Hanging On

This morning, our family visited friends in the Imperial Valley, an agricultural area about two hours east of us. My husband, David, had the privilege of spending six years there as a pastor’s kid, and he maintains many of the relationships he forged there. One of those was the couple we visited today – David’s youth leaders! Along with some great stories of pre-teen David, the kids got shooting lessons and sage advice. We also got to see several dozen date trees. I had never seen a date tree! Or maybe I had, but I just called it a palm tree and didn’t realize there was fruit beneath the fronds. But there is fruit. A lot of fruit! As Gary picked one off the branch, he bit it to show us the inside – it looks a lot like an apple, but...

You Can’t Do It All

How am I? You ask. Busy. I am busy.  Like most people today, I have taken on more than I should, and I am constantly running behind, running late, running on too little sleep. I should know better. I DO know better. A few years back, I got so busy, I was in almost-total burn-out. Months on end with no real rest took its toll on my body, my mind, and my soul. Not to mention my family!! But that was a few years ago. Time has passed. I’ve forgotten what I learned in that season. I am not in the burn-out stage yet. But I am on that road. So here is a list of reminders for me, as I seek to free myself from this “busyness” cycle. Feel free to add in any that you think I’ve missed… Pick a God. A couple years ago, I read the book  gods at war by Kyle Idleman. It is...

Not Surprised

In November 2000, I was 7 months  pregnant with my second child, Eliana. I had been going to a midwife, planning to deliver at a birthing center. Because my spine is fused, I can’t get an epidural. I chose a midwife because they offer some alternative pain management that doctors don’t. However, midwives don’t deliver babies that are in breech position – head up. And Eliana was in breech position. So, two months before my due date, I had to find a doctor. Who would take me at 7 months. With a fused spine. And a breech baby. But it “just so happened” that my Bible Study Fellowship small group leader was married to an Obstetrician. A Christian OB who specialized in high-risk pregnancies and who was willing to take a late term...

Unfiltered

I recently read that, prior to the 1920s, most women had mirrors that were tarnished.  The view they received in those mirrors, then, was fuzzy, imperfect. Like one of the distorted SnapChat filters.  As mirrors improved, women were shocked at what they saw: blemishes, wrinkles, dark spots, under-eye bags, crow’s feet, red blotches – no more filter! Beauty products suddenly became a booming business. As I read this, I thought about these verses… “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard,...

A Pile of Crap

We all have goals. For those of you still in school, it may be good grades, a date with that special guy/girl, acceptance to a certain college. For the rest of us, it may be getting a raise, having a family, going back to school. None of these goals, in themselves, is bad. But if they are “the” goal, then they’re not just bad. They’re crap. And I mean that in the most literal, biblical sense. Check out these verses from Paul’s letter to the Philippians: “The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of...

Out of Time

My oldest daughter graduates from high school on Friday. This event has been looming in my my mind all year. It’ll hit at strange times, making me tear up, worry, and rejoice. It’s momentous, Graduation. It is both an ending and a beginning, a time to rejoice and a  time to mourn. As a mom, graduation marks the end of an era. I have been, quite literally, very close to my kids all their lives: I stayed at home until they went to school, and then I went to school with them, teaching at K-12 Christian schools, where my classroom was on the same campus as theirs. It’s an end of an era for my kids, too – all three have been at the same schools all their lives, through all our moves. My younger two don’t know a world without Emma in it...