Archive for March, 2012


Tulips!

A few years ago my kids and I planted tulip bulbs around a tree in our yard.  We planted them in the fall and then waited until spring to see if they would grow.  And they did!  We planted multi-colored tulips so it was fun to see what colors showed up when the tulips opened.

This year our tulips have just bloomed again.  And they’re beautiful!  But I just realized that only a few weeks ago there was nothing there beside that tree except for some old mulch partly covering the dirt after a winter of being repeatedly covered with snow and washed away by rain.  I think so often our lives are difficult or we have goals we are trying so hard to accomplish or we’re just very busy and maybe we feel like that ugly messed up mulch from last year.

But just below that mulch there’s a tulip bulb in the dirt that we can’t even see.  Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose,” (NIV).  For those of us who have trusted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we can know that God will never leave us and He is able to use those hard times in our lives for good.  Remember Joseph with his coat of many colors?  He had a few rough years (Okay, I know that’s an understatement!), but He continued to trust that God had a plan.  And God did.  In fact, God knew all along what would happen to Joseph.  It’s a great true story.  You can find it in Genesis 37-50.  And God knows what will happen with you, too!  God knows everything and He cares about you.  We just need to keep looking to God, like my tulips are today, reaching up as tall as they can and opening themselves to their Creator.

So just a few days ago we had only green leaves growing up from that mulch, but today I see glorious red and yellow tulips opened up and reaching to the sky.  And soon there will be new mulch surrounding those tall flowers.  I know that mulch is coming, but my tulips don’t.  They’re just there, being tulips.

So soon it will all be very good.  And beautiful.

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Is Anyone Listening?

Charlie Brown

I love Charlie Brown.  I still read the newspaper comic each day.  And we have watched the specials on TV during the holidays for years.  I have fun memories of my youngest child laughing SO hard at Snoopy.  Remember the Thanksgiving show when Snoopy tried to put chairs around the table outside?  That one chair just would not stay open!  That chair scene still makes me laugh because I remember my son laughing at Snoopy when he was so little.  A young child laughing so hard is so much fun!  And I remember putting curlers in my daughter’s hair during the Christmas show while she sat very still, watching Charlie Brown.  I also remember that when we hear the adults in the Charlie Brown shows speak we don’t hear real words.  Nope.  We hear “waw waw waw.”  And I have often wondered if that is how our own kids hear us sometimes.  They probably have at times, but not always.

Recently I got to spend some time with a group of kindergarteners.  It was so fun.  We colored, built with Legos, played Go Fish and talked.  Soon one child announced that he had gone on vacation to Mount Rushmore.  Then the children started talking about presidents and quickly moved on to politics.  Politics?  Really?  These were five year olds!  Then I realized that they were listening at home.  Young children generally don’t talk about presidents and politics, but we do.

And I remembered the verse in the Bible about talking to our children about God and His Word all the time, when we stand and when we sit, when we’re walking along the road.  All the time.  You know why?  Because they’re listening.  Not only are they listening to us when we speak directly to them, but they’re also listening to us when we’re not even talking to them.  Maybe even more then.  It’s so important to remember Ephesians 4:29 also, to speak words that help others, not hurt them.  “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen,” (NIV).  Those who listen.  Hmmm…  Those who listen can easily include our kids.  So are we showing love and respect to our spouse and to those around us with the words that we say to them and about them?  Our kids are listening.

Maybe sometimes they hear the famous Charlie Brown “waw waw waw,” but I think they hear us more than we realize.  So I am thankful to God for the opportunities and teachable moments that He gives us with our kids.  And I pray that I will speak the words that they need to hear…and that they will remember.

I recently read my book, “Papa’s Plan for Buddy Bee,” to my Good News Club kids.  Click the link to check out what they had to say about the story!

Hey Everyone!

Listen to my illustrator, Hannah Segura, and me chat about our book, “Papa’s Plan for Buddy Bee” this week, March 12-16, on http://www.kcro.com from 3:53-3:55 p.m. central time!

This is a children’s book for all ages.  It is available online on this blog as well as on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Blessings to you all!

Lori

Laundry Lessons

Have you ever had problems with laundry?  So often I wash clothes, then put them into the dryer and later take them out and realize that I dried a tank top.  If you have tank tops you know what happens.  They shrink.  It is a horrible feeling to take a tank top out of the dryer because you know that it will be forever short.  Ugh!

Recently I washed a sweater.  I love this sweater.  It is so soft, warm… and made of wool.  No it didn’t shrink.  I didn’t put it in the dryer.  It actually came out very nicely.  But everything else in the washer was covered with cream colored wool strings.  I’m still removing strings from all of those other clothes.  My husband’s and sons’ clothes should not look like my wool sweater!

As I pulled string after string off of shirts I was reminded of how we are to live in the world, but not be like the world.  Which makes me wonder, what do I look like?  When people look at me, I want them to see Jesus.  I don’t want to look like the world.  I want to be different.  Why would others want to listen to the good news I have to share if I’m just like them?  James tells us very clearly, “…don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?  Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God,” (James 4:4, NIV).  I’m pretty sure that James is not telling us to completely isolate ourselves from the world.  How will they ever know the love of Jesus that James experienced?  I think that as Jesus’ younger half-brother, James would tell us to show by the way that we live that we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

So I’m just like those clothes tumbling along together in my washing machine, but I will choose to stay in friendship with God by spending time with Him, reading His Word and spending time with other believers.  Those wool strings are not going to stick to me!