Friday, September 6, 2013

Five Minute Friday ~ Red

Hey stranger! I've been MIA on these lately, but I'm ba-ack :)  If you like to write at all, you should join up over at Five Minute Friday to just let loose and pour out your words for five minutes- nothing fancy, no major editing, just pure writing- it's still Friday, come join us!
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 Five Minute Friday~ Red

One more stomp of a tiny foot and Mama sees red. A simple request for a little help with  ALL. THE. MESS. and big attitudes come flying out of small bodies and stretched thin, not enough sleep, lost my super hero cape Mama comes unglued. Who is this person? I'm the exuberant one. The bubbly, silly one who always ends up saying just a bit more than needs to be said and then laughing it off and telling another goofy story, complete with crazy faces and hands flying through the air. So who is this heavy breathing, red faced, fist clenched woman who's reminding herself that these three little tornadoes who've invaded her clean house are people that she LOVES? When did I go from fun, get down on the floor and play with you and kiss you all over Mom to this tyrant who just wants desperately to be able to sit down for five minutes without tripping on a mess on the way there? Anger, sadness, guilt... they wrap their tentacles around me like a soggy woolen cloak and the burden gets so. very. heavy.  And then I close my eyes for a moment and hear that still small voice. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  "Lo, I am with you always, even to the ends of the earth." "Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart..." "I know the plans I have for you." I see red again. The red, shed blood of Jesus, pouring out on me and washing me clean.  A new moment sits before me. I can choose the red of anger, or the blood of Jesus, filling me with power to move forward in HIS strength. A new moment, a new chance. A soul washed white as snow.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Five Minute Friday ~ Lonely

Five Minute Friday

Hallelujah it's Five Minute Friday time! I really needed to write tonight so instead of completely missing it or hurrying to join in at the last minute I was ready and waiting for the prompt to post tonight;  and this prompt seems as if it was chosen just for me. Here's just a glimpse of what is going on in me but its message is for any who have walked a similar  path.
 Today's prompt~ lonely.

Because sometimes the world just weighs heavy on your soul. Because the push and pull of life and living and waiting and change pull so hard on you that it feels as if a cosmic storm has erupted beneath your skin. Because you've prayed and prayed and yet the only word you hear is "wait." Because sometimes, no matter what you know of things that others are going through, it does not make your own burden carry any less weight. Because night comes in so dark, sometimes you begin to wonder if the sun will ever peak over the horizon again. Because you're clinging, so desperately to your last tiny shred of hope that someone, anyone is out there listening. Because you feel as if you're all alone~ whisper- no SHOUT these words.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:38)

Shout it my daughter, because even when lonely wraps its talons so tight around you and threatens to squeeze the very life out of you, YOU. ARE. NOT. ALONE!

No matter how dark, how dreary, how painful, how heavy life becomes, there is one who died so He could walk at your side. When lonely comes to call, call out to the One who loves you more than life.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Five Minute Friday~ Present

Five Minute Friday

 It's that time again! So sorry that these are the only posts you're getting out of me right now, but hey- it's something at least- right? So here we go- today's prompt: present.

Present- as in right now? Or like a gift? If we're being super honest here, I haven't been treating many of my "right nows" as a gift lately. I used to, in fact I typically do that a lot. I am definitely a connoisseur of moments.

So what's my deal lately? There are probably a number of things I could attribute it to but I can say for certain that there is one seriously obvious culprit.  Without all the boring details, let's just suffice it to say that an answer to a long prayed prayer was placed in my grasp but just as it began to become real to me, it was gone again, like a wisp of smoke.

I had actually gotten to a really good place as far as my thinking on that certain subject- I was cherishing the "here and nows" as I eagerly awaited change. I didn't want to be greedy with my prayers, just hopeful- but let me tell you, when what appeared to be the answer to that prayer was laid before me, OH the joy! And OH the heart ache when reality reared its ugly head and I was right back- not to where I started, but before- before I learned to be content with the waiting. Because a burden that has been set down for a moment is SO much heavier upon lifting it up again. 

I asked God, "How do  I get my joy back?" "How do I let go again when I've already felt the tremendous joy of moving forward?" His answer?

"Praise me NOW."

What's that God?

"Praise me NOW."

Oh. OH... It was easy to praise when I was trusting Him, it was easy to praise when I believed He'd answer. But now, when it's not clear at all how things will play out, when once again I'm waiting without the smallest hint of where this path of His goes, Now I must praise Him. Because he is not only the God of the future who has good plans for me, He is the God of NOW who holds me in His hands and walks each step with me.

HE is my present.
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Ps 55:22

Friday, July 5, 2013

Five Minute Friday- Beautiful

Five Minute Friday

 Five Minute Friday time! Drop everything and just write for 5 minutes then stop, and share what you've got! Today's prompt- Beautiful

Beautiful- when friends gather and babies laugh and marshmallows ooze between chocolate and grahams.

Sparklers spray and watermelon drips and even the ants join in.

The sky bursts with color and noise and smokes wraps like a gentle cloak as the whole neighborhood celebrates as one.

 Far off soldiers keep the watch and send prayers home. They sweat and watch and "soldier on" so our babies can tuck in safe and cool while we watch the fire die and reminisce with friends.

 This freedom that we know so well we forget it's there, it is beautiful.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Five Minute Friday- In Between

Five Minute Friday
It's that time again. I still don't manage to get much into that short five minutes and this one was particularly tough because this phrase, "in between" is literally like a fog that hangs over me. Admitting it is the first step right?

In between is where I live. In between too young and too old. In between almost there and where did time go? In between time ticking slowly and I can't believe it's passed. In between dreaming and remembering. This time in between, always pulling me to slow down or move on. Always feeling rushed to what's coming or worn from what's passed. In between awake and finally closing my eyes.


Slow down.


In between is where life happens. Help me Father to carry the past gently in one hand as I step solidly toward what is to come, with eyes wide open to what IS. Help me to rest here, in between- for this is where LIFE is.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Five Minute Friday-Imagine

Five Minute Friday

It's that time again! Five minutes to write, then stop and share. Click the button above to join in :) Today's prompt: Imagine

Imagine if you were her. Picture yourself waking up in the morning, just thankful that you've survived another night. Or maybe fearful of another day that stretches long and scary before you. Imagine getting dressed without seeing the clothes you choose, because who's going to care, really, what the girl no one sees is wearing? Or standing in a closet full of clothes- not clothes, costumes, disguises- what will you choose today to cover up the lonely, scared little girl inside? Imagine watching life from the outside, dying to fit in but no clue how to really start living. Imagine walking by a church and having no hint of the hope that lays inside. Imagine having never heard the name Jesus. That girl over there? The one who's showing too much skin and trying way to hard to catch a passing eye- imagine you were her. What if you knew her story?

Imagine if if every time you looked, it wasn't your eyes you saw with, but HIS. Imagine seeing beneath the facade, the disguise, the excuses- seeing the heart. Would you see differently?


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Five Minute Friday: View

Five Minute Friday
Five Minute Friday Time! Today's prompt is: VIEW

Sometimes I miss it. I'm right smack in the middle and all I see is mess and noise and the ticking clock and the list of "to dos' that goes on and on...  My baby yells "mama look!" but it's the hundredth time that day and I fail to see before the moment has passed. Life rushes on.

Then I catch it in a strangers smile. They've peaked into our traveling circus as we pass by and it moves them to smile.


What are they smiling at? Them- my sweet babies, caught in a moment of normal, but so wrapped up in cute that it causes a stranger to pause, then carry away some joy.

LOOK Mama.

Dear Father help me not to miss it. Help me to see through their eyes. Thank you for the beautiful mess that fills and colors my view of the entire world. Thank you for the beautiful view of everyday life you place before me each morning. Thank You

Sunday, May 19, 2013

When your vessel is cracked

    I had the wonderful opportunity this weekend to attend a women's retreat put on by a church my friend attends. She went last year by herself (I know right right? She's one of those "brave girls") and came back so excited that she quickly convinced another friend and I that we HAD to attend with her this year. I am SO glad we did! I'll be honest, I was pretty nervous about it leading up to it. I'm the girl who hangs out with guys- a weekend with 500 (and it actually became 700!) women?? Wouldn't typically be my first choice. Also, I'm a minister. I wasn't sure I'd know my place at a church event where I had absolutely no responsibility- would I spend the weekend feeling out of place or counseling a bunch of women I didn't even know? Those were the issues I admitted right up front, but the deeper one, the biggest, the one I didn't even realize was an issue until I got there is that I've been really. really. REALLY dry. Maybe that surprises you if you know me, maybe it was obvious to everyone but me, but I was barely in the door of that place and I suddenly KNEW that at the first trigger I was going to bawl like a baby. I'm not even sure what it was really but there was already an atmosphere about the place that, even in the midst of 700 excited women whispered "PEACE" "REST" "This time is for YOU"  I guess it was like when you don't realize how hungry you are until you catch a whiff of some really good food. Suddenly I realized that I was ravenous for peace, and joy, and comfort.

   Here's where I get real...

   We have been in a hard hard HARD phase of our life. Not that there hasn't been good, there's been a LOT of it. We are continually so blessed and God just continues to heap provision on us and keep us aware of His presence in our lives. Some of our deepest prayers have been answered in the last few years; which is why, even though we've also been fighting some of our biggest battles, I felt so guilty that I was continually losing my peace and joy. I yelled in frustration just the other day that I keep thinking I've been filled to overflowing with the good stuff and then one little thing (or 50) happens and suddenly my vessel is bone dry again. I wondered what was wrong with me. I'm typically a happy person. I'm one of those annoying people that smiles and laughs ALL the time (truth- it's a coping mechanism. Yes I am joyful for real, but I also revert to it when I'm lost as to how I should really be acting) SO it really bothered me that more and more lately it wasn't myself that I was hearing, but instead it was a mean, angry, bitter woman. I didn't like me, how could anyone else? How could God find pleasure in that? So I arrive at this weekend  that was completely tailored for renewing a woman's spirit with all this baggage in tow. Not very far into the first session it hit me between the eyes- my vessel was cracked. Not just a tiny crack towards the top either; no, God showed me an image of it and there were not only cracks, in a few places there were entire chunks nearly busted through.  While I was certainly shocked to see that, it also suddenly made everything clear.

   Lets look for a moment at how you would treat a glass or clay vessel. When I think of myself I think of one of those tall, orange clay jars that curve in a then flare out at the neck, a little like this.
photo from

   Picture yourself as a vessel of this sort. You could certainly sit it up on a shelf and only disturb it when you dust it clean. Or you could have it in a safe place still, but filled with some pretty flowers. I don't know many women whose lives look like that. This is a sturdy vessel. It's made for everyday use, to withstand a few bumps and jostles. That looks more like a woman to me. But what happens if you take it and bang it up against another one? (you know like when we, as women compete against each other for the "IT woman" award and tear each other down in the process) Or if it gets knocked from the counter and falls to the hard tile floor (sometimes, for whatever reason, our dreams or our present joys get ripped away from us and it leaves us free falling) Or what if a careless person gets a hold of it and knocks it into stuff and throws dirt on it and piles stuff on top of it that is just too heavy for it to bear (sometimes we put our hopes and dreams and even our very lives into the hands of people who have no right to such a gift and we end up battered and bruised, if not completely shattered) There are so many ways a vessel like this could be misused and because it's strong, yet delicate, (hey Lady!) it's not going to look the same way after years of use as it did the day it was created.
   I won't go into the details of how my vessel got all of its damage but it suffices to say that all of the above and then some would apply. The problem is that I'm a minister. (just gonna throw in a side note here that the only reason I say it that way is because you all know that means I'm actively involved in ministering in a church- the truth is that we're ALL called to be ministers, but that's another post...) But I spend all this time helping other people learn to trust Jesus and find healing and move past the disappointments they've endured and I'm walking around with entire chunks missing from my jar. All that good stuff that God has been pouring into us wasn't any less good because it was so short lived in me; the problem was that my cracks were placed just so, so that if I was being used gently or sitting quietly on a shelf, it didn't drain out too fast, but when you pick up a cracked vessel and shake it a little, or a lot, well, you know what happens.

   This weekend, when I walked away from everything else for a moment and finally recognized the damage my vessel had sustained I was in the prime place to get it fixed. I could have looked at it and said "I'm damaged beyond repair, put me in the junk pile!" I could have been angry about all the things and people that had caused the damage (and in doing so, added to it) But THANK GOD I was in a place where it was right in my face how good God is and how much He cares for ME and as fast as I could I handed that dirty pitiful jar over to the master potter, my Daddy.  Isaiah 64:8

   Here's the thing with that: before I could be repaired, I had to be cleaned.  To the best of my knowledge, clay vessels of that sort aren't cleaned with soap and water, they're cleaned with sand. A handful of sand is rubbed into all the surfaces and it smooths away the dirt and grime while also removing some of the scratches and imperfections. Have you ever tried to wash sand off of you, or used a salt or sugar scrub when you have a sunburn? It doesn't feel so good, especially on damaged skin. YEAH Here's where the crying started. I felt God's hands, so gentle even as it hurt, as He rubbed away the dirt and the damage and the scratches. Oh man, was it so hard and SO. VERY. GOOD. as He cleaned me up. And then He began to fill the cracks and the holes. With love. With truth. With grace. With friends. With peace. With all things good. And then He filled me back up to the top, overflowing.

   So you're probably sitting there thinking, "well that's nice, unfortunately the rest of us missed it and we can't just take off for the weekend like that anyway and. and. and....." Yes you missed this weekend but that's OK because this weekend was for ME (and the 700 other women there...) but the good news is that God doesn't have to have a special weekend away to heal you. I believe this particular event worked so well for me because it got me completely out of my zone, where I couldn't get caught up in ministering but I had to sit back and be served. So what CAN you do?
   1. Recognize if you have cracks in your vessel.
   2. Understand that while God may have allowed them to happen, He did NOT put them there.
   3. Hand your vessel to Jesus. However that looks for you. Maybe simply time in your prayer spot- or finding a prayer spot. Maybe creating a mini getaway for yourself. Maybe getting with a trusted friend and walking through it together. Ask God, I believe He will show you.
   4. Hang in there while He's doing the work and DO NOT pick your vessel back up out of His hands. Let yourself cry. Accept that it hurts. Lean on your heavenly Father and let Him pour His love out on you.
   5. Don't get discouraged. If you try this and nothing seems to change, reach out for help. Go to your pastor, find a church, find a friend to help you. If you're reading this and you know of something that could help someone, please share it in the comments!
   6. Read your bible! It's His love letter to you, you can't stay in it very long and not begin to feel Him moving in you.
   7. Last, but should have been first- PRAY PRAY PRAY and if you're praying and praying and can't hear His voice, be quiet and LISTEN. Listen until He speaks, because when you most need it, He will. Because He loves you so much. Because He made your vessel and He called it good.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Five Minute Friday- Comfort

Five Minute Friday Five Minute Friday time again! Five minutes to sit and write, no over thinking or perfecting, just simply write. This weeks prompt is Comfort.

Some things, many things from childhood have been relegated to memories that only surface when I have a photograph in front of me to spark them. It bothers me, because I'm a cherisher of moments. I love to stop and revel in the second that is happening right now and do a mental stamp of it in my brain, hoping against hope that it will stick good enough for me to pull it up again later in full clarity. Unfortunately, very few things have actually imprinted well enough for that to be the case. There is one though that is still so close in my heart that I don't even have to close my eyes to bring it up- my mama's hands.  I can still feel them, small and firm and cool as they brushed my hair back from a fevered brow or wiped away a tear. I always loved it when she had a reason to gently caress my forehead. 

Fast forward to now, my own little ones who too often take to their beds to heal; when I walk in to check on them or comfort them, each of them without fail take my hand and draw it to their face, as they nuzzle in I watch peace wash over them. I look down and realize, I have my mama's hands.

Happy Mothers Day to my beautiful Mama, whose strong, gentle hands have wiped so many fevered brows and tears and bottoms that I'm sure you lost count ages ago. You've helped to raise so very many children but I am thankful beyond measure that I'm the one little girl who gets to call you Mom. :)
My baby and my Mama

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Five Minute Friday- Brave

Five Minute Friday Five Minute Friday again! This one is raw, and I'll tell you, the prompt is BRAVE, and that is what it took to hit post on this one. Only because I know I'm not alone, and maybe some others need to know that we're not choosing brave alone.

Some days I feel like a super hero because I manage to get my house (mostly) clean, and do something fun with my kids and make it to the evening with everyone tucked in with smiles and satisfied sighs over a day that went simply "well." Those are the days I long for. The days I wake up in the morning hoping for. Too often those days are replaced by hurry and loud and fear and yes, all too often, mad. More and more lately, as the tightness of the details of motherhood wrap around me, I forget to cherish and instead get lost in strive. I push and pull and scream and plead and yell, doing my best (or worst) to force those around me into my mold. Because I care? Because I simply want the best for them? Because I want to make sure they get life in the best way they can? Those are my excuses, but they are not my reasons. They are the lies I tell myself to make up for what I'm really fearing deep down. That I'll fail. That life won't be the beautiful, rosy story I picture in my head. I push so hard for perfect that I miss the lovely that is all around me. I cry for the lie that has stolen the truth of blessing that showers over my life. So today, instead of fear that steals kills and destroys, I'll take my Daddy's hand and choose brave.

Because when I fail He is strong.

When I fall He lifts up.

When I cry He captures the tears.

When I doubt, He has a perfect plan.

When I fear, HE is brave.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Five Minute Friday- Jump

Five Minute Friday
Five Minute Friday time again! Todays prompt is JUMP
He squeezes his eyes shut, fear washing over his face and my Mama's heart is torn. I see how scared he is, I can feel it myself, but I also know how much he'll love it if he'll just push past that fear and GO. He's my first-born, my cautious child. But he's also the one who loves to dance. The one who throws himself into his tasks with abandon- it's all or nothing with this guy. So I encourage him, trying my best not to let my own fear for him show: "Come on, buddy, 1 2 3 Jump!" The cool waters of the lake lap gently around my shoulders as I look up into my sons face. He's perched right on the edge of Papa's boat and I can see how very badly he wants to pretend he's not scared and just go- but again he hesitates. "I'm right here buddy, I promise I'll be right here, just jump to me, you'll love it, I promise!" Minutes drag by as he wavers and his Daddy and I take a few more runs to show him how it's done. Oh he wants it. Come on baby, don't let fear take away your right to fly. He edges closer. I watch the thoughts go through his little head- he can see himself leaping through the air and splashing into the cool water below. He edges even closer. My words catch in my throat as I realize this is a moment between him and God. I've made my promises. I'm right where I said I'd be. Mama, Daddy, Grandma and Papa hold a collective  breath as he edges to the side, takes the tiniest hop and plunges into brave. His grin surface before the rest of him as we watch something click inside his heart. We didn't lie. He wants to go again!

Now it is his example that I must follow- when my Daddy calls me to a place I long to go but I must first hurdle that wall of fear. He's promised He'll be there. I can see it. I want it so bad. What will your answer be when the Father calls you to JUMP?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Five Minute Friday- Here

Five Minute Friday
 One of my very favorite bloggers Lisa-Jo Baker   has this thing on her blog called Five Minute Friday, it's basically a link-up of lots of different bloggers who write for five minutes, and five minutes only on the prompt she gives for that day. The idea is to not over think, worry about grammar and stuff and making it perfect, but to just write. I tried two times before and it just didn't go- so here's my first official Five Minute Friday post; hopefully I'll learn to get a little more in there with time, but it is what it is and I finally did it!. Today's prompt was HERE.

  In a couple of years when... As soon as this happens we'll... When this is over... I spent my whole childhood dreaming of "when." I have a pretty good imagination, I can go for hours on a good day dream. Oh the things I've planned in my head. I never grew out of that. The dreams have changed a little, but I still find myself, quite often actually, dreaming about "someday." Someday my hubby, who works so hard at 2 1/2 jobs will have a real teaching contract and his own classroom and tangible evidence of all the work he's done to get there. Someday we'll live in a house of our own, with real roots here. We won't be living in someone else's space, we'll be carving out our own. Today though, TODAY I am thankful that even though my husband hasn't gotten to keep a contract, he not only has one, but 2 1/2 jobs to provide for us- jobs he enjoys at that :) Today I'll be thankful for this house, that could be much smaller, much more crowded than it is, and that even though it's not "ours" we've had liberty to make it look like it belongs to us. Today, instead of wishing for tomorrow, I'll be thankful to be HERE, right NOW. Because one day, not so very long ago, here and now was only "someday."

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Loving Like Jesus

My stomach is upset today, like it has been for the past few days. I don't think it's a bug. I think it's one of those things, one of those instances when you keep seeing something over and over and it leaves you unsettled. I think it's my spirit, flipping and churning inside of me at the injustice that seems to swirl all around us like a creeping fog. That spirit crying out inside of me saying "This isn't the way it's supposed to be."

A simple walk through the grocery aisles or quick scroll down the glaring screen of social media leaves one echoing with the question "Where is the LOVE?" We are a people crying out with need, with hurt, with disappointment, with longing to know that we are not alone. Yet we are a people so wrapped up in our own need, hurt and disappointment that day after day we push through the masses as one, yet separate- alone in a crowd. What a dirty trick. That crafty conniver who fell because perfect wasn't enough has pulled the wool over our eyes.

Consider the greatest commandment we were given by the Creator of all things.

~ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matt. 22:36-39 ~


They are two, yet they are one. If we love God, we will love his people. LOVE his people. There are certainly many ways that could look, yet I submit to you this- if we truly love someone, they will feel protected, trusted, HOPEFUL. ( 1 Cor. 13:7 ) We do many things "in the name of love" that certainly don't have those results and the church is one of the biggest offenders here. 

Enter the trickster. He's angry, he's jealous, he's cast out from the Father's love, so he most certainly doesn't want us to reside there either. This love our God fills us with burns him to the core, it conquers all of his vile plans- he must make it stop. What's the easiest way to get someone to stop loving something? Make them scared of it. And boy do we get scared. Hatred spews out of us in torrents because he is literally scaring us to death.

We've become quite adept at masking our fears, we don't just hide them, no we put them right out for people to see, but with pretty labels on them, trying desperately to convince ourselves and others that the actions we are spurred to out of our fear are not just OK, but good. How many have been spurned by the church because we are so focused on being holy that we've forgotten to love like Jesus? We get so caught up in being right and good, and making sure it shows, that we get scared off from approaching those who aren't (or don't appear to be) doing the same. And we're called to do much more than approach them friends, we're called to LOVE them, we're called to DISCIPLE them. We are called to walk along side them and show them how Jesus loves them. We are called to drop our stones and reach out a hand and let Jesus love them through us. 

In convincing us to judge others, (and convincing us that others are judging us) Satan has effectively reduced our ability to love them. Judgement divides, tears down, destroys. Love lifts, encourages, builds up, heals. LOVE CONQUERS ALL. Will we all face judgement? YES. But the One doing the judging will not be doing so out of fear, selfish motivation, conceit, misunderstanding, bias or any of the other myriad of things that get in the way of us being effective judges of each other. He will be doing so out of perfection, out of LOVE.   Because the God of the universe loves us, ALL of us, and as desperately as we are each longing to not be alone, He is longing to have us back in the garden with Him. But to get there we must do something- we must love Him with all of our hearts, and we must love all of His children too.

**After writing this and discussing it with my husband, I felt there was more to be said and had planned on possibly writing a follow up post to clarify some things; then I stumbled on this post over on the Living Proof Ministries blog and it says exactly what I wanted to say. It's a little long but it gets better and better as you go and is filled with so much truth, much better than I could say it myself- please check it out!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fear vs. Calling

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Phil. 4:13

In my first post I mentioned having had some false starts, and a good one that knocked me on my rear. Below you will find those efforts. One, because I still believe they are words that need to be "out there." Two, because the third one is what I wrote just before things went BAD. Not everything, just things the post referred to, as in my washer and dryer- the same ones I celebrated in my post- they DIED. As in we couldn't even plug them in to try, they just completely ceased to work, and I spent the next six months being tested on how much I really cherish that chore by being required to lug EVERY. SINGLE. LOAD. next door and upstairs to the washer and dryer in our old apartment over the church. Thank GOD they were still there! That being said, I confess that this was sufficient to completely freak me out over celebrating anything else in a post, less it be attacked too. Nearly two and a half years later and I give. I GIVE. Forgive me for letting my fear over come my calling. GOD told me to write, who am I to shy away from that? So here they are, my first attempts. And if for some reason, after these post, you don't hear from me for awhile- say a little prayer for me, then grab me by the scruff of my neck and remind me- WRITE!

 1. Write

Write. Simple instructions with such a wave of, something, behind them. Write what? I could come up with pretty words if I tried hard enough, but is that really what needs to be shared? The implication in this feeling I have is that there is something deep inside of me that needs to be shared because only I can share it.
Which means it won’t be easy.
Which means I will have to dig deep and bare a part of myself that perhaps I don’t even realize is hidden.
So what is that? What is in me that I’ve been so afraid to let out that I don’t even acknowledge that it’s there? First word that pops into my head?
 FEAR Fear of what? First reaction again?
 FAILURE  That cloud of WHAT IF that hangs over so many,  perhaps all of us, if we are being honest. What if I can’t? What if I do it wrong? What if it doesn’t matter? What if it doesn’t work? What if I look silly? What if no one cares? The list could go on forever, but here’s a new one to consider- What if I don’t? What if I ignore the burning in my heart and just go on with things like normal, pretend I never heard a thing? Maybe the world would never notice. Maybe it really wouldn’t matter. But here’s what I know to be true- in MY world, it matters. I would know if I didn’t, I would notice. And sometimes, isn’t that enough?
So I sit here and write. I let the words pour out of me of their own accord. I do not worry about grammar or punctuation (sorry). I do not worry about what others will think. I simply write, and discover along with you what is hidden deep inside of me that needs to be shared. Because WHAT IF it does matter?

 2. Good Morning

Watching my family come alive in the morning is nothing short of amazing. Who are these tiny people who have brought such immense joy into our lives? It’s hard to wrap my head around the idea that without us, they would not be. Right before us we have tangible, beautiful results of our love. Our love~ MY love! I’m still reveling in THAT answered prayer!  He is so beautiful in the morning, sleepy eyes, rumpled hair, skin still warm from being wrapped tight in our covers. That first hug, our silent “Good Morning,” oh it’s the best. Realizing anew each day that I get to share my life with him- who am I to be so blessed? Has it really been an entire decade since our story began? It must be true since it is becoming more and more impossible to remember life without him. What a joy it has been to spend these years making one life out of our two. It hasn’t always been easy, I haven’t always walked in the joy that is so preciously laid out before me. I have gotten busy, distracted by the day to day process of living and become blind to the beautiful reasons that have given me cause to be so busy in the first place. Self has crept in at times and convinced me that life should be about what I want, that I MUST look after my own needs first, so I am able to care for those of others. The Truth speaks differently. The Truth whispers of Christ, who laid himself down that we might all be lifted up. The Truth reminds me softly of how empty life would be without those who have endless needs to be met. The Truth wraps its gentle arms about me and says “I thought of you first so you don’t have to. I gave you this job to bless you. Take joy in caring for those you’ve been given and remember that there are those who would give anything to be in your place. Let Me care for you as you care for them and you’ll find that all your needs are met abundantly. Serve Me in serving them and there you will find your peace.” Ah peace- yes, there it is, in the still sleepy eyes of my family, my most brilliant gifts from the Father in heaven who loves me, his Son who walked this path himself to show me the way, and his Spirit who walks with me and guides me daily. Good Morning :)


I love fresh laundry. There's something about pulling warm, clean clothes from the dryer, all fresh and new again. It's a chore I never minded too much- though I admit I should have done it more often when I was younger! It's extra special now though because it's not just my own I'm doing. It's my husbands, still carrying a hint of his smell and reminding me of how nice his shirt felt when stretched over his strong, warm back. It's my older sons- can these pants that look so big really belong to him- the tiny little man who stretched my belly so and was the first person to ever call me "Mama?" It's my daughters, all frilly and pink, hopefully no longer bearing traces of the dirt she manages to find in the cleanest of places- my tiny little tom-girl/princess. It's my baby boys, so much of it from our small-but getting bigger every moment little man. I still remember doing his first load- feeling almost silly for it because his arrival was still long months away. And then I was so glad I had done it when I spent weeks on the couch, trying to keep him safe and cocooned in my womb just a bit longer. That was a tough time. I had so many wonderful offers of help- and many were accepted, but I just couldn't bear to turn my laundry over to another. It's an act of love to my family. I think of them as I smooth the warm crinkles away and wonder what they'll being doing the next time they wear each item. I remember, moments seemingly woven into the faded fabrics.  His band t-shirt from the cafe' where we first met- how thrilled I was the first time it was my responsibility to get it clean! The shirt I wore in Mexico on our baby-moon/anniversary trip when our tiny little girl was already a gentle swell of my abdomen. My favorite little sleeper, worn by my son, then my daughter, now by my second son- so quickly becoming too small. It will be bitter sweet to pack it away- who will wear it next? This chore, so all consuming, never ending- bearing witness to the places we've gone and the things we've done each day. Neat, clean piles, waiting for another adventure, or maybe just another day of beautiful ordinary.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Ps 118:24

As I watched the snow falling swiftly out the window over the kitchen sink my heart sank, tomorrow is supposed to be the first day of spring. I'm tired of snow, tired of cold, tired of... before I even completed my silent rant I laughed inwardly and shook my head. Were it October, or November, the very same sight would delight me and set my mind off to thoughts of cozy sweaters, cute new boots and sled hills, warm drinks and snuggling under my favorite blanket. But a few months later and I've grown weary of the sweaters, longing for sandals and bare toes, going outside without spending precious time bundling up against the cold, the ever present, bone chilling cold. I'm tired, so very tired, of being cold. Just as, not so very long ago, I was tired, so very tired, of being hot. With that inner laugh that interrupted my rant came the thought- where is the "content in all things," where is your peace? (Phil. 4:11)
How sad that the very things I had longed for had become things I was beginning to hate, simply because I was wanting something else. How very, very sad that this same thinking occurs over many more precious things than the weather. That first, small thought became a flood of realization; how often in life have I lost the joy over something I longed for simply because something else had caught my eye? Images began swirling through my mind- the house I complain of being too messy, too small, how thrilled I was to move in here from our apartment! What excitement we shared while spreading out into all its rooms and making them our own. What relief there was in finally being able to send the kids out into the yard to play! The kids, the children that run me ragged and make SO. MUCH. NOISE. I dreamed of and longed for them for as long as I can remember, all I ever wanted to be was their Mom. Yet I see now that I've allowed a longing for peace and quiet and more than five minutes of clean to begin stealing my joy over them.
So now I step back. I apologize to God for taking these things for granted and thank Him for these precious, precious gifts. New thoughts begin to fill my mind. Thoughts of Someday. Someday we will move into a bigger house, a house of our very own. And while we thrill over all the joys and excitement that will bring, I know I will shed some tears over leaving this dear place that we have treasured as our home, and I resolve to be thankful to be here Today. Someday, my children will be grown and at least slightly quieter than they are now. Someday I'll have to find something else to do besides trail through the house gathering tiny socks and trails of Hot Wheels and Barbie shoes. Someday I'll long for their tiny little hands in mine and their downy heads beneath my cheek and their laughter and shrieks echoing off the walls, and I resolve to cherish the mess and the noise while it lasts. Someday, someday very soon, spring will come. I will revel in the riot of color that springs from the ground and the soft warm breeze upon my skin. I will dance in the sunshine and wriggle bare, happy toes in the tender green grass. But today, today I will rejoice in the crisp white flakes dancing from the sky and find peace in the snow globe scene out my window, for all too soon, or not soon enough, or in just the right time, it too shall pass.
Today, TODAY I will rejoice.


How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of Hosts! My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your alters, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Ps. 84:1-4

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Write! There it is, the first word of my song. Anyone who has written anything knows what a step that is. Even now, my hands tremble a bit as I FINALLY begin what I feel I was told to do a long. long. long. time ago. I could fill an entire post with why I waited until now but instead, I will rejoice that the first hurdle has been crossed and I have begun! Yes, there have been false starts, and good starts that hit bumps and failed to continue on, but this time I have faith that the One who called me will continue to carry me on this journey I've begun. If I could tell you where it will go I would, but alas, as with many of our journeys, all that is in view is the next step. So we hold our breath, maybe squeeze our eyes closed, and put one step forward. All I know right now is that God put words in me and told me to WRITE. I've started before and was promptly knocked on my rear, effectively ending that journey before it even left the driveway. (more on that later) This time will be different. This time I will write, even when it hurts, even when my mind is screaming that the words are not important- because this time, I will listen to my spirit when it calls to me to write- because someone needs to hear. This time I will sing in the midst of the storm; for myself- to keep my mind on things above, for you- in case you are struggling through that same storm, for God- that He may be glorified in all I do. He spreads His wings so that even the little sparrow may come to Him to find shelter and a place of peace. I will choose to rest there as I quietly begin to trill the beginning of my song. What about you- is there also a song longing to burst from you? Will you join me?

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