All posts filed under: Faith

When We Build Fences of Regret

Who doesn’t regret something in their lives? You can’t be in this world, have any sort of history, and not have regret. Over choices you made. Or didn’t make. Over people you hurt. Or didn’t love enough. Over misunderstandings, missteps, mistakes. It’s tempting to hang onto the regret, to coddle the remorse we feel and believe that living with regret makes us a better person. Our life’s address could be The Land of Regret. I’ll just build a fence here and live safely with my regrets. But doing that might also fence out the possibilities. Lead women in studying Scripture? Oh, can’t do that. There was that season when I turned my back on God. Help a young mother overwhelmed by life? Not qualified. I didn’t always do it so well myself. Pray with a friend whose marriage is in trouble? Been there, failed and had to start again. Make a new friend and invite her into my world? I’ve lost friends because I couldn’t give enough. Take the hand of a child in danger …

‘Duck Daughter’ Is More than a Pretty Face: Write for 31 Days

My Day 27 post is a bit of a departure from my usual theme, but this young lady has been on my mind all day. So, I’m taking that as a “rhema” word from God telling me to pray for her. Today’s “God-Spot” in Write for 31 Days is Sadie Robertson.   I thought twice before I dropped the magazine into my shopping cart. The 5 bucks it cost me canceled out any money I’d saved by shopping at the chain store, and besides that, I don’t normally waste my precious reading time on US Magazine. But when I saw the headline “Duck Daughter Tells All”, I had to buy it. Wedged in between an article about cheating teen moms and a photo of Kim Kardashian’s “bootie” was a sweet, relatively unbiased interview with Duck Dynasty daughter Sadie Robertson. (For those of you who haven’t a clue, Willie is her Dad, Phil’s her “Papaw” and Miss Kate is her grandmother, and they make duck calls in Louisiana. Love ’em!) As if this cute 17-year-old isn’t …

Like Chocolate, ‘Sweet as Honey in Your Mouth’: Write for 31 Days

Today’s “God-Spot” was found hiding in the back of my kitchen cupboard. I’m joining other bloggers on Day 23 of our quest to Write for 31 Days.   My husband found my chocolate stash, and there was much celebrating in our house. I had hidden the silver-wrapped bars safely in a corner of the cupboard for my future pleasure and forgotten where they were! I have no idea who I was hiding them from. My man doesn’t care for dark chocolate and there is not another chocolate-loving soul in our house.(Did I mention our nest is empty? What I wouldn’t give to share a chocolate bar with a man/child today.) I must have been protecting myself from over-indulgence or simply stockpiling for the future. Whatever the case, I promptly popped a square into my mouth. Sigh. In heaven there will be chocolate. Consuming that bit of chocolate was a highlight of my morning. I lead a simple life and find joy in simple pleasures — like dark chocolate and really good coffee. Savoring that moment of …

Nature or Nurture? To God Be the Glory: Writing for 31 Days

The three dwarf apple trees we’ve cultivated on our farm for many years are nearly void of apples this fall. Last year at this time, the branches were so laden that many touched the ground. We were begging people to come and pick apples. It’s possible that, had we sprayed, pruned and fed our trees, we could have had a greater harvest this year. But we just expected to see a repeat of last fall’s bounty, so we let nature take its course. Our bare trees remind me that, to see fruit in our lives, we need to be fed. We need to nurture our faith and to accept God’s pruning as He removes things from our lives or allows trials that shape us. If left to human nature, I can go for days without applying God’s holy manure to my roots and allowing him to trim my branches. Nature or nurture? Which will bring God glory? Today is Day 14 of the 31-Day Writing Challenge. Join me and 1600 other bloggers as we attempt …

Write the Vision Because Words Matter: Writing for 31 Days

It’s raining in the valley today and I’m having a “connectivity problem” on the internet. Our early morning fog has lingered, transforming the landscape into a misty canvas for the rain-soaked trees visible in the foreground. The view reflects the landscape of my heart: “Save me, God, for the water has risen to my neck. I have sunk in deep mud and there is no footing. I have come into deep waters, and a flood sweeps over me…….” (Psalm 69 HCSB) There’s a connectivity problem threatening my soul today. I feel mired in “deep mud” and the heart is humbled. Treading this inevitable path from my mountaintop weekend into the valley to do real life with real people, I have an urge to disconnect, to protect, to shield this sodden heart. “I have come into deep waters, and a flood sweeps over me….” My flesh desires only to connect with what is safe, with what I can see and know is trustworthy. I want to sit in my Father’s lap today and lick imaginary wounds, …

On Being an Original, “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made”: Writing for 31 Days

Today’s “God-Spot” was captured just down the road from our home in rural Indiana. I hope that as I share this reflection, you will be inspired to look for the “originals” in your life. One of the great blessings of certain friendships is that they enrich your life simply by the sharing of life. Such is the case with our dear neighbors, with whom we have had the privilege of sharing our valley and the rearing of our children these past 23 years. The Mrs. and I share our love for handicrafts, cooking and Scripture — and so much more. She spins wool, weaves and knits and designs and creates original quilts. I greatly appreciate her creative gifts, and she supports me in mine. When we get the chance, the Mr. and I quickly slip into sharing what we’ve read or seen that’s of interest in the world. The Mr. is a kind and gentle man, a devoted father and grandfather and a bit of an icon in our rural community. He maintains the county’s …

Because It’s Not All About Me: Writing for 31 Days

I’m writing for 31 days about all the ways I see God showing up in my day-to-day life. Today’s “God-Spot” was an easy one. To read other posts from this month of October, go to 31 Days.   A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Baby Boomers leaving the church. A month before that, I responded to a couple of essays about why Millennials are turning away from church and from God.  Thoughts from both of those conversations came flooding back to me on Sunday morning as my husband and I sat in our usual pew near the front of the sanctuary, right behind the sweet little octogenarian who chooses the contemporary service because she likes the music. Filling the pulpit in the absence of our interim pastor (temporarily called away to lead a retreat) was a young woman raised in our church who is currently leading the youth. This has been a season of change for our congregation of 350, with both our lead pastor and youth pastor choosing to step away …

What to Do While Watching the Corn Grow

It’s like walking down an avenue of corn. This time of year, our country road is lined on both sides by tasseled stalks towering eight feet as they reach for the sun, creating a beautiful tunnel for my evening walks. Walking is my chosen posture for thinking and praying. Something about moving along helps unlock thoughts, concerns, ideas stored away throughout the day. The trek is never very long, but for a good 20 minutes, it’s just me and whatever’s going on in my brain. As I walk, I’ve been thinking about that corn. I let go recently of a responsibility that’s been dear to my heart because I felt God was telling me to free myself up. For what, I have no idea. I just know that I’m in a “waiting” mode. Kind of like the corn. A few short months ago, seed was drilled into the soil, and after a season of rain and sunshine, what stands in place are towering green stalks with ears of corn. The crop looks ready to pick, …

When the Nest Is Empty, What Will Come To Fill It?

Writing today on the subject “FILL” along with other bloggers posting at Five Minute Friday. Join me here to see what others are saying in their five minutes of writing. I dipped my hand into the clothespin bag, searching for a couple of pins to secure the freshly washed sheets. Instead I pulled out twigs and feathers. A nest. A mother bird had chosen this safe spot to create a home. I laid the bag on the ground to shake out the twigs and heard chirping from within. Two babies still snuggled deep in the bag. As they dropped out on the ground, two of our barn cats who had been lurking nearby snatched them up. I wanted to cry. The innocent babies must have wondered what happened — safe and warm one minute, terrified at the end of their short lives the next. In this week after moving my youngest out of the nest into his new home eight hours away, I feel a little like that mother bird must feel as she flies …

An Open Letter to Young Women Who Might Want to Marry My Sons

My oldest son turned 30 today. Yeah, I’m that old (and then some). Reflecting back on this amazing young man’s life, and looking forward to what the future holds for him and his lovely bride of 9 years, I got to thinking about the other three — the younger brothers who are as yet unmarried. Since they were born, I’ve prayed for the women God would bring to share their lives. Our oldest son is happily married to his best friend, and I’ll continue to pray that these three will have the same good fortune. I’m aware that statistically, the odds are two of the four will have marriages ending in divorce. Rather than dwell on that possibility, I’ve come up with some “premarital advice” for my prospective daughters-in-law. Here is my open letter to the young women who might want to marry one of my sons: Dear One ~ As the first woman in the life of the young man you hope to marry, I would like to share a few thoughts with you. …