"I am the vine, you are the branches.  Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit...." John 15:5
            "I don't WANT to wear those pants, Mom,
                    they're too STRETCHY!"

Yet another funny yet frustrating morning with my Maren, who just turned 4.  She didn't want to get dressed!

I laughed (sort of) and just let her wear her pajama pants.  I guess pink and orange might become the next fashion statement.  We aren't going anywhere today anyway except to pick the kids up from school.

I started thinking about how the Lord tries to stretch me.  I want to be comfortable and happy.  I like the easy way.  Maybe I get crabby practicing Natural Family Planning and leaving the door open to more children if God wants them.  Money isn't falling from trees.  Maybe I worry about some of the trials my children go through.  I hate seeing them suffer.  Sometimes I get really tired of not eating dairy and wheat just to feel healthy.  Fake cheese is disgusting.

I sometimes avoid talking to others who are going through a hard time
because I don't know what to say or do to help.  Today I reached out to a friend going through terrible suffering.  I have no idea how to help.  I tried to listen, and I have been praying for years for her.  I am so glad the Lord "stretched" me because I had missed talking to my friend.  I pray I didn't say the wrong thing.

Today's gospel reading is from Mark.  Men at the synagogue were watching Jesus to see if he did something unlawful on the sabbath.  They were looking for a way to destroy Jesus.  Jesus challenged them, asking if it was lawful to "do good or do harm, to save or to kill" on the sabbath.  Jesus said to a man with a withered hand

        “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out,
         and his hand was restored.
  Mark 3:5

Lord, keep stretching me.  I don't believe I am called to be comfortable, I am called to keep stretching and growing closer to You.  I pray for those going through terrible suffering, a time of stretching that is almost unbearable.   I know that your stretching will heal.

P.S.  Lord, help me be "stretchy" to deal with my feisty Maren today!
Karen Harris
1/22/2014 02:15:34 pm

How true! Isn't it amazing how the areas of our lives he stretches us in somehow become the most fulfilling? The comfortable life may be easier, but how God blesses us in the "stretchy" life!

1/23/2014 03:22:11 am

Karen, I miss you! Yes, the worst times of my life have been when God changes me for the better. It just takes looking back in hindsight to see it sometimes.


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    Jaime, household engineer to 9 kids, an amazing husband, 2 fish, and a rainbow shark!


    January 2014