Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Good Morning, World!

The stated purpose of this blog is to "bear witness to the ways God moves in my life, and you can... 'make of it what you will.'" After a few days of warmer temperatures and some sun, today we woke up to a gloomy 40 degrees, with some sprinkling to boot. God moves in my life through my kids. This morning, He gave me the gift of laughter with Lily. Thank You, LORD!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Wishing Lily a Happy Earth Day over breakfast this morning, she instructed me to turn the lights off for at least one hour today. Hmmm. It seemed like a good time to talk about how this day is a nice day to think about taking care of the Earth, but that we really should be good stewards every day, not just this one day a year.

But, in honor of this special day, Lily wanted to wear a shirt from her old school, a charter school with an environmental focus. Earth Day had her feeling sentimental. She was only there for kindergarten, so all of the spirit wear purchased for her (read, pink) has long been outgrown. We got out the one shirt we have left that fits her, and she proudly went to school in it, "even though it is a boy shirt, I like it." We certainly believe in reusing around here!

This shirt was originally purchased for Lars...
and then Luke wore it... and finally, today, Lily is wearing it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Another Lesson from Thora

Sharing our home with two cats brings me joy in lots of ways. When I'm home alone, I'm really not all by myself. I have these two quirky, warm, sometimes snuggly, sometimes wild companions. I talk to Greta and Thora, and they follow me around the house, supervising my activities. They sleep most of the time, but always do it in whatever room I happen to be in. Every now and then, they'll teach me a thing or two.

Today I sat down at the computer and started to listen to a sermon on-line. I was listening with one ear, and thinking about doing a couple of things at the same time. Just as I was about to get up, Thora jumped up on my lap, in desperate need of attention. She forced me to stay put, slowed me down, and I gave the sermon both of my ears. It was good teaching I needed to hear.
Fortunately, the camera was in reach, so I could snap a pic of her. She's a good kitty. She knew exactly what I needed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter = New Life

During the end of the kids' Spring Break, we went to see my parents in Galesburg. My Grandmother (technically, my mom's step-mom, who had been living with my parents the last two years) had a stroke on March 14th. The day we arrived in Galesburg, she had been transferred out of the hospital and into a nursing home. She requires around-the-clock care that my parents just aren't qualified to provide at this point. We visited her several times each day of our stay, bringing new artwork from Lily, and other things to make her room feel less institutional.

For the last at least 40 or 50 years, various people in her life (her sister, my folks, me, my brother, a cousin.. that I know of...) have shared the Gospel with her. Her response was always something along the line of, "I don't need that, I'm a good person." Sometimes her responses would be a crankier version of that, other times a contemplative no thanks.

But one evening, while we were saying good night, my dad asked if he could pray for her, and she said yes. Ever since she'd been in the hospital, this had become a sort of nightly thing for them. We were all there, so we gathered around her (me, my parents, and all three kids) and put a hand on her. While praying, my dad asked her if she'd like to ask Jesus into her heart. Would you believe it? She said yes! Right there! The kids got to hear and see this great thing happening. She repeated after my dad, simply saying, "Jesus, come into my heart." And she cried afterwards. I really sensed that it was a moment of surrender for her. Mentally, she has good and bad days, but she knew what she was doing that night, and she remembers it, knows what it meant.

Leave it to me to take an exciting moment like this, analyze it to death, and find some sadness in it. That's what I've done. It is a wonderful thing that her eternal life is secure. It is. And I'm thrilled that my kids got to be there to see it happen. But it saddens me a bit, because she's at the end of her life, and she will (most likely) miss out on the chance to actually follow Christ. You see, I don't think salvation is just a ticket to heaven, or, as I've heard it called, a "fire insurance policy." It's a chance to be in relationship with Him, to know Him better, to follow His plans for your life, and enjoy the blessings he has for you. It's a chance to see the fruit of the Spirit flow from the Spirit out of you...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, all those good things we can't manufacture or sustain on our own.

There's more to it than uttering that prayer, at least I think that's God's hope and design--that there be more to it. I'm not saying that once you've accepted His salvation you have to become a certain kind of person, or follow a prescribed list of rules. But God is in the heart-changing business, and if you wait til the end of your life, you missed out.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lily just saw a commercial for Jenny Jones, and declares that I should not lose weight. If I got "all skinny like that," (this was a commercial starring Phylicia Rashad, who, after her 21 lb. loss is still looking curvy and healthy) Lily worries I won't have a good lap, won't be as "comfortable" anymore.