re·store   /rəˈstôr/
  • bring back (a previous right, practice, custom, or situation); reinstate
  • return to a former condition, place, or position
  • repair or renovate, so as to return something to its original condition

Today as I walked my 901st mile of the year, I spied this library card lying on the track. Now the walking track is in our backyard, in the park next to our apartment.

On the other side of our apartment complex, opposite the park, is the north branch of the Cumberland County public library in Fayetteville. So I picked up the library card, put it in my jacket pocket next to my keys, finished my lap around the track, left the park, and walked to the library. I waited in line and handed over the card, with the explanation that I had found it at the park.

“How kind of you to bring it in!” the woman at the circulation desk exclaimed.

“Library cards are serious business,” I assured her.  And then I returned to the park to finish my miles.

Hopefully the card was restored to its rightful owner this afternoon.

1 Thessalonians 3:6-13

Timothy has just now come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love. He has told us also that you always remember us kindly and long to see us—just as we long to see you. 7For this reason, brothers and sisters, during all our distress and persecution we have been encouraged about you through your faith. 8For we now live, if you continue to stand firm in the Lord. 9How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? 10Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.

11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. 13And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.


It is Saturday.

On Thursday, I finished my fall semester at UDTS. Yesterday, I cleaned, ran errands, got a haircut, celebrated my mother in-law’s birthday, and made a late night run to Michael’s with Jason.

Today, I slept all the way until 7am, something I haven’t done for weeks. And then when I got up, I poured the coffee and started making my pretzel, chocolate, M&M buttons to give away to neighbors, delivery people, co-workers, and some of Jason’s clients. And–here’s the confession–I turned on the cheesiest, happiest, most implausible Christmas movies I could find. And I’m currently on my third Christmas movie. And I expect to watch at least three more today as I finish writing cards, crocheting gifts, and wrapping things.

Tomorrow is church-a-palooza with all things 4th Sunday of Advent. And Monday, my J-Term professor gives us our pre-load for the class that starts January 2. So today? I’m doing whatever I want.

Oh, and hey, I found this:

Blog Post

mission trips 011My internal dialogue:

I haven’t blogged in a super long time….but look at all of those books I’ve read so far this year! I’m not blogging because I’m spending so much time reading! Well, actually, I’m not blogging because I just haven’t done it. I told myself that I would write more often this summer as a way to get myself ready for all of the writing that’s coming up for UDTS. I should have made myself write a blog entry every day in July. But I didn’t and it’s already July 9 so it’s too late to start that now. I mean, it is my blog and there really aren’t rules like that. If I wanted to start writing every day in July today, I could do that. I mean, who’s going to bust me? The WordPress police? It would be cool to share my blog address in my new seminary moodle online profile, but if anyone clicks on it, they’ll just figure out really fast that I blog every book I read. Um…that’s going to get pretty interesting once I start only reading books for school. But really, I should write a post on my site that tells people how we are doing or what we are doing or if we still have all of our limbs or something. All of our limbs? Really, Becky? I’m pretty sure someone losing an appendage would have made the blog…but wait! We literally lost a limb in the big wind/rain/monsoon storm on  Monday night. A huge tree limb in our back yard became firewood. Mercy, I’m tired. I love those mission trips, but those middle schoolers were exhausting. I think I’m going to lay down with my latest book club book instead…

Boy Scout Troop 280 Christmas Tree Sale

douglas_fir_2-145x180Here is the order form for our tree selection this year:

Troop 280 Trees 2013

Trees will be available for early selection and pick-up by appointment next week (Thanksgiving week) and the lot will be staffed starting Friday, November 29 on the following schedule:

Monday-Friday 5pm to 8pm

Saturday 9am to 3pm

Sunday 12pm to 4pm

Contact me (Becky Durham) or any BSA Troop 280 Scout Family to order your beautiful, Michigan grown Christmas tree today!

Knowing God’s Blessings

bsm2013 098I’m a thinker.

I spend a lot of time thinking about a lot of things. I’m not saying I’m smart, mind you–I’m just saying I think a lot.

I think a lot about the words I say and write. I want to only say and write things that are truthful. I often find myself fact checking a comment before I tweet it or post it on Facebook, or sitting and thinking deeply about something I’m about to say making sure that it is actually a sound statement.

Like when someone needs prayer. I struggle with saying, “I’ll pray for you.” Because, will I? I only want to say it if I actually intend to pray and will follow through. So sometimes when someone requests prayer, I’ll stop what I’m doing and pray. And then I’ll say, “I prayed for you” because that’s truthful while if I say “I will pray for you,” I have good intentions, but I may forget to pray.

Does the Holy Spirit intercede when I forget? Yes, thanks be to God!

Lately I’ve been saying “May you know God’s blessings” rather than “God bless you” or the slightly holier sounding “May God bless you.”

For me, “May you know God’s blessings” is just simply more theologically sound. I can wish and hope that God will bless you, but the truth is, God already has blessed you! The key is not in God bestowing blessings, the key is in you and I recognizing the blessings that God has already given. Good things are overflowing in your life and in my life. We’re truly blessed when we see them and acknowledge them as God-given.

May you know God’s richest blessings today!

Photo A Day for Lent: Find

I started the afternoon searching for a dress at the mall.

I did not find my dress. I did however, find this:


Here’s the thing. I don’t really like this dress. But it caught my eye and I was drawn to it.

Besides being the wrong size, it is also a terrible color for me (coral, although it looks a bit red in the picture), a terrible style for me and just a completely bad idea. (Apologies if you’ve already purchased it. I’m sure it looks awesome on you.)

I did not try this dress (or one of a similar style). I did, however, try a couple of dresses on that I loved on the rack…and then hated once I had them on in the fitting room.

Sometimes I search for something–to do, to join, to be. I think I’ve found it. It looks just perfect. But then…it doesn’t fit. Wrong size, wrong style, etc.

The key is to develop the wisdom to know that I need to put it back on the rack and walk away.

Some Confessions

'I'm so ashamed of this new manicure!' photo (c) 2006, Ajay - license:

  • Every night, someone (almost always Jason) sets up our coffee pot to brew at 6 a.m. the next morning. I often pass the coffee pot, locked and loaded and give serious consideration to hitting the “brew” button so that the morning’s coffee will brew right now and I can drink coffee before I go to bed. I resist the urge and try to look forward to tomorrow.
  • Caffeine rarely affects my ability to sleep anymore. Eating chocolate before bed will mess up my sleep more than drinking coffee before bed.
  • When I drive in my car by myself, I’m usually singing loudly to the radio or one of my playlists. Often, the playlist contains music from Glee.
  • When books, blog posts or articles get boring, I put the skills I learned in elementary school to use and start “skimming.” It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just what I now am sure is adult ADD.
  • I often say that my degree is in Biblical Studies (or I say “Religion with a concentration in Biblical Studies”). This is technically not true because at graduation, I still lacked two Greek classes for this degree. My degree is a Bachelor of the Arts in Religion. However, I took those two Greek classes the next year for no official credit and feel that “Biblical Studies” is a better description of my education so I claim it.
  • People often tell me I’m “so organized.” I am mentally organized and good with a three-ringed binder, but I’m not organized in my physical spaces. My office and my side of the bedroom and my shelves and drawers in the bathroom are a mess.
  • I own an iron. I keep it in the craft room at church and use it to iron the kids’ bead projects. If my clothes are wrinkly, I throw them in the dryer or hang them outside of the hot shower and hope for the best.
  • I have “Desperate Housewives” at the top of my Netflix Queue and am currently in the middle of season 2. I swore I’d never watch it, but finally after the urging of several loved ones, gave in and watched the first episode a couple of weeks ago. I was hooked immediately.
Got a confession? Let’s hear it!

Happy Friday, friends!