Friday, December 12, 2008

the in between

I hear that it's the in between that really transforms you. Not the easy day to day life. And the pain is where who we really are and what we really believe is tested. But it's the in between changes you. When you have to step out into the unknown. That first step is the one that really changes you. Like when Peter stepped out of the boat, toward a voice asking him to trust (Matthew 14). That letting go of the control you have. The easy everyday life you've come to know so well. I feel like that's where I am. But it looks so familiar here. I know I've been here before. I've heard this faint whisper of the Lord. The begging in His voice to trust him. I'm out of the boat Lord, but I am so much like Peter sometimes. I let the doubt creep in. So quickly I start to sink. Jesus, let me hold onto that sweet voice of reassurance. But more than that, remind me daily of your real character. The coming of Jesus to the disciples out in the storm on the sea. Jesus, that is who you are. You walk out to me. You walk out in rough waters so that I will trust you. You call me to yourself. You tell me not to be afraid. Then you ask me to step out to you. To follow you. You need me to wait in that in between for you. After that first step on that wobbly ground. You want my own world stripped away so that I can really see you. You want full dependence, love, trust, and honor. I have been here before. Learning this same lesson. Lord, let me be thankful for glimpses of you that can only happen when my control is taken away. Jesus, I love your pursuit of your children. Of me. That you walk out to us in a raging storm. And that after all that, the walking on water, the doubting Peter in all of us, that you still calm the storm.

'it's all right,' he said, 'i am here! don't be afraid.' mark 6:50

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

beauty like this.

You are off in a far away place. Enjoying fun and friends. I can almost hear your laugh. And almost see your smile. I miss you tonight. I have been daydreaming about what our life will look like soon...when 2 become 3. I have the windows open tonight. The night air is softly touching my skin as I lay in our bed. There is a peace that fills this room. A peace in my thoughts and a peace in my prayers. A peace that centers in the beauty that abounds. Beauty in the clear night sky full of stars and the big moon. Beauty in the smell of spring creeping in. Beauty in a God that gives purpose and meaning to a world full of desperation and longing. But the beauty in my peace tonight is knowing this night would be even more complete with you next to me. The air would smell better. And the moon would shine brighter. And the stars prettier. I miss you tonight. I pray for you tonight. I pray for us. And I pray that I would let this peace that I understand in a new way tonight be a sweet reminder in the push and pull. In the moments that get gritty and hard. I pray that it is peace and beauty like this that I contrast against the muck. The muck that in the end makes the relationship worth it. The sweet reminder that in the push and still make the air smell better. And make these stars look prettier. I miss you tonight. And I pray for you and for us. And for a peace in the beauty that abounds in us. I pray for her. That we show her what love really is. Not love from just the words 'i love you' but Godly love that overcomes sin. That heals. That hopes. That trusts. It really seems impossible most days. But tonight as the moon light is pouring in our room. And as this quiet over takes the dark, noisy world...anything seems easy. If God can create beauty like this, anything seems easy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

cut and paste

'and there is something profoundly humbling about knowing god. i'm not talking about the trinket god or the genie in a bottle god, i mean the god who invented the tree in my front yard, the beauty in my sweet heart, the taste of a blueberry, the violence of a river at flood.' f.b.
-god is the creator of beauty. we have a paradise at our finger tips. love. the stars. the moonlight. generosity. laughter. grace. redemption. beauty is nature and forgiveness. beauty is wonder and passion. beauty is clouds and sky. beauty is kindness and obedience. you created beauty. the heavenly. the holy. open my eyes to the beauty you have put around me. show the beauty that is a gift for me. reveal the beauty in the things i miss around me. teach me the works of your hands. come to my heart as the big god that you are and let me let go of the god i continue to try to cut and paste into my own will. into my world. your will is beauty. let my will be dust.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

the true love story

my mind struggles with the notion that at my deepest betrayal of you, that you still run to rescue me. every time. that these paths of 'little' sins take me so far away sometimes. before i realize it, i am so far from you. far from the life you freely give to me of real love and peace and life to the full. i get caught instead in the world of money and success and really anything but you. i can't imagine being in a friendship like that, or a marriage like that. one of constant forsaking. consistent distrust. like if a friend told me they trusted me, but acted otherwise, always questioning me. and my motives. but that's what our relationship often is. you offering me this unbelievable love story and me using it. just partaking of your love when everything else in my life makes sense. only trusting your love when all my other needs are met. the worst part is that i can fool people and even my mind sometimes, but you know my motives. you see my heart for what it really is. and that's what your love is at the core. that's the true love story. in my constant betrayal of you, you seek me out. you eagerly search for me in my hiding places in this world. and you continually offer me your complete love as if i hadn't ever turned my back on you. as if i never betrayed you. as if i never walked away from you. jesus, the love story you offer is the only thing that makes sense. so why do i quickly walk away every chance i get?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

growing, growing, growing

the belly is slowly growing and growing. luckily instead of watching my waist line just get bigger, i get to enjoy kisses from my sweet high school girls. i love their excitement in this with me. it is almost overwhelming. they are a blessing to me.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

and i will listen

'christ not only remembers us but remembers each one of us by name as surely as he remembered the good thief, and that he welcomes us to his table not in some sort of impersonal, churchly sense but as if the party wouldn't be complete without every last one of us.' Friedrich Buechner
-you call us by name. you battle for my heart. you are continually at the line fighting for me. you have each one of my days numbered and planned. you know my heart better than myself. let my spirit rest. let me live in your grip. in your open hand. you have taken care of it. you have planned my life so that if it at work for your glory. your love and grace pick me up out of sin. out of ugliness. out of hate and shortcomings. you call me by name. and i will listen.

Monday, November 10, 2008

baby girl

'only be careful, and watch yourself closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. teach them to your children and to their children after them.' -deuteronomy 4:9
sooooo, baby GIRL ott. she will be making her big debut on March 31, 2009. here she is in all her glory. our little one sucking her thumb.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

among your flock

i am astounded by your mercy. in my world that is self righteous, self serving, and self consumed. i normally find it hard to listen to you. hard to find you. to seek you. but i am humbled at your love that finds me. it finds me in the chaos that i let this world put in my head. and in the priorities that the demons reshuffle. and even the idols that i hold in my heart. these clouds that i let settle inside tend to blur my perception of myself but more importantly, my perception of you. you know i am a sinner. yet someone that you love without question, without a doubt, literally to death. i am worthy of that kind of love in your eyes. not because i am worthy, but because the blood of your son is worthy. i forget daily that you are a god of purpose. a purpose that is unthinkable because it holds an end that is nothing of this place. an end of divine substance. you are a god of mercy. mercy in loving me in my humanness. and in my selfish love that normally forsakes you. i forget your sacrifices. i forget your almightiness and your word. i doubt my faith in a god that is righteous. i put aside your hopes for my good. and trust my own false hopes for my life and my good. i deny your power and rely on my own physical strength to do a work that i want to look like is for you. i decrease your importance and bring you my problems last. i daily dismiss you. find in my heart these feeble attempts to bow my heart to you. cast out all this world has made me and all that i have let steal your glory away, take it far from me. i want to be yours. to not know where you end and i begin. the god of wonder. of mercy and love. of power and wisdom. i want to be a merely a lamb among your flock.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

keep my mind

keep my mind. keep my heart. grab them and hold them tight. help me to live one day at a time and at your command. i just want to do your will and seek it daily. nothing more and nothing less. but i just keep making a mess. prepare me for what's ahead, the blows to the heart and the traps in my head. keep my heart locked up until you so desire, not just when this loneliness begins to tire. make me a woman adorning with your grace. make me a woman full of your grace. make me a woman full of your faith. help me to love you full. to love you complete. the way you love me. put me in this world, working for your kingdom but living and breathing and sustaining only to be with you. my home is you. my love is you. my life is you. only you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

covering and comforting

thank you for human love when it is sweet. when it is a close picture of you. when it is respectful and honoring and full and comforting. it reminds us of your goodness. thank you that human love isn't enough. that it isn't holy or complete. or sinless or selfless. thank you that only you love us in the right way. that when human love fails us, that you meet us there in the pain, in the incomplete, the hurt, the disappointment. you show us this pain because it creates a void that only you seep into and rectify. it creates a hole that you fit into and mold into something beautiful. your love is pure. righteous. sweet. strong. simple. covering. comforting. poetic. innocent. and most of all true. thank you for your beauty. your majesty. your almighty power. your forgiveness. for loving me with strength that overcomes my weakness.

Monday, November 3, 2008

close your fist.

take these stresses. take them into your hand. close your fist. and lock them away. hold onto them tightly and don't listen when i ask for them back. please whisper a little bit louder that i am yours. that you won't let me fall. that i am made in your image and beautiful by design. whisper ever so loudly that i am here in your hand. right where you need me to be.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


jesus prayed for us to be entirely Yours (john 17). that is my prayer. to be entirely in You. i can't imagine how differently my life would look. i feel like i live a double life at times. trying to straddle the world and godliness. sin and redemption. happiness and joy. the difference is immense. but living it is the real battle. i guess it's really only because of the ache for real life in the midst of worldly life. real life. godliness over the world. redemption over sin. and joy over just being happy. even the mere taste of these things is so sweet. i can't help but long for more. i guess its the choices that trip me up. there are so many choices and only one that will satisfy. its such a tricky thing. an evil game. the choices seem to conform to our reckless, empty desires. the right now fix, instead of the soul curing fix. the almost full instead of the entirely whole. the happy for now instead of the joy for ever. how often i say yes to the world and no to godliness. even though that sweet taste of it lingers, somehow i still say no to it. seeking the band-aid instead of the cure. but jesus came so we could be entirely in You. he died so we could be cured. so that we could have joy instead of happiness, redemption instead of sin. and so that instead of being of the world, we could claim godliness. to claim it. to wear it. to choose it. to live it. to be it. for us to be in you. entirely.

Monday, October 27, 2008

we cheapen love

we cheapen love. we reduce it to a pair of shoes. or our favorite pair of jeans. we lessen it so much that to speak of god's love with the same word is like speaking a different language. we use love as a weapon. we use it for manipulation and bribery. we wear it on our earthly bodies as suits to hurl our emotions on each other. we mock love as we lie to our friends...our brothers and sisters. we minimize love into the shape of a heart that tastes of chalk on a holiday in february. love. love. love. we don't know what love is. yet we take it every morning like our morning cup of coffee from our creator. we take it. and take it. and take it. even after all this He gives and gives and gives. without a doubt in His mind that we are worthy enough to sacrifice His own son. we know nothing of love on this earth. we know nothing of anything yet we are made whole if we would just let Him love us.

Friday, October 24, 2008

the land of milk and honey

you ask us to be moses.  to go and claim the land of milk and honey to people in misery.  like these kids that are broken.  they are in misery, although most don't even know it.  we are called to lead them out of their life.  to lead them to the land of milk and honey.  and we react just as moses did.  'they won't believe me (exodus 3:13)'.  these kids know your name.  they hear it often.  but to them it's a class in school.  a life they are shoved into.  something they are made to believe.  that you are a holy deity, but there is a part missing.  that you want life WITH them.  they don't know about the land of milk and honey.  allow me to bring the true I AM to them.  your love.  your desire to have life with them.  to see you as father.  friend.  lover of their broken souls.  your desire to lead them out of their life of misery and into the land of milk and honey.  they need to see that burning bush.  that miracle.  i guess i need to see it too. to cast out doubt, fear and disbelief.  instead i make my life about ridiculous things.  what and who i should be.  i so often don't look for the land of milk and honey out in the distance.  i often set out for somewhere far less fruitful.  far less than what you want for me.  let me persue the land of milk and honey you have waiting for me.

Friday, October 17, 2008

let me give it all

it's crazy that you don't write out your words or your truths in the stars. or in fireworks so that we won't miss them.  the beauty of you is that you are in the everyday.  the every moment...if we would just let you.  the mystery is that you want that.  you want it all.  every moment, every pain, every laugh.  you want even the ugly parts of me.  the parts i don't even want.  you somehow turn those parts into beauty.  you are glory, so everything you touch becomes that glory.  let me give it all.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I am reminded of your sweet love for me for some reason. And how it sneaks in. Into my hard heart. My earthly mind. The air smells so pure as spring is easing in out my window. Sometimes it’s hard to remember you are out there in that noisy world. In the everyday. I see you and seek you instantly in my quiet room…when the air is just right. My bed is soft and there is no one around. When everything is so perfect, it’s so easy. How quickly I forgot about that one in Africa, although I said I would never forget him. He is definitely not in his own bed where everything is perfect. Yet his faith was so strong. So hopeful. So joyful. So in love with you. So where is the disconnect? Maybe you are all he has and I am surrounded by all the things the world tells me I can’t live without. Maybe all the things we have and all the times we can’t get enough are really too much. Maybe our love for things, possessions, and success clouds our view of real unconditional love. Love from a real Father. A real Father that never leaves, always loves and longs to be with us. Not the father that we are stuck with. Or in a life we can’t seem to get out of. He is that perfect love among the too much and the not enough. So how do I get out of the me and just be with you?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

it's epic

Our lives our epic. I’m not an Olympic athlete. I’m not known by millions. Probably not even thousands. But created in the image of holiness. To Jesus my life is epic. It is so hard to believe sometimes. That You can see yourself in me, sometimes I can’t even find myself in me amidst the sin and ugliness of this world. But You stay with me, and continually think I am beautifully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139). And more than that You say I am your inheritance (Ephesians 1:11). My human mind goes right to what I would think if someone like me was someone’s inheritance. How does He not feel cheated? But you planned for me, for my life, everday of it. You want me seated next to you. I am your masterpiece. Help me to understand a love like that. It’s like nothing else. It’s epic.

‘I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you being anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.’ Harper Lee

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 the way

So often I put myself in the way of you. I blur your glorious reflection. I cloud your spirit within me. I just wanna be a vessel. Your truth in undeniable…it doesn’t need anything added to it. And it doesn’t need to be diluted. It’s enough. I just wanna live to reflect that. I wanna bring that into my relationships. You give freedom. But you also do all the work. You bring the glory and just let me enjoy it. It’s just so hard to understand the concept of enough. There is just never enough anything in this life. But You are different. Let me live that out. It sounds like it should be simple. Redefine enough in me.

‘God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from. He is our only possible ally, and we have made ourselves His enemies.’ CS Lewis

Thursday, May 1, 2008

this ship is sinking

on my way out that door because this ship is sinking. so i am getting while the getting is good. i can't seem to see much further than this. which isn't coming as quick as i hoped. but i do know atleast what is next. the mountains. the clean air. the feeling of freedom. although it is funny to me that the feeling of freedom will be a tricky one. i will be peering over the edge at fear. maybe that is what freedom is always. in its truest form. being one step away from something you fear. the unknown. the unseen. and not looking back. not letting that thought weigh you down. because right now, all i see is mountains. but not the fear of their height. and for now, that is all i need to keep walking ahead without turning behind.