Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Grave to Brave

There is so much beauty in all the world, and her skin looks like the fresh cream that used to foam in the milk bucket when I was young.  I drink her up with my eyes, and she doesn't look away.  I think she's the bravest woman in the world as I laugh at myself.  Serious girl.  Seriously trying to dig out of the shame grave.  Why not plant life?  Why not make beauty from all these...ashes? 

She never wavers, but pours the water and holds my hands as they go deep into new ground.  We get a bit muddy together.  Another brave girl because she doesn't shy away from pain.  Just holds me in it, holds me good and tight, and we push back the walls of darkness and let life come in.  We let her live there with us, and it is good.  Life.  To live all the way.  Alive.

Life in the gathering of Believers in our living room to sing praise to a baby king who came to die.  Prayers cast high and held close in the tender circle of family and friends.  Luminous hearts and dozens of luminaries casting a light that glows long after everyone has gone home.  Light deep and wide.

Life in my hands clasped to the pale fingers of my beloved sister. In knowing that her pain level is a seven, and that I am the seventh of nine children.  The one child held specially in her love, and memories flood my eyes and mind.  How the weaving of fingers never stops, and how her heart is welded to mine.  Just that we love even so.  Deeply.

Life in the agony of watching your children suffer, if only because it drives you to your bare knees.  Because your heart hurts so much you can't breathe with out Christ, and because that is good.  The holy road is hard and fraught with peril, but it is still the good road.  The God road.

Life in the laughter here, and the healing in my back.  Life in rising early with my Shoulders and knowing him again as my own.  Drinking deeply from the well of his love.  Life in getting well and good and whole.  Exchanging grave for brave.

Resting in a Father Who never does because His eye is on the sparrow...see?

On you and me,


When Giving Thanks Hurts A Bit

Sometimes it takes a little strength to be thankful.  When all is not quite right with your soul and you feel a bit... lost.  You wonder how you wandered from the Line, and it makes your heart hurt to be far away from Him.  But we give thanks for the hurting anyway because we know how He identifies with it.  With us.  And we shout, "Thanks, LORD!  That You are in it with us.  That You see all and know all and are right here.  You are right here.  Jesus, I am thankful."

You are the best friend,


Monday, December 19, 2011

What I Really Want To Say

Because what I really want to say is that I love You, Lord.  I  want You to know.  Somehow.  That I am Yours, and that I give all that I am and all this life could possibly be right to You.  And I reach my arms up high, my Jesus, to wrap them tight around Your neck, and to cover Your dear face with a thousand kisses.  I am human, and fallen, and hurting, and sinning.  Yet...You gather me. And though I cringe that I am covered in dung and stink and...Bernadette, You throw Your head back and laugh because You delight in Your children.  Your love makes me cry, Lord.  You are impossible.  You are the God of the impossible. 

The God of me,


When in Doubt, The Prophecies of God

For the prophecies of God.
That point to truth only.
When my heart is shadowed with doubt.
My salvation.
Because that whole Jesus thing.
Is so impossible.
That I am saved?
Rescued from sin and...
Are you ruined by Christ?
By a Baby born for all men?
By the King who came for us?
For you, dear friend?
Mysterious story.
How can it not by mythical?
Thankful for...
The prophecies of God that point to truth only.

That tell of this Jesus,


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Man and Son

The Silent Deep.
Beautiful man and son.
Home for Christmas and filling this heart.
With a joy that hurts.
And I think about Mary.
Wonder how she felt.
About her first born Son.
The beautiful man.
Who would rescue the hearts of men.
And women like me.
Hanging our broken lives.
On the nails that held him down.
To the cross, to the sacrifice, to the death.
Picking up all the broken pieces.
Putting them back together. 
Making us all beautiful.

Like Him,


Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Repentance

Our house bursting with joy.
Until I burst it with one sentence.
Causing their hearts to scatter.
Turning home into ice.
Blanketing it with silence only.
And I want to hang my head.
Cry at the mess I've made tonight.
And wonder how it's going to be right again.
When I have the power to make it so wrong.
One sentence.
Oh, God!  Free me from this body of death.
Show me a different way, Lord.
Strengthen me to reach for it.
To travel the high road, even if it's hard.
Even when I'm ugly.
Papa lift me to be like You.


Friday, December 9, 2011


The Shoulders and I can't stop looking at each other and laughing.
How he gathers me up in his big arms and rejoices.
Eyes that smile.  Those perfect wrinkles just there.
Because I shoveled the walk yesterday and because I am alive again.
It is good to be a woman loved by this man these days.
Our hearts light and wondering...
What will life look like now?
Now that he doesn't have to do everything?
Now that I can sweep the floor and empty the dishwasher and carry the laundry baskets and...
Put on my socks?
Is this really real?
I lay on my face at one o'clock this morning just weeping.
Because there are no words for this kind of thanks.
And I am humble before God.
For His kindness.
His grace.
The mercy He has shown this one little life here.
And as I meet her for prayer, the words start to tumble.
Tears too, let me tell you!
And she anoints my back with oil, with radiance, and for service.
His Spirit Hovers Over Us.
And I am a girl undone.
By the precious hand of God on my back.
My heart, my soul, my life.
Free from pain.
Free from the fear of pain.



Thursday, December 8, 2011

Saying No So You Can Say Yes

She comes with tears and takes me by the hand to the school room where we can talk alone.  Her heart is carved deep with concern for the hardness of the world, and the way His people bend under the weight of it's load.  We stand holding hands and each other's eyes.  She asks if we can help them, and offers the rest of her life's birthdays and Christmases.  Is there anything in the budget pertaining to her that we can cut?  Can she take on some extra babysitting jobs so that she can give more, even if it means less time for our family?

Single silver tear slides down her loveliness, and I want to cup her face in my hands.  Hold the memory of her right now on my skin.  Her chin trembles.  My soul does.  The Strong Soft lifts life up high and asks me to reach for it.  Sixteen year old quiet hero.

Everyone knows how I love Christmas.  Love it.  I set my tree up on Halloween because Christmas is my favorite time of year to spend quiet time.  Love thinking about God.  Love the lights on the tree, the traditions, the gifts, and especially... the giving.   So what now?

I am lost in the deep green of eyes, and her lashes that shimmer with sorrow for a hurting world.  They lash me.  I thought this giving of our Christmas away was the end, but now I get it.  There are no endings in Christ, only beginnings.  We have been praying for revival in the hearts of our children so why should it come as a surprise to me that this young woman wants to be more like Jesus?  By laying her life down?

I reach to become like my daughter whose heart follows hard after her Father.  She won't be left in the dust by her Savior, but rather, she allows herself to become dust.  Deep breath.  I lay my life down too because I want to be more like this girl who keeps pointing the way.  Death for Life, and His Spirit in me says..."Yes."

"Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
Matthew 10:39

I pull all that matters to my heart, and hold my girl become woman in these arms.  "Yes, Sarah."

Yes and Amen,


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cracking Up

"Lord, You are cracking me up!" 

This, I say out loud as I come to the computer to scratch out words that give me life somehow.  Many times, this blog has given me agony untold as I have been learning not to hide.  Not to lie. Not to run.  Isn't the Lord scary sometimes?  How writing in this big open space has caused me to sweat in fear and cry.  How I have held TIGHT to His hand with my eyes closed and just written anyway. Blind obedience. 

"But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  Matthew 6:33

He begins to show me how He has used Freedom Journal to get me to stop running away from Him, stop hiding from His people, stop this insidious agoraphobia of the heart and mind.  To embrace life and love and hope and HIM.  He has been putting wings on my feet all along, and now...all this hope that I might actually be able to run again, physically? just makes me laugh right out loud.

"Lord, You are cracking me up!"


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


My first few hours back at the gym.
Sweating and Smiling.
The Shoulders on the other end of the line laughing with me.
Saying he will buy me gold bracelets.
Wonder Woman Style.
All this new found strength.
And the wonder of getting a life back.
The kids preparing to give their Christmas to someone else.
And all this full, fat joy in the house.
Heart walls bursting to wrap those gifts strewn all down the kitchen table.
Carrying friends in my prayers.
Holding them close all day long.
My soldier son.
These kids...despite me!
A godly husband.
A good hope.
The Gifts of God.

Thank You, Lord,


Thursday, December 1, 2011


Coffee, tree and me.
Still dark mornings under lights and all that is quiet.
My favorite time to sit alone with Him.
And breath His goodness.
His god-ness on this life.
I contemplate each little light, and thank Him for the one that represents mine.
String of white, twinkling orbs, connected to vine-cord.
Alive and well because He came for us.
And I pray for those hanging in darkness.
That His Spirit would find them.
Illuminate them.
I just weep gratitude for my salvation.
For this love.
Layed down in a manger for the gift of mornings like this.
Just being in the presence of a Baby and a King.
Breathing peace to hush this rushing soul.
To slow down low and enter in.

With Him,


Monday, November 28, 2011

Into Love

Don't we love these quiet mornings with Him?
Just taking the time to be in His presence?
Just being...still?
Taking a break from being that wild American?
Rush and Run! Rush and Run!
And don't we just marvel at the way He speaks to us?
The Eternal Speaks!
That Bible there.
Full of wonder, and aren't we kids again? 
Caressing those pages that make us smile.
The word lovers who come to the Word.
Knowing that He smiles too... at His little children.
Reading the love letters He wrote to them.
So they might open on into Grace.
Into a full life with Him.

Into Love,


Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Silent Deep

The Silent Deep home for Thanksgiving, and our family is full and fat with joy in his presence. He lays his hand on my shoulder and speaks words with out them.  Watching over me.  Reassuring me.  He is this great source of comfort and peace, and he is tender with his mama.  With me.  And it makes me cry because his love is sometimes hard to take.  So pure and so powerful.  Does he know?

The Kitten puts on her silver dress and pins a silver Christmas bow in her hair for him.  The anticipation is too much, and she cries in my lap as she waits.  Afraid he won't notice.  And all comforted when he holds her and lets her rest her head under his chin.  Does he know the impact he has on her heart?

The Boy gets his first deer and says, "I CAN'T WAIT TO TELL JOSHUA!"  How he wants his approval and love.  How a word from the Silent Deep can mark the lives of both his brothers forever, and I wonder...does he know?

The Strong Soft opens like a flower.  The Silent Deep is water to her parched heart, and I am grateful that he provides a respite from desert living for her.  All this laughter.   So good for our souls.  And this man such a needed link in our family chain.  But does he know?

We circle 'round my husband, and lay our hands on him in prayer.  The first born Silent Deep opens the well of his soul, and prays for his dad.  Praises him.  The Shoulders wipes tears.  A son that honors his father is a powerful force on the earth, and our hearts bend under it's great weight.  When does your son become your hero?  And does he know?

Does he know how we miss him?  How we fly these flags of hope for his future?  Does he know that the hearts of his parents beat prayers for him?  Breathe prayers?  And that his life is an honor to us?  That knowing him and loving him are gifts? 

Does he know?  

Jesus.  We depend on You to hold our young men to Your chest.  Out of the swaddling clothes and on into You, Lord.  Be all that wind beneath those great big wings.


Monday, November 21, 2011


Grateful now for the thing that can't be numbered with out counting the days spent laying down on the couch, on the floor, in the bed.  The days spent sucking it up to get the job done.  The nights, countless nights now, spent crying in pain, and crying out to God for help.  Oh God, what can You make of this kind of life? And what are we going to do now, Lord? 

How this back has been an issue for everyone inside the walls of this house.  Walls not strong enough to bear the weight of agony, and how I didn't know that I had slipped away.  Twelve years.  Time enough to lose yourself.  Fold up the life, pack those big dreams in an attic box where they gather years of lost hope, and just...die.  But how can a girl live with out dreams?

HE has been with me.  IS with me, and He has used this pain to draw my heart to His.  Close.  Shhhh.  Isn't He something?  Deepest hurt.  Deepest intimacy with Jesus.  And, yes, He has held me, and He has held me together, and I am...grateful.

And now something new.  Some real relief, and actual healing.  I don't know what to make of it, but I do want to shout it out.  I've been seeing Dr. Maurer for, not even three full weeks, and I must count them.  Blessings!  All the things I've done in the last few days that I have not been able to do all together for years:

Cleaning house for eight hours with love and joy and just...happiness.
Baking a turkey, and putting it into the oven by myself!
Two pumpkin cheescakes cooling just now.
Homemade cranberry sauce.
Christmas garland and wreaths all down a country fence.  I did that!
Sore muscles.  Yah!  But back feeling strong.  Yay-er!
Kids looking at me funny.
"Why aren't you on the couch, Mommy?"
Christmas gifts tied in red and green ribbons.
Red the color of HIS blood.
Green the color of new life.
The hope that I might run again.
All this breezy hope.

And me smiling. :)


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Press On!

Sitting alone.
Closing eyes on all that is quiet.
And listening for His still small voice.
Breath of life on us.
Broken lives, broken hearts, broken people.
We wait.
For Jesus to speak.
Open those precious pages.
Read our Bibles.
Training our ears to hear.
Pressing these worn out lives right to His heart.
And straining on into the finish line.
Running on the endurance He has built in us.
The disciplined.
The disciples.
We who know what lies at the end.
We who have no fear.
Rather, we strain to break the winner's tape.
And rejoice!
At a job well done.
All our lives lived to hear him say,
"Well done, good and  faithful servant."
This, from the ulitmate Servant.
Such high praise from His lips.
And can I encourage you weary runners today?

Press on!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Blessed Hope

Digging into the WORD.
Resting in it's Promises.
That means living life upside down.
Right side up.
Taking these feeble steps because He really is strong in everything weak.
Like us.
Like these lives here.
Raise the hair on my neck.
Raise the dead.
Raise the world.
And we happy few.
We band of brothers and sisters.
Delight in the Risen Christ, and wait.
In tiptoed hope, watching the sky.
For the Champion to come on clouds of white.
To take us all HOME.

Oh, Glory!


Thursday, November 10, 2011


I found it in one of my favorite shops today while waiting for my daughter.  It's a rare thing that catches my eye, my heart, my fancy, but there it was...just this simple acrylic drawing by Kelly Rae Roberts of a girl with a messy side-bun. (  She had a sign written right over the top or her heart..."BRAVE GIRL". 

And have you ever received a love letter from God?

I kept coming to these keys last night.  2 A.M., 3 A.M., 4 A.M.  Finally decided that I was finished with this project.  Finished letting my life hang out there like clothes on the line, and all the terror that has meant for me.  Huge trust.  I prayed and asked God to release me, but He was silent, and I thought maybe that meant we were okay to quit this now.  I just let it go, and trusted an answer forth coming.

But when I saw the painting...I knew it was for me, and that it was from God.  It made me cry right there in the shop because He knows.  God knows how hard this is for me.  What it takes for someone like me to write this way.  And it was just so GOOD to hear from Him like that...


"My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working. " John 5:17

Wendy says my name means BRAVE, COURAGEOUS, and VALIANT, and didn't we have a good laugh over that one!  A real piece of Jonah-work.  The hiding one.  The running woman, and why can't I just be invisible?  

But HE sees me, and HE says,  "BRAVE GIRL", and he writes it on my favorite brown-bag paper in black ink.  Pen and Paper.  My good friends all these years, and He opens my eyes to see all that is change since we started writing Freedom Journal.  How He does these great things in we who are scarred.  Scared.  He is a tender Father, and He keeps pulling His kids up and out of Egypt, and isn't He... lovely?

Our Big Papa is a God of change, and as I sat with my beautiful friend over coffee today, just spilling it ALL, letting it ALL come out into the light, I found myself smiling.  Sly little grin on the inside of this soul getting free.  Even in all the tearing down.  Even in those crushing breaks in this once damned life, and the holes in walls around a very tender heart. 

My Father is always at work, and that is worthy of my worship.  He is worthy.  And wouldn't you rather be a willing lump of clay in the hands of the Potter than anything else in all this world?    Wouldn't it be worth getting smashed down if you could get remade, rebuilt,...reborn?  Wouldn't you rather live your life right out loud?  And won't you consider being brave with us?  Won't you come and be one of us?

Brave Girls?


Tuesday, November 8, 2011



My dad's voice on the other end of the line.
Pictures of a sweet little girl all the way in Florida.
Kids laughing and chasing.
A good dinner that makes The Kind and Compassionate feel loved.
Working through an argument.
Reading aloud to kids at home.
Peppermint hot chocolate and the things that make them smile.
Trusting Jesus to be my husband when the Shoulders just can't.
Little sister's family picture.
Her words to me.
Getting through the hard stuff.
A blue sky.
State Maps and World Maps.
Good books.
My Bible.
Antibiotics for sinus infection.
A day off school just to clean this house!
Praying, on my knees, for my soldier son.
A good talk with a friend on the phone about...homeschooling.
The help that words give this heart here.
Our blessed hope...Jesus is coming again soon!
The StrongSoft chasing after God.
The example she sets for little one.
Reading her Bible in the morning and at night, and the Kitten telling everyone about it.
Reaching out to a hurting friend.
Pursuing love.
Craving Jesus.
Laying more and more and more of this little life down.
Crown's on the ground.
That sounds good.


Sunday, November 6, 2011


How can you do this when you've fallen down hard? When you've given in to your flesh, and you're just feeling...sore?  How can the Lord ask you to come this way?  All just broken and ugly, and how can you write words that build up when you are torn.  Torn down.  Then what?  Then you come again to these awful keys and let the whole world float colored kayaks down rivers at the bottom of your canyon carved heart.  Holy Erosion.  God is scary that way.

You want to write about all that is good, but gracious, you can hardly draw a breath because you feel it all so much, so deep, so hard that it crushes the very walls of who you are.  You slough off.  So slowly.  So painfully at times.  Scales coming off the dragon woman. 
God is uncomfortable that way.

You cling to Him, and that promise that He's going to finish the job.  You trust that even in the ugly places, the with-out grace spaces, He will lift your head.  He will bend down just to lift you up. Yep.  And with His very own hands.

God is good that way,


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Drawing in the Body

We sit together, drawn up chairs, drawn up legs in stocking feet, sipping down tea and drawing comfort.  Drawing on each other's strengths and being okay with Eeyore.  Two melancholics, and we laugh this hopeful trust.  Pooh loves anyway, and she smiles us comfortable.  Helps us find our skin and relax in who we are.  Her love is antibiotic ointment on infected thinking.  She bandages the word cuts that we still carry, and wraps us tight in grace.  We just want to be near her.  She helps us find what is real, and our conversation always goes to Jesus, this God-Man we crave.  Our feet begin to find solid ground as we travel this new road.  Being family together.  Doing life.  Together.  Finding out what it means to belong to the body of Christ.  The Body.  And it can only really be done by doing life together, and by praying.  Reading Bonhoeffer, and he quotes, "Where a people prays, there is the church, and where the church is, there is never loneliness."
We press our faces right into the breath of Christ, and inhale Him.  Getting all that we can of each other and His life in us.  The light of life in all men.  The only hope in all the world.

The Strength we draw,


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Salt and Light

Thankful for this family.
The way we stand together.
Soldiers in a crooked line.
Holding it for all we're worth.
And trusting God in the breaks.
The way we sorrow for each other.
Hearts all in.
Holding each other in the embrace of prayer.
And building each other up.
The way HE put it together like that.
First generation because you've got to start somewhere.
And the love.
The loved ones.
Who hold us here to the planet.
So we will keep travelling on.
Lifting our lights up high.
For the whole world to see.
Salt and light.

Salt and Light,


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rushing Wind

Wind blowing through dying leaves.
On huge cottonwoods swaying.
Sounds like the ocean.
On a day when I have nothing to say.
No desire to obey the Lord in this.
This writing.
When my voice feels vacant.
My heart empty.
The wind-waves crash against me.
Knocking over my will.
And I come to the keys.
Because He asks.
Because I love Him.
And I trust that all this obedience is not empty.
That He is not making a fool of me.
As I pry open the truth with these tapping fingers.
Just reaching for what is real.
Because I'm worn out with fake.
All this trying.
Killing me.

Oh, Wind,


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beauty Blunders

I tell the Boy that when he marries, there will be nothing his wife can do to shock him. 

After all, he sits in that passenger seat watching me pluck the hairs on my chinney chin chin, and listens to me moan that I am getting old and where did all these whiskers come from anyway.  What am I, a man?  Today was the best though.  We sat together in the pharmacy parking lot, and I made him hold the little box of just purchased fake nails.  "MOM!  This is SO embarrassing!" 

I didn't have a scissors to cut the top off the miniature super glue bottle so I bit it off.  Yes!  I BIT it off!  Maybe I'm still a bit feverish, but I can't say I recommend super gluing your tongue.  It's just weird.  Not really the feminine touch I was going for either. 

An hour in the shower and the wildebeest that thinks a lot of my legs is razed away.  That's a lot of hair, and right now, some of you are just grossing out!  EWWW!  I know!  The whole personal hygiene thing and home schooling aren't that great a match, I've noticed.  Probably everyone AROUND me has noticed, and, OH! What is that in my teeth?  I'm really getting over this beauty fixation.  Really.  All in one day.  Like waxing the uni brow, baby.

The best part is sitting across from Wendy-John.  Eating and talking and smiling like crazy.  (Still something caught in my teeth.)  Crying on the way home, her finger always going to the soft spot that must never have closed on the top of my head.  She reaches over in the darkened car for my hand, and I know that I am held, and I am loved, and I am safe. 

Despite the fact that I super glued my tongue to my teeth, and shamelessly plucked my chin hairs in a public parking lot.

All in a day's work,


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Temps High, Lovely

Peel off sticky pajamas, shower off fevered sweat and head out the door with camera.  I will find beauty in this day.  Just on our lane here.  Just in the ordinary.  Just remembering that all creation cries out the glory of God, when nothing in me feels like it is glorifying.  When my brain feels as if it's being gored by a texas long horn.  Headache.  Fever.

I find leaves and trees and sunlight.  Kids raking and jumping.  Last flowers hanging on to color.  Tire swing that sits empty, already haunting my heart.  Time going too fast.  The children growing too fast.  Moving on too soon.  Circular shadow swinging in the breeze under arching branches.

Just beauty in the ordinary.  Things I drive by every day.  Things I don't see because I see them all the time.  Lovely things.  The mail boxes.  The old truck.  The way the sun lights up every single leaf on every single tree.  Pumpkins and corn husks.  That desperate looking flag.  Just the fence.  The field.  Knowing that good neighbors are close, and feeling my heart swell with love for them.  One yellow leaf clinging to a wire all golden veined and glorious.  Oh, God, You are good!

Stop signs, and Slow signs...and they are all for me.  His voice speaking.  I woke in the deep last night calling out to Him.  Strange to find  myself lying on the wood floor in front of the sliding glass door wide open.  What?  "Get back into bed, Child."  I obey and shiver hot 'neath quilts of fitful, fevered dreams.  And how good the Lord is! 

Stop.  Slow. Yield....Rest.  And find beauty.  Even in fever calming flannel.  Even in laying down your head on fire.

Right there on His heart,


Monday, October 24, 2011


Oh hearts, prone to wander.
Losing sight, losing ground, growing numb.
Weary wanderers in foreign land.
Held by grace and yet...
These tears become streams in the desert.
Thirsting Lips.  Chapped Lives.
Reaching our feet out for some cleft in the Rock.
Arms pulling so we can climb high.
Instead of eating with the pigs.  
Get us out of this life sty.
And into the arms of Father.
Let us get to His house.
Where He clothes us in His righteousness.
And puts His ring of grace 'round our fingers.
God's Riches At Christ's Expense.
Help us to find home.
So we can finally stop living like this.

All Prodigals,


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Old Chair

The physical body lies in ruins, and my torn flesh comes to rest here in this old chair.  Exhausted.  Here where I nursed and rocked the children. Here where we played "This Little Piggy" wrapped in towels after baths and smelling of everything on earth that is good. Here where we read and talked and melted together.  Here where we held hands and sat in a kind of holy silence.  Here, the comforting place after a spanking. Here where I  kissed their heads, and here where I sang them to sleep before lifting them off to bed.  Here where I have read thousands of pages of His Words, and right here where I became open to His rescue.  Here, tonight, just too tired even to sleep.  And here...writing a tribute to the good stuff.  The real stuff.  And the physical witness that is losing its stuffing.

This Old Chair,


Just To Be With You

Just to be with You.
Breathe all that You are.
The only oxygen for these gasping lungs.
The only hope in all the world.
When my life and my body are but a vapor.
When all that I am and all that I have longs deep for Your return.
Woman on tiptoes with arms flung wide to sky slung low.
Trying to touch You somehow.
Eyes wide and watching.
For the Lover.
For YOU.

Waiting, Lord,


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Rememberance

Job 1:21  "The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.  Blessed is the Name of the Lord."

She doesn't like me to talk about it.  Gets quite angry when I do so...I just put it down there in the deep.  Store it up.  But here we are three years later, and I still have nights like this when I wake up sobbing.  Nightmare images of her lying in that bed with a tube coming out her throat.  Tubes coming out everywhere.  Heart monitor.  Blood pressure monitor.  Blue compression leggings to keep her from developing blood clots.  My very own daughter standing on the edge of death. All the life in her eyes and face drained.  Gone.  Her voice is flat when she says that God has abandoned her.  She says that she doesn't care what happens to her now.  

The Shoulders and I stop saying her name.  She is our dead girl in the bed.  For all his strength, my husband is beaten, and we stand in that room clinging to each other.  Mourning the loss of a daughter. Thirteen years old.

Thank God for my mama.  She holds that big man as if he were her own son, and he weeps in her arms wrapped tight.  He is going to lose another little girl.  It seems too hard.  Too unfair. 

It crosses our minds.  We belong to the all powerful God Who is right now choosing to allow this in our daughter's life.  In our lives.  That He would let our little girl, who loves Jesus with all her heart, feel abandoned by Him.  Left.  Cast aside.  Facing death alone.  Jesus becomes the bitter pill we must swallow because WE BELIEVE.

This is our God.

We wheel her down to the surgery bay for her second go at rectifying this appendix gone so wrong.  She is emaciated under those white sheets.  Face white too.  Green.  Shadow of death the only thing written on her skin.  The doctor and the anesthesiologist talk with my husband while I stand and hold her hand.  This one who gave me life when she entered the world.  A dream come true from the very first breath.  

They take her away, and the Shoulders and I stand sobbing together in the hall.  He holds me so hard my glasses get crushed into my face, but I don't care.  Give me some pain I can handle.  In that terrible moment, we know that we have lost her.    


But she does come back to us, and that "bitter pill" works His medicine.  She is a child spared TWICE  from death.  She begins to wonder why God would allow her to feel the way Jesus felt on the cross, and she takes that into her heart as a privilege.  This girl identifies with Christ in His suffering.  This is a girl, a rare girl, whose faith has been tested by real fire.   Ours too.

Recovery still in process,


Monday, October 17, 2011

A Confession

Barely under the quilts before the dam breaks wide.  A poison seed has taken root in my thought life.  Pressing hard down, and I am undone.  Little salt water river running repentence down my face and into my ears.  I have to confess it.  I know I do.

And so I begin, to the Shoulders holding my shoulder, this struggle that I've not been able to express to him, my best friend.  Because it's so stupid and silly that I can't even believe that I've been caught!  My foot trapped.  My walk snared by this ugly lie.

I have been jealous of beauty.  That bare crescent that was mine has long slipped away, and my thoughts have been altogether too much of her.  I feel sick, as the Lord creates a more beautiful me on the inside, where HE looks, I am unable to look away from the loveliness I see in others.  On the outside.

I told you it was silly and stupid! 

The Shoulders tells me this is wrong.  I know.  He asks me if I know why it's wrong.  I do.  He waits while I spill it all out, the ugliness, and how the lie makes me feel.  He prays for me, and I have peace.  Yes.  This is the power of a praying husband. 

Roll to my side and ask God to give me eyes to really see.  Myself.  Others.  The World.  To live this one life beautifully and to make beauty wherever I go.  To walk in the sweet aroma of Christ and all that I am in HIM.

To be a fragrance,


Sunday, October 16, 2011

And More

Yes.  I am struggling with God.
Yet perfectly and safely held by Him.
I pick.
Random stick.
And spank the ground.
Pound out prayers.
Talking to Jesus.
Cry with out tears.
And stand there by the pond.
Reflecting silver sky.
Reflecting me.
Close skies make me quiet.
I see trees falling in water.
Red leaves make curling boats.
Tiny currents trace them delicately.
Respectful coffins.
Who will paddle them?
And how can I go home?
Unchanged, still?
My thoughts.
FULL of Him, ALL of Him, MORE of Him.
I am the discontented soul.
For more.

Of Jesus,


Friday, October 14, 2011

A Happy Birthday!

The Kitten is nine years old today.  The baby.  She wears her "Hello Kitty" pajamas and lets me hold her for a bit on my lap.  I hold her too hard, and she says so.  What would this family be with out her?  The joy girl?  And did you know that her older sister prayed her into this life?  That as her dad and I kept trying to prevent more children from coming to us, big sister went to her knees.  Battling for the Kitten.  Crying out to God for a baby sister.  Getting everyone at church on board, and as I listened to her prayers, I would say to the Shoulders, "You better get in to the doctor or we are GOING to have another child.  Your daughter is talking to the Lord, and she is pounding the gates of heaven.".

I think the Lord likes to answer Sarah's prayers, and when the Kitten came to us, she was there in the delivery room.  That baby was hers.  

And I am so grateful that God answered.  That He knew that the Shoulders and I needed this one.  That our family needed this one.  That she came all fuzzy haired with a heart pre-wired for loving her family.  Giving this life meaning and purpose.  Giving this one heart wings.  I owe my daughter a great debt.

Thank you, Sarah.  for your prayers.  Happy Birthday, Mary!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

From The Far Side

"What we do is less than a drop in the ocean.  But if that drop were missing, the ocean would lack something." -Mother Teresa

So I guess that means that the mounds of laundry finally folded actually amount to something?  That the dog puke scrubbed out of the carpet has some kind of deep spiritual value?  And I suppose that me taking the boys' bathroom toilet seat APART and scrubbing it down with my bare hands contributes somehow to the beauty and depth of the ocean? 

How about one less drop of pee on the seat, boys!  How about time to fold your own clothes, daughters!  How about if the dog stops eating dead animals and starts chowing on that expensive, hypo- allergenic DOG FOOD.  I mean, the vet did promise that it would prevent her from scratching off her fur and eating her own paws.  Wouldn't YOU want to eat a food that promised that?  Venison and Potatoes!  What UP, Dog?

I know, I know...I should never write at night.

Venison and potatoes sound good,


Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Jesus, You are the beautiful One.
Your hands holding all that You made.
All that You love.
Leaves of fire and gold.
Falling and floating.
On the great breast of You.
Drifting dreamily.
No fear of graveyard ground.
Leaves trust.
Leaving everything to Creator God.
And I want to fall like that.

Down into You,


On Brass Rings

The Kitten got her glasses today, and the Shoulders took off work so he could be with her.  We took the camera and snapped time.  Held time.  This one so excited.  The thing that will make it more comfortable for her to read, and...that will make her look more like her friend.

Are we excited about looking more like Jesus?  Are we all pressing in, saying "LORD!  Change me!  I want to look like You, be like You, love like YOU."  Are we putting our spiritual glasses on in the morning?  Living fruitful?  Living right?

I confess.  Today was a dead day.  Was it something I ate?  The way I slept?  Thyroid issues?  My lack of prayer this last week?  Was it just...being human?  I have these days sometimes where I am literally with out life.  Can barely focus my eyes.  School in the fog with this giant frown on my face.  Thinking of this great lack of joy, and that my kids did not hear me laugh today.  And then I remember that I've not been grateful.  That I've missed the brass ring.  That I've not even reached for it.  Sigh.

Thankful now that His mercies are new each morning, and that His mercies are for me.  They are for you.  In the living days and in the dead days too.

That He might raise them,


Monday, October 10, 2011


The Shoulders.
The way he smiles at me.
It still makes my stomach flip.
The way he brushes my face.
Those hands that hold heart and body and soul.
That light in his eyes.
The hair on his chest and that long scar.
I trace.
As we lay tangled and talking.
Him rising early to work.
Providing with out praise.
Standing there on the front lines.
Taking all the big hits.
On his shoulders.
A tender warrior.
Because he wears the Scroll as his shield.
Shielding this household of hearts.
A wise man knows that the battle rages.
On and on and on.
And he knows to be ready.
Knows that we count on him.
That we trust.
The way he lays his life right down.
This good man.

A God man,


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Field Trip

Sitting here smiling at the hotel jam we've got going on here tonight.  Cello.  Violin.  Guitar.  Yes!  They all got packed into the van for this road trip to museums and volleyball games.  Am I crazy or what?  Two girls chatted it up the whole trip while the boy made weird faces at me in my rear view mirror.

Milk Duds and Gobstoppers.  Things that make him happy.  Me happy.  The rhyming contest begins...things we do when the Shoulders is not in the car, and he smiles all gums and teeth when I bury him.  Makes me wish I could be like this all the time.  With this one.  The one who struggles with his work ethic.  The one who keeps trying and failing.  Like his mom.  Like me. 

So good to smile with him.  Laugh.  Love.  Such a gift to be in this room with young musicians making...quite a racket actually!  The boy takes me down just once putting mice, rice, ice and twice together in a sentence.  I want to take his face in my hands and kiss him.  Tell him how wonderful he is, and that I love him.  Forever.



Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Gathering

Listening to Tim Keller because a dear friend provided his messages for me on an ipod.  Does she know the full measure of her gift?  Does she know the hours I spend in the car listening instead of growing all this time of mine seeming to slip away.  Given away.  And does anyone notice or care?  Time.  Again.

Tonight Keller was talking about how Jesus can be our husband, and I thought of mine so far away.  My heart in Istanbul, Turkey. I know the Bible says that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, and can you imagine such a tall order?  I wonder...if in all their strength they grow weary in doing good?  Are our husbands lonely too?  Do they cling to the cross of Christ and cry out to Him to be their husband too?  Their shoulders?  Their strength?  How can we encourage these great men?  How can we lift their hopes?

And what can I say to the Shoulder's daughters who cry for him and worry their lives would be over if he ever left the earth with out them?  What do I say to his sons, when they need to listen, but they can't hear from their mama anymore like that?  How would a woman know what it takes to become a man anyway?

The house lies, again, in ruins.  The week spent weakly comforting and caring for broken bodies and hurting hearts.  I want to lay my head right down and bawl.  At all this failure.  All this mess.  And how am I going to get it all together before the Shoulders comes home?

Isn't that how we all feel when we really just need to come to God?  In all the tears and snot running down.  In all the ugliness. Wouldn't it be nice to enter in sometime when  we've all been good and holy?  When we've not yelled at our little one and silently shunned the big one?  When we've not played our crumpling cards?  Instead, we just show up and shrug.  Here we are again, Lord, and what are You going to do with the whole lot of us?  Is there enough water in all the world this time?

Tender Father.  Pulls His daughters and sons right up into His lap and takes out a giant white hankie.  Patiently wipes the world off.  Again.  And how is it He never grows tired?   Weary?  Of doing this good to us?  Of loving like this and cleaning us up like this?  How does He get us, these wild children of His, to settle down and rest our heads right there on His eternal heart.   The everlasting arms.

Gathering us all in,


Tuesday, October 4, 2011


So you get called a religious nut, and folks say that you Jesus Freak people out.  And I know.  I get it, really I do.  But I am nothing now but a woman wholly addicted to Christ.  He is my holy addiction.

You know, the way He reached right down and rescued me, and the way He turned everything right side up and helped me to breathe again.  The way He started the blood pumping in this heart dead black.  And how I just want to keep my face pressed right up into His.  So I never, ever get lost again. So I always have a home.  So I know that I belong.  To the One Who made me, and the One Who loves me.  The One Who calls me His own.  The One Who promises that He will never leave me or forsake me.  The One Who finds it impossible to lie. And...

Couldn't you get lost in a love like that?  Couldn't you risk losing anything?  For the One Who gave you everything?  And wouldn't you find yourself beating a straight path to His door...for more?  Just so you could be near Him, and just so you could get the smell of Him all over your clothes, your breath, your life?  The sweet aroma of Christ on the fallen down is intoxicating.  You can't get enough of Him because He's the way, and He's the truth, and He's the life, and you can't say no to Him because He is really all you want.  He is this one little life's obsession.  And He is the reason we become wholly addicted.  To Him.  To this Jesus.

Our only fix,


Monday, October 3, 2011

Flipping Out!

Thinking a lot today about time, and how does Jesus know?  He gets me reading about Mary and Martha and shows me something I've not seen.  How the Lord says, "Martha, Martha you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary."  Luke 10: 41-42

I've not seen the word NECESSARY, and I'm a bit dumb struck.  No wonder I crumble when I am "distracted with much serving".  No wonder I fall when I'm not sitting at His feet.  Being taught.  Being whole.

Contemplating...oh, how I love to contemplate.  How everything here on earth is flipped in heaven.  How here, our most precious commodity is time, but in heaven, there is no such thing as time.  What is time to eternity?

The Shoulders is, right now, in Turkey helping a mining company to efficiently and safely extract gold, one of earth's most precious metals.  But in heaven, gold is tar.  It paves the streets.  It's flipped.

The world lives itself to death, but as Believers, we are called to die so that we can fully live.

The world says "What about me?"  The Kingdom says, "Pick up your cross and follow Me."  We know that crucifixion was the execution style invented by the Romans.  This reference would be, to us, similar to saying, "Pick up your electric chair.  Pick up your lethal injection."  What???  Pick up your death?  How flipped is that?

I know.  To sit at the feet of Jesus when the to do list hangs around your neck.  Albatross.  When your family and your friends and your life pull you out and away.  From this Jesus.  From the heart of the Man Who hung His perfect life on a tree.  For you.  For me.

Can we not tarry with our Lord?  Can we not give Him the thing that we value the most? Can we not give Him our time?  Can't we live?




The school room sits just now saturated in deep golden sun light. I study the way the leaves shadow dance on the walls.  HIS creation is endless and endlessly pleasing.  I am letting the kids sleep in on a Monday, a school day!  I need a little more time here.  Time to sit with Jesus and time to pray for each child by name.  My husband.  By name.  Time to hold each one right here in my prayers, bringing them close to me, to this tender heart.  Praying for family.  For friends.  For strength.  For peace.

For time,


Saturday, October 1, 2011


Heart spilling.
Loving You this way.
And You...
Your love so pure,
I think it hurts.
And how can the world?
Not want to know You?
How can they not fly?
On into You?
The One Who said,
"I AM setting you free!"
Life Giver.
Love Maker.
How is it?
That I am Yours?
Even more...
That You are mine?
That You love like this?
That You have forgotten?
Who I was, and even...
That You made me new?



A Goodbye

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5

The Shoulders stands at the airport surrounded by arrows from his quiver, these weapons of war.  His children gather 'round and reach to touch him, to say goodbye, to receive his blessing.  He kisses tops of heads, cups faces in hands, takes young men by the shoulders, giving them his mantle.  Giving them his strength.

I am last. Waiting there on the curb for his lips, his life and all that light in his eyes.  Watching his arms circle the legacy of our love, I wait to step into the hard embrace of goodbye.  Again.  This man of mine travels the hard road, and we build callouses on our feet watching him go.

Jesus is here, and He is strong in our weakness.  He is our hiding place and our strong tower.  We continue to build this life, this family, on the Man Who gave His life on a beam.  Giving us all we need.  The wood to build an alter.  A place for hearts on fire.  Burning for this Jesus.  The One Who meets every need.  The One Who died so He could.

The One Who paid it all,


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Oh, Ancient Of Days!

Ever have a day where you feel...ancient?  All the world pulling hard on your body, your skin, your heart and your soul?  Ever go a day, a whole, wasted day with out really pulling a chair up beside HIM?  Ever feel like you're so covered in the dust of living that you're never gonna get clean?  Never wash up?  Then, when you want to put it all down for the evening, you can't close an eye until HIS have been all yours?  Even just for a second? 

And isn't it good that we can come?  Just like this?  Covered in the sweat and the dung of the day?  Just to sit with HIM and breathe and be?  Breathe and Be?  Breathe and Be?  Just to listen to the beat of HIS heart and know that it's okay?  That HE's got us?  That HE loves us?  That HE understands?  Us?

And isn't HE kind to listen to it all, and isn't HE good, and isn't it great that HE gets us and that HE's God?

Isn't it wonderful that we're not?


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

To Be With

Lord, You are lovely here.
Your breath on this life lifts me.
Up into courage.
Up into YOU.
And I wish I could sit the day.
At Your feet, in Your love, In Your presence.
Never leaving.
And will You teach me, Lord?
How to be still, and still be with You?
In the crushing rush?
In all that steals this heart away from Yours?
My Jesus. 
Lover of all souls.
Of this soul.



Sunday, September 25, 2011

Of A Sunday Afternoon

To slow down home.  The Kitten and I slice bags of country apples to put up for winter.  We prepare for comfort on the endless frozen days and already know the blessing they will be... pie crusts rolled out and placed in the freezer.  Ready for the days when we need an escape from all that is cold.  Hard.  Icy.  Bare. 

I think about friends and roll out prayers.  Holding them in my kitchen.

Allison Krause sings silver shivers down my spine on Pandora Radio, and the laundry sits in neat stacks all down the kitchen table. The Shoulders keeps coming into the kitchen, and I can tell he is comforted by the sight of us.  Two of his girls in skirts and aprons preparing home,  making home with hearts full of him and all his strength for us.  His hand slides on my hip, and I am weak.  Thankful for this little life here.

The Strong Soft begins her first fast for a beloved aunt.  My sister.  My friend.  All these prayers go up in symphonic heart strings for her, and it is good to be still and silent before God.  He bends down and listens to our prayers.  So we ask for a miracle.

Missing my Silent Deep son.  Makes me smile to think of him.  I pray for his life and for his future, and hold him too...right there in my kitchen.

The laundry goes on, the lawn mower drones, and the dishwasher tries daily to die.  But inside these walls, the rush is kept at bay, and we lie deep in His Sabbath rest.

On a Sunday afternoon,


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thanks to You!

The Silent Deep punches out letters on his phone, and a text comes to me that lifts me so high I think I might actually fall down.  His words wrap right there around me bringing me comfort.  Drawing me close to his voice.  My little brown eyed boy has grown up and moved away from me.  He is a grown man, but he reaches to keep our hearts close.  It's too much.  Too much grace.  Too much sweetness, and I am undone by his precious gift.  Fully accepted.  The best ever.

I tell the kids in my class that we all need encouragement.  I see them nodding their heads, even as I nod mine.  "Yes."  We all need encouragement.

So can I encourage you today, friends?  Just remind you that He is madly in love with you, and that He's got hold of your life, and that He is in charge?  If all is falling down, I am praying that you will have the strength to look up.  To see Him.  To look upon His dear face.  To find your feet, again, on solid Rock. 

And may I offer these words of humble thanks, once again, to you who have come alongside when I have so desperately fallen?  May I say "thank you" for your encouraging words and prayers that have helped me to find a way to begin writing my book?  Thank you for helping me to find me feet.  To know that I too, stand on solid ground.

The Rock of my Salvation,



Monday, September 19, 2011


He nudged me out of bed last night.  Deep in darkness, and down on my knees.  Lifting His Name up from the whispering floor lips.  Whispering His Name.  Sacred.  My smallness reaching to touch the very face of God.  The Lord.  Mine.

We meet, and as I fall into Him, all that is ruffled becomes smooth.  All that sin is washed, cleansed and scrubbed down by His promises.  His passion all those years ago, when he was thinking of me on the hill of Calvary,and His passion tonight.  Setting this life on fire.  And I just rest in that.  In Him.  In this.  Time slowed down just for us tonight.

Just for worship here,


Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Mystery

The Shoulders takes my face in the dark.  Traces my leaking eyes.  My nose.  My chins.  We barely speak, but his hands, the language of committed love, etch healing on my skin.  He is an artist.  I am his canvas, and I lie, a still painting, as he gives his life and his strength to me.  He loves as Christ loved the church.  Giving all of me.

He brushes over me breathless.  Forgiven.  He colors life back into his woman.  Paints beauty into every feature.  Even that settling weight, and this chin that becomes neck somehow.  Even in tenderness, he is strong, and my heart is impossibly healed in the space of hours.  This love, surrendered to God, is miraculous.  Deeply miraculous.

A mystery,


Friday, September 16, 2011

Broken Rib

It has been a week of weak.  All strength crumpled on down in that pile of broken. The aorta pinched tight.  The heart dying right there wearing high heeled boots, and you, the walking dead reach for something to hold you hard down.  Makes you wonder if you'll ever be the same.  And wouldn't that just be a fine thing?  To be truly changed?  To be different this time?

I miss all the strength of him.  The way his arms wrap hard and hold.  The way he carries the weight of our world on his strong Shoulders.  Losing himself for our gain, and, yes... sometimes losing my heart along the way.  He says that I am his rib, but sure I am a broken one.  Barely able to support his chest cavity, the home of his heart, and causing him pain that is beyond bearing.  Flights, trips, conference calls, the full court press.  The pressure to provide for all these hungry bellies, and music lessons, and a school where God is still the King causes a pulling away.  A great tearing of flesh away from flesh.  Killing Adam.  Breaking his Rib.

And though our hearts have fallen down the broken well, we cry out HIS Name.  We reach for the higher way and the Holy Road.  Narrow.  Our feet travel on gathering dust, but our hands weave together in a life that stretches out into more unfolding.  We fall into Him, the Rock of our salvation.  And trust.

The Glue that holds us,


Wednesday, September 14, 2011


The Strong Soft has been saying it for months.  That she needs an acoustic guitar to better lead children's worship.  Can I confess this irritation with her?  For her sixteenth birthday, her dad and I purchased her "dream" guitar, an electric Gretch, and at not yet seventeen, I can't believe she thinks she needs another one.  Makes me feel a bit hurt for some reason.  She says that someone will give her a guitar because Jesus knows that she needs one.  I kind of "humph" at this notion, but she persists.  Believes.  Trusts.  Tells me that would not be too hard for God.  "Humph!"

Driving on to youth group tonight, she said, "Maybe there will be a guitar for me at the coffee shop."  I crawl into my skin...saying nothing.  Feeling nothing.  Being nothing.

I am meeting a dear friend, and we walk into the building together.  That blond beauty goes on in ahead, and when I look at her again, she is walking toward me with a guitar case and a white piece of paper in her hand.  From "Anonymous".  From Jesus.

I literally fall to my knees.  Shake my head, "NO!"  "NO!" Weep at this gift!  Weep at her faith!  Weep at mine so sorely lacking!  The way God uses my daughter's faith to scrape me up off the tar, and the way He shows me again, that He is here.  That He is with me.  That He's going to help me do the assignment, and that I don't have to do it alone.  The way He just cradles my heart like that.  I know, again, that He is a gentleman, and that He leads His sheep; He doesn't beat His sheep.  A new day is dawning.  Another freedom journal entry.    

Right here,


Monday, September 12, 2011

A Kind of Unravelling

What happens when everything begins to unravel, and you can't find the end of the rope to tie a knot in?  When the floor drops away, and your heart falls up into your throat?  When it feels like God is taking you to pieces?  And you have no peace? 

You remember that you said "YES." because you wanted to obey Him with all your heart, but now you wish you could take it all back.  Because this hurts, and you're blind there in the whirlwind, and all you can do is cry out his Name. 


You are on your knees, and you are on your face, and you are on the phone begging anyone with a tongue and a heart for God to pray.  And you want to hide in your bed all day because you're a cry baby, but you drive the children anyway to the silent howl of soul, and you come home to these pages and type yourself out to the world.  And know you're crazy.

Oh, God!  Let not the hurricane wind blow me off course!  Remind me, again, that You have never broken a covenant.  That You make them and keep them.  That You are still in control here.

When all is wild,



Just that voice on the other end of the line. Reaching across the nation like warm hands that wrap around this heart.  Giving me hope.  And strength.  And perspective.  And a plan.  Her prayers, the hands that lift my arms, and remind me to praise Him.  The One here with me in this dry and forever wilderness.  

Hadn't the Kind and Compassionate just told me so?  Hadn't he said, "Mom, the reason that we all feel lost and alone is because we lack true fellowship.  You need to call a friend.".

And so, your fourteen year old becomes much wiser than you, and it's okay.  It's okay, I guess, that your children see you flailing about.  Trying to get your feet down.  On the ground.  Wrestling with God.  Wanting a giant piece of Him.  Not satisfied with being a Christian another day.  No.  I want CHRIST!   I want to bury myself in the folds of His cloak.  Cling to Him with all my life.  Hold His dear face in my hands and cover His cheeks with a thousand kisses.  Tell Him thank You.  That I love Him.  Even as I pound His chest.



Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Thanks

Falling down, Lord.
Into You.
And this amazing love.
Amazing grace.
That gives me goose bumps.
When You speak that way.
Through Your Word.
Your Words.
To me.
To this life.
So fallen down.
Yet You take my chin in Your hand.
And make beauty.
From ashes.
You lift up my head.
Where does my strength come from?
It comes from You.
The way You see things.
The way You look here.
At me.  At us.
With a love.
So true.
So sure.
So strong.

It can never be broken,


Friday, September 9, 2011

To Be Yolked

Sitting in the dark.  The white space of the screen the only thing lighting the night.  Bed time conversation with my Shoulders about the times we're in, and how, because I'm not in church, I feel it.  Keenly.  Driving around in the world.  Shopping around.  Touching the world and becoming full of its dust.  The dirt that clings.  To me.  Makes me feel like a plow horse.  Pulling hard.  Yolked hard.  Held hard.

HE says, "Come to me all ye who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yolk upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yolk is easy, and my burden is light."  Matthew 11:28-30.

Grateful for this quiet time.  Alone in the late with Him.  Away from all the ways I disappoint my husband, my children, my parents, my siblings, my friends.  The ways I fall short of housekeeping and meal making.  That fat roll hanging over my pants.

Here with Him, the yolk falls away, and I am accepted.  I am ashamed, but He's just glad I came!  Together, we wash down the dust, the doubt, the guilt, the grout.  Here, I am beautiful.  Just here.  And it is good.  To be known.  To be loved.

To be harnessed to the deep rest of His yolk,


Sunday, September 4, 2011


Perhaps if I am able to write it down, I won't be stuck.  Wish I didn't need words so much to sort things out.  And why do I need to type it out here?  For all the world to see.  This blight on my soul.  This never ending battle with my stinking, stupid flesh.  Why does the Lord ask us to do these seemingly meaningless things???

Somebody said to me today that everybody is blogging now days, and that it's this mad rage.  The thing to do.  Yet sitting here, still, after all these months, in a giant pool of my own sweat, I think they must be joking!  No way would a sane person do this!  No way...unless Jesus whispered it to them in the depth of their heart.  No way...unless He leaned on them so hard they thought they might break in two.  No way.

So I am out here again. Writing the angst of my heart and simply baring all that is undone.  Angry.  Frustrated beyond belief.  Tired and simply "done".  This is how I come tonight.  And for what purpose???  The thought of these pointless words going out into thin air and taking a piece of me with them, well, it's maddening, you know?  Terrifying.

I tell the Lord, "No.  Not today.  I don't want to write, and I have nothing to say.  I am ugly and ashamed.  Not today."

He asks, (Do you hear me??? The Lord ASKS!) "Will you obey Me in this?".

Even though I swallow them back and try to harden my heart, the tears come.  His love just untangles me like that.  His love is, well, it's rather, unavoidable now isn't it?  His love is so grand that it takes us to the place we need to be.  A humble position.  A lowly spot in life.  A place away from that dreaded question..."What about me?".

And though I want to throw up, even at these words here tonight, I will obey.  I will.  I will myself to obey this Jesus Who poured Himself all out and then said, "COME. FOLLOW ME.".

What is your cross tonight?  Will you pick it up?  Will you follow Him?

Even if it means your whole life is bared and scared?

Like mine?


Friday, September 2, 2011

Praying for Rain

It does seem, lately, that there may be some water after all.  I open my mouth wide for that one, precious drop.  Drip.  Let it slide on down my throat.  Eyes closed in this.  Simple gratitude.  And I begin to wonder, "Is the Lord really doing something?"  I shake my head no.

But there it is.  Another drop.  Drip.  Cool.  Small but quenching.  These other voices raised with mine crying out for something more.  Our lips all turned up and opened to it.  Dying of thirst for more of this Jesus, more of His life in us, more of His power in us, and more of His hand smothering out the darkness in us.  All this fear.  All this fake. 

Our heads tip back and our mouths open wide.  Waiting.  For Elijah's cloud?  We pile on our knees in weakness so that He will make us strong.  We open the book and cry out to the One Who wrote it.  We risk it all and bare our souls because we are tired of walking alone.  We set out to discover what it means to be in intimate fellowship with Jesus and with each other.  We say "NO." to Satan.  We dare to believe that we will not die of thirst in this land.  That a rain is coming.  And that it begins with one drop.



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Rush

Oh, my Jesus.
Here it all comes.
Sports and music and home school and travelling.
Laundry and meals and house work.
Making the bed.
Getting out of the bed.
And I find my soul dying.
When I can not spend those deep times.
With You.
With You.
Can't help feeling deeply sad.
Even as I drive the deeply privileged children.
How it makes me feel far away from you.
And why can't I be one of those women?
That thrive in the doing?
Instead, I grieve.
Even sometimes at the way You created me.
As if You didn't know what You were doing?
As if some how You made a huge mistake?
Even though I feel like one sometimes.
Help me to remember, my Jesus.
That I am Yours, and that You love me.
That You are with me.
In all this.
Rush and pressure and missing You.

The God Who never leaves,


Joy wings

Boy Blue so sore from football that he is walking around the house like a penguin.  Gingerly placing each foot on the ground.  Waddling back and forth.  Making his mama laugh out loud.  Making him laugh to see me laughing, and oh, there needs to be more of this.  More of the kids seeing my face turned up.  More of that joy that is so miraculous.  Sets hearts flying, now doesn't it?  Precious joy, I am thankful for you.

Wind beneath my wings,


Monday, August 29, 2011

Sleepless in Billings

Half made bed.
Face, red.
Violin and Cello.
Music, hello?
Volleyball, number five.
Soon to drive.
He fills the van with the smell of sweat.
Football beast and no regrets.
Distant heart.
Living apart.
His college days.
And Silent Deep ways.
Shoulders work the ground.
Deadlines pound.
And I should never write.
Late at night.

Sleepless in Billings,


Saturday, August 27, 2011

On Treasures


Silent Deep in his new dorm room standing tall.  Smiling.  I study his face and wonder if this is what he has been waiting for his whole life.  That one...always in a bit of a rush to get on with it.  How many lists did I find in his bedroom over these years so very gone?  All the dreams he was dreaming then, and the written schedules to accomplish them.  Did he just open his eyes to them come true?  And how does it feel now that he's living it?

I watch him walking with his sister, and I can't help it.  This vivid picture of the two of them crowded together in that little plastic car, his arm thrown around her shoulder, crowds my mind.  Makes  me a bit melancholy.  A little sad as I think about all the legos washed out of his pants.  Remembering all the rocks, matchbox cars, marbles and the big dreaming life of that one brown eyed boy that came out in the wash.  All those objects lying at the bottom of the machine even after I had checked his pockets would leave me shaking my head.  "Where does he keep all these treasures?"  And I wonder now...

"Son.  Where are your treasures?"

Just a little whisper-prayer as we leave him now to his life.  Something I contemplate all the way home.  Not crying. (Way to go, Mom!)  But lost in all these precious thoughts toward him.  These silent, deep thoughts of my son.

A treasure,


Friday, August 26, 2011

Answered Prayer

So good.  To find, once again, that you are loved by Him.  To be reminded that He is thinking of you, and that He hears.  Understands.  You.

Your feet are dusty, right?  Don't we all feel it?  But, oh, He sends precious lives to walk this foreign land with share the fellowship and breathe into each other.  You might be feeling right hopeless when He suddenly sends someone to hold your hand.  To hear your voice.  To read your words.  Like the arms of Moses being lifted during battle.  You don't even know how to say thank you.

And I wonder about some things.  Like, why aren't we doing this more for each other?  Why do I become consumed with all that needs to be done and so quickly lose sight of what the REAL holy "to do" is.  People.  Relationships.  Encouraging and building each other up?  And can I let go my pride enough to let that laundry go a bit?  Let the dust pile some more so I have time to pile on love?  Remember the mortar?  How can I be mortar in between bricks that build a house...a home, if I don't have time to love?  What then?  Will this love I have for Him even matter?  Am I destined to be a clanging gong?

She asks.  I say "YES!", and my spirit wants to laugh.  Knowing what this means, and why she is insecure.  Knowing.  But making that decision because this is good.  This is God.  Women in fellowship and prayer.  Ahhh. Let's beat back THAT kind of dust.

He is listening, this Jesus.  He is the answer to every prayer.

He is the answer to mine,


A Prayer.

Precious Jesus.
Breathe life.
Into the sagging.
The flagging.
Create again.
A new heart.
A "love" spirit.
I reach my arms up high.
Reaching for YOU.
If I can just get my hands on Your coat.
And all that love.
To stand in the light of YOU.
So I can be more of ME.
The me You have in mind.
And wash the dust, Lord.
That clings to these hands.
Make me clean, now.
So I can look...

Like YOU,



Forced function these days as thyroid drags down and on.  Everything in slow motion.  Life moving in a sort of fog.  Walk slow.  Talk slow.  Think slow.  Blink slow.  Little butterfly gland wraps her wings around my throat, making me feel all the preciousness of one, simple breath, and how do you live this way?  Waiting for the medicine to really take hold.  Must hold my tongue because everything is irritating.  Everybody too loud.  Too needy.   Too much.

So this is how we start our school year.  Me sitting in that chair reading to them though my vocal chords are being pressed.  Though I keep looking over at the couch and wishing I could lay down.  Sleep and sleep.  School all day before the driving begins.  Hold the wheel tight.  Hold myself awake and alert.  And what in all the world am I doing?

Pick the Kind and Compassionate up from football practice, and he trusts me so much that he begins to vent and cry.   He wonders what is the point of his life, what is all the meaning behind the sports and the scholastics?  Why is this important, and shouldn't he be doing something important with his life?  Shouldn't he be doing something for God?

I tell him he should read the book of Ecclesiastes sometime...maybe just once.  To know that he is not alone.  I want to tell him how I'm feeling it too...just the wastedness of life sometimes.  And why would Jesus die for it anyway?  Why would He die for this life falling apart, and this body so clearly fallen? 

It is a dusty land we walk, and I feel all that grit between my toes.  Somedays, I just feel dirty.  Low.  Down.

Sometimes, the best part of the day is that it's over.  My soul sighs, "Thank God!" as I lay my head down on pillowed comfort.  To rest my head and close my eyes.  To sleep.  To dream.  To hope for a better tomorrow.  To remind myself that He is coming again soon.  He.  Is.  Coming.  Again.  Soon.

Perhaps Today,



Monday, August 22, 2011


The Kitten and I lay together last night in my bed.  Nobody can sleep for new school year jitters, and already, the Kind and Compassionate has come for good night hugs three times. The Strong Soft lands softly on the edge of the mattress.  Trying not to cry.  Losing all her peace in the space of hours, and feeling those big dreams being crowded by walls of fear.  Will they all fall down?  Fall on her heart for Jesus?  Breaking?

What can a Mama do for a child like that?  A woman like that?  A young lady that strides those long strides while I shuffle along behind crying that life is too scary and can't we all just stay at home?  Her long pony tail slides through my fingers, and I try to comfort her even as I draw her courage through my hands.  Just trace her loveliness with my fingers, and remind her that she doesn't need to carry everything.  It's okay to put some things down.  We just sit in silence.

The Silent Deep is leaving in two days for college, and when in all the world did I grow old?  He smiles and puts his hand right there on my shoulder.  Touch speaks, and he is oh, so gentle with my heart.  Does he know?  How much I miss him here with all that quiet depth that reaches to touch my own...and what happens when a boy becomes a man that is tender with his mama?  Mmmmm...lots of damming tears.  Smiling and a bit of looking away.  Just so I don't break and make him feel sorry.  Just so he knows how much I love him and how proud I am just to call him son.


And the Kitten...we lay talking for hours last night.  About heaven.  "Tell me Mommy, what does the Bible say about the streets again?  Are they gold?  And are the walls really made out of jewels and the gates of pearls?  Can we talk about that Mommy?  Can we talk about heaven?  And Mommy, did you know I'm not one bit afraid to die because I can't wait to see Jesus?  I'm just going to LOVE that.  I'm so glad that I asked Him into my heart, and I'm so glad that you and Daddy love Jesus too."

She rubs unknown oil on a very sore wound.  An eight year old nurse.  I cradle all her innocence, and wonder if this is the last night she will ever call me "Mommy".  She clings to me for comfort, and we talk and talk and talk.  When did my baby girl become such an intimate conversationalist?  I feel like I'm falling in love with someone new, and it is heavenly.  Joy.

Jesus builds a house, and often he uses sorrow and fear bricks.  Sometimes the mortar is just all that love in ALL of it, holding things down.  Together.  I want to understand mortar.  I want to be mortar.  Love.

So even though our first day brought an early morning trip to urgent care for Boy Blue with a diagnosis of pneumonia, I am learning some things.  Finally.  Really trusting now that He is IN all things, not just saying it with my little lips (OH!  To have lips!)  Even though my worshipped boxes don't all get checked off the holy "to do", I am learning to relax into HIS schedule.  HIS timing. 

"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." Proverbs 16:9  

And yes, please, let's do talk about heaven,



Sunday, August 21, 2011



I stand in the kitchen cutting the first of six watermelons.  My sister is to my right, wielding knife and trying to slice...the silence?  The one next to her, a new acquaintance, asks what we do for a living.  I say nothing.  Determined to remain quiet. Let my sister reply that she is an engineer, working in mine reclamation, having just taken a new job.  Knife cuts down.  Deep.  Rind cracks. Red flesh leaves it's blood stain on the counter.

I hear that old refrain..."I have to work."  "I work for a living."  "You're so lucky that you don't have to work."  I used to explain and defend, but now, I just cut the watermelon and keep my mouth shut.  Determined not to cast my pearls away this time.  Keep them hidden right there under my shirt.  Tucked near my heart.  Close to me.

I home school.

We begin another year on Monday, and I know what that means.  It means that the two children remaining will get an education in music, math, logic, Latin, literature, grammar, writing, history, geography and science.  And I will be schooled in patience, controlling my tongue and my temper, staying faithful to God, to my husband, to the household, and to the schedule.  To say nothing of developing a real knack for apologizing, repenting, restoring relationship, and living my life of struggles out loud in front of my kids.  Oh, yes, all while knowing I am not enough of anything good to accomplish the job well.

But this is where we meet Jesus.  This is where He becomes real to us.  This is where, as we sit cuddled on the couch reading together, His sweetness touches our hearts and changes us.  Forever.  This is where, through tears and fights and frustrations, He teaches us to be more like Him.  Full of amazing grace.  Full of mercy.  Full of forgiveness and love.  This is where we surrender to His work.

In all its messiness and fallen down broken days.  In all its glorious days of victory.  This is the tool.  Home school.  That the Lord uses to whittle His image right into us.  He is the knife that cuts the rind of pride and selfishness and reveal a softness and even a juiciness in our souls that can only be found by surrendering to that blade.  I can't help but cringe just a little...I know it's coming!  But...It is by HIS blood, and yes, that blade, that we can be made new.  He slices through all that rind to make piles of juicy fruit...that draw a happy crowd.  Who doesn't want some of that sweetness?

Can I encourage you to surrender to His blade?  Allow Him to cut you away?  So you can bear much fruit?

Watermelon juice runs down the Kitten's chin, and I smile.  Ready for the new year.

Ready to go back to work,


Saturday, August 13, 2011


Now the house is deeply silent. asleep.  Husband asleep.  And here I sit in the white space of this computer screen needing words to wash down the day somehow.  To connect to Jesus.  To slow down low so I can hear His voice...the gift He gives when we take the time to be still.  Quiet.  It's late.  But it's not too late to sit at His feet.  Listening.  His still small voice filling everything that has been emptied out in the day.  In the living. In the sinning.  In the wanting.  To live right.  To walk that holy road.  And don't you just love the way He still washes feet?  The way He takes ours, covered in dust and dung, right there into His hands.  His hands!  Washes our sin away and helps us to keep our walk clean.  Pure.

How He takes us in, even when we come late.  Takes these lives, potted with holes, in His hands scarred with them, and breathes life into us.  Fills our lungs with a ressucitating breath.  Healing the wounds that mark us as His own, and filling us with joy that we are His.  Own.  WE ARE HIS OWN!

He waited a long time for me.  I thought it was too late, but He promised me it wasn't.  And did you know that it is impossible for God to lie?

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."  John 3:16-17

Not too late.

Never too late,