When I was little I used to think that concrete roads were made of mashed, baked banana. How ridiculous is that?! When I finally asked my parents, they did not indulge my fruit fantasy and encourage me to just keep believing what I wanted, hoping I might formulate a factual assessment one day.
Me in the summer of '73 on my fresh new training wheels on banana-concrete sidewalk
I learned early on that just believing something doesn't make it true. I was the child who was never fed the Santa Claus or tooth fairy storyline. I still received gifts accordingly, but I knew the identity of the true giver. My parents were practical and honest. They were also loving and fun.
My mother wrote to me and my siblings from the time we were infants through adolescence. When we became adults, she gifted us with this treasure trove detailing our lives and the world around us. I recall in one of my early letters she reflected on the Vietnam war and a teenage cousin who had died of a drug overdose. She did not sugarcoat.
These letters are a beautiful gift and have inspired me to do the same for our children. I haven’t been as prolific a writer for our younger children as I was for our elder. Life picked up speed like a snowball traveling down a powder-covered mountainside, leaving less time for written reflection.
Baby Bella surrounded by Jacob, Bailey and Aaron ~ December 2004
We are now enjoying fleeting days with our last “baby”, who is sweet sixteen and resolutely headed for independence. There is more time to reflect, so much more quiet time than when four noisy siblings created a cacophony in our small cabin-like home. I have some catching up to do with my letter-writing.
The four Spry siblings at home in Waterford ~ December 9, 2020
Bailey June and Bella Marie on their way to the airport. Nine years and 4,400 miles separate these sweet sisters. ~ January 6, 2021
The Spry Family of three in December 1997
When our first born arrived, she had two eager new parents doting and documenting at breakneck speed. Our last born is doing her best navigating the ever-ready attentions of her two parental units as she is about to age-out of the system. I marvel at the expanse of time, parenting now for nearly 26 years.
Isabella Marie on the shores of Lake Huron on North Bay in Presque Isle ~ January 2021
I remind this last-born that for all it’s worth, she gets much wiser, seasoned parents than the first-born. I think if she could, she might trade that in to share a small room with her sister again…to have her rowdy brothers crowding her space. I can't say I blame her. There is much I miss about it too.
"Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom." ~ Psalm 90:12
We don’t get to choose when we’re born. We don’t get to choose to be born. We do, however, get to chose how to live, how to spend the days we have. How, then, should we live?
Rabbi Shaul/Paul, speaking to the followers of Messiah in Ephesus puts it bluntly:
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God…Be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”
This is as apt a word today as it was 2,000 years ago.
How does one imitate God? How does one understand what the Lord wants of us? By knowing his instruction/Torah/his Word and putting it into practice. Yeshua spells this out for us in the parable of the wise and foolish builders in Matthew 7:24-27. Listen and obey = solid rock. Hear and ignore = shifting sand. Where are you building your house?
Power-packed instructions from Ephesians 5:
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do.
Live a life filled with love, following the example of Messiah/Christ.
Be thankful to God.
Live as people of light!
Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves.
Make music to the Lord in your hearts.
Give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Messiah Yeshua/Jesus Christ.
Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you.
Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you.
Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse the sins of immorality, impurity, or greed.
Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.
Don’t be drunk with wine.
EXTRA EXTRA! Read All About It! The Ridiculous Times
Some people believe that gender is a social construct, that you are whatever gender you feel like you are. A pregnant person?
Some people pay doctors thousands of dollars to help them conceive a baby while others pay a doctor hundreds to kill theirs. I have heard an abortion-determined woman confess: "I couldn't let another family raise my baby." Lord, have mercy.
Some people think they are protecting children by canceling fictitious characters that offend them. Are we being offended by the right things?
Some people want to "expand" the terminology “breastfeeding” to include “chestfeeding” so as not to alienate a biological woman who has a baby but wants to be known as a man.
Maternity, 1909 by Pablo Picasso
“Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.” ~ Ephesians 5:15-17
What does the LORD want of us?
“the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” ~ Micah 6:8
Healing Hearts is a gospel-centered, grace-driven ministry that offers hope and healing in Jesus Christ through God’s Word to people who have been broken by sin. Check out Sue Liljenberg's victorious story of redemption. Discover how God’s Word offers hope and healing from tragedies and afflictions such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, abortion, rape, and catastrophic loss.