Author: Laura Crosby (page 1 of 32)

Knowing Ourselves and Knowing When to Say Yes

When I was in high school and college I worked as a waitress most summers at country clubs. It took me awhile to get the hang of everything I needed to balance both physically (as in plates) and mentally (as in orders). One time early in my “career” I remember a bin of dirty dishes slipping out of my hands and crashing to the floor. In the silence that followed, every eye turned to see who had  messed up.

That would be me, blushing bright red and wanting to crawl into a hole.

This is a little how I’ve felt recently. I LOVE variety and doing ALL OF THE THINGS!

I want to talk to ALL OF THE PEOPLE AND GO ALL OF THE PLACES AND NOT MISS ANYTHING! (For those of you familiar with the Enneagram, I’m a 7…ahem. Yeah… “No” is not a familiar word in my vocabulary.)

I like being the Queen of Multitasking, but that’s not always a good thing. It may mean that I prioritize activity over substance, or I choose the easy wins over investing in hard work for the long haul.

Some of you have been kind to check in with me as I haven’t posted in awhile…wanting to make sure I haven’t died under a pile of crashed dishes. No, I’m fine and I want to give you a little update.

I’ve been thinking about Jesus. He was busy, but not rushed. He did a lot, but was always present to those around Him. He knew His job.

I’ve been considering the many good things Jesus had to say “no” to in order to say “yes” to the best.  Looking at the “I did not come to’s…” and the “I came to’s…”

Jesus didn’t heal everyone. He didn’t talk to everyone. He didn’t go everywhere.

It’s important to know ourselves – our temptations, our calling, our season of life – in order to know what to say yes and no to.

I recognize the tendency in myself to shy away from the hard, long haul work that feels risky and sometimes monotonous. I’ve got some projects that I’m working on that require some extra time so I’ve given myself permission to back off posting consistently on the blog for a bit.

In addition to focusing more on preparing for speaking opportunities, friends and I have been working on a devotional with a twist that I’m super excited to make available to you soon!

Also, the hardest, scariest thing I’m working on is a manuscript (it’s taken me a long time to be able to actually have the courage to call it that!) I’m not ready to say more, but if you are a pray-er I’d appreciate prayers for the right words!

All that said, I may be a little hit or miss on posting regularly. I also want to give Facebook Live a shot. I’ll let you know when that is coming.

What about you? What are you most tempted to say “yes” to that isn’t important or bearing fruit? What’s one thing you need to say “no” to this week?

If you struggle with wanting to do ALL OF THE THINGS like I do, you might take a look at this book, Essentialism, by Greg McKeown.

Some posts on this blog contain Amazon affiliate links – I receive a (very) small commission on any purchases but I’m not paid to recommend any particular item and I’d never link to something I don’t own and/or feel strongly about.

Soul Food for the Beloved

Before anything else this weekend, ask yourself: What does it mean for me to “live loved”?

What does your life look like when you are living confidently out of your true self – a beloved child of God, regardless of titles, circumstances, losses or gains?

When I was asked that question recently I thought of the total freedom of being unselfconscious (like when I dance along with Ellen and Michelle Obama) I think of the Message paraphrase of Mt. 11:28-30. I feel like I live lightly, freely, in the unforced rhythms of grace.

My friend Kathy has a wonderful blog, and recently she posted this song. Take a listen while you think about YOUR answer to the question.

So we’re at the end of week 2 of the Spring It Up mutiny against March! Personally, I’ve be fortunate to add “Escape to Florida” as an additional prompt, but before I did, the day 3 prompt was: Clean out one drawer, shelf, or closet. Make room for spring!

So, in an effort to force myself to complete this, here is what I did. I dumped all the clothes from 3 drawers in a mountain on my bed so I would HAVE to do something in order to go to sleep that night.

Then I did the Joy? No joy? method of sorting and folding (Remember Emily doing this on Gilmore Girls – a Year in the Life?).

I loved this that I saw on Instagram 🙂

Last Sunday we hosted people for a brunch, which may be my favorite meal. I tried a new blueberry/banana muffin recipe I found on Pinterest, but it wasn’t a keeper. However, I will share with you ONE OF THE BEST SECRETS EVER.

Are you ready?

COSTCO CINNAMON LOAF!! (not online) Scathingly brilliant and soooooo delicious! I have a friend who buys it and re-wraps it in foil so it looks like she baked it. And it freezes GREAT!! Trust me and you’re welcome!

Along with the so-so muffins and delicious cinnamon bread, we had a version of the salad I posted recently, bacon/brown sugar wrapped smokies, and two kinds of quiche.

Years ago when I was growing up, we had a young couple move in next door to us. The woman was beautiful, artsy and classy and loved all things French. Her name was Madeline and my mom and I were in awe of her. She invited us over and made this crab quiche that became a family favorite.

Madeline’s Quiche

1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (I pre- bake about 10 minutes at 400)

Mix and pour into pie crust: 

1/2 cup Hellman’s Mayonnaise

2 TB flour

2 beaten eggs

1 ts. salt

1/2 cup milk or 1/2 and 1/2

8 oz. shredded swiss cheese

7 1/2 oz can of crab (I honestly like the fake crab the best in this, and use more than called for)

Bake for 45-60 minutes at 350 til firm and slightly brown.

(you can make the filling the night before and then pour it in the crust and bake it in the morning)

If you don’t follow thedailyst on Instagram, you should. Have you guys seen this yet??? Just the BEST!!

 

Lastly, I’ve been doing a Bible study on the tongue which made me think of this quote (YIKES!):

Have a delightful weekend!

with joy,

Laura

One Ridiculous Secret & 2 Questions to Revitalize Your One Word 2017

What’s your One Word for 2017?

It’s March. Do you even remember it?

Don’t have one? No worries.

I thought it was a brilliant idea the first year I chose One Word instead of making a New Year’s resolution. God used the word Fearless powerfully to form me that year, but since then?  Not so much.

I tend to choose a word and then forget it. To figure God will magically do something without my attention.

Hashtag fail.

The difference is that first year I truly showed up. I invested.

This year my word is STRONG.

I put a prompt on my calendar once a month to review my word, but honestly, other than listing some verses, I’ve ignored it…

Until the other day when I stumbled across a video post from another writer who had struggled similarly. She suggested what I’ve also done (VERY inconsistently) – going through Scripture, using Bible Gateway to check out passages with her word, BUT….(here’s the ridiculous secret part):

SHE BOUGHT A SPECIAL PRETTY JOURNAL just for her One Word! 

So I did too.

Sound ridiculous that that should make a difference? Well sometimes we’re ridiculous people!

So the other day I showed up with my pretty new journal (separate from my ordinary one). I started with the first verse using the word STRONG I found with Bible Gateway and I asked 2  questions:

  1. What does this verse tell me about God?
  2. What does this verse tell me about myself?

And then I journaled a prayer about applying it to my life.

A couple of days later I was sitting with a friend who is in the depths of despair. As I listened to her, my mind went to my one word. I silently prayed for God’s strength in her weakness, in my weakness.

Strong. Not me alone, but God in me. Not you alone, but God in you.

What about you? If you’ve chosen a One Word how have you engaged with God around it? What has He been teaching you?

Soul Food to Spring it Up!

Monday I wrote about an experimental mutiny against the month of March and invited you into our Spring it Up challenge.

I really hope you’ll join in for part or all of the days. You can still print up an attachment of all the prompts and put it on your fridge. Send me pictures and/or post on Instagram or FB with the hashtag #springitup!

Here are my adorable friends Ally and Kit dressing pink on Day 1.

We had our small group on Tuesday night and did 2 of the challenges at once. I encouraged everyone to wear pink, and we brought things that made us think of spring.

I made the recipe that has been our little family’s go-to for spring.

D.C. Spring Ham and Asparagus Sandwiches

Brace yourselves because the directions are a bit complicated.

  1. 6 slices of deli ham (a little thick – 1/8″?? I don’t do math)
  2. 6 slices of swiss cheese
  3. a bunch of asparagus
  4. a package of dry Knorr Hollendaise sauce mix
  5. 2  tubes of Pillsbury crescent rolls

Cook the asparagus to tender crisp.

Open the crescent rolls and pinch together every two triangles to make rectangles.

Layer a slice of ham, a slice of cheese, and 3 stalks of asparagus on each rectangle. Roll up and pinch dough to seal. Put seal side down on cookie sheet.

Bake according to crescent roll instructions.

Mix up hollandaise sauce and drizzle on top of finished sandwiches. Bam! Done!

Heather brought sparkling pink lemonade, Cara brought tulips, Cathy brought a late Valentine gift wrapped springy, and Molly made a wonderful easy salad – berries, goat cheese, spring greens, and raspberry vinaigrette dressing!

This past weekend John preached on stewardship of our bodies, and included an interview with our friend, Lee Blum, who has a powerful story of overcoming an eating disorder and continually wrestling with the question of “How do we live out of our true self, not how the world says we should be or look or act?” 

(If you can’t see the embedded video on your email, click on the title of the post and open in your browser)

Lee Blum Interview (short version) from Christ Presbyterian Church on Vimeo.

Lee has also written two gripping books, A Table in the Darkness,* her memoir, and Brave is the New Beautiful *, in which each chapter is focused on a different characteristic of courage. Lee “weaves reflections from her own journey with inspirational stories from everyday women who chose to take off their masks and live authentically.”  It also has great discussion questions at the end of each chapter. I highly recommend both books and suggest you consider “Brave” for a small group if you’re looking for some honest discussion.

If you’re reading this on email or on your phone and want to comment, just click on the title and then scroll down!

*Some posts on this blog contain Amazon affiliate links – I receive a tiny commission on any purchases you make from links, but I’m not paid to recommend any particular item. I’d never include a link to anything I didn’t own or feel great about endorsing.

The Discomfort of Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday, and as evidenced by my “Spring it Up” post on Monday, I’d really prefer to focus on the positive than face my sin and Jesus’ sacrifice.

I’ve shared before and before that I’m pretty much a failure at Lent. Like John says, I’m more of a Christmas than Easter girl. Could we skip over the Lent chapter please?  But there’s no rebirth without death, no salvation without facing my sin, so I continue to try to enter in, to talk to God. This is a repost from a few years ago…

As I mentioned the other day, we’re on vacation in Florida and the other morning we decided to attend an Ash Wednesday service at a lovely little Episcopal Chapel near where we’re staying.

I was on high alert from the moment we entered because I’m not Episcopalian and I was sure I was going to mess up and kneel at the wrong time, or not know the secret handshake that would get me communion, or ask forgiveness for my “debts” instead of my “trespasses”.

I took my cues from a girl across the aisle who clearly knew the liturgical ropes, bowing to the Bible when it went by and making the sign of the cross on her forehead, lips, and heart.  I was fascinated.

Like I said, I’m not Episcopalian and I’m not Catholic either, but by turns throughout my life I have been disdainful towards, curious about, and, in the past five years, enriched by many of  their practices.

When I was growing up all I knew was that the Catholic kids went to St. Petronille for church (named after a guy who must have been on the JV team of saints because I’ve never heard of him since and neither has my husband who did grow up Catholic).  They got to get out of school early on Wednesday to go to Catechism and got to eat fish on Friday.  We never had fish in my family.  So they were special and kind of mysterious to me.

On Wednesday, while I still struggled to own the words of liturgy in a way that was meaningful, I deeply appreciated the silence, the reverence, and the simplicity of a worship gathering full of Scripture.  These guys really do repentance big time!

Anyway, all this has got me thinking about Lent and the question many people ask, “What are you giving up for Lent?”

Confession:  As far as I can remember I’ve never given up anything for Lent.

It’s just not been a part of my spiritual tradition.  And frankly, when I have considered it I’ve always thought “Well I could give up Starbucks if I wanted to, but I don’t have to so I won’t.”  I am so not into sacrifice.  I realize this exposes one of the idols I daily pray to relinquish – the idol of comfort.  Ugh!

I know it’s easy to abuse this practice…make it a badge of honor, a “work of righteousness”, an end instead of a means.  But, I’ve been reading about it and I’m wondering if it might be a good spiritual practice for me, identifying with Jesus in some small way, this voluntary sacrifice stuff.  I’m cringing even as I write this.  I find myself thinking, “Could I pick something I like, but don’t like too much?  Kind of ease into this maybe?”

I want to know… What is experience with giving up something for Lent?  Does it help you to see your sin and become more like Jesus?

If you’re reading this on email or on your phone and want to comment, just click on the title and then scroll down!

Couple quotes on Lent…

“Lenten disciplines help us to abstain from the daily distractions that prevent us from seeing and naming reality correctly. As we allow some of the external trappings of our lives to be stripped away, we can return to a truer sense of ourselves and a deeper pursuit of God.” Ruth Haley Barton

“Like going with Jesus into the wilderness for forty days, that we might come face to ugly face with our enemy.  Our sacrificing that we might become more like Christ in His sacrifice.”  Ann Voskamp

 Check out another great article on Lent by Ruth Haley Barton here! 

Spring It Up!

Going to college in Texas absolutely ruined March for me.

All of a sudden I discovered the secret that had been diabolically hidden from me all my life: In most of the country SPRING COMES IN MARCH!!

It is bluebonnets and cherry blossoms, lemon bars and strawberries, and the sweet aroma of honeysuckle drifting in through open windows, and THERE IS HOPE STREWN EVERYWHERE LIKE CONFETTI!

In Minnesota, March is the cruelest time of the year. It brings to mind a totally different spin on the phrase “March Madness”.

WE HAVE MORE SNOW IN MARCH THAN ANY OTHER MONTH.

WE  GIVE UP ALL HOPE OF EVER SEEING THE SUN AGAIN IN OUR LIFETIME.

via GIPHY

March is a perpetual month of Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days, which is why I decided we need a dash of inspiration and a pinch of sparkle. How about a Spring It Up Challenge to get us through March?

There are no rules, just a prompt for every day. Do one day or all. Do alone, or with friends. Get creative! Have fun!

Share on Instagram with the hashtag #springitup if you want.

Spring It Up Challenge!

  1. Wear something pink – bright pink or blush pink, lipstick or scarf, shirt or tie…anything counts.

2. Celebrate! Invite friends over for a “March will NOT defeat us!” potluck. Ask each person to bring a food that reminds them of spring (or summer) and have them share why. Choose the date today.

3. Clean out one closet, drawer, or bookshelf. Make room for Spring!

4. Be a joy-bringer. Smile at every stranger you pass. Let others go first – through doors, in lines…

5. Write a note of affirmation to someone. Add some confetti before you seal it up 🙂

6. Go shopping for one warm-weather item – sandals, swimsuit, new top, outdoor entertaining items…

7. Hug at least 3 people today.

8. Buy yourself a bunch of flowers.

9. Put on music and dance!

10. Write out Isaiah 58:11 and reflect on it. Which words do you need most?

11. Take a flower bulb to a friend who needs hope to grow.

12. Wear something the color of sky and sea.

13. Splurge on a donut with sprinkles.

14. Take a walk at sunrise or sunset. Breathe deeply.

15.   Bake something fun and springy and bring it to share with your colleagues or staff at church or a non-profit.

16. Surprise someone with a bouquet of helium balloons

17. Make a new recipe with a green ingredient – avocado, lettuce, asparagus, mint chip…

18. Find 10 things to be thankful for today. Say them out loud as you notice them. Write them in your journal.

19. Put a happy, colorful screen-saver on your phone.

20. Take a picture of one thing/person/experience that brings you joy and post it online.

21. Grab a friend or your spouse and go out for an ice cream cone.

22. Make hamburgers on the grill for dinner (no matter how cold it is!)

23. Get out colored pens or pencils! Letter and/or illustrate Psalm 36:5. Post a picture!

24. Buy a funny card to send someone.

25. Plan a dream vacation or weekend getaway. Even if it’s a hope for the future, get online and look at pretty pictures.

26. Make/eat something with strawberries today – yogurt parfait, green salad with strawberries, strawberry smoothie…

27. Create a Pandora or Spotify station of summer tunes.

28. Call a friend who is life-giving.

29. Buy a beautiful magazine on one of your passions with images that spark your imagination.

30. Buy coffee for a stranger.

31. Google  the song “Knee Deep” by the Zach Brown band featuring Jimmy Buffet – play and sing along!

Click here for a shortened version of this calendar of inspiration to print up and put on your fridge!

If you’re reading this on email or on your phone and want to comment, just click on the title and then scroll down!

Now go for it! Share on Instagram with the hashtag #springitup.

 

 

 

 

 

A Selfie Gospel?

Living an authentic Christian life is just hard, isn’t it?

In a world of curated shiny “selfies” we want to be honest about our own mess and love others well in the midst of theirs. We don’t want to be the fakey judgey plastic Christians, banging others over the head with our Bibles, ignoring our own sin.

In the past few years I think there have been some brave, articulate Christians who have modeled vulnerability and authenticity well. It’s been a much-needed corrective to a Christian culture that just wants to show happy-clappy to the world and use the sword of Truth as a weapon of mass destruction.

These truth-tellers have been detailed and explicit about their mess, and God’s love, but sometimes I feel we’re in danger overcompensating – of making an idol out of authenticity and stopping short of truly grieving it as sin.

It seems like it has become more noble to talk about our sin than actually repent of it.

A pastor stands up or a writer writes “real” –  confessing motives, actions, thoughts, words – a heart that is darker than we’d guess.

We’re like, “Wow! That is so great! He is sooooo AUTHENTIC!!

We applaud their courageous honesty and breathe a sigh of relief. “Phew! I’m not the only one”, we think.

When we feel safe to show our rough edges, our failures, our missteps; we may celebrate grace. Yay! There’s NOTHING we can do to be holy, or good enough. I’m ok, you’re ok.

But have we translated Jesus’ acceptance of us right where we are, into an endorsement of whatever feels good to our culture? Has his patience in our minds morphed into tolerance of everything?

Does it mean we ignore God’s grief over our sin, or the price that He paid to rescue us, or the dreams that He has for our growth in character that is like Him?

Has “authentic” become code for celebrating sin under the guise of “Jesus is Love so it’s all good”?

Has love become all comfort and no cost?

Do we think someone loves us only if they endorse our behavior?

Here’s what I’ve been thinking… We get into trouble when we omit God from any Gospel equation.

You may say, “Well, duh!” but think about how inclined we are to do this.

Truth – Grace = Gospel – God  (pharisaical)

Grace – Truth = Gospel – God  (self-centered)

Both omit God from the equation.

 Do you take the kindness of God for granted? Do you see His patience and tolerance as signs that He is a pushover when it comes to sin? How could you not know that His kindness is guiding our hearts to turn away from distractions and habitual sin to walk a new path? Romans 2:4 The Voice

Clearly I’m not the only one thinking about this.

And…

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The church is where we as the broken and beloved come to receive grace and forgiveness, to place ourselves in God’s hands for His refining and redemptive work. This is not easy stuff! I’m thankful for grace AND truth… grateful that we’re on the way together.

 

The Air You Breathe

Recently one of my closest friends was in a crisis situation – the worst day of her life – and in the midst of the chaos, as she was trying to make hard decisions, she had the wisdom to say, “I need to put on my own oxygen mask first.”

You’ve heard this one MILLION times on the pre-flight safety spiel, and have probably heard it as a metaphor for our spiritual rhythms.  

My friend was at a crucial juncture and knew she needed strengthening for what was ahead when family members and others would be needing a lot from her. She knew she couldn’t give what she hadn’t first received.

The other day I was feeling really down and I couldn’t figure out why. I texted a close friend who asked: “Are you tired?”

My first answer was, “No.”

After some reflection I texted, “Well, yes, but I shouldn’t be.”

And then after a little more reflection… “You know…I haven’t been doing a TON, but I realize it’s all been really draining relational stuff. Hmm…”

I realized I was just a little “out of breath”.

Our ability to give good to others comes from the good we first receive from God.

Here’s the thing… I think some of us are putting on masks that pump noxious gas into our systems. We primarily breathe in rants on social media and we absorb raunch and obscenities over TV and movies.

And some of us are putting on masks filled with sleeping gas. We inhale escapist stuff that isn’t real – isn’t pure oxygen, but rather lulls us into false complacency.

But what are the life-giving masks we need to choose?

The love of God is the oxygen we need to do good work in the world. If you want to bring heaven to earth you will need the oxygen the refreshes and renews.  Without breathing deeply of His love we are in danger of sucking in and spewing out bitterness, anger, and criticism, especially in these politically contentious days.

This is not an easy deal! Can we help each other?

What does putting on your own oxygen mask first mean for you today?  

There are a couple of apps that have been helpful to me – Centering Prayer app and Pray as You Go app. Both provide a short portion of Scripture and silence for reflection.

What are the ways you breathe deeply of life-giving relationships, experiences, and practices? 

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Soul Food When There’s No Holiday to Celebrate

Ohmygosh ohmygosh! I don’t know about you, but February and March about kill me every year. Stay tuned cuz I’m working on something that I hope will sparkle the sox off us in March and carry us through. Meanwhile…

Two great books I’ve been reading…Highly recommend them both!

First, Jesus Outside the Lines: A way Forward for Those Who are Tired of Taking Sides by Scott Sauls. I love this fresh look at Jesus who won’t fit into our boxes. Here are some of the chapter titles:

Red State or Blue State?
For the Unborn or for the Poor?
Personal Faith or Institutional Church?
Money Guilt or Money Greed?
Affirmation or Critique?
Accountability or Compassion?
Hypocrite or Work in Progress?
Sexual Freedom or Chastity?
Hope Or Realism?
Self Esteem or God-Esteem?

“I am too conservative for liberals, and too liberal for conservatives.” – Everyone who follows the whole Jesus.

In Holding onto Hope, Nancy Guthrie uses her own personal story of grief as a prompt to look at the life of Job. There is an 8-week Bible study at the end.

This week I met with the leader of a local World Relief office to see how our church can help with sponsoring families, tutoring, providing legal clinics for refugees. I loved this story…

Many of you have probably seen this, but it’s such a day-brightener I just had to include it. 

Lastly, a cozy, soooo easy stew for winter nights, or for sharing with a new mama or someone who just needs a meal! 

4 Hour Beef Stew

In a large baking dish put:

  • 2 lb. stew meat
  • 1 medium onion cut up
  • 1 stalk celery cut
  • 6 carrots cubed

Blend together:

  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 TB sugar
  • 2 Tb. tapioca

Sprinkle this over the meat and veggies. Add 1 can peas and 1 can condensed tomato soup (spread over top)

Cover tightly and bake @250 for 4 hours. Serve over Pillsbury canned refrigerator biscuits.

I pray you have a fabulous weekend with glimpses of God’s everyday graces.

*Some posts on this blog contain Amazon affiliate links – I receive a tiny commission on any purchases you make from links, but I’m not paid to recommend any particular item. I’d never include a link to anything I didn’t own or feel great about endorsing.

What Binds us Together

In 1995 I took my first trip to Africa. It was at the height of the AIDS crisis in Uganda. There was little information, lots of myths, many were dying, and the air was permeated with fear.

Although Uganda has green hills and banana trees, the prominent images I carry with me from that first trip are those of coffins being carried along rust colored roads and the smell of smoke from cook fires.

One day we traveled beyond the hot, dusty nowhere, over lumpy paths to meet a woman who lost her husband, all her family members, and was caring for five orphaned children on her own.

Her name is Josephine – tall, lean, dark, and strong. She and friends greet us with dancing, songs, and the rare treat of an scrawny chicken that they had cooked for us, their guests.

We sit together on stumps next to her crumbling mud hut by an open fire, burned down to coals – her “table” of sorts. Gathered around are her people who are doing life by her side, helping with kids, and gardening, and encouraging. We try not to offend her sacrificial hospitality, choking down what she offers, knowing she will go without. I listen to Josephine share her story of loss after loss after loss, and I marvel at her resilience.

Finally, she turns to me, looks me in the eye, and asks, “What is it like for you, in America?”

I gulp, nervously thinking, how can I tell her? What can I tell her?!” How can this woman possibly understand a broken garage door, or pre-school teachers, or my grandmother who recently died in a comfortable, antiseptically clean hospital?

And then the Holy Spirit gives me some words. I say, “You know…our lives are very different. I don’t experience the day-to-day struggle you do here, but what I’m struck by is what we have in common. We are both mothers. We both have hopes, and dreams, and fears for our children, and we both look to God for help. We both have people He gives us.”

When we compare, we are driven apart. We get sucked into thinking “my loss is worse”, or “your loss is worse” but none of that matters. You may have lost a dream or a husband, and I lost a job, someone lost their home, another lost their sight. Loss is loss. We need each other. To hold hands and hearts. To hug and listen, and just be with each other in our pain. God knits us together with the common threads of hope and loss and joy. Together we read, and together we make choices:

“This day I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live..” Deuteronomy 30:19

I asked some blog readers to send me selfies wherever they are. As I scroll through these I tear up thinking of you – of the challenges and hopes you have today. We may not know each other personally, but we know God, and together we choose the Life that He offers.

Katie in Jordan, building bridges to Muslims  (I love this picture take at Petra!)

Carrie, minister to students in Edina MN.

Kathy, in pink, who is a Community Bible Study Leader (here with some of the women in her small group)

Jane, a world citizen and journalist who splits time mostly between Singapore and Switzerland.

3 generations of love – so much awesome in this picture! Sue, Kit, Ally, and Karen in Florida.

Daughter Maggie, who lives in the San Francisco Bay area and works in HR for Tesla (with Riggins who I’m sure reads the blog too).

Jess, a young mama in Minneapolis (with Greta Sue)

Christine, working with a non-profit in Nazareth

Daughter Katy, working as liaison between USAID and Congress in D.C.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing today, know that you are not alone!

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