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,