Category Archives: Thought Shots

The Sunday Conundrum

The Sunday Conundrum: Ode to Logic, Commitment to Lord

(Today I’m letting my math nerd self shine through!)

 

Most Sunday mornings, I face the conundrum. Sometimes I start wresting with my duality of mind on Saturday night—even as early as Friday afternoon.

It’s a dichotomous pondering: To work, or not to work.

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Organizing Truths

For our Thought Shots today, I took some quotes from Building Your House and made them pretty enough to remember and share! Read them through to see which ones speak to you, reaffirming what you believe about faithful home organization.

Then, share your favorites. There are so many people out there swallowing the lies about what it means to “succeed” as a homebuilder—and January’s “get organized” advertising blitz is right around the corner! So, please boldly share how we can truly honor the Lord with our homes by posting, pinning, and tweeting these memes through your favorite social media outlets…

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When Someone Asks, “Are You Still…?” and You’re Not

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,

as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

-I Peter 4:10

 

This fall, I was enjoying the pumpkin farm when a woman reached out and tapped my shoulder. “Mrs. Upton?” she asked. “You used to be my teacher. I’m…”

“Lindsay!” I said. I often wonder about some of my favorite “kids,” and Lindsay is definitely tops on that list. It was so good to see her, and a little strange!  I taught high school math right after I graduated from college, and there really isn’t a huge age difference between me and those kids anymore. They’re all grown up, with careers and homes and children of their own.

I met Lindsay’s adorable daughter, and she met my children. She said to them, “Your mom was my teacher! She was such a great teacher.” Then she looked at me and asked, “Are you still teaching?”

I felt bad saying “no.” I only taught high school for four years, then I spent two years tutoring, then we moved and I stopped teaching altogether.

Or did I?

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How to Heal a Spiritual Bruise

I’m sporting quite a bruise on my shin today.  It’s a whopper—yellow in the middle fading into a greenish brown, with a lovely pink and purple bottom edge and a sizable bump. It’s almost pretty actually.

I have no idea how I got it.

You’d think I’d remember this one… did I bark my shin on something? Fall down? Bang it with a weight when I was exercising? (Sadly, I do that a lot.) I don’t know why it’s there.

In the same way, I’ll often bump into spiritual clutter that bruises my soul… worries and anxieties that get me down, even though I don’t know why they’re there.

 

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What Basketball, Books, and Jesus Have in Common

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:8

 

I had an interesting dream last week. My little Oliver, who is 5 years old, was at the park down the street. Someone had taped a white “x” on the blacktop underneath the basketball hoop. Oliver was standing on it, holding a basketball, looking up, ready to shoot.

Then suddenly I was looking at a different boy under a different hoop. Think Opie from Mayberry—it was clearly the 1950’s. Someone had marked an “x” in the dirt underneath the hoop (no, I’m not saying they didn’t have blacktop in the 1950’s—this was a dream, people). The boy was standing on it, holding a basketball, looking up, ready to shoot.

And I thought, Basketball hasn’t changed. He’ll either make it, or he won’t.

And I was so deeply comforted.

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Rejoicing in Success

The Lord your God is with you,

the Mighty Warrior who saves.

He will take great delight in you;

in his love he will no longer rebuke you,

but will rejoice over you with singing.”

—Zephaniah 3:17

 

Today I looked at my five year-old with undisguised admiration. I’d taught him the rules of an “Ages 8 and up” game called Monopoly Empire, and he was quickly picking up its nuances and strategy. In fact, he’d just beaten me fair and square.

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When Lightning Strikes Your Day

Pastor Drew recently told a summer story about avidly watching a thunderstorm roll in at the beach. Key word: avidly.

I thought, He’s crazy. (I’m not a fan of thunderstorms, powerful winds, hail, or anything else along those lines.)

He said his family stayed on the beach as long as possible to watch the storm. Then they moved to the porch of their rented beach house and continued to watch as the storm passed over them and went off to sea. At the height of the storm, they watched for the lightning, anticipated the thunder, and then cheered for every house-shaking “boom.”

Wait, why was this fun?

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Victory is Ours

It’s been raining in Ohio for weeks. If you live here, you know. If you don’t, well, I’ll just say that I’m not sure if there was more than one day in June that it didn’t rain and July has been almost as bad.

Being an “inside girl,” I really don’t mind rain…but things are getting pretty soggy, even for me. And my fellow Ohioans have been getting a little fussy about it. My positive rejoinder, “Well, at least we’re really using our bowling pass!” is starting to wear thin.

Last week there was a day with absolutely no chance of rain in the forecast. I’d been avoiding errands, so I hopped in my car and headed straight to Michaels (my favorite store—crafts!). I pulled into a parking spot, gathered up my coupons, and then spotted the umbrella that had taken up permanent residency in my purse. As I happily removed it, I prayed, “Thank you, God, for this beautiful sunny day!”

Immediately my heart swelled with a larger-than-life word, a sudden understanding:

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Welcome to Alabama

My sister, her husband, and their three daughters had an eventful trip home from vacation last week. The baby had a fever, their GPS took them down a rabbit trail, they had to make many, many stops… and then they hit Alabama.

Alabama is a tall state. When you’re driving north from Florida to Ohio, Alabama seems to go on forever.

When they finally hit the Tennessee border, the five of them celebrated with honking and shouting. Hooray for the short state of Tennessee! My brother-in-law even shouted, “Tennessee Milkshakes for everyone!” (Yes, he knows Tennessee Milkshakes aren’t a thing—that just goes to show how excited they were.)

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