This Man

>> Monday, October 27, 2014

Turns 40 today.

His beard has been trimmed a little since these pictures were taken,
but the ready, infectious smile is the same.
As is the shaved head, all velvety soft,
and his dislike for having his picture taken.
But his playfulness...
and his willingness to put up with my incessant picture-taking are just two of the qualities I like best about him.  There are too many others to list.

I love you, Man.
Happy birthday!

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Practicing Gratitude [10.23]

>> Thursday, October 23, 2014

It's been quite a week around here.  Last Friday, AJ had her tonsils and adenoids removed and yesterday was her first day back to school.  Man, I tell ya, I am so thankful she was up for it already.  It's tough occupying a kid at home who feels fine other than a sore swallower!

I'm thankful the weather has been so beautiful.  At least she could go outside and enjoy fresh air and a bit of light physical activity.  And I could wear capri pants and sandals for a walk a couple more times!

I'm thankful that AJ's healing has been quite rapid.  She returned to school yesterday, despite her hospital papers which say she may return to school one week after the procedure.  (in my defense, I only discovered that line while we were eating breakfast this morning!  AND, in our pre-op appointment with the OR nurse a week beforehand, we were told she might be ready to return to school on Monday already, so clearly there are differing opinions on the matter.)  I'm thankful her appetite has returned and that she can already eat almost everything she could before.

And did I mention how thankful I am for the weather this month??  It has been fantastic.  I keep wanting to empty our dressers, closets, and shoe racks of our summer gear to make a bit more room, but then suddenly we're needing shorts and sandals again!  It's fairly unusual for this time of year in my neck of the woods, so it's been a wonderful treat.

I'm grateful for democracy, even though so often I don't get the representation I hoped for.  I actually have a hard time caring about elections sometimes because I know that even if the candidates I want to win are elected, they aren't going to keep all their promises.  Many times it seems like nothing changes other than the names in leadership.  And yet I'm thankful for a system that makes dictatorship and tyranny something I don't need to worry about.  I know that's a privilege not everyone in this world enjoys.

And I'm thankful for views like this on my way to the polling station...


Oh, and for candy corn!  :)





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Got Joy?

>> Tuesday, October 21, 2014

On Thanksgiving Sunday, our church's associate pastor didn't preach the "normal" Thanksgiving sermon.  He preached instead on John 15:9-17, focusing fairly specifically on v. 11, the joy verse.  At least, that's the part that caught my attention anyway...

10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Jesus links joy here with obedience, of all things.

Just look at your kids and you KNOW obedience is generally NOT a source of joy!!  (Okay, maybe yours aren't like that; look at mine then.)  To be brutally honest, we can probably look in the mirror and know obedience doesn't make us happy.  We hate submitting to anyone and anything other than ourselves and our own desires.  Obedience is just not something we associate with joy-production.

I have been considerably joy-less for quite some time.  Sure, there are reasons ~ some probably less legitimate than others ~ but the Scriptures teach us that our joy is supposed to transcend our circumstances.  So then the only conclusion to come to is that my circumstances are not the problem.  And what if it isn't even the attitude adjustment I've been struggling to give myself month after month that really matters either?

What if I'm lacking joy because I'm lacking obedience?

Definitely something to ponder.




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