Monthly Archives: May 2015

Slow down summer…cause you are just leading to…gulp…September

IMG_0752School’s out, or almost out, for summer…graduation open houses are finished up…and pools are opening…and even now I remember the odd state of relief that school was over for the year mixed with a sorrow only veteran parents understand.

The same three months of summer that seemed to drag on forever as a child, gather speed over the years, and as a parent…well…you barely have time to get the pool bag prepped and they are stocking the shelves at Target with back to school supplies….

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Going through old notes and thoughts recently, I came across this quasi-poem I scratched out on a sheet of notebook paper at the end of some unknown school year…

Beach towels and colorful bags. “Let’s go to the pool!”, you call.

Summer lies ahead with its promise of fun and crazy days.

But give me some time. My mother heart needs a few days to mourn.

Another year has slipped by and I know that these long, hot days will quickly fly…taking us one year closer to when you leave us.

Be patient with me as I am short-tempered for a few days.

It’s not that your presence irritates me, but in a paradox of emotions, I am kind of mad at you for getting older…

you will understand some day, too soon…when I grow old on you <3

I remember each year as the kids clamored for the fun to begin, this mom was a little weepy eyed just wanting to hold on a bit longer to the age and the stage we were in.

Each summer meant…another year down til they launched for good…and sure enough they have.

Just like I knew they would.

And  sure enough, I miss them like crazy.

Just like I knew I would.

And….yeah…I am aging…gracefully, I hope…but they can see it too….

Just like I knew….

So to all the young mommy’s and daddy’s out there…treasure every moment. Live IN the moment…

Take some time to  grieve a little along the way for what you know is passing…

Find solace in the unchanging goodness of the One who loves you and called you to raise those sweaty, suntanned, sticky from popsicles, chalk-covered cherubs amidst the ever-progressing landscape of change that makes up life.

He understands your tears…the ones few see. He delights in those moments when your hearts swell and He strengthens you when your “heritage from the Lord” is dancing on your last nerve <3

God bless you and your families…every hot humid day  and star filled night this summer….and from all of us who raised YOU… We understand.

While some days drag on for weeks and some of those stages and phases are ones you want to wish away…you are doing a fine job and we who have gone before you down this road are cheering you on.  <3IMG_3241

 

To stand for those who can’t

I was driving south on Tuesday and saw a police car in the north bound lane of the highway. And a flag. And a man walking carrying the flag.

And yeah, I may have grabbed my phone and taken a blurry picture out the window while keeping tear-filled eyes focused on my driving.

Google helped me find out for sure, because I could see the logo on his shirt and figured it was for the Wounded Warrior project. He had started from the pharmacy south of town about 3 hours before.

That’s a long walk. On a busy highway, with a squad car on his heels and cars passing in the next lane the whole way.

I am sure the flag got heavy as the winds were strong and I know for a fact it poured at different times all morning.

And I am struck by the willingness of this one individual to sacrifice personal comfort and ease so we remember that there are casualties of war… and the soldiers can know their pain is not forgotten.

Wounds and scars of all kinds. Some are visible to the eye and some are buried deep in the hearts and souls and spirits of those who have served our country.

It makes me think of some other folks I know that are carrying another kind of banner for some different wounded warriors.

People who are carrying heavy burdens under the standard of the Cross. We call it “standing in the gap” or “praying them through” or “intercession”.

But these are the ones who have chosen to wear the pain of people they love. They are out there, amidst the flow and traffic of life, sacrificing ease and comfort on behalf of those who are suffering.

They are keeping on as the rains fall and winds blow, lovingly representing those dear to them.

Step by step. Mile by mile. Carrying them to God in prayer.

May He bless us all….the weary, the wounded, the advocates… the Body of Christ.

Holding one another up.

Carry on.

God sees. He knows. He cares. He hears. He responds. He acts.

In JOY …. and pain….

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One of the hymns you might find me warbling on a given day…oh, say around the time of my first melt-down…is Annie Hawks’ “I Need Thee Every Hour”. Only I usually add “…and minute and second…”, which I can do because I can’t really carry a tune anyway so there is always room for more words or notes or whatever I feel like adding.

I was singing it one day and it came to mind to look up the story behind it.

Anticipating some beautiful testimony of suffering that would make my little problems seem small, I hoped to gain even more perspective on how to get a grip on a life that really is pretty cushy compared to most of the world.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that Mrs. Hawks, wife of Mr. Hawks and mother to three little Hawklets, was in the midst of her daily tasks when she apparently was overcome with the near presence of the Lord.

She was so taken with love for Him, that she wondered how she could exist for a moment without Him.

Oh…..

She was, by her own account, just having a fine day working around the house and this precious hymn of the church flowed out of a heart of love for the Lord.

Well….

I guess at first she couldn’t understand how people were so drawn to it as a song of comfort when she just wrote it out of a sense of realizing how precious sensing His presence is in the midst of the ordinary.

And this gives me pause to wonder.

Do I just express my need for Him in crisis mode?

Do I only cry out and acknowledge my great emptiness and desperation for His Presence when everything, including me,  is falling apart?

In fairness, Annie Hawks later experienced loss and learned first hand what the rest of us were getting out of her lyrics.

But I am hoping to develop a heart like the one from which these sweet words poured out.

A soul that sings of deep longing BEFORE the breakdown….before the shadows fall….before I am starting to slip down in the mire…because…by faith, NOT FEELING, I CAN know that I am in His presence.

All the time.

Scripture after scripture assures me of this.

I don’t have to ask FOR Him to presence Himself with me. That is a done deal.

I need to remind MYSELF that He is always, always with me and that even JOY is empty and pointless if I do not acknowledge Him at the center of it all.

So, I will no longer reserve this song I love so dearly for times when I am running on empty.

But in truth, I can sing in all the ups and downs…I need Thee…OH! I need Thee….every split second I need Thee…..

off-key and out of rhythm and I may even include a dance break

<3

This and that….because I’ve lost a day

So how is that three day weekend going for you now that it’s Tuesday?

Me too.

I am not sure we could have packed more of all that life holds into the past three days, but here are some highlights in no particular order…and as random as random can get….

Just do your best to follow along….

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We crashed the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market in time for breakfast with these characters…

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followed shortly by a snack…

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the  zoo….

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and lunch…

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a working lunch for some…

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Shared some good food with a variety of friends as well as dear-to-our-heart family <3

Attended a beautiful service at our church and listened to Eastview’s service later in the day…if you are in need of some encouragement as a parent OR as a child…check out www.eastviewchurch.net “Building with the Lord” by Charlie Wilke May 24, 2015.

Found new reasons to thank God for His work…seen and unseen…over and over.

Was blessed by all the sweet tributes to those who have fought for our freedom throughout the generations.

Much to be thankful for, much to commit to prayer, much to treasure in the heart, much to lay down…and in all, we see the hand of God…so….

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Let’s go forward into a new season…in faith that the God that brought us this far will carry us onward <3

 

Memorial Day <3

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Happy Memorial Day! A day full of remembering…those who have passed from our families, those who have served faithfully.

On this day we say, summer has now begun…

We have cookouts perhaps? Boating? An extra day to rest or head back from a get-away…and…

no mail.

Which means, no junk to sort through and shred….no unwanted return address labels from some fundraiser, no bills….but also no hope that perhaps someone has sent an actual, handwritten note.

Remember those?

There is something about an envelope addressed by a real person, containing some of their thoughts captured in pen on paper that just lifts the spirits. I don’t care how tech savvy you are; there is nothing like a handwritten note in the mailbox to brighten the day!

My memory verse for the last half of May has talked about letters…

2 Corinthians 3:3 NLT

Clearly….you are a letter…written by Christ…showing the result of our ministry among you….a “letter” written not with pen and ink….but with the Spirit of the living God….carved not on tablets of stone….but on the human heart….

Imagine that.

Ponder that.

As we minister, as others have ministered to us…

Christ HIMSELF…

has picked up the Holy Spirit as if He is a pen filled with ink…

and has carved on our frail, faulty, battered human hearts….

until we are…

an engraved letter…

a note of communication…

written by Him…

signed by Him.

Clearly….clearly….

obviously…

to the whole world….

a personal letter from Christ.

Clearly….you….YOUR….HEART…..IS….a letter…

YOUR LIFE…is evidence of the ministry and writing and communication of CHRIST…to the world.

Oh, there will be mail today and every day…

personal love letters of Christ, written on human hearts.

As long as He is allowed to work through the ministries of others in our lives… and through our ministry to others.

This is….

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good news <3