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Showing posts from March, 2015

Living the Liturgy

I hear and see "Be the blessing" quite often.  And as it is with thoughts or phrases that are over-used, I don't even stop to think what that means.  To me it sounds like one more thing I have to remember to be or to do.  But what if it means I am so overflowing with being blessed by God that it spills over to others, like a cup filled and overflowing?

In One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp writes, "Grace is alive, living waters.  If I dam up the grace, hold the blessings tight, joy within dies...waters that have no life.
  "I turn my hand over, spread my fingers open.  I receive grace.  And through me, grace could flow on.  Like a cycle of water in continuous movement, grace is meant to fall, a rain...again, again, again.  I could share the grace, multiply the joy, extend the table of the feat, enlarge the paradise of His presence.  I am blessed.  I can bless.  A life contemplating  the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ."

Monday -- The…

The Connection between Humbleness and Joy

The chapter I read this week in Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts  was called Go Lower.  She started the chapter with a story of seeing the world the way a small child does. Everything is fresh and fun and kids get excited about things we adults take for granted.  But to see things as a child, we need to get down to their humble ourselves.  She goes on to talk about how our peace and our joy can be shattered like glass in a matter of seconds when we lay aside humility and revert to pride.  "And my knees are stiff and it's jarring, how peace can shatter faster than glass, the breakneck speeds at which I can fall -- and refuse to bend the knees at all."

Monday -- John planted an herb garden for me and waters and tends to it every night.  I love going out to pick basil, oregano, dill, parsley, cilantro, or mint.  I use the herbs in so many dishes and love the smell of them freshly picked.

Tuesday -- I usually do all the laundry, but I often come home in the eve…

My Most Embarrassing Moment

I've been enjoying linking up with momfessionals for Show and Tell Tuesdays.  This week's prompt is "My Most Embarrassing Moment".

My most embarrassing moment was definitely one I'd rather forget and that hopefully I learned from.  Of course, it has to do with something I said.  Hopefully I've learned to be more careful in what I say, but I have to admit, it's usually my mouth that gets me in trouble....still.

It was summer vacation from college.  I was at my parent's house for the summer and my mom had volunteered gently suggested to me to help at a garage sale.  The proceeds of the garage sale were going to benefit a charity that I thought was a good cause, so I was happy to help out.  People had brought all sorts of donated goods to this lady's house and it was my job to help her and others organize the stuff on tables and in the lawn ahead of time. You know how it is at garage sales....lots of strange, outdated, truly bizarre wonder t…

Stress, Worry, and Joy

Chapter 8 in Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts, she talks a lot about stress, worry, trust, and joy.

It got me thinking, and please feel free to let me know what you think (just don't preach sermons, LOL).  So I've wondered, is there any time that stress is sin?  Or is stress neutral and our reaction to stress could be, but isn't always, sinful?   Sometimes I have stress because I've made poor choices, such as by taking on too much.  But sometimes I have stress because of things outside of myself....such as church burnings, a loved one falling sick, a sticky situation arising at work, or kids going through a difficult time.  

But how do I react when I'm going through stress?  Can my reaction be sinful:  worry, lashing out at others, cutting myself off from others rather than living in community, and retaliation are all things the Bible clearly tells us to not do. I saw an article on the internet called Be Stressed Out and Do Not Sin. I like that!  (It's …

Choosing Joy

I've been thinking more about the events of January 16 and 17 and of how giving thanks is not my natural response in circumstances like this.  (In case you missed the news, churches in three towns in Niger were attacked and burnt.)  I've been studying through Philippians and am amazed that Paul, who experienced persecution in a very personal way and was imprisoned for his faith, talks so much about joy.  I'm not sure if I were in prison, even under house arrest, that I would speak about joy.  I'd more likely speak about my rights (Paul did mention that, too!) and my demands than about joy.

Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gifts writes, "How do I have the holy vision in this mess?  How do I see grace, give thanks, find joy in this sin-stinking place?"
And then later:  "Do I really smother my own joy because I believe that anger achieves more than love? That Satan's way is more powerful, more practical, more fulfilling in my daily life than Jesus' way? ..…

Show and Tell Tuesday -- Favorite Room

Suzanne at The Glorious Mundane did a link blog with the Momfessionals blog on Tuesday:  Show and Tell Tuesday -- Favorite Room.   I thought I'd join in the fun.  Yes, I know, it is no longer Tuesday.  But at least Thursday starts with a "T". :)  And at the speed of our internet, it might be Saturday before this actually gets posted!

My favorite room is our bedroom.  Our house is fairly simple, sitting here on the edge of the Sahara Desert.  But compared to the housing of the majority of the population of this sub-Saharan country, it’s really very luxurious. 

I made this quilt from African fabrics….but we had the walls painted before I started working on the quilt, so the blue and orange walls are quite the right colors for the quilt.  This summer we will need to have our house painted (the paint is coming off the walls in some of the rooms), so maybe we can get a closer match next time around.

Our room is only big enough for a double bed, two bedside tables, a wardrobe, an…

"The Art of Deep Seeing"

"How we behold determines if we hold joy.  Behold glory and be held by God."  --Ann Voskamp

This has been a busy week.  Since I wasn't in the office at all last week, I had some catching up to do.  I don't know about you, but I find myself complaining more than giving thanks.  In the chapter in One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp, that I've been reading this week, she talks about how learning to see God in all around us (she's not talking about pantheism here, but rather recognizing Who is the Creator) enables us to give thanks and to receive His joy.  I need to keep consciously working on recognizing God in the gifts around me that He gives.

Monday -- I love pens...pens that write well, colored pens, markers, etc.  I'm thankful for my purple highlighter.

Tuesday -- I got a new notebook for my Bible study on Philippians and am enjoying filling it up.  (I love notebooks, too!)

" is not a once-in-the-past action, but faith is always a way of seeing,…