Monday, April 28, 2014

tornado cry

I'm supposed to be meal planning, but I've been sitting here for an hour. Just praying. Devastated for those who lost their homes, and even lives, yesterday in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas. 
Tornados rip your heart out. There's nothing like a tornado. There's no way to describe it. 
Today I had a "tornado cry". My local friends will understand the term. They'll even chuckle a tiny bit in reverence and nod their heads. They'll have "that" look on their face and their hearts will say a prayer for those hurting today. Scenes will run through their heads, as they are mine, knowing the pictures on the news we will all be glued to today do absolutely nothing to show the depth and scope of hurt and destruction. 
I let the littlest one watch a news blurb on my phone. She asked if that was our town. I said no. She knows the sight. It's ingrained in her too. The oldest was the one who told me this morning of the tornados. He heard it on his radio. He knows of the mess, the importance of life and safety, the look of our currently warm, but severe, weather. He looked a little worried but had no words to express it. 
But they also know the Hope. They know Who watches over them. They know that while there is sin in our earth that bad things will happen, even to good people. Even to people who love The Lord. But they know that no matter the circumstances, they are loved. That The Lord will take care of them. They know their Hope is not in this world. 
I'm giving up on the meal plan. We're going to drive through the rebuilding and watch a friends foundation be pulled out so that a new, stronger one can be poured. We will pray. The earnest connected prayers of ones who have seen the total destruction but have come through the valley and are being constantly redeemed and showered with grace. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Pruning

Most mornings I sit with my calendar in my lap while I drink a little coffee on the couch. Cuddled next to me is a rapidly growing little girl. She grows so fast sometimes I think I can hear it happening as we are watching Peg+Cat on PBS. 
My calendar as my constant companion reminds me of things (hopefully) before I forget them. It contains my ever growing and changing To Do List. Sometimes I can hear it growing as I sit here as well. 
This morning sitting here on my phone, calendar in lap, after rushing through the bus stop routine of packing a lunch, sending hubby to an early meeting, the big kid off to school, I found myself day dreaming of the approaching summer. Of lazy mornings with little obligations except soaking in water and sun at the local pool. I'm dreaming away the next few weeks that run at a fever pitch of end of year recitals and picnics. 
It makes me begin to think about this past year and evaluate the work we've been involved in, by choice or obligation. By nature of full time ministry or by choices we've made as a family. I've felt over extended this year, stressed in ways that can just as easily bring growth as much as exhaustion and anxiety. But as any good runner knows, after an extended time of pushing limits, you need to rest to become stronger, to recover. 
I'm yearning for a rest. For a quietness. For pruning a few things out of my life to allow what I love to become brighter and stronger. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

the thief

I do it all the time. I compare things. I compare prices on the shelf at the supermarket, name brand vs store brand (there's very few things I won't buy in store brand), the reviews of the new running shoes I've heard are lighter, streamlined, faster, my eight weeks uncut, roots growing out from my last color, hair to the freshly coifed (and awesomely dressed too btw) mom in front of me in line at the library.

I compare myself to those in my circle who stay home with their kids, to those who work all day and balance motherhood. I compare myself to the ones who spend the majority of their time at home cozy and warm and comfortable in their houses and those who are always on the go. I compare myself to the people I know who homeschool, unschool, private school and those who public school. I compare myself to the girls in the gym who are much quicker around the track, less flabby, longer legs.

Ugh, all this comparing takes up a lot of mental capacity, a lot of time, a lot of effort. It makes me want to change the way I stand, what I wear to the grocery store, how I carry myself and speak to those around me.

But really, it just steals my joy.

It steals my confidence in decisions I've made for myself and my family. It changes how I view my self worth, my ability to love every second of the life I've chosen, the life God has given to me.

I've been practicing stopping the comparisons in my head. I've been attempting to head off the "me/them" thoughts before they turn into doubt and jealousy.

I'm painfully reminded to block the comparisons when I view things through the eyes of my three year old daughter. She does not see the world through lenses of comparison. She sees her yellow and white striped leggings and her green shoes and her pink and orange shirt and sees a rainbow. She doesn't see the conformity that I sometimes wish she would see in a coordinating outfit. So I let her wear that outfit, because I don't know how long she'll last without seeing the comparison, and man I love her joy.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Agathosune is a Greek term to mean loosely, "to do a little good," but more officially the intrinsic goodness that comes from God and shows itself in moral excellence.

This word appears four times in the Bible, but its caught my eye in one in particular. In Galatians 5:22-23 the Fruits of the Spirit are listed. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (NIV italics mine) I've studied this list recently during a study by Beth Moore, but it's the thought of goodness that has kept rolling around my head. 

I've written this word, this agathosune, on a card and taped it to the window above my window. There's a whisper in my head when I feel my voice getting a strained tone with my preschooler, "do a little good," that reminds me to change my tone and give a little grace. When one more person asks me to complete a task as church and I'm tempted to inwardly roll my eyes, even though I know I'll say yes, I remember agathosune, just do a little good. 

I'm not being asked to move mountains, I'm not being told to run the world with three cotton balls, a roll of duct tape, and five quarters. It's not an impossible task I'm asked to complete. God has asked me to "do a little good" to possess and show that goodness He has shown me time and again.