Tuesday, November 30, 2010

his new do

We did it. We shaved his head. Not because gum or silly putty stuck tight. Not because military school was our next step (at least not yet). He just kept asking.

So we did it.

For the past two months or so I would catch him in the bathroom with his head under the sink, wetting his hair so he could comb it back "flat-like." He didn't want it so "fluffy," he would say.

It is one of those things. When you allow your child to do something they want to do, even if you would choose differently. Even if you love their curls.

While the clippers buzzed I pulled for a Mohawk. (Like a Shaun Groves kind-of-look. Not the thuggish-in-need-of-a-good-whippin' kind-of-look.) But in spite of my excitement and gel promises, my boy rejected the idea.

So here he is. The before...

And the after...

I drew the line when my little guy asked to be next. I'm just not ready to part with his soft, black strands. He seemed OK with that.

Bringing it home...

How about you? What have you allowed your kids to do while biting your tongue?

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Monday, November 29, 2010

the deep waters of love

This weekend I caught up on some blog reading. When I read the words of a certain sister-friend, they did something to me. Kat from "Inspired to Action" spoke of the relentless love of Father-God. And it infused hope and joy. She says...

"Because God has whispered in my heart that maybe you’ve forgotten you’re wonderful. Maybe you’ve forgotten you are undeniably and incomprehensibly loved.

Right where you are. In the cold, dark filth of your worst places. In all His dignity, purity and goodness, He wants to bellyflop right in, pick you up and gently hold you fiercely

Tell me that's not a beautiful depiction. The image of the Most High diving right in to all there is of me--all my junk, all my despair, all my failures, all my mess--and holding me fiercely. Lavishing His love.

Then I thought further. He does that for all His children. Even those that I might struggle to lavish. He whispers to them words of acceptance and adoration through Christ. He meets them exactly where they are and pours out His love. Perfectly. All while I might be pondering criticisms or frustrations.


How I desire to love like that. To meet others in the midst of their process and just love. Dare to love. Without strings or demands or expectations. Diving in deep, leaving any rights on the shore.

All for the glory due His name and the freedom of my soul.

Love through me, LORD.

Bringing it home...

How can we dare to love others exactly where they are in their journey while laying down our own rights or expectations?

In turn, how does it free our own souls?

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

superficial saturday

Can I get a minute for superficiality?

Black Friday. One stop. 5 p.m. One pair of shoes. $4. Nice.

Oh, did I mention it was Goodwill? (Another story.)

What was your favorite find?

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

thanks to Him

Thanking Him...

for Him and His gracious revelation.

for those I get to love and those who pour themselves into me.

for His constant provision and relentless grace.

for yummy food and the smell of my mama's home.

{All arising in my heart while
on the tip of my tongue is intercession
for those who simply need water or a bowl of food or the word of salvation.
In the abundance You have blessed me, use me to be a blessing.}

Now, let's celebrate with shouts of joy and pumpkin pie!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

prepping to be a blessing

Here it comes. A time of feasting upon all of our favorite comfort foods spread clear across the kitchen counter tops. YUM! Friends and family bring their famous rolls and pumpkin pies. And we gather around the table, all in the name of thanks.

But let's be honest. Often, these holidays bring with them stress and distraction and personality differences. Old wounds can arise. New conflicts can erupt. And we are tempted to sit there with a bad attitude and a mouth full of mashed potatoes.

So I want to prepare my heart to be purposeful. It is easy to float through the times we have with those closest to us without any real direction. It's just me and my scars living and reacting. And though that may come naturally, I want more. I want to be a blessing.

Each conversation holds with it the opportunity to encourage or build-up another. So as I prepare my uncle's favorite broccoli salad, I also want to prepare my heart to bless and to serve. To move in love, rather than demanding that my supposed rights be met.

A time of thanks.

A time to be a blessing.

Bringing it home...

How can we tangibly prepare our hearts and minds to be a blessing?

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

a new journey

Excitement and terror mix together into a heart-glob as I set out on this new adventure. I am joining some other inspired souls to memorize the book of Philippians. Not a typo. The entire book. All 104 verses of it. Yikes.

Katie Orr over at Do Not Depart set the challenge out there last week and I took the bait. As of yesterday, the journey began.

Excitement stirs because I know the power of His Word. We live in the midst of a spiritual war. Have you felt it? The Word is defined as our sword in this daily battle for the freedom His Son died to give.

Unless we engage the battle,
we will be taken prisoner

Memorizing, meditating, and marinating in the Word of God enables us to lift the Sword and take what is rightfully ours in Christ. Peace in the storm. Joy from the ashes. Love regardless.

Excitement stirs.

But terror simmers because my brain cells have progressively jumped ship with the birth of each child. When caught off guard, the clock ticks by as I try to recall each of their birthdays. Oh and don't even ask me their birth weights. I'm telling you. I have issues.

This task is beyond my human capabilities. It will only be completed in the power of His might. And I believe He will be faithful as I offer myself to Him.

The plan is to learn five-ish verses each week which puts us finishing up in April. So I ask,

do you want to join the journey?

Come on, sister-friend. Let's do this crazy thing.

Bringing it home...

How have you personally seen the Word be your Sword in this daily battle we call life?

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Friday, November 19, 2010

one. in a billion

Sometimes I feel like just one in a billion.



Just one in a sea of masses.

Then I hear that voice. The One of Him who designed me, and you. And He says that He knit me together. That He purposed my days. That He called me by name. And that He knows the very hairs upon my head. Even the number of grey strands that I try to hide.

He has placed us here, in this generation, in this season of life, in this sphere of influence on purpose. Uniquely created and supernaturally equipped to fulfill His call. To bring glory to His name.

When the lies of insignificance stand up as if they own the place, He reminds, "Sweet daughter, you are Mine. And I am King."

He speaks the same to you, sister-friend. Walk with courage.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

just love him

I speak the words and before they fully mingle with the air, I know it's Him.

Speaking to me.

I urge my little ones to love. "Just love him," I say, "Just love her." As if loving someone so starkly different from you is easy. As if loving someone who tears up your things or hurts your tender heart comes naturally.

And I know it's Him speaking to me.

Prompting me to love.

In watching these little souls from the sidelines--these that I steer and train--everything makes sense. Yes, she can be emotional. Yes, he tends to act before he thinks. But, love.

Love this one placed next to you in life. Choose to love him regardless. Life is too short to waste it on demands or rights. Just lavish her moments with unwavering, undeserved love.

You will be blessed and freed.

Love is patient, kind, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, believes, endures, never fails. How? Why? Because true love finds its source in The Love.

Our Lord portrayed true love while being nailed to a cross for those reviling His name. He died to self. He laid down his rights to be gloried. And He placed all pleasure in the intimacy He enjoyed with the Father.

His identity, secure.

His purpose, steadfast.

Love then flowed out a crimson red.

Just love him. Just love her. Just love.

Bringing it home...

Are you being called to love someone who makes it difficult?

How can we practically love when emotions tempt us otherwise?

We will never more clearly reflect our Lord than when we truly love--truly love--those who are not so lovely.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

letting go

It's constant.

Life. Lists. Messes. Unpredictability.

But He keeps prodding me towards something.

Towards letting go.

Letting go of expectation or agenda or control, and choosing to live fully engaged in the now. Even the messy now. Not wishing for tomorrow or pining for a better, but this moment. Embraced.

Even when the toilet paper lays in a wadded pile on my bathroom floor for three days... Or when the enthusiasm of my dreams wants to wane with each passing hour. Or the fog blinds my path so thick that I grasp for His hand and walk each shaky step by faith.

This moment. Embraced for what it is. A chance to reflect, praise, honor, and love. Him.

Bringing it home...

How is He challenging you to let go these days?


Linking up today with Emily over at "Chatting at the Sky."
Click below to check out what others are saying.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

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Monday, November 15, 2010

blessed are those who weep

"blessed are those who mourn (over sin and suffering)
for they shall be comforted."
Matthew 5:4

I look around and am tempted to believe failure. Piles that need tending. Laundry that needs folding. Dishes that need washing. Floors that need sweeping.

People that need loving.

I need loving.

I entertain thoughts of insignificance and tears drip. So I seek the Comforter. I ask His opinion. I invite Him in with a vulnerable glance upward, like a child seeking her daddy's validation.

And He reaches down. Tender.

He says I'm His. Precious. Loved. Purposed. Beautiful. A symphony of notes that He wrote.

He wipes my eyes and lifts my chin. He brushes the hair from my face and breathes life and hope and Truth.

The sheets still sit in the basket. The week's artwork still waits on the counter. Waiting for another day. But He lifts this wayward heart out of the mire. And I praise.

Bringing it home...

We all have times when discouragement and depravity settles down heavy. But I want to only give my minutes or hours to those times rather than my days or weeks or years.

Comfort comes as we bring those emotions to His feet--honest and raw. Allowing His Word to wash over those severed places. Allowing His Spirit to minister with the healing balm of Truth.

Do you need to get alone with your Father and be real? Don't let another day pass.

What Truth does He give to comfort you?

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Friday, November 12, 2010

passing the torch

My name will vanish from this earth. In a thousand years, it will be forgotten. Forgotten by man, that is. My accomplishments and writings and words will have faded with time, like an old newspaper that turns to brittle dust.

But He will still be Lord.

His name remains above all names. The forever King. His throne stands established and vibrant. His crown shimmering in His glory. His robe dipped in sacrificial blood. Solid. Sure. Unending.

With one hand we grasp the torch of faith from the previous generation, while the other hand passes it to the next. All with one purpose. To be witnesses of the Maker, Sustainer, Redeemer, and Friend.

Our time is but a flicker. A blink. But our call is straightforward. Love. Love Him and love others. Be filled by Him that we can spill Him out.

Not to be famous, but to make His name famous. Not to desire praise, but to give it relentlessly to Him. Of Him. Not to insist upon rights, but to lay them all down and take up our cross.

He will always be the bread and water that fills our hunger and thirst. Eternal.

Bringing it home...

How can we stir up a passionate faith today? In our daily moments?

How can we practically pass the torch of faith to those that cross our paths?

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

believing lies {a jam}

It's a very catchy tune with a sobering message. My man and I just recently discovered The Arrows--a South African Christian girl band.

And in light of yesterday's post on the reality of depravity and God's reconciling love, this song seemed an appropriate follow-up.

We find ourselves enslaved to sin
because we believe the enemy's lies

Entitled, "In the Words of Satan"... Not for the faint-hearted.

(You can click here if you have trouble viewing the embedded video below.)

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

a reconciling love

So much depravity surrounds us. We drip. It's everywhere. We cannot escape it. We cannot deny it. Pastors. Leaders. Teachers. Parents. Spouses. Fallen into pits of consequential sin.

The news proclaims it and pulls on my curiosity. The magazines print it, enticing my eyes to linger. Linger on lies and hurt and brokenness. We whisper and point and blog. Yet only by His grace, it is not me. Not today, anyway...

To read my entire post
follow the link to "Do Not Depart"
where I am hanging out today.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

celebrating the Bling

"The Jones'." The unwelcomed desire to keep up with them humbles me.

Yesterday I waited in line at my daughter's school behind a beautiful Lexus SUV. My mind wandered. The paint was a gorgeous pearly white and the windows clear of fingerprints. I assume the seats were leather and the floors free of cracker crumbs. But that is my colorful, covetous imagination. I admit that I sighed.

Then there was me. Granted I am SO blessed to have a vehicle. It is a completely paid for, 207,000 mile Toyota. I personally think it is anointed.

True, the sliding door handle does not work. So the inside door panel waits patiently in our garage, leaving an interior view of the door mechanisms. And yes, the back window is held shut with a small bungee cord. But this van rocks. That's why I named it the "Blue Bling."

But I had a brief moment where envy tempted my soul. And I was humbled.

We learn contentment in the school of thankfulness.

As the perfect competition drove away, life continued in our own little Blue Bling world. And thanksgiving eventually made its way to my lips.

The Bling sees it all. We dance here, fuss here, see sites from its windows. We pray and discuss...and use the portable potty. In many ways it's part of the family. And Lord, I truly am ever-grateful.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

(not) trigger happy

I clinch my jaw. Tight. It's how I know I need a moment to simply breathe. Alone. Counting to 10. And preaching Truth to myself. Otherwise, I will be apologizing to somebody.

I am learning my triggers. We all have them. Things or situations (or hormones!) that tempt our old selfish nature to stand up and seize control. My clinched jaw warns me of my wayward heart.

Triggers come in all shapes and sizes. Two of my own? The clock and the mess. I know. How trivial.

When I have to race the clock to get myself and three kids dressed, fed, and in the car...with a touch of joy, my jaw clinches. Or when I scan our home to find toys covering nearly every square inch of the floor and dishes lining the counter tops, all while tripping on stray shoes in the hallway and brushing crumbs off of my bare feet, my jaw clinches.


This is going to sound so "churchy," so strange to some, but we are in the midst of an all-out spiritual battle. I told you. It's wild. But if we fail to recognize its reality, we will live our days in defeat.

The enemy is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may destroy. He cannot steal our identity in Christ as children of the King. But he purposefully aims to destroy our witness and obliterate our experience of the promised peace.

And here's the thing, he knows our triggers. He knows those things that set us off--that push us to the edge where attitudes can get ugly. If we float through our moments without awareness of the war, we will be taken prisoner.

Living enslaved to the flesh and its reactionary schizophrenia is not life. It's bondage. In Him we are set free from the power of sin. We are not at the mercy of the trigger. He declares us to be overcomers and conquerors.

But we must engage the battle.

Our offensive weapon is His Word. I know. It's crazy, possibly foreign to some. But His Word must linger on our tongues. It is the sword to slay the one vying for our brief days. It is lifted by faith and swung in the strength of His indwelling Spirit.

Sister-friend, stand firm. Walk this day on purpose. Make those triggers bow in defeat.

Bringing it home... (a new section on practicalities)

What are your flesh-triggers?
If you haven't yet figured that out, then just ask the One who knows you perfectly to reveal, maybe even through a clinched jaw.

How can we be victors when the triggers come?

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

the fatherless

It is orphan Sunday. I'm home with my kids today due to the much unwanted stomach bug. Ughh. But it has me thinking and thankful and burdened and... praying.

There are more than 143 million orphans in the world.

Kids that when sick do not have a mommy or daddy's lap to lay their head upon. Kids who crave love and acceptance. Kids who will go off to college without a home base--without a mom to send her care packages. Kids who eventually grow to be adults, still soul-desperate for love. Just like me.

An overwhelming thought to this finite mind of mine. Yet the compassionate Father calls His church to the task of caring for and easing the burden. He instructs us to "defend the fatherless." (Isaiah 1:17) Bringing life.

Join me today in asking Him His opinion. What would He have you and me do from our state, from our city, from our neighborhood, from our home...from our heart?

We can affect another.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

whining vexes

"she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him,
so that his soul was vexed to death."
Judges 16:16

We have been dealing with a bunch o' whining in our casa. And whining holds with it the power to vex me to near death. Something about that sing-songy tone. Yeah. So this verse makes all kinds of sense to me on a number of levels.

I have been praying for wisdom. I want His vision. I want to reflect Him in dealing with this verbal-menace. But to be honest, I can conjure up a good whine myself if I really want.

The truth is that our words hold power. They can pour life into another or drain one's very breathe. A sobering thought. But our words reflect our heart.

From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.

I want my kids to learn from an early age that the ponderings of their heart and mind will spill out onto their world. They can spill forth life or they can spill out a poisonous concoction of death. Yikes.

But there is another aspect. If I as their mom live in a place of irritation and heart-frustration, then I inevitably add to the curse of our word library. It will be a domino effect of ill-spoken phrases passed between us.

So I want my words to pour life into others, beginning with those inside the four walls of my own home. And it begins with my thoughts. Lord, enable me to bring every thought into the captivity of your love and Truth.


Bringing it home... (A new section on practicalities)

Ask Him to reveal your own thought life towards others--from family to the grocery store clerk. Then ask for His vision to see how those thoughts line up with scripture.

He has given His children the mind of Christ. By faith and in His strength, we can take our thoughts captive to obedience.

Speak His truth out-loud. Believe.


How have you seen this principle play out in your own life? Either in the positive or the unfortunate negative.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

hope arises

I have been in the book of Judges for the past week. And let me tell you, in many ways it is depressing. Keep reading, it gets better.

The people of God witnessed His miraculous power and steadfast faithfulness over and over, yet "they did what was right in their own eyes." And they continually became enslaved to sin.

Uplifting, right?!

But the sobering truth? They are me. I do this. I can allow myself to step down into those same pits and eat that moldy prison food. Pits where God has already showed up and delivered. I can fall into those same patterns of bondage, forgetting who He is...and who I am.

Yet in the midst of all this gloom and doom, hope arises. Like rays of sunshine after a good rain.

When we cry out and lift our hands in surrender, Father answers. He remembers we are a vapor. He wipes our dirty face. He binds up the wounds of disobedience.

His mercies are new every morning.

After days where I have overreacted towards my kids or allowed the pressures of dailiness to affect His gift of peace, this hope is life. In Christ, we are clothed with righteousness.

Today is a new day.

Choosing to mark it with praise.


Linking up with a sweet sister-friend, Katie, over at "Do not Depart."

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

i'm under it

Grace is leaving the peanut butter smudge on my jeans from those toddler kisses.

Grace is wrestling with my boys when the laundry begs to be folded.

Grace is taking a minute to breathe deep that crisp fall air, eyes closed and heart thankful.

Grace is letting him and her be who they are today--people, just like me, desperate for His fill.

Grace is forgiving and forgiving and forgiving and forgiving. Again.

Grace lays down all rights,

washes the betrayers feet,

and gives freely to the undeserving.

I'm under it.


Linking up with my sweet friend, Emily Freeman, over at "chatting at the sky."
In response to her month of grace.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

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Monday, November 1, 2010

P31P-day 22, final take away

I kill plants. My thumb is far from green when it comes to gardening. But I have learned something over the years in spite of my deficiency.

We reap what we sow.

If I place tomato plants in the ground, then tomatoes will grow. Granted it may only be two tomatoes. But one thing is certain; it won't be a pumpkin.

We reap what we sow.

Our Proverbs lady experienced the "reap and sow" dialogue. She put her hands to the tasks of her individual calling and she reaped a reward. She kept her heart and mind stayed on the Giver of life. He faithfully guided. She diligently obeyed with her moments. And praise arose.

Friends, if there is anything I pray we take away from our time together over these past weeks, it's that we are individual, original masterpieces created by the Almighty Himself. He designed you and me with purpose and character and gifts.

He does not call us to look like the person we stand beside. He does not push us to imitate the Proverbs woman. He calls us forth to life in Him. In Him.

As we learn to live for an audience of One with our moments--allowing Him to invade and fill the deep crevices of our hearts--He will then spill out onto those in our world. His love. His vision. His name.

Life is found.

Our dailiness may look very different. We may never sew our own clothes--never. But living up to this lady's example is not the ultimate goal.

Intimacy with the King is the victory.

Give yourself (and others) some grace and space to move around. We are all in process towards transformation. Transformation into the image of His Son--Jesus. But may we keep our hands "busy" with His love. Pursuing our Pursuer.

Reaping the blessing of life abundant.


Now it's your turn. I know we have had some faithful readers this month. So take a minute to tell us your final thoughts--your number one takeaway--from this month-long look at the lady from the Pages.

If you have a blog, then you can use the link tool below to link your own "final thoughts" post. Open until Friday, November 5th. Otherwise feel free to use the comments section.

Thank you so much to the project guest writers! Clapping. You girls were amazing.

And thank you to all my readers. This has been a blessed month for me personally. Love you!!!

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