Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Filling the Heart With Wonder

‎"What is meaning & how do we find it?
What brings meaning is when you can combine a sense of wonder, under-girded by Truth, experiencing the richness of love, along with the knowledge of security.
Those 4 components bring about genuine meaning to life.

The older you get, the more it takes to fill your heart with wonder,

and only God is big enough to fill that heart."

~Ravi Zacharias

Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Goodies

I, like usual, have been dreaming of a dozen yummy things to cook and bake, if only I had the time.

First, there's the midwife thing that gets in the way of my "want to do's." I may go ahead and start a couple of cheesecakes and hope that I get them finished before someone in early labor calls me back and I have to leave in a hurry...

Then there's the no-gluten and the no-sugar thing. Yeah. That makes perfection in baking much, much harder to achieve. At first, I thought it was close to hopeless to ever expect to have truly GOOD normal tasting desserts when gluten and sugar are not an option. Cut out gluten and at least you have a few fudgey options and good brownies left. Cut out the sugar and you can still make delectable goodies with honey, agave nectar or maple syrup. But cut them both out, and how is one to make anything taste normal and good??

I've been pleased to discover that though non-gluten, non-sugar baking will never make it easy and simple to turn out yummy desserts and baked goods, it is still possible. I think it's an art. One I'm trying hard to learn. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes my creations are hard, dry crumbly flops.

I'm glad that I can eat gluten and sugar. But with several family members in the house on restricted diets, we try to only make desserts that they can eat. The rest of us can splurge and enjoy our sugar and gluten on other occasions. :)

So, today I'm looking at recipes and trying to figure which ones are worth attempting to bake with gluten and sugar substitutes. I'm so grateful that said people can eat butter and cream cheese and eggs and other things that make baked goods yummy and moist and rich. :)

I think I'll start with the cheesecake and attempt to make some cookies that aren't too dry and crumbly. But more than likely I'll have to leave for a birth before I get any of it into the oven. That's what sisters are for, right?

I just hope I'm back in time to eat with the family tomorrow! :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Those Wonderful Ladies

A year ago, I so desperately wanted just one good, committed apprentice who I could count on.
I'm now blessed... almost a little too abundantly with wonderful ladies and assistants who work with me and are just too good to me!

This lady practically came out of nowhere... a hospital midwife who decided she wanted to learn the homebirth side of things. She knows so much that I don't know and I know so much that she doesn't know in totally different realms. We're so good for each other. I'm always saying, "Well, what would you do about this in the hospital?" and she's always saying, "What do you do about this at home?" I rely on her experience and knowledge and she on mine. I love working with her!

I have this fabulous apprentice who had me over for dinner the other night. She's been working with me for over a year now, and I LOVE her! Her husband wasn't always completely thrilled with the time demands of midwifery, but now he's pushing her to do more! Sometimes I worry that she'll get tired of me and my practice and move on somewhere else. The other day she told me her plan is to make herself so helpful that I can't live without her ever again! (Gulp! She's already done that well!) And, as if I didn't already find myself almost lost without her at a birth, she handed me this box of amazing French truffles the other day. I can't wait to sign all of her preceptor paperwork and see her become a CPM someday!

Another wanna-be apprentice who has done her very best to make herself as helpful as possible has absolutely amazed me! In two days time she has almost completely re-designed and updated all of my charts with as many edits as I have asked for. All with a smile and a, "Just call me if I can ever go to a birth with you!" She accompanied me for two prenatal home visits this week, and we had such a lovely time chatting. She asks questions and soaks up my constant birth talk on our drives! The more I hang out with her, the more I like her. I just don't know how on earth I'm going to come up with enough births for all of these lovely ladies to attend!

Another apprentice who is almost done with her training (she did all of her clinicals at a birth center) is available at my beck and call to cover whenever I'm stretched too thin. She jumped in her car and started driving the five hours to a client's house without a moment's hesitation when I called her on the weekend when I thought two people might be in labor at once. Turns out, she arrived and the mom wasn't in labor after all. She said, in her usual cheerful, perky voice, "Oh, no worries! I brought a book to read. I'll find something to do over the weekend and stay in town 'til our scheduled prenatals on Monday. But then I called her the next morning and asked her to instead rush to another client's house who was having some pretty major bleeding in her second trimester. I was at a labor, so she relayed everything over the phone and we made a plan for the mom. It took up her whole day, and then she showed up smiling and cheerful for prenatals the next day, even though I was late leaving the birth and she had to entertain clients til I arrived at the office. And then she cleaned up the office and carried out my laundry and trash and drove the four hours home to wait til I called her again. She acts like every day of prenatals is as exciting as Christmas!

And that's not all... There's three other fabulous ladies who want to help. I'm really a little overwhelmed with it all! I just hope I can impart to them what they really need to know as midwives. I feel like such a baby myself at this....

But I'm blessed, really, really blessed.
Thank you, Lord!

Friday, December 10, 2010

People I Can Tell "the Sad" To...

I was sitting at one of the tables with a dear, dear friend. I've known her for a long time. But I've come to love her even so much more in the last year as we've went through some of the same struggles together.

People all around us were chattering, laughing, catching up with old friends, meeting new ones. Both my friend and I knew quite a few of the people milling about the room. So, we leaned close and she lowered her voice. She was telling me about her day, her week.. the real one. Not the, "Oh, I'm fine" one. It had been emotional, draining, exhausting. Things had happened at work. Almost the same thing that had happened to me two years ago at my work. The medical field is hard... sometimes hard things happen. Then she'd seen someone she had loved and lost. It was awkward. It was hard, she explained. I nodded. Totally understand the feeling of tears welling up, things you wanted to say and yet didn't or couldn't, biting your lip, leaving... wishing that somehow that chapter of your life could have gone on, wishing you could forget it, wishing it wasn't, wishing it still was... Suddenly, I was lost in her world, feeling the pain of what had happened at work, what had happened at the Christmas party...

She apologized for only having negative things to talk about. "But that was your life this week," I insisted. "I wanted to hear about your real life... what's really happening! I didn't want to hear about the pretend life where everything is fine with you."

She might have thought it was depressing, but it reminded me that someone else walking the road of life has had the same experiences as I have. And if I told her about what happened to me at work two years ago, she'd really, truly understand. She'd grasp the enormity with which it left me reeling and unsure of myself for a long time.... I loved just knowing that somebody in the world would understand if I explained. Maybe I'll tell her about it someday. There's not many other people that would know what to say.

The other day one of my friends sent me a email, telling me her problems and how everything in her life seemed to be falling apart right now. How to hold it together, how to go on being a Christian, being a wife, being a mom, doing the additional things that she and her husband are sure God has called them to do, being so much else that she is.... that was the big, unanswered question. How? It wasn't working for her. She couldn't go on living this way. She was feeling suffocated and like few people even cared if it happened to her. She ended her message with, "I'm sorry this is all sad. But thanks for being a real friend that I can tell the sad to... I don't tell many people."

I've had plenty of the "the sad" this year. In several completely different areas of life. I can relate to the "I don't tell many people." Who is there to tell? About some of it ~ sure. But other things few people can relate to or need to know.

I certainly don't want to depress the rest of the world with the sad. Who wants to know while they're in labor or nursing their 3 day old baby that their midwife's life has been awful this week? Or sweet little girls that come up to me after church and hug me and ask me how I am... Of course I'm "doing good" ~ because God is always good. Is there any reason to try to explain to them why I tried not to cry through church, even though I almost never cry... before this year? I can smile. I will smile. I will go on living life and being grateful, because there are far more things to be happy about than there are things to be sad about.

Then there were other friends that I tried to explain some of "the sad" to, and the responses I received felt anything but compassionate or understanding. Sometimes that was good for me... to remember that regardless of how I feel or who has any idea of what "I need" or what a wreck my heart may be at that moment, my actions and responses must be out of love, not ungrateful reactions because all I was seeking was to have my own needs met.
And then there was the friend who said, "Let's go to the park. I'll bring a whole box of Kleenex and let's just sit there all afternoon. You can tell me the whole story."

Or the friend who texted me nearly every day for months on end to say, "How's your heart today, Mary?" and sent me cards. I knew she hurt with me. Because she was hurting in the same way herself. And I got to text her every day, too, and say, "How's yours? God is still good!"

And the midwife who I didn't know even knew what all was going on in my life and family who handed me a little envelope one day after a midwives meeting. When I had a chance to open it and look at the little piece of folded paper, torn out of one of her notebooks, it read, "Mary, it's well past 2 am, and I just can't stop thinking of you... I have no idea why your life had to hurt so much in so many ways this year. But I love you, and I cry for you and I pray for you..." I had no idea she even knew all of it. She must have known more than I thought she did. I cried and stuck the little note in my purse. And I found it the other day and stared at it with tears welling up in my eyes all over again to know that she knew and she cared.

And today. I stumbled across someone's Picasa album of photos online. I spent way too long looking, and remembering. Thinking about it consumed the rest of my day. 'Twas one of those things that very few people would understand. But God does.

And I talked to my little sister and she told me about her own heartaches while she washed dishes and I made cinnamon rolls tonight.

Cinnamon rolls because tomorrow another sister is coming over for brunch. Because tomorrow (well, I guess today now... I'm typing this well after midnight) was the due date for the first niece and grandchild in the family. A due date for a little girl who was already born months ago. All the traces left are the little metal marker pushed into the pile of clay and sod at the graveyard down the road and a few blankets and clothes we dressed her in after she was gone. Christine. She would have been being born, a chubby 7 or 8 pounds right about now. Our baby girl, just in time for Christmas. But she came in August. We're glad she came at all. We're glad Josh and Jemima had a little girl and that she still lives... in heaven!

And I think about my friend's email, "I don't tell many people the sad. Thanks for listening." I haven't had a chance to reply yet. But I'm glad she can tell me the sad. Because I do feel for her, and I pray for her.

And I'm glad I have a few friends who I can tell the sad to, who don't try to make it all better. They just put their arm around me and sit there with me.

And I'm glad I have sisters who say, "I'm glad we can talk to each other, even if nobody outside of our family would even understand this."

And I'm glad I have a mother who senses when I come home from a long day of prenatals with so much more than prenatals on my mind and says, "I found this verse today that I thought was just for you: 'O the depth of the riches of both the wisdom and knowlege of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and His ways past finding out.' " (Romans 11:33) Yes, Mama... You're right. God is wise, and He's always right. I can trust Him.

And I'm glad I have a dad who calls me when I have a long drive home just to see if I'm staying awake and to say, "Drive safe! I love you!"

And I'm glad I have a brother who's had his own share of struggles this year who comes home once in awhile and says, "I know it's midnight, but ya wanna walk a few miles and talk?"

And I'm glad for the other people in my life who care and hurt and pray with me. And people who love me enough to tell me when my responses to what life brings aren't Christ-like.

Most of all, I'm glad that Jesus knows and interceeds on my behalf before the Throne of Grace. Somedays even the nicest and best people in the world don't understand or they don't know and it wouldn't be right to burden their day with my heartaches.

But God wants to hear them from me. Psalms is mostly the troubled heart of David being poured out honestly before God - exalting God rightfully, but not hiding his hurt and confusion and longings.
It's not like God doesn't already know every thought on my mind. It's just that He wants ME to remember that HE is the Source of my life and HE is the reason I get up and go on and again and again and HE is bright Hope for the future! He waits for me to come tell Him about my joys and sorrows.
He delights to show me that He loves me by sending little boys with smushed fistfuls of weeds to my car with adoring little sisters by their sides who say, "Miss Mary, you look lobely today!" when I show up to do a home prenatal visit.
Or when I catch a snatch of the song my sister is singing at the kitchen sink: "ALL I have needed, Thy Hand hath provided... GREAT is Thy Faithfulness, Lord, unto ME!!" Or when I dig through my pile of mail (bills) and discover a card from a dear friend telling me she's praying for me.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Freely Spill

The golden poppy is God's gold,
The gold that lifts, nor weighs us down,
The gold that knows no miser's hold,
The gold that banks not in the town,
But singing, laughing, freely spills
Its hoard far up the happy hills;
Far up, far down, at every turn -
What beggar has not gold to burn!
~ Joaquin Miller

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Let the Words of My Mouth....

A word spoken in due season, how good is it!
~ Proverbs 15:23

Heaviness in the heart of man makes it to stoop:

but a good word makes it glad.

~ Proverbs 12:2

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD,
my strength, and my Redeemer.
~ Psalms 19:14

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Midnight Reflections From the Yard

I arrived home late tonight to a lot of housework that really needed to be done. As I was scrubbing out and re-organizing the pantry that had dissolved into a messy pile of cans and leaking rice bags and dusty jars of home-canned tomatoes, I needed to carry several bags of trash outside as the clock neared midnight. I just had to pause in the quiet, dark yard.

It's gorgeous out tonight -- the moon is huge and luminescent, shimmering off the pond where Canadian geese will soon be making their home for winter. A few of the tallest trees have lost most of their leaves in the wind of today and yesterday, and their branches stood bare and starkly contrasted against the glowing sky. A breeze whipped my hair around my face, and I stood alive, well, and yes... happy, on the brink of another birthday. Because beyond that glowing sky is the Creator of it all. He's also the Lover of my Soul, the Pursuer of my heart, and His very Presence lives with and within me. He is good, and even when life holds pain and disappointment and often times empty aches, He is drawing my heart to Him - the most valuable thing in all the world and in this life and in the one to come. He is good. Unconditionally. Because I know that, I face another year with joy and peace, knowing that a Good God sees and does all things well.

Yesterday, God was very gracious to me; tomorrow he will be very gracious to me; and the same will be true the next day, and the next day, and the next day, until there shall be no more days, and time shall be swallowed up in eternity. - Unknown, from an old book clipping

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Late Night Internet

I rarely get online anymore. It's sad and it's wonderful. After 5 years of spending 2-6 hours a night frantically replying to emails, my life is very different to say the least.

I used to have days at home more frequently when I could spend the whole morning and/or afternoon working through my crammed inboxes, and even squeezing in a bit of "fun stuff" (blogging and Facebooking). And when I didn't have time to catch up online during the day, I'd just miss part of my night of sleep "because things needed to get done" and emails desperately needed replies!

All of those possibilities changed when my family decided to go without internet for awhile as an experiment. That meant my only chances to get online were to run into our little town while the library was open between 9 and 5. (It's not like we live near a town big enough for places like Panera Bread... ) But I'm usually gone doing prenatal and postpartum visits and other work-related stuff from 8 am all the way til.... well, often late in the evening.

Thankfully, I had switched from a cell phone to a Blackberry at the beginning of this year, so checking messages, updating my Facebook status and basic tasks are possible, even when other internet doesn't exist. But, typing long messages is laborious and takes a long, long time on that poor little key pad. And blogging is definitely not possible. I could tether my Blackberry to my laptop, but the cellular service at our place happens to be so poor that it would take forever to load a page.

All this to say, internet is scarce and so is my time to get online. So emails pile up and don't get answered. People re-send them and ask if I received them. Sometimes the length of time it takes me to reply to a client or send them the forms or documents they've asked for is really unprofessional. Blogging certainly doesn't happen. Sigh. Every time I look at my inbox at the hundreds and hundreds of flagged emails and the hundreds and hundreds of unread emails that I DO need to read, I feel despondency welling up in me. I used to wonder how I would ever catch up answering the really important ones? Now I know that will never happen. Perhaps, I dream to myself, I can just keep up with the important ones that are coming in. Well, that doesn't come close to happening, either.

So... I look unprofessional, and important things never receive replies and I miss lots of good opportunities because I didn't even have time to read the email. Blogging doesn't happen.

But life goes on. I keep paddling and paddling, trying to keep my head above water as I catch babies. I love my life. It's just a little too much sometimes!

I was hoping that being offline for the most part would mean more time to spend in quiet, in reading God's Word, and just listening to His Voice. Unfortunately, my midwifery life has become so busy that my time with God has suffered greatly in recent months. I am determined to find a way to make that possible.... quantity, quality time with Jesus.

So, I may be blogging less, because I'm spending my time in the Word when I find a few moments to sneak away into quiet. Or maybe I'll blog a couple of good posts a month because I've actually sat with my journal and Bible for hours and I have stuff that I just have to share. I don't know. But whatever the case, Jesus is what I want and need. And I am pursuing Him, even if the emails pile up worse than ever, and this blog doesn't get touched til next year!

Friday, August 20, 2010

His Loving Heart

Jesus, I am resting, resting

In the joy of what Thou art.

I am finding out the greatness

Of Thy loving Heart...

It's true... when the heart is most broken and bitterly disappointed,
the Goodness and Tenderness of God's loving Heart becomes all the more precious.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gone Too Soon, Loved So Much....

"Safe in the arms of Jesus,
Safe from corroding care,
Safe from the world's temptations,
Sin cannot harm me there."

I hadn't even announced on my blog that my sister was pregnant.... and now she isn't any more... My first little niece was born on Sunday morning, August 15th, quite suddenly and unexpectedly.

23 1/2 weeks
15 ounces
almost 11 inches

She lived for 9 hours.

Her mommy and daddy (Josh and Jemima) named her Christine Hope as they gave her back to the One Who had made her so perfectly.

The tears have been flowing freely but we're okay somehow, knowing that the purpose of her life was to glorify God. She has done that, and her little self will continue to do that before the Throne of God eternally.

Could we ask anything else of her life?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Faith Does Not Know Why

"Faith does not know why in terms of the immediate,
but it knows why it trusts God Who knows why in terms of the ultimate."
- Os Guiness

Not Called You Say?

" 'Not called!' did you say? 'Not heard the call,' I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity; listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy you have professed to obey, and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world."

- William Booth

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Ultimate Good of the Gospel

The ultimate good of the gospel is seeing and savoring the beauty and value of God. God’s wrath and our sin obstruct that vision and that pleasure. You can’t see and savor God as supremely satisfying while you are full of rebellion against Him and He is full of wrath against you. The removal of this wrath and this rebellion is what the gospel is for. The ultimate aim of the gospel is the display of God’s glory and the removal of every obstacle to our seeing it and savoring it as our highest treasure. “Behold Your God!” is the most gracious command and the best gift of the gospel. If we do not see Him and savor Him as our greatest fortune, we have not obeyed or believed the gospel."
-John Piper

In the Image of God

"God created us for this:
to live our lives in a way that makes Him look more like
the greatness and the beauty and the infinite worth that He really is.
This is what it means to be created in the image of God."
-- John Piper

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On Accusing God...

I came across this quote the other day while reading "The Pursuit of Holiness" and found it so thought-provoking that I had to text it to several of my friends who have been living through many of the same things I have been.
It's one thing to say God is right. It's yet another to really feel in the depths of your heart that He IS right, no matter what He chooses to do with your life.

"To complain against God is in effect to deny His holiness and to say that He is somehow not fair and just. It is less injury to Him to deny His being than to deny the purity of it; the one makes Him no God, the other a deformed, unlovely, and a detestable God...He that saith God is not holy and right speaks much worse than he that saith there is no God at all."
~ Stephen Churnock, 17th century

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Accused of Trusting God

Just had to re-post from a friend, Jonathan Smith's Facebook status tonight:

"Christ, while on the cross, was 'accused' of 'trusting God.'
May I live such that I might be accused of the same."

(Mat 27:42) "He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.

(Mat 27:43) He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, 'I am the Son of God.'"

On Writing

"In your mind you have to want to create a work of art. You have to be willing to invest the time to go back over your writing again and again, to shape every sentence so the whole piece sparkles. In spite of all this effort toward stylistic beauty, your aim is not to bring attention to your style but rather to make it a servant to the truth that's driving your story." -- Jamie Langston Turner

I agree with the quote; but find it hard to live by if I ever want to get anything to the "publish-able" stage. I prefer to edit and re-work my pieces over and over and over.... But then they never see the light of day because they're never good enough to suit me. My time is far too limited to spend as much time with pen and keyboard as I'd like.
So, sometimes I get tired of it and just publish my pieces anyway; imperfect, and not quite to my liking. At least you get to read something on my blog that way.

Maybe I'll do that with some of my rough drafts pretty soon. Not 'cause I'm really ready to publish them. But because you'll never see them if I don't just hit "publish" one of these days.

Love That Doesn't Always Protect

Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering. The love of God did not protect His own Son... He will not necessarily protect us - not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process. ~ Elisabeth Elliot

Friday, May 7, 2010

Take My Love

Take my will and make it Thine -
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart - it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love - my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only all for Thee,
Ever, only all for Thee.

- Francis Ridley Havergal

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

God... Gloriously Sufficient

The cry of my heart in recent days:
"May my life show the world that God is gloriously sufficient
and completely trustworthy."

-- John Piper

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

None Can Ever Ask Too Much!

Thou art coming to a King,
Large petitions with thee bring;
For His grace and power are such,
None can ever ask too much.

- John Newton,
who also penned "Amazing Grace"

An Unshakable God

"Faith is not believing in my own unshakable belief.
Faith is believing an unshakable God
when everything in me trembles and quakes."
-Beth Moore

Ten Thousand Beside!

"...Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!"

What a life, what hope, what joy, what a future, what a God!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's Not That I Have Nothing to Say...

It's not that my life has been quiet and calm and boring.
It's not that I have nothing to say.
It's not that I don't want to blog.

Sometimes there's just too much to say.
And never enough time.
Or there's too much to say, but here isn't the place.
Or I don't even know how to make sense of what I'm thinking.
And I have no idea how to put it into words for all the world to read.
Or if I did, I don't know that I'd want the world to read it.
Sometimes it's all just to raw and fresh and tender to share.

So, I say nothing.

Except this, the words of Fanny Crosby, the blind hymn writer:
Jesus doeth all things well!

I say that in blind faith today.
I look forward to being able to say that some day with hindsight.

Because my God is wise, and kind and good.
He's the God that has led me all my life long.
And I believe that He will continue to lead me to good,
as He always has.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spaces in the Heart for Joy

Defeat may serve as well as victory
To shake the soul and let the glory out.
When the great oak is straining in the wind,
The boughs drink in new beauty, and the trunk
Sends down a deeper root on the windward side.
Only the soul that knows the mighty grief
Can know the mighty rapture.
Sorrows come
To stretch out spaces in the heart
for joy!

-- Unknown

Saturday, February 27, 2010

What God Said

"The enemy of our souls knows that if he can't convince us
that God's ways are wrong,
he can at least try to convince us that we've misunderstood
what God said."

From the book,
Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God

Friday, February 5, 2010

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Coming Soon ~ Wedding Pictures!

My, my! It's been over a month since my blog has seen my presence.
My sister got married and has settled down to housekeeping in their darling little house. Babies have been born, and a whole lot of other stuff has occurred. Enough to keep me constantly living life and not finding time to tell you about it. But soon, but soon... (I know, I keep saying that.)
There are so very many wedding pictures to post just as soon as we get our computer back with Adobe Photoshop. Blogging is on my to-do list, I promise. Today you'll have to be happy with this one sneak preview picture... Jemima and all of her sisters. :)
For now, I shall have to let this little post from a laptop without wedding photos suffice... Because there's so much to say but not nearly enough time to get started tonight. Because the soup for tomorrow's church lunch is cooling just a bit longer and I need to clean up the table littered with cake-baking mess and see if I can get to bed before it is tomorrow.

"Oh how great is Thy goodness, which thou hast wrought for them that fear Thee; which Thou hast wrought for them that trust in Thee.... Blessed be the Lord: for He hath shewed me His marvelous kindness..." Psalm 31: 19, 21

Puttering On the Porch of Eternity

"Fight for us, O God, that we drift not numb and blind and foolish into vain and empty excitements. Life is too short, too precious, too painful to waste on worldly bubbles that burst. Heaven is too great, hell is too horrible, eternity is too long that we should putter around on the porch of eternity." ~ John Piper