Knowing God better, figuring out marriage, investing in my kids, exploring the Scripture, discovering truth, savoring life's joys and writing about the journey . . . visit a while with me.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

of rooms and family

I'm sitting at my laptop in the spare room (oh, that sounds "Narnia-ish") which is a combination office, bedroom, practice room and storage space containing items my daughter is collecting for her first year at college. It's a nice room, although there is no bed as of yet. A headboard leans against the wall, waiting. There is a wonderful dresser, holding candles, linens and other decorating items. My daughters' violins and son's guitar are also here as well as a couple music stands. There is a white rocking chair in the corner, a reminder of the baby days of my kids, nights when I'd rock them and sing softly over their fuzzy heads. You see, this room really is of the multi-purpose sort; it is used for a variety of activities, depending on the family's needs at a given time. It bugs me when I focus on it, this room lacking a real purpose yet used so much. I dream of walking past the door and seeing a bed made up with the quilt I've got ready. I imagine putting guests in here to stay instead of in my daughters' room.

But I guess I've come full-circle, in a way. My family had such a room when I was a teenager. It served many purposes through the years and is still one of the most-used in my parents' house. A lot of happy times happened there, and I can't imagine my childhood home without it.

I'd love to have a house like the magazines show, with fresh flowers and couches just begging you to sit. The cookies in the jar are always soft and the counters never get family-clutter. Yes, it would do my heart good to be able to keep a house like that. It always feel like some sort of failure to be normal, you know, to have a "lived-in" house. I'm not talking about filth or stacks of egg cartons in the corner; I just mean the usual this and that which accumulates in a family's day.

But, one-purpose rooms and un-lived-in rooms are not happening in my life. Instead, I have imperfect spaces, but they're spaces that reflect a family who lives close and lives busy. So, I guess you could call this room I'm sitting in a family room in some ways. In fact, all the rooms in our house are christened with the energy and joys and trials of family living. And I think this house loves it; after all, we are the ones who give it life.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

why preachers laugh a lot

 One of the saddest things about sin is that it robs you of a sense of delight in life. Oh, there are pleasures in sin but they are the violent, fleeting kind, not the lasting fulfillment of real joy. Sin tickles the imagination but doesn't deliver the happiness.
 
The funniest things happen in church. And preachers are the funniest people I know. I don't mean peculiar funny; I mean humorous, hilarious kind of funny. If you can get around a group of preachers who have started telling stories, it'll do you good.
 
I think Jesus was a fun-loving person. Laughter is a gift from God, and I believe Jesus had a great sense of humor. People were always inviting him to dinner parties; sinners loved to be with Him. Of course, as the Creator, His very nature drew people, but I think there were other reasons too. He was a multi-faceted human being who was warm and personable, yet fully God and perfectly sinless. Wouldn't it be great if our humor never got us in trouble?
 
But sometimes it does. And other times, it just happens inconveniently. Humorous moments often invade holy atmospheres. Raised in church, I've seen my share and heard tales time and again. I love to hear my dad and uncle talk about the funny things that happened to them in the many years they've served as evangelists and pastors.
 
I think preachers laugh for at least two reasons; they know the real Source of joy and find fulfillment in serving Him, and they have to balance out the seriousness of their work with some lighthearted fun. The old phrase about "men of the cloth" denotes a solemnity, and it is certainly true that it is a staggering responsibility to shepherd a congregation or preach to an audience who are waiting for God's truth. But being watchmen doesn't subtract from them the need to smile, chuckle and even indulge in a belly-laugh once in a while.
 
Since I'm married to a preacher, I'm glad they aren't all starch and no fun. I'm glad for all the moments of laughter I've enjoyed sitting at a table with other preachers and their wives. Recently, after our church camp, my husband and I were in such a group and it was very late before the party split up. There is something so nourishing about good, wholesome humor and God intended for it to enhance our lives. 
 
 If you think I'm kidding, maybe you need to have your pastor over for dinner or a Sunday night snack. Or take him and his wife out for dinner on Friday and get them talking about funny things or things that have happened to them in church. Be prepared to laugh. And watch to see if the waitress is standing close by to get in on the fun. See what I mean?  I think the servers would have stood close to Jesus' table too.

Monday, July 8, 2013

flag "wearers" need decorum

I do try to avoid posting rants, but I'm wondering if anybody else is over the "patriotic" pictures some celebs are making available to the public. It is their right as Americans, I suppose, but wearing the red, white and blue as a bikini seems to me a suspect way to hail Old Glory.

I have long pondered the question if it is a good idea to "wear" the flag anyway. Whoa; wait a minute! Yes, I like Old Navy and Faded Glory t-shirts; own some. My daughters have worn "flag" bows and jumpers and it was cute and all that. I'm not saying I wouldn't wear "flag" apparel again; just that I've wondered if "wearing" it raises or lowers its honor.

Would the "greatest generation" have worn the flag; or is it just an idea that nobody had back in the '40's? Do citizens of other countries wear the nation's colors, not just as an ensemble, but in the pattern of their flag?

I don't know the answer, and it isn't the watermark of patriotism whether one does or doesn't, but I'm just asking that those who choose to wear it do so with a little more decorum. Really. Who believes that the motivation for a red, white and blue swimsuit shot is pure patriotism?
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