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,