I’m living out a little fantasy of mine today and for the next two days called Being Alone In My House.
It’s so amazing.
You know I still love having a full house, lots of people around my table, and the sounds of laughter and lively conversations, but this is such a nice reprieve.
Robert has finished up his tour of Texas and Oklahoma, but is still in Texas for a mission trip to Houston with a team from our church here in MA. Kayla left with the rest of the team on Tuesday, and today is their first day of service and relief work with Generation One. They’ll get to work with a few different churches and organizations while they are there.
Cooper is off to visit his girlfriend and other college friends in New Hampshire, and Kory resides in Austin, TX now, so he’s back to work at Oracle after a week off at Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas, I never really reported on our holiday, which was super full and fun and fast-paced, of course. It’s part of why I have been longing for these days of silence. Here are a few photos (21 to be exact) from the week: (photo credit for the darker, artsy ones goes to Kayla)
I made three airport trips in three days at the end of that week. Then Kayla had several friends here for a sleepover on Friday. Then Cooper’s girlfriend and friends from New Hampshire drove up to surprise him on New Year’s Eve (he was sick on the couch with no clue), so Kayla and I spent the day cooking and cleaning for those overnight guests. Then I made a hospital visit to see the friend who had the twins the next evening. (They are tiny and precious!) Then it was that fateful ski day and bomb cyclone. Then it was church and getting Kayla ready for her mission trip (though I was able to stay at home in pjs for two days prior) and making a meal for the new mama. And now I’m sitting here telling you all about it (which I love) and enjoying the down time and the quiet. Ahhhh…
I promised to share the list of reflection questions that Robert gave me, so here they are. I plan to look through them and consider my responses one more time in the next couple of days. You should know that the first six questions are prompted by Psalm 34 and the last six by Hebrews 11 and 13.
- Take some time to join with the angels in praising God today.
- List some times in 2017 when you sought the Lord and He answered you.
- Thank God for his many blessings in 2017.
- What evil do you need to depart from? (Psalm 34:11-14)
- Where are you brokenhearted? Ask God for healing in those places. (Psalm 34: 15-18)
- What afflictions has the Lord delivered you out of in 2017? (Psalm 34: 19-22)
- What situation in 2017 required more faith than any other? (Hebrews 11: 1,2,8)
- Looking ahead to 2018, what is going to require more faith than anything else? (same)
- What situations are causing you to lose heart? Ask God to strengthen your heart. (Heb. 13:9)
- Take some time to receive God’s “atta girl” for your service to His people, including your own family. (Hebrews 6:10; Hebrews 13:1-3)
- What promises from God are cause for some laughing? What promises from God are hard to believe right now? (Hebrews 11:8; Hebrews 11:11)
- How is God giving grace to you today? Where are you needing encouragement to believe that grace is “with you” today? (Hebrews 13:25)
As far as resolutions, which I never really make, I’m planning to read C.S. Lewis this year. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve only read The Screwtape Letters and Out of the Silent Planet which were both required reading when I taught high school freshmen and sophomores with Classical Conversations in recent years. Robert read The Chronicles of Narnia to our kids back in the day, and I’ve seen the movies, but I’ve never read the books for myself.
I’m on chapter five of The Magician’s Nephew right now, and while I’m not much of a fantasy/fairy tale/sci-fi lover (the only exception being A Wrinkle in Time!), I’m really enjoying it so far.
I’m also planning to read the book of Acts this month (since Robert is preaching through it this semester) and focus on the New Testament letters/epistles for the rest of the year. Last year, I read only the four gospels. I tried to read all four gospels every month (one a week), but I didn’t quite meet that goal. Still, I read them over and over, and should probably write soon about what I learned in doing so.
New Testament I is my seminary class this semester, which would have probably coincided better with my gospel-reading of last year, but oh well. I’m sure it was good preparation of some sort. My textbooks just came in the mail, and now I’m wondering how much of Lewis will actually get read in the next few months. I’d REALLY like to read all of Narnia and Mere Christianity by the end of the year. We’ll see how it goes.
Tonight does bring with it a few out-of-the-house excursions, but then it’s back to the solitude of my empty home for a couple of days. My only calendar item between tonight and Saturday morning is a haircut and I wouldn’t have scheduled even that, but the next two weeks are pretty crazy-dazy, so I suppose I will make the great sacrifice of breaking the silence for a trim.
Thanks for sharing the holidays and the quiet time with me.