September 2011


Our ladies class began last night. As an aside, I think ladies class is the wrong name for our group of bible studying women. I think it should be called, Women of God Adventuring Through The Living Word Together class. But, whatever. Call us what you will, we began our study last night. We are working through the Beth Moore study on the book of Esther. Subtitle: It’s tough being a woman.

Ever since I read the book Christie when I was a young girl, I have loved the book of Esther. It was the original princess story. I’m surprised Disney hasn’t made a movie about her. All our little girls could be wearing backpacks with her picture on them to school. But that would be the sanitized, musical, Sunday School version of this wrenching, tragic, complicated book.

The introduction Beth gave last night was compelling enough. The Jews have been taken into captivity in Babylon. Babylon has been conquered by Persia, and Cyrus, the ruler has allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem. Some Jews choose to stay, though, and it is in this setting that God places the story of Esther. In a foreign land among Jews who are not longing for home. Ah, now this is different. I can’t wait to get into the meat of it. The whole megillah. Or, as Queen sings it, I want it all!

note: Megillah is the Jewish word for the book of Esther. The Jews read this book in synagogue so often, scroll pin to scroll pin, that it became commonplace to use the expression the whole megillah to refer to something painstakingly complete. As in, after a 10 minute description of the deer that my husband was stalking which subsequently got away because the wind changed and the lucky deer caught his scent and then he chased if for over an hour through the bush … I might say, You didn’t have to give me the whole megillah!

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This weekend, some friends and I are leading a workshop on women, story, and God. Last week I started an online Bible study with the gang at GoodMorningGirls.org, on 1 John. It has been a great encouragement as I am doing final preparations for the workshop. I am amazed, as always, by the way God puts things together in my life.

John and God have been impressing on my heart the beauty and importance of our walk. Our journey. Our … story!

John begins his letter with such joy and encouragement. He is offering himself to his readers. I’ve seen Him, heard Him, touched Him, he says. I’ve experienced something I want to share with you. And then he tells his readers why. He is proclaiming this Jesus, the eternal life, the word, so that they can all have fellowship together, which is joy-completing for John.

Nothing would make John happier that for his readers to know, through his experiences, the Jesus he loves.

And the message?

The message is that God is light.

And the encouragement?

The encouragement is to walk in the light. Because the walking – the honest, authentic journey – is what keeps us in fellowship.

This is great encouragement for me as I look toward helping women share their stories, their walks, with each other this weekend. May we find fellowship, and may our joy be complete!

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Joining, today, with this community:

My third child was born after the crib and the change table and the stroller had all been sold. He is four years younger than his next oldest brother, which won’t matter much down the road, but right now it’s like a generation gap. His two older brothers have always had each other to hang out with. They are best friends. And it’s not like they don’t like their little brother, or try to include him in things. He’s just a lot younger than they are. It makes it challenging at times.

What has been happening lately is that Dad will take the older boys to an event that is suitable for their age group, and Carter will be left at home. With Mom. So my goal, for these times that it is just him and me, is to make these times as meaningful as possible.

Donald Miller actually gave me one idea about this. I read somewhere, I think on his blog, this advice: If you want to live an interesting story, create memorable scenes.

Since reading this advice, I’ve been more conscious of the scene staging in the movies I watch. Try it. Notice how many conversations take place in unique, interesting settings, like the lobby of a museum or on top of a building. In other words, placing something rather commonplace in an interesting setting, makes the commonplace thing more interesting and therefore more memorable.

This past weekend, Lyndon took Tyson and Colton and a friend to Winnipeg for a youth rally. Carter was too young to attend, so he stayed home with me. On Friday night, he asked if we could have a sleepover in the living room. He wanted to bring down the blankets, cuddle on the couches, and watch movies until we fell asleep.

So, last Friday night we watched Diary of a Wimpy Kid II, and Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief. And fell asleep, he on the loveseat and me on the couch. It was sweet, and hopefully something he will remember when grows up.

This week, consider creating some memorable scenes for you or your family.

Once or twice a week I make myself a morning cup of maple tea. And I think of my friend. And I say a prayer for her and for her morning and her day. And I am thankful, again, for the blessing of friendship.

The tea was a gift from her, brought back from her trip to Quebec a few months ago. It is a lovely gift. Thoughtful. But the real gift, of course, is her friendship.

I am blessed, almost daily, by the gift of friendship. Women who I respect and love. Cherish, even. Women who not only laugh with me but have cried with me. Women who have shared their stories, their lives with me, and I with them. These friendships are among the greatest gifts I have been given.

The real gift is friendship. Because otherwise, it’s just tea.

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Sharing these gifts, today, with this community:

97. maple tea

98. being remembered by a friend

99. morning scripture reading with the boys

100. a challenge to look forward to

101. friends to share challenges with

102, yellow leaves blowing across the yard

Sometimes, I just need to stop for a few minutes and read the words on my fridge door. Wisdom, stickytac’d where I see it so often, I don’t really see it any more. Today, I’m stopping and reading. And hoping and praying and starting again. Grace.

I really need a little #10 today. And a lot of #9. And a fair bit on #2 and #7. And #’s 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8, too. Yep, I need it all.

What words of wisdom are on your fridge door?

(If you would like a copy of the above list, you can find it here.)

They fell right off. Right into my lap while I was reading, and I thought, yes, this is my life. This is the mess that is me. And so now, pecking out these words requires them to sit at a drunken tilt on my nose. And if I sort of tilt my head a bit, and don’t lean too far forward, I can still see well enough. And once in a while I prop up the one end with a finger so that I can read a bit, or look at the picture he made, or correct the math problem. And the children laugh, and I do, too, because truly, this is my life. This is the mess that is me. Not only an insecure, stumbling, trying-to-do-the-right-thing kind of mess, but a ridiculous mess.

And I have to wonder, sometimes, what was God thinking? When He gave me this husband and these children and these dreams. Surely, these things require the skills of a more together woman. Not the comical mess that is me.

But it is not me. I know that and I understand that and I cling to that. It is not me, but Him. He is the author of all. The Ridiculous Story of Me is His Story. He makes it beautiful. Useful, even.

And this keeps me on the journey. Putting my faith and trust in Him, daily. This knowing who He is keeps me stumbling along, drunken vision and all. This redeeming, saving, caring One, who loves me beyond comprehension. He is my hope.

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Joining, today, with this community:

It’s old. It has a few dents and lots of kilometres. But it’s mine.

That is the song my almost-man boy is singing today. Because yesterday he bought his first car.

An older gentleman who can no longer drive was selling his 1989 Pontiac something-or-other. Tyson and his dad checked it out, and decided it was worth the five hundred dollar price tag. We chatted about it over supper. Lyndon offered to pay half the price, but Tyson said he wanted to buy it himself. He wanted it to be bought and and paid for, free and clear, with money he had earned himself. So, we drove into town last night and Lyndon and I waited in our vehicle while Tyson went in and did the car deal himself. He came out with the keys, and a big smile on his face. Alphonse, the man he bought it from, hobbled out in the rain to see Tyson off. Sweet to see my boy shake Alphonse’s hand and thank him. A passing-of-the-torch kind of moment.

Oh my goodness. My baby bought a car.

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