29 September 2014

25 September 2014

changes in the wind

Today is David's last day of work for the state. Woweee!!!! He has been a faithful, whole-hearted worker and will really miss his guys and the staff he's been with for the past five years.

This morning as I prayed, I imagined a big stamp, like a postal stamp, stamping down a seal of approval on lives and hearts. Establishing the work that David has done--the love, hope and truth that he has sown in the lives of the clients and staff.

I love how David sees everyone made in God's image. I am challenged by his patience, forgiveness and persistent kindness. It is a great blessing to hear stories of how people have been honoring his uprightness, his whole-heartedness, his discernment, his leadership and his shepherd's heart as prepares to leave.

Lord, may you establish the work of David's hands.

08 September 2014

04 September 2014

August for me

It was the month that it's been one year since that month. Last August we were up at Doernbecher's with our precious baby, a wracked and swollen little body. Last August we heard the doctor tell us that we had six to eighteen months more before she would be gone. Last August we stopped everything--breathing, working, laughing, sleeping. And we started loving and holding and praying and needing like we'd never done those things before. We cried and screamed and we needed God's words every minute. I remember reading the Bible for rescue every morning last summer, gulping it down, grabbing it and shoving it inside of me. Just to survive. I remember how we decided we wanted to be trained by the sorrow. I remember asking God to take her quickly; it was just too awful. I remember saying, "I will not grow a bitter root of unbelief. Pull out my unbelief. I chose to be soft. I chose love. I chose You." Last August I needed help.

In those days I whispered and grasped, I am still confident of this, I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. This is from Psalm 27.

And now we've gone through an autumn and a winter, a spring. We celebrated two years of Sophia's life on June 21st. We celebrated with forty-two people who brought breakfast to our small apartment. We made music and made Sophia smile. She skipped her nap and enjoyed it. We laughed and told her how much we love her. We thanked these lovers that carry and celebrate life with us. We dreamed of her future and ate cinnamon rolls and bacon.

Then the days were hot summer. Pages flipped, we got a passport for Sophia and took her to Canada. We started to tell our story and it got easier and realer and deeper and more normal every time. Then it was August and I lost my breath and caught it. This August I have had to purpose to remember the pain of that August. I've needed help. Sometimes we are laughing and enjoying and then it whacks me in the neck or it hits David in the chest and we cry and stop and hurt again. Sometimes together. But sometimes alone.

Yet those jack-in-the-box emotions are rare these days. The breeze blows and the mornings are crisp. Another autumn is coming and I count twelve months of life. Sophia Margaret is alive. She is more alive every day. The temperature is perfect. David is making new sounds on his instruments. I am working and stretching my heart in new directions. The little girl, entrusted to our care is in her stroller outside the open door, leaning forward and studying her beads and hands closely, tongue out, wind feathering her curls and catching the curtains. She's out there because she was throwing a fit and we needed breathing room. She was throwing a fit because she is growing a will, growing herself like any live kid would do. We are about to leap into new unknowns because the time is about right for that kind of thing.

And for all of these things I am absolutely thankful. Thankful to Emmanuel, which means God with us. The kind of thanks that makes me furrow my brow and snuffle and cough before I get up to make some dinner and put this kid to bed and hug David. We've voted and it's unanimous; we wouldn't trade our story.

Two days ago, I pushed Sophia through the hospital halls and out on a walk toward the white building past the roses. The walk we would take over and over during our restless days last August. The walk that passes the nursing school, David's new school. And two days ago, my soul reverberated with a new twist on the words I whispered last year, I do see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I have waited, I have taken heart, I do take heart, I do see.

Amen.

06 August 2014

happy birthday

I am 35 today and I determine that I will live with my whole heart and all my guts. I will give myself fully to the work of the gospel, reconciling.

I will not live half-hearted or half-way. I will not keep quiet or keep peace when life and love are at stake.

I would rather laugh too loud, cry too hard, love too fully, stay up too late, believe too big than stop too soon, worry too wide, protect too much.

I want to wear bright colors, walk with people deep, give so generously, embrace so tight and with so much grace. I want to love truth and Jesus and salvation more than I love me, my way, and comfort. I want to cultivate and nurture and call out life.

I want to get things done, be an awesome follower and a humble, fearless leader, make things beautiful and see resurrection. Jesus is alive. He’s alive. 
On this I stake my life.

19 July 2014

super focused