Learning, Reading, and Looking Ahead #2

So I know I’ve learned stuff this week. I’m hoping I can remember it at 9:00 on a Saturday evening when I’m pretty much ready to go to bed an hour ago.

This week I’ve learned–

  1. That the reason corrugated cardboard is so strong is the same reason you might fold a piece of pizza to keep it from flopping down and splurching cheese all over the ground. I learned this on the podcast Surprisingly Awesome, which is a pretty fun thing to listen to while you’re driving.
  2. That a 12-sided shape is called a dodecagon. Darth Piggy has been studying geometry and that was a new one for me.
  3. That apparently dodecagon is not a word recognized by the spellchecker in WordPress.
  4. That there are only a few shapes that can be used to create a repeating pattern– equilateral triangles, regular quadrilaterals (squares and diamonds), and hexagons. I’m co-teaching a math class at our homeschool co-op, and this week we used glow sticks to create repeating patterns in the dark on the floor in our room. Super fun!
  5. That mastering a subject before moving onto the next subject is probably the smartest way to learn, and that if we allowed kids time to master a topic in math, for example, before hurrying them onto the next thing, more kids would be able to reach higher levels of math in high school. This was on a TED talk by the guy who runs the website Khan Academy, and it definitely has me thinking about how I’m educating my children.
  6. That sometimes you just really need to go to bed at 8:00 on Friday night, and there’s no shame in that.

What I’m reading–

Nothing new since last week. I finished The Pastor’s Kid and Confessions of a Prayer Slacker last night and haven’t started anything new. Still working through Seabiscuit (I’m about 40 pages from the end) and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

What’s on my plate next week–

  1. Friends for Sunday dinner! And we haven’t had to do any panic cleaning, because my new cleaning schedule is working pretty well. So that’s fun.
  2. Hopefully more of this beautiful fall weather. Today has been absolutely amazing.
  3. That fun day when we go through all our tubs of clothes and decide what we need for winter. Pooka is the only person who enjoys this day, because if there is one thing that child likes, it is trying on clothes. I’m pretty sure none of my children are going to have anything that fits, so that’s sad.
  4. BIG GARAGE SALE!!! Every September, my mom and I have a tradition to go to this huge garage sale in Nebraska. It takes up a whole county fairgrounds. That’s why I’m going through clothes this week– hopefully I can find some deals. Even if not, it’s one of the best days of the year.🙂

Have a great day!

He Who Called You

God has been teaching me about faithfulness. I have always been one who likes my reward immediately. Delayed gratification? No thank you. Mostly what I want is instant success and a whole lot of people telling me how wonderful I am. You know, like how people were with Jesus when He was on earth. Oh, wait.

I’ve come to realize that there are two kinds of faithfulness– God’s and mine– and that they both center around that root word faith.

God’s faithfulness means He is who He says He is and He does what He says He’ll do. He keeps promises. He is worthy of my faith. He is completely trustworthy in every way. Like most truths in my walk with God, this is easy to give mental assent to and a lot harder to actually believe and live by. Of course God keeps His promises, we think– and then our prayers aren’t answered how we expected or a tragedy happens or we wait and wait and wait for our needs to be met. And we panic or get angry or fall into worry or fear or doubt.

Our faith is so small. This does not change who our God is.

I have prayed so many times, Lord, I believe– help my unbelief! He patiently and mercifully teaches me who He is. What I need is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. What I need is more than a mental assent– “of course God keeps His promises.” I need real, solid faith.

I need to know that when God says He is loving, He is loving even when tragedy strikes my family and I am devastated. My faith in His love causes me to be faithful to Him– to live as though I am loved.

I need to know that when God says He forgives when I confess, that this is a promise I can cling to. I am forgiven once I have confessed my sins, and I need to live like that. I need to refuse shame and meditate on truth when Satan attacks my mind with His hateful reminders of my sin. I am forgiven, redeemed, set free. It cost Jesus everything. Who am I to cower before the lies of a defeated enemy?

I need to know that God favors me, that He delights in me, that He sees me as precious and is pleased with me. When no one else notices my hard work, my little victories, the sacrifices I am making– He sees. His approval is enough. I need to live like the most beloved child of the King of the universe, unafraid and unconcerned with whether anyone notices me or not.

Faithfulness in my life is not like God’s faithfulness, because it’s not based on my ability to keep my promises but on God’s ability to keep His. It’s really faith-filledness, and it is the only way to live this Christian life. The rewards are sweet, but most of them are as yet unseen.

As a mom, seeing my kids growing so fast and yet seeing their struggles and areas where they so need to grow, I need faith in God’s promises. I have to believe that when He says in due season you will reap, if you do not give up, that He is talking to me, that He will reward my labor to teach and disciple and train my children, that His due season may be different than mine but that does not make it any less real. I have to live with that fruit before my eyes. When I get discouraged or feel like my labor is in vain or wonder if there is a single person in all the world who has any idea what I’m dealing with in here (sometimes I get a little dramatic)– and this isn’t just with parenting, but with nearly every aspect of my life– I have to fix my eyes back on my faithful God, who does not ever fail, who is who He says He is.

Just like an athlete, who trains hard and eats right and makes sacrifices for his sport because he believes in an end result that he hasn’t attained yet, so we are called to work hard and do right and make sacrifices for our Savior, because we believe that the God who called us is faithful.

Let us not grow weary in doing good . . . He who called you is faithful . . . He who began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ . . . your labor is not in vain in the Lord . . . be steadfast, be vigilant . . . in due season you will reap, if you do not faint.

Oh Lord, teach us to keep pressing on, for You are faithful! We need nothing but You.

Leap of Faith, Leap of Grace

roadYou walk with Jesus, and you seldom see where the road is going. At the end, you know what awaits you—light and glory and the face of your best Friend and no more pain. But the road between the starting place and the finish line is long, and much of it is hidden.

Nevertheless, you walk, for where else would you go, and sometimes you speed up to a run, and sometimes you barely make a step a day. Now and then there are the glorious soaring moments on eagles’ wings. But most days, you walk, and you are never alone.

You see other people walking on roads that seem so different than yours—exalted roads that seem so easy. It is hard, sometimes, to accept your own obscure road, but as you walk you begin to learn that the lessons of that high road are just the same as the lessons of your low road only with much farther to fall. And you learn to be content to faithfully walk your own road, looking not at the roads of others, but at the Savior who leads you.

You walk through dark valleys and balk, perhaps, at the depths and the dark. You look up and can barely see that promised glory, though it is all your hope in the valley. Your Shepherd teaches you to trust, to not be afraid. He comforts you with rod and staff and Presence unspeakable. You begin to see light, here where you thought there was no light, and you become, in some small way, a source of that light to others who see you walk with grace.

You climb high mountains, winding paths that seem purposeless. You wonder whether you’re on the right way, but your Guide provides you with the signs you need to assure you that He is still leading you. His Word becomes a lamp for your feet, a light for your path, and your Friend does not fail to walk beside you.  Patiently He teaches you to walk with patience, to endure, to be faithful to this meandering path. You feel like you are climbing to nowhere, but in the long stretches of wasteland high in the mountains He teaches you to have faith, to look only to Him, to lay aside the sin and weights that make it harder to climb.

You come to altars and learn to lay yourself down, to rickety bridges and learn to not look down, to crosses and learn to take them up. You spend days thirsty, wondering when you will find water, and then laugh for joy at the sound of a secret spring. You search for food in desert places, only to discover that the Living Bread that fully satisfies is walking beside you every day.

You wonder if anyone sees, notices, cares that you are here on this road. Then one day you can hear it in the rhythmic crunching of your feet on the path beneath you—I see you; I know you; I love you. You begin to recognize the voice of truth more clearly, to focus your ears on that quiet voice. You follow as a trusting sheep follows a shepherd.

And then, one day, far in the distance you see something new—a leap. Really, Lord? Is that my path? You freeze in fear. You’re okay with walking, climbing, and maybe even running if the road is smooth and flat and safe. But leaping?

Do you trust Me?

Fearfully, slowly, you put out one foot, then the other. You are not sure you like where this road seems to be going, but you have learned this—there is nowhere else for you but where He is.

The path to the leap is longer than you expected. The climbs are higher, and the plunges into valleys are sudden and steep and scary. You get bogged down in swampy places with no clear way forward. You learn to be content with the tiniest inch of progress a day. You plead for strength, for grace, for all that is promised. Your prayers are always answered, sometimes in unexpected ways. Friends come along and offer a hand just when you thought you could never move again. You are never left alone.

Some days you run toward the leap with joy and excitement. Sometimes you fall flat on your face. Sometimes you try to go a different way, because that leap up there looks pretty impossible. Some days you waste entirely in fear and worry and doubt, until you fall before your Master and cry with brokenness, help my unbelief!

He gives more grace.

And then, you are suddenly there—just a day or two from that leap you’ve been preparing for. No, your Teacher says, I have prepared it for you, for you are My workmanship, created in Me for good works that I prepared for you beforehand. You realize that nothing here surprises Him, that though the landscape seems unfamiliar and though you’re really not sure what’s at the bottom and though those definitely look like stormclouds, nevertheless this is all part of His good plan.

You stand on the edge, and you look searchingly at His face. He is all love and all grace and His eyes dance with His pleasure in you.

Do you trust Me? He asks, holding out His hand.

Yes, you whisper fiercely, taking hold of Him.

And then you jump.

Suffering, Sacrifice, and Knowing Jesus

For too much of my life I have been content with knowing about Jesus instead of actually knowing Him. I expect this is a problem faced by a lot of kids who grow up in church and in Christian school. Maybe it’s an even bigger problem for pastors’ children. Our faith becomes less of a faith and more of a subject to be mastered, like fractions in math and capitals in geography.

But to truly know Jesus requires something different. It requires a relationship, not a mind full of facts. It requires humility and a teachable heart and a recognition of the deep need of our hearts.

Don’t get me wrong, because I want to be very clear here: I believe in the importance of theology, of knowing Scripture and studying the attributes of God and even memorizing prooftexts and definitions. I believe that God’s Word is absolutely necessary for our lives, that knowing what is true is crucial for having a discerning spirit, and that discernment is far too valued in Scripture to be tossed aside just because it requires study and hard work or because it isn’t popular.

I believe in the importance of knowing what we believe and of being able to defend it. I wouldn’t trade my years in Christian school, Sunday School, Bible college, and all the rest for anything.

But all that head knowledge is not the same thing as heart love. It is not knowing Jesus. I know this because Paul had all the head knowledge in the world and still said that the main goal of his life was to know Jesus.

I am beginning to understand that knowing Jesus requires a whole-life identification with Him. It requires following Him in every way. If He was humble, I must be humble. If He was gentle, I must be gentle. If He was fearless, I must be fearless. If He was holy, I must be holy.

If He suffered, I must suffer.

Who is Jesus without His suffering? Sent to reveal to us God’s character and to offer us redemption, Jesus had to suffer in order to fulfill His mandate. God’s character is holiness so pure that we cannot stand for one moment before it. His character is love so great and strong that He would do anything to save us from the curse of sin. Where do we see this character more than in the suffering of Christ at Calvary?

How can I possibly hope to know Jesus if I do not know what it is to suffer? How can I dare say I know Him if I have not died to self? How can I call myself a follower of Christ if I fail to take up my cross daily as He Himself commanded?

How can I ever know the power and glory of resurrection if I do not first know the pain and horror of death?

Living a life for Christ means being crucified with Him, complete with the agonized soul-searching and submission to God, the humiliation, the torment. Death to self is painful, and offering ourselves as living sacrifices is going to involve fiery pain and losing what may feel like more than we can afford to give up. But if I refuse this—if I say that I will be God’s child only so long as I don’t have to make any truly painful choices or difficult sacrifices—then I am missing out on the greatest joy of life, which is knowing Jesus.

Because the Savior who came, who so fully showed us the love and perfection of the God of the universe, who invited those who followed Him to join Him in suffering and self-denial and servanthood, is worth knowing. And He is far more than a list of prooftexts or facts about His life. He is more than a conglomeration of stories and attributes. He is unknowable God made knowable, and every step we take into a life of sacrifice and, yes, suffering, opens our eyes a little wider to see Him as He is.

It is this seeing that transforms us into His image, the beautiful image of the perfect Son of God, a masterpiece of grace doing the good work God created for us to do long ago. Day by day we must choose afresh to lay down our lives as He did for us, trusting that He is worth it, even when we can’t see it.

And as we do, He is revealed, and we discover that there is nothing anywhere that is more precious than knowing Jesus and so becoming more like Him.

Monday Meanderings, Week 17

There is a beautiful sunset just visible out the window in the front door, and Art is reading out loud to the kids. My feet feel cold while the rest of me feels overheated, and I really need a haircut. The house smells like whatever’s in the wax warmer mixed with the smell of sauteed onions and the lysol I used to mop the kitchen floor, and I’m really tired but satisfied that I have had a profitable day.


I am currently in pursuit of organization, in hopes that perhaps I can feel less like my life is about to spin so out of control that it explodes. My next task is to declutter. Basically that means I am going to be stuck in chapter three of Homeschooling at the Speed of Life for quite possibly the rest of my life. However, I am really trying to attack my big projects one bite at a time, like all those wise people say to do, so this week’s task is the hall closet, which pretty much literally has exploded.


Aside from Tuesday, when I got to have the super fun adventure of sitting with my mom during Dad’s heart cath procedure, this past week has been pretty unthrilling around here. We are gearing up to start a new children’s program at church as well as our homeschool co-op (both start this week), but last week was pretty much mostly just school and housework and life. It was kind of a calm before the storm, and it was much needed. Now I just need to get through the storm, which according to my calculations, might let up sometime around New Year’s for a couple days.


Currently Pooka has a cold, which is making life highly joyful. She couldn’t sleep last night (I am talking wide. awake.) for hours– which, of course, means neither could I. I even brought out the big guns of back rubbing, song singing, and eyebrow/nose stroking– which worked on 99% of the daycare children I used to care for– to no avail. She did eventually go to sleep around 1, only to wake up before 3 again. Then, in a mad marathon of slumber, she slept till 7:15 this morning.

Thankfully, ever since infancy, when Pooka is sick it’s usually the first night that’s the worst. I’m praying this is true today because I feel like I can’t actually survive another night like last night, especially on a school night!


Today was the first time since I started Couch to 5K that I couldn’t finish the run. The app I’m using has you do intervals of running and walking, with the running intervals increasing each week. Well, the transition from week 3– two sets of 90-second runs and two sets of 3-minute runs, with walks of equal lengths after each run– to week 4– two sets of 3-minute runs and two sets of 5-minute runs, with shorter walks between– was rough. Throw in high humidity, midday sun, a sore ankle, a different route than normal (more hills), and less sleep than I should have had last night, and I just couldn’t. I feel really good about what I did accomplish, though. I missed about a minute of running near the end of the second 5-minute run, and then got back and ran the last minute before the cool down. It was still a lot more running than I have ever done before, and I just keep reminding myself of that. Also of the fact that fall is coming, and the humidity really should go away eventually. Which should give us a really fabulous week of running before the snow comes.😉


smiling potatoI know this isn’t very interesting. I literally had three pictures on my phone from this week, and one was blurry and one was of a potato that I thought looked like it was smiling. I’ll try to be more exciting in the week to come.

Who am I kidding. My plans involve teaching prepositions and cleaning out a closet.

I’ll try to take more pictures of my children this week. They’re the really interesting ones around here.🙂

Learning, Reading, and Looking Ahead

One of our nightly routines around the dinner table is to share something we’ve learned that day. Mostly my kids stick to stuff they read or learned to do in school. A lot of times it’s– “Mom, um, what was that thing we did today?”

“Subtraction with borrowing?”

“Yeah, right. That!”

And often it involves something ridiculous (“It hurts if my brother sits on my head”) or something gross (“I learned what happens when you squeeze a pimple!”) or something that results in a reprimand (I wish they would learn that they shouldn’t share bathroom information at the table).

But truly, this has been a great conversation starter for us. When I first started seeking to make family dinners more of a priority, we all kind of sat there . . . and ate . . . and looked at each other . . . and then raced away. But most nights now we end up lingering, deep in conversations that spring up from whatever someone learned. Sometimes we never get past the first person sharing, because we get sidetracked and end up just talking about television or what we’re reading.

I’ve found myself deliberately looking for books and podcasts that will teach me stuff so that I have something to share at dinner time. Instead of having Angry Ranger write a paragraph about the country he’s studying in geography, I’ll have him find something new and interesting to share at dinner. We both win– he doesn’t have to write yet another paragraph and I don’t have to correct one!

Anyway, I’ve so enjoyed sharing what I’ve been learning with my family, that it felt like a natural subject for my blog. Maybe it’ll become a regular feature, although you know me and regular features. I’m not so much a regular feature kind of girl. I’m more of a “wait, what? I have a blog?” kind of girl.

This week I’ve learned–

  1. That the root of the word arctic has its roots in the Greek word for bear, because of the constellation Ursa Major that is found in the north. I learned this from the podcast The Allusionist, which I have recently begun listening to. I have only listened to a couple episodes, and would like to warn you that she uses a little bit of questionable language.
  2. That if you want to kiss the Blarney Stone, you have to lean back over a drop with someone holding your feet. This one was from Angry Ranger, who was researching castles in Ireland today for school.
  3. That a major artery that is blocked 60% is apparently not a cause for much alarm. I learned this from my dad’s heart doctor after Dad had a heart catheterization on Tuesday.
  4. That horse jockeys in the thirties went to incredibly unhealthy lengths to stay light enough to keep their jobs, including starving themselves, purposely becoming horribly dehydrated, and running for miles on hot days while dressed in winter clothing and wrapped in blankets. This came from Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand, which I am currently reading.
  5. That the word osculate means “to kiss.” I learned this from Angry Ranger. He read his story out loud, and pronounced it oscillate, which of course I knew did not mean anything about kissing, so I was super confused. He was pretty impressed he knew a word I didn’t know. I would have been more impressed if it wasn’t a kissing word. Teenagers.
  6. That the Doctor Who episode “Blink” is still possibly the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen. I hope the kids can sleep tonight!
  7. That I am not a fan of earthquakes. We felt the Oklahoma one this morning, and I felt slightly nauseated for almost an hour afterward! It was the weirdest thing, like the house was suddenly sitting on a trampoline.

What I’m reading right now:

  1. Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand. I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying this, although I’m less surprised than I would have been before I read Unbroken by the same author. She has this amazing way of drawing you in so that you start caring a whole lot about something you didn’t care about at all before. I think I’m about halfway through it, and it’s definitely been hard to put down. I’ve had to start leaving it upstairs in my room so I don’t pick it up and read instead of doing the Important Stuff like making dinner and teaching the small people.
  2. The Pastor’s Kid by Barnabas Piper. Barnabas is John Piper’s adult son. I’m only a couple chapters into this book, and it’s kind of fascinating to read it as someone who is a pastor’s kid and is raising three pastor’s kids. So far I’m discovering that the dramatic change in my walk with God as an adult (just within the last few years) is actually pretty normal for pastor’s children.
  3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saveedra. I’m not actually reading this one; I’m listening to it on audiobook. On Monday I finished listening to Moby Dick. I am loving audiobooks for moments when my hands are busy but my mind isn’t. Lots more housework gets done when I have a good book to listen to. I decided to limit myself to big old classics I probably wouldn’t pick up otherwise, and I have to admit that this afternoon I did giggle at something in Don Quixote. I really kind of wish I knew Spanish and could listen to it in its original language.
  4. The Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. I don’t know exactly how to describe this book; Annie Dillard writes about nature and her thoughts and her life. I love this book for my pre-bedtime reading, because it’s interesting but not so riveting I can’t put it down, and the chapters are divided into pretty small chunks for those nights when I’m falling asleep before I get past the first sentence. It’s a very fascinating look at nature, but it goes a lot deeper than that. I definitely don’t agree with her philosophy about a whole lot of stuff, but I enjoy her writing style and am fascinated with what she writes about.

What’s on my plate next week:

  1. Starting week four of Couch to 5K! I have to run for five minutes at a time this week, which sounds scary.
  2. Starting our new kids’ program at our church with a picnic and family game night! Eek!
  3. Starting homeschool co-op for the year– I’m teaching a math program (hahahaha) called Crazy8s for 3rd and 4th grade and a speech class for middle schoolers. I suppose I should do some sort of lesson plan for that.

And with that, I suppose I should move on to the Next Thing. Which is, thankfully, going to bed. Woot woot! I am a fan of going to bed.

Failure, Pride, and God’s Agenda

I wonder sometimes how much I am missing because I am so single-minded in my pursuit of my own personal agenda. What is the voice of my Shepherd saying to me that I can’t hear because I think I know what He’s going to say? Because I know what I want Him to say and have convinced myself that that’s what He is saying?

On Sunday evenings at church we’ve been studying Jesus’ last night on earth through the lens of His clueless disciples, and I have been brought up short time and again by their foolishness and its painful similarity to my own. I wonder how much different their response to the cross would have been if they had just listened to Jesus as He warned them what was coming and tried to prepare them.

How much different would Peter’s response have been if he had spent more time humbly listening and less time brashly arguing? Surely if Peter, James, and John had been paying attention to the heartbreaking grief of their Teacher they would not have fallen asleep when He asked them to pray.

But they didn’t pay attention. They had their idea about what Jesus was going to do– overthrow Rome and destroy all Israel’s enemies and rule in might from Jerusalem. And no matter how much He tried to tell them that He had come to overthrow Satan and to destroy death and sin and to serve and to give His life, the disciples just couldn’t see past their own plans and actually hear Him.

Jesus! You’re not going to die! What are you even talking about?

Jesus! Let us have thrones on Your right hand and Your left!

Jesus! Don’t wash my feet! What are You doing?

Jesus! I will never deny You or leave You alone!

Jesus! We do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way?

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz . . . .

Don’t worry, Jesus! I’ll just chop off this guy’s ear and everything will be okay! See? I said I’d fight for You!

It would be almost funny, if it weren’t such a painful picture of my own distracted heart. Because these men that Jesus had poured wisdom and love and truth into for three years deserted Him in fear. Though He had taught them and warned them, they were taken completely off guard when the test came, and they failed utterly.

I do not know that man.

When it counted, Peter failed. After all his big words, he denied Christ– not once, but three times; not just with words, but with fierce anger and vulgarity.

Oh, I have been Peter. Because I too have fallen into the trap of thinking I knew what God was doing, and then getting very angry and falling into sin when it turned out that God had a different plan. And looking back I can always see how God has been preparing me for just this— but because I was focused on something else I missed it entirely.

How it must grieve my Lord’s heart when I fail to trust Him, fail to obey, to stand up, to do what is right, though He has been preparing and teaching me for this very thing. I am so thankful for the hope we have. For Peter, the denial and the bitter tears afterwards were what it took to humble him to the depths, and that was exactly where he needed to be.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it is Peter who gives us these words–

 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.

Humility means not arguing with God. It means serving others, and allowing myself to be last. It means stopping in me tracks when God warns me through His Word or through another person that I am in trouble. It means closing my mouth and listening to what God is saying, regardless of whether it aligns with what I think He should be saying. It means praying when God tells me I should be praying.

And humility means turning back to the Lord when I have sinned. Surely some of the hardest moments of Peter’s life came when He came face to face with the Lord he had betrayed. But for once in his life, Peter came quietly and humbly, and He looked in Jesus’ face and saw– forgiveness. Second chances. Grace upon grace, abounding where all Peter’s sin had left deep craters of guilt and despair and hurt. That grace changed Peter, and when the Holy Spirit filled him, Peter was never the same again.

He was done seeking first place, seeking to be right, seeking to be safe. Peter counted it as a privilege to suffer for the sake of the One who had suffered for him. Finally his priorities and his plans were lined up with God’s, and God used him mightily.

What if I allowed God to take away my blindness, to see what He wants me to see, to hear His words? What if I humbled myself in faith, trusting His mighty hand to guide my life and protect my heart?  What if I made God’s agenda my own, and refused to go my own way?

I feel like this might change everything.

Currently– September 2016

It’s been awhile since I blogged. Last week our family went camping for a few days, complete with many fun adventures including hiking down near-vertical hills, rain and drizzle and general dampishness, tangled kite strings, and a game of Scattergories in which one of the favorite answers was Engelbert and Bob Save Christmas. After the crazy summer we had, a week off was just what the doctor ordered, and now here we are on September 1, getting back into our routine and looking forward (kind of) to the full force of all our fall activities starting next week.

Today I’m starting back to writing in my blog more faithfully, I hope, and I thought a Currently post would be a good way to get back into the swing of it.

Current Books: Right now I’m enjoying Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. I recently finished Ben-Hur and the audio version of Moby Dick. My new audiobook is Don Quixote, which I might be listening to for the next five years.

Current Playlist: I’m really enjoying podcasts while I do housework or drive places. Anne Bogel’s What Should I Read Next gave be both of my current books, and I just this week started listening to The Allusionist. Also still listening to Daily Audio Bible.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: The bajillion books I read last week while we were on our little vacation. Including three YA novels, because sometimes you just gotta go light. Also Star Trek: The Next Generation on Netflix.

Current Colors: I don’t feel particularly excited about any colors right now, although it is now September and I’m looking forward to fall foliage.

Current Food: Grapes. I’m obsessed with grapes.

Current Drink: Water. And coffee. And water.

Current Favorite Favorite: Hugs from my children. And flip-flops, which is sad, because flip-flop weather will soon be at an end and I’ll have to cram my feet back into stupid shoes again.

Current Wishlist: A haircut, a cleaning lady, and a date night with my husband.

Current Needs: I don’t know. Self-discipline comes to mind. LOL

Current Triumph: Getting through about 96% of yesterday’s to-do list

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: Organization and busyness and how I use my time. I’m working through the book Homeschooling at the Speed of Life and trying to figure out how to do all the things God has given me to do without losing my mind. Also my son is working on this train model thing and was just hammering in his room. Before 7am. Also math.

Current Crazy Thing: Our whole family is doing the Couch to 5K program. I’m not the worst runner in the family, but I’m definitely not the best either. We started in the middle of the Iowa summer heat and humidity, so that’s been a joy. LOL

Current Mood: Pretty happy. I’ve been studying God’s grace in my devotions this week, and it’s hard to study God’s grace and not be happy.

Current #1 Blessing: God’s patience with me. I test it regularly. It’s still there. The steadfast love of the Lord NEVER ceases, can I get an Amen?

Current Outfit: Still in my pj’s. It’s only 7am.

Currently On My Mind: Getting ready for our church’s new children’s ministry, which starts next week, as well as the classes I need to plan for our homeschool co-op, which also starts next week.

Current Quote: “God does not expect me to pour out anything He has not already poured into me.”

Current Photo:

This is us on a hike last week. The grass was well over my head for part of the trip, and I feel like it’s kind of a miracle we didn’t lose Pooka.

Current Reality: I started this blog post at 6:30, and now it’s 12:15 and I’m just finishing it up. This is homeschooling. LOL

God of Delight

He brought me out into a broad place;
he rescued me, because he delighted in me.

Here is a truth that I feel like I can never fully grasp– that my God delights in me. Spending, as I do, all my time with myself, I know just how extremely un-delightful I can be. I won’t pretend to know my own heart, but I will say that the more God reveals of the inner workings of my life, the less delightful I realize I am.

And yet, somehow, this great Creator of all things– this Almighty God, whose voice is like thunder and hail and burning coals— this Lord for whom only one “holy” does not suffice, whose throne room is filled with the songs of angels crying out “Holy! Holy! Holy!“– this God who is so far above me that He knows all the stars of all the galaxies by name— this amazing, awe-inspiring Master of all things knows me, and more than that, He finds delight in me.

This God loves me so much that He did the unthinkable for me– He sacrificed His own Son for my rescue. His own Son– the only truly delightful person to ever walk the earth– perfect and sinless and compassionate and deserving of nothing short of all the honor and all the glory for all eternity– how He humbled Himself for my sake! I do not know any words to describe the agonizing mercy of the cross. The price of my rescue was incomprehensibly high. And yet– He delights in me.

What is there for me to do but to worship this amazing God? How can I withhold even the smallest part of myself from the adoration and service of this merciful and gracious Lord? The only response that makes any sense– the only reasonable act of worship— is to offer my whole self as a living sacrifice.

But I am so inclined to climbing off the altar– to singing “I Surrender All” even while I’m contemplating my escape. I am so foolish in my rebellious neglect of the cross I am called to bear— the gentle and easy yoke of my meek and lowly and loving Savior— in favor of my own ridiculous burdens that drag me down and cause me such sorrow and heartache.

Here is where I must return– always here: daily worship of the great God of the universe, for as I come face to face with His holiness and His greatness and His love and His justice and His delight in me I am made humble and willing again to draw near and take once again His yoke. I must return always to daily confession, falling again before Him, naming my sins and claiming His forgiveness, repenting again and turning back into the path He has called me to walk. I must return again and again to Scripture– to His Word of truth that sanctifies me.

All of this for love, for the love of Him who made me, who paid the price of my ransom though I was never worthy of such a price being paid. All this for the love of Him who delights in me. How can I not delight in Him?

He becomes daily the desire of my heart.

What If . . .


What if this heart that is breaking
Is opening up to know grace?
What if these eyes that feel blinded
Are seeing the light of His face?

What if these hands that are empty
Are soon to be filled with His gifts?
What if this ground that is shaking
Brings me nearer to God as it shifts?

What if the hard place I’m fighting
Is really the cleft in the rock?
What if this narrow valley
Is a pasture where He feeds His flock?

What if wind that is blowing
Creates a song only emptiness sings?
What if the darkness I’m cursing
Is the shadow of His wings?

What if in sorrow and hardship
I trusted and refused to fear?
What if out of all the suffering
Jesus’ face is about to appear?

And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.

2016 by Erin Jo Kilmer