I Shall Not Want

I rarely turn on the local Christian radio station. The main reason being that a lot of what they play is just musically and lyrically bad. It’s shallow, and inane. But hey, that’s just my opinion. I could have left it out, but I felt like this post would be a little disingenuous if I didn’t divulge the whole truth.

That said, one day last year I turned it on and was completely undone by this song. It wrecked me again tonight. It is a beautiful and heartfelt cry of repentance. Do take the time to listen.

From the love of my own comfort
From the fear of having nothing
From a life of worldly passions
Deliver me O God

From the need to be understood
From the need to be accepted
From the fear of being lonely
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

And I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

From the fear of serving others
From the fear of death or trial
From the fear of humility
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

And I shall not want, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want

A few months ago I wrote a post about being a doer, not just a thinker.

There are things in my life that I think about a lot. Things I think I will do someday, things that seem high and lofty, things that are beyond my present reach. Do I think that waiting long enough will bring them closer to my grasp? I must, and yet the opposite is usually true. The longer I wait to do something, the more insurmountable it becomes. My thoughts create excuse after excuse for why I can’t. These goals steadily rise higher into the clouds, and I am left in a valley of self-pity. I’ll never get there. It’s too hard.

I’ve always hoped I would someday write a book. Something meaningful and deep, that pours from my soul.

The thing about writing is that most people tell you it’s so hard. On more than one occasion I’ve heard people compare it to giving birth – as joyous as I feel birth is, I’ll attest to the fact that there is some discomfort involved. (Alright, let’s call it what it is, it’s pain. People who tell you you can have a pain-free birth are lying or disillusioned.) Why would I willingly sign myself up to do something I know is going to be difficult?

Recently I’ve read that writing doesn’t have to be difficult, and I can pound a book out in a month if I have the determination to sit down and write for at least an hour every day. As nice as that sounds, it also sounds too good to be true. I believe that writing might be easier than I thought, but I don’t think it’s easy. Rarely is something of value easy. When you pour yourself into something, it is at a cost, and that is the opposite of easy and free.

So I’ve found myself at a crossroads. I want to write. The act of writing a book has not quite reached the heights of Mt. Everest in my mind, but it’s somewhere in the Rockies at this point. I can choose to watch it slip away, and as the years pass I can tell myself I would have written a great book if I had ever actually dedicated myself to the hard work of doing it. Ten years from now I could look back and wonder what would have happened if I had just gone for it. Or I could stop thinking and do.

I’m telling you now, I’m going to do it. I don’t know how long it will take me. Every writer I read for advice gives me different stories of how to make it work. But I’m going to do it.

Watch me.

“An anxious person cannot pray with faith; when troubled about the world, instead of serving your Master, your thoughts are serving you. If you would ‘seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,’ all things would then be added to you. You are meddling with Christ’s business and neglecting your own when you fret about your lot and circumstances. You have been trying ‘providing’ work and forgetting that it is your job to obey. Be wise and attend to the obeying, and let Christ manage the providing. Come and survey your Father’s storehouse, and ask whether He will let you starve while He has laid up so great an abundance in His garner? Look at His heart of mercy; see if that can ever prove unkind! Look at His inscrutable wisdom; see if that will ever be at fault. Above all, look up to Jesus Christ your Intercessor, and ask yourself, while He pleads, can your Father deal ungraciously with you? If He remembers even sparrows, will He forget one of the least of His poor children? ‘Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.'”

– C. H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

Sometimes God showers his grace on us in big, glorious ways; often, it comes in small acts of providence. Today I again experienced the latter.

I was completely knocked out this morning with a horrific headache. I’ll skip a gory description, but just say that the pain was so severe at times that all I could do was cry out in pain, as if I were in labour. There was however no apparent purpose to this pain. I was stuck in bed except for the times I was running to the bathroom, sick to my stomach. It was not pretty.

My children spent these hours watching Netflix, fighting about what to watch on Netflix, as yelling about who could and could not sit beside them. As lunchtime was upon us, and I drifted in and out of sleep, I wondered what I would do about feeding the kids. Perhaps I would just have Markus serve everyone Cheerios, since there was no way I could get up to help them.

And then the doorbell rang. It was my mom. She went to buy the kids chicken nuggets and fries, while I prayed a prayer of thankfulness to my Father in heaven who loves this daughter enough to send help when the need is great. Amazing grace.

Lest we forget.

Lest We Forget.

As a child, war seemed like a distant fabled tale, but the older I get the closer it feels to me. This morning we observed a ceremony of remembrance, paying tribute to the men and women who have served our country and are currently doing so. I was struck with a deeper realization than ever of what the cost of freedom is.  I’m sure the recent attacks on our own soil have made the reality of threatened freedom much more real to me, and I am so grateful for those who have sacrificed to make possible the freedom we enjoy in Canada.

Think. Do.

Forest path

Thinking about doing something, and actually doing something are two very different things.

I often think about walking the leafy path at Beaver Creek, but I rarely make the time to actually get there. I think about mastering a new song on the piano, yet I don’t often make time to sit down and practice.  I think about all the books I want to read to my kids, but I assume said children will be difficult and unable to sit still and I will inevitably lose my mind (likely true!) so I don’t even start the books. I think about having my friends over for a party just because we’re friends and I enjoy their company, but I don’t take the initiative to throw that party because I’m busy and so is everyone else. The list goes on and on with all the things I think of doing, but don’t.

Writing is one of those things. I think about it too much, and don’t do it enough.

Thinking is a good thing, but doing: doing is also very good.

I’d like to be more of a doer.

“Among conservative Christians there is sometimes the mistaken notion that if we are truly gospel-centered we won’t talk about rules or imperatives or moral exertion. We are so eager not to confuse indicatives (what God has done) and imperatives (what we should do) that we get leery of letting biblical commands lead uncomfortably to conviction of sin. We’re scared of words like diligence, effort, and duty. We know legalism (salvation by law keeping) and antinomianism (salvation without the need for law keeping) are both wrong, but antinomianism feels like a much safer danger.

“Then there’s the reality that holiness is plain hard work, and we’re often lazy. We like our sins, and dying to them is painful. Almost everything is easier than growing in godliness. So we try and fail, try and fail, and then give up. It’s easier to sign a petition protesting man’s inhumanity to man than to love your neighbour as yourself. It’s one thing to graduate from college ready to change the world. It’s another to be resolute in praying that God would change you.”

– Kevin DeYoung, The Hole in our Holiness

“My soul, begin this wintry month with your God. The cold snows and the piercing winds all remind you that He keeps His covenant with day and night, and tend to assure you that He will also keep that glorious agreement which He has made with you in the person of Christ Jesus. He who is true to His Word in the revolutions of the seasons of this poor sin-polluted world will not prove unfaithful in His dealings with his own dearly-loved Son.”

– C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

“It is at once the most Christlike and the most happy course for a believer to cease from living for himself. He who blesses others cannot fail to be blessed himself. On the other hand, to seek our own personal greatness is a wicked and unhappy plan of life, its way will be grievous and its end will be fatal.

Here is the place to ask you, my friend, whether you are to the best of your power seeking the wealth of the church in your neighborhood? I trust you are not doing it mischief by bitterness and scandal, nor weakening it by your neglect. Friend, unite with the Lord’s poor, bear their cross, do them all the good you can, and you shall not miss your reward.”

– C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

My friend James is always posting quotes on his blog from great writers. They sometimes make my head hurt as I wrap my mind around the language, but my heart expands in the process as well. In an age where everyone has an opinion and voices it loudly, it is helpful to listen to people who have walked before us and speak with an eloquence that is nearly extinct. It’s all been said, and likely with strings of words that exceed my writing ability.

School Has Begun!

Class Picture

Classes at Bitner Academy are now in session. I like to take advantage of my freedom by not starting school when everyone else does. Setting our own schedule means starting a week later than everyone else, just because we can.

Markus

Markus, grade 2.

Wyatt

Wyatt, grade 1.

Bailey

Bailey, Pre-K/K.

Deacon

Deacon, 2 years old and along for the ride.

Nice tongue, Deacon.

My favourite students.

Painting

I had promised the kids we would paint this summer, so we pulled out the supplies and got to work this morning.

Little Artist

Bailey loved mixing colours, and adding more. And more.

Wyatt's art

Wyatt’s finished piece.

Markus' Art

Take a guess as to whose creation this is.

Creative process

“Markus, please go close to Bailey and pretend you are helping so I can take a picture.”

Ice Cream

As I promised them, an ice cream sundae at Homestead Ice Cream. In that bowl are 9 scoops of ice cream: Dill Pickle, Licorice, Caramel Cone, Cookie Dough, Grape, Peach, Bubble Gum, Oreo Cheesecake, and Maple Walnut. Wow, I remembered them all!

New Pencils

And what’s the start of a new school year without new pencils? I splurged on these Staedtler ones…there’s nothing like a good pencil.