A Generous Grace

ideas on practical spirituality and loving each other

Tag: challenging (page 1 of 3)

Away: Feeling Far from God

The headlights wove through a mountain pass tonight as a few tears plopped on my lap. My husband had encouraged me to get out for some time alone; he and the kids shared shish kabobs at home. Usually I’m getting out for a relief from, well, motherhood. In the car it was blissfully quiet, blissfully alone. But my wanderings through the stacks of the used bookstore had struggled to lift what sat on my chest.

I mentioned I’ve been grieving lately. I wonder. Is it my heart’s questions that make me feel God is unusually silent?

away-from-god-meme

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When Helping Hurts [You], Part III: When Aisha Died

helping hurts

The phone connection sounded a bit like Oliver, one of my closest Ugandan friends, was crushing newspapers on the other end; I held the phone an inch from my ear. But I didn’t miss what made my hand fly to my chest: “Aisha…she passed. It was just too late. Things were already too bad.”

Aisha. Perhaps you remember her from this photo, snapped from my phone two and a half months ago, outside a mud hut in the slums of Namuwongo. She’s the young mother of four kids. A twenty-something.

namuwongo family

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Guest post: How to see your spouse with new eyes

Remember the ’99 Julia Roberts flick, Runaway Bride?

Roberts’ character has a bad reputation for landing at the altar and, well, taking off. (Spoiler alert, here–) Turns out she’s been a chameleon of sorts, being “supportive” to the point of wholly adopting her not-so-future mate’s preferences, hobbies, and lifestyle: She likes her eggs the same way. She dons a large (fake) tattoo. She prepares to climb Everest for one of her (not-gonna-happen) honeymoons.

The fiancés are left clueless and bewildered as she turns from each of them, minutes from matrimony. I adored her! And yet, apparently none understood how little they’d actually sought out her soul, or cherished her uniqueness apart from what she contributed to their own interests.

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Not the way I saw it going in my head: On second-guessing decisions

 

I think perhaps a reader phrased it best a few weeks ago:

[My husband] and I have wrestled with our “calling” to adopt years ago. We clearly felt it, and we have second guessed it almost every day since then, wondering what were we thinking? Did God really call us to this or were we just emotionally carried away, or as [this post] put it, is it an act of worship? I think in my naïveté, I assume that if I obey what I think God is clearly placing on my heart, he will “reward” me somehow with happiness and not trouble. My very wise husband points out that this is very bad theology!

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With African eyes

It was one of those weeks when the phrase from the Morton salt box from my childhood had to occasionally be batted from my mind: When it rains, it pours.

It started on the way to the airport, where my husband would fly to Kenya for two weeks. (Perhaps you’re already seeing the writing on the wall with me.) That was when neither of our ATM cards were working; problematic in a nation nearly entirely functioning on cash. Of course, it wasn’t until paying for my parking that I realized I didn’t even have the eighty cents to make it out of the parking lot. (“Kids! Start looking under all the car mats! In the cupholders!” We were still about forty cents shy.)

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Friday quotables #1: For the day when you’re beyond your capacity

friday quotables

“[The disciples in the storm in Mark 5:45-52] are in a situation that seems impossible, exhausting, frustrating, and potentially dangerous. They are far beyond their strength and ability. As you read the passage, you have to ask yourself why Jesus would ever want his disciples in this kind of difficulty. It’s clear that they’re not in this mess because they’ve been disobedient, arrogant or unwise, but because they have obeyed Jesus….

“[Jesus] takes the walk [on water] because He is not after the difficulty. He is after the men in the middle of the difficulty. He is working to change everything they think about themselves and about their lives…he says: ‘it is I’…He is actually taking one of the names of God. He is saying the ‘I AM’ is with them, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the One on whom all the covenant promises rest. It is impossible for them to be alone….

“He knows that sometimes you need the storm in order to be able to see the glory. For the believer, peace is not to be found in ease of life. Real peace is only ever found in [His] presence, power, and grace.”

-Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies: A Gospel Devotional

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What I…deserve?

Again.

Mild exasperation, disproportionate discouragement, and sheepishness collided in me when my husband called from the other room that power had died again, after twenty-four hours off the day before.

My sheepishness was mostly because I knew that hey, 85% of the country has no electricity to speak of, period. (I am frequently embarrassed by of my luxurious privileges.) My grandparents lived without indoor power for a decent portion of their lives. So I felt lame that my life was so stinkin’ dependent on it, and that not having electricity manages to peck at me like a duck all day—when I go to use the microwave (aww…), forego buying milk because I can’t put it in the fridge (shoot!), or try to remember I gotta send that e-mail when I can charge my laptop again (dang it!).

Sometimes I just want to be in a place where things work.

what i deserve

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Guest post: On raising our kids to crave true safety

Happy Friday!

Excited to be contributing again on WeareTHATfamily.com–In Good Hands: Raising our kids to crave true safety. Hop on over and check it out!

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Guest posting: Betrayal

Guest-posting with Bobi Ann Allen today on her excellent post, Betrayal: 18 Ministry Experts Weigh In. (And yes, I am as surprised as you are that I would be termed or included in a group of “ministry experts”!) Good stuff in there.

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Calling the “embassy”

calling the embassy.jpg

It was Friday night, and friends and I were tearing into slices of pizza as our children yelped and shrieked over on the restaurant’s bouncy castle. As it occasionally does with an expat crowd, the conversation turned to culturally confusing, even harrowing moments. I normally feel quite safe here; I love raising my children in Africa. But someone had asked about my encounter with the police this past year—and then my friend divulged her own moment with the police a few years back.

Her teenaged son had been driving among a main thoroughfare when, as is quite typical here, a political official’s convoy careened down the middle of the road. At this point, non-official vehicles are expected to clear the road—much as they would for emergency vehicles in the Western world.

The problem lies in seeing and hearing the motorcade before you are quite literally run off the road, or even into a pedestrians or motorcyclists. (Do not even get me started on what I think about this practice.) Another problem may lie in knowing when the motorcade has passed; woe to the motorist who assumes its previous position on the highway too early.

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