to replenish and fill up again. I hear that still, small voice whispering into my heart lessons to take away from breathing in deeply and not being busy.
And sometimes, it’s when we’re in vacation mode that we feel freer to Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: becoming His light, bike path, Canada, Dr. Who, facing fears, faith in Christ, faith in God, fear, fear of heights, Gulf of St. Lawrence, lamp to my feet, let your light shine before others, light of God, light of the world, light to my path, lighthouse, Maritime province, matthew 5:14-16, Prince Edward Island, Psalm 119:105, Scottish, Stanhope, trusting God
I grew up just outside Philadelphia. The Liberty Bell and, for that matter, the Statue of Liberty, were important visuals to me of all that America stands for. As I’ve been walking through stores and seeing red, white, and blue adorning every aisle, I’ve had a lot of opportunity this week to consider what freedom really is.
I could focus on so many different topics: what our soldiers uphold for us every day, the Constitution, freedom from religious persecution, opportunities to receive an education, safe harbor within our own borders, and even our leisure, which is completely unheard of in so much of the world.
While I love my country and appreciate everything about it that protects my liberties, I celebrate my freedom in Christ every day because Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross (and resurrection) makes all of the following possible (and more!): Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: forgiven, forgiveness, fourth of July, free in God, free of labels, free of my past, free to bless, freedom, freedom in Christ, fruit of the Spirit, God's purposes, grace, His promises, His truth, identity in Christ, independence day, liberty, living generously, not compare to others, peace, peace of God, rest in Christ, Throne of Grace, to not be judged, to not judge, trusting God