She was sitting at the table, bound:::

by a science lesson left undone and a sunny day-outside with school work-inside and some grumbling.

Grumbling had been on our breakfast plate in the morning, with a side of complaint and a drink of a little bit tired.

We had talked about it, as we have been for days, we talked about grumbling and prayerfulness and cheerfulness and singing songs that keep our hearts singing steadfast, even when it’s hard.

And we know, some days are just plain raw and hard.

And then we all got to our morning work.

:::: … and the people grumbled… ::: Exodus 15


I had fifteen things left undone, not to mention my grumbling heart.

And she said it quick and it flew straight as the arrow piercing my undone flesh ::: boring through with naked truth.

“You aren’t even acting like my momma right now. My momma is nice to me even when she’s frustrated with me. She talks with love to me even when she doesn’t like what I’m doing.”


She was right. She was sincere. She was undone in little girl tears and I was undone in crankiness and conviction.


{We had sat around the breakfast bagels in the morning, rainbow roses blooming a promise of hope in the center, we read Psalm 8, her favorite, and prayed about our plan for the day, knowing and praying the Lord may have a different plan, but that was ours, anyway.


His plan was different, and better,

and harder [and more beautiful}.

But His plans are the ones we had prayed for when we gathered at the morning table, right?


So, I teetered on the slippery edge of pride and wanting to spark and spit some flaming words :::

:::: I-am-your-mother-get-your-work-done-I’ve-told-you-500-times-and-this-day-stinks-and-I-had-this-all-planned-out-with-school-and-cleaning-and-spic-and-span-dishes-before-your-father-gets-home-and-we-are-doing-crafts-today-and-your-work-isn’t-done-and-I-am-tired-of-disobedience-and-I-have-a-list-a-mile-long-and-you-don’t-wanna-go-to-school-til-July-do-you? ::::

::: that whole statement rolling around in my head and starting its pompous stroll down my tongue :::

as I watched her shrink with wet rivulets like a tiny rill spilling on her sweet face and I watched her pull back her little-girl heart into a deeper place I couldn’t :::

that this momma wouldn’t:::

be able to reach:::

if He didn’t help me get this heart- thing right.

And I heard her words.

and I remembered His:::

::: you will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart… ::: Jeremiah 29

And I looked straight at her.

And I stopped.

I stopped everything I was doing.

The only thing still moving was my heart, praying to turn this thing around and beat like His.


every.thing.stopped.                       ::::: by His grace.

because He was the only One who could tidy this undone mess up.

And I walked over to her small hands and held them and took her blue eyes to mine and breathed out slow:::


And I prayed His name over my girl and over this undone house and our undone day and my undone heart:::

knowing deep, He has said::: It’s already done.

On the cross.

And so I reminded her. He forgave us our sins. On the cross, right? He came here, walking with us on Earth, to seek us out and to rescue our hearts, remember? He has already done it all….

And so I asked for her forgiveness {and for His} and we smiled and we cuddled and I felt our hearts beat closer to Him…

So we talked about these things wrapped up in a blanket and His love on the couch with her held close to my beating heart::: I told her, oh, these hearts of ours:

they beat because of Him, so they must beat for Him.

Rhythmic and pounding. Steady and resounding. That our lives, they must fill and must beat His love and His music,

because His heartbeat is the only steady one.

The Constant One. And His heart, oh, my little one, His heart?

It beats for us.

{::: amazing grace.}

I told her:

That He paid the price for us already. That He forgave us by giving His Son for us::: for our broken hearts: wavering, wobbly, wanting.

::::::::::::::::::::::: His blood shed, so our hearts could pump pure.

So that He could turn our desperately unsteady hearts to His.

So our heartbeat could, by His mercy-gift, begin to beat out His life-giving rhythm.

Beat out His words.

Beat out His work.

Beat out His grace.

Steady. Constant. Sure. Connected.


So we could beat out His heart for us.  A heart pulsing forth His love.

And, today? Well, today’s been one of those out-of-tune days, my beautiful girl. But::: we can stop marching to our own tempo and start walking in agreement with His heart for us. We can, and He will show us how. What do you say?

Let’s fix this broken moment.

Because you know what?

He has already mended it all… even our hearts!

For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. ::: 2 Corinthians 4

In Him, my sweet little girl, there’s not a thing:


Remember, my little love, despite this world, despite your momma’s mistakes, despite your wonderings and wanderings…

One thing is always true, always fixed

His heart.

It’s fixed on you.

all things new



Ice came coating, preserving and fast and unrelenting to wintry new beginnings.

Sapping light and energy. 

Stuck in December over here in January.

Stiff and creaking slow into


Not giving and not yielding.

This ice fell fierce and release seems asleep.

A static state of deep freeze on slumbering branches and unique flakes falling beautiful suspended:: glacier cinched.

When beneath, there is breathing::: still.

Life sap still rallying::: still glaze-covered but

still quietly percolating

heartwood warm

when new births seem daunting for favoring the age- old,

and the sparkle of the sun sweet- dripping sequins on fresh, spotless snowblankets traded for the tight- gripping familiar

appreciating the beauty of the storm,

and softening to a hope- flowing burgeoning spring.

Be joyful in hope…      ::: Romans 12:12







His nearness; my good.

He was flying with open arms jetting around the island.

The kitchen island, zoom, zooming.

On little legs spinning fast and teasing his sister and chasing the dog tail and singing songs made up and laughing on full throttle.


He fell.


A pinky toe caught a glaring corner and the giggles turned to sobs unexpected.

I picked him up with Oh, baby, you are ok and wiped away the stubbing scratch.

Setting him down as fast as I had scooped him.

No! He wailed again. I’m not ready he wept.

Not ready? What do you mean, not ready?

I need you, Mama, hold me.

I looked at him puzzled for just a moment. He was fine. His toe was scraped, but my dragon-slaying, bulldozer-driving little one doesn’t let this stuff get him down.

Checking again, I examined his foot. Did something else happen? Did he stub so hard it’s broken?

No. All good.

Mama, hold me.

Ok, honey, I say, privileged, and forgetting the chores and remembering who I am for him.089

And so I cuddled and nestled and sang and prayed and pulled up close a cozy blanket and stroked his curls amiss and he found his peace and found my love on our limp and stammering day slipping by quickly.

{and I want to grab tight the space in time that this sunlight dances and stands still just this moment for us.}

He fluttered lashes at me from the crook of my arm and I marveled at how he has crept close to this heart of mine and how he finds refuge in my mothering and how life- things can trip us up and fell us and scrape hard and rough and how we stand up and brush off and move on and how sometimes we


Can’t pick up so fast.

And how we say:

Lord, I’m just weary today and I just stumble and falter and I need more of You.

Can I stay a bit longer? Can I snuggle in Your truth and move close to Your sheltering… just a bit more? Just a bit longer? Can I just stop quietly and take this breath forgiveness- full with You? Will You draw me close and keep me upright and love me in mercy and move me in peace and warm me in grace?

And He says My child, you’re mine, My beloved, My own and He bundles us warm quilt-familiar close and we have this refuge- real and this Father-forever and this love-tent covering and this hideaway- harboring and this shield- safekeeping… and He says


… and we can heal from our blundering and rest from our floundering and find Him, there, peace-filled protecting… where He always is…

waiting to gather us up again and again and again.

…He will care for His flock, gathering the lambs in His arms, hugging them as He carries them… leading… to good pasture… Isaiah 40 MSG

Finding where I’m Founded.

… that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. +Matthew 7:24

Everything can move.

all over the place, if that’s the way it should be.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: if that’s what He wants.

This part over here and this thing finally over with…

while this thing gets started and this little bit that was over here…

can be moved right over there.

Every last piece of it all…


Jumble around.

Upside down and back again.

Back and forth.

Something new.

Something old that is new again.

Move around.

All of the stuff.

the jobs.

the people.

the things.

the opinions.

the weights.

the day and the night.

the glad and the sorrow.

the open and the closed.

the here now, the gone tomorrow.

One step up.

One step down.

This thing before that thing

that happened to be first before.

and now it is not.

Something  in place and cozy for a long time.

Uprooted and planted somewhere else.

Where it grows stronger now.

Or put where it was always supposed to be and

….find it just took awhile to move there.

It can all shift around.

A little risk, a little trust, all bundled up and tried out tied up…

packaged sweetly in belief.


::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::aye, there’s the rub

                                 I believe! Help my unbelief! +Mark 9:24.

It all can move, walk around and breathe somewhere else.

Where it was supposed to be anyway

but maybe a little out of place…

….when I was busy building my own…

…my own…


When I could have been standing on the Rock just letting Him align all my little pebbles in my row.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::His row.

Don’t you breathe easier when things are in their rightful place?

Me too.

Oh, but the thing that cannot move.

That WILL NOT move.


The thing that is sure and life-filled and breathing and vibrant and close and kept-solid and never breaks in the wind and does not dry and wither and sticks- immoveable and boasts- constant and fills up and pours out and never depletes.

That sure thing.



Built sure.

Built up sure.

On a foundation.

On the Foundation.

                                But God’s firm foundation stands… +2 Timothy 2:19a

somewhere founded.

established and true.

And true…


The One true.

Everything can shift and bend and find-new and lose-old and move and change and journey away…

and run back…


to a living, breathing-sure thing that fills up and cannot help but pour out…

…this life…


on the Rock.

The unchangeable.

The immoveable.

The mighty.

The steady.

Let it all change.

Let it reform and temper and sway and evolve and transform and diverge and diversify…

All of it.

All of it can change.

all of it.

It’s all for the good.


On the Rock.

of Ages.

….cleft for me,

let me hide myself in Thee….

Psalm 93.

Nothing lasts here.

Nothing is eternal.                                      His eternal power…   +Romans 1:20

Not the trees or the sea or the dirt or the clouds or the flowers or the grass.

They wither and evaporate.

Just like that. A breath.

Nothing is forever here.                 The Lord will reign forever… +Exodus 15:18

Not the cars or the boats or the bikes or the houses or the iPads or the shoes.

They rust and disintegrate.

Just like that. A blink.

Nothing continues here.                  because He continues forever… +Hebrews 7:24

Not the money or the land or the country or the government or the goods or the agreements.

They fade and fall.

Just like that. A wisp.

Nothing is endless here.             God’s works are so great… endless enjoyment… Psalm 111

Not the rivers or your starry sky or the horizon or the depth of the ocean or the height of the mountain reaching into the clouds.

They all cease somewhere.                 …Love of the Lord never ceases… +Lamentations 3:22

Just like that. A twinkle.

Nothing is abiding.                    …His deep and abiding presence in us… +1 John 3

Not the coming or the going or the up or the down or the over or the under or the through or the around or the near or the far.

They all stop.

Just like that. A moment.

Nothing is enduring here.                 …for He is the living God, enduring forever… +Daniel 6:26

Not the love or the passion or the loyalty or the faithfulness or the belief or the commitment or the mercy or the compassion.

They all finish.

Just like that. A puff.

Only One.

Only One lasts forever and ever.

One steadfast, burning, loyal, all-powerful, unrelenting, unchanging, unmovable, ageless, patient, always, indefinite, boundless, undefined, untethered, tireless, filled up and pouring-forth, majestic, evermore, loving, everlasting, committed, unstopping, awe-some, fixed, lasting, unfailing, compassionate, immutable, you-can’t-find-a-word-for-it, unalterable, mighty, passion-filled, forever, east to west, creating, merciful, beginning and end, solid, time-less, unfading, perpetual, unshakable, glory-filled, no-match, grace-giving, uncompromising, true, established, faithful, irreplaceable thing will always::::


The Lord Reigns.

The Lord Reigns.

O Lord, forevermore.

Foreigners like us.

Over the last two days, I have read Ruth three times. It is a short book, so I could fit it in here and there. It jumped off the pages to me, over and over and over again. I am praying about what the Lord wants me to learn from reading about Ruth again…


A foreigner called to God.

{Aren’t we all foreigners somehow?}

She lived in a foreign land.

A fertile land.

A land fertile with idols. A land of high places. A land of the dead. A land of hopelessness.

A bit like a famine

of the heart.

of nourishment.

of love.

of truth.

of direction.

A woman of beauty who really:::

knew none.

::::But then the most beautiful thing had already happened.

God had already called her to Himself.

He knew her.

And she was beauty-


She was already His.

A strong, capable and righteous woman predestined to His divine end.

His divine::::::beginning.

“For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” +Ruth 1

When He spoke those words into her heart and she lovingly whispered them to her mother in law —

departing her life of grief and unknowing.

She laid down her gods and blindly, radically and emphatically followed the one, true God.

{Don’t we pray for that? To go radically without blinking– after Him? To leave—

to cleave to Him? Fully like that? To say to Him, where You go I will go? Where You lodge, I will lodge?}

A stranger coming home…

Home to a once-distant oh-so-beautiful-land when He showers His mercy.


Made foreign by our sin and made a Savior’s dwelling place by His grace.

“I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not one of your servants.” +Ruth 2

Severe mercy like that.

How we are set apart to Him and He will summon and allow our trials for our gain, to pluck us from the foreign lands.

::::and bring us home.


No fear in Him.

“I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” +Ruth 3


Confident. Bold.

Risk-taker for love.

Righteous, whole, beaming and wide, unending and brilliant Love.


Trusting His sovereignty over all things.

And going for it.


A foreigner REDEEMED!

Made beautiful in Him and full of His promise. Grafted into His lineage. Just like you.

My portion of Hope.

KingsLanding 034

:::::::::”The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” +Lamentations 3:24

He purchased Hope for us.

So we could breathe hope in like oxygen to a parched lung to quench our soul’s desire::::

When He breathed His last human breath and took everything of our beat-down, broken-bleeding, barren mess with Him:::

He took it when the curtain ripped top- bottom and the Earth shook and it was finished.

He took it all:::

:::that little doubt and unbelief that seeps and creeps in the crevices of our hearts?

He answered that with His hope.

::: that little jump of your heart that giggles in expectation?


:;; that place in your heart reserved for all that is to be and no matter what happens to you, you can still feel it right there, where it has always, always resided?


He answered it all with that tiny one-syllable word::

Breathed out in an exhale of lightening::


because He had hope for His beloved. On that splintering cross.


::::::And He has great hope for you.

He breathed hope into the life of His Son so that He on Earth could gather us in and speak this life-giving gift called hope into our searching, longing, life-wanting, desolate hearts.

::::::::::::: And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even He who arises to  rule the Gentiles; in Him will the Gentiles hope.” +Romans 15:12

Hearts like ours need hope like His.

Oh, to hope!

Doesn’t that bind us all together and keep us hemmed in and moving and open starry-eyed dreams and just drip of things unseen?

Sometimes we fail to even name it::: Hope::: but that is what it is.

Even when I’ve left hope un-named and un-noticed when things bear up rocky and un-anchored:

When my brother passes and I dare to smile and remember at the mention of his name,

When I pray over my little ones and ask the Lord to draw them close to Him and I rest in that,

When we argue for a full two hours and we look at one another in exhaustion and forgive,

When the baby is gone and I have not carried but barely three months, but we grieve and start anew,

When I see her six pound eleven ounce bundle of pink and love and made by him and me and I fall down in darkness and I can not crawl my way off my pillow and I look up at my love when he says to me::: this will pass::: and I feel relief in his three little words,

When the last of the crickets sing in the Summertime and I look longingly at the lake and notice the flutter of leaves already and soak in the late August day…


We are made for ::: Living!

We are made for ::: Hoping!


we can hope;

we can hope all things,

in Him.

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… +1 Peter 1:3-4

Sewing His love

KingsLanding 003Today, Nathanael learned about Dorcas, or Tabitha, from Acts 9, in his Sunday School class. He told me her story. “She made coats.” “She died.” “People prayed.” “She was alive.” I was so intrigued, I had to read more.

She sewed coats.

and gave them all away.

And sewed together broken lives with her giving.

She sewed coats.

And sewed together weeping hearts with her love.

She sewed coats.

And sewed His lovingkindness into each stitch.

She gave the coats away.

She gave her love away. Like He did.

She gave her time away. Like He did.

She gave her best away. Like He did.

Coated in righteousness and graciousness and Godliness and gentleness

She labored.

for the least of these.

{Truly, I say unto you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me… +matthew 25}

She labored for Him.

Because He is all she saw

in her weaving of this life

in her tailoring of good works

She knew that showing His grace to the least

meant sharing her most

the seaming and knitting of a tattered humanity

With His given-to-her gifts

for His glory…

These things of His that she gave away…

is what made her live.

She was full of good works and acts of charity. 37 In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, “Please come to us without delay.” 39 So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them. 40 But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. 41 And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42 And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.

+Acts 9, ESV (bible gateway.com)

His: despite myself.

208He saves me.

Because that is why He came and took on skin and stable and ridicule and testing and exhaustion and mockery and a cross laid timber on his beaten, world-heaving, sin-bearing back.

To save me.

Not because of anything I am.

Not because of anything I do.

Not because of anything I say.

Because He is Who He says He is.

He IS Who He SAYS He is.

And that is enough.

Because He says it is.

He says He walked this broken Earth and tread on the serpent and gathered His sheep and died on that hill and shed the shroud in that tomb and showed Himself again:::

Just like He promised.

To save me.

To save me everyday from who I am.

A sinner.

A sinner who sins.

He saves me every God-given, God-gifted, God-grace-filled-to-the-brim day of my life.

He rescues me.

He delivers me.

He frees me.

He unshackles me.

He redeems me.

He looses me.

He liberates me.

He ransoms me.

He saves me.

:::: to Himself.

Because He loves me and He forgives me.

He forgives me.

Fall on my knees, lay down at His feet, bow my head to Him, close my eyes, whisper His name, sing softly His mercy poured over me, on my knees, rise up and praise Him for His love with psalms spoken aloud, hands lifted high with thanksgiving, head looking to the heavens, standing on His strength, clothed in righteousness and breathing in His one-way gifted grace to me…

Because of Who He is,

He has told me who I am::::

I am His.

I am His.

:::: humbled.

On the days that are awash with frustration and fear and discontent and isolation and uncertainty and everything that is not of Him… Oh, what can I be sure of?

That I am His.

And He is mine.

My Savior.

The Mighty One Who Saves.


And then again. and again. and again!


Down in my heart.

Down in my heart.

To stay.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. +Psalm 51:12

Hope for the Road

KingsLanding 061After Jesus rose again on Easter day, he met two men walking on the road to Emmaus. He did not reveal Himself immediately to them. Instead, He walked along with them as they discussed the crucifixion and the account of the women who seemed to have found His empty tomb. He took this opportunity to remind them of the scriptures, to remind them of what was promised to them, to remind them of Who He is.

I love this story in Luke 24. It reminds me that even when He is not “visible” to us, He is right there. He promises us that. That is a beautiful thing.

They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?”  +Luke 24:32 ESV

Third day.

Stone rolled away but they did not see it themselves

Jesus in their midst but they did not see it themselves

Walking the dusted road

weary in heart?

weary in travel?

weary in talk?

dusted on sandals:

and now

with dusty hope:::

like hope was left on a shelf somewhere: hope: a thing worn and tired:

like a Book, perhaps: tattered and known:

dog-eared and ditched:


out of reach and retired there:

on a shelf.



:::: we had…


They walk.

They talk::

::::::::::::: was a mighty Prophet in word and deed… they said…

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: we had hoped that He was the One… they said…

And on they walked.

Discussing Jesus. With Jesus.

With Jesus.

No, really.


And He opened the scriptures to them and He admonished them and He conversed with them and He loved them and He traveled with them…

and He met them right there where they were.

And He met them right there where they were.

On a road to somewhere.

On a journey to where they were going::: Glory!

He walked with them.

Just like we get to do.

Even when we have left our hope up high, left- weak somewhere

on a shelf.

And they felt Him there, you know.

While they traveled…

“They urged Him strongly”…. +Luke 24 esv

“Stay with us”… they said….

And they broke the bread together and they listened together and they talked together and they walked together and they journeyed together and they returned together…

….together with Jesus.

and their eyes grew wide and they saw Him.

For Who He is…





With you.

With us.

When hope is depleted and our road is worn and dusty and we have forgotten the hope that is in Him…

He is walking with us.

Even when we do not see Him.

He was born for us.

He died to save us.

He left the tomb to give us life!

“… Jesus Himself drew near and went with them….” +Luke 24:15b esv

Dust off your hope.

He has risen indeed!