Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Year of the Launch

The approaching year is looming out there in the near distance like the moon on a cloudless night.  But instead of getting smaller as the night rolls in, it’s getting larger.  Still a bit mysterious.  Still undiscovered.  We know what it is in general, but we don’t know exactly what it will look like.  We are indeed seeing through a glass darkly.  

It’s like a large ship getting ready to launch out into uncharted waters.  We know he’s commissioned us; we know he’s spoken.  We know he’s given us the command, “Launch out into the deep waters.”  And we, like Peter, take a deep breath and try not to say, “But we’ve fished all night,” but rather to join in with the latter part of his statement: “Nevertheless, at your word, Lord, we will do it.”  We don’t know exactly how it will look, what storms we will encounter, what he will consider success for us in this new phase of our journey.  

Nevertheless we prepare to launch.  We gather our family, our belongings, and provision for the journey as best we know how, and move onto the ship.  Then we wait.  When the wind begins to blow, the sails will lift and the boat will embark.  Until then we remain in position, anticipating that powerful force to fully launch us into those deeper waters.  
We have no idea how many other boats are waiting in the wings ready to follow, just needing someone to go first.  Could there be two, three, or several thousand?  

Could Columbus have foreseen modern-day America when he climbed on board the Santa Maria?  DId Amerigo Vespucci know that two continents would eventually bear his name  when he began his voyage?
So it is with trembling knees we prepare for our launch and with our ears leaned in closely to the master’s heart.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Beginning the List

I've been challenged by Ann's 1000 gift list to begin one of my own.  

So I started the day after Christmas.  As I began listing things I was thankful for, something started happening way deep down.  As I was drifting off to sleep that night, I realized that thanksgiving is a feast for the soul.  The gratitude was changing me.  Changing my perspective, changing my outlook.  I am grateful for this experience, for this new-found joy. 

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” John Milton
A snippet and commentary from my 1000 gift list:

# 14 Driving by a snowy hill - so thankful that I grew up with an appreciation for the beauty of nature.  My mom and dad gave me that.

I can still hear my mom squealing “It’s snowing!” in my inner ear.  Probably because she still does it every time it snows.  And every beautiful sunset that graces the sky, I hear her exclaim, “Look at that!  Look at that!  Look at that!”  
My dad’s quiet wonder at the beauty of Lake Tahoe.  His silent breathing in of the majesty of the mountains, lakes, trees, hills.  This brings healing  to my soul.  

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Year

Hey Everyone! Since it's January, I thought I would update my blog that I started in August! LOL. At least I warned you that I may not be able to keep up with it. To tell you the truth, I couldn't remember where the blog was located, the url, the password - nothing. But I finally found it again, so I think I'm could to go. At least for today. I didn't realize people were actually reading my blog and making comments. So... sorry for ignoring all of you all this time.

Lately however, I have been trying to write more. I find that when I write I can think through things. Sometimes I just end up with more questions, but at least I have narrowed down the issues to a few choice questions instead of random, crazy thoughts.

This has been a year of changes so far. Jana graduated from high school in December and is now in community college full time. She's only 17 and doesn't have her license quite yet, so that means I have a new job - taxi driver. :-) Not something I always aspired to be, but I am happy to facilitate her getting an associates degree for much less $$ than going to a "regular" school. She plans on going to Regent eventually. Does anyone have any great ideas for navigating through the fafsa website without losing your mind? Joanne Cava told me, "Just one question at a time." I guess that's the best advice so far.

We've been working through the book, The Heart of Anger lately. Let me tell you, this is an awesome book. I started reading it and decided it would great to use it as a springboard for family devotions. So we have discussed chapters 4 and 5 I think together and started putting into practice some of the suggestions in these chapters as family. It's a great tool and learning how to deal with situations in a Christ-like way - whether or not you think you have a problem with anger. One of the challenging things the author says is that Christians should be experts in biblical communication. Right away I agreed and thought, Ok, I need to work on this. So I decided to make my new years' goal to get better at biblical communication. How bout taking the challenge with me? Instead of aiming to lose 10 pounds or some other great feat, why not make a character goal this year? Getting better at being kind. Or improving your thoughtfulness skills. Something like that. What do you say? Anybody got any great ideas??