Tuesday, September 24, 2013

When Shoulders Need Strength

Dear Michael,

When judgement rains hard, I want you to know that I see you.  In all that is conflict and confusion, my husband, you are light, and you are salt.  I will go where you go, and you will find my hand, always, in yours.  Whether the King directs us to walk through the valley or He takes us to the top of the hill, my friend, I go with you.  I will endeavor, in every step, to trust Him more alongside you, and Michael, let our lives be all for Jesus and not at all of this world.

Amen, and praise the Lord for such a man in the Kingdom.

I love...

Your life entwined in mine.
Your hand to hold.
The sound of your voice as you read His Words to us.
The smile wrinkles around your warm eyes.
The strength of your character.
Your life motto: "Do the right thing."
Your love for this Jesus.
The way I see Him etched all through your life...the book of Romans carved across your Shoulders.
In the ways that you lay yourself right down for all of us here.
That you have never, EVER, raised your voice at me.
That you are the straightest arrow I've ever known.
That you walked through the valley with me, and lived to give God the glory.
Your work ethic.
Your life ethic.
That you love all children...especially ours.
That you open our home again and again and again.
That your whole life shouts "SERVANT!"
For not being one of those guys whose swords hang limp and useless in the Body.
For being a great defender of all that is holy.
For standing on the front lines.  Always in the front.
The way you come to the table to work things out.
For being gentle with me, and for being my friend.
For forgiving me seven times seventy times.
For growing in compassion and mercy.
For standing in the gap for our sons and...
For holding the hearts of our daughters.
For your righteousness.
For your purpose.
For your love.

"The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing."  Ps. 34:10

Thank you for all that you are to me.  I am proud to call you my husband, and I am blessed to call you my friend.

Still yours,


Thursday, September 5, 2013

On The Removal of Tonsils Etc.

You might be a tonsillectomy survivor if you know what it's like to pay a
"skilled professional" thousands of dollars to slit the back of your throat.

You might be a tonsillectomy survivor if, after this special procedure, you remember barfing until thought you were going to pass out.

You might be a tonsillectomy survivor if you endured so much pain that you actually did pass out.

You might be a tonsillectomy survivor if you know that you were lied to about the ice-cream and the popsicles... and you tasted that bitter reminder every time you swallowed your own spit.

You might be a tonsillectomy survivor if your poor husband couldn't sleep with you for a month because your breath smelled that bad.  

You might be a tonsillectomy survivor if, at age 30, you had to call your sister at midnight to come and take care of you.  And even though she actually called the doctor in the middle of the night to inquire why your breath was giving her a perm, she still slept with you.   And rubbed your back.  And listened to your crazy talk while you hallucinated about food that you would never eat... because you wouldn't be able to swallow for the rest of your life.  And whispered to you that that terrible stench was the smell of a healing post surgical tonsillectomy wound, and that it was normal.

You might be a tonsillectomy survivor if you lost twenty pounds in two weeks, which is why I always suggest having this procedure before a class reunion.

You might be a tonsillectomy survivor if the great lion, Aslan, visited your bedside after you passed out and made you so sure that you woke up smelling milk and honey.

You might be a tonsillectomy survivor if you remember feeling like you were never going to normal again.

You might be a tonsillectomy survivor if your remember feeling normal again... after  a thousand years.  Or at least one.

You might be a tonsillectomy survivor if, when you hear that someone is having their tonsils removed, you scoot your chair away from the table and scoot for the door.

Don't be a tonsillectomy survivor or you'll end up like me...writing about it at three AM after fifteen years have passed.

I was sitting at table with the Soul Sisters a few weeks ago when I blurted out awkwardly (always awkward) that I felt like a gaping wound.  Open.  Oozing.  Stinky...  Like the hole left in my throat where my tonsils used to be after the surgery all those years ago.  I felt embarrassed by this metaphorical smell, and ashamed that they were all trying to eat their dinner with me at the table.

The Lord is like that sometimes.

He is a skilled surgeon Who will slit your throat if it means giving you your voice again.

He is The Good Shepherd, and He will discipline you with His rod if it means that you will be kept from harm.  From the Wolf.  From the pit.  From the confusing brambles of the world.  He likes to keep his sheep close to Him.

He is the Potter, and though you may wish it otherwise at times, He will throw you and smash you until you are conformed to His image.  Putty in His hands.  Willing to become the vessel of His choice, not yours.

He is the Master Carpenter, and He intends to plane the selfish desires of your flesh...OFF, to sand your sin away, and to carve His Name on the works of His hands... and that would be your life, friend.  Jesus wants to carve His Name into your life.  No.  I mean, Jesus wants to CARVE His Name into your life.  Are you getting this?

There are no short cuts with Jesus.  He will bend you, but He'll never break you.

I can just barely touch my toes, but the Lord has bent me so often the last two years that I'm actually finding joy in becoming flexible and moldable in His hands.  I'm learning that everyone sitting at the table has great gaping wounds, and that we are all stinking it up.  I'm learning that's when we need to call our sisters in the middle of the night... to have them come and crawl in next to our decomposing wounds.  To have them rub our backs and listen to our crazy talk in the midst of suffering and pain.  To whisper that the stench of rotting flesh is normal and that...

It's the smell of healing,


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Auto-immune Disease

Oh, Lord...
Be glorified.
Be glorified in the Body of Christ.
Eaten away by auto-immune disease.
Who can relate?

Be glorified in my own physical body, Lord.
Eaten away by auto-immune disease.
And let me bring You glory, somehow.
In all the broken and fallen and hurting and humiliated.
And frustrated and tired and confused.
Lord, thank You that we can fall upon You.
Thank You that You never fall away.
And that...
You don't mind when we ask the same things over and over again.
Before we're even up out of our beds, and Lord...
Thank You that You understand.
That our brokenness doesn't shock or surprise You.
That even in Your grief, You understand the way we are made.
Dust of the earth.
Strengthen the Body to look for You in all things.
Help us to get our eyes off ourselves.
Lord, do a work here.
In the Body.

In me,