Saturday, April 25, 2015

Two Ways to Think About It

As I listen to a Christian professor discussing what motivates his research, I'm so struck by his claim. He says, "God gives us significant insights. . . that we then share with people to make their lives better and their appreciation of God and His goodness greater."

We share our God-given insights to improve lives and to increase the appreciation of God and His goodness. 

When I think about personal mission statements in teaching, writing, and research--or simply just living in a neighborhood--I'm compelled by this two-fold question: "Does this activity improve lives and help people understand God's goodness better?"

I love thinking about work and life in these terms.

Friday, April 24, 2015

All the Childhood Projects

Our days of childhood school projects for the S.L.A.M fair (Science, Literature, Art, and Music) will end after just next year. As I get ready to deliver another project to school, I find myself reminiscing about days of glitter and hot glue.

What fun we've had! One year, we explored making butter from cream; another year, we astonished the chemistry teachers with how we distilled fragrance from flowers.

This year, in the bitter winter, my youngest daughter and her friend designed a Pioneer Log Cabin Interior, circa 1875, with all that salt dough I told you about. Each week, all winter long, they added new little elements and talked about what life might be like inside that little cabin.

I think about butter and flowers and salt dough and elementary school days gone by. Next year is the last elementary school year! I'm so glad to have blogged these days to slow them down, if possible, just the tiniest bit.

Meanwhile, I would love a little cabin with a fireplace, wouldn't you?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

An Overgrown Lesson About God's Timing

Do you remember how our daughters planted all their seeds in their mini greenhouses several weeks ago? Well, we realize that we began the process much too soon. In Pennsylvania, the planting season really begins later in May, and folks often don't touch their gardens until June 1st.

Our plants have nowhere to go. They have nowhere to put down roots.

I'm staring at those plants, and I realize that when God delays a dream, perhaps it's because if it came about, it couldn't take root and thrive. Timing matters so much when you consider what God needs to put in place in order to sustain and cultivate the dreams or vision we have for our lives. I'm learning more and more to trust God because He sees what I don't see.

He carefully guards our lives and our dreams.

In the meantime, we'll transfer these plants to larger pots and more soil as we await the perfect warm day in late May or June to plant them. We'll keep them inside as this April snow falls on the garden.

And every time I observe these plants, I'll remember God's perfect timing.