If you knew me back in my healthier days, you probably remember that I like to have fun. I really like to play! It is quite a strange thing to now be stuck in a body that doesn't allow for much activity. There is a whole side to me that my children rarely get to see because I am too tired for much play. It takes most of my energy just to make it through the necessary daily tasks, but every once in a while I play anyway. I go into spoon debt, borrowing spoons from the next day to invest in the present. That is what I did this weekend.
On Saturday William and Adelaide built a fort in the middle of our living room using three blankets, two chairs, and a card table. They excitedly brought me out to show me their work and invite me into their fort. I went about halfway inside and really had fun being in a fort again. Then the big kid in me couldn't help but look around and see all of the blankets, furniture, and space still available. I went to work.
The fort grew bigger and bigger! William and Adelaide were quite surprised that their mom knew about building forts and having fun with such things. I know I have helped them to build forts before, but I suppose it has been so long that they don't remember. There have been too many days full of migraines lately for them to remember much else.
The forts I have built with William and Adelaide in the past have not been this big. I told them that this was the deluxe model! When the fort was completed, William said to me, "You are a super hero!" Adelaide said, "You are the best mom ever. And I'm never wrong about these things."
It was a very fun 15 minutes of fort building for me and an afternoon of fun play for William and Adelaide. Fort building wore me out, so I counted it as my exercise for the day!
What did you do over the weekend?
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Monday, July 28, 2014
Friday, July 25, 2014
Today I am joining in Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker and more than a hundred other bloggers. We write for just five minutes without worrying about making everything perfect. We write for practice. We write for the joy of writing. We write to share our words with one another, to encourage one another in life and in writing. Today the writing prompt is "finish."
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. Hebrews 12:1-3
Physically I cannot run anymore. My body is too tired and weak. But spiritually I am running in a race, and dear Christian friend, you are too! Let us run this race well. Let us finish well. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it” (1Corinthians 9:24).
Running the great race of faith can be wearying. How do we combat the weariness? How do we avoid becoming fainthearted and instead persevere? I love the encouragement found in Hebrews 12:3 which says, “Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” That is how we combat the weariness. We consider Him; we look to Jesus. We follow His example and take courage. Jesus knows what it is like to suffer. He suffered on the cross on our behalf, and He suffered more than any of us ever will. Consider Him. Keep your eyes on Him, and rest in His grace.
Run hard, friend! Keep your eyes on Jesus. Let us fight the good fight and finish the race.
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:7-8
Photo Credit: Olga Caprotti
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Gloria Furman is a pastor’s wife and mother of four. She and her husband moved to Dubai in 2008 to plant a church, where her husband now serves as pastor. Gloria is a homemaker, doula, blogger, and author.
I recently read Gloria Furman’s book, Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home. Before I started reading Glimpses of Grace, I wasn't sure how applicable it would be for me. This book was written for wives and mothers whose days are filled with “mundane” tasks of homemaking. As a disabled wife and mom, I cannot physically take care of most of those tasks, so my life is very different. However, this book was very practical and applicable for me! I would recommend it to any woman, whether single or married, with children or without children, healthy or chronically ill.
In Glimpses of Grace, Gloria Furman explains how the gospel makes a difference in our everyday lives. The gospel isn't just something we believe so that we can be saved. It has implications for all aspects of life. Gloria shows how the gospel affects our home life, friendships, hospitality, generosity, contentment, and cheerfulness. She shows how the gospel removes our shame and gives us hope. I found this book to be thought-provoking, challenging, and encouraging.
Glimpses of Grace is theologically rich, yet easy to read and understand. It is helpful and practical. It is a book that is full of good teaching and solid truth. I highly recommend it!
Listen as Gloria tells about Glimpses of Grace in her own words.
(If you are reading this in an email, you will need to click over to the blog to view the video.)
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Glimpses of Grace:
“Theology is for homemakers who need to know who God is, who they are, and what this mundane life is all about.”
“God’s triumphant grace in the work of Christ on the cross assures of this: when our hope is in God’s glory, for ourselves and for others, then our life in the home is anything but dull, diminutive, and disappointing.”
“His hospitable work on the cross makes it possible for God to forgive our sins. The heavenly hospitality of the holy Trinity is the grandest gesture of selflessness, openness, humility, generosity, and love that the world has ever seen. God does open-heart surgery on us so that we can have open homes to his glory.”
“The gospel is the lens through which God sees us when we have faith in his Son – the gospel is our one great, permanent circumstance.”
“Rejoicing in the Lord is primary to your contentment, because only the Lord can eternally and sufficiently satisfy your soul.”
Thursday, June 19, 2014
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
Tonight in Sudan a woman named Meriam sits in prison with her two young children. Her crime? She is a follower of Jesus. Meriam was abandoned by her Muslim father as a young child and raised by her Christian mother. She married a Christian man, and for this Sudan has accused her of adultery and apostasy. It is for this reason that she is in prison. She was told she would be released if she would deny her faith and convert to Islam, but Meriam could not and would not deny Christ. She chose to face prison instead.
Last month Meriam gave birth to her baby daughter while in prison. She will remain in prison until her daughter is weaned, and then Meriam is to receive 100 lashes and be hanged. All because she will not deny her Lord. Her faith humbles me and encourages me. Her treatment and punishment breaks my heart. I pray for her release.
In the country of Iran, Saeed Abedini is in prison as well. He faces regular prison beatings and is greatly in need of medical treatment. His crime? He is a Christian, and he told others in Iran about Jesus. His faithfulness to Christ is a testimony to all those watching. His wife, Nagmeh, speaks out on his behalf, and her faithfulness to Christ is a beautiful testimony as well. I am continually encouraged and inspired by Nagmeh’s faith as I follow her on facebook.
Saeed’s faith humbles me and encourages me. I hurt for him, knowing that this brother in Christ is in a brutal prison. I pray for his release.
Meriam and Saeed are only two of countless Christians around the world who face beatings and imprisonment. Their steadfast faith in the midst of fiery trials is an amazing testimony to God’s grace and goodness. As I remember Meriam, Saeed, and the persecuted church, I think of Hebrews 11 and the great heroes of the faith. These are men and women of whom the world is not worthy. Their reward in Heaven will be great.
And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
Edited 6-23-14 to add:
Today Meriam was released from prison and has been reunited with her family! You can view a CNN video here. Christian Solidarity Worldwide has confirmed Meriam's release. Please continue to pray for Meriam and for her lawyers as they are receiving death threats.
Please continue to pray for Saeed's release and safe return home.
Edited 6-24-14 to add:
Heartbreaking news: Meriam has been arrested again before she and her family could leave Sudan. Watch the CNN news clip here.
Edited 6-25-14 to add:
Here is the latest information:
Tony Perkins with Megyn Kelly: Meriam Ibrahim Arrested Again
Sudanese Christian Charged with Fraud
Edited 6-27-14 to add:
Meriam and her family are currently safe inside the US embassy.
Sudanese Woman Meriam Ibrahim 'Safe and Well" In US Embassy
Meriam Ibrahim: 'Apostasy' Woman Freed Again
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
There is a crocheted teacup that sits on my nightstand, always within arm's reach. It isn't just there to look pretty. It is waiting to serve a good purpose and hold sewing needles.
I often work on small sewing projects while lying down in bed. I mend clothes, sew patches onto AWANA vests, and sew flowers onto newsgirl hats. For a long time I was regularly losing needles in the bed. Although I always found them eventually, and I never rolled over onto a needle in the middle of the night, the potential was there for a very painful sewing needle discovery! When I saw a picture of a teacup pincushion online, I knew that was just what I needed to keep my needles from getting lost.
I didn't have a pattern for this project, so I made it up as I went along. I used 100% cotton yarn scraps from newsgirl hats. My favorite part is the tea bag string that hangs out of the teacup.
No more lost needles!
Linking up today with In the Studio
Linking up today with In the Studio