Saturday, March 28, 2015

Time Marches On

Her future. 
Before her. 

So exciting. 
Student accepted day. 
Trying to decide. 
Which school is the best. 
All this. 
When it's been 20 months. 

20 months since he last drew a breath. 

20 months since our world seemed right. 

And now she, 

my daughter, on the edge of the beginning. 

The emotions swirl. 
Torment, yet excitement. 
I can not forsake one because my heart longs for the other. 
The speed increases. 
My mind can not keep up. 
My heart torn. 
Pulled between. 
The anguish of grief; the hope of what is to come. 

Isn't that the gospel? 
Wasn't it hope, that held him there?
The pain that brought new life. 
The cross. 
A symbol meant for shame. 
Which brought redemption and life. 
New beginnings. 
First steps. 
And one day. 
One glorious day. . .

Philippians 2:10
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
 in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

Life continues. 
I am powerless to stop it. 
But I can rest in the plan God has ordained. 
He sees the big picture. 
He understands the pain. 
He is right here in the midst of all that is happening. 
I reach for Him. 
This is all too much for me to bear. 
My heart hurts. 
But I want to enjoy every moment with my daughter. 
So, we take a picture. 

We explore the campus. 
I look at those beautiful green eyes. 
I don't know what God has in store for her. 
I can not plan her life or even go with her. 
As a mom who has lost deeply this step of letting go is huge. 
But with God's help, I will. 
I will remain grateful for every moment I have had with all of our children. 
I will give thanks for a daughter and her husband and a beautiful grand child. 

I will thank God for 17 wonderful, blessed years. 

I will daily hand over the reigns to the King of Kings. 
I will  continue to walk in gratitude. 

There is still more for us to do. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Learning How To Celebrate

Today we celebrate. 
Though that term looks different these days
We are going to celebrate. 
Last year the celebration hard. 
The effects of chemo and radiation wreaking havoc.
The joy thief taking all. 
So, today we are going to celebrate my farmer. 
We will celebrate his last year in this decade. 
We will step into gratitude as we look back over the past year. 
A year with no chemo or radiation. 
Strength gained each day. 
The joy thief held at bay. 

James 1:2
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,
 whenever you face trials of many kinds,

I am not able to consider these trials we have been faced with, "pure joy". . .yet.
I do know that there is a purpose and reason. 
I do know that my farmer is here. 

That this day is a gift to celebrate. 

I don't know what that will look like. 
We've all been fighting off colds. 
I've been traveling to be with my brothers
 and helping my dad.
The tyranny of the urgent staking claim. 

So, today, we will pause. 

In the middle of the busyness, we will breathe deep. 
We will celebrate life. 
I won't try to force my agenda. 
I will work with the flow of the day. 
Choosing to see the beauty in each moment, 
Thanking God for my farmer. 

The way he still makes my heart skip a beat. 

The way I marvel at his ability to work no matter what. 

His selfless approach to life. 

He really needs nothing. 
His capacity to love. 

It is never about him. 

He makes do with what he has. 
He sees potential where others see none. 
A forever optimist. 
His altar; all of creation. 

His knees bowed in submission to the Creator of the Universe. 
A man of principle. 
A desire to give out of all he has. 

This day we honor this man. 

My farmer. 

Happy Birthday!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Whom Shall I Fear?

I cut his hair. 
This man I call dad. 

My hero.
Now ordered and known intimately by the memory thief. 
He cracks a few jokes. 
We visit. 
It's time to go. 
I can feel the lump. 
The elevator;  a mind of it's own today. 
My brother and I stand and wait. 

It's the leaving. 

I head to my car. 
I call my farmer. 
I can barely talk. 
I list off the "not right's" and the pain of the past 27 months. 
All the losses. 
So many. 
It clouds my evening. 

It is not until the morning, when I wake to a new day;
when I walk to the end of the drive way;

and see the freshly fallen snow. 

Snow that covers the ground as a blanket.
The air heavy with silence. 

It is only then that I am reminded:

Deuteronomy 31:8
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

Even this part of the journey,
is passing through the Father's hands. 

He goes before us, he goes behind us. . . and he goes with us

This was Gary's prayer at my brother Trevor's wedding. 
A prayer I still remember so well. 

And here on this snowy morning. 

I rest in the knowledge that we are not alone. 

Even in this. 

God is here. 

I look around me. 
There are so many changes taking place. 
27 months have changed my world forever. 

But I will not be discouraged. 
I will not be dismayed. 

What about you? 

Can you take courage today? 
Are you able to step into joy? 

I'd love to hear your story. 

We all need each other. 

Whom Shall I Fear?
Chris Tomlin

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

When You're Behind Before the Day Begins (A re-post)

Between feeling behind and working hard to choose joy, 
I was reminded of this post from last year. 
I was filling a bag a day. 
Everything we do matters. 
Each activity is holy in and of itself. 
May your day rest in this glory of knowing your work is holy. 

March 18, 2014
When You're Behind Before the Day Begins

The dishwasher hums because I forgot to start it last night. 
The washing machine whirls because for some reason it stopped full of water. 
Sometimes our water pressure isn't strong enough and it will stop mid cycle. 
So I start the dishwasher, get the washing machine going. 
And I already feel behind. 
There is laundry and a bag to fill.
There is quiet to find and bills to pay; children to teach, a farmer to love. 
We all have the pull of the urgent. 
The feeling of being behind. 
We are defeated before we even start.
Steven Curtis Chapman's song comes to mind. 
Do everything you do, to the glory of the One who made you. 

I Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you 
do, do it all for the glory of God.

He's a genius for writing that song. He gets it.
Intentional living before the throne of God. 
Everything you do today is Holy. Every act. Every choice. 
It is all for His glory. 

StopBreathe. Let it all go. 
Give it all to the One for whom we live. 
Every e-mail you send, paper you write,
 diaper you change, business deal you seal. . . it's all for Him. 
I am choosing joy. Every piece of laundry I fold I will give Him glory. 

I will rejoice. 

Psalm 118:24
This is the day the LORD has made. 
We will rejoice and be glad in it

Look for ways to steal back the joy that has slipped away. Stand. On the solid ground. 
The ground that even when it shakes violently, you are able to remain standing. 
I will choose joy.

I will face the enemy with the Ancient Word

This day will be about searching for the joy where it is often not found. 
Seeking for holy in the work that feels the least holy. 
Yielding to the flow of the day; but not bowing to the pressure. 
As my dad used to say, 

Everything we do today will be for the Glory of the One who made us. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Umm. . .Our Plans Are Not Going According to What We Thought. . . . Now What?

She's sad. 
Things are not working out how we expected. 

And it's hard. 

What do you do when you've prayed; 
done the right things. 

And the answer is no? 

What do you do when you think this is a plan. 
And the door. . . closes. 


Time is of the essence. 

Yet, what is time in Christ? 

We cry. 
I try to pray. 
I have no words. 
Because when your child hurts, often there is no room for words. 
I know this is more in the lessons of trust. 
I tell my first born girl this. 
I dig deep. 
God has a plan. 
God knows the future. 
We don't. 
So we can do only what we have been taught to do. 

God is faithful. 

I Corinthians 1:0
God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord

God will never leave us nor forsake us. 
He actually goes before us. 

Deuteronomy 21:38
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

He is working all things for good. 

Romans 8:29
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

We are reminded there are still many lessons to learn on this journey. 
While my heart retracts from more hard lessons. 
I know it is for the good. 

We are being molded and shaped. 

Our purpose is for His glory. 
Our steps are to bring honor to His name and further His kingdom. 
We are light in a hurting world. 
Even in the struggle there is hope. 

I don't know what God has planned for this daughter of mine. 

I know I love her fiercely and God loves her more. 
I know that I can't step into fear. 
I know that God holds all this in the palm of his hand. 

So, I need to place this young lady in the palm of God's hand. 

The same God who holds my son. 

This is not easy. 

When plans do not go according to what you expect. 


There is a plan. 

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you. . .. 

God is in the plan. 

In time, he will reveal his plan. 

We just need to trust. 

Are you able to trust? 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dear Elijah

I must confess, in the mornings when I wake. . . you're the first thing I think about.

Sometimes even before I give the day over to Lord; 

you're the first thing on my mind. 

Years of cultivating a habit of first thoughts to the Lord. . .now changed. 

Mostly the thoughts are combined.

Stepping into Praise before my feet hit the floor. 


Wrapped in a package with a bow that threatens to choke out my faith. 

A journey each day that takes effort. 

Much effort. 

A struggle. 

How do I praise the Lord when my heart hurts?
How do I live this life without you-Yet still needing to bring glory and honor to God's name? 

More importantly how do I give praise to the One that allowed you to die. 
Since before you were born. . . He knew this path. 
The pain I would live through. 
How do I give praise to the One who holds all in the palm of His hand? 
How do I yield my spirit each moment to be in the fold of the Almighty? 
The pain intense. 

The memories ever present. 
The need; to serve. 
To live under the grace of the Almighty. 

It is not mine to understand. 

God's ways are far beyond anything I can ever imagine.

Isaiah 55:8-9
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Each breath I take, needs to be in humble submission. 
Casting all my cares on Him. 

I Peter 5:7
God's ways are far beyond anything I can ever imagine.

His plan is always better. 
His plan is good. 

Philippians 4:19
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

My God will meet all my needs. 
He will meet them better than I know. 
And His plan, I can not see. 

My present sufferings are nothing compared with the Glory that awaits us in heaven. 

So Elijah, I am trying hard to live this life. 
I desire for God's name to be known. 
To live well. 
I miss you dearly and long to see you. 

All my love. 


I pray that you, the reader, know the joy of a life in Christ. 
That you know the peace of eternal life. 

We are all going to die. 
Some soon. 
Some not for a long time. 
But when I do, I will have a sweet reunion with my Savior. . . 
and my red headed, very missed boy. 

Romans 8:18
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

I Said, "Yes" To Writing On The Walls

I said it sort of jokingly. 
I didn't think anything of it. 
We could write our gratitude on the wall.
We are going to paint in here someday. 
(It hasn't been painted since 1989. . ."ain't nobody got time for that")
The walls are filthy and stained with hand prints. 
Drawings from the kids and those infamous height marks. 
A legacy of Elijah on the wall. 
A tangible record of his exsistance here. 
A reminder. 

So, we clean up from physical nourishment 
and the Ancient Word. 
My farmer hesitates before he leaves. 
It is not until he is gone that I see what he has done. 

He took that marker and he penned his thoughts. 
The start of a day of thankfulness. 
The other kids joined in. 
That older farm girl had to have a title and have it make sense. 
We hope family and friends will join in with us. 
We don't know how to walk this road. 
Everything we know is changed;
and continues to change. 

Somehow this writing on the wall feels right. 

Naming that for which we are thankful. 
Maybe it's because we're writing on a wall!
 Or maybe it's causing us to step into gratitude. 
Where ever you are today, may you find something to be thankful for. 

Psalm 107:1
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Will Spring Ever Come?

My farmer and the crew work outside everyday. 

Sure they can head into the milk house to get warm. 
Sometimes they work in a tractor that has a cab.
Not sure if there is heat in there anymore. 
But mainly they are out doors. 

So, I hesitate as I choose my words; 
Will Spring ever come? 

The days are getting longer. 
Light in the early evenings. 
Yet, the cold lingers. 
I am not one to be cold. 
My internal system has always run on the warm side. 
But this year. . .
This year, I can not get warm. 
And it makes me dread the day. 

I can hear myself complaining. 
How easy it is to let the words flow. 

Listing the things that are not right. 
That could be better. 
If only.  . . 
Wallowing in the struggle in the path set before me. 

This is not how I want to live. 
I want the words that flow to be life giving. 

1 John 5:13
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God 
so that you may know that you have eternal life.

When your thoughts are consumed by 
personal needs and the focus inward. 
There is little room for the Savior to work. 
So, I pray this scripture. 

2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against 
the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

We need to surrender our thoughts and actions. 
Let them be made obedient to Christ. 
Seek words to encourage. . . not condemn. 
Live life so that a difference is made, each day. 

Spring will come when it is ready. 
And it will come. 

Until then my spirit needs to be open to the lessons 
that need to be learned in the Winter. 
The Season where much is happening that can not be seen. 
So in this restless place, I will put my trust in that which I can not see. 
I will look for words that breathe life and encourage. 
I will set my eyes on the eternal and not the temporal. 

It is the Lessons in Lent. 
The waiting. 
The hoping; for more. 

Anticipation that God is not done yet. 
And He's not. 
The best is yet to come. 

Lamentations 3:21-24
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”