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Tag: sanctification

The Better Portion

The Better Portion

Does the story of Mary and Martha bother anyone else? Honestly, for much of my life I’ve had a hard time understanding what exactly I’m supposed to take from the story. I’m not obviously the Martha or the Mary — I’m happy to be in the classroom or the kitchen. But I’m not happy to be left alone in the kitchen when guests are over. To me, Mary’s abandonment of Martha seems selfish, justifying Martha’s indignation. In my mind, the…

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Lettuce & weeds

Lettuce & weeds

Among my lettuce seedlings, tiny weeds had sprung up — they were intertwined with the fragile lettuce leaves, and I could not get my fingers in there skillfully enough to remove the weeds. But finally, when the seedlings were large enough to thin out, I was able to transplant them to areas of the garden with more space, where sown seeds had not sprouted, in the process removing the weeds that had grown up with them. Jesus talks about the…

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A More Complicated Story

A More Complicated Story

A few months ago, while we were back in the States for the holidays, a dear friend asked me how I thought I had changed since moving to Australia. We have been gone almost two years, time enough for change to take place. While I immediately felt gratitude for her thoughtful question, I didn’t have a good answer. How, indeed? Continue reading at Velvet Ashes. 

Joining the Lord’s Work

Joining the Lord’s Work

I’ve been spinning my wheels for a couple of months now. A year ago, I would have told you that I was pretty good at parenting, that while far from perfect, I had good theology and good practice and that, given our current path, I was likely to be successful. Today I will tell you that on most days my impatience, anger, discontent, irritation, and laziness eclipse any notions of success and self-confidence. I’m left, at the end of the…

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Buried in the Waters

Buried in the Waters

I died at the tender age of four. I stood at the front of the sanctuary, the first of my sisters in line next to my parents, all of us dressed in our Sunday best. As much as our parents had prepared us the night before, I felt nervous and embarrassed to be at the center of attention. As good presbyterians do, the pastor dipped his hand in the baptismal font and then placed his hand on my head. The…

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Mending Pile

Mending Pile

There’s a pile in my closet:                 a skirt too small,                 a shirt too stained,                 pants too worn. They wait, expectantly, for a transformation, for deft scissors and clever thread, a re-imagination of grace. But I hang in the moment between the death of the old and the birth of the new, hesitating between despair and fear….

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For the asking

For the asking

And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to…

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On Sweeping, Confession, and Progress

On Sweeping, Confession, and Progress

Tonight I swept, for the third time today, the dining room and kitchen floors. First I used our large, angled broom to gather the food, both crumbs and larger chunks thrown from the high chair; the shavings of colored pencils carefully sharpened; the scraps of paper from a craft project; and stray pieces of grass and leaves tramped in from outside. Then, wielding the small brush, I knelt down to coax the gatherings into the dustpan. I sighed, as I…

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