Appetites & Legacies: Making His Commandments Mine

What does your Bible look like? Is it dog-eared and tear-traced? Crisp with gold edges? Does it even matter?

I think yes … and no.

Charles Spurgeon said, “A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” But on the flip side, a tattered cover to our copy of Scripture could be a pharisaical “whitewashed tomb” if it hasn’t penetrated our souls.

And yet, there’s a legacy for well-used Bibles. My family and friends’ tangible Bibles have had a significant impact on my appetite for His Word over the years.

It began with Grandma.

Continue reading “Appetites & Legacies: Making His Commandments Mine”

7 Book Reviews // Plot Twist Tuesday

We’re a quarter of the way through 2020?! Are you revisiting your new year’s resolution to “read more this year” with all the extra time we’ve been given? Same here.

“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” (Mason Cooley)

Speaking of having to stay where we are, this weekend I color-coded my bookshelf and reminisced about the days when my décor signs “Gather” and “Let’s Have a Grand Adventure” were applicable.

Anyway, if you’re scouting for some new reading material, you’re welcome to browse my 7 book reviews of 2020 thus far (and also 7 blog posts I enjoyed). They aren’t hot-off-the-press titles, but I’d still love to hear your thoughts because I think book or article discussions are almost as exhilarating as springtime.

Continue reading “7 Book Reviews // Plot Twist Tuesday”

How Proverbs Shaped My Post High School Friendships

“How Proverbs Shaped My Post High School Friendships” was first published in the Idaho Homeschool magazine, spring edition 2020. Used here with permission.

Group Time began each homeschool morning. My siblings and I raced for the best seats in the living room. After prayer, we opened our Bibles to the book of Proverbs to go around the circle and read a verse at a time. On the fifth of the month I chose my spot in our living room carefully. This strategic move was an attempt to avoid reading aloud particular verses in Proverbs 5 — verses a 14-year-old considers awkward. All of Proverbs is true and wonderful like the rest of God’s Word, but I was perfectly fine if one of my siblings had to read the verses about intimacy out loud instead of me.

Continue reading “How Proverbs Shaped My Post High School Friendships”

Valentine Dinner Theater (Your Creativity Welcome!)

A normal winter morning. I was probably supposed to be sweeping the kitchen floor or doing my math at the table, but I paused when a flash of red caught the corner of my eye.

Posted on our family fridge was a fancy invitation:

Continue reading “Valentine Dinner Theater (Your Creativity Welcome!)”

2020: All That Concerns Me

Looking Back

Of course, it wasn’t always picture perfect. But once again it’s a January where I can say with confidence, “Yep, God was faithful.”

When I think of our 2019, I think of intense indoor soccer games, dating through the winter months, engagement in the spring, and weddings galore in the summer. In the fall we set up our apartment, while enjoying getaways to the mountains, and then Christmas brought sweet time with our families.

The Lord will accomplish what concerns me;
Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

(Psalm 138:8)

The ESV says it, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.” Through life or death, sorrow or triumph, God’s purposes will be accomplished this year. As I think of our plans and prayers for 2020, I’m glad the the best is still yet to come in eternity.

Looking Forward

Our personal long-term plans unfold a month at a time, so we just take the next right step. Luke’s faithfully completing his masters of divinity with Hebrew and missiology classes; I’m working at an office whose mission is to reach geographically isolated people with the gospel. We’re blessed.

When friends of mine ask me my goals for the year, I usually begin with, “Ummmm….good question.”

I have a lot of informal resolutions, intentions for organization and new habits, but my goals generally fall into three categories.

One Thing Necessary (Time with God)

“In Your presence is fullness of joy.” Psalm 16:11

The core of new year’s resolutions for me is always more Scripture and prayer and a re-look at my other spiritual disciplines (I desperately need these “habits of grace.”) The tension is always between my desire to be more deeply in the Word but wanting to savor every last moment of sleep in the mornings.

My question — how do I arise from sweet dreams, pull meat from the freezer, say goodbye to my husband, make coffee and a healthy breakfast, make the bed, meet with Jesus — all before 7:45 AM?

A few tips for the battle:

1) The Dwell app. This has been a way to track and listen to Scripture while getting ready in the mornings.

2) Accountability. Our church small group is studying I Thessalonians together, and this is an encouragement and motivation to get deeper.

3) Prioritization. Let’s re-remember that seeking the Lord is better than anything. Luke 10 tells the story of Martha (busy about her work) and Mary (sitting at Jesus feet). Our Lord commended Mary for choosing the better part … one thing is necessary. Sitting at Jesus’ feet.

Health

GREENS! Not pictured: the desserts we also consumed

Another core category is more exercise and more kale! (We’re doing good so far. See pic on left; a couple of those dishes are made by my sister).

As for educational health, I set a goal to read at least 20 books in 2020. As we were sitting in a cozy, well-lit living room for small group last week, I had a bright idea (pun intended). Perhaps Luke and I would choose to read more if we had more soft light in our house? So, Luke and I spent our free time one evening shopping for a floor lamp, and after three stores we found our prize. It’s already working.

Writing

Fun fact: this is the church building author L. M. Montgomery attended

I probably shouldn’t announce my creativity plans, because they are never set in stone, but here we are. I hope to post here about twice a month, and I also have a couple other writing projects in the works. I’ve joined a writing community called Hope*Writers and it has been an encouraging experience.

Coming soon: One of my desires is to write a series on something that I’m passionate about — loving Christ’s bride, the church.

Grace is too expensive to waste it on NOT loving the Body of Christ well. In 2020 Luke and I have committed to tangible church goals (like arriving to Sunday service EARLY…not late) and heart-level church goals (like diligently giving and like supporting a brother in Christ whose January baptism is a steep cost beyond just plunging into chilly waters).

Mobilizing others to pursue Christ and worship with a church body is near and dear to our hearts, and I’m excited to write about this from my little vantage point.

Can you see how your goals this year piece together to bring glory to God? It’s the reason we’re here. Whether it’s making a salad or wrestling in prayer in the mornings, we must bring Him praise. Maybe it’s writing a paper or reading a good book. Trying to plug into a church or planning a getaway to the mountains. The heart of it is — how can we sit at Jesus’ feet and worship Him in all that we do?

Thanks for following my site and HAPPY 2020!