Show and tell

Show and tell

Please unpack your lunch. 

Put your shoes away. 

I love you. 

Please put your clothes in the dirty clothes hamper.

Use kind words. 

Your family matters most. 

Please tie your shoes. 

Don’t mess with your sister!

Leave your brother alone!

Jesus loves you more than I do. 

These are a sampling of the

reminders I say to my kids 

a few times a day,

okay, well, maybe more than a few – 

just depends on the day!

Can I be honest?

It can be frustrating 

to have to repeat 

myself over and over 

and I can’t help but think –

If they would just listen….

 

And yet – I am like them. 

I need daily reminders.

Your words matter. 

You have a purpose.

God loves you. 

You are enough –

but you can’t do it all.

You can rest in God’s provision. 

You can let that go. 

 

I forget.

I get distracted.

I get overwhelmed. 

I get focused on what 

I wish would change. 

I need the reminders

that come through 

a song, 

a flower, 

a leaf, 

a bird, 

a friend, 

scripture, 

my family.

I’m working hard to be

a better listener but 

keep the reminders coming. 

Show and tell me 

what I forget,

what doubt taints,

and lies discolor. 

I need the reminders

of what is true. 

#PermissionGranted

The weight of hope

The weight of hope

She holds hope in her hand –

feels the smooth, comforting weight of it.

She carries it with her wherever she goes.

It is a gift that was given to her

and it is her greatest treasure.

She does her best to guard it,

to protect it, and keep

doubt from tarnishing its glow.

Every now and then –

when circumstances make her

want to put down hope so

that she has both hands

free to fight –

she loses sight of it.

Distracted, she

lets go of hope and

moments, days, years later

realizes her hand

no longer clings to hope.

Where did hope go?

Her heart’s been on a journey

full of twisted, torturous turns

and she wonders

where hope went.

At the mere thought of hope

she looks to her hands

and understands she’s left

no room for hope.

Her hands hold

doubt, fear, blame, regret –

she’s at her maximum capacity.

Her passions, possibilities, and purpose

have no agency when her

hands are empty of hope –

for hope is what fuels them.

She shifts her heart’s posture,

because she longs for what

she is made for,

and so she chooses hope.

She empties her hands of her burdens

and finds hope was there all along –

it was just buried under all she held so tightly.

Hope had never left her,

she just couldn’t see it

because her heart

focused on other things.

And now she gazes at it.

Hope –

in her hand,

in her heart –

the smooth, comforting weight of it.

#PermissionGranted

 

 

Here’s another post I did on hope.

The Invisible Things.

The Invisible Things.

The mess on the counter.

The weeds that need pulled.

The dog that needs walked, 

The kids that need fed.

The husband that will soon come home.

The broken outlet plate. 

All things I can touch, 

clean, fix, mend, love.

I can hold these things, 

and take care of them,

Hug them, make it better.

I can clean off the counter

and walk away with things

as they should be.

It is, for the moment, 

done. 

I also deal with 

invisible things.

Motivation, 

gratefulness,

goals,

remorse,

God, 

fear,

envy, 

bravery.

I can’t cross these things

off my list. 

I can’t hold these 

in my hand;

touch them, grasp them, capture them.

We are dealing with invisible things.

I can’t fix these with an 

hour’s focused work. 

Every time I turn around

these things 

are still there.

Even though I usually

ignore them.

 My relationship with 

most invisible things is

that I trip over them. 

On my face again

and this conversation, again.

“Oh.

You’re still here.

I was hoping if I ignored you,

you would just disappear.”

Even when I give the attention

that the invisible things need, 

I usually only last for so long. 

It’s just too easy to go back to

imminent,

urgent, 

tangible,

check-it-off the list

type of things.

The temptation is real to 

only deal with visible. 

But life is made of 

invisible things, too. 

When I ignore the invisible 

I am living 

a partial life, 

with 

partial joy, 

partial growth, 

partial peace.

I have to give myself

permission to see

and deal with 

invisible things.

I’m learning that

a full, congruent life

includes integrating the invisible things

among the visible.

This way I run

instead of trip.

 

What invisible things are you tripping over? What needs your attention?

Are you living a whole life? You have permission to attend to the invisible things.

#PermissionGranted

Not Enough: The Anti-Cherry-On-The-Top

Not Enough: The Anti-Cherry-On-The-Top

She said she feels like she is drowning.

Drowning in

deadlines

motherhood

expectations

frustration.

I said

ditto.

I’m exhausted from treading water.

From trying to be it all and

do it all.

And feeling like a miserable failure

to top it all off.

The anti-cherry-on-the-top.

So what’s a woman to do?

How do I let go of this not enoughness

that I keep coming back to?

I

am

not

enough.

Again and again.

I come back here.

To this place.

Limbs and heart and mind

tired of treading water.

I can’t wear a cape and

be not enough.

I think I am supposed to hold this

not enoughness.

Not cling to it but daily

look at it.

See it for what it is.

See my need.

Say I am not enough and

with that acknowledgement, I say

I can’t do this on my own.

See, I am not the one

holding it all together.

All of the things that run through

my head and heart

on a given day are not resting on my shoulders.

Recognizing my not enoughness

is a reminder that

its not just up to me.

And trying my hardest,

staying up late, reading the latest book on discipline,

trying to spin all the plates

will always, every time

find me exhausted and

not enough.

And so I turn to the One

who is enough.

Enough for all

for all of time and eternity.

I am weak – not enough

but He is strong.

Enough.

And in this place…

Where I am not alone…

I

am

enough.

Faithful to What is in Front of Me

Faithful to What is in Front of Me

I am sensing you calling me

to be faithful

to what you have put before me.

Dreams are great

ambitions – necessary

but they can also distract from

what is here, in front of me.

My daydreams can pull

my gaze from the

path that is already laid out for me.

I am easily distracted

from what I am supposed

to be pouring myself into.

Oh look!

I should be doing what she is doing!

Oh, this is a new thing.

I should sign up for this today.

That’s a cool dream.

That should be my dream!

Meanwhile the things that you’ve

opened doors for

are neglected,

ignored,

unfulfilled

and there’s a real threat of

them just withering away.

Give me an urgency for

what you have put

within me,

before me.

Lord,

help me to be

faithful to the

people,

the opportunities,

the talents,

the call

that you have brought to me.

Help me to fix my gaze on you

and trust you to order my steps.

Fill my heart with trust in you

and a confidence in what you have called me to

so the fear of not being enough

nor the fear of missing out

can shift my gaze.

 

 Search for Kindling:

What is before you?

Are you choosing it?

 

 

The Most Compelling Call to Community

The Most Compelling Call to Community

Last night I sat in a candle-lit room –

the music unplugged and worshipful.

The lights were dimmed and the room was set up in a more intimate way.

We sat in the heaviness of it.

The burden of our sin he carried.

The weight of the betrayal from his friend.

It was a quiet, meaningful and rare type of moment.

I could hear the occasional rustling of paper from kids holding the song lyrics.

I heard sniffles and people shifting in their seats.

I could see their faces, and in some cases, their tears.

And they could see me.

Perhaps they saw me hold my finger to my lips to

remind my child that they needed to be still.

Or perhaps they saw my face when my son got up

from his chair to take communion on his own terms.

He didn’t need us to accompany him.

The sacrifice Jesus made was for him too

and he felt that deeply.

And so he went on his own.

Or maybe they saw my tears

and my brokenness showing through.

I was there because of the sacrifice made for me.

I was thinking about me and what Jesus gave for me.

However, in the midst of being seen,

in the midst of the little noises that

accompany a room full of people,

I was reminded again by the pastor’s words

that the way to honor Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice,

is to love as he loved.

To be seen, to exist – is supposed to also mean

that you are loved.

And I am part of that equation –

I am hands and feet.

His love through me –

a pouring out.

And so again, it isn’t just about me.

I should not be concerned about

saving a reserve for myself.

Jesus commanded us to live a life of community

on the night he was betrayed.

To give.

To serve.

First in my own home

and then to the world around me.

I can’t be afraid of failing.

Or of not being enough.

Or of making a decision that is

contrary to the world around me.

These are lies born of fear.

And I am to live from a place of love

and not out of fear.

I am called to love out of the unfathomable love

that has been so freely given to me.