Jackson Five Friday: Patriot Series, Part II

Hey Friends,

I hope you’ve had a lovely week. It was a gorgeous one here in Tennessee, with lots of blue skies.

It’s been fun to watch some Olympic Trials too. The athletes that make the team headed for Tokyo immediately sign their name on a Japanese drum. What an honor! And in swimming, since it’s 100% objective, no one signs that drum without years and years of hard work and dedication.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the hardworking Kayla Han makes the team in three years. It’s rather confusing how it works this year, so I’ve explained it in the P.S. below. But at Wave I of Olympic Trials, I screamed my head off for Kayla. Like my son, she had qualified for the Trials just a couple weeks before. In the morning, she swam fast enough to make the B final in the 400 Individual Medley, which is just a brutal race. The swimmers dive in and swim two 50 meter laps of butterfly, then backstroke, then breaststroke. They finish with freestyle. Kayla was trailing until the last 50 meters. At the last minute, she turned on the jets, caught the leaders and then touched the wall first. I was going ballistic! I went back and watched her televised race a few nights ago and was a little surprised that my incessant screaming could not be heard. I imagine someone somewhere has video of the tall woman losing her mind, and her voice.

Before that morning I’d never heard of Kayla, but you might have joined me in madly cheering for her if you knew two things. First, every swimmer at Trials wears a pricey, high tech racing suit – every swimmer except Kayla.

The other tidbit that might make you love Kayla? She is only thirteen years old, and the youngest swimmer at Trials. In fact, when she got her Olympic Trials cut she was still twelve. She’d only been thirteen for a few days. The bright lights. The pressure. The pomp and circumstance. The universal use of top-of-the-line racing suits. None of this could intimidate her. She rocked it. I hope she goes to Paris in 2024 because she’s already one of my favorites.

America breeds dreamers with perseverance. Most Americans are reluctant to tell someone “You can’t do that!” There are notable exceptions of course, but the majority of us like to encourage audacious goals. We might caution, “That would require a lot of work.” But the American spirit is one that fights, one that sacrifices, one that sees the obstacles and still turns on the jets. And Americans, like all of humanity, absolutely love an underdog.

Why do we? Have you taken a few minutes to think about why we love underdogs? I know why. It’s because the story that most defines us and most liberates us is the ultimate underdog story. Our Savior was born in a stable. He wasn’t privileged. His family fled murderous persecution. He wasn’t remarkably handsome. Most of His life was quiet. He didn’t travel hardly at all. He worked construction. But He won the biggest victory of all. He beat death. He beat it for you. He beat it for me. He beat death for the whole world.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭

I hope you believe in the ultimate underdog. He is the way, the truth and the life, today and forever.

Love,

Kristie

P.S. To make the U.S. Olympic Team for swimming you must race in and win at the Trials. You can also make the team by placing second. For relays they take as many as six swimmers. But the maximum number of swimmers is 26 men and 26 women, and theoretically you could have less if our fastest swimmers didn’t achieve an Olympic cut. This never happens in the U.S. because we have the world’s fastest swimmers.

This year the trials-qualifying swimmers were broken up into two groups, or “waves.” Wave II which is going on now, is where the winner of the final for each event makes the team and signs the drum. Kayla and Will swam at Wave I and could’ve only moved on to Wave II by getting first or second in the A final. Will got 5th. Kayla won the B Final. But I’m liking their chances in 2024.

Jackson Five Friday: Patriot Series, Part I

Hey Friends,

I hope you are well. I’ve kicked off summer 2021 in a most patriotic way. Last week Sam and I visited Mount Rushmore and then met up with Will to attend Wave I of the U.S. Olympic Trials. Our son, Will, was swimming at the meet — which is the ultimate dream of many young swimmers. It was such an incredible week, and I have so many thoughts about it, that I can’t possibly put them in a single post of reasonable length. Hence, my series.

When I was a little girl my dad accused me of being unAmerican. What was my offense? I hated both hamburgers and corn-on-the-cob. Sadly I have never overcome my distaste for burgers. But I think, overall, my dad would agree — I’m pretty patriotic.

Are you? Would you consider yourself a patriotic person? I think something has been lost in recent days. I am not patriotic because I think any person is worthy of worship. Only Jesus is. I am not patriotic because I endorse every action or statement of our Founding Fathers. Clearly they were all sinners and so deeply flawed that it’s hard to relate to the travesty of slavery. But at the same time our government was laid out with a system of checks and balances —a level of wisdom that has withstood tremendous pressures and trials. How can any lover of freedom fail to acknowledge that the bones of our government are elegant, enduring, inspiring, and wise? We don’t tear down homes with great bones, and houses are insignificant when compared to systems of government. I cannot relate to the masses aimed at destruction. I wish they could all visit Rushmore and read the words of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt. I wish they could all attend an event where athletes aim to make the U.S. Olympic team.

Yet it feels as though the dominant voices are voices of victimhood, voices that fail to look at alternatives, voices that rarely, if ever, model biblical wisdom: it is to YOUR glory to overlook an offense.

Really the heart of the matter is gratitude.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:17‬ ‭

I believe being born an American is a good gift from my Heavenly Father. And I never want to take it for granted.

I hope you won’t either. I hope you’ll always try to recognize and acknowledge all the gifts you’ve been given, and then use them for His glory.

With Love,

Kristie

P.S. I listened to this sermon from Tim Keller twice this week and highly recommend it. In it Keller has an almost C.S. Lewis type of vibe, where he explains complicated concepts in such simple and compelling terms that you almost want to laugh and exclaim, “Ahh, of course! How did I not see that before?” The two that tie into the above post are: (1) try as you may, you cannot live under your own authority; and (2) as Aristotle argued, doing leads to knowing, not vice versa. It’s a corollary of Bonhoeffer’s statement that obedience and love are self-reinforcing. In short, sometimes it’s vital to just obey. It gets the ball rolling in unexpected ways.

Jackson Five Friday: Trusting the Experts

Hey Friends,

I hope you are kicking off the best months of the year in a big way. I recently visited a summer hot spot where the hustle of the season demands extra workers. Sam and I had an hour to kill before leaving. As we were wrapping up lunch, I asked our server what she would do with a spare hour.

“Oh,” she smiled, clearly amused. “I’m just here for the summer, so I’ll have to ask a local.”

“Where are you from?” I asked.

“I’m from Jamaica,” she said.

She had no trace of any accent so this surprised me. As I talked with her further, she told me she’s worked on her American accent because she does customer service calls when she’s in Jamaica for Humana.

She came back with my credit card a few minutes later and said she’d asked every co-worker in the restaurant. Then she introduced me to another Jamaican. He told me he’d probably take a somewhat unknown scenic drive and explained how to get there.

“Mmhh,” I said, not thrilled about more driving. “What about that park over there. Is that nice?”

“It’s great,” he said, his native land a whole lot more evident than hers. “They have a piece of the Berlin Wall in that park.”

We saw the Wall! Do you know where we were getting expert local advice from a friendly and wise Jamaican? Yep, South Dakota. Is that not the best?

I think we need to ask more questions. Lots more questions. In all areas of life. There are people who know things that will benefit you immensely. The most useful tidbits may come from unlikely sources. Misleading, even harmful, advice may come from the highly credentialed. Pray for wisdom and ask lots and lots of questions. And may we never cease applying the words of the Apostle Paul from Romans 12:16.

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.

Lord Jesus, forgive me for being wise in my own sight. Help me be humble and ask questions. Thank you for your abundant goodness. Thank you that unlike those behind that terrible wall, I’m free. May I use my freedom for Your glory.

With Love,

Kristie

Jackson Five Friday: Adventure Time

Hey Friends,

In 2013 the five of us spent one night at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. There were a number of things that made that short little trip memorable. I had forgotten my wallet, Nate got sick at a restaurant, and then we happened on one of those cartoons that is not intended for children. It was called Adventure Time. It’s probably a pretty inappropriate show, but the one and only episode we watched was hilarious. Eight years later we still regularly reference one scene from it which involved a character named “Party Pat.”

I hope you have random family experiences that are often remembered. I hope even more that you are taking new adventures.

I witnessed two brave adventurers in the last week.

I was walking on the Riverwalk path and in the distance saw a man running with a woman. From far away it looked like he had her on a leash. I thought, “No, that can’t be right. He can’t have her on a leash.” But he did. You know why? Maybe you are smarter than me and realized immediately why. She was blind. She was probably about sixty years old. She was out running on a hot day. What an adventurer!

Then we were in Nashville for baseball. Accessing the diamond from the parking lot was a little tricky. There were steps and a grassy hill to navigate. We ended up talking to an elderly gentleman escorted by his wife and daughter. He had just had back surgery and shoulder surgery. But he was determined to see his grandson play baseball. He clearly had an adventurous spirit. Do you?

I think the last year has normalized what should not be normal. It should not be normal to try to control how other people live. It should not be normal to consult “experts” about what you should and should not do. It should not be normal to binge on Netflix day after day. It should not be normal to stay home, or to learn via zoom. It should not be normal for people to ask about or even volunteer private health information. It should never be normal to live in fear.

We are all going to die. That fact should make us live more courageously, knowing our time is limited. Yet our toxic culture has attempted to persuade us that we can cheat death by cowering in our homes. Avoid death by not living? The irony!

The truth is every day is an adventure if we have the right mindset. The right mindset is to know that our life is in Christ.

Jesus said, “A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy; But I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10.

The blind runner and the determined fan were living abundantly. It’s inspiring to see what others can overcome. On the other hand, it’s kind of depressing to see what holds some people back. I want to be in the first group, and I have no excuse not to be.

I was reading through some commentary on the abundant life. There are too many facets to unpack here, but this is a good summation.

Life is a matter of degrees. Some have life, but it flickers like a dying candle, and is indistinct as the fire in the smoking flax; others are full of life, and are bright and vehement, like the fire upon the blacksmith’s forge when the bellows are in full blast. Christ has come that his people may have life in all its fullness.

Charles Spurgeon

May we all embrace life in all its fullness and not flicker like dying candles. Have a fabulously abundant weekend!

With Love,

Kristie

Jackson Five Friday: Normalcy

Hey Friends,

I hope you’ve had an excellent week. I’m overjoyed by signs of normalcy. Two experiences in particular have made me smile with deep satisfaction these last few days.

Our church is now offering a fully masked service and a mask-optional service. Will and I attended the masked service so that we could teach Sunday school during the mask-optional hour. I’m the kind who rips the mask off the very second I can. I do not take two steps outside with it on.

However, my husband was unintentionally still wearing his mask fifteen full strides from the church door. We passed by a woman on the sidewalk who is in her eighties. We’ve met her, but do not know her well.

“Good morning,” Will said, cheerfully.

The woman’s eyes danced with amusement, and maybe even a hint of disdain. “Look at this guy,” she said, meeting my gaze. She was low key ripping him for wearing a mask. Her lack of fear made my day.

But Wednesday night was even better. We went to a small outdoor concert and nary a trace of fear was in the air. No one mentioned the vaccine or masks or acted nervous in any sense. It was all smiles and pure joy to soak up live music with strangers. Nothing about it felt different than a spring concert in 2019.

The last sixteen months have made me realize I’m pro many things, and anti many things. On some other issues, I just don’t have strong feelings one way or the other. But one aspect has become crystal clear: I’m vehemently anti-fear!

Maybe it’s because the Bible tells me to be. In fact, “fear not” is one of the central teachings of Scripture. A simple online search will yield a plethora of encouraging verses like this one:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

But the Bible has a pro side of fear too. It tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We sometimes trip up on this concept. Yet a lack of reverence and awe for the Person who spoke creation into existence would be idiocy. How could you hope to have wisdom if you couldn’t even get over that tiny hurdle? We fear Him because He is in control and all-powerful. But wisdom convinces us that He loves, that He wants to give us good things, including peace. And we know that perfect love casts out fear. When you take a few minutes to reason through it, you recognize that it’s all a process that begins with fear of the Lord.

How can you apply God’s Word to be strong and courageous in your own life? How can you help those around you to overcome fear?

As Sinclair Ferguson summarized it so beautifully: “There is a fear that can deliver us from all other fears.”

Praying today that you know that fear. Have a fabulous weekend!

With Love,

Kristie

Jackson Five Friday: 10 Months, Trials

Hey Friends,

I hope you were either showered with love and appreciation for Mother’s Day, or did the showering. I had a wonderful weekend, other than missing our firstborn. But we got to have lunch with him yesterday and snag this scenic pic.

I’ve been pondering this season of motherhood when he is away at college. It struck me that it is a lot like the first season of mothering. The growth is so rapid. We brought Baby Dub home — my mother gave him that nickname in the hospital because she so despised my plan of calling him Wills — and right away there were a few bumps. That perfect looking baby with the mop of blonde hair literally started twitching on the ride home. It was disconcerting to say the least, and he continued to do it for months. Even with neurological tests they never figured out why. He also turned highlighter yellow from being so jaundiced. I stupidly thought he might just have my yellow-toned skin. Nope, that wasn’t it.

Yet ten months later he was walking, saying a word or two, and feeding himself cheerios. The rate of growth is mind boggling.

In a not dissimilar way, the last ten-ish months have also been a season of tremendous growth. On August 11th, as he and I rode together to Knoxville, we deleted him from Life360. He wouldn’t have access to my credit card. I wouldn’t have access to his driving speed or whereabouts. And there were bumps. He was quarantined four separate times. The first quarantine was imposed within 24 hours of arrival. He’d worked hard to be in shape for the start of his college swimming career and instead he spent his first ten days of college in his dorm room.

This spring he happened to rub his eyes one time when we were FaceTiming.

“Have you been taking your allergy medicine?” I asked, innocently.

“MOTHER!” he said. I understood. He had this. He grocery shopped and cleaned and studied and missed two weeks of class to travel with the swim team during championship season. In ten short months he learned to juggle it all, and keep his academic scholarship.

Then this morning he swam such a fast 200 freestyle at an Atlanta meet that he qualified to go to the Olympic Trials next month in Omaha.

If I let myself, I could sob just as hard as I did when we dropped him off in August — but these would happy, proud tears, instead of devastated ones grieving the end of a beloved era.

A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?

Proverbs 20:24 NIV

We can try to control our lives or the lives of other people, but the truth is our steps are directed by the Lord. The key is to trust His good, pleasing and perfect plan when you encounter trials like a twitching newborn and when that baby grows up and goes to Olympic Trials.

With Love,

Kristie

Jackson Five Friday: Dream Killer

Hey Friends,

My youngest son, Sam, turned fourteen in March. Since he has long talked about being a pilot, we decided to give him a “discovery flight” for his birthday. You go up in a small plane with a flight instructor and you get a feel for what it would be like to take lessons. You can even take the controls while you are up there. It sounded fantastic, and I booked it for his birthday. But two sad things happened. First, the weather on his birthday was terrible, so we finally did it just last week, over a month late. The other sad part was that you are allowed to bring a passenger and that passenger was me.

We climbed into the little plane, donned the microphone headsets, buckled up, and then the instructor handed Sam the key. He has never even cranked a car engine, mind you. Our cars are push button, and the golf cart, which he does frequently drive, is electric. I was surprised that the ignition and the primary on/off buttons were on the student side of the plane. The instructor remarked on the length of Sam’s legs, and that he’d need to be mindful to not bump his knees into the flight controls. In addition, the backseat is angled down in such a way that you cannot see over the dashboard. None of this made me feel relaxed. Then we taxied out and took off. The instructor warned us that even though it was a majestic day with a light breeze, that it would be a little choppy. Once airborne we began bumping our way for the city. The plan was to fly over the boys’ school.

We’d only been up there a couple minutes when the instructor handed over the controls. Almost immediately, we angled abruptly to the left. The instructor calmly told Sam that he’d need to keep the plane level using the gauge that depicted the horizon. I wanted to issue a reminder that despite being a good six inches taller than the instructor, Sam is just 14 and had never to my knowledge even flown a plane in a video game. I kept silent though, at least for a few minutes. But my heart was racing and I was making anxious noises like a neurotic old woman. I love roller coasters. I have no fear of heights or of flying. But those facts did not matter when I was up there with my baby boy at the controls. Finally, I did the ruinous thing. Into my microphone I asked the instructor, “Can you please take the controls back now?” After ten days I think Sam has forgiven me for wrecking his birthday present, but I hope I have not killed his dream. I have solemnly promised to never again go on a training flight, and honestly it’s an easy promise to keep.

Last week I wrote about how in my daily devotional from Paul David Tripp I have the simple reminder in all caps that God is my “CREATOR, REDEEMER, COMPANION.” This week when I was flipping through, I saw that I also have more words written underneath: “His grace rescues, empowers, transforms.” That’s a lot of theology in just 8 words. I am so grateful to be able to so easily remind myself of these truths. But the word that stuck out this week was empower.

In Philippians 4, Paul tells us: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” And in John 15, Jesus himself says: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

This same truth is framed more poetically in Psalm 121:1-2

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

All of these verses point to the fact that it is God who empowers. I cannot empower Sam to wake up in the morning, much less to be a pilot. But I can give him opportunities to learn and I can refrain from sabotaging his lesson.

Elizabeth Elliot said a little girl who listened to her radio broadcast wrote to her and said, “You make me brave.” Elliot said it was one of the nicest things she ever heard.

Who are you making brave? Who are you pointing to the One who rescues, empowers and transforms?

With Love,

Kristie

P.S. Happy Mother’s Day to all the sweet mamas I know, and make sure you tell the women who invest in you as a mother-like figure thank you as well.

P.S.S. When we were leaving the little airport, the flight instructor told a very ticked-off Sam, “You did great despite your passenger.”

Jackson Five Friday: Know Your Circle

Hey Friends,

I’m sure there are sometimes strangers who happen to read my blog. Some might even subscribe and read it regularly. I really don’t know. But I do have at least some sense of the traffic, and the vast majority of the readers are friends of mine — people I actually know in the flesh. I have never attempted to monetize the blog or appeal to a large audience. Even the brief interactions I’ve had with readers that were purely digital acquaintances have not been edifying. For thirteen years I’ve used this blog as a devotional (reminders of truth for myself most of all), and also as a way to share and document stories and illustrations. Still, it is a bit ironic for me to write the following: we are not made to live in a social media world.

I’m more convinced of this every day. We don’t have the capacity to carry all those burdens or even to celebrate all those joys. We are made in God’s image, but we do not share His omniscience. Our capacities are limited. We used to just live almost exclusively in tight-knit communities, but now have access to updates on the whole world. With technological advances we can instantly know about injustices or tragedies on every continent. We can know about them but we can’t solve them. And I find myself spending too much time on social media, too much time just knowing. I need to spend more time doing, even if it’s just in my little circle.

How well are you loving your little circle?

Jesus said: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35. Social media can keep us connected and informed, but mostly we need to love one another in the flesh. It’s how we demonstrate we are Jesus’ disciples.

Hope you get to love on your circle this weekend.

With Love,

Kristie

P.S. We give to various ministries and have three Compassion kids. I am not suggesting that we can do nothing about needs and injustices around the world. I am just saying that I need to focus more of my time on my in-the-flesh community.

Jackson Five Friday: Blog Karma

Hey Friends,

I hope you’ve had a great week. Last week on the blog I bemoaned a stressful 10-hour drive home from Florida. I even said next time I’d be flying. Well, next time has already come and gone, but it wasn’t exactly a superior experience.

I have a friend from Chattanooga who is moving to Wyoming next month. I thought it would be nice to spend a couple days at the beach with her before she heads west. We had a lovely time. The weather was fantastic, and the food was yummy. We read, exercised and relaxed. The flights home were uneventful and on-time.

However, getting there involved some bumps. I swung by her house at 11:15a on Sunday. We sailed through security and had no issues on the flight to Atlanta. But the delays began before we ever exited the jetway. Our flight to Palm Beach was delayed for two hours. Oh well, we thought. Now we have time for a leisurely meal at P.F. Changs. After lunch, we sat at the gate, naively optimistic that our troubles were behind us. But weather in Florida was severe, and there were more delays and then our flight was cancelled. I was automatically re-booked on the 10:14p flight, but my sweet friend was re-booked for the next day. Discouraged, we debated just throwing in the towel and taking the shuttle back to Chattanooga, but ultimately we got her a confirmed seat on my flight. Another sit down meal in the airport and a few more hours at the gate and we were ready. Then the 10:14p flight was delayed. Exhausted passengers were laying on the airport floor just like the good old days. After lots of updates from the gate agent, and a stark warning from the pilot that our trip would be rough, we landed in Palm Beach at 2:30a. Do you know what’s hard to get at 2:30a? A ride. No Ubers. No Lyfts. No taxis. No rental cars. We stood on the curb for 45 minutes before we finally landed an Uber. I wanted to hug our driver like you would a solider returning from war: “Thank you for your service!”

Do you believe in karma? I mean it is kind of amusing that I’d complain about my ten-hour car trip, choose to fly, and then have that same trip take more than 17 hours door-to-door. It does have a ring of poetic justice, doesn’t it? But thankfully my worldview is grace-based. I would hate to think that I reside in a universe where I’ll get mine. Because I am under no delusion that I deserve any good thing. I am instead reminded daily that I am loved beyond measure and I constantly see evidence of being rescued and redeemed despite my inherent unworthiness. The bumps in the road, even deep sorrows, can serve as reminders to give thanks. I have never been so grateful for an Uber driver, but there were lots of other reasons to be grateful.

On the beach I read these words from Deuteronomy 18:12: “Rejoice before the Lord in everything you do.” Not some things. Not some of the time. Not when things go as planned. Not when life is marked by smooth sailing. We are called to rejoice in everything. Deuteronomy is not my typical beach read, but I’ve been falling way behind on my Bible reading plan. So you can call it karma that I read those precise words on the beach after that trip, but I call it grace upon grace.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend rejoicing in everything before the Lord.

With Love,

Kristie

Jackson Five Friday: Answer the Call

Hey Friends,

Hope you have had a wonderful couple of weeks. I wish I could say I missed posting last week because I spent Holy Week in deep contemplation, that my Good Friday was entirely too reverent for blogging. But alas the truth is nothing of the sort. Last week I ran around like a chicken. I spent nine days in Florida and while that was mostly relaxing and restorative, the ten-hour rat race back nullified some of the serenity. The Babylon Bee recently did a bit about a wife holding on for dear life when her husband fails to respond to brake lights…five miles ahead. Sadly this is quite accurate. My husband’s driving has bothered me for more than 30 years now, but the older I get the more I freak out. Needless to say a 700 mile trip is exhausting on many levels for both of us. Yes, we have many laughs and enjoy each other’s company immensely, but I should probably drive the first leg and then drink cocktails the rest of the way. We pulled in late Thursday night after a wild trek through Atlanta, dodging mind-blowing backups by changing interstates and then hopping in the Peach Pass lanes, which late at night look like you are going head-on into oncoming traffic for 10-15 miles. It also whips up and down and around like some kind of roller coaster. When we finally started the last little leg up the mountain we came within inches of hitting a deer. Obviously my next trip will be by air!

But now the boys are back to school and sports, and I’ve had some girlfriend time and a desperately needed lunch-date with my man. I filed our taxes and have mostly caught up with the mail pile. On Wednesday, I opened a note from my first new friend of the pandemic. I guess he must be 94 now. I hate it that his kind note sat there for more than two weeks without being acknowledged. I feel like such a loser when I clean out my fridge and throw away copious amounts of food, but I feel even worse when I fail relationally. Honestly, I drop a lot of balls and the ones with social impact are the most unloving and shameful.

I benefit from reminders to answer texts and to return calls. Sometimes I miss important emails, even from my own husband. I should leave a sticky note on my rear view mirror: do not move this car before you answer at least one text, call or email. Truly I think I’d be a better person if I did this.

But you know Who never leaves you hanging? The Lord God Almighty. It matters not whether your distress is caused by the brokenness of this world or your own sin, He always answers. This week I studied Psalm 107, which is a beautiful reminder that God continually rescues and redeems us. We are never beyond the reach of His steadfast love.

Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble and he delivered them from their distress…Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.

Psalm 107: 13, 43

May I answer communications in a timely way and always know Who I need to communicate with the most. May I cry out to the Lord more than to friends and ever be mindful of His steadfast love. Praying the same for you. Have a fabulous weekend.

Love,

Kristie

P.S. As an aside, you might be wondering after having a vacation (Will was only there for half of it), and lots of time together over the weekend, why would a lunch date be desperately needed? I will tell you that my sweet husband knows when I am discouraged by the world, which since March 2020 has been pretty often actually. He also knows how much my cup is filled by sweet time with him in a restaurant where no one asks me to do anything. If he senses I am discouraged, even a little bit, he will make room for some kind of date. He also likes to put things on the calendar to look forward to. Before the world unraveled, we almost always had some concert or special event secured every few months. This week I sent him dates for an artist we like who is doing backyard concerts this spring. Ten seconds later he called: “Buy those tickets for May.” How do you and your spouse make sure you are spending cup-filling, quantity time? I’m certain you know “quality time” is a concept straight from hell.