Sharp Paynes

Never a dull moment…

Archive for the tag “running”

Five Minute Friday: Beyond

 It’s Friday and Lisa-Jo has given this writing prompt:

BEYOND

Every Friday we spend five minutes spilling words and we forego editing  and fretting, and just write.  It’s fun, it’s free, and you should click the link above and try it!  Or at least, read what some others write for fun on Fridays.

 

GO

He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all I ask or even could think in my feeble, flitting mind.  And it must be true because I ask so little and receive so much.

I don’t believe the lie that everything I need is just beyond what I have now, but I do believe the truth that He is beyond all my imagination and dreamings, and that He wants me to live beyond where I am now.

I ask for so little because my faith is just.  that. small.

Forget-Me-Not

He shows up Big anyway, and befuddles my thinking and my small prayers.

Sometimes doesn’t He put Himself just out of reach, so that my faith stretches like last year’s jeans and once again, I can grasp just the hem of His garment?

I can barely catch up and never truly arrive, yet He promises arrival someday.  He is my pace-setter and it’s always got to be a little beyond where I’m comfortable.

That must be the ticket to prayer.  Yearning for what’s just out of reach, stretching my tight faith and making room for more, all because I know, I know, there is always room for more of Him.

STOP

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When Sin Leads to Thanksgiving

Parenting is tough.

Parenting is day and night, 24/7, clinging-to-grace and praying-in-faith.  It’s discipleship of our children and it’s discipleship for us, because who can teach and not learn?

It’s rewarding and it’s exhausting and it makes you question your sanity, like I imagine a marathon would be.

My crazy husband and I ran a half-marathon.  I paid money to expend every ounce of energy I could muster over 13.1 miles, to get blistered and chaffed, to fight off the urge to quit at mile 10 and the need for a potty at miles 5 through 12.  For about the last 7 miles all I could think was, “I’m paying to do this?”.

At the end we got oranges and bananas, some gatorade, and a t-shirt.  Actually, we didn’t even get the shirt because that was more money.

So parenting is tough like running, but the rewards are greater.  Boxes full of drawings, paintings, macaroni necklaces, precious notes and baby teeth in sandwich bags.  Morning-breath kisses, sticky faces, Dr. Seuss by heart, billions of questions, thousands of I love you’s.  

The rewards of parenting aren’t always warm and fuzzy.  A house full of sinners brings tension, lots of correction and training, and really the greatest reward is seeing the gospel work itself out in your children.

Sometimes I stop nagging long enough to allow grace to lead to repentance.

Oh happy day, when my children confess sin without being guilted into confession.  When the Holy Spirit is unhindered and quietness brings conviction.

I have just an ounce of understanding of the joy of this verse:

“I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” – {Luke 15:7 NKJV}

Yes, we want to raise godly children.  We want them to love Jesus and love their neighbor and overcome evil by doing good.  But if we teach them the truths of scripture, that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, that Jesus came as a friend of sinners to seek and save the lost,

then every sin-moment is the perfect time and place for grace to pour in and for sinners to bring joy to their Savior.

And I give thanks for the repentance, not the sin.  But without the realization of the one, the other is never needed.

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Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:

Who forgives all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases,

Who redeems your life from destruction,

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,

Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

{Psa 103:1-5 NKJV}

Blessing the Lord for all this:

305. siblings that miss each other

306. my hard-working, sensitive and giving children

307. making my tired husband smile

308. The wonderful burning ball of warmth in the sky!

309. Shelby’s Super Nanny impression (crack. me. up!)

310. dancing wild in the living room to Sharri’s piano playing

311. inside jokes 😉

312. forgiveness

313. talented friends making beautiful music on our piano

314. long-lost friends

315. big words with Shyla!

316. standing in the rain with the boys, watching the lightning

317. barbecuing again

318. guitar music from the bedroom

319. swim lessons

320. repentant hearts

Linking up with

A Holy Experience

The Better Mom

Titus 2sdays

Scribing the Journey

The Value of You, Right Where You Are

Already, there is this desire to choose.
Are we born with that?  Do we come from the womb defiant at the choices made for us?
Why did God put me here?  Why am I different?  Maybe I am not supposed to be in this family, in this place.
He’s seven and where did he get these questions?
The not-belonging and the longing for something else, something we know nothing about, all those thoughts started in the garden.
Adoption is not all warm-fuzzy and we never thought it would be.  Sometimes, it is such a clear picture of our life in Christ, of God choosing us and giving us family.
But truly, we have to choose that adoption for ourselves.  It’s the one case where we do choose our Parent, but do we ever really get to choose our place?
He’s seven and he is upset about some discipline handed out, and isn’t that when we all question our place?
So he thinks he belongs somewhere else but he doesn’t see the big picture.
Like the children of Israel longing for Egypt.
I tell Ethan that we couldn’t hold him and love him and laugh with him while he was in India. That we’re all different, with different gifts and personalities and talents, different colored skin and eyes and hair, but God has put us together and our family is perfect this way.
I give him a hug and tell him I love him, because that’s what he really wants.
Do you ever question your place?
Do you possibly mistrust the God Who holds your breath, the One Who preappointed your times and the boundaries of your dwelling? (Acts 17:26)
Do you long to be somewhere bigger, better, more important or more satisfying?
Wherever you are, God is sovereign.  Whatever your struggle, rest in His handling of it.  He sees the biggest picture.
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Counting all the gifts this week, some of them numbered here:
291.  Jacob enjoying the outdoors, and waking up thankful for his bedroom – the deer, the turkeys, the yellow birds at the feeder outside his window
292. our first 7-miler in 7 months
293. hot water and epsom salts, the morning after 7 miles
294. Ethan, the first child up this morning, monopolizing the one-on-one time
295. this verse:
And by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
~ Acts 13:39
296. children with eyes to see His goodness and to delight in His creation (Jacob calling me upstairs this morning to see the bird in the window, because he knows I love birds!)
297. Sisters making a picnic

The Well-Loved Wife

Nobody said this would be easy, this marriage thing.  Paul says it’s a  picture of Christ and the church, of uncontainable love poured out and lavished on the somewhat unwilling.  Of submission and trust and respect for that loving authority.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. … Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, – Eph 5:22, 25 NKJV

Loving me as Christ loved the church must be tough.  I think submission is hard sometimes, but to love the unlovely, the crabby, grumpy, unthankful,  and mumbling?  The pony-tailed and sweaty?

And to love me not only in the way that makes me feel loved, with flowers or chocolate or date-nights or spontaneous house-cleaning.  Or built-in book shelves.

To love me the way I need it, too.   The way I sometimes don’t want  it.

Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church.

Loving me by telling me no sometimes, telling me to wait, to be patient, to stop asking.

Or telling me, for my own good, to do those hard things.  You love me like that, and I’m the better for it.

You love me enough to tell me what I don’t want but desperately need to hear.  You’ve never said it quite like this, but you could:

“Put your big girl panties on and deal with it.”

Yep.  You married a silly, selfish girl.  Did you know that?   Did you know that loving me like Christ loved the church would be such a sacrifice?

You sure do it well.  You are gentle with me and patient.

I just want to thank you.  Thank you for being like Christ and loving the unlovely.  For sacrificing and  cherishing and nurturing.

Like iron sharpens iron, we bristle and grate sometimes on our way to sanctification.  But what joy in this marriage!  How blessed I am to share life with you.

Thank you.

And that part at the end of Ephesians 5, about wives respecting their husbands?

A man leaves early every morning and sweats and toils, tapes up bleeding fingers and makes beauty out of wood and nails.  He gets up 6 days of the week with an alarm, eats thousands of sandwiches without complaining, counsels, teaches, builds, fixes,  reads stories, preaches to the unreached, runs miles and miles with his slow wife, and sometimes makes pancakes for his family or does the dishes.

Respect almost seems like an understatement.  Couldn’t there be a bigger word?  You deserve more than I give, but I hope, pray, yearn for you to know that I do.  I do respect you.

You are amazing, for so many more things than I can list here.  You are amazing when you smile at the end of a hard day and when you play that game of checkers or Linkology.  You are amazing when you laugh at my silly-woman-who-needs-to-get-out-more humor, when you read my words and think I’m something special.

My encourager, my gentle leader, my strong-man and my teacher.  My crush and my best friend.

Thank you.

Happy Birthday and Five Minutes

I think I’ll be reading some Seuss today, in honor of his birthday.  Any excuse works for me, and my kids aren’t too old, nor am I.  There is much wisdom in his nonsense, and sometimes

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities. ~ Dr. Seuss

No, I don’t agree with all of Seuss’ philosophy.  I just enjoy a little nonsense, set to rhyme…from time to time.

Yes.  I am 35 years old and I like Dr. Seuss.  I’m sorry if you are sharing deep things with me and I quote Seuss.  I’m sorry if I say things like, “We run for fun in the hot, hot sun” and you don’t get it.  I’m sorry if when I say, “I love to read”, you think I must mean Austen or Dickens or Twain.

You should read more Seuss : )

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Anyways.

It’s Five Minute Friday at thegypsymama.com

Ache…

They make me feel that.  It’s not their fault, it’s mine.  They can’t help the growing and changing and turning-into-young-adults, and it’s me that is supposed to make the transition slow, make the days last and the memories permanent.

But I’m losing my memory, really, and that makes me ache, too.  Thank God for pictures and journals and their memories that take me back.  I’ve prayed so many times that they would forget the word-wounds and the grumpy-mom, but now I pray that we’ll all remember the moments.  Frozen in time moments.

The cuddling and laughing and sharing.  The moments when the world stopped and the laundry stopped and the school stopped and we just stopped to enjoy each other.

I’ll purpose to make those moments today.  Will they still enjoy Dr. Seuss?  I think they will.  How they bless me, the Sharp Paynes, and how they make the dull ache in me for slowing down.

I’m thankful for the ache because it reminds me to stop.  Like running too fast makes me hurt – because I wasn’t meant to go fast but slow, turtle-slow.  And it’s ok.

Several Decembers ago...

A Few Thanks

This last week has been a blur and most of the thanks were written by my hand.  There are still so many places to squeeze thanksgiving into and so many attitudes to lift…   So many “thank-you’s” still go unsaid, but I am pressed to look back and remember.

I am especially thankful for fellowship these last few days.  I am blessed to be in the wonderful Body of Christ, where nobody gets left behind.  I am reminded how God fits us together and does His kingdom work through cracked vessels.  How when you’re up I’m down, and vice versa.

So this week we are thankful for

131.  running in shorts in February

132. Mrs. Earlywine : )

133.  Spite & Malice

134.  music with the goof-balls (I think that must mean the siblings?)

135.  time for deep conversations

136.  soft hearts

137.  homemade granola bars

138.  free Kindle books

139.  cell phones

140.  a healthy family

141.  cards in the mail

142.  a husband who notices

Perspective

This is the beauty I get to run in.

One of the best places on earth, full of His glory, His people, His creation.  I run past crazy alpacas, bewildered cows, geese on the ponds, beautiful open fields.  Rarely a car passes, and the driver almost always waves.  Sometimes the fog is rolling over these mountains like sea billows, sometimes the sky above them is fiery red and orange.

But this is where my eyes tend to focus.

Isn’t that a lovely white line?  So straight and simple.

Shoulders hunched, eyes down, I shuffle along this white line.  Like Eeyore in the Hundred Acre Wood.

“Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily. “If it is a good morning,” he said. “Which I doubt,” said he.

“Why, what’s the matter?”

“Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.

“”Can’t all what?” said Pooh, rubbing his nose.

“Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush.”

Just the other day I realized I ran through the valley this way.  So I purposefully lifted my head, my eyes, my thoughts.  My smile followed suit.  This.  Is.  Beautiful.  I love to run here!  I am blessed to live here, and abundantly blessed to be able to run here.

I just needed a change in perspective.

 I will lift up my eyes to the hills–From whence comes my help? 
My help [comes] from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. – Psa 121:1-2 NKJV

One of my favorite words, perspective.  Probably because I so often am snapped to reality and see where my perspective has gone astray.  What if everything I did in a day was done with God’s perspective?  What if I stopped taking for granted His artwork all around and instead began to live enjoying it!  Little ol’ me, walking in His gallery?

For since the creation of the world His invisible [attributes] are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,  – Romans 1:20a NKJV

We all want our work to be appreciated.

I will look up ; )

10 steps to stay alive to the beauty of God’s world

http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/10-steps-to-stay-alive-to-the-beauty-of-gods-world

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