Benched

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31 (NIV) With sweat streaming down her face, she squatted once again to dig the volleyball and pass it high enough for the setter to position it for spiking over the net. It was the second game in the tournament series, and her heart was hammering as she focused on the ball and on her teammates, working in rhythm with them. The goal of the championship spurred her on, pushing her body beyond its capabilities, stretching and straining as she prepared for every shot. The whistle blew and […] Read more »

Nina Lost Her “No” Button

Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children. (Proverbs 17:6 NIV) I used to know how to say “no” quite well. When our children were young, I felt the full weight of responsibility on my shoulders to help shape and mold them into productive, sweet, kind, loving, gracious Christian women. Parenting instructions at the time informed me that enabling them to attain all these marvelous attributes meant saying “no.” A lot. Being firm. Making sure they obeyed. Came when called. No getting away with bad behavior. Providing consequences. I could “no” with the best of them. Second slice of dessert? No. Jump on the bed and hurt yourself or the bed? No. Get out of bed for […] Read more »

Jump. You Can Trust Him.

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10-11 NIV 1984, emphasis mine) What was it in my husband’s personality that made him want to toss his children up over his head and catch them again? It scared me to death, but our daughters weren’t frightened. Nope. They loved it. I can remember their laughter and giggles … and my worry … even now. Despite my fears, he never once dropped either of those precious girls. As our daughters grew older, they would stand on the bed and shout, “Catch me, Daddy!” Again, every time they […] Read more »

Labor On

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV) I had such idealistic ideas about childbirth before our first child was born. Kathryn would be delivered naturally, as I stared calmly at my focal point picture, breathing as I had been taught with my wonderful husband and coach whispering just the right words of encouragement into my happy ears. Our baby would emerge pretty and pink and glowing with health. We had attended the classes. We had practiced. We were ready. Well ... the reality was somewhat messier than expected. I was in labor 28 hours. […] Read more »

Choosing the Unlikely

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things … the weak things … the lowly things of this world … so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus .... (1 Corinthians 1:26-30 NIV) He was a most unlikely candidate to lead a nation. He had an anger problem. He ran away instead of facing his troubles. And he had a speech issue. Oh, and did I mention he was 80 years old? But God chose Moses to lead His people out of Egypt and into […] Read more »