Our pilgrim ancestors gave thanks despite half of those who boarded the Mayflower, full of hope for a better life, perished the first cruel winter.

Ann Voskamp in her published work One Thousand Gifts wrote her journey towards a life of gratitude was:

A dare to an emptier, fuller life.


Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning joy.

I have been listing thanks in the form of numbering those things right in front of me that are gifts to me from the Father for three years now.  I will sometimes go weeks without scribbling a thing down.

I used to feel a twinge of guilt over this, but not anymore.

I don’t list to fill a God-derived function, but because it improves my sense of well being.

No seriously. I am not giving you a fluffy Christian snow job.

When it has been some weeks I noticed I am not handling the pressures of life, that are as unavoidable as dirty floors and whiny children, with very much grace.  I wake up early and I let myself reflect on the last few days or weeks and BAM, there it is.

So very, very much.

I write.

My mood elevates.

Praising God happens naturally in the flow.

So here is my list of Eucharisteo this Thanksgiving morning 2015:

#2075…my cranberry cherry orange sauce recipe I make every year in the morning while Tim makes his pumpkin roll

#2076…using canned gourmet figs when I realized I forgot the cherries. I bought this at TJ Maxx two years because I was convinced I was going to make home made fig newtons… but never did.





#2077…my oldest girl playing the Sugar Plum Fairy and a Jazzy version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen while we cooked in the other room

#2078…my two little ones announcing to me that “we want to go jogging before the Thanksgiving meal so we can loose a pound”  then adding a minute later “maybe if we loose a pound we can eat another pound at Gramma’s”

#2079…glittery pumpkins and  a fat pumpkin-colored kitty

#2080…funny Thanksgiving texts to friends with thinly veiled joke about family and drinking wine

Happy Thanksgiving






Dwell_five minute friday


The Lord is my Shepherd… He leadeth me… I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever :

The start and finish of the Psalm that every Christian knows by heart.

Man oh man, there are buckets and buckets of angry, emotional static pouring over us all in the media right now.

Facebook opinions flying like shrapnel.

CNN video clips of Paris in rubble.

Grainy ISIS terror home videos going viral.

Every morning I wake to my email inbox chuck full of new pleas from Christian groups expounding on how terrible the times are, pleading that I give, network, and pray some more?

I find myself on unpopular grounds with mainstream Christians with my take on Syrian refugees.

But that is just it, isn’t it?… MY TAKE.

My take, or anyone’s take, be it world leader, your favorite Republican candidate, your Pastor, has a valid voice, but it is NOT the VOICE.

The peculiar People of the way,

the spared Ones,

the beautified Bride,

we are not to find our reason and judgement, our facebook likes or our financial giving, based on the manipulation of media sound bites.

Because that is what it is:


A.W. Tozer wrote: “We are never instructed to fear Satan’s wisdom or power, but his wiles and manipulation.” 

It is a forgone conclusion he is smarter and stronger than us, on our own. Very often, he takes advantage of us by getting us confused with strong emotions.


I have heard several people say, people I know spend serious time with Jesus, “there is a dulling of our minds” And they are referring to the church.

Have you ever been around a sheep?

They are really, really, dumb.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus refers to His people as sheep so often?
{I’m not gonna spell it out for you}.

But here’s the good news:

The Shepherd leads me despite the evil around, my easily distracted mind within, and one day I will dwell with Him forever.

Till we all reach forever, let us be people who dwell in His presence.

The rush of the holidays are coming up. The season of rush. Consider fasting from the media outlets you find are tucking a tight ball right inside your chest bone. Seriously, take stock of how much time you spend slack jaw in front of a flickering screen.

Are you heartbroken enough, do you fear God enough, to exchange that for times of deliberate prayer?

Start with His Word.

Read Psalms 23 like you never heard it before.

It is after all, supposed to be what us simple sheep do anyway.

We can dwell with Him now! Amazing! Because of the gift of The Holy Spirit. Grab a hold with both hands this gift, it is a privilege, so when look upon Him face to face we will not be ashamed or turned away.

the fear of the Lord


Linking up with Kate and the Five Minute Friday gang today.

Click to read or get brave and write your own.


A poetic life {#tellhisstory}

Linking up with blogger/writer Jennifer Dukes Lee and others to Tell His Story today.


I don’t often re-read books. But I came across a copy of a favorite book at a book sale { I gave my original away}. This book makes me think. It is fiction and was not even published by a Christian publisher, but re-reading it makes me reflect on Christ.

As I wrote last week about our family and love of books, I love also to write goodreads book reviews.

Goodreads is my bookish nerdy social media facebook.

Last night writing a review of the book Peace Like a River by Leif Enger I typed out these lines first:

One of the good things about reading a lot of books is that in the span of four years, so many books have been digested that large portions of books I loved have been forgotten. So as I re-read Peace Like a River this month, I was given the pleasure of reading many scenes, as if for the first time…

Here is the rest of the review if you are interested.

{And don’t worry I never write spoilers}

Thinking about this author, Leif Enger, and the work he has done in the form of fictional writing, I feel a sort of “call to arms” in the type of lifestyle I aspire to live.

A poetic life.

What is a poetic life? Like poetry itself it is not easily defined.

You have to let your own know-how, your own unique color, shine through as a something- special others can’t quite put a finger on.                                                                                         ~ Savvy by Ingrid Law

Stay with me now.

This is all wonderful, touchy-feely, creative, hippy, stuff I know.

But what does the poetic life mean if you are a follower of Christ?

A Christ follower lives this life following a completely different brush stroke. Her marks on this world, a world that cannot see and will not acknowledge the brush itself, does not bring attention to herself, but The Maker behind the brushstrokes.

One to the last things Jesus prayed for his friends before He was taken away to be crucified was that “The Father would not take them out of the world, but keep them from the evil one..they are not defined by the world…make them holy- concentrated with the truth. Your Word is truth”…John chapter 17

One of the many surprising things I have found myself praying as I have grown more intimate with the person of Christ is for myself to become “less Westernized”. Our wonderful free culture of democracy is very linear in its thinking. It puts a hefty price tag of value on the tangible.  The Western church has followed suit. Yet, we serve an unsearchable holy God, whose ways are higher than our own. And there is the epic rub.

We forget Jesus was a Jewish Middle Eastern Man. King David, author of many of our beloved Psalms, the quotes we like to buy in the form of hanging wall art at Hobby Lobby for $39.99, was Eastern as well.  It makes fundamentalist uncomfortable though, because we have been taught that Middle Eastern or Eastern is “pagan”.  This is accurate in a historical context.  The lands we call Middle East and Eastern have, as the centuries have rolled by since the advent of Christianity, become nationally non-Christian. That was not always the case.  For nearly 700 years after Pentecost and the “church scatter” modern day Iran, Iraq, Egypt were the centers of the Christian learned world.  Also, I have found the teachings of Buddha, Confucius, have a surprising faint echo of King David and Jesus Christ’s radical teaching.

However, a shadowy facsimile is not the same as the real thing is it?

There is only one name that saves. One image we seek to satisfy our soul’s emptiness: Jesus Christ.    

The modern American church has felt so hollow and weak and irrelevant for so long we were  tempted many times to leave the sinking ship altogether.  But The Man, our Maker, would not let us. He showed up Himself.  No pew, Pastor, or Retreat needed.  Then He led us to brothers and sisters who were not perfect, who did believe the exact same thing as us on every aspect of walking out our faith, but who were true followers of Christ; this is church!

And so, The Master has shown Tim and myself how the brush strokes of our lives are to look in very real, unfancy, unspiritual looking ways. As we bumbled and smeared along like kindergartners with finger paints He has patiently been fine tuning us so His true hue and light fragrance comes through. This despite our own juvenile blunders.

It is not about us.

It is about Him.

Our part is so ridiculously easy, and small, it is downright embarrassing how long it took us to get to this point.

So we keep trying to walk out with a light poetic step in this weary, heavy, sinking world.

We all sink.

I can’t walk on water any better than you can.

But I can point you in the direction of one who has.




Linking up today with the crew over at Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory

Click to read more or get brave and add your own here.

Weary_five minute friday

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADo you feel guilty for going back to bed?

I do.

I sleep just an inch deep with troubled dreams. As if my psychie knows this is wrong too.   Inevitably, as my weary body and misfiring brain start to surface sleep paralysis happens:

You know that freaky experience where you are just waking up, your eyes open slits but your brain thinks you’re still dreaming.

I hear things, that seem so real and close, my eyes are open but I can’t move.  I try to wake myself up but it takes a few minutes. It only happens when I take a nap, over come by weariness.  I hate it.

This past September I had to take some serious rest.

I participated in the 31days of writing challenge in October.

Both were unexpected, with surprising rewards, and change was in the wind.

Now it is November and I am getting antsy.  I don’t rest well and quite frankly need to just get on with several things in my life. I pray and pray and try to learn from it all, but it still feels like spinning my wheels and mud flying in my face for all my effort.

I feel restless, but I am tired in mind and body and know I should rest when I can.

It seems indulgent.

Even when the weary is obvious and understandable.

So starts the upward climb of all those dark monsters, buried out of sight but never out of reach in the murky pools of our mind.

Be it guilt,






We all have our default demons.

Climbing back into tangled sheets pulling up quilts half way on the floor in my sweatpants and fuzzy socks I could feel the clutches of dark thoughts emerge and try to find footing.

I’ve have been here so many times I could spit it makes me so mad.

I was not not made by my Creator to be treated like some cat toy; battered around just for the hell of it.

So I just started to praise God instead. Take a few seconds and it comes spilling up and over, then fell into fitful sleep.

A few  hours later I had that freaky sleep paralysis and was in fact, feeling guilty about going back to bed while my family is dutifully at school. However, I felt different on the inside once I fully woke up.

I went back to bed because I was really, really tired, and thankful that I could.

Next time you are weary and feeling so heavy, paralyzed, and guilty about it:

Try praising and sleeping.

be still


Linking up over at Kate’s place with the talented, weary, yet over coming battlers over at Five Minute Friday.

Click to read or get brave and join in for yourself.

Books on CD


We have always been book people.

Or rather, I have always made the distinct endeavor to make this a book home.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANew expectant parents often register, along with Boppies, and Diaper Genies, picture books. Why? Because all the experts now agree:

it is never too early to start reading to your child.

So buy and stock up from infancy. I was one of those parents you see. But then, right when the terrible twos start, the seductive siren call of screens start to drift in.

Soothing and gratifying and oh so efficient it is almost sexy to tired, weary, parents.

Bed time becomes a thing of grown up nightmares.

And “kids don’t seem to have much attention spans these days”.

So that shelf full of read aloud books you read to your drooley- smiled one year old becomes a thing of nursery rhymes and sippy cups:

Nostalgic, sweet, and short-lived.

Yet, books were such an important part of my formative years that despite my quiet desperation for quiet sedated children I doggedly marched on.

Book after book.

Library late fee, after library late fee.

Amazon order after amazon order.


Another important element to my puritanical book zealousness was this event:  My eight-month-pregnant-self, all of a twenty-one years of age, soon going to quit my job to be a full time mom, but without a college degree:

kinda freaked out.

What am I doing?

Or more like, what did I not do?

I always wanted a big family, and I come from a long line of fertile females so I pretty much knew what my twenties would look like.  I never regretted marrying young or having children young.  Even in that moody, broody nervous eight month pregnant  state of mind.

However, I felt rather simple.


My friends were getting degrees in between partying  and going to concerts and traveling over seas. I just bought a dumpy house in the suburbs and had not kept down a full meal for the last 32 weeks.

So I made a decision:

I missed the party train, had never traveled beyond the East coast, and considered ordering Chinese and renting a movie exciting, but I would make sure I would become educated.

In that old-fashioned Abe Lincoln way:

self-educated by reading.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe classics were my launch pad.  I read the entire unabridged 800 plus paged version, with all those long French passages, of Victor Hugo’s  Les Misérables first. I waded my way through Thomas Hardy, Jane Austin, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, and William Makepeace Thackeray, his masterpiece Vanity Fair,being one of my all time favorites,{ read my goodreads review here }. I still cannot till this day, finish a Charles Dickens’s book, however. I could never make heads nor tails of any of Shakespeare’s plays until I started home schooling my two older daughters, then loved them. Ken Ludwig’s book, How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare was an amazing find and allowed me to consider that I, with my 6th and 5th grader, could actually tackle Shakespeare. We read three complete plays and memorized numerous passages in one and half school years {with lots of help notes}.

I have been to Ken Ludwig’s home. His children really do know Shakespeare. Read the book and you’ll see why. It’s scholarship dancing around with fun.”—Hal Holbrook


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlso, feeling the average Christian Inspirational best seller works I could pick up at Barnes and Noble were a little repetitive, uninspiring, and dumbed-down, I started to read largely out of print Christian classics. {where oh where would we all be without used book stores, the library, and the internet I ask?} Theologians from the last century; the ones you would expect like C.S. Lewis and Oswald Chambers and Brennan Manning and back bending further even several prior: Saint Patrick from the 4th century, Francis of Assisi from the 1oth, Thomas A Kempis from the 12th,  Saint Ignatius of Loyola from the 15th, Charles Spurgeon from the 19th.

I have always loved history and found a cavalcade of well written historical fictions beyond my teen infatuation with Victoria Holt romance novels. I even began to read actual history books.

The kind without heroines and rakes, but historians and dates.

Though I admit, I sped read, or plain did not finish many of the big fat ones.

I read genres I usually would not read.

So you see, years prior to Dr. Seuss, Junie B. Jones, or Harry Potter I was priming myself, then got to work priming my children. 

My husband, grudgingly at first,  became a reader, because the old adage is true: if you can’t beat them, join them.  That and watching television by yourself is lame, and nothing good is on anyways.

Our latest foray into reading as a family has been books on CD. School is now a 45 minute drive and the bus drivers are blurred-eyed Mom or Dad, who did not get to finish all their coffee.  That is 90 minutes a day, five days a week, with daughters who love each other usually but turn into spitting rapacious vipers  when in close quarters in moving vehicles with their sisters. Something had to be done or we would be forced to sell them.

In the last ten weeks of school the girls have heard and digested the following books:

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke …{here is my goodreads review}

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh…{here is my goodreads review}

Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar…{no review because I missed this one}.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart…{here is my goodreads review}

and currently listening to The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright. {no review yet, still reading, but soon}.  Can you tell I like writing reviews on goodreads? I need to find a way to make money at it.

I did the math on goodreads {because that is only kind of math I do voluntarily} and when we finish The Saturdays it will be the audio equivalent of reading 1,506 pages.

Since the second week of September.

And while yes, we love our Netflix show binges and my seventh grader has been literally counting down the days till the theater release of Mocking Jay Part Two, books entertain, enlighten, and keep you sane from your own offspring, more so than television or movies.

You just have to work at it, and find the right fit.




New Look. New Season.


So my 31days of writing for the month of October 2015 has come to an end.

I think I missed only 3 or 4 days.

Being unemployed and all the kids in school all day, was a huge help to achieve this, as you might imagine.  Then, like a switch of a light, I suddenly found myself working full time.  Substituting for a 3rd/4th grade special ed. teacher who had emergency surgery.  From 7am until 4:45pm this lady is in heels and turns into a machine: straight, direct, lists whirling, clock watching, task doing.

It’s odd. After spending hours writing in silence; my days ebbing at a leisurely pace of moving about quiet home on a slow current of house tasks, jogging, praying, reading.

I don’t even know if I will be needed after next week.  I may go back to the sporadic calls in the morning.

Hungry for something creative do after seven hours of worksheets at a drill-sergeant-like regiment and 90 minutes of commuting, I updated the look and layout of my blog. I am hoping to be working often, but not full-time. I am amazed at mothers  who work 40hours a week. This captain needs to have her hand at the helm of the domestic ship half the time, and scurrying about working the other.  Life rarely works out so perfect, I know.

However, I feel confident that since The Lord so created me, therefore, “The Father who gives good gifts” will know how to disperse my time and tasks to be a blessing for myself and my family.

So, I hope to be able to catch up laundry, make meals, have a few still morning of prayer and take pictures. Compose some shortened more poetic posts here?

I mentioned in a previous post that upon working more hours my standards of nutrition went a notch downward-instantly. So did our frugality.  HoweverI am trying to fight the good fight and stay vigilant.

I am so thankful that my secular work is working with children who need a firm but gentle touch.  God places a special value on little children, more so the needy ones and so by proxy a special ability is given to those who work among them.  However, it is still a tangible task orientated endeavor.

The spiritual is the exact opposite:

Intangible effort of seemingly doing nothing of great consequence.

This rushing and going and doing because of another obligation muffles the quiet still voice of heaven. For the regenerated soul it is never completely silenced. It can be buffered.  Busyness buffers.  Just as being deliberate about nutrition is harder, but pivotal for the welfare of self and my family, so being deliberate to be among “those who have ears to hear” from heaven is more difficult but of great importance.

Something about creativity is connected to the Spiritual.

So, to keep this little speck on bloglandia going I am going to funnel my limited time into more photography and poetic posts.

It reminds me of that quote I once heard:

” I don’t know how to define poetry, I just know people are dying without it”.

resist the blending in, baby


October 31st: Almost {LIKE A TREE_31days writing series}

let's do thisAlmost can be quite a defeated word.

“You almost won”.

“We almost have enough money”.

Teachers say, “almost” to their students, as in, “try again”.

It is this “tying again shade” I try to align with.

The struggle,

the out of your depth,

the awkward,

the uncomfortable,

it will make you or break you.

Should we be people who are being made and remade, or people who are broken and defeated?

The head-pounding-against-the-wall-irony of it all is this:

Christ was a man of sorrows, had to be broken to be lifted up, to then usher in the powerful, overcoming spiritual kingdom.  That is our inheritance. That is what the 14th century writer Thomas A Kempis wrote on in his “the imitation of Christ” work.

If you were a part of the American church in the 1990s then you surely must remember: WWJD; what would Jesus do.  I bet you had the bracelet! But I wonder if something got lost in translation in this nifty acronym.  Is being like Jesus all about niceties, morality, volunteerism, abstaining from the flesh? That was the message of every youth group meeting by every youth pastor given to my generation. I never met and shook hands with this man of sorrows, the obscure, unattractive Son of Man till I was in my thirties. What a shock it was!

But something had to give, because something was up.

I had done, gladly, all the w.w.j.d. requirements. I was a good girl and married a good boy and stayed home with the babies.  We attended and served at church. Simultaneously, I set my face and feet to climb up the American Dream ladder.

Just like the Lowes commercial tells us: Never Stop Improving.

I lived in the almost.

Then, there came that day when I took a long guzzling look around at my little kingdom; the American housewife version of Nebuchadnezzar. Look at all my stuff.  Look how good I am.  Then why the itch that could not be scratched? The yearning that never got close to being met.  I thought my almost would gain approval from Jesus. My almost was actually alienating Him.

I read David Platt’s book Radical in one weekend, alone at a B&B in Maryland. And my w.w.j.d. image of Jesus was rocked. {read my goodreads review here}

We have been in an almost constant state of uncomfortable since. Nearly all our plans and ideas, good plans and ideas that seemed to line up with what God surely would want for us, have not gone accordingly to plan.

However, we have had more peace, and hear so much more clearly from God. We both see with increasing clarity with a 20/20 gospel vision as we swim upstream.  It has not decreased our mistakes, nor done a thing to conquer our sin nature.

We do hear and see and process and rest better.

Did you know that once while Jesus was preaching to the crowds God spoke, thundering from heaven, so the crowds could hear and know God’s approval was on Jesus?  This is what Jesus was preaching at the time:

24-25 “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal”. The full story is here

The almost we struggle with, the necessary tension of “in the world but not of it”, is not an almost performing perfectly, not an almost understand it all, but an almost dead to self.  Almost completely empty of me to be 100% full of Him. We will never be that. But we try.

Like the leaves on the tree empty of their life-giving chlorophyll at the most dazzling height of Autumn to then simply die! Why?  To re-generate again in the Spring after the restful hibernation of Winter.

Like a tree.




My 31days of writing series for the month of October in 2015.

My series is done.

Phew! It was a lot of work and discipline.  It felt really dumb and a complete waste of time often. But I was constantly surprise at what came out.  I know it improved my writing skills; helped me to write clearer, with economy and focus.

Thanks for all the comments and reading along.

As always click here to read my series from the beginning.


October 29th: Sea {LIKE A TREE_31days of writing}


It has been three days of back to back work and the home feels tempest tossed.

The normal predictable rhythm of wave after wave upon my home is replaced by the choppy waters of all of us suddenly descending on it, like a hurricane, at 5pm.

Once again, I am amazed at how exhausted I am.

Once again, I am amazed how women do this 40 hours a week, week after week, year after year.

I’ve always known I am built to keep the home ship steady, as she cuts across the sea of days and schedules and food and laundry and kids.  But we do not live in a perfect world do we? So this week and all next, I will be working full time. I am a substitute teaching for a 3rd grade special ed. teacher who needed sudden surgery.

I find myself getting groceries at 6pm with a fuzzy tired brain.

I find myself, since I am pressed for time, yet with more cash in our budget, not eating as healthy and thrifty.  This was instant. The switch in my brain took me by surprise, but not by complete surprise. Because while I don’t want to live there, us women, try as we may, are not superheroes.

We cannot do it all.

I want to make healthy, simple, natural, homemade meals. But our 21st century American society is very much geared towards two incomes.  Also, more than just narrow mercenary pursuits, spending my hours and mental faculties away from the rigors of home, or filling the hours for myself, since we opted for public school education, has created another layer in me.  A good layer. Not a layer that defines me. Not a layer that is static and resolute. But a layer. As “a new creature in Christ”, we can rest easy and optimistic that every season, every day, every event, every person and thing that crosses my little ole’ path is part of the grand blue prints of heaven.

Do you follow the Shepherds’s voice?

Rest assured, The shepherd leads to good pastures.

I have read that the tallest mountains on earth are found in the depths of the sea. They rise up so very, very far below, man’s eyes does not perceive it.  But God’s does. The Father has always reveled in the obscure, and undetected.

An uncertified substitute teacher for special needs kids is not very glamorous. I am an expensive babysitter, for the least.   By the end of next week I may not ever see them again. But right now, for those kids, I am such an important anchor. I am serving their unwell teacher by taking care of them, to the very best of my ability.

God sees and knows.

And I see the messy house, the hurried meals, the lack of quiet still hours and times of uninterrupted prayer.  But He has brought it into our lives, and it is good.

So, I make them drink their green tea for breakfast, pack whole grain lunches three times a week, and steam the broccoli for dinner. Then we order pizza and get extra box wine.

I teach the kids in my class how look at math problems in a tangible real number way, make them finish their crossword puzzle, get them comfy and cozy for read aloud time, and pray silent for the angry ones.

It is tempest tossed.

But His disciples stood opened-mouthed and astounded declaring:

“who is this that even the winds and waves obey Him?”

A tree can look scrawny, puny, bent over by the wind at times. But if its roots are anchored deep, in good soil, it will stay. It will bear fruit.

There is no anchor like the assurance of heaven. There is no good fruit like a simple, dependent, believer.

Take courage in the tempest in your life.

Follow the Shepherd through quiet listening prayer and slow, expectant reading of the Word.





31days of writing series.

Click here to read my series from the beginning.

October 27th:Perhaps {LIKE A TREE_31days writing series}



Such a proper, almost British-sounding word choice.

Like: “Perhaps we could take a stroll in the garden Mumsie”.

Perhaps I read and watch too many British books and television shows/movies?

It is amazing; the power of words.

What is the proverb about an apt word being like choice fruit?

As a child and young person I was a very quiet observer.  I still am a people watcher. I learned that people are easily fooled.  Dressing a certain way, using types of pattern of speech, referencing this or that, and people will automatically assume a whole lot about you.

It is a great advantage really.  I could of been great at sales if I cared about self monetary gain. I used this acquired trick not to get from others but to make myself accepted with whomever I was suddenly face to face with.  Not because I am especially smart, but because I pay attention and can peg people.  This sounds really mean minded I know.  I have been guilty of snap judgements about people, incorrect judgements. However, as I said, my little trick was not to take advantage, like some social used car salesman, but to make me feel more comfortable. Get a sure footing, so not to falter and embarrass myself.

Getting older is a great thing.

Experience heaps on confidence.

I discovered most people are actually just as insecure.

I discovered that no one spends as much time thinking about me, as I spend thinking about myself.

This is pretty humbling.

Humility always creates space for the Holy Spirit to start to teach you something.

What He taught me, slowly, like sloughing off layer after layer of dry skin off the eyes and ears of my heart, was this:

This little knack of being able to read people, to be able to assimilate into their world as if were, can be used not to make yourself feel better, but to put others at ease. The gift of empathy is close to the heart of Christ. Much more than finding your stride in a conversation, but getting a glimpse into their world, their needs, their hurts. 

When you get yourself out of the equation you allow Christ on the inside to start to stride forth on your outside existence.

It is what John the Baptist meant, I believe, when he said:

“I must decrease, so He can increase”.

Attentive listening, will allow that apt word to be spoken.  It usually is nothing profound or deep. Letting yourself see people simply as people, not just as a type or a demographic is the only way to love people the way Christ does.

I still hate small talk, but have learned to fake it.

But once the verbal exchange is over The Spirit almost always quickens me by giving me insight into a need in their lives and to pray for them.  This has happened often with people I don’t really know,

Because the reality is, we don’t know what is truly going on with people. All our powers of observation or education on human behavior scratches only the surface of the complexity of the human mind, soul, and spirit.

But Christ knows.

And all Christ does is make men and women and children whole.

It really is an awesome privilege be a tiny little cog in the grand blue prints of heaven of making broken, hurting people whole.  Rarely are we granted to see the full completion.

But the power to really listen and see and speak that apt word, then pray, is perhaps, one the most unsung abilities we have if we are in Christ and being led by his Spirit.




31days writing series.

Daily prompts given by the gang over at Five Minute Friday.

Click here to read my series from the beginning.

October 26th: Whisper {LIKE A TREE_31days of writing}

whisper #2They are terrible at whispering.

They think I can’t hear, but of course I can.

My children, like all children, constantly try to get away with stuff. Nine times out of ten it is food related.  The other ten percent usually something they broke or sister they have maimed/injured.  Sometimes I let them think they are getting away with something. Sometimes I jump out like the boogie man crying “Ah ha!”. Sometimes I will nonchalantly stroll by, pretending to be busy with this or that and then drop the chestnut on them that they are busted.

It always amazes them.  “How did you know”?!

“I’m Mom. Therefore awesome”.

Almost omnipresent;

that’s me.

Becoming a parent, is without a doubt, the most eye opening experience anyone can have. Eye opening in several ways, but I think it brings the most clarity in one very unexpected way: It allows me to see how God sees me.

I am the errant child, always trying to get my way.

I am the selfish creature, infatuated with my own bubble.

I put everything through a sieve of self.

And of course, I am really smart and have it all figured out, thank you very much, I’ll give a holler when I need something. And by the way, when I do, ya better come fast, or there will be a fit.

Our new Pastor preached on Jonah yesterday.

The “cranky”and “dumb” prophet who thought he could run away from God.

Actually Jonah was not dumb. Jonah just had a very ridged idea in his own mind of who was on the “in” with God and who was not.  He, like all children, had an image or idea fixed in his mind, and did not like his contained bubble popped.  In Jonah’s case it was giving mercy to enemies.

On the outer, I do all right Christian things, and easily get lulled into my own hand-fashioned image of awesomeness.

But omnipresent God sees me whispering in the kitchen when no one else is around.  God extends much more mercy to me than I do towards my children.  Probably because I need more.  The closer I grow to Christ, I do not become more moral, I become more aware of His mercy.  This produces a natural guttural longing  for holiness.

Whispering grumbles and short-sighted faith I am trying to root out. I see that as just as damning as obvious moral sin, because those start in the heart.

Jesus did not trust man’s heart; “He knew what was in it”

but cried out “Father forgive them they know not what they do”, anyway,

Amazing mercy and grace.





31day writing challenge.

Daily prompts given by the gang over at Five Minute Friday.

Click here to read my series from the beginning.