Joy is Arriving

mdaypics 045I do not expect it the way it has been coming.

After chasing it like a lone panting dog, frantic, ears pinned back, racing tired, drooling after the prize, through wood and thicket and the pursuit of it.

Bare and beat with the world and all its promises of it.

But it does arrive, and not because of me.

Sometimes in spurts, on a quiet day, a sprinkler with drops that you run under and run away from again, giggling.

Sometimes in a wash of a wave, tidal and immense, where it rips you off your feet and lands you on your stomach, sprawling and catching your breath, with your bathing suit filled with sand and you sigh with glee and gratitude.

Sometimes in a stream, steady and glistening in the sun, ripples running afresh and new and constant and bright and you glide through, smiling.

Sometimes here and there like stray drop of rain that catches you on the forehead and you look up and around from whence it came and then you stay aware looking for more….

Sometimes it hides itself in a drought

dry and empty

and you must, you must: search it out, shovel it up, bring it to light to quench you.

But it always, always arrives.

He promises you that.

When you seek Him who gives it freely.

Even when the digging is deep, He promises you-

His joy.

You are His.


These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

~John 15:11

In a Broken World

In a broken world, things are broken.leaves 015


Are broken.

We ::

:: are broken.

Oh, but friends, we are forgiven!

We are called to this. To be the light scattered and true ::

:: amidst the breaking, the shattering,

the scattering of hearts::::


(With HIM.)


(with YOU.)

This charge we have: to GLORIFY our KING.

This gift we have:

to say HIS name to another in LOVE so they may know Him::


Oh, friends, we know them:

We know us:

They lose strength when they think they have none,

They slip away quietly while they think no one is loving them,

They grip tightly only so long when they feel uncared for,

They get sick and deteriorate without support,

They let go when they feel weak,

They suffer without explanation when there is no understanding,

They become confused and muddled walking on wide roads with too many choices,

They wonder without direction outside of the truth,

They wander without guidance with nothing to lead,

They medicate the bruises with useless bandages,

They search in places incapable of helping,

They rebel in pain masked,

They spill over in excess,

They fill with things that don’t fill,

They breathe tiny breaths that don’t believe,

They miss the simplicity in favor of the too- complicated,

They portray the calm, but outside the volcano,

They yearn for something more and know not what it may be,

They sit:: slumped

just a little.

They walk:: bent

just a bit.

They speak:: joyless

just always.

They just::


Bit by bit.

In this broken, breaking world.

Heavy. With sin.

Laden. With burden.

Bound. With unforgiveness.

Kept. With hopelessness.

Praying, with you, my friends, that we shine among others with the hope that we have in Him.

Look well at my handpicked servant; I love him so much, take such delight in him. I’ve placed my Spirit on him; he’ll decree justice to the nations. But he won’t yell, won’t raise his voice; there’ll be no commotion in the streets. He won’t walk over anyone’s feelings, won’t push you into a corner. Before you know it, his justice will triumph; the mere sound of his name will signal hope, even among far-off unbelievers.
Matthew 12 MSG

Shine on.

Standing in the Rain

budpuddleDriving quietly to work, with the wipers turned on intermittently, having one of those seemingly joyless beginnings…

where I woke up and the weighty world was perched precariously on my shoulder tipping me this way and that way… heavy and cumbersome…

tired and sapping…

Like everything so slippery
Like the 3 days of this rain sliding steadily from the windshield wiping away my strength…

And those few tears that slid down my cheek driving away from my house in the gray morning,
The drops that had poured on the roof and trickled…
seeped steadily into my heart over the last few days…

Leaving my children to go to work after glorious days spent :
Not grabbing the chance to love my husband in the quiet :
Pondering the dollars and the time and the misunderstandings and the transition and the travel and the dishes and the job and the writing and the questions and the Bible and the disagreements and the laundry :

In that one moment where I am still for a few moments: alone:

and the stream swells and floods in my mind :

and, oh, the weakness : : :

And when all has the possibility of crashing down,

When you think it’s crashing in that weakness that comes in the clouds that settle over hearts on days like these…

That moment, when you reach UP, to Him… and decide to STAND.

(like that song on the radio)::::

“Stand up when it’s all crashing down,
Stand your ground
You stand through the pain
You won’t drown
And one day, what’s lost can be found
You STAND in the rain…”


And you find, on a storm-tossed day, on a winding road… with wipers ridding the tears,

in the whispered hush of your heart…

earlysept 077THAT VOICE

Precious and True

Speaking softly to YOU… As only He can when your heart is foggy and mist filled…

Stand, my child,
my daughter…



In weakness, I will rescue you, I will keep you,
I will preserve you under the shadow of My wings.

“Keep me the apple of Your eye,
Hide me in the shadow of Your wings…
My steps have held fast to Your paths…
My feet have not slipped…
Wondrously show Your steadfast love…”
from Psalm 17

May you see Him lift any clouds for you, today, my friends!
Praising Him with you for His goodness in the storms,
His healing that comes… quietly and powerfully… as you stand in the midst of it all
…and put your trust, today, in He that has the victory.

I Will Magnify

june11 086Morning rose rouged- pink and clear with a frigid sunrise today,

restfully, blessedly,

wrapped so warmly,


slapping the snooze singing joy- comes- in- the- morning hymns

waking up 38 minutes later than usual after a long day before,

and a week before that

of fevers too high

and less sleeping

and the grace of being home here with my little one

to quietly

{and not so quietly}

try to make all the tattered ends of twine meet and tie the ribbons I have left hanging into my pretty bows

~ because pretty bows are what is best, right? No matter what? Getting it all done and wrapping things up in sparkles and bows?

And I have felt tired and right- weary this two- month past,

Death came calling and breaking us open with grief spilled staining us for a good long time

Two days til Thanksgiving

raising our hands in blessed gratefulness

for all we could see through the tears of this life

and we chose joy in the pain,

because He calls us to that,

and we must choose His joy

when our flesh tells us to break,

disjointed and suffering and everything upside down and overturned,

and I have not forgotten it even yet,

when sadness slips slowly its gripping fingers around my heart and I remember him,

and I remember him

with smiling eyes and over-told stupid jokes that made

me shake my head and go-jelly with belly-holding laughing

when he picked me up and took me to lunch when life was confusing

and I was rigid

and sometimes

we just sat and watched cartoons while he told me silly stories

and made me better

And I wish I kept his voicemails.

And when he told me, the last time,

You are doing the right thing. This choice you guys made.You stay with those babies. There’s nothing like it. You don’t get it back. I’m so happy for you.

And I sobbed on my deck looking at the stars wondering about the suffering to my Lord,



and yet I asked Him,

Because He tells me I can,

and I thought it could be the last time he talked on and on and on to me about

all the good things in his life,

yes, the good.

and I listened to him, laughing

{did he know I was weeping with my smiling?}

And so it was.

The last time.

And I wish I kept his voicemails.


And November turns bleakly to December and the


People-pleasing-not-Jesus-pleasing days



And I end up

World- weary

Tying my pretty bows all in a row, tattered at the very tips of living,

and I remember my thanks.

And I seek out the thankfulness breathing right through me,

Because I was made for Him

To please Him,

To glorify Him,

To thank Him,

even when life heaves hard,


How can I ignore it? The thanks that I must have for Him?

Give to Him?

He gave me life.

He gives me life.

Over and over and over again.

The grace that pours down on every moment I am here for Jesus-talking and Jesus-sharing,

And Jesus-shining,

When I think of Travis,

Suffering of ten years of cancer and chemo and shingles and experimental drugs and hospitals and quarantine

and three kids who lit up his twinkling eyes, despite it all,

And how I hear people


tied up and tied down and frozen up and bound tight by big- little things in the stuff of life

This world hands out irritations and distractions like no one’s downright business.

Throwing me off the narrow way

He with timber on His shoulders tread for me


Thank You.

breathing out thank You.

Little colds,

and not getting paid on time,

Gifts never received at Christmas,

and the Fiscal Cliff,

Rude waitresses,

and the traffic too thick,

Did you hear what she said?

and I-can’t-wait-for-summer-I-hate-this-snow

on and on and on.

And I think of Travis,

Labored breath, labored living

And searching, still, for Him, in the tiny things that make a life really lived:

To remember the taste of oreos,

To recall a walk on a Florida beach,

To feel his baby’s skin born into his cancer,

To be thankful he woke up,

forgiving the pain,

to walk one more day down the steps to kiss Laurie,

I will heave out those thanks when I am weary.

I will whisper it out weak in my weakness.

I pray I will ~

Thankfulness is what carries me through this shattered world and leads me straight to Him,

He who gives me strength when I rise up on a dawning, freezing,






When I cannot seem to tie another pretty bow all by myself and am tempted to let the edges lay torn and gray and ripped hanging,

When He shines perfectly, gloriously in my weakness.

He calls me to thankfulness anyway.


I will choose thankfulness.

God help me, I will choose thankfulness in all things.

I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.

Psalm 69:30