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29 April 2015


Abide with me; falls the eventide; 
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide. 
When other helpers, fail and comforts flee, 
Help of the helpless, abide with me.

- "Abide with Me," by Henry Lyte and Justin Smith

27 April 2015


94-feels-like-107 degrees calls for a snow cone. Maybe my summer goal will be to try a new snow cone stand every week...

25 April 2015


At some point during three of my four pregnancies, we moved. And by moved, I'm not talking "to a new house," or "down the street," or "across town." No, it was more the case of "from the Atlantic to the Pacific," or "halfway across the Pacific Ocean," or "from the Northeast to the Pacific Northwest." BIG moves, strange places, brand new community.

Yet, in Every Single Place, a community of women gathered with me to celebrate new life. I can barely find words to describe well how much that meant to me- the church ladies who barely knew me and mine, throwing a party for us. They gifted us with much needed supplies, but they also gifted me with friendship and practical help and the advice that a mom far from her own mom didn't have close at hand.

And so, I love a Baby Shower. We ladies, we need each other! (and sometimes, just maybe, we need cake...) We need the friendship of ladies who have walked farther down this road than we have. We need their stories and their "this is just a season" wisdom. We need our Running-The-Race-Together mom peers, who know the latest and greatest of babyhood paraphernalia, who know the right struggles of long days and short nights and chores which never ever seem complete. We need our single friends, who are aunts to our kids, who love generously, who scoop up our little ones and give us themselves. We need our littlest sisters, the girls who delight in new babies and tiny clothes and no one watching them at the food table. We need sitting together and laughing together and taking time to know each other and taking time just to be.

Oh, I know, I've met those who are in the "this isn't her first pregnancy- no need for another shower" crowd. But not me. Yes- celebrate the miracle of a first pregnancy and celebrate the wonder of the 10th- together. What better to celebrate than a new baby, and who better to celebrate with than the sisterhood of community?
(thanks for today, friends. I'm not the one being showered, but I was blessed nonetheless.)


I thought about the day and what to write.

Would it be about the delight of young learners reciting their ABC's and playing a simple harmonica tune and telling about their studies of the world or even their favorite toy, or the beauty of young ladies "singing" in sign language?

Or maybe the words to try to express the deep peace of abiding in "be still" for even just a short portion of the day.

Or the experience of crossing the international bridge on a warm and windy Friday afternoon, of the women and children and disabled and perfectly-abled trying to hawk everything under the sun while the cars wait and move at a crawl.

Or how the Mexican vendor yelled at me for not moving along at the pace he thought correct UNTIL he found out that I have the SENTRI pass... and then how he cheerfully exclaimed, "I will help you!" in English and held the sticks down so that I could pass.

Or perhaps sharing some of the sweet comfort and rest that a night at home sitting around the table with those that know you best brings.

Or how the flash and crash and violent bursts of a quickly moving thunderstorm remind you of the very awesome power of our Creator God, and that even so, I am safe with Him.

Rock of Ages, when the day seems long
From this labor and this heartache, I have come
The skies will wear out, but you remain the same
Rock of Ages, I praise your name.
- "Rock of Ages (When The Day Seems Long)," words by Sandra McCracken, music by Kevin Twit.


Cole slaw, anyone?


Do not rob the poor, because he is poor,
    or crush the afflicted at the gate,
for the Lord will plead their cause
    and rob of life those who rob them.
Proverbs 22:22-23 (ESV)

Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
    he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
    who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
    he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
    his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
    until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
    his righteousness endures forever;
    his horn is exalted in honor.
Psalm 112:4-9 (ESV)

Lord Jesus, because the gospel is true, we pray with confidence. "The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land. Yes, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror." (Ps. 10:16-18 NIV)
- from "April 22, A Prayer about Holy Rage for Justice," in Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith

The themes running through today's morning readings, unplanned and yet so very coordinated, left me looking at everything through different lenses today...

22 April 2015


They started with the ribbons and colorful papers and sparkles and glitter back in the summertime. (there may have been a few callouses born of this project...) Finally, today, it all came together. Thankful for this lady, who brings vivid living color to our lives, who loves generously, who trusts and nurtures and encourages these girls in a manner that speaks volumes. We love you, Miss Peggy!


Five of seven have assented to the cultural norm. Perhaps my turn will come soon...

20 April 2015


The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
    which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

Psalm 19:1-6 (ESV)


Hang-head Bluebell,
Bending like Moses’ sister over Moses,
Full of a secret that thou dar’st not tell!
- George MacDonald


"I allow myself to imagine us in the palm of His hand. I imagine his tenderness as He numbered those hairs, I imagine His hand cupping my face as a Daddy cups the face of His daughter, and I imagine Him looking into these women’s eyes and smiling, delighted in His daughters. I close my eyes and in my mind I hear the voice of my husband as he sits on our bed and strums his guitar, “for mercy for comfort we wait on the Lord,” He sings.

Today I feel like we are just waiting. Today, hope is something we fight for."

16 April 2015


The home we owned in Omaha was constructed in 1924. When our family moved in to the house in 2004, we were surprised to learn that in those 80 years, only 3 other families had lived in the house before us. We loved that house, and we loved our neighborhood. We even knew of one lady down the street, Miss Alice, who was born and lived in the same house her entire life!

One year in Omaha around Christmas time, a kind lady we did not know knocked on our front door. When we opened the door, she rather apologized, but explained that she had grown up in the house, the daughter of the very first owners. She was visiting town for Christmas and wondered if she could look around. She was able to tell us about some of the changes that had been made over the years, and tell us what the neighborhood had been like when she grew up. It was a sweet visit that gave us a rare glimpse of the history of our home.

I run past the house in the photo frequently. Nearly always I wonder, "what stories would those walls tell?" And it always reminds me, no, this place is not our home. (Hebrews 13:14)


I scream;
You scream;
We all scream 
for ice cream.
- Howard Johnson, 1927

Welcome back, Blue Bell! We missed you!

14 April 2015


As for man, his days are like grass;
    he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
    and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
    and his righteousness to children's children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
    and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
    and his kingdom rules over all.

- Psalm 103:15-19 (ESV)

13 April 2015


and oh the grace and blessing of an ordinary Sunday, beginning to end.


“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” 
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

10 April 2015


Quote of the night by visiting 12 year old while watching three teen girls ready for Prom-
"This is like a reality show!"

They sure did look pretty in the end.
(and a gentleman to accompany them, besides!)


And just when I was ready to declare the day picture-less, on comes "What Does the Fox Say?"...
Love my girls!

09 April 2015


"Mary did not yet know the “why” of what was happening, but she knew this: she needed to find Jesus.
She sought Him, and He spoke her name.
He saw her, He knew her.
She called for Him and He called back to her.
I long to seek Jesus that way. I want to look for Him with all I am, even when circumstances make the search feel futile. Like Mary, I don’t want to give up, I don’t want to give in, I don’t want to walk away shrugging. And when my heart is broken and I can’t see past my tears? I want to seek Him all the more.
I want to call out to the One who saw me and saved me at my worst, and hear Him call back to me."

from "Whom are You Seeking?" by Amanda Bible Williams in SheReadsTruth

08 April 2015


I confess, mostly to myself but certainly in repentance, that I am too often of little faith. I spent the afternoon with prayer as breath, wrestling with the contradiction of realizing how very insufficient are my abilities to fix much of anything and yet ever confident that my God always proves Himself absolutely trustworthy. Why do I doubt?

Two hours later and all goes well and indeed, we are exceedingly abundantly blessed. I get to smile and rejoice and eat cake with these sweet ladies who surprised their teacher with a baby shower!

Grace, indeed.

07 April 2015


"And, can I tell you, that I often forget? In the messiness and mundane moments of life, I miss the miracle. Some days redemption does not feel like rescue. Like the Israelites, I am easily tempted to go back to the slavery of sin, doubting the promises of God. Unbelief mixes with pride and I believe I am a better author of my own story and can find my own path. When disappointments come, I am slow to trust and quick to complain. My forgetfulness is the source of my hopelessness.
I am no better than the Israelites.
But, I have been given a better redemption. So I want a deeper joy. This Easter I want to see the spring awaken not just in the Dogwoods as they bloom, but in the far corners of my heart. I want to behold the miracle in a new way. I want to feast, remember, and most of all rejoice:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9)"

05 April 2015


“He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less.”

- C.S. Lewis

There are days of wonder, and I'm thankful that this Easter is among those. 
Waking early and reading in the dim but inspired by the Light.
Prayer and the ladies and "it is joy" and "ours the cross, the grave, the skies. Allelujah!"
Chocolate nest cupcakes and Winter Texan hugs and church family that is family indeed.
Sitting in ease and really good food and blue skies and crazy badminton moves.
Prayer and songs and donuts and coffee and hoses spraying and very happy kids.
Math woes and chemistry woes and a patient dad and a patient sister and around the table laughs and texting laugh out loud.
The joys of today and the promise of tomorrow.

(photo credit to Jane- thanks for the rare opportunity to be in the photo of the day)


It happens at least once a month- a cheerful companion joins me for my morning run in and around and through the 'hood. Now, of course, even more frequently I am chased by much less cheerful canines, and that happened earlier on the route this day also. But this guy, he trotted along with me for almost half a mile, joyful to be out on his rounds even on a rainy spring morning.

Resurrection Sunday!

See, what a morning, gloriously bright,
With the dawning of hope in Jerusalem;
Folded the grave-clothes, tomb filled with light,
As the angels announce, "Christ is risen!"
See God's salvation plan,
Wrought in love, borne in pain, paid in sacrifice,
Fulfilled in Christ, the Man,
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!

See Mary weeping, "Where is He laid?"
As in sorrow she turns from the empty tomb;
Hears a voice speaking, calling her name;
It's the Master, the Lord raised to life again!
The voice that spans the years,
Speaking life, stirring hope, bringing peace to us,
Will sound till He appears,
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!

One with the Father, Ancient of Days,
Through the Spirit who clothes faith with certainty.
Honor and blessing, glory and praise
To the King crowned with pow'r and authority!
And we are raised with Him,
Death is dead, love has won, Christ has conquered;
And we shall reign with Him,
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!

"See, What a Morning" (Resurrection Hymn)
Words and Music by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

04 April 2015


Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)


I love the car wash until I get to the very end, when you have to coast through the wind tunnel and you wonder "is it really finished?" and "should I put it in gear yet?" and "hey- isn't that car behind me getting awfully close...?"

02 April 2015


“The sense that in this universe we are treated as strangers, the longing to be acknowledged, to meet with some response, to bridge some chasm that yawns between us and reality, is part of our inconsolable secret. And surely, from this point of view, the promise of glory, in the sense described, becomes highly relevant to our deep desire. For glory means good report with God, acceptance by God, response, acknowledgment, and welcome into the heart of things. The door on which we have been knocking all our lives will open at last.”
- C.S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory

01 April 2015


So teach us to number our days 
that we may get a heart of wisdom. 
Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants! 
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, 
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. 
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, 
and for as many years as we have seen evil. 
Let your work be shown to your servants, 
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, 
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!

Psalm 90:12-17 (ESV)


On a March Monday, missions looks like:
Early morning coffee and reading and prayer.
Serving eggs and beans and oatmeal and bacon.
Cheering on baseball at the neighborhood field.
Talking with neighborhood kids and moms.
Listening to Bible stories during a mini Vacation Bible School.
Coloring pages with the cutest of little ones.
Chatting with garbage horse cart drivers and families as their carts are being repaired.
Lunch served in a field.
Holding bright canvas waiting to be attached as a canopy on the cart.
Moving ladders and scaffolding, and moving them again. And again.
Painting steel bars in preparation for the roof for shade to be installed.
"Have you been drinking your water?"
Cleaning drips. And spills.
Cleaning dirty hands and nails and cuticles.
Knock-knock jokes.
Sitting with a toronja Joya.
Dreaming out loud about what the future might hold.
Crossing back across and home.
The best tired that comes from a full day's work.