Monday, November 19, 2012

bits and bobs

By Mary

Typically I don't blog unless I'm inspired, like when something's been on my mind just waiting to be captured in words or there's earth-shattering news to be shared. This is probably why I don't really blog frequently.

Lately I've been reading more, talking more, writing less. I haven't journaled at all in at least two months. Life has been really enjoyable; not over-full, sprinkled with simple beauty, simple pleasures and rich relationships.

I tend to like the quiet life.

The biggest news I have right now is of plans to go home to Colorado for Christmas and Gianna's first birthday! All the other headlines in our household are usually all the little things that probably aren't that exciting before you have a kid. Who knew infant Tylenol would end up being a major blessing in life and a tiny little pearly tooth peeking through baby gums could make your day so much brighter?

There's been talk of being re-stationed again somewhere next summer or maybe winter. I don't like the in-between stage of knowing change is coming but not knowing when and what kind. And I do know change is possible basically at any moment with the military lifestyle we have...I'm just not the most comfortable with having options being thrown around and falling through or changing and time-frames always being in question. 

I've gone between two extremes of living life always conscious of the possibility of moving and then trying to ignore it completely until its slapped in my face at some point. I don't think either one is good for relationships. The first causes me to hold back and stay safe, sort of view relationships as disposable--they'll be gone the minute we are. And the second is just unrealistic and leads to a somewhat violent let-down when change does happen.

The truth is, it's not really possible to have limitless deep, impacting friendships, regardless of how close you live to one another.

Jim Elliot said "Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God."

For years I only thought of that as applying only to not holding on to the past or grasping to eagerly for the future. But I think of it often now...people are always worth pouring into, no matter what you get in return, no matter what tomorrow may bring. It's so much more exciting to me now than it is sad. It thrills me to feel the blessing of my family in Christ investing in me, both near and far. It's wonderful to feel used in the lives of people I grew up with, new dear friends, and people I barely know. And it's amazing to know that God is behind it all, working towards His own purposes and orchestrating the most beautiful things.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


by Alanna

    I read somewhere, and I can't remember where now, of the difference between condemnation and conviction. It made me think a lot, because sometimes when God shows me sin in my life, I turn to condemnation and then I become stuck in a rut. Condemnation causes me to embrace fear and doubt and hatred; it makes me disgusted with myself, and when I'm condemning I never run to Christ but only away from Him. Thankfully, "there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." This is a beautiful promise, and it reminds me that we have been set free from sin.

    Anyway, God has been at work in my heart, convicting me about some of the ways I continue to love the world. I thought change would be easy, but then I stubbornly cling to these things of the world and I'm shocked by the ugly inside of my heart. So I'm learning, I hope. Learning that it is God who both convicts us of things and works change in our hearts. I'm so thankful to God that He is faithful to conform us to the image of His Son. As children of God, I believe that we have to obey our Father even when we don't agree or understand. I think that in obedience, in surrender and trust, we will honor Him. And then I hope that He blesses us with joy and freedom. It's an astoundingly beautiful and undeserved privilege we have- to follow and submit to the King of the universe. His patience toward us is greater than I can comprehend.  

"For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace...and if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you....if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live." 
Romans 8