Monday, February 21, 2011

‘member that time?

This entry is dedicated to all the moms who courageously clean up all their kids poop, puke, and other bodily outbursts and never get appreciated.

Thanks Mom!

‘member how one night when we were sleeping, Teri ran through our room to get to the bathroom because she was sick? And member how she didn’t make it and she threw up right next to my dresser and then when Mom cleaned it up, it went plop, plop, plop into the bucket? And member how it stunk really bad? And we were like, “Be quiet! We’re trying to sleep!” And how we didn’t even feel sorry for Teri or Mom? We just wanted to go back to sleep.

(link up to Paige’s ‘member that time at

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Luke called me early this week to tell me he had been sick. He said he didn’t want to call until he was almost well because he knew I would worry. What a wise man he has become!

As I got off the phone, I was bombarded by motherly feelings of sadness. Sadness that he was sick…sadness that I wasn’t there with him…sadness that he was so far away. So, to deal with all of that, I wrote this. To Luke, it may seem a little sappy—but to any mom who has just let her firstborn “fly”, I hope it will be sweet.

And to all you moms with little ones, enjoy the ride. Childhood lasts for a short 18 years—savor each one of them. After that, you have the rest of your life to live, and sleep, and eat hot food. Don’t try to speed through NOW.


He is sick and far away.

This knowledge sits heavy in my brain. I want to go to him.

To make him all better, take care of him, my baby.

He is part of me and when he hurts, I hurt.

Someone once said that when you have a child,

It’s like walking around with your heart outside of your body.

My spirit is sad. I long for him to be well.

I wish my heart were closer.

As my kids grow up and become themselves,

the good news is, “They don’t need me to help them!”

And the bad news is, “They don’t need me to help them!”

Isn’t this what I wanted? What I purposed them to be?

Even so, tears fall with the realization that this job is almost done.

The sunset of childhood is upon us, I see the horizon ablaze.

I hold the memories like a toddler clutching a beloved blanket,

then, one by one, I fold them neatly, and reluctantly tuck them away.

Yes, he is sick, but he will heal…without me.

He is a man, but I will continue to see him as my little boy.

God’s design would become my delight

if I could my get my heart back inside of myself.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

Monday, February 14, 2011

‘member that time?

Happy Valentine’s Day to all you lovebirds out there.  Today I have a special romantic moment to share with y’all.  Here goes…

‘member that time when I was all grown up and Brent and I went to a video store because we wanted to watch a movie? And member how we went to separate parts of the store to look at different movies and when how I was done I went up to some guy and said, “Hey Honey, let’s go home.” And member how that guy wasn’t Brent? And member how he thought I was trying to pick him up, and I said something stupid like “you have the same clothes on as my husband” but he really didn’t? member that? That makes me sick every time I think about it.

(link up to Paige’s ‘member that time at

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Writing is fun for me because when I sit down to type, I almost never know what the finished product will look like. It’s as if the ideas flow from my brain and out to my fingers. If any of you have ever played the piano and learned certain pieces well, you may have had the experience of sitting down to play, not really remembering the notes, but as your hands touch the keyboard, the music flows out of its own accord. Just placing your hands down on the ivory sets that muscle memory/neuron synapses thing going, and you are able to play what you thought you had forgotten. It’s a pretty cool phenomenon.

Well, that’s kind of how writing is for me. That’s also why it’s necessary for me to discipline myself to do it. I almost always have ideas (with the exception of the unusual famine time I recently experienced), and if I sit down and put my hands to the plastic (not nearly as nice of synonym as “ivory”), or to the pen, words emerge. I usually have some idea where my pieces are going, but it is fun to see where they end up if I let my fingers do the walking.

I suppose it is kind of like baking too. When I bake, I know what kind of product I am intending to create. I even know what ingredients I should use. I can follow a recipe if I want to, but I often don’t. I kind of know how I would like my creation to taste, but the end result is unknown until the product emerges from the oven. And like the scent of baking bread, carefully placed words in a well written piece give off a sweet aroma to my brain, beckoning me to keep writing.

Weird, I know, but that’s actually a fairly accurate description of my love affair with the written word. So…here goes another “loaf”. I hope it’s a hearty one with lots of oomph. Taste and see some made-from-scratch "brain-food" . I hope it gives you something to chew on!

Ahoy Mate!

When Brent and I were at the Resort in Punta Cana, I witnessed a living example of a abstract truth that Jesus teaches to us in the Bible. In the 17th chapter of John, Jesus is praying to his Father; for Himself—as He prepares for the crucifixion and for His disciples—that they may know TRUE life;

“ Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”

Because Jesus was full of wisdom, He understood that true life was completely bound up in the One True God. He understood that He brought God glory by completing the work His Father gave Him to do. This was all innate for Jesus. He got it.


As I lay in the sun, I watched lots of people who thought they were experiencing TRUE life. These folks were basking in the beautiful Dominican sunshine with drinks in their hands and soft sand at their toes. Beautiful women in bikinis and buff men in speedos dotted the landscape. Music blared, food was abundant, responsibilities were forgotten and life was good. I mean what more could a person want? This is all that life has to offer, isn’t it? The mind-numbing, eye-catching, flesh-satisfying thrum of worldliness had taken them captive…and they were enjoying the ride. Little did they know, the end of that path would lead them not to TRUE LIFE…but to ETERNAL DEATH.

Not only had the siren voices mesmerized them, but I was starting to feel the effects as well. My focus was ME. The world was starting to capture my fancy and my spiritual vision became fuzzy.

It was only after I arrived home and that familiar desperation set in that I realized how close to the quicksand I had been. So, like countless other days, I sat myself down by the fireplace in my polka dotted chair, and I talked with my Father—really talked with Him. And cried to Him. And apologized to Him for my inattention to Him—the Giver of TRUE LIFE.

I realized that I bring no one glory by chasing after my own things—the world’s things. I only achieve “God’s glory” by completing the work God gives me and by doing things His way—not the world’s way. The world cannot give me TRUE LIFE. Lots of people are convinced it can.


We can only receive true, eternal life by knowing the one True God and Jesus Christ, his Son.

We can only bring God glory on earth by completing the work He gives us—by focusing on Him, not us.

This is how we REALLY LIVE.

So many people are drowning. As Christ-followers, We know TRUE LIFE.

We have the LIFE-preserver.

Let’s use it.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

1 John 2:15-17

Sunday, February 6, 2011


There they sat, waiting to board the next flight out.  She, dark skinned, island born, wild hair, flirty sundress, high heeled flip flops.  He, lined face, gray head, young body, awkward, red European boy-capris.  Strange combination, these two.

I watched them as they sat across from me in the busy, open- air “gate” in this balmy Caribbean airport --where the breeze smelled of jet fuel and fresh mangoes. The masses rushed by or slept sprawled out on several vinyl cushions; the French woman chided her husband in a disrespectful tone; and the Spanish baby cried in the universal language of infants. But still, I watched them.

He lay his head on her lap, a sea of bright red flowers around his ears, as she twirled his gray hair absentmindedly. His small hand held her other arm as he struggled to stay awake, becoming so relaxed in her adoration. She continued to adore and twirl, adore and twirl.  His eyes became heavier and heavier until he fell asleep, secure.

As I watched this woman-child treasure her unlikely lover, and as I saw him become completely subdued by her enchantment, I understood a great truth.  And it is this, everyone wants someone to love them—really truly love them and adore them.

In my mind, I thought of all of the cruel people, the heartless people, people who have done evil things throughout history. I wondered it these people had ever felt adored—truly loved by another.  If they were to lay down and let someone smooth their hair…adore and twirl, adore and twirl…would their hearts become soft?  Could their hardness drain out through tears; their evil intent dissolve with each soft caress?  I don’t know, but I like to think that even a lion could be tamed with authentic adoration.

God wishes we would understand that you know.  He adores us.

As His children, We have His spirit and He is closer than our very breath.  He desires us to know how much He loves.  We are of infinite value to Him.  He created us to love us.  He created us to commune with Him.  He created us to be His own. 


And fall asleep in His enchantment, precious one.

But now, this is what the LORD says—
   he who created you, O Jacob,
   he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
   I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
   I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
   they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
   you will not be burned;
   the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD, your God,
   the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
   Cush and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
   and because I love you,
I will give men in exchange for you,
   and people in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
   I will bring your children from the east
   and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
   and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
   and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
everyone who is called by my name,
   whom I created for my glory,
   whom I formed and made.”

Isaiah 43:1-7


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Return to the Tundra

I’m back!!

Yes, I know that most of you didn’t miss me and didn’t know that I spent 5 whole days sitting on a beach chair in 85 degree sunshiny-ness reading 4 1/2 books in the Dominican Republic.  But I did.  And now, with an almost 100 degree difference in temperature, I am back in beautiful Iowa.  Amen to that. 

When I wasn’t reading last week, I was people watching.  And I have lots of ideas for new blog posts.  But right now, I’m just pretty unmotivated and cold. and I’m wondering where all the people who cleaned up my dishes and made my bed are tonight.  and I’m wondering why they aren’t waiting on me.  and I’m thinking “what a waste of a good tan.”  and I’m trying to change my attitude.

But I’m thankful for my sweet husband who spent the week by my side.  And I’m thankful to be back to my great kids who cleaned the house for me before I came home.  And I’m thankful to my wonderful mother-in-law who smiled and laughed with her legacy in the tundra.  And I’m thankful for devoted friends who love our brood and spend snow days (and regular days) with them. 

But mostly I’m thankful to God for all the blessings He bestows. And all the people who are the blessing-bearers.

Thank you!

My life is good.


I will sing to the LORD,
   for he has been good to me.

Psalm 13:6