Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Joy Ride

The sun has finally come out, and we have been basking in its glow. For the first time this year we dusted off our bikes, checked our tire pressure and went for a long ride through town.

It was great to get back out. Since we live in town, I try to bike most places while the weather is good. I've outfitted mine so I am able to carry small packages and such. This year the girls added baskets to their bikes as well, so they will be able to carry their own treasures.

Riding with young children requires lots of reminders to look for cars, watch out for pedestrians, giving extra space to the youngest riders, and signaling with our hands to talk to both drivers and the rest of our group.

It seems like I've been repeating myself for several years now, but I do catch glimpses of them finally starting to make safe riding decisions.

One practical thing we haven't been doing is locking out bikes. Usually we park them near us, but there have been times that we need go into a building. We've been lucky that we live in a great small town, but I can't help but think we have been pushing our luck. In comes Wordlock they don't just make padlocks, they make bike locks!

Just in time for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that hits theaters May 2nd. They have provided me with a Spider-Man themed bike lock to giveaway! Perfect for kids (Or just the Marvel addict in your family)

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Lost and Found

I enjoy reading, and now that my kids are no longer babies I find the time to read. I recently got the opportunity to read Sarah Jakes latest book Lost & Found.

It was an engaging retelling of her life thus far. She has made lots of decisions that resulted in a harder life than it needed to be, but shares how she seems to finally come around.

There were some points on how to love our friends and family as they walk through the consequences of their actions. But it seemed more directed at those who are still lost in the detours of their life.

The books biggest disappointment was the lack of scriptural references. Even near the end when she talks about the story of Naomi and Ruth, she references one of her previous books instead of the Bible which was the original source.

Romans 3:23-24 encompasses the entirety of her story.23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Yet the opportunity to share Gods redemptive love in His own words was noticeably ignored.

Never the less she still wrote some lines that really spoke to me.

Just remember when you're dealing with a person who is weary, you don't want your rage to add to their brokenness. You see, most of the time, you don't need someone to tell you you're wrong. You carry the grief of being lost with every turn you make. The last thing you need when you're stranded is someone yelling at you to find your way.

Our sin and shame become a filter that we believe the world sees us through. when really we just reflect onto people that we believe about ourselves.

How can we honor Christ's life if we never explore the depths of His forgiveness or the beauty of grace?

She was saved by the grace her family continued to show her. That grace didn't swoop in to fix her mistakes, or make everything magically better. A simple hug and silent acceptance let her know that no matter what they loved her right now, bumps bruises and all.

I know that it is hard to see loved ones make choices that will make their lives unnecessarily harder. We want to tell them how to fix it, because watching them walk through the consequences is hard. The parable of the prodigal son comes to mind. Stay home and tend to what needs doing, let them endure the consequences, but when they return and repent.. run, be quick to hug, love.
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

$5.98 Shade Light

I love the look of shade lights, but I don't love the price. During my basement upgrade I wanted to update the bare bulb hanging from the laundry room ceiling. Since the light has a pull chain, and I really didn't want to do any more electrical work. I thought this would be a great solution.

On a Target end cap I found an inexpensive shade that I liked, inverted it onto the fixture and screwed the bulb back in. 

You might have noticed I need to jazz up the black shoestring pull chain.

I've got an idea, so come back!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

It Must Be Lovely This Time of Year

Good Memories
I have friends all over the country who are using Facebook to show how their gardens are coming along. On Sunday my sister in SD even planted some onions. Why is it everyone just posts the happy parts of their lives online? Studies have shown that too much time looking at these positive postings cause others to become depressed and feel that the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence.

I'm here to tell you it's not. In fact, its covered with deep snow, and there is no sign of green. We even have 2 more days of snow forecasted for this week.

Happy people aren't happy because their lives are perfect. They are happy because they choose to see the world through God' eyes. I have my seasons, but for the most part, I consider myself to be a happy person. I know that the world isn't perfect, I know pain and sorrow but I have faith.

Eventually winter will end, the snow will melt and I will once again see the amazing growth of small seeds into a bountiful harvest.

No matter how bad things get right now, right here, I know this is not eternity.

Here is where we all have a choice. When I woke up this morning to a fresh coating of snow, I could choose to be angry or happy. Will I allow my emotions to be determined by other people (or inanimate objects?) It sounds pretty silly when you say it that way doesn't it?

If your high school nemesis has a seemingly happy life, does that make your smile any less genuine? That guy you barely remember from way back, just got back from a dream vacation with his disturbingly photogenic family, does that make you love your family any less? Stop comparing yourself, stop thinking if only.., start looking up from your computer screen, start making real connections to real people, start asking people about themselves. You will quickly learn that we all have problems and insecurities. Start being grateful you don't have their problems.

I know that not all of us have problems that will simply be fixed with an attitude adjustment, but it is a great place to start.

Don't you wish life was really like a Box of Chocolates? You still wouldn't always know what you are going to get and you might not like it, but at least you could always count on a sugar rush.