Category Archives: Merciful Days

Merciful Days: What to do about Halloween

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Halloween

Halloween.  Nothing holds greater power to make good friends bitter enemies than Halloween.

It’s a clear-cut issue.  Halloween is the funnest day of the yeartotally evildress-up funof the deviltime to be sillytime to be vigilantcandy heaventooth decayfun for the whole familythe devil’s playgroundclassic American culture… a horrible dark thinga great way to build community with your neighborhoodan opportunity to stand against darknessthe best holiday of the yearthe most evil day of the year… not clear-cut.

I was born and raised in a country where Halloween was not part of the culture.  At some point it became a cultural import but most people, especially Christian people, did not embrace it.  Now I live in West-coast America where Halloween is as culturally prized as apple pie and Fourth of July!  It was a big shock when I first moved here, to see really wonderful godly people decorating their homes and encouraging their kids to dress up.  I didn’t understand why Christians would be involved with such a dark-themed holiday.  And then, as youth pastors, we had to work out what to do for our community of teens and families who demanded a safe and positive October 31st event.  It pushed me to have to pray…

What is a Christian supposed to do?!  What does God say about Halloween??  [Continue…]

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Merciful Days: Still doing the church thing?

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Still doing the church thing

So, after all these years, you’re still doing the church thing?

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I live with a man.  We share a bathroom sink, two kids, and a whole bunch of household chores.  I am here every day.  With him.  And the life we share.

I love to look into his eyes.  I love how his hand wraps around mine.  I love sharing life with him.  Even all the tired, boring, mundane parts.  We lean together to dream.  We lean together to make ends meet.  We lean together and face the odds.  And it is bliss.

He is good.  He is kind and generous.  He gives and loves and invests.  He is handsome and strong.  He is brilliant.  He is a natural engineer in every setting.  He finds answers when no when else has.  He fixes what no one else can.  He brings peace and stability and strength where ever he goes.  He is fun and funny.  He amazes me every day.

Life with him… in our rental apartment… with the heat at a bare minimum… and big dreams in our hearts… is glorious.

[Continue…]

Merciful Days: What I Need

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Neh 8v10Dinner time battle with the almost-3-yr-old. Him: “My body doesn’t need food.” Me: “Your body DOES need food to be strong and healthy.” Him: “Nope. My body needs toys.”

Yep.  Almost-three is a glorious age.  He makes me laugh.  And he makes me think. His funny commentary on life makes me think about important things.  Like whether I, too, prefer toys over food.

I mean, let’s be real.  I face this decision between toys and food in a hundred ways every day.

Something that will sustain me vs. Something that will be fun. What’s good for me vs. What’s exciting for me. Making medical bill phone calls vs. Having coffee with a friend. Beans and rice vs. Thai takeout. Nourishment vs. Entertainment. Essentials vs. Luxuries. Needs vs. Wants.

Please.  I want the fun choice every time.  Except I usually don’t choose fun because I’m responsible… or something. [Continue…]

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Merciful Days: Favorite Things: Amazon

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Fav ThingsHuge fan of Dave Ramsey and FPU… but sometimes this gazelle gets tired.  And so, I love finding budget boosters that give us free treats and cost savings.

We have Amazon Prime membership for my husband’s work.  He needs to two-day-ship things regularly.

Bonus: I get to use it too. 

[Continue…]

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Merciful Days: Beautiful Words

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Ps 119v103“Your test results are really good.” My doctor smiled.

Oh what words!

I am one year and five months into a medical treatment that is projected to last for three to five years.  It feels like each day of the past one year and five months has been giant.  It’s been a fight.  One step forward and two steps back.  Battling an illusive monster.  It’s been quite a year… and five months.

My doctor is the only human who really knows what my past one year and five months has been like.  She has become very precious to me.  I long to see her.  She is my coach.  My trainer in this long race.  My cheerleader.  My advocate.  She knows my enemy.  She knows my story.  She knows how far I’ve come.  She is in the valley with me.  I have come to love her.

Her smiling words were so full.  Full of understanding and celebration. I have been so desperate to hear words like this.

Her words mean so much because she knows so much about me.  Her words carry more weight than any others.  Her words give me strength, joy, energy, focus, hope.

I’m thinking about my true Coach. Trainer. Cheerleader. Advocate. Guide. Mentor. Savior. Father. Shepherd. Hope.

[Continue…]

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Merciful Days: GF DF Blueberry Waffles

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Blueberry Waffles2My husband’s family has an incredible breakfast repertoire.  Grandpa was a baker. Dad was a baker.  And my husband has their genes.  One of his all time favorite family recipes is Grandpa’s Cornmeal Waffles.  They are incredible.  And full of gluten and dairy.  We have been working on modification experiments for months.  So happy to have a tried and true recipe base!!  It is the perfect host for all kinds of mix-ins and flavor variations.  Go wild with your favorite flavors.  Our favorites have been blueberry & lemon and pumpkin with pie spices.

Blueberry Waffles
Modified from Grandpa’s Cornmeal Waffles
Gluten-Free | Dairy-Free | Sugar-Free

[Full recipe…]

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Merciful Days: When Hope Vanishes

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mark 9v24b“I don’t want to keep living this way.” I prayed honestly.

“Have I failed you?” The Holy Spirit asked me.

I was praying about an amazing job my husband had applied for.  It seemed like the perfect fit for him.  And, to be honest, we are beyond ready for the lifestyle a traditional job brings.  So I begged God to open the door for him to have this job.  And I talked about the tiredness of my heart that has come in these years of gig-based self-employment.  … Oh, it was such a great job!  Perfect for my husband’s career journey.  AND it would change everything for us.  Regular income.  Medical benefits.  Paid vacation.  Please God.

“In all these years, have I ever failed you?” His Light pointed at the depths of my heart.

He showed me that in the depths of my heart, it was still there. [Continue…]

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