Thursday, December 19, 2013

With You

So………it's been awhile.

Maybe you thought I forgot?

I didn't.

I never do.

But maybe I take for granted the person I love most.

You came into my life quite unexpectedly.

I had been searching for what seems to be my whole life for YOU.

I had almost given up hope and I thought I was fine on my own…….or at least I pretended to be because everyone says once you stop looking they will come to you.

And so I stopped.

And you appeared.

In your dopey smily face tie and matching suspenders, looking all out of place and rather noticeable in the all-female world of my elementary school.

I was first grade.  You were tutor.

Remember the crush you had on the guidance counselor?

Thank goodness she took a pass and I stepped in.

That seems so long ago and yet…………

Here we are.

Three kids.

Ten years.

And many more to go.

You are my first love, my first real love.

And my last.

You are everything I had hoped for and so much more.

I have watched you grow into the man you are - a preacher man, a teacher man, a man others look up to, a father that others watch, a man who lives each day for his family.

You speak truth, you live truth.

I know that you think you are no big deal and that is part of what makes you great…..the fact that you point others to Him and not to you.

You are my rock.

You are my safe place.

You are the one I want always to come home to.

Thank you for living this life with me.

We are on an adventure, no?

I can't say this is where I thought we would be but no other place I would rather be.

You and me.

Me and you.

Another ten?

Another twenty?

I am a greedy woman.

I want at least fifty more and well, you know me.  Eternity?


That's what I want.

With you.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I prayed over a friend the other night, a friend I love who has children I know and love.  It's one of those friends who sees you more in your jammies than she does in regular clothes, the friend that you honestly don't care when she sees your house a mess, the friend where you walk in her house because you know you are always welcome, the friend that you know will last.

And so when I prayed I found myself resisting the words because I didn't want her to think that I was guiding a big decision that she must make.  But I prayed them anyway…….words that were a combination of what I see and, surely, what God sees in her, in her children, in her family.

You see……….my friend?

She is fierce.

She is loyal.

She has a strong voice.

She has a strong sense of justice.

She is one who does not walk away.

Yet her heart breaks easily.

She is easily hurt……..even when she says she isn't :)

She loves much.

And her children?

The same.


Not because she has sat them down and taught them these things but because she LIVES these things.

And probably I have said these things before and, most likely, I will say them again.  But they matter. It matters that we recognize that our influence comes from our lives.  So many times we get caught up in the pretty and the organized and the well said and the lessons taught.  There are blogs and websites and debates and OH.MY.WORD. that pinterest (yes, yes, I know it's a good thing and helpful and all that for the healthy and rational………but face it mothers are rarely healthy and rational at all times - guard your hearts against the perfection found on a page, rarely is it reflected in the every day, in the 24/7 business of motherhood :).

And so today as I walked into my girl's room and looked at their dry erase board hanging on the wall……well, I had a moment.  One of those mommy moments when I might have cried a happy tear or two and felt that proud swell of my mother's heart.  For on their board I saw what they had written…….

"I'm thankful for………."

And their board was beginning to be filled with their thanks.   The childish, first time scrawl of my four year old writing "ANNIE" nearly broke me.

And I walked out and saw our "path" in our dining room.  I had this GREAT idea from the bible verse "A voice of one calling: 'In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God." - Isaiah 40:3  We were going to have quiet time EVERY NIGHT during December, our abiding month and then write things out on our construction paper path………..didn't happen.  But it did happen some of the time :)  And Nico always has something for me to write on the path.

"Lead on the path by the light of Jesus."

"He will like my gift."

I remember feeling anxious about the not knowing how to TEACH my child to hear from God.  I mean it seems such a crazy thing, a far out there type thing and yet it happens.  I wanted so much for my kids to experience JESUS and GOD and feel that peace and hear the words.

And it's happening.

Not because of a lecture we gave about hearing God.  Not because we sat down and taught a carefully crafted lesson but because we LIVE it and are surrounded by people who live it.  They have walked in on prayer times, on adults sitting at the knees of another, praying words that God has given.  What seemed slightly weird and kooky to me just a few years ago is regular life to them.

So what's my point?

Don't worry so much.

All around me I see women, men who are ordinary people leading extraordinary lives.  They are using the gifts God has given them.  There are parents who battle for their kids who are raising kids who know how to fight the good fight and  stand up to make a difference.   There are parents who treasure and create beauty in their homes and in their lives; they are raising their kids to recognize and value our God as creator.  There are parents who give generously with their time, money, lives and these parents - oh kids, please know that every time your mom or dad is away they are wondering how it is affecting you - and they are teaching their kids that "you before me" is the only way to live.  There are parents who go to work each day, not loving what they do but loving who they do it for and they are teaching their kids the value of sacrifice and supporting their family.

Oh my.

You are teaching so much.

Your children are learning so much.

I stand in awe of the lives I am able to witness every day.

And I am so encouraged and blessed that my children are able to witness them too.

For I am not everything my friend is - not in the same way.

And that's ok.

We aren't just parents to our own.  We belong to one another.

And so I am joyful on this day that together our lives are making a difference.  I am joyful that our lives are able to speak for themselves and we don't need to rely on perfectly scripted lessons or perfectly crafted moments.  We simply need to rely on Him…….and, well, it helps to have one another.

So thankful for my fierce friend and her not so easily contained heart.

So thankful for the others who have joined us, who are teaching our children how to be generous, how to love well, how to pray, how to stand strong in the word, how to go against the grain when it counts, how to forgive, how to have grace, how to speak truth gently and lovingly, how to experience joy, how to worship, how to have fun, how to be trustworthy, how to work hard and so much more.

You are a gift.

You are part of the reason I don't worry nearly as much as I might have before.

So don't worry so much, just LIVE who you want your children to be.

Oh and it helps if you have some AWESOME people join you along the way………

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I Believe

"Comfort, comfort my people, says your God."

Yes Lord…….comfort is what we need.  Comfort is what we seek.  This world seems so hard and unfair and unexpected………except we come to expect the tragedy, we come to expect the world to break open and we fall through, we fall down, we fall to our knees, O God.

God, we seek your comfort……..

"A voice of one calling 'In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.  And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together.  For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

God…….God………the valleys are seeming low, the ground is rocky, the rugged places surpass the smooth and straight.  Come, Lord Jesus, come.  I want to see the valleys raised up, the mountains made low, the rough patches smooth………Lord, I want to see GLORY.  I want all to be revealed…….I want to see your ways, your plan, your heart in this place.

Lord, I am calling out……making a way for You because there seems to be nothing else to do.  I cannot make right the things of this world without you.  Nothing makes sense without you.  And so I trust and I have faith and I don't try to explain away what I can't know…….instead I look forward, one step at a time and I call out to you.

"A voice says, 'Cry out.' And I said, 'What shall I cry?' 'All people are like grass and their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.  The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them.  Surely the people are grass.  The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever."

Oh Lord.

I am crying out.

My heart is crying out.

My plea is for you, Lord.

My plea is for this world to be made yours again.

I have felt your breathe upon me, Lord.  I have seen evidence of the fleeting nature of this world.

Lord, I know that you are good.  I know that you love.  I know that you endure forever.

But today…… I feel the breath and I feel the withering and I see the falling.

Let me see evidence of You.

"Do you not know?  Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Oh, Lord, I know.

I have heard.

You…….I cannot fathom.

Nor can I try.

Give strength to the weary.

Give power to the weak.

Lift up those who cannot stand on their own.

Give foundation to those who are falling.

Renew them, Lord, renew them.

We are tired, Lord.

We are weary.

We are stumbling in this world.

All we can do today is make way for you.

Today I clear a path, I make a space and I sit.

I wait.

I trust.

I believe.