You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Life’ category.
Here are a few blips on my life radar.
Emily told me this morning, “I love your more than a cricket can squeak!” That made me smile!
The woman in the red car in front of me at the coffee shop drive-through paid for my coffee this morning. I got to the window and the lady said, “Your coffee is already paid for!” It’s the second time this has happened to me in the last few months. I returned the favor to someone a few weeks ago. Just a little joy blip, hopefully, on that woman’s radar, too.
Tom had an unexpected night off from the six-week long music job he’s playing. He whisked me away last night, and we had a sandwich and conversation without one, single interruption from anybody in a nearly deserted Arby’s, at a table in the corner. I was reminded once again of how thankful I am for Tom.
School is nearly out! No more taxi mom every morning. Preschool is out, Will is going to be done after 3 days of exams next week. That is a very happy thought.
We have the Crazy Season coming up on a different front, however, but it’s a happy one. We have the most amazing number of birthdays, holidays and anniversaries coming up, it’s nearly unbelievable. We’re doing 2 double parties to celebrate. Sam and Will’s birthdays come first, then Peter’s first birthday party and Tom’s all in one. So we are a partying bunch here for several weeks. Sanity doesn’t resume until after September. And our second grandbaby is to arrive that month, so there will be 2 in September soon!
We are going to shop today for a basket of pink geraniums. I have a black thumb, meaning that I am not very good at keeping plants alive. Emily, however, has asked if she could have some flowers to take care of this summer. She has a small, personal watering can and would like to have some flowers. I figured that geraniums are hardy enough to survive us. Maybe Emily will have a green thumb and flowers will thrive. There was a frost warning last night in our area (unbelievably), but I think geraniums will be OK now that June is almost here.
Here’s joy from Jesus. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.” ~ John 10:10
Do you have any joy blips today? Life is mostly made up of many small things, and in these small things we can usually find something to smile about!
No matter how long a child lives, they bring love and joy. The precious baby an Irish historian writes about lived only a short time, but her life was not meaningless. You can read her mother’s account here at this site in Ireland.
Through all the various emotions of the previous nine months, I hadn’t expected that I’d feel proud. I hadn’t expected that strangers would say nice things about Margaret. Some people might even have thought her life not worth the wait because she was going to die anyway. They might have pitied us.
But in the hospice, as we carried Margaret down the corridor, a man came over and gazed down at our little bundle. “She’s so beautiful,” he said wonderingly, adding: “She’s perfect.” Not “I’m so sorry she’s dying.”
This is the Hope Blog, and in coming days I intend to share more of the wonderful and hopeful things I come across. A woman’s story at Live Action is so beautiful and simply put. She had multiple abortions and was living in despair, ready to take her own life. Then God did an amazing thing. The abortion worker at the clinic where she was about to kill yet another baby intervened in a stunning way.
You can read the woman’s story here. Please share it with anyone who may need to know that God can heal and forgive women in the wake of abortions.
When a man loves his wife like Christ loves the church, the home becomes a foretaste of heaven. When a man lives for himself, his ambitions, his desires and goals and uses his wife like an appliance to facilitate this, he creates a foretaste of hell on earth. A normal woman will respond to loving headship, and an atmosphere of love and respect is created.
Children will carry these images of husband and wife into their own marriages. What kind of a picture are we giving our children? A picture of constant suffering and mental anguish, unforgiveness and pain? Or are we giving them the beauty of forgiveness, reconciliation, love and tenderness?
All of the correct doctrine of the Christian faith taught as theory will not counterbalance a wrong marital picture in the minds of children. They know at a deep level what they see. The old saying is true. “What we are screams so loud that nobody hears what we’re saying.” Something to remember as parents.
Only God can help any of us love as He loves. We will fail at times, but God help us if we fail and feel no qualms of conscience about it. We will sin, but God help us if we refuse to repent when we do. The hallmark of a man or woman of God is not sinless perfection. It is the presence of a living and active conscience that cannot rest until things are made right. Those who sleep well when things are shattered cannot know the Christ of Calvary, no matter what their lips profess.
Three more days and the farmer’s market near us opens. Saturday mornings are a delight, wandering among the fresh produce and booths with homemade products like natural soap and homemade kettle corn. I hope the weather will cooperate on Saturday for this first farmer’s market of the year. Buying locally grown produce and talking with the hard-working people at the booths is a special pleasure.
This summer, Lord willing, Tom and I intend to do a lot more to enjoy it. After several summers in a row where the unexpected dominated and altered summer plans, we are hoping to not waste this one. Tom has a camping trip planned with Will, and Emmy and I have a daily appointment for what we call our “nature walks.” This involves walking through the neighborhood with her running dialog regarding things like the beauty of dandelions, why robins won’t let her hold them, and the loneliness of a plastic deer that sits in a nearby flowerbed. “Is he sad, Mama?” Her dialog is intermingled with bursts of song from her growing repertoire.
“She’ll be coming round da mountain when she comes..why can’t I get that flower over there, Mama? …aye, aye, yippie, yippie, aye…If yer happy and ya know it, stomp your feet.. Look, a squirrel? What’s he doin’, Mama? I want to hold him…”
Nature walks are never boring with Emmy.
Lots going on this summer! My beautiful niece Rachel is graduating from high school in a few days. It is difficult to believe that she is that old already. She was younger than Emmy when Tom and I married. Congratulations to Rachel Beth on this milestone. We love you!
Sam and Laura’s baby is due in a little over four weeks. How in the world time flew by that quickly, I don’t know, but it did. I remember the excitement of those last few weeks before Sammy came. Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago? It’s been 24 years. When babies come in spring and summer, it’s a lot easier not having to bundle them up to go out, and it’s great to not have to be cooped up inside for months before you can take walks. I’m sure Sam and Laura will have many enjoyable walks with little Peter. The view they have from their windows of Pike’s Peak is just gorgeous. I can’t imagine looking out at that every morning! Here’s a photo Sam took the other day.
So we’re ready for bare feet, picnic suppers on the deck and some fun trips to unexpected places. Em’s got her summer clothes all organized in her drawers, so bring on the warm weather! Summer’s almost here.
In an era when “tolerance” is enshrined as orthodoxy, there is a time to be intolerant. There are some things I will never tolerate, and I don’t hesitate to even say that there are some things that I hate.
When the Communications Director for the WELS Lutheran Synod (a very conservative, Bible-believing Lutheran body*) was arrested with hundreds of child porn images on his home and office computer, I felt a burning rage in my mind and heart. I will make no apology for feeling that.
If we cannot hate the destruction of children in this country, we need to get on our knees and ask God to give us the hatred necessary to oppose this evil on every front. That this monstrous depravity has made its way into the lives of professing Christians is nausea producing.
The sexual exploitation of children has to rank right up there with the greatest evil that can be committed in God’s sight. The destruction in the lives of those who have been molested has been documented over and over and over again. And it should make us angry.
This will offend some Christians. Oh, Ingrid, don’t say you hate child molesters, say you hate their sin. No, I hate child molesters. Let me repeat. I hate child molesters who destroy children and sentence them to a lifetime of pain by their evil conduct. What I can do is pray for their souls, because without repentance they are facing an eternity in hell. Eternity is a long, long time.
There are other things that I hate. I hate lies and slander, for example, the kind that slips around in the background and ruins lives and reputations. A frontal charge, you can deal with that. But innuendo, a raised eyebrow, the private conversation where lies are used against others for a specific end. I hate that.
God hates it, too. In fact, Scripture tells us that there are seven specific things God hates.
There are six things the LORD hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Those verses are found in Proverbs 6:16-19.
Think about God’s anger when this conduct comes from those who claim to be Christians—those bearing Christ’s name who lie, stir up conflict, and plan wicked schemes based on those lies. To do these things is bad enough, but to drape this conduct in false godliness is the purest form of evil.
There’s something else of which I am intolerant. I am intolerant of those who console and comfort the fake Christians engaged in this conduct. I am intolerant of those who, for the sake of money, are willing to look the other way—those who place their paychecks (or anything else) above their integrity, and then go to church on Sunday to sing God’s praises when they know innocent people have been hurt by their participation. That’s prostitution, folks. Just give me the check and I’ll turn any tricks you want. I hate that.
Thankfully, we have a just God. His justice does not always occur on our timetable. But we can rest in knowing that if we are intolerant of these evil things, we have derived that very sense of justice from God himself who has stamped the Law of God on our hearts. He has promised in His word that He will reward the wicked, that what is done in secret will be made public on that fearsome Last Day when the book of our lives is opened.
Thankfully, we can find forgiveness for our own sin through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Because Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that our hearts, all of them, are sinful and “desperately wicked.” I am grateful for the cure to that evil that we can have by faith. Without that, who could stand?
Don’t ask me to tolerate these things mentioned above, and many others, like race hatred, totalitarianism, bullying, child-murder in abortion clinics (or anywhere else), and so forth. The moment we rationalize it, look the other way, or excuse it, we’ve become accomplices. Something to remember.
*Note: I mention the WELS official, but there is no denominational corner on perversion and child exploitation. StopBaptistPredators.org shows how much goes on in “Bible-preaching” IFB (independent fundamental Baptist) and Southern Baptist churches. The angels must weep.
I drop William off at school, staggering under his load of books. He is jubilant today about the 98 he got on his Physics test. It’s a very difficult class that has required much work. Emmy and I drive home enjoying the blustery day. The sky is slate gray and the windshield wipers rhythmically keep up with the rain.
The maples on our street waited until this week for some reason to change to their brilliance. Latecomers. Many of the trees in our back yard are bare now. Tom raked all that glory to the curb, and the trucks carried it away yesterday morning.
The wet tree trunks look black and contrast starkly with the bright leaves on the last golden trees as we wend our way slowly through the streets and up the hill back to our home this morning. Wet, chilly days like this remind me of the comfort of being inside.
“Emmy’s house!” my little girl shouts happily as we pull into the driveway.
“Emmy’s house!” I agree.
Inside, coffee in hand, I mull over the contents of my freezer and think about dinner. Something in the Crock Pot on a day like this is nice. It makes you feel smug all day long having the evening meal figured out. I decide instead on a chicken and rice casserole. It won’t have to go in until after Will gets home from school. Blueberry muffins will be welcomed.
Rain spatters on the window in the family room where Emmy is standing.
“It’s raining,” she says simply.
Tomorrow they are saying that snow may fly.
When Mary and William were preschoolers I told them stories about a fictional character I invented called the Cozy Caboose. William was wild about trains, and the two played with his Thomas and Friends on his ever expanding track for hours each day.
At nap time on cold winter afternoons, I would occasionally let the two three-year-olds join me for a story about the little red caboose that had all kinds of adventures. They knew that inside were bunks, a warm stove, bookshelves, a tiny kitchen and fresh cookies for the tired engineer of the train. By the time I was halfway through my tale, the two would invariably be sound asleep next to me.
As a frequent visitor to the Tiny House Blog, I saw that the Cozy Caboose has finally gotten off the rails and found a permanent resting place. You’ll have to see this charming little house made from a red caboose. When I saw it, I told Tom that I found our dream house for when we’re old and don’t need any extra bedrooms. Here is the post. Apparently cabooses are popular for conversion into little houses. Here is a link to some more of them at the Tiny House blog.
The idea of getting rid of all the stuff that ties you down in life is appealing to a lot of Americans as the bad economy is changing our priorities. But how small would you want to go? Below is an interesting video about a family of three that left a big mortgage behind and a large home that left them no time for each other. They built a tiny home and changed their lives. Here’s a fun look at their house. I’m not sure I could voluntarily get this small (no room for organ and piano), but these people are living the freedom that fewer things gives, so bravo to them!
I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying…
~ John Masefield