Sunday, November 3, 2013

Who do you say I am?

It's a simple matter of cloaking yourself with denial.

I don't need to learn about other faiths.
Because if you did, your faith might prove weak enough to unravel.
I don't need to witness to unbelievers, that's the Holy Spirit's job.
Because to witness about Christ, you have to actually follow Him.
I don't need to train my children to know God's word; won't they just naturally become Christians?
Then when they turn to foreign gods and pagan practices, you can say "The church failed us."
I don't need to study the Word, know how to defend it and present it. That's the pastor's job.
Because study takes work, and you'd rather be on Facebook.
I can just shy away from controversial topics, because offending someone isn't loving.
Because speaking the truth in love means less to you than being liked.
I'm comfortable in my faith, I don't need to challenge myself to research why I believe it.
Because you just might find stumbling blocks and seek the truth instead of comfort.

The burden of history and culture has weighed on me lately. Meanwhile, layers of dust coat the passion for God's word and I pretend I am working for His kingdom. Isn't raising godly children a noble ministry, after all? Yet I can't give the power and peace of the knowledge of Christ to my children if I'm desperate for it myself. I can't empty myself without being filled. We carry the good news, the Gospel, the dead-raising truth of sin redeemed and chains loosened. We carry it in shiny little seeker-friendly packages, speaking with the articulate and repetitive language of Christianese, we try to squeeze our way into the pantheon of foreign gods as just another option to a hungry and seeking world. We have no idea the cost of Christ's sacrifice, or the blood dripping from the martyrs fingers, and we go about our days and weeks and months weak and ineffective, lacking wisdom in how to confront and engage this godless age.

Why DO I believe?
 What proof do I have?
 How do I know for sure?

If we value our salvation at all, we just can't shrink away from these questions and from seeking their answers in confidence. They throw heavy, weighty topics at us.
"What about the Crusades?"
"What about the mass genocide of Native Americans under the guise of Manifest Destiny?"
"What about centuries of human slavery when Christians used the Bible to support it?"
"What about the way women are treated in the Old Testament?"
"How do you know the Bible is true? Don't you know how many men wrote it?"
"What about the eternal fate of people who died before Christ came?"
"What about the angry, violent God of the Old Testament?"
"Why did God allow Satan into Eden if He knew Eve would sin?"
"Why did God then punish mankind for the sins of two people?"
"So you mean anyone who doesn't believe in Jesus is going to hell?"
"Why would I believe in a God who sends people to hell?"

We shake in our boots and grip our sweaty Bible in our hands and slowly back out of the room and away from the risk. It's better to stay silent, stay private about our faith, lest we open our mouths and prove we know nothing. It's fine to know nothing at all but the beginning. But where is the solid food in this wimpy generation? Are we so diluted with political correctness and the brokenness of the era that we can't even say "I know why"?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A wee surprise...

It looks like we'll have another little one joining us in March 2014! I have it in my heart that baby #3 is a boy (although we won't know for sure until October) and a picky eater, at that. I've never been this sick in pregnancy before! I thought for sure he wanted fried pickles last night, but nope. I'll spare you the details, but he most definitely rejected them. We will be thrilled if it's a boy OR a girl (and BOTH would definitely be a surprise!) but for some crazy reason, I feel like there's a little boy in there :)

We can't wait to meet you sweet pea!

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Do you ever see a photo of yourself and feel like you're staring at a stranger?
Sometimes I wonder how it happens, how we're caught in a season of life and we think we'll be there forever...and then we flip through photos one day only to find that season is dead and gone.

We think it lasts forever but blast, forever is only what we groan for. The soul in us leans forward to grasp the thing just out of sight, just around the bend, just around the corner. It's never satisfied because the eternity in us is never satiated.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Drooling idols.

When I became a stay at home mom, my world changed.

There was a certain level of a grief no one prepared me for, and no one talks about. I started to grieve my former life; my independence, my schedule, my money, my freedom. "Success" was redefined. A paycheck and a pat on the back at the end of my work week, followed by a TGIF dinner date with my husband evolved into 24/7 flat out hard work. Let's face it--there are no kudos for picking up toys, making dinner, dressing and changing (and unchanging) your little ones. You don't get applause for that--and you shouldn't, because basic care of a human being you created is your job.

So I threw myself into my new job.

If this was my new occupation, being a mother and stay at home housewife, I was going to be the best one ever. I read all the books and blogs, did fun crafts promoting all the right fine motor skills, started making bread from scratch, even taking up needlework (don't ask me how long I stuck with that) to somehow mold myself into this Mother of the Year--this modern Betty Crocker--with the apron and the fun games and never ending patience. I did a pretty darn good job of balancing everything, and was pretty proud of myself. Friends would start complimenting me with phrases like "Wow, how do you do it all?" or "You're my inspiration!" and more recently "She's like a Martha Stewart!" I preaned and shyly batted away these comments but I still wasn't satisfied. I was hounded with thoughts of inadequecy. My husband and kids were tucked into bed and I would stare at the slits of moonlight across the ceiling and think "Did I do a good job today? Was I enough?" If I lost my temper or if things weren't in their perfect and pristine order when my husband got home, I promised myself I would do better tomorrow. (Note: My husband always said I was an amazing mother and wife, and never once commented on a less-than-tidy room. But in my heart I felt like I had failed him.)

The days blended together.
Things got boring.
I was feeling under appreciated, more like a maid and a nanny than a beloved mother or cherished wife.
I was reading more mommy blogs than the Scriptures, which meant I was pouring myself out and nothing was pouring back in. 
 I struggled with my new life in my new role; what should my day look like? Why am I not satisfied? Should my kids be ________ (fill in the blank, ie "reading", "talking", etc) by now?

Slowly I started learning, through trial and error, that I'm the kind of person who needs rules and structure to feel accomplished. I needed a purpose and a plan to create my day, and grace to forgive myself if things were less than perfect (which was, frankly, every single day). I wrote out a housekeeping schedule. I started the Gimme Five Rules (5: books read to the kids, 4: chores, 3: movies/TV shows in a 24 hour period, 2: hours to myself, and 1: craft for the kids) which helped carve out some order in my life.

I still beat myself up if things don't go perfectly or if I'm still in my PJs at 3 pm, but after three years of parenting (still a rookie, ha!) I have learned that perfection has a price--and it's usually the price of missing out on a childhood.

But I wish, I wish, I wish someone would have taken me aside when I was pregnant with my eldest. I wish they would have made me hot tea with oatmeal cookies, looked me in the eyes and said this:

"Motherhood is a beautiful thing. Your world is more beautiful and more chaotic when you bring little ones inside it. You will be elated when your child says "Mama" or "I love you!" for the first time, and you will be wrecked beyond words when the little sinner inside them needs discipline. You'll grow closer to your husband from the miniature bond you created, but sometimes time will slip away from you and you'll struggle to see eachother as much--sometimes merely to pass eachother in the hallway. You may resent your child, even for a moment, and then be riddled with guilt for even thinking it. There are times you may not like your child. Days will be long, nights will be even longer, and you may have zombie days--or weeks--while your baby is teething, weaning, potty training, or reverse sleep cycling. Your friends may not understand your new life, and you may lose them for a while--maybe forever. Your children become your closest friends and the pulse of your life circles around them. The invisible but iron-clad string that connects you to them will grow even stronger through every sickness or set back. These days are hard, and your job is the most difficult one in the entire world. For a time, your entire being is completely immersed in the care and nurturing of your children, until one won't be. This is your job now, and your role forever--but these days will pass. Love them, hug them, teach them and discipline them--show them the world and lead them to the Lord Jesus--but don't worship them. Don't idolize them because like everything else (money, career, marriage), they will disappoint you. Don't ever forget you're a child of the King, then a wife, then a mother. Enjoy these days but on the days that you don't, get an extra large cup of coffee, slip in Toy Story 3 and get comfy."

Friday, June 28, 2013


Do you ever get weary of the church?
His bride, His treasure, His true love---
riddled with wolves and division---
and the rest of us sheep wondering just how long,
how long Lord?

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Today was one of those days I felt overwhelmed, under-appreciated, exhausted, worn out, and just begging for a break. You guys didn't nap for more than like 20 minutes. Baby girl--you're getting teeth, and haven't been sleeping well all week. Little Man--you're pushing boundaries and bored. Mama was working hard and doing her best but still wanted to curl into fetal position.

Now you're both asleep, with Little Man in your bed and Baby Girl sleeping on Daddy. And now, in the quiet and in the dark, with my blood slowed and my feet up, I forget the stress and drama of the day.

You make my world beautiful, babies.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I've been pensive the last few days, really savoring and trying to hold in my hand the concept that babies grow, people die, marriages end, and the present turns into ancient history. It just slips away. I don't know why my son turning three has been such a dramatic event for me, it just has.

The first year of a first child's life is a training ground like no other. Parenting boot camp, full of nerves and panic, and just when you think you have a grasp on your new role, your itty bitty baby is a walking, talking toddler. The second year went by even quicker than the first. And as I watch my son follow directions, make wise choices (even at his age!), learn new things, and exercise his own will, I'm reminded of just how fleeting and short life is. Even the good stuff. Especially the good stuff.

I'm learning a sad lesson; I can't capture time. 

Ecclesiastes 5: 11
As you do not know the path of the wind,
    or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
    the Maker of all things.

Stay little, sweet ones.