Saturday, January 31, 2015

Patient and Kind

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

February, the month of love. I’ll admit I enjoy a good Hallmark movie that spirals around romance. I like contemporary romance books and am trying my hand at writing them. One of my favorite genres is a good cozy mystery with, yes—a dash of romance. Hmmm…love and mystery. Love is a mystery or is love a mystery? God paints a pretty clear picture in 1 Corinthians that covers not only romance, but all types of love. And that’s where I’m going to dwell for the month of February.

Love is patient, love is kind.

Today, I had the opportunity to take care of my seven-month old granddaughter all day. What a joy! She’s a sweet little one who’s easy to love. But I was reminded of the amount of patience a baby requires. She’s learning to eat baby food and as one spoon full goes in, half of it comes back out because she’s still developing her skills. So I’d feed her some pears then scoop them off her little chin and try again. Eventually we finished the task, and she laid her head on my shoulder and napped. That’s love.

While I took care of Ella Cate, my husband went to watch two grandsons play basketball. While five year old Max had his first game, his big brother, Aiden, stood in the end zone cheering him on. Aiden could have been playing with his friend, instead he encouraged his brother. That’s kindness.

Days are filled with opportunities to show patience and kindness. Waiting in traffic, a turn in the bathroom (once upon a time we shared one bathroom with three daughters), a spouse to get ready, a child to put on their shoes, a coworker to complete a project and on and on. Paul, the author of Corinthians, reminds us to pour out patience and kindness because they reflect love. Not just good advice, but an excellent way to live life. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

He'll Give You Rest

Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Exhausted, fatigued, sapped, spent, drained—ever felt like that? Yes? Then you know what it’s like to be weary. Not just physically tired, where a good night’s sleep revives the energy in your body. But, weary. Exhausted right down to the soul. Your heart hurts, your heads aches, your spirit sags. Life’s been sucked out. This kind of life draining experience often occurs with stress, loss, when the same frustrating situation occurs over and over again or when hope is lost. You’re so spiritually beaten down, you want to crawl under the covers and hibernate like a bear. Or sleep the day away like my dogs. And sometimes physical rest is part of the process that refreshes a hurting soul. But there’s more.

Jesus offers to take the burden, carry the stress, and restore the spirit. Anytime I’ve taken my weariness, my burdens, my stress and anxieties to him, I find hope and peace. Not only do I give him my burdens, I take on his ways and pray his gentle spirit and humble heart will fill me. Spending time in prayer and reading the Bible relieve me of the weariness the world brings. Asking others to pray with me and for me gives me encouragement. For me being outside surrounded by God’s creation restores my soul. I’m thankful Jesus loves me enough to carry my burdens and give me rest. Praise God for his son!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

My new year started off with a pleasant surprise when Julie Arduini nominated me and other bloggers with the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award.

Here are the rules:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Put the Award logo on your blog.
3. Answer 10 questions you’ve been sent.
4. Make up 10 new questions for your nominees to answer.

Here are the questions I was sent and my answers:
1. What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned?
I believe it was letting go and letting God. For years I worried, fretted, and tried to control my life. When I realized that God was the one in control the worries melted away. There are still trials and troubles but now I pray first and trust in God’s wisdom.
2. What temptation is hard to resist?
Chocolate. I made a pan of chocolate walnut fudge for Christmas.  I’m pretty sure I ate most of it.
3. If you weren’t doing what you do weekdays, what would your life look like?
I work in an academic library as the technical services manager. When I retire I’d love to be a full time writer.
4. What book could you read over and over?                                              
For years I read Sue Hubbell’s A Country Year: Living the Questions every spring.  I’m thinking about reading it again this spring. I also love to read the Bible over and over.
5. What motivates you?
God motivates me. If I am doing something for Him, I don’t give up.
6. What are your pet peeves?
I don’t like it when cabinet doors or drawers are left open.
7. What are your goals for 2015?
I hope to complete the novel I started this month. It is a story set on an island in Lake Erie that features a young woman who needs to find peace. What she doesn’t expect is to find love.
8.  If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I’ve wanted to travel to Maine since I was in sixth grade. Last year my husband and I took a trip to Kelleys Island, Ohio. We fell in love with the island and the mainland around Marblehead. We plan to go back this year.
9. Would you rather stay in a five star hotel, a bed and breakfast, or a cabin?
A cabin would give us more privacy and autonomy. When I go on vacation I don’t want to be busy and trying to get from place to place. I want to relax and enjoy the journey. But then again, a bed and breakfast would be delightful.
10. What’s your favorite season? Why?
I love winter. The snow gives such a peaceful atmosphere. Winter is quiet and gives me a chance to reflect and regenerate. I love the way the snow sparkles and gives the earth a fresh, clean appearance.

Here are the questions for my nominees:
  1. Do you have a favorite Bible verse you lean on? If so what is it?
  2. What’s your favorite chapter book from childhood?
  3. Do you enjoy cooking or would you rather eat out, order in, or nuke a microwave dinner?
  4. Were you called to write or do you write as an offering to God?
  5. What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
  6. How long have you blogged and why did you start?
  7. If you could have any pet, what would it be?
  8. What’s your greatest accomplishment in the writing world?
  9. What’s the best and worst about using social media?
  10. Are you a country or city kind of girl?

I’m nominating Ane Mulligan, Sharon Srock, Nike Chillemi, and Kathleen Friesen! I enjoy your blogging!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Librarians, Just for Fun

Is anyone else watching the TNT series, The Librarians?

The series spun off of the movies starring Noah Wyle, Bob Newhart and Jane Curtain. In the new series, four hand-picked, miss-matched people work together to defend the world against too much magic. Rebecca Romijn as Eve Baird is a love interest for Wyle, who appears occassionally. The rest of the time, she's protecting her underlings while they solve puzzles and chase monsters. John Larroquette holds down the fort, or the lab in this case, while the others roam about, drop through portals, and get into all kinds of trouble. Christian Booth, Lindy Cain and John Kim round out the ragamuffin group as an art history expert, math genius, and thief.

For me, the show is pure entertainment. I've heard a few people say they didn't like it because the librarians weren't doing library work. But I don't think that's the point. I don't know too many librarians who chase fairytale characters, dragons, or evil villains. Instead, the characters use resources, history, and a little magic to save the world.

If you want light entertainment for an hour before you start your workweek, sit back and watch The Librarians. Just for fun.

If you watch the show, what do you like about it?