"He goeth before!" There is music in that line. To the redeemed, this is a song of praise and triumph for in it lies a definition of our relationship with Jesus. He, like an older sibling showing a younger one how to succeed in the middle of adversity, has gone before us to show it is possible to live a life of fulfillment in difficult circumstances. It is Jesus, the Firstborn, who has gone before us. We need only to follow in His steps. That is all.
Christmas is almost here and the season of holiday shopping is upon us. Some of you may be looking forward to this with gleeful anticipation and others are probably wishing the gifts are already purchased and wrapped. We all know that one person who is difficult to shop for because he (or she) probably already has everything. We've compiled a list of holiday gifts to help you with your Christmas shopping. Many of these are handcrafted by small businesses and the best part? They’re all under $25.00!
“Corinne, don’t touch that! A dog probably peed there,” I reprimanded my six year old daughter as we walked down a dirty sidewalk in our neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. “My eyes watch for beauty!” she exclaimed to me. She would spot a tiny patch of green grass and stop to literally stroke it, while I usually saw concrete, garbage, or dog litter. How can two people in the same surroundings see two completely different things? It is all in what you purpose to look for. And this, my friend, is a glimpse into the core of what we call gratitude. No matter what the circumstance you or I face, we are given a choice to be grateful or to be stressed. Whatever we are up against, we can choose to thank God for it.
“Man hu? Man hu? What is it?” I can almost hear the voices of six hundred thousand people poking their heads out of their tents and asking together, “What is it?” The old men blink and rub their eyes wondering if their eyesight has really deteriorated to this. Parents exchange startled looks while children jump up and down. “Man hu? Man hu? What is it?”
One thing I discovered about my husband shortly after we were married was his love of people. To be fair, I knew that about him beforehand. I saw the way people easily connected with him, how he made them feel known and heard. He often invited folks in for a meal, even while he was a bachelor. Perhaps it was his love of hospitality that swept me off my feet, that and his blue-grey eyes (among other things, of course).
While created to be a "help meet", how does a Godly woman function in a position of leadership ? How can she lead strongly, yet graciously? And how may she remain tenderhearted and meek while “on duty” and “in-charge”? I don’t know where you are in your journey, but if currently serving in a position of leadership, how do you find rest? Where do you go with struggle? Perhaps you find yourself feeling weary, alone, useless, and wondering if you even matter. Don’t give up. You’re invited to take a short break from the strains of responsibility and “follow” along for a glimpse into a few examples of feminine leadership.
The simple act of turning the page of my daily flip calendar to October 1 st was painful. It reminded me that this October, my arms and my womb are empty. The month of golden leaves, rustling cornstalks, and all things pumpkin was supposed to herald the arrival of our firstborn. Instead of packing a hospital bag, decorating the nursery, and washing little outfits in preparation for birth, our lives go about their usual routines. Baby items are stored out of sight in the attic. My belly is not large and swollen with child. The glory of autumn is shadowed by the reminder that this October will not usher in the joyous, life-changing event we once hoped for.
As the long bright days of summer give way to a crisp, refreshing fall, the styles are changing with the leaves around us. Autumn is arguably the finest season of the four in many ways, fashion being just one of them. Take a nod from nature and weave the rich, vibrant colors of the season into your wardrobe. Gather inspiration from the golden tones of harvest, deep shades of ripened fruit, and the vivid foliage carpeting the ground.
In this age of social media, we have the ability to share anything, anywhere and at any time. With just the tap of a few buttons, we can post virtually any minute detail of our lives on Instagram. There are thousands upon thousands of blogs that we can access or even write ourselves where we can, again, share every detail of our lives. Through photos and words your best friend just down the street or the person a thousand miles away can see what you ate for breakfast or the new shoes you just bought displayed against a beautiful mosaic floor. We are so used to the ability to share every detail of our lives. Whether it’s the lovely latte art from our favorite café, or the latest healthy smoothie that we just concocted, we seem to feel this insatiable urge to make sure everyone knows what we’re doing. Why? What is the point? Is it to say, “Hey look at me, I have this super cool life, you should be jealous that you’re not me”? Is it because we genuinely feel that the photo is worth storing away for the rest of the Internet age?
When I was asked to do a guest post on this blog, initially, I wanted to just say no. I don't feel like I'm a natural blogger, or great at putting things into words like many bloggers I know. However, I felt God nudging me and saying, "Maryann, This has nothing to do with your abilities. Don't you have anything to share about what I'VE done for you?" So here's my attempt at putting a small part of that into words.
Can we keep our faith while in college? The mere title of this article is a paradox because the modern university campus is a rather faithless setting. According to Dr. Finny Kuruvilla, who holds doctorates in chemistry and chemical biology from Harvard, in addition to his MD, “99 percent of university professors are non-Christian.” It follows, that if professors are practicing what they teach, they are living out a god-less lifestyle before their students and promoting anti-faith ideas in their classrooms.
I remember when my siblings and I were little and we would race to the measuring wall to see how much we had grown. We were each always so pleased with our new, taller pencil mark. Our pleasure came in realizing how much further we had come since the last time we had backed up to the wall. “Look how much I’ve grown!” But it was when we turned around that we become dissatisfied. “Wow, look how much taller she is!” The new joy was diminished by hoping to be as tall as big sister. I measured the distance between us with little fingers and wondered how long it would take before I reached HER pencil mark. I’d stand against the wall again: “Am I as tall as her yet?”
My cousin Christy and I have been away from our home base of Kansas for most of last year, but we both came back for the summer. We both had busy summers, but we wanted to do something before we both headed to Faith Builders in the fall. On our family trip this summer, we had the most amazing charcuterie boards at Olympia Provisions in Portland, so my sister and I started brainstorming about a gypsy picnic with charcuterie boards as the centerpiece. Unbeknownst to me, Christy was also dreaming up a bohemian picnic and she wondered if I would want to do the food. I was delighted.
I attended a conference one year where a speaker challenged everyone to wake up at 5am every morning. I was like, “HA! Oh sure. Try getting me to do that! Maybe I’ll try to wake up twenty minutes earlier. Not two hours earlier. LOL.”
These days our nation reels from one dark spectrum to another. Social media explodes with dogmatic opinions, frightened questions, and sorrowful attitudes. Social justice warriors raise their banners on multiple fronts, proclaiming their constitutional rights. Where does this leave you and me? Is there a place for Anabaptist ladies in this convoluted landscape?
I buy a 20 ounce bottle of Coke and drink to the last dribble. I open a package of Twinkies and eat both of them. M-m- m-m. I have an individualized bag of chips with my hoagie and eat the whole bag – well, not the bag, but all the chips. And before I go to bed, I have
myself a bowl of ice cream. Several large scoops hit the spot just fine.
I am always looking for new ways to pack lighter and more efficiently.
I shared in a guest post last year on how I started that process by packing in a color palette of only a few colors. Doing this maximizes my options once I arrive at my destination, especially if I have the opportunity to do laundry.
I hosted my first outdoor movie and ice cream party the summer I lived in a tiny city apartment. Since indoor space was limited, I had to get creative with accommodating large parties, and happily put my large backyard to use. Since then, I have moved, but the movie/ice cream party has become an annual tradition, and this summer I hosted my third. Around 35 friends showed up, and we spent the evening sipping iced coffee, licking drippy ice cream cones and playing lawn games. There was also a twilight balloon launch – all the children had filled out cards with a little message and their return address, and attached them to helium balloons which we sent off in one big, colorful bunch. The final event of the evening was a family-friendly movie, enjoyed from lawn chairs and blankets scattered across the lawn.
I have class every day at the University that I attend. Unfortunately, the parking lot my brother and I park at feels like it’s about eight miles away from everything else. I clocked it once and it’s a little over half a mile from the nearest point of interest, and that point is still quite a ways from where my classes are located.
Walking half a mile is easy if you know how to handle boredom, but that was not the problem.
The problem was the 20lb backpack I carried every day.
I have a passion for food. More specifically, I have a passion for food that is prepared and consumed the way our ancestors prepared & consumed it. Don't get me wrong, I love a good all-American meal of burgers & fries, but there's something that gets my blood pumping when I read about and taste food that my ancestors may have prepared and eaten, whether that be sauerkraut, kombucha, cheese, raw milk or butter, carefully prepared (or not!) meats, or soaked grains.