My oldest son, Zack, is a freshman in college in northern New Hampshire. His school has an annual tradition of canceling classes one day each winter so everyone can go skiing—students and professors together. Last week was ski day for Zack!
He chose to snowboard because he took a handful of lessons to learn how. But those lessons were six years ago! You don’t necessarily pick up where you left off, like riding a bike. That being said, he had a great day—until the very last run. He took a fall and landed all of his body weight on his wrist. The pain and discomfort had him going to the nurse the next day.
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings… Jeremiah 17:5
My computer crashed back in 2016. Like that moment the mechanic tells you your car is totaled, I was devastated to learn the diagnosis for my PC was the same. Everything I’d ever written was on that hard drive, not to mention the thousands of pictures of my kids when they were little. All lost!
And wherever He went – into villages, towns or countryside – they placed the sick in the marketplace. They begged Him to let them touch even the edge of His cloak, and all who touched it were healed. Mark 6:56
I spent all of last semester encouraging Zack to get a job on campus, just for three to five hours a week. I worked all through college. It helped me prioritize, manage my time, and stay focused. I want all of that for Zack, plus some spending money in his pocket for fun.
Somehow, the semester came and went and he never got a job. After reading Mark 6:56, the situation is a bit clearer.
I recently invited our pastor over for dinner. Life was chaotic leading up to it, with my housekeeping falling to the wayside. As I looked around at the mess and dirt in my home that day, the Gospel passage in Luke 10 came to mind. Jesus comes to dinner and the two sisters make different choices: Mary chooses to be at the feet of Jesus and Martha chooses to serve.
Clearly, in this scenario, my priest was Jesus. What I needed to decide was who was I going to be: Martha or Mary?
He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it, but he could not escape notice. Mark 7:24
My husband and I aren’t so in sync that we can finish each other’s sentences. But he does have the uncanny knack for knowing when I finally sit down to rest during a very busy day. That is ALWAYS the exact moment when he comes downstairs from his home office and chats up a storm.
I used to pretend to be a good wife. I’d nod my head as he talked, when all I longed for was peace and quiet. After twenty years of marriage, however, I no longer pretend. In so many words, I tell him to go away!
We’ve had some crazy weather here in New England lately. There were near-freezing temps in the fall when it was meant to be mild, and record-breaking warmth this winter when it was supposed to be cold. It’s as if nature is confused and doesn’t know what to do.
Consequently, there’s a tree in my neighborhood that hasn’t fully lost its leaves. I remember way back in college when we had a freak snowstorm in early October. None of the trees had lost their leaves either. Snow piled up on the leaves causing tree after tree to fall down. They just couldn’t hold up under all that weight. I worry the same thing will happen to the tree on my street now.
It’s another reminder that loss is necessary in order to survive and thrive.
My middle child, Mason, is learning to drive. As much as I want to be the calm parent, teaching and guiding him with patience and composure, I’ve been a nervous wreck.
The first time he drove on the main road, I was as stiff as a board and completely on edge. I would have paid a million dollars to have that extra brake pedal on the passenger side like driver’s ed cars do. And I swear I could hear the words playing in my head from that country song “Jesus, Take the Wheel”!
When my stress started to rub off on Mason, I realized I wasn’t doing him any favors. I had to lighten up. I had to trust him more.
With two working teens needing their paychecks cashed every week, and my husband running his own business, I spend a lot of afternoons at the bank. There’s a new gym right next door. Every time I pass by, there’s not a single person in it. It makes me wonder how that gym stays in business. I keep waiting to see a “Foreclosure” sign on the front door.
Last Tuesday, circumstances had me driving past the bank and gym at 6:35 AM. I was amazed to see the parking lot so full there wasn’t an empty spot to be found! Apparently the most popular time to work out is very early in the morning before people head off to work.
It made me realize how much happens that we don’t see. Yet, we are such an independent and stubborn people, we can’t understand something, or believe it, until we see it. It’s the complete opposite of faith.
The other day, while driving on the highway, I got pulled into the air stream coming off of a tractor trailer truck. It’s that wind tunnel that makes your car shimmy and sway, as if you’ve lost control and it determines where you go. I’ve found the only way to get out of those is to slow down, put enough distance between the truck and my car, and then switch lanes.
As I think about the changes I want to make in the new year, I’m thinking the same strategy applies.
“Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, he will prepare your way before you.” Luke 7:27
When I wrote my book, I taped chapter titles to Tupperware containers and lined them up on an old book case. Whenever an idea came to me while I was out and about, I’d jot it down on an index card and drop it into the container it correlated with when I got home.
When the time came to write that chapter, I’d dump out the container, arrange the index cards in a logical order, pray to the Holy Spirit to work through me, and get to work. There was no writer’s block to contend with. Like a puzzle, the pieces were all there. It’s as if that system prepared the way for each and every chapter.