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Showing posts from September, 2011

More Nails

Hammering more nails, but thankfully not with the flushed face this time, just with a desire to be thankful:

11.For pasta.Haven’t met one I didn’t like. 12.For opportunities to fall asleep on the couch. 13.For TV shows that make this uptight girl laugh, like “Modern Family.” 14.For high school students who willingly spend 90 minutes a week with me. 15.For a natural gift for writing discussion questions that help me learn about students and help them learn about themselves. 16.For drowsy, morning cuddles with any of my three family members. 17.That I look like my mom…more and more the older I get. 18.For my fingernails; yes, I’m vain; see former posts. 19.That I took “Keyboarding” in high school. 20.For a little boy who says, “Don’t take a shower!Cuddle with me for a long time!” 21.That my son is able to speak.

1,000 Nails

Today my friend Lindsay led our weekly staff devotional.  It was very good!  One of the things she shared is from a woman, Ann Voskamp, who found herself quite discontent with life, particuarly its busyness.  She decided to do something about her spirit of discontent.  She decided to drive out nails of discontent and to replace them with nails of thanksgiving.  We all know that you can't stop a habit; you must replace it.

A few hours after this devotional, I had that flushed face, knot in the gut, discontent feeling.  I'd vented to my husband, who both has my back and tells me the truth.  I gained a lot of clarity from that 10-minute venting session.  But I still had the knot and flushed face.

So, I started my list of 1,000 nails:  (I'll probably never complete the list; I'm really good at not finishing projects.)

I am thankful: 1.For a husband and sister who hear my venting and love me anyway 2.For big, blue eyes full of love 3.For a baby’s giggle 4.For a Nana whom I trust t…

Remember

A word study is a way of studying Scripture in which you look up the occurrences of a word or phrase where it appears in the Bible.  I tackled the word "remember."  It appears LOTS of times in Scripture.  I didn't read each one, and I especially didn't read each one in its full context.  It was not an exhaustive word study, but some common themes emerged.  I wrote a poem about it:

You remember
       your promises,
       your faithful servants,
       us, your people,
       our sins no more.

We remember
       rest.
       Your words;
       your commands.
       Your faithfulness,
       our faithlessness.
       Salvation from chains,
       guidance through the wilderness.
       The ones who came before,
       preparing our ways.
       You created us
            just
            like
            this.
       Your works;
       your worth.
       You.

Remembering
       grounds us,
       grows us;
       gives us hope,
       grants us wisdom;
       guides us ever back to you.

I paired …

Mentors

I’ve heard the word “mentor” a lot recently, in conversations, presentations, and e-mails.A new year of small groups began in my student ministry last night—a new year of mentors matching up with mentees.In some cases, it’s the 7th year a mentor (a.k.a. small group leader) and a student have done life together.That excites me!That makes me feel like what I do matters. Today I had the pleasure of having lunch with Mrs. Kay Meredith, my 11th and 12th grade English teacher.Mrs. Meredith was the kind of teacher who set the bar high, challenged you to be better than you thought you were, and listened when life was difficult.We had writing Fridays that included breakfast and a coffee house atmosphere in which we could write.She made me kiss my boyfriend in class as thanks for a gift.She danced with my boyfriend at our prom.She came to our wedding, and I think she danced with him there, too. I entered my senior year of high school planning to be a math teacher.I eventually ended up an English …

Grateful for a Gift

I’m really trying to put that advice to write down my thoughts into action—two blog posts in an hour. As I was leaving church one Sunday this summer, I received a gift bag.I had no idea what it was for.I opened it to find a worn and clearly used devotional for moms.Inside was a thoughtful, hand-written, two-page note.It was from a mom whom I’ve known for years—as a mom.I’ve gotten to see her when motherhood has been its hardest, and I’ve gotten to see her experience the pride and joy that come with motherhood, too.I was touched to tears as I read her note, and today, I’m trying to dwell on some of her words instead of the pessimistic inner dialogue of which I just wrote. This woman, whom I’ve prayed with in some very difficult situations, has committed herself to praying for me.I can find rest in that.She has passed along to me a devotional book that has been her favorite.I can feel honored by that.My willingness to be vulnerable prompted her loving care of me with a gift and a note and…

The First and Second Amendments

I recently took a self-assessment that revealed something not all that surprising—I am exceptionally bad at letting things go.I ruminate; that’s what the results said.Specifically, I “over-think problems,” and “dwell on pessimistic feelings.”I was cautioned that such inner reflections could “encourage drug and alcohol abuse.”Ha!Ironically, I once had a doctor (the M.D. kind, not the shrink kind) encourage me to take up drinking to see if that wouldn’t loosen me up a bit.True story.Back to the results—I was encouraged to “write your thoughts down.”So here I am. I regret the last blog posting I made.Someone pointed out that it was awfully cliché, and they were right.As noted above, I dwell on pessimistic feelings, so I’ve dwelt on this bit of constructive criticism quite a bit, which has paralyzed me from contributing to this blog in a month. A couple of times in my life, I’ve been called vain—actually by the two people whose opinions I regard the most.As I reflect on my last blog post, I…