Saturday, January 31, 2009

Forgetting your Story

I posted a few weeks ago about a book (Jesus Wants to Save the Christians) I received for Christmas. Chapter one is titled The Cry of the Oppressed. It begins with the Exodus from Egypt and the significance of what happened at Mt. Sinai.

Yeah, we all know that Mt. Sinai is where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. If you've spent any time in Sunday School (or watched the movie) you know the story of the Ten Commandments. We tend to see the Ten Commandments as rules to keep people in line. However, the authors offer this perspective:

"Remember, these people have been living up until very recently, as slaves. Slavery is a fundamentally inhuman condition. Being owned and treated as property robs people of the dignity and honor of being a human. This has deeply affected how these Israelites see themselves and the world around them. What God begins here at Sinai with the Ten Commandments is the long process of teaching them how to be human again. These commands are vital truths about what it means to live in authentic human community. The first commandment instructs the people to "have no other gods." Their humanity is directly connected to their ability to remember their liberation, which is a gift from God. If they forget God - the one, true God who freed them - they are at that very same moment forgetting their story. If they forget their story, they might forget what it was like to be slaves, and they might find themselves back in a new form of slavery."

How often do we forget our story and find ourselves in a new form of slavery? I just started a bible study titled "No Other Gods" by Kelly Minter (thanks to Leah and Cindy). I'm already seeing areas of my life that I need to clean out and turn over to God. What do I struggle with? I worry and fret about big and small things. I worry about being rejected by friends. I worry about saying the "wrong" thing. I worry about not doing the "right" thing. Worry greets me in the morning and puts me to bed at night. I find that I spend way too much time questioning and chastising myself.

Notice the over-use of a certain pronoun in my sentences? I, I, I....

I need to remind myself that God does not want me to live a life focused on me (or my worries). When God made a covenant with the Hebrew people at Sinai, he called them to be priests. What is the job of a priest? It is to show the world who God is and what God is like. When we enter into a covenant with God, we become priests. If I allow myself to be consumed by doubts and worry, I'm enslaved.

Hmmmm. So, what have I learned this week? I need to clean out some idols, get rid of the doubt and worry, and start living the life God has planned for me. God is not worried. He tells me over and over in the Bible to cast aside my fears. God has freed me from this form of slavery. So why do I go back there? Because I need to strengthen my relationship with Him. If I am focused on Him, there isn't any room for worry.

I need to remember my story.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

We interrupt this cold, dreary winter for....

a reminder.... that summer did actually happen.  

That lazy days at the lake weren't just a

Why does summer seem to fly by

and winter takes it sweet time?

I'm so ready for hot July weather. 

(Please remind me of this when I start complaining about the humidity and mosquitoes)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Snow Day

Today is our first official "Snow Day of 2009."  We have a little snow day tradition at the Williams Arena that involves sugar, cinnamon, butter, and flour.  

To celebrate the first snow day, I make homemade cinnamon rolls.  

When the weather man predicts snow, the first question the boys ask is, "Have they cancelled school?"  The second question is, "Are you going to make cinnamon rolls?" 

Then I get to listen these questions over and over....."When are they going to be ready?  How much longer?"  

Finally, they come out of the oven and I hear one more question, "How many can we have?"

For a few minutes, everything is blissfully quiet while they eat.   Then Adam says, "Mom these are really good!" and I'm reminded why I keep the tradition alive. 

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I came home from class this past Monday night and was greeted by this sight.  

One of the things that I enjoy about teaching in PUBLIC school is that I get to share my faith in unexpected ways. This past week I began a unit on the formation of the solar system.  I love teaching this unit.  We talked about the nebular theory and the big bang theory.  Then, it happened.....

EVERY SINGLE TIME  I teach this unit a student will ask me if I think God created the universe.  I assure them that YES I believe God created the universe.  I also tell them that what I hope they will come to understand and appreciate is the beauty and complexity of that creation.  I don't want them to take it for granted.  

Sit down for a moment and really think about all the pieces that have to be in place for life to exist on Earth.  It is staggering.  Accident or lucky chain of events?   I don't think so.     

For me, teaching science does not contradict my faith.  I've had people ask me how I can teach science in public school.  I reply that the more I learn about science, the more I am amazed at the greatness of God.  


I realize that family members in Iowa will laugh at our "balmy" temperatures but it is soooo cold.  Yesterday morning it was 3 degrees on our front porch.  

 While I love to visit Iowa, this weather reminds me of why I'm so thankful I live in the South.  Our cold weather is always short-lived.

I played with my camera this morning.  
I tried to capture the pretty ice patterns on the window.