Tuesday, December 24, 2013


The people in the blue coiffed jackets get nervous when you get too close.

They prey on the ones who wish they were right inside the pictures.

Right inside the Monets and Picassos and Renoirs.

We know.


We wrangled the three blondes through the fine arts museum today.

As I followed my four loves through the traveling Impressionist exhibit - I thought I might explode from the exquisite inspiration.

The paintings from that period have scratched an itch I didn't know I had.

Flipping through a few loaned art books from the library this fall....I fell in love with the artwork of those 19th century, Paris abiding virtuosos....many of which I do not share beliefs or convictions - but many of whom etched delightful scenes that spoke to me loud and sweet. Their pieces at the exhibit today - carried me away.

Degas' dancers.
Renoir's peonies.
Sisley's apples and grapes

All beautiful. All brilliant.

And then there are those other artist from other genres and other times....who painted whimsically and who captured perfectly and who left dabs of painted passion on canvas.

Derby's moonlit nights
Reynold's portraits
Navez's Thomas

Yes...that one. That image of the doubter inspecting Christ's wounds....faith unraveling right in front of his face....a moment of realization captured right there within a frame.

It was a sort of a mirror. Me there...always inspecting, always finding Him.

Seeing paint put to my own thoughts....it's superb satisfaction.

The children.....were captivated by the large escalators - not the Caillebottes.

That's fair. Going up and down on a silver moving apparatus is indeed quite fun. Understood.

But me.....oh, the day pleased me greatly.

Before I could even get through the exhibit I had to fetch my notebook....because the words were spilling quick.

Art inspired art.

Impressionist impressed.

Drawing drew me.

And this early Christmas present from my mate and my moppets - it catapulted me into goal mode...into inspiration...into a sort of peaceful planning for the year ahead. 

And I needed that. Ailments and scares and laundry and dishes and tight budgets and doling out discipline day after day can sometimes leave a lady void of creativity and vision. It can leave her thankful and blessed...but also a bit brain short.

So, considering the superior art work today - turned the tables.

These next few hours - as we stop to consider our Savior Jesus.....I pray we catch a glimpse of the all out beauty and perfection of His love and gift - and that it finds it's way right into the heart places that need it most.

As a result....

May inspiration be yours. May hope rise high. And may His good plans and purposes for you....

come forth all year long.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Finding Him

Early in the morning hours yesterday we sat at the dining table and feasted on Words.

We try to make this happen every cockcrow...before the phonics books flip open and the math equations scrawl across the board.

Most of the time it happens. Some of the time it doesn't. But yesterday - the agenda was actually going as planned as we grabbed our Bibles.... when all the sudden my oldest glanced down the hall and gasped......

.... at the sight of sunbeams.

They were filtering in through the tiny half circle of a window that sits in the top portion of our front door - and they were downright radiant.

Our psalmist (and middle child) got up out of her hand-me-down dining chair to run and see what was causing the awe.

When she stopped and looked and considered those rare light streams - nothing but pure sweetness sprung forth...

"Mommy, it looks like God is coming in."

I nodded....taken aback.

Creation had revealed the Creator - before we even had a chance to find Him in the Scripts.

He speaks in more ways than one, doesn't He? He can be found in the jots and tittles of the Bible, yes. But also in nature and Spirit-inspired inklings and.....

the words of little children.

Just a few days ago - we set a celery stem in a glass of water - and dropped in globs of dark purple dye. As the leaves of that celery began to turn a deep violet hue...the blondes and I marveled. The simple yet intelligent design of root, stem, leaf, flower - and the way they receive water.... 

.....it's just pure brilliance.

And evidence.

And glee!

Sprawled out on a bed of clover yesterday - I just lounged and looked up.

Sky and sun and and toasty Texas breeze - it fed me. And it encouraged. And it allowed me to let loose of the serious things that have weighted down my mind this past month.

He meant for nature to help us know Him.
He meant for us to be moved by His designs.
He intended for faith to grow.....as we consider things that grow.

The 19th Psalm says it all.

Go read it.

Then go explore it.

Then go experience it.

Because yes it's true.....we can find God when we open up His Book. But we can also find Him when we open up our doors to go see and hear and taste what He has lovingly given. He's in it all.



If your heart seems far from faith today - or you're dealing with the ugly things this world can behold....know that you are not the only one. Yours truly here has, and is, dealing with some too.

Life is not all roses. I don't wear those glasses anymore.

But this week - He really did speak in the simple and the natural and the growing.

'God really did come in.'

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Our lyric girl has turned herself right into a psalmist.

Right into a praying, spinning, piroetting poet.

Her and her long blonde tendrils - they sway as she speaks to Him.

And it all together makes me swoon over all four years of her.

And this....this performing of prayers....it's something that dropped clear into her heart from Elsewhere.

Because....there isn't a soul in this house that sings prayers. We say prayers, yes. But no singing. The rest of us, especially the Daddy and I, aren't known for our vocal prowess or our tendency to make melody.

But this girl we have - she just started bubbling up 'song prayers' a few weeks back...and has hence forth.

These verses that she vocalizes -it's as if the Holy Spirit homespun them right in the depths of her young compassion. The things she prays....they are theologically sound. They are simple, but knowing. They are prophetic and filled with genuine faith. They are Truth wrapped in preschool dialect.

And it all just unravels her tightly wound and highly strung mother.

And.... it works.

Saturday night - the one I wed was watching our wee ones....when the littlest fell ill. His temperature rose high to the hundreds....and his lethargic state was starting to concern my husband.

Our girl got up - all barefoot and pure.... and sang prayers over our fevered boy baby. She wasn't asked....she just apparently yielded to the inner prompting.

Within an hour....our youngest got up off of his sick bed (Daddy's shoulder), got down, ran around...and started playing. When my husband checked his temperature it was exactly 98.6. He had received no medication. No treatment. No care.

Just song prayers.

He's been a happy, playful, mess-making little tot ever since.

Why doesn't this happen every time? What about those instances where prayers seem to go unheard and needs seem to go unmet? What about the gnarly back pain I'm dealing with? What about those loved ones just up the way dealing with loss and grief?

I hash those things out too, my friends.

We're on this side of glory.

But sometimes....oh sometimes.....

 a little bit of that Kingdom comes to this kingdom.

And more often than not....  

He swoops it in through the unlikely.

I can't end this piece.... without taking a cue from my middle born.....

Be encouraged.... knowing that I'm praying the following over each and every soul that stumbles upon this post, dear friends....yes, Lord.....each and every one.


Fill my reader with faith.
Fill her with an unfeigned, preschool-type understanding of you.
Open her up to what you have for her. 
Help her to hope.
Awaken her to the possibilities.
Push away the past that haunts and the events that disappoint.
Show her that indeed.....you.are.good.
And able.
And willing.
Anything in her heart that is tarnished and rubbed raw - smooth it over.
I ask boldly, Lord - for you to reveal Yourself to the mind, heart, and soul of every person that meanders this way - believer or not.
I thank you in advance for bringing this forth....and for even providing our very faith for us.

In Christ's holy and unparallelled name...amen.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


There's a red kettle on my gas stove....that's about to do it's whistling.

There's a husband in the bathroom sheering off whiskers from his very fine face.

Three blondes have gone to bed.

Clothes are tumbling in the Maytag.

Small overnight suitcases line our master suite.....remnant of Thanksgiving.

Toys litter the living room.

Mama here is tired. All day with all three....can leave a lady happy weary.

The skies are leaking this eve and the clouds hover and the dark is pitch.

I sit here tonight...all wrung out from the day...just wondering.

Wondering about where we will wander. And thinking about what's best. And dreaming of all kinds of possibilities.

Here in a few moments.... the one with the whiskers and I....we will sip tea with propped feet... and discuss all our prospects.

Because this man I wed....he's a dreamer.

He's an all out visionary who rules nothing out, and who sees all things as possible, and who dares to believe in the wild....all through Him, for Him.

So here I am with this ten year old diamond on my hand- twirling it around my long left finger...knowing that the Lord is up to something in us.....and knowing that it's a crazy thrill ride to see it all unravel.

But this....this knowing that I go where he goes....knowing that this ring I spin will follow the band it matches....knowing that where the Spirit leads Him the Spirit leads me  - this is really something.

I don't follow many people. And I trust even fewer. And I have an affinity for fear. And I'm high on the cautious meter. 


This guy I love and hold .....I know Who he is striving to follow.

I know that this good man desires to hear and see what the Lord is inviting our family into. I know that it really isn't about him and his own fleshly will. I know that he longs to grow the Kingdom - and so he leans in to hear from the King.

And for a skiddish, skeptical, weak-kneed wife - this makes a world of difference.

When our loves chase after the One.....we know we're safe with our one and only.

Husbands.... take note of that. Wives, you too.

Some of his decisions may bring folly. He may get his wires crossed from time to time. His ability to take risks might end up in a mess. He's human - so you never know. But the more he leans in to Him - the more I let go.  The more I see the hand of God leading and placing and orchestrating this guy I love....the more I give in.

He's in there now....reading for his online course....soaking in all kinds of knowledge about missions and the nations and lost people groups and history.

And he loves this. And it's changing him. And it's giving him even more of a zeal for spreading gospel love....near and far.

And then there's me...punching away here....caught up in excitement and hope and nervousness.... over where He'll lead us.

As mentioned - the possibilities are endless.

And this can get a heart really pumping, can't it?

As long as we are being faithful to fiercely serve in the here and now, the current assignment - we are free to dream, and imagine, and hope for what may come.

As long as we are not using grand fantasies of the future to simply escape our current lot - it's good to be expectant.

This pessimistic heart of mine - needs to seize that more often.

So these night talks I have with the mister...they minister.

Tea, notebooks, dreams, light-filled schemes, a husband who looks to the Lord with a rock solid faith and a penchant for positivity - it blesses.

May much come from our little pow wows, Lord. May creativity fly. And discernment scream. And wisdom woo. 

And dear reader...I pray that over you, too.

Yes....praying purpose and direction and hope over every person that finds their way here this week.

Seize that.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I hear one of them humming just on the other side of the wall.

It's either the oldest or the youngest....because the middle one doesn't bother with hums. There is always a lyric to her tune, with a dance to coincide.

The boys charge out of the gate at the same time every morning. I have a clock hanging on the far wall in their room - and when the first born blonde sees the little hand on the 7 and the big hand on the 12....it's go time. The door swings open wide and fast and they begin hunting for two things....

 ....food and Mama.

The youngest usually toddles in after the oldest and climbs into my lap for the early morning squeeze.

Ah, bliss.

There's nothing like fresh cheeks from the crib....all soft and new.....ready for a Mama's kiss early in the crisp hours of the day.

The old boy - he likes a long sturdy hug.... but is really after something hot for his belly.

My lyric girl - she likes to sleep in a bit longer than her brothers - and she takes particular joy in me coming in after her....rather than her emerging from slumber and coming in after me.

(Isn't that just like a woman? All wanting to be noticed and discovered and wooed? It's already begun.)

Mornings are tender.

They set the tone for the hours ahead. They influence the condition of the heart for the rest of the day. They fill or empty.

The first few hours of wakefulness are vulnerable. They're unripe.

And us Mama's...we're wise to be ready for it.

Because the enemy is. He knows that the groggy eyes, the sleepy minds, the hurry and scurry of the day's awakening - can steal the joy and peace right out of a person's 24 hours.

However....understand this:

The enemy can steal.....but Mamas can still.

Whether your babies hop a school bus each AM,  or get dropped off by a carpool, or are left in the care of a trusted sitter, or settle into a school desk at home..... they need a prayed up, chaos free.... welcome to the day.

And those men of ours - who work and toil hard long hours each week....they need the same.

And good grief...all of us women...the ones who work out of the house and the ones who work within...the ones who have husbands present and the ones that don't...us women who help the world to keep spinning - we.need.it.too.

I'm not sure what this looks like for everyone. It could include a calm cup of coffee, or hot food, or candles, or quiet time in the Word, or an organized back-pack, or an already assembled lunch, or praise music, or kind notes,  or a good grateful attitude, slowness, touch, a hushed....at ease atmosphere, or prayer. Yes, prayer.

Whatever brings an easy calm to the dawn....do that.

And know.....that the true difference begins in just the awareness. The awareness that mornings are indeed delicate. And that they can make it or break it for our nearest and dearest.

Just knowing that hearts are exposed - and that enemies lurk - and that we have the faculty to influence it all - sets us up for some success.

Picture perfect mornings are rare. And even when they do occur - the day can run sour, fast. I know.

 But...ringing in some sweetness for all our people....little and big....helps them to dash into the day steady and ready.

Let it be so today, Lord. One dawn at a time....let us build up, fill up, rise up - and bless our beloveds. Equip our Mama hearts and calm our crazy minds....

and let us love well...

all day. 

"We produce an environment other people have to live in. We should be conscious of the fact that this environment which we produce by our very being can affect the people who live with us or work with us. The effect on them is something they cannot avoid. We should have thoughtfulness concerning our responsibility in this area."
- Edith Schaeffer in The Hidden Art of Homemaking


Other pertinent posts


Wednesday, November 13, 2013


As I turn the page back.....and read what leaked forth yesterday....I feel exposed.

The true state of my heart was outed.

My painfully immature longing for audience and affirmation - was laid out bare for you all - where eye and light hit heavy.

And that's good.

When light reaches a stronghold....it's grip is weakened.

How in the world the Holy Spirit got me to actually push publish for that post - I'll never know.

I would like to be recognized as the humble servant who works and toils joyfully - no back-pats needed. No fame flame to blow.

But reality and truth won out yesterday. I do desire constant confirmation and ongoing approval and total acceptance.

I knew this.

But now you do too.

And because of that - I already feel a bit more free....like the chains have been loosened.

Any tendency or sin that gets nurtured and fed in the dark places of our hearts  -  shrinks when light shines in.

Exposure is medicine.

The enemy likes for things to stay all tucked in and unseen - because when things fester in the dim - they feast..... and take you over.

So it's all good....and I'm glad.....but I do feel found out.

Oddly, I woke up this morning with an old hymn in my head.

Our holy God knew I'd need it. And I could just about cry as I copy this out here....at the care and tenderness and all out knowing of our Abba Father.

The song?

Just As I Am

Charlotte Elliot penned this piece when she had been "kept wakeful by distressing thoughts of her apparent uselessness".*

Further more....

 "these thoughts passed by a transition easy to imagine into a spiritual conflict, till she questioned the reality of her whole spiritual life, and wondered whether it were anything better after all than an illusion of the emotions, an illusion ready to be sorrowfully dispelled."*

But then....

"She gathered up in her soul the great certainties, not of her emotions, but of her salvation : her Lord, His power, His promise. And taking pen and paper from the table she deliberately set down in writing, for her own comfort, "the formulae of her faith." Hers was a heart which always tended to express its depths in verse. So in verse she restated to herself the Gospel of pardon, peace, and heaven."*

This Charlotte woman - I like her.

And the God we both long to gleam - His love overwhelms me this moment.

After all that spilling out - He would awaken me with verses ladled in verse by a lady who seems to  have struggled in a few of the same ways I do.

He's ever so sweet and aware of our every heart moan.

After the song woke me up this morning....I opened my inbox. And waiting for me there....was this:

"Many people that are not interested in minor things make comments such as, “I am just not a details person.” I am guilty. Here is a personal confession. I used to say the above statement precisely because I tied importance to fame and minor things were not important. Honestly, I wanted to be noticed. Even deeper though, I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t forgotten. In fact, I think most people struggle with fame not even as much because they want to be known, but more because they are absolutely terrified they will be insignificant and forgotten." **

One of our pastors sends out an email every Wednesday - and the above quote is from today's. 

The need for fame
The longing for significance
The desire to be remembered

Familiar topics, eh?

At the end of my last post - I prayed that God would "meet me in the weaving." 

It's only been about 24 hours....and He already has.


*Just as I Am (hymn)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Apr. 2013. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
*Brownlie, John. [The Hymns and Hymn Writers of the Church Hymnary.]. London: Henry Frowde, 1911. N. pag. Print.

**Burger, Vernon. "Wandering And Wondering‏". Nov. 2013. E-mail.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Just This

I had a post all scribbled down and close to complete....explaining why I was calling it quits for a season.

Explaining that this novice of a writer likes to write....to be read.

I had explained in furry one late dark night last week, red-faced and embarrassed - that while I was thankful for my fist-full of faithful readers - I was also immensely discouraged by so few showing up.

I had gone to all those other journals- by all those other Mamas that not only write blogs......but books.

And I had meandered down to the comments sections - to see the many responses. And I had perused the sidebars and noticed all of the contributions and links and accolades.

And the pictures. Oh, the artful pictures these women attach to their writing....such beauty.

But me here....with no comments, no links, no matrix, no networks, no ties to awesomeness. No high resolution camera to catch moments. No money in the budget for domains and design and blog conferences. No grammar prowess. No leads that my writing was going anywhere, ever.

While it's certainly true that I had heard and groaned and grown...from spilling it all out here - And while I understood that it wasn't about the numbers and the fancy.... I had become withered.

Shoot....I'm still withered.

But right before I made closing edits and wrapped up the final post - I suddenly got the idea that maybe I should do the opposite of what I felt....and dive headlong into what I knew.

At some point years back.....I had noticed that my heart sang easy and light when words were coming forth.

Words had begun to woo me. And then the pen....it went and sent me swaying, too.
So right there.....on a new budding phenomenon called blogging - I started to jot out snippets and sayings and words and happenings.

"Kate.....you've been blogging for over...five years?!?"

Yes, yes. I have.

"And you only have four official followers?"


"And you get more hits from spam sites in Russia than you do real searching souls on English speaking ground?"

Yep, that's right.

I've basically been blogging since blogging got big - and here I am - weak and meek in the back row of it all.

And the reality of it, among other things - just hit heavy and deep last week. It just came to a point and I popped.

Deflated, down - I had decided that perhaps I had forced writing to be my thing.....simply because I didn't have any other thing I could call my own.

Perhaps I had just picked up the pen to satisfy my longing for worth. Perhaps it wasn't a gift given to me at all - but a hobby I had stumbled across as I groped for purpose.

In the midnight hours as my husband slept in the bed nearby- that's what I hashed out in my little green notebook that night. And before I turned out the lamp light and laid warm next to him - my mind was made that I would simply set it aside for a while.

I thought that maybe it would be a good test - and a good way to press in to Him about it all.

But then.....I got to the last few lines of explaining it here - and it occurred to me that the one way I really know how to press into God....is by pressing these keys. The one way I know to tap in....is to tap out.

On top of that....

I heard a preacher say once that often times.....the enemy will convince you to quit right before you reach a breakthrough.

And dang-it.... I want breakthrough.

So I'm giving it a go.

Sometimes doing the total opposite of what we feel....and relying on what we know....brings forth good, God things.

I'm praying that the next few months will sprout something new. I'm praying that as I write here in this spot.... that God's directions for me in this will clarify.

 Meet me in the weaving, Lord. And if this is all a waste of my time - show me the way. But if this longing to put words to what I see and hear and learn - is from You.... if the writing can be used to really inspire and move and impact the Kingdom....

then .... let it flower.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


I woke up this morning....

and felt like He was calling me to come and wrestle things out here.

With kids still quiet under blankets - I show up to share even before the sun has shown it's face. He must have something to say!

Lord, meet us in between all these black printed letters....


What would happen....if we actually believed that the tomb ended up being empty?

What would happen if, truly, we believed that He went from no pulse.... to pulsing? No breathing.....to taking in air? A dark tomb....to sun-filled cave-space?

Death and darkness would be difficult to celebrate, I think.

Perhaps our concentrations would never find themselves giving an accentuated spot-light to the things that Christ came to defeat.


I'm not really concerned with whether or not you fill bags with candy at each door in the neighborhood. I don't care to keep anyone from carved gourds or school parties.

Be free and eat the iced pumpkin-shaped cookies!

But as you do so....let your every word be dripping with grace and love. Smile at people and be filled with joy this last sunrise and sunset of October!

On a day set aside to celebrate death.....celebrate life! Highlight it this Halloween!

Because you know! And you remember!....
That the story didn't end with a dead Jesus. That it ended in a rising, living Lord! That it ended in a light-filled, straight up empty tomb!

And for those that know Christ as Savior...you understand the crazy beautiful part......that the same power that raised Him from the stink of decay in that death-stenched grave.....lives bright and burning right inside of us who believe it!

The empty cave means a full you!

Especially, especially, especially today....Let's live like that's true.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


At this moment...

The blue eyed boy baby is playing with a smooth blue bouncy ball.

And the girl is pushing around a pink squeaking stroller, playing the part of parent.

And the oldest is where he often is....sitting at the end of the table sketching steamies.

Their Mama is a smidge anxious this AM, which is an oft occurrence as well. I'm having to watch the girl blonde closely today - praying yesterday's fever doesn't return.

There is gospel bluegrass bellowing from the ipad....not because it's my favorite - but because the seven year old enjoys an occasional bluegrass tune while creating. Plus, it rings in a bunch of happy.

There are breakfast crumbs littering the living room. And dust has settled on the bookshelves...again.

Windows are open.

Rain is falling.

And more heavy clouds are making their way over.

I have Poetry for Young People - Robert Frost sitting just to my left - ready to be read just before we begin phonics. A kind, knowing friend... lent me a book collection when she discovered that we have a penchant for poetry.

Frost speaks our language on the life things we like. She knew he would.

The two oldest have gathered now in the room we learn in (but the world....it's our classroom, really....right?) - and they are threatening to make a mess with ink stamps.

Pandora has been switched to the likes of Haydn and Strauss - another genre the oldest leans toward.

The baby is looking sleepy. A nap is near.

Clothes are sloshing in the washer. Dishes are soaking near the sink.

The clock is ticking forward to today's school hour.

Before the ink makes its way to our leased carpet....

Frost and I.....we better get to work ;)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Wave and Sea

There's something about the water's edge....that makes words flow easy.

There's something about that place...where sea meets sand, where the breeze blows fresh....that kindles all kinds of creativity.

Maybe it's the way the sun shimmers off the coast...

Maybe it's the tickle and smooth of sand shifting underfoot.
Maybe it's awe over the way of flight for the beach birds....and the way the wind moves sleek across their winged bodies as they skim aqua.

Maybe it's simply the sound. The way the waves rise and fold - and the music they make as they do so.

All that. Yes.

But it seems as if the water woos us - on a spiritual plane, too.

From Genesis to Revelation - we see water being used in miracles, metaphors, symbols, and signs.

And so it makes much sense....that we would be moved and effected and inspired by these vast bodies of liquid that make up much of our earth.

Goodness. My mind can scarcely conceive the width and depth of these massive waters - and what all lives and lies therein.

I'm prone to wonder, as you know.

But as I stop to consider the number of species, and the magnificence of color, and the overwhelming ability of these living things....surf and turf...it's art. Brilliant art. Purposed art. Intended art.

I have moments of doubt - that are dark and heavy....things I see that are signed by evil and debauchery.

But I have moments - where I see His signature.

And they save me from the abyss.

Like Wordsworth's mind allowing him to dance with the daffodils long after he's seen their swaying - may the beach waters and Who made them.....ring in sturdy faith and solace.....

 as I tend and teach today...here in this rented house suburban school room....away from the waves and sandy sea.

Friday, October 18, 2013


Standing at the sink - clearing out carrot and zucchini shreds from steel bowls - I looked up from rinsing water and saw three blondes.....occupied.

The oldest - sitting hunched over a piece of white paper with pencil in hand - was sketching his Mama some far away farm scene his imagination conjured up.

And the girl blonde - she was tending to her babies on the couch while eating a string of mozzarella - hair all messy and four year old glorious.

The 'baby' - he was on hands and knees over by the fireplace running a race car around a black plastic track.......content.

Oh God, thank you for this moment. This is good.

I think I said it right out loud.

But all of them were so happy engrossed that they didn't here their Mama's proclamation.

And that's a shame. They hear my many petitions more than they hear my praises. 

Something needs to change with me.

Lots of things, really.

My eyes have been opened to some of the world's atrocities this week. And if I'm being truly honest - I'm struggling with what I'm seeing.

Trying to reconcile an all powerful God to the scolding pain that even little ones are enduring..... at the hands of lust and greed and evil- it totally and completely unravels me.

Actually experiencing a very present and real and involved Creator - and then knowing that precious young are being destroyed in all kinds of deplorable manners.....my finite mind toils and spins.

That some of us are able to flourish in sound family environments - and others are left to scrounge and scourge in the streets and back alley's...... it's maddening.

For those of us that know Christ.....and for those of us who have been sheltered and safe and able to fully thrive throughout life..... we are held to a higher account, certainly.

In what we are doing.
In what we are praying.

And yes....in how much we praise.

So much good fills my days. How do I so often allow my heart to plunge into the depths of ungratefulness?

It's unacceptable.

Seeing my littles all bound by beauty and warmth rather than chains and filth..... it should make my faith take note of the crazy contrast, yes, yes, yes....but it should also invoke all kinds of thankfulness for my current situation in this life.

And today.........it does.

Monday, October 14, 2013

October Monday

The edge has been knocked off the hot and the humid here in these steamy parts of Texas.

While the temps can still rocket and rise to the 90's during the day....the sting of it has slipped away.

Sweet Autumn.....a gift from God.

And so, in the early morning hours when our world is still dark and cool down here in the bayou  - I open the windows.

I'm sitting here now...tapping these keys - with blinds raised and screens in use - and I like what's wafting in.

Early morning air in Autumn - it has a crispness to it, doesn't it?

Fall brings in a fresh wind...

...even down here where the leaves don't change and apple cider is all but absent.

I can hear city sounds. Mostly cars racing down a freeway making their way to work - and garage doors opening and closing sending their owners off to pay the bills for the week.

But I do hear more. Birds are singing. And cricket bugs are chirping. And as you know, that's the kind of thing we like. 

So while it's mixed in with urban area noise - the daybreak breeze, and the early bird songs, and the chorus of chirps out there.... is ringing in a happy day.

Open some windows this week, friends. No matter where you are - it's liable to drift in something good.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Day

It's unexpected bliss that seems to taste the sweetest.

Ya know....those gem moments.

Those unplanned, totally unscheduled happy occurrences that ring in all kinds of delight - out of no where, really.

 Empty of expectation - those days that are projected to be pretty ordinary....turning out to be seriously incredible - it's those days that really hit the spot.

And today....we had ourselves one.

Dentist Day.

It's never longed for.

My middle blonde....her lip quivers and her fists clench - when dentist day is proposed.

So I promise her the moon...if she sits in the chair and lets the dental lady do her thing - and we all breath easy when it's totally over.

Today was no different.

So after every one's teeth were tinkered with - we loaded the van all fresh and wide-smiled.....and headed to lunch......out.

The middle child that was promised the moon....chose Mexican.

(We have trained her well.)

 Ordinarily, when I brave the challenge of eating out with my three loves alone - I end up not eating much food, but wearing it. And I usually spend most of my time keeping the babe quiet and somewhat stationary.

I expected this little treat lunch to be the same.

But oh grace and mercy - the youngest behaved like a champ. And I got to actually chew my food. And taste it. And enjoy it. And only one drink was spilled at our table.

Small miracle.

Later in the day...

We received a random free flying contraption from the toy store. It's charging on our kitchen bar this very moment.

 And we watched two dragon flies dance in our tight backyard. It looked choreographed....the dipping and twisting and descending in unison.  

Pure beauty.

The day had a quiet contentment to it.

Void of forecast and expectation - the day was light.

I pray you get to relish in some spur-of-the-moment joys this week, friend.

The surprise of them carries in all kinds of calm and gratefulness.

And I'd say we all need a little bit more of that :)


Lord, for every person passing by this post today....please help us all to rid the week of extreme lofty expectation, perfectionism, and calculation. Open all our eyes to the wonder and joys that surround us in the ordinary. Let us all relish in Your creation this week - noticing things and people we often times miss. Ring in fresh faith, gratefulness, and an assurance that You know and love us. Please surprise us with unexpected joy, laughter, and contentment. And soften the hard hearts here. Including mine. In Jesus, Amen.

Friday, October 4, 2013


Submerged in hot liquid watching the fire of an almost empty candle dance on the ledge of the tub, I asked myself:

"Why don't I rest more?"

Ah, today.

My mother-in-law winged her way to Texas last night. I had to keep myself from kissing her face when I saw her.

Because rest....it sounds good.

And my mom-in-law - she's gifted at giving it. She came in with a fresh new candle in hand and fall-themed magazines to peruse and offers of solace.

After time at a bookstore today and lunch alone....I get to put on grownup make-up this eve and unravel my messy bun and don something other than Under Armor.

A date.



Thursday, October 3, 2013


I couldn't have gotten much further in this week of writing - without posting yesterday's piece.

It seems to me...that He is moving and doing and working in the area of faith right now - for many individuals in my contact.

And I'm learning....that the best way to live for the Lord....is to ask Him what He is already doing - and simply join Him in it.

As I was writing yesterday's words - words for today began to formulate. So this post is a natural  follow-up.

It's becoming more and more apparent that we can't have a sturdy conversation about faith - without including the topic of fellowship. 

I know what some of you are thinking. I've thought it too....

"Why do I need to go to a church? Why do I need to gather around other seekers? All they will do is sell me their brand of Christianity and expect a tithe. Why can't I just seek on my own and figure it out in the confines of my own heart? Besides, I don't really trust those people. I've been burned and I don't want to go back."

I hear you, friend.

Your points are valid.

But may I ever so gingerly offer a counter?

Aside from Christianity....people need people. Social experiments, history, and health statistics all point to this fact.

So if for nothing else - being around others enhances the quality and longevity of our days. It's as if we were made for it.

For community.

Now you must know - that this is being typed out here by the fingers of an introvert. I revitalize and refresh by being alone. But that doesn't mean that I don't fellowship. I need it just as much as the extrovert - maybe not in the same quantity or duration...but it's still just as vital to my stats. Yours too. Even us introverts need integration.

So let's add the Christian aspect back in. If you are sincerely seeking the Truth - and longing to know what's real when it comes to this faith - and really pursuing a glimpse of Christ...then perhaps taking a look at those who started this whole church thing will be beneficial.

All throughout the New Testament, we see the early church.....doing church. Gathering. Eating. Serving. Providing. Sharing.

They lived right alongside one another. And not only that - they revealed God to one another, too.

Did you catch that?

God often times reveals Himself to us.....through others.

Through their experiences, their testimonies, their stories, their trials, their transformations, their encouragement, exhortation, and example.

C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, said it well....

"God can show Himself as He really is only to real men. And that means not simply to men who are individually good, but to men who are united together in a body, loving one another, helping one another, showing Him to one another. For that is what God meant humanity to be like; like players in one band, or organs in one body. 

Consequently, the one really adequate instrument for learning about God is the whole Christian community, waiting for Him together." (p.165)

Now to some of us - this is scary. We have seen deacons act ridiculously. We have witnessed a pastors fall. We have been wounded by congregants.

But I implore you, with all due respect and gracefulness, to try again.

"Otherwise, we are like a bronze, taken from the fire, lifeless and cold." (- Rend Collective Experiment, in their song The Campfire Story)

The people you meet in a good, Spirit-filled, biblical church - will not be perfect. They are sinners. That is why they are there. But they can stand shoulder to shoulder with you - and perhaps show you a bit of the The Way.

They have for me.

My faith is proof.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


I cracked open the Scripts that morning anyway.

Right there in the thick of unbelief and all out wander - I still wanted Him.

And that's a victory. If the longing to see God and hear God are still present in the doubt....you're still on course.

So as I attempted to find a certain passage that would speak to my present condition - the Spirit spoke to me in another way...

Out of no where - these words came softly to mind:

"Andy Stanley's latest."

I haven't listened to an Andy sermon in years. I like Mr. Stanley. I've read a book or two by him. I've gleaned from his teachings in times past. But I hadn't thought of Andy in a while....making these random words empty of any conjuring up of my own.

So I sat my Bible on my desk, found North Point's media page....and clicked directly on the latest sermon. The whole time, mind you, I am half preparing myself for a let down - and half hoping with everything in me that the Lord has something specific waiting on me there.

My jaw fell and my hand covered my mouth in awe when I realized what Andy was speaking on:

Faith, doubt, questions, skepticism, wandering, and unbelief.

As I listened to the sermon tumbling out - I wanted to laugh and weep.

Laugh....because the Lord had done it again. He had met me in the fog far from faith. And weep....because His intimate attention to each of us was staring me in the face. And when that happens it's just startling.

Every time.

But what I'm really wondering about today....is you.

Where are you with all this?

Do you deal with doubt? Are you 'prone to wonder'?....as the old hymn proclaims? Are you questioning the validity of Christianity? Are you far from the fringes of it, even?

I know those places.

Few pastors speak of it. It's a scary, sometimes foreign topic for men who's job it is to pronounce faith. But sitting in their pews - are people who can't help but question. And avoiding the issue only grows it.

So if you are a fellow skeptic - know first - that you aren't alone in your questioning. Second - know that we are in good company. Third - know that your honest seeking makes you authentic. And fourth - know that we don't have to stay here.

He'll come to you. 

It might be in one pop. Like Pascal.
It might be a gradual knowing. Like Lewis.

Or maybe it will be a combination of both - like it has been for me.

Either way - The Lord will reveal Himself. We must keep eyes and ears and hearts alert for the knocking.

If you find yourself in a season of seeking....

I highly recommend Stanley's sermon series The Starting Point.  I'm still making my way through these gems - but I trust that the ones I haven't reached yet - are just as rich and helpful as the ones I have.

In addition....I'm currently in the last few pages of C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. Faith-changing, life-changing read.

And there are countless other websites, preachers, books, and articles that I could point you to. But....while we sit under the above guides - we must remember....

...that it isn't all intellect. And it's certainly not all feeling.

Our minds and our moods are not what bring us knee-bent to the cross.

The Holy Spirit does.

And our experiences with Him do.

I've said it dozens of times now - even our faith in God....comes from God. 

Realizing this - strips our intellectual prowess of it's pride and our wave-like feelings of their hold.

Emptying us of us....filling us more with Him.

Come, Lord. For each soul reading these words - I ask that you show them your grace and your realness and your way. This very week. This very hour! Meet us in prayer, in the Word, in fellowship, in worship, and in our everyday lives. I pray revelation and a steadiness of faith over all the hearts here. In Jesus, Amen.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Unexpected

When he came home - my hair was in the same messy bun it was in when he left.

This wasn't one of those cute messy buns with tendrils of curls framing my face....

This was a sloppy nest of hair wound into a matted ball sitting on top of my brain - all day.

Nonetheless, he came through the door, slid his work satchel off his shoulder, made his way into the house....and said:

"You look nice today."

And the man meant it. 


This is the same man - who will call me 'Honey' in the middle of a disagreement. And he will pat my back when I'm being mean. And he'll pray when I'm doubting.

He didn't marry his own kind. Bless him.

I look much more like the world in many ways than he does.

But the way he handles me - teaches me....

Because he is always doing the opposite thing. The counter. The unexpected. The gutsy humble.

And it softens my brazenness.

Shouldn't we all be so counter to the culture - that it's noted? That it's taken down in the minds of men and women who don't know Jesus? In a good way? In a positive one?

Shouldn't we handle our agenda and affairs in such a soft, strong, steady, pure, righteous manner - that it shocks the masses?

This man we call our Savior - that's what He did:

The manger, not a palace.
A baby, not a warrior.
A carpenter, not a king.
A restorer, not a punisher.

And the list goes on.

But the woman caught in adultery - it's her story that captures my attention today....

All blushed, undressed, and red-handed - they took her to Christ.

And he looked straight through the mess and said to her, "Neither do I condemn you. Now go and sin no more."

No lecture.
No real wrist slap.
No stone throwing.

Just grace.

Just the Sinless releasing the sinful.

And this, I'm sure, sent shock waves through the land.

Oh, may Him in us....send out the same type of reverberations.

But really - let's have it be Him. Let's allow our unexpected reactions and agendas - be free of fake, or even a lot of force. 

Let's live that way naturally......because of Who lives in us.

We wont be perfect, or all-the-time unworldly, or even neatly presentable everyday.

But we will be daily transforming.

And all the Mama's with messy buns said.....AMEN :)

Monday, September 30, 2013


I'm in no condition to weave words today.

This past week was weird and weary-ridden.

Injuries, illness, and all manner of random frustrations darted their way to our family over the last several days.

I'm unraveling a tad.

And so...it's days like these when plans get ruined and hyped activities get scratched and phobia inducing situations arise..... that show my cores true colors.

Yes, it's days like these that I hole up at my desk and browse Bloomingdale's website for designer dresses I can't afford, imagining myself wearing them to gala's and galleries I'll probably never attend, while rubbing elbows with fancy people I'll probably never know.


You don't do that when the demands of motherhood turn you sour and life leaves you flailing?

That's just me?

It's kinda sad that this is my salve.

Escapism. I'm notorious for it.

Right there...spelled out for you in three syllables...es-cap-ism.....is an issue for me.

While I feel that this tendency can prove beneficial in certain arenas..... art, fiction, play writing, rest, envisioning a better society, etc....

It can reek absolute havoc on a heart or a home that needs present, realistic, rapt attention.

From my wee ages on - I have been a flight girl. I don't tend to fight well - I just tend to flee.

So now that I'm a Mama - I can't really run away (even if I tried, they would follow me).....so I do it in my head, instead.

You do know what I mean don't you?

Escapism can take on many different forms.

When life is crazy hard or humdrum or heavy - you find yourself turning to things or ideas or activities or thoughts that you think will help you cope or overcome.

And while envisioning how in the world you can make things better is a good thing......

....simply thinking about unrealistic futures or long-gone pasts or becoming obsessed with some activity.....these are not wholesome or helpful choices.

Sometimes, as much as I hate to admit it, we have to force our minds to be all in and ever present - to tend to the real life, often difficult and dreadful and dutiful tasks, that may arise.

Running out the door (physically or mentally) rarely solves anything.

We must learn....

Not to escape to a happy place - but to a holy God.

That doesn't mean that we don't daydream of Holy Spirit inspired tomorrows. That doesn't mean that we don't slip away for a quiet coffee alone sometimes. That doesn't mean that we don't enjoy visions of vacations or longed-for getaways. That doesn't mean that we don't ask for help....or accept a breather every now and then.

It simply means - that when duty calls....we are awake to answer.

Turning to mental fantasies rather than the Father and his provisions for the task at hand....can leave our lamps oil-less. 

Escaping in the mind - keeps us from preparing and assessing and working....in the physical.

And we want to be women who have lamps lit and ready, right?

Yes, yes. Lord help us.

But...... all that being said....I really do like this one: 


Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Oh....these are just some thoughts I meant to post last Thursday :) Things have been a bit busy around these parts lately - forgive my delay. Love to you all......


My eyes are pooling tears and my heart's pounding from the outpouring.

I'm sitting here in all out awe - over the way these people love.

There's been a lot of goodness flying in from friends today......

A card in the mail...

A text this afternoon...

Various emails.....

And a comment.... 

All today. All in the last 8 or so hours.

And all from these Jesus loving Texans we have jelled with over the last ten months.

All the random love that dropped into my mailbox and onto my phone and into my inbox and up on the screen.....It comes on a day where nothing in particular is weighing heavy....nothing pressing or worrisome or worthy of inducing stress.

All the undeserved sweetness arrived on a normal, everyday, kind of day....

But there has been this one thing as of late....

This one thing that my heart's been wrestling down this week....that by the looks of things needed some attention, perhaps.

The desire for purpose and accomplishment- outside of crumb-catching and bottom-wiping. 

While all things home are what I am to hone in on these days (by assignment and by desire) - I can't deny there are personal dreams that dawn in my mind's eye quit regularly. Dreams that walk along side my Mama-ing...not dreams that take the place of it.

Many of which...... have been spawned and spurred by my work within these walls - while stirring dinner - while picking up littered toys and broken graham crackers - while perusing all these mounds of books that sit around every corner....

.....all with these blondes that find shelter under my wing.

Oh, these children. There's something about their wonder - their all out passion for adventure ....their fearless attempts at feats .... their insatiable longing for new paths to explore....and most importantly....

their willingness to just try.

All of that - can ignite sparks in a woman....

Little gleaming hot spots of possible endeavors...they've been coming to life lately.

As mentioned...'Mama' and 'Maker of the Home' are my main engagements - but friends..... I'd be crazy to hush some of the deep hopes that are still pulsating in these veins of mine. I may be 'Mama' but I'm still mighty when it comes to dreaming up God - inspired possibilities.

So dream I do.

Right here in the midst of the crumbs and clutter and bottoms and attitudes.

Not as an escape - but as an exercise - to keep me going.

But there comes a point.....

......where dreaming.....has to turn into doing.

There comes a time - where we stop simply entertaining things in our heads....and start walking things out in real life.

Or else our dreams and purposes never really wake up to the dawning.

 So here I am today - bolstered up by all the random and thoughtful gestures bestowed on us this week - feeling a bit charged and inspired.... thinking about some long and deeply seeded dreams that might be ready to take root and blossom in the near future.

Ah, the possibilities.

Maybe someday soon ..... I'll muster up enough courage to share some of these mental fancies with you here.

Maybe :)

Until then and beyond, I'll be combing tangles out of hair and overcooking dinner chicken and scratching young backs and walking out this whole Mama thing - learning and growing along the way.

(Which is itself.... a dream realized, for sure.)

And all the while - I'll be thinking up things .....and asking the God of it all to hush what's from me and to highlight what's from Him. 

Because dreaming dreams of our own making - there's really nothing magnificent about that.

But dreaming dreams that have been implanted and imparted by a creative God.....

.....those are the ones worth entertaining, don't you think?

Lord, help me to know the difference.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


We will be hitting I-10 and heading west tomorrow....

me and the ladies of our burgeoning church.

With bug spray (hello, mosquitoes), and Bibles in hand - we are heading away for some concentrated time in the Word.....and some relational time with godly women.

And this is good.

And needed.

Because it's been a while since this Mama has slipped away from the nest.

With trips to the grocery store being my only real escape over the summer - an overnight away is overdue.

Sometimes you have to withdraw for a moment, ya know? Not long - just enough to catch your breath and receive a filling.

So after these few days of freedom - I'm trusting that I'll return to my nestlings fresh and ready.

A twenty month old just moseyed in with a sippy cup of milk - wanting his Mama to read him an animal book.....

And the ingredients for pancakes are currently spread over the top of my kitchen island.....

And the park is on our agenda today.....

After school gets done, of course.

And so the day will go....

Full and packed tight - all carried out by a Mama who is grinning giddy about a short weekend escape.

Oh, here's to hoping that Daddy-Daycare runs smoothly over the next several days.

Lord, help him :)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Learn from Her

There's a mama behind every man.

Just like there's a womb behind every woman.

It's true for all of us.

But...... the contrast is vast.

The childhood experience can look so different from one life to another, can't it?

While some of those mamas and some of those wombs dealt out nothing much more than wounds.....

Some dealt out such high doses of lavish love - that there children couldn't help but become beautiful.

I'd like to be grouped in the latter, wouldn't you?

In last week's post - I invited you back to the blog spot here.... to take a peep at some people, some ladies....who have walked the mama road well...who have left a fine fragrance for us to pick up on and share ourselves.

Because Mama-ing.....it ain't for sissy's. And bringing up boys and girls in God - it's not a flippant endeavor.

It's heavy and real and it requires purpose. And motivation. And examples. And a whole lot of Jesus.

So I'm glad you've gathered around....

because I'd like to first introduce you to a lady named Susanna.

I ran into this woman in Richard Foster's book Streams of Living Water.

Right there...on page 238 - I found myself a mentor straight out of England's 1600s.

Foster introduces her with...." Susanna represents the millions of people who have learned to do ordinary things with a perception of their enormous value."

And then he quotes one of her prayers....

"Help me, Lord, to remember that religion is not to be confined to the church, or closet, nor exercised only in prayer and meditation, but that everywhere I am in Thy presence. So may my every word and action have a moral content.....May all the happenings of my life prove useful and beneficial to me. May all things instruct me and afford me an opportunity of exercising some virtue and daily learning and growing toward Thy likeness......Amen."

Now that's a woman I need to know.

Susanna birthed nineteen children - nine of which didn't make it past infancy. She did a crazy awesome type of homeschool with the ten kids that did. She met individually with each child every week and she even had a type of church service in her home where over 200 people came to her gatherings.

Susanna was also known for her incredible patience.

Quoting again....this time from Susanna's husband who had been observing her teach a lesson where he counted twenty times that she had to repeat a single piece of information....

"I wonder at your patience.....you have told that child twenty times that same thing."

And Susanna replied with....

"If I had satisfied myself by mentioning it only nineteen times I should have lost all my labour. It was the twentieth time that crowned it."

This teaches me.

Susanna loved learning. She put up with an occasionally rigid and stout husband. She stood her ground on numerous occasions. She endured huge house fires.....and managed her home with little money.

And so...after all that care and all that pouring in and pouring over....

She reaped some fruit for sure, my friends.....

Because our Susanna .....was John Wesley's mama.....

the evangelist who helped found the Methodist movement.

Day after day after day for some twenty years - Susanna taught and tended to. She passed on faith and know-how and resilience.

And her children couldn't help but be world-changers because of it.

Those of us who are in the thick of lessons and discipline and home maintenance and heart tending - we should nestle in under the wings of women who have wondered this path in years past.

They can show us the way!

Want more examples? More resources? I do to. I'll share what I've come across and you do the same.

Because yes....I need all.the.help.I.can.get.

May you feel spurred along in your mothering endeavors today, friends - by the fine example discussed here. And may your own research and study grant you much as you lean in to hear what other great mama's have done.

Love to you all.


*Check out Ann Voskamp's 'Good Reads' page. Especially those books found in the 'family' section. I've been mentored through page by many of the books listed there. And while you're over on her 'farm porch' - read some of her Holy Spirit inspired posts and drink deep. You'll be filled.

*Stop by Sally Clarkson's blog. And consider a few of her books, too. She has taught me much in the last few months.

*Take some time to watch the women around you...the ones at your disposal. The best way of learning - is to see things played out well. Pray for mentors and examples - and hone in on them. Take notes and take heed. Yes!

Foster, Richard J. Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith
         [San  Francisco]: HarperSanFrancisco, 1998. Print.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Being here in the home has been a heart changer.

Working (and I do mean working) within these walls....with these littles hot on my heels all the live long day - it forces change in a woman.

And it forces you to stare your current calling square in the face to figure out how in the world you are going to sanely walk through your every day.

Especially if you are going to walk it well.

It's been a unique season for me in this regard.....

 Our work car has finally called it quits - leaving this family of five with one vehicle. And leaving me with no way out most days.

If you had told me that I would spend a season of my at-home life without a car - without a way to escape the confines of the house....I would have fallen a part.

 No throwing the kids in their car seats and driving around for a while just to get a change of scenery, no quick runs to grab lunch on the go, no unplanned trips to the grocery store to grab that missing ingredient, no shopping trips during the day, no surprise trips to the park across town, no taking leave on a whim.


 a peculiar thing has happened in the place of all those outings.

I had felt it fleetingly before.....I had ran my hands across the fabric of it admiring its sturdy and smooth ways donned on others- but I've actually grabbed hold of it my own self and am wearing it now. Owning it now.

Couple no car - with the cranked neck - with the up-in-the-airness our family currently feels.....

and somehow, someway you find.......



I've settled into this season.... and I've found satisfaction in it.....

....in the behind the scenes, nobody knows or recognizes....daily grind of a stay at home mother.

And just think.....it only took me seven years.

It only took over half of a decade for me to truly embrace and take hold of my vocation.

And it wasn't me who decided to buck up or bow out, even.....

At the start of the year I felt the Lord hounding me on homemaking. In a gentle God-like way - in a 'it's good for me' way....

And so upon his sweet prompting - I made it my year's quest to hone in on all things home.

While it has certainly come under attack....and while it has had its maddening struggles....and while I do....daily....have moments where I barely keep my head above the water line...

There's a constant contentedness that abounds here now.

If you're like me....and you hold down the fort day in and day out (or by all means - even if you don't!)....and you want to walk in this mom calling upright and well....

Perhaps you'll want to nestle in with me here on the blog spot next week? - to take a look at some resources, some stories, some women - that have walked the homemaker road high and swell.

As for now....

I hear the three blondes stirring on the other side of the thin rent house wall my desk leans up against....

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I sat on the sidewalk yesterday......

... and watched my oldest blonde sketch beauty next to a bayou.

He captured cotton ball clouds floating overhead, and cattails standing sturdy in murky water. He sketched out the sun and the light - while sitting there on that grassy knoll near by.

And this .....it's a regular occurrence for us - the oldest boy stopping to copy some scene into a white paged notebook.

Just last month on a spontaneous trip to an urban garden center - he sprawled all out on a wooden bench situated next to a flowering, towering tree. And he proceeded to sketch that thing perfectly onto paper.

And so it goes with helicopters, and trucks, and trains, and skyscrapers, and country sides and home designs.

Yes...as it turns out...the oldest is into art.

That practice of putting pencil or paint or prints to paper and curving lines and connecting sections and making something glorious from it. He loves this.

And as his Mama, his teacher - I do so love it, too.

To have the ability, the gift, the draw.....to draw - it's straight from the hand of Heaven.

This talent that rings in wild wonder...that captures creation....it glorifies the One who gave it.

Why don't we stop to ponder these pieces more often? The art work of our children....of local artist... of famous ones.

I'm sitting here mid-day - thumbing through the boy's art folder....and finding joy in every piece. Finding Him in every stroke. Remembering in my mind's eye the event, the photograph, the lesson - that spurred him on to sketch each scene.

It's such a fine way of remembering....of keeping.....of beholding.

Writing here now - tapping these keys.....the seven year old has asked for another blank page - and I hear him cutting sheets of white and sharpening colored pencils at his school desk.

It looks as if another masterpiece awaits me!

Enjoy the works you come across, friends. Whether the art is from Monet or your wee one....  art can often times ring in all kinds of evidence and glory.

Don't miss it.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Joy in the Ordinary

The things I usually loathe - are the things I'd love to be doing this weekend.

Oh, friends.

I woke up in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday - trying to roll from one side to another....when my neck flung itself into a fiery fit.

What in the world?

Ever since - I've been hardly able to turn my head to the right....and any type of jerked or extended movement - sends pain coursing through my neck and shoulder.

Pinched nerve, maybe? Strained muscle, perhaps?

Either way - it is keeping me from doing what I do.

Laundry, dishes, baby chasing, workouts, and the like.....

Those things that I often times complain about and rush through and dread...

Yes. Those are the things I'm longing to carry out today.

Why does it often times take freak occurrences like an out of no where gnarled neck to awaken me to the blessings? To the privileges?

Walking through an ordinary day - and tending to the little, repetitive things - being able to carry those tasks out well....it's an absolute gift.

To go into the laundry room and hoist a laundry basket on my hip and divvy up the contents in each room - this actually sounds desirable right now. Divine, even.

I told the husband yesterday that I was going to scribble this all down in my journal - as not to forget it.....

To remind my discontented and negative and complaint-prone self....that being physically able to wash and clean and chase and exercise - should not be taken for granted.


Those arms that carry the load and the little ones, that back that plays pony over and over again, those legs that take you from one chore to another - thank God for them. Treat them well. Take note of their prowess and keen design.

And instead of huffing and puffing because we aren't living out some dreamy fairy-tailed life everyday - be filled with gratitude and out right awe over the ordinary.
Yes.... this weekend - if you find yourself sassing about those daily duties......just don't.

Your neck could be seriously cricked.....and it more than likely isn't. Take joy in it!


I love you all. Praying health and healing and gratefulness over each sweet soul that passes by this spot throughout the weekend. Hugs to you all.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Noon Day Sun

He's reading a chapter a day.

He's filling his being, his moments, his life....with rich, time-tested, insightful quips.


That wise old compilation sandwiched between Psalms and Ecclesiastes. Placed right there in the middle of heart-cries and life observations.

All that wisdom right there in the middle of those honest books - it fits there well.

So on the drive to church yesterday morning - my husband had me find Proverbs 4....and I read it aloud over young voices in the van.

And verse 18 - it made me want to roll down my finger-printed window and blare it out strong and happy for all the other worshipers heading down the highways yesterday morning....

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, 
which shines brighter and brighter until full day.

There's something about that first break of morning, isn't there? That initial glimmer of day, of possibilities, of starting anew - all crisp and ready. Such grandeur every twenty four hours! How often I let the splendor of it slip right past my slumbering eye.  

But oh, we should awake and see!....

As this Earth rotates, and the sun becomes clearer and it scales higher in our sky...notice that it doesn't slip back down past the horizon again - until it's gone through the cycle of a full days time. There's no inching upward and then downward, upward and then downward - it's just all up! The great big ball of fire that lights our day hours - it doesn't descend until it's time for it to light up the other half of the world again.

Hence....the second half of the verse....

"shine brighter and brighter until full day"

All those who find themselves redeemed in Christ - we are to grow and grow, mature and mature, overcome and overcome. We are not meant to grow and shrink back to a seedling again. We are not supposed to mature and then turn all silly young afterwards. We are not on course to overcome some addiction or wound - just to find ourselves chained and oozing again. 


We are to shine 'brighter and brighter', my friends.

This takes us back to one of last week's verses....

And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

'....from one degree of glory to another...'

The King James version says 'from glory to glory'.

Yes, this is the way!

As David Guzik wrote:
"The work of transformation is a continual progression. It works from glory to glory. It doesn’t have to work from backsliding to glory to backsliding to glory. God’s work in our lives can be a continual progression, from glory to glory."

Is it us? Is it our own resolve alone that keeps us climbing toward Him? Not at all. 
The only way...for us to keep taking steps forward in all the hard areas of life....
The only way...we can pass up that temptation the next time it lures on by....(because it will)
The only way....we can transform for real.....for forever - is the Spirit...and our yielding to Him.

So please understand....that there is no condemnation or guilt -trip here. If you find yourself slipping down the slope or revisiting some weak area (like I am) - know that this little post is just a push to pursue God consistently. A motivation to keep moving forward.

So this week....as we've marched into a new month - let's take note of the areas that have fallen away again. Let's look at those things that we had victory and revelation in at one time...but that have slipped back into darkness.

 Let's bring them out and offer them up.

For good. For keeps. For the long-haul.

Because we weren't claimed by Christ to waver. We weren't saved so that we could go back and forth.

We are called to shine and keep shining.

As the sun pursues its highest point each day this week - oh, may we do the same in Jesus' name.

" It is a growing light; it shines more and more, not like the light of a meteor, which soon disappears, or that of a candle, which burns dim and burns down, but like that of the rising sun, which goes forward shining, mounts upward shining." - Matthew Henry

*Guzik, David. "Study Guide for 2 Corinthians 3." Enduring Word. Blue Letter Bible. 7 Jul 2006.2013. 4 Aug 2013.
* Henry, Matthew. "Commentary on Proverbs 4." . Blue Letter Bible. 1 Mar 1996.2013. 4 Aug 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Mind

I've been reading through Romans.

Limping through it, really....if I'm being honest.

It's a brilliant book. (Which is perhaps why I am stumbling through it.)

With all its mentioning of salvation, faith, righteousness.

I'm just finding it all a bit difficult to digest these days. And oddly so, it seems. Many respectable Christians I know - site Romans as their most favorite book in scripture.

And here I am - chewing on it and gnawing at it - floundering a bit.


There have been some easily digestible nuggets.....some clear-cut words that have pierced me right where I've needed them to.

Like the first few lines of chapter 12, for instance.....

I appeal to you therefore brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.....

Do not be conformed to this world
Be transformed by the renewal of your mind

Conformed verses transformed.

It's easy to conform. All you need is exposure to some culture or some way - and a weak, willing, or complacent will.

But to transform...


To have total change radiate out....this takes the Holy Spirit! This requires time spent in His presence!

And all this...as the scripture goes on to say - it involves the renewal of the mind.

Our minds need to mind, essentially.

It's that simple. And it's that complex.

But what does that look like, really? How does a mind become whole, healed, holy?

The same way our hearts and souls do..... the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:18 says it best....

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

'From the Lord who is the Spirit'. Yes!

But we must place ourselves. We must decide to sit under His lordship. And when we do - when we bask in His glory and hand it all over - even the hidden crevices of the mind - transformation is sure.

The addictions, the lust, the anger, the recounting of hurtful events, the festering, the mental adultery, the malice, the depression, the fear....

All of that can be tended to as He strengthens us to be the gatekeepers of what goes in and out of our brains. 

Thinking about what we think about - this is healthy. 

Being aware of what our minds are entertaining at any given moment....thwarting the prideful dreams and the lust-filled images and the desire for revenge and the dark negativism - making them flee....this.is.victory!

And it's yours in Jesus.

Hmm. Maybe Romans isn't so bad after all? Stay in the Word with me friends. He will meet you there.


Thursday, July 25, 2013


Some days all we have is a moment....a second, even....to reach out for Him.

Certain hours....are so brim full that we scarcely have an instant to pause.

Much less, pray.

Yet....it's in the praying, the seeking, the focused longing - that we often times see God's glory manifested in our lives.

Last week's Lectio Devina post....about the slow and steady study of scripture - will not be bunked here. There is purpose in that practice. So much so....that we should all make a point of sitting in the Word for a while rather than high-tailing it straight through.

Does it take some discipline? You bet.
Is it a bit of a sacrifice? Yes.
Is it worth it? His presence always is.

Therefore - slow, set-aside sessions with the Lord are a must.


I am a Mama.

And I'm aware of the demands that plead after me daily....I'm aware of the chaos, and the loud voices, and the messes, and the tiredness, and the constantness of it all.

I'm with you.

But hear this:

We don't have to wait until all is quiet and well and open and free to lift up our hearts to Him.

Therefore, I humbly ask that you take a look at.... breath prayers.

I was first inspired to mention this practice here on the blog....while reading this post. And after doing a bit of research - I discovered that many of the Christian greats incorporated breath prayers into their daily living. And with each of them - there was divine reward in it, divine revelation, divine presence.

And I think we all need and want a little more of that, yes?

What is a 'breath prayer'?

It's a short petition that can be uttered in one breath's time. One inhale and one exhale of a moment - that's all ya need.

"Calm my anxious heart, Father."

"Take the rage and give me patience, Lord."

"Renew a right spirit within me, God."

"Jesus, I confess the doubt - fill me with faith"

"Rid my mind of impure thoughts and fill it with righteous ones, Lord."

"Remind me I'm Yours, God. Show me I'm sealed."

"Hush the fears, Father"

"Teach me to be genuine, Jesus."

"Speak to me and speak through me, Holy Spirit."

 All these (and the plethora of others you could come up with to fit your own bents) - they can be pronounced right in the middle of our ordinary living. No candles. No knee bending. No hand folding. No retreating necessary.

While we shouldn't let these short and spontaneous prayers replace our focused and settled in sessions with the Savior - we can add them in as we journey through each packed full day. 

 And after a while - like breath filling and emptying the lungs - praying in this way can become automatic. Unceasing prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17) at it's finest, indeed.

These breath petitions - they can bring us back to Him....they can keep us in Him.

And as one who wonders away quite often.....

I'm in need of that.


"There is significant, important value in a time where we shut out all other distractions and focus on God in a time of closet prayer. (Matthew 6:6) But there is also room - and great value - in every-moment-of-the-day fellowship with God." - John Guzik in the study guide for 1 Thessalonians 5

"Breath prayer is discovered more than created. We are asking God to show us his will, his way, his truth for our present need." - Richard J. Foster in Prayer

"Thoughts continue to jostle in your head like mosquitoes.To stop this jostling you must bind the mind with one thought, or the thought of One only. An aid to this is a short prayer, which helps the mind to become simple and unified." - Foster quoting Theophane the Recluse in Prayer

"The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees before the Blessed Sacrament." - Brother Lawrence

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Sometimes you have to let things sit before they sink in.

Sometimes....you have to let ideas simmer - before they come to full flavor.

And more times than not - it's the steeping that melds things together well.

Us.....with all our quick fixes and fast dinners and hurried demeanor's....we're drawn to the instant. And we're repulsed by the process.

But faith...it's not a fly by night thing.

It's not something that can grow into something grand- through one moon's rising.

No. To flourish.....faith needs to be fed.

And so.....we feast. We take in scripture bites at a time.

And this....it can lead to a faith that is rounded out and full. And I want that! A skeptic like me....oh.....I crave that: a sure, seasoned, certain faith.

But the knowing and the growing in Christ - they shant be hurried.

This kind of thing can't be tapped along or tinkered with just every now and then.

Faith - it has to fester in fertile soil, friends.

It has to be nourished, practiced, processed.

Slowly. Deliberately. Seriously. 

But what does this look like?

Consider....Lectio Devina.

This ancient method for reading the Bible - it calls us to a different brand of quiet. It asks us to abandon the hustle. It doesn't allow us to bring in our worldly hurriedness to the studying of scripture.

Unfortunately...I'm known for the jostle....the hustle and bustle and spin. And so my tendency is to approach study....this same way. My notion is to fling open the Bible and rush through my chapter for the morning...pray a quick 'Help me, God' and go on to the next pressing thing.

But this...it doesn't leave room for the Spirit to speak. 

And you and I.....we need the Spirit to speak.

So while this isn't the 'be all end all' method - perhaps we should try it for a bit. A season maybe? I just know something good will spring forth.

What exactly is Lectio Devina? It's Latin for divine reading. I would define it poorly so please....I implore you....check out this post from Bible Gateway. It's a short and superb explanation. But from what I've novicly gathered myself (and from what I'm starting to practice) this method of study is made up of four parts:

1) Lectio (read)
2) Meditatio (meditation)
3) Oratio (prayer)
4) Contemplatio (contemplation)

*Lectio: To slowly read. To put down the urge to rush through. To really roll around in the text.
*Meditatio: To hush ourselves. To set aside our tendency to force fruit. To concentrate simply on Him and what He wants to do.
*Oratio: To lift up what He lays on our hearts. To hand over. To converse with the Creator.
*Contemplatio: To hear Him. To be still. To have the Spirit minister to us. To grow in the knowledge of Christ.

All good. All needed. Worth a try.

While a fast verse here and there can be such an encouragement...and while a 'read through the Bible in a year' program can be super beneficial - that's not what Lectio Devina is about. Rather....it urges us to resist the longing to move quickly....it encourages us to grapple with a small portion of scripture during each session. Because it's easier to digest modestly-sized morsels than it is to digest heaping mountains.

So...pray about it. Do some research. And perhaps you'll join me?

If this has spurred you on to pursue the Lord more deeply - in any way - then this post's purpose has been fulfilled....participant in the above method or not.

Oh, may the Lord meet us in the slow and steady seeking.