Monday, May 31, 2010

a moment for soldiers

I wonder if those who knew them feel like they are forgotten. Like their ultimate sacrifice for unknown faces remains on unfamiliar soil, far from the hearts of those still living.

I forget. I drink my coffee in Panera, type away on my laptop, and put on my sweater because my skin is too cool. While some carry guns, protecting my freedom. They fight to live and give their bodies to better a nation.

I'm not going to act like I understand. I'm not going to pretend like I know the taste of dust and the smell of gunpowder. I'm not going to imply that I comprehend the images that many have forever imprinted on their minds.

I am just feebly attempting to say "thank you." In these moments I remember, and others do as well. You are and were appreciated.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

expecting disobedience

I want them to obey. Don't get me wrong. The days prove easier when they follow house rules. Pleasant moments free of discipline lift my soul. But it seems that my children's obedience--in-and-of-itself--is a skewed expectation. It only leads me to frustration.

Think about it. Kids are all flesh, born "spiritually dead." They do not yet have the Spirit of the Lord. So, really, I should expect them to disobey. I should be continually ready for their rebellion.


I keep coming back to the point of this parenting thing. The goal of leading my kids to the foot of the cross. Taking their little hand and placing it into the palm of their Creator. In love, training them up to eventually worship their Maker.

Paul teaches us in the book of Romans that God gave the Law to reveal our desperate need for a Savior. It wasn't meant to save us. Likewise, in some microcosm type way, my kids are under the Law right now. And they will never be able to perfectly abide.

Each time they slip, I am presented with yet another opportunity to teach them of their need for forgiveness--for Jesus. The One who will carry and free and forgive and redeem.

So I think a more biblical expectation is their disobedience. And each time they miss the mark, I pray God uses me to reveal His uncontainable love and His never-ending grace lavished through His Son.

What are your thoughts?

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

i'm just as crazy

The other day I read a friend's blog post entitled "in which I prove my crazy." And in response I simply say, "you are not alone."

In her post she exposed how her mind visualizes a calendar year, and at the end asked, "Do you think I'm crazy?" Personally, I just felt comforted.

So here is my crazy mind confession. Ever since I was a little girl, I would lie in bed at night and think about numbers--already insane, isn't it? At some point I decided that I wanted to say the biggest number ever...all in my head. So I started repeating, "9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9..." until sleep overtook. Then the next night I added to my number "9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9..." with the astounding insight, "I can always make it bigger!" This madness continued for years.

Though I do think about other--more mature and life-altering--things these days as I lay in bed, I periodically remember my never ending number with a touch of pride at my accomplishment. Then I add yet a few more 9's to make it even larger.

Now, with a slight concern that your answer may be "yes" I ask, as my friend Emily asked, "Do you think I'm crazy?" Am I all alone in this number world? Are there others?

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

words to Him

Today I am glad for words.

Words describe a savory dish causing our mouths to water. Words paint a sunset with pinks and oranges indescribable bringing unexpected tears. Words defend the fatherless stirring love for the weak. Words express our position and impress upon our world. Words change minds and comfort the broken and lift the weary. Words bless, move, bind, and transform. And make us laugh.

Words hold power.

May our words build and not tear down. May they encourage and not destroy. May they color and not melt. May they fill the painful gap rather than add to the despair. May they bless the Lord at all times. And when they don't, may they praise Him for His mercy undeserved.

My words to Him this day...


I want to want You more
than any superficial thrill;
More than dreams that bury deep
and promise yet to fill.

I want to want You more
than any longing in this space;
More than things my eyes can see
which time can quick erase.

I want to want you more
than any one my hands can hold.
More than ew's and ah's from
judges giving out the gold.

For You alone break chains that aim
to tangle in my feet.
You alone pour grace and love and
power, then repeat.


Today I join Emily at Chatting at the Sky for "Tuesdays Unwrapped." Click the link below to see what others are pausing to remember.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

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Monday, May 24, 2010

ring the throneroom

The level of intensity mounted inside the Bling as we cruised down the road. My three little people had lots and lots of needs. Since my arms could not fulfill their requests, they grew loud. And my blood pressure started to rise.

Up ahead I noticed a closed bank so I pulled into the parking lot and grabbed a space. I found my phone in the crevice between the seats. I opened the door. And then broke into the whiny madness, "Mommy needs a minute."

With their eyes as wide as saucers and their minds racing with wonder as to what mommy was going to do, I began pacing the sidewalk. Then with my phone to my ear I started to talk, "OK, God, I am about to lose my mind and I need you to speak truth within me."

Yes. I called God. And He faithfully answered.

You may have heard the saying, "Run to the throne, and not the phone." I think I proved you can do both, "Run to the throne on the phone." In this technological age no one will even know you are crying out to your God. And He alone speaks with perfect comfort and wisdom.

I finished my call. Took a deep breath. And opened the door with a peaceful heart. He had changed my perspective. He had transformed my thought pattern. He had even reigned down a calm in my car. And I just looked like a girl, in a parking lot, venting to a friend.

"Run to the throne..." He promises deliverance.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

audience of One

That post label means something to me. That phrase defines the desire of my heart.

I want to be led by my God rather than carried away by my ever-shifting emotions--unstable and girly. I want to rest in His character rather than live continually affected by all-encompassing fears. I long to walk through my moments following in His footsteps, even in the seeming mundane.

He has a plan, you know. A plan for victory and freedom from things that seek to entangle our peace. Things that deceive us into believing I am a victim to my circumstance.

Oh, I trip and skin my knees. I get distracted and find myself running behind another--one who doesn't hold the world in their hands. But He is so gracious to lift me back up and draw me back in.

I yearn to live my moments this day for an audience of One. No other life promises such relentless hope. Who do you live to please?


OK, OK. So I couldn't help but post some pictures of my kids with their own, unique driveway art.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Renewed Hearts Conference

If you are near the Farmville, Virginia area, I would absolutely love to see you on Saturday. Check out the link below.

I cannot wait to meet these Virginia gals!

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29 Lincoln Avenue

So I'm hanging out on "The Porch" today at 29 Lincoln Avenue. Be sure to click the picture below to visit.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

the black cabinets

Without further adieu, dun dun duuuuunnnnnn...

The pictures of our newly revived kitchen cabinets painted by my man's devoted hands.

Here is the BEFORE, aka "sea of brown," along with various
tupperware and dishes on the coutertops.

And the AFTER.

And more AFTER...

And yes my handy husband also did that tile backsplash last year.
He's got mad skills.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

devoted hands

My man painted our kitchen cabinets this past weekend. Black. It used to be a sea of brown. Now it shouts with character. In fact, I think the kitchen is smiling.

There were a couple of times I stopped and watched my man's strong hands, calloused from years of toil. As his mind strategized, his fingers moved about the wood and the tools...on purpose. Hours--days--later, he accomplished his goal with near-perfection.

Today I pause to remember his hands. Hands devoted to the building and preservation of our home. And our family.

I love and appreciate you, babe.


I join with Emily at Chatting at the Sky for this "Tuesdays Unwrapped" post. Follow the link below to read what others are pausing to remember this day.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

from me, to you?

From: me--a girl passionate for the Body of Christ to rightly handle God's Word and reflect His power
To: you--my dear, fellow brother or sister in Christ struggling with homosexuality

Disclaimer: This post is based upon the tenet that God has spoken through His Word; and His Word is both reliable and authoritative.

I'm a little scared of this one. Mainly because I have never written on such a controversial topic.

I just read an article published in the NY Times on Friday regarding the big revealed "secret" of Ray Boltz. To give you a brief synopsis, he was a Christian singer/songwriter who publicly came out in 2008. He has now resumed his career with a new album called "True." His lover serves as his agent. And his producer and opening act are both Christians who have also come out. These are simply the facts as presented in the article. Just the facts.

So why did I want to respond? Hmmm, maybe I am a glutton for punishment. Or maybe I just burn for God's word to be rightly represented.

Here's my thing. If you are a fellow brother or sister, and you are struggling with homosexuality, then I challenge you to take God at His Word. He guides us "sheep" for our own good and His ultimate glory, out of His immense love for His creation. And from the springboard of this uncontainable love, He desires His own to walk their days in abundance.

As we step outside of the boundaries He graciously set--whether physically or just mentally--we enter into unprotected territory. A realm where our feet tread upon hazardous ground.

Please hear my heart. I have not personally waged the internal battle with homosexuality. However, I have wrestled with this flesh and its contrary desires. Desires that if fulfilled would lead down paths of heartache and destruction. And I have experienced God's ability to break the chains that entangle. He has proven Himself faithful to redeem.

If I am speaking to you, then press deep into the Lord and hear His heart of love for you--His heart of blessing. He has joy unspeakable planned for those who set their face fully upon Him. Seek biblical counsel. There is a road to freedom through Christ. That's why He died.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

a heart of flesh

Even pleasant words are empty if my heart dwells not in the land of His love. A personal conviction as of late.

This morning I sat with my pen, feverishly filling journal pages. I needed Him to wash over a specific place in my own heart in which hardness was creeping. I needed a Word from my Father to cleanse a wayward pattern. And He met me in that leather chair with a delicacy of Truth to feast upon.

He is so faithful to convict--for our good and His glory.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

worth remembering.

This God that causes fire to lap water from a dripping trench is worth remembering.

I'll tell you, forgetfulness ashamedly marks my character. In fact--CONFESSION--I forgot my mother-in-law's birthday a couple of weeks ago. Oh, I felt awful. We have since made it up to her, so you can drop your stones.

But needless to say, I have to be intentional. I must take conscious steps in order to remember. And that spills over into my own adventure with my Lord.

Psalm 78 lingers in my mind these days. The author speaks of the Israelites, "How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, and grieved Him in the desert! Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power..." (vv. 40-42a, emphasis mine)

Wow. Sobering.

We can grieve God, provoke Him, and yes, even limit the Almighty with our lack of belief. And one way we stir up belief in our being is by remembering His power--remembering the work of His hands in our own little lives.

Today I choose to remember Him. I choose to remember His miraculous provisions. I choose to remember His faithful answers to prayers for His glory to shine. I choose to remember specifics.

He is worth remembering.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

unwrapping His depths

Our finite minds and wayward hearts cannot exhaust His depths.

The gym proves to be a place where the Lord speaks to me. Quite paradoxical when you think about the dynamics. Amidst flesh-focus and body comparisons, His word pierces. Yesterday it was through a brother in Christ.

While I pressed through the pain of a shoulder cramp on the treadmill, a pastor friend came over and motioned for my attention, "I was just praying and the Lord gave me a word of encouragement for you." For me? It never ceases to amaze me that the Lord God Almighty--reigning over the universe--wants to speak to me, a lowly speck of sand in all eternity. Yet He does and He does.

After our brief but powerful exchange I spent some time asking the Lord for details--for clarification. While my legs ran to nowhere, my heart and mind wandered to quiet infinity. And He faithfully met me in that space.

The depths of this God cannot be exhausted. I don't want to ever be so proud to think I have actually reached His end.


This Tuesday I am joining with friends at Chatting at the Sky to unwrap a gift sometimes unnoticed. Today, for me, it is the eternal waters of our amazing God. Click on the link below to share your own place of celebration.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

it aint all fluff

I'm not doing a fluffy mother's day post. Mainly because the reality of motherhood lives not in the land of fluff.

Though motherhood contains blessings innumerable, and there is nothing for which I would trade it, the flip side also rears its ugly face. Truthfully, mothers suffer.

Moms-to-be wait with every passing month on the fulfillment of that soul-longing. Infertility, miscarriage, and still-birth linger like a dark stranger, unknown and unwanted yet making itself at home as if somehow invited.

Once "mommy" entitles our existence, we realize that our hearts lay completely bare. Bound by love indescribable, the possibilities of dreams-crushed remain a constant companion, resting on the tip of our tongue through insistent prayers of protection and provision. And life happens.

Babies are born with "odds" against them. Children lose their hair with chemo. Teens test every boundary, believing immortality. Young adults create their own path, seemingly unaffected by years of upbringing. And on every page, mothers suffer.

But regardless of the context, regardless of the story, there is only one firm place to stand: the character of our Almighty God.

He IS sovereign. Nothing catches Him off-guard. He is reigning over every allowance in the lives of His children. Everything contains purpose beyond our finite comprehension. Everything. If that were not so then He is not the God that He has revealed Himself to be.

He IS love. Nothing separates us from our Father's love. It motivates His movement. It caused the death of His Son. And because He loves unmeasurably, He desires our victory in this life.

When you marry these two facets together, we have a solid place upon which to land even when tears sting our eyes. It's a place to plant our feet when the throes of life steal our very breath.

So moms, and moms-to-one-day-be, rest in the character of our God. All other ground takes away our footing. All other ground is hopeless sand.

What mommy-situations have crossed your path, seemingly insurmountable? How has God proven Himself true as you pressed into Him? Let's remember His faithfulness.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

the liquidator

I chose to get drenched today. But just before I decided to grab my own "liquidator," the sound of whining continually pierced my ears as I swept the front porch. So I felt the nudge--the nudge to just get drenched.

With hopeful eyes my boys watched as I took the nearest water launcher and filled it full. After a couple of teasing drops to their feet, they gave the "OK" for all-out liquid war. And I became the target. For the next 30 minutes, three little, relentless people attacked me from every angle. And the whining transformed into laughter.

Pure joy.

But I don't choose it enough. Dinner needs preparing. Errands need running. And my hair needs to stay dry if it is going to keep cute. The demands of the day often tempt my heart to focus upon the many tasks begging for my attention, rather than the hearts desperate for my hands-on love.

I'm so glad I chose to get drenched. And so were my kids.

Father, keep nudging me when I need to "pick up the liquidator" and put down my agenda. I'm listening.

How have you caught your kids by surprise by stepping unexpectedly into their world-o-fun?

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Misplaced Hope

It's so simple. "Hope in God." Hope in God. There is this unfathomably big God who loves beyond reason and pours blessing onto those who seek after Him. He remains eternally all-sufficient, all-powerful, and Almighty. Yet I often misplace my hope.

Rather than setting it, without waver, in this indescribable Creator-Sustainer, I periodically find myself momentarily distracted with people or things. Mindlessly searching for a recipient of my hope. Yet He faithfully whispers down to the depths of His daughter, "Don't hope in circumstance. Don't hope in mankind. Don't hope in tomorrow. Hope in Me."

Hope in God.

How about you?
What tempts you to misplace your hope?

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

a guy with a vision

Are my walls crumbled or standing strong?

I spent some time in the book of Nehemiah this morning. And I want to be like this guy. He heard that Judah's walls sat in a heap. And the devastation moved him to intercede for his home country. He got before the Lord and then followed Him into bold action.

Taking a company of men from the king's arsenal, Nehemiah roused God's people into action. He stirred them from their slumber of unbelief and led them to rebuild the ruins. His passion fires me up.

But his efforts were not without opposition. The enemy plotted an attack. So after seeking the Lord's guidance, the people of Judah continued to build with their sword by their side.

So that is a brief run-down of the first four chapters of the book. And it spurred me to ask the Lord, "How does this ancient text apply to my own life today?"

First, in essence, the walls represent our faith. Each time we choose to believe God, we lay another brick. So, are my walls crumbled or standing strong? How about yours?

Second, there is an enemy and he is plotting against those who choose to build their wall of faith. We might as well maintain "war-time mentality." Just like those building that physical wall, we keep one hand at the work of faith while the other rests on our sword--the sword of His Word.

Finally, we as His children are in this together. Though there is a personal wall of faith, there also exists a corporate wall of faith. I envision myself as one who looks at those to my right and to my left, and encourages them to join in believing. Revival of God's church continues to beat in my heart. So let's encourage those beside us to take Him at His Word.

Nehemiah. True he lived centuries ago, but his God was the same yesterday, today, and forever. Therefore, "Do not be afraid...Remember the Lord, great and awesome." (Nehemiah 4:14a)

Where are your walls crumbled?
Where are they secure?
How can you choose to build?

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Top 6 Reasons to Comment on my Blog

OK, peeps. Here are the top six reasons why I would love to hear from you.

1. You could win a brand new iPad. Ok, so that was an shameful lie written to entice you to read further. Do you hate me?

2. I just installed a new commenting program. Now we can reply specifically to one another rather than having a list of comments. Yay.

3. Facebook comments are only seen by my Facebook friends. I love my Facebook friends. And I absolutely love my Facebook comments. But there are other readers that want to hear what you have to say. When you post a comment on my blog, the world can now read your insight. OK, so maybe the world hasn't yet caught on, but a good fifty regular readers can now read what you think.

4. If you are thinking it, so is someone else. Let's just be real with one another. If you have a question, ask it. If you have an opinion, speak it. If you have a criticism...well...keep it to yourself. Just kidding. Probability is on your side. Others are thinking similar things.

5. This is a safe place. I am not interested in fluff. I am passionate for reality. And reality works things out. I want this to be a place where you and I can flesh out thoughts on the God of the universe and how He invades our moments. He is not intimidated by questioning. He promises wisdom to those who ask. Let's walk together and point to Him.

6. I want to know the topics that you want to discuss. Start today with a comment that tells me of issues or scripture passages about which you want to converse. I am fallible. But I press into our perfect, faithful, eternal God. We can expect that He will show up.

So what do you want to see me blog about?

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Monday, May 3, 2010


The clouds overshadowed the sun this morning. My 3-year-old noticed and asked the perpetual "why?" question. As the conversation progressed, a few phrases came out of my mouth that stuck in my mind. "The sun doesn't move. We move. It only gets dark because we turn away from the sun." Ahhh. Truth.

Darkness comes when we turn away from the Light. May our faces continually bask in His rays.

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Secret Windows

I love the secret windows. From the "women's only" room at the gym, I can peak at my kids while they play. Yesterday tears caught me by surprise.

My little guy was working hard. He stood on his tiptoes and reached with all he had for the top of the book shelf. He carried Thomas to the table for a quick "read." Then the process repeated itself four more times.

At one point the book return did not cooperate. He tried and tried to get Elmo to tuck between Dora and Cookie Monster, but his little arms were just not long enough. The teacher sat close but unaware of his struggle. He never got frustrated. He never asked for help. He just kept no avail. Finally he laid Elmo down for a rest on the lower shelf.

And for some reason I started to cry. I wasn't sad. I was overtaken by my love for him. He was simply being himself--living, doing, moving about. And delight welled up in my spirit.

I realized that at that moment I was reflecting a tiny piece of God. He looks down from His heavenly throne and smiles upon His children. He watches us simply being ourselves--living, doing, moving about--and He loves immeasurably. We are His creation and He delights in His own. Rejoice today under the blanket of His favor--simply because you are His.

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