Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Little Things

It was a Black Friday Special.

Lego’s and lots of them. Sixteen hundred pieces for a mere $30. I couldn’t resist. Actually, I didn’t even try to resist. I knew it was a good deal so I jumped on it.


The other Christmas toys had taken the front and center, and the box had remained nearly untouched till a rainy day in January.

The box of bright colors rescued us from short tempers and dreary wearys. It was perfect timing. How did God know that we would need this present to be an initial leftover, only to shine through just when we needed it most?   I don’t know, but He did. Praise God for the little things.

“I KNOW!!” Isaiah had shouted, “we can play with the new box of LEGO’s!!”

And play we did. We had barely cleaned up the school books and supplies before little hands were ready with little scissor to cut open the bright and shiny bags filled with bright and shiny new pieces.


We loved the new hues of orange and green. The blocks scattered across the table (and across the floor too) and the colors seemed to dance with brilliancy--- beautiful and bright and fresh.

Like a new beginning.

And it was the case on so many levels. The atmosphere in the room seemed to brighten. The bickering stopped. The whining silenced. And the room was filled with sounds of sorting. And shuffling. And hunting for that perfect piece to put in that perfect place.

Different thoughts and ideas fluttered through, showing the determination and inspiration the boys were feeling.


“Mom?” Joshua asked, “do you think I should build my LEGO house with two chimneys? If it has two chimneys then it can have two fireplaces and that means the family that lives there will be twice as warm!” (can you tell we just learned about doubles?)


Isaiah’s thoughts were deep as well: “Mom, I’m building my house with it’s own anchor. That way if a hurricane or a tsunami comes, it won’t get washed away.” (can you tell we’ve also just learned about weather and natural disasters? Oh I love how homeschooling plays out in the thoughts of my kids!)


Noah was a bit more superficial. He just shouted, “Blocks!” “Red blocks!” “Ooooooooooh!!!” and other such one year old talk. Haha. After some teaching, he did figure out how to make a stack of LEGOs and was able to sort them into color groups. Maybe not so superficial after all, considering he’s only one? I better give that boy some credit! He’s a smart kid too.

As you can see, the LEGO’s saved the day.

Or rather, God did.

As He does so well. Giving us a bit of encouragement, a bit of a respite, a bit of sunshine on a cloudy day.

Praise God for the little things, right?




*Now if I can just remember to be thankful when I happen to step on those little things! Haha

Friday, January 6, 2012

Get up and Go!

Oh my. A new year is here.

Typically, I love New Years. Despite the “Christmas is over” let down, there is something about January that feels like a fresh start. A new beginning. I usually take the opportunity to challenge myself, make goals… and I have a sense of excitement and anticipation over what is to come.

But this January I’ve struggled. I haven’t felt the same energy, the same excitement. I just can’t seem to find my get-up-and-GO!

I don’t think I’ve lost it all together, I just can’t seem to find it with the same vivacity I’m used to. I’ve hunted to find the main cause… is it stress? homeschooling? hormones? my lack of consistent devotion time? the after affects of a miscarriage? Is it the Family Readiness Group that zaps the life out of me? Or the major career change that is fast approaching our family? Is it my struggle to serve Him and Him alone? Or the discouraging words and behavior of others? Service in the church? Or maybe my three little boys and their constant need for me and my discipline?

Though I’ve hunted and prayed more than I can express, I haven’t come up with a successful answer… except that its not any one thing. 

It’s everything.

It’s everything, all at once.

Thankfully, while I am weak, He is strong. And though I lack considerable strength, the Lord has not let me give in to the overwhelmingness of life. He has not let me sink into the hopelessness and selfishness that could so easily drown me.

It is the Lord in me who doesn’t give up.

And though I have not experienced my normal get up and go, I haven’t lost it. And that is the Lord’s doing. He has provided the needed strength. He is the strength. He has challenged me to trust in Him and not in my own vivacity.

God has also not let me hide from responsibilities and challenges. But he has provided me with a way of escape during the incredible temptation to give in and give up.  And the way of escape? His presence and mercy. His love and grace showered upon me. His life and strength in one who has no life and strength on her own.

Isn’t it so common, so human of us, to look to ourselves for the needed strength?

I know I found myself looking inside, hoping to revive the piece that was missing. And then, not being able to find it in myself, being hugely tempted to stop caring about the jobs I’ve been given. Isn’t it like us to avoid dealing with stressful issues? To let words go unspoken or sin unchallenged because it seems easier at the time? Because  not dealing with it, seems the way of escape? When truly the only way “out” is through God’s grace. Truly it is only by looking to Him and Him alone that we persevere and continue on towards the Celestial City.

This life truly is a pilgrimage, with different challenges and temptations along the road. I find myself empathizing more than ever with Pilgrim in John Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress. The Slough of Despond, the Destroyer Apollyon, the friends who fail. Truly the only hope for this Christian is God’s mercy and grace.

Lord, give me the strength to continue this journey, give me wisdom in all my dealings, give me hope when I feel hopeless.

And thank you for the lack of energy that reminds me of my dependence on you.


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