Sunday, May 26, 2013

One Random Act: The Fruit of the Spirit is Kindness...

Ah, the crazy, lazy, hazy days of summer are nearly upon us.

What is it about the Florida heat that makes us forget our manners?

Here's a real-life scenario (it happened to me last week):

In the heat of the moment, when the air conditioner in your mini-van conks out and you're waiting for everyone in the library to leave after it closes because you're stuck behind a stop sign and the perspiration trickling down your back is the only respite in your red hot four-door sauna...
How can you possibly be kind or have kind thoughts for that matter? 

Conversely, no one seems to have even the slightest bit of compassion on a mommy with a van full of kids about to melt in their gas-guzzling army tank.

Car after car drives by and stops at the red light, not noticing, not caring.

It's a dog eat dog, hard knock life, and you've got to push your way to the front of the bread line before the last crumb is taken or the light burns bright red. 


And, that is when

The person, I least expected,

The guy who was hairy all over, except on his head,

With windows rolled down and a broken a/c himself,


He nods at me to go ahead of him.

A simple kindness, from a complete stranger.

He didn't have to do that.

But, he did.

What grace!

I was humbled.

It sets the pace for me to be willing to put others first, let kindness count, and delight in being a servant, which by the way, by the grace of God, in the power of the Holy Spirit, I can do.
Even in a sweltering minivan with no a/c.

"And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:8 HCSB)

Monday, May 20, 2013

What love is: The Fruit of the Spirit is Patience

Last night, while Billy spent time with his fellow pirate monks at Samson Society, I had the privilege of reading my children their bedtime stories.

I felt led to read from the book, The Garden Wall, by Jennie Bishop, and it was exactly what I needed to hear.  It was about a girl, Petra, who wanted to plant a garden "for her husband," and asked her friend, Seth, to build a wall around it to protect it.

The story was an allegory for marriage, according to 1 Corinthians 13.

1 Corinthians 13, defines what love does. "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things," (from verses 4-7).

By the end of the story, my eyes were welling with tears.

Because, let's face it, marriage is hard.

"Love is love only when it acts," Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Church in Southern California taught his congregation this past Sunday.

For husbands he exhorted,

"If you really love your wife, be patient with her. If you really love your wife, show kindness and tenderness to her. If you really love your wife, don't boast, just do it. If you really love your wife, you will not be harsh with her. If you really love your wife, you will always believe the best, not the worst about her. And finally, if you really love your wife, you will make it through the rough patches," he said. "Start doing all this without waiting for feelings – feelings may follow the actions."

The converse is true as well. We as wives need patience with our husbands as they seek the Lord and His strength to love us as Christ loves the church.

And, yes, there is submission there, which can be complex in a society where gender roles are blurred, but when both spouses submit to the Lord and His ways then they will submit to each other out of reverence for Him.

In my own marriage, there has been plenty of heartache and both us nearly gave up at one point, but God who is slow to anger and rich in love, gave us grace through it all, and kept bringing us back to Himself and back to each other.

Marriage is an excellent testing ground for patience. And that, my friends is where real fruit can grow!

"A person’s wisdom yields patience;
it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense." (Proverb's 19:11, NIV)

For a great song based on 1 Corinthians 13, click here.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Orlando Summer on the Cheap

“The marigold, that goes to bed with the sun
And with him rises weeping;
These are the flowers of middle summer.”
from The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare

The school year is nearly over and soon summer will be upon us.  Time to make plans to make it an unforgettable time of family fun and making memories!

Vacation Bible School (VBS):

Some of my fondest childhood memories from the summer months are of going to VBS.  Here is a list of available VBS programs for summer 2013 from the Z88.3 website. The list is not exhaustive, so call and ask your local church about their VBS program this year. 

Lakeshore Learning:

 Where learning and fun go together!  Great little shop for toys, educational games, and tools to help our little people do better in school.  There's even a free craft every Saturday. 
Click here for website.  You'll find coupons and the schedule for the Saturday Craft.

Home Depot:

Also has a Saturday craft.  Check your local Home Depot for schedule.


There's a Saturday craft here, too.  That'll fill up most of your Saturdays with free craft projects.

Orlando Public Library Summer Reading Program:

Lots of fun activities this year including Hula dancing (I'm signing up for that one!)  Check website for more details.
Winter Park Library Summer Reading Program: 

For those of you who know and love the Winter Park library.  It also has a summer reading program with lots of activities and prizes.  And, Mr. Richard, that fabulous one man band is coming!  Check website for schedule.
Regal movies. 

$1 kid's movies.  Need I say more?  For website and movie listing, click here.
Leu Gardens:

First Monday of the month free admission!  Click here for website.

The History Center: 

There is an awesome deal coming up at The History Center.  On Mondays, June 10-August 12, admission is free for up to four children (ages 12 and under) with one paid adult admission.  Check out the website here.

Parking in downtown is tricky, but if you don't mind the walk, the parking garage across from the library is free if you bring your stub to be validated at the History Center.
Cinemark  Theatres:

More $1 shows.  Here's the website!
Kids Bowl Free: 

Kids bowl free website here.  
AMF also has it's own free bowling.  To sign your kids up, click here
Boardwalk Bowl has it's own kids bowl free program here.

Orange County Parks and Recreation:

For younger kiddos or older ones, too, a splash park is a fun diversion for cooling off in the hot summer sun. Here's a listing for all orange county's public parks.

Florida's State Parks: 

For those families who like to camp, hike, canoe, or snorkel in Florida's natural springs here's a great website!

Nathaniel’s Hope:

For volunteering opportunities and fun for the whole family, this event is sure to shine.  Check out the website here.

Please comment if you know of any other fun, free (or inexpensive) ways to have a blast this summer!

Thankfully His,

~ Chanda

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Above and Beyond: The Fruit of the Spirit is Peace

If tired enough, Little Bit can just about sleep anywhere.

Lunch time runs awful close to naptime and sometimes you can see her nodding off into dreamland.

How can I have that kind of peace, without a care in the world?

Well, she is a baby and not really responsible for anything, but letting me know she's hungry or thirsty or wants to be picked up.

A mother, on the other hand, has nothing but responsibility.  We are drowning in it sometimes!

Especially when we are desperate to help our little ones to stay on the straight, narrow and ancient path, sticking to the old roads, so they'll find their way to the heart of God.

We want our little ones to come to know Jesus at a young age and follow Him all their days.

We what them to be protected from sickness, disease, and death.  We do everything we can to make our kids safe, but we know in the back of our minds that some unforeseeable event can take our child's life.

And, we also have to make sure they reach their fullest potential in school, in career, and in life.  And, that's our responsibility, too, isn't it?

Isn't it?

Okay, I'm drowning.

In responsiblility.

This does not set my heart at ease. 

Sometimes, I wish I could be a little child and be at peace and rest in the warm embrace of the love of God.

How do I get there?

Before I drown in worry?

The simple Sunday School answer would be to

pray and 

trust God.

That may be true,

But, it's not that simple.

I have to flesh it out.

My faith.

Do I really believe God or not?

Is He really loving?

Is He really good?

Prayers that ask these questions are not your quiet whispers, they are tearful desperate shouts for

{grace} and {peace}

of mind and heart.

Because, mommies, we sure do need it.

And when we settle down and breathe a deep sigh of relief, knowing He is in control and He is loving and good. We can finally rest.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Life is Full of Surprises: The Fruit of the Spirit is Joy

It's been awhile since I've been surprised.

Mainly it's because I live in an information age where we are

<<bombarded>> with news.

And, most of it--bad news.

It's as if I'm in a constant stance of bracing for impact.

But, is that any way to live?

Still, every once in awhile, I get a surprise attack of


But, this is not the kind of attack that I need to put up my defenses for.

Because it's straight from the Father's heart, I can let my guard down.

Like when it's spring and, everywhere you turn, there's new life.

When I leave the door of my heart ajar, waiting in eager expectation for God to show me His love, any moment, new life can spring forth, in the form of joy!

This particular day, I was walking along, in habitual ambivalence,
when I was attacked by none other than...


Fuzzy, Downy, yellow, and brown, with tiny beaks and little webbed feet.

They waddled out of the water and ran full throttle toward me, a mama duck with her kiddos, chasing after this Mommy and her kiddos on the sidewalk, just taking a stroll around the pond.

I couldn't help but smile.

But, more than that, my heart flooded with joy from this perfectly surprising gift from my Father in heaven.

It washed away my ambivalence, and I prayed a simple prayer of thanks to God.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:17, NIV)