(This isn't actually right now. It's from four weeks ago at my youngest sister's wedding, but I'm just now getting around to sharing it with you! And to noticing that a certain someone's white dress shirt isn't quite tucked in! Can we just focus on the fact that he's wearing a tie??)
I am thinking … about The Hiding Place, a classic I finished this week. Have you read it? I was hesitant going in, as I'm very reluctant to read about the Holocaust. Not because I want to pretend it didn't exist, but because I can accept that human cruelty exists without having to voluntarily delve into it and end up with nightmares. But I'd forgotten how very uplifting this beautiful book actually is. So much wisdom about hiding in the will of God, about the grace He sends to meet the right need at the right moment (and never until then), and about thanking Him in everything. I'm not suffering in a flea-ridden concentration camp right now, thanks be to God, but I've had a couple situations lately that have a grip on my heart. In a world of Ebola and ISIS and so many other terrible threats, my concerns may seem petty -- but they are real to me, right here and now. They loom large. Thanking Him for these things, whenever the sadness or anxiety nags, is a spiritual muscle that requires exercise.
I am hearing … minds in bloom. Probably because of the same book, which Ian and his classmates also just finished, I walked by a room yesterday during a co-op we attend with a small group of families and heard him and two friends having an intense, sober discussion. I later found out they were debating whether it's ever morally permissible for a Christian to lie. I love that these discussions are happening at this age, with or without adult participation. I love that they're thinking big, complex thoughts and seeking to understand more of the nature of God. I love that they're challenging each other, iron sharpening iron.
I am loving … all the time my children are spending outdoors now that the weather's become decent. We got a trampoline a few weeks ago, and I wondered whether we'd get our money's worth from such a purchase (it meant shelving a couple other household items in the budget for a while) or whether they'd quickly lose interest. And the verdict? They're on it all. the. time. First thing in the morning. Late at night, in their pajamas, looking up at the stars. Grabbing quick study breaks. Playing silly games with each other and with their friends. And meanwhile, the patio door stands open and the breezes waft in. Fall here smells like summer in the house where I grew up, because that's when the windows stay open!
(Who doesn't want to lie in a cardboard box while reading?)
I am making … this recipe for Baked Ziti, tomorrow night when we host a whole crowd of teenaged kids for our church youth group meeting. No idea exactly how many are coming. No idea whether we'll have enough chairs, tables, or ziti. But I do have an idea of why God gave us this house, and that's to fill it with people whenever we can and trust Him for the details.