Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gifts For Maggie B

As many of you may know, our daughter Beth (and Laura’s oldest sister) is expecting her first baby on September 25. Her name is Margaret Elizabeth, and they will call her Maggie. Early one morning this summer, I was thinking about this sweet little baby and the things that I would desire for her and to claim for her 3 John 4: “No greater joy can I have than this, to hear that my children follow the truth.” I claimed that verse for our own four girls, and now for yet another. Here are the gifts that I would want Maggie to have.


A child raised

         unencumbered by things,

  possessing instead

           the ability to see beyond wants and needs

     and desire Him alone,

the courage to step away and be different,

         the love to move among others freely

                           and not be ensnared,

a thirst and a vision for the Kingdom in all things,

a single heart focused on Him

        that sees the needs of others before her own

        and delights in filling them,

who ascribes to the LORD

                          the glory due His name,

who realizes the power of the Word

      and engraves it indelibly in her heart,

the eyesight that comes from the core of Truth

                         and sees all reality in that Light,

eternity in her heart,

wisdom beyond her years,

a quickness to obey the Voice she knows

                 is from the Father

                 and no one else,

the agility to turn on a dime

       drop everything

       and move in the middle of the night

                    or life,

ignorance of inability

        and fully aware of His strength within,

   a desire to turn away from whispers of “I could never do that,”

                  and shout out,

    “Here I am, send me,”



    and ready to roll,

live above reproach,

seek excellence in all things,

                    knowing that even what is not noticed

                    may bring great glory to God and be used by Him,

willingness to stand in the breach,

live invisibly for God

           under the radar when needed,

           stand up when called,

live the Truth like a prophet,

                       and at all times carry a basin and a towel.

I love you, sweet one.

I am excited for your adventure in the Kingdom.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my

No, I haven’t fallen off the edge of the earth.  I realize that it has been way too long since I have written.  No excuses.  It was summer, what can I say?  I’ve hiked in the Smokies, I’ve run in weather too hot to breathe in humid Memphis, I’ve walked the crowded streets of New York, I’ve seen 17 black bears in the wild, too many deer to count, and watched as my husband  glanced backwards at me and barely missed  stepping on a rattling rattle snake three miles out on a trail run.  I was appropriately speechless.

Hope that your summer was grand.  Here in the South, school has been in session for more than a week (always the hottest week of the summer), and we are only in mid-August.  Back to the books. 

Actually for many of us, it should be back to the Book.  Summer time schedules can be ruthless in breaking up routine and stomping it flat.  But all is not lost.  Carve out that niche of daily Bible reading once again.  Hold tight and dig deep.  I realize that trudging through the names and numbers and census counts in Numbers, Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah seems like TMI – too much information – but it is in those details that the Bible asserts its authenticity.  No one would make that stuff up.  These are real names, real genealogies, real places, and a lot of people, not just a nomadic tribe of a few scruffy-looking individuals.  Walk right through the midst of that very significant reality.  Therein lies much truth.  I’d love to hear what you are learning.


For whatever was written in former days

                 was written for our instruction,

that by steadfastness

                 and by the encouragement of the Scriptures,

we might have hope.

                                          Romans 15.4

Press on, friends!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


For those who used to follow my previous blog, you can add it to your RSS once again... It is now reopened.

Time to Refocus

The amount of blog activity around here tends to have an inverse relationship to the activity in our "real" lives. As you probably guessed, the past few weeks have been busy. Ridiculously busy. As in, I stopped counting at 9 different things I would miss as I went out of town this past weekend. As in, when I arrived at work this morning, I anticipated tonight being my first free night in about 3 weeks. Now, shortly after 9 in the morning, it is already looking like that may not happen until next Monday.
For a little while, it can be fun to be busy and have a lot going on. But please be warned: Satan seems to love using busy lifestyles to take our focus off of where it should be.
Many of us seem to place our value in our schedule. The busier you are, the more purposeful your life becomes. This is a lie.
In filling in our planners and scheduling our lives, we tend to forget that our purpose and value does not have anything to do with how many meetings we attend, or how little free time we possess. We look at those around us with envy as we see all that they accomplish in their day. We jump to answer our cell phone with no regard for the individual across the table. We arrive late to meet someone, without consideration of what they dropped in order to be there on time.
I think it is great to be involved. I really do. Community is an essential part of our faith, and it is impossible to foster such fellowship without involvement and activity.
But I also think it is great to be invested. Simply showing up does not build relationships. So when you have plans, commit to them. And be fully present. Don't be thinking of what you'd rather be doing, or the million items on your to-do list, or the countless items you need to add to that list. Show whomever you are with that you value them more than your schedule. Maybe that means turning your phone off every now and then. Maybe it means setting your clock ahead in order to arrive on time. Maybe it means cutting back on a few activities and giving more to the remaining commitments. God does not need a packed schedule in order to use you for His glory.