jueves, 22 de enero de 2015

The Rock at your lowest

I participated in the 2015 MAI Devotional Writing Contest, and you can read my first entry here

The devotional below didn't make the cut because as I was writing it, I checked the rules again and realized that the stories had to include the writing life. I'm posting it here in case it can speak into your life.

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Photo: Christophe Libert
"Lead me to the rock that is higher than I," cried David (Psalm 61:2). As a warrior he knew boulders as places of refuge, a respite from the heat, a possible source of water, a vantage point to see far into the distance. We immediately sense the connection as Christians seeking God's protection, and so we still sing David's prayer today. But as sublime as the high rock is, I've also come to realize that I can't live without the low one.

During my first pregnancy, my husband and I were experts in theory. As eager new parents, we studied manuals, scoured parenting newsletters and blithely failed to assimilate the possibility of anything going wrong.

Our naiveté was dashed some months after delivery when we blinked at the black-and-white images of our daughter's unwhole brain, diagnosed with spastic hemiplegia. Doctors gave us the possible worst case scenario in response to our questions.

As in distressing moments in the past, I didn't feel angry or question God. I cried, but they were numb tears, shocked tears. One night, though, I felt like I was plunging into a fathomless well.

Over my sobbing I heard God's gentle "Where are you?"

I replied in cliché: "I've hit rock bottom."

He didn't argue with me. "At the bottom," he echoed, "you're on a rock. You can't go farther than the rock."

Even as I visualized myself face-planted in the lowest pit, I suddenly realized that the rock wasn't cold and slimy; it was warm, solid and larger than me, larger than life.

"You can't fall lower than the rock."

Scripture says that Jesus was the rock addressed in the Old Testament, a living stone (1 Peter 2.4-7). As precious as this stone was, it was rejected, and Jesus descended to the depths of our pain and misery when he died on the cross, bearing our sin. Peter quotes an unforgettable line from Isaiah about anyone trusting Christ: "he will never be put to shame."

That night as I embraced the living, scarred foundation stone of Jesus, I realized that I could never fall beyond his security. The one who had suffered beyond imagination and conquered death would not let me down.

Do we know that this Rock is holding us at our lowest?

Lord Jesus, you are my Rock in the heights when I'm in danger or in the depths when I'm crushed. Let this be engraved in my heart: you never disappoint.

miércoles, 7 de enero de 2015

Libros que leí en 2014 / Books I read in 2014

Emiliano Hernández
Me había propuesto leer 30 libros el año pasado; sabía que era una meta alta dada mi rutina diaria, pero no pensé que me quedaría tan corta. Eso sí, de los 17 completados, he leído unos excelentes, así que sigo contenta y lo considero un buen año de lectura.

Este año 2015, me he propuesto una meta más realista, leer cinco más que en 2014 -- es decir, llegar a 22.

Me encantan las listas de libros a final de año, así que si alguien pasa por aquí y ha publicado la suya, que deje el enlace en los comentarios. Gracias.

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I had the goal of reading 30 books last year; I knew it was somewhat unrealistic given my daily routine, but I didn't think I would fall this short. However, there were some truly excellent books among the 17, so I'm still happy and consider it a good year of reading.

This year I'm proposing a more realistic goal, reading five more books than last year, thus reaching a total of 22.

I love end-of-the-year reading lists (like these three I enjoyed checking out: Ross Lawhead, Austin Kleon [he read more than 70; I feel faint], The Nester), so if someone happens to stop by here and already published a similar reading list, please leave the link in the comments. Thanks.

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Perdón por la mezcla de idiomas. Comento el libro en base al idioma en que lo leí. / Please excuse the Spanglish. Comments are in the language in which I read the book.



  • Peregrina (Keila Ochoa Harris) Devastador en su sutil y acertado retrato del cristianismo cotidiano. Novela de época sobre una zona de México muy interesante, Real del Monte.

  • The Bible / la Biblia


  • Gift from the Sea (Anne Morrow Lindbergh) By Lindbergh's wife, famous in her own right and prolific. A book for when you are getting away from everything and reevaluating. The way the book looks and feels is the way it reads.

  • The Nesting Place (Myquillyn Smith) I didn't think I could cry with a book on interior decorating. She understands.

  • 3 teorías de todo (Ellis Potter) Presentación de las tres cosmovisiones principales de la vida utilizando el dibujo de un círculo, una mezcla de filosofía con testimonio personal, ya que describe su cambio de monje budista a cristiano. Lo volvería a leer.

  • Hearts of Fire (The Voice of Martyrs) A sobering account of the true stories of Christian women suffering for their faith in different parts of the world in the last decade.


  • The Book Thief (Markus Zusak) You close the book, and you're still aching. 

  • The Return of the Prodigal Son (Henry JM Nouwen) Nouwen's life was changed by meditating on Rembrandt's painting; he shares his insights. Surprisingly riveting.


  • Belles on Their Toes (Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr., and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey) I have no idea how this ended up in my home. I haven't read or seen the prequel, but it was enjoyable in a weird way. Made me go to sleep with a smile.

  • A Heart for Freedom (Chai Ling) Tiananmen Square student leader's account of her life and events surrounding the massacre, subsequent escape to the USA and finding the Christian faith.


Turn your phone off and read on! (unless you're reading on your phone :-)
Apaga el móvil y ¡lee! (a menos que estés leyendo en el móvil :-)