A thrill of hope

A thrill of hope

A thrill of hope

caught me by surprise. 

I didn’t recognize it at first. 

It was a beautiful sunset, yes, 

but I’ve seen them before. 

But this one was

unrelenting,

full of  

saturated color 

in shades of 

ochre, 

violet, 

gold, 

magenta,

crimson. 

It cycled through colors

in time with breath.

Breath in. 

Breath out. 

A new shade. 

I couldn’t look away. 

And then at one point, 

I wouldn’t look away. 

I took a detour to get

more time with the colors. 

When I arrived home

I told the kids to run upstairs

to see the show in the sky.

It’s then I remember that 

my day started with 

a gorgeous sunrise.

And now the perfect bookend:

a sunset painted 

in the sky,

with liquid color.  

Visually astounding,

but also a cacophony

of 

hope. 

Color ushers in 

wonder.

Wonder

ushers 

in

hope.

You never let me forget. 

#PermissionGranted

 

 

 

The long night ahead.

The long night ahead.

She decides between coffee or 

a small supply of the kids’ favorite cereal. 

It’s one or the other on her budget. 

The cereal wins because it is 

about more than just cereal. 

It’s a reminder of 

normalcy.

It’s a reminder to the kids

that she remembers.

It is a small way to 

introduce a bit of joy 

and she will make whatever

sacrifice is necessary

to do just that.

She doesn’t have the 

time or energy 

to keep count –

but this is a regular thing for her.

Choices.

This or that.

She would love a cup of coffee

right now to get her through 

the long night ahead

as her second job begins.

She pushes back 

the fear,

the worry,

for if she allowed it

room it would run through her

spare energy resources

in 60 minutes flat.

And then,

where would she be?

A thought creeps in but she 

speaks to it and tells it 

to go away. 

She shakes her head to 

get free of it.

There’s no time to address

the gaping wounds in her heart

that bleed so easily. 

So she chases the 

memory away.

It is what it is.

Dreams are a luxury and 

her sleep,

her awake

her sorrow

her joy

her energy 

is for her boys. 

Her every minute is

meet the needs.

Her job is survival.

She sorts through

the bills in the mail

as she logs into the

customer service website.

An envelope that isn’t a bill

sorts itself from the stack.

She rips it open to 

discover a card,

and a gift card 

to her local

grocery store. 

There’s no name.

No one to thank

or feel indebted to. 

Just provision. 

A deep breath –

just what she needs. 

And maybe, just maybe, 

some coffee. 

#PermissionGranted

 

 

Are you in the midst of a long night? Reach out – you don’t have to do it alone. Allow others to help you take up your space – to be all that you can be.

Are you in a place where you can leverage where you are to make someone else’s burden lighter? Step into that. Do it for the right reasons and be an encouragement to others.

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.