Like the woman at the well, the only thing about my past that I have to boast in is that Jesus not only redeemed it, but turned those dark, ugly, shameful places where I was searching for belonging and meaning into testimonies of hope for others. How thankful I am for that. Otherwise, I couldn’t live with the memories of the damage I’ve done along the way.
Friday, July 8, 2022
Thursday, February 18, 2021
I don’t mean the kind of pirate treasures you’d like to find buried in your backyard, but the kind that God has hidden deep in the earth, and under the sea, in the unreachable vastness of the universe, and in unexplored tropical jungles.
When I get to heaven, I’d love the Lord to give me a tour of the mysteries of the universe, because ever since I got my first Wonder book of astronomy in grade school, I’ve wondered why God put such splendor in places that mankind may never see.
Did he put these marvels there in all their hidden glory simply for his pleasure? Or did he put these treasures of creation in unseen places for us to discover, because curiosity and exploration is in our DNA.
Marvels like flowers that bloom once in their lifetime, or ones that bloom in the dark of night that unless you happen upon at the exact moment, you would never see. Or the recently discovered orchids that “sing” and attract birds—“hummingbirds” no less—high up in the Peruvian canopy. Or the multi-colored, swirling nebulae and mysteries of space, some glimpsed through the mighty Hubble telescope, some imagined to be there. Diamonds, rubies, and other precious gems buried deep in the bowels of the earth.
Fixated on this “hidden treasures” theme, I suggested to my husband that we visit a nearby town that had a rock and gem museum.
There were rocks you could buy and crack open, potentially exposing spectacular crystal formations. I wanted one of these geodes as a vivid illustration of something that appears ordinary, ugly even, on the outside--something you might pass by without giving it a glance, unaware of the stunning treasure encased inside.
The museum was closed, but there were two rock and gem stores in town. Interestingly, one featured gems and stones from a mystic worldview with wiccan literature, the other from a Christian worldview with creation and God focused literature. That’s what it boils down to, isn’t—humanistic or God oriented viewpoints.
“Follow the science.” A currently popular phrase touted in an attempt to give credibility to man’s thinking. But if you truly follow the science, you might end up where Darwin admitted he was on occasion--perplexed about how natural selection could explain some of the complex structures he found in the flora and fauna.
Because if you follow the science, you might follow it straight into the heart of wonder—straight to the Creator of all that glory. I think that’s why the Lord created the mysterious and marvelous—to lead us to worship—that we “would know that [he is] God.”
And although he is the author of “science," sometimes “the way of God will not be explained. It is [simply] for us to marvel.” (Walter Brueggemann)
I hope you find something to marvel about this week--whether it’s in a fleeting, flaming sunrise, a lone spring flower poking through the snow, or a newborn’s finger wrapped around your own.
And this thought—although it doesn’t fit the point of the above—keeps coming to mind. Maybe someone needs to be encouraged that no less marvelous than those hidden treasures of the universe is the kind act or word you did for someone that no one else saw or recognized. Or the soldier or loved one who died alone in a foreign land—the one whose sacrifice no one saw. No one except God.
I find great consolation in knowing the Creator of extravagant wonders no human may ever see, is the same one who sees every lone offering of our lives.
Blessings abundant this week,
“ . . . that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col 2:2-3).
Sunday, January 31, 2021
I don’t know the psychology behind the thrill of careening down a hill, snow chips biting your cheeks and eyes, frozen mittened arms and booted legs flailing, but having lived much of my life in Vermont, I’ve done a lot of hurtling myself down hills on anything that slid—inner tubes, runner sleds, toboggans, flying saucers, and garbage bags even—and delighted in every minute of it.
There’s nothing like a report of a coming snowfall, to perk up the spirits of kids (and some adults) everywhere—but especially in places where snowfalls are rare. Here in the South, a one inch covering on any grassy slope, even if it ends in a ditch or comes perilously close to a road, will draw more parka-clad people than Aspen ski trail.
Sledding is simply one of the joys of childhood. That’s why I felt so sad this morning to see the news that in spite of an uncommon snowstorm in DC, kids won’t be allowed to sled on the Capitol lawn this year as in times past—military, security, Covid—oppression, repression, suppression. Depression. Since there aren’t many places for urban kids to go, this restriction represents another moment stolen from the childhoods of so many of our children this year.
I don’t have any answer to offer here, and I hate the politics that are toying with so many lives—especially this generation of kids—but I do want to applaud the parents and teachers who are doing their best to make good memories out of small moments for their children. I know of one mom, who lives in a neighborhood that is super supportive, decks her house out for each of her kid's birthdays--holidays--and the neighbors all join in, drive by and make a big deal out of celebrating each other's kids.
I don't have young children and am lacking in ideas, but if anyone has some suggestions on ways to encourage parents, teachers or kids, feel free to share. In any case--offer your support and encouragement to the children, their parents, and their teachers in your lives.
Friday, January 29, 2021
Do you remember getting a gold foil sticker-star on your work papers in school? Sometimes the stars were in color; sometimes there were even multiple ones. Regardless if they were blue or gold, a star at the top of your paper made you sit a little straighter, feel a little prouder. They gave you confidence that someone else (your teacher) thought highly of your work.
That simple five-pointed symbol still carries a lot of weight today. How many of us—whether we’re shopping for a pillow or a Range Rover, a good pizza parlor or a steak house—first look to see how many stars it got for a rating? Then we read the reviews to see what others thought its strengths and or weaknesses were, if it would be a good fit for us.
The same goes for books. Because some of you asked, here are some brief tips about writing a book review on Amazon. Star ratings and honest reviews on places like Amazon not only help readers know what they’re getting but can also help an author’s book to become more visible. This is not to say you have to write an inflated review, but so often we are quick to complain or voice our disapproval about something but slow to express our satisfaction. Perhaps we just don’t think of it.
If you’ve read a book and would like to let others know—including the author—what you thought about it, you can leave a review on Amazon. They do have community guidelines you can look up. For instance, you must have an Amazon account, and regardless of how much your Aunt Bea loved your book, Amazon won’t publish personal reviews like hers or your BFF’s.
So keep your comments focused on the book’s strengths, main points, or particular audience appeal—what you enjoyed or didn’t enjoy. If memories of ninth-grade English class give you trembles, remember—you don’t have to write an elaborate book review. A few key words that capture the essence of your thoughts will do.
If you do have negative comments, again, keep them objective and informative—not mean-spirited or personal. Although everyone likes to see those five-star ratings, there’s nothing shabby about fewer stars if that’s what your honest opinion is.
Regardless of any inflated or romanticized ideas we might have of authors—even New York Times bestseller ones—many are introverts, insecure about how their “babies” will fare in the world, and they appreciate hearing from you.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Think of the lessons we can take from this--especially those of us who have been redeemed and our broken pieces are traced with the blood of God himself. I think also of the Valley of Achor--a place of "troubling" for the Israelites, but later the Lord made it a "door of hope."
This is such a beautiful way to look at the cracked places of our lives--cracks that could leave us in useless pieces in the hands of the Master Artisan become works of precious art.
P.S. I love to testify about how God can make all things good. You might want to check out my new book about the messes the I got myself into and the God who got me out of them.- Available now on Amazon: Going South--with the God of Jacob's and My Mistakes
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Marcia MostonI'm starting out the new year by kicking my light (thank God) bout with Covid out the door and kicking off the publication of my latest book, Going South--with the God of Jacob's and Mistakes.
Did you ever notice how one bad decision has a way of birthing five more until you find yourself in a such muddle you can't see your way out? That's what happened when my husband and I decided to move to a place we'd never been to, nor had any connections with. It still might have been a fine idea if I had stuck to our original plan. Here's from the back cover:
When Bob and Marcia Moston told their friends they were moving south, they meant it as a geographical move. They didn’t expect their plans to go south too.
Trusting his wife’s previously sound judgment, Bob agrees to have Marcia go ahead of him and pick out a house—an efficient, low-maintenance one. It was a good plan. If only Marcia had stuck to it.
But when she veers from the plan, the couple find themselves overwhelmed with the consequences of a seemingly bad decision. Marcia looks for encouragement in the story of Jacob—the patriarchal bad boy, remembered more for the predicaments he got himself into than for his commendable deeds—and the God who is not deterred by our plots, plans, stratagems, and side trips.
Written with heart, humor, and biblical insight, Going South—with the God of Jacob’s and My Mistakes offers hope and encouragement to those who find their lives upturned by a geographical move, a chaotic economy, a backfired dream, or just a plain bad choice.
That's the good news--nothing is too hard for God!
To celebrate, this week I'm having a drawing to give away some free copies (Kindle or print). To enter just leave a brief comment or send me a request in my contact form.
Blessings on this NEW Year,
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Thursday, May 7, 2020
The Cathedral catcher, Chadwick, caused much discussion because of his constant delay of play throughout the game. Twice while on base the fiery backstop, advancing a base on a foul ball, took an unnecessary amount of time in returning to his rightful position. Before going to bat in the eighth he walked out within ten feet of the batter’s box and took off his shoe and stocking, replaced it, tied the other shoe, and to top off the performance tucked in his shirt and pulled up his pants before proceeding to the plate. Finally immaculate, he struck out.
Friday, May 1, 2020
I didn’t think to ask about the dreams and longings and memories my mother harbored within herself. I didn’t ask about my grandparents and their parents. I wish I did. Because they are all gone and the stories with them.
poem, by George Ella Lyon as a model. Here's how it starts. Note the concrete details.
Thursday, April 23, 2020
She thought about it for a minute. “I don’t like the word drain,” she said. “How many points?” Scrabble was, after all, a lesson in simple arithmetic as well.
Thursday, April 16, 2020
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