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Showing posts from May, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Praising the Lord this week for:

~the opportunity to guest post as part of the hospitality series at Desiring Virtue

~Mark Dever's Nine Marks of a Healthy Church and the wisdom I gleaned from reading it

~the sound of ocean waves

~the smell of salt air

~the warmth of sand beneath my feet

~crowding around a dinner table with the dearest of friends

~books borrowed from friends

~a girl growing up

~20 years of marriage

Blessings all mine, with 10,000 beside!

Twenty

Today marks twenty years that I stood before a God I didn't know and a man I hardly knew better, and made promises I had no ability to keep. If my capacity to love was limited, my capacity to be loveable was even more so. Yet as I looked into his tear-filed eyes and took vows I couldn't comprehend, I knew the man in front of me would love me no matter what.

I had no idea how much I would need him to.

I was not a believer when I took those vows. My husband thought I was. I thought I was. Praise God, He did not leave me to my own devices. Though I had blasphemed His Name, though I had been evil and reproachful, though I had murdered Him over and over again in my heart, He saved me. He broke through my cold and dead heart with what He knew would reach it most effectively - the love of a caring, patient, godly man.

God has every means at His disposal to call His children unto Himself, and yet for me, He chose my husband; it is a gift I have often taken for granted.  Through these …

Thankful Thursday

Praising the Lord for a week full of blessings:

~A weekend away with my husband, which included a show at the Kennedy Center and worship at Capitol Hill Baptist Church

~A husband who granted my longtime wish to see a show at the Kennedy Center

~Mark Dever's faithful and powerful exposition of John 19

~The events of John 19, and God's revelation of Jesus as King from court to cross to corpse

~A gentle reminder from the Lord that I too often rely on what I think I know of Him, rather than looking to His true revelation of Himself in His Word

~God's providential care

~An astonishingly beautiful book about unimaginable suffering and the goodness of God

~The opportunity to post at Out of the Ordinary  this week, and the ladies who blog with me there

~Thought-provoking, iron-sharpening discussions with my husband, with my girl, & with dear friends

Blessings all mine, with 10,000 beside...Praise His Name!




A Quiet Life is Rewarding

Our world thinks little of a quiet life I, too, have wrestled with the reality of a small, quiet life. It is only recently that I have grasped its intrinsic value.

A stronger marriage.  My husband and I love each other deeply, but I never want to assume that our marriage is unshakable.  A quiet life will protect our time together and enable us to better serve each other.

A stronger family.  Our girl is finishing her first year of high school. I am acutely aware that our time  is short. A quiet life will give plenty of opportunities to teach, laugh, cry, listen, play, and encourage. I want to savor each one.

A stronger relationship with the Lord. My life flourishes when I have meaningful time in the Word and in prayer. A quiet life, not crowded with meaningless activities, will give me that time each day.

A stronger contentment. I am most content when appreciate the blessings the Lord has poured out on my life. A quiet life will keep me from comparing myself with others, allow me to do the…

Thankful Thursday

Praising the Lord this week for:

~A symphony concert with my husband. A violin solo always turns my insides to mush.

~Marking the birthdays of my Dad, my Mama, and a most special little girl.

~The gift of mothers. Besides my biological mother, the Lord has given me numerous older women  - believers and unbelievers alike - who have "mothered" me throughout my life.

~His grace when the guilt of past sin oppresses me. Confronted by an event in my life prior to salvation, I literally felt as if I were suffocating. Then I remembered Romans 4:22-25 and I could actually feel the burden ease. Hallelujah! what a savior!

~Hearing His Word exposited and the Gospel preached faithfully Sunday.  

~Evidences of His work and long-awaited answer to prayer. 

~The delight I've found in this small corner of the internet. This new home has refueled my love of blogging and reminded me that I best enjoy a small blogging community. Blogging quietly and intentionally has given me the focus and t…

Minding My Own Affairs

In 1 Thess. 4:11-12, Paul exhorts the Church at Thessolonica to aspire to live quietly. As part of that instruction, he encourages them to mind their own affairs.  It's not so easy in the internet age. Temptations are everywhere. Blog posts and Facebook statuses invite me into the lives of others, feeding the voyeur within me. 

But how much do I need to know?Is there any benefit in having such a wealth of information about mere acquaintances - their thoughts, their travels, their menus? Status reports and tweets can overwhelm me, stealing valuable time I have to invest in genuine relationships and luring me away from my responsibilities.  One big lie of social media is that if we miss something, we miss something. My world won't shatter if I don't read every detailed status report, insightful link, or witty tweet.

Part of a rich, quiet life means that I must properly mind my own affairs by:

Prioritizing my involvement in the lives of those around me. I have many frie…

Thankful Thursday

From my quiet corner of the internet, I'm praising the Lord this week for:

~The body of Christ, near and far. It's wonderful to know we are not bound together by geography, but rather by the grace of God.

~The providence of God, even in small things. Little details remind me how much God loves and cares for us. I especially delight in them when my girl is the recipient of such blessings.

~This bittersweet life without Mama, as we mark her birthday and Mother's Day this weekend. It's been a long 14 months since I've heard her voice. I still miss her so, but I also rejoice that we will meet again.

~Discussions with my girl, during the least expected moments. I'm particularly thankful for opportunities to talk about the perils of living in a fallen world and to express gratitude for saving grace.

~The joy of watching my girl mature, physically, mentally and spiritually.  The teenage years offer plenty of opportunity for learning and growth, for mother and daughte…

Not Feeding the Frenzy

Increasingly, we are living our lives in the public forum. Hand-written letters to friends were exchanged for emails, which were exchanged for text messages, which have now been exchanged for tweets and notes on a Facebook wall for all the world to see. Secrets among friends, it seems, no longer exist. Meaningful friendships themselves may soon be a thing of the past.

Social media has allowed us to collect "followers" and "friends" like trinkets on a charm bracelet.  We are compelled to share intimate details of our lives with complete strangers, yet we are ashamed to ask those closest to us to pray as we wrestle against sin. We foster, as Carl Trueman writes, an "intimacy of strangers which is such a part of celebrity culture - for example, the faux-chumminess of all those tweeted exchanges and retweets, lives lived as soap operas mediated by the internet..." We brand ourselves with carefully crafted personas, afraid the true person cowering behind the…

Thankful Thursday: Reading Edition

This week, I'm particularly thankful for reading. It was a blessing to read the beautiful, wandering prose of Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day. It's the narrative of a proper English butler, now past his prime. I would describe it as Carson (of Downton Abbey) meets John Ames (of Gilead).

I've also  been blessed to read a real-life Carson.  I finished D.A. Carson's Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus this week, and was it ever wonderful! There's no way I could adequately describe it; reducing Carson to a blog post is tantamount to blasphemy. So, I will simply share some of my favorite quotes and encourage you to put this book on your reading list.

To take up your cross does not mean to move forward with courage despite the fact that you lost your job or your spouse. It means that you are under sentence of death; you are taking up the horizontal cross-member on your way to the place of crucifixion. You have abandoned all hope of life in this wo…

Noise Reduction

I'm not sure exactly when it started, this quest for a quiet life. I don't remember one single moment when I looked around and thought, This chaos is too much. In fact, by many standards, my life has been quiet, safe, and maybe even boring. I'm an introvert married to an introvert; we are not loud people by nature unless there's a football game on, in which case all bets are off. As I've poured over 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, I've come to realize that a quiet life isn't as much about volume as it is about reducing noise.

We live in a world full of noise, clamoring for our attention. 

                              Email.

                              Blogs.

                             Facebook.

                             Twitter.

                             Smart phones.

                             24-hour news networks.

                             Hundreds of television channels.

We have unlimited access to information, unfettered interaction with pe…