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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 →