Thursday, February 19, 2015

Verse Four of Twenty-Four

Time to memorize a new verse!

The Lord appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Jeremiah 31:3 (ESV)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Even as Babes, They Hear

I was doing some work in the living room.  It was a rare moment when I had my own music playing and not that of one of the Tweens living in my house.  So, country gospel it was.  Tree was playing, all together too loudly, around me. All of a sudden he stopped and sat very quiet for a moment. (When you have an active three year old, that sudden quietness stands out).  He came over to me and almost whispered, "What is this song?" I told him it was "Amazing Grace." He said okay and went back to playing.

Then, he looked up again. "You singed this to me when I was little baby."
"Yes, sweetie, I did."

And I did.  When I was nursing him at two a.m. (and three a.m. and five a.m.) I would sing Amazing Grace in his ear. It was his lullaby. It and Victory in Jesus were sung to him hundreds of times over his first eighteen months. They were sung as much for my sake as they were for his. To keep me calm and quiet when he needed settling.

But he heard. And somehow, today, he remembered.

Don't ever underestimate what you say and sing and teach them! They hear, even when they seem to young to process. And they remember on some level. 

And sometimes God is gracious to remind you that investment you are making pays dividends.

Thank you Jesus that those hymn-lullabies are a part of my little boy's memories. Thank you that they will be the foundation of the theology he hears and sees over the next years. Help me to say and model the things that he (and his sisters) need to become the followers of you that you desire. Amen.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Resting Through the Storm

I don't know how long I had been clenching my fist, it had been quite a while.  My shoulder was tense and I had nail prints in my hands.  By the feel of my jaw, I had also been clenching my teeth. For how long? Minutes? Hours? I'm not sure.  I was sound asleep. I awoke from the dream with a raw ache and then began to unravel why I was tense. The wind. The wind was howling. Buffeting the house. Rattling the exhaust fan. Pelting the window with rain. I was tense because of the storm. Yet I had been sleeping, and felt remarkably rested. I was able to sleep through the storm because I was in the security of the house. My body may have physically reacted to the sound of danger, but my mind had allowed rest.

I thought of another storm a couple thousand years ago.  A storm encountered not in the safety of a brick house but in the precariousness of a wooden boat. Someone else slept through that storm, whilst his friends battled the waves. Although the boat's worthiness looked dubious, he knew he was in the safety of his creation.

And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.  
Matthew 8:24

It is in these moments of reflecting that I often wonder of that mysterious balance of humanness and deity in Jesus. Did his physical body tense in spite of the power it contained? When he was awakened, did he have to unclench involuntary muscles in order to stand and rebuke the wind? It has no ultimate theological impact, but it makes me think. He was like me, but he was God. How does that work? And, even not knowing how it works, how comforting is it to know that he understands our weakness because he too was human!

We all encounter storms--physical, emotional, psychological. Storms of doubts and of ridicule. Storms of illness or financial pressure. Storms of mistrust, broken relationships and misunderstandings. Storms come. We can fight against them, like my body tensing against the wind during my sleep, or we can lean into God and face them. The former leaves us only battered. The latter may still result in the soreness of the battle. But it also comes with a peace in the security of God's plan. It comes with rest. We cannot escape all of the force of life's storms, but we can continue to rest in our hope of God. I'll take the rest with hope!

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.
Psalm 57:1

Monday, February 02, 2015

February Goal Post

Time for a goal review!  January was a pretty good month, goal-wise.

My JANUARY goals were:
1. Complete the 2015 RR I will receive mid-month--unfortunately I never received this, so hoping it arrives soon
2.  Finish stitching on Fairy Moon and possibly start beading--75% of stitching complete, no beading
3.  Blog 4 times--5, plus several drafts in progress :)
4. Write 2 letters--yes
5. Lose 2 pounds--lost SIX!
6. Memorize 2 verses with the Siestas at Living Proof--yes
7.  Stitch 2 Bride's Tree ornaments--only 1/2 complete, but discovered I have 3 fewer to do than I thought so still on target for the year ;)
8.  Finish one book for fun and 4 school-related books--read Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker, A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor, and The Pastor's Kid by Barnabas Piper for fun/me.  All were very good.  Read Beyond the Desert Gate by Mary Ray and Olivia E. Coolidge's retelling of the Trojan War for school with Jewel.  Both were okay.  Also re-read The Great Wheel by Robert Lawson and The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr for school with Flower.  These are two of my favourite Sonlight titles ever! Plus I read 200 pages of the enormous 1100 page book that has been on my to-read list for a long time!

My FEBRUARY goals are:
1. Complete the 2015 RR I will receive mid-month (and the first one if it ever arrives)
2.  Finish stitching on Fairy Moon and start beading
3.  Blog 4 times
4. Write 2 letters
5. Lose 2 pounds
6. Memorize 2 verses with the Siestas at Living Proof
7.  Stitch 1 1/2 Bride's Tree ornaments
8.  Finish two books for fun and 4 school-related books

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Verse Three of Twenty-four

Memorization time again!  This fortnight I will be concentrating (some more) on words:

 Some people make cutting remarks,
but the words of the wise bring healing.  
Proverbs 12:18 (NLT)