It’s a legitimate question

So, we have an ant problem. Little tiny black ants in my kitchen, on the counter, on the floor, wherever they want to go, openly mocking me as they walk directly over the ant traps I put out for them.

Knowing “tis the season” doesn’t make me hate them any less.

All that prefaces this little snippet…

Lydia: I have a question.

Me: Yes?

Lydia: How do the ants get in our house when they can’t reach the doorknob?

No, there are not any adorable clipart pictures I can find online of a ladder of ants climbing up to open a doorknob and sneak in our house or cute little ants knocking on our door. Instead, I will leave you with this picture of the adorable child who says adorable things and makes my heart just melt with all her cutiepieness.

IMG_2111

Tacky

We interrupt the otherwise significant, thought provoking programming to bring you this.

Just because.

Accountability

I’ve heard it said pray until you pray. There’s no time requirement, no special number of minutes or verbiage that must be used. But, there is something to praying until you find yourself really praying, not just stringing words together but actually communing with God. You can apply the same principle to studying God’s word—study until you learn something.

Here’s the thing.

I’m so bad at that.

I do. I’m much better at doing than being, at list making than peace making. So, this summer, I asked some peeps for some help.

Help. Please hold me accountable. I’m on summer vacation but I don’t want a vacation from God. And, making me feel way less isolated and unable, they wanted help too.

Every Wednesday morning at 6:30am, 7 ladies meet for coffee (and maybe sometimes donuts). We sit in the corner of a Dunkin Donuts and share.

Did you read this week what you told us you were reading?

Share one thing you actually absorbed from it, one thing that stuck with you, one thing that you remembered after you stood up from where you sat reading.

And, it’s working. Knowing that we are gathering midweek and reporting to our sisters is enough to hold us accountable and keep us on that path of walking with Him and not on our own which we silly ewes tend to do. There’s no preaching to each other—our lessons shared are sometimes deep theological truths that are hard to explain or very simple Sunday School ones like Jesus period. It doesn’t matter what they are as much as the fact that they stuck, that we didn’t get up from our comfy spot to fix cereal for our kids and then forget all about the time we spent with our Maker. And, there’s no judgment at all when someone says, “I didn’t open my Bible at all this week” or “I just can’t believe in prayer.” No one gasps or shakes their head. Instead, we listen and then we say in one way or another: We accept you where you are because He accepts you where you are. But, we aren’t going to leave you there because He doesn’t want to leave you there. Where do you want to be next week? 

I just finished reading Micah. Today, I started Philippians—the church that started with one brilliant woman whose life changed by a stream when she met two men who loved the Lord. I am not using a guide or a commentary. I don’t have a daily reading plan I’m following. I just want to read it little by little, a little everyday until I feel like I’ve got something I can cling to that day. And, when I get that, I want to stop and dwell on it, sit with it and let it soak in.

Today, I only got through 5 verses.

July 11 devotion

 

As I start this new book, I decided I’m going to try to share my little kernel of truth everyday on my blog Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram—the places that serve as my corner in Dunkin Donuts with my faraway friends and blogosphere peeps. Would love for you to look for the images and hold me accountable if you don’t see one that day—a little “looking forward to seeing your pic today!” may be just what I need. And, feel free to join me. I’d love to see your pictures of what you’re reading too.

Warning: If it becomes another item on my to-do list, something that is feeding my Type A craziness rather than working within my personality to keep me walking with Him, you may stop seeing any images at all. We’ll see how this goes.

 

Common grace in the sand wasteland

fenwick hunting for seashells 2

It was our date—ice cream cones and searching for seashells. The sand burned our toes while the ice cream ran down our fingers. But, it was good because summer is good and somehow the things that might make us stomp our feet in frustration evaporate here.

fenwick hunting for seashells
The beach was littered with shells, all that remain of a storm that quickly blew in for a few hours and then surrendered. We found tiny little conch shells with bumpy grooves, likely spared breakage simply because of their size. We found what I think may be sea sponge now hard as rock and sharp to the touch though it invites it. We found four tiny sand dollars like precious diamonds in the rough, bright white and perfectly round. But most of what we found were broken pieces. She sorted them all—jagged shaped pieces shiny and smooth on one side and rough and ridged on the other, twisted pieces we named ballerina shells, shells that look like someone cleanly cut them right in half to open them like a silk-lined jewelry box to show us something special inside.

As we scoured the sand sometimes down on our hands and knees, we talked about each shell’s story, wondering where in the world God had taken it on the journey that ended right there. We talked about how oftentimes the broken shells were even more beautiful than those who had supernaturally remained whole. Only the broken shells allowed us to see beyond the outside to their hearts, hearts often layered with color like a cliche sunset, hearts with rings marking tumbles in the surf like the rings mark the seasons of a tree.

We are no different really—broken pieces often jagged and rough, our hearts laid bare by the power of the waves that move us from one point to the next. Yet, there in our brokenness, we are lovely because of the One who holds us in His hand, gently moving His fingers over the rough places, making them divinely smooth.

She brought the shells home, a big bag of mostly broken pieces that people had passed by or stepped on. We’ll never know their story, but they are treasured possessions now that have been cleaned and sorted, kept safely and protected from little fingers that may harm them.

It was seemingly nothing extraordinary really. It was common grace evidenced on an afternoon date with ice cream cones and the sea.

fenwick island seashells3

fenwick island seashells2

fenwick island seashells1

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