Monday, September 25, 2023

He Shall Supply - Part 1

 I was going through some files and found this account that I recorded back in 2015. I had completely forgotten about it, and don't remember the details, such as what was the emergency medical bill. But I do remember that God had given me some experiences that bolstered my faith. I didn't know how much I'd need a strong faith for 2017.

“It might work out after all.” Ed pushed his chair back from the desk.

I looked up from my book. “You mean you paid all the bills?” I knew the balance of our checkbook. A new heating system and an emergency medical bill had depleted our savings. With the recent birth of our baby and taxes due, finances were tight.

“All of them, even the taxes,” said Ed. “I drained the checking account, but by the time the hospital bill comes, I'll have another paycheck. We might just make it—if nothing unexpected happens.”

I grimaced. I could guess what he was thinking. Two aging vehicles sat in our driveway. In the past, they had broken down at the worst possible times. What were the chances that one, or both, would choose this time to add some more bills?

Ed and our older children spent the next Saturday cutting wood. Late in the morning, Ed pulled into the yard with a pile of wood on a borrowed trailer. I expected them to stop for lunch, but our daughter ran into the kitchen with the empty water bottles.

“Dad wants to know if you can give us some lunch to take along. We're going to get another load.”

I threw sandwiches and cookies into a bag, and she dashed out. Soon the truck was pulling out the drive.

Later that afternoon, a tired husband and children came in from the woodpile after bringing home a second load. “Did the children tell you about our close call?” Ed asked.

“No. Did someone nearly get hurt?” I envisioned tragic accidents with chain saws and falling trees.

“Not that. It was the truck. The alternator went out.”

“The what?”

“The alternator—the part that charges the battery. I knew the battery wasn't charging so when I dropped off the load before lunch, I let the truck run. If I turned it off, I didn't think I'd be able to start it again. By the time I got back to the woods, even the turn signal wasn't working. When I turned off the truck, the battery was completely dead.”

“Then how did you get home?” I looked out the window to see whose vehicle he had borrowed.

“Well, your brother Eric happened to be in the woods too. You know how good he is with motors. And today we were cutting wood from the back of the wood lot—right beside the junk yard. We walked down to the junk yard, bought an alternator that fit the truck, and Eric had the tools to install it.”

“You mean it is already repaired?”

“Yes. And it only cost $20.00.”

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? (Matthew 6:30)

Friday, September 8, 2023

Sisters Summer Reading Challenge Reviews

I'm learning to choose the right book for the right season. It is okay to set a book aside if it doesn't feel right for a specific time.  With that in mind, I enjoyed reading this summer. I chose some lighter reads, reread some favorites, and picked some nonfiction on heavy topics (like grief) that were short and doable.  The result was that, though summer was busy, I read more and enjoyed reading more than some busy seasons.

And please, if you don't read at all during a busy season (or any other time) don't feel any shame. These book posts are not to make you feel guilty. Charity and I read constantly. We might read less at times, but I'm not sure we are physically capable of stopping all reading. But if you choose to set books aside for a season, that is totally fine. No shame from us.

This post contains affiliate links.

Sisters' Summer Reading Challenge Reviews 

1. Read a book by a favorite author that you have never read before.

Charity - Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers

Sayers' detective novels have recently been a highlight of my reading. Gaudy Night is so much more than just a mystery. It explores what it means to be a woman, and if women can be both educated and intellectual while also being wives and homemakers. The mystery is so fun, and I loved trying to figure out "who done it." Gaudy Night is number ten in the Lord Peter Wimsey series.

Gina - Every Ocean Has a Shore by Jamie Langston Turner

It has been over five years since Turner published a new book. Every Ocean Has a Shore is delightful as all of her others. Three people are in a Chicago deli when it is held up. That day marks the turning point in each of their lives. The book flips between these three as they move to other states and begin a journey toward God. And we get to revisit the beloved Eldeen, a character in Turner's first book, Suncatchers, who has shown up briefly in nearly all her other books.

2. Read a book that contains less than 200 pages.

Charity - Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin

In this little book Wilkin brings us a case for Bible literacy and a how to study the Bible. She challenges us that we become what we behold therefore how can we become like God unless we behold Him through His Word? I definitely plan to keep this book close as I learn to study the Bible better. It is also a great guide to use when preparing a Bible lesson.

Gina - Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung

The majority of the chapters in this book cover a possible diagnosis for why we are "crazy busy." The last chapter gives the cure. (Hint: Find it in the story of Mary and Martha). I love that Kevin is a busy pastor and father of many small children who wrote the book to try to figure out why he was crazy busy and not because he had it all figured out. Crazy Busy doesn't try to help you become more efficient or manage your busyness, but confronts the underlying thought patterns that contribute to the craziness.  

3. Pick out three books that you'd like to read. Turn to the first word in each book, and read the book whose word comes first in alphabetical order.

Charity - The Robe by Loyd C. Douglas

I finally read this well known classic, and it was so exciting I couldn’t put it down! A young wealthy Roman is sent to Jerusalem during Jesus’ trial which leads to his encounter with Christ and his life is forever altered. Though I enjoyed this book, I don’t believe that Jesus’ robe had power, and I didn’t appreciate the biblical inaccuracies. 

Gina - Jack by Marilynn Robinson

Jack is the fourth book in the Gilead series. Each book in the series follows a different character, and I thought that maybe by reading Jack, I'd understand the prodigal son that played such an important role in the other books. But I didn't. I'm still confused about Jack's life choices. I have no idea how Robinson pulls so much life into such quiet stories. I'm amazed at her writing skill, though I don't think I'm smart enough to appreciate it fully and sometimes just feel confused. But if Robinson writes another book, (hopefully about Della), I'll certainly read it.

4. Read a book of the Bible and a write down the key idea from each chapter.

Charity - Micah
Why don’t I write down key ideas from each chapter I’m reading, every day? This challenge was absolutely wonderful! I am entirely too skilled at reading without remembering but finding out the key thought of a passage helps me stay engaged.  Micah may be one of those tedious minor prophets but it is so rich.

Gina - Nehemiah
Like Charity, I was amazed at the difference of reading the Bible with a pen and intention to write down the key ideas from each chapter. After reading Nehemiah, I went on to read Ezra, Haggai, and Zechariah since they were men who were teaching at the same time as Nehemiah.

I'd love to hear what books you read this summer!


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