Tag Archives: Yahweh

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: 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: 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: 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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Merciful Days: Beautiful Expectations

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Rom 8v16“And don’t forgot a note!” She sang at me while I packed her lunchbox this morning. “A note for my lunchbox!”

I had tucked a note into her lunchbox on her first day of school last week.  And I wrote a note for her second day too. And third. And fourth. And fifth. And sixth. And now the seventh.  Every day in her school career has featured a note from her mum.  She knows no school day without a note.  For her, it’s the norm.  She expects notes from me.

Guess what I decided today? I will be writing daily notes for my sweet daughter. Perhaps for the next 13 years.

As I folded today’s note into her pink princess sandwich box and thought about her beautiful expectation, I saw a challenge to my Faith.  An inspiration for my relationship with Yahweh. [Continue…]

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Merciful Days: Put It Into Practice

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Luke 11v28My husband said he felt silly.  I felt silly too.  But our kids felt excited and empowered.

Today was our first day of practicing a new morning routine for school.  Practicing getting up early.  Practicing getting ready.  Practicing walking to the school.  Practicing praying together at her campus.  And practicing walking home.

It has been a very big and prayerful process to decide what kind of schooling would be a good fit for our first-born this year.  There are so many fantastic options.  Each with pros and cons.  This past week, I felt the Holy Spirit speak something very specific to me about His plans and vision for our child this year.  And we’ve landed on a choice we feel good about.  And so I’m looking at the year ahead with a beautiful peace and comfort.

What I don’t feel peaceful about is the dramatic change to our mornings.  We’ll be getting up an hour earlier than our much-loved, no-alarm, let-the-sun-gently-wake-you mornings.  And thankfully we had foresight and decided it would be smart to change our morning routine in advance.  And so, this morning was our first practice morning.

Our little family walked alone.  Down a very busy street.  A little backpack on.  Towards a student-less school.  Into a parking lot where a handful of teachers were arriving to work in their empty classrooms.

Next week the sidewalks will be teeming with hundreds of walking families. But today we looked like a big mistake.  Like we’d gotten our days mixed.  Like we were stupid. It was embarrassing. [Continue…]

Merciful Days: It All Tastes Bad

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Psalm 139Last night I had a hard time eating dinner.  My favorite fallback meal of pan-fried eggs & kale seemed oddly bitter and left a bad aftertaste.  It must have been a strong batch of kale?

This morning I had a hard time eating breakfast.  My quinoa porridge was really bitter and left a bad aftertaste.  I tasted each element to try to pinpoint the offender.  Quinoa, coconut milk, flax meal, frozen wild blueberries, coconut oil, walnuts, pumpkin seeds.  Each bite was just as bitter as the other.  The kids demanded my attention and the investigation was derailed.

Lunch was a quick goat gouda sandwich.  Bitter, bitter, bitter, and such a bad aftertaste.  But it was time to prepare dinner so I had to force it down and get cooking.

I had trouble cooking dinner.  As I tasted and re-tasted the strangely bitter goat yogurt and curry mix for our Chicken Divan dinner, I finally saw the trend.  Don’t laugh.  It really did take me 24 hours to realize. [Continue…]

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