where vision and passion mix

i dream big. it’s true.

some may say i dream too big.

that i catch a vision for something and before you know it i’ve made it something entirely too unattainable.

yes, some may say that…

call me crazy but i’m under the impression that where God gives passion, He provides a path, and will enable the impossible.

 

i have a list of “unattainable”s.

i have a vision of being a part of the ending of human trafficking. the abolition of slavery. everywhere.

for it to be done. finished. over.

… of witnessing the end of abortion. on a global scale.

and i know that there will come a day where evil and sin will be no more. the last breath of Satan will be taken and God, His truth, His love, His mercy, His justice will be all that exists.

oh sweet GLORY. knowing that brings peace.

but it doesn’t bring complacency. because His Kingdom is now, here, and we are the church.

so we are called to action.

we are called to “Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.” (Micah6:8)

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and God loves to make the unattainable attainable. by His power. working all things together for our good and His glory.

so why not dream big?

as a body we have dreamt of serving the impoverished. we are making clean water attainable, providing shoes for children’s feet, coming along side of people groups and helping them learn how to care for their children, how to make businesses that thrive and provide. we have built orphanages and adopted children. reunited children with their parents. brought them to forever homes. we are setting captives free and giving clothes and food to the homeless. providing for the widows. all. through. HIM.

so why not dream big?

why not see the places that have now been given access to clean water and dream about bringing them a system in which they can grow gardens for their communities in towers of water? towers that use 10% of water the produce would normally use to grow… saving water, providing food.

okay so maybe that’s a big leap to make right now…

but what if these same towers could be used to cripple the mega markets? because we have problems in this country too. children are facing health issues like never before and the majority of those issues can be linked back directly with what they are putting into their bodies. food off the shelves of stores that shouldn’t even be there.

foods that are illegal in other countries because of their ingredients, our children are pumping into their bodies on a regular basis.

and even when you find a product that is “good,” it turns out to be produced by a morally and ethically corrupt company.

i recently looked up my laundry detergent. ALL “free and clear” and what i found was this: the product itself was not harmful. it was actually a “10” on the scale of unsafe to completely safe to use. but then there were the moral and ethical scales of the company that it was produced by. those numbers were much lower. much lower.

it’s purchasing consciously. purchasing with a purpose. caring enough to not support a morally and ethically corrupt company that you are okay with paying a couple dollars more for laundry detergent.

so what if we decide to purchase purposefully?

 

jaymartin quote

what i learned about these “tower gardens” though is that they don’t cost more. you actually save money the first year (when you’re paying off the garden) and then you continue to save hundreds of dollars each subsequent year…

so you get to better your family’s health and the health of others’ (because let’s be honest, those babies grow a ton)- all while supporting a company whose goal is to better the health of this world.

so here’s my vision.

to start small.

to start in my own home.

to grow outwards…

to partner with schools. because how awesome would it be for pizza sauce with red40 to stop being considered a vegetable- replacing it with actual vegetables that the children have spent their time nurturing and growing?? 

and then to take a step and incorporate a way where you could “buy one, gift one” and help others around the globe live full, nurtured lives.

i think it’s a step worth taking. and an impact this world desperately needs.

access to whole foods and good nutrition. outside your door. and across the globe.

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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.

do-one-thing-every-day

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.”

when you decide to build an ark…

you’re going to feel like the mouse who was given the cookie.

because the calling is warming and lovely and good.

and then you become bored with it.

or you eat it.

either way, you begin to compile a list.

and to expect that what’s next on your list is the thing you need to get next.

immediately.

now.

and one item leads to another and to another…

and we never stop to ask what our next step should be…

 

i am building an ark.

well, i am called to build an ark.

 

i have a hammer.

nails.

wood.

 

but i don’t know what the end result is.

i do not have every step laid out for me in an organized manner.

and yes, even writing that out is difficult for me. admitting that i do not and will not have control.

not even close.

i’m not sure what i have.

and there’s a voice in the back of my head telling me that all of this little stuff is utterly pointless.

that these little things are like throwing a couple pebbles into the pond. when what you really want is to roll that boulder off the cliff and watch the waters erupt.

 

“Mover” and “Shaker.”

it’d sure be nice to have those labels.

currently i’m living under the monikers “Wife,” “Mom-of-Three,” “In-Over-Her-Head,” “Pretty-Sure-She-Doesn’t-Know-What-She’s-Doing”… and, well, you get the picture…

i forget the one title, the one identifier, that actually and ultimately matters: “Co-Heir-with-Christ”

see, He’s the one asking me to build this ark. For Him.

patiently. persistently. daily. i am called to pick up my cross and follow Him. every day, for that day, to take the little steps i am called to take out of obedience to the One who holds the Bigger Picture in the palm of His hand.

to relinquish the living of my life for my own self, surrendering it to Him.

and taking those nails, those boards, that hammer, and building with my life something greater.

 

you need the little steps to accomplish the big things.

you can’t run a marathon with one gigantic leap. sadly. otherwise i would totally have run a few of those by now.

But there’s still good news, because you don’t need to know how to build the entire ark.

just know how to take the little steps.

 

because you can’t build an ark in a day.

God’s best for you unfolds throughout your life. as you make the little, seemingly inconsequential choices, to obey Him.

yes, at the end of my days i may look back on it and never see some enormous, world changing magnitude of erupted waters.

but there will be the ripples from those pebbles.

touching more ripples from others’ pebbles.

and all of those ripples will have an effect that will be made perfect.

 

 

don’t try to live your life by another’s advice

i recently had a conversation with someone very close to me. a conversation that felt more like condemnation and judgement and rules to follow more than anything else. 

it rubbed wrong. and hot.

there was a burning in my throat that begged me to unleash. it felt like i was going to start screaming through the phone until the sheer volume of my voice could possibly peel back their ignorance. 

and it wasn’t because it was convicting. it was because, i truly believe, it was wrong. 

it was about what a wife’s role is.

a role which is changing so quickly and which almost everyone has a slightly differing opinion about. 

so, yes, in the midst of juggling children and chores, laundry and food, and just wanting to enjoy some small part of the day i get someone telling me i’m doing it… all. wrong. 

ouch.

i get told that despite my 4.5 year old, soon to be 3 year old, and 15 month old, my house should be completely cleaned up at the end of the day.

that my children should be completely clean as well, ready for bed, AND happy at the end of the day.

that dinner should be ready and everyone excited for when daddy gets home.

i was very glad i wasn’t facetiming this person. 

because i was red.

the fires inside of me were surging out of my skin and begging me to unleash my tongue on this crazy out-of-their-mind person who who cannot fully relate to what i have gone through, am going through, or most likely ever will go through in my life…

so fold the laundry.

clean the floors.

dust.

mop.

vacuum.

there should be no toys out.

no crying children.

just happy, angelic, stolen-from-the-family-phone-plan commercial family… ready and smiling as they are awaiting the return of the bread-winner.

so… if this is you… if you’re being told this. if you feel like you have to accomplish this. if you are telling others this… here’s something for you: 

there will be stages in your life where “chores” are easily accomplished.

there will be days where the children are not in tears when daddy comes home.

there will be days where you are on top of every.single.thing. and you feel like a rockstar!! (and well you should!!)

but these days will not be your regular days. 

because you live in a house full of tiny humansor even one tiny human… or the person you are judging has a tiny human in their charge… or you are just living LIFE and life is messy, and crazy, and unpredictable, and never the same for everyone… 

so most days will have tantrums. and it’s okay to cry too. 

will have questions. it’s okay to not know the answer. 

will have you on the edge of losing your temper. keep breathing.

will have you clinging to the cross until you swear there are blisters in the skin. keep clinging.

will have someone telling you that you are doing something wrong. keep doing what you know is right.

and sometimes, bite your tongue and let them continue in the ignorant belief that it is possible to have the family from the movies great the husband at the door as he comes home from work to a glistening house and a wife with perfect hair, clothes, and children.

if you’re married, then he’s your partner. they’re his kids too and you are supposed to help bear each other’s burdens. not put on some falsehood of what your day has been like.

if you can do more at the end of the day than just keeping the children alive…

and separating them when they are trying to kill each other…

and changing their diapers…

and feeding them…

and being the nap monitor…

and the juice distributor…

if you find time to fold a couple shirts and throw a load in the wash (with or without moving it to the dryer)

if you can find time to unload and reload and unload the dishwasher again…

or sweep the floors…

or just brush the crumbs with your toes so the floors don’t look quite so dirty…

if you manage to get the kids dinner made before the end of the day…

and possibly all kids naked and in the beginnings of bedtime routine…

then girl, you just did something that was AMAZING … and quite possible not even what an everyday mom is capable of doing!! but don’t feel like it’s a requirement.

or like your worth as a mother or a wife is found solely in what you can check off of a chore list by the end of the day… 

be real people

your worth as a mother and a wife are found in the character of the children you are raising…

and witnessing the fruit of your labor sometimes takes a while…

most likely anything that you have done today that is truly, honestly, worth anything…

you probably won’t even see…

but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there…

focus on raising your children the way you want them to go.

turn your gaze to your Father in Heaven and live all-guts-out-on-fire for Him.

anything else you get done along the way is not something you should gauge your worth by.

so please don’t. 

 

waking up… to you

that half asleep, “is there someone crying or is there some animal foraging in our driveway?” thought which only proceeds to draw the conclusion that there IS in fact a child crying. and the heart sinks and the body groans. and what in the all of this world is anyone doing awake right now?

and the hubby goes to check what exactly is the cause of this at 5:30 in the morning.

his report?

our oldest, our four year old, our wild and crazy and energy, the one who shares a room with his sisteryes… him– he has turned on the. bedroom. lights.

the one year old’s room? Yep, it is right next to this one with all crazy and crying and lights-to-bright-for-pre-dawn-of-day exploding out of it. yes, he’s up too. i mean, how could he not be?

when your day starts like that? 

you may find yourself wanting it to end as.soon.as.possible. 

well, sooner probably. 

can’t we just pull down the moon like a block-out shade?

put the kids to bed?

just try again tomorrow?

can we just skip time?

how about just pushing that little reset button? and this time we remember to turn off the light by the pull chain, making it impossible for our rambunctious to turn on the lightbulbs? Can’t we just do that?

Please?!

i know that button exists, by the way.

i just haven’t found it yet.

and then after hours of children with too-dark-circles under eyes, and a lunch which in short does not “go well,” at. all., why not load up the three children and head to the post office? i mean what could possibly happen there? 

you know, besides a child running around with one end of the waiting-line-rope unhooked from one of the anchor poles, chasing after her brother screaming “look a hook!” and something that sounded like maniacal laughter coming out of her after that sentence as she stretches in an attempt to loop that hook onto her brother.

meanwhile, the four-year-old (remember him?) yeah, he’s crashing into the greeting cards and ripping them out faster than seems humanly possible.

i hear him saying something about finding Spider-man and wanting to keep him.

and then? his sister joins him. and, after they’ve mutilated that to their disturbed satisfaction, they take to running from their mother (aka myself), who is chasing after them with a 26 pound “baby” strapped to her chest. bless my ergo-baby carrier. life line. god send. it’s not just a baby carrier y’all. it’s the only way to survive! (- there’s a reason why strapping a child to its mother is a pattern across the globe)

i know the way to make them stop. it’s to make the face. you know the one? Yep, the one that comes with the voice. the one that makes everything ugly. and let’s just be honest, it’ll only work for a couple minutes-  and quite frankly i just wanted to stay as calm as possible.

i may end up having to buy 15 “anniversary” cards and another 10 “best wishes,” but i will not lose my temper. i won’t. i don’t know how to handle this. i look them in the eyes and tell them to calm down. pull them to my legs. pick up cards as best as i can with a mega child tied to the front of me. and then?

i turn back to head into line.

there’s an adorable older woman in front of me. and bless her, she has the children wait with her while i grab envelopes. and i try to make sense of what is the difference between “priority” mail and “priority express”- yeah almost didn’t catch the +$10 price tag on that one! 

mail

my daughter pipes up in line. my son just finished telling the lady his name is “Tucker,” and Maddi gazes up at her and asks, “Who’s your name?” 

the lady replies, “Joy.”

i only half listen as Maddi replies, “Ooooh that’s a GOOD name!” her hands to her cheeks as she tries to fully express just how much she likes the name.

within two minutes my kids are trying to “swing” on the waiting-line-rope and the baby is squirming every which way to try to watch me and them and everyone else while trying to not drop his pacifier. i grabbed the envelopes, paid for stamps, and got the “h” out of there.

“Mrs. Weasley’s “howler” would come in handy right about now.”

that’s what i am telling myself.

i doubt i’m the first. (if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, then you probably don’t understand the reference, so you should now go read the books, or at least watch the movies 😉 )

i could see me using her exact wording, “if you put another TOE out of line…” yep, that’s how i felt. but i don’t have the red hair and i don’t think i wear motherhood quite like she does. a woman you want to sit in the kitchen and just listen to, while at the same time knowing she is a force to be reckoned with.

(she may just be the epitome of my motherhood role-model.)

unfortunately, i cannot send screaming letters that explode into balls of fire after they’re done shrieking my reprimands to my children. it would be nice though.

The phrase “I’ll try again tomorrow,” morphs a bit to “Am I really going to try this again tomorrow?”

There must be an easier way.

There was something that stuck with me for the rest of the day though. You’ve probably already guessed it.

“Joy.”

is there a more beautiful name?

she didn’t give anything more than that, just the word- which at the time I found a little bit like God was smiling at me through the chaos, and a quiet voice in the back of my head telling me i can choose joy. here, in this moment. this crazy. this wrecking of government property. i can choose to find joy. to name the grace gift. to name it all.

and in the car with the kids going crazy and me crying on the phone. yeah, i can still name grace. speak truth over myself and my children.

as i put lavender and cedar wood oil combo on the bottoms of feet and put the mayhem to sleep- praying for sleep- and thanking for grace. and joy.

 

 

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

essentially tackling health part 1

so this is about essential oils. and health. and the fact that i started to have a sore throat yesterday. i honestly thought i was just going hoarse and nothing to be concerned about…
and then oh hoh hoh. did i wake up to p.a.i.n. this morning! like oh my gosh my lymph-nodes are swollen, head is congested, throat on raw fire, i am going to die: pain.

enter essential oils.

first, Lemon.
around ears and on lymph-nodes. sigh. and oh my gosh it was working. instant depressurization in head. pain level everywhere going down.
and excitement as i pick up the next bottle.

On-Guard.
two-three drops on bottoms of feet applied neat. (this is a hot oil, so dilution is recommended for sensitive skin with carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil or olive oil) but yes, the article i read gave warnings but that person had applied it neat (without carrier oil) and hadn’t had any side-effects.
soooo… i did it too. oil on bottoms of feet, socks on to try to keep oil from going all over the floors.
relief continued to flood my body as i headed down to the diffuser to put in 3 drops of On Guard oil.

i repeated everything with my congested and coughing four-year-old. diluting the On Guard on the feet and also applying diluted Breathe to his chest.

On-Guard-Ingredients2

and ohhhhh glory is all i have to say about that.

throat is still a little sore and i probably need to gargle with Lemon/On-Guard combo- but right now i am curled up in bedroom sanctuary chair and reveling in my victory over these sickly symptoms.

will be back with more on these little beauties later, but just wanted y’all to know what’s going on in this world of oils and our attempts at healthier living! 😉

 

 

a daddy’s day

from father’s day to father’s day- and everything that has passed from then to now.

see he became “Daddy” when i became real… and you never understand what it means to not have something real until you’re losing it.

when “cancer,” “masses,” “chemo,” “radiation,” and “tired” – worn to and through those bones of dust tired– become the family vernacular… when anytime before this time seems a distant dream… 

yes, you find yourself with face pressed close to floor

and the only words are wept to the Father who knows.

The One who Comforts fully.

and it’s a drawing of self to Him, of clenching tight to His robes, and of realizing that- though it is dark- and the light seems to never be coming-

this suffering.

this aching.

this just may be holy ground. 

so we bend down low to undo dirt encrusted sandals

and we open our hardened palms to receiving – when all we really want to do is clench white knuckled tight to these things of this life that are good … and ache us raw to think of losing – to open the hands and maybe to be able to see this, the hard eucharisteo.

this life of mine began with my Heavenly Father’s plan who gave me to this Daddy of mine.

He gave me to the man who loves to sail the untamable oceans- because He knew how important it would be for me, to have a Daddy to teach me to love the untamable times of this life. 

He gave me to the man who cares more for his Heavenly Father’s opinions than those of any others.

to the man who wakes early to steep his soul long in his Father’s Word- how life-altering that can be for a child to witness in her daddy’s life. 

He gave me to the man who loves and serves deeply and diligently.

the man who is slow to anger, and the most patient i have ever known. – because, yes, God knew i needed a man like that to be my daddy – one that would love me and suffer with me – because patience is suffering, and it takes truly patient people to always truly love and like their child. 

a man who would walk through the all of this life with me as all as he could… all the while teaching me that the One I needed more than anyone or anything else was Christ, and that when he would fall short, Christ never would.

a daddy to point his child back to her Father, knowing his imperfections enough to not take on the trials of this world without fully leaning into the One who has overcome the world. 

one who blesses me and believes in me.

and maybe he isn’t the world’s perfection of “Daddy,” but he was created to be the perfect Dad for me, and I was created to be his.

that, to me, is enough.

so, “Happy Daddy Day” to a truly wonderful man

– i have been extra ordinarily blessed to have you as mine.

 

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provision in the everyday life

the rains came in the morning.

that downpour of freshness, quenching the earth, and bringing rest to the soul. Because the soul was in need of the watering. those deserts needed to be drained so the cup could fill to overflowing.

“funder! Funder mommy, funder!! Funder SCARE me!!” 

and when the storm turns violent and the pulse quickens in the veins, the fear rises, and the child clings tight to those she trusts most. snuggling deep in this lap made just for her little perfectness- all to watch a monkey be exceptionally curious.

and the fear subsides.

and she nestles deep into me.

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in that state of complete and perfect peace.

the faith of a child… that a mother can protect from thunderstorms- the belief that as long as this hug is tight enough, the truly scary things of this world cannot get close enough to do any harm. 

and what if we held to that relationship with our Father? to clench Him when the fear is at our necks like a rabid dog or creeping quietly and steadily across the floors to just up and drink us completely dry of all Faith?

and maybe it isn’t a terrifying thing when the husband comes in on Sunday morning saying he feels miserably sick- maybe to people without 3 kids aged four, two and a half, and almost one- but to this momma, with teething baby, and crazed toddlers… it may as well be a death sentence.

and the relief? it came in the form of some little inconsequential bottles.

bottles full of these natural, “essential,” oils. and the provision that they had come a day before? yeah, that fact has not gone unnoticed. to the momma who wants to “detox” the house- who is trying not to buy over the counter drugs if she can help it- to be able to take care of her husband with products that help-with-no-fear-attached?

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God gave us this earth, and made our bodies so that basic needs would be provided for- that we can trust Him to take care of even the smallest things (like excruciating sore throats, and stiffening-headed-to-sickness-overload muscles).  it just makes me so happy to know that there are ways we can take care of our bodies- to prevent disease, or to help combat illnesses- ways that our Father has made possible through His creation.

gaaaaalory!

It’s so complex, and yet so intricately simplistic- this natural way of living the life God has given to us. He really has provided for our needs!

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? -Matthew 6:25-27

do we trust in a faithfulness that we cannot fully comprehend?

to be able to see His goodness, His constance, His truth- in the midst of any and all uncertainties? 

To find that peace that is complete in Him…

to trust His purposed and provisioned plans

and to rest in His perfectly-tightened embrace

when we are gifted the waters we have been begging for are we able to receive them?

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?”