Tag Archives: perseverance

When Carrots Expire

Consider the humble bag of carrots.

bag of carrots

humble bag of carrots

There it goes down the conveyor.

down the conveyor

there it goes

Whoosh!

down the conveyor

whoosh!

But wait! Look at the date on the package.

date on the bag of carrots

11.09.12

Best if used by 11.09.12. 

By then, the election will be over. We hope.

If the carrots can make it, so can you.

Hang on. It may come down to the wire.

But don’t give up!

Smile and think of the day when carrots expire.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV

Don’t Give Up by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush. A little melodrama goes nicely with beta carotene.

Name a root vegetable without repeating any named in the comments before yours.

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Filed under America, food & farm, humor

Stay or Go, God is There

I’ve been known to stay long past the bitter end, forever and ever, amen. But as I age, my impulse is to run.

crosses

crosses

Running seems more efficient. The minute the malaise sets in and my gut says maybe everything in this situation (or friendship or outfit or whatever) isn’t going to be okay after all, I’m set to fly. Don’t usually act on it, but I want to.

God in His wisdom paired me prone-to-bolt with a husband who is built-to-stay.

He does not easily move. He possesses patient, long-suffering stick-to-itiveness. Comes from growing up on a farm, I think.

There’s a lot of waiting on a farm. You wait for the weather to change. Wait for things to grow. Wait for the prices of your crop to go up. Wait for the costs of your implements to come down. Wait for homemade dinners. Wait for trips to town to get supplies.

In the suburbs where I come from there’s very little waiting. We devour instant gratification. Malls, 24-hour grocery stores, fast food restaurants, extreme makeovers at your choice of salons. Want to satisfy a craving? Change your life today? Walk-ins welcome.

This isn’t a contest between farm and suburbia. There are pros and cons to both. Just like there are times to run and times to stay put.

Mercifully, God is there no matter what.

When the pregnant Hagar ran, she saw God.

When the fugitive Moses ran, God met him in a burning bush.

When David ran, he sang to God Who was with him: I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed.

When Elijah ran from Jezebel, he heard God whisper.

On the other hand, when Miriam stayed among the bulrushes of the Nile, she saw God save her baby brother’s life through the hands of an Egyptian princess.

When David stayed to fight Goliath, this was his battle cry: All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give all of you into our hands.

When Jehoshaphat’s people stayed in the face of destruction at the hands of their enemies, they heard the echo of David’s words: Do not be afraid because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.

When Jesus stayed and did not run from the Roman soldiers in Gethsemane, He set in motion the work of the cross.

I’m thankful for people in my life who ground me from flight. I like to think they’re thankful for people like me who bid them to fly once in a while.

Queen Anne's lace

Queen Anne’s lace

I’m astounded by a God who remains steadfast in spite of us.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, You are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there Your hand will guide me,
Your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:7-10 NIV

Me Without You, new from TobyMac.

Are you prone-to-bolt or built-to-stay?

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Filed under faith, family & friends, life

Jesus and the Bicycle

Jesus didn’t have a bicycle. If He had, I wonder if He would have used it to teach us how to follow God and help others do the same.

bike on the path to follow God

on the path

You can’t ride a bicycle for someone else. You may steady them as they start and run alongside until they pedal. But you can’t push them all the way.

Once they get going, you may ride behind them to watch for cars, in front of them to cross streets, beside them to buffer against traffic.

You might catch your breath when they nearly collide with trees or learn to use the hand breaks or jump off before a complete stop.

They’ll have spills and accidents.

They’ll have boo-boos and band-aids.

You’ll encourage them to get up and try again.

Sometimes you’ll fall, too. You’ll remember, and they’ll see, you’re imperfect like they are. You’ll get up again. So will they.

In an unexpected moment, you’ll notice they’re tracking with you. They don’t need your help as much. You’ll stop by the water and enjoy the view together.

bike stop by the water, follow God

rest stop

You don’t easily forget how to ride a bike once you learn. You carry it through life and it carries you.

Pass it on.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:23-25 NIV

I’m With You by the sweet voices of Nichole Nordeman and Amy Grant.

Who helps you follow God? Who are you helping?

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Filed under faith

Challenge: It’s a Good Thing

My what a difference a week makes.

blogher nametag

my name tag

First syndicated post, first blogging conference, first trip to New York City in almost 20 years, first opportunity to meet several online blogger friends in real life, first time seeing THE Martha Stewart speak live and in person.

My brain is full to overflowing. 

I can quit or press on. Give up or give it my all. Be afraid or be brave. Cave to other people’s ideas of who I should be or reaffirm who I am and continue to be that person. Keep writing in series of lists—my favorite literary rhythm—or learn to break it up a bit.

I’ve been challenged in more ways than I could have imagined a week ago. In the words of THE Martha, it’s a good thing.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:5 NIV

Aaron Shust sang the perfect rallying song on the radio as I drove home from the airport yesterday: My Savior, My God.

How have you been challenged lately?
Will it defeat you or inspire you?

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Filed under blogging, faith, family & friends, life, women's studies, writing & reading

$5.85

That’s my take from 40 days of WordAds. I didn’t expect to make much, but $5.85?

Christmas tree

Christmas 2013

I don’t even get paid until I reach $100. At this rate, I’ll see my first check in time for holiday shopping—Christmas 2013!

The ads were charming, but distracting. I couldn’t approve them in advance or negotiate fees, yet they commandeered some of the best space on my page.

As my friend Janice of A Colorful Adventure said about her experience with ads on her blog, “I wanted the prime real estate for myself!”

Me too, Janice. So I’m ending my WordAds Beta.

The quest for ways to generate income doing what I like to do continues. I have a few ideas up my sleeve. Or maybe a more traditional approach is in order.

You never know until you try.

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14 NIV

This calls for bluegrass. I Ain’t Gonna Lay My Hammer Down by Blue Highway.

When do you call it quits? When do you persevere?

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Filed under blogging