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TruthNotes

Timeless truth in a changing world

Author

Ruth Meyer

Normal is Overrated

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Believe it or not, I’m enjoying this quarantine. I know, crazy, right? I myself am surprised at this realization, and I’ve come a long way since last week’s post about Grudgingly Serving my Neighbor. Having five kids home all the time, doing school work from home, effectively making me into a homeschool parent, doesn’t sound like my idea of fun. And granted, there are moments every day where I’m sure I’m about to lose my sanity, but that’s nothing new. Such is the nature of living in close quarters with different personalities and temperaments. But something is different with all of us home this time around. This isn’t summer vacation or Christmas break. The kids are still in school, but they’re *only* in school—no extracurriculars. There is no driving time, no before or after school practices, no track meets, no UIL competitions. In short, it comes down to this: our lives have been simplified.

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Grudgingly Serving My Neighbor

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If you’re anything like me, you’re getting sick (no pun intended) of hearing about the coronavirus. Everywhere I turn, there’s a new update or restriction or cancellation. March and April, which for us was supposed to be chock full of track practices and meets, archery practice for the State tournament, field trips, music competitions, and Confirmation activities, has suddenly cleared for an unspecified amount of time, leaving a conspicuous absence of activity. That unnerves and irritates me. My kids just finished a week of spring break, and now they have more time at home, which throws off my own schedule. And from what I can gather, this isn’t going to be a quick fix. Many states have already called off school (or imposed “distance learning”) for up to three weeks. This is going to drag out for a while. I fear we’ve only just begun.

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What Prayer Isn’t

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Prayer is hard for me. I’ve been struggling for years to establish a schedule for daily prayer, but it just isn’t happening. I even had a wonderful friend share with me her prayer journaling plan, complete with different prayer categories for different days. That helped, because it gave me some structure, but if you look at my entries you’ll see I’m still very sporadic. I was doing pretty well for about a week, with entries on January 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7, but then there’s a huge gap until the 27th. The same pattern holds true for February. I’m so much better at sticking with a devotional or Bible reading plan. Working through a Bible study or reading through the Bible is tangible. I can update my progress on Goodreads as I go. (And trust me, I do just that! Check out my profile to see what I mean.) But prayer isn’t like that. I can’t update my progress or gauge how far I’ve come. I need to think of prayer differently. So I find it helpful to keep in mind a few things abut prayer. Specifically, what prayer isn’t.

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Seeing God’s Back

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Moses had a daunting task. He’d already been through a lot, and the poor guy was at least 80 years old, after all. He probably preferred to just retire, but that wasn’t God’s plan for him. He’d grown up in Pharaoh’s household before spending 40 years in the wilderness as a shepherd, and then he was called to go back to Egypt, lead his people out of slavery and into the Promised Land. Whew! Talk about an overwhelming calling. Scarcely had the novelty of the plagues and God parting the Red Sea worn off when the whining began. The water was bitter. There was nothing to eat. We should have stayed in Egypt. Sigh. And there were 40 more years of this to look forward to? Continue reading “Seeing God’s Back”

Why Me?

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Life is hard.

I have a friend who started her second round of chemo treatments last week. An adolescent from our church was hit by a truck over the weekend and is in the hospital for the foreseeable future. One of my friends was abused as a child and still carries those scars. People struggle with addiction, health problems, persecution, accidents, natural disasters, financial troubles, relationship problems… The list goes on and on. And the natural inclination when trouble strikes is to ask God, Why me?

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Overwhelmed at Christmastime

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December has been brutal to our family this year. We had to put one of our dogs down, which, as any pet owner can tell you, is emotionally draining, to say the least. I’ve also spent a fair bit of time at the doctor this month. Three of us (myself included) have had or are still dealing with ear infections, one of my sons had a stomach virus, and I lost my voice for more than a week. Add this to the general chaos of five kids in four different schools with the various gift exchanges, classroom parties, concerts, and programs that go along with the season, and I’m just a hot mess. I got the tree up a week ago, but no other decorations until this weekend when my kids asked about the nativities. I’m flying by the seat of my pants for gifts for my kids. I’m all for the idea of “slowing down and enjoying the season,” but seriously, how?? And I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. It’s a regular topic of conversation and texting among my friends. It seems like everyone feels overwhelmed. Continue reading “Overwhelmed at Christmastime”

Celebrate Christmas Through a Child’s Eyes

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Ask any adult if they’re ready for Christmas, and they’ll likely respond with a groan. For what’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year,” December usually ends up being too busy, too chaotic, and too stressful to really enjoy. Children, on the other hand, are completely opposite. My kids have been counting down to Christmas since the middle of November. You can see the excitement and wonder in their eyes when they think about the holiday. Christmas for a child is what Christmas is really about—waiting in eager expectation. Our Heavenly Father has given us the perfect gift in His Son. We know that’s what Christmas is all about, but sometimes it’s hard to keep that focus when we think about everything on our to-do list before December 25. So here are a few links of Advent and Christmas activities you can do with your children (or on your own!), to remind you to take a step back and celebrate Christmas through a child’s eyes.

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Is Our World the Worst It’s Ever Been?

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Oh, that God in heaven would have mercy on us! Today, even the faithful have become unbelievers. A reformation, therefore, appears to be impossible. It is clear that the world is declining. The examples of the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the destruction on Jerusalem are being fulfilled before our eyes. The darkness of the midnight hour of the world has come upon us. The Judge already stands at the door. The hammer of the world’s clock has been raised in order to announce the expiration of the last hour. God’s army, the angels of the Lord of the heavenly hosts, stand in battle formation to fight the great battle of the Last Day. In but a few minutes of the world’s time, God’s trumpet will sound.

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The Meanest Mom in Town

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Last summer some friends from the neighborhood came over to play with my girls. They played outside for awhile before coming in to get out of the heat. Upon walking into the house, our guests spotted the xBox and asked to play. I told them no and suggested Legos instead. Walking away, I heard the nine-year-old mutter to my daughter, “My mom is nicer than your mom.”

My son and his friends were talking around the lunch table their eighth-grade year, and one friend bemoaned, “My mom just started this new thing called ‘no phones after dinner.’” My son shot back, “Yeah, well, my mom has this thing called ‘no phones…’”

Is it bad that in both cases, I was secretly pleased?

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