He Makes All Things New!

I’d include a photo alongside this blog entry if I weren’t showered with perspiration and wearing little sticks and leaves as hair accessories! It would definitely be humbling and quite a good laugh, to say the least, but right now I just want to sit inside and cool off! Wonder what I’ve been doing?  (more…)

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It’s Bee Sting Time Here!

You’d think taking the clothes out of the dryer would be a simple and stress-free activity, wouldn’t you? Imagine this…you pull the clothes (or sheets, in this instance) out of the dryer. Although the basement is cool, they are warm and cozy. You pull them to you, in one soft armful.

And then something else comes out of the dryer and falls on the small rug in front of the washer and dryer. What could it be? You bend over to get a closer look… (more…)

Recycling: It’s Not Always What It Seems

Early in the evening the other day, I headed over to our town’s area recycling center. The back of our Subaru Outback was filled with three overflowing bins. One held plastic, a second held paper, and the third held a combination of steel, glass, and aluminum. I’d made the trip many times before and it was always pretty straightforward. Therefore, I fully expected to unload and sort the recyclables and be back home before dark.

Well, remember that verse in Proverbs, “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps”? (16:9) In a nutshell, that’s what happened! (more…)

More than Just Snow

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Have you ever had one of those busy days where events were blocked out in hour to two hour segments all through the day? A day when you arranged meetings, appointments, and errands in such a way that they would all fit seamlessly into one day, in one beautifully smooth orchestration?
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Snow, Rain, and Tears

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With all the SNOW in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast areas, I am thankful for the gentle rain that’s been falling here.

In fact, I love days when it rains all day. The drops glistening on the branches. The sky a downy gray that’s like a comforter on the sky. The misty distance that is a visual reminder to “Be still” and submit to God’s sovereignty.

What do you do on rainy days? Jump in puddles? Carry a bright umbrella? Or are you making a dash to the door, the mail held up over your head?

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A Plan for Resolutions

Heads up! 2016 is fast approaching! And a new year always seems closely followed by those pesky, risky resolutions, doesn’t it? Well, have no fear.

Come along with me on my most recent Kroger expedition. There I was, blearily combing the aisles for potential Christmas stocking stuffers (and trying to maintain a safe distance from the cookie aisle, the frozen pie aisle, and the bakery section). I grabbed a pack of pens for our son and then I saw it:

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All Through the House…the Creatures WERE STIRRING!

IIMG_2673t’s DECEMBER!  Christmas! Family!  Festivities!  Joy!  And–if you’re like me and put TIMES on your calendar (do you see the 4th in the photo?) with no notice as to what or where it refers, MAYHEM!

We juggle dentist appointments, doctor appointments, photo appointments, school work, Christmas baking, Christmas cards, Christmas program practices, performances, concerts, food preparation, open houses, brunches, lunches, service time, worship time, laundry time, decorating time, gift shopping, gift wrapping, gift giving. Do you do any of that?! And let’s not forget vacuuming–especially necessary if you have a real tree and a fluffy dog like we do!

How do you handle it all? Does it work? I have a self-imposed rule that all preparation must be completed by the 10th of December–the first double digit day, my Christmas D-Day. All cards must be sent, all presents bought and wrapped, all commitments completed. Sadly, that rule often gets broken, but there’s an important reason I like to try to keep it.

Being done with preparation by the 10th means I have time–two full weeks–to enjoy Christmas! The dining room table, free of gift wrapping paper, scissors, tags, tape, boxes, and bows, is ready for Christmas dinner.  Christmas cards are already greeting friends and relatives far away, and I can savor each card that arrives with joy. I avoid the wild stress of last minute shopping and have the time to visit with people. There’s time to contemplate that Christmas star of long ago when I look up into the night sky when out with our dog. There’s time to read the prophecies of Jesus Christ’s birth in Isaiah 9 and the fulfillment in Luke 1 and 2. There’s time to pause and drink it in, like my favorite tea…ahhh…Christmas…Unto us a son is born. Wonderful. Mighty God. Counselor. Everlasting Father. Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Funny how vacuuming up fallen fir tree needles and dog hair doesn’t seem very important at all in comparison! (Maybe I’ll cross that off my list. You, too?) Whatever you decide, dear friend, let’s do something for sure. (And I promise to, too, even if the 10th deadline is a bust and my calendar remains mayhem.) Let’s pause and give God some serious time. Let’s wonder at Christ’s willingness to take earthly form. Heavenly deity as a baby in a manger who would save us from our sins on a cross. Let’s say with the angels,

                                         “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!”

Happy Christmas!

Lessons I Learned from the Flu

For the past 7 days I have been a prisoner of The Flu. Believe me, you do NOT want a photo!

Today is my first day fever-free, so I thought I’d share a few of the thoughts–crazy and sound–that crossed my addled brain and hopefully give you a smile. Here they are:

  1. If you have 4 days of extreme aches and soreness, you might be getting the flu. Keep in mind, that’s better than the other option: getting old!
  2. If you have a temperature of 99, it doesn’t mean you’re Agent 99 from Get Smart. You might, however, have some interesting dreams when your fever inevitably goes higher.
  3. Stretching really can be a full body workout.
  4. Bendy straws are heaven sent.
  5. If your head hurts and making the slightest move is excruciating, you might want to just get in one position and stay there.
  6. Showering is high intensity exercise. Be sure and have a spotter just outside the curtain.
  7. You can have gelato in the morning if that sounds good to you. (It’s easy to eat.)
  8. The view out the bedroom window is really enough stimulation. Leaves move. Birds come and go. The light changes. If you can make it downstairs, a low-key movie that ends happily is nice. If coming down the stairs took all you had, it doesn’t matter what’s on–just look out the window.
  9. Nothing you agree to do, fund. make, or inquire about is legally binding if you have a fever over 102.
  10. Being healthy is a blessing highly under-appreciated by this former flu victim.

“so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel.”  Matthew 15:31