Friday, August 30, 2013


Linking up Five Minute Friday...

When I sit at the park, on a squeaky picnic table, sun full on my mothered-face, read Isaiah 40:11 and know it was just for me.

When I see the water run off the forehead of my boy whom I birthed and now get to baptize.

When I hear a melody that propels my feet or my hands to move and lift and dance and offer my whole being.

When green beans turn out just so that my sometimes too-picky kids gobble them up like pieces of sugared candy.

When my husband just stops, and smiles that smile, because we know each other deeply and fully, and he just can't help but burst with love.

When another comes along side my pain, and scoops up my burden carrying it with me until I can breathe again.

When a face, young and innocent and needy, grins big at the used bike they just earned working a drink stand at a church yard sale.

When my breath is stolen by a sunset, or the luminescence of a tropical fish, or the loveliness of a flower, or the fragile complexity of an ecosystem.

These are moments of worship...moments where God has shown Himself great and big and beautiful.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Desirable Dirt

Maybe motherhood should be measured in terms of dirt.

For instance how dirty my child's feet are. If so, I would have been crowned "Mother of the Year" the other day.

 My children, who daily don crocs, played hard at the park as they celebrated a birthday. Then we drove those dusty, dirty, croc-wearing feet across town to another birthday party where they ricocheted round the red and yellow bounce house.
It was a good day.
Their dirty feet testified to that.

And I wonder...what in my life that shows up like dirt or grime but tells others that I am living, really living?

Maybe it's the small blood stain on my shirt from tending to a scraped knee. Or the layer of dust that envelopes every room because I chose to type the script for the play my ever-creating daughter wrote.

Maybe it's the light pink oval of proof left from strawberry lemonade when children camped out in the living room. Or the chocolate crumbs of chewy goodness we turned into Super Mario brownies.

Maybe it's the grass stains on a white shirt from rolling down the hill. Or the sweat conjured from helping underprivileged kids earn a bike from manning a drink stand.

Maybe it's the wrinkled imprint on skin from kneeling on the floor to help find a book to read. Or the wet leaves on the kitchen floor from venturing out in the rain to the van looking for a beloved blanket.

It's hard to say what dirt each day will bring. 
The dirt that proves I am alive. awake. breathing. engaged.
The grime that accumulates with the work of parenting.
The dust that shouts there's more important things than the pristine.
The ick, that by it's very existence, substantiates the sweetness of prioritized days.

Maybe motherhood should be measured in terms of dirt.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Checking In

It's been a while since I've been here.
Life has rushed by in the culmination of fleeting moments
full of life and living and doing.
Times are sometimes crazed. busy. 

Thoughts rush through my mind at light breaking speed.
What to write about, what to share?
Amidst the buzz of life lately there has been a thread of contemplation.

Ponderings and questionings.
Do I dare speak my real thoughts on heaven and hell?
What can I say definitively about fear as motivator?
How do I share the birthing of a God-sized dream?

More will come soon.
After all, this place is one where I shed layers.
Where I come to create. release. process.

But for now, 
I will kick up my feet,
eat free french fries thanks to McDonald's Monopoly pieces,
and spend some time sitting beside the man who makes me smile biggest.

Deep thoughts and hectic schedules
can wait
and will have to wait.
There's still some living to be squeezed from this day.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Harnessing the Creative

My eldest is a creative.
A born entrepreneur.
Bursting at the seams with ideas.

She's what I call "a starter".
She's always dreaming up the next big thing.
Always raring to go.

She is such a starter, in fact, 
that many of her efforts are formed
in her mind and ready for action
at a moment's notice.

Such a short moment's notice, in fact, 
that she often takes initiative 
without asking permission from Paul or I 
about the next big venture.

And when my husband or I put on the brakes,
she can get frustrated.
When we call a halt to her visions, 
she can become sad.

And it got me thinking recently...
Is this what it might be like for us if we get ahead of God?

How often do we go about our lives,
with our own ideas,
our own agenda,
our plans,
and we've never allowed God into our process?

We've taken initiative, 
we drawn up the blueprints,
marked out the path,
and then, and only then,
do we take time to talk to God.

And sometimes, Abba will put the kibosh 
on all our carefully laid plans.
The Parent who knows us best and loves us most
can slam on the brakes
to our seemingly brilliant ideas.

And we can get frustrated.
We can become sad.
Given a long enough period of time, 
we might become bitter
or resentful
or despondent toward God.
We might begin to believe
He really doesn't want us to thrive.

The truth is, 
I love my daughter.
Every single cell of her.
She makes me tired.
I sigh (a lot).
I wish for nap time to be reinstated.
But I wouldn't change one creative ounce of her.
I yearn to see her succeed.
I want to help her dream.
I desire to do all I can to help her ideas come to fruition.

But that happens when she is willing to come alongside
and work with her parents...
not just tell them what she's doing;
not just move ahead with little thought 
to the opinion of the two people who know her best and love her most.

My daughter's best chance of success
is working in tandem with the ones
who can help bring the aspirational to reality.
At the age of 8, that would be us, her parents.

God loves us.
Every single ounce of us.
And He loves to see His children reflecting His creative nature.
He also desires a people willing to follow Him.
A people listening, seeing, responding to His action in this world.
And our best chance for success; 
the best scenario for bringing the aspirational to reality, 
comes from working in tandem with God...
every step of the way.

If we don't, we might find ourselves frustrated.
Or doubting.
Or fretful.
Or confused.

May we neither run ahead of God nor drag our feet behind.
May we keep ever in perfect pace with Him.
Ever single creative, glorious ounce of us.

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
We plan the way we want to live,
 but only God makes us able to live it.
- Proverbs 16:9

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Not Profound but Necessary

I have this scripture hanging on my fridge. 
I'm not sure what translation of Proverbs 31:17 it is. 
It's not one of the most common, 
but it's hanging on my fridge anyhow.
And I see it a lot.
"She girds herself with strength and strengthens herself daily."

The other day I was reminded of Nehemiah 8:10, which says:
"The joy of the Lord is my strength." 

And these verses converged in my mind 
and it seemed the perfect apologetic for making daily time with Jesus.

a woman of virtue girds herself with strength everyday
and said strength is found in the joy of the Lord 

everyday I need to ready myself with strength and I do that with Jesus.

I know this is not profound.
I know christians talk often about the importance a daily quiet time.
It was, however, a needed reminder to do the daily work.
To make the time and take the time.
To not neglect the seemingly dispensable when deadlines breathe down your neck.
To remember busyness never trumps relationship,
because the relationship sustains me for the work.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

i should be asleep

I will probably regret it in the morning.
This staying up so late.
Too late.

The husband's away.
Two states over.
I anticipate great gain for him,
for God is sparking within him.

The kids are camping out.
In the living room.
On home-made bed rolls.
They took my admonishment to heart
and went to sleep quickly.
At least the younger two did.

And here I sit
on the bed.
And awake.

Sometimes living feels a constant reaching.
Stretching out toward that which is not yet attained.
Grasping for that which is just beyond reach.
There's always another project.
Another task.
Another deadline.
Relief of a job complete is short lived.

And I should be sleeping,
because I have been working
and thinking
and imagining
and listening
and talking
and praying
and fighting a days-long headache.

Yet I find myself here.
A familiar space.
A comfortable place.
With nothing much to say really.

Except this...

Even in this late hour, 
God is here.
And in the morning, 
when I anticipate regret of the midnight oil
and sleep will cling hard to my eyes, 
God will be there too.

I am held.
Hemmed in - 
before and behind.

And thankful for every breath afforded, 
in this messy, complicated, beautiful life.