This Day

How do you do it?

This is what everyone asks.

How do you hold Little One close knowing that his days in your arms are

so fleeting, so uncertain?

How do you scramble to make it work at a moment’s notice?

How do you shuttle him to doctor’s appointments, nursing him back to health so that he can leave again?

Friends, this is how I do it.

I go out each day and gather enough for that day (Exodus 16:4).

I make plans for this day.

I figure out childcare, transportation, food for this day.

I hold and rock and snuggle and sing on this day.

And by the provision of a gracious Father, I do it again tomorrow.

My eyes have only two focuses.

Eternity.  My promised land where I believe that all will be set right.

All will be well.

And this day.

I cannot think about the in-between.

It wrecks me.  Just the thought of going there makes it a little hard to breathe.

And so, again, I hand the in-between back to the One who isn’t wrecked by it.

And I mix up formula in this day.

I make salt dough ornaments in this day.

I pray and love and hold and bless in this day.

Sometimes it feels like a little, and sometimes it feels like a lot, but it always works out to be just as much as I need (Exodus 16:18).

In this day, I gather enough.

And by the provision of a gracious Father, I will do it again tomorrow.

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Nothing Wasted

anointing

What a waste!

They scoff as her tears mingle with the expensive perfume.

Her prized possession poured out here, for Him.

Her best expression of love.

For them, it was not enough.

We could have sold that perfume and given the money to the poor.

I imagine Jesus shooting them a withering glare (I don’t know if that’s how he rolled or not, but I imagine that it is…)

Gently taking her chin in his hands, he meets her downcast eyes.

No, no.  Nothing wasted.

She has done a beautiful thing to me.

She did what she could.  (Mark 14:1-9)

No one has questioned my motives in fostering Little One.

Although, to be honest, sometimes I hear it behind comments of

Oh, I could never do that!  I’d get too attached.

(Oh my goodness people do you not realize THAT IS THE POINT).

Mostly, though, it is just my own fear voices that taunt me.

What a waste!

They scoff.

All that time, all that love, all that life.

Poured out here with no guarantees.

I give them a withering glare (because that’s most definitely how I roll).

No, no, I hear the words clearly with my heart.

Nothing wasted.

Nothing wasted.

Friends, perhaps you have scoffers too.

From outside.  Or from inside.

What a waste!

Pouring your love, your heart, your life into something (or someone) with no guarantee.

Giving your best for what the world writes off as a hopeless case.

Doing what you can.

Friends, those voices are wrong.

You are doing a beautiful thing.

As I think about you, I picture your faces and I know that this is true.

You are doing a beautiful thing.

Even if no one else sees but Him.

The voices are wrong.

Nothing is wasted.

 

On Cynicism and Belief

You’re so jaded, she whispers as I make another snide comment from the next chair.

I know she’s right.

It’s a coping mechanism, you know.

We cynics are wounded idealists.

Secretly we love a happily ever after, but we’ve lived long enough to know that it ain’t happening.

At least not any time soon.

Maybe that’s one of the reasons that I find this Story so compelling.

Promise.  Hope.  A Redeemer who will set it all right.

Yes, my heart whispers.  Yes, please.  Let it be true.

It’s just, you know, the mess.

I get hung up on the mess every time.

I’ve grown up in church.

I’ve spent pretty much my whole life loving Jesus in the best way that I know how.

And still I look around and see so, so much mess.

We cynics don’t trust easily.

But the word today is believe (Romans 3:22).

Believe.

In Greek (y’all know I love my Greek) it means entrust.

Put your trust here.

Not in the mess.  Not even in the story.

But in its Author.

And so, it’s here (again) that I hang my hope.

It’s here that I dare to expose my wounded idealist’s heart.

Because the mess is real.

But the story is true.

And the Author is trustworthy.

On Overcoming

My mind is scattered tonight.

I am distracted by one thousand things.

I am not feeling warm and fuzzy.  Not even a little.

But it is undeniable.

There is power here.

The power of His story intersecting with our own.

The power of overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.

Kneeling to wash feet, we celebrate the humility and servanthood of One who chose to stoop.

In this moment, in this sacred space, my heart hears too the story of a sister once entangled, now gloriously, passionately free.

Free to love without restraint.

Free to speak words of encouragement, words of life to me.

We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.

Reaching for the bread, the cup, we celebrate the sacrifice of One who showed us what love means.

In this moment, in this sacred space, my heart hears too the story of a dear one snatched from the brink of death.  One whose victory was hard-fought, whose miracle held many sleepless nights, many desperate calls to the Father.

One who stands today.

Speaking truth.  Speaking power.

We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.

Laughing over sandwiches and cookies, dancing in the aisles, we celebrate the joy that is to come.

In this moment, in this sacred space, my heart hears too the story of a little one once a case, a statistic, now firmly rooted.  In family.  In community.

In steadfast, permanent, unconditional love.

Her story matters.

All of these stories matter.

There is power here, friends.

Power that my scattered mind and un-fuzzy heart cannot deny.

Here in these moments, these sacred spaces where we allow His story to intersect with our own.

Power to live well.  To love well.

To overcome.