Christmas is coming!
Does that warm your heart? Are you excited to find or make perfect gifts for everyone on your list? Do you anticipate relaxed evenings gathered around the fire, delightful afternoons making cookies, evenings caroling and partying? Will you decorate your home with the most beautiful Christmas tree ever, and brighten the neighborhood with your extravagant light display?
Most of all, will you spend extra time with God, focusing on the incredible significance of His light shining in our darkness and thanking Jesus for coming as one of us?
Pete and I love road trips. When we fly, we miss everything between our home and our destination, but with a road trip we can turn off at every interesting sign. (I particularly like brown signs, as they usually imply some sort of natural feature or wildlife refuge.)
Ten years ago, during a particularly stressful time in our lives, Pete gave me the gift of a month-long road trip, all by myself. I had the luxury of wandering wherever God led, while he took care of everything at home. (Yet another reason I adore my husband!)
Pete and I were chatting with a friend, sharing stories about how we’d learned to trust God. So often we’re focused on what’s happening now that we forget to look back at the many years of God’s faithfulness and direction. As Pete related one major lesson he’d learned many years ago, explaining how it laid the foundation for so much of the ministry he had now, I realized that it’s a story worth sharing. I didn’t know Pete when this happened—I met him a month later—but it’s had a huge impact on my life. Maybe God will use it in your life, too. Continue reading
We’re going camping this weekend. We are voluntarily giving up our comfortable bed, convenient bathroom (complete with delightfully hot shower), and custom-designed kitchen for a leaky air mattress in a small tent, a pit toilet down the path, a sponge bath, and a two-burner Coleman stove. Afternoon thunderstorms are likely, but at least they’ll settle the dust and bring some relief from the heat. There will probably be mosquitoes, and maybe even bears. We’ll spend a day getting ready to go, and another day putting everything away again, all for two nights in the mountains. We must be crazy. Continue reading
Today is our wedding anniversary. Pete and I made our vows, trusting God to help us keep them. Thirty-eight years later I can honestly say that Pete is still my best friend. I love spending time with him. We’ve been through good times, hard times, and some very exciting times. If asked, we’d say that we have a good marriage. Not perfect, but definitely good.
Today, Pete is in Missouri attending the International Conference on Computing and Mission. I’m home in Colorado, missing him. This is not how we’d plan to celebrate our special day, but we didn’t pick the conference dates. Such is life.
You’d never know it now, but when I first met Pete, almost 40 years ago, he was a shy, introverted nerd. Really. Oh, he was sweet and kind, and smart and fun, but he seemed unsure of himself, and a tad socially awkward. Much later I happened to see a bumper sticker that summed him up quite nicely:
(He was an engineering major, but you get the idea.)
I love the last week of December. There’s a sense of closure. Whether it was a great year or a horrible one (or, as usually happens, a mixture of both), January 1 gives us a new start. When I was in school, I always rejoiced at the end of a semester. I was finished with finals and had new classes to look forward to. In the meantime, I could truly rest, knowing that I had a respite from responsibility.
A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.
For some reason, this year is much like those long-ago years in high school and college. After a packed fall and crazy December, I suddenly have a break. The health issue I mentioned a few weeks ago has been resolved with a series of good reports and I’m rapidly recovering. Even more amazing, to my mind, were the multiple comments on my positive attitude from all the doctors, nurses, etc. who were involved—clearly an answer to prayer! Continue reading