A Quiet Wood

A Quiet Wood

Monday, July 23, 2007

Summer...Gotta Love It!

Ahem...Hello. Can everyone hear me OK? *tapping mic...shrill electronic sound* Good. I guess it's time to spread a few more morsels of Deep Thought and Quiet Contemplation around to all of my faithful readers. *many thanks to both of you* Oh wait, I seem to be just out of Deep Thoughts and Quiet Contemplations. Hmmmm. So...anyone just want to hear a few little blurbs and see some pictures of my summer?


One of my favorite things about summer is getting to catch up with friends. A few weeks ago, I met up with one of the friends I shared a house with during my illustrious college career. I also went to school with her husband. Shaun & Jon have a beautiful family, and we had a fantastic day together at the Magic Kingdom.

Here are a couple of reason's why the Magic Kingdom is a very fun place to go with little kids.

They are so fun to watch! And sometimes, just one hand isn't enough.

All in all, it was a very happy day.

Another happy friend visit was with my good buddy, Cindy, who came and spent a week with me in the scorching hot lands of the south.

We did a bunch of cool things like a proper afternoon tea,

a trip to Seaworld,

some beach photography,

and we also spent some time doing nothing in particular (a favorite pastime of mine when possible). It was a great time with a special friend.

So, that's the last couple of weeks in a nutshell. One other life changing thing I did in the last two weeks was to watch the film Facing the Giants. I HIGHLY recommend it. I was challenged and encouraged in my faith. Maybe I'll get into this a bit more in another post (and maybe not...one never knows), but I realized that I enjoy having a bit of a safety net in my life. I don't often believe big things from God because of fear. No, I'm not espousing some sort of "name it and claim it" mentality. Those of you who know me should understand that! I think that sometimes God gets more glory from how His children handle suffering than by Him just "rescuing" us all the time. However, I do believe that at times I have limited God's ability to work in my own life by asking too tentatively. Anyway, I am praying that my vision will begin to match up to the ability of my God. I think I've made Him too small in my life at times. There are some things that I would love to see happen in my life and ministry. I want to act on the fact that He can do ANYTHING He wants to do, and there are times He wants to show His power in our lives just because He can. May all of our lives be testaments to the power and ability of our God. May we rejoice in His greatness today!

Happy Summer everyone!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Honest Sweat

I just got back from working out at the Wellness Center, (Yes, I do that. I am an amazingly toned machine. *snicker*) and I was thinking. (I must have gotten some blood flow to the brain.) Sometimes it feels really good to sweat; to push the body to its limits of endurance; to make it work, really work; to feel the heart pounding and the muscles doing what they were designed to do. Of course, at the beginning it doesn't feel good. One has to push past the initial bodily whining that occurs. Maybe it's just my body, but it is a great one for initial whining...kicking and screaming actually (which is why for so many years I didn't exercise). Anyway, once the body realizes that it's not going to get its way, it settles down and gets to work. After a while, it realizes that, wow this really does feel good! This is what I was made to do! And its endurance increases. It actually releases some endorphins, and one feels that natural "high" that our bodies are capable of producing.

"So," you say, "thanks so much for the lesson on endorphins. May I go now?" Not quite. I was thinking that maybe our physical bodies are analogous to our spiritual bodies. How often I kick and scream when I am pushed to the limits of my comfort zone spiritually. When I bring my body under subjection, as the Apostle Paul talks about, it has physical benefits (and spiritual ones as well). But how much more my spiritual body, when it is daily subjected to the leadership and disciplining of the Holy Spirit? How often those edges of my comfort zone become doorways of exciting ministry opportunities; venues for me to discover what my spiritual body was designed to do. How will I know what I am capable of, through Christ, if I coddle my spiritual body and allow it to become spiritually fat and lazy? How much more effective can I become if I allow the Holy Spirit to push me to the edges; to tone and discipline my spirit; to keep me sweating honest, spiritual sweat?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Ode to the Mundane

Today I feel grateful...not for anything huge or earth shattering but for little things, things I take for granted. I'm thankful for the love of children who accept us without judgement and hold out unbiased hands; for friends that care enough to tell us the truth even when it hurts; for the unconditional love of family; for the fact that puberty comes only once. I'm grateful that I no longer feel compelled to have to figure out who I am...but instead can just BE who I am. I give praise for days without pain, for restful sleep, for unexpected kindnesses, for old radio shows, for C.S. Lewis. I feel gratitude for laughter that comes quickly and unbidden; for joy that colors every circumstance; for the fact that, although adversity affects all of us, it need not define us; for chocolate. Today I rejoice in the warm sun and cool water, in the Love that gave first, in the Mercy that surrounds me, and in the Peace that sustains me. Maybe, just maybe, the mundane isn't so commonplace after all.