Category Archives: Faith

Pausing

This morning I’m pausing to say thank you.   I wonder how many times I’ve driven past sunsets I didn’t watch or sat in the car looking my phone and ignored the gifts He gives just because I didn’t take the time to pay attention.

IMG_1226

Vacation has a way of making me slow down to look around.   This photo certainly displays the beauty of what God created.   Look at those colors.

IMG_1296

My kids make me slow down.   My daughter picked these on a walk around our neighboorhood from a bush in an empty lot.  Sweet.

IMG_1304

Difficulties can slow me down.  Sometimes in a good way.

One of my former co-workers walked into my office yesterday and handed me this note and a donation.    It made me think about the fact that our lives entertwine with others.  I haven’t seen her in a long time.  And yet, when she heard about the arson at our church this week she acted and gave encouragement and grace.      Made me cry.  It also made me want to pause and touch other people in their pain.   Made me grateful.

How about you?   What causes you to pause and notice?   What makes you grateful?

 

2 Comments

Filed under Faith, Family, Travel

Whatcha lookin’ at?

I have a character flaw.  Well, I have lots actually but I have one that I have accepted.   I don’t excercise unless I have a deadline staring me down. 

I understand that excercise is good for me.  In fact, two massive studies were released this week which indicate that excercise can even prevent cancer. (Read here).    I know I feel better, look better, have more energy and properly inspire my kids when I’m modeling good excercise habits.  

You’d think that would be enough to get me moving.   But no.   Only thing that works is to sign up for some crazy event and then blog about it.    It’s the fear of total humiliation that gets me out of bed and off the couch.  

Maybe the health benefits are what make me actually sign up for the crazy event knowing it’ll force my hand.   Or my feet. 

Whatever.  I signed up this year to do the Portland to Coast. I’ve done it a couple times before. (Read here).  But this time we decided to pair the team down to 8 people which means we are all doing three turns and we don’t stop to sleep.   Crazy. 

Worst part it’s in three months and I didn’t move at all in the last six months.  

So tonight to officially kick off training my eldest and I went for a brisk mile and a half walk. I’m lying. It was slow. We took photos.


California Lilac.  I have these in my yard as well.   They grow. Fast.  The ten year old likes to pull s branch back and let go. It rains purple fluff. 


This is why I love living in the Pacific Northwest.  Those big beautiful trees. 


How fun is this?!  Go Clark County Rotaty.  I may have to go donate some copies of books I want my neighbors to read.  


Anyone know what this is named?   We want one in our yard. So cheerful. 


Prickly weed. 

We also saw a wild naked two year old running down the street.  We paused at a safe distance to make sure his parents noticed he was outside naked before we continued on.  

My point here is that on our walk we saw beauty and ugly and crazy and fun.  We got to choose what we focused on.    Some people only focus on the weeds.   They lose a lot on the walk. 

And perhaps this summer I’ll try focusing on the benefits of training rather than just thinking about avoiding embarrassment.   How about you?  Whatcha lookin’ at? 

8 Comments

Filed under Faith, Family, Running

T-shirt Preaching

My daughter is listening. 

We spend a lot of time at home and at church and in conversations in the car talking about Jesus.   We also talk about Star Wars and the Seahawks and Beanie Babies and track and why socks disappear in the laundry.   But Jesus typically shows up in conversation daily.  We talk about how He loves us.   About how He wants us to love Him. We talk about how our job in this world is to shine and love and pray and care.  To be present in people’s pain.  We talk about how it is not our job to post a list of rules.   We talk about how shame and guilt are not our job or our burden.   That God is big enough to worry about other people’s junk. That loving Jesus and loving others is enough.  We talk a lot.
So I should not be shocked that my daughter is growing into a lovely human being who loves Jesus.   I am overwhelmed with gratitude that she’s learning about grace and love.   But last night I had a bit of a panic attack.

Last night my ten year old informed me that she was going to tell her friends at school about Jesus.  I gulped.  She discussed the options open for evangelism in fourth grade.  Her ideas included handing out notes, invitations to VBS, starting conversations and t-shirts.   And she decided that today she would start by wearing a t-shirt with a bible verse on it.   The back has an amazing promise.


So why am I scared?  Because she had decided to share her faith with friends?   I should be happy.   But I’m confessing to you that I’m scared. I’m worried she’ll get it wrong and the other kids will feel she’s too preachy.   I’m scared that she’ll be overheard by a teacher and told to shush.   I’m scared that I’m going to get an email or a text or a Facebook message from another parent telling us to keep our nosy religious opinions to ourselves.  I’m scared that some kid is going to laugh and bully and bruise my fledgling missionary.  I’m scared that she’ll carry the stigma of a goody two shoes and somewhere in high school we’ll be sitting with her crying because she doesn’t have a date to prom because in fourth grade she decided to be brave and tell people that Jesus loves them.   

See.  Scared.  And also disgusted with myself.  Those Bible verses about how if we deny Christ to people he won’t claim us with the Father are running through my head.  And the verses about rejoicing if people hate you or ridicule you are not providing any comfort.   Truly a proud, conflicted, scared, disgusted mess.

That was last night.   This morning my kiddo put on her shirt.  


And the Bible story Mark 9:23-24  Ran through my head.   You know the story? The desperate dad takes his child to Jesus.   And Jesus tells him his son can get help if only the dad will believe.  

23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe,[a] all things are possible to him who believes.”

24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

That mirrors my soul.

You see my Jesus gets that I’m a mess.   He understands I can’t do it alone.  And He accepts my pitiful prayer of “I believe….help me with my unbelief.”   Both in one sentence.

So today I choose to plant my feet with my kiddo.   I choose to hold on the promises in the Bible.   And I cling desperately to Jesus who is the only reason it will work.   And He is patient with me and helps even when what I need help with is being His friend.   That’s what grace looks like.    

I really never heard of anyone growing in their faith because of a t-shirt.   But today I did.   My daughter is teaching. 

How about you?  Do you struggle with this too?   

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Faith, Family