|View from our rental van as we headed to Louisiana for Thanksgiving.|
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
We were working on our writing assignment. The lesson was teaching us how to trade out those boring "to be" verbs for some more exciting and flashy action verbs. We were given a sentence where we then crossed out the "to be" verbs and then thought creatively on how to rearrange the words left and add some new really great ones. Molly and Annie and Jonathan and I were really wracking our brains to come up with some good sentences. But it was hard.
Thursday, November 07, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013
Seven decades ago, the whooping crane population was nearly extinct: there were only sixteen birds left on the planet. Wildlife biologists got to work preserving the endangered bird and today there are almost six hundred whooping cranes and counting.
(Yes, this is girltalk, not Animal Planet. Stick with me. The relevance of the whooping crane will soon become clear.)
The scientists weren’t content with boosting numbers; they wanted to restore the whooping crane “culture”—to help whooping cranes teach other whooping cranes what it means to be a real whooping crane. As it turns out, part of being a real whooping crane involves a yearly migration of upwards of a thousand kilometers to sunny Florida.
So these wildlife biologists trained and then tracked the migrating birds. But soon an anomaly appeared. While some groups of migrating whooping cranes glided straight to their destination, other groups drifted forty to fifty miles off course.
There was only one difference between the birds that flew straight and “the crooked fliers:” an older bird in the group. The birds that flew more accurately followed an older bird.*
You probably see where I am going with this. A parable for Christian women. As younger women trying to fly straight according to God’s Word, we need older women to help us stay on course.
Scripture is clear about this. Titus 2 most famously tells us: “Older women are to teach what is good, and so train the young women…that the word of God may not be reviled” (v. 3-5). And peppered throughout the epistles are instructions for younger Christians to follow more mature Christians:“Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith” (Heb. 13:7).“Join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us” (Phil 3:17).
Three things (at least) stand out in these verses:1. Some Christians are older and some are younger (and it is important to know which you are).2. An older Christian is one who has an “outcome” (not merely an opinion) worth following.3. Younger Christians are to “keep their eyes on” the older Christians (not follow the younger Christians or figure it out for themselves).
These days, in our churches and on our blogs, we often get it backwards. Young women are quick to “test their wings” (sorry, I couldn’t resist!), to teach and take the lead, while older women are often marginalized or ignored. Young women can be more consumed with avoiding the mistakes of the previous generation than learning from their wisdom. We are often better at criticizing than following those who are older in the faith. We think we can find our own way.But there are also many young women who know they are young, who know they need an older, more experienced guide. They want to be mentored, but can’t seem to find anyone. “Where did all the older women go?” they wonder.
More than ever, we need experienced, fruitful women to teach and train the young women. We need those who have flown a straight path according to the Word of God to show us the way. We need to restore a Christian culture where younger women learn from older women what it means to be real women.
How can we make this happen? What does it look like? Let’s talk.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
. . . as well as on the Pacific Golden Plover!
(I am home this Sunday morning with Jonathan who has a sore throat, though his fever broke sometime last night. Earl and I flipped a coin to see who would get to go to church and who would have to stay home. As always, Earl won the toss. He always wins. I’m going to have to check that coin he always insists on using! But . . . here I am with time to blog a little of what I’ve been meditating on lately.)
Getting back to the Pacific Golden Plover. Molly, Annie and Jonathan and I have really been enjoying studying zoology this year. We just finished learning all about birds. While studying the migration of certain birds, we were introduced to this cool bird. It spends the fall and winter on the Hawaiian Islands and then migrates north across the Pacific in the spring to Alaska or Siberia (about 2,000 miles!) or it heads south to New Zealand (about 8,000 miles!). Our textbook said that this bird migrates over water the entire way without stopping. In fact, it appears that this bird does not swim.
Can you imagine the Creator creating a bird that He specifically designed to migrate thousands of miles across water and then not giving it the ability to swim? I can. But I also can picture myself in the place of that little plover. I’d be the one on the shore, trembling as my time for departure drew near, pleading with my Creator not to make me fly across that ocean, just sure I wasn’t going to be able to make it and would perish in the sea.
God has used this little bird to encourage me. He has invited me to “consider His handiwork” and to learn more about Him and His promises. He reminds me that just as His eye is on the sparrow and the rest of His non-human creatures, so His eye is on me. And even more so! His promises to me are “precious and magnificent”! When I feel afraid of the road in front of me, and fear that I won’t “get across”, He reminds me that He has promised never to leave me or forsake me. He reminds me of the little Plover and that He has given me everything I need to undertake what He has asked me to do . .. in fact, what He has DESIGNED me to do.
We have identified a sweet little bird who has been frequenting our backyard every day. It is the Black Phoebe. Can’t get a good photo of him (her?) yet, but it is a flycatcher and a song bird. Every time I see it, immediately I think,
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? Matthew 6:26
I love that our Creator gives us so much right around us to consider. What are you considering these days that draws your heart closer to Him?
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Today was the long awaited day that David got his braces off.
(I can’t believe how much this boy has grown up during the process! The photo below was taken in August of 08 just after he began the initial phase of wearing a “functional appliance”. He was 10 years old!)
Here he goes out the door today. One last look!
Our orthodontist’s office is so fun to go to. The staff is so friendly and great! David came home with arms full of celebratory goodies. Just look at that smile. No longer is he afraid to hide it!
Now, here’s to living life with retainers . . . and learning to talk normally with them!
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Later that evening, Earl and the kids and I headed down to the wetlands for a twilight stroll and then zoomed to the frozen yogurt shop for some dessert.
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Monday, August 26, 2013
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Thursday, August 08, 2013
How do YOU define them?
Looking through my “biblical worldview lens” I define them as “times designed and sent my way by an always-good God who always has my good and happiness in mind”.
So, let the good times roll!
After posting about needing to get a schedule written for school (July 16th), I suffered a very painful and debilitating neck/shoulder issue by the next evening, which pretty much ended my summer. . . as well as my plans for getting ready to start school. Three days after that, my mom suffered a small stroke. Thankfully, it was a small stroke and she is fine and living back at home alone, but it was scary and meant a week (seemed like a month!) of getting her set up with doctor’s visits, lots of phone calls and texts, rearranging plans here at the house, and falling into bed exhausted from it all. (So thankful for my amazing husband and kiddos who really shine during these times!)
But start school we did. This past Monday, the 5th.
Let me catch you up on a few summer photos before getting into the “school posts”.
The four younger kids bought boards this summer with some gift money and had a few days of fun with them. Hopefully we can fit in some more when it gets really hot here soon.
We participated in, but didn’t win THIS year, in our church’s first chili-cookoff. But it was so fun and we really think we came up with a winning recipe. Just a little tweaking for next year. The competition is really tough!
We brought Emily home from Worldview camp and got to hear all her exciting stories (looks like she is already hankering for next year’s camp!):
Our spider continued to be found in surprising places. You never know where it will turn up next . . .
We really loved having some dear new friends over again for dinner and learning from all of their life experiences and getting encouraged and inspired from their lives!
We enjoyed a few more days at Grandma’s swimming in her “resort” pool:
Emily and Molly got their hair cut:
David had fun rigging a “harness” for Thorn and taking him for walks and showing him off to young friends who visited:
Well, that looks like all the “events” I photographed this summer. It went quick and I didn’t take my camera everywhere, knowing that I had no time to edit, etc. (It is less fun for me to post photos that I don’t have the time to creatively edit.)
Last Friday, the Lord finally brought relief to my neck/shoulder issues through the use of some radial traction therapy at home (after 16 days of exhausting pain). I’m having to use the computer very sparingly and watch my reading and writing positions. That’s hard to do! Earl has me set up with a stool for my laptop, a special chair and an extra keyboard – all to help the neck keep from getting strained again.
My Mom is doing well and I call out there every day to check on her. The kids and I are going to head back out there to swim tomorrow.
Yesterday, Earl took on the role of “teacher” using the plans I left him and told me to take the day to work more on getting ready for the year. It was very sweet of him and I think he really enjoyed getting to see first hand all that the kids are working on this year:
Yep. Good times.
Because I am walking through this life with a good God. Scary at times? Yes. But He holds my hand and reassures me with His promises, like a good Father does. Painful at times? Yes. But He reminds me that He is there even in my pain and gives the grace to endure until He says “enough”. Exhausting at times? Indeed! Yet He refreshes me time and time again in small and unexpected ways.
Praying you are knowin’ good times as well!