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New beginnings

We dedicate another baby today.  It's a day to dress up and take pics and have special cookies as we celebrate Easter and Graham Franklin McKelvey.  

As I was reading Scripture today, I came across Proverbs 3:6: 

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

That seems fitting for today.  Those are words we pray over all of our lovely babies as they grow and learn and find out who God really is.  My biggest hope for them is that they will have a confident, joyful relationship with Him and that they will live their lives serving and loving others.  

I am so grateful for our children who are raising their kids to know Jesus!  It isn't easy.  It requires constantly going against the direction the world is pushing them in, and never letting up.  It requires countless hours of prayer and patience and strength.  I know they are up for it - they come from a strong legacy of faith.

There is a battle going on for our babies' hearts, and today we commit to…
Recent posts

Desperate for You

"Holy desperation."

"Clearly God responds to it.  He wants our relationship with Him to be our consuming passion - what we think about, what we talk about, what we're constantly hungry for more of and willing to do anything for - because He knows once we've experienced His manifest presence, our appetites will be whetted for more. And more."  Priscilla Shirer from "Awaken".

It's been a tough week.  Most days, serving others is rewarding and adventurous. SHN went from probably ten calls a month to seventy-seven in January.  That's a big jump. I should probably be ecstatic about that, but instead, at least today, I am just tired. 

There have been days this week when I felt God moving and doing tremendous things!  People I didn't know have offered to help with building reno out of the blue, and organizations I wasn't aware of have offered items for free that are desperately needed. These connections are obviously not ones I could have …

Radical Christmas

It was the worst house I had ever seen, in the U.S. anyway.

The details don't matter, suffice it to say the beautiful young woman and her children were living in conditions that no one should have to live in.  Her options were few.  She didn't have much money to stretch each month, and she had to keep a roof over their head.  It sure wasn't much of a roof.  

Her eyes lit up as we brought in household items and staples.  And Pop-tarts.  Her kids NEVER got Pop-tarts. The items we offered would help for sure.  They would stretch her budget and perhaps make life a little bit less terrifying for the short time they lasted. 

The questions I wrestled with at the beginning of Spread Hope Now, well, I don't wrestle with them anymore.  Questions like "Why her and not me?" and "How could any human being treat others with so little respect?" are not productive and just lead me around in circles. It doesn't matter "why" or "how". God has tho…

Lessons learned in Haiti

Sometimes opportunities come at inopportune times.  

My last mission trip was like that.  I had so many things on my plate - a roof project, and family stuff, and an upcoming Mobile Pack Event.  When I got the invitation to go to Haiti along with a Feed My Starving Children team, I thought of a thousand reasons to turn it down.  Going just didn't make sense.

As you can see, I couldn't turn it down.  





                                                   Outside Love a Child School at recess.


                                        Serving Manna Pack food in a remote mountain village.

"anything" - abandoning entitlement

Expectation.

Unfulfilled expectations are something I have struggled with before, and probably always will.  Anyone else?  

I don't think I really expected my life to be perfect or easy, because it didn't start out that way.  I did, however, have a plan and a goal and I headed toward that with everything I had.  I mean, ever since I was very young I had a picture in my head of what my "ideal" life would look like, and I orchestrated lots of details to make it happen.  

But..... what happens when life doesn't look like that?  Honestly, it feels like failure.  

In chapter 5, Jennie explains that "It is too easy in this country for blessings to become rights, for stuff and money to become what calls the shots in our lives.  And before we know it, God's gifts have replaced himself."  Wow.

Why do we settle?  The point is not that we have a plan and it doesn't work out.  The point is that we shortchange ourselves when we pursue our plan and not his.  On pa…

"anything" - (chapter 4)

Sure. We are abandoning the approval of others and getting our heart under control. 
Easy, right?  Is that even possible?

We talked about our preoccupations, our "streams" if you will, this week.  What are those messages, those thoughts we have running underneath the surface that get pushed to the top when we are squeezed?  Those unspoken but learned messages can send us careening in directions we don't want to go, and make us do things we didn't mean to do.  

Jennie Allen asks the question "How does one control the heart?"  Our small group couldn't answer that one.  In fact, we all laughed out loud thinking about all the times we have tried but failed!

As women, we are blessed with lots of feelings, aren't we?!  That can be such an asset.  We can offer comfort and empathy and hope because we feel things so deeply.  Or....we can let our emotions rule us and carry us to unhealthy places.  (and I don't mean Taco Bell)

Proverbs 21:1 says "The king&…

"anything" - missing buttons/losing control

"We are supposed to want God all the time for everything and trust Him with every aspect of our lives.  We are also supposed to hand write thank-you notes and vote in local elections."

Let's face it.  We are "supposed" to do lots of things.  We are supposed to be good, love others, be beautiful and together, prompt, organized, genuine, on and on.  Praise God for giving us grace - but that doesn't mean everyone else does.  Jennie points out that when God gives us grace He takes something from us.  He takes our control.

Last night I listened as my daughter Meredyth gave her testimony in small group.  Her stories were my stories.  As tears ran down her face and I listened to her words, I relived every moment of her pain.  I thought of how much God had taught me since she was born.  Ah....my plan was to dress her in frilly dresses and big white bows and protect her from every hard thing.  I was single-minded in my pursuit of perfect motherhood.  I wanted absolute…