Taking Life One Step At A Time

Taking Life One Step At  A Time

Monday, December 28, 2009

Complaint Cure #9

Thanking God for...
~ neighbors willing to share their time and their snowblowers. :)
~ a beautiful Christmas with my immediate family
~ the joy of children at Christmastime
~ a candlelight Christmas eve service
~ a helpful husband
~ dinner and a movie with a great friend tomorrow
~ at a glance day planners
~ a wonderful goodbye party for a friend
~ God's good gifts which are so abundant!
~ the hymn "My Jesus, I love thee"
~ the Go Fish Snow CD
~ Buckeyes (the candy - although the team is also good)
~ hearing the laughter of my son and his best friend
~ free books and movies and music from the library
~ Jesus

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


One winter night here in Evansville, Josh called around dinnertime and said he was bringing home a guest. A homeless man named Matthew had come and asked Josh for help. He had tattered sneakers, a worn coat, and a pillow and blanket. He was filthy and looked much older than his years (we found out he was just around Josh's age). Matthew had nothing and needed a place to stay. After talking with him for some time, Josh discerned that it would be safe to bring him home for a warm meal before taking him to a hotel for the night. As usual, it was a very cold winter night in Wisconsin.

Matthew's story was hard to understand. He told about himself as we ate sloppy joes. He told of wanting to go south, but didn't want bus or train fare. He told of looking for help to find a job, but wasn't sure where to go. He talked of sometimes trying to get arrested just to have a warm place to sleep. Matthew broke my heart. He had no purpose and no direction. And it was such a stark comparison to see him, destitute and desperate, in our home - a place of warmth, happiness and love.

Something else happened while Matthew was visiting that has left me praying for more homeless to visit. I saw my children completely disregard Matthew's appearance and unabashedly love him during dinner. Our sweet little Zack sat next to Matthew and kept hugging him. And as Matthew left that night, Zack's little voice called out, "I love you!". What a blessing to behold a love that had no boundaries!

I have been praying this winter that God will bring others like Matthew across my path. I will have a little chance to serve next week through a meal our church is hosting for those in need in our community. But, I want to do more. I want to share all that God has blessed us with. Oh, Lord, grant me eyes to see those in need and a heart and hands that are willing to be used by you!

Our kids still ask about Matthew. We pray for him and others in similar situations. I'm so thankful that our family had an opportunity to be blessed through a little time with Matthew and I pray that we were also a blessing to him.

Complaint Cure - Take 8

Praising God for ...
~children who are lovey first thing in the morning
~less time on snowy roads now that we are homeschooling
~a really fun time at the movies with the kids yesterday
~returning health
~a delightful Children's Pageant
~the CD player
~the ability to sleep in my bed after several nights on the couch and chair
~everything coming together smoothly for Josh's Kenya trip
~the opportunity to catch up with old friends through Christmas cards
~a small glimpse into a homeless man's life
~my Savior who came as a babe

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lessons from a helmet

Last night we took the kids to a lighted park in Madison. We used to visit one every December in St. Louis, but had yet to find one here in WI. The kids ask every year, so we finally researched and found a park filled with Christmas lights. There really wasn't much of a display, but the kids were excited none-the-less.

One fixture was particularly exciting ... a Green Bay Packers helmet. We drove by it four times and every single time Gabe would ooh and aah and exclaim over how wonderful it was. :) We found it rather funny that he continued to be excited by the very same helmet, but as I was thinking again of Gabe's joy, I realized that I had a lesson to learn from him.

How often have I heard the Christmas story and, more particularly, the gospel message? Every year we repeat the same Biblical stories with our children hoping that they will grasp the significance. And yet, in my own heart it has become just another retelling of the same old story. Where is my excitement over the miracle of Christ's coming? Where is my joy in hearing once again how God humbled Himself, took on flesh and died for my sin?

I have noticed lately that my faith seems dry and stale. I have been lacking the freshness and zeal that I once had. But today, as I think of my son's joy over a repeated sighting of a Green Bay helmet, I am reminded that I haven't really taken a good look at the cross lately. It is only through a daily glimpse of Christ that I will be able to maintain a joyful faith. Only when I am looking at Him can I see myself for who I am - a sinner in great need of saving, a totally unworthy recipient of God's grace.

So, today I'm choosing to look again at the cross. I'm choosing to remember to see my Savior. And I'm choosing to be excited about the age old story.

Complaint Cure ~ Take 7

Praising God this week for ...

... the beauty of snow!
... Christmas carols
... the palpable excitement of children at Christmastime
... heat
... the ease of NOT putting on all the winter gear before school
... a wonderful Thanksgiving with family
... guests that are helpful
... the violin
... JBU magazine
... oatmeal
... Christmas lights
... Mondays
... cozy blankets
... God, who took on flesh for me