Friday, November 30, 2012

Home Makers

Each house is a space to fill, each family a blank canvas on which to create, a story which is about to begin and we, women, we are the Home Makers........

I love this term - Homemaker - I hate how it's been downplayed and made to be a quaint little adjective to describe those of us who don't hold jobs outside the home.

We are all Home Makers.

Home Makers have outside jobs or only the job they have at home.

Home Makers have no kids, while some have 20 kids.

Home Makers eat Wonderbread, others make their own bread.

Home Makers sew or not so much....... :)

Home Makers have clean floors or have someone else clean their floors.

Home Makers live in the poorest of conditions and the richest of conditions - their homes differing in size but not in importance.

I have been in so many houses and have seen the imprints of the ones who make the home.  I have seen homemade rule charts with lines scribbled upon the paper, evidence of little ones making their own rules :)  I have seen rooms filled with the artwork of budding artists.  I have seen beautiful moments frozen in time hung upon the walls.  I have tasted the goodness of meals cooked with love, meals cooked in haste, meals cooked amidst chaos.  I have heard the rich sounds of a mother's laugh, the shrieks of children, the musical sound of favorite books being read.  I have listened as hearts are poured out, hearts that cry out - wondering at their inadequacy, are they enough?  Oh how these women worry, wonder if they live up to their own expectations, the world's expectations.

And as they worry...........I stand in wonder.

I stand in awe of what they have made - these home makers, family creators, story writers.

I look at the evidence of their love, their time, their sacrifices, their very lives.

I soak in the warmth and ease of their homes.

I eat and enjoy the fruits of their labor - whether cooked by them or bought by them, always served with love.

I see their family, strong with the bonds they have created.

I see beautiful, beautiful children - not perfect children but children that reflect the love that they have been shown.

Today embrace the beauty of the blank canvas - yours to fill with whatever words you wish.  You are a home maker, family creator, story writer.

What is the story YOU are writing today?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I Will Live Among You

Zechariah, are going to do me in, again you led me to tears today.

Again, it was in the midst of the day, children downstairs watching the last of their show, Christmas tree lit, dinner steaming, table set and house quiet........what to do?

Run around and try to clean one more thing?  Organize one more area?  More laundry?

And I remember the moment from before, the cascading waters from the Source of Life.........and I sit.

With Zechariah.

"Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion.  For I am coming, and I will live among you, " declares the Lord.  "Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people.  I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you."
                                  - Zechariah 2:10-11

In this season, this season before the birth, this season of hope and celebration and anticipation, I hear His cry.  He is coming.

He is coming.

He is coming.

This season is not only about anticipating the birth but anticipating the return.

Those words electrify me......


But until then.................

I will live among you, Jesus living in me, will live among all people.

I close my eyes and think of my community, my people, those I have come to know, those I have come to love, those I think on when I am in prayer and go about my day.

I see them as points of light throughout this city..............

Liga, Ryan, Rachel, Chris, Jason, Suzi, Doug, Alysa, Joe, Lindsey, Sarah, Nic, Shonda, Ben, Eric, Jani, Adrienne, Ryan, Dustin, Erin, Wendy, Jay, Nicole, John, so many more points of light...............

Connected, burning bright on their own but once connected making a burning path of love, light and truth.............a constellation formed by the Lord Almighty........who has come to live among us all, in us, through us.

Today I SHOUT.

Today I am GLAD.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Return to Me

I sit in the darkened living room, hearing the voices of the many children in the basement...........dinner is simmering on the stove, the Christmas tree is lit and I sit.

I open my bible to Zechariah, remembering the promise found in the pages I read last year at this time.  I have but ten minutes but I long to make those minutes count.  So often lately the minutes have gone by too quickly and been filled with too much or too little of what counts.

I read.........and my eyes begin to fill.

"This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'Return to me', declares the Lord Almighty, 'and I will return to you', says the Lord Almighty."
                  - Zechariah 1:3

Yes, Lord, yes...........I need to return to you.

How did You know?

These pages, filled with words written so long ago, come alive in those 10 minutes.  My heart soars as I read the promise..........return to me and I will return to you.

I close my eyes and think of how dry I have been, have felt.  And it's not enough that I have had time to sit and read or time to sit and be, I have not used that time to be with Him and I feel that dryness in my heart, my soul.  I close my eyes and I think back to when I was younger and used to sit in pizza shops with friends or restaurants with family.  When your drink came, with your straw......what did you do?  We always tried to make sure the paper the straw was wrapped in was scrunched up into the tiniest bit of space possible.  Then we would take the tip of our straw dip it into our drink and one drop of liquid would cause the paper to spread out and return to it's normal size.  It seemed to be a pretty cool trick.

I needed that drop.  I was that paper, shrunken and dry.

Yes, I will return.  I am here.  Are You?

My eyes still closed, waiting for that drop........and I experienced the goodness of the God I love.

For I saw an avalanche of water pouring out on me.  Fresh, beautiful blue waters pouring out and over me...........putting to shame the drop I was expecting.  What kind of God do I think I serve - a stingy, hard-hearted, unloving God?

And I remember back to reading the passage just the minute before.........when I stopped a moment to question why it said "Lord Almighty" three times in just one verse.  And it served to remind me.  It reminded me of the God I serve............the LORD ALMIGHTY.

Would the LORD ALMIGHTY dole out one drop at a time?

Or would the LORD ALMIGHTY send cascading, thirst-quenching, life-restoring waters to rain down on those who return to Him?

And the timer rang.

The muffins were done, the children still playing,making noise and needing to be called to the table, the soup needed to be ladled, nine plates waiting to be filled..............and I was ready.  No longer the dried up piece of paper I was before I sat.  I was filled.  I had returned to the One awaiting my arrival, expecting always to return to me.

Thank you, LORD ALMIGHTY, for Your word which is never stale, for Your waters which never run dry and Your Love which never goes cold.

Friday, November 9, 2012



Hey you!

Yeah, I am totally talking to you, the one reading the computer/ipod/ipad/whatever screen right now.

I know you.

I know what you are thinking........sometimes.  I know that yesterday when I said BELIEVE that you might have said NO.  Or you might have said ok, thinking NO WAY.  That to believe in God is one thing but to believe in YOU is another.

And that's ok.

It's hard to do sometimes.

We read books and magazines and blogs and browse pinterest and go to church and go to mom's groups and go to our friend's houses and live life surrounded BY AMAZINGLY AWESOME PEOPLE THAT WE WILL NEVER BE.

Ummm..........because you're not suppose to be like the others.

You are YOU.

So today I will believe in YOU and your AMAZINGLY AWESOME talents/skills/nature if you will do me a favor................

If you have a hard time believing in YOU or even if you don't.....if you KNOW how AMAZINGLY AWESOME you believe in someone else.............


Seriously.  Today.

Go up to SOMEONE and recognize their skills, their hard work, their talent, their gifting or EVEN BETTER recognize who they could be or are moving to be.......and ENCOURAGE THE CRAP OUT OF THEM.  Be their personal cheerleader or be that crazy parent/fan that will stop at nothing to support them...................EVEN IF THEY ARE LOSING.

Do you know the only reason I have this blog?

Adrienne, Jani and Ashley told me I should................AND KEPT TELLING ME.  They believed in me when I didn't believe in me.  How embarrassing would it be to HAVE A BLOG?  That might mean I think I have something to say and that ANYONE would want to read what I say.  Ugh.  Horrifying thought.  But they kept saying it.  So I figured it MUST be a good idea if they thought it was.

I believe now.  I believe I have something to say and that someone wants to read it.

But only because someone else believed first.

Jason and Suzi said we could start a village.  Ummmm, no we can't.  We don't, like, KNOW STUFF.  They said, oh you're fine.  So we said ok.........RELUCTANTLY.  So we "started" a village thinking ok, we can just invite some people over to eat and then at some point Suzi and Jason will tell us what to do and explain things to us and we will have training and all that.

Ummmm, no.

I think about 25 people came to our house the first time AND THEY NEVER LEFT.  Well, they left that day but they kept coming back and bringing more people.  And, yeah, we have had some meetings and some diagrams but never the "training" we thought we were going to have.

But they believed we could and since we assumed they know WAY MORE than we do, we believed.

And now we have a village, Family Village.  AND I LOVE IT.  AND IT CHALLENGES ME.  IT GROWS ME.


So you see how it works?

Because you believe.........they will believe.........eventually.

It could take some time.

Ummm, so you better get started.................I mean it, right now.


And, yeah..........I TOTALLY believe in YOU.

Thanks for believing in me.

Love you all.


Thursday, November 8, 2012


God has really been working on my heart these past few years.........preaching grace and beauty, love and kindness.  I know that I don't always get it right and if you are one reading this thinking my, my I certainly didn't see that from her on this day or that day.........I apologize.  I know there are times when my impatience or selfishness or just plain weariness get the best of me.

In general I think I am the type of person to see the beauty in all people, I am constantly astounded by how amazing people are, how encompassing their beauty is.

Then I come home.

I get lost in my own head.

And I decide to get out my Jesus bat.

Do you have one of these?

I bet you do.

Some people use them on themselves and some people turn them outward to others.

I would say when I was first a Christian I turned mine outward.  I was in that phase of life where I was ON FIRE and wanted everyone to see what I saw.  I wanted everyone to believe what I believed and I was CERTAIN of many, many things..........oh my, I am not sure any one who didn't know Jesus saw Jesus in me back then.  I don't know.  My Jesus bat was swinging wide and often, a bit indiscriminate in who I hit or hurt.   Again..........apologizes to anyone who was hurt by my certainty.  Grace and love, grace and love........thank you, Lord, for preaching grace and love.

Now more than a few years later - years of reading my bible, praying, attending church, going to meetings/studies...........I have information, I have a solid foundation regarding Who I love and am serving, I have a relationship with Jesus but I have more of an appreciation for the gray areas and I have more questions than easy answers.............and that's ok.

So I am in this place where I put my big old Jesus bat in a closet when company comes or when I go out but then I come home.

I get lost in my own head.

And I decided to get out my Jesus bat.

And I begin to take swings.

Who are YOU?

What do you know?

You are a failure.

You can't do this.

You are so selfish.

Why didn't you do THIS today?

Why DID you do this today?

Did you just hear yourself? That was dumb.

Did you just hear yourself? Everyone else did.

And yeah, that was wrong, silly, not important, stupid sounding.

And I sit and write these words, as I type them.........I cry.  Seeing the secret words in my mind, the fuel behind that bat, this bat that most DEFINITELY DOES NOT COME FROM JESUS, makes me cringe and feel sick to my stomach.  And everything in me that preaches grace and love to others is screaming at myself.....DON'T BELIEVE THE LIES.  You, too, have this grace and love at your fingertips............EVERYBODY DOES.

And today I want to believe that.

I want to believe that someone's salvation doesn't hinder on MY words, but on God's words.

I want to believe, truly believe, in my heart that it's ok to make mistakes, that it's ok for someone to see ME and not a perfect replication of Jesus.........I am just me, who God made me to be and He loves me..................He loves me so much..........scratched up, dented, broken me.  My words, my life NEVER have to be perfect.

I am, today, going to try to put that bat away.

Can you join me?

Can you bring out into the Light the lies that fuel YOUR Jesus bat, that cause you to beat yourself or others over and over for their inadequacies and their mistakes and the lies that they believe about themselves?

Can we give Grace freely, just as we have FREELY received it from Him?

Can we give Love freely, just as we have FREELY received it from Him?

What if we took this Gift and made it our own, believed it, lived it, breathed it?

Would it be easier to give away?


Friday, November 2, 2012


Sometimes there is no joy.

Joy eludes you.

Joy is lost.

Joy has disappeared.

And you are drowning..................

And we fight that feeling, those of us who are joy-givers, joy-seekers, joy-creators........because who are we if we do not have joy?  What is our faith based on if not joy?  What is our life full of if not joy?


This drowning is especially painful for those of us who live in joy.

And so we fight it.  We kick and scream and fight against this drowning and we feel desperate and without foundation.   And there is God and scripture and friends and family and prayer and we wonder why do we still feel this way?  Is it okay to feel this way?  And inside our head is every bible verse ever quoted to us and every prayer ever uttered and thought of knowing truth and what that everlasting, new bodies, being reunited one day, living life with JESUS.


I want my joy back.

I want my baby back.

I want my life back.

And so we fight, we want desperately just to breathe that air that seems out of reach and up above.

But what I want you to hear, what I want you to

Today I want you to hear, I want you to know that it's ok.

That to not be joyful is ok.  This doesn't speak to your faith, to who you are, to who you will be, it speaks of what is happening right now.  And the more you fight it, the more you kick and scream and rebel against this sorrow and disbelief the more tired and defeated you will become.

Let yourself sink into it, sink into the pain and the loss and the sorrow.........let the waters envelop you, cry every tear, scream out every thought, rage but don't fight not having joy.  It will come again.  It's who He made you to be...............but not all the time, every day, every moment.  It's ok.

For now float along, let yourself drift, be carried along by others, by Him.