Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Great and Noble

I recently discovered the following quote attributed to Helen Keller:

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble.

This so resonates with me. I want my life to count for something, to accomplish something great and noble.

I've been told by experts that motherhood is a "great and noble task." This can be a hard truth to believe when I find myself drowning in the day-to-day mothering duties that fit the description "humble tasks" like a glove. You know the drill... diapers, dishes, laundry, etc., etc., etc. hardly great and noble if taken at face value.

I know parenting our kids and sharing Jesus with them is great and noble, I do, but it is far too easy to get lost in the monotony of the daily grind. I sometimes struggle to feel significant, but I've learned a little secret this summer.

Honestly, it is something I've known, I'm sure you know it to, but sometimes I need an idea repackaged or rephrased in order to embrace it again and let it change me.

Want to know the secret?

I intentionally dedicate my duties to the Heavenly Father who sees all, as an act of worship.

If I catch myself grumbling because I have to wash bedsheets for the umpteenth time that week, or wondering what's the point of sweeping the floor again. I try to stop myself "Lord, I'm so tired of doing the same things over and over again, but I will do them again for you."

It is a small thing, the task itself doesn't change, but the significance does.

The act of worship can even transform the act of folding underwear into something great and noble. Amazing!

Worship gives significance and purpose to the mistakenly mundane, every day tasks of motherhood, making them great and noble. Not because of what we do, but because of Who we do it for.

Monday, July 18, 2011

It Couldn't Just Happen - a book review

Our kids are currently enrolled in public school and while we feel really good about this decision and the school, there are certain aspects that nag at us. Science curriculum that promotes the theory of evolution is one of those nags. That said, I am always on the look out for resources that present the truth about evolution and where we come from. After reading It Couldn't Just Happen-Knowing the Truth about God's Awesome Creation by Lawrence O. Richards, I think I might have struck gold!

While the book was a little more text-booky than I was expecting, I found that once I started reading I couldn't put it down. While it might be a little too in depth for my kids right now (my oldest is currently 8 years old), in a year it will be required reading (I believe the book targets kids ages 9 and up). I've even wondered about reading it out loud together next summer, or having my daughter read it and then discuss the questions at the end of each chapter together to digest and dissect what she read.

The book contains five parts. Part one discusses the universe and its origins, part two delves into how life began, part three goes into the wonders of plants and animals throughout creation, part four discusses humanity and part five shares why we can trust the Bible. Mr. Richards did a great job of presenting what evolutionist believe and why their theories don't hold up as well as presenting the intricacies with which God created our world. Psalm 19:1 kept running through my head while I was reading it, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands."

We live in an amazing world that leaves no doubt of who created it. This book is a faith strengthener that adults and children alike will benefit from reading.

***DISCLOSURE NOTICE: A free copy of this book was supplied to me for the purpose of review by Thomas Nelson Publishing. No monetary exchange was given. All comments and wording in this review are purely my own.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Unleashed - a book review

If you page through my copy of Unleashed by Erwin Raphael McManus, you will find underlined phrases, stars and even a handwritten exclamation mark or two. That will be your first hint that the message in this little book resonated with me. And, based on my graffitied pages you might make the educated guess that I wanted to remember and maybe even share parts of what I read.

Your guess would be correct.

In fact I’m going to share a little of what I read with you right now…

"All of us, it seems, are susceptible to choosing a life defined more by security and safety than faith and risk. I’m convinced that all of us struggle with the tension of wanting to live a life of unimaginable adventure and at the same time maintain a world that is fully under our control. The problem is that faith when fully ignited moves our lives entirely out of our control completely into the hands of God…You don’t need to go find faith; you need to unleash it."

If this quote moves you, then you should read Unleashed. And if it doesn’t… you should probably read it to.

Throughout the pages of this book, Mr. McManus calls Christians to leave the safe, domesticated “Christian” world that we have created and wholeheartedly follow and embrace the “barbarian” call Christ created. He reminds us that the call of Christ is not safe, "God would never choose for us safety at the cost of significance. God created you so that your life would count, not so that you could count the days of your life."

I found Unleashed to be well-written and thought provoking and would highly recommend it.

***DISCLOSURE NOTICE: A free copy of this book was supplied to me for the purpose of review by Thomas Nelson Publishing. No monetary exchange was given. All comments and wording in this review are purely my own.