Monday, March 12, 2018

the most important time of day

Working through Discipline: the Glad Surrender by Elisabeth Elliott, and it's taking me a while. This little book is packed, and I find that it is an imperative (for me, at least) to take it in just bit by bit.

I have been spending time with the Father each morning for a while now, but it was a joy to find encouragement and fresh ideas for ways to spend our time together...

The time spent alone with the Lord is the most important time of the day.

• Let it be a regular time. Have a special time for solitude and silence. If you have never done it before, start with ten minutes. You will be surprised how quickly it goes, and you will soon need to plan for more.

• Have a special place. Anywhere you can be alone, even if it has to be a closet, bathroom, or in the car in the garage.

• Pray. Include worship, thanksgiving, confession of sin, petition (including asking God to speak to you during your quiet time), and intercession (prayers for others).

• Journal. Note lessons learned, Scriptures applied to a particular need, prayers answered - this is a great encouragement to faith.

• Read a portion of the Bible in some ordered sequence. Read from Psalms and Proverbs daily, along with a potion of where you are in your other reading.

The best time for most people is early morning - not because most of us love jumping out of bed, but because it is the only time of day when we can be fairly sure of not being interrupted and because it is best to commune with God before you commune with people. Your attitude toward them will then arise out of your life in Him ♥

quoted from EE with a few sprinkles of Q

Saturday, February 17, 2018

treasures in a health lesson

It's Saturday afternoon, and I am sitting at my desk going over Meredith's work for the week. We will meet in a little while for our conference and to discuss things. I just picked up her health assignment, part of her elective work this semester, and began reading. It was a lesson on self image. Here are her answers all together in paragraph form...

Think before you speak. Don't tease someone to be mean. Why would you do that? If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything! Use your words to encourage other people not break them. Be yourself. Doesn't matter what others think, only matters what God thinks. You can't know what others think all the time, and it'll drive you mad trying to guess, so drop it. Just do things. Be brave. Talk to the people who love you. If you have a problem with negative self-talk, read what God thinks about you. If God has given you a gift, use it! Inward qualities - self-control, thinking kindly, being wise, being trustworthy, wisdom, trusting God - make you ready to face big outward things. If you focus on God and His word, you keep in mind what you really are - His child. Beloved. We are made in God's image. Think about that. We are modeled after Him. He loved us enough to do that.

What oh what would the world be if we all measured and viewed ourselves this way? ♥

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

of doing and being

Hospitality. Simplicity.
Communicating. Conversation. Community.

These are the themes that have been swirling around in my head and heart today. I have been trying to pop in here all day long and set down some notes ^_^

• "Sometimes we are called far and wide on a mission, but more often we are called to love others in our everyday, ordinary lives...right where we live..."

• He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters, restoring my soul. And He guides me on paths. I don't have to figure out what to do. He leads. He teaches me how to love and how to reach out. He brings people into my life. He gives me the words to say.

• I tend to make things harder than need be: planning too much not recognizing when it's enough, focusing on the outcome instead of simple obedience, bound and burdened at my own hand by the doing instead of letting go (He's in control, not me) and resting in the being.What are my priorities, my motivations, anyway? Focus and really see!

• Abide. Dwell. Be Still.

• inspired, God-breathed hospitality

• "a simple table spread with abundant love"

• In what ways am I working to be present in the moments of my days? Intentional with my time, words, activities, attitudes, and yes, planning?

• How am I showing the people around me that they matter, holding place and time in their service, creating welcome and a place to belong?

• No grand plans, big programs, time shattering reconstruction that removes all joy and peace. Employing just a gorgeous simplicity and the attention to detail that carves out moments instead of spending them...stopping to consider in prayer again and again: availability, the gift of eyes to see, willingness, and the hope that I know and am here to share.

• Simplify.

• Set my face against the lie that busy-ness is better, is crucial, and call it what it is, an idol. Cultivate a quiet heart in myself with the Father's power as my source, and cultivate His peace in my home as we walk gentler days.

• Learn to rest.

quotes & trails from "The Turquoise Table" by K Shell

Thursday, January 25, 2018

the terrifics

You have heard the expressions, so have I. The "terrible twos, the terrible tweens, the terrible teen years..." As a very young parent, over and over again, I was told how awful, exasperating, wretched the twos would be. And the more I heard that spoken, the more I set my face against it. Surely, surely they don't HAVE to be? There is no saying what HAS to be with my children if I decide differently, right?

And guess what I found out? The twos were terrific! It depended on my own attitude, whether I was consistent, if I followed through with discipline, if I worked to make them so. Prayer was the key. Keeping my heart as close to the Father's own heart as I could, asking Him for wisdom --from moment to moment some days, and trusting that He loves the sweetlings even more than I do. Claiming again and again the verse from Isaiah that says that He gently cares for those who have young. How thankful I was and still am for that promise to the mommies and the daddies!

Were our days perfect? Nope! Did I fail utterly at times? Yep! Do I look back now and wish I had done some things differently? Absolutely! Do I pray that my children will have a blessed forgetfulness of the days that were less than they should have been? I sure do!

And guess what they remember? That I was there. That I played. That they learned some neat stuff. That we cried together and laughed a whole lot, too. Are they wearing rose colored glasses? No way! The lessons we learned together (including the fact that their mom is altogether human) stayed with them, just as they have with me. And many times the outcome was and is a testament to the great grace of God.

So we are in the teens with one, the tweens with another, and the third is a tween rising. Ask me first if my feet are planted firmly on this earth and in reality, and then ask me if there is anything God can't do. After that I will wink and smile and tell you that these years are terrific, too ♥

orange slices & cream topped tea cakes

Sitting here in the moments in between the time when all of my family is at rest and when I head in for the night's sleep as well. Taking a bit of a retreat from work and planning, I popped into the kitchen and made a little snack and set out in search of new journals to read. What a joy to spend time traveling all over, all in discovery and wonder at the new perspective, the fresh vision. Colors and word-smithy, textures and beautiful imagination leap off pages or quietly dance their way close to settle in for a visit. I find that I am quite particular about which ones to mark for returning. Ha! Not really a surprise at that, is it? There is something about a journal with gorgeous order, not stark but filled with welcome, a touch of whimsy, loving-kindness, an artful challenge of some kind or the other --oh, and well chosen words. Always the words are what capture my heart and keep me coming back, for they are my love language.

Here at the end of the day at my keyboard, the thankful things counted... I add one more: these quiet moments just now ♥

Friday, January 12, 2018

rainy day sunshine

Stopping here for just a few minutes to record the joy of an unexpected afternoon. Hours spent in conversation, some heart-wrenching (in both good and tough ways) and other parts hilarious. Oh, that sweet laughter, even when it's through tears!

And the absolute beauty, the gift of listening to a heart sold out to Christ. Watching her face as she speaks is a joy! Such a thing to say when she was sharing burdens that are as tough and challenging and heart breaking as they come, I know, but her face! No matter the subject, it was alight with the certainty that God holds her in His hand just like He promised.

The sweetlings and I are studying the sun in science right now, and we were discussing the brilliance of God's glory just this morning. Sharing the story about Moses and the cleft of the rock, we marveled at the fact that his face shone after seeing just a bit of the glory of the LORD as He passed by. It shone so much that Moses had to wear a veil so he wouldn't frighten the people! LoL!

I saw that beautiful glory reflected in the precious life of my friend today. I have been watching and learning from her for years and years now. She is not perfect; she is His. And that is a blessing every single time we get together. How thankful I am ♥

Thursday, January 11, 2018

the same thing over & over

When your littlest sweetling, who loves to pray, all of a sudden doesn't want to anymore... and when asked if she would like to, sadly lowers her eyes, shakes her head and says, "No, thank you..." you find a moment to talk to her to see what's up!

And you discover that she is embarrassed to talk to God, because she doesn't want to always say the same thing over and over. "Surely He gets bored hearing me tell Him all the things I always say! And, Mom! I'd be bored right out of my mind if my friends did that to me. I even have trouble when you're doing your mom things and telling me stuff again and again. So, I don't want to pray!"

You take a moment to thank God for the mind He has given your daughter, that she's really thinking about it. And then you gently tell her that it's OK, and that He wants a conversation with her. It's OK to thank Him for our food every single time we eat, because that is praise and it's good to say thank you. It's OK to lift up our families, our friends, and other folks over and over, because He understands that we care about them -- and everyone needs prayer every day. And what a lovely thing to do -- to consider, the way He's feeling about things and to want to bless Him, too.

Awash in the thankful things, especially the perks of this mom life ♥

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

first thing & the great finale

Sweetest sweetling + Jamie moments of the day so far...

• First thing this morning when the children realized Jamie was on a delayed schedule and joyful bellows of, "Daddy!!!" rang out through the house accompanied by the most enormous grins.

• Just now the two littlest ones and their Dad are lined up in a row on the couch with his guitar, a music stand, and two recorders. He is teaching them to play, and they are tootling along joyfully with bursts of giggles in between. I have to run, because I have just been invited to to be the special guest at "the great finale!"

Joy ♥

Monday, January 8, 2018

glad surrender

With the coming of the new year, I have picked up a new book. Determined to add reading to my own list of wonderful things to do each day (I usually read new things for myself only in summer, being inundated with reading for the sweetlings and for our school here), I am striking forth with a purpose!

This little book has been on my wish list for ages, and now that I have begun it, I don't believe I will be apart from it in my thinking spaces ever again. Discipline: the Glad Surrender by Elisabeth Elliot is going to be another "book of my life." I am now eight days in, taking it bit by bit in my morning quiet time, and it is already such a challenge that I am at once delighted and teary.

Here's just a smidgen of the wonderful tucked into my reading this morning... "It is on the basis of solid conviction that He is both sovereign and loving that we commit ourselves to Him unconditionally, believing that what we leave behind is less than nothing compared to what we hope for."

Walking on with joy in this first day back to daily days ♥