Friday, January 4, 2013


Oops- have we been gone since Thanksgiving?

My mom and step father at the Thanksgiving table.  They make me smile.

"If you could have three wishes what
would they be?"

questioned Michaela from the back seat.

The first one came quickly from my mouth:

"That all my children would trust on Christ,
walk with the Lord and will be with me for
eternity."  Easy.

"That I would have 50 million dollars" remembering 
how mentally taxed I was by all the 
"I wish I could" thoughts this season.
Not being able to feed every child, send every bible and
bless others lavishly...

The third one came a few seconds later- "and world peace."

Sarah holding mysterious packages that made everyone wonder...

How many hours can children stare and guess about packages tied with ribbons?

The girls cracked up that I would throw world peace in
like a "why not" after thought.

It did sound pretty bad.  But at least I didn't just
wish for a cute top or something!


Little four year old Hailey reminded me from the backseat
that world peace
is not what we pray for each night but salvation and
health for those we love and we know are struggling.

That's right...  I guess I need
more wishes!

Michaela, almost 14, folded the napkins and did a lot of the decor.

She even made homemade photo ornaments with her scrapbooking supplies.

Of course, you know we don't really trust in wishes
but in a Sovereign God who orders all
things according to His will.

So if we trust on Christ
why is it that our wishes-
or even our reality-
 come in conflict with
God's will at times?


So often we desire to make
rather than prayer requests.


We meditate on what we "need"
rather than asking God what
He wants with our health, our money
and our time. 


And when we suffer trial
we often have far less clarity
than Paul when he received
a thorn in the flesh.

"to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn
in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--
to keep me from exalting myself!"

2 Corinthians 12:7

Faith, almost 16, led the charge in the kitchen making all the traditional goodies.

I ate way too many of these...

Of course when I say "we"
I really mean "me."

I do those things. 

And that is just what God has
been working on in my heart.

You see, as the annual Christmas letters are
delivered I am always tempted to think we
are not focusing on the right things.

Their family is so academic, we should be more academic.

Their family is so unschooled and gaining amazing
life skills, we should be more unschooled.

Their family is working on the mission field, we should
work on the mission field.



Holy work is the work
the Lord is leading us to do.
Nothing more and nothing less.


He knows our frame.  Our limitations.  The season of life we are in.

If we are suffering from illness, He knows. 

"For it is God who is at work in you,
both to will and to work for His good pleasure."
-Philippians 2:13

How thankful we are for Lydia's health this year!

For some reason I was physically and emotionally
tired this year. 

I didn't even try to pull together the perfect anything.

And amazingly I watched
the pretty decor come together anyway-
all arranged by the hands
of capable daughters. 

Folded napkins, homemade ornaments, Christmas lights
and all the traditional goodies..


I did my best to keep things simple,

reminding myself that the goal was
gathering fantastic memories
around a relaxed table
and having my eyes open to
serve those around me.

And the rest just seemed to fall together.  Or in some
cases it didn't and that was ok.

I'm not sure how the little ones survived all the waiting...

I do know that I attended more than one little tea party with Lydia.

And around that time I read an interesting article on
brain plasticity.

The article made the point that
as we age we tend to
remove ourselves from the details
of life and as we do that we
lose what is called
brain plasticity.


As a young person we are continually gaining new information
and creating new systems in the brain.  Everything
is new and requires work to learn and master.

But by the third or fourth decade in life we are often
in decline.  Much of what we do on a daily basis requires
little to no attention (the physical acts of driving,
reading and other daily activities). 


We basically function
on auto pilot and are disengaged.  

If we do not take steps to put ourselves back into
learning mode and increase our plasticity or we will
grow fuzzier and fuzzier mentally and lose the
plasticity we once enjoyed.

I doted on more than one little nephew- when my mom wasn't nabbing them up!

Yes, both of my sisters had baby boys- can you believe it?

And as I was processing these
ideas of brain plasticity,
I began to think about
spiritual plasticity.

For those of us who have been Believers for some
time, I think it is tempting to begin to navigate
life solely on Biblical principles, rather than
praying about each and every little thing as
we might have in the beginning.

we can easily to fall into
"spiritual auto pilot"
almost disengaged as
we busily follow Biblical
principles rather than
going to the Source.

Do you ever catch yourself doing that?

I got lots of smooches, even though I never hang mistletoe.  :)

So when New Years Eve
came, we didn't make
We made a list of
prayer requests.

We asked God to help us in specific areas of
habits and character.

We asked Him to help us forgive others- all others-
and put away the grievences from the previous

And we asked Him to help us to bring
everything to Him in prayer,
that we might have

spiritual plasticity

this new year.


How I pray you are seeking His will and living in that peace.


May we begin to consider if
our wishes- or our reality-
 are His will and embrace
whatever it is that He is calling
us to this new year for
His glory.

Richest blessings to you!


  1. Your home looked wonderful for Christmas. Glad to see you post something. Your words are always such encouragement to me.

  2. Wise and timely as usual--I love Lydia and Hailey's bangs! Their little tutu's and tea set were adorable as well. Can't wait to visit--soon, Lord willing!

  3. Thank you, Missy. I really appreciate that. :)

    Thank you, Lis. You are such a blessing my friend. Yes- those bangs are so fun! I think they make Hailey's hair look longer which you know we are all ready for! :)

  4. Your girls have grown so much. They look happy in their joyful service to family. Thanks for this post. It was sobering in a way that still left me encouraged.

  5. Thank you Kendra S-L. I appreciated that. Yes, it feels like they have grown overnight in some ways! Nice to have you travel with us. :)