Monday, August 14, 2017



Sometimes it is as simple as just changing chairs.
Sometimes it is not a matter of intelligence, or wit, or wisdom;  but perspective.

We have the courage to not leave the table.  We must have the courage to change chairs. To look at things from a different space, with different eyes and a fresh perspective.

No one save the Father is right all the time.  Discussion does not require debate.  It requires welcome.  Welcome to a world different than our own, answers unfamiliar to our rhetoric and sincerity in the seeking of solutions.

There is no one that has nothing to offer.  We all, created by God and in His image, bring something to the table.  The quest must be to honor that gift.

Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
 and rivers in the desert. 
Isaiah 43:19

Monday, August 7, 2017


Despair, a throat choking, finger pointing resemblance of failure.
We glance in its eyes and they stare back cold and unforgiving.
What seems finished however, rarely so in God’s hands.

We seek triumph, the Father, trust. 

The Author weaving beautiful stories of a heart and soul surrendered. He allows empty only so He can fill. The breaks in the heart not mended as much as restored with more of Him. 
What was irreplaceable still gone; what is eternal, more dear.

It is a strange transaction this. Our happy ending for contentment. Our good for His great. Our plans for His perfect. Our agenda for His forever. Our done for His doing.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Umbrellas

The long line of umbrellas look like modest rain igloos built around each soul.  The rain torrential.  I spy my girl waiting for her train, pulling her umbrella as close as should could to her head, her face.  

Everything was perfectly still.  It was as if for a few seconds, time stopped.  I knew in just a moment, everything would start again but my heart told me to capture this.

This is what quiet looks like.  This is the moment before everything else.  This is the moment I typically rush through waiting to get to the next thing.  But not today.  In my eyes, the rain looked like suffering, and the umbrellas translated to the cold clear message that I don’t like it and I never did. 

I held out my hand; the rain poured in.  It wasn’t so bad.  My hand was wet but it didn’t soil, or pain or scar.  The glistening of the water seemed to tell its own story and I felt much more in touch with something I typically run from. 

What if I leaned more into the painful parts of life?  What if I stopped to figure out why they hurt?  What if the message of their angst is something I am supposed to learn from instead of run from? What if that moment, that decision, that willingness to stand in it is the beginning of healing?
What if I took my umbrella down so that the world could see the hurt?  

Would they let me see theirs as well?

When did we start believing that showing pain, and talking pain and being honest is a bad thing?  Perhaps even more subtly we have determined we are not the marching Christian soldier if our legs are weak and our hearts ache.

I determine that honesty must be as much a goal of the inward soul as it is the outward speak.

I realize some hurts cannot be wished away or covered up;  the healing comes in the revealing. 


So, we let the rain fall and the tears well.  They wash away the notion of perfection and pride and they invite something too.  The suffering child finds the Father who has known suffering.  The lonely finds company.  The pain is not displaced it finds its place and light shines where darkness stood. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Chose

She says it in the sweetest little voice and she says it often.
When rain falls or ice cream fills her spoon.  

When she builds sandcastles and stands back to admire them, she whispers….

“I am so glad I get to be me.”
To her breath itself is privilege.  Do I find that privilege?

I am not fond of my not straight, not curly hair.  I get uncomfortable when I forge into meetings with insufficient wisdom.  I wish I would never worry and I sometimes forget important stuff.  But can I say,  I am glad I get to be me?

If we look at things even for the briefest moments from the Father’s  eyes, He had the choice to sculpt our faces, to craft our noses, and turn ringlets in our hair.  He had the choice to make us confident or cautious as well as creative or concrete.

He CHOSE.
And so do we.

IF we focus on the Master, doesn’t the masterpiece become more clear. It doesn’t eliminate our perceived shortcomings.  It fills those spaces with Him.

When we are not enough, He is.
When we are too much, He is.
If I miss out being glad I get to be me;  I tend to be less than grateful that He is He.


For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.   Ephesians 2:10 


Sunday, June 4, 2017

A letter to my seventy-year old self


Dear Me,

Time is a funny thing.  I feel as if twenty years will go as a whisper, when I hope they will come as a roar.

I want to remember this particular time in all its detail, hoping the pen will sear my memory.

I don’t plan to lose my memory, nor do I plan to get sick, and certainly I do not plan to become a burden to my husband or my children.  But there is something eloquently perfect in the returning of one’s self to need;  I am seeing it over and over again.  I am convinced of two things.  One, I will someday see heaven.  And two, if the heavenly Father authored it, it is for my greater good.

Four weeks ago, I saw my father pass into glory.  Fourteen years ago, I saw my mom.  Both were painful,  the latter shockingly short, the former, agonizingly long.

I remember the rules and boundaries I set for both.  I broke them all.  Like the mother that lays awake with her child through long nights, the child lays awake with their parent for long days.

The interdependence is beautiful.   Like the baby nursing from her mother, a bond is formed.  The bond formed by feeding or bathing the parent, the bond seals us until we meet again in glory.

The home is disrupted.  The schedule is destroyed.  Meal planning and Pinterest looking stops like a freight train derailed.  But the holiness, the holiness of love, fathers and daughters, mothers and sons displace all the fullness of time.

Bedside moments and cemetery seconds pierce.

I want to remember...
 
I don’t want to be too proud to accept help. I don’t want to be too busy to see decline. I don’t want to forget that time as family even in need, is the most sacred time of all.

I want to see glory, but I don’t want to miss the glimpses this side of heaven. I want to point people until my dying breath to the Savior because I have seen His grace in ways I could not have ever imagined, in joy, but particularly in sorrow.

I want my parents to know that as much as I miss them;  I firmly believe they are not missing me.  I think they are having a wonderful time, a glorious time and the second I arrive, it will be just that, a second from the time they left. 

I want my children to know that the only thing that matters is loving Jesus and serving Him.  I want them to understand that the key to Joy is Jesus, happiness is just a side effect.  I want them to see the very best in people, because that is what He sees in us.  I want them to understand no matter how badly we may be treated or hurt, we have not worn our brother’s shoes, nor drank his cup of tea, nor captured life or loss or love through his lens. 

I want my husband to know that we married forever.  So, on this side, and the other side, we walk and talk and dance always.  When it feels like we are missing out with a mess of kids in our middle, we are their glance at everlasting love.  The one the Father gives and the one they will aspire too when they look for Jesus. 

I pray I find this letter.  I pray at 70 I will write another to myself at 90.  I pray everything that is stored up in my heart is shared.  I pray I reach heaven having spilled out everything He has given me.

And I pray I remember to thank Him every single day until I can say thank you to his face for this holy place where I can look back and look forward.


Until we meet again,


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Valley

The water rushes off the mountain.  The snow that had crested reduced to water.  It pools at the bottom, so many drops now galvanized to puddles and ponds.

The characteristic of a valley, the gathering of water.  It marries other water with little regard to its source or its sorrow.

The valley, it has its purpose and its promise.

Sometimes tears bring clarity.  Clarity of thought, of purpose and pain. The mask we wear has been washed away in the journey. Honesty takes hold.  Our ability to speak and hear sharpened.  There is not filter for formality.  The valley is raw, so are the dwellers.

We see into and not around situations. Our transparency is a beacon and our pain the shared pond of tears.

We are not alone.  The suffering is not the making of misery but the shared hope of the mountaintop where we will stand again.

It is glorious there, but glory is not abandoned in the valley.  The valley has its own glory. We need each other there. We need to know the prayers of many sing to our souls. We pour out and we are refilled.  The character, the strength, the compassion, they fill us.

We fear this.  We run from failure. We avoid loss. But anything lost in the Father’s economy is found.  He does not replace, He redeems.  What was empty fills again in ways we could not imagine and in places we had not foreseen.

It is not easy, nor is it welcome.  Yet, in the loneliness our ears hear His heartbeat.  It ripples the pool of our tears. It is the profound realization that He is better known, greater loved and miraculously present.



“I hear the tumult of the raging seas as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.  But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.” 
Psalm 41:7-8