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An unexpected gift

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Rain falls on my soul today. 
I wake this morning to an email from my youngest's math teacher. E is a conscientious student whose efforts to please often go unnoticed. He has given up his seat more than a few times this past year for other students and opted to sit in a much less comfortable place in the classroom. His teacher bought him a desk to give him a permanent place, but he gave that desk up, too for a corner at the edge of another crowded table. His teacher wants to give Elijah the desk and asks if we will accept it as a gift for a student who actually loves learning math. (who knew this was possible?) Tears rolling down I cannot believe that a teacher would notice my boy who is always willing to share his seat. We tell my son this morning. We also include that while we are so blessed by his generous heart we also want him to know that we love him just because.
We all figure out ways to give and get love and I must tell my son before this becomes his only mode for life. I…

On Paying Attention

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If God is Love....

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Eyes of God look upon me. 

I am weak, often faith-less, floundering to believe in your goodness, wanting to trust; actually I'm just a child. 

Eyes of God, do you see? 

We sit this morning around the table, regrouping after a busy season of ministry. Gathering around the breakfast table over buckwheat pancakes and whatever else I can collect from our nearly empty fridge (which is a sure sign of busyness), we sigh and enjoy being together again. 

We have a friend's son for the week and we are so happy to have four kids around the table again. Missing our college boy today. Face Time makes the heart full, and as I wonder about his new hairstyle I can't help but feel that ache in my heart for his presence in our home. 

What's God been showing you these days?We ask the kids. Three teens and a tween, and we expect that God is showing up in their lives. 

God sees me,my thoughtful sixteen year old almost immediately responds. He whispered that to me this week when you were away, Mo…

steady in the struggles .....

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My son is having a hard day and I want to be there with him but I can't because we are separated by a large body of water called the Pacific Ocean and we remain connected only over FaceTime. I hang up my phone and feel the weight.

Another son struggles over the homework load of high school and his first year in "outside school". The struggle to belong and be known is exhausting.
My daughter tears up as she works through life questions, also asking tough questions on identity, and why life sometimes doesn't work out the way we would like. 
My youngest curls up on the couch and it takes great patience to wait for him to tell us what he is thinking. He is burdened by all the hard things that are happening, friends who are hurting, the Syrian refugee crisis, and refugees in our city. How a youngest child learns to carry such heavy burdens continues to surprise me. 
All this happens within a week and by Friday, my heart is tired. Oh, so tired. 
I can't rescue my kids …

On Letting Go... it's a lot harder than it looks!

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I knew this day was coming for a long time now. Since the moment I laid eyes on him, this boy captured my heart and I knew it would be hard to see him grow up. There were so many moments in childhood that I would remind myself that these times would not last forever. Noise. There is no way to enjoy all those noise-moments, but they are amazing to watch. The forts made of sheets hung around the room, light saber battles, and nerf gun wars in our tiny Chinese apartment. Friends who were further along than us in the parenting journey would remind us often to try an enjoy the craziness for it would not always be so.

And so it has changed. We set our table for five, occasionally we forget and grab six settings, and sigh when we realize that he's across the ocean. No, he won't be joining us for dinner.

I've talked about parents who struggle with letting go. My husband and I have thought about what kind of parents we hoped we would be when this day would come. My husband seems to…

two empty jars.. On growing faith

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Growing in faith is like exercising a muscle that needs to grow. 
Thinking about that this afternoon as I relish the quiet in the house and a working air conditioner. It's 100 degrees in the rest of the house, but my room, well it's a comfortable 80. 
Took a walk to find a friend yesterday. She tells me these words and I work on them today. My faith muscle feels weak.
Friday brought another ct scan and the results are not in yet because, I'm not sure, but they're not. So we wait. Three days feels like a long time to wait. 
Much goes on in the mind while you wait. Perfect peace can be present one moment and full on heart-beating-can't-breathe-panic the next. 
"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast on You." He keeps in peace, but my mind is definitely not always so steadfast. 
I heard of several miracles last week. Some were incredibly big ones, like a friend whose baby was not supposed to live gave birth to a beautiful little girl. Ano…

Another scan..... more trusting moments

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I dread these moments. The 6 month "routine" ct-scan. It's all routine until they find something is wrong. I can't tell you the number of people I know who have been diagnosed with a rare form of sickness. It's rare until someone you love gets it.

Finding my way in the waiting isn't easy. It's like feeling your way in the dark for something to hold onto. Most of the time it feels like the darkness will swallow you up.

Things didn't start out this way. But compounded trauma has left me a bit bruised and torn up, so any subsequent bumping around hurts all the more. More painful news of the past few weeks has added to the grief. But the  Lord has heard our prayers for my husband, and his back is nearly normal. We have made it through an incredibly sweet but incredibly busy season of ministry, something I did not think was possible back a couple months ago.

My heart is easily distractible though and during our busiest moments a week ago I found my mind of…