Happy Thanksgiving 



You know life is just complicated.

And busy.

And…well, we just don’t get together enough.

But, today we set all the busy and complicated aside. We fellowship, we love, and we linger. We listen to stories and recount the blessings. We give our thanks. We dive in and enjoy until we can hold no more. Then we hug and go our separate ways. Back to the complicated, but with feelings of simplification. Realizing that really it isn’t so complicated after all. We still have each other. We still have this love.

We head back to the busy but at a slower pace. Remembering –at least for a time– that we should linger and we should savor for just a moment longer.

And we really should try to get together more often.

Never Ready 

 How can it be? No matter how diligent we may be. How hard we work to check the projects off the list, winter seems to beat us to the punch. Freezing, covering, and generally telling us in no uncertain terms that we are out of time. 

So, I suppose the only thing left to do is embrace the new season and try our best to enjoy it. 

Grief and Peace

The world near and far is grieving right now. I’m grieving too.

I’ve thought long and hard. Early and late into the night about the state of this world and even the state of my own community, my family and my church.

Grief is a part of life. It is not a fun part, but it is a part of it.

This whole summer I spent a fair amount of time learning about savoring things. Moments, little snippets of time. The lesson in all of it seemed to be that savoring and finding gratitude where you are, will bring you peace. But then, big things happen. Bad things happen, and it feels that my soul could be swallowed by the vastness and depravity that seems to be consuming the world.

But, peace… it hasn’t left. Even in the grief. Grief over my own sin wracked body, mind and emotions.

Grief over the war torn world where evil is so loud and shouting and throwing it’s big ol’tantrum.

Grief over the smaller; like my church closing its doors. Deemed not viable. Not living anymore.

Grief over disease that destroys the body of those I love from the inside out.

Grief and sadness… and peace still is here. How?

Peace can still be found in all of this insane sadness. Because I look upon the one who gave it to me.

Jesus said:

 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
~John 14:27


This morning I told my little girl that I had an appointment this afternoon and that she would be staying home with her dad. This illicited  such a strong reaction of anxiety. As this has been the nature of this girl from birth I wish I could say I was more prepared. But, the truth of it is, it still catches me off guard every time.  She clings to me, desperately at times. It is all at once sweet and exhausting.

I didn’t know how to reason with her. I couldn’t reason with her. So, to gather my thoughts I did the only thing I could, I sent her to her room, and I prayed. I didn’t receive the answer to my prayer until I was in the room with her. I saw her sobbing, sprawled over her bed and at once I felt peace and a tremendous amount of love for her broken, fearful soul. I knew her fear because I’ve felt it. That distance and separation from the person that makes me feel safe.

I gathered her up into my arms. I sat and rocked her. And despite her best efforts to carry on, to continue to fight for her voice to be heard, for her to be sure I knew her displeasure at being left and her fear of me leaving. She began to quiet. The whole time I rocked her I was looking at the picture on her dresser. A large print of Jesus gazing into the eyes of a child.  The look on his face had such tenderness and such peace. And I know this decidedly Caucasian rendition of Jesus is probably not what Jesus, my Lord and Savior looked like at all, even so, I can’t help but feel the artist was absolutely able to capture that loving gaze. A gaze that He would cast on the smiling child as well as the one who is brokenhearted and afraid, angry, or hurt.

And I whispered into her ear, “Do you see Jesus?”
She sniffed and looked up at me, puzzled. She glanced at the image on her dresser and quickly looked away. I said, “Look at Jesus. What is He doing?”
She looked again for a long time, but did not say anything. I said, “Look at his face. Look at how he looks at that child. Is he angry?”
“No.” she responds.  “Look at Jesus, Do you think he loves that child?” I ask.
“Yes.” She says. “Jesus loves you like he loves that child, even when you are sad or angry, or scared he loves you and he sees you. He holds your face in His hands and says he loves you all the time. And you need to know that Jesus loves you more than me.”
Her eyes are wide at this thought for her heart knows my love is infinite.
I go on to tell her that Jesus cares for her sadness, and her worry and no matter what He will love her and watch over her. No matter if I am there or not Jesus is the one who loves her the most.
“Look at Jesus.” I say. “Always look at Jesus.”

I will admit it is hard to say these words. For I want to be the one to love her the most. I want to be her safety, her comfort, her everything. But, I know I can’t. I hope that I will be able to witness every day of her growing up. I hope that God will see fit to continue to bless us with peace and safety. As a mother I hate the thought that harm could ever come to a single hair on any one of their precious heads. And I admit I to praying that God will project them. That they will be safe. That they will always choose the good… But, I also know that it is not in my hands to decide.

People in this world make their choices every day. Some good, to do good. And some bad, to do evil in God’s very sight. Each day my own children make more choices. As they grow I have to open my hand and let them walk a little farther from me. But right now I can say, ” Look at Jesus, Look to Jesus.” This gives me hope, this is where the peace comes from. We must keep looking at Jesus. He gave us His peace. We need not be troubled. We need not be afraid.

Jesus print

A Little Paint 

When we bought this house we knew there would be projects. Some big and some small. This one I would actually categorize in the medium’ish realm. It all started with a few panes of glass needing some attention. But as so often happens when you begin a small project, you may notice something else, and oh by the way that needs some love too. So, over the course of the last couple of months a few of our windows have gotten a little makeover.
Our dining room window was the most challenging as it needed a new outside sill and frames. Inside it just needed some clean up. The windows in the kitchen received two new panes. Then all of the trim and the door on the south side of the house got a fresh coat of paint. Of course everything got a good washing. None of this would have been possible had it not been for the help of a good, no, make that a GREAT neighbor who did the hard work of rebuilding and installing. And with the aid of a sunny day I was able to wrap up a few left over details and finally put this little project to bed.

I have to say that little projects like these make me so happy. Though I’m far from a “handy” woman, I do love how it feels when we can say, we did this. These little projects, messy, imperfect, and often saddled with some hard learned lessons offer such satisfaction when completed.
Maybe because with another little stamp of our handiwork, it makes this place feel just a bit more like home.