That “be careful little eyes” thing may need a revisit <3

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Good morning to you and happy Friday!

When our three were little, we loved (or at least I did…) to read a book called “The Big Snow”. 

It was just a paperback picture story about a town preparing for the forecasted snow that was to come overnight. 

Children were anticipating a snow day, people were stocking up on books to read and games to play and one little critter was baking apple pies. There was a quiet and calm to it all as the snow gently fell and in the morning the regularly scheduled programming was canceled as the neighborhood had a reprieve from daily duties and enjoyed nestling in. As I remember there was sledding involved and some pie sharing and it left you feeling cozy and longing for a good old fashioned day off from school. 

But in reality we know that a snow storm and inclement weather do not mean everyone gets to stay tucked in nice and safe. Road workers are out tending the highways, utility people are risking their lives to make sure lines are up and running. Businesses don’t stop and the challenges of the weather can make life a nightmare for logistics. Hospitals are still caring for the sick and the people who deliver the weather updates have to get to the station. And if school is canceled, all these working parents are scrambling for day care options. 

There is a huge difference between the safety zone for children and the reality of life on planet earth and somewhere in the past decade or two we have forgotten to buffer things for those tender minds and hearts that are not quite ready to deal with the concerns we adults face with an arsenal of experiences and mistakes made and lessons learned that gradually moved us from childhood to adulthood. 

I remember vividly going to the video store and trying to shield our little one’s eyes from the covers of some of the choices available as I tried to find something we could all watch together on a Friday evening. It was shocking to me to see families where kiddos younger than ours were eliminating R rated films because they had already seen them…sigh…

Recently we had a Sunday afternoon football game on as our crew was visiting and playing with toys in our family room. A commercial came on repeatedly for a show called “Evil” (I don’t mean to judge, but seriously?) and a man would hiss into the face of a terrified woman the plans he had to destroy her four daughters. Of course, we turned it off because the game was not worth the fear that could have been induced. And yes, I realize that football in itself is not exactly a non-violent sport…so don’t start a debate with me on that one, puh-leeze. 

My point is that there seems to be a sense that this is the world these kids live in so the sooner they are exposed, the better prepared they will be. I would argue that this is rather counter to all common sense. 

Our Caroline has a strong aversion to meat at this point in her life. She prefers carbs in all forms and a little sugar thrown in for good measure. So we don’t put a big hunk of steak on her little pink princess plate and expect her to eat it. Her tummy and her baby teeth and tongue and mouth are not ready for that. Instead, her parents carefully assess her food intake and make sure she gets her protein and vitamins and necessary nutrients as they carefully attempt to introduce her to meats and vegetables. 

Oh … and they pray…alot…that she will learn to eat the foods she will need as she grows and matures. 

It’s evident in other areas as well.

You don’t teach your children to swim by throwing them in a shark tank. You don’t teach them to ride a bike by putting them on a motorcycle. You don’t teach them to read by handing them Moby Dick. 

We need to be as protective and careful to guard the hearts and minds of our children. We cannot blindly accept what the culture is shoving into our homes.

To do so is not taking the responsibility for the care of young people. I am not suggesting we take on the culture but rather that we, as followers of Christ, consider well what we are watching and reading and promoting and accepting in each of our homes and lives. It takes a little extra time and effort to search out what is good and pure and beautiful, but it is worth it.

There are so many young parents who feel alone as they continue to attempt to help their children gradually figure out the harder parts of life. And yes, some children are being exposed to the reality in doses that would make us reel.

Our role as adults is to take care of the problems and to carefully and responsibly allow our children to learn and grow and mature at a pace that they can handle. I don’t see how we can do this without diligence and love and a ton of prayer. 

Not sure where that came from…not sure who needs to hear it…but there you go. 

Your word of exhortation for Friday <3 

Be blessed…make an apple pie…it’s gonna snow at least here in our neck of the woods. Prayers for safety for those who have to be out and about <3

Good day for a group hug <3

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Just some gentle words for you today because the start of 2020 has been a bit of a challenge here and I would suppose I am not alone in this. 

First of all, the world is just upside down. It really always has been, we just are noticing it more and more. 

Politics are a mess…people who were supposed to be doing what they said they would do, haven’t and everyone is clamoring to be heard. The news is more like a bunch of posturing and opinionated celebrities who would be sent to their rooms in a decent home for talking the way talk and interrupting one another. 

The weather is wild. Right now the sun is shining in through our rain-spattered, tiny-finger-print smeared windows but I know for a fact it is quite cold out there. 

Yesterday was so gloomy and gray and humid and just a tad too warm for January. 

We are not sure what tomorrow will bring on this roller coaster of climate change. 

And I am recovering from yet another virus thing. 

Tuesday was a great day of healing and yesterday I nose-dived again into complete exhaustion. My sweet husband has been so patient with me as I go from feeling better to not in a vicious cycle the past few weeks.

Today is better so far…so I am alternating working productively with sitting and resting. 

I don’t rest well when I have been resting for long enough that the piles on the counter and tables are causing me anxiety attacks. 

So how about you?

How has 2020 been treating you these first 16 days?

I hope if it is sapping you that you have people to love you through. I hope if you are sensing the turmoil out there that you are finding safe harbors to rest and refresh and renew your soul and your spirit. 

I pray for you warm bowls of soup and cups of coffee or tea or cocoa…or whatever you sip while you study and read and rest. 

I urge you to set a time to stop at the end of the day and read something or knit something or draw or watch a game (but please…mute and look away on the commercials because, have mercy…those can be rather unsettling.)

If you don’t have someone reaching out to comfort you, think of someone you can do that for because maybe God is getting your attention to be His hands and feet. 

I pray right now for you – YOU…if you stopped by here and made it this far, I pray for peace in your heart and assurance that God is in control. No matter what the world, the weather, your health or the kitchen counter looks like right now – He is sovereign. He will give you the strength to heal. to serve, to grow, to thrive…and to rest when you need to. 

blessings…and I will catch you tomorrow…same place…maybe same time? We shall see <3


Truth and fiction can both be pretty strange <3

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My morning readings this week have been in Exodus and if you are about my age you know that we grew up with this story imprinted on our little minds and hearts through the magic of Cecil B. DeMille, Hollywood and  VistaVision by Technicolor. 

I looked forward to this epic event every Easter season and would sit in rapt attention in front of our TV.

I knew everyone’s lines by heart and in my later years when I read the accounts of the Exodus in the book of Exodus, I took exception at times that the book didn’t follow the movie very well.

Silly me. 

You know I jest, right? 

The book is the true story and the movie took license liberally to fill in the details and attempt to make it even more entertaining, but honestly…it’s an amazing read all by itself in the black and white pages of my bible. 

While there are additions that may or may not be true involving relationships and such, there is one part of the movie that did depict quite well the part where people like me get the willies because it involves snakes. 

For reasons that I probably should study to learn more about God and who He is, but that for now just blow my mind; God had Moses use his shepherd’s staff in a rather unusual way. 

As a sign of His divine power being vested into Moses, He has Moses throw the staff down and it turns into a snake. 

Then He commands Moses to pick it up by the tail and (I’m sorry…just a second while I breathe slowly into a paper bag just thinking of this…) and it turns back into his staff. 

Very cool.

Very convincing.

Until Moses is actually standing in front of Pharaoh and does this thing and the magicians around Pharaoh throw staffs down and voila….more snakes. 

Ok, I may need another minute to gather my wits here…in case you haven’t figured it out…I get the heebie jeebies just saying or typing the word snake. 

So anywho…as you know if you watched the movie and/or read the book…this is a bit alarming (and weird and odd and we might want to think twice about poo-poohing the powers of darkness, people) when Moses’ snake/staff slithers over and devours the fake/snake/staff’s and then Moses…oh my dear…my heart…bends down and picks this thing up by the tail and it is his staff again. 

Whew…glad I am not having my blood pressure checked today. 

As an added touch, in the movie version, the staff is also much bigger now. And I kind of like that and why not…it is now full of the other material it ate, so sure it would be bigger. 

And in the following verse and throughout the rest of the plagues and such, Moses is always carrying that staff and using it to accomplish things and I wonder if the magicians were reminded every time they saw him coming that he had a power superior to theirs. 

Interesting. 

You know there is saying about walking softly and carrying a big stick. 

You and I who have Christ in us, we have a big stick. We have a staff that has conquered death and overcome sin. 

Just something to think about today <3

Gaining the right perspective in prayer <3

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This may be a remix of one I wrote a long time ago – from a note in my phone from January 2015. I can’t remember if I ever wrote the post or just made a note to do it …so here it is today.

As we are praying for healing for someone, often we are praying out of a desire to relieve misery. Theirs and ours. 

We do not like to see loved ones suffer. 

We do not like the pain watching them suffer brings us. 

So we pray fervently for healing. 

But as we quiet ourselves in the presence of God and listen, we hopefully will begin to see our loved one and ourselves from His perspecive.

And it will change our prayers.

Because He is sovereign. 

Because He is God. 

Because He loves our loved ones more than we ever could. 

Because He is good and because He is worthy to be blessed and honored in the healing. 

I wrote this many years ago when I was praying for the healing of someone I love dearly after meditating on Psalm 73 and 74. 

In the car last night I rode in silence purposefully quieting my heart before the Lord like Job did and in my heart I finally came to this place, honestly and intentionally –

I want you better FOR GOD.

I want you spiritually whole and joy-filled FOR GOD.

Literally to bless God.

Literally to BE to the praise of His Glory.

Literally as a pleasure to God.

Peace settled.

I am waiting on God. 

from my journal notes January 2015

I pray for you who may be reading this…

wherever you are today…

whoever you are praying for…

that you will come together in unity with the only God our Father and pray to Him, by the Spirit in the Name of Jesus to know HIs heart and to pray His will for those you love <3

Wrapping up Genesis <3

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We are two weeks into the New Year and it is a very good time to check in with all of you who said you want to read your bible this year and see how you are doing. 

If you have put it off, you only need to kick it up a notch and you will be caught up in no time. I started setting my timer for 15 minutes of reading each morning and I am able to get two extra pages in each day.

As I mentioned at the start of this year, it doesn’t hurt to read ahead for the busier weeks or the more difficult passages will come and then you are already ahead of schedule. 

Several have asked what I am using as my plan and this year is a straight read-through of Genesis to Revelation. 

I have enjoyed the past few days revisiting the story of Joseph since I did the Kelly Minter study “Finding God Faithful” this past summer. 

Doing a study on a portion of Scripture is so helpful to put it in perspective and adding to your knowledge and understanding opens up new layers on every future reading of what had become a “familiar” passage. 

One thing I noticed this time as I read about the brothers returning to their home country with plenty of grain and one brother still held in prison back in Egypt, is Jacob’s response to the news. 

As the brothers share the news that Simeon is being held hostage until they return with Benjamin, they are emptying their sacks of grain and find all the money they had paid is in the bags. 

Their father sees all of this and is so upset because he knows it will appear a theft in the eyes of the Egyptians. But his response is so intriguing.

“And Jacob their father said to them, ‘You have bereaved me: Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin. All these things are against me.”

Genesis 42:36 NKJV

As a third party viewer standing back several thousand years, I see the selfishness of this statement. 

Yes, there is much grief that has come on this man in the loss of a son and another son in prison, but have mercy.

No mention of Simeon’s fate for his own life. No thought for what this will mean for Benjamin to leave the safety of home and go with this band of brothers back down to Egypt to face who knows what kind of punishment for the silver it looks like they kept. 

Just a woe-is-me, why does this kind of stuff happen to me response from the dad. 

I can shake my head at yet another example of why Jacob is an odd pick for being one of the patriarchs of the faith until I look no farther than my own selfish self. 

I cringe when I realize how often a disruption to my day has caused me to spiral into a self-pity litany of all the ways things go wrong for poor, poor, pitiful me and I have totally missed the personal struggle of others who are facing the upheaval that has sent a ripple across my pond. 

How good of God to not edit His Word by covering over the human character traits of those who were chosen to be the main threads in the tapestry of the story of Redemption. 

In reading these accounts of real people with real flaws and real family drama, we can see more clearly the character of God and our great need for Him. Scripture opens my eyes to the parts of me that need to be exposed, confessed, repented of and then opened to the work of the Holy Spirit to transform me from what I was to what He can make me to be <3