Times and seasons

It has been so evident since we moved here to Arizona two years ago that we began a whole new life season, other than the obvious geographic relocation. 

Back in Colorado, nearly my whole life was absorbed in the many facets of homeschooling and all things children—teaching in my own homeschool and our church Sunday School, curriculum planning, support and youth group activities, etc. Moving here drew us fully into the larger picture of extended family life, and simultaneously ended my season of homeschooling.

Now, as this new year begins, I find myself in the season of care-giving.  My father-in-law’s passing eight months ago created a new and very challenging situation for the family—not only helping my mother-in-law with all facets of her daily life and health issues, but trying to bring real encouragement and comfort to her sorrowing heart.  I’m afraid we’ve not been very successful as there are no shortcuts in the grief process. 

I’ve really never been much around elderly folk; I never knew my grandparents or older extended relatives, and have largely been unaware of the incredible challenges seniors can face.  Where once they were strong, productive and independent, now they deal with tiredness, forgetfulness, health troubles, grief, loss of independence, loss of purpose.  They have to let others call the shots and be gracious at the same time.

Care-giving is similar to homeschooling—very much a walk of faith.  Every day I need the Lord’s practical wisdom and help. Each day it’s just doing the next thing, trusting that our efforts will bear fruit.  And, like homeschooling, it’s all about someone else—a good refining process for the soul! 

My prayer is that the Lord will help me be faithful in this season and learn all the lessons He has for me.  It’s not easy, but then I guess nothing worthwhile ever is, right?


The "re-" words

I have been prayerfully pondering a strong thought for some weeks now, something that I believe God is speaking as a theme for this new year.


The work of the enemy of our souls is always negative--you know, the 'de-' words.  Defeat. Despair. Destroy. Depress. Jesus warned us of this in John 10:10:  "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and destroy."

Have you experienced any of these attacks this year?  I have.  Some days it was hard to keep my head above water and remember that Jesus had all the strength and help I needed for every situation.

But the Lord has been reminding me that He is the Redeemer!  He has 'bought back' every kind of destruction that can come against me and turn it into Life.  The second half of that verse describes it:  "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."

When you think about it, redemption is a package deal, absolutely everything I need or ever will need. It's a "re-" word that encompasses all the others. "Re-" means "go back to, again, anew."  Only in Jesus, He doesn't just take us back to where we were derailed. He takes us up into His realm of resurrection life--the superabundance, overflowing, more-than-enough, extraordinary supply of His redeeming work on the cross.











Doesn't that just make your heart sing?  It does mine.  I desperately need this precious and powerful work of the Holy Spirit over this year.  I'm looking for it in all my needy situations, asking for it, thanking Him for it.

May He quicken this truth to your heart today, in whatever place of challenge you find yourself, and give you new and fresh encouragement for 2016!