Titus 2:11-13

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."

Friday, April 29, 2011

Kids Say, vol. 12

Me:  (singing)
Abel (in an irritated voice):  "Mommy, don't sing!  You're making me dance!"


Amariah:  "Mommy, did you know that mouths are like 'chewing trashcans' because the food goes into your tummy and turns to poop?"


Abel:  "This motel only has a toilet and toilet paper.  Can you imagine that they don't have poop spray or fart fans?"


Abel:  "If you obey the Lord, He will do great things for you.  John 25:4."
Me:  "Where did you learn that?"
Abel:  "I just made it up in my head."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Snippets of Life

Hands busy in the soapy dishwater, I glanced out the kitchen window from where I stood working.  A couple blocks down an elderly couple walked side-by-side, both of them moving in a manner that told of the number of their days.  As I watched them, my eyes flooded with tears while my mind flooded with thoughts.  How long have they been married?  What experiences have they come through?  What were they like in the vibrance of their youth?  I pondered these questions while internally battling the conflicting emotions they produced in me.  Oh, Lord, will Travis and I have the privilege of living to a ripe old age together?  What experiences will we go through in the days and years ahead?  What will it be like to live in a body racked with age?...


It was late.  The kids had been in bed for several hours, and I was sitting at the computer catching up on the day's Facebook statuses.  My mom, who worked as a nurse for 20 years--and in a nursing home for 19 of them--had penned a status that struck me and stuck with me:  "When I visit my mother in the nursing home, I talk to so many who never get calls or visits from their families.  They tell me about the loved ones they miss so much and long to 'just get a call from them.  Have they forgotten me?'  Please, if you have an elder in your life, take time to talk to them.  If you don't, adopt one as yours.  Their days are difficult and lonely.  You can make a difference."


I sat in the local nursing home while the residents were being brought in for the church service which was about to start.  It was my third time volunteering to help with the monthly service led there by members of my church. The times before had been only joyful and rewarding; but, this time another emotion began to play in my heart.  I looked across the room full of women and men--mostly women--whom I assumed had probably known Jesus for many years, who each had lived unique lives full of real experiences, with each of whom God is every bit as intimately acquainted as He is with me.  I looked at these people who needed help because they could no longer help themselves, and I began to fight back tears.


"But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God." (1 Timothy 5:4, ESV)

"But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."  (1 Timothy 5:8, ESV)

"Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this:  to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."  (James 1:27, NASB)


I have elders in my life.  It's about time I invest in theirs.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I've Been Occupied.

I haven't been here to share my thoughts much lately.  So, what's been on my mind?  Shopping, American Idol, and Heaven, mostly....

I've admitted before that there is something about the change of seasons that makes me want to shop.  New clothes, outdoor toys, lawn and landscaping enhancements... Spring never leaves me short of ways to spend money.  And, yes, I have been doing some spending.  I've hit a couple huge consignment sales during the past month and have pretty much taken care of my kids' clothing needs for spring and summer.  Travis and I have also purchased a new outdoor playset for our kids to replace one that a storm destroyed last summer.  The kids are dying for us to build it, and if the weather will cooperate this weekend, we are hoping to do just that!
And, I suppose I should admit that I've done a little shopping for myself, too.  In Dave Ramsey style, Travis and I allow ourselves a certain amount of "blow money" each month; and, anticipating my Spring Shopping Fever, I let my blow money accumulate through the winter so that I'd be able to get a few new things for spring.  My best find has been a cute little black dress off Von Maur's sale rack, marked down from $68 to $17--a deal which, as my mother-in-law teasingly chided Travis, left plenty of room in the budget for a cute new pair of shoes. :-)

American Idol
I admit it.  I'm kind of obsessed with American Idol this year.  I've watched many of the past seasons, but this one is different for me.  I am totally awestruck at the talent, and I've gotten pretty wrapped up in the show.  Each week I can hardly wait for Wednesday to come, and I'm disappointed when Thursday is over.  One of my favorite performances of the season, though it's not necessarily my style of music, was Haley and Casey's duet performance of "Moanin'."

To hear the unique and extraordinary talents of the contestants makes me stand in awe of the Creator God from whom such beautiful gifts come.  If singing can be this good on a fallen Earth, what will it be like in Heaven?!  Which, brings me the last thing that's been on my mind....

I never had much motivation to understand what Heaven will be like until I had a baby go there.  I knew it's real, that God is there, that I'm going there, and that it's wonderful beyond my comprehension; and, I guess I thought that was enough.  In July 2008, however, I suffered a miscarriage, and I began longing for Heaven more than I ever had before.  While still in the acuteness of my pain, a sister in Christ who had also lost a baby offered me just the comfort I needed--a better understanding of the Place I was longing for.  She told me about Randy Alcorn's book Heaven, and I've been working my way through it since.  Most of my free time over the past couple months has been spent reading Heaven.  The more I read, the more I think.  The more I think, the more I wonder.  The more I wonder, the more I long.  To think that everything good in this world is only a dim reflection of the glories that await us in Heaven!  To think that I will one day meet Ande Lynn there for the first time!  To think that we will have eternity to live, work, play, eat, worship, enjoy, and discover on the New Earth!  Now that's enough to occupy my mind for a very long time....

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

This is Me

Frugality is this: using a badly broken hand mirror for 7 1/2 years by choice.

Wisdom is this: going to Wal-Mart during the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship to replace it. (Empty parking lot, empty store.)

Stupidity is this: discovering that my long-delayed expenditure would total a whopping $2.28.

Embarrassment is this: realizing when I returned home that I had barbecue sauce all over my face.

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