Basics, Sharing Stories

The Greatest Story Was Told

Along the way, I keep learning the value of passing down important information, especially through stories. (See Here.)

This Sunday, as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, how do we know its significance and the pertinent facts? Someone told the story.

It seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

Luke 1:3-4 (ESV)

Through Luke—and others—God made sure that the life of Jesus was recorded.

While homeschooling, I used the genealogy of Genesis to construct a time line. What surprised me the most? The life of Noah’s father, Lamech, and the life of Adam overlapped by 56 years. Lemech possibly listened to Adam’s first-hand accounts of the Fall and the promise of a Savior.

The long life of Adam—930 years—allowed his knowledge to be given to a multitude of people for centuries.

We continue the blessing as we accurately tell the good news,and add our own accounts of God’s faithfulness.

Which stories are you passing along this week?

Basics, Family, Homeschooling, Parenting

War, Not Battles Pt.2

Be pitiful, for every man is fighting a hard battle.

Ian MacLaren, Zion’s Herald, January 26, 1898

Along the way, I learned that most people are fighting wars, not battles. What is the difference?

War involves a series of battles. War takes longer. War requires more resources. War has more setbacks. War causes more damage.

No matter the victor, war requires more repairs. War needs a longer recovery. War demands more time to process the experience.

I wish I had known I was fighting wars rather than battles. I would have been better prepared for both the fight and the aftermath.

Are you fighting or recovering?

Basics, Family, Friendship

War, Not Battles

Be kind. Everyone is fighting a battle.

I encounter these seven words regularly. They have been attributed to Socrates, Plato, and Plutarch. Once I heard them attributed to current celebrity Maria Shriver. Some reciters imply the words are their own.

Research reveals the originator as Rev. John Watson, a Scottish minister and author, who used the pseudonym Ian MacLaren.

Be pitiful, for every man is fighting a hard battle

Ian MacLaren, Zion’s Herald, January 26, 1898

This man beside us also has a hard fight with an unfavouring world… we are moved to deal kindly with him…

Rev. John Watson, The Homely Virtues 1903

The sentiment is compelling. No wonder various forms of it have been repeated for over a century.

Along the way—as family and friends and even casual acquaintances shared their stories—I learned that most people are not fighting battles. They are fighting wars.

Have you recognized the fight for what it is?

Basics, Christmas, Parenting

Processing Moments

My husband and I attended a writers panel at the 2019 Boston Marathon Expo. Our goal was to hear our favorite runner, Meb Keflezighi, speak. However, another Olympian spoke the words I remembered most.

Marathoner Deena Kastor was asked, “What did you learn from writing your memoir, Let Your Mind Run?”

We move on and don’t process. Take in moments and don’t move on. Take it in so you can be wiser from your moments.

Deena Kastor 2004 Olympics Bronze Medalist

I immediately thought about my tendency to move on and how much—both good and bad—I had glossed over. Or ignored.

Along the way, I told myself I didn’t have time to slow down and process what was happening to me and around me. However, as soon as Denna said “Take it in so you can be wiser from your moments,” I knew she was speaking truth, and I wished I had been following her advice for years.

Any advice on processing this year’s Christmas moments?

Basics, Friendship, Parenting

Transparency Makes a Difference

Transparency takes courage, but it changes everything. I vividly remember a homeschool prayer breakfast where I learned this truth.

After listening to a beloved supporter of our group encourage us in raising our children in accordance with Scripture, our leader asked for prayer requests. Usually, we shared about children struggling with reading or learning math facts, wisdom in ordering our day, last minute curriculum decisions, dealing with those who opposed our homeschooling, or husbands’ work schedules.

Our speaker jumped in first. She poured out her heart about a matter that was deeply troubling her. She listed her questions, her fears, and her doubts. As an older and wiser woman, she had just given us advice, but she was not afraid of being transparent. She understood she had no merit apart from Christ’s sacrifice. She was equal to us in needing and relying on the grace of God alone.

Our speaker’s transparency—and vulnerability—changed the direction of our meeting. We eagerly followed her example and openly talked about—and then prayed for—the concerns that were most heavy on our hearts. We were different when we left.

Has someone’s transparency helped you?

PS Thank you J’aime.