Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Crossing a Dangerous Road? Take His Hand!

Hi Friends,

A new interview on my infertility journey was posted today. For some encouragement, check it out here:

Also, our friend, Doug Huckins, will be having quadruple bypass open heart surgery this coming

Tuesday, so please be praying for him and his family!  His upcoming surgery reminded me once again of the dangers of walking in this world and how we need to be holding the hand of the Father through it all.  So, along those lines, here is a poem to ponder:


"Take my hand, child,"
The father says, his hand extended,
As they step from the curb
To face the dangers of the untamed street.
"Take my hand," he says,
Because a child must not walk alone.
So the father takes hold of the child's hand,
And the child knows he is loved.

"Take my hand, child,"
The Father says, His hand extended,
As I step from the curb of my safe life
To face the dangers of my untamed world.
"Take my hand," He says,
Because a child of God must not walk alone.
So the Father takes hold of my hand,

And I know I am loved.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Need Refreshment? Waters of Grace are Available!

Hi Friends!

Well, we're three whole days into our summer routine, and the kids are having a great time and I'm … hanging in there and making adjustments to said summer routine! :-)  Here's what we're doing:

--Getting up, getting ready, taking care of critters
--Reading together one chapter of John
--Reading together one chapter of Hinds Feet on High Places (my favorite!)
--Doing a fun God-centered activity
--Practicing instruments
--Doing Projects (my next project for them is getting them to clean up the big ol' mess upstairs!)
--Outdoor time in the afternoon (including horses, volleyball, biking, running around the lawn, swimming, hiking, whatever)

Today, for our fun God-centered activity, we played charades, of something that reminds of us God.  Some did the wind, or a bird, or a growing plant.  I did water.  I did it because you can't live very long without water.  It brings life and growth and hope.  And when you get it, it doesn't just keep you alive, it's also refreshing, cleansing, cooling, and purifying.

Water changes everything.  God, His presence, changes everything.  Where it was once dry and hopeless, there is life, refreshment and hope.  Where I was once parched and filthy, I can be filled with life and clean.  Ah, I want to drink deeply of the living water that is my Jesus!

My Secret Heart
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; 
all your waves and breakers have swept over me.  
Psalm 42:7 NIV
Deep within my secret heart
Where vision finds its life,
Deeper yet than all my doubts,
Where dreams give birth to hope renewed,
Where the searing edge of fear is quenched,
Beyond the shouts of enemies,
To the place where life emerges free, unhindered,
Bubbling from wellsprings deeper still,
Roaring from waterfalls of Heaven,
Where no one else may ever see,
There, and only there, is truly me,
Kneeling in the throne room of my King,

His waves and breakers cleansing me.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Thriving in Hardship - A Lesson from Carnival Fish

Hi Friends,

So the kids went to their school's carnival on Sunday and sure enough, Jayna came home with a bag full of those little carnival goldfish that you win by throwing a ping pong ball in the little fish bowl.  Oh joy.

But that got me thinking about the first time we brought home carnival fish … and I expected them to die.  I learned something then that I needed to remember today.  Maybe you do too.

Back then, it happened like this:

They were supposed to die.  I had planned on it, counted on it, prepared my five-year-old daughter for the inevitable.  From the moment Bethany won those two tiny goldfish at the carnival, I fully expected to be flushing them away a few days later. 
            I lifted the clear plastic bag and stared at the fish.  One bumped against the side. 
Bethany danced around me.  “Yay, yay, yay, one for me and one for Joelle!”  She tugged on my pantleg.  “Do we have a bowl for them?  Do we have food?  What are we going to name them?  Will they get bigger?  Are they girls?  I’m going name one Dorothy.”  She grinned and clapped her hands.
I lowered the bag. The water sloshed inside it causing the fish to dip and spin.  I brushed my hand over Bethany’s hair.  “We have everything we need, Sweetie, but you know fish like this don’t live that long.”
“How come?”
            “I don’t know.  They just don’t.”  I’d gotten fish like this many times before, some as carnival prizes, some with “three free goldfish” coupons from our local pet store.  They never lived past the first week.
Bethany sighed.  “Well, all right.  But can we keep them anyway?”
“Of course.”  I put my arm around her and smiled.
When we got home that evening, I carefully put the fish into a bowl of treated water and crumbed some fish food flakes on top.
Bethany pressed her nose against the outside of the bowl and watched with big eyes.  “Maybe they won’t die right away.”
I patted her arm.  “Bedtime now.  Go get ready.” Then, I glanced back at the fish as Bethany scampered upstairs.  I shook my head.  They’ll probably be belly-up by morning. 
But they weren’t.
The next morning they were swimming around their bowl and glowing with health. 
“Look, Mom, they’re still alive!”
Give them a few days.  I stifled the words and turned away.
A few days came and went.  The fish still lived.  I gave them until the weekend.  They were still alive on Monday.  I cleaned the bowl, treated new water, and waited.
Another week, another bowl cleaning, another and another.  And still the fish lived.
One day I even dropped one of them into the sink as I was cleaning the bowl.  I grabbed it up and threw it back into the water.  It’ll die for sure now.  But it didn’t.  In fact, it’s been almost a year, and those tiny fish aren’t so tiny anymore (Note: those fish lived for YEARS … one even for over 5 years and grew huge!).
Recently, I looked at them and wondered aloud, “Why have these fish lived when all my previous goldfish died so quickly?”  After all, I treated their water too, and fed them the same food, and cleaned the bowl just the same as with these fish.
My husband, Bryan, answered from the other room, “It’s the water out here.  It’s got to be.”
“Water?  What do you mean?”
“All those other fish we had at our old house.  Now we’re on well water.  We had it tested.  Remember?  It’s pure, a lot purer anyway than that city water we used to get.”
The water - what they were surrounded in, what they lived in and breathed every day.  Of course.
The next week, I was reading Philippians when I came to chapter four, verse eight (NIV).  It said, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-- think about such things.”  And as I thought about the idea of purity and excellence, I remembered Bethany’s not-so-little fish.  They were weak, and small, and destined to die quickly.  But they lived because of the purity of the water, even after the hardship of dropping one in the sink. 
People, maybe, aren’t much different.  How well we survive, how well we thrive, may have everything to do with what we let our thoughts soak in, what we live and breathe every day.  Do I let my mind swim around in polluted water? Or do I clean the bowl and put in pure water as often as I can? 

After all, even the weak survive when the water’s pure. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Hi Friends,

I find myself longing for moments of silence, of quiet solitude, this past week.  My soul is hungry for it … that time with God beyond the rush, the to-do's, the needs of everyone and everything around me.  My soul is hungry.  Starving even.

But the girls need to be picked up from school in 15 minutes.  They need help with their homework.  Jayden needs to be picked up too.  And the horses cared for (Jewel is still sorta gimpy).  Papers need to be filled out, the house picked up (sometimes it feels like I mean that literally!), family fed, graduations attended, mail sorted … and here I am, longing for silence, for God, for a breath amidst it all.

Ruth Haley Barton says, "The process of establishing a way of life that is rich and responsive to the needs of body and soul is led by leaders who are willing to face their own human situation, to …  work form what's real rather than what they wish was real. "  She also says, "It is not up in the heavens or across the ocean.  It is right here - in this body, in this soul, in this set of circumstances.  This is where you will discover the will of God."  And to discover it, we need those moments of silence, of solitude, of being quiet before God.  That is the rhythm I'm longing for today.  Are you longing too?

What if we just did it?  What if we found our silent time however we could find it?  What if we grabbed it like the precious gem, the precious gift that it is.  What if we did not hesitate, delay, press on … what if NOW was the moment?

I dare you.  I dare me …

Silently, so silently,
In the silence of night,
I hear the call to silence
As busyness takes flight.
Listen to the silent voice
That beckons in my soul,
Calling me to quietness

So God can make me whole.