Back in my teens and twenties, I could get a great run from the smallest of actions: skip dinner and have a flat belly for days, stay out late on a Thursday night and not miss a beat at work on Friday, reconnect with God on Sunday and feel Him carry me through all week. It really was a magical time…
“But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Mt 24:13
When we were in lock-down in the spring, and schools went remote, my teen boys struggled. It was understandable: It was brand new territory. They were stumbling in the dark.
When our schools opened this fall, they went hybrid: alternating in-person days with remote days. Armed with their experience from the spring, and with a determination to do well, both boys started off with the best grades of their school careers. Like everything in 2020, that just changed on a dime.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalm 19:1
As a big and beautiful blue jay flew by my window the other day, the Wright Brothers came to mind. It was the result of observing and studying birds that inspired and equipped them to build the first airplane. It got me wondering…
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
Jocelyn came down to dinner last night saying, “I’m so stressed out! I’m trying to do my homework the way the teacher told me to, but I forget some of what he said.”
My response was that all she could do was the best she could do. She’s doing well in school and has excellent grades. The purpose of homework is to practice what you learn. It’s also good feedback for the teacher to see where she needs help.
It’s as if she didn’t hear me, and responded, “I want to do really well. There’s this girl in my class who’s so smart. She gets amazing grades. I want to be like her. I’m so stressed out!”
She wouldn’t step away from the cliff until I asked, “At what cost? What’s the point of trying so hard if it just leaves you stressed out and miserable all the time? That’s no way to live.”
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
On my way back from dropping my son at school last week, I saw a hot air balloon drift to an open strip of grass to land. It was such a surprise, and a stunning one at that. Seeing that massive, colorful orb gently float down was almost poetic.
The foliage in my area is spectacular now. I was envious of the passengers in that basket. It must have been magical to float above the trees in all their splendor and vivid colors.
Then I thought of the support team that made that magical moment happen.
They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. Luke 6:48
We have a crack in the foundation of our home. So, I’ve been doing some research about it. I’ve learned the common mistake people make when repairing it is to use the wrong product. Doing so causes more problems than it solves.
If caulking is used, it erodes or falls away over time, opening the crack back up again. If hydraulic cement is used, it doesn’t divert the water. It actually damns it instead, causing more pressure on the crack.
“‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.” Matthew 21:28b-29
When my oldest son, Zack, hit his teen years, he developed a strategy to save his sanity and mine. Rather than bickering with me when he doesn’t agree, he simply says, “Okay.” It immediately diffuses any escalating aggravation on both our parts.
I thought I was the luckiest mom in the world, having a teenager who never argued. It took me a while to figure out the real deal.
…pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. James 5:16b
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.
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
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.