- Obedience in one area, and how it relates to my life as a whole. If I’m not following God’s path for me in one area, it can totally derail everything else.
- I love to read several books at a time, but if I get too many going I start to panic and then all I can do is read until some of them are finished. This leads to Problems, because I homeschool three children and have multiple marriage, home, family, relational, and ministry-related responsibilities. So I end up either dropping the ball in favor of a book binge or getting super grouchy when I can’t read. Moral of the story: Boundaries are important.
- We are having such a mild February here in Iowa that today my daughter went outside in a t-shirt and capris. I’m sitting here with my window open . . . it’s glorious.
- One of the things I think are crucial in life is having some go-to Scripture passages for when Satan attacks me with guilt, self-doubt, shame, and fear. My friend Rosanne wisely sent me to Ephesians 1 last summer when I was struggling with this. Today I was really feeling pressed down by the enemy’s attack on my self-worth– just feeling like a failure at everything because of one thing I’ve been struggling with (see #1). I was praying, and I felt that still, small voice reminding me of another favorite chapter– Romans 8, which came up in a podcast I listened to last night. Oh my goodness. Romans 8 is amazing. It starts with “There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus” and ends with a long list of all the things that can NEVER separate me from the love of God. And in between? So much juicy goodness. Note to self: Read Romans 8 more often.
- The kids and I have been memorizing the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. It’s hard because it’s a list that doesn’t have a logical progression, or if it does, it’s not a logic I have grasped yet. But I’m reminded every morning as we work on them how different God’s ways are from my own ways.
- We have been deep-cleaning the house over the last couple weeks. I’ve managed to keep our bedroom clean for like ten days straight. I seriously think this is a new record. I’m a super slob. As an adult that basically shows up in my bedroom, because pride forces me to at least try to keep the downstairs clean. I did a very brave thing and changed the toilet seat in our upstairs bathroom. It was nasty in where all the screws are and everything. Apparently when I told my boys to aim, for the love of Pete! they thought I meant at the screws. It’s the only possible explanation. On a side note, my bathroom smells way better now.
- My oldest will be reading To Kill a Mockingbird for school soon, and since I hadn’t read it since before he was born, I thought I’d better remind myself of it. It’s actually one of the only books I’ve ever taught in a classroom, because I taught it to high school juniors during my student teaching experience. Angry Ranger is in 8th grade now, and I get to teach it to him. It’s such a good book, but it is so different to think about teaching it and discussing it with my own child. Last night in the chapter I was reading, Scout asked What is rape? and I thought, does my very sheltered 14 year old know the answer to that question? Would he ask if he didn’t? Clearly he needs to understand that in order to understand the issues in To Kill a Mockingbird. All of this just has me pondering the way my kids are getting older and the ways we have to transition them from children to adults. I feel like I’m groping my way forward in a dark room. We live in a world where these issues are so relevant– daily in the news. I want to raise my kids to be protectors of those who are weaker, smaller, less educated, less advantaged. Anyway, as I read this book again, I am so struck (stricken? strickified?) by the courage of Atticus Finch and the way he teaches and models standing up for those who are under attack, treating people graciously (even when those people are the opposite of gracious), and doing what is right whether it’s popular or not.
- Writing has become a major challenge for me lately. I know I need to be doing it (see #1), but for whatever reason I have felt very blocked. Trying to move forward, to at least try each day to put words to paper or screen. This verse for this battle: “He who called you is faithful; He will surely do it.”
- I have a hot date with Art tonight. It’s been awhile, and I can’t wait. We’re gonna paint things. 🙂