Family news by Sam

 I thought I'd share with you what Sam wrote to our family. Hi family  I wanted to give an update about each of us.   Caleb is finishing up his gap year program in Wisconsin. It has been a pleasure to see how much he has grown in the Lord. He gets excited about the things he's learning in Scripture and about the ways that God is working in his life. He is looking at Bible school for the fall and has narrowed it down to Emmaus and Covenant College in Georgia. In the last 3 months, he decided that he wants to teach the Bible to youth. Priscilla is finishing up her senior year and graduates in June. She is leaning towards a gap year with YWAM that starts with a few months of discipleship school in Hawaii and then a few months overseas in a missions context. She also received an offer of a good scholarship to Wheaton college and will need to decide soon which option she'll take for next year. Timo, Andrew, Hannah are continuing with school. Timo enjoys working for a neighbor wh

4 Gifts of Hospitality

 This is not going to be a blog about how 'we should be more hospitable.' If any of you know me by now, you can rest assured that I have no intent to 'should' you. Yes, I turned that into a verb. Sorry if I take license with the English language. Okay, not sorry after all. It seems the world is intent on should-ing us. The Christian sub-world has picked up this theme and gladly carries it forth - enter Spiritual Gifts 101 . I am no expert on human motivations (I leave that to philosophy and phenomenology academics), yet I am a bit of an expert of my own lack of motivation. And I am not generally very motivated by 'shoulds'. Likely, you aren't either. (Though I grant, many are, which is why it is such a popular motivational model).  My goal is never to 'should' anyone, (okay, exception here: my kids!!), but rather to explore life as it is, as God brings it to us, and as we stumble or with valiant courage, walk through the valleys and mountains of life

I love Winter

 I love winter because... It is an excuse to hibernate To sit inside and gather myself even further inside - not just a home, but my self-home The body that feels the cold, that shivers with the wind,  The eyes that squint at the tickling snowflakes This body reminds me that I want to be warm. I find spaces in winter to be alone, To quiet my inner home, to witness the slowness of snow lightly falling. I look on the calendar and remember a short while ago the leaves were changing. I count the days and know spring will come. Yet in this moment I want to stay - in the stillness, in the cold,  I want to shroud myself in fluffy layers, to feel the cold cannot win with me. The warmly lit fire beckons and I am warmed from the outside.  I reflect on the Maker of Snow, and the Maker of Warmth. I am glad He lives with me, inside me,  That my inner home is a trysting place to commune with Another. My hibernating is not in isolation: God is here with me. I love winter's whiteness The darkest d

Sex: Alternate Love Language #3

Pull up a chair and let's have a frank conversation about sex. Or don't. This is my disclaimer section where I tell you that if you are not married, and sex isn't available to you to give or receive, then most likely you should just stop reading here and go on about your day. On the other hand, you could just simply be curious about the inner workings of marital intimacy and have no struggle with sexual desires - and in that case, use your discretion. I do have some thoughts on sex and the single person and ways to live with unfulfilled desire, but that is beyond the scope of today's topic. Some people are squeamish when it comes to full disclosure about bedroom activities (sexual expression in marriage). Sex is, understandably, a deeply intimate, personal and private matter. It's nobody's business what you like, how you like it, and what you and your spouse engage in with what frequency and such. Because of these factors, so often nothing gets said about sex

Food: Alternate Love Language #2

I think this is the one probably everyone can at least find some connection to, because, as far as I can tell, we all eat.  I considered expanding this category to include anything that has a special interest - like a particular sports team or a certain brand name of shoes, or a certain city or language or culture (for me that would be HONG KONG!! - shout out to all my Hong Konger friends!) But I think special interest might be its own category.  I'm still hashing this all out in my head, and that can take a while to foment. Thanks for your patience. Why is food a particular love language? Why is it not in the category of 'gifts' or 'quality time'? Because it might blend these two, but it may also include words of affirmation ("You baked this amazing cake?!! Wow! I feel so loved!!"). Since it touches on so many categories - like, even touch - who can eat food without touching it? - it must be its own special category. We even talk of 'serving a meal

Being Right - Alternate Love Language #1

Sometimes Sam and I will be discussing a matter and I have a viewpoint and he has a viewpoint. At a certain place in the conversation he will see my point, recognize that I was right all along and say, "You know, you're right about that!" to which I will soften, smile, relax and say, "I feel SO loved right now." Problem comes when I'm not always right, and I've had to learn that just because this is my love language doesn't mean I need to feel unloved whenever I'm wrong about something.  It just means I need to correct my views so I'm back in the right again.  Over the years this part of me - the need to be right - has had many shifts and transitions, and I've come to realize I've been more wrong than I've been right for the most part, which must mean that at this point I am the most right I'll ever be! Until tomorrow, of course, when new thoughts, ideas or knowledge will inform my dim view and I will come once again into &

The OTHER 5 Love Languages

I have often said my love language is "Being Right" and people laugh until they realize I'm not kidding - I am actually serious.  That led me to reflect on the 5 Love Languages and come up with 5 that they seemed to miss.  I consider the 5 Love Languages as kind of a primer - like the primary colours, and my 2nd 5 as the more nuanced, but no less significant love languages.  I won't comment what I think of the book, its author or why I like or dislike the concept.  I only mention it because my 5 kind of tag on to the first 5. Just an overview: The 5 Love Languages promotes the idea of learning and speaking both your own and your loved one's love 'language' - the way he or she primarily receives and gives love, in the most intuitive sense.  The 5 are described as: 1. Words of Affirmation (whether spoken or written) 2. Acts of Service 3. Gifts 4. Quality Time 5. Physical Touch Once you have those down - in that you understand how to use them to