Book Update

Book Update

Book 1 From the Authors

proclaim

I want to give you an update on our children’s book. We are formatting the text and images for print. When I say ‘we’, I mean ‘my mom’. It is on mom’s shoulders right now. She is our tech wizard. She makes computers do things, and explains them to me… and while I nod and smile as if I understand, half of what she says sounds like gibberish. So the short version is: Mom has to convert our images into a higher resolution to make sure every page follows a certain set of criteria so our book actually looks like a book rather than a blurry, pixelated mess.

It’s a lot of work. But she is a positive worker. She said she only needs to find the ‘key,’ and then everything she has learned will fall into place. She also smiles and says she’s learning a lot.

This is a better attitude than mine. I recently went through ‘a series of unfortunate events.’ Each event alone would be bearable. But all together, they became too much for a young mother of three to handle. My life had become a crazy sitcom episode! But thankfully I have Jesus. Because at my low point, when I was driving and trying not to lose my cool, I leaned on God in prayer. And in my prayer I felt as if God was waiting for me to throw back my head and laugh at the ridiculousness of life. Not that he was belittling my life, or my circumstances, rather, to laugh with joy because of who He is. Because He is with me. Because none of the ‘stuff’ in life is ever going to be bigger than He is. As the words of my prayer winged to God, I turned on the radio and, I kid you not, these were the words I heard.

I just wanna make you laugh
I just wanna see that smile
We’re only here for a little while*

Now, I know. Coincidence, right? I think not, for I was awed in that moment. I was comforted in that moment. I felt unexplainable joy in that moment. And when you have these ‘moments’ often enough, you learn to listen for His voice. Remember the story of Elijah**? God was not in the fire, He was not in the earthquake, or the rushing wind. He was in the gentle whisper. All I’m saying is that if we are in relationship with Him, and waiting for a gigantic sign from heaven, we might have to wait a very long time. But if we are listening for that gentle voice, we will receive the comfort we need in countless moments.

My prayer for you this week is that you would receive comfort from the One who made you. That you would be blessed to feel His Presence when you draw near to Him. That whatever you are working on would find success. That you would be renewed to do the work set before you. And that you would bless others as you work. In Jesus’ strong name, Amen!

~Lindsay

*These lyrics are from a band called O.A.R the song is titled “Peace.” It is currently a pretty popular song on the radio.

**1 Kings 19, you should check it out

 

 

Reminders

Reminders

Children Inspiration

Come, my children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

Psalm 34:11 (NIV)

I recently visited the tiniest, most precious gift- a newborn in the NICU. She was premature, and gorgeous. So tiny, and yet so strong.

I am not exaggerating. She was so strong I commented about it, and her nurse said something amazing to me.

“It’s incredible how resilient [premature newborns] are, what they are able to come back from. Most adults would check out when facing the recovery these tiny babies have ahead of them. But it’s like they don’t know how to give up. They just know to try.”

Big Brother and Big Sister inspecting their new Little Brother's foot.
These are my children. Big Brother and Big Sister inspecting their new Little Brother’s foot.

I looked down at the baby, who was strong enough to push adult hands away (we were trying to get foot prints, and she was having none of it). And I was in awe of God’s goodness and faithfulness. He brings us into the world and prepares us to face the challenges ahead. He is always beside us. Though we may be shaken, God can never be moved. He is the rock on which we stand. There is no hardship too difficult, no pit in life too deep.

But somewhere along the way we forget. We put our faith in the wrong things. We forget that God sent us Jesus and Jesus is more than enough.

A friend of mine always reminds me, “Children are born knowing how to love, it’s hate that has to be taught.”

So I thank God for this precious life, and the life of my three healthy children. In everything I do, say, am- my children are watching and learning from me. And no matter how great the difficulties I face, God is faithful to me. Even when I am not faithful. Jesus is more than enough. And the Holy Spirit intercedes for me.

A good reminder. From a very good Father.

They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer. Psalms 78:35 (NIV)

Thank you, Lord, for this new precious life! Thank you, Lord, for children! Bless the children that are sick and hurting, protect and strengthen them. Bless us to be the adults in their lives who point to You and Your Ways. Remind us of who You are, and who You have made us to be! Amen

~Lindsay

The Boat

From the Authors Inspiration

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Genesis 6:9 (NIV)

I have two stories for you involving floods and boats.

Building the boat
Building the boat

When my son was four-years-old, we were on a lakeshore where piles of driftwood had washed ashore following a flood caused by a severe rainstorm. Now the adults were content to start a bonfire, sit in their camp chairs, and relax after a long day of running around. But my son saw all that wood, saw all that water and thought… I could build a boat. Thus began a very exhausting and unproductive evening for him. No matter how hard he tried, he could not get his boat to stick together. He hefted driftwood, and worked and worked… but the pieces kept falling apart. And all the while, the adults watched, thinking, “Oh, that’s so cute.” But no one helped.

The next day, we returned to the lakeshore, and my four-year-old started all over again. Undeterred by the previous day’s failure, he collected and assembled driftwood. This time the little boy’s determination got the attention of one uncle. When the adults saw the boy and his uncle working so hard, they sighed, put down their marshmallow sticks, and began to help. We found vines and weeds to tie the driftwood together. In the end the boat only made one trip, but my four-year-old rode alongside his uncle laughing triumphantly. He had succeeded!

The second story is about another boat. An ark, actually. The story of Noah, the only righteous man in a wicked world. And the one who God decides to save. He sends Noah directions to build the ark, tells Noah to collect the animals… I think you probably know the rest.

Something you may not have thought about when you read this story: Noah did not sit in his living room, watching television while God built the ark for him. (Glad I could clarify that for you) Noah had to build the boat. If he’d given up after smashing his thumb with a hammer for the fifth time, well… the Bible would have been a lot shorter.

My son could not build his boat. He needed help. But if he had asked for help that first night, we wouldn’t have helped. We were tired, we wanted s’mores (just being honest), and boat building on the lakeshore seemed impossible. We didn’t have the tools or materials we thought we needed. And if my son had lost interest that second day and walked away to inspect sea shells, the adults would have forgotten all about that boat building dream. So, why did we help my son?

Because he was persistent.

Now the Bible is not specific about what it means when it calls Noah a ‘righteous man.’ But I’m guessing he didn’t easily give up. He had to build a giant ark, and then gather up two of every kind of animal. Have you ever tried herding cats? Anteaters? Hyenas? Squirrels? Can you even imagine? That man’s middle name must have been Persistent.

And here is my (long awaited) point: persistence pays off. God rewards it. People reward it.

the one-and-only time that boat made it out into open water
the one-and-only time that boat made it out into open water

Jesus tells a parable about the persistent widow (Luke 18). She gets what she wants, even from an unjust judge. My son got what he wanted, even from a bunch of tired and hungry (or at least s’more craving) adults.

I know one thing I need to be persistent about. Prayer. The Bible tells us to be persistent in prayer (Colossians 4). And since I am talking about things I need to be more persistent about, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But it’s enough to get me started.

So what do you need to be more persistent about?

May God bless you to be persistent in the pursuit of Him. And may He open your eyes to the good that He is accomplishing in your life. Amen

~Lindsay

 

Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones

From the Authors Inspiration

Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.
Psalm 40:5 (NIV)

I started writing this blog, thinking, “I have no idea what I am doing.” But every week for the last three or more years, I’ve been writing a ‘weekly update,’ an email to all our extended family. Each week, I put together a little blurb about our life and send it out (with very cute pictures). Just a way to let my grandma (and whoever else might be interested) know what the kids are doing.

Then my uncle told me to start working on a blog for Porkie and Pete, so we have a way to communicate with anyone interested in the books, tell people who we are, yada yada (as we say in our family).

After I started writing the blog posts, my uncle (who is a football coach, but to me seems more like a cheerleader) offered wonderful words of encouragement, telling me how these blogs are really nice. That I have a ‘style’ of writing. And I smile all warm inside (I like my words of affirmation).

Then Mom says, “Isn’t it great you’ve had all that practice writing those family updates. It was the perfect preparation for writing a weekly blog.”

And I looked at her with my trademark-slack-jawed face (which my family calls ‘the codfish’). Because it dawned on me: God wastes nothing! I hadn’t developed a ‘writing style.’ There was no thought on my part about how I should write, I just wrote the way I’d been writing for three years. And I was in awe of what God had done in my life. He’d prepared me. As my mom spoke, I honestly had a picture in my head of God placing tiny stepping stones before my feet, and they stretched on for miles…

While we are plugging along, doing life, He is looking at everything and pulling it all together in ways that we cannot imagine, and often cannot even see until we are at the finish.

Here I am writing weekly updates for three years, and He was up there thinking, “Oh, yep. That will be great! I can use that.” And smiling at me and patting my head, because I had no clue it was preparation for anything!

I wonder what else He is preparing me for? And I am so thankful, because we have a God who does not throw us into the deep end of the pool. He prepares you. Preparation might not always be delightful, or even tolerable. It might be mundane, repetitive, or difficult. It might even seem like something that is not at all useful, but God is a lot smarter than we are. And he is piecing together all these little parts of your life, and making something beautiful. He sees where you’ve been, and knows where you are going. And if you are willing, He will grab hold of you and bring you through to do amazing things.

I am not saying that my small, little, simple example is what others might call ‘profound.’ But I believe we need to trust God with the small things, before we can successfully move on to the bigger things. And what is profound is believing that God is so in love with you, so excited about who you are, that He is willing to work in and through every part of your life. You are His creation. Planned and prepared for a reason. You have a job to do, He made you for a purpose. He is not up in heaven crossing His fingers and hoping you will figure it out on your own. He is as close to you as you will let Him be. And He is faithful. So faithful.

July 22 057
My mother and daughter on the shore.

So I pray that God will open your eyes to what He is working in your life. And I pray that you will be able to grab hold of the things He has planned for you. So that you can be who He created you to be. Amen!

~Lindsay