On The Receiving End

…pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. James 5:16b

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For years, right before I went to bed, I’d bless my kids with holy water as they slept. However, with the transition of my going back to work, and the chaos of the pandemic, there always seemed to be too many loose ends to tie up before bed. I was too exhausted to do one more thing. So, I stopped, justifying it with the thought that there’s only so much one person can do.

Just Monday, I finally found a minute to go in and bless my kids. For some reason, Mason wasn’t asleep yet. When I approached his bed, he got up, took the holy water bottle from me, and blessed me. It was such a profound moment.

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God’s News Channel

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

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I never turn on the news at home. Yet, recently, I’ve been out and about to different establishments with TVs tuned in to different news stations. It’s astounding the disparity of reporting.

One station features just one end of the spectrum, sending me into a tailspin of anxiety. Another features just the other end of the spectrum, filling me with hope. How do we know which viewpoint is correct?

I had the thought that I wish God had a news channel. If He did, I’d have that thing on 24/7, blaring the truth and good news throughout my home. Then I realized, He does.

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Standing at the Ready

The Lord Your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love. Zephania 3:17

My daughter, Jocelyn, is very capable and EXTREMELY independent. So, when she had to set up her work space in her room yesterday and log in for her first day of fifth grade Remote Learning, I almost stayed behind, confident she’d be able to handle it.

At the last minute, I followed her up the stairs anyways. As she got everything, and herself, situated, I stood by, fully prepared to help if she asked. Turns out, she never did, but I was there nonetheless.

As I walked back down the stairs, the connection with God became perfectly clear.

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Making the Space

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So she (the Shunammite woman) said to her husband, “I know that he is a holy man of God. Since he visits us often, let us arrange a little room on the roof and furnish it for him … so that when he comes to us he can stay here.” 2 Kings 4:9-10

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We outgrew our first home in Massachusetts soon after having kids. Moving north over the border into New Hampshire got us double the square footage, but we quickly filled this home too by acquiring more stuff. There are days when I feel like there’s nowhere to go to escape the racket and chaos. That’s why it’s so important to copy the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4.

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Being Part of the Cycle

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  Romans 11:36

8.29.20 Being Part of the Cycle

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Years ago, my friend, Jess, created a Science Camp. In it, she taught my kids the cycle of water through hand motions and a little song: Precipitation, Accumulation, Evaporation, Condensation. It illustrated the circular pattern that water takes in a way that made it concrete for them.

It’s exactly how God’s love and mercy work. Continue reading

Hard Mirrors to Look Into

David and his men continued on the road, while Shimei kept up with them on the hillside, all the while cursing and throwing stones and dirt as he went.    2 Samuel 16:13

8.20.20 Hard Mirrors to Look Into

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Every morning I read Bob Goff’s Live in Grace, Walk in Love devotional. In several reflections, he talks about how we tend to gravitate toward people who are like us, and away from those who aren’t. He believes we miss so much by not exposing ourselves to, and learning from, those who think differently.

I don’t know about you, but this was a message I needed to hear. Continue reading

More Than Words

Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of His miracles had been performed, because they did not repent.  Matthew 11:20

8.13.20 More Than Words

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My kids are great at apologizing. “I’m sorry,” rolls off their tongue effortlessly, along with hugging me and saying they love me. I think it’s great they can admit they’re wrong, and use the words to say so. But it just isn’t enough. Continue reading

Opposite Words and World

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The punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5b

8.5.20 Opposite Worldf

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My teen boys can be pretty sarcastic. It drives me nuts when, in response to one of my questions, they say the exact opposite of what they know I want to hear. It thrills their little teenage hearts to get me so annoyed.

So, I find it ironic that I love opposites in writing. I admire authors who can combine antonyms to illustrate their point. The smart wordplay is a great attention-getter.

 

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Going It Alone

My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the Spring of Living Water, and have dug their own cisterns that cannot hold water.” Jeremiah 2:13

7.30.20 Going it Alone

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Jocelyn is my most independent child, for sure. At just ten years of age, she tries to take on more than her fourteen and sixteen-year-old brothers combined. I want to foster that initiative and drive, but it’s a fine line. I can’t let her jump out of the nest altogether. Her wings aren’t strong enough to sustain her for the long haul.

Now, more than ever, I understand why God wants us to lean on Him. Continue reading

It’s Never What We Expect

He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out.   Matthew 12:19-20

IMG_6106I had been praying for a while for the grace to reorder my priorities, and get back to the mom I used to be. The old me used to be present and available to my kids, proactively leading them to grow in the ways I deemed important. Somewhere, somehow, that all got derailed.

So many of us realize our derailment only in hindsight. It takes 20/20 vision to see all the little, subtle ways our good intentions go astray. For me, it was a combination of my life and my kids’ lives getting busier, cell phones, and the learning curve of raising teens. I was all over the map with my rules and boundaries as I tried to maintain control, all while trying to give my boys more independence to mature.

I never imagined my prayer would be answered the way it was. Continue reading