The following email appeared in my inbox on my fiftieth birthday (a few weeks ago), from a close friend, Nancy Loftness.
It was one of the most meaningful birthday gifts I have ever received.
“As I was praying a few weeks ago thinking about your 50th, the idea came to me to spend a day fasting and praying for you…. So happy birthday with a gift I anticipate God using, not because of any merit in me obviously, but because He loves to fulfill His own promises from His word, which is mostly how I’ll pray. Love, Nancy.”
Charles Spurgeon once said: “No man can do me a truer kindness in this world than to pray for me.” Tom Carter, Spurgeon at His Best (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1991), p. 143.
Who can you show kindness to by praying for them today? (Don’t forget to tell them you’re praying!)
PS: Today is Nancy’s 50th birthday. Happy Birthday, my dear friend!
I wanted to get up early, but C.J. encouraged me to stay in bed a little longer. I had been up quite late the night before. He thought I needed a little more sleep.
By the time I arose, the demands of the day came rushing at me in rapid succession. There was breakfast to fix. Conversations to have. The unexpected phone call. Family members to shuttle from point A to point B. One interruption after another.
It was 10:00 a.m. and I still hadn’t taken a shower, much less made progress on my to-do list. I was struggling. This wasn’t the way my morning was supposed to go. I wasn’t completing the tasks I thought were most important. Peace and joy had vanished.
Then I recalled this perspective-altering thought from C.S. Lewis:
“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life—the life God is sending one day by day; what one calls one’s ‘real life’ is a phantom of one’s own imagination. This at least is what I see at moments of insight: but it’s hard to remember it all the time.”
—The Letters of C. S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves (20 December 1943), para. 5, p. 499; quoted in The Quotable Lewis, (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, 1989), 335.
It is hard to remember. But what a difference it made when I called to mind this biblical truth.
All these interruptions—they weren’t interruptions after all. They were “sovereign deliveries.” These “unpleasant things” were God’s perfect plan for my day.
Contemplating this bit of wisdom brought a smile to my face. And from that moment on, I met each subsequent “interruption” with joy. The shower could wait.
My prayer is that, next time, God will help me to remember this truth. Because Mr. Lewis was right. It’s easy to forget.
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
Had there been such a thing as weblogs in 1973, the year Mom graduated from Southeast High School, she would not have been voted “most likely to become a blogger.” Maybe it’s her Mennonite ancestry. Wonderful people, to be sure. But historically not the first group that comes to mind when you think of cutting edge technology.
Don’t get me wrong. I think my Mom is hip. You’d never guess she’s a recently-turned-fifty grandmother. But she’s not your stereotypical blogger either. I mean, if you had to pick the guilty blogger out of a police lineup, Mom is the first one you’d rule out.
This is Mom. When she got her first computer, she kept all her information in one document. Seriously. ONE file. I’m not kidding. This massive document included health records, message outlines, weekly menus, Christmas lists, journal entries—you name it. It was the prize pumpkin of all WORD documents.
To come from these humble Mennonite beginnings in rural Virginia farmland, to the virtual cusp of the information age is a momentous journey. One to be celebrated. Marveled at, really.
All this to say: if our blog doesn’t have the snappiest layout, or the wittiest posts, or the coolest pictures you’ll be patient, won’t you? This is a big step for Mom.
Plus, if you know Mom, you know she’s happiest outside of the spotlight. The idea of posting her thoughts on the WORLD WIDE web didn’t originate with her. Rather, she was prevailed upon. And she only agreed because she has a heart to serve and encourage women—even when it means leaping out of her comfort zone. Her one request was that we take the leap with her.
So think of this blog as a seat at Mom’s kitchen table.
This is where the Bible is read, issues of life discussed, questions asked, opinions shared, hearts opened up, sins confessed, and grace recognized. Here encouragement is always on tap and laughter overflows. It’s where the gospel is prized. It’s every day Titus 2.
So on behalf of Mom, Kristin, and Janelle, I want to invite you to pull up a chair and join our little chat. We’d love to have you, no matter your age or season of life. It’s our hope that you’ll have tons of fun on this new adventure with us!