On August 18, 2013, I suddenly felt dizzy. It had been a nice Sunday afternoon. I remember what I was wearing: a mauve colored peasant blouse and white pedal pusher pants. And I remember that the sun was shining through the dining room windows and my cats were curled up on the couch. It had been a good day, because I had spent the day in prayer. And I fasted for eight hours that day. Only eight hours. I had fasted several times before, for more than 24 hours on a few occasions, and never had a problem. This day was different.
I'll be honest: I'm not a big new year's resolution girl. I find the idea of making a list of commitments for an entire year daunting. Perfectionist that I am, new year's resolutions feel like an invitation to fail and feel guilty, all year long. (I know, I'm kind of dramatic. I'm working on it.)
I am on a quest to learn what it means to "worship" God. I can think back to several "worship" experiences. When I was young, I attended many worship services which consisted of rote and routine practice of words, and actions. It was meaningful to me because of what I believed.
"Grace demands nothing of us in payment, but everything of us in trust." – Unknown
Understanding grace has been a lifelong struggle for me. As I have leaned into both joy and sorrow this year the very real concept of grace has come up a lot. As I began to talk about it I started to see just how many men and women around me struggle to understand and accept grace also.
The questions kept coming as Micah and Gracie were eager to know more about their Papa's neurological disease. It's a tough one. He has lost all mobility and is wheelchair (or scooter) bound. His speech is somewhat affected and he experiences intense fatigue every day. Life as we have known it has changed.
The minivan smells like French fries.
Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome looks at me from the driver's seat and pulls into our driveway. "Home sweet home! Are you ready to unpack?"
Everyone has a story. Hearing peoples stories can move our hearts, it gives us the opportunity to hear the why behind who they are. During a recent service trip in Africa, with an organization called HOPE Worldwide, I was able to hear the stories of both the men and women I served with as well as those we served.
Can we talk about baggage in parenting?
Because we all have it. Maybe you experienced loss or hurt or abuse as a child; maybe you carry regrets from poor decisions you have made in the past. Sometimes our baggage can make us doubt ourselves as parents.