Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I was looking around facebook today perusing through the recommended friends that I might know and I came across a young man that I went to high school with. I clicked on his profile because though his name was familiar, I didn’t have a clue who he was from the picture posted. Well, he had some other pictures on there of him and his family and before too long, despite the shaggy beard and long hair, I started to recognize him.

I didn’t befriend him. I didn’t know him well in school…he was one of those “know of” people. But something in his pictures struck me.


The pictures of him and his wife, him and his children and even shots of just him, radiated joy.

I was reminded how precious life is. How short our time here on this earth with our loved ones really is.

A stranger, for all practical purposes, in a handful of facebook photos, spoke into my life about the sanctity and sacredness of all the things we have been given responsibilty over this side of heaven.

For those of us that are blessed with partners in this life, we have been given divine responsibility in tending to another’s heart. To care for an nurture an adult, probably completely different from ourselves, in all ways physical, emotional and spiritual.

And for those of us that are parents, we are ordained to train up and lovingly guide our children. We’re beyond blessed to nurse wounds, to wipe away tears, to give piggy back rides, protect, cuddle and live as an example for these little hearts.

But so often, somewhere in there, with the demands of life and heartache and disfunctional upbringings, we lose the joy that is meant…that is necessary in these relationships.

Our marriages are our legacy.

Our babies are our gifts.

And it is up to us to not only conduct these bonds with Joy, but to create Joy for those we are bonding with.

I’ve always imagined traveling far and wide with my family, but because I fall into the “oh, we can’t do that until the kids are older” category I limit myself in what I think we’re capable of doing or not doing. This is a tiny example and kids don’t need cross-country excursions to taste joy, but I find that I place these limitations across the board of my life in a lot of what I do. I become stingy. Disgruntled. And before too long, I won’t even consider going to the park after a rain just to let my girl jump in puddles.

It’s the little things. Smiles and laughter. A little dirt and a lot of fun, literally and figuratively.

And it’s been entrusted to me to create joy in a number of shapes and forms through grace and through love.

I confess to letting things get to me and allowing them to rear their ugly heads when interacting with my husband and daughter. The two people who bring the most peace to my existence, the most happiness to my soul, I take out the bulk of my frustrations on. I sometimes lack joy.

So, in turn, I commit to smiling more. And letting the calm of God’s presence settle over my heart. I commit to kissing my husband and holding tightly to him as if today might be my last. And I commit to being a parent first to my children, but being their friends as well...a woman who they cling to now as their mommy, but will one day cling to as the woman who raised them in faith, strived to make life and learning fun, who would die for them and ultimately the woman who taught them to pass on this same joy it’s taking me a lifetime to learn.

Dear Jesus,
I praise you that you have thought it wise to give so graciously to me my husband and children. They are great and precious responsibities, ones I too often take lightly. But my prayer is that You will give me the wisdom and the strength to be the wife and mother you would have me to be. I yern to love like you love. To parent as you parent. And to walk in joy as you have said I can do through the joy of You…though I will face trial, never once allowing the enemy to snare my steps. Lord, I love you and I thank you so much for all the blessings you have bestowed upon me. Help me to know how to best bring forth fruit from Your havest in my life. You are an amazing God.
I love you.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Be still...

I was struck by a song I heard on the radio this morning. It really resonated with me and though a Christmas song, I think it can speak volumes into my life right now as well as in the days and months to come.

Amy Grant’s “I Need a Silent Night”.

The chorus says it all….

I need a silent night, a holy night
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here
To end this crazy day with a silent night

It’s the holidays which in terms of busyness needs no explaination.

I’m expecting our second child, again…needing no further detail.

My girl is growing leaps and bounds before my eyes and craves, right here and right now, “togever” time with her mama. I know this won’t last forever.

With the dawn of a new year, I cast my gaze upon a multitude of changes in my life. None bad, but all very scary. And consuming.

Everything in this world around me is whirling and in my head I hear this song…

I need a silent night, a holy night…to end this crazy day with a silent night.

But in reality, it’s not just a night I need. What I really need and what God is gently yet persistently calling me to is having a “silent life”.

He is urging me to lay it all down…at the foot of the cross and let Him do what he is so very good at doing. He’s telling me over and over, just be still and know that I have it all under control.

But my feeble brain tells me I’m nesting and I have to get this checklist of stuff done before the baby gets here. The season tells me that I have to have THE perfect gift for everyone on my list and some of them need to be handmade. Oy.

My daughter is telling me that she knows her world is about to be rocked when her sister comes into this life and I translate that into having craft time and dance time and movie time…

My Lord and Savior tells me to go out into the world and make disciples in all the nations baptizing in His name.

And I’ve got laundry and dishes and church responsibilities and bills and what about down time?

What about me time? Or time for my husband?

It’s overwhelming. It’s too much.

But it doesn’t have to be.

If I’m being frank…all of it, every last bit…is self imposed.

I don’t need the perfect gift for everyone. In fact, gifts aren’t what it’s about at all is it?

This baby is coming into this world whether the dishes are done or not. Why have checklists and gridcharts to map out what ultimately I can’t control or change anyway?

My girl doesn’t crave activities…she craves me. So what about just…cuddle time?

And what if…just what if going out and making disciples is less about the “doing” and more about “being”? We don’t have to make it difficult, because it’s not.

I recently told a friend that in order to live out our lives for Jesus we had to be willing to DO just as He did. Looking back, now I think I was a bit wrong in that…

Truly we hold the power of the Holy Spirit within us to do just as Jesus did on this earth. But I think we, and I’m really referring to myself, tend to take that to mean we are the ones DOING it. When in reality we aren’t DOING anything. God is doing it, through us. We are but a vessel…He doesn’t need our help… with anything in this life. He is the Almighty God of the Universe, surely He could snap His fingers and all would be done. Why do we constantly nip at his heels hoping to help things along? Hoping to make things better? Striving to organize and strategize, staking our claims, making our marks, making/having the best____(fill in the blank) etc., etc.

He calls us not to do. He calls us to be. Be examples of his love and grace and joy. He calls us to be willing to let Him work through us. He’s calling us to chip away the “just good” for the “truly great.” To be able to lay our everything on the alter of sacrafice and let Him work His will in the refining flames.

He calls us to be still.

We have Thanksgiving under our belts now as the Holiday season surges forward. Oh, and there is so much to be thankful for.

Won’t you take time to bask in that thankfulness. To revel in the beauty that is being in God’s presence. Christmas is upon us and Jesus came to us in a silent night so that we might have eternal rest in Him.





Rest. In. It.

Dear Jesus,
Thank you for your love…your mighty, convicting love. Remind me that my reasoning and scheduing and to-do’s and holiday rushes are irrelevant in Your infinite and amazing plan for my life. Assure me that the blessings I have and the accomplishments I aspire to are not of my doing, but of yours. Use me Jesus…in such a way that my life, through the simplicity of being still in Your power and grace, is a testament to those around me. Thank you for Your love for me and this world. Thank you for coming to us in the form of a child. Thank you for Your life. And for Your death on the cross. What more needs to be done…for You have done it all.
I love you.