Free to taste the beauty of today…

“Mommy, come play with us!”
His eyes pleaded with mine and I set my project down. The skies couldn’t be bluer. The leaves more golden.
The air was warm and perfect for running barefoot through the thick carpet of leaves.
At our old house, the pin oaks dropped dump truck loads of these fine little slivers, impossible to really get up even after days of raking. But here at our new place, maple leaves look festive and inviting as they dance their way to the ground.
They are big and fluffy, and rake up beautifully.

He grabbed one rake and I the other. We pulled and piled till the heap was as high as my waist.
Then we dropped the rakes, stepped back and let her rip.
Pell mell we tumbled squealing into the leaves.
I squeezed my eyes tight and lay quiet under that mount of crunchy goodness and felt five years old again.
Funny, cause just ten minutes before the pressures of life were heavy on my shoulders.
This thing of life is hard sometimes. Heavy. I forget to notice the golden sunlight splashed on the dying leaves.

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I sat up, and he did too, this little boy of mine suddenly so grown up.
Leaves clung to our hair and we shrieked with laughter.
We stood up and danced and shrugged to get leaves from under our shirts.
Delightful in the trees, delightful in a pile, but no fun down your clothes.
Then we raked the pile high and ran again. And again.

Alannah stood a few feet away, and as I came up laughing again, her face was pure heaven.
She laughed and glowed. As far as she knew, she WAS in heaven.
Mommy was carefree. And she was too.

It’s hard sometimes to choose to let go of the grief, and allow your heart to shriek in childlike laughter.
But they need this, these delightful children of mine.
They need to see a mommy who values the joy of the moment.
Again and again I look into their faces and want to be what they need.
And I find, there in that place of becoming what they need, that I actually needed it too.

Memories of last year, and our long hard, cold winter. Of weeks in the hospital and a cold grave and long weeks of quiet asking God why. Of tears and a move and life marching onward when we weren’t ready. And now, fall is here again and it is stunningly beautiful. The colors of the fiery trees up against the green fields. The smell of woodsmoke in the air and warm mugs of coffee in our hands. Flames dancing in the fireplace, soft blankets for story time.
Must I let the cold of last winter steal the beauty of this one fall moment?

“Come to me,” He whispers, “yes, you, when you are so heavy. I will give you rest.”
Rest – freedom to see the beauty around us for what it really is. He is an artist, this God of ours.
And the night is dark, but even then the stars shine bright, if we will just take the time to notice them.
So let last year go.
The leaf shudders one last time and releases its grip on the branch and falls.
It joins the sea of others and gets lost on the confetti sprinkled ground. Today is beautiful. Breathtaking.
It is FREE.

Just like I was created to be. I look at the pile of leaves again.
And I let God carry all the sighs and tears, and I glance at my little boy again.

“On your mark, get set, GO!”
We run, the wind in our hair, and our bare feet pounding toward the pile. We jump. It is delightful.

Leaning into mercy

It is a lovely quiet kind of day.
Outside the light is subdued, and wet leaves cling to the sidewalk.
I want nothing more than to curl up on the couch with a latte and just close my eyes and read a good book…

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(Photo credit to my brother Isaac, shot with his iPhone)

But really, this morning has been a salty one.
Not in a bad way, but in the stretching kind of way,
where you feel pulled into places you don’t want to go.
Where ugly attitudes start curling out of your heart and want to strangle out every little joy.
This particular situation is not a new one to me. But it is still a hard one.
Daniel, my ever-present counselor wisely said, “Just give like you are giving to Jesus.”

‘Cause in essence, that what we are each doing. Every day.

Then I stumbled across this article and there I lay, with Kara’s finger directly on this raw subject.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect. I wanted to squirm away. Play dodgeball.
I didn’t want to look in the mirror and see it quite that plain.
Sometimes, it just hurts to be honest.

We all know that “…whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water
because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”
We’ve heard it in Sunday school. We’ve heard it from our mothers. We teach it to our children.

I feed my daughter because she is mine, and it is the right thing to do.
I am her mother, and I know that all the late nights feedings aren’t meaningless.
She slides her soft hand over my face and looks up at me with those deep, rich eyes.
She can’t even say “thank you” yet, but already she is giving back to me. Loving me. So, it’s easy.
I know she is committed to me, and will smile at me, and reach for me to hold her.
She makes me feel good.
So of course I’ll keep giving. ‘Cause she gives right back.

But what about these moments when someone thoughtlessly takes, and takes, and takes?
What about when they assume that you will always help them, even if you did it last week, month, year?
You knew it would be just like last time,
when it left that sour taste in your mouth and your heart feeling tired. Used. Unappreciated.
When they expect you to give and offer nothing in return. Again.

It’s salty, and not salted carmel salty. It’s just the course salt that leaves your teeth gritted.

I’ll be ugly blunt. I want justification. I want to be treated fairly.
I want her to pause and think about how it really makes me feel.
I’m tired of getting the predictable short end of the stick.
Every time.

But a quiet whisper says, “Justification. Is that really what you want?
To be treated and judged the way you do others?
In all honesty, you want justice?”

Now the salt pours around me, no longer just between my teeth but enveloping me wholly.
When the tinted glass of my perception fades and I stand bare and plain before God,
will “justice” be my cry? Far from it. What I really need is {MERCY}.
And lots of it.

God took that layer of my heart and peeled back one more than I expected.
“What about your motives?”
Relationships all around me, with strings weaving back and forth, touching here and there.
My husband, my children, sisters, mother, friends. Am I in it all for what I can get out of it?

Jesus came to give. He had no rights. Not even the same place to lay his head each night.
He came and gave, knowing the end of the chapter.
He knew this disciple so loyal today would tomorrow swear he didn’t know Him.
He willingly gave bread to the one who would value silver more than His life,
and turn Him into the hands of those so eager to murder Him.
Jesus saw the poor widow give her two tiny mites and loved her for her lavishness,
yet laid the judging religious ones bare and exposed for their covetousness.
Jesus operated on a completely different plane than what “makes sense” to my carnal mind.

I am humbled.
I read, “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”
(John 1:16-17)

I have to remember that I am the one in debt.
I am the one that wronged. That sinned. That received what I didn’t deserve.

The salt stings my eyes now, and I cling to mercy.
Mercy that washes me clean, and gives me hope.
Mercy that is new every morning.

I lean on this, and not justice.
It is safer here.

Sand, sun and white space

I couldn’t believe it.
The week we had looked forward to for so long was over.
We fit the last suitcase into the puzzle of the back of the car,
shook the last bit of sand from our feet and crawled into the vehicle, and headed AWAY from the beach.

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We usually go camping in the mountains once a year with my mom and sisters,
but this year we were itching for waves. Sand. The soothing of the tide coming and going.
So I scoured online, and looked at, I’m not kidding, over 50 beach houses, in search of the perfect one.
I passed by the one with the pool (sniff)
because we were going just after peak season ended and the price dropped a bit.
Who knew what September weather would be like?
Wouldn’t it have been sad to have paid for a pool, and stood shivering beside it instead?

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But I had finally found a house just a few blocks from the beach, and it turned out to be perfect.
The back of the house looked out over the sound, and the first few days ended up being these gloriously stormy ones, with threatening black clouds and streaks of lightening.
We loved it, steaming coffee cups in hand, wind ripping our face,
watching the swamp grass nod and bend in time with the storm’s hand.
But the rest of the week we had lovely, perfect weather…

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Being there for a whole week allowed us to fully relax.
I hadn’t realized how MUCH life had been pressing on my heart, edging away at my perspective, suffocating the joy out of life.
I sat on the beach, the sun warming my heart
and the waves washing, washing, washing away the pressures.

Our days had no agenda. We had no appointments. We had no meetings to be on time for.
And I soaked it up.
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But we are home now. Yes, refreshed and ready to go again,
but I wonder, how do I keep that rested heart?
That sure footing under the daily moments of being stretched thin?

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White space. I’ve come to love this phrase. To have a place clear of clutter to rest my heart.
I look at walls and envision that perfect piece of art there. This room with furniture just so.
Kitchen counters cleaned off and crumb free.
We need life to be real, and full of people with their joys and problems.
We need to be ready to put our shoulder to the plow, and help pull. Sometimes that means pulling hard.
Sweating. Sacrificing. Hurting.

But God gives us these moments of white space.
Of soft morning sunlight filtering through the leaves.
Of the neighbor’s horse running wild and free through the pasture.
Of sitting on the couch next to my husband, both of us relishing warm coffee and comfortable silence.

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When I was a child, we lived at the foot of a rugged mountain in Arizona named Squaw Peak.
I rode my tricycle there, had my first encounter with a rattle snake,
and learned about honesty under the shadow of that mountain.
But when I think of that view, what I remember most is my mom quoting,

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth…”

It was not just words.
It was this invitation to live not just there at the foot of that mountain,
but to live in a posture of always looking, knowing, depending on the help that came from its maker.

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So I put the beach toys away and stow our swimsuits in the bottom drawer, and sigh happily.
Thankful for the memories of our delightful week.

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And grateful that we can keep carrying part of it on with us, here in the moment of real life.

In the giving and the taking…

It was a perfect day.
All together as a family, we loaded the three kids into their carseats and Daniel pulled the truck and trailer out onto the road. Behind us, our house gleamed under its new roof. The old, tired shingles piled into the dump trailer were at last on their way to the dump.

We had just finished a lovely weekend with the youth from our church, hearing about faith, and learning more of the beauty of this God of ours. I was struck with the security that my relationship with God is not dependent on MY faith, but the GIVER of faith. Everything comes back to God.
Such a safe place…

Just three miles from home we started down the hill, and the trailer started wobbling.
My very capable driver husband just said, “Oh no…” and reached for the trailer brakes.
In a few eternally long, silent moments except for screeching of the tires,
the trailer swung us completely out of control.

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As it pushed us across the left lane, Daniel I both prayed, “Jesus! Help us!”
We flew down the steep embankment, into a tree,
and came to rest the ditch facing the direction we had come.
Daniel and I instantly looked back at the children.
They were ashen faced, but perfectly fine.

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I could see the hood was entirely crumpled, but the truck still drove, so Daniel pulled forward about 30 feet where it was almost level, and then we got out to see the damages.
We knew we had just witnessed a series of miracles.
There had been three oncoming vehicles, and if the first one wouldn’t have seen our trailer starting to fishtail and slowed to a stop, we would have creamed them on our way across the road.
The speed that we left the road at should have done much, much more damage
than what the truck, or our little family actually experienced at impact.
The trooper and EMS all shook their heads, “Don’t know what kept that truck from rolling.”

We all could have died.

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But as Daniel picked up the shingles strewn across the roadside, he found himself singing,
(yes, SINGING!)

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders,
Let me walk upon the waters,
Wherever you would call me,
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander,
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior.”
(Hillsong United)

Last night we were looking online at other wrecked trucks that could have the parts we need.
Suddenly I was struck with the realization we could be looking at coffins instead.
Metal and rubber can be replaced.
People cannot.

The skid marks are long. The trailer flipped upside down and dug long deep gouges into the pavement.
And yet, here we were, all completely fine, except for a few sore muscles.
What could have been a grand entrance to heaven for our little family instead
became a moment of seeing God’s hand.
A blatant miracle.
What we believe satan meant to be a horrible accident,
has become a platform of praise.

___

In the recent weeks, the news has been so troubling to me.
The killings, the brutality, the innocent lives snuffed out in the face of cold heartlessness.
One picture I saw that haunted me, endlessly. A beheaded child.
I felt sick for the rest of the day.
I kept pulling my littles closer to me, and feeling this fear wrap its vice-like fingers around my heart.

Would I be faithful in the face of such horror?
Would I still trust if I had to see such gruesome acts?
My husband reminded me that fear is the enemy’s tool.
But I couldn’t shake it. This cold knot in my stomach. I’d try to forget, but it was always there,
lurking in the corner.
Would I, would you, still cling to God if He allowed those nearest and dearest to us
to be butchered before our very eyes?

I remember Job, sitting in the ashes, his wife and friends mocking the very character of God.
I know his heart must have been shattered in a million pieces around him,
just like the broken pottery he used to scrape his rotting flesh.
The pain. The loss. The horror. It just blows my mind.
But there in that place of absolute devastation, he uttered,
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

I think of the story in John 6, where many turned away from following Jesus.
He asked one of the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”
and Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know,
that you are the Holy One of God.”
He is the very essence of life.

___

But God knows the number of our days.
He knows the end of our story.
As we spun across the road, and as that mother in Iraq wails over her child, God was there.
Holding. Carrying. Sometimes sparing, sometimes not.

He gives and and He takes away.

And here in this place of leaning on Him, we find security beyond reason and peace in all moments.
It is here that we say,
“Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

In the tired moments, take joy

I looked both ways and pulled out onto the road.
The kids were buckled in.
I had my purse, AND phone. My mental check list.
I took a deep breath and felt accomplished, for a moment.
Then I caught a glimpse of myself in the review mirror.
I did a double take.

Was that me?
Tired. I looked haggard.
I glanced at the road and then back at the mirror.
I smiled. It helped, really it did.
But that shock stuck with me.

I’m tired.
Life as a mom is just exhausting.
Never off call. Ever wearing the pager, which goes off at all times.
Nursing through the night, helping a restless teething baby at all hours,
wiping bottoms and settling squabbles.
Sometimes I just want to sleep.

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We pull deep from our resources to mother.
We want to do a good job, and we pull harder. We dig deeper.
We put all we have out on the counter, with the pile of dirty dishes and toast crumbs.
We nearly tumble into the washing machine with the armloads of smelly laundry.
We catch a glimpse of the weeds pushing up stubbornly through the freshly laid mulch,
and we look away.
We feel life real.

We snuggle a little one close, and smell deeply of the sweet tousled hair,
and get caught off guard by the rank, depths of a nasty diaper a few inches below.
It never ends.

But neither do the smiles from that six year old boy who catches that sigh that escapes,
and wraps a gangly arm around you.
He plants an unexpected kiss on your cheek and the tiredness from the morning starts to fade.

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You see, we DO pour out a lot. A LOT.
But there are these moments of heaven where God wants to pour right back into our soul.
To bear up our tired heart with joy.
To see we aren’t just giving, but being richly given back to.
As moms, we are loved and touched and cared for all day long. In so many ways.
We just need to see it.

God speaks love to us by our children’s glittering eyes. By that smile.
Through the “thank you” as we hand them a plastic cup of water. Let’s not miss it today.

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When we are weak, He is strong.
And when we feel like we have nothing to give, let Him pour joy into your heart.
Through His word. And through the free love of your children.
Drink deep. ‘Cause it is rich and sweet.

Your Kingdom Come…

I was recently asked to write a bit about motherhood.
Ahhh, yes, this is such an every day, in the trenches subject for me right now.
So I was grateful for the opportunity to sit still, to ponder what God has been teaching me.
And most of what He has taught me, He used my children to be his little teachers.

Feel free to hop over to the daughters of promise site to read “Your Kingdom Come,” or read it below…

Your Kingdom Come
 
I rolled over and turned my beeping alarm off.
Soft morning light drifted in the window, and in spite if it being Saturday,
I shook my husband’s shoulder. “Wake up, Honey. It’s six.”
We are not morning people, especially my six-year-old son.
I knelt over him and whispered, “Remember the race? Gotta get ready.”
His eyes flew open.
It was surprisingly cool for a morning in late May,
and as we crawled out of our car at the park, I wished I had brought a sweater.
The runners lined up for registration, pinned on their numbers and warmed up their legs.
A tall man pushed a jogging stroller to the line, and I noticed his son was special, very special.
The marks of Downs were clear, and I knew I would have to meet this little guy.
I knelt in front of him, smiling into his sleepy face.
“Nick isn’t much of a morning person,” his daddy smiled.
“Hey, I know the feeling…”
I looked into his sky blue eyes and rested my hand on his knee,
“I’m gonna be cheering for you, Nick!”
He faintly smiled and nodded, his blond hair glowing in the morning light.  
The horn went off and my husband along with the throng of other runners flooded out onto the track. 
Nick’s daddy held back till there was a bit more room and joined the tail end of the group. 
Nick leaned back into the stroller, and settled in for the ride.
It was a perfect morning for a run.
I bounced my eight-month-old baby and chatted with the others who were waiting to cheer the returning runners. 
I kept scanning the track, and finally I heard someone say,
“Here comes the first runner!”
Sure enough, that thin guy, wearing all black, with that beautiful stride. My man.
The little girl in me came alive and I bounced over to the finish line,
“Come on, Honey! Your amazing!”
He came flying in, beating his race record time by several seconds.
More and more runners came through, my sisters, cousin and a friend.
I cheered for each one of them. But I kept looking for that blue jogging stroller.
I knew he would be near the back, since he started out last. 
And finally he came, his sweaty dad pushing that familiar stroller. 
The finish line filled with people and we waved and cheered,
“Good job, Nick! You did it!”
Here I was, screaming my heart out for kid I’d never met until today.  And He was all smiles.
A few minutes later, they handed out the medals.
One by one, the best times and names were called. And for his age group, Nick did the second best time. 
He crawled out of the stroller and ran up to the medal table. 
As he was handed the red ribbon and the shiny medal a huge smile spread over his face.
Instead of going back to his seat, he twirled the medal high over his head and
danced around the pavilion.
We screamed. We cheered. We laughed.
His eyes glittered and his face glowed. Tears stung my eyes.
We all watched this little guy dance in sheer delight, and we tasted heaven.
I had to think about the story in Matthew 19, where Jesus and his disciples had been teaching and healing the thronging masses. 
Everywhere they went, people were pressing, shoving, reaching for that healing touch. 
Then came the children, full of energy and mischief, brought by eager mothers. 
I can just imagine the disciples’ exhaustion as they began to intervene.
“Not today, not these kids…”
But Jesus pulled the children close, and looked reprovingly at the disciples,
“Let these little ones come to me, don’t keep them away;
my Father’s kingdom belongs to ones like these.”
He touched them. He held them close. He blessed them. He saw their worth.

The kingdom of heaven. Jesus Himself taught us to pray:

Our Father in heaven,
May Your name be honored as holy,
May Your kingdom come, and may Your will be done,
here on earth as it is in heaven.
God’s kingdom, here on earth.
It’s a breathtaking thought. No sin. No grief. No loss. No sadness.
I saw it, there after the race as Nick danced and jumped on legs that wouldn’t straighten perfectly. 
He limped, in fact. But he was jumping for joy with sheer delight that was marred by nothing -
not even his handicap.
The kingdom of heaven is not far away.
For us mothers, it is right here in our arms.
I had no idea when my first child was born, that he was sent from God to teach ME.
The mother was now the student.
This child, who could do nothing for himself,
was an instrument in God’s gentle hands to teach me about myself and my Maker.
I learned about rest as my baby slept so soundly in my arms.
I learned about trust as I cradled him in the shade by that roaring riverside,
waiting for the body of my brother to surface after his drowning accident.
I learned about complete dependency,
as I was the only one that could comfort him when he was hurt.
I learned how holding him was comforting to me,
even in those moments when I didn’t realize I needed comfort.
I’m learning now, the vital importance of honesty, of telling my children that I messed up, again. 
Amazed at how quickly they forgive, I find my breath caught away again by these little teachers.
Thing is, it’s so easy to miss. Children are a gift. A miracle.
An opportunity to see life through pure and untainted little eyes. “Mommy, look!”
My daughter bends down over a teeny tiny purple flower I hadn’t even noticed.
I pause. Here in the stopping, in the learning to see, the embracing of a new perspective,
we get to taste life in its sweetness.
Life as it was meant to be.
It only takes one trip to the store to be reminded that motherhood is such a huge ‘chore’.
“My,” they say, “You have your hands FULL.”
I only have three little ones in my cart. I smile back, “Oh, we have lots of fun!”
They look at me oddly.
But it’s true, we are embracing today, with all its joys and trials, for today is a gift.
Oh, I know. It IS hard.
Pregnancy is not a walk in the park. And birth? Wow. 
The teething baby won’t be settled, the challenging attitudes, the outright disobedience we face. 
Not being able to go on dates like we used to, or even join the prison choir that we helped start, 
because you can’t take a nursing baby in behind bars- these are sacrifices. Salty ones.
I’ve tasted the tears.
But it’s about this calling.
The invitation to experience God’s kingdom on earth.
To choose to dive into the beauty of today.
To be intentional about taking time to look deep into these little eyes, these windows of heaven.
To see. To listen to their hearts, 
and build towers of colorful blocks and relationships that will last through adolescence and hard questions.
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And it’s about joy. It doesn’t just happen.  
As mothers, we mold and shape the way our children will think.
About themselves, and the world around them.
We can create a negative atmosphere, nagging and discontented.
Wishing for the next season, a better house, more perfect and comfortable circumstances.
We can subconsciously teach them to live for themselves, selfishly wanting everyone to cater to their needs. 
It’s terribly easy. ‘Cause its what feels good, here and now.
But you know what? Life isn’t about us.
Sounds cold, I know. But honestly, my life is just a speck in eternity.
One wave that comes crashing into the shore, in and then out, and forever gone.
Let’s look at ourselves through God’s eyes. Let’s see today like He does.
Meet those hard moments with a thankful heart,
“God, I thank You for what You want to teach me through this…”
Not only will you find your heart more at rest, you will notice the sun shines brighter. 
Your baby’s giggle is contagious. A tea party on the porch is too much fun to miss. 
That these times are not ones of lost careers and other important things, but of finding for the first time how beautiful life really is. 
You have traded the temporal for the eternal.
You will be shattered.
You will have hard days.
Your children will see you cry.
You will need tissues and burp cloths and diapers, 
pacifiers and cardboard books and moments alone in the bathroom (just for those two seconds of solitude). 
Those long hours of uninterrupted reading or journaling will give way to snack time and legos, 
to teaching simple addition and coloring inside the lines. But instead of resenting their ever-presentness,
celebrate the opportunities that these little people create.
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Like James says so well,

“Count these moments of testing as opportunities for joy. 
For you know that after you have chosen to walk through it with a joyful heart, 
God will work unwavering faith deep in you. 
And as God perfects it in you, through these days of sacrifice, 
you will be made perfect and complete.”
You will lack nothing, here in this place of agreeing with God.
Of embracing today.
Pull your little ones close,
smell their hair and feel the warmth of their skin.
Catch the sparkle in their eyes.
Laugh deep and hard with them.
Look up and smile.
God has sent these beautiful little teachers into your life.
Grasp their small hands, and dance to the beat in your heart.
Can’t you hear it, that heavenly song?
The birds, the wind and the glittering creek,
and you and your children together join in that beautiful melody.
Of God’s kingdom here on earth.
It is the most beautiful place to be.

When He says to beg…

“But Mommy, pleeeeeeeeeease?!”

I looked down into his eyes, feeling the frustration rise. We had already talked about this.
He already knew the answer. I could see the pleading mixed with a touch of defiance in his eyes.

“Don’t beg,” I told him. “You know it doesn’t change my answer.”
Age old scenario. You beg, I say no. Period.

But then he landed the big one.
“But the widow in the Bible begged. God says keep asking!”

How to throw Mommy back to square one.
We sort of think that we are here to teach our kids basic things, like don’t take “no” for a “maybe.”
When I say no, that is supposed to mean no.
We think we have the right for our authority to never be threatened.
But here he is, bouncing the ball back into my court.
It is a good throw, and smacks me between the eyes.
This kid has a head on his shoulders.

God DOES say to keep begging. Pestering. To never let up.

Buddy, if you thought of this at six, what will you be saying at sixteen?
I’d better learn how to play ball.

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So this morning, I opened my Bible to this passage.
It’s always been a bit baffling to me, this hard and unjust judge coldly ignoring the poor widow.
Why would God depict Himself as cold? Hard? Distant?
And why does He portray Himself as a Father, when so many dads are poor examples?
Some are abusive verbally, emotionally, or even physically. Some walk away.
And some, as in my case, are simply gone through circumstance beyond their control.
My dad didn’t choose to die.
When I think of a dad figure in my life, I have these foggy, smudged memories of my kind father.
Good memories, but they are ever so far away.
Why would God allow circumstances that make Him feel far away from me?

He dares to do this, because He can see the big picture.

I smooth the cream page in front of me.

“And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Luke 18:2-8

How does God dare to threaten His own reputation, or our understanding of it,
by seeming to be hard of hearing?

Or indifferent? It comes back to my human tendency to think,
“If you love me, you will give me what I want.”
It’s life on my terms.

Life isn’t on my terms. And I am called to believe more than what I see.

There are times when God seems to not hear.
Like when we asked God to heal my Dad from cancer.
Or rescue Isaac from the swirling waters of the Lempa. Or to spare Marco’s life.
Why does God say “Ask” if He already knows He will say no?

But today God says beg.
Beg for more of Him.
Beg for the impossible.
Believe that He can do it, even if He chooses to say no.

Today, I am grateful for a six year old that asks questions that makes me uncomfortable.
That makes me dig for answers.

I am grateful for a God that can withstand hard questions and has the answers even when I don’t understand. I
am grateful that I can trust Him, when I don’t see.

So today I’m gonna beg.