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,