Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nothing But The Blood of Jesus

This family goes down on its knees after supper.
For our fallen soldier.
Our son and brother.
Our friend.
A fellow laborer in Christ.
The weight of his cross.
And what it is costing him.
Causing him to bend and break.

We circle close on our knees.
This is submission.
When your mama's heart wants to get in the car and drive to him.
Rescue him.
Make it better.
Make it better, God.

Instead you lay it down.
Cross pile your cares.
On a God Who promises...
That He cares.

Our flesh burns hot.
As He holds our feet to the fire.
And we build a throne right there in the school room.
Strewn with paper and paint stains on the carpet.
Black splotches that I feel.
Real on my skin.

Everything black now.  Everything but the blood red pouring of grace on our little circle here tonight as we whisper that Name.  Our only help in these times of trouble.



Monday, February 27, 2012

Gratitude for Friends

They come bearing the marks of Jesus on their lives and in their smiles.  He has just returned from Tanzania, Africa, and she has been laboring for the Lord here in the States.  Apart.  Not apart.  For seven long months.

At our heart's cry, they cut their rest time to visit us.  To bring the breath of heaven, and to walk alongside. hold our scarred hands.  I'm so worn I can hardly hold my head up, but they are comfortable, and there is no performance here.  No pretending.  No hiding under fig leaves of falsehood.  We sit around the table.  All of us worn and weary.  Drawing strength from each other, and the One Who dwells so richly within us.  I feel my heart flutter and spark.

These friends who have shown us how to live.  How to live UNCOVERED.  They have walked with Jesus, and we have shamelessly watched them.  Modeled them like children model their older siblings.  This is the way you walk, little ones.  This is the way you talk.  Here are some books to read, and here is a way to pray.  We have nodded these heads and taken steps of our own.

As the Shoulders gathers his family around table again tonight to study Jesus.  To read His Words to us, and to dive deeper.  To dwell with Christ.  I am boastful in my spirit about the work of the Spirit in his life, and in the life of this family.  The children reach their hands out for this good food, and they are filled.

It was a hard week.  I am grateful.

For these two selfless friends, and for tonight's family gathering around the table of the King.  I think about them and all that we have learned just by watching, and I know that tonight would not likely be so with out them.  The deep pouring out.  How so much of what our family does is a result of their planting seeds in the soil of home.  How our family is more of a family than ever it has been because of their friendship and love.

How...because of the imprints their lives have left on ours, we look forward to Resurrection Sunday.  We begin to plan and prepare.  Because of Jesus in the surrendered hearts of S. and K., we long to usher in the King.

Hosanna to God in the Highest!


Sunday, February 26, 2012

An Injustice

Everything broken tonight.
Kids all crying.
Crying out.
Hurt by the world.
By the hands of adults that are supposed to love.
Look out.
My nine year old learns that she can't trust.
And sits out in the car crying her eyes swollen.
Just like her mama.
The storm surges around us.
And how can I get them to turn to the Savior?
The only crag to cling to on this slippery ledge.
And the lashes it leaves on the tender backs.

Of children,


Saturday, February 25, 2012


Earth shakes.
Heart quakes.
It is well with my soul.
Satan scares.
Cast my cares.
It is well with my soul.
Fear tries.
Faith abides.
It is well with my soul.
Empty cup.
Rise UP.
And be well, my soul.
Not alone.
Remember the throne?
Oh, give a shout, my soul!
Praise the King.
All nations sing.
It is well.
It is well.
It is well...

With my soul,


Friday, February 24, 2012

To Fly

Once again the children are tucked into their beds, and I am left to sit alone in this worn out chair.  Worn out.  Days full of hydrated cells of emotion and all this struggling out of silky safe cocoon.  Anything for wings.

Don't we all want to fly now?


Thursday, February 23, 2012


Just Your Name, that's all.
Just me in this tight space where I am nothing in all the world but Yours.
Where I am safe and held and loved.
Your grace is truly amazing.
And You keep giving me these beautiful pictures.
In my mind.
I wrap my arms around your waist.

How can a woman hold God?


Hold me so tightly in Your embrace of grace.
That I think You might crush me.
In the power of Your love.
I must...
Close my eyes tight to receive You.



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Holding Fast

The StrongSoft already has our chairs pushed together and coffee in my cup when I come sleepy down the stairs.  She is excited.  I grab my bible, and we sit quiet for a time before she asks if I will read.  We start in Luke and I take my time.  No need to rush through the Word to get to His rushing wind.  We bow our heads.  She says, "Mom, do you want to hold hands?"  We lace our fingers, hold fast, and go to our Father.

Fasting and praying with my seventeen year old daughter, and my heart is undone.  We hold the things that we've been talking about up to the light, and let Him shine through.  We talk, excited, about what He has done here,  wonder what He will do.  With us.

I hold her sweaty hand and want to hold her heart in mine forever.  Hold this moment.



Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I kneel down by the side of my bed on the cushion someone dear gave to me this year for Christmas.  ("I love you, Someone!")  His peace quickly overtakes me, and the silence that fills my room wraps around me.  Comfort.  I think I ought to pray, but no words come so I stay on my knees and listen.  My breath is loud in that sea of silence, and I reach for His hand.

Focus.  My mind keeps going to the mess I've got in the house right now, and how I feel a bit crowded in my heart by it.  Chaos everywhere, and here I am on the floor of my bedroom almost drowning in the luxury of quiet.  I think about the emails I received first thing to write "just a bit more", and "the deadline is tomorrow", and "would you mind?".

Focus and smile.  I wonder if people out there know that I write in sentence fragments and live a broken life and that I am working on the most impossible project.

One that will burn me to the ground.

I stay on my knees, still and listening.  Still.  I focus now on the face of Jesus, and I cup His scarred hand across my cheek.  In my mind.  I am bowed low just waiting for Him, and a bit afraid I might fall asleep when He says...

"Thank You for spending time with me."

He breathes milk and honey right full unto my face, and I lay my head down on the yet unmade bed, and sob.  I am becoming like this bed... uncovered, and if He weren't to show up just now, I think I would die of shame.  My writing.  For the whole wide world to see this one trembling, hurting heart.  The way I write in bare sentences because I am bared to the bone.  Skeletal words hung together by this unfurling trust in Jesus Christ.  Great gusts catching me up into, "Let it be as You have said, Lord."

As I open the pages of my bible, I find my fingers caressing paper.  Barest skin that once hung on a tree saying, "Come.  Follow Me."


Monday, February 20, 2012

Thankful For A Girl I Know

Things were a bit off tonight as the StrongSoft came to me.
To tell of texting and boys and prayers and the gospel.
How my heart went right up into my throat.
And I felt my foot wanting so to go down.
Strong words.
The way I was that girl once too...
Minus the Savior.
Minus the saving power of the cross, and certainly without her gift of wisdom.
She leaves, and we are still tangled.
I lay on my bed in the still, deep quiet.
Talking to this beloved Jesus, and feeling my heart crack some.
Until she comes bounding back to bounce on the bed.
To say...
"Let's pray together, Mom."
And how our coming to Jesus.
Binds fear and hurt all up into grace.
A gift, this one.
Such a gift.
We talk long and cry hard.
Sharing some of the secrets we have both kept.
Holding each other.
With hands both scarred like our Father's.
Both of us...
Loving the thorns that have pricked us and made us.
Precious thorns, forgive us for despising you.
When you pierced all the way to the bone.
Seems the Master was at work all along.
My daughter and I cling to each other for life and for love.
As she says,
"Mom, I hope HE shakes us all."
What can I do but shake my head?
At her and all her fiery life?

Burning every last thread of safety net around me,


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rocking Chair Jesus...A Dream of Hell

Separated from Jesus.
No light or music or joy.
Everyone dying, nobody ever released into final death.
Bodies covered with burning sores.
Ears tormented by profanity unimaginable.
Each word landing hard.
Tearing. Breaking. Smashing.
Because with out Jesus...

Someone I love cleans a toilet there.
For some reason it is full of solids.
The enemy screams in her ear that the excrement in the toilet.
Is worth more than her life.
She scrubs, but feces keeps rising and filling the bowl.
Until it rolls over the top and covers her pretty feet with human waste.
All she can hear is that she is shit.

An eternal sort of building filled with emaciated, dying but never dead souls.
While Jesus Christ dwells in fullness, right across the street.
His house with many rooms.
Flooded by His living light.
The warmth of home.
His eye always on them.
The walking dead on this earth.
His heart for them.
The all powerful God sits in a white rocking chair on His front porch.
He prays.
While they continue to carry all the weight that He died to shoulder.

Dreams can be strange.

In an undustrial laundry room where behemoth fans circulate the stench of rotting bodies.
And blow snow-like pillow feathers that float down.
Getting caught in oozing sores.
They lie on endless rows of filthy, sand-paper pallets  that torment compromised flesh.
Soft, white, billowing sheets hang on lines of deepest mockery above them.
Silent, torturous agony.
Separated from Christ.


Standing on the precipice.
I scream over and over fit to burst my lungs.
"You just need to get to Jesus!"
They lay there soundlessly writhing by the billions.
A beloved one on the floor at my feet.
Death seems to swallow my voice.
Swallow me.


Turn my back on them.
To escape hell.
To live all the way alive.
To get to JESUS.
To be home.

Race all the way to His house.
Tears of terror whipping cheeks and filling ears.
His arms open wide to catch me as I fly on up into His lap.
Bury my face in the folds of His soft cloak.
And cry until I think my heart will break.

While He rocks and softly sings.


Saturday, February 18, 2012


The kids like to gang up on me a bit.
Tickle me there under...
Which chin?
Because children need to hear their mamas laugh.
And we are going at it tonight.
All this joy filling the kitchen.
With siblings who are loving...
I wonder if someone somewhere is praying for us just now?
This magical moment when they are all happy.
In all the busy-ness and in all the business of life.
Hearts really do get crushed.
And it becomes hard to tip your head back and just...



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Dream of Heaven

I run with Jesus.
Give Him my hand.
My whole heart.

I trust Him.
With violent fervor.

We fly across meadows of wild flowers.
Over the mountains.
We play in the surf of wave clouds.
Just because He knows that I love them.

I reach up to touch my Father's face.
Tell Him.
"Thank You, Papa."

I kiss his cheeks and...
What do tears of joy look like in heaven?
Precious veil torn in two.
So we can be one.

Jesus loves bigger than any grave.
And I will never, ever be afraid again.
Never ashamed.
Never hang my head.
In the sin noose.

Just run and run and run.
And laugh and twirl and dance for the King.
Because all praise belongs to Him.
The One Who lives and breathes and LOVES to set His daughters free.

Do you know Him yet?
He says that if you seek Him with all your heart.
He will allow Himself to be found by you.
Oh, to be found by Jesus.

Never the same.
Never ever the same.
A new creation in Christ.

Born again,


Monday, February 13, 2012

Focus On Thanks

Knowing the One I love, loves me.
His prayers for us.
A Father Who is good.
The very love of Christ.
The blood shed for a new project.
Him saying, "You must listen to MY voice only."
Getting re-organized.
Re-oriented so that we can always be face to face.
Thanks even for a difficult weekend with this household full of kids.
And yes...even for yet another fund raiser.
Praying for wisdom.
Trusting God to answer.
In ways everlasting.
Just that I get to think about Wendy.
And new life being built inside her by God.
Close my eyes so I can be still for a moment with Him.
Learning to focus.
Breathe and focus.
Breathe and focus.



Sunday, February 12, 2012


We are working on John Chapter One, and it is going badly for me, friends.  Especially as I find myself quite desperate for 1 John.  I am in a season of needing to know and be reminded that I am loved.  The headings keep drawing me, and carving His poetry across my heart.  Have you ever read it this way?

The Word of Life.
Walking in the Light.
Christ Our Advocate
The New Commandment
Do Not Love The World.
Warning Concerning Antichrists.
Children of God.
Love One Another.
Test the Spirits.
God Is Love.
Overcoming The World.
Testimony Concerning The Son Of God.

That You May Know.


Saturday, February 11, 2012


After everything has been laid so nicely down.
Your heart completely surrendered to "NO."
And you, comforted by it.
Suddenly the dam bursts wide to "YES."
And you know that everything is about to change.
The Stammering Moses.
Not eloquent of speech.
A whole life constricted and strangled by fear.
And you about to stare it down.
Your friend Jesus will be glorified in His strength.
Because everyone knows that you are weak.
Thank God!
There will never be another vague entry like this.
And all that you do will point to Him.
(If you don't first faint.)
Oh, LORD, let's have it Your Way.



Friday, February 10, 2012

Proverbs 10 February 10, 2012

Sorry, friends, this should have been posted in proverbsforjosh.

Various Nuggets for Today :)

Blessings are on the head of the righteous.
The wise of heart will receive commandments.
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely.
The wise lay up knowledge.
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver.
The lips of the righteous feed many.
The hope of the righteous brings joy.
The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the blameless.
The righteous will never be removed.
The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom.
The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable.

Many blessings on your head, Joshua.  You are a righteous man.

Missing you so,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Always to Jesus

How I find myself sitting alone at night sometimes.
Everyone tucked on in.
Me getting into the deep end of the pool.
Going down into the stillness of God.
Getting washed by His Word and by His Love.
Knowing that there is a place I am accepted.
This one small space.
Where I can breathe and where I belong.

Always to Jesus,


Sorting It Out

It's almost 10 AM, and I still don't want to start.
Why are some days like this?
Wake up feeling tired and wondering what I'm doing.
What if I'm getting it wrong?
What if I know I'm getting it wrong?
I look at that big white binder.
Our schooling schedule.
And sigh.
Because what I want to do today is take my camera out.
Or spend the day writing.
Or putting a care package together for my soldier son.
Whom I miss desperately today.
My face splits and spills.
Because words help me so to find the real problem.
That I miss my son.
Grown and gone.
And me sitting in the chair that rocked him that way.
My heart all fractured.
Remembering his dark head tucked warmly beneath my chin.
His chubby hand in mind.
Our hours of reading together on the couch.
Sitting spaceless and quiet.
His deep tenderness.
His strength, and His love for Jesus.
The sound of his voice calling me "Mama."
And this one heart a bit off today.

Missing Joshua,


Wednesday, February 8, 2012


My favorite days to school at home.
When the snow flies.
And there is fire inside.
Us all bundled into blankets.
Wrapped up in the safety of home.
Candles flickering warm.
Me reading a good book to them.
Cup of tea just there.
And the boy saying,
"Thank you for this, Mom.  I love it so much."
Laying the rush aside.
Just so we can breathe and be.



Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Holding Hands

A simple love.
Our chairs pushed together so we can watch the game.
Holding hands.
Because we've been pushing through some hard walls lately.
And it comes again to this.
Just that love keeps showing up.
Believing all things.
Hoping unto death.
My shoulders and me.
Bond servants of Jesus Christ.
Walking this strange, strange land.

Holding hands,


Monday, February 6, 2012

A Thanks

For the way little girl loves her big sister and looks up high to see her face.
The sound of my soldier son's voice on the other end of the line.
The Holy Road.
My Shoulders and I pouring into each other after a day of pouring out.
The sanctuary of the marriage bed, and the One Who made it.
His laugh lines.
Our home full of children.
A blue sky.
Working our way through character issues.
Hammering pride.
Life weaving something beautiful anyhow.
The way Wendy says "anyhow."
Learning to shut up and pray.
And pray and pray.
The "Brave Girl" painting.  (
Dr. Maurer and another turn around for my back. (
The love of Jesus.
The blood of Christ.
That nothing can separate us.



Saturday, February 4, 2012

Word Up

We are memorizing John Chapter One.
(And each other.)
Beneath the sheets at night.
After a day of miscommunication.
A bit of hurt.
We scramble to learn God.
His will, His plan, His love for us.
How to follow Him.
So often side tracked.
And I whisper deep into his shoulders.
That I am not a good steward of my time.
That it slips away from me.
Like the tears that slip down cheeks.
Making me feel dead.
He grabs hold of my hand.
And laces me into him.
As we press on into the Word made flesh.

A God Who understands.


A Note To Notes

Her long fingers on that violin, saying to a friend.
"My brother is so talented."
As she raises the roof with bow and string.
Him beginning to pull music now and not just sound.
Becoming a cellist will be good for him.
Learning to not just play the notes, but to FEEL the music.
I watch his eyelashes flutter a bit, and smile at the way it begins.
How music embarks our ship souls on high Cs.
And gives our hearts wings that soar and float and glide.
And cry.
Leaving us weak kneed and wondering sometimes.
That we were given such a gift.

Just a note,


Friday, February 3, 2012


When she breathes life into their dreams.
She wonders what will become of hers.
When she sees wings unfurl and fledglings leap out.
Into wide and holding sky.
She smiles happy.
And sad.
At a heart lost along the road.
The road travelled emptying precious bag of dreams.
Because they hurt too much to carry.
With out the hope of that one great leap of flight.

Into the wide and holding sky,


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Writing Class

Living room full of next generation's legs and arms and hormones.
They put pen on paper, and my breath comes short.
Gasping at their greatness.
God in them.
And the way they shine the light in the dark.
When their is space for their voice.
Makes me shiver cold.
The humble honor.

Of knowing them,


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Unsung Hero

When women become warriors,
They wear their hero badges on their sleeves.
Mucking it out in the bloody trenches.
Covered in anonymity.
Battling courageously.
Brave, brave, hearts.
Giving their lives.
ALL their lives.
For love.
Fighting for their families.
This mystery called marriage.
Their swords bent in battle.
Their hearts gouged but singing.
The battle of the unsung.

The unsung hero.