Month in review

Once again I’m caught in the rush of a new school year and finding myself saying, “Wait!  We aren’t done with summer yet, are we?!”


Summer was entirely too short and my wish-list too long to get everything in this year.  God was gracious to give me July and early August to work on garden, yard, and home things, and get my school planning well under way.  Good thing, too—my dear Mom had a stroke in August and things have seemed topsy-turvy since then.  (Second family stroke this year—enough already!)

It’s hard to be hundreds of miles away from family anyway, but when there’s a crisis it really hurts.  You pray and stay connected and trust that the Lord is working a testimony of  grace.  You jump when the phone rings, and shed tears of thankfulness at progress reports.  It’s ever a walk of faith, this life, isn’t it?

But life goes on and we’ve settled into our new school year.  SweetPea is a junior this year, so with only a couple more years to go, we’re trying to carefully think out credits and classes to make sure she’s going to have all she needs for graduation.  I love how the Lord plans things for us: this semester she’s studying American government both at home and in an enrichment program, which includes Mock Government, and we just happen to be having national elections! DSCN1031 We even took in a big political rally a few nights ago (I told her it was a field trip) to round out her studies.

She’s also studying 20th century world history this year.  Grim, fascinating, at times unbelievable—what a century we’ve lived in.  Her reason for wanting to study this was so that she would be able to better understand what’s happening in the world now.  While an excellent thought, I’m just so very sorry that she is facing such a messed-up world.  She confesses to being overwhelmed sometimes at the unending negative and dire predictions for the coming years—her years of adulthood, probably marriage and motherhood.  But I remind her of this fact:  because of God’s loving purposes, we know she was born for a time such as this.  He will lead her surely and truly along His paths of goodness and blessing, in spite of the chaos around her.

We had a refreshing-to-the-soul weekend get-away earlier this month.  A perfect cabin in the mountains, complete with good friends, perfect weather, and summer treats.  Glorious!


Though I’m reluctant to let summer go…

…beautiful fall is here!


Why do I have hope?


(This is a re-post of something I wrote in response to the 9-11 tragedy that rocked our country.  It seems appropriate not only to share it again on the anniversary of that tragic day, but also to bring encouragement to many of us who are struggling with the multiplied challenges of life.)


Why Do I Have Hope?

I have hope because...

...God loves me:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:38-39)

...I am chosen:

...but you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.   (I Peter 2:9)

...when the world seems to have gone crazy, He is still God:

In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.   (John 16:33)

...when I fear for my future, He says:

Fear not! For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.   (Jeremiah 29:11)

...no evil purpose can stand against me:

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.   (II Timothy 4:18)

...the testing of my faith has great purpose:

These [trials] have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.   (I Peter 1:7)

...when I pray, I get answers:

I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.   (John 16:23)

...when my body suffers, I can know His healing: 

...[He] healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah, "He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases." (Matthew 8:17)

...when I'm tired, He gives me strength:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.   (Matthew 11:28)

...when I don't know what to do, He gives me His wisdom:

If any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.   (James 1:5)

...when my heart is breaking, He wraps me in His arms:

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.   (Psalm 147:8)

...when I stumble and sin, He forgives me:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.   (I John 1:9)

...when I've been wronged, He is my Defender:

I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.   (Psalm 140:12)

...when the money doesn't stretch, He provides for me:

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.   (Philippians 4:19)

...when I'm worried and anxious, He promises peace:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.   (Philippians 4:6-7)

...when things are falling apart, He has a plan:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.   (Romans 8:28)

...when I fear for my family, I can trust His care:

...because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.   (II Timothy 1:12)

...when conflicting voices confuse me, He shows me the right way:

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.   (John 16:13)

Why do I have hope?


Because Jesus came, and...

He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.  (Isaiah 9:6-7)