Friday, June 4, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
You are the best part of being home. Besides my family, you make this little dinky suburban town my own place. I can come home to you. You are a part of so much of my life history. You’ve been there for the childhood memories of bike rides through the rain and painful scrapes and attempts to catch frogs and crossing iced-over lakes. In every season of life and growth, you’ve been so present. Always available, always receiving me as I am, always offering yourself.
I’ve retreated to you in my weakest moments and you’ve shown me God’s grace and beauty. Somehow, even though I’ve known you for a decade or more, you still surprise me in the ways you pour into my life. With you, I can be alone. I can just be, in the miracle of shared solitude. No need to talk. No expectations, no requirements. Just you and me.
You glorify the Creator of the universe every single day just by letting others behold His handiwork. And in everything, in every moment, you turn my thoughts to God.
And if I wasn't just ascribing anthropomorphic qualities to a forest preserve, I would probably send this to you in real life. :)
Saturday, May 29, 2010
I don’t know why she felt compelled to buy my drink. I was counting up the handful of change I had in my pocket, so maybe I looked a little desperate standing there in front of the cashier. But whatever her reasoning, she did something astounding for me.
She said, “I think I’m supposed to.” That means she was responding to something bigger than herself. I suppose that something bigger than herself knew my heart as I walked into Starbucks. Lately I have been thinking about the person I want to be. I sometimes fear that I’m obsessed with self-improvement and for all the wrong reasons. And I walked into that coffee shop with two books and a piece of paper in hand, pen in my mouth, planning to write down the character and qualities that I want to be focusing on in my life.
But she turned my thinking around. Just after she left and I sat down with my iced chai latte, I wrote down a list of ten things I want to do in the next week. Included on it were, “do something random and spontaneous to bless each of my sisters,” “buy someone else’s drink at Starbucks,” etc.
And as I was making this list, I realized that the woman who came in and bought my drink was probably not trying to check something off a list. I remembered that the person I want to be is the person who imitates Christ, not in actions but in essence. We have not been given a list of dos and don’ts. Our God-man Savior obliterated the legalism that gave rise to hypocrisy. He wants my heart, not just my deeds.
So number ten on my list became numbers one through ten. It takes care of the others. It is this: Decide who you want to be. Every single day. And who I want to be is a manalive, a woman who commits herself every single day to her Savior, a person who allows Christ to cultivate within her a nature that needs no reminder to be a blessing, that needs no lists, no to-dos.
This is who I am: I’ve been born again. The Cross is my defense and my hope, and I'm finding who I am in all that my Savior is.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Hold your breath.
Wait for a single moment…that’s life flowing along, brushing against your cheek like a breeze. Don’t rush. You don’t have to catch up with it. Sweet mercy, it’s certainly not something to be contained and held back. The more you chase it, the faster it will flee from you.
No. Rather, stop. Close your eyes. Walk a tiny bit slower and look around you. Crane your neck to look at the clouds so far above your head. Bend down and touch the dandelion before the wind breaks it apart. They say the lake water is dirty, but I’ve seen it sparkle in the sunrise. Put it all together and savor this.
Have you ever left the party early so you could walk the long route home? All alone, by yourself, letting the silence speak to you. Maybe you won’t see anything new, but maybe you’ll see it in a new way. Better yet, maybe its familiarity will be like a still, small voice whispering words of peace to your heart.
Elijah expected God’s voice to come from thunderstorms or hurricanes. But when I read of how the Creator of raging winds and lightning bolts actually spoke to the prophet in exile, I am almost certain that Elijah had to stop breathing for a moment in order to hear what the Lord God Almighty had to say.
I love that our Savior was a man who sought solitude. And I feel closer to Him when I’m sitting alone on a porch swing in the dark and the silence and the solitude. Or when I lie down on the dock and look up at the stars. Sometimes I can’t help but break the silence just to say to the rest of creation, “my God…my God created this.”
Life is not “what you make of it.” The best things in life won’t come from chasing, chasing, chasing. Rather, they are the things that you stumble upon, the things that come so unexpectedly. The things that are given, not won, are the things that you will most love when you look back on your years.
Chaos, rushing, pursuing…these culminate in some concept of achievement that rarely satisfies because, when we were clamoring after whatever it was, we hardly had perspective of what life should really be like. No, it’s when we mosey along, walking slowly and taking everything in that we see the world as a whole, as God made it and as He has given it to us. But you must take a moment to put everything else aside and absorb it as it is.
Don’t talk. Don’t say anything at all. The Creator of Life is trying to speak to you. Don’t interrupt.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I'm not afraid, just dress me up in a poor man's suit.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Know me for my sins,Weaken and break me.Call me out for my faults,Remind me that I'm so small.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
I’ve discovered that it’s always worth it, always enjoyable, always so much better to be involved in people at the expense of self. ALWAYS. Homework isn’t half as important as hearing about your day. Sleep isn’t necessary when your head is on my lap. It almost doesn't matter what you’re saying; how could I be bored when your smile is so wide? And my burdens seem so insignificant when I have the opportunity to share yours instead. Loving you is so much more wonderful than loving just me.
Irresponsible? Only regarding myself. But I’ll always be steadfast for you.