Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I realize that the arrival of November is no surprise to anyone, since it drops in faithfully on the heals of October every year! However, I was just beginning to settle into a comfortable fall and already I find myself taunted by its imminent follower, winter. We have not even begun to dispose of all the leaves, the ducks and geese and swans are still congregating in the lake outside the windows, and I am still in bare feet (and yes, my toes are painted)!

Nevertheless, winter comes. It snowed this week and those cheeky meteorologists are threatening more this weekend. (This is no excuse, however, for the inflatable snow-globe lawn ornaments I saw this morning! Really!) Retailers serenade us with Bing Crosby's White Christmas and tempt us with shiny Christmas wraps and snazzy gift sets, door-buster sales and extended holiday hours. My inner toddler stamps her foot and says "No!"

I want to enjoy a few more crisp weeks of leaves underfoot and V's of geese overhead. I want to feel the autumn sun pouring through the kitchen window (while stubbornly ignoring the dirty glass!) and wave at my kids playing soccer in the leaf laden grass, sweatshirts trailing and faces warm and chilly all at the same time. Our oak trees are as stubborn as I am, as they cling to their brown leaves and refuse to let the November wind carry them away just yet. The squirrels are still busy collecting and storing up their winter meals and the waterfowl, as I mentioned, still seem to be making their final travel arrangements (I think I actually saw a Mrs. Mallard with a list yesterday).

Will you join my little creature friends and me as we enjoy the last days of fall. Winter will be here soon and, as always in these parts, it will settle in for a good long visit. For now, please enjoy the last radiance of mums, the final crunch of leaves, the sweet-tart scent of apples on your counter. Plan for a lavish or simple Thanksgiving; whichever suits you best. Play touch football with the kids, take a brisk walk with your husband and shuffle through the leaves as you meander down the sidewalk or the woodland path. Enjoy November and don't get too worried about the coming craziness of December (later we'll talk about making it not so crazy!)

Happy not-quite-halfway-through-November to you!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

On this historic day, I reflect on the many choices that are continually before me. My vote, whether it is part of turning the political tide in a direction that pleases me or not, is a precious liberty I do not take lightly. My children watched me vote today and have been there every election day in the past. Today there were only two of them, and I had some slight regret that I didn't wait until after school for the others to accompany us! At the risk of sounding overly sentimental or patriotic, I must emphatically state that my freedom to vote was bought by the blood of many! Men fought for a free country in which we now live. Women stood boldly up and demanded a voice in government, and the cost to many was the ultimate one. I don't want to take it lightly, nor do I want my children to miss the enormity of what they will one day do.

It is not lost on me that the freedom to vote, along with the many other freedoms we have living in this democratic (really a republic) nation, is only a hint of the freedom we have available to us in Christ.

Here, too, I want my children by my side, watching me cast my vote, making my choice, using my voice. I want them to see that the freedom of a believer cannot be removed by any man or woman in office. The rights I now have as an American pale in comparison to the rights I have as a child of the King. I have an inheritance. I have eternal security. I have hope. I have a future. I have an Anchor. The liberty I have in Christ Jesus was also bought with blood, but this sacrifice only required one life. His was faultless and holy and obedient. His sacrifice was complete and sure and thoroughly satisfying.

With my freedom in Christ, I cast my vote, I make my choice, for many things each day. Today I choose joy - not happiness born from fine circumstances, but joy that bubbles up from the depths of me. Today I choose obedience - not just a bending of my actions and my will but of my heart. Today I choose love - not out of the loveliness of my heart or others, but because He first loved me. Today I choose to exercise the choices given to me when I was first chosen by the One who had nothing to gain but still gave it all on the cross out of utter obedience to His Father and love for me.

Today I celebrate freedom - Freedom to vote for the leaders of the land, freedom to worship in a way that is pleasing to God, freedom from the bondage of sin and the hopelessness and fear of an uncertain future.

We are no longer slaves but daughters and sons. Let freedom ring!