Generational Influence

One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. Psalm 145:4 Next week, I will head to Finland, my mom’s birthplace and where many of my relatives still reside. This trip comes on the heels of a erratic year during which I bounced back and forth between Texas and Oregon – from delightfully crazy times with an ever growing number of grand kids to slow paced days with my elderly mom, during which I spent significant chunks of time merely helping her find the objects she has misplaced.  Flipping back and forth between generations causes me to reflect. I think back to my childhood years when my mom had the energy and wherewithal to care for five children and still have time to tend to her large gardens and orchards. Then I fast-forward and try to imagine what the future will be like for my grandchildren. What kind of parents will they become? How am I influencing them now? And will I still be alive when they have children of their own? Time is precious and the season during which we influence future generations is short.  I was 20 years old the last time I traveled to Finland. I still remember sitting across the table from my grandfather sipping coffee together. He spoke a blessing over me that day and it touched me deeply. His softly spoken prayer formed a connection with me and gave me hope in ways I cannot explain. It just did. I never saw Jussi Ojala again but I never forgot him either. I still picture his crooked smile and...

Living From the Inside Out

I am 58 today.  In the last decade God’s gift to me has come by way of  regular house cleaning He is doing within, answering my prayer: “create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” A humbling joy- filled peace is steadily replacing the cracks and corners where pride, anxiety, and fear once reigned. He has been at it again in this week, dealing with an aspect of my nature that can sneak in and cloud my heart. I am a people pleaser.   As such I can worry too much what others think.  I am breaking free of this tendency but there are times when I still need a stiff scrub brush.  I am not talking about casting off an unselfish life that prioritizes the needs of others.  I am referring to a consuming need to be approved by others resulting in a pressure to perform, that can mandate my decisions. It’s been a unique week.  But then what should I expect after writing about “seeing opportunity in trouble” in the previous blog.  I had an unsettled sense that I should not go to work last Friday, knowing that my oldest daughter was struggling – really struggling- with “hyperemesis gravidarum”, the medical term for relentless vomiting.  I ran up to her home, fed Josiah and Kate breakfast and carted them off to their aunt Stevi’s house before heading to work however, leaving Erin hooked to an IV and medicine pump alone at home. As I headed to work, my emotions were torn.  I wanted to be home with my daughter – a...