Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Need Joy? Try this..

Hi Friends,

We've had a couple hot days here this week, so one evening Jayden got on his swimsuit and spent over an hour running through the sprinklers. Of course his diabetes equipment got all wet (and his Dex was wiggy) and later that night his blood sugar went low from all the fun … but it WAS fun. He had a great time.

And the running-through-the-sprinklers laughter and joy reminded me of a story from a couple summers ago, a story I needed to hear again.

I want to be the type of person who runs through the sprinklers of God's grace, a person who laughs (even when my stuff is getting wet and my health goes low) and knows how to soak up God's love and joy. I want to be the kid He made me to be.

Maybe you want that too.

If so, here's the story that's helping me this week:

Running through the Sprinklers of Grace
I sat back in my lawn chair, closed my eyes, and listened to the steady chit-chit-chit of the sprinklers.  Ice melted in the glass beside me.  The sun warmed my face.  Tension oozed from my shoulders, and I sighed.  All was peaceful, calm, and ...
Then came a shriek.
A scream.
A shout.
A giggle.
A laugh.
A squeal of delight.  
I opened my eyes.  There on the lawn before me twirled six little swimsuit-clad bodies, their arms waving, their cheeks sprinkled with water.  
They stopped.  Chit-chit-chit went the sprinkler.  They positioned themselves. Three more chits, then they ran through the falling drops with their chins raised and their voices once more loud with joy. Sunlight glinted off the water in a rainbow of color.  Again they paused, again they ran, again they laughed and danced.
On the first pass, the water made a few dark spots on their suits and hair.  By the fifth run, they were completely soaked.
“Come on, Mom, join us.  It’s fun!”  Joelle raced on tiptoe through the falling drops, until her long hair streamed with water.
I watched her and smiled.  “I’m not wearing my swimsuit.  I’m fine where I am.  You guys play.”  I motioned with my hand and settled deeper into my chair.
The baby raised her hands and toddled through the spray of water.  The older ones followed, each laughing and squealing and shouting with joy.
Wetter and wetter they got.
Happier and happier they became.
Until I realized that I had chosen poorly.  Here I sat, comfortably on my chair, outside of the spray of fun and joy.  I sat.  They ran.  I sighed.  They laughed.
When did I get so dull and boring?  
I stood up and put my hands on my hips.  Was I like this with God, too?  Did I sit on the sidelines, in my comfortable chair, while God was sprinkling his grace and love with abandon just a few feet away?  Was I too comfortable, too tired, or even too lazy to run through the sprinklers of his grace until I was soaked through and through?
If so, I wanted to change.  If God’s grace was raining down, I wanted to be a part of it.  And not just a few dribbles, I wanted to be soaked through and through.  
Joelle’s voice rang out again.  “Come on, Mom, get on your suit!”
I grinned and turned toward the house.  “I’ll be right there.”  Moments later, I was dressed in my physical swimsuit, but what about my spiritual one?  What kind of “suit” would prepare me for running through the sprinklers of God’s grace?
As I thought about the question, Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV) came to mind: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”  I pondered the last part of the verse until I began to glimpse the truth.  God had called me to be overflowing with thankfulness.  That was the “suit” I needed.  When thankfulness covers me, clothes me, I’m ready to receive the droplets of his grace, the pouring out of his love.  A thankful spirit is the suit that’s made especially for running through the water with joy.  
I jogged down the front steps and out onto the lawn.  Then, I raised my face, listened to the steady chit-chit-chit, and ran.  I squealed, I giggled, I laughed.  My kids laughed with me.  And that’s when I knew that I didn’t want to miss the fun anymore, not on the front lawn and not in life with God.  I needed to keep on my suit of thankfulness and see where God was sprinkling his grace -- in church, in books, in serving others, in reading my Bible, in quiet walks, in times with good friends -- so I could put myself in a position for the water to fall on me.  
       If I do that, then I can run with abandon.  I can shriek and scream, laugh and squeal. I can dance through the sprinklers of his grace again and again until I’m soaked with the wonder of his love.  That’s the way I want to live, everyday!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Waiting Place

Hi Friends,

I wanted to share a little except from my book, WAITING FOR WONDER, that's coming out in November (hopefully). So, for anyone who's waiting…

EXCERPT (note: the test I talk about ended up being negative - whew)

Waiting. I’ve never been a fan. But it seems I have a PhD in the art. Waiting for the results of infertility treatments, waiting for an answer for a job, waiting for a change in a relationship, waiting for a change in life.
            And recently, waiting for test results that could mean cancer, or could mean nothing. Once again, I was in the waiting place. I was stuck in Haran. And while there, I wrote this:
            I find myself here again, in this waiting place. The place where I know God is sovereign. I know He holds my life in His hands. I know He is there. I know He cares. I know the very hairs on my head are numbered...as are my days.
            And yet there is a knot in my stomach and my eyes flicker to the phone.        Again. And again. It does not ring. Not yet. Of course not yet.
            But I watch anyway. I swallow. And remind myself of all the things I already know.
            -Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life? (Mt 6:27/Lk 12:25)
         -Therefore stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. (Mt 6:34)
            -Therefore, I say to you, don’t worry about your life... (Lk 12:22)
            -Don’t be anxious about anything... (Phil 4:6)
            And my glance skitters to the phone again.
            Today, I had my yearly mammogram and screening. Today, they found something on my right side. Today could be the first day of a very painful journey.
            But I don’t know yet. I am stuck here, in-between.
            It’s the not knowing that twists like a dagger through my soul. It’s the not being able to move forward. Not being able to move back. Trust is harder in the waiting place.
            So I watch the phone, even though I know the radiologist probably hasn’t even looked at the scans. Even though I know it is too soon. Even though, if she calls, it will only be to bring me in for more tests.
            I hate waiting.
            But it’s not a choice.
            It’s something that’s thrust upon you.
            And still I wait... I drown in the waiting.
            God, you were with me in the past. You will be with me no matter the future.

            Are you here, too, in the waiting place?
And I discovered, YES, God is in the waiting! I hope this excerpt encourages you as it encouraged me today.