Thursday, August 28, 2014

Settle Your Heart

We are right in the middle of settling in.  One half of our bedroom is {un}settled, and the other half is settled.  We still need a bookshelf made to house all our extra supplies... but there are some surfaces that look exactly the way I want them.  The furniture wish-list is long, but the budget is short.  We have enough to survive, just not everything I want.  

I love setting up our home.  I enjoy the decorating and the organizing.  I like finding just the right spot for everything.  This is our first four-year term, and it's just the beginning.  I have time to make this house just what I want it to be.  But as we settle in there is this {un}settling thought that whispers in the back of my mind:

"You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away... -James 4:14

Ugh.  This world is passing away.  As much as I enjoy making our house a home, this world isn't my home.  

"{They}... confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.  And truly if they had called to mind the country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.  But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them." -Hebrews 11:13-16 

{by the way if you haven't heard this song by Tenth Avenue North, do yourself a favor and go listen right now! It's on repeat here today}

And so, like Abraham, I must dwell in the land of promise as in a foreign country {thankfully not hard to do when you are actually dwelling in a foreign country}, dwelling in tents... for I am waiting for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.  {Hebrews 11:9-10}

This letter, James, written to the twelve tribes scattered abroad speaks volumes to us global ones scattered around the world. Such sage advice: "Don't get too settled. Your life is merely a vapor, here today, gone tomorrow..." But..."establish {settle} your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand!" {James 5:8}

Settle my heart in Him.  As I settle in here in Uganda, I am so grateful for a forever home in His heart.  I plan on being in Uganda longer than this four-year term, but I can't know that for sure.  All I can do is put down deep heart roots in Him, so I keep thriving wherever He leads me.  And, for now, it is here.

Is there something in your life that just isn't what you wish it was- use it as an exercise in longing for your True Home.  kinda like the past 12 hours without electricity? or the unsafe roads? yeah, getting lots of practice!

**linking up today at for The Grove**

Are you feeling settled or unsettled lately? 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

the key to humility

the power is out. again. we can't use the coffee maker. again. the baby was up every hour. all. night. long. my mini-meatloaves failed. the carrots and zucchini burned. these are the thoughts swirling in my head on Tuesday morning.  we're one month in to our second term, and I'm feeling it! the honeymoon is over.

Oh, the pride in thinking i am too good for inconvenience, let alone suffering.  I deserve consistent power. I deserve one solid night of rest. etc. It simply isn't true. and yet i operate as if it is. The truth is "all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution..." 2 Timothy 3:12... and this isn't persecution. This isn't even suffering. This is inconvenience. What I really deserve is eternal condemnation, because I am a sinner.  But He is gracious.

I deserve none of the good things I have. He generously gives us all things. The key to humility is recognizing how much He has already given.  The key is gratitude.  I am humbled as I look around me and see all He has done for me. And I slander the name of God when I complain about what He has allowed in my life.  And in Titus this week I've been reminded that older women are not slanderers... they are teachers of good things... -Titus 2:3

Here are the true and good things I need to be reminded of:
  • The grace of God has appeared to all men. (Titus 2:11)
  • I have a blessed hope. (Titus 2:13)
  • One day there will be a glorious appearing. (Titus 2:13)
  • He gave Himself for me. (Titus 2:14)
  • I am redeemed. (Titus 2:14)
  • I am special to Him. (Titus 2:14)
  • He has given kindness and love in Christ. (Titus 3:4)
  • His mercy has saved me. (Titus 3:5)
  • The Holy Spirit has been poured out abundantly on me. (Titus 3:5-6)
  • I am an heir in Christ. (Titus 3:7)
  • I have been justified. (Titus 3:7)

these are things we ought to affirm constantly...these things are good and profitable to think on... -Titus 3:8

What do you do when pride sneaks up and rears its ugly head?  What are you grateful for today?

I'm linking up at The Grove today at 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Homework Station

Everything they need to do homework, right near the dining table.
It's back to school season!  And we are all ready for the homework challenge.  In Grades 1 and 2 they should only have 20 minutes of homework, and so it's not too tough to knock it out after school.

We are new to the homework scene, and so I had to decide when it was going to work best for our family.  I wanted the boys to be able to come home and unpack (physically and emotionally), but I also didn't want homework hanging over our head all day, or into breakfast the next morning. So the routine that works best for us is:

  1. Eat a popsicle and chat about the day. {read more about that tradition}
  2. Do homework
  3. Free to play or watch one show.  
It works for us, because I can greet them at the end of a long, hot day with a sweet, icy popsicle and hear about their day "it was good".  And then we get the homework out of the way.  Once the homework is packed back into the backpack, they are free until bed time!  And that makes us all happy!

How do you handle homework?  What tricks work for your family?

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