Archives for August 2011

Drink Machine Magic

OK, so in all my 33 years tonight at Moe’s I met the biggest advancement in soda machines I’ve ever seen.  This machine claims it has 100 different choices of sodas.  Many were different flavors of the same drink.  My choice was Vanilla Root Beer, my soda kryptonite.   I’m not a big proponent of sodas but it sure was fun.  And the machine also included at least 8 different flavored waters.

The line for the drink was longer than the line for the food.  First, no one was sure how to work the thing.  Second, people (kids especially) had a horrible time deciding which of the 100 choices to drink.    I couldn’t help but steal a little video of Emma refilling my drink.

 

 

Tell me, do you have these where you live?  Have we been living in the dark ages or would you be as mesmerized as us?

On Grace

Amy Beth, a young single lady fostering children, posted this excerpt that has stayed with me for days.  I do hope she doesn’t mind that I’m sharing.

“I went home that day aching with the reality of undeserved pain.  I used to think that suffering came to other people […] not to people who opened their hearts to the orphan.  The stories swirled in my mind of families who’d dared to love the least of these and had been worn down by the ceaseless, thankless reality of disability and brokenness.  It was tempting to be angry at the unfairness — and yet I’d learned through my own trials that there was another way to understand the suffering.

You see, each of us had wanted to live the gospel… and God had answered our prayers.

The gospel life is an invitation to come and die.  It is first of all a story of brokenness.  Before the beautiful redemption there is misunderstanding, rejection, loneliness, disappointment, frustration, and betrayal leading to a painful, bloody death.  There is sorrow, burial and mourning.  Yet somehow, though we prayed to be like Christ, we were surprised when the pain came to us.  We were surprised when the gospel story was repeated in our homes, in our hearts, in the children we thought to rescue.

[…]

What my friend needed to know is that her troubles are not the marks of failure, but of Christ-following.  Christ’s love leads us into places that no one else wants to go, where the stench and the mess and the heartache push out the well-dressed and the well-behaved.  She and her family have been invited into the mysterious blessing: to suffer the reality of sin just as Christ suffered.  […] It brings the foul-mouthed, rule-breaking, rage-riddled, impulse-driven, broken-hearted, least of these, right into our homes. This love works and tries and believes when everyone else has given up and slipped back into something more comfortable.  It aches and bleeds, it is misunderstood and rejected and lonely.

And if we will surrender to it, this love teaches us to sing and to rejoice as the blessed of God.” — A Song Almost Heard, Tonia Peckover (all emphases mine)

That coming to learn to die and live the gospel?  That is grace.  It is giving the undeserved gift.  Grace comes from the abundance of God’s gifts.  First and foremost it is the giving of the forgiveness that we do not deserve.  I get that grace.  But then I try to apply the giving of God’s grace and it feels pretty and simple; a sharing of  the abundance we received and we easily give to others.  Our finances.  Our love.  And grace can be that.  But many times grace is not pretty.   When someone hurts you and you must give that forgiveness you realize that grace is pain.  That although the other is the offender, the responsible one for the sin, you are the one not only offended but also the one that must be broken to forgive.  Grace is not an easy calling.  Grace is beautiful but it’s not pretty.

But it’s in the grace that we find life.  Just as in God’s grace of forgiveness we find eternal life, it is in the giving of grace now that we find life.  Today Ann Voskamp is sharing of her book (READ IT IF YOU HAVEN’T) and Shaun Groves’ new CD (GET IT).  All so timely for me this week.  I love this quote from her book

That fullness can grow foul. Grace is alive —  living waters. If I dam up the grace, hold the blessings tight, joy within dies … waters that have no life.

In God’s upside down economy it is only in the brokenness of ourselves that we find life.  It’s easy to give in the abundance of God’s blessings but it’s exquisitely hard to give in the face of pain from others’ sin.  This brokenness doesn’t seem to lead to joy but Christ’s brokenness is our example of the only way to joy.  If we hold forgiveness back, the grace, we lose our joy.   But when we let grace rain (or reign, as it were), we find joy and they find joy and then both together, we rejoice in God’s grace.

So as Ann concludes in her book and Shaun sings, All is grace.  He gives to us, we give to them, we are healed, they are healed, we give thanks back to Him.  A beautiful, painful, cyclical picture of grace. 

Please go watch the video on Ann’s post.  If you only knew what these two people have seen and experienced (and some of you do) and yet still offer God praise, it’s truly God’s grace at work.

Weekend Recap

Weekend Recap 8/26/2011

Mother Hen

Source: flickr.com via Amy on Pinterest

Today was I felt like that mother hen, not quite getting it right but trying awful hard. Still working through Emma’s issues.  Not too many details but for drama’s sake I’ll tell you I ended up in the principal’s office crying.  Thank you, PMS.  I’ve never been so close to homeschooling as I was today.  And y’all, that is serious.  Not to say it was the school’s fault.  Its just my fight or flight syndrome was kicking in and wanting me to run from the problems.  I think we have a game plan though from the school and I’m hoping this was just the first full week of adjustments.  Cross my fingers and praying like crazy. 

In other news, we passed the fire inspection for the adoption.  We officially have the home study next on the list.  So exciting!

In other, other news Tucker has eaten through cords of TWO of my keyboards within TWO days.  I got smart today and bought a wireless keyboard.  It’s really made for a laptop or travel or something because it’s small and cute and I just have to say I love it.  It’s the little things, folks.

And in final news, Scott did NOT have to go to Charleston for Irene.  Praying for all our other East coast friends but I have to say I’m thankful he didn’t go.

And in final, final news, tomorrow is FRIDAY!!

Emotional Chat

Emma ended up coming home from school today and went with Scott to pick Lexi up from school.  Scott let Emma chat with me from his phone while they were waiting.  So many emotions in one little chat…awww…ewwww…what?!?!?  If you pay attention to the times, it helps make it make sense.

 

Chat with rsbennetthp@gmail.com - amyjbennett@gmail.com - Gmail

Translation of Emma’s 2:37 comment: “We’re going to the pharmacy right now.  Daddy didn’t mean to but somehow he hit the gas and bumped into my friend’s grandma’s car.  No damage but it scared us.”  And just for the record, we did have some damage to our bumper :(  Very thankful no damage to my family.  Except perhaps some spelling related travesties.