Browsing Category: Faith

Living in the Reality of Easter Morning

Everything rests on the new life—the new reality—established Easter morning. All prior history is looking toward it; everything after is lived in light of it.

It isn’t just a happy ending. It isn’t just a grand miracle. It’s confirmation of a type of life that people only dreamed about before.Everything rests on the new life—the new reality—established Easter morning. Christ's resurrection should affect the way we see our life every single day.

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5 Ideas for Sabbath Rest

My Sundays aren’t always restful. Often, the only thing distinct about Sunday is the extra work of getting the family out the door to church, calming a fussy baby who is missing her nap, and then frantically trying to serve some lunch before anyone turns into a grumpy, overly-hungry pile of goo.

Can anyone else relate to this?

So, what is Sunday supposed to look like for a Christian? Should it be a Sabbath day of rest, like is described in the Old Testament? Should I do no work? Or is it just the same as any other day and Christians should treat their whole week the same way?

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Waiting on God’s Timing

31 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 5 to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. 6 Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you: 7 the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law with the atonement cover on it, and all the other furnishings of the tent— 8 the table and its articles, the pure gold lampstand and all its accessories, the altar of incense, 9 the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, the basin with its stand— 10 and also the woven garments, both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests, 11 and the anointing oil and fragrant incense for the Holy Place. They are to make them just as I commanded you.”

32 When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”

2 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” 6 So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.

(Exodus 31:1-11, 32:1-6)

Learning from the Israelites reaction to waiting for Moses to return from Mount Sinai in Exodus, we're reminded that God can and will provide a way for us to glorify Him, but we must trust and wait sometimes. (Christian motherhood, marriage, life)

Reading through Exodus, particularly these passages, I’ve been struck by God’s foresight and creativity, as well as the common inclination of God’s people to grow impatient and insecure while waiting on God’s timing. Continue reading

Lenten Activities for Kids

Observe Lent with preschool and toddler aged kids using the easy and inexpensive activities of a prayer chain and kindness jar.

I didn’t grow up in a church that did much to celebrate Lent. We had Ash Wednesday services, but there wasn’t much to mark the rest of the season leading up to Easter as any different than any other time of year. (At least to my memory. I’m sure there were members of my church congregation who did more.)

As I’ve grown older, I’ve discovered how much I love following along with the church calendar. It’s a way of ordering my time and seasons around remembering and celebrating our faith.

With this is mind, I wanted to begin some traditions of Lenten activities with my children to mark the season. We took Peanut and Pip to the Ash Wednesday service; who knows what they actually took in, but that’s something that’s in their memory bank now, at least. (And we managed to keep most of their squeals of delight and out-of-place comments to a dull roar…)

But I wanted something to sustain an interest, a conversation, and an anticipation through the next weeks until Easter.

Enter good ole Pinterest. 😉

I scoped out clever kid-friendly Lenten traditions on Pinterest, and these are the two I settled upon because a) they weren’t too involved or complicated and b) they seemed age appropriate for my three and one-year-old children. There are many other great ideas out there, and I hope we can incorporate them into our family’s observance of Lent at some point, but not until my kids are older. Continue reading

What’s the Recipe for a Perfect Christian?

The One Right Way to Chop an Onion

I know someone who chops an onion by peeling each layer, cutting off individual slices one-by-one, then laboriously dicing each slice into tiny cubes of onion, one at a time. It’s incredibly painful for me to watch—me who grabs the onion, cuts it in half, makes a few slices one way, a few the other and done.

Everyone seems to be searching for the “perfect” way to chop an onion, boil an egg, or grill a steak. There’s something so appealing about the idea that once you’re in on the secret or have mastered the technique, you can create something perfect, exactly as it should be.

Just as we all bring our own experiences and tastes to our cooking, we each come to our life in Christ as distinct and unique individuals

As much as I enjoy learning different tips and techniques for cooking, I just don’t buy it. There is no one right way to do anything in the kitchen. Prettier, faster, juicier, sweeter, easier, more tender—yes. Only one perfect way? No.

All cooks bring a different set of experiences, capabilities, preferences, and intentions to the preparation of their food. Some things we do because “that’s how mom always did it” and other things we pick up from fancy cookbooks or Pinterest; we also have different people we cook for and tastes to suit. We keep looking for the perfect way to prepare our food, but the perfect way will be a little different every time and for every person. Continue reading

The God Who Sees

This year, I’m working through a “read the Bible in a year” plan. I joined up with a group of family, friends, and acquaintances on Facebook and together we are reading the Bible in chronological order, rather than the typical canonical order of the books in the Bible. I’d love to share some of my thoughts with you as I work my way through the story of God in Scripture! Here are some reflections on Genesis 16:7-15 and 29:16-35 (see below the post for these readings).

I am intrigued by the accounts of Hagar and Leah, especially in what these stories communicate about God. For both, they note that God "sees" them.

I am intrigued by the accounts of Hagar and Leah, especially in what their stories communicate about God. Continue reading

Fallen Mommies

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There’s a dirty little secret about motherhood that no one prepares you for. (Actually, there are probably about 250, but this is the main one.)

Becoming a mother doesn’t automatically give you unending patience, unfailing love, and a heart full of self-denial and sacrifice.

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My Mary Moment

This post is the second I’ve written on this passage; see here for my first post.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42

The group sat around in a small circle, wooden chairs pulled up between the couches. Through the small slit in the door I had cracked open, I could hear almost all that was said. I crouched at the top of the basement stairs, straining to hear a bit more.

It wasn’t always like this when my parents had their bible study group at our house. Often, I’d just lay in the basement with the TV on until the sound of shuffling feet and goodbyes told me that people were leaving. I could have come up sooner; I wasn’t banished to the basement. But I was in middle school and, honestly, usually not that interested.

This night was different, though. Continue reading

2017 Reading List

I used to love to read. My sister jokes that I spent my entire childhood lost in a book. Then adult life hit. I still love to read; I just haven’t been great about making time for it.

Well, I’m ready to get back into reading. One of the best ways I have found to reflect on life and faith is through reading the thoughts of others. I picked up The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard earlier this year and couldn’t put it down.

It was an interesting, convicting, and revealing read. I’ll have much more to say about it throughout many of my posts, no doubt, so I won’t go into detail here, but suffice it to say, reading these wise and insightful words whet my appetite for seeking out other illuminating words.

So, I’ve gathered up a hodge podge of books—some that family and friends have recommended, some that I’ve started in the past but never finished, and some just because. This is certainly not a list of new bestsellers and exciting reads. Instead, it’s a smattering of various words and thoughts that I’d love to have in my head as I navigate life.  Here’s the list I’ve settled on to start me off: Continue reading