How do you get your arms around the piles of laundry, the stacks of paper, and the refrigerator that needs cleaning out, again? How do you get your heart around the build-up of heartaches, the losses, and the struggles that have accompanied season after season? When the things that must be addressed in your life seem much bigger than your time or energy…or your faith, there is but one choice: TRUST GOD and DO THE NEXT THING. Elizabeth Elliot quoted this poem sometime back. My dear friend, Kara, wrote about this perspective on her blog. As I wrestle daily with the overwhelmingly grand task of raising a family and caring fo a home…as I grapple with the reconstruction the Lord is doing in my heart and mind…this little poem of unknown origin encourages me time and time again. I pray this spurs you on today, weary friend, and puts lightness […]
I’m currently typing from within a dusty, rubble-filled home. There is exposed concrete, drywall, and power tools throughout my kitchen. This is the point in a remodel when you ask: Is this worth it? Will I make it to see the reward at the end of all the challenges? I’m currently experiencing this truth: There’s no building up of new until the old is torn down. Like so many things in life, change requires a painful upset of what once was for what could be: Earning a degree begins with making time in your schedule for school. Forming a friendship starts with setting aside tasks for an invitation to coffee. Expanding an existing kitchen inevitably requires demolition… More of Christ means less of me…There is no building up of the new man until the old man is torn down. So amidst the heaps of debris, there is great joy and […]
…for family, for home, for the abundance of goodness… …for salvation, and the comfort of the cross in all heartaches… …for the sunrise each day that reminds us that every day is a gift. My hard-working husband began work on the house on Monday, ripping down walls, moving pipes, chipping tile, and expanding the space within our home for our growing family. I’m more than thankful for the generosity of friends, the love of family, and the diligence of each member of my family as we we blessed and sought to bless this week. What wonderful reminder this week that everything is a gift from Him…and everything is given to give back. I’m thankful for the friendship found within this community here at GraceLaced…thank you for letting me share my life with you!
There is no end to the things we can turn to to fill in any free time, extra space, gaps, and the empty places in our hearts. Sometimes we act as if everything must be maxed out or filled to the brim to be adequately serving it’s purpose. I’m finding that to be far from the truth. I’m discovering more and more, the joy of being emptied out, incomplete, and unfinished… Come join me today at Beautifully Rooted, as I share about what it is to not just be filled, but filled well.
Sometimes the best way to understand something is by contrast. You can wear certain colors that make your eye color pop. A little salt is always added to anything sweet. A pool feels most amazing after some time of baking in the hot sun. Contrast helps us appreciate what something is MEANT TO BE. David Powlison is well-known for his “Anti-psalms” (like this one of Psalm 23), re-writings of familiar psalms for the purpose of contrasting a Biblical perspective with the denial of God’s person and provisions. Here’s Psalm 131 O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time […]
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“Life’s not all fricasee, frogs, and eel pie, you know!” -Puddleglum, from The Silver Chair I’m sure that is the kind of introduction that endears you to this amazing recipe– that it would be lumped together with frogs and eel pie. Well, it indeed is THAT good. At least to me and Puddleglum. Fricasee is a French stew/sautee that seems to be the creamy cousin to it’s French counterpart, boeuf bourguignon. Instead of red wine, it’s white. Instead of beef, it’s chicken. Instead of dark and rich gravy, it’s lemony creamy sauce of multiple herbs and flavors. None of the ingredients are terribly expensive, but the combination is decadent! So, you’ve long experienced my fondness for Martha Stewart and Julia Child recipes, but not for the impracticalities that sometimes accompany many of them. This one’s no exception. I’ve made this recipe my own: Instead of bone-in chicken pieces, I’ve used […]
Gratitude is en vogue, is it not? And there is indeed no shortage of thanksgiving this time of year… …however, if my own life is any indication, complaining and murmurings can often be as plentiful as the observances of gratitude. I’m so tired of _______. Why me? Can I just get a break? It’s not pretty. But these murmurings of complaint really do leave my lips…and I forget that there is no room for both gratitude and murmuring. A perennial favorite around here, E.M. Bounds cuts right down to what it is to be more than simply thankful in our hearts, but with our lips as well. A little gift for you today…2 free 8×10 printables of this great reminder. Download the first one here. And this one here. Blessings to you, friends. I pray that praise and thanksgiving will be so full within our hearts that there would simply be […]
It is such a simple concept, but I was still taken aback when our preacher shared it Sunday morning: “Sleep is a daily reminder from God that we are not God.” Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:1-2) What is so astounding about this Scripture and the complementing truth? Perhaps it is that I unintentionally exalt in how much I can accomplish by sacrificing sleep and rest. And when it really comes down to it, such laboring is in vain if I think myself capable of defying the vulnerability and weakness God wove into the fibers of my being. I was MEANT to rely on Him, to trust in […]
“It’s all gonna burn someday.” Troy reminded me, as we assessed the damage to our Ethan Allen dining table. “I know, Babe…I just didn’t expect it to burn so soon.” I said with a weary smile. Our mischievous curious almost-four-year old did what was right in his own eyes yesterday afternoon. He uncapped a dry erase marker and lit it on fire with a cozy candle in the middle of my dining tablescape. Did you know that dry erase markers are super flammable? Are you surprised? He was evidently surprised too, since he quickly dropped the enflamed marker onto the ash veneered table and watched it burn until Number 1 came to the rescue. Melted plastic, charred ink, and a destroyed finish awaited me as I came running. Though none of his brothers had actually seen him do the deed, it seemed evident who the culprit was. Number 5, the baby, had an […]
The November chill is creeping in and my potager, along with its generous tenants of chard, beans, and eggplant, is no longer hospitable. It’s growing quiet and it’s beds are turned down, week by week. The boys and I gather armfuls of the past few months, and let them go to the bin in the side yard. Winter is coming. And, I am thankful for its quiet reminder: What is dead must be hauled away for new life to come again. I’ll just say it– I wish it was always green, always vibrant, always in bloom. Who doesn’t love a vine LADEN with fruit? Who doesn’t crave foliage that announces deep nourished roots? Who doesn’t long for sunshine on her face, and never the chill of winter? “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have […]