Sunday, January 31, 2010
Recently, after a bout of difficult, frustrating, challenging, problematic, annoying, exasperating (well, you get the idea) situations I started crying out, whining and even demanding God to show up with help and grace. (Don’t worry, I know that God is not intimidated by my demands.)
I’ve often felt that God is just waiting for us to get really honest with where we are, how we feel about situations, and what’s going on deep inside our hearts. As adults, we’re not much different from our children who act out in some troublemaking way while the real reason is that their feelings have been hurt.
God, in His gracious and tender-hearted way, heard and answered my prayers. This week I’ve experienced daily tokens of His love and encouragements.
Let me recount them:
Sunday: Almost 4 hours of peace and quiet at home by myself while my family was elsewhere for the Vikings game.
Monday: A crisis of serious proportions with a computer was quickly solved by a good friend, saving us thousands of dollars.
Tuesday: An encouraging meeting with the leadership team in which I could share some frustrations and heartaches and they listened with compassion and understanding.
Wednesday: Someone who works with my kids at school told me that he thought they were incredible. Does a mother’s heart wonders!
Thursday: My lengthy breakfast-to-lunch date with my sister helped to fill my emotional tank. Her generous birthday gift overwhelmed me. And listening to my son be applauded after his piano performance raised that tank’s level a bit more.
Friday: A FedEx package from my sister-in-law contained a fun and unusual gift.
Saturday: After being gone all morning to a school board meeting, I came home to a sparkling clean kitchen bathrooms and living room prepared by my children.
Sunday: The day’s not over …….
As I’ve recounted to myself these daily blessings, I’ve realized that God has handed me many blessings and specific gestures of love that I’ve missed. That is probably why my “tank” go so low. Ephesians 4: 30 talks about being “sealed with the Holy Spirit.” God must need to do that because we leak so much.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Since the advent of children and a limited income I’ve become uber-practical in my clothing purchases. If it didn’t match most of my existing pieces, I wouldn’t part with my money for it. You guessed it: my closet was boring with mostly black, navy blue, tan, burgandy and gray.
But, thanks to my sister-in-law, that’s changing. She’s put me on a new path of cutting edre fashion and high style. I’ve taken her gifts as a loving, subtle hint to get out of my proletarian rut and jazz up my life with color, pattern and the peak of today’s styles. Haute couture here I come!
Last Christmas she presented me with these hot pink and black herringbone patterned tights. Have you ever seen such a creation? I tell you, I turn heads when I wear these. The looks on peoples faces tells me how disappointed they are that they’re not the trendsetter that I am.
Her most recent gift to me was this pair of fuzzy purple/aqua/white striped legwarmers. Since my sister-in-law lives in a big city I fully trust her leading regarding what’s “hot” for the season. (Though I would have thought that legwarmers were a thing of the ‘90’s. Who am I to question?) Experimenting with them, I’m not sure how they look best. I thought I’d give them a test run at the gym tomorrow with a bulky sweatshirt and leggings.
Feel free what do you think??
Maybe not too free .....
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
”I wouldn’t believe a word he says.”
”And you say you’re a pastor?”
”Who do you want to kill?”
Not typical comments you would expect to hear at a pastor’s retreat. And yet, more (and worse) can be overheard late into the night as we gather in a large circle in the fireside room of the Chalet.
A highlight of our annual pastor’s retreat is the rousing games of Mafia that we play after the evening worship. Sometimes we play other games, but this one is my favorite. The quiet and the vocal, pastors and wives, pros and new initiates are invited, encouraged (and even coerced) to play.
Mafia is a group game invented by a psychology student from Russia in 1986. It’s a kind of role-playing murder/ mystery game. One website described it as “good for discussing topics such as lying, deception, trust, good versus evil, etc. or just for a fun time.” I’ve found that we just lie and deceive for the fun of it. A number of sites will give you some background, rules and variations for this game. (check here, and here, and here, and here.)
Briefly, this game involves assigning the parts of mafia, sheriffs, doctor and townspeople to the people sitting in a circle. Playing a number of rounds (divided into days/nights) the mafia kill off the good townspeople at night while the remaining folks investigate, accuse, and arrest their suspects. Some tender-hearted players arrest suspects; more cut-throat groups lynch them.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
I thought a kitty would be fun, but Dad was less convinced. However, after visiting a house with a fresh litter of kitties, he softened. It was actually more his idea than mine. On his return trip from picking up Megan from the airport, he stopped to pick up the cutest little black and gray tabby kitty I've seen. Fortunately for us, at 3 months old he was already litter trained and well-socialized. Though he was a barn cat, the original owners think he's part Maine Coon because of his coloring and the "M" on his forehead. (We've just discovered how huge these cats can get ... we may be in trouble!)
One of our biggest challenges was naming the kitty. We spent 3 days discussing, listing names and voting on our favorites. The kids's choices tended towards Narnia and Lord of the Rings options (with a few other literary choices thrown in.) Finally, we narrowed it down to 3: Gimli, Digory & Rilian. We sent Faith, Ryan and Emma off to another room to make the final decision. And they chose "Trumpkin."
Trumpkin has been in the family for over 2 weeks, and we're all in love. (well, everyone except Tumnus) He's really sweet and a bit on the tubby side. When you hold him, he goes limp and snuggles in like a rag doll. Like all kitties, he gets a bit rambunctious, but hasn't really been naughty or difficult. Tonight, he chased around the living room, with no particular purpose except to get from one place to another as fast as he could. Even Dad, the hardest to sell, pulls the kitty on his lap.