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Showing posts from September, 2018

The Best Advice I Never Thought I'd Give

We make things so hard.

Sitting across from a young bride-to-be recently who had come to me for advice when she heard I married in college, I heard myself say words I never dreamed I would say - and certainly not now, when ministry is literally my job.
"I would encourage you to not over-spiritualize this."
I'm not sure who was more surprised by the sound of those words hanging in the air, but the words kept flowing straight from the depths of my heart. Like an older sister who could see her baby sister heading toward a cliff, I felt the need to grab her and turn her another, safer way.
I fell there before. I just wanted to keep her from falling, too.
Avoiding that trap, those hurts, is simple, really.
We might not like simple, but that is the Lord's way more often than not.
To be fair, I am in a season where Jesus is rocking my world and His presence is making every last thing feel "over spiritualized" from the world's perspective, but I meant what I sa…

A Story Worth Telling

I was one of the lucky ones. From the very beginning, I was told there was nothing I could not do. Every report card was met with praise. When I doubted myself, I knew at least two people in the world who believed I could rope the stars if only I tried. I was well into my twenties before it hit me that there were real limitations on what I could do, on who I could be.

By choice, I was the college girl who wore a veil before I wore a cap and gown.  By grace, I held the title of Mom before any other professional one - and still value it over any I'll hold. We had a mortgage before we had a clue. We had struggles nobody warned me about. We had babies born in packages we never imagined. Parts of my story were just too painful to tell. I never stopped believing in the happily ever after, but somewhere along the way, the rains came and washed away all my courage, all my confidence.

I didn't have to attend Sunday school every week or be part of a youth group to know from a young age …

Sad Eyes

She was walking down the hall, just doing her job when he flagged her down and summoned her into our tiny room with its glass windows.

"Ma'am? Can I ask you a question?" 
Time stood still. She waited for his question. I wondered where he was going with this. Never the one to ask questions, always the one to be stoic and strong, I was hushed by the pleading tone in his voice. 
"You have sad eyes. Can you tell me why?"
I hadn't noticed her sad eyes before, but now they were filled with tears.
The young resident, who we soon learned had three boys of her own just about the ages of our girls, was heartbroken for us. Despite her determination to remain professional and optimistic, she knew the prognosis for our tiny girl was grim and apparently, her eyes gave her away before her lips found the courage to form the words.
My firstborn says I have a knack for tying something to sad to everything and I suppose the point I hope to make here is no different. It's be…

Learning from Little Ears

I love children most of all the creatures in the world. They are fascinating to me, but none more than the ones who have been seemingly shackled with the weight of the world before they lose their training wheels. The ones born addicted to substances they never decided to take, the ones abandoned by the adults who brought them into the world, the ones that simply have to learn to fight from their very first breaths. They are the ones who challenge me most of all. They are the ones who have taught me most in this life.

The little boy who doesn't stand a chance.
The little girl who has been forgotten.
The tiny person the doctors lost hope for a long time ago.

I've been his teacher. I have been her mother. I have watched them from afar. 
I am so quick to assign my tendencies to others, to expect them to react the way I would react, to carry the burdens they have been handed the way I would carry them. When adults catch curve balls I would have undoubtedly missed, I shrug it off a…