family

Having Jesus Relationships

I just finished a really wonderful phone call & I’m enjoying the settled & exciting residue of that conversation. As I’m thinking about it now, I’m recognizing God’s fingerprints on both the chat & this friendship.  To recognize & appreciate God friendships, here are a few pointers:

  • differences are delightful but conformity is bland.  Enjoy the journey to discover different perspectives & ways of doing things!
  • trust and transparency are interdependent.
  • communicate for depth & connection, not just information
  • keep forgiveness as a core priority, fresh and authentic
  • pray over your friendships to discern God friendships and natural friendships

David & Jonathon are a great model for a God friendship!  Feel free to read about this friendship for some interesting insights – 1 Samuel 18-20.

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

Being Exclusive

There’s lots of appeal to being exclusive, particularly when we’re included in something “exclusive.”  But if we’re excluded, it’s not very pleasant.  For example, remember the middle school cliques?  Or how about the “process” to be included in a fraternity / sorority?  There’s lots of good feelings to being included & lots of bad feelings when we’re excluded.

I’ve been thinking about the words “include” and “exclude”.  In latin, include literally means to shut in while exclude means to shut out.  I’m bringing this to your attention because God wants to include you in the family of God – to adopt and graft you into the family.  And I think this inclusion can make us all feel warm, fuzzy, loved and accepted!

To this end, if we’re in God’s family, then as a family member let’s continue this value and include people instead of exclude them.  Maybe this would be an authentic way to express genuine love: to be more inclusive than exclusive 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in enemies to intimacy, family, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

missing socks

I have three men in my family who basically wear the same size socks, so there’s a weekly challenge to match up pairs.  I’m tempted to be creative & see if they’d notice mismatched colors and ankle length with calf length.  And nevermind making sure they’re right side out instead of inside out.  So pretty much every week there are a few rogue socks looking for their partner & they wind up in the single sock bin.  From time to time, I’ll put on a mindless movie & go through the single sock bin to see who matches.

Sometimes life can seem a little bit like the single sock bin & maybe we’re waiting for God to put some missing parts together so there’s more cohesion and better functionality in our lives.  Maybe sometimes we’re like people in the Bible:  David, Moses, Elizabeth, Jacob and others, remembering God’s promises but waiting for the match up of these promises in our daily living.  If that’s you, I want to encourage you that God’s promises are faithful & true, coming to pass in God’s timing.  In the meantime, let’s decide daily to trust God our Divine Designer!

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Posted by Sarah in busy, family, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

Taking My Daughter to College

The fateful day has arrived & this isn’t like the kindergarten transition. It’s lots harder, full stop. As I write this, I’m swallowing my tears & endeavoring to keep myself together as I suspect other parents & my daughter wouldn’t appreciate heavy water works right now.

So where is God in this day?  Well, I sense God loving me & looking after me with reconnecting with my college roommate. I sense God helping me by watching my daughter do her room & interact with a plethora of people with poise, grace & ease. I sense God helping me stay busy & distracted to keep the tears at bay. And I sense God encouraging me to trust God to help my daughter to grow, learn, adult & deepen her relationship with Trinity.

Holy buckets, this ain’t kindergarten!!

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Posted by Sarah in busy, family, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, thought life, travel, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

3 Mistakes to Avoid with Friends

As I write this blog, I’m painfully aware that I’ve made more than my share of mistakes with friendships.  I’ve fallen short in terms of being consistent, not expressing myself well, being impatient, insecurity struggles & loads more.

And because I’ve been reading Job for a few weeks now, I’m watching his friends and their interactions with Job, noting some stuff to avoid.  Here are some things that might be helpful to you:

  1. Listen to understand more than reply:  Job’s friends sat with him for 7days before they ever said a word.
  2. Presence trumps absence:  Job’s friends didn’t run away when his life went into a cataclysmic meltdown.  Let’s be careful that we’re not fair weather friends
  3. Compassion is better than criticism:  Job’s friends looked for his secret faults as a cause for his suffering, but they were skinny on compassion.  When our friends go through horrendous experiences, it’s more loving to be compassionate than look for & point out their flaws & failures.

Here’s to friendship & how God helps us grow in “iron sharpening iron” friendships, based on Prov 27:17 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, thought life, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

Upside Downside

What goes up must come down, given the gravitational constant for our planet. I was reminded of this reality yesterday on a hike in the foothills west of Denver.  We went up a hill (mountain for flatlanders) & we came down. Simple to type, more strenuous to achieve.  Going up requires different muscles than coming down & the cardio work to ascend is more challenging than descending.

In relation to walking with Jesus, I’m grateful that in every stage of life, His steady presence never leaves us. Some seasons of life are very strenuous & demand tremendous energy & attention. Jesus doesn’t us leave us in these seasons. And in the flat, easy & wise spaces of life, Jesus keeps us company just the same. So regardless of the season of life that we’re in, let’s keep our fellowship with Jesus the continual constant, always pulling us ever close to His side 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in family, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, travel, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

Stay-cation with Teenagers

For two years now, we’ve done a stay-cation so we could save our vacation dollars to do a strategic family vacation.  When we floated the idea to our kids last year, they agreed with our plans & definitely enjoyed the strategic family vacation we took earlier this year.

In the meantime, we are on year two of our stay-cation & it’s an interesting journey to stay-cate with teenagers, attempting to limit screen time & maximize family time.  Teenagers are wonderful people with strong opinions & developing individualities, so doing a stay-cation with them, aiming for happy campers, is challenging.

Here are some things we’ve done that are somewhat helpful:

  • get everyone’s input with at least 3 realistic ideas of things they’d like to do with the family
  • populate everyone’s ideas throughout the stay-cation, giving validation to each individual’s input
  • communicate the stay-cation schedule / events to everyone, giving them a chance to coach their own attitudes before participating in another’s suggestion that might be unappealing
  • communicate budget parameters when soliciting the ideas for activities
  • give ample space / time for individuality to balance family events with individual breathing room
  • pray alot 🙂

Vacationing with teenagers can be fun & challenging.  Most of all, it affords me the opportunity to lean into Holy Spirit to help me coach my internal narratives & attitudes 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in busy, family, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

3 Steps for Giant Killing

The story of David killing Goliath is really well known & it can be encouraging to remember when we are facing what seems to be impossible.  It’s the quinessential story of the underdog defeating a monstrous bully.

I’ve been thinking about this story and here are some helpful observations you can apply today:

  • obeying dad:  the whole story starts with David obeying his dad’s direction to check on his brothers at the battle line with Saul.  We need to stay committed to obeying our Heavenly Father
  • leave the stuff:  David left the sheep for which he was responsible and David left his luggage before he even knew about Goliath.  It’s possible that we might be carrying too many responsibilities and too much luggage
  • run to the action:  David ran to the battle line two times, once to meet his brothers and once to meet Goliath.  Running away from action can often make giants and obstacles get bigger and last longer

Whenever you face a giant or an obstacle, strengthen yourself in the Lord!  He will give you the victory in one fell swoop or through various steps 🙂

 

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Posted by Sarah in busy, family, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, travel, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

Is It Better?

In Cambodia, every year I come to the same neighborhood to check in on some of my friends. Last year when I popped in, I was shocked to see the whole place had been demolished. Furthermore, all of my friends had been relocated several blocks away & now they are living in tin shacks rather than the wood lean-tos precariously perched on rotten wood planks & piers.

So this year, when I visited my friends in their tin shacks I was asking myself if this is a better arrangement?

When we think about change, some of us are more nimble with change & others of us struggle to navigate new stuff. But in order for something to be “better,” I would suggest that it’s helpful to consider our perspective.  If we stay anchored in the past, it can be difficult to see change as “better.”  If we look for the negative in the change, we will most certainly find negative. And maybe it would be helpful to consider that change is one of the methods God uses to help us grow.

Where my friends live now, in some respects, is much better than the past.  But they still face the daily choice to make the best of what they have. This holds true for us as well 🙂

After:

 

Before

 

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Posted by Sarah in busy, Cambodia, family, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, thought life, travel, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

Waiting for a Ride

This is Dan, my Tuk Tuk driver in Cambodia. We’ve known each other for more than 10 years & I massively appreciate him!  He has helped me buy replacement clothes when my luggage hasn’t turned up. He’s collected me from the airport at really late hours. He’s driven my kids around Phnom Penh & he continually puts up with all of my random questions. We also talk about where we could place nightcare centers for easy proximity for their moms. Dan is AWESOME!!

In some ways, Dan reminds me of Holy Spirit & doing practical living. Holy Spirit will navigate our path / journey to get us to good & safe destinations. Holy Spirit helps us with practical needs & Holy Spirit lives to dream with us on bringing genuine love into daily living. Let’s stay committed to doing life with Holy Spirit regardless of when, where & how!

 

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Posted by Sarah in busy, Cambodia, family, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 0 comments