Intersecting Life and Faith

Tag: Faith Intersects Life (Page 2 of 45)

The Aromas of Christmas

Today while flipping through Instagram I saw a post on how to make your house smell like the holidays. A mix of citrus, vanilla, cinnamon, star anise and cloves put in a pan and heated on the stove would create the smells we often associate with this time of year.
And I thought…are those really the aromas of Christmas? And why and when did the mixture of citrus, spice and pine become the scent of the season?
Now lest you think we are Gates Grinches, let me reassure you we celebrate the season with music (started before Thanksgving this year) a Christmas tree( put up the day after Thanksgiving) and all the decorations, a nativity(with a donkey that has no ears), baking, and gift giving. But I think of the reason for our celebrations, the arrival of the messiah. I think of Mary riding on a donkey,great with child. Barnyard animals have a scent all their own, and it’s not anything close to the sweetness of pine and spice. As she and Joseph entered the bustling city of Bethlehem, the sights, sounds and smells would have been mingled with the dusty roads of the city as a census was in progress, and there was no room for them in the inn.
While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7
The smells of a cave like barn would not have been sweet either. Cows and sheep munching on hay and straw, smacking their lips as they finish their meal. And you know cows have four stomachs, so they chew, chew and chew some more. Can you imagine the arrival of your child in the midst of cows, pigs, hay and straw? Not the ideal way to welcome a child. But a child had indeed been born,  a Savior who is Chris the Lord. (Luke 2:11)
Well, I’m off to the kitchen to look for oranges, vanilla beans and star anise to simmer on the stove while celebrating the birthday of the Newborn King, thinking of all the aromas of Christmas.

Creamy or Chunky?

As an eighteen year old girl on her way to college, she knew what she wanted, who she wanted to marry, how many kids she wanted to have by age 30 and where she would live. She knew she wanted someone who was raised just like her and a home in the country.

But God….

…had a plan and none of these things would become reality. She was looking for someone who was just like her, and today thirty-two years later, she is glad God interrupted that farm girl, bringing along a city boy who wasn’t like her at all. He would be her complement= would complete or make perfect. Now their life together has been far from perfect, but complete, yes.

In my opinion compatibility is overrated.

That’s not to say couples shouldn’t have things they like to do together, places they like to enjoy together, but after many years of marriage, Rob and I are still very different in how and where we were raised, the foods we like or don’t like,  right down to what kind of peanut butter we like.

What has made our marriage complete and last is our mutual love for the Lord.

Grace has been a life long lesson that has made our life together sweeter as the days go by. Yes, my single friends,(and married) compatibility is important, but most important is can you stand side by side in your faith, walking in the same direction as a sojourner with the same destination? That is the question my friends,  without God’s grace, mercy and love there is nothing.

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 The Message

Can you guess who likes chunky and who likes creamy peanut butter? You can read the rest of our story in my book, Confessions of A Farmer’s Daughter.


Chronicles of a Year~~2017 Part 3

2017 I began the practice of focusing on a word for the month, writing it on an index card, keeping it before me each day. Days turn to weeks, weeks to months and months to years, looking back and not remembering where those simple joys of the day went. What were the simple joys of the weeks and months that got me up each morning? I needed a guide, a way to remember. Although this is not an original idea, I made it my own. You can read about the general idea at  Ann Voscamp  or Lore Wilbert  at Sayable.

July…Do…pray more, listen more, speak more grace
  1. Pray the Scriptures for others. This is a practice I have done over the years. In order to pray the Scriptures I need to know them.
  2. Listen more, listen well, listen to understand, not listen to reply. Listening well is one of the hardest things to DO well. Listening well involves not rehearsing what your reply will be while the other person is talking.
  3. Pray without ceasing
  4. Speak healing words filled with grace, blessing and hope
  • of my way
  • of preconceived notions
  • of expectations of what life should be
September…LEARN TO
  1. …choose the good portion which will not be taken away from me (Luke 10:42) I want to be like Mary, choosing the good portion.

2. …carefully obey God’s voice( Exodus 23:22)

3. …make my fundamental aim in life to know Christ (John 17:3)

4. … trust God in the now, this season and what is in the forseeable       future.(Psalm 62: 5-6)


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