I found this poem in an old Ideals magazine. It seems fitting for this week as we prepare our hearts for remembering Christ’s journey to the cross.
All those who journey, soon or late,
Must pass within the garden gate;
Must kneel alone in darkness there,
And battle with some fierce despair.
God pity those who cannot say:
“Not mine but thine;” who only pray:
“Let this cup pass,” and cannot see
The purpose of Gethsemane
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
This next clip is a powerful song about the love of God. This is my most favorite song that we sang in my college choir. And that’s saying a lot because we sang a lot of great ones. Not only is this song full of beautiful harmonies, it also communicates the most important message we could ever sing about, or even read about, write about, talk about, think about, pray about, anything about. When you listen to it, just close your eyes and meditate on God’s love for you and for the world.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written a Bible reading update. But fortunately that doesn’t mean it’s been awhile since I’ve read my Bible (thank goodness). In January, I finally finished going through the Psalms. Then I started a long trek through the history section of the Old Testament. That means that I’ve read Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. And recently, I started 1 Samuel. Let me tell you, reading Joshua and Judges can be a wild ride! There are a lot of thrilling battles, not-so-thrilling battles, amazing tales of God’s guidance and provision, and a whole bunch of disobedience that can be very, very, very frustrating to read. That’s probably why Ruth seemed like such a breath of fresh air when it came right after Judges. It doesn’t have any wars, but it does have a wonderfully compelling story.
Here is something I read about Samuel the other day: “The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground.” (1 Samuel 3:19) I immediately recognized this verse as a desire of my heart. I desire this for myself, my husband, my children, my family. I desire it for the leaders in my church. I desire it for the leaders in any church. We have all heard the saying “talk is cheap.” I pray that a saying like that never applies to God’s people. In the case of Samuel, I don’t think it means that everyone liked everything that he had to say. Sometimes the honest answer isn’t the easiest answer. But people didn’t doubt his word, or think he was using his words for personal gain.
I know it’s not easy to limit our words or to speak only words that honor the Lord. But maybe I’ll try to pray this simple pray more often, especially when people are asking for advice or guidance: “Lord, be with me, and let none of my words fall to the ground.”
Brent had to leave early this morning for some meetings in the valley (that’s Central Oregon lingo for Willamette Valley). So the house was pretty quiet and I wondered what the kids were up to. Were they still sleeping? Were they getting a jump start on their schoolwork? Ha! Just kidding. Were they bugging the cat? When I investigated the situation, I found all three of them in Blake’s room giggling their way through a game of Chutes and Ladders. Everyone was getting along, everyone was content, everyone was having fun.
The game pieces are long gone so they were using a die instead of a spinner, and were using mini lego figurines for the place markers. There are many others things that I could have made them do at that time, but I’m proud to say that I listened to the voice in my head that said, “Don’t interrupt the sibling fun. They are making some good memories. These are the moments that should last longer, not be shortened. The chores and the schoolwork can wait.” So what’s a mom to do? I did the only thing I could do: I made them a platter of breakfast food and delivered it to the game site so they could keep playing. And then I thanked God for the flexibility in our schedule to allow for times like this, when there is no agenda except to be together and build memories. Ah, bliss.
simple pleasures make great memories
As promised, here are the finished pages of Emma’s birthday card:
We love that you:
1. are our firstborn
2. are a girl
3. love to read
4. are so willing to play games with your brother and sister
5. love music
6. worship God with all your heart
7. enjoy God’s creation
8. make a checklist for yourself every day
9. make lunch for the family every Wednesday
10. are compassionate
11. are a student of God’s Word
12. are super-duper ticklish!
birthday brunch at McKay Cottage
blowing out candles during a Bible quizzing road trip
playing piano for a worship song a the quiz meet’s morning devotions
getting ready for a quizzing match, check out those hot pink shoes!
It was a busy birthday weekend, just the way Emma likes it. It wasn’t hard to come up with items for her card. In fact we had to pare it down since we were limited to only 12 things. She is a blessing to everyone who knows her. Happy Birthday, Emma!
Here is what I learned today:
If my family ever begs me to go skiing with them again, even if I have said “No” the first one-hundred times they asked, I will remember this day and say with confidence and conviction, “No” again. In fact, I will say “No” no matter how many times they ask. It will save me sore muscles, a headache, disappointment, and the money I spent on a lift ticket that I used exactly one time. I knew that skiing wasn’t my thing, and my one disastrous run down the mountain this morning only confirmed that. It was not a pretty sight, I’m sorry to say.
Poor Brent. He had to contend with a wife who was crying, falling, sliding, freaking out, and having a complete meltdown. (Not that I would ever have a meltdown. I mean, come on, this is rock-solid Heather we’re talking about here, right?) I pulled myself together long enough to get down the mountain in one piece and then put those skis right back where they came from. This was my Mt. Bachelor view for the rest of the day:
a table inside the lodge, safe and warm where I should have been all along
the real skiers of the family
I guess you can’t be good at everything. And I certainly am not!