Hush, Little Baby

     Hush little baby,

     Don’t say a word.

     The man touched you, sure,

     But let’s just ignore.

What’s done is done,

Speaking won’t solve a thing.

You think you need to talk,

But we like the silencing.

     Hush little baby,

     Don’t you dare speak.

     Standing up for injustices

     Will only make you weak.

If you become woke

Then what will we do

When we can’t rule the world

With the bottoms of our shoe.

     So hush little baby,

     Don’t you even breathe.

     Those people there in chains

     They don’t want to be freed.

They made their own choices

So just let them lie

In the state of their birth’s making

Until the day when they all die.

     Hush little baby,

     Don’t say a word.

     If you choose to rock the boat then

     That’s the end of our world.

So give me your voice,

And I will teach you to deceive.

And show you how lying to yourself

Is your only way to have peace


     Oh little baby,

     Your Father hears your voice.

     I see how you’re curled up

     And don’t feel like there’s a choice.

But oh my sweet child,

I’ve heard your unspoken cries,

And I know what’s happened

In the darkest of these nights.

     Oh my sweet baby,

     Come to Me. You can cry.

     And I will hold your broken pieces,

     Until your tears are all dry.

It’s okay my sweet child,

I’ve seen all the evils done,

And that’s why I’m holding you

Because you need to be the one.

     To go into this battle,

     With your head held high,

     And search out all of those,

     Who have been told not to cry.

I need you to hold them,

Like I Am holding you.

Show them My Love,

And tell them I’m coming soon.

     Because this is not forever,

     This home is not for you,

     There is a place being prepared,

     Where everything is made anew.

All the evil and injustice,

Will never come inside.

But all the judgement will strike

Against those who silence  My  children’s  cries.

     So don’t hush little baby,

     Yes, It’s okay to cry,

     They can’t hurt you anymore,

     For I Am by your side.

Rise up, little child,

And stand on solid ground,

For I gave you to this world,

To turn it upside down.

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Forty. Seven. Three.

Seven years ago, i started a journey of forty weeks. Forty weeks and a baby. Forty weeks and a life change. Forty weeks of being on two types of nausea medications because, well, one just didn’t cut it.

My first was born in February of 2010. My middle in October 2011. My last in June of 2013. Forty months.

Forty months and three tiny humans have entered the world.

Forty months ago my oldest turned three. And i was in round two of potty training him (long story for another time), and I had a newfound walker toddling around, and I was pregnant… and staying married felt like the biggest impossibility of my life.

Now, forty months later, and my youngest is about to turn three.

 

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Three is my favorite number. Or it was. Before my children turned three. The twos may be terrible, but the threes… well, the three’s will threaten your very existence as anything resembling a sane human being.

Three year olds haven’t just discovered the word ‘no’- they’ve discovered they can center an entire universe of a household around their very selfish souls. They’ll do things they wouldn’t have dared to dream of doing six months ago, incredibly self-absorbed things. Because they need the bubbles now. And they need food now. And bedtime can happen when they say it can, and reading a story doesn’t cut it anymore. Read five. Then sing a song. While tapping out a soft shoe.

Now snuggle.

And cuddle.

And go and get that book and read it again.

Basically, three year olds are the rulers of the toddler terrorists. They set the rules and you best d*mn well play by them. Or those Candy Land cards are gonna get it. …and how do you feel about an overflowing bathroom sink?

You can’t catch all of them. So you repeat, under your breath, and maybe over their angelic sleeping faces,

You may have won this battle. But I will win the war!”

And so you struggle and claw your way back to some sort of sanity. Maybe you stand at the top of the precariously drawn cliff you just peaked and survey the wastelands you’ve wandered and struggled through over the past forty weeks.

You hope and pray you will find a way to do the right thing at the right time just once. to make a breakthrough in your child’s life. to bestow upon them some rightness in their next steps or future steps.

you close your eyes and hope one day you can be the obedient child who enters into the place you are called to be and by doing so can be Hands and Feet and Light… and do it all right.

That’s when I realized – and maybe you do too(?) – I play the three year old with my Heavenly Father.

There’s a tiredness which arises in a season of waiting. It will seep into the sinews of your soul if you aren’t careful… and when a door needs to be kicked down, you may find yourself slumped down against it, a wailing heap on the floor, begging for someone to just open it for you.

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There’s a resurgence period. When forty months leads to forty weeks of gradually regaining more to life than surviving the day to day. When dreams are remembered and passions are stirred and it all just seems to be waiting for you to take one.more.step. – smash the window… knock down the door… step through and step out of the waitful wandering…

It’s a process and that’s for certain. At times it may just feel like you are going to drown in the gradual slowness of it all. And you might just find yourself being a three year old. Again.

I have this insane calling to write a book, and how I see it at the moment is an enormous amount of time, thought, emotional and physical energy… and no promise of any recompense at the end of it all. I could finish and that could be that. Years of stories coming together in a few hundred pages may very well end at the end of writing it. It may go nowhere past that. In fact I’m kind of betting on it. … and hoping it doesn’t at the same time.

I have a dream to foster and adopt children, and bring them into a sort of refuged haven- away from any and all sorts of abuse and hardships they have faced in their short lives, and just love them in as safe a space as I can provide them with our family.

I long for a move to take me away from the heat which torments and destroys my body (literally), and a place which provides an easier year round interaction for me with my children. Because i just want to freakin’ enjoy every minute with them. And that isn’t easy when you’re constantly battling a heat and sun sensitivity causing the world to spin around you and your skin to feel as though it’s about to melt right off your body.

So i dream of finishing a novel. And adopting the daughter i’ve prayed over since i was eight years old. And living somewhere i don’t have to fight and struggle with my own body just to participate in life with the children i’ve always longed for.

I think we’ve found our dream home. And we only have a little over half of what we need for a down payment. So… donations welcome. haha, 😉
In one week and three days we will celebrate our baby turning three. And yes, we actually will celebrate. Because, despite the fact we are entering his “three year old” stage- we’ve already survived the three’s twice over, and i have little doubt we will get through this too. I mean, technically, if you think about it, turning three means he’s finished his third year of life –he’s actually starting the first day of his fourth year the day after he turns three … but… semantics.

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children may just teach you your own childishness

and we are all just children. the all of us here.

children.

yes, there’s a reason we’re not called God’s “adult-children.” and having children of your very own will teach that better than any writings or vocalizing on the subject.

children scream

because when those days come we get to hear God’s words through our mouths and watch our reactions in the faces of our children.

we question their refusals and rebuttals.

their disobedient acts and their flagrant disregard.

and disrespect.

their wandering hearts and their fickle emotions.

pirate tuck

we see it all.

i see it all.

i feel the hurt of it and the anguish. the desperation to get them to understand that what i ask of them is ultimately for. their. good. 

they don’t see the tomorrow that we see. a day filled with adventures and plans – which in turn requires a good rest the day prior in order to enjoy the activities of the next to their fullest.

and there is no reasoning  with a toddler.

we are asking them for something that is severely precious. anguishing to relinquish. and guarded ferociously.

their trust.

i am honestly not quite sure why we haven’t obtained it yet.

you’d think after all of the middle of the night feedings and diaper changes… the stroking of sick backs… the cleaning of sheets and clothes… and the fact that no matter how long it takes to get a meal made, they will still get fed… that we would have earned the right to be trusted by our children on all accounts.

without question.

despite all of the provisions and all of the gifting. there is a lack of trust.

of complete trust.

perfect trust.

and the belief that the child’s way will yield the best results. better than those of the parent. yes, that.

Tuck leap

you’ve seen a tired child. i’ve seen a tired child. that middle of the day meltdown where it’s so ridiculously obvious that poor kid is exhausted out of its mind- trying to control the laughter- while at the same time running down how to actually convince that child of the fact. you as the parent, or caretaker, or just keen adult observer, know this child’s needs.

most children don’t think they need sleep though. most fight it. i have one who viciously fights it.

i’m talking this kid gave up morning naps when he started to crawl. at five months.

he gave up afternoon naps when he started to walk. at eleven months.

and we did cry it out. sleeping in bed with me for nap-time. you name it, i most likely tried it.

he would scream for fifteen minutes. pause for one. then scream for fifteen more. and repeat.

for over an hour. 

he probably could have gone longer. but i couldn’t.

daddy Liam snuggle

there’s no reasoning with a baby. or a toddler. my kids aren’t at the other ages yet. but i don’t hold out much hope. because when i reflect back at my own actions with my own Heavenly Father, how much worse am i than them?

because i can understand not fully trusting another fallible human being.

but the Creator of the Universe? the One knitting together of DNA into marvels? miracles and life abounding from His touch? and my very breath evidence of His very Grace? what is the reason for not putting my trust wholly in Him and His Holiness?

why haven’t i been able to teach my heart that the more i seek the Joy in Christ, the more i will be in-Joy. en-joy my life. my children. this grace gift given at highest cost?

mirroring my attitude of child to the King back in my mind- i see all too well the screaming for my longings and fleeting desires. all the while He stands bent over stove and agonizing over what He is making for my life to become.

with calm voice and gentle hand, He repeats to me, “I am working all these things together for your good. for My purpose.” (Romans 8:28 paraphrased)

Liam toss

we teach our children to ride a bike with training wheels. looking to the day when the training wheels come off and the child flies off on two wheels and a grande feat accomplished.

one of the firsts.

and not the lasts.

us parents are already looking to the next.

we labor over the learning of letters and numbers. singing alphabets and counting to ten… so they can write their names and count their ages. for starters. 

why then do we not believe that Christ is working in us? that every refining moment has a purpose-  equipping us- readying us- for when we need those tools we will also need to know how to use them.

that is what this life is.

all moments that lead to deeper and more. all purposed and planned. diligently. intricately.

and we are meant to enjoy it all.

trusting in Him. naming the grace-gift of this life. and its moments.

even when our children are red-faced and refusing to rest their weary selves. even those moments can be a refining fire.

 

tuck's lashes

so may i encourage you as i remind myself- to not miss the opportunity to be refined. it may not be what you are wanting. but it may be what you are needing.

(a good way to tell when you are in the midst of this? when you feel like throwing a tantrum yourself. generally that means you are being told to obey a Father who isn’t acquiescing to your requests. and instead insisting that He knows what is for your best. And isn’t that just so incredibly good? Hard, yes. but GOOD.) 

for the love of passion and fear

and y’all.

and can i just say “wow.”

yeah, the way that new NMD said it in her acceptance speech today.

“wow.”

 

And “God is Good. All the Time.

All the Time. God is Good.”

 

when you start your morning with those words? yeah, you know something’s coming and you best get ready for it. things are about to get messed. up…. in the absolute bestest way possible. yup i said bestest; go with it.

 

you know that “dream job?” that elusive, one in a million, can’t find it because i swear it doesn’t exist? yeah, that one…

 

where passion meets gifts and culminates with what someone will actually pay you to do? …there might not be much in that little overlap of groups. but there will be something. even if you can’t see it… yet.

 

Oh, the “yet,” don’t you just LOVE the “yet?”

it’s very possible you don’t.

at least, not yet.

 

And that is A-Okay. because so long as you keep looking for the window, God will lead you through one. sometimes… most times… in the unexpected kinds of ways. maybe it will feel like He wrapped you tight around a rock and through you through that window.

He actually probably will. if He hasn’t already.

 

the “i’m not expecting anything more than this to happen here,” ways…

the too low expectations ways. those times where you go into something- an event, a day, a job- with little to no expectations and He gets to just blow it up geiser-style in your face!

…in a good way.

 

always a good way.

 

that is this. that is here.

you see, for what seems like forever i have been FLOUNDERING. no seriously, F–L–O–U–N–D–E–R–I–N–G.  that fish out of water, suffocating on the driest of ground? That. has. been. ME.

 

i have been perpetuating the dry ground. living in the desert i have created for myself. trying to thrive there… and, on many occasions- let’s just be honest, they are more than i would like to admit- have found myself just plum trying to cry an oasis into existence. yes, i have been there.

 

and i am leaving there.

here. now. gone. done.

first steps

i found passion for something that is multi-purposeful. it feeds directly into the huge key areas i am so desperately restless to be a part of actively doing something for. it is something i already have a foot in and have been wading in the water debating on whether or not i actually want in.

 

i kinda was wanting that writing on the wall, moment of epiphany, “ahah” moment. waiting to see if interests and talents can turn into passions and if those in turn can become something i could actually develop into a legitimate career. the kind that could support a family. give financial freedom. enable some of these bigger dreams i’ve been dreaming to come to fruition…

 

yup. got my writing.

on a jumbo screen.

in computer print and colored slides.

in watching rerun of an Olympian break a world record.

in women. women of all ages with all stories talking about a journey they have taken that, let’s face it, is doable. hard. but doable.

 

empowered women will stir emotion you didn’t know resided in you. strangers stories resonate so deeply and we react so strongly. why? because it’s real. and oh so good to hear. it’s encouragement and joy and beauty.

strength.

 

i kinda don’t want to tell you all of my revelations. not just yet. i don’t want to unleash the floodgates of facts and passions and the little dreams and visions i have- of how they could come together to impact cultures. globally. profoundly.

 

if you have any sort of insight into what i’m doing in my life right now, this weekend, then you probably know where this is headed.

but here’s what i want you to do: lose your expectations.

i just found passion. here. in learning and being educated. in researching and listening. flood waters have been unleashed. there’s a stirring that i can direct to something and somewhere and it’s exciting.

scaring the guts right out of me exciting.

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but Jennie Allen spoke truth and encouragement the other day. i knew i needed to hear this. i just didn’t know how much:

“here is the thing about leading something…. you will be loved and hated.

So, as one facing her two worst fears, being hated and/or humiliated, let me tell you what I have learned:

Receive criticism. If you want to lead well, just never defend yourself again. Take it. Jesus actually meant it when He said, “To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also.” Luke 2:28 Because it is the very most freeing way to live. (Note: I did not say easy). I learned this one the hard way, and let’s just say it led me to my next lesson.

Humility is often closely connected to humiliation. Because we can only fake humility alone in the dark on back rows.Humility is built in battle, in the moments you are running and fighting and leading, and you fall, and people see and then they know you aren’t God and you remember you desperately need God.

Love the fear. As a child, I hated feeling nervous. My mom used to say, “It’s just butterflies.” So I sat in the back of life for decades, avoiding “butterflies.” I successfully avoided nausea and the very best parts of life. If you ever want to do anything of significance, you have to learn to love the sick, tense feeling in your belly instead of hate it. It doesn’t seem to ever leave me these days. So I am making the butterflies my friends.

People liking you is overrated.  If you love being liked by everyone, you are living a boring life. So just quit. Get over it. Let pleasing God become bigger than pleasing people.”

A Call to Reflection

because, per usual, the right words are failing me.

and the media is flooding.

and death is trending.

and a life that brought so much “life” to all who watched his performances on screen is being widely “mourned”- and every one has an opinion– every one has words to say. or more likely,  t y p e d.

black and white. stark. and all fail- because none can fully comprehend what Mr. Williams was dealing with, what his thoughts were, or where he finds himself now. none of us are him. and if any could talk to him, that would mean they’d be dead too, so the point there is mute.

but i just feel the loss of life. a life that shouldn’t be lost, lost.

and here we go- because i have a problem, y’all.

a problem with internet and social media and every other way of communicating news being flooded by one death. One.

One tragic death. one to mourn and feel sad for the unnecessary loss of.

But there’s been be-headings of children. raping and killing of women. hanging of men. and the all of that has not been covered to the extent that one man’s death has been covered in the last TWO days. 

and i? Oh i’m guilty. i’m guilty of grabbing my exhaustion and burrowing deep inside my own meanderings in order to not look at what is actually going on in the rest of this whole world- because the fact is, it is absolutely grotesque. we could watch a movie about it. when it’s people pretending to die. but the actual process- we can’t look at it- perhaps because we feel helpless to do anything about it.

i tell myself i can’t stomach it. i have too many hormones coursing through this mom-of-three body of mine that pictures of children’s heads on spikes in a park would just crumble me right where i sit and i would lose all ability to function. the anger and grief would overwhelm me entirely.

so i remain slightly less involved in what is happening in another country- because i can’t handle it.

what can we possibly to do make the situation any better?

is that why we can all (myself included) so publicly mourn the loss of a great comedian and not the loss of all the other lives lost these last few weeks? Because upon waking and finding a man gone, we can grieve- knowing there wasn’t anything we could have done? or is it that we don’t feel compelled to change anything about our lives because of his death? so we can grieve freely and unburdened?

we will still flood people’s blog posts on his death with hateful comments. or we will criticize someone’s twitter feed. we don’t think we need to temper one single thought we send flying out into the inter-web. we don’t have a care if that would add further burden to another’s depression or struggle. we, humanity as a whole, has fallen into a pattern of not having much of any integrity when “publishing” our thoughts for all to read.

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sometimes we don’t even care if we hurt, offend, or dare i say speak actual truth. a lot of the time we press “enter” with no accountability or second thought.

there is death. there is unjust death. there is uncalled for death. too young death. “so much life left to live,” death. murder. suicide.

when all that seems possible for an average person to do is sign petitions.

and pray.

the screaming of our guts-all-out -prayers that rip from the deepest depths of us when we allow ourselves to fully feel the enormity of the injustice and crimes against humanity being perpetrated today.

this week.

last week.

and the longing to do MORE.

yes, i feel that too.

so what if every human being alive today were to come to the realization that every other person is also HUMAN? That we are equals in that, if nothing else… which means that we, the all of us are  I M A G E.  B E A R E R S.  of.  GOD.

and, because of that, we have a responsibility.

to advocate for justice.

“Mishpat, then, is giving people what they are due, whether punishment or protection or care.

Over and over again, mishpat describes taking up the care and cause of widows, orphans, immigrants and the poor—those who have been called “the quartet of the vulnerable.”

The mishpat, or justness, of a society, according to the Bible, is evaluated by how it treats these groups. Any neglect shown to the needs of the members of this quartet is not called merely a lack of mercy or charity but a violation of justice, of mishpat. God loves and defends those with the least economic and social power, and so should we. That is what it means to “do justice.”

Primary justice, or tzadeqah, is behavior that, if it was prevalent in the world, would render rectifying justice unnecessary, because everyone would be living in right relationship to everyone else.

When these two words, tzadeqah and mishpat, are tied together, as they are over three dozen times, the English expression that best conveys the meaning is “social justice.”

We do justice when we give all human beings their due as creations of God. Doing justice includes not only the righting of wrongs but generosity and social concern, especially toward the poor and vulnerable

we are called to be reflections of Christ. not sit placidly on the sidelines witnessing the media.

and to view each life as equal.

so mourn death.

and advocate for justice.

And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[a] with your God. – Micah 6:8

What IF: we became a generation willing to suffer…

So- What IF?

what if every single person cared so much about every. other. person. in this world and those to come that they wanted to come along side the poor. the hungry. the homeless. the orphaned

 and gather everyone up into this same. standard. of. living: 

…mentally?

…physically? 

spiritually?

when it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of Heaven- and maybe that man is in reference to us? – that the standard of life we live here in first world countries is considered the wealthiest in the world-

and, yes, that does in fact make us the “rich” of the world. 

And then does it start? Those immediate defenses that spring like geysers – those mental images of that handful or group of others who have more or do more or spend more than you ever could or would or do– spring to mind?

and that makes you any. less. wealthy. ? 

And what if wealth had no actual meaning in regards to earthly endeavors and possessions but solely those that are for eternity and His glory? … And are we wealthy then?

Are we being the true last?

Are we serving the orphaned?

… the widowed?

… the sick?

… the lost

And when the preacher is standing at the pulpit on Sunday morning and your blood starts to surge through all of those depths, because just YES that is where you want to go- those unreached people groups– that your heart is so pulled for that that you end up ignoring the fact that you are where you are in this season for this time- that His reason for keeping you somewhere will be the same as His reason for sending you over oceans.

That calling to live the Gospel- waiting until His plan and timing reaches utmost perfection– and you may just board that plane with a solitary one-way ticket – the lost just as much there as they are here. 

And we are living in His timing now

And if God provides all the needs for His people, why do we not see ourselves as being a part of His body as a provision?

That He has provided us to do His work.

That His work may in fact be something that puts us right in the middle of suffering?- 

That despite the friend, the parent, or even the stranger who looks at the sacrifices and the sufferings of your life and declares “Enough!” – they are in fact not God? – That you are in fact NOT here to do their will, but rather you are here to do His will and obey His commands? 

And oh are we missing this!

For those who look at the orphan crisis, human trafficking, or even just the general third world conditions that exist today- and sit back, “broken hearted” and. do. nothing.- 

 

My son recently opened a fortune cookie. Delighting in ever crisp piece he placed between his lips- humming to himself that song of lovely contentment…. when he handed me the little rolled up white piece of paper.

Tiny printed black words, which I was expecting would read something along the lines of: 

“Fame and fortune will soon be yours.” 

“Something lost will soon be found.” 

“The sun always shines after the downpour.” 

“The star of riches is shining on you.” 

But instead read:

“No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he only had good intentions.”

After researching this fortune I discovered it to be a Margaret Thatcher quote, the second part of which is “He had money too.” But we do have wealth, in abundance, both in the Gospel and in this first world life-style of ours! … so what is our excuse for not #endingitALL –

All the abortions?

the deaths

the lies?

the poverty?

the starvation?

the sickness

the thirst

the abandments?

the slavery?

the brokenness?

the abusing?

the unreached

So how do we sit here, in our air conditioned 21st century lives, and be just plum okay with Satan having a freaking playdate with all the lives of all the lost? 

And what if we weren’t

What if we lived, actually lived, the Gospel?

What if we lived in submission to God’s will for our lives, instead of our loved ones’ wills for our lives?

What if we up and stopped trying to please others and rather focused solely on pleasing Him?

What if we actually loved the Gospel so much we were willing to suffer for it?

What if we did something to #enditALL that required more from us than just clickinglike?”