Submission: Like Riding a Bike

By: Amy Cantilina 

ID-100139137 (1)One Columbus Day weekend a few years ago, my husband and I decided to go for a long bike ride together.  The kids were all in school, and he was home for the federal holiday.  It was a beautiful day, and we were almost giddy at the thought that we had 6 whole hours to ourselves.  Our best “dates” have historically included a trip to the gym, a good hard run, or going for a swim together.  This time, we decided to bike about 64 miles—insanely farther than I had ever biked at one time before.  Tom mapped out our route which would get us home just in time to pick up our youngest from preschool.

As we biked together, down long stretches of mostly quiet roads, hugging the shoulder and riding single-file in order to take turns drafting, my mind began to mull the lessons we had been discussing in our Bible study, many of which had centered on concepts related to submission.  God opened my eyes, in fact, to see that the very act of biking together with my husband was an amazing example of submission—both of its implementation and its benefits.

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The Grievousness of Sin, the Freedom of Repentance

By: Amy Catalina

21266eo8xu5vw2fIf we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.    1 John 1:9

When someone first comes to faith in Christ, she acknowledges that she is a sinner in need of a savior.  She agrees with God that “all have sinned” and that on her own she is doomed to death.  Perhaps the time leading up to that moment was checkered with sordid, shameful sin.  Or, perhaps, a lifetime of “clean living” was finally revealed by the Holy Spirit as the filthy rags that self-righteousness is in the sight of God.

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Holy30 ~ Psalms 46:10 (Bonus Saturday post!)

By: Amy Catilina

cream-floral-design-powerpoint-backgrounds (1)Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10a

The words “be still and know that I am God” appear at the end of a Psalm that has recounted God’s mighty deeds in the midst of chaos, strife, disaster, and warfare.  To be still is quite the opposite of our natural tendencies; we are far more inclined to fret, panic, and get busy doing something.

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Holy30 ~ Matthew 22:37

 What is Holy30?

By: Amy Cantilina

cream-floral-design-powerpoint-backgrounds (1)And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”  Matthew 22:37 (ESV)

These words, which our Lord called the “first and greatest commandment,” were first spoken to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 6:5, as Moses exhorted them to live pure lives of devotion to God who had rescued them from slavery in Egypt and brought them through 40 years of wilderness wandering at long last into the Promised Land.

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Grafting In

By: Amy Cantilina

AdoptionOne day last summer, just before our social worker arrived at our house for our 6-month post-placement visit following then 6-year-old Isabel’s adoption from China, Isabel asked me in Chinese “why did I come here?”

She was referring to coming to join our family.  Just minutes before, I had explained why Daddy hadn’t yet left for work, since he was waiting for our social worker to come and talk about how things were going with Isabel in our family.

“Why did I come here?”

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Lord, Deliver me from my Irritability

stressed-out-momBy Amy Cantilina

One recent morning, the sound of my then 6-year-old virtual twin girls giggling in the back of the car on our way to our weekly occupational therapy (OT) appointment was a welcome reminder of the joy of family, the blessing of two little girls from the same heritage getting to grow up as best friends and sisters forever.  This reminder was much needed after the events earlier that morning.

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School Choice: Public School (Part 2)

Check part one of Amy’s School Choice HERE! And the school choice post on: Homeschool and public school and Homeschool.

By Amy Cantilina

Amys kidsIn choosing public schooling for our children, I did, naturally, have some concerns.  The thought of so many hours spent away from me, the fears of the influence of other kids, and the prospect that the teaching—especially in the later years of education–would be counter-Biblical were some of my main concerns.  As my kids have matured, the concerns have also evolved: will they face peer pressure to experiment with drugs and alcohol? Will they be exposed to pornography or impure sexuality? Will they be safe in a world where gun violence in schools seems on the rise?   Will they begin to take to heart the rampant models of disrespect and irreverence?  Will non-Christian teachers attempt to dissuade them from their faith?

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School Choice: Public School (Part 1)

Last week we started a series on “School Choice”: Homeschool and Public School, Homeschool. Today and tomorrow we’re going to hear from Amy and how they chose the path of Public School!

By: Amy Cantilina

Amys kidsThere are many areas of life in which the Word of God gives us general principles, but the method of applying those principles can vary depending on the personal convictions of the people involved and their sense of God’s leading and direction in their lives.  These are the areas of life in which my husband and I have found ourselves most reliant on prayer, counsel from those who know us well and love The Lord, and the examples and experiences of others farther along life’s path.

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Summertime and the Living is Easy (or Not): Our Summertime “Policies”

By: Amy Cantilina

ID-10035693As my kids’ school year comes hurtling to a close in about a week, I am looking ahead at summer vacation with my usual sense of excitement and eagerness to do fun things together, let go of routines, and savor down time.  The end-of-school-year frenzy of field trips, class parties, authors’ teas, concerts, banquets, sports day, and awards ceremonies has my head spinning and longing for a blank calendar.

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Mother’s Day from the View of Adoption: An Opportunity to Celebrate the Gospel

By Amy Catalina

AdoptionOf all holidays, Mother’s Day is probably the one that evokes the widest spectrum of emotions.  Perhaps it’s warm thoughts of your own mother or joy that you ARE a mother.  Perhaps it’s pain and disappointment if you are enduring infertility.  Perhaps it’s heartache if your relationship with your mother is strained or she’s gone.  Perhaps it’s angst if your current season of motherhood involves more pain than joy.

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Adoption: What Difference Does it Make?

BY AMY CANTALINA

AdoptionThe answer to this question might seem pretty obvious.

A child from outside a family becomes a part of a family.  Forever.

The circumstances from which that child comes can vary immensely from one child to another.  The essence, however, is the same in every case: the presence of both extreme loss and need.  Loss of a birth family.  Need for a stable, secure, loving, and warm forever family.

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Resolution: Long Story Shorts

By Amy Cantilina
Reading the Bible to my kids is something I always have wonderful intentions of doing, but implementation is sometimes lacking. I have found over the years that it is so much easier when they are littler, and as they get older it is a bit more challenging.   Continue reading

Life Undone

By Amy Cantilina
(From www.cantilinachronicles.blogspot.com, 10.19.2012)

This blog post has been rolling around in my brain for several weeks now. Lately, weeks can go by with such speed that I sometimes find myself bewildered at what month it has already become.

And hence, the reason for the title tonight. So much. So fast.  Continue reading