Janice Boekhoff
 

Devotion

She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:39-42

When I first became a Christian the story of Mary and Martha confused me. Martha was in the kitchen cooking, being a servant to those in her household, trying to serve Jesus. And Jesus told her not to condemn Mary who did nothing but sit on the floor. So, not fair.

Jesus said Mary chose best. How could sitting lazily on the floor be the best?

When you’re doing it to worship Jesus.

I have always thought, it’s hard to be a Mary in a Martha world. We’ve been raised to take pride in all the things we do. And the Bible encourages us to do all things to the glory of God.

But it doesn’t tell us to do all things.

Does your life feel out of control with all the things you need to do? The solution is simple, although not easy to practice. Spend time with Jesus. It’s only in relationship with Him that we will learn what He wants us to do. Otherwise we end up running ourselves ragged doing things we don’t need to do.

There’s a time and place to sit around and worship Jesus. The place is wherever you are and the time is every day for at least a few minutes.

Dear Lord, thank you that all we need is Your presence. Help us to chose what is best to bring You glory and honor You with our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Vacation Science

During my blog break in July, my family and I took an amazing trip to the Colorado Springs and Denver areas, so I thought I’d share some cool stuff about it. Here is a somewhat sciency (I love to make up words) run down of our vacation:

  • It’s possible to fall on Pikes Peak without falling off of it (my chiropractor was happy for the extra income). I fell at the top while walking around on some slippery boulders. It might have had something to do with me holding hot chocolate while climbing, but it’s really cold up at 14,115 feet.
This is close to where I fell on Pikes Peak, although it looks scarier than it was.

This is close to where I fell on Pikes Peak, although it looks scarier than it really was.

  • Rafting during a thunderstorm is still not a good idea, but nobody told the Colorado rafting guides this. It was sunny when we got on the bus to go to the river and pouring down rain with lightning when we got off the bus. Even so, our guides put the boats in the river and said get in. We did and thankfully, no one got electrocuted, although my son tried to drown himself, but that’s another story. (Sorry, no rafting pictures because frankly, rafting and my camera are just not a good mix).

 

  • Royal Gorge Bridge survived a wild-fire a couple of years ago with only some singed planks. This bridge is a suspension bridge with wooden planks that don’t fit together completely perfect, so you end up with enough space between the boards to look down 1,200 feet to the Arkansas River. It’s enough to scare the pants off this Acrophobe (fear of heights).
This is Royal Gorge Bridge over the Arkansas River.

This is Royal Gorge Bridge over the Arkansas River.

 

This is a view from the bridge looking down 1,200 feet at the Arkansas River.

This is a view from the bridge looking down 1,200 feet at the Arkansas River. The colored things you see in the water are kayaks.

  • Garden of the Gods is full of amazing sandstone spires, some rising up 300 feet. It’s constantly changing because it’s constantly weathering. I was shocked by how many people were attempting to climb in areas that were clearly not stable. But maybe that’s just the cautious geologist in me.
Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

  • The decrease in humidity makes such a difference on a person’s comfort level. Really, 85 degrees with 85% humidity in Iowa is totally different than 85 degrees with 30% humidity in Colorado (and it makes a huge difference in my hair).
  • Last, but not least, the mountains affected me psychologically. I miss the mountains so much that I wonder if there’s a Pining-For-Mountains syndrome. And if I’m diagnosed with it, will my husband move us to Colorado? (seriously, if anybody knows if this is a real syndrome, please let me know).

Someday, I plan to live in Colorado so I can indulge my mountain obsession every day. Oh, and by the way, if you’d like to contribute to the Janice-moving-to-Colorado-fund, feel free to e-mail me to let me know your desired contribution (this is just a joke, people, please don’t send me money).

Bonus Picture:

The only double rainbow I've ever seen (Colorado Springs)

The only double rainbow I’ve ever seen (Colorado Springs)

Devotion

This is what the Lord says:

Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’

Jeremiah 6:16

In my first devotion back from vacation, I think it’s only fitting that I talk about rest. That is what I needed—a break. A break from the everyday routine of summer with three kids. A break from cleaning, cooking, and laundry. A break from the routine of my blog.

Our trip to Colorado definitely counted as a break. The beautiful mountains, the dry warmth of the air (as opposed to the humid Midwest), the abundant rainbows after the brief rain showers in the afternoon, all of it put me in a better mood than I’d been in for quite a while.

Then, six short days later, it was over and we started the 13 hour drive back. Halfway through Nebraska, my husband and I noticed an unusual thundercloud. Of course, we’re no stranger to thunderstorms (having lived in the Midwest most of our lives), but this one appeared to have an opaque curtain hung in front of it. Weird.

We couldn’t figure out what it was, but we had to keep going. Highway 80 was the only way back home. Twenty minutes later, we ran smack into the biggest hail storm I’d ever seen. Larger than golf ball (not quite to baseball) sized hail forced us to pull onto the side of the road. We watched in awe as the power of these ice balls rocked our van and caused our windshield to bow with the impacts (thankfully, it didn’t break).

I kept thinking this is exactly what life is like. We get a brief period of rest before the hail storm of troubles try to smash us to pieces. Sometimes the rest period seems too brief, but it’s God’s way of preparing us for the storm to come. And sometimes, we squander our times of rest, filling it with stuff, claiming we’re too busy to slow down.

But we will only find the rest our souls crave when we walk closely with God.

Don’t forsake your rest period today. It’s a God ordained time designed to keep you in prime condition to handle the storms in life. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, even if it’s just a harried prayer, even if it’s just reading a devotion, make time to rest with God today and every day.

Dear Lord, help us to focus on You today. You are not a God of rush and expediency. You are a purposeful, gracious God who desires for us to find rest in the depths of our souls. Help us to use our time to walk in Your ways, so we will give our stress to You and rest in Your caring arms. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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