When we are suffering in a difficult situation, or working through a trial, or tempted by a besetting sin, one of the first things that we think is how alone we feel. We feel alone because we are the only person we know who is struggling with depression. We feel lonely because we don’t see other people dealing with chronic illness. We feel lonely because we want people to be right beside us as we work through something. And the easiest thing in the world is to blame the rest of the church for not knowing. For not understanding how we feel. For not struggling the same struggle with us. For saying things that were unfeeling. Do they not love us? Read More
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her
So today is Valentine’s Day and I wanted to write a little something on the topic of married love. That time when you were first falling in love was a very heady time. Chances are good that if you are a few years out from that, and have kids, and life has somewhat eclipsed your romance, that you are not currently in a phase where your husband calling you makes your heart race. In fact, you may even answer the phone with a complaint about your day, a comment about something he forgot to do, or just something incredibly mundane. Truthfully, things could be at a point where you are seeing him as an extra chore on your list. Maybe when you see your husband you see the things you wish he was doing, a life you wish you had, or a long list of failed expectations.
I was chatting with a friend the other day about abortion- specifically those videos that go around on Facebook. She was feeling tremendously frustrated because while these videos will make all of us cry and feel angry, they seem to make pro-choice people simply dig their heels in. The complete blindness to the obvious personhood of babies can be horrifyingly frustrating. Knowing that she and I are not the only two Christian women who find this whole issue overwhelming and frustrating, I thought I’d share with you all some of the things that have helped me process it.
First of all, and this can not be overemphasized, the whole discussion is not about arguments. The world does not need one really good argument, but it really does need good news. They do not need new evidence for the personhood of the unborn, they need new hearts. They do not need to see the baby as it is, they need to not be blinded by sin. So while it is not pointless to be sharing these things – the reason that it is important is because it is important to be declaring the Gospel. One part of the Gospel is the reality and depth of our sin. One part of the Gospel is the freedom of forgiveness. One part of the Gospel is transformation of darkness to light, hopelessness to hope, sorrow to laughter, filth to righteousness. So in as much as these things are declaring some part or all of this – they are a Gospel declaration and well worth doing. And they may very well fall on deaf ears – but it isn’t an intellectual argument. The argument isn’t for the ears, it is asking God to move in hearts. God tells us to declare His word, His gospel, His son – and when we do He uses that on the hearts of those who hear. It is His ordained means of saving people, and it is different than the means we would have chosen. Read More
If you have seen much or any of my writing, I think you know that I am no stranger to messes. My children are specialists. I told my husband recently that I think I need a ref’s shirt and a whistle because that seems to be my main job these days. Throwing penalty flags for dress-ups on the stairs. Trying to stop myself from just clearing the table, wiping up the milk, picking up socks, and trying to actually track down the child responsible so that they might learn the rules of play.
But sometimes I think that the emphasis I put on dealing joyfully with mess and mayhem may lead people to believe that I just dig dust bunnies and static-filled sweatpants. And I don’t. But I guess I would rather people erroneously think that of me than have me glue a veneer of togetherness on my very real and gritty lifestyle, and then talk about how everyone should be joyful. I could, in theory, take a picture of a clean, light-filled place in my house and make it seem like we never have finger smudges and random bloody noses. Maybe I could make it look like my three-year-old never shows up in inside-out tights as pants and like I never let that happen for two hours before I find her jeans. If this is what women are looking for, there are whole worlds on Pinterest devoted to this, and they certainly don’t need me to provide it. And since the real message that I care about is joy and faithfulness, I think it would be counterproductive to try to make it look like I always have the perfect circumstances for that kind of joy. Well I don’t, and neither do you. Read More
Back when I was in high school my Dad became convicted that we should be honoring the Lord’s Day more than we had been. Having grown out of a Jesus people kind of church that met in the parks sometimes, we were growing into Christian traditions that were much older and unfamiliar, and often seemed painfully stuffy.
It was true that Scripture clearly said the Sabbath was for rest. Of course we all had visions of Little House on the Prairie and very serious times past. It seemed to us that the only people who would be Sabbatarian were people who would wear horsehair shirts, scowl at children, administer discipline for laughter (as well as most other things), eat only boiled food, have no fun, and probably cause routine church splits about whether the bulletins should be tri-folded to reflect the Trinity or not.
In the midst of some angsty discussions around the dinner table Dad pointed out something that has stuck with me all this time “But what about homework, Dad? Are you saying that I’m not allowed to do homework on Sunday??!” He responded that it wasn’t that we didn’t get to work, it was that we got to not. It was hard to ignore this. I am not normally chafing at the bit to do homework, yet tell me that I may not and my desperation to do it becomes unbearable. Read More
Have you ever seen those ill advised cupcake sprinkle applicators? I think they made them for children, and I feel like they may or may not have been an As Seen on TV product. I just remember stopping at Michaels by some kind of a plastic contraption that you insert a cupcake into and then in some way generate a windstorm of sprinkles and some of them stick to it, and marveling at the badness of the idea. I really wish I had paid more attention to how the thing worked because at this very moment I think I may be stuck inside one. Read More