January 22, 2012

Opposites React.

My kids are so completely opposite of each other it makes me wonder if they even have the same mom. Maybe I just dreamt about giving birth three times? Maybe I only really gave birth once and the other two just followed me home one day? Stranger things have happened, I'm sure.

As I type, Ezra is in his bed having a bit of a conniption fit because his left nostril is ever-so-slightly stuffed up. He is sniffling and blowing his nose so loudly every four seconds or so that I can hear him from the other side of the house and I keep finding myself yelling things like "BREATHE THROUGH YOUR MOUTH! No.. your mouth! Your MOUTH! THE HOLE THAT IS NOT YOUR NOSE!!"

He won't stop, of course. And I can't reason with him. He is un-reason-with-able. This is the kid who just mastered the art of blowing his nose for the first time earlier today (seriously) and who has no grid for dealing with pain. None whatsoever. At the slightest twinge of discomfort he drops like a weight and just starts... freaking out. And shaking. Nothing can get through to him when he is in this state. He is always fine... a tiny scrape or an itty-bitty cut, but it's almost like his brain doesn't get the memo that he is not, in fact, mere inches from the pearly gates.

And then there is Myer. If this kid's hair was on fire, he could not be bothered to tell you. Trying to find out what is bugging this kid is an almost impossible feat. The more I question and press and ask, the more he retreats. This is exasperating on a completely different level. I have one child who informs me every time a hair on his head moves a little to the left, and I have another who won't tell me if all the hairs on his head are engulfed in flame. What IS a mother to do?

Maybe Truman will fall somewhere in the middle of these extreme boys of mine, bringing a perfect balance and equilibrium to our family dynamic.

More likely, however, he will end up on some whole different and new plane of extremes... regularly hanging from the light fixtures and gnawing on chicken bones or something.

Ah, motherhood. The land of perpetual "wait... WHAAAAAT?!"

January 9, 2012

The Brave Fear.

Sometimes I feel so brave.

I hold nothing too tightly and am ready to leap at any moment. Change makes me giddy and I really, honestly mean it when I tell God that I will go anywhere and do anything as long as He is with me.

Moving to Oklahoma six and a half years ago was a leap. We didn't know the "how what when where why's" of anything at all. We just knew it was time to get out of California and there was an open invitation here. That was all that we needed! I remember praying that same prayer all those years ago.... "Lord I will move ANYWHERE and do ANYTHING as long as I get to be doing what You are doing." I had been known to say "I would live in a BOX in the middle of NOWHERE if that was where God wanted to use me." And I really really did mean it.

He heard me, took me literally (ha!), and moved me to a state that meant nothing to me back then but hokey cowboys and (really flat) red dirt. And also.... tornadoes. Okay, God! Here we goooo!

And it has proved to be the most amazingly rich and rewarding and wonderful season of my life here. I've healed from spiritual wounding, I've fallen in love with the Church, with community, with this city, and I've come to realize that everything is grace. I've grown to LOVE staying at home and raising my boys and I've learned that what I am doing here within these walls has infinite worth and value and is more than enough. I could never thank God enough for bringing me here during this season of life.

Once again, I find myself in a state of exciting unknowns. I find myself in the poise of leaping. What will that look like? No idea yet. Maybe it's a newness here, maybe it's a newness there... but I find myself standing with my arms thrown open, saying it again in my heart... "I will go ANYWHERE and do ANYTHING as long as You are with me! I'd rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked!" And I start to feel so noble in that prayer, so brave! Like I could fling myself off a mountain and know I would be caught up in the wind!

And yet...

...and yet all of these feelings of faith and assurance come to a screeching halt when I hear a still, small voice ask me, "Yes, but how much more of yourself are you willing to give?"

It's like, God, you can have my house and my security and my comfort and my STUFF and even my children and my marriage because You are GOOD and I trust you! But when I feel Him asking to come closer to my heart, to tear down a wall or two and expand things a bit in there, to grow our intimacy and die to self completely... I run cold. Fear grips. Backtracking ensues. I try patching up the floodgates I've thrown open in faith moments before.

Oh Lord, the things you'd find in there... I think we're both better off where we are at, don't You? This safe and chummy distance we have going on...?

All the while, though, I know the truth. The thing is... I can move to the most desperate place on the globe and serve the most desperate people on the earth in the name of God, but if I don't let that very same God consume me and sweep me away and be my everything, then... I am missing it! Location alone, adventure alone cannot be my substitute for deeper intimacy with God... for letting Him call down my walls like Jericho so He can storm in. Nothing that I do, no matter how noble it looks from the outside, will have any lasting strength, any eternal value, if I am not doing it from a completely surrendered & conquered heart.

So here I am now, toeing the edge of something big, ready to leap, yet at the same time... really aware for the first time of what is being asked of me.

Suddenly, I am not so brave. Suddenly, I am terrified.

Sure, I am willing to surrender my adorable house, my cozy daily routine, my 5 year "plan".... but am I willing to surrender my own HEART?

Even now, I can't help but feel that I am better off here in my terrified state than I was before in all my confidence. I can leap in faith until I am blue in the face, and God will be faithful to catch me and be gracious towards me, but what He is really calling me to, what He has always been calling me to, is more of Himself. Always, always, always... Himself.

Will I be found willing? Lord, in Your grace, let it be true! Conquer this fear, and help me! Sound the trumpet and break it all down. Cause me to want YOU more than the next "thing", the next adventure. Help me to desire Your nearness more than any other thrill that this earth can give...

January 2, 2012


As I type, my husband is far away in Atlanta, Georgia- trying to wrap his mind around the fact that he gets to play his viola with the Charlie Hall band at Passion 2012 in front of 45,000 people at the Georgia Dome tomorrow.

Also as I type, far from the roar and lights, I have just tucked away our children in their beds for the evening- wiping goopy noses and administering breathing treatments and medicines out the wazoo for a certain sick little boy of mine who struggles with asthma and allergies and eczema. Oh, and as a bonus for this week- eye infections!

(He really is doing much better tonight than he was last night... poor sweet little Myer!)

I can't even explain the state of my heart tonight. It feels like it's about to burst through the walls of this quiet little home. I feel so blessed to be here caring for all these boys, and it feels good and right and pure. There really is nowhere else I'd rather be! Yet at the same time, I also feel tremendous excitement and joy and desire to be in Atlanta with my husband... getting to see his wildest dreams come true and experience the fruition of a lifetime of prayers on my part and his- his passion for playing music that glorifies God and encourages His bride, the church!

It feels like a very symbolic thing that is happening in our lives (for such a time as this!) and for a very specific reason. Where we stand right now, there are a lot of unknowns. We don't know where we'll be or what we'll be doing or what our lives will look like a year from now- as 2013 dawns bright and the confetti falls once again on soil all around this tired globe.

But we do know one thing.

It will be a new, grand adventure, and God will NEVER fail us.

He is faithful. He is faithful to let us see and taste a bit of our dreams in a season that has felt so thirsty for hope and substance... for answers you can grab onto and sink your teeth into. He is faithful to hear the cries of a simple housewife who longs to see her husband's oldest and deepest dreams come true. He is faithful to grow a boy straight into the heart of music and then give him an instrument he can cup underneath his chin and make sing. He is faithful to finish what He begins, and He is faithful to encourage all along the long and difficult way.

My husband is a painting contractor. Day in and day out he labors with his hands and brings his best and most honest work to the table for clients who may or may not appreciate all that he pours into them and their homes. His hands are rough and calloused and sometimes they bleed and he doesn't even realize the red is running down. But for as tough as his hands are, his heart... his heart is soft! His heart is tender! He longs for beautiful things and carries weighty giftings on humble and bowed down shoulders! And tonight... this week... this is a YES and an AMEN to that man who carries this family so gracefully through the muck and mire of this world! And my heart is just bursting with honor and pride in him, and gratitude and thanksgiving to the God he loves and serves so well.

I am overwhelmed. I am undone. I am here saying YES and AMEN as well. 2012 is going to be an amazing year.

"...I am God, and there is no other. I am God, and there is none like me, declaring end from beginning and from ancient times things not done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish my purpose!' I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass. I have purposed, and I will do it."

-Isaiah 46:9-10,11