Thursday, December 29, 2011


World, see the Christ. He is long awaited and now celebrated. See his humility. All nations be moved in your hearts, be torn, rend them Lord. How great is the Love of your son. On the sweet cheeks of a baby, red with birth, the very blood pumps that would rescue my soul. That rescues yours, O Peoples. See the wrapped hands that grasp virgin mother, these same hands that would touch the eyes of the blind and Give Sight! World, see!

Two words circle my thoughts and peer at me through sermons, scripture, and books.
Human logic would say that God must be planning some painful time of suffering requiring much faith. I don’t feel this truth.
But I will share with you my musings on the two words.


this gift. The more I understand it, I don’t understand it. It seems impossible for humans to conjure up faith and then have enough of it to last and not run out. As I read scripture-I see that God strengthens us in faith (Rom 4:20) that it is a gift not of ourselves (Eph 2:8).

Faith is imperative in the abundant life. I have a friend who is in a theological battle. He wonders at God’s character. A God who created man with the weakness to sin and in foreknowledge knew man would fall. He planned redemption, but not before knowing His justifying wrath. Millions damned to Hell with a chosen few to be saved by the blood of His son.

This thought sucks. There is not enough known about the Lord to satisfy an answer. This battle causes me to look up at God and know that his ways are not my ways (Isa 55:8). With faith, I move on. But my friend cannot.

What is faith?


a blessing. I view suffering through the lens of economics. If I suffer for a season, God will reward me and reveal wisdom as to why I suffered. We say things like this all the time when our friends are going through hard times. “God has a reason…you’re learning from this…it will pass…” It’s like paying God five dollars, he owes us something for it. This begs me to look at the opposite. Perhaps God never reveals a reason, perhaps you never learn anything from it, or you never leave that suffering, will you still love God? Will I?

so we come back to faith.

I found this writing in a random file on my computer that I had written last year at 2:32 am Christmas morning as my mother snored next to me. Apparently I couldn't sleep and this came out of it. What I find so delightfully entertaining is that after a year God has brought such suffering and faith in my life. I have never cleaved so close to Him before after such heart sucking pain. I can say, through the dull pulses of pain, He is a faithful God. A sturdy place to land, when all you do is hover. He is my love, My Lord.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

to wonder

”He was poor, that he might make us rich.

He was born of a virgin that we might be born of God.

He took our flesh, that he might give us His Spirit.

He lay in the manger, that we may lie in paradise.

He came down from heaven, that he might bring us to heaven….

That the ancient of Days should be born.

that he who thunders in the heavens should cry in the cradle….

that he who rules the stars should suck the breast;

that a virgin should conceive;

that Christ should be made of a woman, and of that woman which himself made,

that the branch should bear the vine,

that the mother should be younger than the child she bare,

and the child in the womb bigger than the mother;

that the human nature should not be God, yet one with God

Christ taking flesh is a mystery we shall never fully understand till we come to heaven

If our hearts be not rocks, this love of Christ should affect us .

Behold love that passeth knowledge!”

~Thomas Watson

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Themes clasped

“Would you rather be divinely beautiful, dazzlingly clever, or angelically good?” –Anne Shirley

 Watching Anne of Green Gables: a staple event for any woman that must be repeated throughout her life. I recommend repeating frequently to keep your emotional reservoir full and see representations of every possible emotion a girl heart can feel. There is an Anne in all us women, just waiting to declare, “I’m lost in the depth of despair!”

This week I could have screamed that statement, followed by wailing it, and then melting onto the floor in gasps of sobbing. This is only minutely dramatic.

Can you identify with the feeling that God has connected so many areas of your life, each theme clasping the heal of the one before, making long the way God chooses to speak to you? It almost terrifies me.

First theme: a broken heart. For the blogging world I will say that God is the author of springtime and to awaken this before time is due is a painful reality. To quote my favorite song: “I can’t force the sun to rise or hasten summers start, neither should I rush my way into your heart.” (Love is Waiting by Brooke Fraser)

Second theme: faithfulness. I heard Dave Kraft speak back in February about choosing a fruit of the Spirit as one of your themes. Study it, see it in God’s character, and pray for it. In August, I choose faithfulness. God has shown me in a season of really seeing my sin-that He has been faithful to be my help: my salvation.

Third theme: treasure. A friend had a dream about me. There I was digging into the dirt on the coast of an island. Wiping the sweat from my forehead with my forearm, I was determined. People thought I was foolish. But I kept digging. With the promise that I would eventually find the treasure I sought. So what is my treasure?

Proverbs 2:3-5

"indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God. (the Word is my treasure)

Matthew 13:44

[ The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl ] “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

Fourth theme: waiting. God has winterized my desires, putting my hope into a season of waiting. I thought for sure that once you are aware of the season the Lord has brought you into that it is soon to end. It’s time to move to the next lesson, right? Not so, this winter season is long and it has just begun. I’m waiting, deeply seeding prayer into God.

Fifth theme: Hope in God. The beauty of a woman is her hope in God. Hope is the unwavering confident expectation that what God has promised will be coming in the future. It is not the lip-biting gaze of wishing. Hope is faith in the future.

Psalm 42:5
“Why are you down cast, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”

Psalm 119:11
Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.

Jeremiah 14:22
Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, LORD our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

1 Timothy 5:5
The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help.

Sixth theme: humility. That was the theme of this week. Not only did it begin with a Sunday sermon on "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the land," it continued throughout the week. Whence came my episode of "depths of despair" on the kitchen floor. I was told of my weaknesses in the classroom and then asked repeatedly for observations, causing me to be anxious that I’d lose my job. Partially ridiculous: but a used time to draw me close to the Lord and desperate for his help.

As I was thinking on humility-it made sense that if one was to hope in God, you’d need to be humbled outside of your ability to hope, causing you to draw in the reservoir of hope to wait on the Lord, to find Him as my treasure and to remain faithful despite my broken heart.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"A mother can always be pregnant-full of grace." -Ann Voskamp


Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Losing it

Somedays I wish I was far beyond the clouds.
like today. I lost my patience today. And I wish hadn't.

I teach 19 lovely kindergartners. Each with their special set of gifts, quirks and toothless smiles.

But today, I didn't appreciate any of that. Let me set the stage and attempt to teach myself the gospel again. The first half of this week my kindergartners have amazed me: working independently, no accidents, fewer tears, we even got rid of morning recess because they could stay on task.


They went bananas, there were tears around every corner, really annoying questions, spontaneous shouts for NO REASON, lots of helplessness about zipping up their coats, they farted every half hour, and Miss Taylor lost it.

A snapshot: I was teaching small group reading, which really wasn't going that well because everyone had something they just must share. But a child that was supposed to be working independently by finding letters in a magazine and cutting them out, came up to me. She said, "Miss Taylor, I can't find any "A"s I've looked through the whole magazine, there are none!"
....i combusted..
First, I thought in my head, "What are you dumb?" Then I felt bad for thinking that, so I tried to be holy and said, "Let's pray because Miss Taylor needs patience." BUT THEN...they fiddled around with papers, talking and didn't listen to the prayer. THEY DIDN'T LISTEN TO MISS TAYLOR PRAY!
Heavens to Betsy! (If you didn't pick up on my sarcasm, please do so now-it's perfectly ridiculous to expect that just because I'm praying all should be calm and easy).

I said something short...probably along the lines of: you should be able to find the "A"s. There are PLENTY OF A's. Go to you desk and find them.
Then I said something sarcastic. "You know, I think someone probably stole all the "A's". It's really too bad."

Then I just needed to stop saying.

During my prep, I went to go get coffee and sat outside of room (What we call Narnia). I was reading The Gingerbread Baby, because that's relaxing. I thought. Lord, I really don't have it today-yep, zero patience. The worst part is, I'm not representing you well today. These short comments. Snipping words. Unfriendly glances. What kind of Jesus is that? 

The afternoon came and went; I wish I could say that patience came after that moment with the Lord, but it really didn't.

But now I'm trying to see the grace in all this and here is what I've found:

1. I need to apologize and hope that my students will forgive me.

2. I'm so thankful that the Lord doesn't get annoyed with me. Seriously, I can pray something over and over and over again, think about it with him constantly and he listens EVERY time. (but if a kid did that to me, I'd get rather irritated and wish they'd just drop it by now).

3. In the midst of messy classroom moments, Jesus peers his head in. One of my boys today was having trouble with his coat zipper. It's broken and he can't zip up his coat and neither could I, for that matter. I tried and tried and was about to give up and pin it shut when we decided to pray. Lord, please help make this zipper work. Amen. BAM! It zipped like a pro. Then 3 hours later, trying to zip it up again, except this time the zipper was really broken and falling away from the lining, we were at it again. I prayed in my head this time, believing "hey! God did it before." BAM! It worked again and I said to the boy, "I just prayed it would work and it did! God answered my prayer!" This boy got the largest grin I've ever seen and we marveled together at how good God was to us.

4. I'm a process and full of sticky sin but I'm forgiven at the cross. And how sweet this resurrection is! I have Christ's righteousness placed upon my new cloak, I'm his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. I have the Spirit of the Living God working in me. He will not leave me or abandon me. He will raise my arms again tomorrow. Where, I will live in the dawn's new mercy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Portrait of a woman

Here I rest, in my old college town. Each corner presents itself in my memories. Turning a page in a book, looking past.

The route of my runs in the summer or 08’

The Library, my couch

The mall, the games, walks, discoveries

Dancing in the street

Our coffee shop

So familiar and layered with the dust of time, making it seem like a tradition-lost in time until the season returns again.

Back at my laptop, I’m back to the now and the winter of my heart.

Wondering, what is a beautiful woman?

A week ago, reading through 1 Peter 3:1-6, my heart leapt hold of something.

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

I’m not a wife, but I sure am a woman. Peter speaks about the ‘holy women of the past who put their hope in God.’ What a beautiful image of a woman. Her grace, her charm is her heart buried into the Lord as she hopes in Him.

I pictured my life as a tree. The tree stops growing its fruit in the winter. The sugar from the sun no longer reaches through the body of the tree. But the roots grow down deep in the winter. The biggest root of them all, the anchor root, buries in the rich soil.

This anchor root for a woman is her hope in God.

Here is her strength.

From Hope in God comes the ability to persevere in spite of suffering. She is able to trust in the state of unknown. From Hope in God comes a noble woman, a Proverbs 31 woman:

She is clothed with strength and dignity;

she can laugh at the days to come. (Verse 25).

She can laugh at the future: to be carefree, knowing the Lord is directing her steps.

What a beautiful portrait of a woman. Hope in God. Gentle and Quiet Spirit. Persevere in Suffering. Trust and Laugh. Lord, that you’d make me as her.

or possibly

This wouldn't be bad either
I'm considering