Saturday, March 30, 2013


The table's been set, out come the fancy dishes and linens........the candles are spread out, the bible open, the boards of wood nailed with the pieces of paper that hold our sin are in the midst of the feast lest we forget the death that made possible the resurrection..........the rolls are made that once opened will be empty, reminding us of the tomb............the resurrection eggs are placed in the middle to be gone through once more, telling the story of our risen Lord.............

And yet.........

It is not Jesus that I am thinking of as I do the last dishes of the day.

It is not the cross.

It is not the empty tomb.

Instead I think of THEM.

The disciples......huddling behind locked doors, waiting, wondering.......I can only imagine what their thoughts must be........I can only imagine the terror, the agony of wondering DID THEY FOLLOW THE RIGHT GUY?  WAS THIS MAN WHO DIED ON THE CROSS REALLY WHO HE SAID HE WAS?

Can you feel that?

Can you imagine that?

It bears down on me, the weight of their uncertainty, the hopelessness that they must have felt at some point, the despair and my heart is heavy and my eyes are filled with the waiting of the disciples.

And it is THEM I think of them tonight.

Because we are all waiting.

We are waiting for the return, we are waiting for the miraculous, we are waiting for the hurt to stop hurting, we are waiting for the despair to give way, we are waiting for fear to subside, we are waiting to feel again, we are waiting to be filled with the power of the ALMIGHTY, EVERLASTING, ETERNAL GOD.

And I am here to tell you that the wait is over, that HE HAS COME, that the TIME IS NOW.

We do not have to lock ourselves away from the world, we do not have to cower in fear, we do not have to approach this life, this world with ANY DOUBT.




And so while, once again, we are in a season of waiting for the return.......we are armed with the knowledge that the disciples DID NOT HAVE.

WE are armed with the PROMISE FULFILLED.

WE are armed with the DAY AFTER.

WE are armed with the knowledge that death DID NOT STOP OUR SAVIOR.

WE are armed with CERTAINTY.

And so while we wait, we step outside those locked doors, we step outside the walls of our churches, we step outside the doors of our homes, we step outside the bounds of our comfort.......because we are NO LONGER HUDDLED IN FEAR.









Thursday, March 28, 2013


The tears flow a bit more easily these days, these weeks leading up to THE DAY.

I feel a bit overcome because HE overcame.

I listen the the words of John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome this world."  I listen to these words set to music over and over................

My heart swells and explodes with the joy and pain and searing truth of those words.

We are not promised an easy life.

We are told that we WILL have trouble.

And as I grow up and grow older and my knowledge of this world and it's hurts expands, I know that is truth.

This world is full of trouble, it's full of heartache, there are no guarantees................BUT ONE.

JESUS is our guarantee.

TAKE HEART, my dear ones, TAKE HEART


Death on the cross is not an ending but a beginning.

Death on the cross is not a promise broken but a promise fulfilled.

Death on the cross is not defeat but is VICTORY.

Death on the cross leads to LIFE EVERLASTING.

And so in this week, in this season, in this LIFE I take heart.  I take heart because He has told me these things.  He says, "Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy." - John 16:22

NO ONE, NOTHING can take away our JOY.

Does that mean we don't hurt?

Does that mean tears don't stain our face?

Does that mean cracks don't form in the hidden places of our heart?

Does that mean that we don't feel despair?


Because in this world you will have trouble.  We know this to be TRUTH.

But, also, we know that Jesus CAME BACK.  Jesus CAME ALIVE.  Death led to resurrection.  The cross led to the miracle of the empty tomb.  This we also know as TRUTH.

And so I cling to TRUTH.

I cling to the promises of Jesus.

I cling to the resurrection.

I cling to the return.

I cling to the JOY that is Jesus that can NEVER be taken from me, from us.






Friday, March 22, 2013


This afternoon my husband and I met each other in the bringing home the youngest from dropping off a friend and he bringing home the oldest from school.

You could tell it was Friday.

He was tired.

My kids were tired.

I am always ready for some downtime.

And so it was declared KID NIGHT.

At 5:30 the kids went down to the basement with a movie.

I brought down blankets and pillows and special treats.


This was just about the coolest thing they could imagine :) because usually it's the reverse.

I told them that it was kid night, showed them the stack of library movies, left them in charge and brought down a dinner of PB&J, orange slices and bananas.

Joe tried to interrupt them once, tried to join them and was rebuffed.  He was given the finger by Sofia - which pointed him back up the stairs, not the actual middle finger, just the finger that showed him that this, indeed, was KID'S NIGHT and that adults were not welcome.

I forget, sometimes.

I forget that the most magical moments of childhood, outside of the mystery trips and family vacations, were the moments spent with Amy and Megs and Matt in the basement.  The origins of KID TIME being my own childhood when so many moments were spent with my brother and the girls next door.  I never worried about what my parents were doing, I never felt neglected, I never thought WHY WON'T THEY SPEND TIME WITH ME?, I never thought that I needed them.............

It was KID TIME.

It was passing notes under bedroom doors.

It was "spying" on adults with notebooks and pencils, picking up phones when someone was on the phone you remember those days of holding down the little thingys on the phone while picking up the phone handle and then letting go so you could hear the conversation going on?  Oh my, did we think we were sneaky :)

It was playing "Statue" in the front yard.

It was four kids squeezed on one couch watching scary movies.

It was giggling and laughter and staying up too late.

It was "Ghost in the Graveyard".

It was lemonade stands and bike rides to Dairy Queen.

It was fun.

It was freedom.

It was my childhood.

And sometimes I forget.

I forget that I am no longer to be center stage in the memories of my children.

We are no longer parents of babes and toddlers.

We are parents of those who are getting bigger, growing older.

We are parents of those who need some downtime, those who need some kid time, those who are developing memories of their own.

And it's time to start loosening the strings, start to let go, little by little, letting them create their own kid time memories.

And those next door girls?

Well, they are still just slightly next door.

I love them.

I still know them.

I still see them.

And they are forever woven into the memories of my childhood and life.

What are your KID TIME memories?

Monday, March 18, 2013


This blog started in the winter of 2008..........with a post about "Letter of the Week - Kk".  I have no idea what compelled me to think that I should write anything, much less post it on a public space.  Well, yes, I do.  It was my husband.

What a gift that is, huh?

Someone who believes and sees in you something you don't or don't have the courage to see, at least.

And to be honest this blog started even before that.  I was at home, with a baby, and was a bit lonely and had no outlet for who I was, whoever that was.........I was a teacher without a classroom, a creator without anything to create and I needed something, somewhere I could just lose myself that didn't involve dirty diapers, making food or entertaining wee I wrote a newsletter.

Yeah, I'm that old.

And it's what I knew.

I used to teach first grade, we had newsletters each week and so I created a newsletter.

I wrote a few of them, used to drive them around to my friends houses to deliver them.

It was fun.

It was a way of connecting, a way of doing something I loved.

And it's funny to look back at what I wrote.

And it's a reminder.

Sometimes it's scary to admit what we love, who we think we are, what we think we have to offer.

And what we have to offer at first?

It doesn't seem like much.

I had one or two people read my blog posts in 2008 and 2009.

And to be honest, thank you, you one or people because they weren't pretty or interesting and I even deleted some of them because I thought.......OH MY GOSH WHAT IF SOMEONE ACTUALLY GOES BACK AND READS THESE?

Then I stopped.

Because it's crazy to go back and try to erase who I was in an effort to be who I am.  Because who I was enabled me to become who I am.

And it's such a reminder.

It's a reminder to me as I am once again in a season of growth, a season of searching, a season of becoming to be reminded what can happen when we take the chance in stepping out, when we take the chance of daring ourselves to be something new, something different, something more...................

That something, indeed, can happen.

That where we start is not where we end.

And hear this:

It's not always about the numbers, either.  The results.

Because you can get lost in comparison.  You can get lost in others are better, why should I bother.

I went from 1-2 readers to an average of 50-60, with some posts numbering much higher because of the subject matter.

This is NOTHING in the blog world.

But does that mean I am nothing?

Does that mean it doesn't matter?


Because the one mattered.

And sometimes I think that the ONE was me and is me.

It's not about the following but the developing.

And who God is developing me to be.

The more I listen and am obedient to who He created me to be than the more I am able to reach out and touch the lives of others.

But if I start to focus on MY following more than HIS following than I lose the purpose for it all.

Maybe 6 years from now I will have 100 readers to the 50 I have today but more importantly I hope 6 years from now when I read a long ago post I can see the changes that God has worked in me, I can see who I am now but more importantly who I was becoming............

Who are you becoming?

Where do you need to step out - not to because you are great at it or are the best at it but because you feel COMPELLED to?

What is God compelling you to?

Fight or Flight?

I seem to have two modes........fight or flight........loud or completely silent..........pushing forward or running and hiding...........I am a woman prone to extremes.

I think I have gotten a little better at masking my love of extremes but I am not sure how far I have come in actually maintaining a bit more balance in my life.

Because here's the thing.........

Extremes are easy.

Extremes are the result of reaction and not true action.

Extremes are more about me and not about the people around me.

Extremes shatter the concept of growth and instead bring about more complacency and stagnation.

I think I am a little tired of extremes, even those hidden from those around me.

I am ready for something more.

I am ready to take an honest look at who I am and, maybe, just maybe take steps to not be so find balance in who I am, to experience growth.

Because maybe this time I won't run and hide and seek anonymity.  Maybe this time I will take the time and the space to truly reflect on who I am, to gauge accurately who I am and to make changes in the areas I need to make changes.

It's easier to duck and take cover until enough time has passed that I can resume my old ways, having forgotten why I chose to run in the first place.

Why now?

Why take these steps now?

Because it matters.

Because I matter.

My part matters.

And guess what?






Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Vessel

Oh preacher man, you have a gift.

The gift you have is to be in a room filled with people, in a church, on a Sunday morning and have it feel as if God is speaking to each individual, personally, one on one and He is saying different things to each of us.

I felt today as if God and I were in a room and He was fully loving me AND fully knowing me.

It's so terrifying to really feel as if God sees ALL of you -

you know, the parts you aren't letting see the light of the day,

the parts of you that you glorify but are really disguises for what is keeping you from Him,

the parts of you that SCARE THE CRAP OUT OF YOU because you might get it wrong and people might see you and I REALLY, REALLY DON'T WANT TO DO THIS,

the parts of you that you know what you need to do but don't really want to do,

that parts of you that are going through the fire - being refined and shaped and burned off,

the parts of you that secretly dream and see BIG things,

the parts of you that are becoming,

the parts of you that are GOOD but it's hard to bring to the light your giftings because it's weird but you  are being called to share them with the body,

the parts screaming for FORGIVENESS,

the parts of you that are hidden in shame but you know there is no SHAME in God,

Oh my.

I felt pinned to my pew, tears streaming, God speaking to my heart, whispering words again.

And as it is in the presence of God - there is fear and awe and the heaviness of His love and His protection, there is the lightness of feeling His strength and resting in it and there is excitement at hearing His words speaking into your life.

I wish that I were sitting with each of you right now.

That I could sit side by side with you, that I could listen to your story, listen to your pain, listen to your yearnings.

Because we all have them.

And this morning I learned and saw and was reminded.

I am simply a vessel.

That if I can work through my crap and if I can quiet my doubts and if I can discard my shame and if I do away with my pride then He can do His work through me.

Because it's really, really not about me.

I was reminded of this in so many ways this morning.

One way?

I know that preacher man.

We love that preacher man.

We have sat down at dinner with him, we have played with his kids, we know his strengths, we know his weaknesses, we have seen in him moments of frustration, moments of joy, moments of sadness and we are friends with him.  He is more than just our preacher man.

But when he speaks?

I do not see that man.

I see a vessel for God.

And He is speaking.................

It is LOUD.

It is CLEAR.

It is meant to move us.

Where are you being moved?

What do you need to empty yourself of?

Where are you being called?

What is God saying to YOU?

YOU are a vessel of His.

What an exciting time this is.............................

Love that we are in the journey together, preacher man and the wife of yours I love.

Friday, March 15, 2013

I Want It All

I heard words like those tonight.......something along those lines........I want to do it all.

That's how I feel.

I want to do it all.

I want it now.  I want it to be good.  No, I want it to be GREAT.

I want so much.

I get a little bit of time and space and freedom to move and breathe and my mind races.

It races with possibility, it races with ideas, it races with so much..........

And I want so much.

But I'm not sure that what I want is what God wants.



I've been doing a bit of running and seeking and doing and moving the past few weeks.

All good stuff.  Some of it even GREAT :)

But I lost a bit of who I was, who God made me to be in the midst of the good stuff and it was a little hard.  I was tired.  I was overrun with details and timelines and lists and such.

Ugh.  I don't function well with such things.  I get overly involved in the details and they consume me.

I am like my boy - I love ideas.  I like to play with them, discuss them, dream them into reality, write about them.

And finally after the weeks and a few tears and a little downtime, I sat.  I read a book - a novel, all in two days time and it felt GLORIOUS.  I wrote.  I slept.  I baked.  I cooked.  I played with my kids.  I hibernated.

And one day I sat down and closed my eyes and saw two people tugging at a rope - each person was ME.  I was at each end, using all my energy to pull the rope THIS way and THAT way.  But in that space of quiet and stillness I saw the two figures stop their struggle and come together, forming a circle.  No longer struggling but working in conjunction.

That circle?

Oh, those dang circles, village folk....................

That circle?

It was a reminder.

That circle was my all.

I was getting outside of it as I was running and doing and moving these past few weeks.

God has it ALL.

I do not.

Focus on my mission.

Focus on what He gave me, use my gifts for my part of the Kingdom.

What's my part, you ask?  What's my struggle been?

Ahhhhh...........well, that's for another day, my friends.

For now, I ask you................what's YOUR part?

Where are you at the end of your rope, what is your struggle between?

Bring those ends together.................let your gifts and your mission be joined together - so that in your circle you may find your purpose, your part in the Kingdom.

You are part of it..........part of this body, His Kingdom........there is something that you bring, uniquely, that no one else does.............DON'T TRY TO DO IT ALL..........just do your part.

Isn't this exciting?  This fitting of parts, the seeking of the Kingdom, the reaching out to others, this finding who YOU are?

I hope you feel it, too.

You are part of the ALL.

Just discover your part.

Love you all.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Prayer for Today

Dear God............

Thank you for tv.  Seriously.  Thank you.

Did you know there are parents out there WHO USE IT AS A BABYSITTER? OH. MY. WORD.

Yeah, I was totally one of them today.  Thank you for Paul Nipkow and the path he blazed for tired mothers everywhere.

Thank you for dishwashers.  Mine was broken today, God.  And I tried to remember all those wonderful, heartfelt mommy bloggers and their posts about passionate homemaking and finding joy in the every day. Oh and those posts about when you wash dishes be SO THANKFUL you have dishes.  I was trying to find the thankfulness and joy, God.  Really, I was.

I didn't find it.

I want my dishwasher back.

So thank you, God, for Josephine Cochrane.  It figures the dishwasher was invented by a woman........although I lost a bit of my female pride when I read she invented it because her servants were always chipping her china.........but, still, thank you for dishwashers.

Could you please work on miraculously fixing mine tonight while I sleep?  That would be awesome.

Also, thank you for small miracles.

One occurred today, God.

I was making the trek out to the farm where we get milk.........wait, what?  I usually go on Tuesdays-once every 3 months or so?

Yes, I know.

And as you already must know........I DID go yesterday.  And I DID try to have patience for the TWO AND A HALF LONG HOURS I spent in the car doing the pick up.

But I didn't.

And then I got to the house where I do the drop off and realized I forgot to take ALL THE MONEY out to the farm with me.

(((SIGH)))) ((((Under my breath cursing)))))

So, yes, I got to spend ANOTHER TWO HOURS in the car today.........thank you, God, for using life (and my two children who talked incessantly for 2 hours and had to stop to go to the bathroom once) to shape me, to use each situation to show me exactly how far I HAVEN'T come in developing patience, thank you.

So, yes, my miracle............

The car was a mite low on gas (ummm.......the red light was on) and I hadn't noticed until I was on the highway and I didn't want to get off the highway, God, because that would slow me down and I would lose about 2 minutes of my life and well, that was seeming to be unacceptable ( journey to a patient life is just begin, me through Your patience with me, Lord........) BUT this was all OK because as soon as I get on 241 there is a gas station.

Except when there isn't.

And we are in Amish country.

Lots of cows.

Lots of places selling eggs and honey and wood products.

Lots of buggies.

No gas stations.

Nico kept yelling from the back "We need a town!  We need a town!  I think I see one!"

He asked if we would need a tow truck. 

He asked what are we going to do if we stop mom?

And then there was a great light and a moment of great joy and a gas station APPEARED.

Thank you, Lord.  Thank you for towns in the middle of nowhere.  Thank you that we did not run out of gas.  

And finally, Lord, just thank you.  

Thank you for this life you have given me - that even when it's a tv-watching, dishwasher broken, running out of gas in so many different ways kind of day, it's good.  

We can recover and move on and make giant sea life murals in the living room with paint on hands, couches and floor.

And we discover that a messy life is the only life worth living.

I love you, God.

Thank you for loving me.

I was reminded in so many ways of Your Love today.  It had been a little while since I stopped myself enough to feel that, to hear that, to recognize you in my every day.

Thank you for helping me to find You today.

Breathing deep, Lord.  Breathing in Your peace and love.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Molded Middle

It was a few weeks ago that my love, my longest love, my truest love and I ran away from life for a little while.  It was three glorious days of slow and lazy, relaxed and easy.   We read books, watched movies, planned for village and talked.  We slept long and hard.

Then we came home.

It was hard to get out of bed that first day back.

And I thought back to the two mornings we had, not at home, but away.........I got up so easily.  I got up and dressed, early even.  There was no lingering, no real sleeping in.


There were no children, no clothes to wash/fold/put away, no meals to be made, no errands to run................nothing.  What would propel me out of bed?

And it came to me.

It was the bed.

At home our bed is perfectly formed to us, to Joe and I.  It is the bed of our marriage.  We are the type that liked to be pushed up against one another, snuggled up tight.  It's how we start the night and how we begin the day.  At some point in the night we separate but always we find our way back.

The bed of our getaway was not formed to us, didn't have that well-worn indentation.  There was no rolling in, no molded middle.  It was easy to get up and out because it wasn't the comfort of home.  It wasn't the cozy bed of our marriage.

And as I lay wanting to get out of bed on that cold morning, that back to my reality morning.............I thought isn't that the beauty of marriage...........the molded middle that you find yourself in, that growing in - not caving in, but growing in process of marriage.

When Joe and I were first married our lives reflected the bed of our marriage at that time - there were two sides, we each had our own things on our own sides.  There was no molded middle - there were sides of the bed, we each had our designated spot.  But as the years wore on and the bed got pushed up against the wall and the kids came and the bed became more of a haven than a place just for sleep the sides were not as clear cut, there were no designated spots, there was less ownership and more mingling of stuff.  And so it happened with our marriage - there was far less "me" and far more "we", there was a softening, a bending towards one another and not so much this is what "I" am, this is who "I" am but this is who "we" are.

And it's good.

It's that whole two becoming one thing again.........and I love in Ephesians where it states it is a great mystery because it is, it is a complete mystery how completely two do, indeed, become one and what that means for the people involved.

It's mysterious and amazing and unfathomable and only from God that two people could ever join together to become so much more and to live, work, dream, move in conjunction with one another through this world.

And I am so grateful.

I am grateful for the bed of my marriage - the lived in, loved in, broken in bed that is a reflection of the years of marriage I have had thus far.  For the years have felt lived in - living out the conversations of our first months, living out the dreams we have dreamed and building up of a life together.  The years have felt loved in - oh how I waited for what seemed to be so long to be so loved, never have I felt more cherished and more fully who I was meant to be - as a wife, as a mother, as a woman.  And the years have been broken in - the breaking of all me, all the time, the brokenness in me being worked though and the restoration of us.

My hope is that we have many years together, in the years to come - years that will continue to reveal to us the mystery that is, indeed, great.  And that the molded middle will continue to shape and grow and hold us close to one another - our lives to be a reflection of the bed of our marriage.