What does hairspray, a bar of soap, white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser have in common? It all started with me gathering laundry. And then I found it—an epic ink pen explosion on Dave’s Marc Anthony jeans.
On the right leg, there was a deep purple Rorschach ink design with splatters going outward. I gasped. No…not Dave’s favorite jeans.
I took a can of hairspray and went to war. As I sprayed, I blotted the deep purple ink into an old white cloth. Ha, I’m making progress…I thought, still naïve.
When I lifted the jeans I realized I had made an epic mistake. By not putting a cloth inside the pant leg, I had transferred the stain onto the back of the jeans. I sighed, saddened, but not ready to give up.
Twenty minutes later, I was out of hairspray and time. I cleaned up the mess and decided to let the jeans sit for a day. You see, I had recently resolved to try to fix things instead of replacing them. Little did I know that the stain had a costly lesson to give me.
The other night, I struggled to sleep. I went to bed praying about several situations. As I prayed, my heart was full of pain and my stomach was churning. Current losses and past fears were swirling together into a mishmash of emotion.
Finally, at 4 am, I pulled myself from under the warm covers, threw on a sweatshirt and came to my computer. I typed these words as if Jesus was sending me a middle of the night Facebook message…
Sometimes perspective comes from the strangest places. This New Year’s Eve, God brought me a lesson from one of my least favorite places (and you’ll soon see why!) – the dentist’s chair.
What spiritual lessons can be gained from the dentist’s drill? Let me give you a hint. It has to do with our reactions to suffering and a process I’ve seen happen in my life. It goes something like this…
Discomfort creates self-focus. Continued hurts turn to bitterness. Control masquerades as conviction.
Yet, embedded in our suffering, both large and small, is a path to beautiful, priceless redemption of our God—a redemption that brings healing, hope and perspective.
Over the last week, I’ve been having a recurring dream. Although it has different twists each night, the theme is the same. I am in distress and I must get out of Africa. And various obstacles are making it impossible to leave.
Perhaps this was from watching the Last King of Scotland*—the gripping story of a physician who got embroiled with Idi Amin and figured out he was in danger a little too late.
Or maybe, although I’m out of Africa, Africa doesn’t want to let go of me! As I told the church in Kenya, “We have Africa in our blood!”
I tend to think the dreams point to something deeper…a battle that still wages in my soul. My desire (fine-honed from the time I was a little girl) to be strong enough to do God’s work…and God’s gentle nudging in response: Robin, will you be weak enough?
For Richard and Florence Ahenda, leading the church in Kampala, Uganda has been a dream come true. As God has blessed their work in raising up a zealous and sacrificial church, they were ready to look towards future plantings. Through prayer, they made a list of potential cities, starting with the next largest. Luweero wasn’t on the list.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:10-12
If your marriage has been turned upside down by sexual sin, my heart goes out to you. To say this is painful ground is a vast understatement. Sexual sin strikes a blow to our highly relational nature, stirring up numerous questions of a woman’s heart…Will I be alone? What do others think of me? Who will rescue me? Who can I count on? But, as we’ll soon see, it is also sacred ground, ripe with possibilities for God’s re-creative work.
Have you ever had a time where you knew somehow that God was right there in your presence, speaking to you in your anxiety, but yet in the most unlikely, even laughable way?
We were returning home from speaking in St. Vincent and a few days of rest in beautiful Bequia. Having taken advantage of a four-hour layover in Antiqua to get a cab to an ocean side restaurant where we ate lunch, it was time to catch a cab back to the airport.
We walked down the beach and cut beside an ocean-side bar bustling with bikini-clad women and tanned men, where we were told there would be cabs. Dave and I were keeping our heads down and moving fast. We were running late and my heart was heavy (more in just a moment). Continue reading →