Intersecting Life and Faith

Category: Faith Intersects Life (Page 1 of 90)

5 Things Learned in 2020

We have officially kicked 2020 to the curb and welcomed a brand new year, 2021. But is that really the sentiment I should be feeling about 2020? We did not know what the year would bring a year ago. But it did come and go. I don’t want to wish it away, because God was there, he walked with me and my family. I don’t want to ever forget what I did experience during the good, the bad, and the very ugly.

I am in no way minimizing the tragedy so many experienced in facing COVID 19. There was unspeakable sorrow, lives lost, suffering alone, and all the front line workers who have seen the worst of what can happen day in and day. A sister-in-law works tirelessly in health care, giving me a reality check when I needed it. COVID 19 is and continues to be very deadly. My family and our Church did not go untouched by this virus. Friends have not fully recovered and may have lasting damage to their bodies. Yet, in all of this, I want to remember a few things.

  • The importance of the church. Not just the building, or going to a worship service every week. The people who make up the church, people we laugh with, cry with, pray with, talk with after the service. So many things I will no longer take for granted. So many I haven’t seen in nine months are missed so much, but we will worship together again.
  • A hard but good place to serve this past year was my position on the LaFayette School Board. The administrators and my fellow board members are some of the most giving, caring, hard-working, and conscientious people I have the privilege of working with. The decisions we made or were forced to make because of government guidelines….were just hard. We all wanted the very best for the children of LaFayette, NY and so we plowed on doing the best we could. Hard but good!!
  • I thought I was being intentional in my personal relationships with family and friends, but when the ability to be with someone “in person” without a mask was removed, I found I needed to hit the “intentional’ button even harder. So thank God for technology. Whether Facetime, talking or texting, using the app Marco Polo, or ZOOM calls and Bible studies. These platforms are not ideal or compare to the in-person interaction, but these saved my sanity.
  • I didn’t think I was very busy but when the activities were removed because of the shutdown/quarantine orders, I found I was too busy. These months have forced me to evaluate what is really important and decide what do I really want to be doing with each day. “One day at a time”…really ONE DAY AT A TIME has helped me not despair about what may come.
  • I did throw caution to the wind and traveled late in the summer. I flew, with a mask on, meandering through several airports finally arriving in Iowa where I attended the wedding reception of my niece. Little did I know traveling would be the least of my worries as a Derecho(you can google to see what it is) would wreak havoc on central Iowa and both my sister’s property would do damage as I’ve never seen. It was one of the hardest two weeks of 2020 as we worked to remove massive trees in the sweltering heat of an August summer with no electricity for over a week. BUT…. it was the best two weeks because I was able to spend time with my sisters and families day in and day out working side by side, eating together every night, and counting our blessings because no one was hurt. We also experienced the extravagant generosity of friends who came to help from another state bringing two much-needed generators. After the joy of a wedding reception, the electricity was back on by then, I headed back to New York where I quarantined for two weeks. The first week was ok, by the end of the second week I was very ready to spring free. I then traveled to Wyoming for a week to be with Forrest and Finley, I would do anything to be with those two!

Kicking 2020 to the curb is not how I will remember the year. I will remember the importance of people, family, friends, co-workers, colleagues, It’s people who matter. I will remember to slow down for people, Making that phone call, writing that letter, connecting through Marco Polo, whatever the context, I will never again be too busy for PEOPLE!

A Man Named Gary

A man named Gary finished his pilgramage on earth and walked into heaven almost thirteen years ago. I’ve been thinking a lot about him lately, wondering what he would have to say about 2020. How he would process this pandemic, the election, and the social unrest we face. I know he was a quiet man, but he definitely had his views on many issues and if you asked him he would be happy to chat with you about anything. Gary was a loving husband, devoted father, hard working farmer, and loved his community well.

He was on school and church boards and was involved in a local camp board. He and his wife enjoyed the political process, participating in Iowa caucuses when they were able. He taught the youth at his church, and when one of those youth, a young man he was mentoring, was killed in a car accident, he wept with those who wept. Gary lived his life by example. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but he did show his family and friends how to live. He lived his life according to this verse…

“Mankind, he has told each of you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

Gary was a just man, he loved faithfulness to God and walked humbly with him. As I said earlier in this post, he was a quiet man, but when he spoke I learned to listen. The man named Gary was my dad.

Drawing New Lines

2020~~This is a re-post from a couple of years ago but wanted to share it again. Original Post coming soon. 

When I saw this, I thought, ‘yes, that’s me too.” I don’t advocate breaking the law or disobeying authority, or not following the Word of God.

But what has become evident as four children are now out of the nest, doing their own coloring, I did advocate drawing new lines. For sure, people, well-meaning people, will tell you to stay well within the lines, don’t color too close to the edge because your picture won’t look perfect. I want to know why we stress over making sure our picture is perfect? In what world is life ever perfect? Why can’t we draw new lines?

And so I did. Traipsing across the country following my husband/pastor(Ruth 1:16) we have had the time of our lives. Our children were born in three states, moving four times, making friends every time, and eventually finding their spouses and best friends. It wasn’t easy for them at times or for this girl who loves her people deeply and has a hard time making new friends. But, I tell you, I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. I have 

  • learned the steadfast love of a heavenly Father,
  • gained the deep, trusting love of a husband who loves me despite my failings
  • gained friends around the country and in other countries.
  • learned to laugh without fear of the future(Proverbs 31:25), because the Lord has clothed me with his strength and his dignity

The advice I would share with anyone who will listen is this:

  • Encourage your kids to learn, play, and find their way in this world by encouraging their dreams and ideas.
  • Encourage them to work hard at whatever they are doing.
  • Teach them to work hard, even at a young age, little ones want to help and contribute. 
  • Encourage them to draw new lines, lines that don’t break civil or God’s law, but new lines that will let them dream and follow what they believe God has called them to do.
  • Pray they will love God with all their heart, with all their mind and with all their soul and love their neighbor. 

So, yes, my friends, draw new lines. Follow the Lord in the  new and exciting…and the mundane of Monday’s and Tuesday’s. Ask him for guidance for each step, he will answer and help you color the page he has for you.

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