Lenten Landmarks

 

The 40 days of Lent symbolize the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting and praying in the desert. But that number 40 was, in turn, meant to remind us of the 40 years that the Israelites spent in the desert. The Church has always seen in the Israelite’s journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, from bondage to liberation, an apt image of the Christian’s Lenten journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter.

– Albert Holtz, Pilgrim Road:  A Benedictine Journey Through Lent

When it comes to celebrating holiday seasons, we like to mix it up around here.  (In other words, Mommy goes through phases.)  And Lent has grown into a special time of teaching the kids and preparing our hearts for the gift and victory of Jesus’ death and resurrection.

The Spirit of Lenten Past has led us to many enjoyable semi-traditions over the years:  Continue reading

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The Armor of God

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We are part of a wonderful homeschool co-op called Classical Conversations.  It involves a lot of memorization of a wide variety of subjects and my 4th grader is particularly thriving at it.  (The Timeline Song is a family favorite!)  One of the passages we are memorizing is Ephesians chapter 6, one verse each week.

We just finished the section involving the armor of God and had a fun time creating armor out of cardboard, duct tape, and a silver bowl most recently used to catch our stomach flu offerings…  ={ Continue reading

This Year’s Christmas Reflection: REST

A friend asked me (and three other women) to share for 5 minutes at a local Christmas event on what God was teaching us during this Advent season.  The theme for the evening was Isaiah 9:6 and I chose to talk about Jesus as my “Wonderful Counselor.”  We had the pleasure of sharing in between beautiful worship led by Hilary and Kate.  It was a remarkable evening.

This time last year, I was VERY pregnant with my 4th child who was born December 28th.  We named our Christmas baby Karis Joy.  She is a true delight and we have all enjoyed watching her grow.  But God has been teaching me a lot through her, particularly in the area of REST.

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Annual Advent-ures

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Christmas 2012 with our Christmas bun in the oven!

Last year we were awaiting the arrival of Karis Joy, so I shamelessly did close to nothing for Advent (except for my Mary Monologue at a couple of holiday events.  I loved putting myself in her shoes while I was pregnant with my own Christmas baby…)

But it dawned on me a week before Thanksgiving that I was without excuse this year.  Since Advent calendars seem to be narrowing their themes to Santa and chocolate, I dared to go on Pinterest to look for a simple, yet significant way to make an Advent countdown for our family. Continue reading

Book Bites: Isaiah

“This is the one I esteem:  He who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”  Isaiah 66:2b
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Women’s Bible Study Group 2012-2013

Along with a group of lovely women, I just completed a year’s study on the book of Isaiah.  (For a summary on this interesting book go here.)

Initially I was both intrigued and anxious about digging into such a deep, complex book of Scripture.  And it has proven to be just that and more.  It is an intense proclamation of judgment on the wicked, and yet full of promises of compassion and joy for the humble and righteous.  And there are SO many reminders of God’s heart of justice for the oppressed and our responsibility to care for them. (1:16b-17, 25:4-5, 58:6-12)

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Frugal Beauty

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Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament.  Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing. 

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I just went to a women’s spring luncheon (Thank you, Amy!) where the theme was “Beauty.” The fun beauty stations they had set up reminded me of all the inexpensive homemade beauty recipes that I’d been bookmarking over the years.  They include many simple ingredients that most of us probably already have.

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BOOK BITES: Like Dew Your Youth

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First things first.

God bless Eugene Peterson for all he did for Christendom by writing The Message (among many other things), but his publishers need to repent for coming up with a horrible title for an excellent book.  It’s even worse when you are verbalizing it to people.  “Like… Do… What?”

It originates from the scripture “From the womb of the morning, like dew your youth will come to you.”  (Psalm 110:3)  If you think long and hard about it, you may eventually be able to read between the lines.  Still, not every Bible verse is book title material.  (And we won’t even mention the cover…)

Redeemably, there is a subtitle and it gives a much better idea of what the book is actually about:  Growing Up With Your Teenager. Continue reading