Thursday, February 26, 2009

Paper Airplanes

I don't know about you, but some of my best devotional times come when I'm in the shower. That might seem a bit strange but it's one of the few times that I have complete peace and quiet. I'm able to praise and pray to my heart's content without interruption. The other day I was doing just that, pouring out my heart to the Lord and begging for wisdom in teaching my boys the importance of spiritual disciplines. And it's not just my boys who need help in this area; I need to be more consistent as well. A friend recently said she felt that the words "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love." could have been written just for her. It could be my theme song as well. My faithful God answered me right away and gave me a wonderful illustration to share with my boys. I used it during our morning worship the other morning and it seems to have stuck. Here's how it went:

I sat down with a piece of paper and said, "What if I gave you a piece of paper and the instructions for folding a paper airplane and asked you to make an airplane that would fly across the room? Suppose you took those materials and decided that you would ignore the instructions and just do it your own way. (At this point I loosely crumbled up the ball of paper.) Would this airplane fly? (I smoothed out the paper and made it flat again.) Now suppose you followed some of the instructions but not others. (I folded the paper in half, down one side, made one wing.) Is this airplane going to fly? (I smoothed out the paper again) What if you followed all of the instructions but you did it half-heartedly and in a sloppy manner? (I did just that, not folding carefully along the correct lines) Do you think this plane is going to fly? (I smoothed out the paper again.) Now what if I follow all of the directions very carefully? Is this plane going to fly? (I flew it to prove that it would.) Can you see how this applies to our spiritual lives?" (We had a bit of a discussion at this point as they processed the information and shared their ideas).

We discussed how important it is to know and follow all of God's instructions as found in the Bible. We also talked about how sometimes we just go through the motions, so to speak, without involving our hearts and how ineffective that is. Now, if I see that they are neglecting personal time with the Lord or are ignoring His commands, I just ask them something like, "How's your airplane flying today? Did you read the instructions? Are you following them carefully?" They have been responding more favorably and I've noticed that their morning prayer time has become more consistent. Sanctification is a process and we all have a way to go. I hope that this illustration will bless others as much as it has blessed us.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Our Week in Review

What a crazy, rollercoaster week this has been! It started off on a high note as we celebrated Nathan's third birthday. In our family, the third birthday is the first theme-oriented, friends over kind of birthday party. Nathan decided on a "fishy party" so we had a fish cake and lots of undersea decorations and games. He really enjoyed it and I think everyone else did too.
On Tuesday it was back to business as usual and I also watched the neighbor girls in the evening. Wednesday found us at Sam's Club and running errands, not to mention dealing with massive storms in the evening. Thursday was more errands and running around (and yes, we did manage to do school in the midst of it all). The boys did not have the best of days and I was at my wits' end by the time Andrew got home. But today Alek and Noah decided on their own to make books about pirates so we had lessons on composition, spelling, handwriting and art all without them realizing it. I love when that happens! Noah helped me make some Rice Krispie treats this afternoon and we ate them during tea time while we read "A Piece of the Mountain". Tonight is small group at the Murphy's house and I'm looking forward to some good conversation and fellowship with friends. A perfect way to end our crazy week!

Friday, February 6, 2009


I hate ironing! (Can I get an amen?) It might not be so bad if my ironing board was not an old, rickety, accident-waiting-to-happen. Regardless, I find it tedious and frustrating trying to smooth out every wrinkle to create a starched and flawless masterpiece. The other day, as I stood doing my wifely duty (admittedly with a grumbling spirit), the Holy Spirit brought two things to my attention. First, my attitude as not one of gratefulness. As I asked for forgiveness and took my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, I was reminded of Ephesians 5:25-27 where Paul explains how Christ gave Himself up for the church so that we would be holy and blameless, without any spot or wrinkle. A whole host of ideas came flooding into my mind at that point: How thankful I am that Jesus fulfilled His purpose in this world so that I might be holy and blameless, how "wrinkly" I still am and how Jesus painstakingly "irons" me out as He continues the work of my sanctification, how that sanctification takes place through the washing with the Word.

Ironing has taken on a whole new meaning for me. Now, as I iron, I recite Scripture to myself and ask God to show me the areas of my life that are wrinkled and need His smoothing touch. Who would have thought that a dreaded chore could become an agent of sanctification?

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Blogging seems to be a "feast or famine" activity for me. I love the idea of writing every day or two, but at this stage of my life, it just doesn't seem to work out that way. Family life comes first, and it often pushes out the opportunity to sit and post my thoughts.

I have been thinking a lot about the art of writing lately. Most specifically, the art of letter writing. I've been reading a biography of Elizabeth Prentiss, the author of Stepping Heavenward. It is filled with the most wonderful letters written to family and friends. At that time, letter writing was in high fashion and friends would write to each other regularly, often about the most mundane of daily events. Reading those letters today, we gain intimate insights into the lives of those who have gone before us. It made me stop and think. In this age of hastily typed e-mails, what kind of record are we leaving behind for our great-grandchildren? Not only is e-mail correspondence quickly sent and just as quickly deleted, it also lacks the well-thought-out phrases found in letters of old. Our predecessors tended to be far more articulate than most of us are today. It makes me sad to think of those losses, and determined to recover some of them in my own life. I have new purpose behind my blogging and I've set a goal to hand write at least two letters each month.

I'm hoping that my commitment to writing will rub off on my children and that it will inspire a love of writing in them as well.