Thursday, February 26, 2015

to navigate a new season. . .

We're home, out of the snow- squirming into a routine of sorts. Last week I told John, "We've been home for 3 retirement days-- and it's good!"

With old routines closed up, fresh opportunities and unknowns wait in the wings. . . but really, a lot is still the same in our day to day lives. John just has more free time and we'll hang out together more.
And we're happy to be home with our church family- to love our body, to serve them, to bare their burdens, to know they love us in Christ Jesus- inspite of ourselves.

Last Friday I met with dear women for coffee, conversation, life sharing and at the end of it- they surprised me with a retirement basket; John's the one who officially retired, but I guess it's about me too! A card wedged in among the gifts reads:

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. . . (Ecc 3:1)

This basket contains a few items we thought would be helpful as you navigate this new season:

Water bottles and protein bars- for all the bike rides that John will take with Darcie.

Fancy Pancake mix and maple syrup- for all the breakfasts that you can leisurely enjoy!

Sparkling Cider, chocolates- to remind you of the blessings of your marriage that survived all those years of public school teaching!

Mr. and Mrs. hand towels- also to remind you of the beginning and how you have lots of tie now to practice being Mr. and Mrs.

List of questions to ask one another- to keep the conversations going now that you have lots of time together!

A good book- to read aloud on your car trips to see the grands!

A children's book- to read to the grands!

A soft blanket- to cuddle together.

Retirement mugs- to enjoy coffee and tea with each other.

We love you, 
ROCC (real organic conversation club)

I'm not an easy one to surprise, but I was. . . . and so delighted. John surveyed the list of couple questions and began with this one:

"One of the qualities that drew me to you when we first met was. . ."

"I remember thinking, This girl has a lot to say!!"

"Was that a good thing?" I inquired.

"Umm, hmm. . .and so it is- still." he assured.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

about routine (and a bit about reproof)

I'm learning that amid a midwest snow storm, folks shovel and shovel, more than once a day.  Brett shoveled snow 3 times in a day. If my winter visits become a routine thing- I'll buy boots.

On a clear day we drove to Syracuse for an eye blink visit with Abi and Nathaniel- we encountered lots more snow; in fact one day we were out in a quiet snow storm!

 I'm learning to knock snow off my shoes before getting in the car.  And I'm learning the slipper routine. . . replacing snowy shoes with cozy slippers is the preferred routine or  one leaves puddles.
(I'll buy slippers too. . .)
 After 3 weeks I've figured out the children's snow outfit routine: first the snow pants, then the mittens, the puffy jacket, snow boots and finally the furry hat. If you do it right, then they're ready for a blizzard.

The rhythm of routine settles my heart-  our good God created us that way- and when I'm away from home, out of my normal,  then my time in God's Word sags. . . Oh, it's there, but not too deep.

As we motored through the snow, my sweet friend was traveling with her family as well. I sent her a text, "Thinking about you, how's the trip?"
My friend responded, "As usual, when I'm away from home, I struggle with finding time alone in the Word, but I was able to get up early today and everyone slept really late. . ."

Ahh, friend, I know the challenge-- 

Then she shared, ". . . everything I read today was reproving me the way I needed. God is so good--to always meet me where I am. Wish that I wouldn't need so much reproving!"

Ahh, I love this dear woman's transparency, her humility and attentiveness to God's persistent and loving reproof in his Word. I'm praying today-
"God, make my heart tender, for I know, reproofs of discipline are the way of life . . . and will you encourage my friend-

The ear that listens to life giving reproof will dwell among the wise 
Proverbs 15:31

Friday, February 13, 2015

good for my soul. . .

One afternoon I was peeling potatoes with my Bible open on the sink. I read Psalm 131:

Oh Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me, but I have calmed and quieted my soul. . .

My days have overflowed with ordinary work this month--like shopping, organizing, washing up, folding, scrubbing, chopping, baking, serving up food and repeating it all.
(And I get to do it all for dear ones!)

I know this. . . God created me to discover satisfaction in ordinary work, but sometimes I forget,  sometimes I want more. When my heart is lifted up I'm agitated with the ordinary; I desire work that seems more important, work that will be praised, recognized, work that doesn't need repeating tomorrow.

Amid so much to cherish this month, I've found pleasure in ordinary work. . .work that is good for my soul.