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,


Friday, August 12, 2011

Pick Up Lines

Just a few moments here, before I head out to the airport.  Another pick up.  Another home coming.  Sure wish I had kept track of how many of these we've had over the years.  How many times I have watched him walk toward me.  Towing his bag and all that work.  Pulling hard.  For me, for this house full of progeny. (love that word.)  I wonder what is going through his mind.  What will he find?  This time?

A breaking right down to tears and holding on to all the life in him?  Clinging to sanity and strength and all that his shoulders have meant to me these years?

Intense conversations about the kids...getting things worked out and finding new ways to communicate to them?  This great love.  Our standards.  Our rules.  Even as they try to find their feet and their wings.  God help us!  His shoulders broadening and carrying.  Reassuring me and comforting all this failure of mine.  Good man.  God man.

Sometimes a silent hurt between us.  Raging at the unfairness of how hard he works, and how alone I feel sometimes.  How alone he feels sometimes.

And on the best occasions....a dress and a stop before getting home.

Coming home tonight to a wife that has been sick all week.  The house torn apart and laundry piling in the mud room.  Kids who have missed him and want all that he has left.  A vacation plan that no longer looks like HIS, and having to work over the weekend so we are free to go, again, to the water with our soldier son.

Let me just be grateful.  Even if it's not perfect all the time.  Even if it hurts.  Often.  Even if it's not what we would pick.  Let me be thankful.  For this amazing man, and the strength of who he is because of WHOSE he is.  Thankful that he continues to lead us out, and that I continue to learn what it means.  To submit.  To God.  To His plan.  To this husband who climbs high and hard.  To the one I meet so often there, and who stands on the street while I stand on the curb.  Lips at matching height.    His hand always on my hip.

At the airport,


Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Ephesians.  I love that book, and today as I picked up to read, I said out loud for some reason, "I'm going to spend the year (and all home school moms live by the school calendar year, right?) in Ephesians.  I opened up.  And God opened me.  With His Word.  With those lines that write my soul.  That heal.  That offer such help.  Goosebumps rise on my flesh as I read that holy scroll.  Eat it.  Chew it.  Trust it.

I don't know how many times I have read this book, but it always takes me by such surprise.

"Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  for he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.  And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those were near.  For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.  In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit." 

Let us lay down the struggle today, friends.  Let us live in the surety of Christ, the love of Christ, the generosity of Christ, and all that he purchased that day so that we could live in peace.  In unity.  In the building process, and in the building itself.  He hung on that tree so we could all hang on Him.  The CornerStone.  Love.

Let's all cling now,


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Toppling b.

We melt down into each other.
Start talking about Him.
This One we love.
All that stress.  Exhaustion.
Rolls down my face.
And she reaches for my hands.
Holds them.
Holds me.
And we begin to build.
Each other.
Just saying HIS Name.
This great Tower.
That will never topple.

Even when we do,


Monday, August 8, 2011

Dancing the Blues

So you get to thinking that you can't draw another breath.  That you're never going to heal this time.  That the pain is too much and the sorrow too weighty to bear.  You feel stripped bare 'neath all that crushing hurt.  But isn't God just somethin'?  Kids crank up their music, and we all dance it up in the living room.  Shaking the devil and stomping that floor of doubt.  Hard.  Movin' and groovin' those blues out in this big ole goofy dancing way.  Laughing.  Loving each other.  Stretching our spirits out to reach the broken one riding around town somewhere.  Out there.  To stand in the gap.  Make a bridge with our joy and try to stretch it across to him.  Life line.  Love line.

And even eyebrows can dance.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

To Forgive

So here is the chance to extend grace where it was not given, and I am so glad that we belong to God.  That we are safe.  That He is kind.  And that His goodness is all good.  For us.  For them. That He wants not what is just alright, but that He wants the very BEST for all His kids.  That He leads.  That as His lambs, we know His voice,and we follow His voice.  Oh, what a privilege!  To be holy instead of hot-headed.  That's what the Lord has done here.  So.  Thank You for that, kind Jesus.  And now, we just know that You are making a new way.  That we can trust You absolutely.  In all things.  In this.

In the pain that makes us great.

Like You.


Friday, August 5, 2011


The Silent Deep lies in deepest sleep.  Here.  Under this roof.
His smile heals all the far apart, and there is no part of him that is not a man.
Still my boy, you know.
But a man.
I am his mama.
I am his thankful mama.
Just taking this huge breath.
Called relief.
And as he becomes more...
yes, it's true.
I become less because a young man's glory is his strength.
And it makes me smile.
Because I'm a bit tired there, resting my head under his chin.
All the children home, and how could I take such a gift for granted?
ALL here.  ALL home.

Simply Grateful,


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

An Anniversary

Twenty years tomorrow.
Thanks to You, Jesus.
The union has not been broken.
The weld still holds.
And I love this man.
Who works so hard at loving me.
Who begins...even after all these years.
To see me.
Really see me.
And who becomes.
More and more like You.
Every.  Single.  Day.
And how I begin too.
To believe.  To trust.
To try.
And there is all that goodness- that GODness.
In you.
Just wanted to say "Thanks".
For giving me this man.
Who shows me who you are.
In the way he smiles at me.
With those great big lights in his eyes.
Who puts me in the flood.
Of his love.

Of Yours,