Friday, July 30, 2010

Faith is a bluebird
You see from afar
It's for real
And as sure as the first evening star

You can't touch it
Or buy it or wrap it up tight
But it's there just the same
Making things turn out right


Read more...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Story, part 3

"Stories tend to get out of hand, and this one has taken an unexpected turn." J.R.R. Tolkien

This is one of my favorite quotes about stories. As someone who tries to write stories, I can personally attest that often you think you know how the plot is going to go, how the characters are going to react. And then, right in the middle of everything, you notice that things aren't going as you thought they would.

You have two choices. You can become frustrated, and try to make the story go back to the way you thought it was going. Sometimes you might succeed. Sometimes it might even be the right thing to do. The other choice is to go down the unexpected road to see where it might lead you. If you don't like the ending, you can always go back and start over.

Now, in life the going back and starting over bit is a tad more difficult. Nonetheless, I would like to challenge us all to try choosing the second path. Try being open to the twists and turns we didn't forsee and didn't plan.

Who knows? They might just change our lives.

Read more...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Inscription of Hope

Hello all!! Yes I know I said I would have a post for you when I came home from camp but we ended up with unexpected company and I've barely been home at all!!  I have a post it's just not edited yet so you will have to wait till next week.  But here is a song to get you through.


I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining

And I believe in love
even when there's no one there

And I believe in God
even when He is silent


I believe through any trial
there is always a way.

But sometimes in this suffering
and hopeless despair
My heart cries for shelter
to know someone's there
But a voice rises within me saying
'hold on my child'

I'll give you hope
I'll give you strength

Just stay a little while
I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining

And I believe in love

even when there's no one there
And I believe in God
even when He is silent

I believe through any trial

There is always a way


May there someday be sunshine
May there someday be happiness


May there someday be love

May there someday be peace.


This lyrics to this song were found written on a basement wall in Nazi Germany Jewish refugees had been hiding from agents of the Holocaust.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Story, part 2

[Note: My apologies for the lack of posting the last two weeks. I was insanely busy and then out of town. Here is part two, and part three will be up on time next week.]


"Story is seldom true if we try to control it, manipulate it, make it go where we want to go, rather than where the story itself wants to go." Madeleine L'Engle

If we take our stories seriously, we must also take them humbly. What do I mean by that? Very simply, I mean losing a sense of undue proprietariness. Many writers talk about the stories they write as choosing them, rather than the reverse. Obviously for a writer there is a sense of pride in a well-told story, a job done properly. But if we remember that in some way the story exists outside of us, that we do not own it, we can be humble. Rather than stamping our feet and shouting "Mine! Mine!", we have a sense of wonder and joy at this thing which has graced us.

How does all of this relate to real life? In the same way, if we remember that the story of our lives here are parts of something bigger, something which we do not own or control, our tendency to kick and scream is reduced. Rather than flouncing and saying "It's my life!", we can live it, shaping it as best we can. At the same time we can feel that sense of joy and wonder which comes from being trusted with something we do not own.

It is only when we stop trying to control our stories and start trying to listen that we can really begin to tell them as they ought to be.

Part 1 here.

Read more...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hello all!!!

Sorry I've been quiet the last two weeks. Our church does organizes and puts on a Bible summer camp every year. We are leaving Sunday and it's major crunch time. I can't tell you what it's about because we keep as much a secret as we can :) What I can give you is a bit from the presentation the choir will be doing this year. (I'm the choir director)


1Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

When God will not use thee in one kind, yet He will in another. A soul that desires to serve and honour Him shall never want opportunity to do it; nor must thou so limit the Holy One of Israel, as to think He hath but one way in which He can glorify Himself by thee. He can do it by thy silence as well by thy preaching; thy laying aside as well as thy continuance in thy work." - Elizabeth Gaskell

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

"If we did all the things we were capable of doing, We would literally astound ourselves.”
~ Thomas Edison

Luke 18:27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

Mat 5:13-16 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Read more...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Stir Me!

Stir me, oh, stir me, Lord, I care not how,
But stir my heart in passion for the world,
Stir me to give, to go, but most to pray;
Stir till the blood-red banner be unfurled
O'er lands that still in heathen darkness lie,
O'er deserts where no cross is lifted high.

Stir me, oh, stir me, Lord, till all my heart
Is filled with strong compassion for these-souls;
Till Thy compelling word drives me to pray;
Till Thy constraining love reach to the poles
Far north and south, in burning deep desire,
Till east and west are caught in love's great fire.

Stir me, oh, stir me, Lord, till prayer is pain,
Till prayer is joy, till prayer turns into praise;
Stir me, till heart and will and mind, yea, all
Is wholly Thine to use through all the days.
Stir, till I learn to pray exceedingly;
Stir, till I learn to wait expectantly.

Stir me, oh, stir me, Lord, Thy heart was stirred
By love's intensest fire, till Thou didst give
Thine only Son, Thy best beloved One,
E'en to the dreadful cross, that I might live.
Stir me to give myself so back to Thee,
That Thou canst give Thyself again through me.

Stir me, oh, stir me, Lord, for I can see
Thy glorious triumph-day begin to break;
The dawn already gilds the eastern sky;
Oh, Church of Christ, arise, awake, awake.
Oh! stir us, Lord, as heralds of that day.
For night is past, the King is on His way.
~Bessie Porter Head

Read more...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Story, part 1

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." Proverbs

The idea of Story is intensely powerful, even today. Though many have turned away from the story of the universe as the story of God's creation, we can still feel its power, however diluted. For Christians especially, Story is an amazing thing--that is, a thing which amazes us. The Bible itself is a story, just as it is also the truth. Think of all the emotional dramas, all the epic tales contained in just the Old Testament. Moses, David, Gideon, for example. And the Story itself continues beyound the Bible. All of us are part of it and our small stories help to make up the wonderful pattern which is the Story.

For the next few weeks, I would like to talk about stories and about Story, and about the ways in which the smaller stories interact with the larger. Feel free to respond, to agree or disagree, as we go along.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

"To observe nature closely is to follow the finger of God."
~Thomas Cole

Thankfully for those of us who are a little dense God makes it very obvious.  This picture was taken last Friday, outside our house by my sister Stephanie.


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Sunday, June 20, 2010

90 Day Bible Challenge, Week Twelve LAST WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Acts 6:8 thru Acts 16:37

Acts 16:38 through Acts 28:16

Acts 28:17 thru Romans 14:23

Romans 15:1 thru 1 Corinthians 14:40
 
1 Corinthians 15:1 thru Galatians 3:25

Galations 3:26 thru Col. 4:18

1 Thess 1:1 thru Philemon 25
 
Heb 1:1 through James 3:12

James 3:13 through 3 John 14

Jude 1 through Revelation 22:21


You're done!!! Great job!!!

Read more...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Update!

Hello All!!!

No, we haven't deserted you.  We've just had a busy spring.  Some of the girls have gotten full time jobs, graduated, or moved across the county, or in my case, their keyboard has gone wacko....

Rebecca is out with our Mom so I thought I would take the opportunity to borrow her laptop and give you all an update.

We are planning, God willing, to be back almost full time this summer.  We're hoping to get back into the swing of things and have posts every week for you to read. 

In the meantime let's have some discussion! 

1) Are there any specific topics you would like to see us write about?  Now is your chance! Speak or forever hold your peace :)

2) I was thinking about how the Bible instructes us to encourage, edify, and exhort one another.  So, what verse do you hold onto when things are rough, the verse that encourages you the most?  Or what is your favorite verse.

As a musician, songs tend to help me more than words but the chapter that always encourages me is Psalm 42.

To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.
Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Read more...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

90 Day Bible Challenge, Week Eleven

Matthew 26:57 thru Mark 9:13

Mark 9:14 thru Luke 1:80

Luke 2:1 thru Luke 9:62

Luke 10:1 thru Luke 20:19

Luke 20:20 thru John 5:47
 
John 6:1 thru John 15:17

John 15:19 thru Acts 6:7

You're in the homestretch!!!!

How is everyone doing??

Read more...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

90 Day Bible Challenge, Week Ten

Daniel 9:1 thru Hosea 13:6

Hos 13:7 thru Amos 9:10

Amos 9:11 thru Nahum 3:19
 
Hab 1:1 thru Zechariah 10:12

Zec 11:1 thru Matthew 4:25
 
Matthew 5:1 thru Matt 15:39

Matt 16:1 thru Matt 26:56

Read more...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Stand still

I've had this article bouncing around in my head for a few weeks... I can't put it together exactly... so bear with me.  Here are my thoughts...

1) Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you. ~ 2 Chronicles 20:17

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. ~ Exodus 14:13


2)How many times have you heard that verse?  A thousand? Maybe. I always thought... "right, just wait on God." But then I thought... "wait a sec....You don't get to just lie around on your couch and wait for God to move.. or just do your thing and watch him move.  You have to stand."  I looked the word up in the Strongs and it means: to stand, in various relations (literally and figuratively, intransitively and transitively): - abide (behind), appoint, arise, cease, confirm, continue, dwell, be employed, endure, establish, leave, make, ordain, be [over], place, (be) present (self), raise up, remain, repair, + serve, set (forth, over, -tle, up), (make to, make to be at a, with-) stand (by, fast, firm, still, up), (be at a) stay (up), tarry.  So obviously it doesn't really mean you get to lay down....  You have to stand, just stand, not walk not run, not fight, just stand.

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

3) Final thoughts... God asks us to trust him to believe that he is with us.  And from personal experience I can tell you He is. So in those times when you wonder if He's deserted you or you get to the point where you say I can't stand anymore God! Remember His grace is sufficient and "it was then that I carried you".  When you feel like you can't go on, know that all you have to do is stand your ground and you will see the salvation of God.

Read more...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Graduation Thoughts...


It’s Done! I finally graduated! I completed my Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor Christian Counseling. These past few years have held so many rich experiences and so many learning opportunities. I learned so much about compassion and how God is training me to better serve women in the community through volunteer work at a local pregnancy help center. I learned about encouragement and organization through hosting young womens events. I learned how much I did not know and needed to learn from a weekly bible study with young teens. I learned about thoroughness, accuracy, and presentation through my final research project. I learned about the importance of team work and perseverance when working with CommuterLife and helping start an off-campus chapel service. I learned about communication, leadership and teaching through meaningful interactions with faculty, as a teaching assistant and Lead facilitator (peer tutor). Through encouragement and guidance of some many,so many I have discovered gifts and talents of which I was previously unaware. I learned about myself- I discovered a passion for ministry and teaching. This has impacted my work with the youth and further solidified my heart for mentoring young women. All of these experiences prompted me to begin a pursuit of ministerial credentials. I am now licensed as a minister with the my denomination. This beginning step begins the process towards ordination. While I do not what is in the immediate future I am trusting God that he will guide my next steps just he has step by step placed me in each of these place. These years have been an exciting time and I cannot wait to see how Lord unfolds his awesome plans as I begin these new adventures. Thank you for your support and prayers. I could not have done it without you!

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

90 Day Bible Challenge, Week Nine

Jer 33:23 thru Jer 47:7

  Jer 48:1 thru Lamentations 1:22
 
La 2:1 thru Ezekiel 12:20
 
Eze 12:21 thru Eze 23:19

  Eze 23:20 thru Eze 35:15
 
Eze 36:1 thru Eze 47:12
 
Eze 47:13 thru Daniel 8:27

You made it through the toughest reading of all. It will get easier from here on out, and the books are much shorter which is encouraging!

Read more...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Count all things but loss

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
~Jim Elliot


But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,  ~Philippians 3:8


Read more...

The Gift of Singleness

The Lord has been teaching me much these past crazy, amazing, life-changing months. I haven't been posting regularly here on the blog, obviously, but it's been in my thoughts. Someday soon, I hope, I will take the time to sit down and talk to you about some hard and wonderful lessons I've learned. The core of some of them comes down to... the topic of this video. I hope you are encouraged by it.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

90 Day Bible Challenge, Week Eight

Isa 14:1 thru Isa 28:29

Isa 29:1 thru Isa 41:18

 Isa 41:19 thru Isa 52:12

 Isa 52:13 thru Isa 66:18

  Isa 66:19 thru Jer 10:13

  Jer 10:14 thru Jer 23:8

Jer 23:9 thru Jer 33:22

Read more...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

90 Day Bible Challenge, Week Seven

Psalm 89:14 thru Psalm 108:13

Psalm 89:14 thru Psalm 108:13

Psalm 109:1 thru Psalm 134:13

  Psalm 135:1 thru Prov 6:35

  Prov 7:1 thru Prov 20:21
 
Prov 20:22 thru Ecc 2:26

  Ecc 3:1 thru Song of Solomon 8:14

Read more...

Friday, May 14, 2010

FAITH

Have you ever seen the movie "The City of Ember"?  You haven't?!?!?!  Well, watch it!

It's based off a book.  I haven't actually read the book......  but I have it on good authority (Rebecca :) ) that the movie is a excellent adaptation.  Anyway, the story is about a city named Ember.  The glitch is the city resides miles underground.  The brain-child of scientists attempting to save the human race from extinction. I'm just going to save myself from bumbling words and copy Rebecca's review.


The story follows the adventures of young teens Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow as they discover that their home is rapidly self destructing and do everything in their power to save themselves and their loved ones from peril.  Lina is a responsible girl who is raising her adorable younger sister, Poppy, and caring for her dying grandmother.  Doon is the driven "jack-of-all-trades" who fights to fix everything.  What Lina and Doon don't know (but we do) is that the town they have grown up in and known as "the only light in a dark world" is really an underground city created to preserve life for 200 years while the world above is destroyed through nuclear war.
War rages above.  Life thrives below.  For 200 years. 
 Until the electricity starts to run out.  And the food starts to run out.  And the massive generator that powers the entire city keeps breaking down leaving the entire "world" in complete darkness.
Lina and Doon must entertain the idea that there might be more to the world than this.  Armed with incomplete instructions and no knowledge of anything but Ember they must venture into the unknown and darkness to save the entire city.

The world is coming to the earth.  But faith remains steadfast.  The people often say the builders will come.  The builders will save us.  They have great faith, amidst massive blackouts and no light at the end of the tunnel. Lina and Doon take off to find the provision they believe the builders left for their survival.

We re-watched The City of Ember recently and I came away really thinking about the faith that the Emberites, Emberians,.... the people of Ember possessed.  Do I have faith like that? Faith that no matter what life throws my way and no matter how tough things are I still trust that God has everything in control and has a provision in it.  Faith is such a powerful thing.


If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. ~ Matthew 17:20b

Read more...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

90 Day Bible Challenge, Week Six

Monday: Nehemiah 13:15 thru Job 7:21

Tuesday: Job 8:1 thru Job 24:25

Wednesday: Job 25:1 thru Job 41:34

Thursday: Job 42:1 through Psalm 24:10

Friday: Psalm 25:1 thru Psalm 45:14

Saturday: Psalm 45:15 thru Psalm 69:21

Sunday: Psalm 69:22 through Psalm 89:13

Read more...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

90 Day Bible Challenge, Week Five

Monday: 1 Chron 1:1 thru 1Chron 9:44

Tuesday: 1 Chron 10:1 thru 1 Chron 23:32

Wednesday: 1 Chron 24:1 thru 2 Ch 7:10

Thursday: 2 Ch 7:11 thru 2 Ch 23:15

Friday: 2 Ch 23:16 thru 2 Ch 35:15

Saturday: 2 Ch 35:16 thru Ezra 10:44

Sunday: Nehemiah 1:1 thru Neh 13:14

Read more...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

90 Day Bible Challenge, Week Four

Monday: 1 Sam 28:20 thru 2 Sam 12:10

Tuesday: 2 Sam 12:11 thru 2 Sam 22:18

Wednesday: 2 Sam 22:19 thru 1 Kings 7:37

Thursday: 1 Kings 7:38 thru 1 Kings 16:20

Friday: 1 Kings 16:21 thru 2 Kings 4:37

Saturday: 2 Kings 4:38 through 2 Kings 15:26

Sunday: 2 Kings 15:27 thru 2 Kings 25:30

Read more...

Friday, April 23, 2010

You Know You are a Big Sister When

1) You recall something in the past by how old your younger siblings were, not what year it was.

2) You randomly discover that you are carrying 3 dolls and a couple water bottles but have no idea when they got there.

3) You're sleeping in a quarter of a queen size bed and the small person next to you is sleeping sideways with their feet in your side.

4) You find random toys in your purse.  The purse which also contains various "Do-you-have-a" objects.

I would love to make this list longer.  Any additions?  Input is great!

Read more...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

90 Day Challenge, Week Three

Monday: Deuteronomy 23:12 - Deuteronomy 34:12

Tuesday: Joshua 1:1 thru Joshua 14:15

Wednesday: Joshua 15:1 thru Judges 3:27

Thursday: Judges 3:28 thru Judges 15:12

Friday: Judges 15:13 thru 1 Samuel 2:29

Saturday: 1 Samuel 2:30 thru 1 Samuel 15:35

Sunday: 1 Samuel 16:1 thru 1 Samuel 28:19

Read more...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lately I have definitely been feeling old.  Nostalgic, very aware of the fact that I have history.  A definite past that I remember, I'm watching my younger cousins get engaged, start lives of their own.  My younger siblings are graduating from High School and College, my little brother is driving now, he drove himself to my work the other day, totally blew me off my feet.   Do you ever get the feeling that everyone else's life is whizzing past and your's in in slow motion? Well, I know the feeling well....  Feels a lot like this picture.... For years I've been watching life speed fast, the years tick by, feeling sorry for myself, wondering why I couldn't be like everyone else.  But recently, I stopped and looked back at the past 10 years.  Observed how far I've come, the things I've learned and accomplished.  Things I've overcome, the places I've been and how much I've grown.  Yes, my life is speeding by like everyone else's.... but it is moving, God is working.  And I'm just waiting, He has something big in store.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

90 Day Challenge, Week Two

Monday: Leviticus 1:1 thru 14:32

Tuesday: Leviticus 14:33 thru 26:26

Wednesday: Leviticus 26:27 thru Numbers 8:14

Thursday: Numbers 8:15 thru Numbers 21:7

Friday: Numbers 21:8 thru Numbers 32:19

Saturday: Numbers 32:20 thru Deuteronomy. 7:26

Sunday: Deuteronomy 8:1 thru 23:11

Read more...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hello fellow bloggers!!

No, I have no forgotten about you! It's just been an interesting few weeks....

And now I am back!!! to give you this tiny computer tip :)

Have you ever wanted to zoom in on something on your screen?  Well, if you have a mouse that has a wheel on it.  Hold down the CTRL button and spin the wheel :) Or if you don't have a mouse wheel CTRL + will zoom in CTRL - will zoom out and CTRL 0 will take you back to normal.  Now you don't have to squint!

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Jesus, I love Thee

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.

 
I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary's tree;
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, 'tis now.

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

90 Day Challenge, Week One

Monday: Gen. 1:1 thru Gen. 16:16

Tuesday: Gen. 17:1 thru Gen. 28:19

Wednesday: Gen. 28:19 thru Gen. 40:11

Thursday: Gen. 40:12 thru Gen. 50:26

Friday: Ex 1:1 thru Ex 15:18

Saturday: Ex 15:19 thru Ex 28:43

Sunday: Ex 29:1 thru Ex 40:38

Read more...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

90 Day Challenge

Are you ready for the challenge?

Can you read through the Bible in 90 Days?
YES you can!!!

Over the next few weeks the IDD blog will be posting a Bible Reading schedule that will get you through the entire Bible Genesis to Revelation in 90 Days.  I can't encourage you enough to take up this challenge.  I did it a few years ago, and I've never regretted it.  Never.  Probably the best 3 months of my life.

And it's totally do-able!  It takes about 45 minutes of reading time a day, depending of course, on how fast you read.  Some days I had my reading done in 30 minutes, some days it took a little longer, but it was never more than 45 minutes.  It worked best for me to just read whenever I had a chance during the day.  5-10 minutes in the morning as I ate my breakfast, a few minutes again at lunch, and whenever I got a chance during the day or at night right before bed.  If I had extra time, I would read ahead because of course, there will be days that are crazy start to finish and you won't have as much time.  And surprisingly enough I still had plenty of time to do my other recreational reading as well!

We'll be posting the weekly reading schedules every Sunday, starting this Sunday, April 4th, 2010.
Will you join me?
Grow in the Word!  Take the Challenge!

Read more...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Getting close

“In these hymns tonight we begin to glimpse the coming joy, peeping out like crocuses through the snow.”
Frederica Mathewes-Green, Facing East, p. 71

This is where we are now. Pascha* is so close that I can close my eyes and see the candles, hear the songs, taste the food. Several times I have caught myself humming “Before the dawn, Mary and the women,” one of my favorite Pascha hymns. Every time I have to catch myself, to stop and think, “No, not yet.” Now we’re still singing “Behold the Bridegroom is coming in the middle of the night, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find awake and watching.” We have to wait a little longer, hold on until the time for celebration is come. The dark day of the Crucifixion still hangs between us. Although it might sound strange, to skip ahead to the Resurrection would lessen its joy. How can we rejoice if we have not first mourned? How can we process around the church proclaiming the Resurrection if we have not first processed around the church with Christ’s bier, singing a funeral song?

All of this is still to come. For now we are still in the quiet time, catching our breaths after the grandness of Palm Sunday. We have a chance to rest before we plunge into the end of the week, with its continuous services. I’m still going to class, still participating in the world of school and work. Soon I will detach myself and, for a few precious days, immerse myself completely in the life of the church. But for now I watch and wait.

*The Eastern Orthodox word for Easter

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Living in hope

"What shall I render to the Lord for all His blessings to me?"

It's so easy for me to get caught up in the worries. What do I do after graduation? How do I find a job? What if I don't find a job and I end up living in a cardboard box with debt collectors coming after me for my student loans?

You probably have different worries, but I'll bet you have something. And they're probably real worries. I know mine are (well, maybe not the cardboard box). We can't just say, "Oh, that's silly," and stop worrying.

And yet, we get so wrapped up in our own concerns, so tangled in these webs of trouble, that we forget to look at God. We forget all the gifts he's given us. Some of them are small: a sunny day, a cup of tea, a good book. Some of them are bigger: an unexpected bonus, a new friendship.

I want to challenge all of us, myself included, to stop ourselves when we start to get all tangled up in that web. I want to challenge us to cut straight through it with the knowledge of God's love and care for each of us. I'm not saying that trusting in God will make in God will make it all perfect and easy and everything will magically fall into place. But what did St. Paul say about faith? It's the "substance of things hoped for." Let's try our best to live in that hope.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Promises of God - Psalm 42

This particular Promise of God might seem a little strange or out of place, but the promises in this particular Psalm have been my comfort through many trials.



To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? 
My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? 
When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. 
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. 
O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. 
Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. 
Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. 
I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 
As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? 
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. 

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Are You Up To the Challenge?


Everybody likes a good challenge, right?! Well... I do anyway...

A challenge by definition is 
1) Something that by its nature or character servers as a call to battle, contest, special effort, etc.
2) Difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulation to one engaged in it.
3) To summon to a contest of will or strength

Something that by its nature or character serves as a call to battle. In ancient days that would be the throwing down of the gauntlet. The call to arms the night of Paul Revere and William Dawes' famous ride to Concord. - Exciting, thrilling, stimulating. Not easy, but exciting.  

When we were talking about new blog topics, challenges came up. I jumped on the topic, I THRIVE on challenges. The more, the harder, the merrier. I know they aren't easy.  I balk at them, not wanting to feel inadequate, incompetent.  I think I can safely say that everyone prefers to do something that we are good at and know that we can excel in.  But without a challenge, how would we grow?  Here is a recent example.

Last week, during violin lessons, I was working with a student on their Solo and Ensemble piece.  The student told me that they shouldn't have to do something because it's hard and as a teenager they shouldn't have to.  I wouldn't be surprised if my mouth had dropped open.  All I could think is "being a teenager is NOT an excuse!"  Instead I told him that I was reading a book called Do Hard Things, and that he wasn't going to get away with pulling the teenager card out.  You can do it! I sat down and laid out a challenge.  It has been probably around 10 years since a violinist from the local school has gone to State Solo and Ensemble.  I gave him the challenge to be the person to stretch beyond and break that streak.  Well, he got the highest score you can get.  But he was doing a Grade B solo and only Grade A solos can go to state... opps... I forgot about that... BUT, he is all excited for next year.  He took the challenge.

Begin looking for challenges.  Stretch beyond yourself.  Give 100% instead of 80% or 125% instead of 110%.  Be know for what you do instead of what you don't do.  Take a challenge, take a stand and hold it.  History is full of examples.  The 20th Maine took a stand at the Battle of Gettysburg when the outlook was bleak and they were out of ammo.  They didn't retreat, with one word from their commander they took the challenge and charged forward, changing the outlook of the Civil War, and ultimately our nation.  The choices you make and the challenges you give yourself can be just as big a turning point in your life and the lives of the people close to you.

Start small, challenge yourself to do something beyond your comfort level.  Can you read the Bible through in 90 Days? Run 10 miles?   Volunteer at a soup kitchen?  Often the things that would be beneficial in us and our communities require us to go above and beyond.  Think of a challenge in your own life and set a goal.

"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong." - 1 Corinthians 16:13
"...having done all to stand." - Ephesians 6:13b

Take the challenge and stand.  If you need a support team we are always here and if you're looking for a starting point the IDD Blog will be hosting the 90 Day Bible Challenge, so stay tuned.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Making March Happy

Even before we hit the first of March, I knew the first few days of the month would be difficult ones. My not-so-little-anymore brother left yesterday for Basic training in the Air Force. There’s a Lemony Snicket quote that goes, “It is always sad when someone leaves home, unless they are simply going around the corner and will return in a few minutes with ice-cream sandwiches.” This is no simple errand for ice cream sandwiches; he’s signed up for the next four years and after today, I don’t know when he’ll be home again. I’m not even 100% sure when I’ll see him again (I’m hoping to attend his graduation at the end of Basic, but that’s still in the planning stage).

So, March is already off to a rather difficult start. It was hard to watch my younger siblings hug him goodbye one last time Monday night. And it was hard to hug him goodbye one last time at the recruiting center after watching a leiutenant swear him into the Air Force.

March 1, 2 and 3rd have been rough. A bit teary, even. But the happiness? The happiness is my family. We’re not perfect, we’re prone to drama and we don’t always get along. But we’re a tight-knit group and love each other fiercely. Sure, if we didn’t love each other, if we weren’t so closely bound, the sadness of saying goodbyes wouldn’t be so sad. But on the other hand, we wouldn’t share in the joy and the love that comes with the sadness, either.

This is part of the Making March Happy project on Krista's blog Between the Stacks. Click over to see more posts on Making March Happy.

- Written March 3rd, 2010

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Proverbs 31:23

Her husband is 
known in the gates, 
when he sitteth among the
elders of the land.
-Proverbs 31:23

If you're anything like me you read this verse and skip right over it.  You think " 'husband' ok, don't have one of those, this verse doesn't apply to me."  But, since my study right now is causing me to look at the Proverbs 31 Virtuous Woman through different eyes  I'm starting to see things a little clearer.  I might not have a husband NOW, but I certainly would like to have one sometime in the future.  So, how can I prepare for this now? 

The first thing I noticed here was that this entire passage of scripture is about the virtuous woman.  Not her husband.  There are only a few places where her husband is even mentioned.  But, even then, those verses aren't talking about HIM.  They're talking about what her relationship is with him.  So, I think we can assume that even though this verse is talking about a husband, there's something for us to learn from it.  You've heard the saying "Behind every good man is a good woman?"  I'm not saying that's completely true.  And I'm not trying to peddle a feminist agenda.  :)  But, the basis of that idea is that if a man is good, chances are pretty high that his wife is supportive and kind. Encouraging and a good influence.  She probably isn't like the woman mentioned in Proverbs 21:9 and 21:19.  "It is better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and angry woman."  Ouch. 

The Husband mentioned in this verse is a respected and well-known man.  He has a good reputation.  Do you think he built that reputation all on his own?  He could certainly do that and if he were single he would have only himself to concern with the upkeep of that reputation.  But, we know for a fact that he's married because this verse calls him a husband.  So, that got me to thinking about what kind of wife a respected man like that would have.  I have an excellent example right in front of my nose.  My own father is an elder in our church.  He's also a business man of good reputation in our community.  His wife (my mom) is supportive, encouraging and does an excellent job maintaining her own good reputation which in turn reflects well on my dad.  It always helps me to look at things in the converse.  So, I tried to imagine what my Dad's business and church responsibilities would look like if my mom nagged at him all the time.  To be honest, I had a hard time imagining my dad even wanting to be a well known person if he constantly had to be dealing with a contentious and angry wife.  I've been at many community events and watched my dad proudly introduce his wife to everyone he meets.  What if he didn't want to introduce her because she was such a negative person?  What if he introduced her to people and rather than smiling and being friendly she was rude?  My dad's reputation would suffer for it. 

In a conversation with our own Valerie the other day she mentioned that she felt that a lot of guys might be intimidated by the kind of man that most of us girls are looking for.  This led to a discussion of what kinds of qualities we should expect to find in a good husband candidate, which of those we should reasonably expect to be matured qualities (like a heart for the Lord) and which character qualities we should only reasonably expect him to be in the process of developing.  After all, it takes many years to iron out and develop a Godly character.  I'm certainly not perfect and I would hate to feel that I'm being passed over as a good marriage candidate because I'm not perfect.  During the conversation I mentioned that I wasn't looking for someone who was perfect.  Just so he had a willing heart and a goal about what kind of man he wants to become.  I'm totally willing to provide encouragement to help him get there!  I'm a good encourager!  And that kind of encouragement is exactly what I need in my own life!  I know who it is I want to be and I'm working on reaching  my goals.  A little encouragement along the way would be just splendid.  :)  But, I digress...  The point is that if we have expectations of what kind of man we're looking for as a husband, we should expect that the guys also have expectations about what kind of women they are looking for in a wife.  And, if we expect to marry a certain quality of man, we need to be worthy of him. 

The husband in this verse is a leader among men.  Before he was married, what kind of woman do you suppose he was looking for in a wife?  What kind of character traits do you suppose appealed to him?  Should we assume that he married a run-of-the-mill girl?  Or, that he married a girl who had the makings of being a strong, responsible, well respected women?  We have a joke in our house and it takes a little bit of explaining.  My dad is in a group of men at our church that we often refer to as "The Elders" :)  The elder's wives are usually referred to as (creatively enough) the "Elders Wives."  My mom has always encouraged her daughters to be strong women of God, leaders of our peers, encouragers and wise counselors.  She set for us the goal of being the kind of women that would be good wives of good men.  The kind of men that hold positions of leadership in their communities and churches.  She called us "Elders Wives in Training."  Or, as we quickly nick-named it "E-WITS."  It's funny, and we laugh when we talk about being "E-WITS" but the principle is a good one.  We should be preparing now to be the kind of woman that are well-equipped to encourage a man who is "known in the gates."  Be worthy of what you desire. 

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Expecting

Written March 1, 2010

Yesterday I had books due at the public library, so I walked over in the afternoon. It had been sunny earlier but by then the clouds had moved in. Still, I think the pearly grey light almost as beautiful as sunlight sometimes, in an entirely different way of course.

The colors of the landscape are still dark and somber--deep green grass and dark brown earth. But the first cherry trees have started blooming; their fallen blossoms are the only snow I've seen this year. The magnolias are starting too. They're a nostalgic tree: one of our neighbors growing up had a magnolia tree which every year sprang into these perfect flowers, startling in the squalor of the rest of their yard. And there were several I passed regularly on my way too and from the Tube last year.

The world feels expectant these days. Not quite hopeful. Not yet. We still have March to get through. And yet the promise of spring is on its way and the first brave flowers are pushing their way out and into the world, despite setbacks like today. It was cold! But still the daffodils by the science building are still blooming and the forsythia has started too.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Thankfulness

Hey girls!!

Have you ever noticed that all my posts include me thinking.... hope that's a good thing because yep, I was at it again :-)  I was thinking about how when I am thankful for something my whole world looks a little brighter.  I've made it a habit of mine to come up with at least one thing everyday that I am thankful for. And find things to be thankful for in the maybe not so thankful things.

Yesterday for instance, I was thankful that my shoe got all muddy when I stepped on the grass.  Because you know what, mud means that the snow is melting and SPRING IS COMING!!!

So, what are you thankful for today?

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Book Review: Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? by Carolyn McCulley

Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? by Carolyn McCulley
I give this book 5 stars and 2 thumbs up.  That's how much I loved it.

Carolyn writes from her own experience and her honesty is touching, humorous and in some instances even heartbreaking.  But mostly her honesty is inspiring, level headed and REAL.

Who would've thought reading a book on a subject I personally struggle with written by another woman struggling with the same thing could be so encouraging and uplifting?

I was especially pleasantly surprised to find the author addressing the topic of the Proverbs 31 woman especially relating to single women.  This is a topic the IDD Blog has recently been studying.  I found her insights to be invaluable.

I recommend this book to EVERY woman aged 15-95, married or single.  Even though it's primary focus is single woman, Carolyn points out that single woman are just woman, who happen to currently be single.  Her encouraging words apply to women in every walk of life.

You can find more of Miss McCulley's work at Boundless

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Friday, February 26, 2010

My Current Creed

"Here I stand.  I can do no other.  So help me God."
~Martin Luther


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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hiding

I had glasses for a long time. I was about ten when I got them and twenty-two when I got contacts for the first time.

Now, some people love glasses. Some people look good in glasses. I am neither of those people. That whole time, all twelve years, I hated my glasses. I wished I could get rid of them. They took up too much of my already small face, they made people judge me before they knew me. In middle school, when I had braces and frizzy hair, I really and truly loathed them.

So when my sister got contacts this year and my parents discovered that our insurance actually gives better coverage for contacts than for glasses, I leapt at the chance to get rid of them forever (hopefully).

At first my face looked strange and bare. I'd try to push up glasses that weren't there. But gradually, as I got used to wearing contacts I realized that I'd been hidden behind my glasses for all of those years. I'd brush my teeth in the morning and look in the mirror. Then I'd cover up the person I saw there with my glasses.

Maybe no one else ever saw me as hidden or thought that the non-glasses me might be different than the with-glasses me. But I did. I lived my life all those years feeling hidden and unseen. It's a strange idea, but since I've gotten contacts I feel fuller. I feel as if people can really see me for who I am, for the first time in years.

So, think about it. If such a little thing can make such a big difference, what's hiding you?

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Friday, February 19, 2010

“My life is like a weaving, between my God and me,
I do not choose the colors, He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride,
Forget He Sees the upper, and I the underside.
Not till the loom is silent, and the shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful in the skillful Weaver’s hand,
As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.”
  (by Grant Colfax Tullar)




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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Loving and giving

I love stories of redemption. There are lots of them in the Bible, of course, but I love any of them. Les Miserables? Check. A Tale of Two Cities? Only the greatest Dickens ever.

And you might not think so, but there are plenty of modern books that I find attractive for the same reason. I've talked about the Attolia books at my personal blog quite a bit. One of the reasons I love the second book, The Queen of Attolia, so much is that I see it as a story of redemption. The Winter Prince, by Elizabeth Wein, is also an amazing story of betrayal and love and forgiveness (and it's based on the Arthurian legends!).

The obvious reason for me to love this type of story is that I need redemption and forgiveness. Stories where characters do awful things and are forgiven can show God's love reflected in a human way. They give me hope that my mistakes too can be erased, that I am not given up on.

But I think there's another reason I love them. Just as much as I need to be forgiven, I need to forgive. Can I be the Bishop from Les Miserables? Can I be Gen or Lleu? If someone comes to me and asks me for forgiveness and love, can I do that?

Forgiveness has been on my mind recently, as Great Lent has begun for us Orthodox Christians with a service called Forgiveness Vespers. We ask every member of our parish for forgiveness and then we have to grant it to them as well. Without the washing clean of this time, the joy of the Resurrection cannot come.

So I'd like to challenge us all to try to both ask for and grant forgiveness, to be humble and honest and loving.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Self- Confidence. (Or, The Lack Thereof)

I've struggled with low self-confidence my entire life.  I'm a natural introvert.  As a child I was never more than an arms reach away from my mom and often so close behind her that if she stopped suddenly I would run into her.  If someone spoke to me I answered in monosyllables and hid my face.  When I was eleven we joined a Bible club at a local church.  I cried and my mom had to stay with me the whole first night.  Even at age 18 I made multiple excuses not to make phone calls.  I was terrified to use the phone.  I stayed home when I was invited to parties with excuses of "headaches.  Actually, the truth wasn't far off.  I got instant headaches at the thought of socialization.  There were times that I cried for hours before going to a social gathering merely because I didn't want anyone to look at me.  If they looked at me I knew they would know what a failure I was.     
 


When I went to work at the flower shop I had to do major overcoming.  I had to drive to people's houses and knock on their doors!  Let me tell you, though, when you walk into an office building carrying a bouquet of flowers EVERYONE looks at you.  But, surprisingly they aren't thinking "Who is that strange girl and what is her problem?"  They're thinking "OOOO.... I wonder who's getting flowers?"  My boss required me to make some difficult phone calls for her and once I even had to run after a customer who "forgot" to pay.  Some of the things I had to do would have been a cake walk to other people.  They were mountains for me.  But, the thing about mountains is that once you've conquered them they become monuments, things we can look back on as battles fought and won.  Every victory is a step higher.   
 

Only a few weeks ago I was talking with a co-worker.  It was a rather deep discussion and at one point I referred to myself as "Shy.” 
She looked at me in disbelief.  "You are NOT shy!"
I stared at her blankly.  "Well, I am…" 
She shook her head. "Well, I've never thought of you as shy. I mean, you're quiet and you're certainly not a big talker, but you're friendly and you certainly don't ACT shy!" 
I was still perplexed.  I'd worked with this woman for almost 7 years.  Could she really not know?  "I am shy... I always have been..."  
She continued to stare at me "Well.  You certainly cover it well!"

And that's when I realized the truth.  I'm really not nearly as shy as I used to be and my self-confidence is really SO much better.  I still don't like crowds of people.  I'm still a horrible conversationalist.  I'm good at listening, but really not good at talking myself.  I'd still much rather be alone with my own thoughts than at a party and I still don't like anyone to look at me.  I'll always be that way.  But, I've learned to cover it well.  I've learned to "fake it."  And it's made a huge difference in my life.  I'm not an expert.  I still struggle with self-confidence.  I still cry at night when I'm feeling 2 inches tall.  I still don't have a lot of social skills that most people don't ever have to learn because they just come naturally.

But, there are a few things I've learned that help me get through a day at least faking self-confidence.  :) 
 

 
  • Don't beat yourself up, especially for the sake of humor.  While it may cause people to chuckle at the time it's really not worth it in the long run.  And it sends a message like a flashing neon sign "REBECCA IS OK TO PICK ON."  A fellow IDDiot and I were talking the other day about making disparaging remarks about ourselves in order to lighten the mood and make a conversation.  Here's what I said   "[We] need to develop [our] self confidence and present [our] self-confidence... I don't really know how to describe this. This is something that I have FINALLY started learning how to do. There are still times when I cower and feel like everyone around me is SO much more accomplished, intelligent, etc... and there were/still are plenty of times when I made a conversation out of my inadequacy. Why did I do that to myself? Desperate for something to say, I guess and having nothing to say, without sounding stupid I just kind of announced my stupidity... ??"  Girls, please, please don't do this to yourselves.  You are worthy of being praised. 
 
  • Learn your strengths and depend on them.  It's never okay to ignore our weaknesses but it's certainly not necessary to hide our strengths.  Work on your weaknesses.  Meanwhile, put your best foot forward. If you find yourself in a conversation that's out of your depth, don't be discouraged or draw attention to your inability.  Instead, learn what you can from it and speak up when you can it's a subject familiar to you.  Don't let your weaknesses overshadow your strengths!  Make it the other way around!
 
  • Smile.  Even if you're quaking inside, even if you'd rather be anywhere rather than where you are.  A smile is the universal sign of friendship.  If you don't say a word your smile will still make an impact. 
 
  • The secret to dealing with a lack of self-confidence is Don't Let Anyone Else Know!  Acting can be your best friend.  In the movie Wives and Daughters, Cynthia says, "The French girls would tell you that to believe that you are pretty would make you so."  There's a lot of truth in that statement.  A woman who thinks of herself as beautiful will act beautiful.  She will take extra care with her clothes, hair and makeup.  She will cultivate her beauty.  Similarly, acting confident (even when you are not) will give you a confidence.  Or, at the very least, it will give everyone else the idea that you are!  
 
  • Remember that God is confident in you, His creation, even if you are not.

  • I'll let you in on another secret.  You're most likely the ONLY person that knows that you're self-conscious and awkward feeling.  I often think that EVERYONE must be able to see how awkward I am, but the truth is people don't really notice as much as you think they do.  If you start focusing on others all the time and stop focusing on your own failings you'll find yourself much more relaxed in social situations.
 
  • As Oscar Wilde said "Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken."


Take it one step at a time. Don’t expect to change from shy to outgoing overnight. It takes time and practice. It’s worth it in the long run, though.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

2 Thoughts

There have been 2 thoughts bouncing around in my head, well more than two, but these are the only two that count right this minute.....


To leave a legacy, you have to live a legacy.

*************************

It well may be 
That we will never meet again 
In this lifetime 
So let me say before we part 
So much of me 
Is made of what I learned from you 
You'll be with me 
Like a hand-print on my heart 
And now whatever way our stories end 
I know you have re-written mine 
By being my friend... "


How many people's lives do you touch every day?   How many people do I impact for the good? Impact for God? How many people have my handprint on their heart? Their life?

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Proverbs 31:13

      She seeketh wool, and flax,
and worketh willingly 
with her hands
 -Proverbs 31:13

The main part of this verse that caught my eye was "She worketh WILLINGLY with her hands."  Probably every one of us is familiar with that ancient saying "A man will work from sun to sun, but a woman's work is never done."  I have my doubts whether or not this saying is really true of the sexes in general.  I've met men who never stop and woman who like to take plenty of breaks.  :) 

Regardless, every single woman in this world, married or single, mother, sister or grandmother has more than enough projects, jobs, etc. (feel free to fill in the blank here with whatever it is that keeps YOU busy) to distract her every minute of every day.  How many of us have moaned for the luxury of 36 hours in a day instead of 24?  In fact, I'm pretty sure we were having a conversation along these exact lines on the IDD forum just the other day.  :)  I'm convinced however that whether we were given 36 hours a day or even 48 every single one of us would remain just as busy and behind on our "to-do" lists as we are now. 

Here's why:  From the minute I wake up in the morning, and often even before I've woken up in the morning, I am planning my day.  I wake up with a list in my head entitled Things To Get Done Today.  I get out of bed and before I've even washed my face the list has grown.  It goes like this:  On my walk to the bathroom I add Sweep Kitchen Floor and Make Coffee.  As I'm putting on my makeup and brushing my teeth I mentally add Buy a New Toothbrush, Look at Garden Plan, Save Money, Wash Towels and Talk to Mom about This Weekend. All of this is before I've even poured my coffee or eaten breakfast.  As soon as I open the refrigerator to get out the milk I start adding things to the Grocery section of my list and planning dinner.  I check my e-mail during breakfast (Three cheers for multi-tasking!!) and start adding more things to the list Pay Insurance, Write a Blog Post, Check on Library Books Due Dates, Water Plants.  If I'm feeling super organized I might even pull out my phone and start putting my list into a drafted text message that I keep for this exact purpose.  But, honestly, the thoughts come faster than I can put them into my phone and realistically I can't walk around with my phone in my hand all day long adding things to my list.  I walk to my car and the list grows.  Get Gas, Take Out Garbage, Practice Piano.  I arrive at work and my "Home" list retires to a "Look at Later" file and my "Work" list comes out.  Re-cut Flowers, Clean Roses, Order Plants, FIND MORE PENS, Clean vases, Call Other Shop....  During the day I think of people and add their names to my "Call and See How They're Doing List."  But, who has time for an hour long conversation with each of those 25 people?  I'll be perfectly honest.  By the time I've arrived home at the end of the day I've forgetten 80% of the things on the list, and of the remaining 20% maybe 5% of THOSE actually get done.  I fall into bed and try to sleep as the image of my "Things to Get Done Today" list haunts me with it's lack of check marks.  Imagine how it would be if we had 48 hours to spend thinking of things to do?  I, for one, would definitely be just as behind on my projected goals as I am now.  Maybe more so.
 


This is the life of a young, single woman with no husband to think of and no children to care for, and supposedly plenty of energy.  I'm not trying to give you the impression that I work uber-hard and deserve a vacation in Hawaii.  (Although that would be nice...)  As a matter of fact, I'm really trying to show you how discouraging it is to NOT get things done.  I, of course, take the lions share of the blame for things not getting done.  I could be more efficient.  I could prioritize better.  I could be less selfish and choose to spend my time doing the things that I know need to be done but I don't really want to do.  I could probably sacrifice an hour of sleep. 

Above all, I could have a better attitude.  That's all I'm really trying to say here.  The Virtuous Woman WORKS.  It's true.  But, more importantly, she works WILLINGLY.  You've heard the saying "Attitude is everything"?  It's absolutely true.  I would be willing to bet that I could sweep the floor faster and more efficiently if I have a good attitude versus sweeping the floor with a bad attitude.  If I go through my day with a willing heart I'll probably remember more of the things on my list.  I'll probably get more of them done and I'll definitely be a better example, a better employee, better sister and all around a better person to know.  On the flip side, if I scowl and complain about everything I do, I'll probably talk myself out of doing things, be less productive and no one will want to be around me. 

A woman's work is never done.  And, according to Proverbs 31, the Virtous Woman is WILLING to shoulder that burden.  Something every single one of us can work on every single done.  Because as long as there's work to be done, there can and should be a willing attitude to go along with it. 

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