Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Afraid? Exhausted? Grumpy? Here's Hope!

Hi Friends,

Well, another crazy week here.  My kidney stones seem to have passed (no pain right now) but the X-rays were inconclusive and the doc says he's "very concerned" about me, so I'm off to get a CT scan on Tuesday, and will get the results the following Monday.  Doc wants to be sure there are no stones blocking anything and damaging my kidneys and the X-rays aren't precise enough to know that.  That with Bryan's back getting hurt, meetings every single night this week, and the regular crazy has made me, well, just a little grumpy. ;-/

Then, I happened upon this poem I wrote long ago and in it I found hope today.  I found a moment to pause, to hear Him, to remember the One who loves me and calls me to His side, calls me to be His bride.

I needed that moment.

So, if you're struggling with fear, with exhaustion, with disappointment, doubt, or just got the grumpies because life's a little too much right now, I hope you'll take a moment too, take a deep breath, read, and soak for a time in God's call to you … his beckoning, his whisper, his invitation … to be free in Him.

My King calls out to me,
His voice filled with light,
With joy undimmed by others' sin,
Shining through my night.
My burdens fall at my feet
As I follow Him
Who makes my heart beat fast and firm,
All else grows far and dim.
Freed from all but Him I love,
Freed from fears so grim,
Free to laugh and dance and play,
Free to be free in Him.
His eyes, warm and gentle,
Draw me to His side.
"Come, live and love with me.

Come, be my bride!"

Thursday, August 21, 2014

What to Do When Life Goes CRAZY

Hi Friends,

What a week here!  We started with 9 hours at the barn with the equine dentist, followed by a trip up to the chinchilla rescue to adopt 3 chinchillas, followed by a bout of kidney stones (for me - ugh, again), all day at the doctor, various sores and sicknesses, first day of Kindergarten for Jayden and first day of school for 3 of the others, first full week of high school for Bethany, and I flooded the bathroom this morning in a fluke accident, and … oh there's so much more!

All that to say … we need your prayers!

Because sometimes life just gets a little crazy.  Sometimes things don't go as planned.  Sometimes you turn on the shower, get a bloody nose, run to deal with that, the nozzle turns, and the whole bathroom floods and there are new waterspots on the ceiling in the basement.  Sometimes you're mopping up a mess instead of having a refreshing shower.

And sometimes you're in such pain you don't know up from down … and then it passes.  Sometimes it's a new day, with new challenges, and new opportunities.  Sometimes you don't know whether you should laugh or cry or just shake your head.

Because often life is nothing like you expect.  And that's when God is working.  That's when He's doing something deep.

So, I watch for these times … times like this week when everything is, well, just weird.  When I don't understand, wasn't prepared, and life threw me a curveball (actually, several of them).

Maybe you've had these times too.  Maybe there are times when things seem to "pile on" and every time you turn there's some new challenge, something else that seems to be going wrong, something you didn't want and didn't expect and don't have a contingency plan for.

Don't despair.  God has your back.  He has not forgotten you, has not abandoned you, has not looked away.  He is there.  He is with you.  And He is working.  Hang in there, friends!

And pray … for me, for each other, for God to be doing a deep work in us all … especially in weeks like this one.  Have hope, keep on, and trust Him … always, especially now.

Finally, a poem to ponder:

May I live a living life,
Not a living death,
A life that sees beyond today,
Beyond the clouds of trouble,
Past the darkness of doubt,
A life that knows the reality
Of promises yet to come true,
Of hope on new horizons,
Of prayer.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wars, Persecution, Suicide … What Do We Do With This Darkness?

Hi Friends,

What a disturbing time it is in the world.  Just this week, wars and rumors of wars.  Children beheaded and cut in two (I can barely imagine it).  Families chased from their homes, running for their lives because they won't renounce Jesus.  Nursing moms on the run, not even able to take diapers for their babies.  Robin Williams, who brought laughter to so many, takes his own life … and the laughter is silenced.

What kind of world do we live in?  I shake my head and feel my heart break.

We live in a broken world.  A world groaning for the return of its Savior.  A world that inflicts pain and hurt and hopelessness.  A world that is not what it was intended to be.

And yet . . .

It is a world that God loves, that He died to redeem, that He commissioned us to go into and make disciples, tell the good news of Him, bring hope.

But so often, I don't know how.  I find that I'm discouraged, that I'm the one fighting despair, that the darkness around me seems impenetrable.  

Sometimes I can't see how to move forward.  I cannot see at all.  So what do I do?  What can I do in this broken world, with my broken heart, with an aching soul?  

What do I do with this darkness … both within and without?  Lord, where do I go from here?

          Where Do I Go From Here?
Where do I go from here?
I often pray
For the path seems dark
And I cannot see.
Before me is fog and confusion.
Where do I go from here?
But then I take a step,
And that one step is illuminated.
Then another.
More light.
And another.
Until the path is lit,
One step at a time.

And He whispers to me, "When you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21).  Walk. Just walk.  One step at a time, forward.  Wrestling with the impenetrable. A little light at a time.  Make a difference.  Find hope.  Beat back the darkness.  Conquer despair … just one little bit at a time, one step, one inch, one foot … it is enough.
Will you take one single step today to bring light and hope?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Five Unusual Lessons Learned from TEC

Hi Friends,

I spent last weekend with a bunch of amazing teens learning about Jesus and His love at TEC (Teens Encounter Christ).  It was a great time (though I still haven’t caught up on my sleep!). 

Meanwhile, I’ve been pondering a few less-than-obvious things I learned during the fun-crazy-deep-moving-exhausting-energizing-incredible weekend.  Here they are:

1)  There is great value in Kickin’ with Christ.  (Which was not only the name of our soccer-themed table, but also our philosophy.)  All things – recreation, fun, laughter, enjoyment, spending time with friends – should be done with Christ so they’ll be the best times they can be! 

2)  Don’t eat bad eggs.  When you smell something funny, and then you’re told not to indulge – listen and  don’t eat those eggs.  This also works well for sin.  When something doesn’t smell right and God says “No!” listen up.  The eggs are bad.  Don’t even take a bite!  (It ‘s a shame Adam and Eve didn’t follow this philosophy.)

3)  Enjoy everything – ESPECIALLY the unexpected and when things are opposite of what you planned … that’s when God is doing deep and wonderful things! 

4)  God can even use a nudist camp skit to bring joy… find His joy even the most unlikely places!  And laugh.

5)  Let a teen teach you to dance (thank you, Hannah).  Sometimes even those of us who seem confident need a friendly hand to bring them into the fun and show them how to dance … this is true for actual dancing and also in the dance of life with God!

Thanks to everyone who made it a wonderful weekend full of God-moments, laughter, and much joy!