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Key-ping It All Together

Where are my keys???  The answer is usually an eye roll from one of the kids, because they know that the solution to this everyday problem is to put the keys in the key drawer when I walk in the house.  But I don’t.  I drop them in my purse, or whatever bag I’m toting around with me, or set them on a table close to my sunglasses, or put them in the pocket of my jacket.  Then when it’s time to leave, it’s a mad dash to check all of those places and hope I come up with them.

Short of actually putting them the same place every time I come into the house, there is something I’ve done to make life easier.  I’ve attached them to a key fob.  So instead of looking for a little black car clicker attached to an even smaller house key, I can look for something in a bright pattern.  Here’s an example of what my bag often looks like at the end of a busy day:

Can you spot the key fob?


How does this relate to living the Christian life?  I think the key fob is a lot like Scripture that we can “hide in our hearts” (Psalm 119:11).  Lots of times we don’t know why things are happening or what is going on.  We might feel like those little keys, lost in the clutter of life and not sure how we’ll ever get out.  But that key fob, that’s our lifeline to the One who always knows where to find us!  Adorn yourself with the Word of God!

When we make key fobs, we call them “Essential Keepers”.  How true.  We think that it’s the key fob that keeps your essential keys together and find-able.  And it’s the Scriptures that are our essentials for life; they are our guide.  And while God surely does not need us to do anything in order to be found by Him, as we adorn ourselves with Scripture, we will feel less like the tiny keys lost in the bag of the clutter of life.

Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.  Psalm 119:105

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13


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Was it a perseverance kind of day for you?  I found myself just having to “muscle through” some of the usual routine, with no one on the sidelines to cheer!  But then perhaps that is just the race marked out for me in this season.  Thankful that today’s hurdles were smallish, and praying that tomorrow’s path is clearly marked.

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame,

and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2

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In the Silence

“I Will Come to You in the Silence” is a song I’ve loved (listen by clicking HERE)

After, quite frankly, a rather “silent” summer of Divine Gifts sales, this week Amy and I have had the fabulous privilege of restocking our space at the newly opened Sayre’s Marketplace. (See their facebook page HERE)

Bonus points for identifying our photo-bomber.

When we heard September had gone well, we came to the sudden realization that we would need much more inventory to fill both that space and this website.  Yikes!  What had been silence for so long soon became a rapid fury of emails.  Our Inboxes chimed frantically as we discussed choices and availability and who would do what, all in great excitement and not a little confusion as multiple emails piled up, many with the subject line, “Last one, I promise!”  It was a new noise for us after the summer of silence.

All of this to say:

  1. We will be updating our website inventory soon, but for now you’ll see entire categories missing or descriptions identifying nonexistent products.  In the meantime, you can shop Sayre’s in Smithville or come see us at the Old Schoolhouse on Tuesday, October 24th or at Jingle and Mingle on Saturday, November 4th in Medina.
  2. As exciting as this “noise” of inventory planning has been, it’s not the email chatter that I really appreciate about our friendship but those times when we can sit down, put away our other distractions, and really talk.  And that same idea is true in our relationship with God, as well.
This event is so fun!

We can have a great time caught up in the “noise” of doing good works, reading great Christian books, and being involved in lots of worthwhile activities.  But we need to make space for real conversation with God, apart from distraction.  Silence.  That’s where we grow in our relationship, and while it’s true you can pray anywhere and any time you want, it’s in the silence you’ll find the real joy you are looking for.

I will come to you in the silence
I will lift you from all your fear
You will hear My voice
I claim you as My choice
Be still, and know I am here

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“Happy Birthday” we say.  A quick search showed me that our Happy Birthday song is the most popular song sung in the United States and crazily it has a bit of a law suit in its background.  The two sisters who composed the tune in the late 1800s to go along with the words “Good Morning to You, Good Morning to You, Good Morning dear Teacher, Good Morning to You” also claim to have changed the words at a birthday party and thus birthed this catchy and familiar favorite.  But since they didn’t copyright those words, eventually there was a dispute.

I am thinking about the birthday of my Divine Gifts partner – TODAY!! – and how birthdays give us pause to think about how much others mean to us, how our life has changed with them in it, and often about our own birthdays and how we’ve changed through the years.  Obviously the day we were born was a new beginning for us, and lots of milestone birthdays feel like new beginnings again:  16 means a driver’s license, 18 means adult, 21 evidently means more responsible adult, and then we start with the decade birthdays at 30, 40, 50 and beyond.  Maybe you celebrate your “golden birthday” when your age happens to match the date you were born (like turning 15 on the 15th).  Or maybe on your birthday you set new goals for the year.

Amy and I have been focusing on our baby gifts since we created this website two years ago, another kind of celebration of new beginnings.  We didn’t know way back in 2009 that the verse we chose for our business would be so fitting.  Whether it’s the first baby or the 11th in the family, this new birth will change the lives of all of those around.  “Thanks be to God for this indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).   Indeed.  Birthdays, new beginnings, and even the start of each new day with it’s clean slate:  Thanks be to God for this indescribable gift!

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Pruning Season

Six-foot ladder shows the size, and you can’t see the deck at all.

Grandma Lehman says you can prune your non-flowering shrubs in any month that has an “r” in its name.  (Pause, pause while you think that one through!)

Here we are in September and these bushes are out of control.  If I’m honest, they’ve needed cut back for a couple of years now but since they aren’t in the front of the house they also aren’t in the front of my mind!  They block the view from the deck, but they aren’t really causing any other problems.  In fact, the only time I really think about them is here in the fall, when they turn this beautiful red (and how about this throwback pic?), and I wouldn’t consider cutting that off!

But the truth is that they need trimmed if I am ever going to see off my deck again, and for their own good so that new growth occurs.  And we know that this is similar to parts of our lives that are blocking our growth.  They might not be causing huge problems and they might now always be on our minds, but they need to go in order to make room for things or habits or thoughts that are better.  There’s probably never a time that seems good for pruning our lives because it usually means letting go of something we’ve kind of secretly enjoyed.  Resentment.  Doing a job that we get lots of pats on the back for.  Unhealthy or sinful habits.

For the bushes, pruning means that this fall I probably won’t get to see much of that beautiful red.  But I am already excited to see what they look like when the green leaves appear next spring.  And I’m certain that a year from now the red will be better than ever!

Bushes looking like we feel when we’ve gone thru a little life pruning!

Our products labeled “Vine and Branches” remind us of these verses from John 15:   I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  What would some pruning in your life look like?  Is there something God’s calling you to that you aren’t doing because you’ve let other things get in the way?