Wednesday, December 24, 2014

What my neighbor did.....

I would say this started Halloween, but the truth is that it has been going on for almost ten years.

A swimming pool needs a privacy fence, and our fence borders four neighbors.

Three, we have had no problems with.

The fourth, I will call him W.....has had issues with us since we moved in.

There was the time, a few summers ago, that my boys got out of the pool and stripped their swimsuits off. They started jumping on our trampoline, until all the sudden we heard a knock-knock on the door.

Two police officers had been called to the scene, to inform us that it was unlawful for a three-year-old to be naked even in a completely enclosed yard.

I put chocolates and an apology in W's mailbox....and was reminded that it was a federal offense to use a mailbox for anything other than mail.

Every summer for ten years, W has hollered over the fence for Josh to fix something. A few nails here, replace a post there. While he is at it, could he cut the bushes, keep the volume of our children down, don't let the dogs bark, etc. etc.

The list goes on and on.

Sitting in my sewing room in August, I heard three loud knocks at the door. Since I was home alone, I ignored it. Much to my surprise, I looked out my sewing room window, and there was W.... measuring trees and walking all over our backyard.

Josh came home from school, and together we went outside.

"Your fence is on my property," W said.

Sure enough, our fence sat crooked on the property line. As we went back and forth about who owned it (Kentwood ruled we owned the fence fully), W decided to tear it down. We came home to piles of wood and posts laying next to his shed.

$1352 later, because we are required to have one for the pool, we now have a replacement fence.

Do you know how hard it is to shell out a month's worth of tuition for a fence, when the original fence was just fine?
During prayer today, I was grumbling to God about it. How unfair it was that W tore down our fence and is getting away with it.


Having to pay for something, when I did nothing wrong. 

I never said my prayers are pleasant:-)

You can never fully grasp the gift of salvation until you see yourself as the one that put Christ on the cross. I heard that in a sermon many years ago, and it stuck with me.

I did that.


To a sinless man. Completely unjustified and undeserved.

As I sit back and reflect on this night, so many years ago....the beginning of a life marked with perfection, ended with the ultimate sacrifice.... I am so grateful Christ was willing to take my place, for salvation I do not deserve.

As we rush from one thing to another, party after party--may you remember the true reason for Christmas this holiday season. A baby being born that would change the world!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

There are times I just don’t feel worthy, you know?

I yell at my kids, I gossip about my neighbor, or have a nasty attitude.

My head knows the gift of salvation is free, completely unmerited, and without any condemnation. That does not stop Satan from telling me I don’t deserve it. That I have to work for it. That it can’t possibly be as easy as it really is.

I was having one of those days- where the dog puked on the carpet, the kids were fighting, my curling iron broke, and Tessa lost my keys. My mood did not line up with that of the virtuous woman.

I felt un-lovable.

How could this perfect God love me, and straight up forgive me with no strings attached?

Surely it has to be earned.

A little while later, I was cleaning our hermit crab's cage.

It stunk. BAD.

I lifted out the sponge to clean it and a bunch of hermit crab legs came with it.

Knowing this was the end of dear old hermy, I went to throw away the entire cage but stopped to double check the shell.

There, tucked neatly inside, was hermy with a new set of legs.

I started laughing because the lesson was so tangible. I shed off my old stinky self and was made a NEW creation. I can no more go back to my old self that that hermit crab can put on the discarded legs.

I love God Moments like that-- where God reminds me that He sees me white as snow. 

Jesus paid it all for me, all to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain, 
Jesus washed white as snow.