Sunday, June 14, 2015

Call me Mara

The name Mara is a beautiful name, easily flows off the tongue and sounds old fashioned and sweet like a perfect first or middle name. If we weren't doing K themed names I would have looked at the name and thought it's a beautiful, simple sounding name, different enough that if I called her name she would turn her head only. Mara.
We began a new series today at  church: the study of Ruth, my favorite book of the Bible. The love story of Ruth and Boaz may have started out as why this 4 chapter book was my favorite, but as I have grown in understanding of what a kinsman redeemer is--this is not the reason, though lovely and endearingly sweet, it was always to me a reminder of what Christ had done for me.
Kinsman Redeemer: ga'al in the Greek means: to avenge, redeem from slavery, redeem from death, redeem from bondage. This is what Boaz saved Ruth and Naomi from: from death, slavery, he was their avenger. By custom, if one son dies and the other is not married, he would take the wife of his deceased brother, but in this case, the father and both sons died. The next of kin or the rightful redeemer, if you will, was  not interested in taking a wife as he would loose his inheritance (Ruth 4:6). So Boaz redeemed Ruth and Naomi by buying all that was owned by Elimelech (Naomi's husband), Chilion and Mahlon (Ruth and Orpah's husbands, Naomi's sons).
As I studied in the book of Ruth, in our precepts, Jesus is my Kinsman Redeemer. Paying wages for my sins, taking on the cross and dying in place. I am not in the family of Israel, I cannot graph myself into the family. I have not married into the line of David or Jesse or Abraham, I cannot even try. I am not apart of God's chosen people, but by Jesus' gracious act of mercy, he paid the wages, he allowed me to live when I deserved to die, Boaz is a picture reference and points to what Christ has done for all of us. I love this story. I love finding all the times and circle in pink the word Redeemer in the Word as I'm reading it to remind my heart of this very story (of which everyone should read's only 4 chapters!) of the picture of my and your redemption.
So what's the story with Mara? Naomi's name means "my delight". However, after the loss of her husband and two sons, she asked others to call her Mara, which means bitterness. As my pastor shared this morning, this was a feeling she had from all her calamities. She was sad then bitter.
It made me stop to think about all that I had endured in my life, my life does not compare to the loss that Naomi and Ruth had suffered, but was my reaction in bitterness. I don't think Naomi wallowed in her bitterness, that she was so grieved that she could not go on, as the story continues to display that she allowed Ruth to stay with her and she helped Ruth find Boaz. After Ruth came home from gleaning the fields, she fed her. I just think at that moment when someone was asking her our now days surfacey question of "how are you?" She was overwhelmed with sorrow and bitterness came through.
Oh, how it rears it's ugly head in my heart. Mara can tend to be my name as well. When after a phone call that my brother had another seizure, being rushed to the hospital, wasn't responding. Why Adam again? (He is doing ok now, praise the Lord!) A friend of Adam's passed away last week, a friend like Adam, with Autism. Why? Why doesn't Adam get the opportunity to be "normal". So many whys in my life.
My heart goes directly to sadness, then to bitterness. I know God has a purpose, He certainly did with Ruth. She was not an Israelite. She married an Israelite, but she was faithful to God, even though He was not known to her as a Moabite. She became a believer in God when she said my favorite part, "Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God (Ruth 1:16)." Ruth and Boaz bore a son named Obed, Obed had a son named Jesse and Jesse had a son King David. If you'll recall, Jesus was in the lineage of David. Ruth had a King in her lineage and the King of Kings. God has a purpose. A Purpose.
This today was a good reminder of the fact that Mara can be me at times. That my bitterness can define me. What a quick reminder to go back to the cross, go back to the remembrance that Jesus was my redeemer. That he has already paid the penalty for my bitterness and that God hasn't forgot me. He hasn't forgot about Adam. God certainly has not forgotten about you, also.
Lord please as I am facing trials, help me not to be Mara, even when I cannot see your purpose, your will and your way. Help me to lean on you for understanding and be thankful that you already paid the price for my redemption, a fee so great it caused your Son to die. A perfect lamb, who committed no sin, who died for me. Thank you for sending Jesus to be my Kinsman Redeemer. Amen.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Daily Grind

I know what your thinking, I am about to complain about my job or my life in general, but actually, I'd like to just say what a beautiful display of God's amazing work in life.

The daily wake up call; whether it's the big thumps down the stairs of the two year old or cold hands and feet up next to you of the 5 year old or a sweet snuggle of the 8 year old with sleep still in her eye because her brothers woke her again or a kiss good morning from your husband or even the joyful sounds of your alarm.

Getting out the door: one more potty break, laughter, silly stories, coffee brewing for my hubby, warm mist of the shower, cartoons, sippy cups, bowls of cereal, tying shoes, cowboy boots, backpacks, lunches, van.

Morning Routine: cartoons, grocery, picking up, playing games, reading stories, cars on the couch, outside on the electric gator, sand in our toes, creek rustling over feet, jumping trampoline with static hair.

Lunch: Husband home, same old sandwiches, same lunches made day-after-day, plates and dishes put away, dishwasher filled, empty sink, coffee brewing, laughter, dirty fingers, Hi-Ya with Daddy.

Nap Time: cups of coffee, down time, rest, folding laundry, cleaning, dinner prep, Bible study

School: Pick up big girl and big boy at school, screams and tears from little one-nap is always too short, "Carry me, Mommy." Smiles from older two, miss them so.

Home: After school activities: Piano practicing, homework, silly boys playing, outside, dinner, laundry, fights, squabbles, tears from all.

Dinner: Daddy Home!! Cheers!! Running to the Door! Outside to play more, Daddy watch me! Around the table, family prayers, Baby prays, "Now you pray Sissy, Now you pray brother, Now you Pray Mama, Now you pray Dadda."

Playtime: outside, inside, upstairs, downstairs, crafts, coloring, cars, trains, videos.

Bedtime: Can you lay with me? Prayers, extra hugs, extra snuggles, extra strokes of the hair, puppet talking with animals, tucking in animals too, tranquil turtle song and lights, singing How do you get to Tomorrowland, Counting your Blessings, listening to the older one read her books she loves and talking about her day, holding my arms not to let me go, out of bed again, up the stairs, Good Night Mama &I love you echoes from all rooms. Lights off, back upstairs to check on each.

The Daily Grind as it's entitled, so many memories of today that are so special. How grateful I am that God gave me today, even though the days seems long and monotonous at times, God has shown me Him today and for that I am thankful.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Sometimes I'm organized and sometimes not so much. I tend to forget things easily.We have a monthly dry erase calendar attached to our fridge, which helps tremendously, but what if one of the kids erase or I accidently erase when I open the refrigerator door. I remember in college I had my Miami University Calendar, the Miami Memos, to keep my crazy schedule in tact (Oh there are so many items to insert here of the activities!!). However, I do remember having missed an opportunity to speak in front of students about being a sibling to my brother who has Autism. I had been to other classes and spoke before, but I forgot that day, with this professor, whom I normally did not see and I was bummed. So I had this remembrance of that day and today I bought a calendar.
Why today? It's April. Today you can no longer find January-January calendars, not even in the bargain bin. Today you can only find July 2015-June 2016.
I downloaded April, May and June from this cute website:

And I'm off, to a life more organized! I was driving in the car the other day thinking about my Mom and how she could go to a drawer in her home and know exactly what appointment she had in 1976 because she has a calendar. So maybe after today, I'll be able to tell my kids, "Hey on this date in 2015, I bought a calendar and the next day we _____" because I had it written down!

So this calendar is in honor of my Mom and her organization! Thanks Mom! Love you!