From Becca, 16 … Last week I watched a webinar about beauty, so I thought I would share some significant points from that. God invented physical beauty. He even invented beautification. He told Adam to tend the already beautiful garden and make it even better. Some of the purposes of beauty are for understanding God’s nature and proclaiming God’s glory. Beauty can be corrupted and used for all the wrong purposes, but that doesn’t mean that beauty is bad. It just means we are bad. In order to be good stewards of the bodies God has given us, we must care for them and dress them in a way that glorifies him.
From Seth, 19 … I am quite busy right now studying and completing assignments. It feels a bit overwhelming at times. I was thinking the other day about how understanding is a gift from the Lord. We are to work hard and be good stewards, but in the end God is the one who gives insight and skill. Realizing that God is the giver can help me to rejoice in other people’s academic successes, because the point is not me and what I do, but what God does, maybe through me, or maybe through someone else. In a similar vein, academic success must not be my highest aim. What is a good grade? A broken and sludge-filled water cistern compared to God, who is the fountain of living waters (Jer. 2).
From Anna, 22 … Last week I had the opportunity to spend quite a bit of time in the home of a family who had just had a baby and needed help with the care of their other children. It was the most babysitting I’ve done in one stretch, so the dynamics were a little different than what I’ve experienced before. It went well, though, and I’m glad that I have the flexibility to take opportunities like this, both as a ministry opportunity and as a great learning experience!
From John, Megan, and James … (by Megan) September has come and gone, and it's amazing the year is close to being over!
This past month I (Megan) got my wisdom teeth pulled. All four. Thankfully my experience was not a bad one! The teeth were fully erupted and the bottom ones were just a partial soft tissue impaction. The oral surgeon said I almost had enough space for them. I did local anesthesia instead of going under because I'm still nursing James. I was down and taking it really easy for the first two days (Friday and Saturday) and then, on the Sunday after my teeth were pulled, I was almost back to my old self. I even helped John trim the tree in our backyard that afternoon! Healing has been good, and there were no complications.
James is getting bigger every day it seems. He is now almost 6 1/2 months old. He has two teeth on the bottom, is rolling all over the place, and is trying to figure out how he can move forward to get something he wants. He's migrated here and there when we aren't paying that much mind to him, but when we are right there and he knows we could get it for him, he plays helpless!
It'll be fun to see how he does next weekend during the fall campout. He really enjoys the outdoors!
John's work is going very well. The Lord continues to bring more work his way. The kitchen job is almost completed - there are just a few loose ends to tie up and then it's done!
John is a wonderful husband, father, provider, and hard worker for our family!
From Ray, Katie, Peter, Samuel, and Andrew … (by Katie) We just bought a new house! It is much bigger than our old house, and on an acre of land. It is just down the street from my parents, so we know the neighbors are nice! It's been quite an adventure going through the purchase process. To make a long story short, it became increasingly clear that the Lord really wanted us to have this house, and nothing was going to get in the way. We are very thankful, relieved, and excited.
From Judith … Last month’s work for me was primarily tasks related to our annual international study and celebration (see Laura’s entry), so my work in the apartment was less. I did, though, make a bit of headway with the thinning/sorting and I gutted the bathroom (all but the tub) down to the studs. Surprisingly, after a very deep cleaning, the tub looks like a keeper, though we’re likely to resurface it eventually. With the walls opened up now, Gerald has been able to replace a considerable amount of the old steel water-supply pipes with plastic pipes. This work has also involved the two bathrooms directly above the apartment bathroom.
We’re thrilled that the siding phase of the exterior work is virtually done! We just have one small wall on the front porch to do. Since Seth is buried in school work, Anna chimed in as the third person on the team for the west wall. For nearly three full days, Gerald cut the boards while John and Anna remained at the wall installing each board. Next we will caulk, power wash, paint, and put up shutters.
From Gerald … One day this past month I was reflecting on my mortality. I don’t remember if I was tired at the end of a day of working on the house, or if I was just being contemplative. At any rate, I am beginning to see signs of my aging. I don’t have the stamina I once had, my hair is thinner, I walk more slowly, and I really don’t like to drive at night. Don’t take this wrong ... I feel fine and I do not have any sense of impending doom. But we all suffer from a condition that ends in death. Most of us just don’t know when it will happen.
I hope to see all of my children get married, as the Lord provides, but there is a good chance that I will not live to meet all of my grandchildren and a great certainty that I will not meet all of my great-grandchildren. My life in the flesh will end as I go to be with my Lord and my active participation in the lives of those I love will end. These thoughts have increased my determination to remain actively involved in the lives of others and to use my time wisely.
With love from the Pedersen clan